Thursday, December 2, 2010

12/2/03 + 12/2/10 = David is 7

Well, David’s countdown is over. He is finally seven! For weeks he’s been saying he’s seven and three quarters…then he moved on to seven and four quarters…then seven and six quarters. lol
He was pretty excited.

I love my little man.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shark Boy

My little guy will be seven in two days...and he still has not lost even one tooth.
It seems his teeth are so happy in his little face that they just wanna stay forever.
Both of his adult incisors on the bottom are right there, 100% ready and waiting for their turn in the spotlight. But those baby teeth are nowhere near ready to come out.
So for now, he will simply have two rows of teeth...and I will call him Bruce.103_2801 - Copy

Friday, November 26, 2010

O’ Christmas Tree

We always start decorating for Christmas as soon as Thanksgiving is over. So this morning, there was no time to waste :)

When we were preparing to put up the tree, Samantha was crazy happy when she found her 101 Dalmatians ornament, which Grandma & Grandpa gave her last year. Pretty ironic :) 

David was equally happy when he found the Lightning McQueen ornament that they gave him last year. He was under the impression that this had been a keychain and he had us looking all over the house for it this past summer while he sobbed…

And Layla was super excited when she found her Elf hat & jingle bell jewelry that Santa brought her last year! lol. She really couldn’t wait to put them on, but she didn’t keep the elf hat on for very long.


After a while, they got bored of decorating the tree and I finished it mostly myself. Next year we’re gonna need a bigger tree for our ten zillion ornaments. We have an artificial tree – it’s older than dirt but it still looks beautiful every year. My parents bought it when I was about my daughter’s age and we have used it most years…real trees are nice, but you can’t put them up right after Thanksgiving unless you want a house fire for Christmas. I’ve always felt that real trees are a pain in the ass to keep up after anyway…plus, my son would probably be allergic to them.
Sad but true.

The finished product…
I love how the one on the right glows, although it’s out of focus...
I’ll call it unintentional full-photo bokeh ;) 

We ended the day {after watching the Sabres WIN} with a sleepover, cocoa, and Polar Express! I am so ready for Christmas :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Fun

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was as yummy as ours was :)
We always go to my husband’s parents house for dinner. This year was a little extra special because my brother-in-law and his new wife joined us and they are expecting their first baby. Something extra to be thankful for!!

This was our contribution to dinner…
My husband actually did it all himself.
He’s pretty great with “presentation” :)

Aunt Megan brought David’s bday present for him since she won’t be in town for his party next week…he couldn’t wait to open it

Samantha provided some entertainment with her clarinet.
She taught herself how to play “Peter & the Wolf”!

The table was set beautifully as always

The kids with their turkeys place settings

The family…

After dinner, David could finally open his birthday present…
A Norman PhartEphant book

…and the farting Norman PhartEphant stuffed animal.
He was appalled at first {as you can see below}, but he LOVES it!
Grandma and David did a couple of iSpy books – David’s favorite

Sammi found another 101 Dalmatians book to read.
Her musical is only a month or so away now!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finding out the hard way.

I can’t believe it’s taken me ‘til now to get myself together to write this, but here goes…

May 21st, 2010 was supposed to be an all-around fun day. I chaperoned my daughter’s 4th grade class on a Field Trip to the Lockport Locks on the Erie Canal. It was a gorgeous day, the kids had a great time and learned a lot, we got lots of great pics and lots of time in the sun. I always enjoy spending time with my kids and their classmates. It makes me feel like I get a little glimpse of how their daily life is away from home.

That night we went to see a local band play a few songs at an ice cream shop around the corner. It was a family-friendly fundraising event, so we took the kids along. My son wanted a hot fudge sundae. I ordered it for him and the girl behind the counter asked if he wanted crushed nuts on it. Sure. She put the crushed nuts on it, topped it with whipped cream and a cherry and we went on our way. He took one bite of the sundae and put his spoon down. He sat and watched the music for a minute, then looked up at me and said “Mommy, this sundae is spicy. I don’t want it.” I thought he was being picky, so I said the hot fudge was probably just still a little hot and to wait a minute before taking another bite. He wanted to go play with the hula hoops that were out for the kids in front of the band. He went and did that for a few minutes, then he came back and said he was super thirsty. I got him a bottle of water. He still would not touch his sundae, insisting again that it was “spicy”, so I threw it out.

He attempted to play with the hula hoops again but before long he was back at the table, complaining of a stomach ache. I took him to the bathroom, he tried to go but couldn’t. His stomach ache was getting worse. And now I was noticing, he had a rash on his forearms. I also noticed that his lips were red, his cheeks were red and the skin between his eyebrows seemed to be puffy, which I found really strange. He was getting more and more miserable so we decided to go home. As we were leaving, it slowly started to dawn on me and I told my husband - “He’s having an allergic reaction to something!” We got in the car and at first we intended to go right to Children’s Hospital. But then David said he was feeling better – he was not having any problems swallowing or breathing so we stopped home (literally one minute’s drive from the ice cream place) and called his pediatrician’s office. Dr. F. said it sounded like an allergic reaction and to get him to the nearest hospital IMMEDIATELY if his symptoms came back or got worse. While I talked to the doctor, David was taking a quick shower - which, unbeknownst to us at the time, was the WORST possible thing for him to be doing! As soon as he got out of the shower and into his pajamas, he projectile vomited all over the living room. We took him right to the closest ER. I was scared out of my mind at this point. They checked him out in the triage area and took him back to a bed right away. He was still red and rashy, but was breathing fine and was alert. After I went through the sequence of events with the doctors and nurses, they determined that yes it was an allergic reaction – apparently to something in the “spicy” sundae. They gave him a shot of Benadryl or epinephrine, which knocked him out cold within just a couple of minutes. I made the nurse come in and check his vitals to make sure he was alright because he had been wide awake and talking his head off just a few minutes before and now he was suddenly completely listless and unresponsive. They checked him out and assured me he was alright – that’s just the effect the giant dose of medication has on children. They monitored him for a couple of hours and released him once his symptoms dissipated, with instructions to me to follow up with his pediatrician a.s.a.p.

I called the ice cream shop the next day and asked them for an ingredient list for the sundae toppings. The manager was not really too thrilled with me, but she did read each thing to me and I wrote it down. The only thing on the list that seemed a good possibility for being the culprit was the mixed nuts topping. She said there were several different kinds of nuts in the topping – not just peanuts, but also some tree nuts like walnuts and cashews. I didn’t know what to think. I knew for sure he was NOT allergic to peanuts - he eats PB&J sandwiches practically every day. He had never had a problem with tree nuts in the past either – what the heck was going on?? The pediatrician sent him for a food allergy panel bloodtest and gave us a referral to an allergist. His bloodwork came back negative for an allergy to almonds – but only specifically almonds. {No one bothered to tell me that for the tree nuts part of the blood test they were only testing him for almonds!} When we went to the allergist a few days later, they did the skin test on his back……not a pretty sight.Tree nuts are really not his friend.

They rated the reactions on a hash mark scale of 0-4+ with 4+ being the highest and signaling a severe allergy. He tested 4+ on two different tree nuts which he had never, ever had a problem with before. Scary. The allergist’s advice is for him to avoid all tree nuts like the plague because there’s a high risk for cross-contamination, plus he could just as suddenly become allergic to OTHER tree nuts in the future and we wouldn’t know it until we found out like this – the hard way. So just like that, daily life changed for our family and now every little thing we buy has to be checked first. He can’t eat any store bought baked goods because even the tree-nutless ones are prepared in the same place as the ones with tree nuts. It’s crazy how it’s a lifestyle change. I thank God that his reaction happened when it did and where it did, because every Memorial Day when our family celebrates with a big picnic miles away from any good emergency room, there’s usually a canister of mixed nuts to snack on – and my son always loved to eat them. If this had happened that next week out at that picnic, he could have been in very serious trouble. Now we have an EpiPen for him wherever he goes. The prospect of ever using it is incredibly scary, but hopefully as long as we teach him to be very careful and to never eat anything without asking a grown up first if it’s safe for him, he’ll be ok. He has gotten very good at asking if foods are safe – he asks about every little thing he eats now, which is great. He’s a smart boy.

It’s awful because now when I look back at these two pictures I took of him hula hooping, I can see the change in him. Now I can see his forehead starting to swell up in this first picture when he’s still smiling…
And then this second picture was taken right before we had to leave. You can see he’s not such a happy camper anymore. It’s certainly a night I will remember well for the rest of my life. It’s so important to be able to recognize the symptoms of an allergic reaction – anaphylaxis can come on FAST and it can be fatal. All the things that happened to him that night were classic symptoms of it. Thank God his experience was “mild”. Letting him take that shower was a bad idea because the hot water increased his heart rate and helped pump the allergen through his body faster and made things worse, which is why he vomited. We had no idea that would be the case but it all makes sense now.

 Click here for more information on tree nut allergies
click here for information on how to identify anaphylaxis.
It’s something every parent should educate themselves on - because you really just never know.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Still waiting…

Well, tomorrow is the last day before Thanksgiving break, and we still haven’t gotten any news at work about who’s moving where. I've been so frustrated all week…for the past two weeks, really. All of the retirees were done as of today and their replacements are moving to their new buildings/offices as of Friday so there’s a good chance I’m going to get thrown into a new spot in my building on Monday morning with no notice whatsoever. This is the way it always goes in my building, and I don’t get it. I even came out and asked my direct supervisor this week – WHY is everything always such a secret??? She just smiled at me and said she doesn’t know. UGH!

David got an excellent report from his teacher tonight at his conference :) And he has really kind of become an overachiever in Cub Scouts. Daddy has been helping him earn lots of badges and belt loops and I think he’s flying past the other boys in his pack…he’s been working on his Pet Care belt loop, taking full care of our dog whenever she needs anything. Here he is in his gear! So proud!

Samantha taught herself how to play “Peter & the Wolf” on her clarinet today – she’s getting really good! Oh and her BFF is joining Girl Scouts with her as of next week! I’m personally excited about this because I think this will be her bridge to new friendships within her troop ~ her BFF is pretty outgoing and was a Scout before. Samantha is friendly but sometimes is painfully shy and she has yet to even try to get to know any of the girls in her troop. Kristen will help her come out of her shell and they’ll have each other at all the events and things. It will be great! And the super-mega troop expands to 26 girls!!!!! :)

Well I’m off to bed. I’m sitting here blogging and inhaling a bag of bbq chips at 11:45 at night when I should be sleeping for my non-informative day at work tomorrow. Lemme just say that today…I am thankful for THANKSGIVING BREAK coming up. My brain and nerves need a break.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vitamin D

So, I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency. Even though I’ve been taking a daily multi-vitamin for the past five or six years that has 1000IUs of Vitamin D in it (that’s already 250% daily value) somehow, my level is incredibly low… I recently started taking the supplement my doctors insisted on, and I am really happy to say – I am beginning to feel a difference. Maybe there is  something to  this. lol Anyway, I accidentally found a great post on Rowdy Kittens called 10 Simple Strategies for Kicking Out the Blues. Very interesting with some great ideas. You know what is a good source of Vitamin D?…


Friday, November 19, 2010

Ann Rule

I love to read.
Right now I’m 3/4 of the way through Ann Rule’s “Small Sacrifices”.
Wow, what a book. This is the second novel of hers that I’ve read. She is incredible. The woman can tell a story like no other. No other author has ever made me literally hold my breath while turning the pages. And NO other author has ever made me cry while reading. Yes, her books are about true crime, so that doesn’t exactly fit into my “happy times” theme here, but true crime books are a huge guilty pleasure of mine. If you have a chance, I highly recommend you read “Small Sacrifices”. I also highly recommend the TV movie {starring the late, great Farrah Fawcett}. I’ve seen the movie at least half a dozen times since I was a kid {thank God for Lifetime TV!} and I will be re-watching it as soon as I’m finished with the book…hopefully sometime this weekend.

What is your favorite book or kind of book to read?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Big changes are happening at work next week…
maybe even for me personally.
It could be a good thing, but I’m nervous.
I’m not always good with change…but it can be exciting too…
it all depends.
A week from now I should know for sure…
In the meantime, I’ll just go a little crazy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hair Cut Day!

My daughter took the plunge today – I took her to get her long, beautiful mane of red hair chopped up to her shoulders. She wants to donate it to Locks of Love, so the hairdresser had to take at least 10 inches off in order for it to be usable for hairpieces. They ended up taking off 11 inches total because it had to be cut just above the ponytail…she wasn’t nearly as hesitant as I was…


I couldn’t help but laugh at the hairdresser’s worried expression…

Here we go! Too late to turn back now!

It doesn’t look as long once it’s cut off…hmm.

I think it looks sooo much better!!

That little hair clippy only stayed there for about a minute…
This is definitely a good move. She hated taking care of and brushing her long hair and I was tired of battling with her over it.
Plus, it grows fast.
Now I just need to get her to part with the ponytail so we can donate it to Locks of Love!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

First order of business today was jack-o-lantern carving!

The kids have decided for the past couple of years that they’d rather draw and carve their own faces than use those pattern books.
Thank God, because those things are exhausting. And the kids do a great job on their own anyway…
See what I’m sayin?
Not too shabby ;)

My husband worked hard all day on getting his strategically placed smoke machine to have the right effect.
The smoke was supposed to slowly roll down the front steps, and when the wind wasn’t blowing it looked awesome!
Plus, he did a great job as always of decorating our lawn with the “haunted graveyard”.

Then it was time…

Every year we trick or treat with Kristen (Sammi’s BFF) and her brother Alex, who is in the same grade as David.

It was really cold out, much colder than any Halloween in recent memory. I think it was in the mid-30s.
At about 7:30, when it started hailing, David said “what are the clouds THINKING?!” and announced he was going home.
We took the boys home and the girls stayed out a little longer…

I can’t believe how old they are getting!

Once we were all home, the kids watched Garfield’s Halloween special, had some candy, and went to bed at nine.
I hate when Halloween falls on a school night. Although, that did give Jeff & me a chance to watch some of Ghost Hunter’s Live, which was filmed right in my hometown this year! Considering how the TAPS members talked so much about how cold it was in Buffalo tonight (more great press for a city that already gets a skewed rap for its weather), I hope their trip here was worthwhile and that the ghosts gave them some good evidence…some really creepy EVPs or something. But the scariest part of Halloween this year was trying to determine what things in David’s very full treat bag were going to be safe for him to eat. Thankfully, a friend of mine pointed me to a great website/blog with a very handy and thorough list of allergen information on almost every candy known to man. And I was surprised that I didn’t have to swap out all that much candy. Only 23 pieces, which were mostly things that stated they are “manufactured in a facility that also processes tree nuts”. Turns out that Halloween with tree-nut allergies isn’t so bad after all!
Just kidding