Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chuckie Cheese, potty...

Well, Aiden had a big day today. He got to experience "Chuckie Cheese", because Taylor had a party with one of her friends there. He was totally into it, a little scared at first with some of the rides but he loved it. It is great to see him growing and doing normal kid things. He isn't just standing by us any more he is venturing out. I just am amazed at the progress he has made since he has joined our family. He is just such a joy and blessing. I look at him and am so thankful that we are blessed by him. He is a really happy kid (most of the time). The tantrums have died down and I am so happy about that. I have to admit there were days were I was thinking, "OH MY"! I still think of his biological mom and look at him and think about what she is missing. As a mom, you can't help but feel compassion for someone who gave up their child.

I also had a surprise when we got home. He points "down below" when he wets himself or goes "number 2", well I could tell he was going to go so I told him to sit on the potty. We had tried it before just to introduce it to him and he just laughed or cried... well he sat there for 10 minutes and then he pointed. I couldn't believe it he actually went - (both things). He was so proud of himself. I know to some people they probably think this is not a big deal. But considering we have only had him in the states for a little over a month and he is 2, I thought it was great.

Taylor is doing well with him too. She still carries him around like her baby doll, but he doesn't seem to mind. Right now they are playing house and she has 2 necklace around his neck, a diaper bag on his shoulder and is making him carry the baby, and she is calling him "sir"...

Yummy Salsa!

Well, I have been craving "On the Border Salsa" but cannot find it around here. So I found a recipe that says it is a close copy to the salsa. It was great! The best part is, Taylor my pickiest eater wanted to help make it and then she ate it. Which is amazing since she is a "plain jane" type of girl. So I thought it I would share it with you... whoever you are out there. I loved it. The only thing is, the recipe was enough for a party bowl, so if you want enough for just your family I would cut it in half.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Can you say how to torture your kid...

Aiden loves pushing this container around and chasing after the dogs... Well he wanted to get into the container and have us push him around. Chad took it a step further... but he liked it!

For those military wives out there..

Someone sent this to me today, I thought it was so true. I thought I would share it with all my military friends out there.

Letter to a military spouse
While I have never had the pleasure of meeting you or your husband, I felt the need to write you and express a very deep feeling that I have in my heart.

I, as a person, am not brave. I do not tackle things head on, as I hate confrontation. I will travel 100 miles out of my way just to avoid a conflict. I am an American woman that has no idea what is going on in the military other than what I hear on the news.

I have never had to let go of someone so that they could go fight for people that they didn't know, people that sometimes do not appreciate or understand what they are fighting for.

I have never had a sleepless night of worry because of a report that another bomb has exploded and I still haven't heard from my husband.

I have never had to wait for months on end to hold the one that I loved so.

I have never had to tell my children that daddy wasn't coming home tonight because he was so far away fighting for something that they aren't yet old enough to understand.

I have never had to hold my head high and suppress the tears as I hear that it will be at least another six months of separation before my loved one gets to come home.

I have never had to deal with a holiday away from the one that I thought I would share every day of my life with.

And I have never had to feel the panic rising in my heart at the sound of a ringing phone or knock at the door for fear that it is the news that everyone is terrified of getting.

For the reasons listed above, I can not tell you that I understand how you feel. I can not tell you that you must be strong. I can not say that you shouldn't be angry, because you "knew what you were getting into when you married a military man". I can not say these things because I have never had to walk in your shoes.

What I can say for certain is that because of your unselfish acts of bravery and your husbands willingness to stand up for those who see him as "just another soldier" - - I will never have to walk in your shoes.

I do understand that as a military wife you are expected to uphold a certain amount of control, but I never understood how you could do it, until now. I have figured out that you are not like other women. You are of a special breed. You have a strength within you that holds life together in the darkest of hours, a strength of which I will never possess. The faith you have is what makes you stand out in a crowd; it makes you glow with emotion and swell with pride at the mention of The United States of America.

You are a special lady, a wonderful partner and a glorious American.

I have more respect for your husband than I could ever tell you, but until recently I never thought much about those that the soldier leaves at home during deployment.

Until this moment I could never put into words exactly what America meant to me.

Until this moment, I had no real reason to.... Until I heard of you.

Your husband and his military family hold this nation close, safe from those who wish to hurt us...but you and those like you are the backbone of the American family. You keep the wheels in motion and the hearts alive while most would just break completely down. Military families make this nation what it is today.

You give us all hope and you emit a warming light at the end of a long dark tunnel.

Because of you and your family...I am able to be me. I am able to have my family. I am able to walk free in this great land. Because of you and your family, I can look ahead to the future with the knowledge that life is going to be okay. Because of you and your family, I can awake to a new day, everyday.

I realize that you are a stronger person than I will ever be because of these things and I just wanted to take the time today to say thank you to you and your family for allowing me that freedom.

I will never be able to repay this debt to you, as it is unmatchable. However, I hope that you know that no matter where you are...what you are doing...what has happened today...or what will happen tomorrow...Your husband will NEVER be "just another soldier" to me.... And you, dear sweet lady, will never be forgotten.

You are all in my prayer's everyday and I pray that God will bring you back together with your loved one safely.

May God Bless You!

(Author Unknown)

Distance is not for the fearful, it's for the BOLD. For those willing to spend a lot of time alone, in exchange for a little time with the one they LOVE. It's for those who know a good thing when they see it, even if they don't see it nearly enough

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Baby!

Well today, my sister had her baby unexpectedly a week earlier than planned. Her precious little Leah Grace was born at 5 pounds 3 oz. She is the littliest thing. Mark is a proud dad and Heather is doing well. Hopefully tomorrow we will get more pictures.
Update: Got some more pictures. Mark wasn't there so needless to say I didn't get any of him with the new little one. It is hard visiting with two kids in tow, but they both loved little Leah. She is such a cutie pie. They are so very blessed to have her and we to have her in our family.

The sisters and the boys!

Our neighbors are great! Taylor and Grace are already taking over their brothers... showing off their moves.

Taylors Field Trip

Taylors class went to Russo's Orchard here in NJ last Friday. Aiden and I went along and he loved it. It was neat to see him intermingle with the kids!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great Book!

Well I have a few minutes to myself and felt like sharing a book I just started to read tonight. You probably are wondering how I have had time to read with all the chaos in our family right now... I took time for myself tonight and went and had my hair done, and while I was there I read part of this book. Those grays were coming through way too bright (haha). That is one thing, having a 2 year old makes it a little harder to endulge in activities such as getting your hair done. My hair dresser stayed until 10PM to finish me up - what a sweety! I feel like I could go out dancing now (well okay that is pushing it a little, maybe blogging will have to do). It is wierd how the simple things are so enjoyable when you have children.

Anyways, I picked up this book by Victoria Osteen, "LOVE YOUR LIFE " Living Happy, Healthy at Target tonight. While I was waiting for my gray hair to get covered up I was totally encouraged by just reading one chapter. She is very light hearted and such a POSITIVE author/pastor. It is not a "religous" book (I hate that term) but definitely an uplifting book. At the end of each Chapter she has "Anchor Thoughts" and this is what really stood out to me:

I will fill my memory box with good things, recognizing my importance, living with a champion's mentality.

What I took from this chapter and the questions I asked myself, is "What is in my memory box in my heart?"... How do I see myself?
I immediately thought of the memory box I have for Chase, and I was thinking I want to have that memory box because that is part of our life. BUT I want other things to be put on top of that, all the blessings that are also in our life. I hope in my memory box, there will be acts of kindness to other people, I hope I am a good example for my children and a loving wife. I hope my life touches at least one person. It is easy to get stressed out and think on the negative and really where does that get me? I hope my children are able to pull from that box and I hope I can influence future generations. It really makes me take a step back and look and rethink what type of job am I doing? We all have days when it seems as though life is trying to knock us down and get us off course, and we lose sight of the great treasure inside us. But what matters most is not how you may feel or how you appear to others; what matters most is what you believe about your own value and significance.

Your life paints a picture...
Everything we do produces a seed and leaves something for future generations.

I just pray that I can be the person that I know God wants me to be, and I pray for the patience that I think I once had. It does make you think when you read books like these like where is my life going? Am I making a deposit in someones life or a withdrawl? In Victorias book she talks about our children are not going to remember the big house we lived in, fancy cars we had but they are going to see how we lived and how we loved each other. God wants us to grow and move into our desitny. I am thinking what do I want my destiny to be?

I just wanted to share that... I know I am probably talking to cyberspace but that is okay it is therapeutic for me! I love good books and it has been awhile since I actually picked one up and sat down and read one.

Infant Death Awareness Day October 15th

About the Miss Foundation

Tomorrow, (October 15th) is National Infant Death Awareness Day. At 7PM family and friends of those lost will light a candle in rememberance. I wanted to pay tribute to all the mothers that I know that have lost their precious babies just like I did. It is one of those things that people really have no idea how deep the grief is of losing a child until it happens to you. My blog is about my life and the good and bad and so I need to honor my son and others who have lost a child this way.

So to all my silent grief sisters, Kristen, Odette, Tabitha, Sarah, Dusty, Tamara who have experienced this nightmare my thoughts are with you. I know with so many mothers & fathers the most important thing is that people never forget. Our children were real, wanted, we lost a child, grandchild - hopes and dreams for the future. Of course we have "hope" for the future but no one ever takes the place of the one lost. If I could say anything to anyone who wonders what to say to someone who lost a little one, don't trivialize it and don't feel bad to ask about the baby lost. I love when people ask me questions as it keeps his life alive and also brings awareness to this sad epidemic.

Research for stillborns is very low even though it is the biggest cause of deaths in infants including SIDS. I think not knowing why is the hardest part of losing a child. Could you imagine if one of your children died and they would tell you, "Statistically 50% of the time you will find out a reason".. this is the statistics for finding a cause. Chase was healthy, had no genetic problems and I have had to accept the fact that he died with no known cause. I was told it was a fluke, just like so many other women. I hope one day there is some money put into this cause so other women would not have to suffer the unknown like we have.

In memory of my son:

Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act

A few blogging buddies have asked me to pass this post on...and I do so unhesitatingly. This is an opportunity for all of us to take a few moments out of our day and spread the word. It's as simple as making a new post in your blog, or sending an e-mail, or posting a bulletin...merely copy and paste. Also, I have created an icon to help spread the word about National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Here's the link to get the HTML code. I hope you'll post it in your blog or personal web page.

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Stillbirth is not an intractable problem. Greater research would likely significantly reduce its incidence, but good research requires good data. H.R. 5979: Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act is under consideration by Congress. This proposed bill would standardize stillbirth investigation and diagnosis, thus providing more data for the needed research. Better research means fewer children born still.

This bill is in the first step in the legislative process. Introduced bills go first to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate. The majority of bills never make it out of committee. Keep in mind that sometimes the text of one bill is incorporated into another bill, and in those cases the original bill, as it would appear here, would seem to be abandoned.

On October 15th, remember the thousands of unfinished children lost and the families who remain to grieve them. Honor them by taking action. Let's help pass H.R. 5979.

History and facts about H.R. 5979.

Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008 - Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) more states should enact legislation that allows the issuance of a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth; and (2) the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should increase the allocation of funds and other resources for stillbirth research.
Amends the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to establish and maintain a scientific registry of stillbirths in the United States, which shall include for each stillbirth information on the stillborn fetus and the mother's health and pregnancy as collected and submitted by states on the U.S. Standard Report of Fetal Death.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) provide for the development of a standard definition of stillbirth and a standard protocol for stillbirth data collection and surveillance; and (2) carry out a national campaign to increase public and state awareness of such definition and protocol and public awareness and knowledge of stillbirths.

Information cited from H.R. 5979--110th Congress (2008): Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act of 2008, (database of federal legislation). Accessed October 2, 2008
Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others
-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others
-E-mail 5 bloggers and ask them (nicely and in an unspammy way) to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act
-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act."

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results on October 15th when that term is searched for. Currently, Google only returns 20,400 pages - most of which have nothing to do with the bill.

How you can make a change:




Doing well...

Aiden is doing really well. His heart surgery has made him a new little boy with lots of energy (and temper). Still working on that, but he sure is cuter when he isn't having a temper (haha) He gets so mad at me when I tell him to chew what is in his mouth before putting more in - I am talking full out kicking, throwing his food. But that is only a small portion of the day... Thought I would share these pictures. He loves carrying a purse and putting on hats, and pushing strollers. (He does have boy toys)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Aidens Checkup!

Aiden had his checkup back at CHOP today with Dr. Wernovsky. They did an echo on him and I thought Aiden might be upset about that but he did great. Eveytime he sees someone in scrubs he usually cries (which I don't blame him after what he has been through). But he did great, a few tears but nothing to write home about. Most importantly they thought he was doing great. Katie the nurse practioner that works with Dr. W is awesome as well. She removed Aidens stiches which he wasn't too happy about but they needed to come out. So now the next appointment is 3 months out. I am so thankful for the great care he has received. Plus, today he was in a good mood!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Back to the kids...

This was Aiden in his good mood...

Well I know I said I was going to try and talk about other things on my blog besides my kids all the time, but Aiden had other plans for me. I was debating if I would talk about this on my blog, but it is real life - everyday with kids is not always cherries (today definitely wasn't!, but I still love him dearly) He was doing so well for the last week, letting me sit him down but be in the same room as him, and then last night it started with Chad. He does his jump up and down drop to his knees and cry into the floor full force because we might not be looking at him, we may walk 5 steps from him, Taylor might tell him "no", or it could be me telling him to chew his food. He starts out with this look like he is so sad and then it turns into the jumping up and down and kicking his legs.

So of course today was a day of crying or holding him all day long. I have put him in his crib for 5 minutes and then he stops and then when I go in for him he stops and smilies like, "Oh, here comes mom and she loves playing this game". I take him out and he starts all up again. The bad thing is, if he knows I am not looking at him he stops and as soon as I look at him it is a river of tears. Yes well, I just am thankful that right now he is playing right by me and smiling. I am sure there may be some who reads this and thinks I am crazy for sharing the nail biting times with Aiden, but it is reality. We have 95% great days and then there are these 5% days that you just want to say, "Calgon take me away"...

But then here he is in his sweet mood - of course it is me holding him in my lap

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Enchiladas in a crockpot.. Yummy!

Well, I was looking at the crockpot blog and I saw the enchilada in a crockpot recipe. I thought that looked really good. I kind of made it my own though... I do that with so many recipes, I make it work for our family and what I think sounds good. Taylor my pickiest one, liked it... she said it looked gross but it was "all right"... Chad and Aiden loved it, but then again Aiden eats anything. I made it with a side of Mexican rice.

The ingredients I used were:
1 rotisserie chicken (it is cheaper than buying chicken breasts and has a great taste)

1 bag of shredded cheese

1/2 can of slice black olives

1 small yellow pepper

1 small onion

1 can of 28 oz of enchilada sauce

6 large tortillas

1 small can of chilles (I let Chad put them on his)
1 small bag of Fritos (only need a handful
I started by putting a little sauce on the bottom of the crockpot so the shells didn't stick.
I layed two large tortillas on the bottom of the crockpot to cover the pan
I then took the skin off of the chicken, and just shredded the chicken off of the bones. (it was so moist in the crockpot, I was worried it might dry it out - not the case)
I mixed about half of the can into the chicken and mixed it with the onion and put a handful of cheese in and stirred.
I layered this on top of the tortilla and added a layer of cheese and then put 2 more tortillas on top.
I added some more sauce on top o this tortilla and then added the rest of the chicken mixture.
I put 2 more tortillas on top and then put the rest of the sauce, yellow peppers (small amount) and black olives on top.
I crushed a handful of Fritos scoops on the top and sprinkled with cheese.

I had the crockpot on low for four hours and it was great. I was worried about the tortillas sticking but it was very minimal. So I just thought I would share this dish... I thought it was pretty good! And if Taylor ate it, it must have been "alright". So I thought I would share...

New additions to the blog world...

Well, I have been thinking about changing my blog up a little, that I am not just talking about my kids all the time (even though I love to). I am going to start talking about other things and adding links to the blog that I love. I will still include updates as well! But I am ready for some "me" time as well. Gosh, it has been a whirlwind with everything going on. So now I am trying to get organized again and get back into ebay and crafting. My sewing/craft room is a mess right now hopefully I can get that accomplished today.

I found a neat website from my friends Autumns blog, "A Year of Crockpot Cooking" I see this person was actually on Rachel Ray one time and did a segment with her. Search under Rachel Ray and she did a curry recipe. I am going to try that this week as Chad loves curry! There are some really yummy soups on there as well! I always say I am going to use the crockpot and never pull it out!

So my goals of the day are to clean out my ebay/craft room and make something yummy for supper, and of course take care of my little guy, and pick Taylor up and run her here or there.. Last night I used Pampered Chefs chipolte rub -
on boneless porkchops, brushed with barbeque and grilled them... they were yummy! My daughter who is so picky just loved them! Thanks Holly

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Had to share this

My friend Rachel sent me this, I thought it was very touching

How to Dance in the Rain

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.

He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victi m of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he patted my hand and said,
'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought,

'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'

True love is neither physical, nor romantic.
True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

'Life isn't about how to survive the storm,
But how to dance in the rain.'

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not moving !

Well, thank god for small miracles. Chad was able to get someone else to take his orders so we are staying here right now. It just is not a good time to move with everything going on with Aiden. But it just puts us on edge of what could happen in the future, you just never know being in the military. So I guess we just have to take one day at a time and hope for the best! Taylor will be happy with this news, she was so sad when she heard we might leave. That is the hardest part seeing your kids unhappy, but we have been so lucky to be here for this long.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Normal? Not really...

Well you know I have been saying I can't wait till things got "normal" around here. With Chads deployments and our trip to China we were looking forward toward 2 years of a normal life since they told Chad he wouldn't deploy for 2 years. Well, on Friday he came home with the news he was "command" leveled (which means they picked him for emergency manning) to go to Pope AFB, NC. So as of right now he has orders for us all to move there... Talk about shock and I have to say saddness as I love where we live right now. They are seeing if these orders are going to go through this week so there is a small chance they might be given to someone else or cancelled. But they are in the computer right now for him so we will see.

Chads mom came to visit from Michigan as well for the last 4 days. It was a nice visit. Aiden took to her after the first few hours very well. He is such a little love bug. So we have been busy doing some shopping, quilt stores and hanging at the house this weekend. It feels good to relax today. But I don't know about relaxing since we got these orders... there is just so much involved because of Aiden and his condition. But if I had to go anywhere, I love the Carolinas. But we have been so spoiled here. I have to believe once again there is a reason for everything. So we will see.

Taylor and Aiden have been playing more and more together. It is so cute to see. Well I will be signing off for now... keep us in your prayers as this has been a stressful weekend with the news at hand. I know we have been lucky to be in one place for so long but it makes it harder to leave.