Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Barnes Family Christmas

Finally, the much anticipated Barnes Family Christmas morning pictures. I put them into a smilebox scrapbook. I hope you enjoy.

Click to play Barnes Christmas 2008

Remembering 2008

1) Did you have to go to the hospital at all in 08? Why?
Yes, in February for CJ when he was in the hospital for five days due to failure to thrive. Then again December 5 to give birth and say goodbye to Celeste.

2) Did you have any encounters with the police?
Nope

3) Did you go on vacation? Where?
Yes. We went to Philadelphia over the summer for a day and then stayed with a friend in MD that night.

4) Did you know anybody who passed away?
Yes, Celeste

5) Did you move or remodel?
Nope

6) What concerts/shows did you go to?
None and I think the only movie we even went to was Bedtime Stories on Christmas Day. No wait, we went to the drive in theater and saw Journey to the Center of the Earth and Batman.

7) When you think back on all of 2008, what stands out for you?
Hmmmm, it's been a rough year. I'm looking forward to a better 2009, but I guess the thing that stands out the most is the loss of my pregnancy and Celeste.

8) What was/are your most memorable moment(s)?
Celebrating CJ's 1st birthday. Unfortunately the thing I will probably remember most though about 2008 is December 6, 2008 when I gave birth and said goodbye all in the same moment to my daughter Celeste Alia.

9.) What's something you learned about yourself?
I can experience a great tragedy, but still pull it together for my children.

10.) Any new additions to your extended family?
My cousin's live in boyfriend Kevin. Hopefully 2009 brings a proposal for her too.

11.) What music will you remember 2008 by?
I'm not up to date on music these days.

12) Who has been your best drinking buddy?
I don't drink.

13) Made new friends?
No

14) Any regrets?
Way too many. I regret most not finding out I was pregnant earlier because I will always wonder if that could have saved my pregnancy.

15) What are your wishes for 2009?
I wish that things could improve in my relationship with my parents and that we all stay happy and healthy this year. No more death and no more hospital visits for any of us.

16) Anything you want to add?
Here's to a way better 2009 than 2008!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Things I've Done; Things I Wish I've Done

I saw this over on my friend Renee's blog and thought it looked like fun. The things in bold are the things I have done and the things I have in italics are the things I would like to do:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (not so much me, but Joe has done this)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (I did not have a cabin or anything though. It was the auto train when I went down to FL for college though and I was next to a very grouchy old lady)
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (unfortunately this just happened with my rent check actually thanks to Joe's job not paying him his bereavement pay on time)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (my pinky toe)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (at least this is what I'm told, but I didn't realize it was that dire at the time. My dad cramped up in the pool once and I swam him back to the side so he could get out.)

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Families

This time of year is a time when people are spending it with their family. Maybe members they haven't seen all year long. It's fun and exciting, but not all the time. Sometimes they are just annoying and frustrating.

As a child I always thought it was great to see family. I never had to plan those get togethers though. Planning is difficult. Lets take my parents for instance. Usually we see them on Christmas Eve and then go to my Aunt and Uncle's on Christmas day. This year that was changed up a bit and we went to my Aunt and Uncle's on Christmas Eve. My parents were there as well. So we saw them, but my father was very sarcastic and my mother very distant. I tried to have a conversation with her, but she barely said two words to me.

Now why all the tension with my own parents you may ask? Well, if you haven't read about the issues I've had, then perhaps you should do that now. Aside from those past things they are mad at me now because I did not want to spend Christmas day with them. Now, it's not that I didn't want to exactly, but given the year that we've had and the extremely emotional and stressful past two weeks I wanted Christmas to be just the five of us this year. My parents had a hard time accepting that. They wanted to come to our house Christmas day. Instead I offered them the day after Christmas, but my mom had to work. So then I offered the Saturday after Christmas. That seemed to work just fine. I just needed to call with the details. But time slipped away from me and I didn't get around to calling. Tuesday I had e-mailed my mother, but she claims she did not get the e-mail and they went and made other plans. Okay, fine whatever. Don't complain to me that you don't get to see your grandchildren though. Because really how long did they give me to get in touch with them about these plans? Not very long.

But that's not the real reason of this post. The real reason is actually Joe's family. Well, Joe's brother to be exact. An interesting family dynamic there. Let me give you a little history. Joe's brother is just a year and a half older than Joe. So they were close growing up. I met Joe when we both worked at Dunkin Donuts and his brother even worked there too. So before Joe and I even started dating the three of us from time to time would even do things together. I like Joe's brother. He likes to exaggerate stories a bit and every time you hear them they always get bigger and grander, but I have no problems with the man. He's a good guy. So good in fact that we made him Kaitlyn's godfather. He was Joe's best man at our wedding. The kids adore him.

Over the years though we have seen him less and less. Actually the less part usually coincided with the times he was dating his now wife. Now there's another very interesting situation there. His wife years ago before Joe and I even met cheated on Joe's brother with Joe. Caused a huge rift between brothers. Joe continued to date her. He was even planning on marrying her until he started to suspect some unfaithfulness on her part. As things began to get serious between the two of them she went back to Joe's brother behind his back and broke Joe's heart. Things had mended in the relationship between brothers, but Joe's brother was addicted to this woman. They have been on again off again for years. Every time they are on again Joe's brother sort of disappears from everyone's life. And then during an off again time this girl began dating and even became engaged to their nephew. She even had a child with him 4 1/2 years ago. As if things weren't complicated enough. All this time I've been scratching my head trying to figure out why this woman is so desperate to be a part of this family. But we can't control people.

So now a year and a half ago Joe's brother finally ended up marrying this woman. He has also joined the army reserves. Last January he was leaving to be stationed in North Carolina. We got together with some ummmm prodding on Joe's part so we could say our goodbyes. His wife and her kids have remained here though. They were supposed to go down there once the house sold, but the house is not selling. Despite the fact that in North Carolina the five of them were going to have a very nice five bedroom house provided by the army they have remained up here. Joe's brother has been home on leave now a few times. Most recently at the time of CJ's 1st birthday when the ENTIRE family was here. We did not find this out until after he left because he called no one to say he was home. We would have had him to the party. He was home for a surgery that his wife had though so he says he wouldn't had left her. If it were me I probably would have really loved a day of peace to actually sleep after surgery without any children, but hey that's just me. She does have family which easily could have come to help her for an hour or two.

So now it's Christmas day. Joe has called all of his siblings to wish them a merry Christmas. His oldest brother who lives in CA told Joe that according to their other brother the reason he doesn't associate with the family is because no one accepts his wife. What? Okay, putting aside the fact that she has been sleeping her way through the men in the family. Putting aside the fact that she has a child with their nephew. What more do they expect from us? Time and time again we have invited them up or to do something. Now if it's the sisters that maybe he has a problem with, then he really needs to get over that. Or she does. I can tell you after almost 9 years of marriage to Joe and over 10 years of living with him his sisters haven't exactly been the closest sister in laws ever. And I didn't break the heart of two of their brothers over and over again to then move on to their nephew either. So I don't know what they expect there. And I really don't know what more Joe and I can do to be accepting of them. And just coming from my point of view he is married to an ex of my husband. Generally speaking your husband's exes don't become your sister in law.

But again Joe is trying to salvage some sort of relationship with his brother. So he called him up Christmas day and apologized if he wasn't accepting enough of his wife. And wonder of wonders it turns out that his brother is in town again. So Joe told him we should get together Saturday. Nothing was set in stone. Joe called him last night and told him Saturday or Sunday whichever works for them. They can come here or we can go down there. He said he needed to talk to her and would call back and never called back. So now we wait to find out if we are worthy enough to spend time with him or not. He goes back on the 31st so we don't have much opportunity with him.

And now Joe has called him yet again to find out once and for all what the verdict is. He got no answer. No voice mail or anything. Just six rings before the phone picked up and gave a recorded message saying, "The wireless customer you are trying to reach is not available." And now Joe says he's done. If he calls him back, then fine, but he's not bothering anymore. I feel so helpless in this. I feel like I've done my part and encouraged this relationship inspite of the fact that I can't stand his brother's wife. I just feel so insecure around her and out of the loop. She always purposely pushes me out of conversations when she's around and have I mentioned flirts with my husband. And yet I still try to make something work here. I guess it's all just for the best. No use in torturing myself anyways though, right?

But here's what I think about the real reason why Joe's brother doesn't associate with us at least. I don't think it has anything to do with no one accepting his wife. Nope, I think it has more to do with him not trusting his wife. I don't think he trusts her to be around Joe. He wants to keep them as far away as possible. He has been pushing his nephew away too. Harder to do with him since he has a child with her. But he definitely doesn't want him to be around his wife.

I do not understand families sometimes. I hope that Joe and I and my kids can all learn from all of this stuff though. I hope and pray everyday that when my children are grown that I can be accepting of the lives that they choose and be supportive of them. Not try to manipulate them into doing whatever it is that I want like my parents do to me. I hope that I can be involved in every aspect of their lives and just be grateful to have them and have every minute I can spend with them. Instead of spending the time I do have with them fighting and being angry and bitter I hope it can be spent laughing and enjoying their company.

And I hope my children always find a way to spend time with each other. Especially my girls. I hope they never let a boyfriend or a husband come between them and prevent them from seeing each other for whatever reason. I hope they can always have a close relationship even though their father and I don't exactly have that close relationship with our siblings. I want them to learn from our mistakes if they can and just find a way to always be an important part of each others lives.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So This is Christmas



Merry Christmas to all of blog land! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day. Ours for the most part has been relaxing. Joe and I were up until 2:30 wrapping and prepping. Then CJ woke up just as we were finishing and wouldn't go back to sleep. So we brought him to bed with us where he tossed and turned and fussed the rest of the night. The other two were up by 8 and ready to open presents. CJ didn't have too much interest in the gifts. Once everything was opened I made pancakes for breakfast. CJ wouldn't eat. So I gave him his Amoxicillin which he promptly threw up all over himself and his high chair. So I cleaned that up and put him down for a nap.

He slept for 4 hours and woke up in a much better mood. We tried something new this year. We went to a movie. I thought no one goes to the movies on Christmas. I thought wrong. We saw Bedtime Stories which was very cute by the way. CJ did very good for his first movie. We came home and CJ went back to sleep. It's now 8:00 and the kids are watching TV and CJ still sleeps.

Everyone was very happy with their gifts. In spite of the no sleep, a sick baby, and a fight with my parents this was actually a good Christmas. It was what I wanted it to be. Just the five of us together. We needed this day.

So I hope everyone else has had the day they wanted.

Another Bloggy Giveaway

I'm totally a sucker for these giveaways. I never win, but I'll keep trying and trying. Hey, it's an addiction I guess, but way cheaper than lottery tickets ;). So what's the blog giveaway you may ask? Well, Renee over at Life With My Special Ks is hosting a giveaway. She's giving away Hallmark ornaments. All I have to do is say what my favorite Christmas tradition is. Well, that's certainly an easy one for me. My favorite Christmas tradition is...






Baking cookies.


Well, not so much the baking part, but the giving of my homemade cookies. I love to hear peoples reactions. And I got some good ones this year. My new white chocolate raspberry cheesecake bars were a huge hit. My husband's response was, "These are awesome!" It doesn't get much better than that. He generally isn't that excited about many of my treats. I know shocking, but hey he has more of a salt tooth than a sweet tooth most of the time. They are all gone. I just might have to make more. I love finding out what everyone's favorites are.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Will Visions of Sugar Plums Dance in Their Heads?

This is the question of the day. Will Kaitlyn and CJ have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads tomorrow night or will they be all bogged down with fluid? If you haven't guessed Kaitlyn and CJ both have ear infections. Kaitlyn's is worse than CJ's, but you wouldn't know it to look at them. First of all the only reason I took them to the doctor was because Kaitlyn complained her ear hurt. Other than a cough with her and some congestion she doesn't really seem sick. However, CJ has been cranky, not sleeping, not eating, and even running a fever. Of course CJ also had the MMR vaccine last week which can cause a fever in 7-12 days which brings us to now.

But last night when Kaitlyn said her ear hurt I knew I'd be at the doctor's office today. I sent her to school though because it was only a half day and she had no fever. She didn't want to miss her party. She made it the whole day too, but was very relieved to hear I had set up a doctor's appointment for her later in the afternoon.

When we saw the doctor she asked about Kaitlyn's symptoms and before looking said I'm sure it's an ear infection. She prescribed pain medication and drops for her ears. Then she checked Kaitlyn all out and sure enough her right ear was very red and inflamed. So she's now on Amoxicillin for the next ten days.

Then it was CJ's turn to be examined. The doctor asked about his symptoms. I told her he's not eating or drinking much. He's very stuffy and has a cough. He's not himself. Very cranky and doesn't want to be touched, but doesn't want to be put down. He's just miserable. So she tried to examine him which he was really having nothing of. I've never seen a child be so difficult to have his ears looked at. A lollipop didn't make him stop screaming and neither could I. The nurse had to come in and blow bubbles just so the doctor could look in his ears. And even then his sisters had to entertain him by popping those bubbles. His ears don't look as bad as Kaitlyn's, but he does have fluid on the ears. So she also put him on Amoxicillin for the next ten days.

Right now they are all asleep and I can only hope there are visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Hopefully they stay asleep tonight. Both of them were up last night. Kaitlyn I don't mind so much because she's pretty easy to get back to bed, but CJ is impossible when he's in a condition like this. I get to the point where I just don't know what to do for him and I feel so bad that I can't make him feel better. Thankfully it's not a virus though because usually once they are on antibiotics they are up and about and just fine the next day. I need happy children tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Grief

You always hear everyone grieves differently. I don't think I ever realized just how true that was until I experienced the loss of my pregnancy and baby girl just two weeks ago. I didn't think I was grieving right because when I found out that Celeste had died I wasn't exactly overcome with grief so to speak. I think it was more of shock at first though. It did seem to hit me that night though and the next day when I was at the hospital was difficult. Although, I think I was more worried about what was supposed to come next and what it was going to be like to deliver my little girl, but not hear her cry.

Then the labor pains started and they hurt so bad. But not in the way that labor pains hurt when you are full term and preparing to give birth to a baby you will get to hear cry. It hurt in my heart. I just wanted it all over with and it just seemed like it was never going to end. But then suddenly it was over and I was actually overcome with huge relief. And everyone kept asking me how I was. And with a smile on my face I'd say I'm okay. And I really believed that I was okay too. I continued on with life as usual. I had to for my kids, right? We planned for her cremation and a memorial service and not a tear shed. Then we picked up her ashes and it seemed to hit me. Okay, finally I'm grieving. It hurt again so much. We had her memorial service and again I was feeling relieved. It was over. We had a beautiful service and said our goodbyes to our little girl and life has moved on.

But has it really? It's just been over two weeks since I gave birth to our Angel Celeste. Christmas is coming upon us very quickly and I've been busy preparing for the day. But something is missing. I'm making all these plans when just over two weeks ago these plans included announcing to my family the arrival of a little girl in April. Instead two weeks ago I was announcing to my family that I was pregnant and lost the baby. This isn't how it was supposed to be.

So today as I was driving CJ to his Cranial Tech appointment I began crying. We were going by the hospital where I had Celeste and I felt this rush of anxiety and began crying. I was composed again once I reached his appointment. Then on the way home though I noticed the sign for the cemetery where Joe's parents are buried and where we are going to put Celeste's ashes once the warmer weather gets here. And again the grief struck me and I was crying.

I want to stop feeling like this. I want to stop seeing pregnant women and wanting to cry. I want to stop hearing people rejoice about a pregnancy and feel so much anger and jealousy that they get to have their baby. I want to feel my baby kick inside of me. I want the pain to stop, but I don't know how to make it go away. I don't know if it will ever go away. Am I always going to drive by a hospital and cemetery and feel overcome with grief? What about seeing a pregnant woman? Is that always going to make me jealous? Or does that go away and become replaced with jealousy of a baby who was the same age as mine? I just wish I could figure out a way to get past this. Maybe I just need more time. How do you heal a broken heart?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wanna Help

My friend Renee over at Life With My Special Ks has felt a calling to help a Down Syndrome child from another country. She is adopting a little girl who otherwise would live out the rest of her life in a home without love or medical care that she needs. Renee felt a calling to do something to help. She's already got four super children, but her and her husband, who is over in Iraq right now for the army, felt the need to bring this child into their home. A completely selfless act. One which I wish I myself could do. She already has one child with Down Syndrome so she definitely knows what she's getting into.

So you might be wondering how you can help. Well, prayers that everything goes smoothly and they can bring home their little girl by this summer are one way. They also need help raising some funds to get Kellsey home. The adoption itself will cost over $20000. So you can donate funds to help Kellsey get adopted. And the best part is whatever funds she manages to raise will stay with Kellsey even if they are unable to adopt her for whatever reason. So if you are able and feel so compelled after reading all about Renee and her family and Kellsey to sponsor them, then you can do so here. You can follow their journey by clicking on the button below which is also located on my sidebar as well. Renee has set up this blog to keep everyone up to date on Kellsey and bringing her home.

Bringing Kellsey Home

Thursday, December 18, 2008

He Cannot Be My Son


Okay, aside from the fact that CJ looks just like me and his sisters I would swear he was switched at birth. First of all the boy can eat and eat and eat and not gain enough weight for the doctor to be extremely happy. He gets pediasure 3 times a day which in itself is over 700 calories a day for that little boy. Then on top of that he gets 3 meals a day plus snacks. And yet he's only in the 5th %tile for weight. What's up with that? I look at his 700+ calorie drink and put on weight. It's just not fair.

But then there's the fact that he does not like my homemade cookies!!! He throws them on the floor. Ummm, are you kidding me? These things are good if I do say so myself. I'll have to try him on something not chocolate. So far I've only given him cookies that have chocolate in them and he blows raspberries at me and then chucks them. Maybe he'll like my Snickerdoodles. Once I make those I'll have to try and see how he does with those. So far it's been no way to M&M cookies (but he does like M&M's) and chocolate swirl cookies. And me, well I can't stop eating them ;). The girls can't stop eating them.

So what do you all think? Is this kid nuts or what?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Light A Candle

Please light a candle, where ever you may be, on Dec 14, 7PM, in memory of our children who are with Jesus.

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting®, held annually the second Sunday in December, this year December 14, unites family and friends around the globe as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memories of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.


Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift from TCF to the bereavement community, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.

I am lighting a candle for Celeste tomorrow night. Will you join me in honoring our children who have passed on?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Remembering Celeste Alia

Tonight we had Celeste's memorial service. It was beautiful. The Reverend Audrey Murdock of St. John's Episcopal church performed the service. She gave a beautiful Homily about how difficult it is to loose someone so young. How our faith is tested when someone this young passes without even a chance for her life to begin. Her words were so touching. She blessed Celeste's ashes.

We had a nice turn out of friends and family. Thank you all for coming to remember our beautiful Angel.

We received a wind chime in the mail today which I had ordered earlier in the week. I did not anticipate receiving it until Christmas Eve. I was so excited that it came when it did. In with the wind chime was a poem that was so beautiful and fitting. We brought that with us to put by her ashes in the church. Here's what it said:

WHISPERS FROM HEAVEN
When I left this world without you
I know it made you blue.
Your tears fell so freely,
I watched; I know this is true.

While you were weeping,
Days after I passed away-
While all was silent within me,
I saw you kneel to pray.

From this wonderful place called heaven
Where all my pain is gone,
I send a gentle breeze to whisper,
"My loved ones, please go on"

The peace that I have found here
Goes far beyond compare
No rain, no clouds, no suffering-
Just LOVE from everywhere.

You need not be troubled
Just stay close to GOD in prayer
Someday we'll be reunited
My love, HIS love surrounds you always,
EVERYWHERE!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Missing Celeste

We picked up Celeste's ashes from the funeral home yesterday. They put her in a beautiful little wood box with a butterfly on the top of it. All this time I've been hanging in there. Keeping busy with stuff. Maintained my normal weeks schedule and all. But last night I was suddenly overcome with so much anger, frustration, and grief.

It started with Natalie. She is having a hard time in school right now. Her teacher keeps having her rewrite a story she's working on and she feels like she's the only one in the whole class that he's having do rewrites. I tried to explain to her that he just wants her to do her best work and use lots of detail. She didn't seem to see what I was saying and thought that I was just picking on her story too.

Then I was helping Kaitlyn with her homework. She was not listening to me and getting frustrated which was making me frustrated. It was math and counting by fives. She'd get to a number and tell me she didn't know how to write it when she had just written the number two seconds before on another part of her homework.

Then the icing on the cake Joe stepped on my foot and somehow it was my fault because I didn't move my foot out of his way.

I lost it. I stormed off into my bedroom where I spent the rest of the evening crying. Joe eventually came in and apologized to me for his reaction to stepping on my foot. I still feel rotten though. We have a PTA event tonight that I wish I could just skip. I can't though because we don't have enough volunteers.

Tomorrow is Celeste's memorial service. That's going to be very difficult. It's hard seeing everyone out there happy and excited about Christmas. I just want to scream sometimes. I wish I could go back to how I felt after I had Celeste which was relief instead of feeling so blue like I do right now.

I miss my little angel so much!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Questions

Jessica from Farm Fresh invited her readers to join in on her All About Me and Christmas questions. So here are my answers. Feel free to do this on your own as well.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Definitely Hot Chocolate

2.Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Some he wraps in special paper. The Santa Bears usually remain unwrapped and anything too big or awkward to wrap.

3. Colored lights on house/tree or white?
Colored and a lot of them. Actually we have a prelit tree with white lights, but hubby adds more and more colored lights every year. He's so excited he found his favorite chaser lights to put on the tree this year.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No. We don't have one :(.

5.When do you put your decorations up?
Usually after Thanksgiving, but this year we haven't gotten around to it yet. And actually the only reason we're even doing it this year is for the kids.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I don't know that I really have one. Maybe the ham.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
The year we got a Nintendo for Christmas and I heard my parents up at 3 in the morning trying to play Mario Brothers. They couldn't do it and I went out to the living room to see if I could help them. They promptly sent me back to bed and then told me the next morning I was dreaming ;).

8.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I think I was 10 and my brother told me. Actually, he was 12 when my parents finally told him and he didn't believe them and had to look it up in the encyclopedia. He came running to me and told me and I was like oh okay whatever. I still believed in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy though, hehehe.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
We never used to until we started having Christmas at my parents house. The kids open all their presents from them and I do too, but our gifts at home wait until Christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
With lots of handmade ornaments from the kids and unbreakable ones to keep the kids safe.

11. Snow. Love it or dread it?
Dread it. We're supposed to get some more I think Friday. I used to love it as a child, but I got to play in it then not drive in it. Plus it's so cold and wet.

12. Can you ice skate?
No way!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
I think a porcelin doll I got one year. It was the Butterfly Queen. She's beautiful.

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you?
Being with family and seeing the kids face when they get what they always wanted.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Probably homemade chocolate chip cookies. Or maybe mounds and fudge.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Our quiet Christmas morning just the 5 of us opening up all the gifts under the tree.

17. What tops your Christmas tree?
An Angel

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Giving. Especially when I find the perfect gift for someone.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
What Child is This. And then for fun ones the Barking Dogs doing Jingle Bells.

20. Candy Canes. Yum or Yuck?
They're okay.

21. What do you want for Christmas?
What I want the most I can't have and that's my little angel Celeste still growing in my belly :(.

22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party?
No, all the work ones cost money and we never have a sitter anyways.

23. Do you dress up for Christmas Eve or wear PJ's?
Usually dress up to go to church.

24. Do you own a Santa hat?
Yes I do, it has my name on it too.

25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with?
Usually we go to my Aunt and Uncles and spend it with them, my cousin and my parents. This year we're staying home.

So how do you spend Christmas?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Blog Giveaway

There's a bloggy giveaway being done by Lu from Poppies Blog. She does a wonderful art rendition of any photo. And she's giving away free stuff. So go check it out here to enter. She does great work. I would love to win an artists rendition of my Angel Celeste. You can also look over what she has to offer by clicking on the button below.

Monday, December 8, 2008

To As Real as It Gets

So you know me in real life? Then please share with me who you are. My husband would like to meet with you to show you the pictures and death certificate. Since you seem to know exactly who I am then please give me a clue as to who you are and stop hiding! Most of my readers do know me in real life and you are the only one who is so sure that I'm lying, but yet I have no idea who you are. What a coward you are to come on my blog and claim that you know me in real life, but never say your name. I'm sure that no matter what proof I give you of what I have been through the past few days you won't believe me anyways. But I'd really like to know if I'm so pathological then why do you even bother to read my blog? I really feel sorry for you that you have nothing better to do with your time than to slam someone in this way. You make the choice to continue reading my blog and the comments on my blog. No one is forcing you to read what you believe to be lies. It's really rather pathetic!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

We're Home

Celeste Alia was born at 12:35 a.m. December 6th. She was very tiny and very bruised. They did an amnio on me before everything and the fluid was not clear it was more brown in color. The doctor thought it was blood and thought it was a possible placenta abruption, but I didn't have any pain so it didn't really add up.

Around 5:15 last night they had put something in my cervix to help me dilate. It didn't appear that I was having contractions on the monitor, but I was definitely feeling something by 9 at night. Mostly just some cramping. It got worse around 11 though and progressed quickly. It was one on top of the other, but again the monitor wasn't picking them up so I don't think they thought I was that bad. They offered me a sleeping pill with some pain meds in it around 11:30. I took that, but it did not help at all. It was getting worse. I didn't know how long it would take to take effect. I waited as long as I could before finally calling around midnight. They decided to have the doctor come in and check me. I was about 2 centimeters dilated. Now of course I didn't have to go the full 10 with this being a 20 weeker. But they indicated that I still had a ways to go. So they offered me some Dilotin (sp?) which I took. Right after she put that in my IV I felt like I had to use the bathroom. So Joe helped me to the bathroom and I sat down and started to go. I felt this burning sensation and thought this isn't right so I stopped myself. I told Joe and he ran to get the nurse, but she was too late. I had Celeste in the toilet. She was still in the placenta and everything. So they got her out and brought her across the hall to check her all out and the doctor came back to talk to us.

It appears to be a cord accident. There was no knot in the cord, but the cord was kind of pinched really tight right by where it attached to her. It also could be a chromosome defect. They took tons of samples and of course the amniotic fluid so we still could get more answers. The doctor doesn't believe that if there was a chromosome defect that it's hereditary just based on the fact that we have 3 normal healthy other children. She did say she passed a while ago which was probably why the amniotic fluid was the color it was.

I am doing okay. I have pictures of Celeste and I did hold her this morning. I woke up kind of in a fog thinking this whole thing was a dream, but then realized I had blood all over me and it was all true and I had this overwhelming urge to hold her. So we did that. We had her baptized by the chaplain at the hospital. He was very nice and told us that we now have our own angel watching over us. And that while we'll always remember her as a baby in heaven she's actually grown. And when we go to heaven she'll be there waiting for us and we'll know exactly who she is as soon as we see her. We are having her cremated and are hoping to do some sort of service. We haven't finished making all of the arrangements though. So needless to say it's been a whirlwind and probably when it's all said and done I will be a wreck.

But I did want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. Everything went as smoothly as could be expected. The girls actually even surprised me. Kaitlyn mostly and wanted to see her. Kaitlyn, who didn't really like the idea of being a big sister again, really found her to be cute and she seems a tad upset that she didn't live. Natalie has been full of questions which luckily so far I think I have been able to answer for her.

To My Anonymous Commenter

To my Anonymous commenter who said this:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a damn shame that a grown woman needs to make up something as horrific as this just to get attention. How you live with yourself is beyond me!


And then this:

Anonymous said...

A fake name for a fake baby...a baby that was a lie the whole time. Monica couldn't bear to not be the center of attention at all times so she had to create drama and get everyone feeling sorry for her. Too bad many of us see right through it! The only ones I feel sorry for are your poor kids.


Who the hell do you think you are? Coming onto my blog and hiding behind an anonymous name to leave a comment for someone who's grieving. You don't know me and you don't know about my loss. Would you like to see the pictures of my daughter? Or perhaps the discharge papers and death certificate of my angel in heaven. Gosh if you think that I would make up a fake baby then maybe all of my kids are fake and you shouldn't even feel sorry for them. Just pathetic that you would take a cheap shot like this on someone who's grieving!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Say a Prayer for...

Celeste Alia

That's what we named our baby girl who has gone to heaven. It means Heaven and to ascend or go up. After CJ's 12 month check up today we will drop him off at my friend's house and then head to the hospital for noon. I will give birth to Celeste and say goodbye to her all at the same time. I don't know when I will update again on things. I should be home tomorrow, but not too sure how I'll be feeling.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Feeling Numb

I only found out a few weeks ago that I was pregnant. And then 2 weeks ago that I was 18 weeks along and most likely having a girl. I was beginning to think of what life would be like in April with two babies under the age of two. We were discussing baby names. I was thinking of all the stuff we were going to need. Trying to figure out a way to tell everyone.

And today I went in for my 20 week ultrasound. The doctor first listened to the baby's heartbeat. She couldn't hear it. So she said well lets take a look. So we went to ultrasound. And that's when my world came crashing down on me. The moment I realized that these sorts of things really can happen to me. My doctor sighed. I knew that wasn't good. I asked her. She said there is no heartbeat. She showed me where it should be and asked me if I wanted a picture. I immediately said no. We had one from two weeks ago where the baby was actually alive. That was enough for me. I didn't need to remember this day with a picture.

We asked the doctor what now. She said I will need to go to the hospital and deliver the baby. I will actually have to be induced and push this probably not even 20 week baby out. I don't know how I'm going to manage this. I'm going to have to see all these full term women in the hospital giving birth to healthy alive babies. I'm going to have to hear babies cry. I'm going to have to hear these happy families rejoicing at a new baby and I'm going to have nothing! This isn't fair.

And until then I have to try to explain all of this to my girls. How do you tell a 9 and 6 year old that their baby sister doesn't have a heart beat? How do you tell them that mommy will go into the hospital tomorrow afternoon and come home Saturday with nothing, but an empty belly?

And then there's Joe. I have only seen him cry once until today. He's very upset about this. And you know what I thought when the doctor told me? Maybe this is for the best. We weren't prepared for a 4th child anyways. And now he's all upset and I start to think how awful I am to think that. And then of course I let him down. I should have tested sooner and gotten prenatal care sooner. What if this is all my fault? The doctor said we will try to find out after I deliver. It could be that there is a knot in the umbilical cord. I think I really need to know why though.

As of right now I go to the hospital tomorrow afternoon after CJ's 12 month check up. My friend will take CJ and pick the girls up from school and keep them overnight. Then Joe will go pick them up Saturday morning. My doctor says I should be able to leave on Saturday. We should be able to get the body to have a funeral. I think that will be helpful.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day



I hope everyone has a great turkey day today. Enjoy lots of turkey and friends and family. And remember that today is a day to give thanks.

And I am thankful for...

My 3 precious children. Without them I don't think I would laugh or cry as much as I do.

My wonderful husband. Who most of the time is willing to help me out around the house and will help keep the kids out of my hair today while I cook.

My parents. Who even though drive me crazy a lot I would not be here today without them.

Good friends like you all. So I have someone to vent to when any of the three above do something to drive me crazy.

For my children's teachers. That they have such wonderful teachers that really want to see them succeed. And that always have the time to talk to me about any concerns I have about them.

A roof over my head and the ability to provide heat.

All of the yummy food that we will be eating later today and that we are able to overindulge like this.

For my guests who are coming over today. That they are able to come to my house and take part in such a wonderful feast.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What part of Thanksgiving are you?

So I found this fun quiz on someone else's blog. Find out what part of Thanksgiving you are...





You Are The Turkey



The center of attention, the meaning of it all.

Too bad you put people to sleep!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Official

I went to the doctor today and I am in fact pregnant. I heard the heartbeat and everything. I am in fact due on April 22nd. We haven't told the girls yet. We are going to tell them tomorrow night. Oh and so far it's looking like it will be another...









GIRL!!!


We go back in two weeks for a more thorough ultra sound so I should know for sure then. I figured it was going to be another girl though. Figures, Joe and I are out of girls names. Any suggestions???

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some Shocking News

I think I've been in denial about this. Last night I did something. You'll never believe it...










That's a positive pregnancy test! It was not planned. I was on the pill. I actually haven't had a period since July. The first month I thought it's just the pill. The second month I just didn't want to believe that it could be anything else. The 3rd month I started getting worried so figured I better test. I don't really know what we are going to do. I thought we were done after CJ. And to make things worse based on my period it looks like ANOTHER April baby. And not just any April baby. No, the due date appears to be April 22, 2009 which is Natalie's 10th birthday! I'm already in my 2nd trimester now. I have to call my doctor this week. I think I'm still in shock over this. I'm not too sure how Joe really feels. I think he's a little freaked out by it too. I can't believe I'm going to be the mom of 4! I can't believe that my youngest are only going to be about 18 months apart!

A Birthday Boy

Well, why not have multiple picture posts in one day. I did just upload all these pictures after all. This was the birthday boy on his 1st birthday. He's waiting for everyone to get in the room so he can open his presents. He looks thrilled doesn't he? I still can't believe my baby boy is 1!

We had a great day for his party. The weather cooperated so the big kids all played outside. Natalie didn't even eat she had so much fun playing with everyone. CJ did surprisingly well with all the people in our house. He flirted and smiled like he does and was happy until everyone began to leave. He got lots of nice gifts.

Here he is with some of them after he opened them...





After presents we did cake. Here was his own personal cake...
Those are pictures of CJ through the year on his cake.





In retrospect the blue icing might not have been a good idea. However, it did make for some great pictures of the birthday boy with his first cake. He got a good amount up his nose.






After everyone left he had a bath.

And now that he's all clean he was free to play with his new toys...

So sleepy, but must play!



We got lots of great stuff for CJ's time capsule too which we will open on his 16th birthday. I just hope I don't forget about it.

Halloween Goblins

So it took me a week to get these up, but better late than never, right? Here are my three little goblins on Halloween.



A cheerleader and Hannah Montana




My Baby Bat





The three little Goblins all together





A cheerleader, Hannah Montana, and a Baby Bat, what a combo!



And of course we can't forget the 3 little pumpkins sitting on the porch...


Left to Right: Natalie's pumpkin, CJ's pumpkin, and Kaitlyn's pumpkin


We had a very nice Halloween. The buckets were over flowing with candy which I'm sure will be here until Easter when I'll finally throw them away. CJ had his first taste of Kit Kat and promptly drooled it all over me that night.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Letter to CJ

November 1, 2008

My Dearest CJ,
Has it been one year already? It feels like just yesterday I had you in my belly anticipating your birth. I feel the same way I did one year ago today; nervous, excited, and maybe even a little bit scared. Scared of what’s to come next.

You came into my life early that November morning with such a flurry. You were screaming your perfect round little head off and I was crying my eyes out. Finally, a little boy! I didn’t get to hold you for long before they had to take you away from me which broke my heart. Once you were all snuggly warm though and I got to hold you again I never wanted to let you go.

Things haven’t been easy from the very beginning. I’m sure over the years I will share your birth story time and time again with you. We’ve had a lot of bumps in the road to get where we are today. Through everything this year there has always been a beautiful smile on your face. It’s a smile that melts my heart every time I see it. You are fast asleep right now, but even now I can see your bright shining face.

You have taught me so much this year. You have taught me to smile even when things aren’t going just right. You have taught me strength and courage. You have taught me perseverance. I can’t wait to see what else I am going to learn from you.

I like any mother want the world for you. I have my own dreams of what you will be and what you will become as you get older. But you need to follow your own dreams. Most of all what I want for you is that you are happy in your life. I want you to know that I will always always always love you and I will always be here for you. I will be there cheering you on when you hit your first home run and encouraging you to keep trying when you strike out. I will be there for you when you experience your first heartbreak. No matter what I will be there whenever you need me, even if you think you don’t need me.

You are and always will be my baby boy! You’re my little baseball head. My little Mr. Met. I love you and I always will. Thank you for being a part of my life and thank you for this wonderful year. I’m looking forward to many more birthday celebrations for you. Happy 1st Birthday my little man!

Love always,
Mommy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Top 10 Things Big Sister do to Baby Brothers

Well, for all those who had girls first and then had a boy here are some things you should watch out for.

The top 10 things big sisters will do to their baby brother

10. Big sisters will fight with each other over who their baby brother likes the most.
9. Big sisters will constantly be loving on and kissing and cuddling their baby brother.
8. Big sisters will always be trying to pick up their baby brother even though he might be half their size.
7. Big sisters will try to change their baby brothers diaper and not tell anyone.
6. Big sisters will feed their baby brother a sour patch kid when mom's not looking.
5. Big sisters will open their baby brother's bottle just to see if they can do it.
4. Big sisters will go "shopping" in their room for stuff they don't like, want, or play with anymore to give to their baby brother for his birthday.
3. Big sisters will from time to time get fed up with their baby brother getting into their stuff, but will still think he's the cutest thing ever.
2. Big sisters will teach their baby brother all the things you don't want them to learn.

and the # 1 thing big sister will do to their baby brother is....






Dress their baby brother up like Snow White!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

31 Things...

Somehow I knew as I was reading Erin's Blog that she was going to tag me for this project. And sure enough as I got to the end there was my name. So here are my answers to these 31 things...

31 Things....
1. Where is your cell phone? Right here next to me on my desk in hopes that it rings with either an RSVP for CJ's party or my PTA VP finally calls me back about getting the pumpkins to the school tonight.

2. Where is your significant other? At his new job working his butt off. Poor guy has been getting maybe 4 hours of sleep with a cold and working 19 hour days.

3. Your hair color? When I was little it was strawberry blonde, but now it's more brown with red highlights.

4. Your mother? Patricia

5. Your father? Peter

6.Your favorite thing? Family Time. We don't get a lot of it so we have to make the most of it when we're all together.

7. Your dream last night? I don't often remember my dreams and last night was no different.

8. Your dream/goal? Well, my dream is more for my kids that they grow up healthy and happy and become good adults and are happy in their lives.

9. The room you're in? living room watching CJ crawl around and get into EVERYTHING.

10. Your hobby? A little bit of this and a little bit of that, hehehehe. I guess mostly baking and blogging.

11. Your fear? leaving my kids without a mother, heights, and snakes.

12.Where do you want to be in six years? I'd like to at least own my own home in 6 years. Maybe here in CT, maybe somewhere else. As long as I'm with my hubby and my kids I'm good.

13. Where were you last night? Just hanging out at home. Joe was working and we're down to one car so I couldn't go anywhere.

14. What you’re not? Skinny

15. One of your wish list items? to have my own car again.

16. Where you grew up? Trumbull, CT

17. The last thing you did? Walked the girls to school and baby it's cold outside.

18What are you wearing? Sweatpants and a sweatshirt and sneakers

19. Your TV? A JVC 28 inch I think

20. Your pet? no pets

21. Your computer? Compaq Presario

22. Your mood? tired

23. Missing someone? Right now my husband and the girls.

.24.Your car? Right now my car is Joe's car which is a 1994 Pontiac Grand Am. Impressive that it has less than 40,000 miles on it.

.25. Something you’re not wearing? Hmmm, I guess I'm not wearing a lot of things. Like anything sexy because who has time for that with three kids, I'm not wearing makeup and usually don't, I'm not wearing my contacts anymore because I need to get new ones, but that's another thing I don't have the money for right now. I could probably go on and on here.

26. Favorite store? JC Penney

27. Your summer? Busy, but fun with lots of neat little trips. One to Six Flags and one to Philly

28.. Love someone? Of course, lots of someones.

29. Your favorite color? blue

30.When is the last time you laughed? Hmmm, probably yesterday when the kids did something funny.

31. Last time you cried? I don't really remember, it's been a while.

And there you have it 31 Things. I'm not tagging anyone, but if you want to do this too feel free to.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Returning Toys

I don't know what to do. Many of you have read the issues that I have with my parents. If not feel free to go back and read.

Things have been quiet with them for the most part. We spoke on the phone back in the beginning of September when my mom called to tell me she had diabetes. They don't call when she's in the hospital, but they do when she's diagnosed diabetic. I wasn't really sure what to say or do at that point, but I let them talk to the girls for quite some time on the phone. Then I had gotten back on the phone with them and they started the lecturing and how do I know if they've changed or not. Well, case in point you are still lecturing me and bringing up how wrong I have been in everything. A week prior my dad had called wanting to bring all of the stuff they had for the children back to our house because it's too hard for them to look at. And because I didn't answer the phone and call them back that very same day I ruined everything. We got off the phone not really resolving anything and I hadn't heard from them since.

Now here it is two weeks before CJ's 1st birthday. I am preparing his invites to go out for his birthday party. I even have my parents on the guest list in spite of everything. I was running a little late yesterday in leaving the house to go pick up the girls from school. Good thing I was I suppose or maybe not. I was counting money from our PTA book fair so I went to the kitchen to wash my hands before I left to pick the girls up from school. I looked out my kitchen window and I saw a car in the parking lot that looked like my moms. I figured it couldn't be. My parents both work during the day and I hadn't heard from them. The upstairs neighbors are moving out so I thought maybe they had someone here to help them get the last of their stuff. I didn't even think much when I saw someone on my porch just to the side of my door with a bag. Again, thinking it was the 3rd floor finally finishing their move. I grabbed my stuff and went to walk out the door and there on my porch was boxes and bags of stuff with Natalie's name on it and my dad was walking down the sidewalk. He didn't see me. I turned around and went back into the house to tell Joe what had happened and ask him that while I'm picking the girls up from school he bring all this stuff in and hide it because I didn't know how to explain to the girls that Grandma and Grandpa were breaking up with us.

I left to get the girls and came back home. Joe forgot one thing on the porch. Two small plastic chairs which were at my parents house that the girls saw and immediately recognized as something from Grandma and Grandpa's. They asked, I lied. We haven't told them about all of the stuff. They suspect something is up though. Since stuff just got piled in my room they have seen some things. I don't know what to tell them. How do you tell a 9 year old and a 6 year old that their grandparents never plan on seeing them again so they brought all of their stuff back? What do I even do with all of this stuff? I was planning on just getting rid of it. I've also been debating about whether or not I should bother inviting them to CJ's birthday party after this. How can I not invite them though they are his grandparents? If they come though will they ask the girls if they got their stuff? If I get rid of it all how do I explain that? So I guess I'll just keep it and if they come to the party I'll give it all back to them. If not then I'll dispose of it all somehow hopefully in a way that the girls aren't aware of what I've done.

I don't even know what to do at this point. I reach out time and time again and time and time again I get slapped in the face. When am I going to learn? It's clear that my parents have no intention of working anything out. If they did then they wouldn't get rid of all the children's toys. I mean what if I did start allowing them to spend time with them? What would they tell them about where all the stuff they had at their house went? I know the saying goes you always hurt the ones you love, but really this is getting ridiculous with them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Much Awaited Conferences

Well, as expected Natalie's conference was full of praises and she's a great student. She's quiet when she should be and talks when she is supposed to. She always is able to answer questions and she reads, writes, and does her math correctly. She's a pleasure to have in class and other than her funny looks he's happy to have her in his class ;). He teases her all the time, hehehehe. Good thing we tease her at home all the time too ;).

Now for Kaitlyn's; it actually went better than I was expecting. Of course her reading is a concern. She's off by about three reading levels of where they want her to be. She's reading level 4/5's now and should be a 12 by December. Her teacher says there is definitely progress though and with us working at home and the extra help she gets in school she doesn't see any problems in her getting this down. Obviously her writing will come as the reading comes too. All other areas she seems to be doing what is expected for her to be doing. Socially she's doing great too. She has friends and she listens and follows rules and she definitely tries. So her teacher says she's a pleasure to have in class. She participates well too. So she's got what she needs to be a good student.

I asked about doing more phonics with her and her teacher said they are actually beginning to go back to the phonics. So she gets both phonics and whole word. I mentioned my concerns about dyslexia and how it does run in the family. Her teacher was very receptive. She said her mixing up the letters now is very common, but if she's still doing it by mid year then they'll look into some sort of testing to rule anything out. Knowing there's a family history there really seemed to make it more of a concern. So I'm confident that we'll be able to solve these reading struggles.

All things considered I'm proud of both of my girls for trying their hardest. That's all I can ask for out of them, right?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A New Job

I'm back to being a SAHM again. I had to quit my job at Kohl's because Joe's hours changed at work and it just wasn't working out for me to continue working. Of course no only were his hours changed, but they were cut too. Nice timing with the holidays. Well, Joe ended up having an interview this week and he was called yesterday that he got the job. It's full time plus overtime. It pays more than Stop and Shop. He is keeping Stop and Shop though, but since they cut him down to minimum hours anyways he figured he mine as well make it official that that's what he wants to work. At least it makes up for me having to quit my part time job. Joe starts next Monday.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New School Project on Hold?

Ever since Natalie was in Kindergarten we have been hearing that they are going to be building a brand new K-8 school to replace some of the older schools in our town. My children go to school in a 95 year old brick school building. There is no handicap access in the school. The only bathrooms are on the basement floor. If any child breaks his leg then he has no way of getting down to the bathroom or lunch room in that school. Any child who lives in the area, but is handicapped has to be sent to a different school because they can't accommodate him there.

So four years ago I began hearing about this new school project and it would be done by the time Natalie started middle school and therefore she would basically remain in the same school until 8th grade. At first I wasn't too thrilled about the thought of a K-8 school, but then as I began to learn more I warmed up to the idea.

Now, here Natalie is in 4th grade and they don't even have a site for the new school. Every time they take two steps forward they then take two steps back. Last year the city council was trying to get them to use a location which would take 30 homes away from people! Thirty homes in our neighborhood. Thirty homes of the very same children who would be attending that school. Thankfully they finally saw the light and realized that was a very bad idea. Although, I think it was more because they realized it was a flood zone and part of the area was contaminated and clean up would be a pain.

So then they began focusing their energy on this sand pit. It seemed like the perfect location. However, the owners wanted more than twice what it was worth to sell. Then they discovered that the roads in the area couldn't handle all the added traffic of a 900 student school. So now it was time to scramble to find another property where really there is none. But a glimmer of hope. They found a property where they wouldn't have to take anyone's home and would be relatively easy to buy up. Everyone was for this site. It was looking like ground could be broken by 2010 and the new school open by 2012. Now granted the only one of my children who would ever attend this new school would be the baby, but hey it's progress.

But then the financial crisis came into play. The state was going to reimburse over 70% of this to the town, but now with the bank crisis this suddenly is looking like it's not going to happen. So now the city council doesn't want to put money out that might not be reimbursed to buy another property.

But you know what, all this time they've been arguing about where to put it there has been this perfect property right in the center of town already bought and ready to be built on by the city. The old "mall site" is just sitting there. Seventeen acres of land which is costing the city money on a daily basis. Seventeen acres of land which was supposed to be built up with businesses and stuff, but no one is interested in building there. So this eye sore just sits there unused while they fight over a school for our children. And there was an article in the paper today about it too.

So as a parent who has been hearing about this new school for the past 4 years I really want to know what is so important about building a business at this location? Why aren't our children coming first? If they don't have the money to make this school project happen then what are they going to do with that 95 year old school building which my children are attending? The one which a year ago this past spring had a foot of standing water in the library because of a bad rain storm? The one with the asphault playground which has torn up my children's knees and pants? The one without handicap access so when my daughter sprained her ankle last year I had to keep her out of school for a day because I didn't want her going up and down the stairs all day long on it? The one where in the dead of winter one classroom can be so hot they have to have the windows open to cool it down, but the classroom across the hall is so cold the children are all wearing their winter coats to do their work? I get they are all about the almighty dollar, but don't our children deserve more? Don't the children who managed to make safe harbor on the state testing for the past 3 out of 4 years deserve more? The children who attend this run down school where only 4 out of the 10 elementary schools here managed to have enough improvement on the mastery testing that they are no longer on the No Child Left Behind watch list. When are they going to get noticed and rewarded for their accomplishments? Why are our city leaders and officials so sure that the right thing for this city is a bunch of businesses which lets face it in this economy probably aren't too interested in starting up new in a state with such high taxes and cost of living? Our children are our future and therefore I do think a school would be just perfect and very useful at the old "mall site"!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Blogoversary to you!

Today is my good friend Renee's one year Blogoversary and she's celebrating by giving stuff away to us her readers! Woohoo! So go check out Renee's page. She writes an awesome mommy blog that you have got to read! Happy Blogoversary Renee!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sickies Running Wild

We have dealt with a week long stomach bug in our house this week. Natalie got it Monday and stayed home from school. She was back on Tuesday though. Then Wednesday night I started feeling yucky. It took me a bit longer than Natalie to recoup though. I was all done throwing up Thursday, but I was achy and very weak. Probably from not eating anything though. Then Thursday afternoon CJ got it. And well those who have dealt with a puking baby you know that is no fun. Thankfully he only threw up twice though and was good by Friday. Then early this morning Kaitlyn ended up with it. No fun when your good friend has a birthday party that you really want to go to. I tried to tell her she shouldn't try it because she was too sick, but she said she was fine. We got to the bowling alley though and she threw up in the parking lot. Well, I'm glad she did it there. So Joe took her home while I took Natalie and CJ to the party. She was much better after that though, but then about 4 tonight Joe got it. I was supposed to work tonight. I called out though because I couldn't see leaving Joe with all the kids with the way I knew he was feeling. Especially since one of them wasn't 100% herself. So here I am like my third week into working and I called out. Probably not the best thing, but hey my family has got to come first and they needed me tonight. Kaitlyn passed out on the couch on daddy tonight and when we sent her to bed she said she didn't feel good again. I think she just needs some sleep though. I'm hoping Joe is doing better. He has eaten and I think kept it down so far. I'm hoping this is it. Everyone has gotten the stomach bug so now this thing can leave our house thank you very much.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Going to Need a 2nd DOC Band

Because of all the time that CJ needed to spend out of the DOC band due to a rash it's looking like he's going to need a second one. I think we have the rash under control. It's not perfect, but it's not all scabby looking and over half of his head anymore. They have put some mole skin inside which really seems to have helped with the rash. There is improvement, but they think this current band is only going to fit him for another month. And because of all the time he spent out of it they think he'll need a second band. Now my concern of course is if the insurance will pay for a second band. This thing costs $3600 which I most definitely do not have. Honestly, I'm in no position to pay any portion of it. The insurance hasn't even completely paid for this band. They said they would work something out though. Not entirely sure what that means, but because of how rare it is for a child to have as severe of a rash as CJ has had in this they seem to think they can get us a second band. I suppose we will cross that bridge when we come to it though. I am frustrated at how long it took them to finally put some sort of covering on the band since I had asked for that from the moment the rash popped up and they told me they couldn't do it. Then suddenly they could. Now unfortunately it's looking like he'll still have the band on for his 1st birthday. I really was hoping to avoid the long trip during the winter months with slick icy roads, but that looks like it's not going to happen either. But at least there is improvement in the shape of his head. We are getting somewhere. I did ask today if we get a second band if they would put the mole skin on it right away and they told me no. I thought that was strange since so far this seems to be the only thing that is protecting his little head. They told me they would probably just monitor him closer in the beginning. So it looks like our weekly trips down there are going to continue. I have to say I don't know what I would do without my insurance paying for this treatment and reimbursing my gas to drive down there. I guess I am very fortunate.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Season of Ups and Downs is Over

I am one bummed Mets fan. My baseball season is now officially over. No more nail biting, no more breathless moments, and no more near heart attacks. At least not until April. The Mets are not moving on to the post season again this year. And again this year they loose it on the last day of the regular season to the Florida Marlins of all teams. I suppose it's fitting since they put the final nail in the coffin of their historic collapse last year. There was a small glimmer of hope that they would move on today, but unfortunately as is the story of the Mets their bullpen could not hold on and sadly Chicago couldn't pull out one more win for the Mets today. So now I need to let all of this sink in and then in a few months start watching as they trade and pick up new players. I certainly hope that a closer and some more starting pitching is on the list of prospects for them. It's too bad Johan Santana can't pitch everyday. Perhaps if he did we would have had a chance this year. So this die hard Mets fan says so long to another season that could have been. Team tight rope, thanks again for dashing all of your fans dreams. Hopefully Citi Field next year is better luck for you than Shea Stadium has been the last few years!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's this Blog Rated?

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

This was based on the fact that the word kill appeared in my blog once. Ooops, now it's twice ;). I hope that didn't change my rating.

A DOC Band Saga

Over seven weeks ago CJ first received his DOC Band to help reshape his head. The first few weeks things seemed to be going really well, but then about 4 weeks into wearing it I noticed he was developing a rash on the back of his head. I called and they said it's a heat rash just put some hydrocortisone cream on it and it should be fine in a day. Well, no improvement one day later so I called back and they said okay take the band off let it heal and then put the band back on. So I did, but after it healed and the band went back on the rash came back. He has seemed to completely stump the employees at Cranial Tech with this rash. For weeks now we've been going in every week to try to control this. It has just been expanding more and more around his head.

So this last time when we drove down there I was a little better prepared with a second opinion. His doctor had seen the rash now and was sure that despite what Cranial Tech believed he is in deed allergic to the material in the band and is developing eczema. She had suggested some sort of barrier, which I have been told time and time again is not possible to do. So when I told them this week about what the doctor said I was told again that she doesn't believe that to be the problem because it's not all over his head and she has never seen this in the eight years of doing this. But if that's what his doctor thinks it is she's not saying that she's wrong, but she's never seen it and she still believes it's a heat rash. Now suddenly though she is able to line the helmet with something. So in the spots he's getting the rash she has put this felt feeling material in there. She told me to wait until his head heals from this current rash and then put it back on so we can be sure if this helps or not. She doesn't sound too optimistic that it will help though. I have had the helmet off since Thursday now. He still has a bit of rash on his head, but it's mostly healed so I'll probably put it back on today. We go back again on Wednesday to see if this has helped.

She did compare his head to the mold of the pretreatment shape and there is improvement. So it is working. We just need to get it to stay on his head long enough to be effective. We are halfway through what they told us would be the treatment time. I'm still optimistic that we'll have it off for his birthday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm pulling my hair out, or rather the girls

I HATE lice! It is the worse most annoying little bug ever. A week and a half ago I had to pick the girls up from school early because they both had lice. So we did the lice drill. Cleaned their heads with the special shampoo, combed their hair, vacuumed the carpets and furniture, sprayed the furniture with lice spray, bagged all the stuffed animals, and cleaned all the linens in hot water. We brought the girls back to school the next day and she checked them and said we were good to go no more live lice. She has been combing Kaitlyn's hair daily to help get rid of the nits and yesterday her hair was completely nit free. She was great. Then today she was itching so went down to the nurses office and again she was covered with live bugs. They checked Natalie too and I guess again she just has the nits, but they still said she has to go. I asked the nurse what am I supposed to do? Every time we get rid of this they get them right back. She said other nurses in the area have also been dealing with a lice problem and I guess they are worried that these lice are resistant to the shampoos. So they aren't sure what they are going to do. She gave me some more shampoo though and told me she would get them some plastic mattress covers and pillow covers to try to help us get rid of them. So they are missing another day of school and I'm frantically trying to do all the cleaning and comb out their hair all on my own today because Joe is at work and I have to work tonight. I am so ready to just shave their heads and get it over with. This is so crazy. I can't believe they have it again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My First Day

Well, my first night of work was pretty uneventful. It was just filling out paperwork and signing my name a million times and watching a video and touring the store. I go back tonight to do some computer stuff and then Friday night as well. Next week I start actual training on the register and then in my departments which will be mens, Misses, and Juniors. Things at home I guess went well, but Joe didn't have much to say to me when I came home. I talked to the girls this morning (they were in bed when I came home last night) and it sounds like they weren't on their best behavior. They argued about going to bed. CJ was cranky from the sounds of it too and Joe didn't like that I asked him to give the girls a bath. So I guess that explained the lack of talking he did when I came home. I talked to the girls this morning about being more help to Daddy with CJ and doing what he tells them to do with out argument so maybe tonight will be a better night for Joe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wish me Luck

I am leaving shortly for my new job. First job I have had in over 9 years. I'm a little nervous. It's just Orientation so it shouldn't be too bad. Actually, probably very boring watching videos and stuff. I can't believe I'm no longer a SAHM.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 911

So today on the way to bringing the girls to school I realized it's the 7th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. So I asked the girls if they had learned anything about that at school. They hadn't and Natalie was curious. So I told her a little on our drive to school about what happened that day. And the innocence of a child she couldn't understand why someone would do something like that. Gosh, I wonder why they don't talk about it in school. Although, I guess they are a bit young to grasp the whole concept.

I remember that day so clearly too. I was just a few months pregnant with Kaitlyn. We were living in Ansonia at the time. Joe was at work. Natalie was just 2. When I turned on the TV that morning it had already happened. So I was just watching in horror never expecting the towers to fall. For weeks and months that was all that was talked about. To hear the stories of the people it's just all so surreal.

I think this was the first big event in my life that's a part of history that I will be able to clearly tell people what I was doing on September 11th. I mean I remember when Challenger blew up. We actually had a snow day, but I was pretty young and I didn't get the gravity of the situation much like Natalie doesn't understand that there are people out there who can hate so deeply. I guess this is the moment in my life like my parents used to always talk about when the anniversary of JFK came around. Every year they used to tell us what they were doing that day. I couldn't understand how someone who they didn't even know personally could have such an impact on their lives that they could remember exactly what they were doing when they heard about JFK. Not until 9/11 happened.

I didn't know anyone who died, but my heart sank for all those families who lost loved ones. I was so relieved that it wasn't my husband in one of those towers. And at the same time I was scared of what would happen next. I was terrified to bring this new baby into the world not knowing what kind of world it would be for her. And exactly 7 months to the day Kaitlyn was born. My fears have subsided for the most part now. And I guess I do feel like Natalie in not understanding a person's hatred of people they don't even know. I don't really understand how anyone can go on a suicide mission like that either. I love my country, but I wouldn't purposely go out and kill myself for it. I am grateful to the men and women who do serve our country and put their lives on the line to protect us though. I hope that someday my children can live in a world where there isn't this kind of blind hate though.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Whole Bunch of Stuff

Wow, it's been a long time since I've updated on things here. Things are getting crazy. First of all let me tell you about CJ. His helmet is still causing him to have a rash. Here are some pictures of it.






So last Thursday when we went to Cranial Tech for his appointment they didn't really know what to make of it. Because it's not all over his head they don't think he's allergic. They were thinking it was just because of the heat and he sweats too much in it. So they decided to hold onto his band for a few days, let his head heal, and then return Monday to have it checked again and see if the rash will come back when they put the band back on.

So yesterday we went back down. His head had mostly healed up. They put the band back on and almost instantly the redness came back. So now they think I'm just not getting the band clean enough. So I am to scrub it every few hours with a dry cloth and dry his head really well before I put the band back on. We can't keep leaving him out of it because it's not going to do it's job and eventually he'll grow out of it. There's no sort of barrier we can put in there either apparently. Now we have to go back in a week to see how he's doing. The rash is still there with my cleaning though. I'm not sure what their next step will be if we can't clear up his head.

We went for his 9 month check up today. I know it's a month late, but they were booked in August. So we went today. I waited forever to see the doctor too. Not fun. But anyways, everything is good. He weighs 18 pounds 5.6 ounces and is 28 inches long. This is all wonderful news. His %tiles are all above 10 now. So the doctor was very pleased. She has upped his reflux meds as he has been spitting up more lately. She looked at his head and first of all I have to say she notices a difference already in the shape of his head. I've thought I've noticed it too, but it's so hard to tell when you see him everyday. So hearing it from someone else is good too. As far as his rash goes she does believe that he is allergic to the material in it even though it's not all over his head. She says it's where it's touching his head. She thinks he's developing eczema. However, she thinks the benefits of the band outweigh the rash problems. So as long as he's tolerating it she says to just keep letting him wear it and take it off if it's getting too bad or looking infected and let it heal. She says once he's out of the band we can deal with the eczema. So we'll try to last a little longer with this if we can. Hopefully it doesn't get too bad. Maybe the cooler weather and less sweating will help matters.

That's pretty much what's been going on with CJ. Now about the girls. They are both doing great in school so far. I did have to go pick them both up from school early today. They have lice AGAIN. I cannot get rid of this stuff. The school nurse says to get the nits out we just need to keep combing and she'd help. When I bring them back tomorrow if we come a little early we can comb through their hair and hopefully get rid of this once and for all. I am getting so tired of the lice drill. And it's just them who gets it. Never me and Joe. I don't get it. So other than that they are doing great. Getting into the swing of things at school.

Now changes for me! I am going back to work. Just part time a few evenings a week when Joe is home from work so he can watch the kids. I got a job at Kohl's. They just called today to set up my Orientation. I go next Tuesday for that and then hopefully can get on the schedule for a few days of training next week too. Funny thing about this. The person who interviewed me called me up today to offer me the job and then he tells me it was funny seeing you at the PTA meeting last night. Ummm, what you were there? You have a child in the same school as mine? You live near me? Crazy, I feel a little embarrassed that I didn't notice him. He was sitting behind me though with his children. His wife was sitting in front of me and seemed very helpful. They are new to the school this year. What a small world this is though. This should help me though when I need nights off for school events. Since he'll be my boss I'm sure he'd like to see these events go off well for his child. I think this is going to work out well. I get a discount too which will be very handy for the upcoming holidays. So I'm excited and nervous. I haven't worked in over 9 years since Natalie was just a baby. So this is kind of hard for me. At least I don't have to pay for childcare though.

So that's what's been going on in the Barnes Bunch. I need to go now. Time to comb out the girls hair and vacuum the entire apartment. Loads of fun.