Would I Be A Fairy Godmother or Evil Stepmother?

September 30, 2008

I would like to think that I would fall into the "Fairy Godmother" category, but one would beg to differ after looking at these pictures!

Getting rid of all the dust bunnies!

Spraying the floor to make it sparkle!

Mopping is tough....gotta give a little extra elbow grease!

Our Merry Maids are not so....."Merry"

Service with a smile:) Rudy wants to know where he can find a mop!

Nick pulled out a mop this weekend and said.."Mom, can I clean the floors".....I almost fell over...but before I hit the ground, I said SURE!!

Next thing I know, Sarah says.."I want one too"

The two of them were running around from room to room hitting every square inch of hardwood.

What was I doing you ask??? Reading a book with my feet propped up...glass of wine in hand.

Does this make me the Evil Stepmother??

All Things Pumpkin!

September 29, 2008

Since the weather did not cooperate with us, we didn't get to go to the pumpkin patch.......

Nick was very disappointed becuase he will be with his Dad the next two weekends and was very excited about going to pick out his own pumpkin. He kept asking me if I thought it would stop raining....there was no chance, it poured all day!

We decided to do the next best thing.....go out and buy some pumpkins at the local nursery.....

My creation
Both kids concentrating on their creations!


The kids had a blast decorating and carving. As you can see....Sarah has not quite mastered pumpkin carving....she is into pumpkin coloring...what imagination!

The festivities only lasted about 45 minutes, so we decided to make some pumpkin bread....we love all things pumpkin in this house....bread, pie, cake, coffee, and even pumpkin ice cream...actually, that is my favorite!!

We tried a new recipe.......it is called Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread


Click HERE for the recipe

We are hoping one of these weekends we will luck out and get some good weather so we can visit the pumpkin patch....but until then, we have a great jack-o-lantern sitting at our front door....compliments of Nick!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

More Inquiring Minds.....

September 27, 2008

You would think after my 100th post Question and Answer, there would be nothing left to tell, but I have been asked, by THIS lovely lady to come up with 6 more random things about my life!!

It took some time, but I think I came up with a couple of things never discussed....so here goes!!

1. After my ballet career came to an end, I became a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor. My life was in the gym....I taught about 10 classes a week! During this time, I competed in one body building competition(let's just say, that it wasn't for me)and one aerobic competition....now that was fun:)

2. During the time I worked at a gym, two of our clients were famous artists....they had done a lot of work for M@rvel comics at the time, and they asked me to come to their studio so I could be a model for one of their new characters..."Dazzler" I got my own trading card!!! Check it out....

3. I have a "Cheese" addiction....I cannot eat a sandwich, a bowl of soup, or pasta unless it has cheese on it.

4. My hair is forever changing......I get bored easily when it comes to my hairstyle.....if it is not the cut, it is the color.....I just made a major change from my usual blonde, to a dark blonde with brown and red highlights....not thrilled with it so it will probably change yet again....which brings me to a new post topic for another day...."How To Break Up With Your Hair Stylist"....still working on that one...and if anyone has any tips....let me know!

5. Pat and I got engaged on St. Patrick's Day.....Now, every year, we throw a huge St. Patrick's Day bash to celebrate with all our friends....we throw a lot of parties in our home, but by far this is the best one every year...We put out an authentic Irish spread with everything from Corned Beef and Cabbage to Guiness Stew....the doors open at 3pm....and the party usually lasts til the weeee hours of the morning....take my word for it.....it is a great time!! Here are a couple of pictures from last years party!

Picture 012

Picture 011

6. Pat proposed to me in New York City on the top of the Emp*re St@te Building! The poor guy just about had a heart attack as we entered the building and realized we had to go through security....the ring was in his jacket and they made him take the jacket off to go through the metal detector....he was nervous the guard would ruin the surprise!!!! When we got up to the top, they wouldn't let us out on the observation deck because the weather was so bad, so he had to do it inside as we were pressed against the glass with a couple hundred people all squeezed in around us!! He had a beautiful poem that he had written and then presented me with the ring....What an incredible day....St. Patrick's Day in the big apple!


Well, I think that is it....Traditionally, you are supposed to tag some more people....I don't like anyone to feel pressured and I hate having to pick....so if you want to play along, post your 6 random things, but be sure to let me know....so I can come check them out!!

Enjoy your weekend!

She Works Hard For The Money...

September 26, 2008


I can't believe my eyes!

What is wrong with this thing.....I am tired and frustrated...it has been a long week.

HOORAY....It is FRIDAY.....let the weekend festivities begin!!

I know I have worked hard for the money this week.....Friday could not have come fast enough!

I have been all over the tri-state area these past few days....I don't even want to think about how many hours were spent behind the wheel....you would never think that something as simple as driving could make you so tired!

Needless to say, we will be enjoying a very quiet and relaxing weekend....I need to be rejuvenated before Monday rolls around again!

We had plans to go to a local pumpkin patch and corn maze, but once again it looks like rain is in the forecast for the next two days.....we will be needing a Plan B.

Be back soon....enjoy your weekend!

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

September 24, 2008


Nick has been back to school for a couple of weeks now. He was sad to see his summer end, but has quickly adjusted to the new routine and is thrilled to be surrounded by all of his good friends.

The first week went very well, lots of excitement and getting to know all the new fifth grade teachers. This is the first year that the kids will be switching classes for almost every subject. Last week we had our mandatory parent meeting to find out what was ahead for the new year.....It is a year of letting go and teaching our children independence.

Every teacher that spoke said that organization was the key....I felt a little relieved because the one area that Nick excels, is organization. That being said, I was still a little concerned about the upcoming year.....

When Nick was in first grade, the teacher suggested that we get Nick some reading help....he was struggling. They had pulled him for small group instruction and then we sent him for a series of tests....

Diagnosis.....A form of Dyslexia.

The school was extremely helpful. They made special arrangements for Nick when it came to taking tests and recommended a tutor for after school.

By the time Nick was in fourth grade, we saw a huge improvement. I was so proud of him.....he knows that studying and school work do not come easy, this kid gives 150% all the time.....he had the best year ever....each quarter that passed his grades improved. We never expect perfection, we just want him to try his hardest...and that he did. It seemed all of his hard work was paying off....this was the year that it had come together.

We continued to have him tutored over the summer....In Nick's case, he needs a lot of repetition and if things are fresh in his mind, it will make going back to school a much easier transition.

I noticed this past week that Nick was getting very frustrated with his homework. We have been trying to help him, but we cannot do the work for him. Last night he was almost in tears....Now, he has been sick....really bad allergies and I know his head is feeling foggy, so I chalked this up to his Allergy Medication.

Today while at work, I got a phone call from Nick's main teacher.....they are concerned about what they see. She said that he is such a hard worker and participates in class....he even puts his hand up to read aloud, which is not typical...he is very embarrassed by the fact that he reads slower than most of the other children.....She noticed when they were reviewing for a test the other day....that he knew every answer. Today, he took the test and got all of the answers wrong.

Over the years, we have found that because of his dyslexia, Nick has learned to compensate....he has become an incredible listener....he knows if he hears something, he will remember the information....If he reads it, he is too busy trying to decode the words, to understand what he is reading. When he is forced to learn solely by reading large amounts of information by himself, he shuts down.....he is too overwhelmed.

I am so thankful that his teacher reached out to me now instead of waiting for parent teacher conferences at the end of the quarter. They are going to continue to have him take tests like every other child, but then they will ask him all the test questions and have him verbally answer so that he has every opportunity to give the correct answer.

As they say....Two steps forward, one step back.....It is not going to be an easy year....I worry about Nick....he is such a compassionate and sensitive boy....I hate to watch him struggle like this. He has already said he wants to give up soccer because it is too hard to do his homework on the nights he has practice.....I think he needs to have an outlet.....school is important....but a kid still needs to be a kid and soccer is his one and only activity. I pray that we are just going through an adjustment period and he will find his groove.....

Where Are The Parents?

September 22, 2008


Bare with me, you will see where this is going....

This past week, we have really enjoyed the beautiful fall evenings. The kids and I have made a couple trips to the park....Sarah has a new obsession with sliding boards and swings....the girl is all about motion....and Nick loves to do anything outdoors...he is just happy to get away from the homework!

Then, this weekend we went to my nephew's birthday party at THIS indoor fun center....we had a great time! The kids loved it....so did the adults....food, big screen televisions for the sports enthusiast, and games galore!!

Sarah taking a spin on the race track....

Had to include the birthday boy....My sister with her son Aidan!

Now....to make my point.....Playgrounds and Play Centers.......Kids running everywhere causing major chaos...and my question...Where are the parents?

I was shocked at the number of kids running amok....with not a parent in sight!

Kids of all ages...big ones and little ones...bullies and lost little souls looking for someone to give them attention.

I am sure if you have frequented any of these places you have witnessed this for yourself.....so that leads me to my next question???

What do you do when a child is behaving in a way that they are endangering the safety of other children...namely yours?

At the fun center....Sarah was in the ball zone...not a pit...it is just a big obstacle course that the kids climb, crawl, and slide through...anyway, most of the kids were pretty young as this is geared towards the little ones....and at the time...it was filled with all little girls.

I was standing on the ground as I watched these girls literally fling Sarah out of their way and crash into her on the sliding board....I thought for sure she would be in tears....she got right up and kept climbing to the top....still with a big old smile on her face!

I tried to politely say something to these girls, but that did nothing.....I held my breath each and every time she climbed up.....even went as far as going up there with her for a short period of time to play referee....but that didn't work. The little ones couldn't move around me....and I was being smacked in the head with balls that were flying across the room.....just imagine me climbing through the tunnel with Sarah and other kids pelting me in the head with nerf style balls that shoot from air guns....what a sight!

At this point, I tried to get Sarah out of the ballzone but that was not happening....so I let her go....now, Pat walks over to see Sarah in action.....it took him all of 30 seconds to see what was going on and I hear him say......What are these kids doing??? Someone is going to get hurt....Where are their parents?...Did you say something to them?

Now he was going to try...first time politely....second time....a little stern......third time....I said, forget it....they are not going to listen...let's get her out of here.

Next thing you know, right infront of us as we are walking out.....she trips as someone is trying to push past her...hits her mouth...bites her lip...blood running down her chin, she is in tears.

We have all been in these situations.....what have you done or what would you do? I felt the only option was to leave.....but that doesn't seem fair. Needless to say, we won't be visiting these kind of places during prime time.

Sarah and Aidan walking hand in hand......had to end the post with a cute picture!!!

Just Like My Mommy...

September 21, 2008

I want to be just like my Mommy...whenever we go anywhere, she always carries her purse and her camera....If you rememeber, last weekend I confiscated Nick's camera....now I just need to find a purse, then I could be just like her....hmmm....where can I find one....

Hey Daddy...look what I found in Mommy's closet...do you think she will mind if I borrow it.....it is one of those knock off designer bags that she bought at a purse party.....she never uses it and won't even know it is gone.

Come on Rudy....let's go....we have a million things to do today...if you are good boy, I will treat you to a bone! Oh and don't worry...if anything blogworthy happens while we are out, I am prepared...I packed the camera!

Hey, can someone let us out....we have errands to run....be back in a couple of hours....if you need me, call me on Daddy's cell phone...I picked it up when he wasn't looking....that was the last thing I needed to be just like my Mommy...if she isn't chasing us trying to take our picture, she is getting calls and checking email on her cell phone.

Now I can be just like my Mommy!

Through the eyes of a child....

They take it all in....

Makes you think...

I am just glad she didn't go looking for my laptop....that was the one thing she forgot!

A Journey of Hope In A Chinese Orphanage

September 19, 2008

One night while blog hopping, I stumbled upon THIS blog. Within minutes of reading, I knew I had to order her book….Silent Tears.

The book came on Monday night and I could not wait to dive right in…..

Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to read, for what Kay and her team of volunteers witnessed on a daily basis was beyond my wildest dreams. The very fact that they had the stamina and perseverance to continue to return day after day speaks volumes about the kind of people that they were.
During her years in China, she witnessed many tragedies, but as time went on, through her dedication and leadership of the volunteer group, they were able to turn some of these sad situations into success stories. It is amazing to me that they were able to accomplish what they did given the circumstances they were forced to deal with.

In a way, this book has educated me about what we should be prepared to deal with as a result of our child having spent most of his/her life in an institution. I know if my child had been in the orphanage Kay and her group volunteered and advocated for, I would be forever grateful that their encounters with the children gave them some affection and comfort…although brief at times, in some cases the only sense of compassion the child has ever experienced.

As we continue to wait for our child assignment, my mind races with thought and worry.
I have spent close to three years dreaming about our “Family Day”….we all want it to be a joyful day, but that is not always the case. We will be taking this child away from the only surroundings they know….

I recently corresponded with Kay Bratt and asked for her permission to include some excerpts from Silent Tears. Please make note that in her book, she changed the names of people, cities, and the orphanage, to ensure the future volunteer efforts would not be compromised.

Author, Kay Bratt

October 30, 2003

Today we had no choice but to dress the babies in clean but wet diapers after their baths. Perhaps the laundry is taking longer to dry now that the weather has cooled. Next week they will likely all be sick from wearing wet diapers. I desperately want to show these ayis better ways of doing things, but if I do, I’ll be denied any chance of returning. I just have to be meek—which isn’t like me at all—and do things their way.

When I go home to South Carolina next summer, I plan to buy cloth diapers in all sizes for the babies. Ben is going to speak with someone at his company to see if they might be interested in sponsoring the shipping if we buy or get donations of the needed items. We also plan to collect donations of other items such as wipes, diaper rash medications, and so on. I’d like to be able to start a supply cabinet and keep it stocked with everyday necessities.

The two toddlers were particularly overjoyed by our visit. One of them, Yue Hua, is the child whom I taught to walk. She was desperately attached to Yoli and now her affection has transferred to me. She loves it when I pick her up, but when I try to put her down, she clings to me, wrapping her little arms around my legs and staring up at me wistfully. Yue Hua has adopted the American way of hugging and any time I sit down, she flies into my arms. Fine with me—she is so huggably sweet. Yue Hua is supposedly in the process of adoption to America, but I don’t know where we stand on that. She has the most solemn eyes I’ve ever seen on a child; so full of a sadness that I can’t reach. She rarely smiles but when she does, she makes it worth the wait. I pray the paperwork will be hurried along so she can get to her new family as soon as possible.

November 4, 2003

When I arrived today and headed for my special baby, Squirt, I found his little bed empty and all his blankets gone. A dreadful feeling washed over me. I didn’t want to ask; I was afraid to know and I was afraid not to know. My hands began to shake. I glanced around and caught the workers turning from me. I could tell from their downcast, guilty expressions that it was bad news. My eyes finally met Xiao Annie’s and then I knew. She made the sign over her eyes to indicate someone had died.

I stumbled over to the small stools we sit on while holding the babies. My legs lost all strength as I lowered myself and covered my face with my hands. Mercifully, no one tried to patronize me by attempting words of comfort.

I was in shock. I couldn’t understand. Three days ago, Squirt had been fine; he was not sick, and he was eating with a hearty appetite. I was certain he was going to make it. Every time I fed him, I stared into his eyes and willed him to survive. Sure, he still looked like a shriveled up old man, but it seemed his hunger to live was sustaining him and helping him to become stronger each week.

Squirt is gone. He never had the chance to get well and to have a family. I can’t stop thinking of his last moments. I wasn’t there for him.

I wasn’t there. I did not get to hold him as he left this world. He had to die alone. I wasn’t there. I can’t do this anymore.

For details on purchasing this book, click HERE.

Entering Unchartered Territory

September 18, 2008


Sarah is growing up right before our very eyes....I cannot believe she will be 22 months on Saturday....where does the time go? Seems like yesterday we were holding her for the very first time!

These last couple of months we have realized she is no longer a baby.....she is counting, learning colors and abc's....she is talking in small sentences and as I have said.....constantly repeating everything we do and say...she doesn't miss a trick. She also has a new infatuation with baby dolls...she always has one and she likes to feed her, change her, and swaddle her in a blanket....I hope she is this good when her sister enters the picture!!!

There is one area that we haven't ventured yet....and after last weeks drama at the doctors office, I realized that traumatic test could have been avoided....I think it is time to enter the unchartered territory of....Potty Training!

Now it has been a long time....about 8 years to be exact, and remember, the last time I went down this road it was with a little boy....and let me tell you, it was not easy. Nick was a little older when we started with him, but Sarah is giving us a lot of indications that she is ready to make the move.

So, I am putting this out there....I would love to hear from you all....what worked for your little one? Any tips or ideas?

I am looking forward to your suggestions...

Have a good night!

A Chapter In The Book of Life....My Life

September 16, 2008

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and in honor of this month, I want to share a chapter of my life that was affected by this disease.

In addition, I have included some very important facts, risk factors, and signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. At the very least, please go to the bottom of the page and click on the link.

A Chapter In My Life

Unfortunately, Ovarian Cancer was not my first go with cancer, when I was pregnant with my son Nicolas, I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer....you might want to read THIS post, I will be picking up where I left off.

It was July of 1999, I was 26 years old and life was good. I had a beautiful boy who was a year and half old, I had been given a clean bill of health from my previous cancer and life seemed pretty normal.

Things changed in an instant as I walked in for what I thought was my routine check up and was told immediately that I needed more tests. The doctor felt a mass in my abdominal area.

The next week was like a blur...I had every test known to man kind to see if this was in fact Cancer, the only thing we could conclude from the tests was that it was a tumor and it needed to come out. I was scheduled for surgery within two days and pretty much signed my life away in case something happened to me while I was in the operating room.

My surgery was not scheduled until after lunch, it seemed like forever and nerves were getting the best of me and my family. It was a long day.....

I woke up about 7 hours later to find myself hooked up to a morphine pump and an NG tube....when I opened my eyes, I saw about 10 family members standing around the room with the look of pity in their eyes....I knew the prognosis was not good!

After everyone said there goodbye's....my husband at the time had walked everyone out....my Mom and I were the only two in the room....I looked at her and said..."It's Cancer, isn't it" She put on a brave face, but I could see right through it....it was back and it was a whole different ball game.

We had confirmation that it was Ovarian Cancer, but had to wait 2-3 weeks for the staging. Also, we needed to know if it was a regrowth of the first cancer or a new cancer. The doctor prepared us for the worst case scenario....if it was regrowth of the first cancer, it had probably invaded my lymph nodes and blood stream. We would be looking at a Stage IV cancer and preparing for an uphill battle.

I was eventually sent home from the hospital to recover and await the final pathology report. About 2 weeks after my release we got the phone call to come in and discuss the results.

To our surprise, it was not a recurrence of the original cancer, it was different...still cancer, but not the worst case scenario we were prepared to deal with. It was considered a stage III Ovarian Cancer.

At this point we were ready to start my treatments. We scheduled a surgery to have a port implanted in my chest to make my chemo treatments a little easier.....we also went to see a local girl who specialized in making wigs for cancer patients. I was told that within two weeks of my first treatment, my hair would start to fall out.

The week after my port was implanted, I started my chemotherapy. I was frightened and did not know what to expect. My Mom dropped me off at 10:30am that morning.....I watched the toxins drip into my veins for 6 hours wondering what they were going to do to my body and my spirit. My mom packed me a lunch and had included a special book about Mothers and Daughters....till this day, I cannot read what she wrote in the inside cover without shedding a tear. It was an emotional day...

I got extremely ill within 2 weeks of my treatment and was placed in the hospital.....I had a staph infection...it was during my hospital stay that my hair started to fall out....I woke up lying in a white bed surrounded by my beautiful hair.....it was devastating....a day I will never forget.

I was eventually released from the hospital and sent home. Upon my arrival at home, I was visited daily by home health care nurses....I needed daily treatments, but was to weak and sick to go into the doctors office.

My second treatment was put on hold until I fully recovered......but soon enough it was time for round two. Exactly two weeks after the second treatment....I became very ill again and was placed back in the hospital.....my blood was septic and I had a temp of 105...I honestly thought I was going to die that evening.

The port in my chest was infected, every time they gave me chemo or IV fluids, they pushed the infection further into my body and bloodstream....thankfully the infectious disease doctor on call that evening, knew enough to pull the line from my port immediately. They were concerned about heart valve damage, but by the grace of God, I escaped it.

The very next day, they surgically removed the port and gave me a pic line for future treatments......

It was a very long 9 months.....we were in the heart of the winter season when germ counts are at their highest...I was continually sick because my immune system was so not kicking in to fight off infection.

There were days that I felt I did not have the ability to fight this disease, I was sick and tired all the time. I would find myself at family events and holidays thinking....Is this going to be my last Christmas? Will I ever get to plan another birthday party for my son?

As the days passed, I kept wondering what the man upstairs had in store for me....was this going to be a happy ending? or was this going to being the final chapter in my life?

Time went on....I started to feel a little stonger and the glimmer of hope came back....I can do this, I can fight this.....I am not ready to give up.

Although I was determined to win this battle, I had a lot of unresolved issues and questions running through my head......I resented God for putting me through this....why me?....I asked myself this question daily.....I needed to understand.

Today I understand......I was given my given official remission in May of 2000..It has been 8 years and I am still here.....just when I thought my life was going to end....it began.....I was given a second chance and life is better than ever....I am a survivor....and I have a story to tell!

If I can educate just one person about this disease, then I know I have done my job. Please take the time to read and share the info below.....it can happen to anyone at any age....

Ovarian Cancer is one of the most deadly of women’s cancers. Each year, approximately 21,500 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2008, approximately 15,500 women will die in the United States from ovarian cancer. Many women don’t seek help until the disease has begun to spread, but if detected at its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is more than 93%.

Please click HERE to learn about Ovarian Cancer, it's risk factors, and signs and symptoms.

Catching The Camera Craze!

September 14, 2008

My creation

It looks as though Sarah has caught the camera craze...I wonder what took her so long!

As we were packing up for Nick's soccer game on Saturday, she saw me put my camera in my bag and immediately went running to find "her" camera!

A couple of months ago, Pat came home with a new camera, so we passed the old digital to Nick....he likes taking pictures and we thought it might be a good hobby for him! Sorry Nick, you might be sharing that camera with your sister!


Sarah was trying to take my picture but I couldn't resist snapping a couple of her....especially when she was looking so "Sassy"....


Here is Nick on the sideline....Saturday was his first official game...last weeks game got rained out and we thought this weekends might too, but what a surprise....it was almost 90 Degrees and sunny......it felt like summer was back in full force...the humidity was unbearable and really took its toll on the kids. Of all days they were short a couple of players!


Unfortunately, they lost their first game....Nick was really disappointed....but the kids all played well. I am really proud of him....some of you might remember my post at the end of the school year...he had tried out for the travel team but didn't make it and he took it pretty hard. I was nervous that he might want to give up soccer, but he has come back with a vengeance. Soccer camp certainly paid off!


So while Nick was out on the field, Sarah was ripping through everything in my bag and found an extra pair of sunglasses. These kept her entertained for at least half the game....Can you say Sassy?


Do you think this "Sassy" shirt is going to her head....what a look!!!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend....just to update everyone, we heard back from the doctor this morning and no further testing is needed! Sarah has been much better these last two days so we were feeling confident that we would get a good report! Thanks again to everyone that checked in with us!

B is for...Blue, Brown, and BETTER!

September 12, 2008

Thank you to everyone that checked in and left well wishes for Sarah yesterday.....she is on the mend and feeling much better today! We should get the final test results tomorrow morning, but by the looks of her, I would say we are well on the road to recovery!

This morning I thought we might try to get out of the house for a change of scenery, so we decided to go to the park, but as soon as we got there.....RAIN! So I packed her up and we headed back home! Time for plan B!

Plan B, Plan B???? What else could we do on a rainy day?? I know, let's have an indoor scavenger hunt... We can look for all things that start with the letter "B"

OH Mommy.......I see somthing already...it is sitting right next to me!

My creation
I have found lots of "B" things in Mommy and Daddy's bedroom, for starters everything in here is blue and brown....and if you didn't notice, so are my clothes and shoes! I also found a "Believe" sign and blue boxes....Mommy said that I will learn to love these boxes!!!

Here is my favorite "B" thing in the room.....BED.....so perfect for jumping!

It is looking like more rain is heading our way and we will be enjoying all things indoors.....

Have a wonderful weekend!

A special thanks to Colleen for Sarah's outfit, I loved it when I saw it on your website....click HERE...to see more of Colleen's creations! And a thank you to Jodee for all the new bows she sent to Sarah....you are a lifesaver...they are the only thing she will keep in her hair!

Another Visit

September 10, 2008

We have only been back to school for one week and I have made two visits to the Pediatrician's office.....tomorrow will be my third!

Last Friday night Nick wasn't feeling well, sore throat and fever....called the doc on Saturday morning and he said they have been seeing a lot of allergies and a lot of strep throat. We took him in....no strep, just a viral infection.....lots of liquids, lots of rest, good as new and ready for school come Monday!

It was actually the perfect weekend to be stuck inside because the weather was horrible....lots of rain!

So, Monday evening when we put Sarah to bed she said, "Belly Hurts Mommy" I asked her to show me and she pointed to the waist band of her pj's....figured it was just the elastic....fixed it and she fell asleep.

Tuesday, she seemed normal...ate breakfast, played, napped.....right around dinner time she seemed extremely cranky and just not herself....she fell asleep, but got up multiple times crying like she was in pain....totally not like her, but two new teeth just started to come in this past week....

Today she was cranky and crying, would not nap and started saying her belly hurt again....this time she was not pointing to her belly...

I called the pediatrician and they said they could see me at 6pm......She was screaming uncontrollably through the exam and I felt so horrible as I held her down on the table.....but the worst is yet to come...they are thinking it is a urinary tract infection...

Tomorrow morning I have to bring her back in....they need to do a Urinary Catheterization......

If today wasn't bad enough...I have to take her back for one of the worst tests ever...anyone who has had one knows they are not pleasant.....

I will not sleep tonight knowing what's ahead tomorrow.....I hate to see my baby in pain....

**UPDATE**We just got back from the dr's.....it was a traumatic experience for both of us. Sarah was scared silly and in pain and I felt as though we were torturing her...it took three of us to hold her down while the doctor tried to administer the test....The first test was unsuccessful, so they had to repeat the procedure!

Thank goodness it is over....now we have to wait.....they are running a broad spectrum culture and it will take two days to get the results. In the meantime, we are treating this as a standard UTI....I hope that is the extent....I did get a little alarmed when the doctor starting talking about running further tests on her kidneys depending on these results...but I am trying to not cross that bridge unless we have to!

Thanks for everyone's well wishes....I will keep you all updated!


100th Post...Inquiring Minds Want To Know

September 8, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I had asked if you all had any ideas for a 100th post topic....

The consensus was to do a Question and Answer....it seemed like a lot of fun and I got some interesting questions!

Just to add an element of fun to this....I went digging through the archives of non-digital photos to see what I could scan in to go along with some of the topics discussed....the quality of the photos is not the best, but better than nothing!

So here goes:

1. How did Pat and I meet? Pat and I were set up by a mutual friend. I actually worked with Pat's twin brother for 6 years. One of our former bosses married my best friend, Shelly. She threw a 40th surprise party for her husband and invited all of the people we worked with....Pat was also invited to this party!

Shelly had been watching me struggle in the world of dating since my divorce and thought that Pat and I might hit it off! Turns out, we were the only two single people at the party and we talked for most of the evening. We had our first official date the very next weekend! He lived an hour away so he drove up to where I was living....we had a great time and he brought me home at about 1am and then drove all the way back to Philadelphia....a true gentleman!

We tentatively set up a date for the next weekend and I was so excited, but on Wednesday of that week I got a call from my Aunt and Uncle that said they were surprising us with a visit from Rhode Island...they wanted to do a family dinner the same night that I had made the date. I didn't know what to do...cancel and have him think I was blowing him off, or invite him to a crazy Italian family dinner for our second date??? So I explained the situation and told him he could make the call, reschedule or meet the entire family on date number two!

Without hesitation, he said, "Of course I will meet your family, they sound like fun" besides, Pat is one of 6 children in an Irish family...he was use to the craziness!

There was no looking back from there, he fit in perfectly, everyone loved him, he heard just about every embarrassing detail of my life that evening, compliments of my sister and cousins.....and even after all of that, he still wanted to be with me!

It took about a month and then I introduced him to Nick, I knew not only would he make an incredible husband, but a wonderful father.....he was so good with Nick! It was at that moment, I knew he was the man I was going to marry.....he understood me, and he understood my child....what more could a girl want!

We were married within 2 years and as they say, the rest is history!
Our engagement picture!

2. What kind of job do I have that allows me to have such a flexible schedule? I have what I refer to as my "Dream Job".....I head up National Sales and Marketing for a uniform rental company. I call on large F@rtune 500 Companies that require uniforms....it can be anything from a lab jacket to an Arm@ni suit and everything in between. I work out of my home(that is what makes this a dream job to me) and travel occasionally, but have a lot of flexibility in my hours! I do go out on client site and find the work very interesting...I help create updated looks for people in the workforce while keeping their safety in mind. The clients I deal with are diverse so it keeps things interesting....I am always in front of different people....each day is unique.

I have been with this company for 6 years, the owner and I share a mutual respect for one another....he runs a wonderful organization but still understands the importance of family and all of the responsibilities that go with it!

3. How do I keep up with my job, the kids, my husband, and my home? This is a constant juggling act, but I have learned to multi-task. The fact that I work out of my home is also a tremendous help....I can squeeze little things into my day, that I could never do if I had to report to an office on a daily basis.

4. What is my daily household schedule, start to finish? This is tough because I don't really have one....every day is different in our house, some days I am working from home, some days I am on the road and the schedule will vary greatly. I can tell you this: I typically wake up between 6 and 6:30am, grab my first cup of coffee and instead of the paper, I go to the land of Blog....after that it is time to start the day, get the kids ready, get myself ready, and get everyone to their destination...put in a day of work at home or on the road.......pick everyone up, homework, dinner, play with the kids, a load or two of laundry, baths, bedtime, etc.

5. How many hours of sleep do I get on average? I average 6-7 hours of sleep per night

6. When we built our home, did we have a interior designer? Pat and I picked out everything ourselves.......I lived with our house plan and every sample imaginable in my car for the 6 months our home was under construction.......we were very excited and organized throughout the building process. We met with many of the contractors to see all of our options before coming up with our choices....and thankfully, Pat and I were in agreement for almost every decision...which is not typically the norm when building! We had more fun shopping during those 6 months.....every weekend we were shopping for something different!

7. How many children will we have when our family is complete? We are thinking that this adoption from China will be the last child to join our family, but one never really knows where life might lead us!

8. Please share with us, the story of Sarah? For the story of Sarah, please see my sidebar under "Important Posts"

9. Talk about your life as a ballerina and where do you keep your toe shoes right now? Most of my childhood was spent dreaming about becoming a dancer....I sacrificed a lot of things that normal kids do so that I could train everyday. I front loaded all of my credits in High School so that I could leave school at 11am and go take classes daily.

My Senior year I went into NYC each weekend so I could audition for ballet companies across the US. What an experience.....150-200 dancers in a room with a number pinned onto your leotard....before they even started the music, they would walk through the room and dismiss people based of their body type, height, hair color, etc......then after each exercise they would dismiss people until at the end they were down to about 5 people! It was extremely competitive......I was one of 5 people on only two occasions.

I got lucky....I did make it but after only two years........my career came crashing down when I snapped a tendon in my foot.....unfortunately a result of overuse and under nourishment. It is safe to say that your body cannot withstand that kind of demand on a very low calorie diet....my body was starting to break down. The plan was to rehabilitate my foot and get back into the swing of things.....I came back home to my parents while I was recuperating and when I was better, I made the decision that my health was more important than my career. That was all she wrote for ballet.....I still cannot go to see The Nutcracker at Christmas.....I cry through the entire thing....it was such a passion for so long....it was difficult to walk away, but it was the right decision. Oh, and the toe shoes are in a closet with all of my old leg warmers, skirts, and leotards....one day I hope to bring them out to show Sarah!
Most of what I have from my dancing days are VHS tapes, but this was the only photo I could find....I believe this was a snapshot that was needed to accompany a resume....they often had you take snapshots of yourself in different positions. Obviously my foot is cut out of the picture...which is why I still had it...not good enough to turn in!

10. Where do I shop for clothes? I like to shop at a lot of different stores and love it when I find things that are unique or one of a kinds. If I had to list a couple places that I frequent: M@cy's INC Intern@tional Concepts Department, The Lim!ted, Ann T@ylor, White H@use Bl@ck Market

11. How do I stay fit? I did have a long time love affair with the elliptical machine in the local gym, but when Sarah came along, I gave that up because there were not enough hours in the day. Funny thing, I am thinner now than I was before she came along...I guess chasing a toddler burns more calories than the elliptical:)

12. What was my favorite family event of gathering? My favorite family event was our wedding! Not only was it a very memorable day, it was New Year's Eve! It was very special to us that we were able to have Nick be a part of our wedding ceremony. We had a 3 o'clock wedding and the reception started at 6pm and went right through until 1:30am......at midnight they passed out hats and horns and we had a live feed into Dick Cl@rk's R@cking New Year's Eve!

It is not often that we get to spend a holiday with both sides of the family in its entirety....and all of our friends too!!

Nick had a loose tooth during the ceremony, he eventually lost it at our reception....everyone was giving him money from the "tooth fairy" By the end of the night, he had over $100.....that was one lucky tooth!

Getting down on the dance floor....some things never change...if there is music, I must dance!

The stroke of midnight.....what a fun way to ring in the New Year!

13. What values do I want to see passed down to my children and grand children? For me, it is the importance of family....I want my children and grand children to have the same traditions and family gatherings that I had growing up....big family dinners on Sundays, learning to cook the family recipes so they can carry on the legacy of my grandparents. I also want to teach them the importance of respect for themselves and for other people and the importance of their faith.

14. Favorite room in our house: My favorite room is definitely the kitchen.......it is the heart of our home!

15. Favorite photo of the kids: Look at my last post...."It's All In The Eyes"....that is now my favorite pictures of the two kids!

16. Favorite animal at the zoo: I always love to visit the Polar Bear tank....they are so cute!

17. Favorite Recipe: My Italian Grandmother's Marinara Sauce....I will post the recipe next week....it is great and very versatile....it has also been passed from generation to generation!

18. Farthest place I have traveled: At this point, I had hoped my answer would have been China, but we will have to wait a bit longer for that....The furthest place I have traveled was the Carribean.....St. Lucia

19. If I could go travel anywhere, where would it be? Hands down, Italy!

20. How would I spend an extra $100? I would probably spend an extra $100 on my kids.....and if I were really being honest, it would probably be on little girl clothes.....I have a major addiction and can't help myself when I see a cute dress or pair of pink shoes!

21. Worst memory from Junior High: This is a good one....during the junior high years, our parents would drop us off at the movie theatre to meet our friends, then after the movie, we would walk up to the Mc D's for something to eat and then we would get picked up....this happened most Friday nights.

I of course had a crush on a certain someone, but he was not there this particular night, but all of his friends were......we were sitting in a booth and I was against the wall....this one boy was a total clown and he did this monkey face that was hilarious......well, I could not stop laughing and was trying to get up to run to the bathroom, but didn't make it.....Yes, I peed my pants in front of all of my friends.....funny, no one really knew until they came into the bathroom and saw me using the dryer on my clothes!

It took all of 2 seconds before everyone knew what went on........just to add another element to this already horrific situation.....we were all in the same Spanish class.....even the guy I had a crush on.....I begged and pleaded with them not to tell him......we all had Spanish names when we were in class and they had to begin with the same letter as our real first name. My Spanish name was Lupe......after this incident......The boy I had a crush on named me "Leaky Lupe" and the name stuck.....right through High School!

So there you have it......everything you wanted to know about "Half Gaelic, Half Garlic"

It's All In The Eyes

September 5, 2008


With the eyes of a child
You must come out and see
That your world's spinning 'round
And through life you will be
A small part
Of a hope
Of a love
That exists
In the eyes of a child you will see
~Moody Blues



In the eyes of a child there is joy, there is laughter
There is hope, there is trust, a chance to shape the future
For the lessons of life there is no better teacher
Than the look in the eyes of a child
~Air Supply

Tonight we took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent the evening outside....a great meal on the deck, followed by some fun in the yard.

For me, this is the perfect start to a wonderful weekend surrounded by the people I love most.....my family!

I took these pictures of the kids while they were laying down looking up at the sky.....

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!