Saturday, December 31, 2005

Best New Years Gift Ever

Peanut WALKED up the steps!
No kidding, she did it FOUR times, going up SEVEN steps, holding onto the therapists fingers for support, she ALTERNATED feet up the steps. Not only four times, but then we tried her at crawling up the steps...she did that too! The little stinker had been holding out on us this whole time! We have been working on this for months and it finally pad off!
This all started when I got a call yesterday in the early morning from Peanut's Physical therapist. She had originally cancelled her appointments for the week due to the holidays, but came home early and wanted to know if she could come today. SO she came, and boy was it great that she came!

Happy new year everyone..i'm entering 2006 with high hopes and on cloud nine!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Holiday Wishes

Pretty boxes, pretty bows,
All stacked in nice neat rows.
I tear open one.
I rip open two.
I don't think I was supposed to!
Each day comes bearing its own gifts.
Go ahead, untie the ribbons!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to All!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Out of the Mouth of A Babe

Tonight at dinner my son James suddenly stops eating and grabs his ears. He starts crying and says something of bunnies. My husband and I look at each other and say what? James looks at us and says "Bunnies in mines ears!" James' ears are hurting so instead of telling me his ears hurt, he tells me there are bunnies in his ears!

PS The ENT we see is always telling my kids he needs to check to see if there are any bunnies in their ears..of course there never are, but I think it stuck in James' mind that bunnies must come to live there when you have an ear ache.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Into the Looking Glass...

Lewis Carol made this famous in his novel The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, when Alice slips into the rabbit hole looking for the white rabbit. She discovers many friends in various forms from accordian owls to nomeraths that you must not step on. As children there comes the moment in time that you discover yourself in the mirror, what a magical time it is! You're sitting there, minding your own business, when suddenly you realize you are not alone. There is someone else sitting right in front of you doing the same thing you are. What a moment of awe and wonder as you try to touch the other person, take their toy and give them a kiss. Shockingly, they repeat all the same moves as you, yet you never touch.
Peanut made her way into her looking glass yesterday. She has made this journey before, but not to the extent she has now. It all started when I came up into my room to check my email. I placed Peanut on the floor next to me for a second, as she has discovered the keypad. About five feet away from where she is sitting is a wall of closets with mirrored doors. In one corner are some toys I keep hidden for her to "find" and play with. As I type, she butt scoots, ie hops on her bottom, accross the room to the mirrors. She looks, touches, leans forward to taste and bumps her head. Startled she pauses, looks back at me and says "Baba". I said yes, you see the baby in the mirror! She looks again, then scoots over to her toys, and begins to play with them. As she plays, she begins to share with the baby in the mirror. She claps, talks and tries to hand a toy off to the baby. It was so cute! The funniest part was today when I came back in the room to fold laundry, and put Peanut on the floor, she went right into the corner and started to talk to the baby in the mirror. She must think the baby lives in that corner now. So I feel comfortable saying that Peanut has stepped through the looking glass and has discovered a new world within her own. Amazing!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What Would You Say ?

I got a call two nights ago from a friend of mine, lets call her Abigail. She was looking for the title of a book about a child with DS. I was curious, as to why she was looking for this title, as she really never showed an interest in Peanut or the DS. Abigail told me she wanted it for her friend who had had a "Down syndrome baby in Trenton, NJ". She said that the girlfriend needed some good reading. Instead of the book she had called me about I recommened another title, The new parents guide to Down syndrome, as it had more relevance and was quite abit more reputable. Abigail then asked me what she should say or do for her friend. The DS was a surprise and mom is very upset. So it got me thinking back to when I had Peanut. What would I have wanted to know about or have had said to me to make me feel better? My first thought was congratulations! You could not even begin to imagine the number of phone calls I got that sounded more like condolence calls then new baby welcoming calls. Let me tell you how depressing that was! It was such an insult to my family and to me.
The other thing I would tell a new parent would be that people are stupid. They say stupid things when they are unsure of what to say. That it is so important to treat people as if they are stupid and you need to educate them about DS and what it means. Without the education people mean well, but can really insult another persons feelings. So I guess the underlying theme would be to give the benefit of the doubt. Assume that people meant well, even if it might have come out wrong.
Ok, so now I pose a question to you: if you could go back in time to when you first found out about your childs DS, what would you have liked to have heard? What could someone have said, or did say, that would have been so helpful to you?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Personal Care Homes - The Future?

Today's newspaper headlined "The Fraying Safety Net: Retarded spill into loosely monitored care". The story was about how many metally challenged, or as the article constantly referred to them as retarded, are being pushed onto family members out of group homes. It went on to speak about how the family members are being burdened by the state not helping with any costs. With all the new changes in Medical assistance many people who had been receiving help will now be forced to pay for much of their medical needs or be faced with no care at all. That in and of itself is a big issue for those of us with children or any family member with a disability. It seems that many of the people in charge of the decisions up on capital hill have never been personlly touched by a person with a disability. Unless you have lived it, you just don't understand. Now imagine adding on what I am about to tell you about.
The thing that really bothered me about this article the most was the fact that many of the personal care homes where people with varying degrees of mental disabilities are being housed with convicted sexual offenders. Yes you heard me right. Sexual offendors are being housed in the same building, and some in the same room, as those who are challenged. The article went on to mention how many of the "retarded" were fine with these arrangments (never mind the fact that they may not understand what is going on). To add insult to injury there was a case of one woman who was mentally disabled living with a convicted sexual offender, AS A COUPLE. Perhaps this needs to be looked into. It sounds a little off to me, don't you think? It bothered me because people in power, The Advocacy and Protection officer from the states Office of Mental Retardation, meant to help watch over people with disabilities, were quted to be concerned with the saftey and protection of the residents. Well, if they were concerned they should not have mixed a high risk group with such offenders! The article continued to tell of numersous abuse, neglect and deaths in various personal care homes in and around the area. The system, while set up to help, really allows many individuals to fall trough the cracks and get lost if they don't have someone with a vested interest in that persons well being.
I guess the upshot for me was how important it is for all of us to have a will to clearly spell out what we want and don't want. I certainly am concerned about personal care homes and group homes too, I hope we never have to put our child out in the world in such a vulnerable manner. I also have to agree with my husband, BStrong, who earlier in a post had mentioned us looking to buy a house with a carriage house out back. That way Peanut can have the independance she needs and yet we can keep a close eye on her too. Truthfully, I really can't plan for the future, as no matter where any child or adult with a disability goes, they are more vulnerable. I also may be worrying uneccessrily as Peanut could very well grow up and get married and surprise us by all she can do...only time will tell, but I sure wish my crystal ball would work as it would surely decrease my stress levels....In the meantime, my heart goes out to all those people who are sutck in such horrible situations.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Speed Bumps

We have been moving along so quickly, traveling and growing and changing, that it seemed nothing could stop us. We were on a roll but we were headed for some speed bumps. Peanut had had a sleep study (polysomnogram) done the beginging of the month, which we never heard anything back on. I assumed that that meant everything was fine, until Monday of this week. I got a call from the Down Syndrome Center regarding a message I had left about an entirly different matter. While reviewing the finer things in life, aka Peanuts Poop, the sleep study was brought up. The NP, Nurse practitioner, wanted to know where things stood with the test. I told her we hadn't heard anything so as far as I was concerned. Apparently the pulmonology department, being as short handed as they are, had allowed her study to fall through the cracks with no follow up. She had had 107 obstructive hypopneas (when your oxygen level drop) which is not a good number. However she never retained any Carbon dixoide (called hypoxia). Her O2 levels droped a little, but only for a small percent of her sleep time. At times I think that these studies a a little too much information. That we are looking for things that we might otherwise never know about. In the mean time they sent over a SPO2 monitior (measures the pulse and oxygen levels), as well as a couple of tanks of O2. Just in case.
So while chasing that around they decide she needs to have an adenotonsillectomy (remove her adenoids and tonsils), and see cardiology because there was an irregularity in the heartbeat from the ONE EKG lead (may be a bad lead). I decided to have her x-rayed for the adenoids before seeing ENT so as to expidite the process (ie rule out surgery or rule it in depending on what they see radiologically and clinically). I also decided that if I am going in for x-rays I might as well have them look for atlanto-axial instability (instability of the c1 and c2 vertebrea that is common in 10-25% of children with DS. They have a weakness in the joint that can increase the likelihood of damage to the spinal cord.). I wanted it checked for two reasons, first we usually check arond age two and second apparently during the adenoid surgery the doctors position the head in such a way that if you have the instability it could cause a problem. Just clearing all aspects. I got the call today that she does NOT have the atlanto-axial instability (she has 3 mm and instability is marked by 4-5 mm betwen the vertebrea (we can do horseback riding!(hippo-therapy)), and that her adeniods and tonsils look normal in size. I see ENT tomorrow so will have a better idea tomorrow , but for now I can rest easy...i think. I have the Pulse/Ox monitor on Peanut , so far she is ok, although I think it is not the best lead, as her heartrate keeps dropping. I'll keep an eye on her tonight and see what happens.
We had her six month review for EI today (early intervention). She has come a long way Baby! We were able to cross off a good number of objectives and had to come up with new ones. Hooray!
So that's the news from the homefront, speed bumps in the road, but we are hoping for smooth sailing once again (knock on wood and all that jazz).

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving Weekend 2005

Busy weekend this weekend, we started with dinner on thanksgiving at my in laws. It was nice, to be with all the family like that. WE saw my sister in law and her husband and heard all about her grand daughter and their new daughter in law. Mom made a great turkey and a duck to boot, in case you were still hungry.
Then we went for the weekend to babysit my brother in laws mom, who is undergoing chemo. She doesn't like to be left alone and since my brother in law and his family went away, we offered to keep her company. So we did just that, we kept her company and made sure she took her meds on time. My kids love going to her house, and spending time with her as she really pays attention to them. It was a nice weekend, although we froze at my brother in laws house. They keep the house so cold, it was 57 degrees in there, I kid you not. So we bundled up and didn't sleep too well that night, as we were freezeing our noses off.
Today we laid low and hung out around the house while doing laundry. Very exciting, I just hav no desire to go with all the other sheep into the pasture to graze on the goods. THe malls will be packed betweeen now and Christmas, sales galore, so why go this weekend, when I can go one next next week in the middle of the day when it is quiet. I hope everyone has had a great weekend with family and friends,

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Signs, Signs and More Signs

We went to have Peanuts speech evaluated the other day, just to see where she is on the continuim in an objective way. We have speech coming into the house one day a week, and I think she is doing a great job, but just the same, I wanted a new perspective. Well, I got just what I asked for. The testing that they did placed her at 7 months for expressive and 10 months for receptive. She is chronologically 19 months old, so it is quite a big delay. However, I need to vent becuase the test is not fair. It does not include my childs ability to sign. Peanut signs with much accuracy, 8 words - Hi, Bye, Night night, more, all done, bathe, play, and no. Unfortunately since they are not verbal utterances, they don't count. Not only that, but she was penalized for not going in the other room to get her shoes. Well, while she is butt scooting, she is not very mobile. She doesn't walk except if she is holding your hand, she will cruise at a surface if you are there to guide her a little, basically, she is delayed in her gross motor, so she will be behind in her speech, but give me a break! I really don't like these tests, as they are all or nothing deals. There is no grey, only black and white. Very frustrating. I know Peanut is going to be delayed, and yet she is doing fabulously well for herself. I really can't complain, but I guess a part of me still hopes that she'll just suddenly up and walk on her own, or start talking up a storm.
Adding salt to the wound is a comment that I keep hearing from others about Peanut. Everyone keeps calling her "the Baby". When we see people with real babies, children much younger then Peanut, the parents tell their kids, look at the baby refering to Peanut. A family member did that the other day, I was really irritated. Their child is 11 months old, sure my daughter is 19 months, and acted like a 12-14 months old, but she is still the older child. Perhaps I would have liked it better if they would have said, say hi to your cousin. No need to add the baby or other comments.
Sorry for the ranting, I'm just in one of those moods today, perhaps spending to much time with the family is not good for me this year....

Suzy Snowflake Returns

I love the winter. Ok, I love the snow when it isn't too cold out, and when I don't have to drive anywhere or shovel. Basically I like it when I can stay in. Our weather is finally changing, we are getting our first snowflakes that have begun to accumulate, we have about 2-3 inches right now and are expecting more by tomorrow. It looks more like Chritsmas then Thanksgiving this least we know the holidays are just around the corner. Perhaps the retailers will cash in on the change of weather and come up with new sales and specials. It's a good day to stay in with a hot cup of cocoa...too bad we have to go out to dinner...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and everyone around us is so busy getting ready for the holiday. Sometimes I wonder if people remember what the holiday is really about. Or if people take the time to think about what they are thankful for. Apparently there are a few people in the world who do, as I was in the supermarket today and observed an amazing interaction. There is a girl with DS who works as a bagger, and another young man who appears to have a disability, but I am unsure what, who works bringing the shopping carts in and bagging too. Both are very sweet individuals, whom I am always glad to say hi too and interact with. Anyway, as I stood in line, the two of them were discussing Thanksgiving and what they were going to be doing. The girl, Harmony, was saying how excited she was that she was going to cook the turkey with her mom, but that she was in charge of the stuffing (she had such a grin on her face, you could tell she was proud to be given this job). The young man, Chuck, said he was going to go off his diet for a day and eat as much as he can, because the food is always so yummy. Then he asked Harmony what she was thankful for. She thought for a second, then looked at him and said her mom. She went on to explain that her mom really does alot for her and she loves her so much. He shrugged and said he was thankful he could go off his diet, then laughed and said no really he was thankful for his brothers and his dad, because they told him he could do anything. Now, is that not the most heartwarming conversation ever? For all that we do for our special kids, they DO notice and really are grateful and thankful. I really felt so proud for their families that they raised such great kids. I just wish I could tell them the conversation I had heard.
So while you are preparing your holiday meals, take a moment and think about a wonderful moment in your life, and be thankful. Stay safe, and enjoy...Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Weee're Baaaack

We are back from our fun filled, crazy busy weekend. Despite being extremely tired, in the end I think it is safe to say that a pretty good time was had by all, and the trip was relatively uneventful. On the way there, my son James, screamed for 20 miles because he ate too much. That was fun, especially since my mother in law was in the car with us. Once he fell asleep, he was fine the rest of the way.
The wedding was nice, small, mostly family and a few friends, but very elegant. The kids had such a great time staying up past their bed time and playing with cousins.
The highlight for me was Saterday afternoon a bunch of the cousins came to play with the kids. The kids and cousins were all between the ages of 6 and 16. Peanut was sitting on the floor, and she was being included in a board game. She kept edging closer to the kids and babbling, so the kids would turn around and talk to her and have her help march the pieces around the board. It was so nice to see Peanut being so social, but also being accepted by the kids. They all thought it was so cool that she wears contacts, so much so that one of the kids kept bugging their mom to let them get lenses, because if Peanut has them so can I. It was really sweet.
Now, it is time to rest up for a few days to get ready for thanksgiving and more family togetherness....I think there should be a limit to how much time you are allowed to spend with your family, that way no one winds up irritated.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

On the Road Again.....

We are off on yet another road trip, with my mother in law in tow. My nephew is getting married tomorrow night and we are driving out for the wedding. It should prove to be interesting, at least I am really hoping it is boring. I must say the only thing that I am really looking forward to is getting all dressed up. I haven't had the opportunity since two years ago, when my neice got married. It should be a lot of fun. Well, off to bed, as we have an early start in the morning, Peanut has PT first thing, then it is on the road again....
THis time we bought new movies for the trip, that way the kids can't, or I should say hopefully, won't fight over the movie selection. PLus we are only bringin the new movies, three in total.
I'll let you know how things turn out, Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mid Life Crisis in your 20's?

Is it possible to have a mid life crisis in your 20's? I think so. I am the mother of three beautiful kids, have an ok husband (just kidding honey, you're great too), and a job that I feel passionate about. So why do I feel like something is missing. As if I should be doing something more? Well, I have decided to answer my own question, because I need to follow through with something that I have been dreaming about doing for the longest time, ok the last three years. With each passing year the drive, the desire to go out and just do it, gets more and more intense. I think about it everyday. So what has me going nuts...I want to go back to school and get my degree to be a Physicians Assistant. Basically be a doctor without the MD and without the long schooling, but working under a Physician and their guidance and knowledge. I have been wanting to do this for so long. It would fit in so nicely with all I have learned from my Peanut, and my other two kids, as well as my current occuapation, that of lactation counsultant.
So after driving my family and friends crazy by always saying I was going to go back to school but then never doing it, I am finally doing it. I took the plunge last week and enrolled in a college to start taking my prerequisites for the graduate program that I want to enroll in. I am so excited, yet the trepidation is still present. I am leaving my three kids to go back to school full time for two years and part time for 18 months. I feel like I am abandoning them, yet I know I am not. In fact I probably am setting a good example of following through with what you dream or feel passionate about. However, I still feel a little guilty. Despite the fact that by the time I go full time Peanut is going to be in school for most of the day, I'm kinda leaving her behind. I know she will always be there, unlike my other kids who will go off and leave the nest eventually. Peanut will probably be with us or at least near us forever, which I actually am finding comfort in. So while I do feel a little guilty, I know I will only be missing out a small part to be able to give her all the things she needs or wants. Not to mention giving her a mommy who is happy and feels fulfilled.
Nevertheless, I have taken the plunge and registered for classes and am starting the ball rolling, because you have to start somewhere, right? Besides, I think when you feel as passionate about something like I do, you should seek to acheive and excel at it. I just feel like I have gone thru so much that I can give a diverse perpective to medicine. Our kids, those with special needs, are all to often seen as kids with Downs who are sick, not a child who is sick who happens to have downs. The way the medical world perceives our kids will determine what kind of medical care they will receive. Which I do not agree with and hence one reason I feel so strongly about the medical field. Then you add in the Lactation issues, and man you have gotten me started on something I can't stop. I will be brief - far too many people won't even TRY to breastfeed their infants. All I ask is just try it once, if you hate it then fine, stop. But you can't say you don't like blue food when you've never even tried it. Plus, once more, the medical field is far too outdated and misinformed about breastfeeding and so many mothers just give up. Just like mothers of kids with special needs may give into the pressures form the medical staff - they are intimidated. Intitials don't give an individual infinite wisdom, they just add a little more weight, but mom will know, 9 times out of 10, what is best for her child. If I can try and help parents and women be heard by the medical profession, then I have done my job. Besides, I think the whole medicine thing is cool, and really neat, you should see the things they can do nowadays. Absolutley amazing.
I am actually counting the months down until I can actually apply for the graduate program, I am more nervous about applying then actually going. I am older then the average student, and have been out of school for 6 years, I hope I can get in...I'll keep you posted.

Life's Little Moments

Tonight was a big football game. I was very nice, and after my husband was offered tickets from a friend, to let him go. I took some time out this afternoon to get some errands done. It was only fair, besides my husband rarely goes out to sporting events anymore. It was a nice treat for him.
Anyway, after he left I was putting the kids to bed and my Ellie says to me, "mommy, I remember when I was four, I loved James' eyes when he was a baby, they were too cute and so fat!" I must say james was a fat baby, at seven months he weighed 23 pounds. You would never know it now, he is a slim trim 3 year old. It was all breastmilk fat, that melts away the minute the kids start to move. It was just funny the way she said it and out of the blue. WHy is it that kids tend to put an age to when they remember things, and yet it is always the last year. If they are 5 it was when they were 4 if they are 4 it was when they were 3.
Then, when they finally fell asleep, which was in ten minutes, the fastest I've ever seen them go, it was a perfect picture moment. Both kids were in our bed, Ellie curled up next to James and James laying semi-upright with his arms up, hands behind his head, proping his head up like he was watching tv. Both sound asleep. So cute and magical. Very cute moments that one can enjoy and smile.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Easy Elegance

I have gotten a few private messages from some of you asking about those soup recipes that I have been making for Peanut. So in an effort to accomodate those who want them from those who don't I started another blog. It is called Easy Elegance. There is a link to it from my links section on the side bar. In it you will find a couple recipes and I will add as I have the time. Let me know what you think....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Words To Live By...

Everyone has a saying or motto by which they live. Some mottos are more philosophical then others. Whatever the motto or words may be, they define us and let people know a little more about who we are. Having said that, my mottos are the perfect example of who I am and what I believe in. I have two that I am constantly saying:

Don't judge a book by its cover and You never know aka benefit of the doubt

The don't judge a book by its cover is the newest motto for me. After we had Peanut I came to strongly believe that people are too busy judging based on what they see. They don't seem to try to see what lies beneath the surface. It bothers me and so I try very hard to look beyond what I see. You'd be very surprised what you'll see if you can get past the apperance and see someone for who they really are.

The benefit of the doubt is my all time favorite sayings. It kinda runs along the lines of you never know until you've lived a day in anothers shoes. You just don't know why people do things, or say things. Perhaps they had a bad day or misunderstood you or they just are being misunderstood. All too often peoples words or actions are taken out of context and read into in a way that can ruin friendships, and change relationships. If you start to get insulted or mad, just give the person the benefit of the doubt, you'll be amazed.

So what words or mottos do you live by? Words that make a differance in your life daily, weekly? Why are they so important to you?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mind Over Matter

This last week has been a whirlwind of activity. We have been so busy with the kids, doctors appointments, life, you know how it is. This week was extra fun due to the time change. My friends all know that they can call me as early as 6 am, as my kids tend to think that around 5:30/6:00 the world wakes up and they might miss something. Actually Peanut has gotten into the habit of pooping out of her diaper at 5:30 am every morning. A problem I am much happier having, although if it was 6:30 instead of 5 it might be a little better. Although truthfully then I'd probably be really late all day. With the time change my kids got up at 4:30 two days in a row, that's AM people, not PM. As in like no one is up, the moon is still just don't get it!
I know I'm not the only one in the same position, but it sure seems like I am a zombie all week.
Peanut went for a full polysomnogram (sleep study) on tuesday and boy did I learn a few things. Like they only record the sleep activities from 10 pm until 4:30 am, then they wake you up, take all the wires off and send you home at 5 am. What the heck people?! It's a sleep study, can you let me get some sleep? Ok, it was PEanuts study, but it was my chance to least that's what I thought, boy was I wrong. We'll get the results back in a couple of weeks, here's hoping it was a big waste of time. I like those kind of tests, the ones that turn out to be a waste of your time.
PEanut had her 18 month checkup. I can't believe she's 1 and a half already. She looks great, grew almost two inches, gained a pound and is still small in the cranium department, but growing slightly.
Yesterday was crazy because I was so tired from the sleep study, then to add insult to injury my insurance company, who had told me my lenses were covered 100%, is now telling me they are not covered. Don't worry I'll show them who's boss......
Today was even more crazy, it went as follows:
5:30 am- poop out from Peanut, clean up ,bathe and get dressed.
6 am James gets up with 103 degree temp, and miserable, administer Tylenol and cool clothe
8:00 PT shows up to work with Peanut.
8:15 leave to take Ellie to school
8:30 get thru to MD, appointment is in thirty minutes ( its a 20 min drive) get home, get James shoes on, change diaper, find coat put it on leave
8:45 get in the car and realize need gasoline, so stop for filling up
9:05 get to MD, MD not there yet, start by telling the nurses what tests I want to have run ( urine test for UTI, Strep test)
9:15 get call from school Ellies ear hurts, so I call my mom to pick her up, good timing!
9:30 MD shows up a little late
10:00 leave MD office, throat lokks like strep, but test was negative. Got medicine just in case
10:15 drop James off at home with nanny, nurse PEanut and leave to library at Hospital to pick up some books
10:45 get to hospital, and drive around looking for parking
11:45 leave for home/Shopping for food/pick up medicine and cancel appointment for patient as I will never make it in time, and won't have child care.
The day continues with therapy and sick kids crying, soup making and eventually bed time. Never a dull moment in my life or anyone elses, especially those who have kids. PErhaps if I think about it hard enough then tomorrow will be better?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Peanut's Newest Tricks

Looking back over my last few posts, I realized I haven't told you about all the new tricks Peanut has. She has been very busy this last month, learning and surprising all of us. Not to mention she had her half birthday this week, and is now 18 months old. I can hardly beleive it! Where has the time gone, we just had har first birthday last month, wasn't it? Before I know it she'll be in school and running around driving me crazy...wait a minute, she kinda does that already....Anyway back to her new tricks where to start? Well, lets start at the top and work our way down.
In the cognitive/developmental department, she is getting it! Yesterday we had vision in to work with her, and the vision therapist calls me in the room and says watch this. We have a book with a picture of a xylaphone in it. We also have a xylaphone that Peanut loves to beat on, it looks different from the one in the book, but you can tell they are the same thing. Well, apparently Peanut could tell they were the same thing too. The therapist asked Peanut whats this? Peanut lookos at he book and turns to her toy and beats on her toy. Then the therapist asks her where her toy is in the book. She stops playing with the toy and points at the picture in the book. After turning the book upside down, backwards, and repeating it. Peanut picked her xylaphone and matched them each time. Way cool brain synapses going on here people! We also were able to cross off her IEP the finding covered pobjects and object permanance, she so gets it, in fact the developmentalist and I were joking that she is bored with the can you find it games.
In the Speech department, in the last three weeks Peanut has discovered her voice. She sits and chats up a storm, baba, dada, lala, mama, varying the tones, intonations, and orders of the consanent vowels. While she is doing great and has /m, b, d, l, g, n, p/ consanents, she basically only has /a, o/ as vowels. WE've got work, but we are so excited to hear her! She will scream from the other room to get your attention, or even from right next to you if yoiu are paying enough attention to her. Very cool!
We have also been very social this last month and it seems to have worn off on PEanut. She is very interested in babies and wants to interact with them. She tries to touch them, and talk to them. She shared her toy a couple of weeks ago...I am not exagggerating. She was playing with a toy and a little boy a few months younger then her was trying to get it from her. She stops, looks at him, hands him the toy, reaches across midline and gets another toy for herself, and goes back to banging her blocks together. I could not beleive it, until she did it again this weekend with another child. Similar circumstances, but she shared!
In the gross motor/PT department she is cruising along the surface of a couch, if you give her incentive. She will walk holding onto your hands, and has been working hard at walking holding onto only one hand. Peanut is on the move on her butt, butt scooting, and hopping along on her little bum. You can leave her in one spot, only to find her stuck behind the door clear across the room in ten minutes, sometimes less.
In the OT/food department, she is FINALLY getting the hang of drinking from a cup. We have been encouraging using a nosy cup (the cups with the cut outs so you don't have to tilt your head back to get the liquid, instead the cup and fit past your nose). It seems to be working as she is taking 1-2 oz a day by cup. Otherwise we have discovered that she really likes to eat soups. It seems to help to have a textured item in with the liquid, it cues her to swallow the liquid. So I have been busy increasing my repertior of soups. So far we have made Yellow Split pea, Cream of Sweet potato, Carrot and spinach soup, chicken soup, mushroom barley soup, and of course beef and noodle. Of all of the soups Peanut likes the Yellow split pea one the best. I think it is pretty good too. I'll try to post the recipe later, for those of oyu who might like to try it. Pooping is going much better, she goes 2-5 times a day, and is not crying at all! Yippy!
This week we are going to the hospital for our overnight stay to do another sleep study. The first one they did was not a real one, it was only a partial sleep study, this one is the real deal, full blown sleep study. So we will be having a sleepless night at the hospital. As long as everything is fine and we don't come home with any germs, we'll be ok.
This has turned into the total brag post, but she has changed and grown so much and I have been too busy going on about myself anf my son, that Peanut got left in the dust. As I am typing this, Peanut is trying to get at my sons hot chocolate, which he took a drink from and put down on the floor. Little does he realize that Peanut hops and scoots across the floor to get at things...speaking of which she has completed her journey across three feet and is trying to figure out how to drink the cocoa. Oops, James came back to rescue his drink, she's crying now. Guess I should try to give her some in her nosy cup.... have a happy day guys!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Spa de la Discrecion

I recently went to a five star spa, as a gift from my husband. I had gotten the gift certificate from him for my birthday back in August, but had not found the time until recently to get there. It was a nice unassuming location, nothing fancy, but great service, and certianly with a smile. Well, after the most relaxing massage, I spend a good half hour in the post massage relaxation chair, they had some funny name for it like, the post bliss de-clouding chair, or some strange thing. As I leave, they ask if I would like to come back, of course I say yes. Not to mention I still have money left on my gift certificate. They then proceed to invite me to bring someone with me the next time. They have couples massage specials that I might like to share. I said no my husband is not coming the next time. Of course I said no, I would rather keep this to myself (yes I am that selfish, how often do I get to do something just for me?). So instead they offer to me the opportunity to bring my boyfriend the next time, promising to be discrete. I assumed that they had not heard me when I had said I was not interested in bringing my HUSBAND. So I repeated, yet they assured me that they had meant my spouse, boyfriend or significant other, whomever that may be. Apparently I am living in a dream world, in bliss thinking that there are people who still beleive in monogomous relationships. Desperate Houswives is not so off the beaten path, with this one sleeping with that one and then the next one lines up...what the heck people!?
I come home and relay the story to my Nanny who tells me sure everyone has affairs all the time, and proceeds to tell me about this friend and that friend and their extra cirricular activities. Anyway she tells me I could never have an affair or extra marital affair because I have a big mouth and I'd screw it up, her words not mine. But she's probably right, I do have a big yap, although I have been doing much better about keeping it shut (that might be because I can't remember anything anymore).
Later that day it occurs to me that maybe I should send my husband and my boyfriend for a special couples massage together. I wonder what the concierge at the spa would say to that? Of course I'd have to get a boyfriend first, of course my nanny is right, I probably wouldn't do that very well. Honey, if you are reading this, I love you and you know I'd never cheat, unless it was with my boyfriend ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dinner Delight or Disaster?

We had the family over for dinner the other night. It was nice, my parents and siblings all came, and so did Uncle John. My kids had so much fun playing with all the aunts and uncles, then my eldest had her first sleep over at my moms house. I was pleasantly surprised that she lasted the whole night. I thought for sure around midnight or one in the morning I'd be getting that call that she'd want to come home. She proved me wrong! Anyway, I digress, the dinner was interesting in that I just could not seem to get things right. Don't get me wrong for as interesting as dinner ie the food turned out, it was edible and good, just not the top of my game. We started off with soup, which was good, then moved on to salad and the main dish. That's when trouble struck. Apparently in one of my more brilliant moments I put one of those disposable casserole dishes in the oven on too high of a heat. Let me tell you, that stuff melt and gets all over everything! So my house is filling up with smoke, but no one is minding. Thank god they all know that I really can cook!
Next up is the dish that I keep forgeting to serve. I found this great recipe for carrot and snap pea bundles, where you thinly slice and julienne carrots and snap peas, saute them with a little oil and sugar, and then bundle them and tie them with partially steamed chives. The tricky part is getting the chives steamed just right. If you over steam them, they break, if you under steam them they won't bend and they snap. They look great, took way too long to make and I froze them, so I keep forgetting to serve them. Oh well, maybe this weekend I'll pull them out of the freezer and try again.
Like I said it wasn't too bad, everyone ate, enjoyed and laughed at all my crazyness. Like I said it was nice to have everyone over and spend the evening chatting about life, the world and stuff. Still can't figure out what the deal is with me, maybe too much is going through my head....I've been thinking too much lately......perhaps I should be thinking less and doing more?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Home Economics 101

I told you I have been in one of those weird homey moods, entertaining left and right, baking and cooking up a storm, and just getting things done around the house. Well today I took it to a whole new level. My kids needed new comforters, theirs were quilts and not suitable for the cold that we are expecting this winter, not to mention the new lower thermostat level. SO I went shopping and together with my mother-in-law and three kids, we picked up new comforters. I got them the most affordable, but machine washable, down comforter we could find. Then we went looking for duvet covers (comforter covers). Well, those turned out to be fourty to seventy dollars each. I just can't see paying so much for covers. That is just highway robbery, in my book. So instead I thanked G-d that my mom had taught me to sew and had bought me a sewing machine when I was little. You see I got my first machine when I was ten, and made myself my own outfits, and all kinds of stuff. Over the years, I have made everything from clothes to costumes to curtains to baby bedding (comforter/bumper/dust ruffle). Well, now I can add comforter covers. Yes for $15-20 you too can make your own covers. I bought two twin size flat sheets, 300 count cotton, and sewed them right sides together. Then I added a big stripe of velcro to one end, the one I left open so I could put the comforter in. My daughters cover is one side plum the otherside is pale pink; while my son got tan/burgandy. They turned out really nice and cost well under fourty dollars, took only an hour to make!
I think the next thing I'll tackle is thermal curtains, how bad could that be? I'll let you know.....MAYBE.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Of Igloos & Dog Sleds

With gas and pertrolium prices soaring my husband and I have been re-thinking the trips to the store for the lone gallon of milk, and adding a sweater or two in order to turn down the thermostat. Tight times call for tough measures, so I have been thinking about ways to cut costs. As I sit here typing this in my sweats with two layers underneath (it's really not that cold, I am just always cold in the winter) I have found the perfect solution. All we need to do is take a couple of lessons from our friends in Alaska, the Eskimos. You read it right, the Eskimos. They live in igloos and drive around in dog sleds.
Think of the savings now! Go down to the pound and pick up a dozen dogs, bring 'em home, then build yourself a sled (or buy one from Target for $9.99). The cost of dog food and vet bills would certainly pale in the face of petrolium. Besides, you will have performed the best humanitarian act this year by saving those dogs from the gas chamber. When you get home, you could go in the backyard, build yourself a nice igloo, and your heating bills would be quite low. Not to mention your spouse would be so happy you finally cut down that darn tree and all the overgrowth in the yard. You could even add on a room or two, at virtually no cost, except that of labor! You could finally own that seven bedroom mansion, with a small heating bill to match. Think of the resale value in that! While in the construction phase, remember to watch out for that yellow snow!
So as you prepare to batten down the hatches, cut back on outings and shopping trips. As you purchase twelve pairs of thermal underwear and sixteen pairs of sweat suits for each member of the family keep these suggestions in mind. It might save you a few bucks somewhere along the line.
Now that I have solved the problem of heating and transportation for the winter, what about the summer months you ask? Well, adobe is cool and cheap enough, as for gett'n around town, well roller skates are pretty cheap.....although my sister has a fondness for those little motorized scooters that you plug in to charge. Apparently they come with two speeds, Turtle or Rabbit. I kid you not. You can put the scooter into turtle and go slowly or you can crank it up and zip around town in style on a super charged scooter in Rabbit sped. Sure would beat the $2.69 per gallon for those trips to the store for milk.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Poop, It's Grand!

Well, we have finally got things under control in the pooping department. Peanut has been going with great regularity. Many times waking up at 5 am only to need to be bathed. I am not complaining, just a little tired, which I would take any day over the screaming bloody murder for one poop every sixth day. Horrible days I have to say I don't miss at all.
Been busy with the kids and got biten by the baking and entertaining bug, so I haven't had much time to blog with good regularity. I will be back hopefully this weekend, filling everone in on my escapades...until then poop, poop, cheerio (get it, that's what;'s been going on at my house alot, pooping, and easting cheerios, though not simultaniously!)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Uncle John Strikes Again

Proof positive that Uncle John has a very special place in my sons heart, in two acts.
Act One:
When James woke up Sunday morning he was excited. He came into our room, eyes shining bright, smile big as can be and announces, "Mine Birthday!" Brian and I say yes it is your birthday. The following is a dialog between Brian and James:
Brian: yes it is your birthday
James: Me birthday, James
Brian: Do you know what we are going to do today?
There is a pause as James thinks and then answers: Cut mines hairs
Brian: that's right, you're going to get you're hair cut today. Do you know who is going to cut it?
James pauses, tilts his head so that his hair is falling away from his face, thinks, and then answers: Unca John cuts mines hairs! (with the biggest grin of all on his face)
Brian looks at me and asks me if I had coached him to say that, of course I had NOT, James just was really excited that Unca John was coming to cut his hair.

Act Two:
We are at the Salon and James has just gotten up into the barber chair. He sits down and the stylist asks him about his funky hair do. You see we went from our house where the butchery had occurred (ie everyone taking peices of hair and loping them off with scissors and no particular style). The stylist, Nichole asks him who cut his hair. Instead of saying everyone, he looks at her and without a pause smiles and says : "Unca John cuts mines hairs!" What a cutie Pie kiddo...

I guess that the honor of the haircut and the first FIVE word sentence go to "Unca John"....If he should ever decide to switch careers he might try hair stylist, at least according to my three year old.

I wonder if I take James to Uncle John for his 6 week trim how much he'd charge me for it......hmmm?

101 Friends For 3

If you've ever seen 101 Dalmations there is a scene where Pongo (the dad) is attempting to count the puppies, but loses count and yet still ends up with 101 (even though by his count there are 156). Anyway, at my sons 3rd birthday party, the Big Haircut Ceremony party, there were approximately 101, maybe add 20 or 25, of our family and friends (kids included) in attendance. It was so nice to see everyone and spend the afternoon with them, enjoying our kids, catching up and relaxing.
The buffet included such items as Roasted Garlic and Potato Gallettes, Apple Cinnamon Muffins, A noodle dish called kugel, Oriental Spinach salad, Chocolate Trifle (which was really really yummy), assorted cookie trays, homemade dinner rolls, bagels, cream cheese, egg salad, and fruit salad. Of course there was the cake too. The cake I HAD to make, which not without a few close calls, turned out really good. I have to say I surprised even myself! People ate, and enjoyed (I think?!).
James was such a trooper, coming to get his hair cut whenever someone new arrived to the party. He was so good. He never shed a tear or cried, just smiled and asked for more Smarties. All in all a good time was had by all, and everyone is glad it is overwith. Especially mommy, since the night before was a restless night. I was a bit upset and anxious about cutting my baby boys hair. You see he had locks that resembeled Fabio's trade mark hair, long flowing blonde locks that catch your attention. Now those locks are gone. History. He now looks as cute as can be, my little baby boy replaced by this heartbreaking little man. Look out girls, James is on the prowel!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Gallons of Ice Cream

I have a few minutes in between activities as I get ready for my sons big party. So I thought I'd share a peice of very important information with you. Baskin Robbins does sell gallons of ice cream, in a different sort of way. Instead of hand packing it like they do for a quart or a half gallon, they get creative. They take the great big container that they dip out of and CUT it into a smaller container. After all a gallon is just a weight, right?! Then they top it off with a cap, write the flavor on the top and hand it over....after you pay a small ransome for it.
So, you are asking yourself, why do I know this? I know this thanks to a very special man, my husband. He owed me ice cream because of a certain cartoon he posted (and from a ball game a few weeks ago). Monday afternoon, actually monday night as I didn;t get home until 5 pm, He surprises me with thegallon of Mint chocolate chip ice cream. Yummy!
Not good for my diet, but great for stress relief! Anyway so now you know, and now you can rest a little easier tonight knowing that next time you want a gallon of Baskin-Robbins Ice cream, you CAN get just is a little interesting looking.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Big Number Three

When my son turns three it is time to celebrate. We will be celebrating the fac that he has grown and turned from a baby into a boy. That he has developed into this amazing little man who is curious and interesting in bugs and trains and cars and how things work. Who am I kidding! I am celebrating the fact the Mommy has survived the first three years with minial changes to her hair (ie not gray yet!). All the stress and the headaches all not for nothing. I have become a wise woman. I know that I need to celebrate in a big way!
We have invited 125 of our closest friends and family (mostly family) to join us for a party in honor of my sons third birthday. It will be at this party that we will cut his hair for the first time ever. Yes, in three years he has not even had a trim, well other then Peanut yanking out a handfull of hair last month. Everyone in attendance will be able to take a small snip, and then following the party we will go to the barber and get a nice cut and style. It is a family custom that has been done for generations...something new and different, hey any excuse to party!
So in preperation for the party I have been baking. I made black and white cookies, snickerdoodles, swedish nut balls, palmiers, apple muffins, dinner rolls, and am not done yet. Last count on the cookies was 18 dozen cookies and 4 dozen dinner rolls and 5 dozen muffins. Not quite enough food for that many people, and so the menu goes on to include potato galettes, spinach salad, fruit platters, egg and tuna salads, and a quiche or two. Not to mention the birthday cake. I decided I didn't want to spent $100 on a cake when I can make one for ten dollars or less. So I am going to try to make my own...I'll let you know how it looks. Truthfully even if it doesn't look all that good, at least I know it will taste good.
So for the next few days it is the kitchen for me..up to my elbows in a 25# bag of flour and sugar flying all over...don't worry I'll clean house before the guests arrive, I have about a week or less.....

Saturday, October 01, 2005

All Clear

On Friday we went to the hospital (see it seems I'm there to often) to test for Hirschsprungs. They did a barium enema. Poor child, Peanut screamed bloody murder the entire procedure; of course I don't blame her, it didn't look very pleasant. The good news is that it doesn't appear to be Hirschrpungs at all. Instead it is most likely a fluid issue, although we will be consulting with GI once more before the difinitive diagnosis. Whew! What a relief! I was so worried they'd come back with a surgical have no idea how glad I am that it wasn't necessary. Anyway, with that off my shoulders I can relax this week and just enjoy lifes little gifts. Like my son deciding to remove his diaper the minute he poops because he is uncomfortable, yet won't do his business in the potty. What exciting times it is in the life of a three year old.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Lifes Little Guilty Pleasures

THere are a few things in life that are hard to admit to enjoying. Like some of the new night- soaps that are on the tube nowadays. Yes, I admit it, I love to watch Grey's Anatomy, with Patrick Dempsey and crew. I guess I enjoy watching Hollywoods take on the hospital scene (or maybe I just like watching Patrick Dempsey? I'll never tell). After all it seems as if I am in that kind of setting (the hospital) to often. The escapism of imagining what the heck is going on behind the scenes is a coping mechanism for whatever I'm there for. Like with Peanuts upcoming barium enema. When the physicians are walking down the hall, you wonder what their story is. What is their life like? Do they have a family? A wife? Kids of their own? Are they partaking in hospital gossip, enjoying hearing what is going on all around them, perhaps about themselves? Whatever made them decide to become a doctor in the first place? Why pick that particular field of medicine?
My mom is a nurse, although no longer practicing she keeps her licensure updated, just in case. Anyway, she used to tell me stories from the hospital where she worked and even from nursing school. This one was sleeping with that one and cheating on the next. Doctors were in bed with doctors and nurses alike. This one changing her life to be better while that one only bacame a nurse to marry a doctor. Crazy! It is one big happy family in these facilities...with all kinds of secrets in the halls.
Perhaps on the days that I feel my life is a little monotonous I should go down to the local hospital and hang out at the nurses station and see what is going on (truthfully, I could just ask Uncle John). Could be better then t.v., however somehow I don't think all the doc's out there are as dreamy as Patrick Dempsey (hey, don't laugh, my daughters OT thinks he's hotter then hot too! It's a girl thing).
Maybe I should reconsider the whole med school thing? I'm not THAT old, yet. Might be fun.....Sorry honey, but I think that medicine is calling me......Funny thing is I can't get away from it, it just keeps coming at me.....

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

How to get your parents to spend $1500

How do you get your parents to spend $1500? You go to Israel and break your foot. My lil sister fell when she got to her school in Israel. She was treated at the ER and sent back to school. Fast forward two painful weeks of phone calls and misery and you will find my sister at home with a Hot Pink cast on her left leg. SHe has a hair line fracture in her foot that was missed because the ER had not taken a comparative xray of her uninjured foot. BUt I digress. The reason she cost my parents so much was to fly last minute across the ocean was $1500 or thereabouts. WHile I don't recond this course of action, I personally feel it was money well spent as she is much happier and back to her old self. Mom, Dad if you are reading this, you can come to eat pasta with us any night of the week (well, except tonight, and maybe not sunday......or better call first). LOL just joking, you're invited anytime. Luv Ya! Welcome home Lil sis, we're glad you're back even though you cost an arm and a pun intended!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Thumbs Up!

Due to Peanuts vision issues, every six months we take her to the School For Blind Children to have a Functional Vision Comprehensive Evaluation done. They look at all areas of developement with vision as the main factor to see how she is doing. We saw them last in April right before she underwent surgery for her strabismus and nystagmus ( wandering and shaking). At that time Amanda was doing really well, but had apparently developed amblyopia (turning off one eye and only using the other). We had a lot of concerns regarding schooling and teaching her to move in her environment because of the low vision. Since then she has made great strides.
In June we had the surgery and we went last week for her evaluation and they could hardly beleive it was the same little girl! She was so quick to find the lights and turn towards them equally on both sides! She was exploring her environment and playing around. She was finding objects that were the same color on color with ease. ALl things she had had difficulty with before. They were so pleased in fact that when the subject of schooling had come up, we were told not to worry about putting her on the waiting list for the School for Blind Children, that she'd presumably do very well in a typical setting (ie not specifically geared for kids with vision impairments, that the concern should be the DS not the vision). What an awesome feeling!
I know we have a great team who work very hard with her and I am so pleased at all the progress PEanut has made, on her own and with the amazing help of the therapists! I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us...the unending surprises of accomplishements and goals met...I just wish she'd start pooping!

Baffeling Case

We are stumped! No one really knows why Peanut is so constipated. We went to see the Gastroenterologist two weeks ago and they initially suspected Celiacs. We did some blood work and it came back negative. Which is great news. I can't imagine being allergic to wheat, spelt, rye, barley and oats. As it is I am allergic to eggs, and that's tough! But I digress. The Mds gave us some lovely smelling laxatives for Peanut and we have had her on them, but they have not made any differance to date. We have increased her fluids a little. She eats watermelon up the wazoo, and she started eating Cheerios with milk. So I give her a big spoonful of milk, with one Cheerio. She hasn't cuaght onto me yet, and eats beautifully, finishing a quarter cup of milk easliy. I know it is not alot, but it is a great improvement from before. Anyway, so now I have pushed the docs alittle to get them to check her for Hirschsrpungs, by doing a barium enema. I wanted the biopsy because From what I have read it is a more definitive diagnosis, but the mds will only do the enema first. Fine, at least we'll get the ball moving. Now I need to get my daughter an appointment. That's the hardest part. I just feel so bad for her sometimes, how she has to work so hard. But lately she has been awake at night, alot. I think her tummy is bothering her, but she is having trouble going. Tonight is suppository night if she can't get things going on her fun fun (NOT!).
She has increased her food repetior! She eats lettuce with sweet and sour dressing on it, she will eat steamed and or sauted zucchini, she loves it! Hopefully things will get moving. I am just at my wits end with worry and dismay!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

To Grandmothers house we go....

We went to Upstate New York near SUNY the begining of this week to visit family. It was fun. The kids watched movies on the way there making it much easier for mommy to stomach the eight hour trip. The only one who was unhappy was Peanut, and boy did she let us know. It is hard because now that she has figured out how to move she wants to move and not be stuck in one spot (I don't blame her).
While we were in the fashion plate of the north, I did take my chance and do a little shopping. We went into this humongous mall that was five levels of shops, there is no way you can see it all in one visit. Trust me we saw a quarter of two floors and that took a few hours. There was also an indoor carosel, that was full size with all the horses going up and down. The kids enjoyed going on it and seeing the Legos in the Legoland store. I hit the biggest H & M I have ever clothes, awesome prices! We wardrobed the family for a small kings ransome. Oh, well!
I found a dress for my nephews wedding at a bargin price, and can't wait to wear it ( princess feeling, ladies!)
The highlight of the trip for me, aside from all the shopping was going to where my mom had grown up and showing my kids around town. It was fun because I spent so much time there as a kid and I have found myself wishing I could take my kids to see the fun things. There was an old dairy farm, called Dunmires, where I used to go and get fresh milk, in the glass jars. I would get fresh churned sweet butter and the most delisiouc ice cream you have ever tasted! They were closed, as they had shut down operations a few years ago, but the property was still there. Then there was the old elementary school building, which is now the borough building and library. The old high school had been torn down about seven years ago, which was the last time I had been through. Now there was a new public housing complex. But, my grandmothers (my moms) old house was still there, although the new owners decided to paint the pale blue shutters a very ugly shade of burgandy/puke brown.
The house that my great grandmother had grown up in was also still standing and in great shape. The old post office building made of feild stone that used to be my great grandfathers general store was also still standing and in mint condition. The bank had ahd a makeover, but it was still the only bank in town. However the market (Klein's) a small grocery store, had been renovated and had fresh new beige siding put up over the old brick. It was a shame they covered it because it was a historical building. I remember waiting until I was old enough to run to the store myself. I would run out the back of my grandmothers house, down the path in her graden to the alley, and run next to train tracks to the store thirty feet away. I'd go in and pick either an ice cream or a candy bar and a cold coke, pay and run back to sit in the yard on a swing to drink my coke and eat my treat. When my cousins came to town too, we'd race down the front way over the old brick sidewalks, runnning to beat them to the store, many a times falling and shredding my knees on the bricks. Memories, sweet memories.
My kids didn't get the chance to make any purchases at Klein's market, but they did play in the play ground and saw the old cemetary that dates back to the civil war.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Misadvantures of My Lil' Sis'

My kid sister decided to go learn abroad for a year after having graduated from high school last spring. So off she went to Israel for her first year of school. My parents accompanied her to the school and helped to get her settled. Everything was going great. My parents got her settled and went about their business, touring the state of Israel. The day they were leaving to return home trouble struck. My sister was going into the lunchroom to eat dinner when she took a spill down the steps. She ended up in the emergency room, with crutches, and a badly injured ankle. SO here she is away from home for the first time, in a new country, with a different language and alone. Poor kid! Not only is she a little home sick, but now she is injured too. I can only imagine how she must feel. Then to add salt to the wound, the school where she is attending is not being very accomodating at all. In fact they made an appointment behaind her back for her to go see and orthopeadic surgeon. Nice right! Well, the reason they did that was because they didn't want her oin crutches anymore. So she calls home at 1 am to wake my parents up to see what to do. My parents use their connections (I'm still trying to figure out who they know...) to get her an appointment with the ortho who works on the Israeli national basketball team (the team that goes to the olympics). He looks at her foot and tells her she has two small bones out of place that need to be given 8 weeks to rest, and hopfully they will return to their proper position. If not then she will need to have surgery.
Like I said, she is 6,000 miles from home in a new country with a new language to poor lil sis! Needless to say after a week of dealing with the school the doctors and her parents, my sister has decided to come back home until her foot heals. At that time she will decide what to do next. So we will be welcoming her back home after being gone for 5 with new accutriments (crutches). Maybe I should take her shopping, although I don't think she'd fit into my double stroller, I think it has a weight limit of like 50 lbs....Oh well, the misadventures of my little sister keep me preoccupied from my own families issues...up side to everything is the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Ok, so I know my latin as well as the next person, but I never thought I would have any need to visit a gastroenterologist, let alone have to take one of my kids. Gastroenterologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive system, such as hepatitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and colon or rectal cancer. They also deal with diagnosing intestinal issues such as Hirschsprungs and Celiac Diseases. Tomorrow we will be having our first, and hopefully last, visit with the friendly gastroenterologist for Peanut. Since she began eating solids she has had constipation and related issues on again off again. This past weekend it reached a whole new level, resulting now with our pending visit. I am hoping that I am right in my motherly instincts thinking that she is just not getting enough fluids. Since she is breastfed, she really has no desire to take liquids (even my pumped milk) from a bottle, sippy, straw, or nosy cup. We have tried everything from thinckened liquids to jello, nothing seems to piq her interest enough to want to drink it. Therefore, I beleive that she is not getting enough fluids, so while she is not dehydrated, she may not be fully hydrated. I am also praying that the doctors are incorrect in their feeling that she may have Hirschprungs Disease. It is a disorder in which the cells inside the lower intestine that help move food along are either dead or nonexistant. Apparently this is more common in kids with DS, and must be dealt with surgically from what I understand. Chalk another one up for Peanut and her Mommy. I am starting to wonder if I should go back to school...after all I am developing a wide repitiour of all the different specialties (hoping I won't be learning about any others!). The things we learn's hoping for the best.....and praying for a less stressful week next week, as I am having a hard time this week. The appointment is tomorrow afternoon...YIKES!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Number Four????

So we went out to dinner the other night. A cousin of mine had tied the knot and family members and friends had gotten together for a post marriage dinner party. So my husband and I went. We had a great time, it was nice to see people we haven't seen for a while. One of the people I saw there was a woman whose kids I used to babysit for, Sylvia. Sylvia has ten kids and the first six I would watch many times over the years. She recently had her tenth child, a cute as a button little boy. While at the dinner, we got to talking about life and how funny it is that we have kids the same age. Just then her little boy proceeded to spit up all over his mother and her beautiful, but dry clean only, suit. So I offered to hold him while she went to clean up a little in the ladies room. Holding him, I got to feeling like maybe I want another one of these kiddos. They are so little and yummy, but could I handle a fourth? Especially with Peanut and all her needs not to mention my middle one, James and his speech needs (which he will and is outgrowing).
But I think I may be getting to that point that maybe one more kiddo would make me feel like we are a completed family. After all my kids are roughly two years apart and that is great spacing, yet I am a little unsure. What if I can't handle four kids, and working, and house? So I put the thought to the back burner, then today, I was in the office seeing a patient and I got to thinking, I would like to have another one! But again I wonder about Peanut. Truth be told, when we were thinking about having our third, we also were a little unsure if we could handle it. It being so many, not knowing how much things would really change. But we also were a little uncertain, only to turn around and embrace and love Peanut. So I know we'll be ok, but I'm just a little nervous because Amanda is more high needs then typical kids. Needs that hopefully as the years unfold will spread out, and we'll learn to let go. I guess what I am trying to put into words is that I am afraid of pushing Peanut to the back burner by having another most kids are, but I don't want her to feel left out or set aside.
So I have a question for you...Have you thought about having more kids after having your special kiddo? If you have what kind of timing did you find was good? Does the hesitancy ever go away?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A Whole New Respect For Uncle John

Let me formally introduce you to Uncle John. He is relatively new to our family, as we only recently adopted him. He came to our side of Pennsylvania to work as an obstetrician/gynecologist just over three years ago. Over the years he has spent a great deal of time with us and is now considered family. You have heard about him in my other blogs, just not by name. For example the friend who called from out of state when Peanut was born and came to my rescue in my postpartum adventures, well that was Uncle John (see Beloved Life - Peanuts Story). On many occassions, throughout the last few years, Uncle John has been there for us as a family from hospitalizations to first teeth. My kids love him, asking when he'll be over to dinner next. They fight over who will play what with Uncle John when he is coming for dinner. The last time he came to dinner the kids cornered him and he spent a good portion of time playing store and reading them stories. They loved it! Everytime James finds our copy of Mr Brown Can Moo, by Dr. Seuss, he says "Uncle John read me!". Elle keeps reminding me that it is her turn to watch a movie with him, I think she chose the new Lilo and Stitch movie. If we should be in the vicinity of his office, they'll ask if Uncle John is at work today and if they can say hi. A truely amazing person whom my husband and I are glad to call family.
I have never been able to understand how on earth he works the way he does. As an OB for a large area practice he takes call at least once a week, only to do surgery and see patients in the office as well. Occassionally he will cover for other practices in the area and take their call as well. What I never understood was how on earth after being on call and in surgery he could stay up, and stick to his schedule without falling on his face from fatigue. Last I checked, he doesn''t drink caffiene which makes it all the more perplexing. I guess over the years you get used to it, after all isn't that what a residency program is for? But still, I can't imagine doing it every week, sometimes twice a week. After I had Peanut and had no choice but to get up after being up a good part of the night to then chase my kids and go about our routine as usual, I thought I got it. But after last night, I don't think I got it until today.
Last night Peanut decided to play. Well, let me back up a bit. She has been constipated so mommy decided to feed her a bunch of watermelon, bad idea. It is a diuretic, and of course it hadn't occured to me until she'd had her sixth wet diaper for the day (usually only 4). When she got up for the third time at 11 pm, I got worried so I tried to give her a bottle of water. Funny thing, she hated it and woke right up. So I gave her something to eat and tried to get her to go back to sleep. Well, she finally did go back to sleep, at 5:15 am. So basically I had been up for approximately 21 hours ( it would have been 22, but I took a 1 hour nap yesterday afternoon). Wouldn't you know I had finally gotten to sleep when my kids wake up and so does the husband. They all get up and dressed, and decide to get coffee. Great idea, I need lots of caffiene today, but after only 2 hours of sleep, I cannot move much less drink a coffee. It took me a good hour to get my tired behind out of bed, I just had no energy to move, at all. As I lay in my bed, I can hear Peanut chatting in ther room. Usually I go right in to get her and put her glasses on so she can see. How horrible of a mommy was I this morning? I kept trying to move, but there was no way it was happening. I finally did make it in, and the little stinker looks up at me from her crib and gives me the biggest smile ever. She just grins from ear to ear, and says "Ba, ba", how do I compete with that? With that smile, I think I can forgive her for keeping me up, so long as she sleeps tonight. So this brings me to my point, I have a whole new respect for Uncle John and the work he does. There is now way I could work the hours he does....well maybe I could, I'll let you know how today goes. If I don't keel over from fatigue, maybe I should go to medical school...after all how different could it be from my day today......
You know what, I really couldn't do it. I think I'd better leave it up to the experianced professionals, like Uncle John. Besides, someone needs to take care of the homefront and feed the family so that they can continue to work crazy hours. I think I'll stick to my kitchen...anyone for some pancakes? If you are reading this Uncle John, you get an extra helping of dessert next time you're here for dinner, you deserve it!
Now, I think I need a nap......
Update: It is presently 4:15 pm, I have officially hit the proverbial wall. Caffeine buzz has worn now trying to not fall face first into keyboard. Brian has ordered dinner, gone to pick it up. I am bathing the kids, eating and falling into bed. Note to self: will never be able to do what Uncle John does without causing bodily harm to patients. Kudos to you, to bed with me!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Insanity Returns

Today was insane. This is life in my house within my world. I got up and got the kids dressed, fed, and properly cared for in the morning. I then had to take Elle to school, dropped her off, and stayed for an orientaiton for James, with James present. Not a good idea. He wanted to play while the orientation was meant for parents (they omitted that important peice of info). OK, so we make in through the program, but had to leave early as I had a patient to see with a travel time of 45 minutes. So I run home, drop James off to the Nanny, who is home with Peanut so she can stick to her schedule of therapy. I run to the patients home, see her, and run back home.After a quick stop to check in the homefront, Peanut was rolling her way around the livingroom for the OT, which by the way is a new feat (of course she does this for someone other then mommy). Then I run in the complete opposite direction, south earilier I was North, to drop off s package at one of my offices for yet another patient, I deciced I must take a moment to myself. So I make a detour to the grand opening of H & M. I can't miss this opportunity for a free t- shirt (just kidding, it was the lure of the 20% off coupon that got me in). Don't worry, it took me 30 minutes to get there, then there was no place to park (who the heck goes to a noon grand opening besides me?! Don't people have other things to do?) Finally I find a place to park, get out, find the store, and there are 300 people there! What the....ok so I don't get the t-shirt or the 20% off. But I did find a bunch of things for the kids, oh and of course for me too. I left with my wallet a lot lighter then I had intended, but I am going to return some stuff. I bought everthing I found for good reason. There was over an hours wait for the dressing rooms! Thats how busy this place was it was insane! It reminded me of the scenes you see Christmas Eve, with people clawing at items and cutting infront of people in lines....Crazy! So instead of standing in line for an hour I just bought everything and will return some later. (or not!?) Ok so I make it out of the stor ein one peice with minimal damage, stop at the office and go home. But only for a minute as I must go get Elle. When I get home I find I have an unexpected house guest. Apparently my NAnny invited a friend of hers who is also a Nanny over with her charges. I am not happy about this as I have become obsessively germ-o-phobic once my kids get back to school. Anyway, I don't say anything today, I'll say something tomorrow...when I can think how to approach this issue. I run to get Elle at school...she gets in the car with a smile so big, it's great! Finally I get home and Nanny leaves. I am nursing Peanut, when I relise I didn't make it to the grocery store. We all pile into the van and head to market...with three kids it is quite the exciting trip, for those observing. Actually the kids didn't whine, instead they regaled themselves to making Peanut laugh and shriek with delight as they ran her, yes RAN, through the store. Fun! We get home, and i make lasagna from scratch for dinner, and get started on my menu for Saterday lunch with my parents (See a welcome home luncheon). I made a roasted garlic and mashed potato gallete, Fandango salad, roasted garlic green beans with mango salad, apple strudel muffins, fresh bread, pesto pasta, breaded baked chicken, and for dessert chocolate and vanilla cakes. I had watermelon too, but I bought that. Takes too long to maake yourself. All the while the kids are tearing my house to peices, ok I exaggerated, just my living room. Brian gets home, bathes the kids and feeds them dinner as I am cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Finally my day ends as we put the kids to bed and I fall into mine. Tomorrow will be less busy, I hope!
I feel terrible that I missed three of four therapies today. I never, ok rarely miss time with the therapists. As I feel it is very important to keep on top of all that we are working on. What a crazy day. I am tired, so I'll be signing off now.....see ya!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Peanut is finally connecting her actions to our reactions. In other words she finally gets it. Yesterday we went to the md for a quick check, after the exam, I had some questions for the md. So while I dressed Peanut I was basically otherwise occupied. After a few minutes, ok i lie, after about fifteen minutes, Peanut has had enough. She becomes very cranky and is crying. So I look at her and say" If you wave Byebye we'll leave". She looks at me then at the md, then back at me and lays her head down. I resume my conversation with the md, and a few minutes later Peanut becomes cranky again, so I repeat my offer to her. This time she took me up on it. She looks at me, then at the md and wouldn't you know it she smiles and waves Byebye! So of course I excused myself from my converstion and left. Later in the day when the Vision therapist was leaving Peanut was again asked to say byebye, and she did! Verbal Cues only! Hooray! The connections are being made.......

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Embarassing Moments

Today is the first day of school for my oldest daughter Elle. At 5, she is entering kindergarten in a new school, with new faces and all the trimmings. So I wanted to take her to school...a special thing that us mommies need to do. Elle got up, got dressed, ate breakfast and was ready with out a single whimper or whine. She gets in the car, and singing along to Hilary Duff we make our way to school. She holds my hand as we enter the school, and go to her classroom, but then the strangest thing happened. She let go of my hand and says "Bye mommie". I wsa all prepared to spend a few minutes with her getting familiar with the room and the kids, but nope, I get the cold shoulder. So I tell her I need to drop some papers off in the office, and I will be back to check on her. She says ok. When I return a few minutes later, she has found the puzzles and is working nicely at the table. I go over to kiss her goodbye, she looks at me and says, " Mommy, you're embarassing me!" SO with that wonderful send off I leave my five year old to her own devices and left. It's so nice to feel wanted and missed. Oh well, I guess we'll se how her day really went when I pick her up later. Love...ain't it grand?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Family Secrets....Revealed

I may be overly sensitive, but here it is, what do you think? My nephew recently got engaged. The family is elated. The girl is pretty, nice, caring and overall a great girl. But my husband and I had not met her yet. My nephew and his fiance had come in for the weekend and finally we were able to touch base. They came by yesterday to say hi. She is a doll! They are so cute together and make a great match. But here is what I am unsure of. Apparently no one in the family told her about Peanut. It was very apparent when she came into my house, met my son James and was then introduced to Peanut. The expression on her face was sheer surprise. She make a quick escape out to the deck where her fiance and my husband were talking. When I came out she was trying not to look at Peanut, yet I could tell she wanted to "check her out". So I made sure to look the other way, after all I would probably have done the same thing if I was in her shoes. So my question is as follows: the family memebers involved have seemed to be not very comfortable with Peanut from the start. They spend no time around her and when they are around they are inattantive and talk to her like she is a tiny baby. She is not a tiny baby and she actually is only delayed by 3-4 months depending on what you are looking at. So I guess I am curious if I am being over sensitive knowing that this poor girl, who is new to the family was not told about Peanut. On the one hand it could be beacuse the DS is not important or it could be because they are uncomforatble about it themselves, so they just pretend it doesn't exist. When asked if they had told her, we were told no they had not. Was this because of shame or because of indifferance? Like I said I may just be overly sensitive, but what do you think? I normally don't care and prefer that people treat Peanut as she is, a little girl, not a DS first then girl second. But I just felt very akward this weekend, something I haven't felt in a quite a while......The wedding should be fun! I am already looking outfits for my kids and of course for myself.... we'll let you know what happens in November....

A Wardrobe for Peanut

My Little Peanut, is just as we call her, a peanut. She is very petite, ie short. So while her sister was born in April too, none of the hand me downs fit her. So I get to go shopping. I went with my daughter Elle, to pick out some things already. We have decided to match the two girls in a few might be fun! Elle was so thrilled, as it was her idea, and she helped pick out the clothes. She has some really good taste in clothes. I just can't beleive how small Peanut is turning out to be...she is still wearing size 12 months in clothes, when Elle had been into 2t by now. Oh well, like I said, time to go shopping! We did match the girls and they looked so cute coming home! H & M is opening near us for the first time ni our area...perhaps with all the sales I can get some great deals. See ya in the stores...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Brotherly Love

Last night when it was time to give the kids a bath, the cutest thing happened. I give Peanut a bath first, as she is the easiest and fastest. So I put her in the tub and am in the process of washin her up, when James comes in. He stands next to me and laughs, "hua hawa wash air!" In other words Peanut wash hair...He then leans into the tub, taking her washclothe and ever so gently starts to wash her hair. As the water starts to drip onto herface, he says, "arry, hua awua!" In other words, sorry Peanut. And wipes her eyes very gently, laughing and patting her on the head. It was so cute! He is so good with her, when he is not jumping on her or pushing her over. I am so glad they are close toegther (they are 19 mos apart). Ahhh, the joys of parenting!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Good Eats

What is it about food that makes people smile? Ever notice the way food opens peoples minds, hearts and souls? It makes them feel more relaxed and comfortable, kind of like that old pair old pair of sneakers. You know the ones I'm talking about, they sit under your bed and come out on days you just need to feel comfy. Those new model sneakers just don't fit the bill on those days. Well, my theory is that food is the same way. You make someone a homemade bowl of soup, and they slip right into their comfort zone...relaxing, stretching out, enjoying each spoonful of something from their childhood. A time when they too were carefree, with Mom just inside the door to hand you a yummy morsel. Nowadays we are all so busy we open a can, add some water and we have conveniance, but comfort fell to the side. I notice even in my house, on the days I have time to do things from scratch, the kids eat a little more, and stay at the table a little longer. Unfortunately, I don't always have that spare moment to do things right. But the appreciation, when you do, is so rewarding. It feels good to know that you helped make one person feel relaxed, stretched out, ready to curl up and just be comfortable, like those old pair of shoes.
Someone told me once that to get to mans heart first you must go through his stomach...I think it is true with anyone, not just men. People who have been fed good food, prepared with love and care, are more caring in return. They are more willing to open their hearts and minds and share about yes I think to feed the stomach is to feed the heart and soul.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Be Thankful and Live For the Moment

With Hurricane Katrina just finishing up here in the North east US, I was watching the news today and it suddenly hit me. Thank God I have my family, friends, health and house. Those poor people in the south, many of whom really are poor, have nothing now. They really have nothing.....They will have to start all over once again after all the water and storms subside. They will have to peice their lives back together, hopefully with all their families and friends safe and well. It makes one very grateful for where we live and what we have...even though it may seem like the world is coming to an end, there are people out there who really are having a more difficult time then you.
So take a minute, as I did today, hold your kids a little closer, call your friends, family, and loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you. You must live for the moment as you never know what is coming up next around the corner. By then you may not have had the opportunity to do or say something, don't wait.....

No Butts About It..The End of an Era

Peanut is butt scooting! She sits beautifully upright, leans forward and working her feet and hands, moves herself slightly forward and in a circle! We have been working so hard at cruising too. Right now she is cruising nicely to the left, same with the butt scooting. She over steps, in other words she has a exaggerated walk right now due to the depth perception issue, we think. But, there are no butts about it, my little girl is on the move, finally!
In an effort to get herself moving, and keep herself moving she is starting to wean. The last two days she turned down her morning nursy in order to play with her siblings and hang out. She also has been refusing to nurse her mid morning nursy...opting instead to nurse a second, pull away and check out the room, then nurse a second longer before pulling off, rolling to sit, and looking around. It is as if she is going to miss something should she dare take a five minute break. It is so cute, yet a little sad, as this is surly a sign that she is growing up....not my little baby anymore :( it is the begining of the end of an era, the nursing era.
But Yaaaaay on the butt scooting! We are so proud, I can't wait to permantly install my gates again.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Seperation Anxiety

As a young child, I always had the fear that my parents would leave me. For that reason I never did well at sleep overs, or overnight camps, so I hardly ever went anywhere overnight. Guess what. They were always right at home waiting for me the next morning, they never left me. Well, at the ripe old age of, well, my current age, my parents are leaving me. Over the years they have talked about moving abroad to live a more relaxed lifestyle, in Israel. Hey, to each his own. The last two weeks they have spent checking out their country of choice and have made a decision. They are hoping to leave in the next six months to nine months. This is all dependant on what jobs they can get and how they can retire at a young age abroad. Well, I am having a hard time with this desicion. Perhap this is because I went from living with my parents to living with my husband. I never really spent any extended time away from home....certainly not now that I have my kids. I guess I have been spoiled living five blocks from my parents, with them helping whenever we needed help. Whether to watch the kids in emergency situations or just to give my husband and I time to ourselves. This is about to end. They are adults, who are free, and over the age of twenty one. They have lived their lives, with us kids, and now they are empty nesters who may do whatever they'd like. I just feel like they are abandoning my kids, their only grandchildren so far, and myself too. After all it isn't like it is so cheap or easy to get to Israel from the US. At approximately $800 a ticket, we will not be going to visit too often. Not to mention a really really long set of flights, boy does that sound like fun with three kids??!! NOT! Anyway, I guess with them over seas I was kinda hoping they'd hate it and scrap their idea. But based on the last phone call I had with them,they are having such a great time, they are going to do their best to move sooner rather then later. Yippy do da day :( Like I said I am being a little selfish and childish, experianceing a little separation anxiety, but I'll survive right? It's not like we don't have friends whom we can call in a pinch, but it is just not the same as living near family. In all fairness, my husbands family lives twenty five minutes away from us, they could help, but they are so busy with their own lives that I never see or talk to them as it is. So as far I I see it, they might as well live farther away then they really do.
I must say that I haven't heard my Dad sound so excited when telling me all about Israel. He likened it to living in a James Bond movie, security surrounding you as you are escorted to and from certain tourist attractions, and questioning everyone at bus stations....forgive me, but that does not sound attractive to me. Actually Israel happens to be a pretty safe place, because security is so high and they do keep a careful watch on everyone. I'm not concerned so much about their safety, but more the distance between us. Just the same, I like my quiet city neighborhood, with loud parties and lightly armed police force. Who knows maybe one day I too will change my mind. But for now I am not. I am not changing my mind, and I am so not happy about my parents desicion, but if they don't mind their grandkids not knowing them very well, hey that's their problem. In the meantime, I need a great big bottle of Valium, a good friend or two who we can call if we need to in a pinch (who really don't mind, and are not just saying it), and a few gallons of mint chocolate chip ice cream from Baskin Robbins. I should kiss those size two skirts goodbye, and say hello to size ten.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Amusement Park Nostalgia

Today we took the kids to a community day at the local amusement park. We spent the entire day running the kids to each ride, and back again; eating all the trimmings unique to amusment parks. You know what I'm talking about, the ice cream in dot form, the cotton candy, the hot dogs and hamburgers...all that yummy stuff your childhood memories are made of. Well, We spent the day creating some great memeories for our kids. They loved riding on the flying airplanes (redundant I know, but they are "flying" airplanes). The look in their eyes, and on their faces was of shear joy and pleasure. What a great day. Peanut enjoyed herself too, watching her siblings as they went up and down on ride after ride. In the car on the way home, the kids could barely keep their eyes open, they were so tired, yet so wired they had a hard time falling asleep after they got home.
I realized that people still stare at Peanut, but it doesn't bother me as much as it used too. Today at the park many people would look just a little longer, look at me and kinda half smile, or completely avoid eye contact. What used to bother me about it was how inhumane people seemed. Acting as if they too could catch what my child has. Now, if I catch people staring, and we lock eyes for that split second of knowing that I caught them, I smile. They look at me like I'm nuts and quickly avert their eyes. What am I smiling about? I have a secret. Her name is Peanut, she has taught me to be a better person. She is showing me how to be a better person every day. She may look a little different, but she is my secret and if people only knew what I know, they'd smile too. Today was a great day, filled with family, and wonderful memories in the making.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Cleaning, Cooking, & Company.....Oh My!

This weekend my house will be hopping. We are jumping back into the entertaining ring, and having a few people over to lunch on Saterday. In the past, my husband and I have always been social butterflies. We love having friends over to lunch or dinner or just to hang out. However, since our lives have become a bit more hectic (meaning three kids), I have found it to be very overwhelming having lots of company over. So we haven't been entertaining. Well, that is about to change this weekend. We're having friends over and my brother too, jump right in, right?
I'm up a little early today as I wanted to get a start on food. I'm making bread, baked chicken, brownies, and pesto for my pasta. This way things are done.
Yesterday I got so much done. I cleaned the house (dust bunnies be gone!), cleaned out closets (Wow, I didn't realize how big our closets were), and junked a lot of clothes and shoes and STUFF we never use (out with the old in with the new). Don't worry I gave it to a charity, who will make good use for it. There was nothing wrong with any of the stuff I gave away, other then it may be outdated, or we have moved onto something different. With all the new found space in our closets, I must go shopping to fill it back up again! :) Don't worry honey, If you're reading this, I'm only joking. By the way, yesterday as you may know from my previous post,I was feeling squished in my house. Well, when I was cleaning it, scrubbing floors, doing windows, bathrooms, dusting etc - I was actually a little glad my house wasn't bigger. I would have been cleaning all day instead of half the day. At times it is nice to have something small, however I would like the opportunity to see what it'd be like to have to clean a bigger house, just not this week.
I almost forgot, yesterday Peanut had a great day. She wore both her contacts all day! In other words she didn't lose any! Yay! I do hope we repeat that scenario daily. My oldest daughter was such a help. All day she kept going over to Peanut, and calling into me, "her eyes are still in mommy!" I hope so without out her eyes, contacts in place, she wouldn't be seeing much at all! Out of the mouths of babes :) Well I'm off to start a busy day....I have to go make my bread, see ya!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Busy Times in a Sardine Box

These last few days have been so busy, I can't tell if I'm coming or going. Where to start..... We got back from our wonderful weekend to start a hecktic week. I saw a couple of patients, which kept me out of the malls, so my husband was happy. Plus, it's always nice to go work, and be appreciated for doing something other then laundry. We have begun to get ready for back to school, by going thru clothes and figuring out what needs to be purchased and what is reusable from last year. Luckily I buy my kids cloths big enough I usually get a couple of seasons out of them.
Now that we are back I feel the incredible need to clean my house. It is driving me crazy. We live in a nice size three bedroom home, but with all the therapists coming through on a daily basis and the entertaining we do my house feels very tight. Tighter on days when it is rainy and the kids can't go outside. So, having said this, We've kinda started looking around the area to see what was avialable in our price range. Not much. Disappointing. Sad actually, considering I have been feeling so cramped for the last six months, getting worse as the days go by. It's just when you have tried to clean up and put things away, but realize there is no place else to put anything, even after you've thrown things away; that's when you need to move. Perhaps, next year we can find something we like enough to call our next home. IN the meantime we'll be in the sardine box at the bottom of that big hill. Synical? Yes, But truthfully I am just glad that we have a home to call our own and that my kids are healthy. Because that is what is important in life, right?! Don't mind my ranting, I'm just feeling a bit squished this morning. Perhaps I'll feel better tomorrow.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Weekend Fun/Happy Birthday 2 Me

So we got off to an interesting start this weekend. As we were getting ready to go to Cleveland to visit with friends, I ended up in the ER, with what they called a "bad GI bug". In other words 24 hours of pure hell. But by Friday afternoon, I was fine. Strange how things work out. We made it into Cleveland, and had a wonderful time with our friends. These are real friends. They have been with us through thick and thin. For example, after we had Peanut, they left their kids in Cleveland, and drove in to spend the day with us. I will never forget, they were there with us when we received the news about her eyes (see Beloved Life - Peanuts Story). They are truly special people. At no point at all during the weekend, did I ever feel uncomfortable, or self-consious about anything (particularly Peanut). It was great. All our kids played, ran around and reaked havok. The kids spent over an hour Saterday afternoon making grape juice, from grapes, as a group. They peeled, and squished the grapes by hand, made each of them a small cup of juice. Funny for us, but my poor friends kitchen floor was so sticky! The way I see it, no one got hurt, no one was crying or screaming, they were really having a blast. It was so fun. I think it was more fun because we were around all boys. I have realized that unless you have at least one boy of your own, you cannot understand what it is like. Boys are cut from a different cloth. They just think differently and do things differently. (That should be read between the lines as: Boys are crazy! They don't think things through before doing them, they just think something is neat to try, so they try it!)
My birthday was this weekend. It was very special to be able to spend the day hanging out with old friends. My husband got me a day at a spa (where will I find the time?!), and a few skirts from this great boutique, my girlfriend in Pittsburgh gave me a manicure certificate, and my friend in Cleveland gave me a great purse. All in all it was a great birthday. I was a little anxious about the next big year, but I think I'll be ok, with all the friends I realize I have.
In my ripe old age, I am able to draw the conclusion that if you have a good friend , or two, whom you can truly trust and share things with, you are rich. If you have your health and a family, you are rich. If you have the understanding of what is and is not important in life, then you too are rich. So while I may not be sure what I want to be when I grow up, I know that I am rich. I have couple of great friends, I have my health, my family, and I know now, thanks to my Peanut, what is and is not important in life. I pretty much have it all. I really am lucky. Happy Birthday to me!