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Friday, March 22, 2013

It's Relay TIME!

Less than 3 months until this years Relay For Life.  I just sent out my first set of donation emails and I am already 1/10 of the way to my fundraising goal.  I have amazing supporters.  Relay has always meant very much to me.  I have been touched by cancer in my family more times than I care to count.  Last year we started our Relay team Triple Flying Pigs in honor of my mother in law.  She lost her battle with cancer almost 3 years ago.  While she and I didn't see eye to eye on everything, she taught me a lot and made me realize that life is too short and we shouldn't sweat the small things.  She also taught me that tomorrow is not a guarantee.  I miss her more than I ever thought I would.  I miss her for me.  I miss her for my husband.  Most of all I miss her for my girls.  From the moment I met her, all my mother in law ever wanted was to be a grandma.  She is a grandmother four times over and I believe that those grandchildren are a part of what helped her to stay with us for so long.  I hate that my girls will never hear her sing the silly little songs that she used to sing to them when they were babies.  I hate that the only real memories of her they will have will be from stories and pictures.   I hate this disease they call cancer.

Those of you that read my previous blog about my best friend also know how important Relay is to me this year.  My best friend was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma brain cancer.  This type of cancer is very aggressive.  Luckily she has had her tumor removal and as of lsat weeks MRI there is no current regrowth.  She has started a clinical trial this week so we have high hopes that this will help keep the cancer at bay and that her life will go back to business as usual as soon as possible.

Watching her and her family go through this has been difficult to say the very least.  She and I have been friends for 21 years and at times have been as close as sisters, with the yelling and door slamming fights to go with it.  We lived together throughout all of years in college.  Our mothers have become such close friends that they spend time together often without us.  Our families will forever be intertwined.  We joke and tease because while we were in college, my husband had a crush on her, and I had a crush on her husband.  We always talk about how it truly did turn out for the best because as couples we balance our spouses out so well.  We had some amazing times in our lives.  We celebrated our 21st birthdays together (her birthday is the day before mine).  We share our Jersey Girl connection even though we met in Miami.  We have a lot in common and a lot that we have learned from each other over the last 20+ years.

As she and her family enter this fight, I have pledged to walk and raise funds in her honor this year.  It seems almost trite, but it allows me to feel as though I am at least helping somehow.  I know being there for her, and visiting them when we can, and being there by phone just to listen is helpful.  I just always want to do more.  I want to do more for her, more for her husband, and more for her kids.  If all goes well she will be here with me and walking on that track alongside me (and I will probably have to power walk to keep up with her).

For those of you that have had cancer touch your lives and families, you all know how difficult it can be.  I am asking for your help, support, and prayers in this troublesome time.  It is so important to me to be able to assist the American Cancer Society as they fight to give cancer survivors more birthdays.  Please consider assisting me in the fight to end cancer.  No donation is too small, no prayer too small and no support too insignificant.  I thank you all for reading this and even more for keeping my friend, her family, and myself in your prayers.

For those of you who are willing and able I have included the link to my Relay For Life page.  If you are in a position to donate, please feel free to do so.  If you aren't then maybe find out if your local town has a Relay and volunteer some time to their event.  Money is not all that this is about.  It's about awareness.  It's about volunteerism.  It's about making a difference in the community.  Everyone has been touched by cancer in their lives whether directly, or indirectly it's time for us to give back and support the cancer survivors, and honor those that have lost their battle.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to comment and I will answer you.  Or you can email me

Thank you all for your continued support!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let the MADNESS begin!

I love March Madness.  I am not a huge college basketball fan, although I have watched way more this year than usual because of my beloved Hurricanes.  I love watching the games.  I love filling out my bracket.  I just love all of it.  There is something that I find inspiring about watching these kids play their hearts out for the ultimate goal, the NCAA Championship.  I know that others would disagree with me.  I know that there are plenty of non sports fans out there that couldn't give a whistle about the Tournament.  I just love it.

My bracket is all ready to go, and the action has begun.

I hope that when this is all over I will be singing our cheer, It's Great to be a Miami Hurricane!!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Single/Double Sickness Nightmare

Ok so we all know how excited I have been for my sister to come visit.  Well she is here and I got to see my totally adorable nephew.  He has gotten so big and he does all these "tricks" that a 10 month old does.  He is so precious I can't stand it!!!  He claps his hands, shakes his head No.  Climbs and pulls himself up on anything that he can find (including his cousins), and is just too cute for words!!!  We were having such a great time with all the kids together and enjoying them and watching them play together.

And hits....the Single/Double Sickness Nightmare!!!!  On Tuesday, my nephew had a cold and had been running a low grade fever, so my sister took him to my pediatrician just to have him checked out.  He was diagnosed with a cold and the pediatrician told her that he was definitely teething.  This poor little munchkin looks like he is about to pop 6 teeth at any minute.  So my baby nephew was not sleeping so great for his mom and was just a bit out of sorts, although I have to say he is the happiest little thing on the planet even with a cold and teething.

Then on Thursday afternoon out of nowhere J1 spiked a 103.5 fever!  The beginning of the Double portion of the nightmare.  Took her to the pediatrician and she tested positive for Influenza B.  So we got her home and set her up in my bed to keep her away from the baby and from J2.  Picked up a magnet dress up game, some coloring stuff and a little lap desk for her.  Poor thing has rubbed her nose raw from wiping it, even with the lotion tissues.  Poor thing felt so awful that she didn't even care about anything.   We had her set up in our bed, and I was sleeping in with her.  We set hubby up in her bed in the kids room with J2 for the night.  Little did we know what was to happen next.

Illness number 3, at 11:30 Thursday night I heard this horrific noise coming out of the kids bedroom.  I jumped out of bed (mainly because I thought that J2 was vomiting) to find her coughing like a seal and not being able to catch her breath.  It was very frightening she just kept coughing over and over and over.  So we started the shower and she finally calmed down and began to breathe but it was still labored.  So off to the ER we went.  Her and I got there around 11:00 and were quickly triaged and she was diagnosed with croup from there.  We had X-Rays of her chest which was quite funny because my little dress up queen was thrilled to "dress up for her pictures".  Then we had nasal and throat swabs which I would not consider fun at all.  This was all done in about an hour.   We were then moved to an ER cubicle and the nurse came in.  At this point J2 had started to run a fever.  The respiratory therapist came in and gave her a breathing treatment.  Even with her fancy (and very cute) "dragon mask" did not go over exceptionally well.  We sat in the ER for over 3 and a half hours before seeing a doctor.  All the while her temp climbing.  I finally had a nurse take her temp again and it came up as 102.2 so he went to the doctor and got permission for some tylenol for her.  So after all that time the doctor finally came in and gave us the official croup diagnosis.  She was clear for the flu and strep (AMEN).  I told the doctor about J1 and he told me that they had to be kept apart until J2's cough is gone.

Fast forward to 4:30 am when we arrived home (with an extra large Dunkin coffee for me and a large for my sister).  Put J2 to bed and J1 was already awake.  I crawled into bed with J1 and said "Honey, Mommy needs 5 minutes and then fell asleep for 3 hours.  J1 just stayed in bed and watched Sprout and snuggled with me.  J2 on the other hand at some point got up and went down to the couch and slept.  My amazing sister (who was also up all night between us at the ER and my nephew and his teething), took care of J2 so that I could get a bit of sleep.

Have you ever tried to keep 3 kids in the same house all separated?  It's would probably be easier to bring peace to the middle East, OK maybe not but it sure felt that way.  We had to completely rearrange the sleeping situations.  We moved my sister and the baby into the kids room, moved J2 into the guest room (it has a TV), and kept J1 where she was.  It's literally just been a madhouse here.  All I keep thinking about is the episode of the Brady Bunch where the kids get the measles and how crazy it was. I honestly feel like I am in some kind of twisted nightmare.  I have to keep my kids separated from each other and keep them both away from my sweet little nephew.  My house isn't that big for all this separation so I called the pediatrician to verify how long they have to be separated.  The news was not exactly stellar, they have to stay apart until J2's cough is gone.  Luckily J1 has been AMAZING and stayed in our bed and just been so good and understanding, I let her out of isolation for a little bit this morning and she went back to her "cage" with minimal drama.  J2 on the other hand had to be bribed with the Ipad to go back to her room but went back.

The worst part is that my sister and nephew are leaving today and they can't play with him, they can't even give him a hug goodbye!  My sister and I have been looking forward to this trip for so long, and were so excited about it.  Luckily I did get some quality time with my nephew.  In fact I am the first one that he ever "gave kisses" too!! It was the cutest, sweetest, most adorable thing!!! My sister and I got some time in the evenings to chat and while the kids were napping.  We didn't get out hardly at all but, I guess we will just have to have them come back this summer!!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Nooo not my Coffee!!!

It happened in just an instant.  Little fingers reaching for something on the table and there it went.  My entire extra large french vanilla DD coffee.  Down the table, to the floor.  Drip Drip Drip.  It was a gigantic mess.  All over the table, the floors, the walls.  Instead of enjoying my Monday morning coffee to start off my week, I was sopping it up off of everything.  I just spent the last 20 minutes cleaning the tables, the walls, the floors, everything on the table, my cell phone, the house phone, my computer.  Luckily all the electronics seem to be in working order, but I am still bitter.  I don't need much to make me happy but my coffee.  As I watch the news and wait to see this Winter Storm that is headed our way I wanted to be able to enjoy my coffee.  Now the smell of coffee tantalizes me as I have none to drink but I can smell it through the entire house.  I scrub and clean but the smell lingers torturing me as to what might have been.  This is not the way I wanted to start my Monday.  However there is good news that I am holding on to.  6 sleeps and my sister and my gorgeous little nephew will be here for a family visit.  I will just have to think about this and be excited about that.  I miss my coffee :(

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Waiting for the game GO CANES GO!

As a huge football girl after the SuperBowl I always find myself bummed out.  Well not this year!  The Miami Hurricanes Basketball team is MORE than making up for my missing football this year.  Having gone to Miami and always cheering and loving everything HURRICANES, this team has helped me to get over my "football is over" down time.  Usually I don't start watching college basketball until March, but the Hurricanes have been ON FIRE this season and have made watching an absolute pleasure.

I even watched the entire game (the one that they lost to Wake Forest) on the computer because it wasn't on locally here in IL.  I am getting so excited for this afternoon's game against Duke.  Am I nervous, of course I am.  Duke has quite a bit to prove after Miami destroyed them in Coral Gables earlier in the season.  They need to win this game to even have a shot at a part of the regular season ACC title.  I can assure you that at the beginning of the season NO ONE would have predicted that Duke's shot at the regular season title would come down to this.  I believe in this Miami team.  I believe in the drive that they have.  They have struggled over the last 3 games and they are ready to come back strong.  I believe that they can #BeatDuke tonight at Duke and win the ACC regular season title!

I have the kids getting all ready to watch with me.  I am training them early, they get the whole football thing and they will actually spend Sundays watching on and off with me.  Luckily there is a TV in the extra bedroom for Sprout and DisneyJr so that when they are bored of sports with me they can just go inside.  More than once I have heard from them, "Mommy you scare me you too loud".  What can I say I'm a girl that gets into my sports.  I love watching my favorite teams!  I get excited, I get loud, I yell at the TV and my little ones need to get used to it (which they are they tell Daddy, Mommy yelling at the football TV again)!!!

I have taught them how to throw up the []_[] and they will do it and say "It's all about 'da []_[]" It's very cute.  They know some of the cheers, currently we are working on "It's Great to be a MIAMI HURRICANE."  Even though I didn't graduate from Miami it's a huge part of who I am and where my life has gone.  I met my amazing husband there.  If it weren't for Miami I wouldn't have my amazing little pumpkins.  Miami is in my blood and my heart and I just wanted to let them know that this former Hurricane Girl will be watching ANXIOUSLY tonight for them to wrap up the ACC tonight!!!

GO MIAMI GO!!!! #BeatDuke