Saturday, February 28, 2009

Week In Review: February 22 - February 28

Here is this weeks Week In Review for February 22 through February 28, 2009.

Sunday: Everyone slept in except me. So I had almost two hours of peace and quiet. We still had to unpack the car, but because of the sleet Joe didn't want to go out there. I got tired of waiting and wanted my slippers though so I finally went out there to get the stuff and Joe followed. We brought everything up and I began unpacking and sorting all of the laundry. Got a load going and discovered I was going to need more fabric softener. So we went to Walmart to pick that up. Then we went to Walgreens to get some prints of our vacation pictures for the girls to show at school. Then back home for dinner and so I could continue working on that laundry. The kids showered and went to bed and Joe and I watched some of our DVR recordings for the week. I also chose the winner for my 200th post giveaway so if you haven't seen that yet and are wondering if it's you click here.

Monday: First day back to school. The girls were not into it this morning. I think they had a good day though. They shared about our trip last week. I cleaned up and finally finished all of the vacation laundry. CJ's therapist came over. She was very impressed with seeing him walk. She was choked up about the news of us moving to TN. She's happy for us, but I think is going to miss us. After I picked the girls up from school I made copies of the reminder sheet to get those Avon fundraisers in. Got everything in the mailboxes and hopefully they will be sent home this week.

Tuesday: Girls were up late this morning. So I had to get after them. They made it to school on time though. I counted Box Tops. Then I wrote up a little reminder to send in those Box Tops by Friday. We already have 1500 Box Tops for the month of February! I put CJ down for a nap and then took a nice leisurely shower. All day I felt like I was forgetting something. I guess not though. It was one of those rare days I actually didn't have something on my calendar. I picked the girls up from school and I had a great note from Kaitlyn's reading teacher. She read a Level 7 book today with 100% accuracy! She was so proud of herself. I'm proud of her too. They did homework, I made dinner, they got ready for bed, and I got to relax the rest of the night.

Wednesday: Playgroup day. We got a late start again though. I hope we get back into the swing of things soon. CJ took a few steps at playgroup. I started telling people about our upcoming move. So far everyone has been very supportive. I just hope they really mean what they say. It's been a hard choice to flake out on these commitments that I've made. I picked the girls up from school. As I was pulling out of the parking spot someone came and double parked. Grrr, I hate when they do that. I got the kids home and doing their homework.

Thursday: Today I met with the principal of the school to ask him about the testing of Kaitlyn. The speech therapist has tested Kaitlyn. She did find some phonemic awareness trouble with her, but nothing that would require her to see her on a regular basis. It doesn't seem that the testing of her memory has been done yet. I also informed him of us moving in a month. He's happy for us and thinks the girls will do great in TN. He's going to miss us and all we do for the school, but he understands. I also discussed some PTA stuff with him. Then I came home and practiced making some balloon animals. I picked the girls up from school. After they did their homework I started getting ready to Clown Around. The girls and I (as Sparkles) went to a carnival at the school for the after school program. Afterwords I went to get some Subway for dinner for me and Joe. It's always interesting to see people's reactions when you walk into a business dressed as a clown.

Friday: We took the hour long drive to Cranial Tech for the very last time today. CJ graduated from his Doc Band! We are so excited to no longer need to make that trip. After picking the girls up from school I counted Box Tops. I have to get them mailed out. Natalie's class won this months competition! She's so excited. Kaitlyn brought home her spelling test. I posted it on my blog because there's something very interesting about it. See if you can find it. Kaitlyn was complaining of a tummy ache again. We thought maybe she was just hungry and we wanted to go out to celebrate CJ's "graduation". So we chanced it. First we had to stop at Staples to fax something for Joe's brother. Darn thing cost $3 to fax, but at least it stopped the harassment. We never hear from his brother, but when he needs something he's calling five times a day, no joke. He even resorted to calling MY cell phone. Then we went to Friendly's where we got terrible service. It took over half an hour to get our food. Kaitlyn did end up getting sick while we were there too. So we took our ice cream to go once we tracked down our waitress. I had some issues with the bill of course too. I was going to go to Walmart, but Kaitlyn was miserable so we came home. Just going to have to get that box for the Box Tops Saturday instead. I hope Kaitlyn isn't coming down with something.

Saturday: CJ was up way too early. Not sure what was up with that. So it was an early start to the day. I went to Walmart before the girls even got up and got my box for Box Tops. Then I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some munchkins. Brought those home and the girls ate them. CJ went down for a nap and Joe and I tried to do the same, but the girls wouldn't allow it and CJ only slept for an hour. So we gave him lunch and then went out to mail my Box Tops and the prize to my 200th post winner. I sent in over 3000 box tops. Another $300 plus for our school which makes over $1300 earned for the year! We stocked up on CJ's pediasure while at the store. Also picked up a few other things and then went to Walmart to find Kaitlyn a jewelery box because hers broke. We had to go to a few different stores for that. We ended up eating out at Applebees because things took longer than expected. We had a nice dinner there. CJ keeps playing with his head. We think looking for his helmet that he doesn't have to wear anymore. That's the highlights of our week though.

Check out more Week In Review posts!

Spelling Test Error

Kaitlyn came home with her spelling test yesterday. Do you see anything wrong with it???

What is #8 that Kaitlyn spelled wrong? She spelled the word "wes", but her teacher spelled it "wais". Does anyone else find it a little concerning that her teacher's correction of a word is spelled incorrectly? Or maybe it's just ironic. All I know is if she gets that word on a spelling test again and she spells it "wais" then she better not mark it wrong. I don't think it would be fair. I'm 99.9% sure that the word was supposed to be "was". I told Joe we should send it to Jay Leno for his headlines on Monday nights. What do you think? Would it make it on?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Doc Band Graduate

CJ received his first diploma today. He is now a Doc Band graduate! This means he no longer has to wear the Doc Band. We no longer have to make the hour long drive every two weeks. We no longer have to fight with him to put on his Doc Band. He is done!

Here are some pictures of him while we waited for them to do his exit photos.

These are all of the photos throughout treatment. He started July of 2008, received the second band in November of 2008, and finally the exit photos in February 2009. They are side by side so you can compare the progress.

What a huge difference! Can you see it? They showed me the digital images of his head too and there really is marked improvement. Especially on the front of his head.

We are so happy we did this. Even with the skin issues we had in the first band. His head is beautiful. I would definitely recommend Cranial Technologies to anyone who's child does not have a round head. It was a long process for us, but with a great outcome!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just Clowning Around

Tonight the girls and I went to a carnival at the school. And what carnival would be complete without a clown? Who was that clown? Her name is Sparkles and she's very close to me (and when I say very I mean very).

CJ meeting Sparkles for the first time. Get me out of this strange ladies arms. She sounds like mommy, but it's not mommy

That goofy Sparkles and her hi jinks with Natalie and Kaitlyn

So have you figured out who it is yet? That's me! What, Monica's a clown? Yes, I am a professional clown. I've been doing this since I was 15 years old. When I was in high school the priest at my church used to do magic shows as fundraisers for the church. I was one of the magicians assistants. His wife was a clown and one year they decided to do an entire circus magic act in the magic show. They asked me to be a clown and Sparkles was born. The first time I dressed up as Sparkles my own mother did not recognize me. Sparkles is a completely different personality from me. She's not so shy.

Anyways, I don't put on the makeup often at all especially now that I have kids. This was the first time I've done it since CJ was born. He did not like it. He couldn't take his eyes off of me, but he did not want me touching him that's for sure.

So why did I put it all on tonight? Well, the after school program was having a carnival. Now my children do not attend the after school program, but the after school program has been helpful to the PTA over the years. So when I heard they were doing a carnival I offered my clowning services. They invited the girls to come. I wasn't planning on bringing them, but they really like seeing me as a clown. They had such a good time as you can see in these pictures...

Kaitlyn got her face painted

Natalie got her face painted

They wanted to go to sleep with their face paint on, but I wouldn't let them. So I told them I'd take a picture instead. That was good enough for them. I made balloon animals tonight. I disappointed a few boys because I won't make swords. I know how, but I won't do it. Oh well they figured out something else to have instead. I ended up teaching one of the parents how to make balloon animals. He got a kick out of that.

It was a fun night, but also very exhausting. It takes me an hour to put the makeup on. Then another half hour to take it all off. I do enjoy getting to be someone else for a little while though. I am thinking of retiring Sparkles though. I think Sparkles needs to grow up a little. I have this vision of a new costume, but I don't have the money to make it happen. Maybe someday. I think I better start putting it all on more so CJ won't be afraid of clowns. The girls never had a problem with me as a clown. They always somehow seemed to know it was me. Natalie however did go through a phase where she was afraid of anyone else who was a clown. She's not afraid anymore though.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CJ Walking

This is a video I took Sunday night of CJ walking. Don't mind my messy kitchen, I hadn't completely unpacked yet and somehow the kitchen becomes the catch all for everything.

They grow up so fast, don't they?

Me and Joe, the Couple

♥ Fill it out and let's learn about you and your better half! (I got this from Renee's blog.)

♥ What are your middle names?
Mine: Lee
His: William

♥ How long have you been together?
Married 9 years on March 4th. As a couple it will be 11 years in May.

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Probably 3 months before we started dating the first time, but that was only a few months we dated for. So the one that stuck I guess we knew each other for almost a year.

♥ Who asked who out?
Well, we were kind of hanging out as friends the first time I guess so it was kind of a mutual plan to go out. I think I asked him out the second time because I was the one that broke it off the first time.

♥Who said I love you first?
He said it first.

♥ How old are each of you?
I am 30
he is 37

♥ Who's siblings do/did you see the most?
His, my brother isn't close by and when he was he never had a way of getting to us or a place we'd want to set foot in.

♥ Do you have any children together?
yep... 3 of them 2 girls and a boy.

♥ What about pets?
We have two gerbils, but those are really the girls.

♥ Did you go to the same schools?
We went to the same elementary school, middle school, and high school but obviously not at the same time given our age difference. Well, we were in elementary school together, but I was in kindergarten when he was in 6th grade there.

♥ Are you from the same hometown?

♥ Who is the smartest?
He would say I am, but lots of things he's way smarter than me at.

♥ Who is the most sensitive?
I am

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple?
This rarely happens, but probably Applebees

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Florida when we went to Disney.

♥ Who has the craziest ex?
He does for sure and we can't get rid of her either as she married his brother, grrrr.

♥ Who has the worst temper?

♥ Who does the cooking?
Mostly me, but he'll do it sometimes. When we first moved in together he did it all.

♥Who is the most social?

♥ Who is the neat-freak?
Probably me

♥ Who is the most stubborn?
We're both equally stubborn I'd say.

♥ Who wakes up earlier?
Depends on when he has to be at work. If he's in late or not at all he sleeps in, but if he's in for 8 or earlier he's usually up before me.

♥ Where was your first date?
We went to the pool hall and then a movie, but I don't remember what movie and his brother was with us.

♥Who has the bigger family?
I guess he does unless you start throwing in all of my cousins. Although, even still I think he has more with five other siblings and 18 nieces and nephews.

♥Do you get flowers often?
No, I don't even remember the last time he got me flowers.

♥ Who do you spend the holidays with?
My family usually

♥ Who is more jealous?
Probably me.

♥ Who sings better?
Neither one of us is very good.

♥Who does/did the laundry?
I do.

♥ Who’s better with the computer?
Depends, on the internet and typing I'm better, but he usually can figure out how to fix problems.

♥ Who drives when you are together?
Depends on who's car we have. His car he does all the driving, my car I do most of the driving. And since we usually have the kids with us my car is the family car so I do most of the driving. Although, maybe I shouldn't be after my two speeding tickets.

♥ Who picks where you go to dinner?
We usually agree

♥ Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong?
He is, I'm never wrong, hahahahahahaha.

♥ Who named your pet?
We both helped the girls pick the names.

♥ Who wears the pants in the relationship?

♥ Who has more tattoos?
He does with 14. I only have two ;).

♥ Who eats more sweets?
Definitely me. He likes salty snacks more.

♥ Who cries more?

Random Car Pictures

Here are some random pictures taken of the kids throughout the trip in the car.

That's a goldfish in his mouth!

Kaitlyn completely knocked out when mommy got pulled over the 1st time!

On our way home! Look how thrilled everyone is, or maybe that's just sleepy.

There's more to come including a short video of CJ walking!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hotel Pictures

Here are some pictures from our hotel room:

CJ liked the drawer so much he wanted to be in it!

CJ's bed. Night Night CJ!

Who's that baby in the mirror?

I like mommy's camera case.

Playing Cars.

More pictures will be coming soon. I have them all edited it's just a matter of putting them on here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We Have a Winner

I almost forgot to pick the winner tonight. We have a winner for my 200th post giveaway!

The winner is...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-02-23 01:12:21 UTC

Number 3 is Allyson and she said:

I was trying to catch up with blog reading (I just never seem to have the time) and I saw this from you. I love wind chimes and have probably a half dozen or so on my back porch. This one is cute!


So congratulations Allyson. I'll get that mailed out to you this week. I need to get a box for it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Week In Review: February 15 - February 21

Here is this weeks Week In Review for February 15 - February 21, 2009.

Sunday: This morning we were up at 7 to get on the road again. Joe noticed a roach in our hotel room. Ewww, gross. We couldn't get out of there fast enough being sure to shake everything out. We were on the road by 8. We made good time to TN. We arrived in TN at about 3 p.m. (central time). We are staying in the same chain of hotel where we found the roach. Thankfully this one is much nicer and cleaner. We were very ready to tell them we will not be staying if the room has bugs. We are all very excited to be here though and looking forward to searching around for a place to live and work.

Monday: Woke up early and my eye quickly became red. Hmmm, that's not good. I wonder if there were any pets in the room before us. So we got dressed and went up to the front desk for breakfast and to ask about previous tenants in the room. Yes it was a pet room so they said they'd move us, but we'd have to wait until 12 after check outs. So we went back to the room and were not able to get onto the internet. We went out exploring and ended up staying out past 12. So switching rooms was a huge ordeal, but it's done and we like the room better. It's a nice part of the hotel it seems and it's quieter too. We hit the mall where we bought all the kids new shoes. Natalie won us $5 off the shoes by guessing how many dots on a pair of dice. Okay she had help from us. I can't believe how much the TN state tax is though. I guess I'm spoiled in CT with no tax on clothing. Even still 9% tax is a lot!!! Natalie had a headache so we came back to the room and ordered pizza for dinner in the room.

Tuesday: Went out to breakfast at Shoney's. It wasn't the greatest, but it filled us up for the day. We drove up to Clarksville to look around and do some job searching. It's nice up there. Headed back to the hotel and had dinner at A&W. CJ wasn't interested in eating. Got some shakes from Steak and Shake and came back to enjoy them in the room. Gotta love Steak and Shake shakes.

Wednesday: We got up a little later today. CJ started walking. Joe called some of the places he put applications in. We waited for them to call back and then decided to go check out some houses in Clarksville. So we went back up there. We liked one and ended up finding another one we liked in our driving around. So we called. We got in to see one of them and it looks like we are actually moving. The man who showed it to us really liked us and said he wanted to take a chance on us. So now we just have to find a job and we're good to go. That shouldn't be too difficult now that we'll have a residence. Things are falling into place. We then met Renee and her Special K's at O'Charleys for dinner. We had a very nice evening. Good food, good company. We headed back to the hotel and crashed from the very long day.

Thursday: I was up very early. While everyone slept I did some research on schools for the girls where we'll be moving to. I found out which school they would go to. Once everyone woke up I made a bunch of phone calls including to their new school so I could take a tour. We decided to have a fun day and drove down to Chattanooga. We went up Incline Mountain and then to the Chattanooga zoo. It was a very nice day and I'll have plenty of pictures to share of our adventures.

Friday: Time to head home. We were up by 6:30 and on the road by 8. We first went up to Clarksville to tour the girls school. It was very nice. Then we met with our future landlord to get all the paperwork before getting on the road. It was a long drive. You can read about what happened here.

Saturday: Finally made it home. Stopped off at the local pizza place to grab a pizza and came home. We are glad to be home and can't wait to sleep in our own beds.

Remember, be sure to check back next week for the pictures from our trip.

Check out more Weeks in Review posts.

Finally Home

Ahhhh, it's good to be home! We left yesterday morning from TN at 8 a.m. Central time. We had a few things to do before we actually got on the road home though. So we didn't actually get on the road heading home until 11 a.m. central time. I got a speeding ticket a few hours into our drive back in TN. Not cool! We didn't get to our hotel in Roanoke VA until almost 9 p.m. Eastern time. We were supposed to have a crib for CJ at this hotel, but there wasn't one in the room. So I went to the front desk and had to argue with the guy about the crib. He said there was a $10 charge. No way was I paying that when I was given a price which included the crib. He kept telling me my computer doesn't show a crib. I said okay well my confirmation e-mail does. We went back and forth and I was going to show him my e-mail. He had called the manager while I was getting my computer out of the car and I guess he said to just give it to us no charge. Well, we didn't even use it because it was about to fall apart. This was the nicest room we had the whole trip though I must say. Anyways, we hadn't eaten dinner yet so we walked over to the Subway next to the hotel. We got there and some kid was standing outside and told us it was locked. There were people in there though. We tried all the doors, but nothing. The sign said it was open and the window said they were open until 12 a.m. so we waited for the employee to notice us, but that didn't happen. So I knocked on the window and the customers were telling us they were closed. I said the sign says they are open. Finally the girl behind the counter comes out and lets us in saying I'll let you in the dining room, but where closed. I said well that's not what your sign says. She said the drive through was open and she couldn't do both by herself. Now mind you there was another girl behind the counter so I said well you're not by yourself and if only the drive through is open that's what your sign should say. She was so slow too making sandwiches. We didn't get back to the room until 10. We ate, showered, and went to bed. Got up at 7:15 this morning to get on the road again. Left shortly after 8 and guess what??? I got a second speeding ticket!!! I literally had just gotten on the highway. I had said to Joe I don't know what the speed limit is here and was trying to find signs stating it when I saw a police officer He was coming off the median. So I moved over. He didn't have his lights on and seemed to be going after the car in front of me, but as he passed me he motioned for me to go over to the side. Grrrr! So I did and he did pull over the car in front of me too. He asked me if I knew why he pulled him over and I said no. Turns out the speed limit was only 55 there and I was apparently going 73 :(. Not good. So now I have two speeding tickets. Needless to say the rest of the ride home was slow going because I was very cautious about my speed. So we didn't arrive home until 7 p.m. It's good to be home though and I can't wait to sleep in my bed. We had a good trip though. I will have plenty of pictures to share so check back. Oh, and I haven't forgotten about my giveaway. I'll post a winner tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


CJ took some major steps yesterday and I mean that literally. Here we sit in our hotel room and he let go of the dresser and took five steps over to me. He was going after a donut. He only took two bites out of that donut he wanted so bad he walked to, but I am so proud of my boy. He's growing up so fast. It won't be long now before he's running after his sisters.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Roach Motel

This is where we stayed last night. Well, we wouldn't have stayed if we had spotted the roach last night instead of this morning. On our drive down to TN we stopped in Roanoke, VA last night and stayed in a Knights Inn down there. I do not recommend staying there. I can't say all Knights Inns are bad because we are in one now in TN and so far we haven't had any major problems. However, this one in Roanoke, VA was awful. The curtains didn't close all the way. They gave us two towels for five people and couldn't give us anymore than that!!! And then this morning Joe discovered a roach. We packed everything up as quickly as possible after giving it all a good shake. And we got the heck out of there being sure to cancel our reservation which we had made for Friday night. Even before we discovered the extra guests in our room we had booked a different hotel for Friday night. What a relief we did that. It's a AAA rated room too so hopefully that will mean no roaches!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Week In Review: February 8 - February 14 2009

Here is this weeks Week in Review for February 8 - February 14, 2009.

Sunday: Well, as usual it was laundry day. Joe had to work so me and the kids just hung out at the house. When Joe came home he made banana bread with the girls. Awww, a husband who bakes. It would be even nicer if I didn't have to get after him to clean up the mess he made so I could cook dinner. And when he cooks I swear he uses every dish in the house. But really, I'm not complaining, it's sweet and my house does smell like banana bread. And honestly this was the highlight of my day; laundry and banana bread. So can't complain about that. A quiet laid back day.

Monday: I thought this day would never end. After bringing the girls to school Joe, CJ, and I went to Denny's for breakfast. All seemed fine until we were almost done CJ started becoming very fussy. He was up early, but still didn't seem early enough for him to be this cranky at this time. We had to bring my new car back to have something fixed on it so we did that. He cried the whole way there. We got a loaner. He cried the whole way home. We put him down for a nap, he pretty much fussed and cried for an hour and a half in his crib. We got him out and took his shoes off and eureka he stopped crying. He had lunch. Claudia from the FRC came over for our PAT (Parents As Teachers) visit. He was happy go lucky for that too. She left and shortly after we had to go pick the girls up from school. I had fundraiser instructions which I needed to make copies of to pack the fundraisers tomorrow night. That took forever and I didn't even finish. I was there until 4:30 (the girls get out at 3). Then we went to the grocery store to get a few things and finally home to cook dinner. We got a phone call that our car is all fixed.

Tuesday: After bringing the girls to school we picked up my car. The speedometer is working again. It's so nice to have my car back. I called my credit card company to find out why the payment which I made on Friday is not available to me yet in spite of it having cleared my bank. Now my funds are available for me to book our trip for next week. I debated on whether or not it would be best to drive 17 hours straight or stop halfway through. Well, it came down to which would be cheaper. And surprisingly stopping halfway through was the cheapest way to go. So I booked us a hotel in Virginia for a night on the way down and back and then five nights in Murfreesboro, TN. Now all that's left to do is pack and leave. Once that was done I picked the girls up from school, got homework going, filled out the Friendly's ice cream certificates for the winning Box Top class, got dinner, and went back to the school to stuff envelopes for nearly two hours. Fundraisers are now all set to go out to the whole school tomorrow. Kaitlyn helped seal envelopes while Natalie ran around and did everything but what I asked her to do. Sometimes I wonder which one is the older one.

Wednesday: Boy, this day started off great. Last night the girls stayed up late even after we had put them to bed at a decent time. I knew when they were still up at 10 they were going to be miserable. So we had a talk with them about their behavior and in particular Natalie because she had goofed off at school while we were packing fundraisers. Natalie is into this arguing phase. She's also very much into this selfish it's all about me phase right now too. So it's hard to get her to understand where we are coming from. I hate starting off the day arguing though. But it is playgroup day! Every week there is a theme and this weeks was Valentine's Day. CJ wasn't getting too into all of that stuff though. Oh well he left with a ton of candy. And as always playgroup completely wipes him out and he takes a good long nap. And when I say a looooong nap I mean a looooong nap. He slept right through lunch and if I didn't have to pick the girls up from school he would have continued to sleep. Ahhh, I love playgroup day! It was so peaceful. Fundraiser packets came home from school today. I haven't seen enough of those things yet. I better get used to it though, I will be seeing much more of the Avon fundraiser all the way until the beginning of April.

Thursday: Another crazy day. After dropping the girls off at school I went to Walmart to get some things I needed for Kaitlyn's brownies for her party tomorrow, stuff to make Bee Mine Valentine's, and stuff to make Conversation Heart Fudge. That took a few stops actually. I had to go to the grocery store to get some of the stuff that Walmart did not have. Then I had to stop at the bank and finally went home and put CJ down for a nap. I made the Conversation Heart Fudge while CJ napped. We were supposed to have that recall taken care of on my new van, but we couldn't find the service place that the dealer we bought the van from set up the appointment for. Turns out they gave us the wrong address. And the service place wasn't answering their phone when we were trying to call to find out where they were. So looks like we'll have to schedule another time to get that taken care of. So after driving around aimlessly for an hour we came home and I started on Kaitlyn's brownies. Then I picked the girls up from school. I had scheduled an appointment to get Kaitlyn's bangs cut so I brought her to that. We were in and out of there. Home for dinner and to spend the rest of the evening working on the girls Valentines, Kaitlyn's brownies, and those Conversation Heart Fudge. And then before I forgot I made sure to write my guest post on my friend Renee's blog.

Friday: We had breakfast at school this morning. The FRC (Family Resource Center) hosts a free breakfast once a month for families. This month the PTA helped fund this breakfast. So I had to attend. Not that the kids would let me miss it. The girls got a chance to hand out a bunch of the Conversation Heart Fudge I had made to some of the people there. It was a nice breakfast. CJ ate half a bagel, some pop tart, and come coffee cake. And apparently that wasn't enough because we came home and he ate some more. We went to his Cranial Tech appointment. Our next visit will be our exit visit! Woohoo. Then we needed to pick up some pediasure at the store for our trip. We went to lunch, then to Sprint to update my phone since I've had a broken charger for a few months now, then picked the girls up from school, went to Rent a Center to rent a lap top for our upcoming trip, and home so Joe could go to work. The lap top wasn't ready when we got there so we had to go back to pick it up and while out I picked up some snacky stuff for the ride tomorrow, filled up with gas, and grabbed some Micky D's for dinner. I know I know, but I was in a hurry and still needed to do laundry and pack. I learned that a 9 and 6 year old have no clue how to pack. So after packing everyone, but myself I had to repack the girls bag. I cleaned the bathroom so I have a nice clean toilet to come home to. Washed dishes of course so we have nothing stinky when we come home. And I'm sure I forgot a million things that I'll be kicking myself about next week.

Saturday: We were up at 6:15 this morning. Packed the car with everything and were on the road by 7:45. It was smooth sailing all the way to VA where we were stopping for the night before heading on to TN. We actually got in earlier than expected. CJ did well in the car for the most part. Natalie felt car sick a few times, but she was okay. We checked in by 4:30. The hotel we are staying in is a bit of a dissapointment though. It's very run down and we are only able to get two towels. Our curtain doesn't even close all the way. So after we went and got something to eat I looked up a different hotel to stay in on our way back next week. We found one that's hopefully a little better and only about $5 more than where we are staying. It's got a AAA rating so that's always a good sign. CJ won't settle down though to go to sleep. Hopefully we'll all get some sleep before having to be on the road again in the morning. All in all I can't say this is a terrible trip so far though. We are very much looking forward to getting into TN tomorrow. Only seven more hours to go! I hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day!

Check out other Week In Review posts.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Guest Blogging/Giveaway

I was a guest blogger today on Renee's blog. So go check it out if you'd like.

Also don't forget about my 200th post giveaway. I haven't gotten a lot of comments on it so I might extend the deadline to when we get back from our trip (February 21st) to give people more time to enter. Plus this way I can be sure to get it out in the mail right away instead of you having to wait for me to get back from vacation. But if you haven't done so go now and enter my 200th post giveaway.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fundraising Plug

Okay, in this economy I have to do this. Shameless plugging on my blog of my children's school fundraiser. Get over it! It's my blog and I'll do what I want. I am desperate to make sure that we make our usual $1500 this year for our Spring Fundraiser like I've managed to do the past two years. I don't have a whole lot of confidence that this is going to be accomplished through just the school alone so I'm throwing this out there. Please Please Please support O'Connell School Fundraising. Yes, even if you don't live anywhere near me or have never met me before for that matter you can still buy from my fundraiser. Here's what you have to do:


Sale runs from Wednesday, February 11th – Monday, March 2nd.


Have out of state family members who would like to help support this fundraiser????

They can do that by placing their fundraiser order online and having it shipped directly to their door. All they have to do is visit the following website (no other website will qualify for this fundraiser):

O'Connell School Avon Fundraiser

and click on the SHOP tab at the top of the page. Then they register for a FREE account and start shopping. They can pay by credit card at the time of their order and 15% of their order will be donated to O’Connell Elementary school. Shipping charges will be applied however, and will range between $3 and $5.95 for standard shipping. If there are any FREE SHIPPING Promotions going on during the fundraiser through AVON, I will provide the CODE to enter on my website under the heading :


ALL online orders will only receive the 15% earnings.

Phyllis Parmelee
Avon Independent Sales Representative
Fundraising Specialist

So that's it! Shop online at the website listed above between now and March 2nd and help my children's school raise money! I will so greatly appreciate it. If you do live in the state of CT please e-mail me to find out how to order directly through me. I will meet with you when the fundraiser comes in April to deliver your items. Thank you for all your help.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programing...

Don't forget about my giveaway.

Wordless Wednesday: Early Scholar

For more Wordless Wednesdays click here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's Your Name's Hidden Meaning?

I'm not too sure how confident and not easily intimidated I am, but I would say this is pretty accurate.

You Are Powerful and Determined

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

By the way, don't forget about my giveaway: 200th Post. If you haven't left a comment yet do so now. Only 3 days left to enter to win!

Road Trip Booked

Well, it's official! We are spending the girls upcoming winter vacation in Tennessee! Hotels are now all booked for our upcoming trip. We can't wait.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Which 80's Song are You?

Your 80s Song is "Walk Like an Egyptian"

If you were transported back to the 80s, your life would be all about having fun.

You love the wackiness that the 80s represented. Everything back then seemed a lot more colorful!

You'd peg your jeans, get a "totally tubular" hair cut, and even wear one sequined glove.

You would skateboard, play Pac-Man, and hang out at the mall. And of course, you would walk like an egyptian.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Week In Review: February 1 - February 7, 2009

Here is this weeks Week In Review for February 1 through February 7, 2009.

Sunday: Laundry day again. I went through some of the girl's clothes in their drawers finally to get rid of what doesn't fit. I put together 40 goody bags for our Box Top winners at school. I got a phone call from my brother. He was obviously drinking. And he told me he was in a bar with his 18 month old daughter. That's always nice to hear. He was completely plastered. And that's pretty much the only time he seems to call me is when he's drunk. He'll never change. CJ is 15 months today.

Monday: Brought the girls to school and handed out the goody bags to the classes who had won them November and December. Both teachers were apparently unaware they had won. Hmmm, I guess I'm not making it very clear who the winner is. Gave CJ a bath and got him ready to go down to Cranial Tech for his helmet. We were told he's got 4 more weeks left. That translates to 2 more visits. I can't wait to not have to make that 1 hour drive one way every other week. Then we went grocery shopping, to the bank, and picked the girls up from school. Back home for me to prepare for my PTA meeting. Wrote up my agenda and notes and then typed out this months Box Tops collection notice with prize. Made a bunch of copies at school. Had our PTA meeting. We sadly had a very poor turnout. Not a single teacher came. I hate when that happens. But I can say I love our new Vice Principal. He's young and has so many fresh new ideas. Seems to be such a great fit. And it's so nice to have someone who's willing to try some new stuff to get parent involvement. I chit chatted afterwards with the only parent who came who was not an officer and one of my officers for a little while. A nice little break from the kids. Came home to a very happy baby who was so excited to see me, awwwww!

Tuesday: CJ was up early. I took the opportunity to get some e-mailing done and phone calls. Called to confirm our McDonald's night for Wednesday and we are all set. Called the school to try and talk to the principal about Kaitlyn, but he was busy preparing for early dismissal due to inclement weather. So the girls were out at 1:20. They came home and began working on their homework. And they spent the rest of the afternoon driving me crazy. Perhaps suffering from a little cabin fever.

Wednesday: Playgroup day! And the snow did not cancel it this week. So after bringing the girls to school I brought CJ down stairs to playgroup. There was a birthday this week for one of the little boys so we had chocolate cake. After playgroup I went up to the office to try and pin down the principal, but he was out again. So I left a message for him to call me. We came home and CJ went down for his nap. I finally heard from the principal late afternoon and scheduled a meeting with him for Thursday morning. We had our McTeachers night from 5-8 at McDonalds. We had an awesome turn out and made $417.37. Not bad considering that was 15% of the profits. That's about what we made last year as well when we actually earned 20% of the profits.

Thursday: Brought the girls to school like usual. Did some budgeting to make sure we will have funds for our upcoming trip in a week and a half. Wrote a letter to the principal in regards to Kaitlyn's reading. I went and met with the principal. I feel confident that we are moving forward to solve her problems. After my meeting with the principal I had to go downstairs in the school to have an FRC Advisory board meeting. That meeting was short and sweet. We were very happy to learn that the governors proposed budget does not have any further cuts for public education or the FRC's. So this was discussed at length. The meeting ended and I went to pick Joe up at work. I picked the girls up from school and Natalie had a huge attitude. Not fun when it came time to go over her homework. Thankfully her bad mood did not last all night long.

Friday: We received our tax refund today. So I spent the morning paying off a bunch of bills including my credit card. I called the insurance company to add our new vehicle to the policy and we are going to pay the rest of our down payment. We went to Walmart to get a few things. Then we came back home to clean up. CJ's therapist came over. She's going on vacation for two weeks so I am hoping we have lots to report to her when she comes back. We picked the girls up from school, went to the post office to mail out Box Tops, and then went and picked up my new car. I am very happy to have the second vehicle again.

Saturday: We went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. Then to Walmart where we got the kids a few things. Next we had to check out the sale at Once Upon a Child. They were offering fill a bag for $20. Problem is the bag wasn't big enough to fit one item in. Luckily they were still offering their 10 items for $10 sale. So all three kids got something. Then we went to Stride Rite where CJ got new sneakers (he was the only one who needed them). We came home to get a coupon for Build A Bear and have something to eat. I had taken my wallet out of my purse to look up something. We left with no money. We didn't realize it until we needed money of course. We had built our bears at Build A Bear (four bears in all), picked out clothes, waited in line to name our bears, waited in line to pay, and then realized we had no money. And the majority of the time CJ was screaming his head off. He did not like the stuffing machines at Build A Bear. So we had to go all the way home (with CJ still screaming) to find my wallet. Thankfully we found it. Then we drove all the way back there with CJ still screaming. We got and paid for all of our bears and went to the store for something for dinner. CJ finally calmed down and was actually a happy little guy. I don't know how he didn't just pass out after basically two hours plus of screaming. We picked up two movies out of the Redbox (Swing Vote and Space Buddies). We came home and had dinner. And then we had a movie night. I have a giveaway going on right now so be sure to check that out here.

Check out other Week In Review posts.

200th Post Giveaway

*Note: I have extended the deadline to enter in hopes of getting more entries and so I can mail the prize out to the winner right away. So now if you leave a comment by Saturday February 21st you will be entered into the giveaway. I will announce the winner on Sunday February 22nd! So keep those entries coming!

In honor of my 200th post, which is this one, I am doing a giveaway. I have been trying to figure out what do you give away for 200 blog posts. Well, then it came down to what do I have. So here you go. Below is a picture of what you can win...

This is a bamboo wind chime. If you would like to win this wind chime all you have to do is leave me a comment. I will choose a winner on Friday February 13th* through If you would like to get a second entry into this giveaway then blog about it and leave me a second comment telling me you did so.

Thanks to all of my readers. Whether you have started with post #1 or post #200 or any post in between I hope you have enjoyed and continue to come back for 200 more posts.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Joe

Husband Tag

1. Where did you meet? Working together at Dunkin Donuts

2. How long did you date before you got married? 1 year, 10 months. Although, I can't really say the last 18 months were dating since we were living together at that point.

3. How long have you been married? It will be 9 years on March 4th.

4. What does he do that surprises you? Occasionally he'll wash the dishes. More frequently he allows Kaitlyn to give him a "hair cut" which requires her putting a bunch of little pony tails in his hair.

5. What is your favorite feature of his? his eyes

6. What is your favorite quality of his? His sense of humor! He keeps me laughing all the time.

7. Does he have a nickname for you? Babe, Honey, Honey Bunches

8. What is his favorite color? Black

9. What is his favorite food? this really changes, he loves my chicken picatta though.

10. What is his favorite sport? Wrestling

11. When and where was your first kiss? Okay, this is going to sound weird if you do the math of how long we dated before getting married and when we married. Our first kiss was on September 5, 1997. We dated for a few months in 1997 most of which was long distance. I broke it off a few months in and then when I came back home from college that May we got back together.

12. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? Go out to eat, go to a movie, or go bowling.

13. Do you have any children? Yes, three beautiful little cherubs!

14. Does he have a hidden talent? no, not really.

15. How old is he? 37

16. Who said I love you first? Definitely him, the first time we dated. Actually, he said it first when we started dating the second time too.

17. What’s his favorite type of music? country is definitely his favorite, but he also likes rock especially 80's hair bands

18. What do you admire most about him? The way he loves all of us so completely.

19. Do you think he will read this? Probably not, he never reads my blog.


1. He’s sitting in front of the TV: What is on the screen? Wrestling

2. You’re out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad? He does not like salad, but he'd most likely have ranch or blue cheese.

3. What is one food he doesn’t like? Aside from salad, hahahahaha? Mushrooms.

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? Long Island Iced Tea.

5. Where did he go to high school? Trumbull High School

6. What size shoe does he wear? 8

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Wrestling paraphernalia.

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Probably pastrami. Although, if it's Subway he always gets the Spicy Italian.

9. What would the Husband eat every day if he could? Beef.

10. What is his favorite cereal? He doesn't eat cereal.

11. What would he never wear? Pink or purple.

12. What is his favorite sports team? Football: Patriots, Wrestling: Kane and Undertaker, most other sports he doesn't like, but because I'm a Mets fan he roots for the Mets.

13. Who is his best friend? ME! ;o)

14. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? Probably go on and on about the same things over and over again.

15. How many states has he lived in? Two

16. What is his heritage? German, Scottish, and English

17. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind is it? Ugh, this is a tough one because with him he has one piece of cake and he's done. He usually wants me to bake him chocolate with chocolate frosting.

18. Did he play sports in high school? Definitely not, he was barely at school to play sports ;).

19. What could he spend hours doing? Playing his Wii

A New Car

We brought home our new car today. We purchased a 2003 Dodge Caravan last week. We finished paying our down payment today. So we were able to go pick it up.

It's nice, but we already have some problems with it alreday. First of all I noticed on the drive home that the speedometer doesn't work. So I called the dealer and they told me to bring it back. They think that the wire or something broke and it just needs to be replaced. So we have to bring it back on Monday. We will get a loaner for that.

We did a Carfax report on it last week and found out there was a recall on it. So we asked them about it and they called the manufacturer. Turns out the recall was never fixed so we have an appointment on Thursday at the manufacturer dealership to get that repaired. We were told it's not dangerous to drive around like that though. That's a relief. I'm glad we checked the Carfax report on it because otherwise we would have had no clue about the recall. I'm hoping this isn't a bad sign with all these problems. Best to get them over with now while we still have a warranty though. It's nice to be a two car family again.

This is what my car looks like. This isn't it exactly, but looks just like it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

An Update on Testing

I had the meeting with the principal today. He had spoken to her teacher about things trying to pinpoint what the problem might be. He understands my concerns about dyslexia and the family history. He does believe that there most likely is some sort of learning disability there. The problem is testing at this age with the testing they have doesn't really yield accurate results. And if they test now and she passes, then they can't test again for another three years. We definitely do not want that.

So here is what his thinking is; since Natalie had a speech delay and they have seen a link between speech problems and reading problems they are going to test Kaitlyn's speech. He spoke to the speech therapist with me present and she's going to try and do an evaluation of her tomorrow, but if she doesn't get time then it will be after vacation (in two weeks). If she is sensing a phonemic awareness problem she will put her in a speech group that just works on the sounds and we'll evaluate again in another month.

Now the other issue that we could be experiencing with her is a memory issue. So he's going to talk to the school psychologist to see if there is some sort of memory test we could do on Kaitlyn. These are the two areas we are going to explore now.

He also is concerned that she has a visual difficulty in that she can spell words back to you, but can't put it down in writing. He's also concerned about her concentration. I explained to him how Kaitlyn seems to be listening, but how I have to make her repeat things back to me if it's really important that she does it so I know that she heard me. So in a class setting her teacher might think she's there, but really her mind is wandering. I think that might be actually something that I could talk to her pediatrician about and see if there's any testing we can do there. I have CJ's 15 month well visit in March so I will talk to her about it then Hopefully by then I will have some idea of where the unofficial testing the school is doing is going.

So I felt it was a productive meeting and the principal does share my concerns. He agrees that in a situation like Kaitlyn's keeping her back is not the answer. Because if it's a learning disability like he suspects then keeping her back won't solve the problem. He says generally they only keep children back if they truly believe it's going to help them. So for example if they have a late birthday like December or if there's a social aspect like moving from another country and learning the language. Neither of these obviously fit Kaitlyn and since I've helped to put that bit of concern in his ear I think he is leaning towards a disability. We will see how things go over the next few months with her. It's almost like we are easing her into some special education. She will continue to receive all the extra support she's getting in reading. We will continue to work with her and maybe even a little speech in there too will help and all things will start to click with her. And any concerns about her writing her letters and numbers backwards wouldn't be addressed until this time next year in school anyways because that could definitely be a developmental thing.

Letter to Principal

I am meeting with the principal today at Kaitlyn's school to discuss her reading. I am requesting that he test her for learning disabilities and someone suggested I put that request in writing to the principal. Something about they have to take action when there is a request in writing. So whatever it takes to hopefully find an answer to Kaitlyn's reading troubles. Here's what I wrote:

Dear Mr. Audette,
I am writing in regards to my daughter Kaitlyn Barnes most recent reading test. She is reading at a DRA level of 6 at this point in time which I understand to be substantially deficient. I am very concerned and strongly urge you to have her tested to make sure there are no learning disabilities holding her back.

Kaitlyn works so hard at reading, but yet she seems to be at a stand still. She is receiving lots of assistance at school and at home as well, but there are days when she cannot read her high frequency word list and days when she can. I have spoken with Mrs. Gokey about where we go from here and I know she’s been documenting the things that are happening with Kaitlyn in class. I have also expressed my concerns to Mrs. Gokey and even last year to Miss Bouvier that she could have dyslexia. There is a strong family history of dyslexia as she has an aunt and an uncle with it and numerous cousins. I do not believe that retention is the best option for her though since for the most part this is the only area where she is struggling. This is why I strongly urge that we test and find a new approach to teaching her reading.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. I hope that we can work together in helping Kaitlyn learn to read. She enjoys school so much and I would hate to see her become discouraged if there was anything we could do to help her.


Monica Barnes

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: My Little Chefs

For more Wordless Wednesdays click here

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Talk about Restless Leg Syndrome

Sunday, February 1, 2009

15 Months Ago Today

I was in the hospital having just given birth to this beautiful little boy. Look how big he's getting. He impresses me every single day with what he can do. He's standing longer and longer now. It won't be long before he's taking his first steps. He jibber jabbers all day long and it's so sweet to hear. He's learning some sign language. He now can say "more" in sign.

He eats everything we eat now. He's such a good eater. He loves noodles, grilled cheese, jelly and cream cheese sandwiches, cheerios, eggs, yogurt, raisins, and so much more. They grow up so fast. I miss the tiny baby, but I love the mischievous little boy he is becoming.