Saturday, November 28, 2009

Week in Review: November 22 - November 28, 2009

Here is this weeks Week In Review for November 22 - November 28, 2009

Sunday: The kids woke me up way too early. Got up and wasn't feeling well at all. Got them to get their own breakfast and then spent the rest of the day either on the couch or in the bathroom. Not fun. Joe went to work. I got the kids some lunch and put CJ down for a nap. Then slept a little myself. Then Joe came home from work and I was feeling worse. He made dinner and washed some dishes. Joe got the girls in the shower and got them ready for bed for me. Sent the kids to bed and watched some TV and then went to bed.

Monday: Got up feeling better. Although I had a bad headache still. Got the kids ready for school. Joe brought them to school and I went to run a bath for CJ. I got a phone call from someone who I completely forgot I was supposed to meet to pick up their fundraiser. We arranged something else. I gave CJ a bath and then Joe got home. So I went and took a shower. Got ready to go meet this person for their fundraiser. Gave out the fundraiser and came home. Joe left for work. I swept the kitchen floor. I fed CJ lunch and put him down for his nap. Cleaned up the kitchen a little and then took it easy. CJ got up from his nap and we walked to go pick up the girls from school. Came home and got them going with homework. I washed dishes. When Joe got home from work we headed over to a friend's house who had invited us over for dinner. So we enjoyed a nice evening with friends. Left kind of late. Came home and put the kids right to bed. Joe and I stayed up and watched TV. Then we went to bed.

Tuesday: Got up and got the girls ready for school. Joe had already left for work. I cleaned up the living room and kitchen. Walked the girls to school. Came home and vacuumed. Then we had CJ's PAT (Parents As Teachers) visit. Things went well with that. She left and CJ and I played. I gave him lunch and put him down for a nap. Then I just hung around. Joe called and said he was getting out half an hour early (got to take a half hour lunch instead of an hour) so he'd go pick up the girls. So that saved me another walk. Then I got a phone call from someone who had ordered something from the fundraiser from someone but she didn't know who. She was angry with herself I think for not knowing who she ordered from, but seemed to expect me to fix the problem. I called Joe to have him find my PTA VP though so she could get in the closet to get me the list of who picked up and who didn't. He came home with the girls and that list. I tried to see if I could figure out who this lady ordered from, but all of the girls with a name even similar to what she thought her name was had picked up their stuff and I couldn't find any girls who even lived on the street this woman said she lived on. So not sure what's going to happen. If she calls back she's going to have to get me a lot of stuff before I can reimburse her. Then I helped Kaitlyn with her homework. That took forever. It was a big homework assignment for her, but her reading ability definitely made it harder. Finally got her through that though and then we had dinner. We played with the kids and then got them ready for bed and sent them to bed. Once they were in bed Joe and I watched some TV and I played on the computer. Then we were going to go to bed, but I realized I forgot to do something on the computer. So I went to do that and ended up staying up way later than I had planned on. Just as I was going to go to bed CJ woke up. So I went in thinking he lost "Bob" and found he had no diaper on. He was wet. His crib was wet. His blanket was wet. So I took him out. Stripped the bed. Stripped him. Put him in the tub. He was screaming and shivering. Washed him real quick. Joe woke up. I dried CJ off and put a nice warm sleeper on him and Joe took him into our bed to warm him up while I finished cleaning the mattress and remaking his bed. Then he put him back in his crib and I went and washed the sheets and blankets from his crib. Stayed up so I could put the stuff in the dryer and finally went to bed at about 3 a.m.

Wednesday: 7 a.m. comes quickly when you've only been in bed for 4 hours. I reluctantly got out of bed and got the girls ready for school. I got dressed. Joe brought the girls to school and came back and we went to the grocery store. Did some shopping. Then went to my Avon lady to get some fundraiser sheets she had for Avon to help the Make a Wish Foundation. Came home and put the groceries away. Gave CJ lunch. Put him down for a nap. Did some stuff around the house until it was time to pick the girls up from school at 1. Went and got them and talked to the principal and then came home to feed the girls lunch. Joe went to work. I laid down while the girls played with their brother and dozed for a few. Then I got up to someone pounding on the door. I didn't answer. They continued pounding. Do you know how hard it is to try to keep a 2 year old quiet in hopes that someone will leave? I hate answering the door when it's dark out, Joe's not home, and I wasn't expecting anyone. So I just don't do it. Whoever it was finally left and I washed dishes and started dinner. Fed the kids and then just hung around. Put CJ to bed and was watching TV with the girls when again there was a knocking on the door. Grrr, take the hint I'm not answering. I sent the girls to bed. Joe eventually came home from work. I washed dishes and started on my White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake squares. When they were done it was time for bed.

Thursday: Got to sleep in. Joe had already gone off to work. The kids were up. I made them pancakes for breakfast. Fed them. Did some laundry. And sat around not knowing what to do with myself. I put CJ down for a nap. Gave the girls a snack. Took a shower. Got dressed. Did more laundry. Sent the girls to take a shower. Woke CJ up from his nap. Gave him a bath. Got him dressed. Joe came home from work and changed. Got everything together and left to go to my parent's house for Thanksgiving. Got there as everyone was having dessert. We served ourselves what was left of the food which wasn't a lot. The kids played. We chatted with family. Everyone left and as soon as they were out the door our issues between my parents came up again. So we got the kids ready to leave and got out of there to go to Joe's brother's house. Then we went home and put the kids to bed. Joe and I watched some TV before we went to bed.

Friday: Got up and Joe and I talked about some things. Made a phone call. Checked some e-mail. Fed the kids. Did some laundry. Just hung around. Gave the kids lunch and put CJ down for a nap. Joe went to work. I did more laundry. CJ got up from his nap. I made dinner. Leftovers for dinner. I let all the kids stay up late. Joe came home from work. Put CJ to bed and the girls stayed up a little while longer before going to bed. Joe and I stayed up watching TV and on the computer. Then we went to bed.

Saturday: Finally a day off for Joe. We got up and ready to go. Went to pick up a TV from a Freecyler. Brought it home and went back out to get some gas, something to eat, and go to Walmart. Got the things we needed and then headed over to Old Navy. Got some really good deals there. Then went looking around for rentals. Found a few and came home. Did more laundry. Cleaned the house. Started some brownies. Joe called about the apartments. Most of them are too small for us. I started dinner. Did more laundry. Went and took a shower. Got dressed and waited for our company to come over. Had a nice dinner with friends. Then watched a movie. They left. I did some stuff on the computer and folded some laundry and then we went to bed.

Check out more Week In Review posts!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What are you Thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving. Today is a day when we reflect on what we are thankful for. Probably something many of us don't do enough so this is a nice reminder. So here are the things I'm thankful for this year:

My husband. This has been a difficult month for me health wise. I just haven't felt well. He has picked up the slack around the house and washed dishes and fed the kids. I'm glad I have a husband who will do these things to take a little stress off of my shoulders so I can concentrate on getting well. I love you Joe!

Natalie. I am thankful for such a smart hardworking girl who strives for perfection all the time. I wish she wouldn't put so much pressure on herself, but I'm glad she takes pride in her work.

Kaitlyn. I am thankful that she tries to help out even if it does make more work for me. She rearranged my pots and pans drawer today. I don't know where everything is, but it is in there neatly.

CJ. I am thankful to have a terrific son. He's such a wonderful little guy. No matter how frustrated he makes me he can always make me smile.

Good friends. I am thankful that I have found some really good friends. Friends that my whole family enjoy spending time with. Friends who are there for you at the drop of a hat whatever you need whenever you need it. Friends who you can joke around with and be yourself with.

My family. I am thankful to have people to share a special day like today with. To enjoy good conversation and good food with.

O'Connell School. I am thankful that the girls go to a school that cares so much. With so many wonderful teachers who take the time out to talk to me when I have concerns about my children. And who will help my children understand things better.

Our home. I am thankful to have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.

Work. I am thankful that in this economy Joe has a job. Even if it doesn't pay as much as I'd like or makes things easy all the time at least he has a job and I'm thankful for that.

Days off. I'm thankful for a break from the day to day grind to be able to enjoy my children and family.

So what are you thankful for? Please share.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Help the Garcia's have a Happy Thanksgiving

Well, tomorrow is turkey day! A day to give thanks. We all have so much to be thankful for. Why not spread the cheer?

My friend Renee is still short of the money she needs for her adoption of Kellsey. Things are moving right along though. The 10 day wait is over. Frank has gotten Kellsey's birth certificate. The paperwork is being filed with the court for her tax ID or something like that. The hope is that all the paperwork goes through smoothly and she gets her visa and passport quickly and can be home next week!!! They still could use some extra funding though to help make this happen. I know Renee and her whole family are so thankful for every dollar that has been donated. So tomorrow when Renee and the kids sit down to their dinner and say what they are thankful for I know your donations will be amongst those things she's thankful for. So please make this a happy Thanksgiving for this family and donate whatever you can to bring Kellsey home. You can chip in on my side bar. This is all I've wished for for my birthday too so if you can help get them a little closer I'll be thanking you over my turkey tomorrow too ;).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pass it on...

Just trying to get this out there. An important message that should be passed along. Make all of your friends and family watch it. You'll love it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week In Review: November 15 - November 21, 2009

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

Sunday: Got up and everyone was still sleeping. So I did some blogging. Then the kids got up. Got them breakfast. Joe got up and got ready for work. He left. Me and the kids were just hanging out. I fed them lunch. Put CJ down for a nap. Really didn't do much of anything. Joe came home from work. CJ woke up from his nap. I washed some dishes. I did a few loads of laundry. After dinner I put CJ in the tub for a bath. Sent the girls to take a shower. Put them all to bed. Finished up the laundry. Watched TV with Joe. Took a shower and went to bed.

Monday: I woke up early. I wasn't feeling too well. My stomach was a little funny. Not terrible just not really feeling right. The kids got up. I counted some money to get ready for a deposit I needed to make. Got the kids all ready for school. Joe brought them. I got CJ dressed. Shortly after Joe came home we went to bring CJ to the doctor for his iron recheck. We were there for a while just trying to get some information we needed for the lead tests we had done. The doctor does want us to get the apartment checked. Natalie's lead was 3, Kaitlyn's was 4, and CJ's recheck with the finger stick was 3.4. So they all do have lead in their system. Not really something they worry too much about, but given the state of our apartment the doctor would like us to have our landlord fix the problem. So we got the phone number for the CT DPH Lead Program. Left the doctor's office and went to the store to get something for Joe to make for dinner. Came home and had lunch and put CJ down for his nap. Then I waited for the school to call me to tell me that our fundraiser was in so I could go pay for it. Spent the afternoon at the school handing out fundraisers until 6:00. Joe came to pick the girls up. Went home and had dinner. Got the kids ready for bed. Sent them to bed. Then Joe and I watched some TV. I was so exhausted though that I fell asleep. Got up and got ready for bed and went to bed.

Tuesday: Got up early. Called the cable company to pay a bill I forgot to pay. Went and took a shower. Checked on the kids progress in getting ready. My friend dropped her kids off for me to bring them to school for her so she could take her boyfriend to the dentist to have a tooth pulled. I got all seven kids together and out the door to walk to the school. Walked them there and walked back minus five kids. Came home and CJ played with his friend while I swept the kitchen floor. Then I did some things on the computer and my friend arrived to pick up her son. They left and CJ seemed lost. He had a fit. I calmed him down and then fed him lunch and he fell asleep in his high chair. So I put him down for a nap. Made a few phone calls and just hung around. CJ got up from his nap and we headed out to pick the kids up from school. I had to get a few fundraisers out of the closet to hand out. We handed out some flyers for our McDonald's night tonight. I picked up one of my friends kids. Got my kids. Gave the fundraisers to people. And then we walked home. Got the kids started on homework. Waited for Joe to come back with my friends other child who got out at 4. They stayed for about half an hour playing and then their dad came and got them. They left and the kids finished up their homework and we left for our schools McDonald's night. Got there just before 5 when it began. Waited until we could order to go towards our fundraiser. Stayed there for the whole 3 hours chatting with people and monitoring the ice cream topping table and of course eating our own dinner. We had a nice turn out. The person who usually runs it was not there and left people in charge who had no clue, but it all worked out. I did have to get a correction on the amount of money we earned. They shorted us $100, but I got that taken care of. Came home and got the kids ready for bed and sent them off to bed. Then Joe and I stayed up watching some TV before going to bed ourselves.

Wednesday: Got up and got the kids ready for school. Went to playgroup with CJ. Had to get a fundraiser out of the closet for someone. Then I got a phone call while at playgroup from another parent about wanting to pick up their fundraiser. They were able to come right then so I went and got her fundraiser out of the closet too. She came and picked it up. We finished at playgroup and left to go to the grocery store. Got some groceries and came home and put them away. Fed CJ lunch and put him down for a nap. Then I just hung around the house. The phone rang and it was another fundraiser person. Arranged for a pick up for him, but realized we didn't actually have a fundraiser for him. Hmmm. Went to the school to pick up the kids. Talked to my PTA VP and the person who was supposed to show up to get the fundraiser that we didn't have didn't end up showing up. Maybe he realized that someone else had picked it up? Lets hope. Came home and got the kids started on homework. Cleaned up the kitchen and the living room. Some friends came over to put a new power source in our computer. Then they left and I cooked dinner. We ate dinner. The girls cleaned their rooms and then played a Nintendo game before they were sent to bed. Joe and I watched TV. I fell asleep. Joe woke me up because he dropped a glass and needed to vacuum. I got ready for bed. We went to bed.

Thursday: Got woken up by my phone ringing at 5:30 in the morning. I have no idea who it was. Tried to go back to sleep, but our upstairs neighbors were making noise. So I tossed and turned for the next hour and a half or so. Joe had to get up and go to work early. I got up shortly after he left. The kids had trouble getting going for some reason this morning. So I kept having to push them to get ready. We left the house and walked to school. Got them to school and came back home. Just hung out with CJ for the morning. Fed him lunch and put him down for a nap. Then I went and took a shower. I cleaned up the kitchen. Then went to get the girls from school. There was some drama in the parking lot so I hung around to see that it got resolved. Then I was chatting with some friends before I finally headed home. Got the kids going with their homework. Then we brought the kids over our friend's house to watch while Joe and I went to a meeting for newly identified gifted children. After the meeting we went back to pick up the kids. They were finishing up dinner at our friend's house. We hung around for a little while and then left for me and Joe to get something to eat. We got a pizza and came home and put the kids to bed and ate our dinner. We watched some TV and then went to bed.

Friday: Got up early. Got the kids ready for school. I brought the girls to school and then got ready to start popping popcorn. Spent the morning at school selling popcorn and handed out a fundraiser. Then I came home. Joe had to leave for work shortly after that so I brought him to work. Came home and CJ didn't want lunch so I put him to bed. I had something to eat and counted the popcorn money and cleaned up the living room. Then I got CJ up from his nap and went to pick the girls up from school. I asked Natalie's teacher if we could have a conference next week. She said we could do it now. So I got Kaitlyn and went up to Natalie's classroom. Natalie has been getting discouraged with her writing in her "Reading Response Journal" which is letters she writes to her teacher each week about what she has been reading. So Natalie hasn't been pleased with her 90's she's been getting lately on this because well you know a 90 isn't a good grade in the mind of a student used to getting 100's. I've been explaining to Natalie that her teacher is pushing her. Which is exactly what she told me she was doing. And I'm glad she's giving her a challenge. So she talked to Natalie about it and explained to her that she knows she can do this which is why she expects more of her. I think she got a better idea of just what her teacher expects out of these letters and better yet I know just what she wants so I can help her accomplish this. We left the school and went to the store. Got Joe and came home. Figured out dinner. Ate and the kids played while I caught up on some things on the computer and Joe watched TV. Then we put CJ to bed and the girls stayed up a little while watching TV with us. Then we sent them to bed. I washed a load of laundry. Wrote my Nintendo Wii video game review. Watched some TV. And went to bed very late.

Saturday: The kids slept in which meant I got to sleep in. Good too since at 5:30 a.m. someone was outside our window screaming that they fell and hurt their ankle or something. They were very loud. It didn't last too long. At least not that I know of by the time I heard it. I was thinking maybe I should call an ambulance or something for this person, but then it stopped. Got up and cleaned up a little. Got the kids breakfast. Played around on the computer. Joe went to work. I just hung out at home with the kids. Fed them some lunch. Put CJ down for a nap. I laid down on the couch and fell asleep. CJ got up so I got him out of his crib. Washed dishes and started dinner. Joe got home from work and we ate dinner. After dinner I was very crampy so I laid down on the couch. Joe got CJ ready for bed and put him to bed. The girls stayed up a little later. I brushed Kaitlyn's hair and then she brushed mine. Then we sent them to bed. CJ wasn't really going to sleep and we couldn't figure out why until we realized the girls light was on. So we had to break up the little party and get everyone to just go to sleep. Joe and I stayed up. Playing around on the computer and watching TV.

Check out more Week In Review posts!

Watch Out for the Punk Punks

Recently I was contacted by someone from They wanted me to have my children try out a new Wii video game called "Escape From Adventure Island". It was due to release on November 17th. I was offered a chance to check it out before it was released. This is what I was told about the game:

Escape from Adventure Island is designed for children between the ages of 5-9. It's an action-packed game that invites players to use their explorer skills and brain power to find a way to escape the mysterious island that they crashed landed on. As players race to collect the pieces needed to repair their blimp, they will navigate 3D worlds both above and below the water. Along the way, players will practice over 150 math, reading, and critical thinking skills all while having fun!

I thought this sounds like the perfect game for my daughter Kaitlyn. Perhaps it will help with her reading skills which she struggles with. So I anxiously accepted the offer. A few weeks later the game arrived in the mail and we opened it up and tried it out.

I was excited to see that both my 7 year old and my 10 year old were enjoying playing. As a matter of fact they were quickly fighting over who got to play it next. Unfortunately it is only a one player game. This was something I wished was not the case. I wish that it was a multiple player game. It wouldn't stop the fighting in my house I'm sure, but it might have made things a little bit easier. Then they would have only been fighting about which section of the game they were going to play. Instead of who would play next and what section of the game they should play.

In the few weeks we have had the game we haven't even begun to fully get into every aspect of the game. Both girls are very interested in it though. Even though it says it is for ages 5-9 I believe they could even raise those age limits. Natalie found some parts challenging. There are multiplication, division, and fractions on it for math which are exactly the things Natalie is working on at age 10 and in the 5th grade. From what I saw they did seem to be more simple multiplication and division problems, but I didn't sit there and watch them play the whole time. When I asked Natalie if it was challenging for her she replied that yes it was. So still fun and challenging even for a 10 year old.

We did find that it was difficult to navigate through the game without having the nun-chuck hooked up to the controller. That turned into a bit of a pain every time they wanted to find a different area to explore having to hook the nun-chuck back up and then unplug it to play the games. Now granted, Kaitlyn always seems to have trouble getting the Wii remote to work just right. Not sure if it's where we have the bar located for the remote or what, but even still Joe found it difficult to navigate without using the nun-chuck too.

All in all though I think this is a great game. I certainly don't mind so much having the girls play this video game even on weeknights when they have school the next day. I do feel like they are learning all sorts of things and I look forward to them continuing to explore more of the game. If I could change anything about this game it would just be that it was a multi-player game and the navigation in the "story mode" was a little more user friendly. I have to say though I do definitely highly recommend this game to all elementary age children. It retails for only $29.99 and is available for sale now. It is rated "E" for everyone by the ESRB. I think it would make a great Christmas gift for your children. It's got what mom wants (education) and what kids want (fun and adventure).

Here's a video of the girls playing the game. Be sure to watch out for the Punk Punks...

Friday, November 20, 2009

McTeacher's Night

Tuesday night we had the first of two McTeacher's Nights. A fundraiser at McDonald's where for 3 hours 15% of all proceeds go towards our school. We get people from the school to come out. The teachers and staff come and we flood McDonald's with a bunch of O'Connell School students, parents, teachers, and staff. We had a nice turn out. Unfortunately our new Vice Principal did not see fit to come, but our old Vice Principal did which I thought was nice. We managed to raise $356 for our school. So a good night. And it was filled with lots of fun and great memories.

Natalie with whip cream on her face after we pushed her face into her icecream


Kaitlyn pretending to eat with her friends

I managed to catch Kaitlyn while she was running around playing

The principal eating his dinner and chatting it up with a preschooler

A very angry Natalie because she got caught walking on the chairs and she was punished

So see what fun. Well, except for the punishment in the restaurant. It's always so hard when other children do things that I never in a million years would expect my children to do. Natalie did get to get up after her punishment and continue to have a good time with her friends. Only after promising she wouldn't do it again. That was hard for the stubborn girl to do though which was why the face in that picture ;).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meet an Intellectually Gifted 10 Year Old

This is my daughter Natalie. She was born on April 22, 1999. I dreamed the world for her. I've watched her grow and change for the past 10 years. I worried greatly about her when at 17 months she was put into the Birth to Three program for a speech delay. What did I do? Was it my fault? What will this mean for her future? And I fought hard with Birth to Three and eventually the school system to keep her speech consistent. Then half way through her Kindergarten year I got the news that she was being discharged from speech because she was all caught up. I had my doubts. For a few years I continually checked in with her teachers and reminded them that she had some language troubles and if they noticed any issues to please tell the school speech pathologist. Eventually my fears went away though and I stopped telling her teachers about her speech delay. She was doing so well in school. She worked so hard. Just last year they started giving actual letter grades and she was a straight A student! She just blows my mind. I never managed to get straight A's in school. She's amazing. Way more amazing than I ever could have imagined.

Last week we received a letter in the mail that Natalie had qualified for the intellectually gifted program. I knew she was being tested for this program. I tried to play it off as no big deal if she made it in or didn't make it in. I knew it would open all sorts of doors for her, but the last thing she needed was pressure from me. After all she's way harder on herself in her school work than I could ever be. I'm afraid I couldn't hide my excitement though when she got accepted into the program. I am one proud mother. I am the mother of a gifted child. Not sure I can take too much credit for it though. It's all her hard work. She has come a very long way from that speech delayed 17 month old who didn't say a word.

Tonight Joe and I went to an informational program about the gifted program. We learned what special stimulation our daughter is going to receive. We learned how to best advocate for her education. We learned how to deal with her ourselves. And we learned that we live in a state that does not believe they need to mandate the education of the gifted. We are lucky to live in a town that believes in fostering the talents of the gifted, but all the state of CT requires towns to do is identify that children are gifted. They don't say how, they don't say when, and they don't give funding.

Natalie will be pulled out once a week for special fun activities. The gifted teacher works with the teachers in the school so she won't miss out on any important learning. Natalie has already met the gifted teacher and they are going to begin an assignment of inventing something. So far all Natalie has said she'd like to invent is a robot to clean her room. It will be interesting to see how this idea develops.

My name is Monica and I'm the parent of a gifted child. Stay tuned to see what this journey brings us...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Did you think I forgot?

My promise to keep reminding you about my My Birthday Wish? Well, I did not! Frank is still over there waiting out the 10 day wait period. That should be up on Friday. And then the fun will begin for him. The mad dash to get birth certificates, passports, and medical records and clearance. All in anticipation of bringing his little girl home to their anxiously awaiting Mom, Grandma, and brothers and sister. Funds are still making it difficult though. So please chip in on my side bar whatever you can to make this all happen before Christmas. We want Kellsey home where she belongs. Home where she can get proper medical care. Home where she can get constant love and hugs and kisses. Home where she can get spoiled rotten. Home where she can have thousands of pictures and videos of her taken just the way any little princess would want it to be. Home where she'll have two older sisters to play dolls with and an older brother to tickle her and a little brother who will surely look up to her in complete amazement. Home into a loving mother's arms. Lets give her all of this. Wouldn't you want a place like this if you didn't have it? Don't you want this sweet little angel faced girl to have that?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why do I blog

I began this blog over a year and a half ago. It's my first blog. It's my only blog. But when I started it I did it because it just seemed like the thing to do. I had been reading some blogs and found them interesting. And I thought hey there's a real following out here for mommy blogs. I'm a mommy and I enjoy writing so okay I'll give it a go. I thought it would be a nice way to keep what the children are doing and what we're doing as a family all in one place. A place where I could post some pictures. Maybe something the kids could look back on one day and say hey that's what my mom was thinking about when I was this age.

Once I started doing it I was hooked. It became so much more. It's been a place to put the letters that I write to my children every year on their birthdays. Geee, why didn't I think of this sooner? It has been a place to share about my families triumphs and difficult times. I have been able to put my thoughts out there in my journey to figure out why my son wasn't gaining weight. And people were able to show me some support. I've been able to rejoice about all sorts of different milestones my children have achieved. I have shared about CJ's Doc Band. I have had complete strangers e-mail me about that experience because they were about to go through it with their child too and wanted to know what to expect. I shared about the loss of a pregnancy and a daughter I only got to carry below my heart for a short time. Yes, I had some comments left that were negative and hurtful, but I also found out who my real friends were.

When I blog it's the spur of the moment. What I'm feeling at that time. I rarely schedule posts to go through. Only my week in review is scheduled, but I'm working on that throughout the week. The occasional "fun" thing is posted in advance. And maybe a holiday post I'll write up in advance and schedule to post. But the everyday life stuff is usually written in the moment. It's just me and how I feel at any given moment. Now yes, I do carry my camera around with me more often than I used to in hopes of capturing a blog worthy moment. There are times when in the shower I think oh that would be a fun thing to blog about, but I'll need to take a picture of that. Honestly, my picture folders on my computer are filled with some why would anyone ever take a picture of that pictures. And it's usually for my blog. But it's my life. And it's how I live. And it's something that someday when my children are grown they can look back on and understand maybe why I might have done some of the things I did. Maybe they'll have a better understanding of me the person and not just me the mother. That I am human and I do have my faults, but everything I've ever done has always been for them and with their best interest at heart. And maybe they didn't always agree with my decisions and maybe other people didn't always agree with my decisions, but that I did what I felt was the best thing to do in that moment in time. I hope they do get that.

Now there is a reason I felt it was important to write this post. I have been struggling with the thought of going private with this blog. I mean I have had my share of problems. And I just found out that my parents have read my blog. Or portions of it. And my parents and I have had a difficult relationship during the time I've been writing this blog so some of my posts have been written in frustration over our relationship. So mom and dad, I hope you are reading this post on my blog. I know that you read this post. And when you brought it up I couldn't remember what I had written. It was written two months ago. A lot has happened since then. At the time I wrote it though I was feeling very manipulated. I stand by everything that I wrote in there though as the truth. That was how I felt about the situation. Now that I know exactly what it was you were talking about I'm a little better equipped to defend myself when it comes to what was written. If you are so concerned though about what the people who might be reading my blog might think of you, then perhaps changing your behavior might be in order. The fact of the matter is I don't have to tell people anything about my parents. They can see it for themselves if they ever meet them and the way they interact with me, my husband, and my children. I have actually had people that know nothing of the problems I have had say to me what is up with your dad? Just from meeting him and being around him and my family for a few minutes.

I will continue to keep this blog public. I will continue to write what I'm feeling. If you do not like what you are reading then don't read it. If you think what I'm saying is untrue, then I challenge you to prove me wrong. This blog has become informative for people and has been therapeutic for me. It has also given me some unique opportunities to try out new products. Watch for a review of a new Wii game that we were given a chance to try with the family. It has been a great thing for me and I refuse to let anyone make me turn this into a private blog. There's just no reason for it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Week In Review: November 8 - November 14, 2009

Here is this weeks Week In Review for November 8 - November 14, 2009

Sunday: Got up around 8. Hung around for the morning. Then went to Walmart to return something and get a few things. We discovered Halloween stuff on sale for 90% off. So I got a whole bunch of stuff for next years Fall Festival. It ended up taking much longer than I anticipated. We came home and had lunch. Joe took the girls fishing one last time while I put CJ down for a nap. I was going to start laundry, but instead laid down to nap. Everyone came home and CJ got up from his nap. Joe decided he wanted Subway for dinner. So we went out and ended up renting a movie too. We came home and ate dinner. Got the kids showered and ready for bed. Sent them to bed and I worked on that laundry. Then we watched our movie. I did more laundry. Got 3 loads done and we went to bed.

Monday: Got up and got the kids ready for school. Joe brought the girls to school and then went to check his work schedule. I made a few phone calls. One to the kids doctor about getting a lead test. One to the school fundraiser to check on it's progress. And one to the bank to figure out why they had taken money out of my account. The only one I cleared up at that time was the fundraiser. I left messages at the other two. When Joe came home we went out to get a movie at the Disney Store that we had pre-ordered a month ago. Got that and went out to lunch. Then we went to look for some pants for Joe and a few other things. We went home. Finally having heard from the doctor's office about their blood work. So I tried to call the lab to see if they had gotten the paperwork so I could schedule for us to come in, but I couldn't find a number to speak to them directly. So we went to pick the girls up from school. I spoke to the doctor's office again who said it would be ready by the time we got the kids from school. So we went to the lab. Tried to get their blood drawn. We got both of the girls no problem, but CJ was a problem. They couldn't get at his vein. So we left with a bruise and battered little boy. Came home and the girls did homework while I prepared for my PTA meeting. Got lots of interruptions from other PTA officers and my kids doing their homework. Somehow I finished the work I needed to do though. Joe fed the kids while I went to my meeting. We had a good meeting. I received an award. Got some upsetting news that our vice principal who we haven't even had for a year had left suddenly to become an interim principal at another school. Very frustrating because we really liked the vice principal. Came home from the meeting and put the kids to bed. I did more laundry. Heated up dinner. And Joe and I watched TV. Then after another load of laundry was completed I went and took a shower and got ready for bed.

Tuesday: Got up and Kaitlyn was complaining her stomach hurt. She didn't have a fever though so I told her to just take it easy and get ready. She wasn't feeling better so I told her to stay on her bed and that was where she'd be all day if she was sick. I checked on her later and she was sitting up. So I asked her if she was going to school. She didn't want to stay home so she got ready for school. We brought the kids to school. CJ had playgroup today instead of Wednesday this week. So we were enjoying the special playgroup. Got to see some critters. Then the school nurse came down and told me Kaitlyn was sick and threw up and I needed to bring her home. But I could take my time she was in the office. So I finished watching the animals with CJ and then went up and got Kaitlyn. Brought her down to playgroup for the last part of it and then brought her home. She actually seemed perfectly fine to me. I fed CJ. Joe went to a doctor's appointment. I put CJ down for a nap and Kaitlyn was playing. No more sick to her stomach or throwing up and she was wanting to eat. I did some laundry. Joe came home from his doctor's appointment. We laid down. Joe went to get Natalie from school. CJ got up from his nap. The kids did their homework. I did more laundry. Washed dishes and cooked dinner. After dinner we got the kids ready for bed. Put CJ to bed and let the girls stay up and watch TV. Sent them to bed. I finished the laundry. Fell asleep on the couch and got up and went to bed.

Wednesday: Got up late. No school though. Veteran's Day. Joe went back to work. The kids and I just hung out all day. I did some dishes. Fed the kids lunch. Put CJ down for a nap. Got a headache so I laid down on the couch. Took some chicken out to defrost for dinner. CJ got up from his nap. Joe got home from work. I started cooking dinner. I realized that I was short on tortillas. Joe got mad because he didn't want to go back out to get more. I wasn't asking him to. We got into a huge fight. He lost his temper. I kicked him out. Finished cooking dinner and fed the kids. Then Joe came back home and apologized for his behavior. We ate. Got the kids ready for bed. Sent them to bed. Stayed up and watched some TV. I took a shower and went to bed.

Thursday: Got up early. Right after Joe left for work. Did some stuff on the computer. As the kids got up I urged them to get ready. They were dragging their feet though. Finally got them to get going though. We had to walk to school. It was colder outside than I was expecting. I got them to school on time and walked back home. This was the first time I really exerted myself since I had my bronchitis. So it wasn't easy for me. I was wheezing by the time I got home. CJ was very playful. I played with him and he fell asleep on the floor just before lunch. So I decided to just put him down for his nap. Then I had some lunch and watched some TV. I fell asleep too. Joe came home from work and CJ got up a little while later. It was time to go get the girls though. We picked them up and then we went to the store to get something for dinner. We came home and the girls started homework. We had dinner and I sent the girls to clean their room. Then I ended up putting everyone to bed early. I worked on some pictures. Watched some TV. Took a shower and went to bed.

Friday: Got up early and got the kids ready to leave the house early for our weekly Friday popcorn popping. Joe went and got the popcorn started. I went down to the FRC to see if it would be okay if I left the girls down there to have breakfast while I was helping with the popcorn. Also spoke to someone about our meeting later in the morning. Then went up to help Joe. We popped popcorn and then at 9:00 I went down to the FRC for my advisory board meeting. Met with them and then went to check on the popcorn progress. Things were going well. We finished up the popcorn and left the school. We went to the bank to make a deposit and then went to Walmart to spend a gift card CJ had gotten. Got what we needed there and went to lunch. Then tried again to get CJ's blood drawn. The lab was still unsuccessful in finding a vein and I am getting frustrated. Came home and put CJ down for a nap. I called the doctor's office to explain the situation and find out what to do. We're going to try the children's hospital. I counted popcorn money. Went to the PTA bank to get some coin wrappers and find out why we were charged $2 on our bank statement. Got that all figured out and came home. Wrapped the coins and then went to pick the girls up from school. Came home and did a quick clean up. My dad came over to pick the girls up to take them for the night. Sent them with him and then Joe and I tried to figure out what we were going to do. We rented a movie. I took some pictures so I could send out thank you notes for CJ's birthday. We went to Walgreens to get the pictures printed and then we went out to dinner. Picked up our movie from the Redbox and got Joe's work schedule. Then we stopped at Walgreens to get our pictures and came home. Got CJ ready for bed. I did his thank you notes. Joe and I watched our movie. Then we stayed up and watched some TV and went to bed.

Saturday: Got up just before 8:30 to CJ crying. Went and got him out of bed and fed him breakfast. Then Joe got up. I put the thank you notes out in the mail. Joe got ready for work. He left. I hung around the house all day. CJ took a nice long nap. I washed dishes and cleaned up the living room and kitchen. I folded some laundry. Then Joe came home from work and we cooked dinner. Ate dinner. Then spent the rest of the night watching TV waiting for the girls to come home. Put CJ to bed. When the girls finally came home and we got my parents to leave we sent the girls to bed. Joe and I watched some more TV. I went and took a shower and we went to bed.

Check out more Week In Review posts!

Picture it with CJ

Here are some random pictures of CJ. He's such a goof ball. How can anyone not love that face?

CJ crawled into the laundry basket

Eating a pop

CJ with some pants on his head

Wearing his sisters Halloween headband

Look who's TWO


Stay tuned! More pictures to come of his big sisters.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall Leaves

Over the weekend we enjoyed some nice weather. It was actually pretty warm. So for a little while the kids went out to play in the newly fallen leaves. This was the first time CJ had played in leaves before. He loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank a Veteran

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month the guns fell silent. And that is how Veteran's Day began at the end of World War 1. The guns did not fall silent for long so that is why we need to remember to thank those who have fought so hard for our freedom. We are truly blessed to be Americans and have the freedoms we have. And this would not be possible without all of the brave men and women who have fought for these freedoms in the past, now in the present, and who will continue to fight in the future. So here's a little poem to help remember to thank a veteran:

Take A Moment To Thank A Veteran

When you see someone in a uniform
Someone who serves us all,
Doing military duty,
Answering their country’s call,

Take a moment to thank them
For protecting what you hold dear;
Tell them you are proud of them;
Make it very clear.

Just tap them on the shoulder,
Give a smile, and say,
"Thanks for what you’re doing;
To keep us safe in the USA!"

By Joanna Fuchs

I have one military person that you can thank in a big way today too. I told you I'd keep bringing this up. My birthday wish is a chance for you to thank a current member of the armed forces. Frank Garcia serves in the Army and is still in Eastern Europe trying to bring his daughter home. You can help make that possible with a small donation to their adoption. The chip in is on my side bar. What better way to thank a veteran than giving him the one thing he wants most in this world; his Kellsey to be home for Christmas!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Don't Forget...

my birthday wish. There's still time to chip in for Kellsey's adoption. Things are moving along great for them on the paper trail front. Court date is tomorrow. That will officially make Kellsey theirs. Renee will come home while her husband Frank will stay there getting Kellsey's passport and other needed paperwork together for the next two weeks before she can come home. They still need help with funds though. So please help them out. There's a lot to worry about still. Lets not make money one of those things. We can help take one less stressor of this whole amazing process away from them. So make my birthday wish come true and chip in whatever you can to help bring Kellsey home!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week In Review: November 1 - November 7, 2009

Here is this weeks Week In Review for November 1 - November 7, 2009

Sunday: Today was CJ's birthday. I was up early because the girls had the bright idea to set their alarmas for 8 when CJ was born to wish him a happy birthday. Problem is they didn't set their clock back an hour the night before. So 7 a.m. and the kids were making noise. So I got up. Gave them breakfast. Did some stuff around the house. Then we got dressed and went to Walmart to return one of CJ's toys that wouldn't work and to spend some birthday money. Also went to return bottles and cans. Did all of that and came home. Had lunch and put CJ down for a nap. I went and took a shower and got ready to meet my friend so we could go to our other friend's father's wake. We went there and were shocked by the amount of people there. The line went out the door and down the road to get in to give our condolences. Over an hour in line and we finally got in to see our friend. We didn't get to talk to her too long. We chatted with a few other people there we knew and left. The line was still well out the door. My friend dropped me off at home. Joe was upset with me because it was getting late. I guess he thought I was sitting around chatting. He had to start dinner. So we ate dinner. Sang happy birthday to CJ again. Gave the girls a bath and got everyone ready for bed. Joe and I watched some TV. I fell asleep. Getting hit hard with a cold. Took some cold medicine and went to bed.

Monday: Woke up feeling lousy. Joe got up to get the girls going though since it was my birthday. I got up around 8. Kept the girls going with getting ready. Joe brought them to school. He came back and I put CJ in the tub. Gave him a bath and then Joe got him dressed while I got dressed. We went to the doctor for his 2 year check up. That went well. Came home and fed CJ lunch and put him down for a nap. Then I did some things online and tried to make the pounding sinus pressure go away. I laid down on the couch while Joe went to pick the girls up from school. I fell asleep waiting for him to come back because he took forever. He finally came home. The girls started their homework. I relaxed on the couch for a while. Finally got up so we could go out to dinner. Met some friends at Chili's for dinner. Had a nice dinner out. Got sung happy birthday to. Came home. Put CJ to bed. The girls got to stay up because there is no school tomorrow. So they watched TV with us before we sent them to bed. Then I went and soaked in the bath tub for a while. Got out still feeling the effects of this cold and went to bed.

Tuesday: Woke up feeling awful. Had a fever. Joe went to get blood work done. All three kids were home as there was no school. I tried laying down on the couch, but the kids weren't letting that happen. Problem was I was very dizzy. The quick going to the lab to have blood work done ended up being a 2 hour thing for Joe so I was a little upset. When he got home though I did nothing but lay on the couch and sleep. Or try to anyways with all of the children around. And that was my day. I did not move from the couch except to go to the bathroom or get something to drink or eat. It was awful.

Wednesday: Woke up with no fever. Still not feeling great. Weak and achy. Got the kids ready for school. Joe came with me to bring them in and go to playgroup with me. We brought cupcakes to celebrate CJ's birthday. Had playgroup. Sang to CJ. Then we went to hand out some cupcakes around the school. Then we came home. I cleaned up some of the mess in the kitchen from my stint on the couch the day before. But I'm still feeling very tired and weak so I stopped short of washing dishes. And much to my surprise Joe actually washed dishes. Put CJ down for a nap and then laid down trying to kick this cold out of my system. Joe went and picked the girls up from school. When they came home they did their homework. I ended up going out and getting Burger King for dinner. Ate dinner and watched TV with the kids. Got them to bed. I was feeling pretty bad again. I went to took a bath and then went to bed.

Thursday: Got up feeling a little better, but not 100%. Called my doctor and got an appointment for first thing in the morning. Joe took the girls to school and I got dressed and ready for my doctor's appointment. Had to wear a mask in the doctor's office which stunk. Got in pretty quickly though and they think I have bronchitis. I did a breathing treatment at the doctor's office and got prescriptions for an inhaler, antibiotic, and cough medicine. Went to the store to get my scripts and a few groceries. Got all of that stuff and came home. Got winded walking up the stairs. Fed CJ lunch and put him down for a nap. Then I ate and took my medicine. Joe went to a friend's house to get a couch and it left me home with a sleeping CJ to just relax which was nice. Turned out that Joe couldn't get the couch though so he came home and we went to pick the girls up from school. Also got my friends daughter and dropped her off at her house. Hung out there for a few and came home to start on homework. I started on the dishes and cleaned up the living room. Took my first inhaler because of all of that. I don't know that it's really helping me. Sat down and relaxed for a while. Joe did dishes again. What a relief he's home this week and helping out. I cooked dinner. Had to take lots of breaks to catch my breath. Had the girls clean off the messy kitchen table and clean their rooms. We ate dinner. Sent the girls to clean more. CJ fought about finishing more of his dinner. I had Joe switch out the TV's so the kids could play the new Wii game I got to review. They played it and then went to bed. And Joe and I relaxed and watched TV for the evening. Went to bed.

Friday: Got up and got the kids ready for school. Joe brought them in early to have breakfast and to start popping popcorn. I stayed home with CJ and fed him and cleaned up. I got him dressed and I got dressed and we watched the slide show of his birthday. Then we had our PAT (Parents As Teachers) visit. When that was over CJ and I just hung around. Joe came home soon after. We counted the popcorn money. CJ had lunch and went down for his nap. Joe and I laid down and then Joe's phone rang. It was our friend wanting to change our breaks. So Joe went to his house to have him do that. I fell asleep. Joe called to tell me that he wouldn't be done in time to go get the girls from school, but our friend would go get them. So I relaxed a little longer and then got up and started making chocolate chip cookies. CJ got up from his nap. I finished the cookies and cleaned up the kitchen. Started making sauce. Tried to find out when Joe would be back. He finally came home around 4:30. He took over the cooking while I cleaned the bathroom and then rested. We were supposed to have company for dinner, but they got lost coming here and just went back home. So we ate dinner. CJ was in need of a bath. Joe actually gave it to him. Kaitlyn had some trouble behaving so she went to bed early. So Natalie and CJ stayed up watching TV for a little while. We put CJ to bed and let Natalie stay up a little longer before going to bed. Not long after Joe and I went to bed too.

Saturday: Got up and hung around the house for a little while. My parents called to see how I was feeling and if I still wanted to go out to dinner and to make our final plans for that. Then we called our friends and went out to breakfast with them at IHOP. We waited forever. Well, there were 11 of us after all. And when they seated us they told us they could give us two tables across from each other, but we wouldn't be right together. We said okay to that, but were a little disappointed at how far away from each other we ended up being. We had to yell to each other to communicate. We had two separate waitresses. Ours was a bit rude. When we got our checks they had charged us a gratuity. I couldn't figure out why since our check said there were only four people. Who charged gratuity for 4 people? Plus I saw they charged us regular price for the kids hot chocolates and CJ's juice and not the child's price. So I questioned all of this. I did not want to pay the 15% gratuity because our waitress did not deserve it. The owner/manager argued with me about it. He said because we came in as a party of 11. I said yeah but you didn't seat us together and we had two separate waitresses. I mean it's not even like we got our food all together or anything either. We got him to take that off and he only took off for one of the children's drinks. Then he tried to tell me that we got regular sized hot chocolates for the children. I said well that's not what I ordered that's what the waitress brought. So if she brought us the wrong thing then it's her fault and she should pay for it not me. How was I supposed to know it wasn't a child's portion. And he was like well you consumed it. You can't get a free meal. Ugh, seriously this man got on my nerves big time. If we paid only what we consumed then my bill should have been adjusted for that because Kaitlyn barely ate her pancake. I ordered children's drinks for my children and I expect to pay for children's drinks. If the waitress messed up it's not my fault and I should not be charged for that. I did get that taken off too. And I gave our rude waitress her lousy tip and we left. Said goodbye to our friends and we went to Walmart to get a few things. Then we stopped at Home Depot to look for a lead test. Got that and came home. Cleaned out the inside of the van and let the kids play in the leaves for a while. Then we put CJ down for a nap. The girls played Nintendo and I took a shower and got ready for my parents to come over to take us out for my birthday dinner. Joe stayed home and me and the kids went out with my parents for dinner. Then we came home. Joe wasn't here when we got home. He came home a little while later though. I put CJ to bed. And the girls stayed up with us watching TV for a little while. Then they went to bed. Joe and I stayed up a little while longer.

Check out more Week In Review posts!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lets give a 3 year old her Forever Family

Well, like I said I'm going to keep reminding you about my Birthday Wish! You can still make it come true. And today is even more special because today is Kellsey's 3rd birthday. So now it's not just my wish, but it's Kellsey's wish too. She might not know it yet, but she needs this family. So please go chip in on my side bar. Can you really say no to this little face?

The Birthday Girl

Kellsey with her new mama

I can't say no to that face. Lets make this family complete. Help make this adoption happen. Chip in on the side bar. I won't stop posting about this until they reach their goal so pass this around to whoever you know.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

CJ's Halloween Birthday Party

Finally! Here are the pictures from CJ's birthday party and Halloween. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Still time for my Birthday Wish

Remember my Birthday Wish? Well you can still make my wish come true. You have until December 1st. So I'm going to continue posting about this. And let me just show you why this is so very important to me:

Renee and Frank got to meet their beautiful little girl face to face yesterday. Look at how happy they all are. Lets make it possible for them to bring her home to meet her four other siblings. There's Kassidy who's 10 today, Kameron who turned 8 yesterday, Kennedy who's 5 and also has Down Syndrome, and Keeghan who's 2. Kellsey will make a wonderful addition to this family. I can't wait to see a family portrait of all 7 of them together. So please help make this possible for them. The "chip in" button is on my sidebar. Any donation is greatly appreciated. Lets bring Kellsey home!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Birthday Wish

Today is my birthday! Or as I like to refer to it as the 2nd anniversary of my 29th birthday. And this year I have one wish and one wish only. I want my friend Renee to be able to adopt her beautiful baby girl Kellsey from Eastern Europe. She is over there right now getting to meet her and putting the final touches on their adoption. But they are still about $5000 short of their goal. So lets help them reach it in time to bring their little girl home. Just click on the link below to chip in. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Please make my birthday wish come true and help this beautiful little girl find her "Forever Home".

Click here to read more about Renee and Kellsey's journey.

CJ's 2 year Well Check

Just one day after turning 2 CJ had to have his well baby check today. He's doing great! He was 32 3/4 inches tall and 24 pounds 6.5 ounces. Both of those are in the 10th %tile which is where he's steadily remained for months now. His head is 50 cm which is in the 90th %tile so he's still got a big head. Which means lots of brains.

And boy does he use those brains too. Since turning 2 his language has flourished. Developmentally the doctor is very pleased with him. But more importantly she is pleased in his weight gain and feels we can try taking him off the pediasure. I love that. His iron was a little low, but he's fighting off a cold. So I talked her into holding off on the iron supplement and retesting in two weeks to see if it goes up. We had this issue at his one year as well and he was also fighting off an illness so we waited it out and retested when he was better and he was fine. Lead was a slight concern too. It wasn't very high, but it's something we're going to keep an eye on with him. And in the mean time I need to spick and span the windows and walls.

He did get one shot today. He got the HIB vaccine. The last one he needed. They had to hold off on giving it out to older children because there was a shortage of it, but they've got enough of the vaccine now so he was able to get his final dose today. We discussed the flu vaccine and the swine flu vaccine. I opted out of both. The doctor was pushing the swine flu vaccine though because the very young are at high risk. I'm just very concerned about the rush there was to make it. So we'll just follow common flu prevention practices.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday CJ

My Dearest CJ,
Today you turn 2. I find myself wondering where the time has gone. You amaze me every day. I watch you grow up and become your own little person. This has all been such a new experience for me. Never did the sight of a truck cause so much excitement for me until you came into my life. So thank you for that.

Thank you for your sweet hugs and kisses the few times you give them out. I cherish every one I get from you.

Thank you for your beautiful smile that lights up a room.

I love the way you try to say new words and mimic everything we say. It brings such joy to me to watch you learn something new or try to figure out how something works.

You are turning into such a little man. I wish I could freeze this time with you, but I know I can't. So I will cherish every moment we have together right now. I will continue to write about the things you do and take all sorts of pictures of you my beautiful, goofy, curious little man. I love you with all of my heart and I always will. I hope you have a wonderful 2nd birthday. I look forward to seeing what this year brings for you.