Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kids Printables & Other Stuff of the Week

Hi there - its been quite a busy season around our house. Besides the family things that have been going on, Dino Boy is into wrestling season again, Twinkletoes wants to help with everything, including getting the Christmas cards out and the Husband and I are up to our eyeballs in work and festivities of the season! While searching for maze books that my kids might like for Christmas, I found this link for printables. I am able to make our own book - without paying for expedited shipping since I waited so long. They don't care what format it is in, as long as they can do mazes, word searches and connect the dots. For this type of project, they're easy kids. :-)

Not much else going on. Went to a friend's holiday gathering on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun. Bumped into friends we haven't seen in over 10 years. Go figure -- its just a small world and seems that everyone knows everyone, in one way or another in our community. Not withstanding the fact that I now have a five and six year old and another on the way, the last time I saw their "baby" she was, in fact, an infant - in an infant carrier. Now she's old enough to be friends with our friends' oldest girl - in middle school. Hello - kind of makes you realize that time waits for no one - it was pretty darn cool to see them though. Hopefully we'll keep in touch from here on out.

We'll have my side of the family's "Christmas Eve" at my sister's on Saturday night. Which means that I will miss the birthday party of my friend's daughter. We've missed the last few of her birthday parties. It's just hard - I kind of can't say no to a family event for a birthday party - hopefully they get that and she's not too upset. I did get her a gift and she already knows that, so hopefully, I'll still be in the good graces! :-P

Christmas cards -- my mom and the husband hate them because I did them in sepia tone instead of color. We had matching sweaters, like we do every year, but I didn't like the way they were showing on the card, so I changed them. I really like them and I guess that is all that matters. If you would like to see the family picture in color, I can post it here. Just let me know - I have it on Snapfish. Actually, I have all three pictures in color on Snapfish. But since I didn't order the cards from Snapfish - you either have to deal with the cards that I will send out tomorrow or have the three pictures separately in color. So there.

I did tell the Husband that after Christmas, we can put our sweaters and jeans on and go to the Picture People, like we usually do - and have our family portrait taken. We belong to their portrait club so I can get a free 10x13 family portrait for the wall - keeping in tradition. That seemed to make him half happy. Nothing would have made him fully happy - he didn't offer to help - so I did it myself.

I think that is it for the latest update -- I'll have to write again if I get more time! Have a great day!

Monday, December 10, 2007

U.J. - Gonna miss you.

JAMES F. KELLY JR. (from the Burlington County Times 12/10/07)
Of Beverly, NJ & Warren Center, PA

Jimmy, age 55, on December 7, 2007, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. He lived in Beverly most of his life.

He was a proud Vietnam veteran, a member of Riverside VFW Post #3020, and former volunteer fireman for Hope Hose #2, Beverly.

He was predeceased by his loving mother, Helen M. Kelly, his brother Stephen Kelly, and his special Aunt Alice Coleman. He is survived by his loving father James F. Kelly Sr., his cherished and devoted daughters, Heather (Patrick Conway) and Erin (Tim Kramarz), his sister Helen Marie Lavenia, along with many nieces, nephews, friends and especially his faithful dog Ernie.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:00 PM and to attend his memorial service Wednesday 8:00 PM at the WEBER FUNERAL HOME, 112 Broad Street (River Road), Riverton. Interment Private.

In Lieu of flowers remembrances may be made in his name to VFW Post #3020, Fairview Street, Delran, NJ 08075, or any act of kindness would be appreciated.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Results are IN!


We had our fetal atanomy ultrasound with at Dr. Fischer's office yesterday. Our appointment was for 11 a.m. True to form, both the husband and I arrived early - about 20 til 11. Not wanting to waste any time, we went right in - hoping at the very least to be called on time. There was only one other girl in the waiting room when we arrived. We checked in and waited. The other girl in the room got called to the back. Around the same time, a girl came from the back and sat in the waiting room. Now there are two of us. Waiting. The husband finally pulls a Sports Illustrated from the magazine rack and we begin talking college football. Another girl arrives for her ultrasound appointment. Its now about 11:20. At 11:30, the third girl (last to arrive) gets called back by the U/S tech. Ok - now I'm annoyed, taking way longer than an hour that I told the boss I'd be gone, so I go up to the front, asking how much longer they thought our wait would be. The woman at the front desk got so frazzled and realized that the technician had taken the last girl instead of the first girl (of which I was neither) and went to talk to the tech. I told the other girl in there that I will be mortified if the receptionist comes out with the girl who just went back - and she did!!! She actually took someone out of a room and brought her back out to the waiting room. And proceeded to take the girl who had come out of the back to have her u/s first. Oh lordy. I was so embarassed. I apologized to the girl who had come out - telling her I really had no intentions of them bringing her back out. I just thought they might push through a little quicker or have the doctor begin to do ultrasounds - something - anything to get us out of there. We were finally called to go back around 11:40 - yikes!

Everything seemed to be routine - the tech was nice as pie - just as she was the last time. She took lots of pictures and measurements and told us that the baby is definitely a girl. We had more than one clear shot to make sure. Of course, the husband's response to that is "we can just try again". Okay - whatever - we'll cross that bridge when we get to it (hoping that we'll have a five or six bedroom house by the time that bridge arrives!) After the tech took lots of pictures, loaded us up with extra copies of the facial profile to give to the kids she told us to hang tight and the Doc would be right in to see us. She didn't make it seem like there was anything out of the ordinary.

Dr. Fischer is even nicer than the tech. They must give kindness lessons at this particular doctor's office. Dr. Fischer tried to keep the conversation flowing - asking me and the husband a million questions while he was now doing an ultrasound on my belly. Just as he was getting ready to tell us everything is "okay" and good luck, the tech came back in with her pictures and they whispered a little to each other. Hmmmm...what is going on??

Well, Dr. Fischer explains that when the tech measured the baby's kidneys, there appeared to be more fluid on one than the other (a smidge above what they called the baseline) and that concerned the tech. Dr. F. indicated that while he was performing his part of the ultrasound, he did not see these measurments present. But the tech had pictures of the measurements so seeing the film is believeing. He explained that while in utero, this will not affect the baby, and he was probably not seeing it because the baby had urinated either while we were waiting for him or while he was performing the u/s which alleveiated the excess fluid on that one kidney.

He also asked that we come back for another measurement at 34 weeks (St. Patrick's Day) when the baseline for the fluid in the kidneys increases. If the fluid on the kidney still exceeds the baseline, we'll just have to be extra cautious after the baby is born because this fluid could be a predictor of or cause a kidney infection? I'm still not 100% clear on what the implications are and he certainly gave us no cause to worry about it but - it is what it is. We'll go back on St. Patrick's Day for their first appointment of the day and then we'll know more. (the husband is secretly hoping for another look at the genitals - just to be sure that she's a girl. too funny!)

But the ultrasound itself was a funny thing to see. This baby moves around like there is no tomorrow. No one can really feel her yet but me, but she is getting stronger and bigger every day so it's just a matter of time before everyone else can begin to feel the kicks and jabs that I get pretty much constantly (and yes, I've began laying off of the caffeine). She wiggled and squirmed the entire time during the ultrasound. At one point, she layed with her feet crossed, like she was laying down watching the boob tube. Shortly thereafter, she had one leg pulled up behind her butt like she was doing hurdles. Tim swears he saw her give him a sign with her hands. I must have missed that but at least he saw how much she moves. Now I don't feel like I'm losing my mind - completely. Yet. But I'm sure that it is going to happen soon.

Have to run. Time to start the truck and will be getting on the road shortly. Enjoy your weekend!

PS - the color in this text is all screwey. I don't have time to fix it before I leave - sorry if it hurts your eyes!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's not Thursday .... yet

Tomorrow is. Tomorrow is the big day ... our 20 week ultrasound. This will be a fetal atanomy scan and we should be able to tell tomorrow if we'll be welcoming a new little sister or new little brother into the family. Hopefully all goes well.

Yesterday, the Husband attended an awards dinner at the Governor's Mansion. The kids and I went to wrestling practice. Somehow, I think I drew the short stick. Although, practice went well. DinoBoy made one of his friends cry by accidently hitting him in the face. It's wrestling. It is bound to happen. For the most part, the coaches have their hands full. I give them a ton of credit for stepping up to the plate to teach these young guys the sport.

Tonight, Twinkletoes and I are home while the boys are at practice. She and I get to enjoy watching the SNOW fall ... she just called me over to the front door to tell me to look out the window to see how "sparkly" the snow is. The she showed me how small her winter pjs are on her. As long she's not complaining, I'm okay with ordering new ones tomorrow. A coupon card for the Children's Place came in today's mail. How appropriate.

So much for my dinner planning. I planned dinner for tonight on the way home from work, while listening to Oprah. That is a special treat for me since it seems that I haven't been leaving work while Oprah is on lately. I planned spagetti and meatballs. Wow - everyone was mighty impressed with me. I did, though, pick up chicken for tomorrow's dinner. So, that will be a big surprise for everyone. Hopefully, I will be able to leave work at a decent time again so that I can cook and have dinner ready when the husband gets home. No practice tomorrow night - it will be nice to eat like a family again. We'll see how it goes.

So Oprah was talking about Mitch Albom's book - darn now I forget what it is called - One More Day, maybe? That is the gist of it anyhow. I've read it and she is sponsoring a tv event of the book on 12.9.07. All of the people on today either had to do with the movie, the book or were touched by the book. Basically, if you had one more day to spend with someone: who would it be? What would you do? Why?

I'd love to spend another day with my Dad - as I'm sure many of you who've lost a parent would. It is hard, at the holidays, with everyone missing him so much. I'd love to show him how his grandchildren have grown and how they love certain things like he did -- being outside, reading books, watching nature programs on the boob-tube, their love of christmas... Its amazing how alike they are. And stubborn - they must get that from him too. To see if he really is laughing at us having a third kid, when it is all we can do to try to raise the other two. Just to be able to tell him that I love him one more time -- it would be priceless.

Okay, enough of the sappy stuff. I just heard from CH and her little monster just pooped on the potty. The kid isn't even two!!! Close, but hello, DinoBoy wasn't 4 until he finally did it on a regular basis.

Ok - check this site out. Its fun for Christmas.

Have to run and enjoy quiet time with Twinkletoes!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Dinner planning anyone?

No one stinks worse than me at dinner planning. Fortunately, they've built and opened a new supermarket which is right on my way home - literally 6 minutes from my house. Who can beat that? So often my planning is done on my 1/2 hour ride home and stopping in at the supermarket on my way. If it isn't done this way or planned out way in advance, we eat take-out.
Here's how to put together a quick menu for the next few weeks:
1) Give each family member 5 pieces of paper or 3 x 5 cards. Ask him or her to write down their favorite meal that you make. It can be anything that qualifies as dinner (except holiday meals).
2) Gather up those 3 x 5 cards and make your menu accordingly. If you can, add a couple of more meals you know your family would like and add them in. Once the menu is made, go through and make acorresponding grocery list. Hopefully, you will have a menu with at least 20 meals on it.
3) Stock your pantry with things you know you will use frequently for these recipes so they are always on hand. Likewise, do the same with the refrigerated stuff, but go easy…that stuff has a shorter lifeexpectancy!
4) Post your menu on the fridge so everyone knows what to expect. If you have teenagers or other capable children, enlist their help so the burden of all the meal prep and cooking isn't on you. Remember to ask sweetly, don't be a shrew!
Ok - I really want to do this - maybe it will help you get through the next few weeks too. I have a feeling if I do this, we'll be eating an awful lot of pizza, hot dogs, and chicken fingers. Good luck!