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

Saturday, March 31, 2007
Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Water.

Here are Kayla and Alysa enjoying our pool last June (2006).
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Some pics from our vacation last Summer - these were taken at a farm that runs like it was still the "olden days" - no modern marvels used. It's a great place to tour and Kayla loves to run around there and see all the animals and play in the water. :)
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posted at 8:29 AM  
  19 comments



Friday, March 30, 2007
Dare I Say It Outloud?
That Kayla is potty trained? Potty training is supposed to be hard and frustrating and take a looong time, right? Especially with my child, who starting last fall freaked at the mention of sitting on the potty, let alone peeing on it. My child, who the day afternoon Halloween, actually pee'd a little on the potty and got terrified of it and jumped into my arms (this was not her first time going on the potty either). My child - my creature of habit, who needs everything "just so" - who, even on the day recently when it hit 80, got upset when I said she didn't need her "life jacket" (aka her jacket or coat). Thanks Sis for Maddy's vest - it has saved me from some melt-downs this Spring. ;)

So, can it really be true, that within days of buckling down to potty train her, she's actually trained? She is out of diapers (except at night) and only wears a pull-up for naps and outings. Although, yesterday Jerome was quite brave and took her out in her underpants. She tells us when she has to go and even gets upset over the thought of pooping in her pull-up. She has not had 100% success with pooping yet, but since we never even brought up pooping on the potty - she did that on her own, we're running with it. And from her reactions I can tell that going in her pull-up is the end of her world. And although it's nothing new, she has been dry every morning and waited for us to come get her to go on the potty. This morning she even went over to her dresser and picked out which underpants she wanted to wear herself. She's getting too big!!!

I'm thinking this is called potty trained. But I also know it's not uncommon for them to backtrack. Luckily for us, we have no major changes coming up anytime soon. No moves, no new family members being added to our home. The only things are preschool which isn't until September and moving her to a bed. We were waiting on her bed. Our original plan was when she turned 3 if she didn't climb out first. But since she loves her bed, I don't see her trying to get out on her own if she hasn't by now (that is unless she has to poop bad enough). ;) Then we thought, maybe early June, which would make sleeping arrangements easier on our vacation in June and when we visit her newest cousin Zachary after he's born. But now, after yesterday, I'm thinking sooner may be better. I know she'd still call for me or J, as she doesn't wipe yet, but she can get onto the potty and go herself.

So I'm in such shock over this whole thing and keep thinking it can't be real. How can it be? I know there will be accidents and I'm fine with that. But I can already see all the money we're saving on diapers. I'm thrilled to be down to only changing one child. And maybe I can relax now and know she'll actually be going to preschool in September.

So until she gives me reason to doubt this potty training business - I will sit back and try to relax and enjoy her running around in her adorable underpants.


posted at 8:56 AM  
  2 comments



Thursday, March 29, 2007
Thursday 13 #20

Thirteen Things I Did Today


1. Drove to work – 20 miles, 30 minutes, One $2 toll
2. Walked into work into a completely dark office – there was apparently a power outage
3. Stood around with my coworkers speculating on what happened and how long they’d make us stand around until they sent us home
4. Listened as they told us we could go home at 9am, but if they called later when the power came back on, we had the choice to stay home and use a vacation day or come back in for 3 more hours and get paid a full day.
5. Drove home – 20 miles, 30 minutes, No toll
6. Sat on the floor of my family room as Kayla & Alysa fought over my lap and climbed all over me; You’d think I had been gone for a month, not the 2 hours and 15 minutes it really was
7. Gave the girls their snack – my “free” day turned into J’s “free” day – how does that happen anyway??? ;)
8. Took the girls to the park with J – blissful family time!!!
9. Listened to Kayla ask for the “big fish” over and over again – this fish is at the park near my Sister’s house in Ohio, not at our park
10. Gave the girls lunch and put them down for naps
11. Repeatedly went up to Kayla’s room to sooth her crying and help her try to go poops on the potty – maybe it’s time to get rid of the crib? She was so upset and so trying not to go in her pull-up; Pooping on the potty is a long process but one she will keep working out until she achieves success
12. Finally relaxed at 2pm and started to work on dinner preparations
13. Got the phone call at 2:20pm and headed back to work at 2:30 – 20 miles, 30 minutes, One $2 toll… (vacation time is precious in our household and must be preserved at all costs…)




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 3:48 PM  
  6 comments



Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Marriage Monday

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Christine (aka my Sister) has started Marriage Monday as a way to reflect on marriage and what we can do to improve them and our relationship with our husbands This week’s Marriage Monday post was about encouraging your husband and what we do and can do to show our support and lift their spirits.

With 2 girls 16 months apart, we have a hectic household. Added to that, I don’t have the option currently to be a full time SAHM, but we have made many sacrifices so I can work part time and most importantly for us, we avoid daycare. The 2 full days I work, they are home with J, which has given him insight into my days with them and what a SAHM goes through. But most importantly it has given him the chance to form a bond with them that is harder to form if he was always home with them when I too was home. So as much as I’d much rather be home full time, I love to see how much they love him and how they have all bonded. And it shows that he can just as good care of them as I can. ;)

But due to our arrangement, we only see each other in the evenings. And, the only family time we get is when one of us takes vacation time. So it is hard and frustrating, but we are doing what is in our family’s best interest right now. With this arrangement, it makes us have to really work at time together and for our family. Add to that major changes and stresses with J’s job (that revolve around that precious vacation time), I find myself needing to really make an extra effort to not nag him to death. Not easy for an admitted “control-freak”. We’re both a bit on edge and snappy this past week.

Ok – I’m started to ramble a bit… Here are some things I do and am trying to do to encourage him and make sure he knows he’s appreciated:

• Especially when I know he’s having a really busy/hectic day, I will have the girls call him quickly so he can hear them laughing or have Kayla tell him something she did that day. Hearing their voices always lifts his spirits.
• He is very into cars and is working on a loooong process of rebuilding a 1974 Plymouth Barracuda. Although finances constrain how long this will take, I do my best to get him parts as holiday gifts, etc. Our most recent purchase was the welder he wanted. Oh and my van sits out in the driveway so his “baby” can have the garage.
• I also have spent time watching his car rebuilding shows and car auction shows with him. They can actually be interesting if you can get past a guy rebuilding an engine without getting a drop of grease on his hands.
• I tell him how good he is with the kids and how it warms my heart to see how much they love him. He’s a wonderful father and they are lucky to have him.
• And with the added stressors that I mentioned above, I am really trying hard to bug him less about stupid things that are easy enough for me to fix on my own.

Life can get very hectic and crazy. When it does, you just have to be that much more diligent in keeping the family intact. J is a huge help around the house. Although I do most of the inside chores, like cleaning up the clutter/toys, dusting, bathrooms, laundry, etc. He does the vacuuming and the floors as well as the outdoor stuff in the summer. He’s great at the kitchen too, which is a lot of times split. And he will cook too. So I can’t complain. And did I mention he split midnight feedings with me? So I appreciate all of that and it’s up to me and us as wives to make sure they know how much we appreciate all that they do.



posted at 1:42 PM  
  2 comments



Wordless Wednesday - Kayla Mid-Jump
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posted at 8:00 AM  
  9 comments



Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Can It Finally Be Over?
Well, Kayla just got over her 3rd, yes 3rd stomach virus of 2007. She has had one a month. Again, it came on Sunday – 2 days after gymnastics – should I be quitting that? LOL Thankfully, this one was much less violent and the throwing up only lasted 6 hours. And since she’s well on her way to being fully potty trained (I hope I’m not jinxing myself), I was able to get her to pee on the potty, so no more guessing if she’s actually dehydrated or just not going in her diaper. Yesterday, she was still feeling cruddy in the morning, but was back to her old self in the afternoon. Now, it’s back to the waiting on pins and needles for the rest of us to get it. Fun!

Yes, Kayla is actually doing amazingly well with potty training. She didn’t even have an accident on Sunday. I had her in a pull-up all day just in case. But other than Sunday, she has been in under pants since her two naked days a week and a half ago. She wears a pull-up for naps and outings and a diaper at night. She’s also been dry in the am the past 3 mornings. This isn’t unusual, but all last week, she was wet when she woke up – not sure if it had to do with the potty training or just a coincidence. And she’s been pooping on the potty too. She has been going 3 days in between, but I think that’s b/c she’s a bit off schedule without a diaper. It’s taken her a while to actually go on the potty each time – a lot of holding her tush and running back and forth to the potty. But she won’t give up and she will go. I’m very proud of her and quite surprised it’s been so “easy”. I really feel like something’s got to give b/c potty training is not supposed to go this smoothly, especially with how resistant she was initially. The only time she resists is when she wakes up in the morning and she’d rather run around naked all the time than put on underpants. Yup –she’s my nudist. ;) Still only counting 3 accidents since we started. Yay!

Alysa has yet another sinus infection from her cold. So we’re back to antibiotics for her. And I’m still nursing my cold. Come on summer!!!

But…I’m happy to enjoy the warmth today – 75-80. I’m in capris, short sleeves and sandals. I’m loving it. I plan on getting the girls outside later today too. Yay!!!

I had major internet problems yesterday. My modem kept going down which meant my phone kept going down. So, I had to call the cable company on my cell phone. Now I usually have good luck with them being so nice and helpful and quick to come and fix a problem the very few times one has come up. Well this guy immediately blamed my Vonage phone router. Then when I insisted he send someone out to check my modem (I’ve had to have one replaced already), he said (after scheduling my appointment) if they come and it’s no the modem, they’d charge me. So I got all mad b/c I pay them a TON of money every month, blah…blah…blah… So after I got off with him, I called Vonage (again all from my cell). And after hours on the phone with them on and off through the day, and not getting anywhere on figuring out which device was bad, they put me on a conference call with Comcast. The guy says with the history of the modem crashing so many times that day (13+), I would not be charged when someone came out. But…someone had decided to cancel my Tues appointment and now I’d have to wait until Wed. Huh? I told him I’ve had quicker service for just my TV and I have NO phone and have already run up a TON Of minutes. I finally got him to say he’d talk to the dispatch supervisor and call back with my appointment time no later than Tuesday. Well, he did call me back to tell me he found there had been an outage in my area ALL day and that they were replacing lines which was why it was taking so long. Um…couldn’t the guy have told me this at 8am when I called? It would have saved all my cell phone minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we’ll see how it’s working today. If it’s not, I won’t be happy.

Sorry for the ramblings that are all over the place. It’s been a looong weekend and I’m fried. I’m hoping this week and weekend will be better. I can dream can’t I?

Now if I can only get rid of this exhaustion…

p.s. I have a GREAT Wordless Wednesday shot for tomorrow - it's from Kayla's gymnastics class. :)


posted at 9:56 AM  
  1 comments



Sunday, March 25, 2007
Sick Again...
Friday and Saturday were just busy and lazy days for me. But this morning, Kayla came down with her 3rd stomach virus. So...I'm gearing up for another looong day as J is leaving for work in a few minutes.

So if I'm MIA for a while, you know why... Wish me luck that it's not a 5 day event again this time!!!

I hope everyone else is having a good weekend.


posted at 7:47 AM  
  3 comments



Thursday, March 22, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #19

Thirteen Things On My Pampered Chef Wishlist


My Mom is having a Pampered Chef Party tonight. And since I am working on building up Kayla’s (Alysa has all Kayla’s last year’s clothes thankfully) spring/summer wardrobe, I won’t be buying much. But…that doesn’t mean I don’t have a long wishlist! Here are 13 of the things I’d love to get…

1. Outdoor Party Plates with built-in cup holders
2. Chillzanne Rectangle Server with a deviled egg tray (it stays cold)
3. Quick Stir Pitchers
4. Small Mix n Scraper – I have the large and love it
5. Spoon Rest
6. Their new Adjustable Measuring cup/Spoon
7. Stainless Mixing Bowls
8. Prep Bowl Set
9. Small Batter Bowl (again I have the large and love it)
10. Easy Read Measuring Cups
11. Any and all stoneware that I do not already have
12. Silicone Basting Brush
13. Decorating Bottle Set (great since I make every birthday cake)


I have a ton of Pampered Chef already. Whenever a friend of mine has a party, they always make fun of me b/c I have most of what the consultant talks about. But…that was WAY b4 kids. I don’t buy much for myself now… So it will be a treat to get a couple things tonight, even if it’s not the very expensive Stainless Mixing Bowl set. :)




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 10:04 AM  
  9 comments



Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I Learned My Lesson
***I had actually typed this at work yesterday morning (Tuesday is my mini work day – 3 hours) in word, but we had a power failure b4 I could post it, hence why it’s being posted today – it was at work and I was at home yesterday.***

As I’ve mentioned, J took Sunday off and we were going to attempt to jump-start Kayla’s potty training. And, as I’ve also mentioned, I had no hopes for this attempt. I was certain it would be a bust and J would be wasting one of his precious vacation days being stuck in the house with an uncooperative naked 2 ½ year old. Back in September, we tried to put her on the potty throughout the day. And for about a week, she would pee on the potty once a day. Not to mention that she has been telling me when to change her since she was about 18 months old. So I know she’s ready (at least physically), but…ever since September, she has had a complete aversion to the potty. Even being scared to pee on it at times. Otherwise, by just outright refusing to sit on it. So you can see why I did not have high hopes for this venture.

Well, let’s just say Kayla taught me a very important lesson the past couple of days. That lesson is NEVER under-estimate your child. Kayla has done better than I ever could have dreamed. I would not say she is potty trained, but…she is well on her way. We let her run around naked and put a potty in the family room and her playroom (aka our living room). She actually did sit on it on and off in the morning and I told her that for trying to pee, she would get a sticker and when she did pee, she would get 2 chocolate chips. This girl LOVES her chocolate. So all morning, either J or I followed her around waiting for her to pee on the floor. It finally happened late morning. As soon as she started, I picked her up and put her on the potty. The rest I should say is history. She was startled at first and wanted to see, so she did not finish going. But once she got chocolate for going, there was no going back. For about a half hour, as soon as we would clean her up and the potty, she went to the other potty to pee some more so she could have more chocolate. She’s too smart sometimes. :) The rest of the day, she pee’d and got chocolate. And she is actually quite proud of herself now.

The funniest thing was Monday morning when she got out of bed. She had gone in her diaper, but I still told her it was time to sit on the potty and try. She didn’t want to and wanted to keep her jammies on. But… as soon as I told her she’d get chocolate if she went, she could not get her jammies off fast enough. She actually was getting tangled in them trying to get them off. ;) The rest of the day, her and her naked tush did very well again. She did have one “accident” after dinner –she had her underpants on and she pee’d on the floor in the kitchen. But that was once out of 2 days, so I’m certainly not complaining.

The funniest part? Monday afternoon, I was in the family room and she was in the play room. I hear her saying “Mommy, I did pee pee’s on the potty”. So I go in to check and she had not gone pee on the potty, but she had pooped on the potty! I almost fell over from shock. She had done it all by herself. Of course, I made a HUGE deal out of it and I think she was a bit surprised over the whole thing. And she got 5 chocolate chips for that one. I never expected that, that’s for sure.

Monday night she was cute, as b4 bed, I heard her go over to the potty saying, “I have to go pee pee’s” over and over. I went out to her and she got up and said she didn’t have to go. So I let it go. Well, 2 minutes later she did the same thing again. This time I left her alone as it was obvious she wanted to do it by herself. After she told me she went potty, I went out and she had pee’d, in the potty, on the potty and on the carpet. We are working on how far back to sit on the potty. But I’ll take it. It’s cute to see her want to be so independent about it.

And there have been times that she went and did not ask for chocolate. Although with how thin she is, I’m not worried if she gains a few pounds from chocolate. ;) Plus it’s dark chocolate, so that’s healthy for you, right? LOL

Yesterday morning, she went when she woke up and during breakfast, while in her underpants, she told J “uh, oh, I have to go pee pee’s on the potty”. He got her up, she took her undies off and went on the potty. It was the same all day yesterday. I can’t tell you how proud I am of her and of course humbled. I will never again underestimate her.

We also had a good weekend aside from potty training. J and I went out to dinner Sunday night and to the movies. This is shocking for us, as I typically don’t enjoy movies at the theater. Plus, it’s a huge fiasco for us. But, we went and we saw Premonition. Very good movie – I enjoyed it very much. Then of course, we got home and had clothes in the garage to change into since there is nothing but dairy all over those movie theater seats. I even froze so I could wear my fleece which is much easier to wash then my heavier coat. All our clothes went right into the washing machine. I will say though that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie theater popcorn covered in butter. Mmmmmm…so yummy! And dinner was scrumptious too – we went to Macaroni Grill and we both had dinners covered in cheese – can you tell the theme here? LOL

So overall it was a great weekend at our house. I hope you all had good weekends too!

Oh and we may have a nudist on our hands, as she LOVES being naked. It’s been tough getting her to keep her underpants on now…


posted at 8:40 AM  
  6 comments



Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Wordless Wednesday - Making Brownies
I'm a bit early this week...
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Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.


posted at 6:30 PM  
  6 comments



Saturday, March 17, 2007
A Meme About Me...
Thea tagged me for this meme. It's long, so here goes...

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:06am

2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Flight 93 or whatever the name was - the 9/11 flight movie.

4. What is your favorite TV show? All My Children, Gilmore Girls, Law & Order (original & SVU)

5. What did you have for breakfast? Left-over Banana and scraps of pancakes - from the girls' breakfast.

6. What is your middle name? Diane

7. What is your favorite cuisine? I'm going with Thea - breakfast - yes I think it's a cuisine. :)

8. What foods do you dislike? Anything with tomato sauce - I'm a very bad Italian.

9. What are your favorite chips? Sunchips

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Do kids cd's count? That's all I listen to.

11. What kind of car do you drive? Honda Odyssey

12. Favorite sandwich? Monte Cristo

13. What are characteristics you can't stand? Rudeness & Ignorance

14. What are your favorite clothes? Comfy ones.

15. If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go? Ireland

16. There was no sixteen in this little questionnaire so I'll just give you a random fact about myself: I can touch my nose with my tongue (somehow I forgot this earlier)

17. Where would you want to retire? In the country.

18. Favorite time of day? Late morning.

19. Where were you born? Northern NJ

20. What is your favorite sport to watch? Live - baseball; on TV - none.

21. Coke or Pepsi? Coke - although I hardly ever drink it.

22. Beavers or ducks? Ducks I guess - especially baby ducks.

23. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning person by default. I never was, but now I'm too tired to be a night owl.

24. Pedicure or manicure? Pedicures.

25. What did you want to be when you were little? An astronaut.

26. What is your best childhood memory? So many to choose from - one of them is sledding at the farm across the street from my parents' house with my Sister.

27. Ever been to Africa? Nope.

28. Ever been toilet papering? Yup.

29. Been in a car accident? Yes - 5, but only 1 was my fault.

30. Favorite day of the week? Friday.

31. Favorite restaurant? Lunch/Dinner - Chili's; Breakfast - Bob Evans

32. Favorite flower? Roses.

33. Favorite ice-cream? Mint Chocolate Chip

34. Favorite fast food restaurant? Wendy's.

35. How many times did you fail your driver's test? None.

36. From whom did you get your last e-mail? My Sis.

37. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? New York & Company or Gap or E-Bay.

38. Last person you went to dinner with? My best friend Angel - to celebrate that she had just found out she is pregnant.

39. What are you listening to right now? The girls playing together.

40. What is your favorite color? Lavender.

41. How many tattoos do you have? None.

42. How many are you sending this Email to? Just blogging it.

43. What time did you finish this e-mail blog entry? 4:04 pm

44. Favorite magazine: Parents - by default it's really the only one I read regularly.

45. Coffee or tea? Tea.

46. Do you tan easily or burn easily? I don't tan - I burn.

47. Do you color your hair? If so, how often? Nope - I used to highlight it but I'm too cheap and lazy now - so I just let the grey hang out.

48. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? 1999 Dodge Avenger - I loved that car.

49. What is your most dreaded household chore? All of them!

I'm going to tag Janeen and Jennisa and anyone else who wants to join in.


posted at 4:05 PM  
  2 comments



Saturday Photo Hunt
This week's theme is Drink.

Here is Kayla drinking her soy milk...
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Soy milk gives you "milk mustaches" too...
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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.



posted at 8:00 AM  
  16 comments



Friday, March 16, 2007
Why Am I Not Surprised?
Food allergy reactions get worse with every exposure and they can change very quickly. What look like "innocent" hives one day can be a life-threatening reaction the next. And with hives being a precursor to anaphylactic shock, we have epi-pens for Kayla. We have been carrying them for over a year and got 4 twin packs (totalling 8 pens). The twin packs are needed b/c sometimes one dose is not enough to last until you get to the hospital, so it's best to have a 2nd dose at all times. We have 2 in the house - one that stays in the house in the kitchen. The 2nd is in a pouch that goes everywhere that Kayla goes. We never leave home without it. We even take it for walks around the block. Then their babysitter has a set and my parents have a set at their house. Now, this is typical for people with epi-pens. And come September, we'll need a 5th to be kept at her school.

This being said, her pens are all due to expire in April. So...her Pediatrician called in a prescription for 4 new twin packs which we picked up 2 days ago. Of course, I when J got home I noticed that 1 of them expired in Jun of 07. So I called and notified them that I would be bringing it back to trade for one that expires next year. They were fine with this. J went to do the exchange today. When he was there, he was told that our insurance company notified them that we have been flagged for an Audit of the prescription b/c they believe our Ped over-prescribed the epi's. Huh? The very nature of this medicine means you need multiple ones to have everywhere your child is. I know this is not a new concept. Please - it's not like she prescribed a narcotic! Give me a break! So now I have to call next week and complain to the insurance company, blah...blah...blah. I'm sure it won't do any good, but it always makes me feel better to give them grief. They sure are quick to give us grief.

Well, at least on a lighter note, we had a great day at gymnastics despite the bad weather. It's really cold again and it's been sleeting all day. Luckily this morning, there was rain mixed in so the roads didn't get bad until this afternoon when we were able to hibernate. Kayla did amazingly well this week. Every week she is more and more independent. If you remember, she's in a transition class which is leading up to her being in the no parent involvement 3 year old class in September. Next week, they are actually kicking us adults out of the room. I may have to go in a time or two if Kayla calls for me. But that's basically what the teachers want. But today, I sat on the sidelines the whole time and she only called for me once and it's b/c she needed help doing something. And I'm happy to say she's finally fully warmed up to and actually likes the male teacher. She now lets him help her do things, like backward rolls. That's a very big deal for her. It's bittersweet to see her grow up so much. And after he gave her the stamps on her hands after class she said "Thank you Mr. Ryan". Oh - what happened to my little girl? And where did this big girl come from?

So the girls are in bed and J is outside ridding our driveway of the ice that has accumulated today, just so more can fall through the night. He always hates to wait to the end - he does much better when he can tackle some of it during the storm. So I'm off to have a relaxing evening - maybe watch some TV and read a book and maybe even have some dairy-infested hot cocoa. Yum!

I hope some of you are enjoying some warmth tonight. I'm jealous of those who are!


posted at 8:02 PM  
  2 comments



Friday's Feast
Appetizer
Name two things that made you smile this week.

1. The warm weather this week (of course it's given way to very cold and sleet all day today...)

2. My girls holding hands and dancing

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Soup
Fill in the blank: Don't you hate it when ________?

.....Spring comes only to give way to winter again...such a tease!

Salad
When you can't go to sleep, what is your personal remedy to help yourself drift into Lullabyland?

Usually I have no trouble falling asleep, but if I do, reading helps to get me tired.

Main Course
What is something about which you've always wondered but have not yet found a good answer?

What makes rude and ignorant people tick...

Dessert
What is your favorite pasta dish?

Fettuccine Alfredo

To see more who have dined or to feast, click here.


posted at 7:50 PM  
  1 comments



Thursday, March 15, 2007
Yummy!!!
Thanks to Janeen, I was able to get the girls real Easter candy for their Easter Baskets this year. Yes, I can find dairy-free dark chocolate pretty easily. Of course, eliminating the cross-contamination risk in the chocolate is a bit trickier. But it can be done. But I have not been able to find anyone that sells dairy-free and cross-contamination-free chocolate bunnies. Of course, at 2 1/2 Kayla knows no different and the same goes for Alysa at 15 months. But...Kayla loves chocolate. So, when I saw Janeen post the website for Chocolate Emporium I was so excited. Their chocolates are all dairy-free. So, a week and a half ago, I ordered the girls their Easter bunnies, foil wrapped chocolate eggs and jelly beans. I also got some white chocolate bunny lollipops. I tried one - yummy! Now my girls will have delicious and traditional Easter Baskets. I know the chocolate bunny will make Kayla's day. Not sure about Alysa yet...

Here is what I got.
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And of course, as all things for Kayla, these were not cheap. The chocolate was $20 and shipping added another $10. Good thing I love my girls. :)


posted at 11:09 AM  
  3 comments



Thursday Thirteen #18

Thirteen Things That Relax Me


1. Reading
2. Listening to songs I love
3. Long drive with J (haven't done this in so long)
4. Surfing the internet/internet shopping
5. Getting a Pedicure
6. Big Squeezy hugs from my girls
7. A massage
8. Watching my girls sleep
9. Accomplishing a goal - like organizing my desk
10. Taking a walk with my girls on a warm, sunny day
11. A good night's sleep
12. Hanging out with my girlfriends
13. Spending a relaxing night with J




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 9:07 AM  
  4 comments



Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Getting Back Into Our Routine
Amazing how much 4 days away can throw you off track. We left Friday morning for Ohio. We as in, me, the girls and my father. J stayed home. Overall it was a great trip. Of course, it was stressful on me and lots of food-filled anxiety. But that has nothing to do with my Sis and her family. They are all MORE than gracious about giving up control of their kitchen and meals to keep Kayla as safe as possible. They don't go dairy free, but as Colin puts it (he's 6 1/2), he does not like to wash his mouth with soap. I'm with you kiddo - I don't like it either. :) It was even a bit harder on me this time than at Thanksgiving b/c my Sister and her hubby were away until Sunday afternoon, so my Mom's main responsibility was to my niece and nephews and J was not there, so I did not have his help with the food stuff.

But - get this great comment from Colin. B4 we arrived, my Mom was reminding the kids about Kayla's allergy, etc. Colin just simply said "Well, why don't we just not drink milk and stuff". Now why can't adults 'get it' like kids do? Of course, we didn't make him go through with his offer. He really doesn't understand what it would mean. And they need their dairy. So some meals were dairy-free and some were not. Once, Colin even opted out of drinking milk b/c he didn't want to use soap on his mouth. He's too cute. ;)

The girls were amazing good in the car considering. We're all a bit sick of Dora, except Kayla of course. The 5 kids had such a great time playing together. They really love each other - I love it. And the 2 little ones, Alysa and Elliot (who are 3 weeks apart in age) just grinned at each other the whole time. I don't think they ever know what to do with someone their own size at 15 months.

And of course, last night, Kayla saw our neighbor's kid playing outside and ran to the window yelling - "Coldin! Coldin" (aka Colin). When I told her it wasn't Colin, she said "Maddy!". So sad that I have to explain that they are in Ohio and not here. This is the part that breaks my heart.

And even though they loved being in Ohio - they were giddy to be home. Alysa actually more excited to run into the house than she was to see J. He of course, missed them terribly. He even left work early Monday night and went in late Tuesday to spend time with them. Too bad I don't get that kind of treatment. LOL In all seriousness - he's a wonderful father and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So it's back to routine now. Of course, though Elliot and Maddy shared their colds with Alysa. So she's miserable - but...she can now blow her nose which makes my life a TON easier. The weather is absolutely wonderful here - in the 70's today and in the 60's yesterday and tomorrow. The girls are getting lots of outdoor time. This will be a fun summer since Alysa is not at the age where she can enjoy our swing set. She loves the slide already. She loves to go down them on her tummy and head first. She's a trip.

And I'm looking forward to this weekend as J and I get to go on a date - we are going out to dinner and may actually go to the movies. Now for those that know me know this is unusual. I love movies, but I'm not a fan of going to the movie theater. I tend to get annoyed by people (yes, I'm a homebody) and I know I'll see 5 year olds in an R rated movie. Ho hum... But I really want to see Premonition. Let's hope it's a good movie. Then Sunday, J is off as we are trying to jump-start Kayla's potty training. I don't think it will go too well - but I'm hoping she'll surprise me. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. She is SO against the whole potty thing, but since preschool starts in 6 months, I have to try to get this going. 6 months is not a long time in the world of potty training. I'll keep you posted on that.

So that is about it for us right now. I just enjoyed a delicious Shamrock Shake (I'm not at home if it wasn't obvious). :) So that put a smile on my face. So yummy!

I hope everyone is having a great week in Bloggy Land.


posted at 2:14 PM  
  4 comments



Wordless Wednesday - The 5 Cousins...
Mine is not so happy... :)


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Hop on over to WW to see more great photos or to join in.


posted at 8:32 AM  
  6 comments



Saturday, March 10, 2007
***
I had this ready to post yesterday morning as you can see from the date and time. But...I am in Ohio this weekend visiting my Sister and her computer was not letting me do anything. So...better late than never, right? :)

We're heading home tomorrow, so I'll catch up when I can tomorrow night or Tuesday.
***

The Theme this week is Architecture...

It was my father's idea to build ON Kayla. Of course, she was more than eager to go along with it.


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To view more photo hunts, hop on over to tnchick.


posted at 8:00 AM  
  4 comments



Thursday, March 08, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #17

Thirteen Foods I Could Really Go For Right Now
\

1. Cheese – muenster, American, Colby jack – any kind…oh how I miss it
2. A big juicy steak!!!
3. Pizza – “my way” of course, which means w/o tomato sauce – but I also love Barbeque Chicken Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Pizza
4. Cheese Cake – preferably with raspberry swirl
5. Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta
6. Peanut Butter cookies – my homemade ones – I haven’t had these in too many years
7. Nachos
8. Parmesan Chicken Breasts – oh so yummy
9. ICE CREAM
10. Olive Garden’s bread sticks
11. A Ceasar Salad with Croutons
12. Cheese Doodles – pathetic, yes, I know
13. Anything that I can eat out at a restaurant!!!

Yes – there is a theme – these are all things I never get to eat anymore b/c of Kayla’s allergy. I’ve been so craving going out to eat. I could really go for a good restaurant meal! :)




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 8:12 AM  
  9 comments



Monday, March 05, 2007
Not a Nightmare, A Partial Premonition
A week ago, I posted about a nightmare I had about taking Kayla to a new play place. Well, it seems it was more a premonition in some ways. Not about the reaction - she had no contact to anything dairy. But to the lay-out. I got to the play place and the play room was not too big, it would have been fairly easy to manage with the 2 girls (the reason my girlfriend chose it). But the eating area was right off the play area, and it was not closed off. It was sort of partitioned off, but it had two openings directly to the play area and there were no doors, gates, etc. My heart sank and I could feel the anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks. And on the tables in the eating area, was food and cups of who knows what as well as coffee cups. I was crushed and even more so b/c I knew what it meant for Kayla. The girl at the desk asked me if she could help me and I simply explained that we could not stay b/c of Kayla's allergy and that their "cafe" area was not closed off. She went on that it was for the Moms and that it's open so the Moms can watch their kids. First of all, I don't go to a place like that to relax - that is not what it's for. Or am I wrong? Who knows - it seems so many Moms around me think it's their "time off" when they go to play places. Sorry, I'm getting off track. She then said the place was peanut-free. I said, that's great, but my daughter is allergic to dairy and she will react from simply touching anything dairy. The girl was nice and felt bad. Poor Kayla was asking to go in and play and I had to tell her she couldn't. Then the tears started. Oh, my heart broke for her. The girls each got a free toy and some stickers out of the mess. But that didn't put the pieces of my heart back together as Kayla cried as we walked out the door.

I do think it's great that they are peanut free. Peanuts are an incredibly risky allergy and such a common one. Not to mention it can be airborne. But, they are not the only life-threatening food out there. I do not expect places to be completely closed off to food (it would be nice, but it's unrealistic for kids under 5 to not have a snack) or ban all of the Top 8 allergens. But I do expect places to use common sense. Let's forget the allergy aspect for a minute. I can't say I could pick out every food I saw on the tables, but I definitely saw coffee cups, which could seriously burn a child if it were to spill. Then I saw a container of hard candy - again, a huge choking hazard for a small child. And this place is only for under 5's. All of us Mom's know how fast a child can scoot away from you. And how much can happen in the 5, 10, 30, etc seconds it can take for us to get to them. Not to mention I had both girls with me, so I had to control a 2.5 year old and a 15 month old. There was no way that place was even near my comfort zone, let alone in it.

Now, I know this upset Kayla since she cried. And when she cried when we left, I lost it. I cried all the way to the car. When we got in, I called J crying. Now, Kayla had gotten over it by the time we got to the car. I'm STILL not over it. For some this may seem excessive. But as a Food Allergy Mom, it's a daily struggle to balance Kayla's health with what I want for her as a child. I don't want and try so hard not to let her allergy rule her life. There are some things that we can't get around - like we'll never be able to take her out for ice cream or pizza. These are hard for me to come to terms with at times, but it's doable b/c she doesn't know any different. It's all on me, not her and that's where I want it to stay. But I NEVER would take her to a place that she could not be a kid at. For example, I would not take her to Chuck E Cheese knowing it's a virtual mind field. I never wanted to dangle anything in front of her just to yank it away. And that's what happened today. I know I had no choice, but I still feel a heaviness in my chest. And I'm not a Mom who shies away from tears. I sleep-trained both my girls and I don't give in to tantrums. I can deal with those. But nothing breaks my heart more than to see them cry from such complete "devastation". Especially when she really doesn't understand what her allergy means yet.

So, as usual, my girlfriend was wonderful and we took the kids to the local Discovery Museum and they had a blast. Unfortunately I can't shake this since it's the first time she has felt the effects of her allergy. And I know it won't be the last.

Nothing to suck the party mood right out of you faster than disappointing your child.


posted at 12:43 PM  
  3 comments



Sunday, March 04, 2007
One of My Favorites
So in keeping up in the partying mood, I thought I'd share one of my favorite dishes. I'd love to actually make it for all of you, but I can't even make it for myself with Kayla's dairy allergy. So it's one of those recipes gone, but not forgotten in this house. And I hope to be able to make it again one day.

Chicken Breast Parmesan
1/3 c dry seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (I cut them in half)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 c flour (all purpose or wheat)
2 tbsp margarine or butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet or dish with spray. In one dish put flour, in next dish, put butter and in last dish mix cheese and bread crumbs.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dip first in flour, then in butter, then roll in the bread mixture. Transfer to the dish. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked.

They are delicious and tender and freeze really well also. I always at least double the recipe so I have left-overs. They reheat just as yummy. For those who can, Enjoy!

Ooh, not sure this was a good one to post, as I'm now craving them.

And for those that don't know, my mortgage company made a big oops when we refinanced in December and messed up our escrow account. They expected me to pay a huge additional amount to them monthly to make up for their error. But I'm happy to say that as of this past Friday, we are escrow-free. I have deleted my escrow account so now J and I are free to pay our taxes and insurance all on our own. This is a huge load off for me, b/c I have never been a fan of escrow accounts. I've been meaning to do this for a while, and they just gave me the push to make the calls. And now I don't have the stress of being in the "hole" with the escrow account. Yay!

I have had Spring fever in full force these past few days as it's been very warm in the 50's. The girls have been thrilled to get outside and the exercise of our walks is good for me too. :) But now, it's snowing here (flurrying), so it's putting a damper on my Spring Fever. I'm so ready for spring!


posted at 11:03 AM  
  2 comments



Friday, March 02, 2007
Welcome to the Party
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Well, Susan & Janice's party is finally here. Typically, at a party full of people I don't know, I would be very shy. I don't do outgoing unless I'm surrounded by those close to me. But this is a different kind of party. So I will be putting myself out there and mingling with the best of them.

To start off with, I have made a little slide show of some pics of my family. Our wedding photos and some recent of our girls. Kayla is 2 1/2 and Alysa is 15 months. I love being a wife and a mother and wouldn't trade my family for anything.



I am excited to meet some new bloggie friends and will be back to post more for all of you later this weekend...


posted at 7:54 PM  
  24 comments



Thursday, March 01, 2007
Thursday Thirteen #16
Thirteen Things I Clean Up Each Night (along with my 2 little helpers, of course)
\

1. A few dozen Peak-A-Blocks
2. Up to 150 Building Blocks
3. 1-2 Sets of Counting/Sorting Bears
4. A collection of Dora Toys
5. Princess dress-up clothes and accessories
6. Dishes from their kitchen set
7. A shopping cart full of food
8. Puzzles-puzzles-puzzles
9. Match box cars
10. Food, crumbs, dirty dishes from dinner (and any other meals that I had not cleaned up from yet)
11. A whole bunch of balls of all sizes
12. Whatever dolls and stuffed animals they decided to drag around the house that day
13. A HUGE mound of books (see my WW post below)


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 2:04 PM  
  3 comments



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