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Friday, December 21, 2012

Testing....

Xmas tree 2012
So, Sean got his new free Microsoft Surface from work yesterday and I'm testing it out to see if I can use it for blogging. So far, the touch pad is weird but very cool. You would think it wouldn't work well, since the keys aren't buttons, but it actually works great, once you get the hang of it. It's a little weird using both the touch screen and touch pad at the same time, but very cool too. Lets try posting a picture...It works!

Now that I know I can use the Surface, on with my post! I know this is a little late, since we actually put up our decorations before Thanksgiving, but here are a few photos of the finished product! They're not great, you try taking pictures of my kids while they're moving...lol. I do like how the garland turned out around the front window. Sean bought an extra set from Costco for the railing. Not the same set, but still very pretty. These are the only pictures I could get off my phone. All the good ones are either on Sean's phone or my SkyDrive account. I can't figure out how to get them from that account to Blogger yet.

décor with the lights off.

Train in the kitchen from Costco.

Liam decorating the tree.

Cian decorating the tree.

Our little Charlie Brown tree.

Sammy decorating too.

And Lizzie.

The new angel that the dogs almost chewed up.

Mary decorating.

The new garland.

Sean's favorite cookies.

Décor with lights on.

Sorry for the sideways photo.

 
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Here's a way to help...

Monsignor Weiss & Fr. Luke Suarez
Sitting at home, watching the tragedy in Newtown is heartbreaking. I feel so helpless, yet have an overpowering desire to help. There is nothing worse than the feeling that you can do NOTHING. We have donated money to the families, but it just doesn't feel like enough. Today, thanks to my wonderful home schooling family circle, I have found a way to express my thoughts and prayers to both the families and these two Catholic Priests.

Ten of the twenty people killed were from their parish, St. Rose of Lima. (Here is an article about Monsignor Weiss and the families.) Fr. Suarez's sister, a Catholic Homeschool mother, wrote a message on her Facebook page asking for prayers for her brother and the families. If you don't have a Facebook account, (neither do I) you can read her message at Totus Tuus Family & Catholic Homeschooling blog. She has given those of us who live on the opposite end of the map a way to help, personally.

I know how hard it is to even think about what those families are going through, let alone read another tear-jerking article about the tragedy, but they do need all the love, prayer and support they can get. So for those of you who choose not to read the message, a have placed the addresses below to send a family Christmas card or a personal message to both the families and St. Rose of Lima Parish. Fr. Weiss's sister stated, "All he asks for is prayers." A simple holiday card letting them know you are praying for them, gives them more strength to support the grieving families in their time of need. They have both expressed how much the prayers have kept them strong. Here are the addresses....

The United States Postal Service has opened a PO Box for those who wish to send their regards to the families.

Messages of Condolence for Newtown
PO Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06470

St. Rose of Lima Parish
C/O Father Luke Suarez
46 Church Hill Rd.
Newtown, CT 06470

If you wish to donate money via check or Money Order-

'My Sandy Hook Family Fund'
c/o Wells Fargo Bank
26 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sorrow

I'm sitting on my bedroom floor. I just finished wrapping my last three Christmas presents for the kids. In the background, Sean has Christmas music playing on his tablet for Sam as he drifts off to sleep. The song that just played is one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Christmas Canon" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The voices of those beautiful children singing brought tears to my eyes. Here I am, wrapping presents for my children, who are all safe in there beds, but I can't help but feel guilty. I keep thinking, did the parents of the 20 children in CT get a chance to buy presents for their little angels? Did they even get a chance to wrap them? For the families who did buy toys, what will they do with the toys? I thought to myself, would I be able to return them to the store? Would I want to donate them to some other children who won't be getting presents otherwise? As the song played on, all I could think about were the words, "tiny caskets" uttered by some news caster from CNN yesterday. That's what those parents are getting for Christmas. I thought about President Obama's speech during the Patriots game on Sunday night. Sean and I were standing in our kitchen, silently listening to him talk about change and faith, but when he started to read the names of those children, We both broke down, sobbing uncontrollably, while holding each other. We actually drove through that town once, leaving New England to head West. It really is a beautiful, upper middle class town. Nice people, good food, and clean hotels. Just like thousands of other towns in America. In fact, we live in one ourselves. The schools are suppose to be some of the best in the state. I wouldn't know, since we home school. I thank the Lord everyday that we made the decision to home school our children 5 years ago. All the doubt and second guessing ourselves has now been washed from our minds. Never will we choose to put a single one of our children in public or private school. No matter how nice the town is, or how safe the school seems to be, it will never be safe enough for us. I could not imagine what those poor families are going through right now. I do know that it has made us hold our children a little closer these days and pray a little more. It makes us wonder if the weird 18 year old boy who likes to swing everyday, is safe for our children to talk to (long story). I know this post is the last thing anyone wants to read, with all the depressing new reports. However, I really had nowhere else to express my feelings. I can't talk to Sean about it, he doesn't want to hear about it anymore, nor does my Mother. I, however cannot stop thinking about it. Its all that has been on my mind for days. I feel like I should have to morn as well, because my children ARE alive and safe. They will be visited by Santa this year and enjoy the family fun. When its all over, we will get to tuck our babies into their beds, with their new toys sprawled out all over the floor for us to step on. I can't help but feel awful because the parents of those 20 little angels won't get to experience any of that. I know some of the parents had other children, but how could they even think about Christmas after such a loss? Again, this is all the things that are going through my head, all day every day. It won't stop. I'm so sad for those people and I don't even know them.....

Friday, December 14, 2012

Declan has been hospitilized

It's been a rough few days for us here. Our eldest son, Declan is currently in the hospital with an unknown infection in his head. It started out a few days ago with what looked like a zit on the bridge of his nose, right next to his right eye. Yesterday morning he woke up with his eye swollen shut and the "zit" three times the size it was. Sean thought it was a stye. I thought otherwise, so I called the pediatrician and described it to a nurse. She said it didn't sound like a stye because it wasn't on an eyelid and the eye wouldn't swell shut with a stye. She said we needed to bring him in ASAP. Of course Sean couldn't leave work early, so she told me to have Sean take him to a pediatric urgent care as soon as he got off work. So, 6pm they entered the urgent care. By 6:30pm, an IV with antibiotics was being swiftly pumped into his body. They took his blood for testing and scheduled a CAT scan for his head to see how deep the infection was.
 
They started him off with two rounds of antibiotics, and hour long each. He was then taken to radiology for a CAT scan. The results of that were clear, thank goodness. However they had decided to transport him to the children's' hospital for overnight observation and more antibiotics. He had two more rounds overnight and another round this morning at 7am. It is a very aggressive infection they think to be a form of Staff, but do not know for certain. They also found a piece of blue plastic wedged in his ear. Declan has no idea who put it there or when it even happened. Because it is in an uncomfortable place, he will have to see an ear and throat specialist to have it sucked out of his ear tomorrow. The doctors didn't seemed concerned about it and actually said it happens all the time. They thought it was funny. As a mother, I don't find a strange piece of plastic wedged in my child's ear "funny". (Did I mention how much I despise hospital's and doctors.)
 
Despite being in the hospital, Declan is in high spirits. He was "hamming it up" with the doctors and nurses both in the urgent care and hospital. They were all amazed how well he was taking it and how good he was. They even laughed at his jokes. Sean was convinced he was loving all the extra attention. This morning they brought in a PlayStation for him to play. Spiderman, of course. Looking at the picture, you can see his eye is MUCH BETTER this morning. Still a little swelling, but he can see out of it now.
 
Currently, he is being seen by an Ophthalmologist. They just dilated his eyes and are looking for infection in the eyes. He may also lance the boil on his nose to get ride of the infection faster. I am waiting for Sean to update me. If all goes well, he will get to come home tonight with more antibiotics. If not, he is scheduled for another round of IV antibiotics at 5pm.

UPDATE: Declan just saw the Ophthalmologist and they gave him the all clear. There were two of them looking at his eyes and they both agreed the antibiotics may have already killed the infection. It did not need to be lanced. We just need to keep a ward compress in it to begin the draining process. They are also giving him a cream to put on it to keep the infection from spreading into his eyes. He will need to see a pediatric ophthalmologist in a few days to determine if there will be any scaring. They should be home in a couple hours!
 
On a more depressing note, my heart goes out to the families of the children and staff who were killed at an elementary school shooting in CT this morning. Last night I was feeling sorry for myself thinking my child and husband were in a stupid hospital and not home with me. I didn't want to sleep alone. I didn't like strange people poking and prodding at my child either. They both will get to come home today or tomorrow. The families who lost their little children will not get to have their babies come home. Instead, they will have to bury them and say their good byes. Never see their beautiful smiles or hear their laughter again. Suddenly, I feel guilty for being so selfish. I can hug my child and husband when they get home. Those families don't get to experience that ever again. Something to think about next time you feel the world is unfair, when life isn't always perfect.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

First Disney Trip for the Holidays

Last Wednesday we took a trip to Disney. The kids have been cooped up in the house from all the rain, so this was a much needed outage for all of us. This is the best time of the year to go because the park is so empty. All the kids are in school and it's cold...at least the locals think so. So this was perfect for us.

I finally got to go on the Haunted Mansion ride. It's still decked out from Halloween with The Nightmare Before Christmas. I had really been looking forward to seeing it. We tried just before Halloween. Waited in line for over 30 minutes and finally got up to the house when they closed the attraction for some stupid reason. This time, there was no wait at all, we went right in. I took Liam, Declan, Fionn and Mary. As soon as we got into the elevator, Liam started SCREAMING and didn't stop until we got off the ride. I didn't get to enjoy it at all.

This female duck was a greedy little s***. Her mate is standing next to her.
After that lovely fiasco, Sean wasn't about to take him on Pirates, so he took Declan, Cian and Mary. Came back a few minutes later because Cian chickened out, as usual. So Cian, Fionn, Lizzie, Liam and Sammy stayed behind to feed some ducks. These were the funniest ducks too. The kids were feeding them Goldfish. A couple of them even took the fish right out of my fingers. They have these little teeth that feel funny. They don't actually hurt when they bite you, its just weird. This lady that worked at the park was standing next to us watching them as well. (She actually lives right in out neighborhood.) She was telling me about the ducks and how they have been there for generations. They don't actually feed them but they do protect the eggs. She also told me about the cats. The park is riddled with them. There were even roomers that there were cat houses right in the park, but that isn't true. They don't actually feed the cats so they keep all the rats and mice out of the park. There are hundreds of them roaming around and at night they do sleep in the attractions. The staff even take the new kittens home from time to time.

After feeding the ducks, we were headed to Toontown when we saw Sleeping Beauty. Mary and Lizzie were so excited, but once it was our turn for a picture, Lizzie wanted nothing to do with her. Mary however, just loved her. Toontown wasn't too busy so the kids got to run around and play on the attractions. They loved the little trolly, jumping on it, laying all over the benches and pretending to steer it. Sean even got me on the thing with Sam. All Sam wanted to do was run around on it, but he didn't have any shoes on, so that wasn't going to happen. Sean took Sam, Declan and Mary on the Roger Rabbit ride. Sammy wasn't to thrilled with it, but at least he didn't scream his head off like Liam did. He just sat next to Sean and whimpered. It was too loud for him. Not one of Sean's brighter ideas....lol.

While Sean took Declan, Mary and Sam on Roger Rabbit, I had to find ways to entertain Liam and Fionn. The two of them together are wild. Liam will bolt and Fionn gets so excited, he forgets to stay with me. (He got lost on our first trip to Disney.) They found a funny mailbox that talked when you tried to open it. Fionn had a blast with that. Liam did too. The sun was so bright, poor Fionny couldn't keep his eyes open in the pictures.

They also had fun in the jail, but there were too many kids inside to get a good picture. Liam was too scared to go in. He didn't like the loud noise it made.

We saw Goofy and Daisy Duck over by the fountain. Fionn and Liam were very excited about the water. They were playing in it and at one point, Liam almost fell in. (The picture below is what I was talking about.)

We saw a cute set of Christmas trees that I tried to get a picture of, but the sun was in their eyes and they wanted no part of pictures taken. By this time, I was running out of ways to entertain them. Liam just wanted to run wild and I still had to keep an eye on Lizzie, who was sleeping in the stroller. Finally, Sean and the others returned. It was on to lunch.

Let me just tell you, the place we ate at, (I can't remember the name) had the WORST food ever. Sean ordered all the kids burgers and fries. The burgers were cold, (had been cooked and sitting for some time) and really greasy. I couldn't finish mine. I was afraid of getting food poisoning. Sean of course sent an email to Disney and was given free meal passes. Next time we go, we'll stick to our usual deli or the corn dog trucks.

After lunch we headed to Tomorrow Land. Not my favorite area of the park. I personally think its stupid, but Sean and Declan wanted to go on the Star Wars ride. They got a fast pass and went on the Buzz ride to kill some time. By time they got off, Liam, Sam and Lizzie were all in a bad mood and wanted no part of waiting for them to go on another ride. So we skipped Star Wars and headed to Downtown Disney. We stopped at a few shops and headed out. It was starting to rain, so we decided to duck into the Disney Store and look around. I saw a lot of the toy sets we got the kids for Christmas, only doubled in price. Crazy how expensive that store is. After leaving the store, we stopped at the best candy store ever, Marceline's Confectionary. Now, if you've never been to this store, you're missing out. They have everything you could think of, dipped in the BEST chocolate. we told the kids to go pick out one candy each. I thought for sure they would go for the chocolaty stuff in the cases, instead they ALL (except Declan) picked those nasty swirly lollipops. My kids are weird. Declan picked a chocolate covered pineapple slice, (which was amazing) took one bite of it, and said it was too sweet. WOW, my kids are really weird. Sean go me a chocolate and caramel dipped marshmallow. So yummy!!!!

We were all starving by time we left the park, so when we got home, Sean made the kids PB&J sandwiches with corn. (Totally ghetto I know, but he wanted to make something quick and easy so they could go to bed.) Once the kids were all done, we ate something, I just can't remember what.

The next morning, Cian and Fionn were puking and the others started catching a cold. In fact, I now have it and it really sucks. Fever, sore throat, cough, stuffed up head and nose. Now, I think Fionn has the beginning of an ear infection as well. The price you pay for taking the kids to Disney during cold season....sigh. I'll leave you with a few more pictures!

Lizzie sleeping in the stroller.

Mommy and Sam in the trolly.

Lizzie and Sam snacking.

Love her beautiful blue eyes!

Sean taking pictures of the kids.

Great shot Sean got in the Small World boat.

Poinsettias at Disney 

Disney Castle decorated for Christmas.

Horrible shot of me and Sam

Liam on the trolly.


Mary on the Merry go round.

Fionny

Cian

Lets not forget Declan.