Thank You

Thank you for all the prayers and support. This has been a terribly difficult week and much harder than any of us had expected. It has been particularly difficult for Shawn. Alex was in denial the first day, but is slowly understanding what all of this means. Services are scheduled for today and tomorrow. Please remember the family in prayer this week.

Obituary can be found at http://aliferemembered.com/details.asp?ID=1803


Our Christmas Loss

William Reardon
Husband, Father, Uncle, Friend....and Grandfather

July 12, 1948 - December 24, 2008

Details to follow. Right now we are still trying to cope with this difficult loss on a day that was set aside for what was to be such a celebration.


On the Eve of My Baby's 1st Christmas

Baby's First Christmas
A Christmas Poem by Alice E. Chase

You have to hold him up to see
The angel on the Christmas tree.
And even though he's still too small
To know the meaning of it all
You watch his eyes reflect the glow
Of colored lights that come and go
And feel him quiver with delight
At every new and wondrous sight.
There's Santa with his jolly face
Beaming from the fireplace.
And from the stocking hanging there
Peeks a cuddly teddy bear.
Bright ornaments and candy canes --
Musical toy and wooden trains --
There's just no end to the delights
Spread out for him this night of nights!
He points and grins from ear to ear
And then he yawns - his bedtime's near!
Dad gives him a kiss and you tuck him away
To rest up for the fun of his first Christmas Day!


On the Mend

Cullen is doing much better. Thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers. He is still pretty congested, but appears to have kicked the fever and gotten back his appetite. Last night he woofed down a whole tray of kielbasa and perogies!

And later tonight I will post some pictures of the holiday party from Saturday. The kids had a great time and Cullen particulary enjoyed crinkling all of the wrappings!


Cullen Update

Poor baby was a bit worse today. His rapid and laboured breathing is really freaking me out. I think we need our ped on speed dial. But they continue reassuring us that what we are seeing is typical and could go on for quite awhile longer. I got him to take a whopping 5 oz today along with his baby food. And every bite of his food was a challenge. He kept gagging it all up and crying because he was hungry and getting frustrated :-( I had to force the Motrin down which he normally guzzles.

So I am expecting tonight to be a long one. I brought the pack-n-play into our room and have the humidifier cranked. They have suggested that we take turns sleeping so one of us could keep an eye out for any respitory distress. Yikes.

Prayers would be much appreciated.

Jodie, if you are up in the middle of the night like you usually are, track me down on im. I may be up just watching my babe breathe.


Of Snow, RSV and Firemen

Boy did we get dumped on today! We probably only got a foot, but it sure made traveling trechorous. As they were calling for this storm for a few days now, I caved and gave Shawn an early Christmas present. Well, I guess it wasn't so much the present I gave him, but the permission to go out and buy it. A snowblower that is. The most practical holiday gift for a man living in the North!

This past week has also brought more cooties. Alex caught a cold last week, and of course shared with her brother. Which is nothing new really. They have both battled colds on and off since Sept. But Cullen's breathing was concerning me a bit (rapid and very congested). So after numerous calls to the doctors last night, they suggested he be seen this morning.

Problem being, I work in the energy industry. And Mother Nature is being very, very cruel these days. I buy and schedule natural gas for customers all throughout NY state. Simple enough on an average day, but not so simple when your entire state is under an urgent weather warning. It was a zoo. Phones ringing, e-mails flying and text messages coming in one right after another. Every alert requiring action and expecting your undivided attention. What they didn't understand was that my attention was back home at grandma's house. Where my boy was needing his Momma, and where this Momma was needing her boy.

So I hit the road at 12:30. And everyone knows that I burn rubber each night getting home to my kids. But today, 20 MPH seemed to be the max speed. As much as I love my new Town & Country (thank you honey), I am so missing the 4 wheel drive on my Trailblazer! The roads were horrific. But we had to make a 2:10 doc appt. And we did. Barely. And it appears my boy has a touch of RSV. Poor, poor honey. But you know Cullen, he is a trooper. Just as happy and content as ever.

So on the way home from the docs, I stop to get gas. $10 worth. Because any more surely would have led to frostbite. At that point, the snow and wind was whipping sideways. Did I mention having to repeatedly pull over and clean the ice off my wipers. With no gloves. So fun. By the time I got back to my mother-in-law's (where Alex had just gotten off the schoolbus), I was just beginning to thaw.

Their plow guy had just arrived to clear the driveway so I parked on the street. Pretty much the middle of the street. I got out to run to the door and get Alex and realized that my car was locked. Running. With Cullen inside. Of course we didn't have another set. Shawn could have sent one of his guys from work, but in this weather it would take them over an hour. So a quick call to 911 and the firemen were dispatched. Meanwhile, I stood outside in the middle of the road, freezing, and making silly faces through the window at Cullen to keep him amuzed. Even though I nearly had tears in my eyes from the shards of ice flying 25 miles an hour into my frozen face! But alas, the heros arrived and van was promptly opened. I hope my brother-in-law wasn't working today to hear that call come. He surely wouldn't be surprised though.

And if you are hoping that is where the drama ends. Thankfully, it does. We are finally home. Safe and warm. And hopefully Cullen will be on the mend quickly as tomorrow is a very big day. The Family Christmas Party!


More Disney Pics

Yesterday we received in the mail our Disney photopass CD and Photobook. Photopass is a neat service they provide where their photographers take and store your photos for you to later access, edit and order online. They have photographers strategically set up at the character greetings, park entrances and main attractions. Here are a few of my favorites that they took.


Introducing Emma...

Isn't she a beauty!!!!

Welcome Ye Gui Xing

Deep breath Sue, deep breath. I am just so tickled that I can't even wait until tonight to post! After a nearly three year wait, our dear friends in Tennessee have received their referral from China!!!!

So far, they have only received a few pieces of info....
Name: Ye Gui Xing
DOB: 3/5/08 (9 months old)
Province: Guangxi

Today at 4pm (3pm Eastern) they meet with their social worker to review her medical records and get to see a photo of their sweet baby girl, whom they will call Emma.

And hello?????? Did you see her DOB!!!! That has been the talk since March. How close in age would Emma be to Cullen (and Ellie). How is it possible that all three babies were born within a week of each other! So the "twins" have now become triplets. What fun we will have next July getting the three babies together along with their three big sisters!

I will post a photo and updates as they come in, but for those interested in following their journey, Jen's blog can be found here.

And this is for you Emma. After living in the hearts and minds of so many for so long, we all join together in sending you many Merry Christmas wishes from around the world. You'll be home soon sweet girl. Very soon.


We've Arrived

Whether it is success or an event taking place, I think everyone has a little place in which they measure life. I have a friend who felt that way about a car. To her X car would mean that she had arrived.

I am no different. I had that little thing in which I measured my life. The point at which I'd know that I "had arrived". That life was exactly where I would want it to be. As you can probably guess, it wouldn't come from career success or making oodles of money. It was the place in which I would feel whole. The point where my life was full and complete. And that, of course, occured with the arrival of our son.

Which brings me to a far less profound achievement. Pottery Barn Kids Christmas Stockings. Although I have had my eye on them for years. It never felt right. To me that stocking said, I'd arrived. But I hadn't. And one day when I had, I would buy a PAIR of them. Get them embroidered. The whole shabang. So here they are for their holiday debut.

My family, my heart and my holiday is now complete!


"Our" Ellie

Ok, you probably think I am referring to Teri's sweet, adorable Elliana. But actually, we had our own Ellie once upon a time, or almost did at least. But it didn't last long. In truth, she was never really ours to begin with. But my heart was opened to her as if she was. For a short time last Fall/Winter, we were working with a woman in PA. And after several conversations getting to know one another, she asked us to adopt her unborn baby girl. Of course we eagerly agreed.

I loved LeAnn. That was instant. She was the sweetest young woman. And I always enjoyed our conversations. It's as if distance and circumstance hadn't been as they were, I am sure we would have been the greatest of friends. I admired her courage, determination and love for all of her children. But she was adament that she did not have the means to raise a third child.

After much internal resistance, I began to make plans. I packed a diaper bag. I picked out a name, Elizabeth. I pictured her tiny body all dressed in pink lying in her crib and her dark curly hair. But it never felt right. And in the end, LeAnn decided to parent. And I knew then like I know now that it was the right decision for everyone.

But I still think of her so very often. Of the whole family actually. LeAnn was usually just getting Markus to bed or brushing out Marigold's hair during our phone chats. I could hear them in the background. And I loved them too. I worried for all of them. I still do. And I wonder how the baby is. What was she named? She is about to turn one. Is she healthy? Walking?

Although I know this baby was never really ours, she and her family will always carry a special place in my heart. She opened our hearts to adopting transracially and led us on a road that ultimately brought us to Cullen.

And for that alone, I will be forever grateful.

(And no, Teri never knew of the name I had chosen until after Elliana was born. It's funny how life works, isn't it.)

Jewelry Store Kick-Off

Two of my talented friends have recently kicked off their jewelry businesses. Lisa of La Bella Bling and Laurel of Swishes, Swirls and Pearls will be participating in this year Crafters Bazaar as well as displaying their creations online for all to view. As you will discover, their designs are quite different from one another. So I would hope that one or the other caters to your style.

With the holiday season upon us, it's a wonderful time to check out their creations. And even if you are unable to attend the sale, I would invite you to check out their websites. Both have provided information to purchase products online. Good luck ladies!


...and he's OFF!!!!!

We'd known he was close. He's been traveling backwards for several weeks. So yesterday, I kept the camera close by just in case! And BAM...he took off!!!


It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

Well we are home and nearly all unpacked which was no small feat. Kids are back on track and we have jumped right into the holiday spirit. On Saturday, we payed a visit to Santa.

Then Gabi spent the night and Shawn went out and bought the girls each their own Gingerbread houses to make. It's so much fun to watch their creativity in action!


New Ticker

As you can see, I have created a new ticker! You know me, always looking forward to the next vacation and time away with my family. This trip will be extra special for a few reasons. First, it's back to Tennessee, a place we have fallen in love with. We began going each year, but have missed the last 2 years due to buying the house in 2007 and doing Disney in 2008. So it will be a visit that is long overdue.

In addition, our friends Howie and Teri will be joining us with their family as well. As you may know, our kids are the same ages and pretty much inseparable. But the last vacation we took together was in 2005 to Sesame Place. The girls, big and little, have been dying to travel together again.

And the best part is that we will be seeing our friends Shane and Jen! I met Jen (or "Gee-in" as they say in the South) about 7 years ago through Hannah's Prayer. It was a list serve for Christian families experiencing infertility. We struck up a friendship that we have maintained ever since. And as chance would have it, they happened to move forward with adoption plans at the same time we did. Our girls are only a few months apart in age! So in 2004, we met in person for the first time. They live in Western TN, so we all met up for a week at the Smoky Mountains. Never meeting in person, we have low expectations. Who knew if we'd "click" in person. And what about our husbands? Would they get along? Well those fears were dismissed immediately. We had an amazing time and have met back their for two additional trips.

And keeping with the pattern, they two are in the midst of their second adoption. Jen has always had a heart for the Chines children. They were just about to switch to the China program when their daughter Hannah was born. So they decided to go through China for their second child, Emma. Emma has lived in all of our heart for many years and it looks like it is finally almost time to meet her!!! They should be getting her referral in the next couple of weeks and should be traveling to pick her up shortly after that. I can't believe that after a three year wait...Emma will finally be here...in the US! And if the guesstimates are correct, she willbe right around Cullen and Ellie's age. So next summer, for the trip. We will have two sets of triplets! Do you see the same photo ops that I see????

So that is what we are looking forward to now. And we booked this amazing cabin overlooking Gatlinburg. Teri and her family will be staying with us, and Jen and her family close by. Oh the anticipation.

And check back for Emma updates. I am beside myself with excitement, I can't imagine what they must be feeling!!!


Too Mad to Even Care

Ya know, this vacation started out pretty crappy, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that it ended that way too. All WAS well. Until I got home, that is.

I don't post things that I don't mind people reading. So I had intended to keep this little thing private. But ya know what? I am too pissed to even care! I don't care who knows. And I don't care who I offend. I just need to get this off of my chest before I explode and literally go postal on someone. And anyone who knows me knows that this is pretty out of character for me. I am pretty tolerant. I am patient and forgiving. But push me too far. And watch out. It's over.

I trusted someone. I trusted them with my house and with my pet. And they violated that. They violated me. And that hurts. Bad. Really bad.

I didn't expect to come home and find my house in pristine condition. Heck, I didn't leave it that way anyways. But what I came home to was unexcusable. I am not even sure where to start.

Maybe it is in the downstairs bathroom where all of my scrapbooking stuff was mysteriously placed. And where green toothpaste covered the entire sink. Or the brown milk shake looking substance that was all over my toilet and floor. No, the kicker there was actually my husband's electric razor that was used, left out and all of the hair all over the bathroom. Bad in itself, but worse since the razor was actually located under my bedroom sink upstairs.

But let's move to the kitchen. The microwave looked like a dozen burritos exploded in it. The sink was PILED with dishes and pans that had days worth of crusted on food. The dishwasher had so many dirty dishes in it that I actually had to unload half to run it. Oh and tonight making dinner, we find that half the plates in the cupboard have melted cheese and other food products clearly covering them. My Yankee candles were used. Totally used, as in gone. As was all of the aim-a-flame that lights them. I know. Boys apparently like fire. And who knows why. But things were taken off of the walls and put in the pantry.

The stereos and alarms clocks were all moved down stairs into various rooms, assumedly so everyone could hear the music. Which obviously worked as multiple neighbors commented to us about it upon our return.

The upstairs bathroom was similar to the downstairs except with an added treat. A stench that I can only describe as a decomposing animal on a hot day. Upon closer inspection, I discover it coming from a week's worth of wet towels all balled up and shoved in a corner between the plastic shower curtain and the decorative cotton one. Nice. Couldn't find the laundry shute?

My bedroom contained dishes. And mulitple empty boxes of cereal. I found a lighter at the foot of my bed. Which was particularly infuriating, because I have a small child who often plays in that very spot. Various articles of dirty laundry continue to be found in my bedroom. And then tonight I find a 6" KNIFE in MY CLOSET. My freaking bedroom closet. Can anyone tell me what right a person has to be in another person's bedroom closet! I feel violated and disrespected on so many levels. But don't worry. There is still much more.

When I say I have nothing to eat in my house, that usually means a family of four could comfortable survive for about 2 weeks. But just in case, I left a Wegmans gift card to pick up some favorite treats. Well, when I say we came home to no food. I really mean that. Nothing! It may have appeared that there was a few things, but alas even those boxes were empty. There was not a crumb of the 5 or 6 boxes of cereal left. No bread. No snack. NOTHING for Alex's breakfast. She had the only thing left in the house for breakfast. A can of clam chowder soup. Nice. Thanks for at least leaving her that. I had piles and piles of school snacks before we left and not a single one left for her lunch today. And Alex's Halloween candy that I SPECIFICALLY asked for some to be saved. Gone. All of it. Which means she had not a single piece of her own candy. Wow, that's super considerate. Hope it was good.

And apparently it was a make-shift fraternity house as numerous people were in and out all week. All day. And into the night. Another complaint from neighbors. One neighbor specifically commented on the loud vulgarity coming from the front porch on numerous nights. After one particularly troubling night, one neighbor even came over to introduce himeslf and asked to speak with the individual we left in charge. That was hard to do though since he wasn't even home. Which meant that people that I have never met were in my house unattended. What the heck was he thinking?

And the dog. You know, the reason for having someone at the house in the first place. Sounds like he was either outside in the kennel (even when no one was home) or left in the basement the whole time. And from the "presents" left in the basement, he oviously was not let out as he should have been. Just what one wants to contend with upon returning home from vacation.

Oh and upon confronting the individual, the only thing he could explain was a pole that was hit on out street by one of his buddies. What??????

Again, I am really sorry to post this here. Maybe I shouldn't be. But I swear I will go crazy if I don't. This is my space. My place to vent. And I really needed to do this tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I will be a bit better able to put this behind me. But not today. Definitely not today.


2 Much Fun 2 Blog

Sorry guys.  Busy having too much fun and no time to blog.  Uploaded hundreds of pics so far. I know, surprising!  Will be going through all of the photos when we return and I will try to condense them into albums at each of the parks.  The kids have been great and we have had so much fun in the last week!

So far we've made it to Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Hollywood Studios and Blizzard Beach.  Tonight is Epcot and then likely the rest at Magic Kingdom.  To Alex, Disney World is considered Magic Kingdom.  Cullen has been so good, even for cutting THREE TEETH in the the last week.  He loves the music, character greetings and swimming.  Alex's favorite phrase is "Fast Pass".  Another surprise, I know.  Her only regret is not making the 48" rides.  The child will ride anything.  This, coming from a child who is afraid of buttons (?) is just baffling.

Hope all are well.  We'll catch back up in a few days :-)


Dry Land

No sense in rehashing the health issues that plagued us during the cruise.  Let's just say they were plentiful and shared by all and that hopefully we are past them!  And I am so incredibly thankful to have my feet firmly planted on dry land, as it appears the illness that I experienced was good ole fashioned sea sickness.  

All sickness aside, the cruise was wonderful!  The service was amazing. Disney Cruise Line has truly thought of EVERYTHING.  The crew consisted of the most incredible staff I have ever encountered.  Everyone was always so kind and helpful.  And since we were often one parent short, crew was always on hand to eagerly lend a hand with plates, doors and even watching the kids.  And everything they do is orchestrated with perfection down to the tiniest detail. Disembarkment this morning took only a few minutes and we were then whisked off to the resort.

Checked in to the resort late morning, had some lunch here at the hotel and then headed for a sneak peek of magic Kingdom.  Alex got off to a rough start, but quickly came around.  And after a short nap, Cullen too was up t his cheerful self.  Both kids were asleep in the stroller by 7pm!!!!  So we came back to the hotel early to unwind a bit.  

Tomorrow is a big day.  Alex's princess makeover and lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table.

Photos to follow.

Things Are Looking Up!

Spoke to Sue and Shawn this morning. They sounded much better! Cullen seems to still be battling a bit of a cold, and Allie has an occasional cough, but otherwise they are PRAYING that the entire family will actually ALL be HEALTHY at the SAME time!!!

They were on their way to check into the hotel and were going to hit Magic Kingdom as well.


QUARANTINED! (among other things...)

Yup, you read it correctly! Hi all this is Teri, guest blogging for Sue. So, so, so much has been happening to our dear friends on their vacation!

They made it to Orlando as planned and without incident on Wednesday. YAY!!! Yesterday, they boarded the ship. Allie was having a bit of trouble with side effects from her Augmentin, so they had been speaking to the Dr. about switching to a different prescription. Dr. said he would fax the script to the ship. As we spoke, Allie was putting on her swimsuit for a dip in the pool. They had already enjoyed a wonderful lunch and were ready to set sail.

Today, Shawn sent a message indicating that the ship couldn't fill Alex's prescription. So, I have picked up her new medication and have overnighted it to the hotel that they will be staying at after the cruise on Sunday. Phew! Let's pray it gets there safely.

Unfortunately, last night Sue became terribly ill. Seems she caught the horrible stomach flu that Alex had just been through. It was so bad that the ship medic had to come and give her a shot in the bum. Due to all the vomiting she was quarantined to the cabin until 7pm tonight. :( The family missed going the the shore at Nassau today. Of course, Shawn and Alex have been so wonderful and understanding. They just want Mommy to feel better!!

Pray that Sue feels better QUICKLY and that Cullen and Shawn are spared that nasty bug.

Hopefully, the rest of the vacation will be PHENOMENAL!!!



The vacation that almost didn't happen...

What a night it's been! As many for you know, both kids have been sick. Alex has had the worst of any of us. The latest started on Sunday with uncontrollable coughing, gagging (and eventually throwing up). After 2 days of this, she was given a breathing treatment and sent for a chest x-ray which confirmed she has pnuemonia. Lovely. That was as of 5pm last night. Then at midnight, she began violently vomitting. It continued every 5 to 7 minutes through 4am when we took her to emergency. We spent several hours getting her hydrated with IV fluids and an anti-nausea med was give, which helped immensely. They don't believe the two were connected and think it was/is some sort of a tummy bug. Her school called and said 30+ kids were out today with something similar. (So consider yourself warned Heather.)

But the docs were all very confident that we should proceed with the trip as planned and that the zofran would work and help keep her comfortable until it passes. So off we go to Florida in hopes of leaving all of this poor health back in NY!

Cruise sets sail tomorrow afternoon, and hopefully we are all back to good health by then!


Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to Cullen's birthmom and our dear friend, Melissa! Wishing you the happiest of days! We hope it is filled with much love and happiness. We love you and miss you.


Happy Halloween

The kids had a great Halloween. We all met at my inlaws for dinner and then the cousins were all able to go out trick-or-treating together.
Click to play Halloween
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Adoption Songs

I am on a quest. A search to find the most perfect song(s) for Cullen's video. We did a lovely video of Alex's placement day and her first year. It is such a treasure to me! And now it is time to start Cullen's. I have a huge list of songs I love. Yet I continue to search for the PERFECT one.

Although I still don't know that I am crazy about how the song is actually sung, I LOVE the lyrics of this one that Teri found for me.

They laid the baby in her arms
she watched her newborn son sleepin'
she bowed her head in silent prayer
and asked the Lord for his safe keepin'
you know his life has just begun
sometimes it won't treat him fair
so be with him when I can't
all I can give my little man
is this Mother's Prayer.


She tries her best to explain
as she holds his little hand
she says you're meant for better things
I hope that you can understand
all the papers have been signed
and your new home's waiting there
and one day they'll tell you soon
how you were the answer to
another Mother's Prayer



Click to play Toronto
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Ahhh, what a sweet word. Home. It was only three days, but it was exhausting. The conference was great. Good people, interesting panels, great dining and lots of fun. But it was challenging too. Cullen didn't do all that well in the hotel. Up 3 to 5 times a night, which is quite unusual. Just wasn't himself. The bad news is that it ended up being an ear infection. The good news is that hopefully is wasn't an indication of how challenging Disney might be.

Sounds like Daddy had his hands full back home as well. Alex didn't get to her required Taekwondo classes all week. She missed the bus for the first time on Thusday and ended up being nearly 2 hours late for school after Daddy ran back in the house to get something and locked the house and car keys inside. Thanks to a locksmith they were back in later that day. Friday seemed to go a bit more smoothly. And even though Alex wore big, clunky sneakers with her cute little skirt and top I laid out...the sky did not fall.

Now it is a mad rush to unpack from Toronto and pack for Disney. Only 11 days to go and I feel soooo enprepared.


Oh Canada!

My mom and I are taking a road trip for the rest of the week. I have a conference in Toronto that I was planning to skip, but really needed to attend. So I begged my Mum to come along and Nanny for me :-) She agreed without hesitation, of course. So she and Cullen will no doubt be hitting the local shopping centers by day while I attend the conference. I am really excited as my mom and I haven't done anything like this in years!!! I am super bad with directions so pray we get there without going too much out of our way.

Daddy is in charge of Alex for the next few days. So apologies to Miss C if Alex comes into school dragging on Thur and Fri. It's not likely Daddy will have her to bed too early. And I should check on her cafeteria balance, I am guessing he is planning that she will be a "buyer" of lunch those two days and not a "bringer". And her hair. Oh heavens, what will he do with her hair????? And she has gym. Will he remember her sneakers and her library book on library day? And her doc appt on Friay?

Let it go, Sue. Let it go. They will be fine.


A Day at the Park

Teri and I spent the afternoon at a local park with the kids. It was such a beautiful day and the kids really enjoyed the fresh air!
Click to play A Day at the Park
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Pumpkin Carving and More

Here are a few snapshots from this past week. We carved Alex's pumpkin on Monday. She picked out the shapes. I did the carving. Cullen did the supervising. We also enjoyed some tasty treats. Roasted pumpkin seeds for me and homemade pumpkin babyfood for Cullen.

The next day Cullen went for a ride. Grandma and Grandpa bought him his first set of wheels!

The vacation that almost didn't happen...

What a night it's been! As many for you know, both kids have been sick. Alex has had the worst of any of us. The latest started on Sunday with uncontrollable coughing, gagging (and eventually throwing up). After 2 days of this, she was given a breathing treatment and sent for a chest x-ray which confirmed she has pnuemonia. Lovely. That was as of 5pm last night. Then at midnight, she began violently vomitting. It continued every 5 to 7 minutes through 4am when we took her to emergency. We spent several hours getting her hydrated with IV fluids and an anti-nausea med was give, which helped immensely. They don't believe teh two were connected adn think it was/is some sort of a bug. Her school called and said 30+ kids were out today with something similar. (So consider yourself warned Heather.)

But the docs were all very confident that we should proceed with the trip as planned and that the zofran would work and help keep her comfortable until it passes. So off we go to Florida in hopes of leaving all of this poor health back in NY!

So, we are off! 12 uninterrupted days as a family!!!!! Life doesn't get much better than that. This evening we'll arrive in Orlando and embark our a cruise tomorrow.


Product Plugs

So it seems everyone has a different tone and agenda to their blogs. Some are informative, some controversial and some just plain funny. I am not really sure where this one lies other than to just chronicle our daily and often mundane lives. So I thought I may add some new features. Since most of my readers of parents of small children, I thought I might post a product each week that I have found helpful.

The product for this week is the Fresh Food Feeder by Munchkin. Although it was around when Alex was a baby, I never had the need for it. Now Cullen in another story. He is always trying to act a bit older and more mature than he really should.. Friends often joke about how Cullen seems so much older than other babies his age. One even asked if we were 100%certain about his age. Cullen has even earned himself the nickname of "The First Grader". So while most babies will suck safely on a biter biscuit until it in complete mush, Cullen will bite it in half with those two tiny teeth within seconds of getting his hands on it. And the Gerber wheels? Shoves the entire thing in his mouth at once. So this little gadget has been a lifesaver. Literally! You can stuff pieces of fruits or veggies inside (or even biter biscuits), and baby gnaws through the mesh releasing the food. Afterwards, you just rinse it out and throw it in the dishwasher. Now I have to admit, it may appear a bit creepy, but I can assure you that my seven month old LOVES it, it is safe and it allows me a few free minutes when we get home to get dinner on the stove. All very important on my list.

This feeder is sold locally at Wegmans, BabiesRus and Target.


Week in Review

Hmmm....let's see. It all started last Sunday about 7pm with a call from mother-in-law. She was frantic, but clear. Dad was bad. Send Shawn down NOW. I threw him his keys and he ran out of the house in sock feet. Mother-in-law thought this just might be "it". We all thought it might be. But once again, grandpa rallied and pulled through. And after a five day stay at Hotel General, grandpa is back home. Seems this is the new routine.

But the excitement didn't end there. Cullen has a never ending cold and Alex came down with her very first ear infection. After one completely sleepless night she was on meds and appeared on the mend. That is, until Thurs when her eyes started seeping with what looked like neon snot! Turns out, the antibiotic wasn't working and her ears were draining right in her eyes. EEEWWW! So another day home from school and another new med and they too started to cleared.

All was well and she was feeling better so we went to Booville at Darien Lake on Saturday. She had a great time, trick-or-treating, running through the maze and picking a pumpkin to paint. And then it happened. The hives. First with her face. Then neck, back and eventually her entire body. This isn't the first time that hay has caused such a reaction, but it doesn't always happen, which is puzzling. A security gaurd did mention that it was treated with a flame retardant, so perhaps that was the cause. In any case, she was one sorry looking little girl. Poor thing has been so uncomfortable. Fortunately though she is still symptomatic at times, the zyrtec and Benedryl seem to be keeping itching at bay. So now we realize that ontact with hay is simply off limits for her.

Despite our little run in with the contaminent, we were able to have a nice day. Here are a few pics.