About Me

Name:
Sue

Location:
Southern New Jersey

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

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


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


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Mothers Day 2009

Thursday, November 30, 2006
Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things in My Wallet


1. Cash – yes, I actually have $10 on me today – this happens infrequently
2. License
3. AAA Card
4. PBA Cards – 3 to be exact (from 1999, 2000 & 2004)
5. Debit Card (don’t leave home without it)
6. Gas Cards
7. Medical Insurance Card
8. Kayla’s MedicAlert ID Card
9. “How to Read a Label for a Milk-Free Diet” Reference Card
10. Various Coupons
11. Store Cards – Wegmans, Shoprite, Costco
12. Our Discovery Museum Membership Card
13. Credit Cards


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1.



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


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





posted at 11:04 AM  
  5 comments



We're Back...
Sorry this took so long. I tried posting yesterday, but the internet was giving me problems...

We are back from our Ohio Road Trip, and I’m happy to say it was a success. My sister graciously gave up much control over her home so we could keep Kayla as safe as possible from dairy. Dinners were dairy-free and we gated off the kitchen at all times. The big kids were wonderful with eating carefully and washing their hands and faces after eating. It was of course, stressful for me, but it was as stress-free as it possibly could have been.

Both girls were wonderful on the ride there and back. Alysa was miserable and cried off and on, but you can’t expect any less from a 1 year old. Now Kayla was truly amazing. She barely complained at all. Granted, she was spoiled by TV a lot, but it wasn’t on the entire ride either.

All 5 kids played amazingly well together. There were no fights or melt-downs. I expected some from Kayla and Maddy since they are 2 years apart and 2 years is a lot at 2 and 4. I did notice that Maddy was telling Kayla how to play with some toys. I found this hysterical b/c that is exactly what Kayla does to Alysa. And like Alysa, Kayla just ignored her. :)

We had a delicious dairy-free Thanksgiving meal that both my girls slept through. Let me explain that my girls took marathon naps (since they got hardly any sleep Wed night – we didn’t arrive until 11:30pm) and the turkey was ready 1.5 hours EARLY. Burt don’t worry, they were both awake for dessert.

It did not work out with Kayla sleeping in Maddy’s bed. We tried it Wednesday night. I slept in the same room as Alysa (she was in the crib), but J had to bring Kayla down to me twice and the 2nd time I tried to get her to sleep with me. But she got giddy (at 2am, mind you) so I had to take her back upstairs b4 she woke up Alysa (who slept like a log). J ended up sleeping on the floor in Maddy’s room with Kayla. So she slept from 2:30-5:30 in the bed and then from 5:30-7 on the floor with her Daddy. As usual, J was a wonderful Dad b/c he never came down to ask me to sleep up there, he just did what his daughter needed. So from then on, Kayla got the crib and Alysa slept in the pack n play.

While we were there, we took advantage of all 5 kids being together and we had their Portraits taken. After being there for about 5-10 minutes, if you had told me or my Sister that we would have left with a picture, let alone a good one, we would have laughed. Kayla was a terror. She wouldn’t leave my side w/o crying. She wanted nothing to do with sitting with her cousins or her sister. Even bribing her with food and Dora didn’t work. My sister was ready to give up and I was at the end of my rope. Finally, all the kids were sitting so nicely and the photographer put a stool behind the kids. Out of pure frustration, I just plopped her down on the stool. Would you know, the girl smiled perfectly for the camera? Then, the girl suggested bringing out the train prop. Well, that was it – Kayla was SO excited about the train that she sat perfectly and smiled beautifully. We got 2 amazing shots of them in 2 different poses. I will have to scan the train one in tonight and post it the best I can. We were all very happy with the outcome.
As much as they loved playing with their cousins, they were both thrilled to be home. Yesterday during breakfast, Kayla kept saying to me “We’re home”. And I think she missed her Dora Toys the most, b/c that is what she had to play with Sunday night and most of Monday morning. Alysa was just happy all around to be home.

Had I had more forethought, I would have taken pics of my disastrous house and used the unpacking and organization for a Tackle It Tuesday.

I’ll be back a bit later today with some pictures of our trip.


posted at 10:57 AM  
  1 comments



Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Almost Ready
Well, we're almost all packed for our trip to Ohio tomorrow. It's been a busy few days for me with organizing all the girls' things and most importantly Kayla's food. I am bringing just about all her food with me since she needs specific things with her dairy allergy. Makes for time-consuming packing and a LOT of extra boxes in the car. We have a mini van, but since my parents are coming with us, we can't fold the seat down. So we're tight on space. We got a roof storage container, so hopefully everything will fit nicely.

J is out there right now installing the dual-screen dvd player. I know that will be a necessity for the trip. It will definitely be an interesting drive. Think I can take some sleeping pills and leave the kids to J? LOL

I'm really looking forward to the trip, but I'm also a bit nervous. At home, we have all our safety nets and controls in effect so Kayla's allergy is a non-issue day-to-day. But being at someone else's house makes it front and center all day, every day. I trust my sister and I know she takes it all seriously and will do everything she can to make her home as safe as possible for Kayla. But it's still nervewracking - for all of us. I have a book called Cody the Allergic Cow. It's a book written by a Mom of a Food Allergy child. It's a very simple book that clearly explains the basics of a dairy allergy. Kayla loves it and I am hoping it will help as she gets older to understand her condition. My Mom brought it out to Ohio with her last week and has been reading it to Colin and Maddy. Last night, during her prayers, Maddy said that she asked for help in being careful with her food. She's 4 and it really touched me that it's on her mind to help keep her cousin safe. They're really sweet kids and I can't wait to see them.

And I also had to mention that my sister and BIL went way above and beyond and had their couches professionally cleaned. These are the reasons we feel confident enough to go there. It seems like it would be a no-brainer - you do what you have to to keep a child safe, especially when that child is family. But believe me, it's not as easy to find.

Well, there is a lot to do tonight and tomorrow. The girls also have their GI check-up tomorrow. Fingers crossed that they are both on the right growth track. I'm off to get some more packing done b4 I head up to bed.

I'll have computer access, but not as much time (ha - like I have a lot now?). I'll try to check in and post a bit... We have a lot to be thankful for this year!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!


posted at 9:12 PM  
  2 comments



Sunday, November 19, 2006
Just for Fun
Ok - I found these over at Janeen's. Thought it looked like fun.

What is My Accent?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Northeast
Philadelphia
The Midland
The South
Boston
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


Ok - so this is completely off! I am from the Northeast (which at least it rated me from there as #2). I've never been told I sound like I am from the Great Lakes. :)

How’s Your Vocabulary?

Your Vocabulary Score: C+

Your vocabulary is average.
You're not exactly a literature major, but no one's going to accuse you of being illiterate!
How's Your Vocabulary?


Hey - cut me some slack. I'm a finance major!


posted at 9:57 AM  
  1 comments



A Christmas Meme
I found this over at kOoKy kAy and had to join in. Christmas is my favorite time of year!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Can I have both?

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Well, last year, they were mostly unwrapped b/c Kayla was only 16 months. But from now on he’ll wrap, as she nows is old enough to get excited and unwrap them.


3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Definitely colored – the big colored ones

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I used to – but haven’t in recent years

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Thanksgiving weekend

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Sweat Potato Casserole


7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
Every year my sister and I would sleep together on X-mas Eve. We were wonder about what we’d get. Once we both knew about Santa, we’d guess what our “big” presents were (since we both knew what the other was getting)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I asked my Mom

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes – Christmas Eve is for “family presents” and Christmas morning is for Santa presents

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
With big colored lights and a large mish-mosh of ornaments. We have home-made ones, delicate ones and lots of fun ones. And we get each of our girls an ornament every year so when they leave, they’ll have ones to take with them (just as my Mom did with me and my sister)

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it – but the key is not driving in it. So I love a big snowstorm over a weekend or any day I don’t have to work. So a blizzard with a State of Emergency attached is perfect…

12. Can you ice skate?
I used to – probably not anymore

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I’d probably have to say my first Cabbage Patch Doll. I remember Santa hid them in another room, so we both thought at first that we did not get them. Sneaky Santa.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with my family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Chocolate Cream Pie

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
We have quite a few – but one of them is putting our “Norton Clump” on the tree. We love the Honeymooners in our family. Hubby and I don’t put tinsel on the tree anymore due to the fact that our kids would eat it, but I have a large clump in a plastic bag which does go on the tree every year.

17. What tops your tree?
An Angel

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
Actually giving. I especially love when I find that “perfect” gift for someone.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum??
Yum – but only the cherry kind. I’m not into the mint…


posted at 8:04 AM  
  1 comments



Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday's Feast (a little late)
Gee - the time went fast. Didn't even realize the Feasts were back up already...

Here goes...

Appetizer
Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets?

Yup - I find it hard to believe we are the only planet with life.

Soup
What is one thing you said you'd never do, but you eventually did?

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) - it gave us Kayla.

Salad
Who is the teacher that influenced you the most in school?

Miss Trimmer - my 4th grade teacher. She may not have influenced how I turned out, but she's the one I remember the most. I visited her every year for a very long time after leaving Elementary School. I'd love to see her again.

Main Course
If you could trade places with anyone for one day, who would it be and why?

One of my girls. I would LOVE to know what goes through their minds.

Dessert
What is your favorite dish to prepare?

Parmesan Chicken - it's oh so yummy. I haven't had it in forever due to Kayla's allergies. Oooh, now I'm really hungery. :)


posted at 8:17 PM  
  0 comments



Another Success
Well, we have made it through another birthday party without any mishaps. Although I was looking forward to this party, as it was for a very good friend of mine's daughter (her 1st b-day), I'm glad it's over as well. Birthday parties and food allergies just don't mix. Everyone was gracious as I told them not to toucher Kayla etc. There were no rude looks or comments. We got a lot of questions about her allergies and what we feed her, etc. I always am more than happy to educate people on her allergies and how we cope.

Kayla of course, talked all day about the cupcake she was going to eat (we bring her own with us). She ended up eating it at home b/c the birthday girl had just gotten over a bad virus, so she was still really tired and was napping when we left at 5:30 - so they hadn't had cake yet. :)

And my girlfriend was wonderful. She even went out of her way to get the turkey dogs that she knows Kayla can eat. And she made sure to leave them sealed so I could double check the ingredients and I would know there was no chance of cross-contamination. I am very thankful for friends like her. I have quite a few actually and it makes it much easier to cope.

I am excited to start decorating the house for Christmas. Usually we wait until Thanksgiving, but since we'll be in Ohio this week, Jerome put the lights up today (but he won't turn them on until we leave) and I will start the slow process of decorating the house tomorrow. I am beside myself with excitement for Christmas this year. With Kayla being almost 2 1/2, I know it will be so much fun this year.

Speaking of Christmas, I think I'll start some decoration now...


posted at 7:56 PM  
  1 comments



Saturday Photo Hunt
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This was my hardest one yet. Not quite what I would have wanted - but it's the best I could come up with...


posted at 9:34 AM  
  20 comments



Thursday, November 16, 2006
A Comforting Embrace
I received this photo a few days ago from a friend of mine. Her husband is currently in Iraq for his 3rd or 4th time. I found it to be very powerful and had to share it. My sister also has it posted on her site.

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The caption under the photo reads as follows:
"Air Force Chief Master Sgt John Gebhardt, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad, Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital. The girl’s entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at the facility, Gebhardt is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair."


posted at 1:29 PM  
  1 comments



Thursday Thirteen - #4

Thirteen Must-Haves for our Ohio Trip


1. Dairy-Free food
2. New toys for the car ride
3. Portable DVD player & DVD's
4. Alysa's Baby (all 3 in case of loss or damage)
5. Kayla's Blanket and Map and Swiper dolls
6. Monitors
7. Cameras (digital & camcorder)
8. Christmas & B-Day gifts for Colin, Maddy & Elliot
9. The girl's medicines (they are both on Prevacid for reflux)
10. Gates - so we can block off the kitchen from Kayla
11. Dora CD (for the car ride)
12. Mini Fridge (to keep Kayla's food separate at my sister's)
13. Tylenol with Codine (for my back on the way there and back)




Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!



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





posted at 8:20 AM  
  4 comments



Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Through a Toddler's Eyes
One of the most exciting things about being a Mom is experiencing the world for the first time again. I have an excellent memory and I have memories of preschool (about the age of 3). But of course, they are a flashes and nothing very long. There are times I wish I could go back and see just how accurate my recollection of my preschool classroom and teachers are.

Being around a Toddler all day, makes you realize the little things you take for granted. We live about 20 or so miles from the Philadelphia Airport. So we get a lot of planes flying overhead. These were things that went unnoticed by Jerome and I. That is, until Kayla came along. Every time she hears an airplane fly overhead, she gets so excited. “Ooh – I hear airplane”, she’ll say. And she’ll most often drop whatever it is that she is doing and run to the window or door to look for it. Then I’ll hear either “I see him” or “Yeah, there he is” or (if she can’t find ‘him’) “I don’t see him”. These airplanes, which are very common for us, do not get old for her. And I can imagine it will start soon enough with Alysa. She does the same things with the moon and the stars and of course her buddy – the Mailman. She knows the sound of his put-put car. Then there are our walks. No matter who she goes with – me, Daddy or my parents – it’s a walk of oohs and ahs and pure amazement and joy through her eyes. She’s excited about every car parked on the streets and in driveways. She has to point out almost every leaf and stick. And don’t get me started if it has recently rained – the puddles are pure magic to her - “Ooh, I see puddle”. And then there is the size of things. “That’s a big one”.

Walking around the “block” before Halloween was even more fun. Even now, when we walk by this one house, she’ll ask “See big spider?” Of course, the big spider on its web is gone until next year. I truly can’t wait to be able to take her around after all the Christmas lights and decorations are up. She loves walks at night too, so she’ll get to see the houses in full glow.

I’ve always known and appreciated seeing things through her eyes. But it really hit home a few nights ago. I finally finished putting all my Camcorder tapes onto DVD. Monday night, I put the last full tape I had in the Camcorder and began recording it onto DVD. So of course, Kayla was excited b/c she got to sit on my bed and watch TV b4 bed. After Alysa went down at 7, I got the pleasure of sitting with Kayla and watching her experience all the things on the screen again. You could tell she didn’t understand the concept of the tape, b/c she continuously asked me to “See ball?” Or “See Daddy?” But the best part was to see how excited she got to see some of the things on the tape. There was footage of her at the Balloon Festival from July. She was literally screeching when she saw the balloons. She kept yelling “Bumble Bees!” when she saw the twin bees inflating. She was literally just as excited to see them on tape as she was when she was there in person. It was the same when she saw the balloons for her birthday party and footage of her in the ball pit we made for her party.

When I have watched the tapes, I watch it in amazement, as it’s too easy to “forget” just how little they were and how they sounded. Like I had forgotten how Alysa fit perfectly in the crook of my arm last Christmas morning (she was 3 weeks old) and how Kayla kept saying “Uh-oh” to the presents under the tree. Then when she saw her new Dora videos, she kept saying “Doda” over and over. But when I watched it with Kayla – it gave me a new perspective. I got to watch it through her eyes. With the equivalent amount of surprise, wonder and excitement that we had when these events happened.

I can’t wait to continue to see everything through her eyes and Alysa’s. These times go too fast and I am so happy to have these tapes to show me again and again how awesome the world actually is!


posted at 10:23 AM  
  1 comments



Monday, November 13, 2006
My Newest Recipe
I am working on getting Alysa off baby food completely. She's almost a year and she dislikes most babyfood anyway, plus I can't stand the jars all over the place. So I tried a new recipe tonight and she loved it. Devoured it. It's great for babies, so I thought I'd share...

I got it from a book entitled "First Meals" by Annabel Karmel.

And of course, I had to alter the recipe - I used soy butter and I left out the cheese...
Cheesy Pasta Stars
*suitable for freezing*

1 c carrots, peeled & sliced
1 c boiling water
2 tbsp butter
1 c tomatoes – skinned, deseeded & chopped
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp pastina pasta stars

-Place the carrots in a small pan, cover with the boiling water and cook until tender (15-20 minutes).

-Warm the butter in a separate pan, add the tomatoes and sauté until mushy. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted.

-Meanwhile, cook the pasta until tender

-Mix together the cooked carrots with their cooking liquid and the cheese and tomato sauce. Blend to a puree and combine with the pasta stars.

I made this and froze what she didn't eat. I also added ground up chicken to give her the added fat and protein and to get her accustomed to the taste and texture of real meats. I have another recipe I plan on making tomorrow night. I'll post that after I see how it goes.


posted at 8:14 PM  
  3 comments



Sunday, November 12, 2006
Tyring to Get Organized
So I'm a very organized person. I have folders for everthing and files on the computer for everything else. I budget in excel, keep all my receipts and like to be organized overall. Of course, with 2 small children, that's a lot easier said than done. Coupled with the fact that we have not a square inch in our home to spare. We have no basement and only a 1 car garage (which is hubby's domain). I'm lucky he lets me keep a 2nd fridge and a cabinet for extra food, etc out there. The rest is taken up by his work bench, multiple tool boxes and of course his 1974 Barracuda project. We have 3 bedrooms and 2 kids. Our dining room is my office and our living room is the playroom. So we basically use each and every room in our house to full capacity every day. Now that's a good thing, but it leaves very little storage space. Every so often, I go through things to try to find stuff I can get rid of to open up more or new organization space. This weekend my projects were our coat closet and my office. Last year I had Jerome put shelves on the half of the coat closet (it's long). It's been a life-saver. But I no longer need all 3 shelves for the kids blankets, extra clothes, burp cloths, etc. So I consolodated and viola - a nice big shelf for art supplies.

No I'm working on opening up a shelf on my book shelf in my "office", as there are things on them that I just don't need at my fingertips every day.

I've already overheated my shredder twice from cleaning out old receipts that I do not need to hold onto anymore.

My hope is that when I have this organizing done, I will maintain the momentum and have the energy to tackle our check book. Oh and I also must start wrapping for Christmas and birthdays. This is a busy-busy time of year for our family. All of Jerome's family's b-days fall from Nov-early Jan. And now my side has 3 b-days from Nov 24th through Dec 25th. Makes it more fun, as well as more hectic and stressful.

And did I mention I really need to get my tush in gear for Alysa's birthday party on the 9th December? Not to mention pack for our Ohio trip in 1.5 weeks???

Calgon - take me away...


posted at 9:07 AM  
  3 comments



Saturday, November 11, 2006
Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt
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Here are a series of photographs I took of my oldest her 1st year to show her growth I’ve done the same with my youngest, although it ended up being every 4 months instead of every 3…

August 13, 2004 – 7 days old
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November 11, 2004 – 3 months
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February 6, 2005 – 6 months
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May 13, 2005 – 9 months
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August 12, 2005 – 1 year
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To view more Scavenger Hunts or to join in, click here.


posted at 7:00 AM  
  4 comments



Thursday, November 09, 2006
Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things I Learned from Infertility


1. I am MUCH stronger than I thought I was
2. There are WAY too many ignorant and insensitive people in the world
3. What NOT to say to someone in a crisis (it’s OK to not know what to say and to not say much of anything)
4. Who my REAL friends are
5. Infertility will either make or break your marriage
6. It gave me a whole different level of appreciation for my kids and kids in general
7. Just how amazing it is that ANYONE conceives, let alone has a healthy baby
8. How little OB’s actually know about the reproductive cycle
9. What’s really important
10. That stress has NOTHING to do with getting pregnant
11. Just how vital the medical community and pharmaceutical companies are
12. To be able to read my body and understand it
13. That I can get through anything (this really helped when my oldest was dx’d with a severe food allergy)


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!



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





posted at 8:35 AM  
  6 comments



Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Who I Am
I found this on my Sister’s blog and thought it looked fun.

Your Five Factor Personality Profile

Extroversion:

You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."

Conscientiousness:

You have high conscientiousness.
Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.
Most things in your life are organized and planned well.
But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.

Agreeableness:

You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.

Neuroticism:

You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is medium.
You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.
But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.
You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.
The Five Factor Personality Test


I'd say it's pretty accurate - at least for something so short and generic. Although I'm not sure Jerome would categorize me as calm and relaxed. ;) It was fun. Give it a try and let me know if you do.


posted at 3:40 PM  
  1 comments



Nature or Nurture?
So there are always big debates on whether Nature or Nurture is the stronger determining factor in molding a person. I have always found it to be an interesting topic. But more so since I became a Mom of 2

Granted, they are only 27 months and 11 months, but I can see so many similarities and a world of differences. And I can see how parts of their personalities are the way they were when they were born and what aspects of them has changed.

Both Kayla and Alysa walked early. Kayla at 10.5 months and Alysa at 9 months. Now I can’t tell you how many times I hear that Alysa is walking so much earlier BECAUSE of having a big sister to chase after. And to be honest, I don’t believe that at all. Kayla, even though she was a month and half “later” than Alysa, was still an early walker. And I can tell you that I firmly believe Alysa would have walked that early no matter what order she was born in. I knew from the time she started moving around in utero (I felt her as early at 15 weeks) that we were going to have our hands full. When I was pg with Kayla, Jerome only felt her kick a few times. As soon as someone else’s hand touched my belly, all activity stopped. She was “shy” even then. Alysa? Forget it. The first time Jerome felt her doing flips and practicing her kick boxing in there; he just pulled his hand back and said “We’re doomed”. She was nonstop – she was active during all the u/s’s where Kayla was quiet. Now don’t get me wrong, Kayla was active and I never doubted she was moving around enough. She just wouldn’t show off. And as a baby, she never stopped and had a desire to walk and be mobile from the get-go. She was never happy to sit, until she could crawl. But Alysa was even more-so even as early as during my pregnancy.

Alysa, as a newborn and young baby was much more “wimpy”. She would cry at loud sounds. If I raised my voice to Kayla for any reason, Alysa was the one who crumpled (Kayla just stared at me). She had a much lower tolerance for pain. Every little bump, no matter how light or hard, she cried. But I’ve seen that change. The more active she got, the more she bumped her head and other various parts of her body. The more this happened, the tougher she got. And of course, add into the mix a big sister who loves to “body slam” her. Now it takes a much harder knock on the head to get her to crumple. She still seems to get upset quicker than Kayla, but being mobile and having a big sister has toughened her up. She loves it when she and Kayla wrestle on the floor. And her current favorite pastime? Slamming her head against things – especially anything hard. Ha!

Kayla has always had a high threshold for pain. Even now, she suffers from reflux – or more accurately Silent Reflux, b/c the only symptoms she shows is poor eating. It has always taken a hard knock to get her to cry in pain. So you know, when she cries from a fall, she’s really hurting.

They are both similar in their sleeping patterns. I have been lucky enough to have 2 excellent sleepers. Both slept through the night very early (3 months and 2.5 months). Now I really won’t know how much of that was nature over nurture. Although I will say that I take their sleep schedules very seriously. I’m big on naps in their cribs and schedules and routines. But it could also be as simple as “I just lucked out”.

And they both love to be silly and have fun. They do goofy things and love to make each other laugh. I hope that part doesn’t change.

I’m sure having a big sister will help in Alysa’s development and vice versa. But I’m also sure that some things are the way they’d be with or without a sibling. I have fun with them every day and am always looking forward to their development and changes as each stage passes and we enter new ones.


posted at 1:37 PM  
  0 comments



Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Way Behind...
Ok - so I'm way behind here. I was away this past weekend. Went to Lancaster for Girl's weekend. Had a great time and got some good buys and found some awesome Christmas decorations. So now I'm even more psyched to decorate the house. :)

We had some not-so-good news on Sunday. My Mom took Alysa for her flu shot on Sunday and I had her get her weighed. I like to keep on top of their weight with their reflux. She only gained 4 ounces in 2 months - NOT good. I had been so confident in her eating b4 she got sick 4 weeks or so ago. And her latest cold has been going on for 2+ weeks. So Monday I took her in. Glad I did - she has a sinus infection. The doc gave her antibiotics. Both her and I agreed that it's best this way, rather than wait it out and let her go on not eating, especially with her current weight. Her weight now puts her at the 5th %. Hopefully once she's well, she'll play some catch-up.

Kayla is healthy though and was able to go to Gymnastics finally last Friday. Of course Alysa missed Kindermusik AGAIN. I might as well not have even signed her up this time. Oh well. It's that time of year. I think there is like 1 or 2 classes left. :)

I'm just about done Christmas shopping. I plan on finishing up in the next week or so. Then I will start to wrap so I can do it little by little. Yes, I'm an early bird. I'd much rather sit home in December than brave the malls. And since I do 90% of my shopping on-line, I like to get it all in early so I don't stress about things arriving on time.

I think that about covers things for now. I'll hopefully be getting back on track and catch u on my reading too. Have been lax there as well the past few days.


posted at 5:22 PM  
  2 comments



Saturday, November 04, 2006
Saturday Photo Hunt
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Kayla loves to sit in this window. She’ll watch Daddy leave for work and wait for him to come home. She’ll watch the mailman deliver the mail and watch the planes fly by and the moon in the sky. In this picture, she’s watching the rain come down.

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posted at 7:05 AM  
  6 comments



Thursday, November 02, 2006
Friday's Feast Contest
From November 1st through November 16, 2006 - Friday's Feast is running a contest. The Chef is requesting fresh questions for the Feasts. For every group of 3 you send them, you will be entered to win a $25 Amazon.com Gift Code. I sent in 3 and can't wait for more Feasts to dine on.

Hop on over and send in your questions.


posted at 9:34 PM  
  0 comments



Thursday Thirteen - #2

Thirteen Things On My To-Do List


1. Order recent pictures from Snapfish
2. Add pictures of the girls to their albums
3. Start balancing my check book (I'm WAY behind on this one – you don’t want to know)
4. Pay bills (this is never-ending)
5. Pack for my girl's weekend in Lancaster – Yay!
6. Pack the girls for their weekend at Nanny & Gramp's house (this takes forever)
7. Hit Target for some Christmas shopping
8. Do my grocery list so Jerome can go food shopping (he actually LIKES it)
9. Clean my desk
10. Put away the Halloween decorations
11. Back up all my photos on the computer to CD (haven't done this since the summer)
12. Finish recording our camcorder tapes to DVD (3 down, 6 to go…)
13. Plan the menu for Alysa's 1st b-day party (including finalizing her cake design – yes I make them myself)
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!



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





posted at 11:34 AM  
  14 comments



A Ruined Reputation?
I think I may have to sit down and have a chat with Alysa. I must explain to her that this is NOT appropriate behavior coming from the Daughter of a Mom for Modesty.

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(she was like this when I got her up from her nap)



posted at 11:15 AM  
  2 comments



Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Wordless Wednesday
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p.s. Yes, the book shelf IS anchored to the wall!!!

For more Wordless Wednesdays visit Five Minutes for Mom


posted at 8:22 PM  
  5 comments



Inside the Mind of a 2 Year Old
Ok – so we have the perfect Halloween last night. It was in the 60’s and overall clear skies. There were clouds, but they were the thin, wispy ones. You know - the ones that add that eerie cover over the moon that is perfect for Halloween night. Kayla’s desire for candy was stronger than her fear of the people giving it out. In the end she even was walking up to the houses with her Dad and Gramps, rather than needing me to carry her. She went to bed a little later than normal, but fell right to sleep (which is unusual for her).

But that’s where the nice night ended. She ended up with 2 nightmares last night. About 15 minutes after falling asleep she woke up hysterical and it even took a few minutes of hugs to calm her down. Then again, at 11pm, she woke up calling for me. No tears this time, but she was definitely upset. Luckily the rest of the night was peaceful. But I know most of what made her so scared, was all the noisy and scary decorations that she encountered.

Now, Kayla has had a fear of anything life-size and “character-like” for a while. Over the summer, she would not go on the carousel b/c she was afraid of the life-size horses. For a while, we could not put on the Nursery Rhymes episode of Dora. She would be fine up until she saw Humpty Dumpty – he terrified her. She’d scream and cry and cling to me. And of course, she’s afraid of Santa and the Easter Bunny. Well, after giving her breaks and sitting with her through that Dora episode, I had finally gotten her to watch it and think HD was silly.

Well, Halloween ruined that. Kayla waits for Dora each morning. She knows that when Alysa goes for her 1st nap, Dora comes on. So when we take Alysa upstairs, Kayla will be sitting on the couch patiently waiting when we come back down. This morning, the HD episode was on. As soon as she saw Mary’s Little Lamb, she freaked and cried and clung to Jerome. Jerome tried to sooth her, but all she said was “Dora off”. He offered to put on a different episode. Her response? “All done Dora. Watch Diego?” So there you have it. She’s scarred for life. LOL

And to add to this whole new ground of fear – this morning, she woke up dry – which is not that unusual. Well, then she decided she wanted a cookie, so she actually agreed to sit on the potty…and…she pee’d. But…as soon as she started to pee, she got scared, stopped and cried on my shoulder. Huh? Where did that come from? I was not given my chance to do the “Happy PeePee Dance”. I could barely get her to let me clean her up through her tears and her mad dash to escape the bathroom. Then she was scared of the bath faucet when I turned it on to clean the potty. Do you think this will set back potty training even more? She did get her cookie though and I’m hopeful that as the memories of Halloween fade a bit, she’ll be more into the potty with cookies and stickers as her rewards.

I know this fear development is normal for her age. But it’s sad and pathetic. I feel so bad for her. It’s no fun to be scared. But it’s almost amusing as an adult to see the bizarre things they get terrified over. Does that make me a terrible Mommy?

Any suggestions out there to help make this transition a short one?


posted at 8:07 PM  
  1 comments



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