About Me


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, 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, 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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy New Year
It's been a bit crazy this week. I've been trying to get settled and find homes for a million new toys that crept into this house over Christmas. I got hit with a cold that knocked me flat. With my cold I had to work overtime at work for year-end inventory, which is never fun! Tonight we are having friends over - it's our first time doing something since before Kayla. The girls will be having a mini sleep-over.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!

posted at 2:47 PM  

Friday, December 26, 2008
Merry Christmas
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day. We sure did. Christmas Eve my parents came down and after my Mom and I cooked all day, we had a Christmas Eve dinner of appetizers and snacks (menu to follow later). We then had a mini toy explosion or a toy burst. The girls, after being forced into having them read to them, loved the I See Me books we got them. With all the new toys, books took a back seat. Alysa also loves the camera from my parents. And Kayla was super excited about her new doll house This was a last minute steal of the century. I found it and when I ordered it, Amazon had it for $47.99 down from the $160 (I've seen it other places for close to $200). It came with all the furniture, but not the dolls - beware, the manufacturer no longer includes the dolls. But even with the dolls separately, it's still a steal. And it's HUGE - so much bigger than I expected. But Kayla was one happy child.

From Santa, I'll give a run-down of their favorite gifts...
Doll Crib
A Beanie Baby Jelly Fish that I found on eBay

Cash Register
Leapster - let me add she was so excited that Santa had "painted it green" which is her favorite color.

Shared gift:
Insect Capes

It was a great day and my house definitely reflects the toy explosion. But with the new doll house, I finally got Kayla to agree to give up her Dora doll house, so that is headed to Good Will. My brother-in-law got them a Train Table, which I also found majorly on sale for him. The girls love that and are happy with how we rearranged the playroom last night.

Here are some of the highlights.

This is Kayla's face when she saw the doll house and her with the monstrosity...

The neat toy explosion - before the kids got to it...

Alysa on her big girl bike...

Kayla with her trumpet...

With Alysa's "paying thing"...

Alysa took to her bike really well...

The four of us

And last, but certainly not least is Alysa sporting my brandy new Coach purse. J surprised me with it by saving some money on the sly so I wouldn't see anything from our account or bills. I'm very happy with my new bag! :)

I'll be spending today trying to secretly purge and make room for the new toys. Hopefully the house will be peaceful today since we're all still recovering from colds.

posted at 9:51 AM  

Monday, December 22, 2008
Gramp's Influence
This would be my Father's influence.

Make an on-line slide show at www.OneTrueMedia.com

"Car, car C-A-R. Stick your head in a jelly jar."

At least she can spell car.

posted at 8:00 AM  

Saturday, December 20, 2008
White Christmas anyone?
Alysa keeps telling me that it has to snow on Christmas. She says it has to snow so Santa can come. I keep trying to explain that he'll come even without snow. Funny how they pick up on the white Christmas bit from just the music - it certainly hasn't been white around here yet. I hope she's not too disappointed.

We went to Storybook Land today for their Christmas bit. Alysa sat on Santa's lap and got a present (a toy ring) and she saw Mrs. Claus too. Kayla refused to see him. They enjoyed the rides as usual and we stayed long enough to see for the magical lighting of the park. Hundreds of thousands of lights - it was beautiful. But we left shortly after. We arrived at 2pm and left by 5:20'ish. It was cold, bitterly cold. The high was 30 today with a breeze to match. We layered up really good, but that doesn't do much for fingers and toes even with socks and gloves. Kayla kept telling me she was frozen and her feet hurt, but she never wanted to leave. Alysa, by the time 4:30 came, was begging to leave in between her chattering teeth and shaking body (literally, no exaggeration needed). J took her in the gift shop for a while so Kayla and I could wait for the lighting (at 5pm). After that, we did 3 more rides and left. Even though my toes are still thawing out, it was worth it and we'll enjoy this annually.

I'll admit that I've never been more envious of the people who could walk around with hot chocolate before...

The afternoon in pictures...

Now this is one big tree!

Alysa with Mrs. & Mr. Claus

All of us in the sleigh

This ride used to have elephants. They change it over for this time of year - very cute!

The girls all bundled with blankets

Me & Alysa - Kayla's afraid of the dragons

J & his girls on the carousel

Kayla's bundled and waiting for Santa

Santa's waiving his magic wand to turn the lights on. Sorry it's so dark (click to enlarge), but my flash doesn't reach that far

Lights, lights, everywhere...

Now if I can only order some snow for Christmas Day...

posted at 9:11 PM  

Friday, December 19, 2008
Happy Days
I just ordered Kayla a new Medic Alert Bracelet that ONLY says "Allergic to Dairy Products". I took off GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).


Alysa is getting her tonsils and adenoids out. It is scheduled for March 4, 2009 in Philadelphia at CHOPP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). It's not as close to my house as I'd like, but...they won't do surgeries on ones as little as her at their surgery center. Precautions are good. :)

It is an outpatient surgery, although because of her age, if she doesn't drink after surgery, they will keep her overnight, so I'll be packed to stay just in case. The surgery will take only a half hour - tops and they'll send her home with pain meds with Codine. So expect some funny home videos - I know I can't wait. :) I was told it will be a rough week of recovery for her and she'll most likely lose weight. Too bad she doesn't have any to spare.

Strangely, I'm very "psyched" for the surgery - or more for what the surgery can possibly do for her.

posted at 10:00 AM  

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Santa Letters
Since the girls took it upon themselves to write to the Great Pumpkin back in October, I knew Santa would bring great fun.

In early December, they sat down and wrote their letters. Kayla wrote with me telling her how to spell the items she wanted, and for Alysa, I used these Giant Follow the Dot Letters. This way she could trace the letters on her letter to Santa

Kayla hard at work on her letter

Alysa writing hers

Kayla's letter

Alysa's letter

So then, on Friday the 12th, we put them in the mailbox.

I made sure to do it after the mailman came, so I had plenty of time to take them back out to put with all of my other memorabilia. On Monday I was devastated when I realized that I forgot to take them out! I even had J call the post office to see if they would have saved them. I knew the answer would have been no, especially considering that the only thing written on the outside of the envelope was "Santa" and a $.02 stamp (makes the girls feel all official).

Imagine my surprise today when I found this in yesterday's mail.

You can click to enlarge to read the letter...

The girls each got their own. The envelope had no return address and no stamp. I was perplexed and knew the only option was the post office. But I just couldn't see the post office doing that. So I called my post office and yes, they log in EVERY letter to Santa and send letters to the kids from Santa. They must keep track too, b/c our address was not on the envelope. I thanked her for her letter and told her it has made up for me not having those letters anymore. I'm sure glad I took pictures of them!

posted at 9:44 AM  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The birthday party...finally!
I have been insanely busy between doctor's visits and getting ready for Christmas. My shopping has been done for a while, but I had to wrap (which is almost done) and now I'm working on the menu.

I have not had enough time to pull together the full menu (with recipes) for the party, so that part will have to wait. So I figured in the mean time I'll do some picture posts. Have a lot of cute things to share. I'll start with her birthday party b/c my house is still a disaster from not being home much the past couple of weeks.

Alysa was exhausted but snuck into Kayla's room to lay her Leapster instead of napping. This would by why she was begging for a nap during her party.

Some of the kids doing some crafts

Kayla, Alysa & Emma hugging

Ring Around the Rosey

The cake aka my Masterpiece

J being a kid

Alysa happy to get a new Thomas the Train set

posted at 2:59 PM  

Friday, December 12, 2008
Sleep Study
It's been almost a week since the sleep study and I'm still recovering. I really wonder how people sleep there when they're all hooked up b/c I did not sleep and I was not hooked up to anything.

We got there at 7:30 pm. Alysa was in her jammies with Baby and Taggie in tow. Her room was very homey with a full size bed, two end tables a small coat rack/mirror and some pretty pictures on the wall (some being Disney Princesses). I went in thinking it would be a nightmare getting her to sleep. She has been known to completely melt down over sleeping at my Sister's. So I was pleasantly surprised when I watched my 3 year old sit quietly and patiently while the Tech covered her head, her back, chest, face, neck and legs with little electrode thingies (yes that is a technical term). Towards the end she got a bit restless, but it was a very calm, I want to get down type, not a freak out at all. The Tech was great and she even put a sticker and wire on Baby so Alysa would not be "alone". The only thing Alysa really balked at was when they tried to put the little nose prongs in. Ha! As soon as I saw them I told them, "Good luck with that." They ended up putting them on when she was asleep, but even in her sleep she kept pushing them out. I was told I could sleep in the bed with her (I didn't want this b/c I was afraid it would defeat the purpose of us being there), a cot in the room or the room next door. So I laid down with her, hoping to help her fall asleep. After 20 minutes or so, here's how it went...

Alysa - "Mommy, you need to go to your room now."
Me - "What?" (I was shocked)
Alysa - "You need to go to your bed."
Me - "You want me to LEAVE?"
Alysa - "Yes."

So I did. I left and she never asked for me again. The tech had to go in a few times to untangle her before she fell asleep, but she was great. Talking to her like they were best buds. I sat in my room with my trusty laptop (unfortunately no internet access) and did some scrapping until I was told she was asleep (by around 10pm). I was disappointed that their rooms are not sound proofed, as I heard her go in Alysa's room a million times (she had to untangle her, stop her from going off the edge, adjust her nose prongs, etc - all par for the course with a child). I got very little sleep. At one point during the night I thought I heard Alysa talking, but she never cried and I didn't want to get up unless they got me so as to not disturb the whole thing.

Alysa woke up bright and early at 6am (she usually sleeps until 8-8:30) and boy was she DONE! She wanted out of there so bad. What upset her the most out of the whole experience was how sticky her hair was once all the thingies came off. I got, "Mommy I'm all sticky" and she was quite pouty about it. She does not like to be dirty.

I was told at one point during the night she woke up and asked to go home. When she was told it wasn't time and she was offered a drink of water, she said, "I want to get a drink of water at home." But according to the tech, she slept well.

Here are some photos from her study - I apologize for the quality, I forgot my real camera and had to use my phone...

Here is her hair when we got home. It was no wonder she was miserable - it was a sticky mess!

And now for what you're waiting to know - Alysa does indeed have Sleep Apnea. I was actually shocked. I just went in today figuring I'd get nothing and be left with a child who sleep walks and is exhausted all the time with no known cause or way to correct it. He said that she slept very well 96% of the night [I'm jealous since I barely slept at all that night]. He said that more than 1 occurrence of sleep apnea an hour is abnormal in a child her age. Alysa stopped breathing an average of 3.7 times per hour and during REM sleep, she stopped breathing an average of 8 times per hour. I'm no expert (yet) on sleep apnea, but that seems a bit scary to me. He also said that her blood oxygen saturation level had dropped during these episodes from the norm of in the 90's% to close to 80%. Thankfully her carbon dioxide levels remained within normal range and never increased. He said she has a clear-cut case of sleep apnea. At her age, the only treatment for it is to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. They only do oxygen masks on children in extreme cases (which apparently, she is not). So now we must go to see an ENT (Ears, Nose & Throat doctor). Her sleep doctor said he believes they should be removed, but that it is up to the ENT and what he says. He told me when he looked, her tonsils did not seem to him to be overly enlarged, but he did see them. We all know Alysa is a peanut, so maybe normal size is just too big for her tiny little frame.

Now, don't get me wrong I'm in no way happy she suffers from sleep apnea, but I'm THRILLED at her diagnosis. Sleep apnea is related to acid reflux disease AND poor appetite and poor weight gain. So...this means that if her ENT takes out her tonsils and adenoids (this cures most cases of childhood sleep apnea), it could be the solution to all of our problems!!! I'm not expecting a miracle cure, but this could put her on the path to recovery!

Lucky for us we are surrounded with some great Pediatric hospitals - CHOPP in Philadelphia and DuPont in Delaware, so we'll have our pic of pediatric experts.

Finally! Some answers!!!

posted at 4:36 PM  

Thursday, December 11, 2008
That's my girl
Today, when we were leaving OMT, Dr. M said to the girls, "Happy Holidays." Kayla looked up at him and replied, "Happy....uh...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!"

posted at 9:00 PM  

Words from our home
Kayla has told me more than once that she works at Kohl's because it starts with a K.

Today, Alysa and I went to Target. When we pulled in the parking lot, she said, "Is this Target Mommy?" When I told her it was she said, "But I don't see the circle." Then she told me that she works at Target and when I asked why she works there, she said "Because there is an A in Target."

My Mom watched the girls last night for me while I was at my support group meeting. Here is a conversation she had with Alysa...

Alysa....to Nanny while Nanny & Kayla were playing a game.
"Nanny, I'm hungry. I want an apple. It's in the refrigerator"

Nanny....not wanting to negatively affect her eating regimen. "I'll call mommy and ask her if you can have a snack" (I did not hear the phone ring, so she left me a message).

Alysa kept going in and out of the kitchen while Nanny (obviously oblivious) and Kayla played the game.

Alysa: "Nanny, if I eat a grape with my mouth closed....it is very quiet and you can't hear me eat it"

Nanny: "Alysa, do you have a grape in your mouth?"

Alysa: "No, they're in my tummy"

Nanny: "How many grapes did you eat?"

Alysa: 5

Nanny proceeded to give Alysa a mini-talk about being sneaky.

Alysa: You have to closed the refrigerator door. It's a little bit open"

Nanny proceeded to walk into the kitchen to find the door wide open & the drawer with the grapes pulled out.

That's my girl! We'll see how long it takes her to not admit that she was sneaking.

posted at 9:57 AM  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Going a bit crazy
Boy, I've been going non stop and I feel like I'm going to lose my mind. Alysa's party was Saturday, Saturday night around 1am (ok really Sunday morning), Kayla threw up (thankfully only once), so I was up the rest of the night. Sunday night was Alysa's sleep-study and I still worked all day Monday. Gymnastics is Monday night and I worked again Tuesday. I had an eye exam last night, Alysa's 3 year check-up today, my support group meeting tonight, OMT tomorrow and the sleep study follow-up Friday. It's all non-stop and that's not including all the errands I need to do.

I had planned on getting on here before this to do a proper party post, but no dice. So that will come, as well as the detailed post on the sleep study. I have pictures - with my phone, not my real camera, but they will have to do.

Then yesterday I found out that Kayla's new teacher resigned. *sigh*. So I have to train a whole new person (who will take over January 5th on Kayla). Thankfully her assistant will remain the same, but it's still stressful for me. And to make it all worse, the new teacher used to teach public school and has not even started her training for Montessori certification. Um...this makes me VERY nervous. I don't like the public school system and I don't want public school ideas taking over for Montessori ones. I'm not saying public school teachers are bad (or not all of them), but the Montessori philosophy is very specific and very different from main-stream school. So I have to address my concerns by quizzing the teacher and other people. J was impressed with where she went to school - she has her Master's. I don't care about that - I don't even care if she has a college degree at all. I just want both Montessori certification AND experience. I'm paying for a specific type of education and I don't want it being lost. I wasn't too thrilled that her new teacher (soon to be old one) had not yet finished her certification, but I let it slide. I noticed a couple small things sneak in that were not true Montessori, so I'm not happy with yet another change. So we shall see. I hope it goes well.

In the mean time, while you're waiting for fun party and sleep study stuff here is the picture they took with Santa a few weeks ago. We went early, so Santa had time to talk to them which is why they both stood with him for a picture. Yay!

posted at 5:40 PM  

Friday, December 05, 2008
I'm in heaven
It's Christmas time and I may not be able to have cheese and crackers and I may not be able to have a real Christmas Tree, but I can once again enjoy my egg nog...

And it tastes like the real thing, just not quite as thick, but oh so delicious!!!

Oh how I missed it. Pure Bliss!

*Free of lactose, dairy, gluten, eggs, casein and peanuts.

posted at 5:48 PM  

Thursday, December 04, 2008
Alysa's Birthday Fun
For Alysa's birthday, I decided to take the girls to a local pottery place so they could pick out something to paint. I wanted to do something fun, yet inexpensive and this was perfect. They loved every second of it up until it was time to leave. Alysa, true to form pitched a fit. She did not want to leave and fought me. While I was trying to pay she didn't want to be held but I couldn't put her down [there are breakables after all]. So she decided to kick off her crocks. One went flying and almost gave me a heart attack. Thankfully no breakables were in it's path. So I took her shoes and would not give them back to her which made her more mad. Then I tried to get her coat on. She fought that as well. So I finally gave up and told her that she would be cold without her coat & shoes [it was pretty cold and windy yesterday]. But the way I see it, the cold won't hurt her and I love situations with natural consequences. Of course I noticed one Mom look at me sideways as I'm carrying her out into the cold with no shoes or coat. Gotta love it.

The worst part of it all is I have laryngitis. So try disciplining your child with with no voice. Fun!

A friend of mine hit the nail right on the head when I told her of the experience. I quote: "...it wouldn’t be an Alysa day without a tantrum, right?" Sad, but true. I sure do love that little girl - tantrums and all!

The birthday girl enjoying her moment

Painting fun

Blowing out her candles

A good day!

posted at 9:26 PM  


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