Snowflakes For Sandy Hook

snowflakes
Time to break out the scissors and show off your mad snowflake making skills!
When school resumes for Sandy Hook, it will be in a new building. Parent-volunteers are working to ensure that the students are welcomed back by a winter wonderland with the entire school decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA at:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

Donations will be accepted indefinitely to the Connecticut PTSA “Sandy Hook Fund” to provide ongoing support to the community. Please send checks to the Connecticut PTSA address listed above. Group fundraising projects may include walk-a-thons, spirits days, pajama days, etc., which may be scheduled at your convenience.

Donate via Paypal here: http://www.ctpta.org/About-CT-PTA/SANDY-HOOK-FUND.html

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Wet Ones Blog Blast!

Sticky Situations Contest

 

Being a mama of four, you can trust and believe that I have walked in on more than one sticky situation!  It never ceases to amaze me, the incredible messes the kids can make when you turn your head for even a split second!

This picture of Noah is what happened when I left him for less than two minutes to change Sara’s diaper.  He got a hold of a dry erase marker and decided to go to town on his face, hands and even his feet!

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Plus there are just the regular day to day messes, like when the kids are helping out around the house, or when we are having fun with crafts.  Having kids is messy business!  In our house, it is easier just to laugh it off instead of getting angry.  I make sure that when I need to leave the room to do something, everyone follows.  It is much easier to keep an eye on everyone when they are right next to you!  I also plan for messy activities.  When we know we are going to do something messy, we prep the area with newspapers, wear old clothes, and of course, have some Wet Ones ready when we are all through!

Wet Ones is running an awesome contest right now, where all you have to do to enter is share some of your own sticky situations and tips!    It is super easy to enter, just head to Facebook and submit your own tip and funny story by clicking HERE.  When you enter, you have a chance to win an iPad mini or Six Flags tickets!

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I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Wet Ones. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

www.momcentralconsulting.com

 

Elf on the Shelf

Last year, we decided to jump on the elf on the shelf bandwagon.  We watched the cartoon, I was intrigued, saw the price in stores, and after nearly fainting, looked online and got a good deal on our very own elf.

I love the vintage look of the elf.  I can remember going to my grandma’s house at Christmas time, my mom’s mother, and admiring all the beautiful vintage ornaments, including an elf that looked very much like the widely popular, hugely overpriced elf on the shelf.  That memory alone made me decide to pay more than was reasonable, and I know we are making awesome memories for the kids.

Much like the cartoon, Matthew was uninterested in the elf, but Isabella was in love!  She named our elf Cookie, and so began the adventure of finding him every morning.  There are some pretty awesome elves out there, doing awesome things as can be seen on Pinterest.  There are also some awfully naughty elves that seem to be doing rotten things, stuff that would surely put them on Santa’s naughty list!

Cookie never does anything naughty, he likes to play with the kids toys and occasionally leave them a tiny elf sized letter.  Isabella whispers in his ear sometimes, telling him that she loves him and to tell Santa that she said “hi”.  Doesn’t that just melt your heart?

This year, Noah is in on the game, and runs out of room each morning yelling, “Where’s Cookie?!”  Yup, definitely worth the money for a tradition that will be passed down and enjoyed for many years.

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Cookie’s first day back!  He is holding a tiny mug of hot cocoa and has a tiny plate of cookies next to him.  Kind of adorable, I know.  Thanks for sharing, Barbie!

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Chillin’ on Santa’s lap.

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Getting in on the countdown calendar fun!

Felt Christmas Tree

If you have ever even casually peeked at Pinterest, I’m sure you have seen the cute little felt trees that some genius mama made for her kids to play with.  While the idea is to give them their very own tree and ornaments to decorate and thusly stay away from the real tree, I can tell you that while the tree is cute and fun, even for the older kids, it’s just not the same as the real one with the sparkly lights and dangling goodies.

That said, we made the tree and I kind of love it.  It is way bigger than I intended, but it turned out cute and the babies love it.  Sara likes to take the dump truck, drive it to the felt tree, remove all the ornaments, placing them in the dump truck and then she drives it around the whole house, squealing with joy.

It is pretty simple to make, just cut a Christmas tree shape out of felt and then ornament shapes out of felt.  I used some cookie cutters for some of the ornaments and others I just free handed.  There is no special trick to sticking the ornaments to the tree.  Felt sticks to felt.  It’s just that easy, trust and believe.  Now, hanging the tree on the wall was another story.  I originally intended on putting it on our metal front door with a few dabs of hot glue.  The glue wouldn’t hurt the metal, and I knew it would be secure.  Then I made the tree about four times bigger than intended and it wouldn’t fit on the door, so I had to think of a plan b.

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I considered using velcro, Command strips makes them with that adhesive that won’t damage walls.  Ultimately, I decided on flat thumb tacks because I knew that it would get roughly handled by the kids and I did not want to pick the tree up off the floor 900 times a day.

So far, so good!  The kids play with it every day and it hasn’t fallen down once.  The ornaments get crumpled up and slobbered on and they still stick just fine to the tree.

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I haz all the ornaments, muahahahaha!

Our First Thanksgiving

This year is the very first year that we stayed at home as a family and made our very own Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a blast!  We looked up yummy recipes from Food Network’s website and we decided brine our turkey, as per Alton Brown’s suggestion.  We had a feast and it was delicious!  It was really nice having the intimate family time, talking to the kids about our Thanksgiving traditions when we were little, having them help prepare the meal, and then sharing what everyone is thankful for.  It was awesome, and something I look forward to doing as our Thanksgiving tradition.

Getting ready to finally dig into our lovely meal!  We had turkey, wild mushroom dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, sugared cranberries and a super yummy easy freezy pumpkin pie!

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Sara was having too much fun!  Silly girl!

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Doesn’t the pie just look delicious?  It was a great twist on the classic pumpkin pie!

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Radioactive Mama

The danger classification sign of radioactive ...

Several months ago, in the early spring, my mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  The diagnosis caught everyone completely off guard.  Her doctor decided to remove the cancer through surgery, removing the growth, her thyroid and two of her parathyroid glands in the hopes of nipping everything in the bud and getting her to feeling good again.

My mom had felt pretty unwell for years.  She suffered general fatigue, aches, pains, depression, the list goes on.  Her doctor explained that most of her symptoms could actually be erased or greatly improved after surgery.

The surgery went well, she was given pills and told to expect to feel leaps and bounds better in just a few short weeks.

That didn’t happen.

Routine blood work looked fine, but she wasn’t feeling any better at all.  An ultrasound was done on her surgery site that revealed what looked like thyroid tissue.

Strange, since the doctor supposedly removed it all.  The technician specifically said that it looked like thyroid tissue, not a tumor.  That made me wonder if it was possible that some tissue had been left behind and was regrowing.

The doctor said that was impossible, he didn’t miss anything.  How great it must be to be so certain of yourself!  Sorry, don’t trip over that chunk of sarcasm.

What he decided to do next was to have her take a simple radioactive pill that would kill any remnants of the cancer that may be lingering.  He explained it as so simple, no big deal, which put my mom at ease, but when I hear “radioactive pill”, well, my mind was not at ease.

I ended up doing something I knew I shouldn’t.  I Googled it.  Yeah, I went there.

What I found was that this was no simple little pill that you take and then blissfully continue with your regular activities.  This pill, being radioactive, is very dangerous.  In fact, one of the side affects from taking it is cancer.  She will need to basically be quarantined, kept away from other people for a period of time.  Simply being near small children can actually give them leukemia.  This is no simple pill, this is a scary treatment that my mother was led to believe would be as easy as swallowing two aspirins.

I cautiously asked her more, to get a feeling for what she knew about the treatment.  Her doctor literally told her nothing.  I told her the bits and pieces that didn’t sound overwhelmingly scary, just to give her an idea of what she could expect, something her doctor should have done.

She talked to one of her friends that has family members that went through this treatment.  Her friend was not as good at filtering the scary bits I chose not to tell my mom.  This, rightly so, had her scared.

She called me crying, scared of the treatment, scared of the side affects, scared of being toxic to her loved ones.  She was worried about her dog, her little Bichon mix that is attached to her hip.  She worried that if she had to board him in a kennel that it would kill him.  I did my best to calm her down and explain to her that at worst, my dad and brother would have to step up and help take care of the dog and to keep the house running.  She would only need to be shut off in her room alone for several days before she could start slowly getting things back to normal.

It would be a few weeks before she could see the kids, but I assured her that she could still talk on the phone and that she should look at her treatment as a mini vacation.  It seems only fair that she get waited on and taken care of when she is the one always doing that for others.

I encouraged her to call the doctor’s office, to explain that she would like to talk about her treatment as it had her worried.  Obviously, she was hoping they would be able to hold off treatment until after the holidays, since she would have to be isolated for a while.

Last week, she met with the doctor that will be treating her.  They gave her outdated papers and brochures to read in the waiting room that made her worry more.  When she finally sat down with the doctor, he was very kind and very good at explaining the treatment.  He told her that her dog would not be affected by the radiation.  I don’t believe this.  In fact, I have read many things to the contrary.  But her dog is old and not well, and when he told her that he could still be around her during the isolation, that gave her happiness and hope, so my mouth stayed shut.

She needs to have two shots prior to the pill that will reverse the affects of the medications she has been taking since her surgery.  The doctor said that they will make her more fatigued, sore, and depressed.  Just what you want right before you have a big treatment like this.

The shots are crazy expensive, something like $2400 per shot.  They have to be pre approved through the insurance and everything, just like the pill, before they can even be ordered.  Luckily, my parents have decent insurance coverage, so hopefully the out of pocket cost won’t be too astronomical.

So the radioactive pill will be taken in January.  I joked with my mom that maybe she would get super powers.  I thought that was hilarious, so did Abe, but my mom was less amused.

What I hope is that this pill will do it’s job, that my mom will have minimal if any side affects, and that she will then be on the path to good health.  It’s scary to think of her ever not being here.  She has too many grand babies that need spoiling!

Cancer sucks.

Why do kids never get sick on weekdays during business hours?

Seriously.  After enjoying the mid season finale of The Walking Dead last night, (omg it was AWESOME!)  we were soon made aware by Dr Isabella that she had diagnosed Noah with croup.

I’ll admit, at first we kind of blew her off and figured she was just throwing the word around trying to be all smart and stuff.  Well, minutes later, we realized she was very much right and Noah was very sick, with croup, at 10 pm on a Sunday night.

Now, Isabella and Noah are the only two kids who have ever had croup so far, but they don’t just get that yucky sounding seal bark cough.  Oh no, these kids know how to get severely ill at the most inconvenient, and therefore stressful of times.  We’re talking full on stridor, that horrific squeaky noise they make just by breathing in because their airway is so swollen and retractions, the skin between their ribs and on their chest that pulls in with each breath as they are working hard to breathe.

Yeah, pretty much hell on Earth for a worry wart mama.

Urgent Care closed at 8 pm, so the only option was the dreaded ER.

After four and a half hours and an oral steroid dose along with a prescription, Noah was sounding better and could finally get tucked into bed.  Now I am just hoping that we can manage to keep Sara from catching it.  This mama has had enough worrying for the rest of the year, thank you very much!

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Look at him, acting all chill while his mama has a nervous break down.

I am happy to say that he seems to be doing much better today.  Croup is scary.  For us, it always shows up completely unannounced and always late at night.  He has not been sick, no fevers or runny nose, nothing at all until he woke up “barking” last night.  Thank goodness for Urgent Care and ERs!

Now, I wonder how much we owe Dr Isabella for her house call?