Saturday, February 28, 2009

Recovery Ward

Ohhhhhh.....the things you do for a sick child!!! Last night, we gave Madeline her Tylenol and tucked her into bed. Before David and I went in for the night we woke Madeline to give her more Tylenol. She was pretty much miserable when we got her up for the mid-night Tylenol dose. Mama-Dirtyfoot and Papa felt so bad for Madeline that we brought her into bed with us (which is something we *never* do). I think that David and I slept about an hour last night because Madeline was soooo restless. She was flopping around like a fish out of water but then had the nerve to tell us, "Mama, Papa, quiet!" when David and I were talking in bed. As the night progressed and Madeline remained restless, I thought of putting her back into her own bed but knew that would've been upsetting to her. So, we suffered through it. During the day, it wasn't even worth the argument about wardrobe. Madeline wanted to pick out her own outfit and I figured....what the heck, let her wear whatever she wants (even if it doesn't match) because we weren't leaving the house at all. Although what she chose wasn't a combination I would've dressed her in, it could've been much worse. The funniest thing (that you can see in the pictures) is that she wanted her hair in a ponytail AND two busy barrettes.
We've also been feeding her the craziest food combinations but we just want to make sure that we are taking advantage of her eating something when she is up for it - so she is getting whatever she wants to eat (again, something she doesn't usually get the luxury of). Today's crazy lunch was a left-over grilled hot dog, toast and jelly and grapes. Also, Madeline hasn't been herself and pretty much (understandably so) just wants to lounge around. So what else can you do with a sick three year old in this state? Although I am not a big fan of plugging in the TV, I think I saw Peter Pan and Cinderella a million times since Madeline's surgery. In general Madeline is doing okay. She is up and down in her recovery. All the side effects that she is having are to be expected. Her fever comes and goes as does her energy level. As a whole, Madeline was in better shape today than she was yesterday but will definitely need the remainder of the weekend to rest. Oh, and by the way, Madeline is in her own bed tonight!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ups And Downs

Thanks everyone for all the calls, emails and Facebook wall messages. It is so nice to know that we have such a huge support group. Madeline has had ups and downs in her recovery today. This morning she ate lightly but for lunch she had a bit more so I figured that she was on her way to recovery. After lunch she was due for some Tylenol and I was going to give her some before her nap but Madeline ended up falling asleep on the couch. When she awoke she felt very warm and was complaining about being cold. I took her temperature and sure enough she had a fever of 102.5. Madeline had her ups and downs of how she felt and her energy level and I am sure it corresponded with when she was due for Tylenol and her temperature level. I spoke to her doctor and was told that a fever is somewhat expected. I just need to keep on a regular Tylenol schedule and keep her hydrated. All this came about in the afternoon so I am hoping that with a good night's rest Madeline will be closer to recovery.

The thing that made me laugh today was what was in the photo above. Madeline hung a little silver purse that her Aunt Carolyn gave her on the rocking horse that her great-Uncle Ron made her. The way she hung the purse, it looks like a feed bag. I guess she has seen Mama strap the feed bag on one too many times!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

All Is Well

All is well here. Madeline is doing fine. First off, my strategy mentioned yesterday worked like a charm. I kept up Madeline until 9:30 and she slept until 9:15. Basically, I got her changed and in the car and we were on our way to the hospital. There was no time to think of food or drink on her end. We got to the hospital at 10am, did the admissions work, pre-op questions, pre-op vitals for Madeline and then we waited and waited and waited! I was amazed that food wasn't even brought up during that period of time either.

They did allow one of us to go in the room with Madeline until she fell asleep. I was willing to do this but David offered and I let him go because he doesn't get to do this kind of stuff as often because he's the one out of the house working. I was actually amazed that David was willing to do this. It's not that he wouldn't want to be there for Madeline but rather, he is a wimp when it comes to this stuff. There is a reason we don't watch ER in this house. David had to put on this white jumpsuit (looked like he was going to work for HazMat), the blue hospital cap and blue shoe covers. Madeline did not like Papa's outfit and told him so. She didn't even want David to carry her into the OR room because of his outfit so instead, they walked hand-in-hand. They went into OR at 12:55 and David came out 5 minutes later when Madeline was put under.

The doctor gave us a pager and suggested we spend the time grabbing lunch at the cafeteria. The operation was only a half-hour which gave David and I enough time to get a bite to eat. As we were finishing up, we were getting paged. We went upstairs and had the opportunity to talk to her doctor post-op. It sounds as though this was the best decision to get this surgery done. The doctor put the tubes in her ears again. The right eardrum was retracted and it was able to be stretched back to its normal position. Both ears were drained of the fluid that was behind her eardrums and from the looks of the fluid behind her left ear she was in the verge of getting an ear infection. As far as the adenoids go, they were removed. The adenoids are located behind the nose. When they become inflamed they grow in size and begin to block the drainage passages of the sinus area. When this area can't drain properly, the fluid backs into the ear area and causes the fluid behind the ears. From what the doctor said, Madeline's adenoids were quite enlarged and her drainage ways were 80% blocked. The doctor feels that this will make a huge difference.

After talking to the doctor, David and I waited about another half hour until Madeline started coming out of anesthesia. At that point one of us was able to go in to see her. We decided that I would go in after surgery. When I got back there, Madeline was sleeping again (although she was previously awake). When the nurse saw me she told me that Madeline was doing great and was asking for Papa..... *sigh*!! I decided to switch out and send David back to see her....yep, that melted David's heart!

Shortly after that we moved along to a recovery room and were there until about 4pm. Madeline can't eat anything solid tonight. I thought that would be an issue but she has absolutely no appetite. This evening Madeline and Mama snuggled up on the couch together and watched a movie. She did her absolute best to fight away sleep, although she is already in bed for the night. I hope she is feeling better tomorrow. Sweet dreams, Madeline.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Waiting Game

I don't really have much to report this evening. I have spent the day dreading taking Madeline into the hospital tomorrow. From what the doctor says, the ear tubes and removing of the adenoids is relatively routine but the idea of anesthesia is not making me happy. Also, my friend Kelly's daughter had her adenoids removed and the recovery period was not exactly a pleasant experience. (Therefore, as Marysia already knows, my plans to visit her on Tuesday are very tentative). I am also dreading the fact that I cannot feed Madeline after midnight or give her anything to drink after 8am but we aren't to arrive at the hospital until 10am. This will be especially difficult because Madeline is in the midst of a growth spurt and is, therefore, eating us out of house & home. My strategy is that I fed her a fairly large dinner. Now, I have a movie plugged in and made some popcorn as a late night snack for her. I am going to try to keep Madeline up late with the hope that she will sleep in late. If this works, I hope to just get her dressed and leave. The absolute killer will be the ride to the hospital. Madeline is so conditioned, like Pavlov's dogs, to have a snack in the car. Wish me luck and please say a prayer for her this evening.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Everything Is Amazing, Nobody's Happy




A friend of mine posted this video on their Facebook page. Ohhhhh, how true this is! And, as a teacher, I saw quite clearly this spoiled side of today's youth. If you have the capability of watching videos on your computer, the 4 minute clip is worth it! How true it is!

Costume Change

Madeline has a hiding space. She likes to go in the space behind the love seat to play. Madeline makes believe it is either a tent, or Cinderella's castle or Aunt Marysia's house. While she was on her dress-up clothing kick, Madeline would take the bag of dress-up clothes behind the love seat, change into a dress-up outfit and then make her grand entrance from "backstage"...oh, I mean from behind the love seat.

I have successfully hid the bag of dress-up clothes and Madeline has not asked about them. I sound like a terrible mother by saying that but it was beginning to make me absolutely crazy that I would dress Madeline for the day and no sooner would we come downstairs that she would change into her play dress. Quite frankly, I was tired of seeing her in a zebra striped dress that had an accessorizing boa collar.

Well, Mama *thought* she got a break from the constant costume changes. Since Mama-Dirtyfoot "downsized" Madeline's dress-up wardrobe, Madeline decided to take matters into her own hands. Yesterday, Madeline told me, "Be right back, Mama". She proceeded to head up to her bedroom. I just assumed she was going up there to get one of her dolls. As Madeline came downstairs I noticed that she had some things hidden behind her back. Next, she headed straight behind the love seat. Come to think about it, Madeline was going behind the love seat a lot lately.....hhmmmm....I'll have to make a mental note of this and see what she is doing.

But, out Madeline emerged in her new outfit. Okay, I really don't dress Madeline in flowered shirts and polka dot pants....at least not together in one outfit. I then peeked behind the love seat and realized that Madeline was creating a new wardrobe in her hiding spot. And this is how she came out from behind the love seat - dressed in this "fashion creation" - completed with a pair of my boots. After taking this picture we cleaned out from behind the love seat a pair of sweatpants, a sweater, a sweatshirt, a pair of PJ's and three pairs of shoes! I think it is time to pull out the bag of dress-up clothes again.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

OOOhhhhh Kids Say The Darnedest Things....

Yeah....Madeline is talking so much more lately and she is saying the darnedest things! She really isn't meaning anything "smart-assed" by it but, kids say the darnedest things. Taken out of context, Madeline would sound like a mouthy child but in actuality she is just trying to get a command of the English language. And thus, it is obvious that Madeline is observant of the world around her. The thing I wonder is *when* did she pick all of this up?!?!?!

This morning, Madeline was done with her breakfast and wanted to get down from the table. Madeline wanted to communicate to David and me that we should continue to sit and drink our coffee while she played. After we got her down from the table Madeline instructed us to, "Drink your coffee, girls!".

Also, anytime Madeline really wants something and we are telling her, "No!", Madeline stresses her desire by emphasizing her request by saying, "I'm ASKING you!!!"

In the evening, David and I were sitting in the living room. I watched Madeline grab the chair to her play desk and pull it up to the pen holder that was magnetically attached to the side of our fridge. When I asked her what she was doing she told me that she wanted the marker. Mama-Dirtyfoot told her, "NO markers". Miss Madeline decide to go to Papa and tell him that she wanted the markers. Papa said, "Well, what did Mama say"? Madeline continued to say, "Mama said, 'Markers, please'!" Ughhhh!!!!......a day in the life of our dear daughter!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Warning: Growth Spurt Ahead!!

First I have to say that I am proud of myself AND, I think this is a record....four posts in one day!!!

Mama-Dirtyfoot just wanted to report that we are in the process of a growth spurt for Madeline. I have noticed a trend with my dear child and it seems as though the trend is continuing. First, prior to/during a growth spurt Madeline tends to get very brave with testing her limits and gets quite difficult to deal with. Regular readers know that this has been the case with Madeline lately. Also, I often find that during these times Madeline usually comes down with a cold (which she is just getting over). Maybe her body is too busy working on helping her grow that it can't put its usual energy towards the immune system. Additionally, Madeline tends to be more tired and packs away the food as though she is a bottomless pit.

At dance class today, I noticed how tall Madeline is getting. She is just as tall or taller than the other girls in her class but all the other girls are between six months to a year older than Madeline is. Also, when we snuggle with Madeline she likes to rub our face. Her hand on my face no longer feels like a baby's hand but rather that of a girl. While rocking Madeline at bedtime Madeline has truly exited the baby stage as again, in this situation, she no longer feels like a little baby. The same holds true when I hold her hand. It is just amazing to me how quickly she is growing up.

Madeline seems to have somewhat grown out of the napping stage unless she is absolutely exhausted and even then, there are no guarantees for a nap. Yet, Madeline napped the past two days!!

As far as packing away the food, Madeline has been totally doing that the past few days. She was a bottomless pit today! For breakfast Madeline had eaten every bite of a scrambled egg, 3 pieces of bacon, a piece of cinnamon toast, and strawberries. For lunch she ate an entire grilled cheese sandwich and an entire orange. Madeline napped and when she woke up, snacked on some shredded wheat cereal. We went out to dinner tonight. Madeline devoured a full hot dog, about 4 french fries, about 1/2 of her Macaroni and Cheese. She then started in on the huge orange wedges that the restaurant gave as a garnish on her plate. After devouring the initial serving of two wedges (which were probably the equivalent of a 1/4 of an orange) Madeline started begging for more oranges. We asked the waitress if we could get more and she brought them. Madeline devoured those too! Then, we figured how can we complain about her wanting to eat fruit so when Madeline started begging for even more oranges the waitress brought out a huge container for us (yes the service was awesome!) and Madeline ate about three more of the wedges. Looks like Madeline is fueling up for a massive growth spurt!

Happy Birthday, Kelly!!










Happy 35th Birthday, Kelly.

American Duct Tape Council Receives Large Donation

American Duct Tape Council....ya gotta be a fan of Garrison Keillor! Anyway, we no longer need our industrial supply of duct tape to close our dryer door! Our new washer and dryer was delivered on Thursday and David had a chance to do the gas hook-up today. I have never been so thrilled to do laundry! With the laundry conditions the way they used to be (having to run the dryer 3 times for the load to be dry), it was easy to have the laundry start to pile up. But we are now on our way from being unearthed from a mountain of dirty clothing. Now if only I could get a 2nd floor laundry room so I didn't have to lug the baskets of laundry up and down to/from the basement.

Times Change

Yesterday, I went to a planning meeting for the reunion of the grade school/church parish that I used to attend as a child. The church is now closed - a victim of the Buffalo Diocesan consolidations, while the school has been closed since the late 1980s. Despite its closure, the parish at one time used to be thriving. The history of not only this religious/academic community, but also the neighborhood in which it is located, is dear to the heart of those in my family. My siblings, aunt, uncle and I attended the school. We each made many Sacraments at the church. My grandfather and great uncle did much of the artwork within the church. Also, knowing that the church was destined to close, David and I chose to have Madeline baptized in the church (only 2 months before it closed its doors forever) even though it was no longer our home parish.

Much of why this church/school declined was a result of the deterioration of the neighborhood in which the parish community was located. The 70's and 80's saw many families moving to the suburbs of Buffalo. Things began to change in many ways. With the changes, many families got scared and moved out too....which brought about more changes. Before long the neighborhood that we were raised in became a crime ridden area of Buffalo's inner city.

Yesterday, I was back in the neighborhood for reunion planning (In case you are wondering the reunion won't be held in that neighborhood. Many people are too scared to venture back). The reunion will also be a fundraiser for the non-for-profit agency that is housed in two of the campus' buildings. (They offer transitional housing for homeless single parents) Anyway, each time I head back to the neighborhood my heart aches to see the changes that have occurred. The businesses that were once thriving establishments are gone - either boarded up or replaced with some cheezy storefront operation. The houses that were once meticulously cared for are now mostly deteriorated or boarded up and vacant. (Luckily the house that I grew up in is still somewhat well cared for) On the way to the meeting I drove past a house that I always used to admire. It was on the corner of Gerald and Roebling (I think the Eberle family used to live there). How sad, this pretty home was boarded up. On the way back from the meeting, I drove down Newburgh and past the house my paternal grandparents used to live in. Two doors down was the house my aunt & uncle owned. On either side of my aunt's house were the houses of grade school friends of mine (who I still keep in touch with). I snapped this photo (above) of the current view of my grandma's old house. Now it just looks like a run down inner-city dump but in my childhood, when my grandma lived there, it was pristine and cared for with great pride. I think my grandma would be rolling in her grave.

Also, part of the plan for today's meeting was to navigate through the school's old lyceum building to hunt for memorabilia to display at the reunion. In October 2007, while my family was in town for Madeline's baptism, a small scale reunion was held at the school. Although much of the building was empty even at that time, it was so much fun to go back into the building and reminisce. I was so looking forward to today's visit. How sad - the little bit that was left in the building at the time of the reunion was pretty much gone. Also, with the heat and power off, that sort of altered my mood for the scavenger hunt (it was so cold you could see your breath in there and my hands were pretty much numb when I left). We were, however, able to scrounge up some items but much had changed even in the year + since I had been there last. This picture of me was taken at the reunion in October '07. This statue was on the stairwell leading to the classrooms. Although the school building smelled exactly the same way it did "back in the day", as you can see below, even the statue is now gone.

Time goes by, things change, but in many ways our memories freeze and preserve the past. The memories take us back to simpler times and happy childhood days. It is quite jolting when things aren't as pleasant as your mind has preserved them to be. How sad is the realization that your past is simply just that - the past, which except for those memories, is lost forever. That realization is of course always known, but seeing the passage of time represented in the deteriorating neighborhood gives me a dull ache in my heart. I guess that is the hazard of being a nostalgic person. But, luckily, those memories do not change and it is those pictures, in my head, that I return to in order to feel close to my childhood, my family, my roots. Thanks, Mom & Dad for providing me with such a pleasant landscape for which to have painted my childhood memories!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

Tuesday afternoon my sister, Marysia, called me and said she was having a Bunco party on Friday night. Marysia was trying to figure out what to serve for her party and what to purchase for the Bunco prizes. We brainstormed some ideas and came up with a Mardi Gras theme. With a little bit of prodding, Marysia took the ball and ran with the theme idea. She planned a menu of New Orleans-type foods and desserts and even planned to serve Hurricanes (David and Jon, remember those?!!?!) as the cocktails. Not only did Marysia get Bunco prizes that fit the Mardi Gras theme, look at how she wrapped the prizes!!! Holy Crap, Martha Stewart! It sounds like everything was perfectly put together. As I type this you are probably mid-party and I am sure you are having a great time. It's times like this that I miss (both of) my sisters and wished we lived closer to each other to share in these kind of events. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Pet Peeve

I don't know why, but it is a pet peeve of mine when Tim Horton's puts the lid of my coffee cup on so that the opening that you drink out of lines up with the crease of the cup. This absolutely makes me crazy. I think its because this particular set-up seems to make drinking the beverage more dribbly. That is how my day started today. However, if this is the biggest "problem" of the day I am doing good.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Random Rambling

Nothing major new to report here although I am afraid of the wrath of my devoted Mama-Dirtyfoot fans if I do not post a blog tonight. My phone would be ringing off the hook. So, to keep my fans happy, I will post the random things that I have been up to.

First off, the photo was taken of Madeline today. I finally got sick of looking at her in the animal print dress-up dress so I hid it. I know, I sound like a terrible mom but it was making me crazy that I would get her dressed for the day and as soon as we got downstairs she would strip out of her clothing (that she just put on) and she would put on her dress-up clothes. Today she got creative with the stuff she could scrounge up. Her "tank" is actually an undershirt that she *had to* wear backwards. The orange on her back are pretend wings (she was pretending she was Tinkerbell) and she put a stretchy necklace on her head like a headband. I swear, this child will be an actress of some sort!

On Wednesday, Madeline and I went to my friend Tammy's house. Tammy is a teacher and she is currently on Winter Break. Madeline and I headed out for a play date at Tammy's. Tammy had two other friends with their kids over as well. Tammy's kids are 12 and Tammy's friends' kids are about the same age as Tammy's daughters however one of the women has a daughter Madeline's age. Madeline and this girl, Reagan, had an absolute blast together. The younger girls just ran around, played with princess dolls, Polly Pockets, and yes, continually slid down Tammy's large staircase on their tummies. How 4 moms could sit around, chit-chat and drink coffee and relax while 7 kids ran around is beyond me....but we managed. It was a nice afternoon. Yet....Madeline pretty much had a meltdown on the way home because she was just so overtired. But did she fall asleep for a nap on the way home or when we got home???......NO!

Mama-Dirtyfoot was lucky enough to get a night on the town on Wednesday evening. "Night on the town" makes it sound like I was partying but actually I went out to dinner with two girls (Lea & Christina) that I went to grade school with. We met at the Creekview Restaurant in Williamsville. Lea and I split the Potato Pancakes and then I had their yummy California Greens salad. It was a nice leisurely 2 hour dinner. I probably wont see them again until May's St. Gerard's Reunion.

Speaking of the reunion....I spent the time while Madeline was at school working on some of the reunion stuff. I updated my contact lists, mailed out more invitations, returned emails about inquiries and prepared prepared a basket to donate for the event's basket raffle. Also today, WE GOT OUR NEW WASHER AND DRYER!!!! They are not hooked-up yet, but they are here and the dryer door doesn't have to be closed with duct tape!!!

I should probably head to bed soon. I have a busy day tomorrow too. I'll keep you updated tomorrow....I can't believe tomorrow is already Friday!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

HAIR - Cuts and Grays

Madeline was due for a hair cut. She has coped with several Mama bang trims but it was time to get an overall shaping. We headed to our local kid's haircutting place. She was so excited about going there because they have toys in the waiting area and she gets to watch "Barbie TV" as they cut her hair. Madeline couldn't wait to tool around the place in one of the Little Tykes cars too. As you can see from this "after" photo, Madeline couldn't even focus on me long enough to get her picture taken. She kept eyeing the fancy red car (that is what she is looking at in the picture) Yep, I pretty much had to drag here out of that place.

As for the gray hairs, this is the scoop....Many of you know that I used to have an intense fear of flying. Yet, that never kept me from getting on a plane because I still wanted to go places. However, my fear used to have me in tears and trembling the night before a flight and during flights I was a wreck - tears, sweaty palms and a bundle of nerves. When I would reach my destination I would be exhausted from my extended elevated anxiety level. Slowly, the more I flew, I began to somewhat overcome the fear. Actually, I had no choice in the matter if I was going to travel halfway around the world to bring Madeline home. Of course, the recent news of the plane that crashed just before landing at the Buffalo Airport has just about made me crazy. Yes, this crash has been all over the news, but you can imagine how much the media exposure has been the case in the Buffalo area. The constant viewing of these images both on the news and in the newspaper have made me more than a little nervous about the thought of flying again. Also, in addition to the two situations of loosely knowing someone that was somehow affected by the crash, I also just found out today that our neighbor (who is also related to David's best friend) was supposed to have been on that flight. Wow!

Now, take all these revisited uneasy feelings about air travel and mix in the fact that Madeline and I will be traveling along with David when he travels to Europe for business......transatlantic. Not only will we be going to Dublin but while in Europe we will also fly to London, Berlin and Back to Dublin. Yeah....crazy. But the thing that pretty much made me crazy is that we will be starting our trip by flying Continental on a prop plane from Buffalo to Newark (same airline, prop plane and 2 airports associated with last Thursday's doomed Continental Flight 3047). Of course leave it to our dear friend Jon (who by the way hates flying just about as much as I do) to tell me that they are probably just going to piece together the plane in Clarence (location of crash). Yep, that's Jon.....thanks!!! Any you wondered why I reference gray hair in my title?!?!?!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring Fever

First off, I would like to say thanks to all my regular Mama-Dirtyfoot readers. I am made well aware of the times I am slacking on my blogging duties because I get phone calls from both family and friends to ask why I haven't blogged. It pleases me to know that you enjoy my tales and miss them when I am neglectful in my posts.

David, Madeline and Mama-Dirtyfoot have had both a relaxing and eventful weekend all rolled up together. Saturday was mostly a relaxing day for Mama-Dirtyfoot. After taking Madeline to dance class and running a few errands together, David gave me the afternoon to myself. I love both David and Madeline to death but I rarely get time to myself that isn't filled with some type of errand/duty. I pulled a page out of my sister Margaret's book and enjoyed lunch at Panera's. Who did I go with???....me, myself and, oh yeah, the new book that I switched over to (see side bar of blog). After lunch, I did some shopping. It was wonderful to browse. I was able to dig through sales racks and browse at generic stuff and not have to feel like I had to rush. What a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. Before coming home, I stopped at a local nail place and got a pedicure. Okay, that sounds completely indulgent but if you had any idea what my feet were like you would've wondered why I didn't do that earlier. My feet were totally getting snagged up in the blankets (and that is soooo not an exaggeration!) Yep, the pedicure chick, COMPLETELY worked for her money with me!! To further pamper myself, I soaked in a nice HOT bubble bath after Madeline was in bed. Yep, I was now completely recovered from Madeline's book tearing day (and the general 3 yr old testiness she had been displaying over the past few days) and felt like a newly refreshed Mama.

Sunday......sigh....LONG story.....Okay, I will try to get this in print. My sister, Margaret, asked me to come visit her over this long holiday weekend. I declined because I told her that we are considering putting our house on the market and thought that the long weekend would be a great opportunity to rent a storage unit and move some of our extra furniture/clutter so that our house would be a bit more ready to show if we were to put it on the market. David did try to get us hooked up with a storage unit on Saturday but the rental office was closed until Monday. Having to revise our plan we decided Sunday would be a good day to get some boxes, pack up stuff and then move things on Monday. Before doing this, we decided to once again talk to the chick at the builders (hmmmm......did I even blog about this potential?!!??! We have been toying with the idea of moving and had a new-build house priced out). After reviewing the lots that were available and matching that with what David and I desire, we were not completely sold on the lots that were left. Now we had more to talk about later in the evening (on our date night). Next stop, David and I finally decided it was time to look into replacing our washer and dryer....ugh, another expense! But it was time!! David and I got our washer and dryer USED about 13 years ago. You know you are due for such a purchase when you have to duct tape your dryer door closed AND have to run the dryer 3 times before all the clothes are dry. Needless to say, I am soooo looking forward to our delivery later in the week. In the evening, David and I got a babysitter and went out to dinner for Valentine's Day (a day late). We had the opportunity to talk over the whole house thing and decided to once again reexamine the existing house market. (By the way, with all the other time-sucking stuff we did on Sunday we didn't pack up any boxes)

Monday (today) came and it was nice to have David off of work today for President's Day. David and I decided to get on the computer to once again search up the houses on the market. We found that a house that we saw at an open house a few months back was still on the market. We discussed the house again. We decided to head out for a ride and look at the neighborhood again. We realized how close we would be to a beautiful State Park and there would be a bike path that would basically go from the end of our street to the park and along the Niagara River. We decided that any areas that we thought we were "compromising" on were actually acceptable and we were excited about moving forward. Yep, we finally thought that we made up our minds (after dragging are feet on this house). We decided that when we got home we would call the realtor to get into the house again to look once more and then consider the whole bid thing. Well....come to find out, that house was sold last week!!! AAAHHHHHhhh! So now I feel like we are back to square one. So I said to David that what we actually need to do is not find a house first but rather decide if we should put our house up on the market and then conduct our search from there. Of course David says we would need to get a storage space first (AHhhhhh, that was the original plan for the weekend that was not accomplished - Sorry, Margaret. I guess I could've come to see you after all.)

The positive thing that came out of all this is a complete sense of spring fever. Even though the weather was in the lower 30's, it was a beautiful sunshiny day. While cruising through the State Park, we saw all the migrating birds along the river. There were your standard Mallards and Canadian Geese but there were also various other species of ducks that make their way along the river while traveling north for the summer. Additionally, we probably saw at least 10 wild swans on their migration route. The picture above was taken on our cruise through the park. I stepped out of the car to try to get a better picture that showed the swans but it was next to impossible to zoom in on the birds and to capture the beauty because I only had my cell phone with me. Yet, when I stepped out of the car, the sounds of the birds, the lapping of the water, and the warmth of the sun made me excited to know that Spring is just around the corner. To fuel that, we saw our first Robin of the season. (*Sigh* and to think all of this could've been practically in our back yard *sigh*) To lift our spirits I decided that for dinner I would get our typical summer picnic fare from the supermarket's prepared foods dept to help psych us up for the warm weather. We had roasted chicken, a Greek pasta salad, grilled veggies, some Sauvignon Blanc & a crispy baguette bread & butter. As David so nicely said, we would drown our sorrows about the house in flour and butter. (Oh.....and by the way, I have NO IDEA HOW I did it because I was very naughty all last week but I lost another pound....back on track tomorrow)

Anyway, I keep trying to remind David (and myself) that if it was meant for us to be in that particular house, it would've still been available. Now the question is, what is meant for us? What is our plan?? Pray that we can figure this out and have the patience to listen for the answer.

Hmmmm......I guess if I posted every day, my posts would be shorter and my fingers wouldn't feel like they are going to fall off from typing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

On a lighter note.....

video

On a lighter note.....I think we might sign up Madeline up for the next American Idol contest. Madeline absolutely LOVES this CD! In particular she likes the "A Tisket A Tasket" song (aka the "I dropped it" song). By the way, Moms, I got this CD at the Dollar Store and she likes it better than the Raffi CD that I paid $15 for! David and I pretty much sing this song in our sleep!

Buffalo Mourns

Buffalo has been called America's biggest small town. Although the population of the city is greater than 275,000, that figure does not include the surrounding towns and villages. I can safely say that despite the size, Buffalo, or shall I say Western New York, is fairly close knit. Therefore, the news of the crash of Continental Flight 3047 while approaching Buffalo's airport was quite disturbing to the WNY residents.

49 people perished in the crash as well as one person on the ground. So many emotions rolled through my head. First, I wanted to kiss David and Madeline and love them both to pieces. With the amount of travel David has been doing for business as well as the amount of travel that we, as a family, have been doing, I was bound to think, "That could've been us".

Next, I recognized that, because WNY is so closely knit, most residents will either know someone that was on that plane or will know someone who was directly affected by this tragedy. Sure enough, I get on Facebook and found out that the uncle of someone David used to work with was on the plane.

In the afternoon, I decided to get out of the house with Madeline to try to "unstick" my mind from thinking of this terrible accident. The roads, stores, etc were very busy today but despite this there was a strange feeling in the air, as if this tragedy weighed each of us down.

Upon coming home, I decided to call my friend, Kelly, because I guess I just needed to connect with others today. Kelly told me of her friend that lives only 300 yards away from the crash site. Kelly's friend heard the sputtering of the plane, heard the loud explosions and witnessed the 50ft wall of flames. In addition to being so close to the crash site, this friend of Kelly's also was friends with a woman (who was 5 months pregnant) that was on the flight.

Additionally, David called me late this morning. He and a coworker had to go to the airport to pick up a client that was traveling in today. The client's flight was delayed and David and his coworker had to sit in the airport (which is relatively small). As he sat there waiting, flight after flight came in and each one carried someone who lost a loved one in the crash. The sobbing that was heard with each new flight made David's wait heatbreakingly unbearable.

I am sure as the flight's manifest is released, more and more Western New Yorkers will realize a connection to someone that was lost. My heart goes out to all the victims, their families and friends. I wish there was something that I could do but all I can do is ask God to comfort those in need.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Did I Cope?

After today's long day (Read Blog entry below FIRST) I was in real need of time to myself. How did I cope? As soon as David came home from work I gave "kisses all around" and took off for some ME time. I desperately needed my hair colored so I drove to the local "walk-in" hair salon place. It's a sad day when one of these chain-type places is booked up for the evening. I was ready to cry....I don't do a whole bunch both husband & kid free so when this almost fell through (while already frazzled from the day) I was ready to cry. I decided to try a local salon and just give it a shot as a walk-in (if that didn't work I was ready to go to the movies alone).

Luckily they made room for me (I must have looked desperate enough). Basically, I gave the girl, who I never met before, free rein to do whatever with my hair (Sorry Andrea, I feel like I've cheated on you). She dyed it, threw some highlights in, cut it, and waxed my eyebrows .....uh, and lip too but don't tell anyone. After two hours away and some Mama-pampering time I felt like a new person. Here are some pictures. Keep in mind that I have absolutely zero make-up on and a crappy gray t-shirt that does nothing for my coloring but.....use your imagination and picture me with make-up and wearing a pretty outfit (Um, and while you are at it picture me 15 pounds lighter).

Oh yeah, I also had a fat-filled bit to eat, mint chocolate chip ice cream and a glass of wine when I got home. *Sigh*.....I don't expect a weight loss come Monday but that is the price tag for keeping my sanity this week! I feel renewed and ready to tackle motherhood in the morning.

Calgon Take Me Away!



I am sure just about any Mom out there can relate to the times that you just need a break. Well, I am at that point now and need SOMETHING - a vacation, a night on the town, a trip to the mall ALONE, a pedicure, massage....anything!

Don't get me wrong, I love Madeline and David to death and I feel extremely fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom but after a day like today I am ready to run away from home and join the cloistered nuns. So, now you get to hear me gripe....

Things started at about 3:00am when Madeline woke up screaming for her Nuk. We started her with a Nuk at night to break her from her finger sucking because she would suck her fingers until the point they blistered. That has worked and actually, Madeline doesn't really suck on the Nuk but mostly just plays with it and holds it. Anyway, I got out of bed and got her Nuk for her and straightened out the blankets for her and tucked her in again. She asked me to turn her music on again (she falls asleep to Baby Einstein classical stuff). So, I turned on the music and then she wanted it louder. Okay, at this point you have to know Madeline. Occasionally, she'll just "get stuck" on something and at present asking for the music louder is her thing. I really, really don't think it has anything to do with her ears because if you just go to the volume knob and touch it to pretend that you adjusted the volume, that will completely satisfy her. I think she just enjoys trying to boss us around. Yet last night, at 3:00am I remind you, I turned her music on. Madeline asked for it louder so I tried the fake volume adjustment. She still wanted it louder so I actually made a real adjustment and turned the volume up "again". She still wanted it louder. At that point I told her the music was loud enough and it was time to go back to sleep. She proceeded to SCREAM "music louder, music louder" to which David and I tried to ignore her. However, Madeline decided to get out of bed and adjusted the volume herself to BLARING. Okay, that ticked me off. Out of bed I went and told her that the music will now be shut off - it's all done! Needless to say, that didn't go over very well. Crying, screaming....so next Madeline tries her next trick up her sleeve which is to cry, "Hurt!" So, she is now yelling, "Hurt, Hurt, Hurt". That didn't get our attention so Madeline proceeds to cry, "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow". Again, you gotta know that we know her enough to know when she is faking it or not. This was definitely her, "I want their attention so that I can get what I want" move but it wasn't working. Sure enough, Madeline realized that David and I weren't buying it so she quieted down after a few minutes. However, with all of this middle of the night activity, Madeline developed a little cough and every few minutes she would cough. I tried to give it a little time to see if it would clear itself but it did not. So now, at about 3:30ish I got up to give Madeline a little cough medicine, helped her blow her nose and tucked her in again. Whew....all was now quiet and we all ended up going back to sleep. ZZzzzzzz!

Morning came too quickly. Madeline could've used to sleep in but she had school this morning. So, up for breakfast and off to school. Upon pick-up (11:30) Madeline decided that it would be funny to run around the hallway to the point that I had to practically had to chase her down (even though the teacher told me that they were discussing walking today). In the mood that Madeline was in I was dreading the visit from her speech teacher when we got home, but I do have to say that Madeline did actually work very hard during speech - although I sat in on the session today to keep her on track.

Naptime came around. I knew that Madeline was in DESPERATE need of sleep. She just looked tired. I thought if I lay down with her, it'll prevent her from playing too much and maybe she'll settle in for a little nap (and if lucky, I would doze off too). Madeline was so excited about Mama in her bed that she was a complete wiggle worm. My idea didn't work. When the phone rang, I got up to answer it. When I hung up I told Madeline that I was going to go down stairs to clean-up the kitchen while she finished her nap. "SCREAMING, crying, Hurt, OWwww, Owwww!" Geez, I never thought that tuning something out could be so stressful. After a few minutes Madeline quieted down. What do I hear through the monitor though? RRRiiiippppp, rrriiipppppp, riiiiippppp. What is she doing? It sounded like she was tearing something. I went upstairs to check. She was tearing the pages out of her favorite Cinderella book!!!! At this point I think steam was coming out of every orphus on my body. Out of bed Madeline came, down stairs to the time out chair for time-out! Then I'll be dipped if she thought misbehaving would get her out of nap time. So, after Madeline did her time in time-out, back to bed she went. While I was tucking her in I made a big dramatic show of removing all the torn-up pieces of the book out of her bed and putting them in the hallway because the book is now garbage. I was so ticked. She acted like a little puppy that chewed everything in the house because it was mad that its owners left the house. To top it off, I was ticked about that book in particular. Granted, I acquired it second hand from the school that I used to work (the library was discarding some old editions of its books). That Cinderella book was the exact same edition, illustrations, etc. as the one I had when I was a little girl. How I loved that book....and how Madeline loved it too which is why I just can't believe that she did this!! So, when I came downstairs and once again had to listen to the "screams, cries, hurts and ows" I called up David and pretty much had a mini-meltdown on the phone.

The day is still young, although Madeline is now quiet she did not nap. This evening should be interesting. The tale above makes Madeline sound like a monster child. For the most part, she is not. But let me tell you, she has her moments and she is as stubborn as they come!

Spring/Summer is just around the corner and getting out of the house more regularly will do us all good. But in the meantime, I'll be hanging out at a convent. Or maybe I'll join the circus - Lord knows it would be quieter there!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNT SUE!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Don't Feel Like Being Creative With A Title :-)

As promised (gotta satisfy my fans) here is the recap of what we were up to this past weekend. First, let me say that I lost two more sticks of butter (1/2 pound) for a grand total of a 5 pound loss. So, basically I lost a sack of potatoes off my backside.....only 3 more sacks to go. However, I did not hop back on my diet today after my cheat-filled weekend so I'll be lucky if this upcoming week shows any progress.

As for as our weekend, David has been obsessing (for the past month+) about researching car options to replace his vehicle. He was definitely ready with over 100K in mileage on his car. Also, we were due to start having major expenses arise in the vehicle....so, David got to do his favorite thing - car shop. I do have to say, though that this is a painful period of time for me because David always gets obsessed with anything automotive each time we go through this. I always have to beg for him NOT to drag me through every car dealership we drive by. Instead, I say, you do the research and let me know when you have chosen a car that is to your liking and falls within our price range. At that point I come along for the ride to see the car and say...."Ooooooo, pretty". So that was the plan for Friday night but once we got on the road we decided to call the dealership and found out that they closed at 6pm, so we opted to go out for a casual family dinner instead.

Saturday, we actually made it to the car dealership and test drove the "new Papa car". While we were doing the car thing it was getting late so we had to stop out for McDonald's for lunch. David placed our order while Madeline and I did the potty thing. When we came out, David was getting our straws, napkins, etc. While he was doing this, a little girl asked David for some help finding the correct sized lid for her pop. This is when Madeline and I appeared, along with the little green monster. Yes, you could just see that Madeline was jealous that David was talking to another kid. After that, Madeline wouldn't let go of David. You can see from this picture that she was holding his hand while eating her MickeyD's.

Sunday, I was able to enjoy some Mama time with my girlfriends. I attended an all afternoon (12-6) Scrapbooking Workshop. It gave me some uninterrupted time to get my photos together. Of course, the big joke is that I don't typically accomplish a lot because I waste half the time talking. (The large Tim Horton's coffee doesn't help me much either). I still have most of 2008 to scrap but I am trying to be very particular on the scrapbook of Madeline's first year with us because that is like her "baby book". I had decided to add many more photos in that book and therefore I am not getting ahead. Well, just another reason to set aside some scrappin' time with my friends in the near future. In the evening I did a little shopping for a playdate that Madeline was supposed to have on Monday. After getting all prepared for the playdate, I considered the fact that Madeline was a snot queen (from a cold) and I started in with a sore throat, ear ache and, by evening, the chills, I decided to see how Maddie & I fared on Monday.

Today, Monday, Madeline and I had to run around all morning. First, a guy from the town water dept came over to do some work on our water meter. I totally forgot about the appointment so here I was at 10am, answering the door with both Madeline and I STILL in our PJs (that's what happens when you are a little under the weather). Next, my sidekick and I had to go to 3 banks. (1) for a bank check, (2) to get the title for the Papa car out of the safe deposit box and (3) to the bank that we had our last car loan from to get a lien release letter. But the fun part came when we met David at the car dealership to pick up the "new Papa car". Okay, its new-used. Its a 2007 Hyundai Azera but it only had 13K in mileage. That is LOW considering that we do that kind of mileage in SIX MONTHS! The kicker is that due to a mess-up in the advertised pricing, we got a model that had all the extra features, all the bells and whistles for no additional money than if it were to have gotten a car with more standard features.....ooopppss, we don't mind though.

All day long I was tired from fighting off a bug of some sort. Yet, after a morning filled with running around, things caught up a little bit and I ended up with the chills again. Madeline was still super-snotty and definitely over tired so I decided to call off the play date. I even opted for the electronic babysitter (Disney movie) and couldn't even think about planning dinner, so David ordered up a pizza.....thus, today's mess-up with my diet. So here I sit, feeling too full, achy and that kind of tired that you feel when your body is fighting off something. Oh yeah, I am also feeling guilty about that crap that not only I have been eating, but my family has been eating the past few days too. I guess I should get to bed and rest so that I can get us all back on track tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

BLAH

We have had a somewhat busy weekend. I want to post about it.....and I will, in time. But I am feeling kind of crappy. Nothing serious, I just think my cold is coming back for round #2. I have a sore throat, mini-earache and am slightly chilled. Needless to say, I am not up for blogging a narrative. Tomorrow is a busy day so I want to get some sleep. So, I'll tell you about my Girls' Scrapbooking Day (I hope I didn't spread what I am potentially coming down with to my friends) and the new car (yes, you read that correctly) next time I post. How's that for keeping you in suspense?? I am going to bed NOW!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Packard

Poor Packard! Finally, Packard came out and showed some curiosity in what the girls of the house were doing during the day. As usual, Madeline was playing dress-up. Did my girl decide to dress-up the cat? No....it was Mama-Dirtyfoot! Packard was still semi-okay with this until I got out the tiara. Thanks Packard for being a good sport today.

A Day in the Life of Madeline

I really have nothing new to report here. Just thought I would share some pictures. The first picture is of Madeline before school Thursday morning. I love the sweater, another cousin Kate hand-me-down. When I received boxes upon boxes of hand-me-downs from her cousin Anna and her cousin Kate, Madeline was able to use most of Anna's clothing almost immediately because they are closer in age but I thought it would be *forever* before Madeline would grow into Kate's clothing because it all looked so big! Well, she is there!

It was kind of funny when I picked Madeline up from school yesterday. Part of the school supplies for Madeline was a change of clothing in a Ziploc bag (in case of an accident). I was a little concerned when I picked Madeline up and she no longer had on the skirt I put her in in the morning. I thought there was a potty accident but as it turns out, Madeline just spilled her milk all over her. However, Madeline went to school with a nice coordinating outfit and came home looking like I should be calling her "stripe", with a striped sweater and (by no means coordinating colors) striped pants. I hoped the other parents that were there picking up their kids didn't actually think I sent Madeline to school like that!

Here are two more pictures. Madeline was playing dress-up again and got into her play make-up kit. She wanted me to put her hair in a clip and put on the little stickers like earrings while she applied her make-up. I think she was getting ready for a night out on the town with the prince (from Cinderella). Oh brother, she is growing way too quickly! Heaven help the first boy that Madeline has to bring home to meet us - more specifically, David!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

MORE Bad News!

I JUST realized that since I lost more weight, Weight Watchers doesn't allow me as many points per day as I used to get last week! I get one less point per day!!!!
Grumble, grumble, grumble gripe, moan, bitch!!!
ONE POINT!!!!
That is the equivalent to 3 cups of light popcorn OR a piece of fruit OR a Wegmans Light english muffin OR a Weight Watchers Cafe Latte ice cream bar.....you get the picture! How dare they!
*SIGH*.....if a glass of wine weren't 2 points, I'd have a glass in protest. I feel like I am a little kid that was grounded.
grumble, grumble whine, moan bitch....I am going to my room. Yep, that's it I am being sent to bed without my snack :-(

Good News/Bad News

Today was a big day- good/bad for Madeline and us. First, this afternoon we had a parent-teacher conference with Madeline's teacher. We discussed Madeline's skills, how she is adjusting to school, behavior, etc. So was the conference the good news or the bad news???........Hmmmm....(this is me keeping you in suspense).......It was the good news. The teacher said Madeline is doing very well. That was great to hear.

As for the other news, I don't want to alarm you by saying "bad" news. Maybe I should say "surprising" news. Madeline had a follow up appointment today with her Ear Nose Throat (ENT) doctor to peek in on her ears. First I want to say that Madeline was an absolute angel at the doctor's appointment - especially since we were there TWO HOURS, mostly waiting. Anyway, for those of you that do not know, Madeline had tubes put in her ears in October '07. I didn't want to take a "wait & see" approach to Madeline's speech delays. My reasoning behind this is because speech is the foundation for reading and anything related to language arts. I wanted to give her the best opportunity to catch up before she became of school (kindergarten) age. Therefore shortly after coming home Madeline was evaluated for Early Intervention Services. Through this she was sent for hearing tests, ENT specialists, etc and it was determined that Madeline had fluid behind her eardrums. After trying to reduce the fluid with antibiotics and other measures it was determine that Madeline should have tubes put in her ears (sounds bad but they are the size of a piece of rice). These tubes eventually fall out on their own and you just go in every 6 months for follow ups - which brings us to today.

During today's follow-up visit, they gave Madeline a hearing test. It came in on the low end. The doctor decided to look at Madeline's tubes under the microscope (sort of like the thing that doctors usually look in your ears with but connected to big machine). For this Madeline was strapped down to a table. Luckily I was able to be there - Maddie once again did AWESOME! She had a surprised expression on her face when she realized she was stuck in that contraption but at least I was there to tell her it was okay. The tubes in both ears were basically fallen out (this is normal) and they were kind of wedged in the ear canals so the doctor dug them out (Madeline did great! She didn't even cry and the was hardly even a whimper. My brave little girl!!) . The issue, however, is twofold. (1) Madeline still has fluid behind her ears but more pressing is (2) she has a severely retracted eardrum on the right side. That basically means that the eardrum collapses and there isn't the space behind the eardrum that allows for the vibrations to be formed correctly for sounds. In time, if this isn't addressed it could cause deterioration of the inner ear bones.

So, what does this all mean? Madeline is going in on the 26th to have another set of tubes put in and have her adenoids taken out (yes, those effect the ears). Ugh!!! My eyes started tearing up when the doctor said this. In actuality, the surgical procedure is a very simple quick one (approx 20 minutes). Last time Madeline had the tubes in I was barely settled in the waiting room before they were buzzing me to say that she was out of surgery. Yet, just the thought of the procedure and the anesthesia is not making me a happy camper. My poor little goober! *Sigh*....I guess I need to just count my blessings and be happy that this simple procedure is all that we need. Anyway, please keep her in your prayers.

Scale Weight In Animals

Yes, you are looking at that correctly! The scale gives you your weight in animals! No, its not mine, I just came across it on the internet but I thought it was pretty funny. At this point, this scale would still probably weigh me in somewhere between a whale and a hippo but it is slowly improving.

I never gave an update on Monday...last week I lost 1 & 1/2 pounds. To date, I am 4 & 1/2 pounds lighter from my starting weight. Not as much of a loss as I would like but I had two bad diet-cheating weekends in there. Hey, 4 & 1/2 pounds....if you were to visualize my weight loss thus far, that's only a few potatoes shy of a 5lb sack. Not a bad load to loose from my backside.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Papa's Girl is Growing Up

Madeline LOVES to play dress-up. She has a ton of hand-me-down dress up clothing from her cousin Kate. She also has dress-up accessories (shoes, earrings, tiaras, etc) from her Aunt Marysia and her first speech teacher, Kristy. When Madeline is "too quiet", I check in on what she is doing and the majority of the time she is stripping out of the outfit I dressed her in and changing into one of her dress-up outfits. This particular outfit (in photo) is one of her favorites. I believe it was a prior dance recital costume from her cousin, Kate.

Today, Madeline changed into her fancy outfit, put on some dress-up shoes and asked me to put a clip in her hair. *Sigh*....what a little girl, but already we see a glimpse of what a young lady she will become. Yep, I think Papa is already practicing some martial arts moves to ward off the boys in her future. Papa is already challenged in the hair department and whatever hair is left is mostly gray, so what is left when Madeline begins to come of dating age?? His sanity?? Probably if this is a glimpse of our future! Slow down, Maddie!! You are growing too quickly!