Friday, October 30, 2009

Family Blogfest-Memories of Halloween 2008

The last year was a "Scary-Nightmare" for the four of us...Halloween was a highlight. Firehubby, Scout, the Princess and I will each share our versions of that fateful Friday known as October 31, 2008:

I'll give a little background here::

Ana had plagued me for the three months prior to Halloween of 2008. Yes, good ol’ anaphylaxis. Being exposed to fragrance would cause me to have hoarseness and sometimes shortness of breath. The doctors told me that these symptoms were due to a potentially life threatening allergic reaction. It was a very concerning time of my life.

By the eve of Halloween I was a mess. I'd been on the verge of a medical crisis all day long. But, I wanted to go pick up some groceries and drop my new prescriptions at the Albertson’s pharmacy. It was a Friday night, and the place was bustling with women dressed in skimpy,and frankly, inappropriate costumes and letcherous men coming to check out women doing their last minute shopping. Dressed in sweats, I dragged my weary self around the store. I wanted to pick up some supplies to make mummy hotdogs in an attempt to make something special of the day for my kiddos.

My allergic reaction went into full swing when I got home and soon epipens were flying and an urgent call to 911 was made.

My memory does not serve me well on what was happening with the kids. Brian was phoning friends to take the kids off to trick or treat and there was a flurry of activity as the kids got into their costumes. I cannot remember what they were for Halloween last year. Sad.

The kids went out the door as I heard the sirens in the neighborhood. I hoped that the kids would be down the street when the firetruck pulled up to the house. The evening would be traumatic enough without seeing the emergency vehicles arrive.

Sitting at the dinner table calmly, I waited for the fire crew to come in the house. As the crew sauntered in, they looked unimpressed and probably wondered why the heck they had been called. That is, until I spoke to them and started to explain the situation. My voice sounded like Froggy, from the old Our Gang TV shows.

Instantly the pace in the room picked up. Monitors were pulled out and medication boxes were opened. The next thing I know a paramedic was jabbing a needle into my hand trying to access a vein that was as small as a thread, vasoconstricted from the Epinepherine.

He got the IV in on the second try and pushed some more Epi and gave me a dose of intravenous Benadryl.

Ding Dong.

“What?” I thought, “Who can that be?”

“Trick or Treat.”

“No way!” I said, as best as I could through my hoarseness.

Everyone in the room exchanged looks of disbelief.

Then, the fire captain shrugged, picked up the bowl of candy from the kitchen counter and headed toward the front door.

Oh my gosh, can you believe it? Parents sent their kids to the door of a house that had a firetruck in the driveway?!

The ambulance arrived a moment later , packaged me up and rolled me out the front door.

As we went out to the drive, I could see crowds of neighbors and trick or treaters gauking at me.

What’s a girl to do? I raised my cupped hand and did the princess wave all the way to the ambulance.

The rest is boring from there…ambulance ride, shortness of breath, breathing treatments, IV bolus of steroids, resolution of symtoms, and signing of discharge papers a few hours later.

The kids missed our family Halloween. Our kind friends had welcomed them to their neighborhood block party, but it wasn't the hours and hours of running door to door, parents in tow, that they delight in.

Epilogue: This year is sure to be better. In August, we journeyed to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. We were desperate for help with my worsening medical condition. To our surprise, we found out that I actually had been misdiagnosed. What I had been experiencing was asthma and vocal cord spasms. The ordeal had ended. I have my future back.

Please go read what the other members of my family had to say about Halloween 2008:

Firehubby's Blog-Sure to be a better read than mine :) (click here)

The Princess' Blog (click here)

Scout's Blog (click here)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Some People...

I saw an 11 year old girl wearing this costume at the elementary school fall festival last week.

That’s some fine parenting, wouldn’t you say?!

I hope you will come back on Friday as Firehubby, myself and our kiddos are having a Halloween blogfest. Yes, the kids have blogs too :)

Friday, October 23, 2009


Marie-Jeanne and. her pride and joy, granddaugher Laura

Years ago there were two people who had a passion for geneology…

One was a man in America…my father

Another was a woman in Luxembourg…my distant cousin

Each had come to an impasse in their research and decided to utilize to try to reach across the oceans in search of their descendants.

On February 13, 2003, these two seekers very quickly struck gold!

This is story of how my father met my cousin, Marie-Jeanne.

The connection helped unfurl the history of our family.
Dad's Grandfather Peter
(My Great Grandfather)

Dad’s Grandfather Peter traveled to America in search of the American Dream.

Marie-Jeanne's Grandfather

Marie-Jeanne’s Grandfather was brothers with Dad’s Grandfather Peter.

Marie-Jean's Father

Of note: Marie-Jeanne’s father was a prisoner in the German concentration camp of Dachau for his patriotism in defiance of the Gestapo. His family believed he had been murdered. Then one day, miraculously, he walked back into town. Dachau had been liberated by the allies and Marie-Jeanne was reunited with her long-lost father.

Pierre and Marie-Jeanne on left

My family grew very close to Marie-Jeanne and her husband Pierre. Their marriage was one to envy. Their admiration and love for each other beautiful.

Dad and Mom

Dad and Mom traveled to Luxembourg and were treated with the most gracious hospitality that one could imagine.

Marie-Jeanne and I share our birthday…August 15, a special connection.

My brother who lives in Hungary has been a frequent guest of Pierre and Marie-Jeanne.

Today, with a very heavy heart, we say goodbye to our wonderful cousin.

Marie-Jeanne passed away of pancreatic cancer on October 22, 2009.

Although we only knew her for a short time, we will always treasure her in our memories and in our hearts.

To Pierre and family, I send my heartfelt condolences.

God rest your soul Marie-Jeanne…God rest your soul.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Firebunny 49

Firebunny 49 was our first family pet
Gotta love the name the kids chose!
He wandered onto the lawn at Station 49
Guess who is a softie
Yep, Firedaddy
Station 49 was at the edge of a regional park
It seems that some regretful recipient of an "Easter Bunny" had let the poor thing go
Be free little bunny, be free
Here is the Princess and Firebunny 49
I love this picture of the Princess
This is the look of delight that we see when she is with animals or swimming
Melts my heart!
If only I could go back in time and snuggle that little three year old girl again...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

True Story Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! Yep, today I am joining Rachel and Mr. Daddy for another True Story Tuesday.
Click here to see what adventures and misadventures people have been up to.

I can now see the folly of missing that very important day of my 10th grade science class. You know, the day that I decided to sleep in the closet all day and ditch school.

Yes, I am sure if I had gone to school that day I would have heard this:

“Now boys and girls, one day you will be so thankful that you are good students and come to class each and every day,”

“Today I will share with you real life physics. It’s a lesson you will NEVER want to forget, so listen up!”

“One day your twelve year old will come to you and say something like-Mom, can I have some of that soda we put in the freezer about 5 hours ago. I know it not all the way frozen. So can I have some? Please! Please!

“At that moment boys and girls you must do this: Shout “NO! Don’t touch that bottle! If you open it, the contents will explode forth and spray soda over the ENTIRE kitchen and into the NEXT room too!”

At that point, I am sure that the science teacher went on to explain the scientific reason for this phenomenon.

Had I ACTUALLY gone to class, I am sure I would have learned this valuable lesson.

Yes, Sunday was the day that teacher warning the smart children about. Dumb me!

And here are some lessons I learned in real life and not in class:

  • One day every mother will be thankful she buys diet soda.
  • When you hear a large popping sound after you give your kid permission to open the frozen soda bottle you will run into the room and find soda dripping from your ceiling.
  • The child will be so stunned that he will stand immobilized holding the overflowing soda that is now running into his shoes on onto the floor.
  • His sister will be standing across the room soaked and looking quite a bit like an upset Marsha Brady.
  • That soda will then soak into the ceiling and you will frantically scrub it with Spic and Span while standing on the kitchen island!
  • However, before you even think of cleaning the ceiling you will crawl around on your hands and knees getting every drop of said soda off of the pristine carpet in the living room.
  • You will then feel thankful you spent a bit extra on the carpet because 50 of the 100 drops will sit nicely on top of the carpet pile and not soak in like the other 50 drops.
  • After finishing the ceiling you will wipe down the kitchen walls and the front of every cabinet in the kitchen.
  • When you get to the top of the refrigerator you will realize that you have neglected it and go ahead and wipe the thick layer of soda drenched dust off.
  • When you climb up on the kitchen counter tops to get the soda off of the soffits you may find your husband’s long lost needle nose pliers that he has been looking for. (You will realize that you borrowed them to pry off the miniblind to clean it about 4 months prior.)
  • You will follow all of the higher cleaning with a good scrub of the floor and bleaching the grout on the kitchen tile (that two nights before you had polished to an incredible sparkle that would make the neighbor ladies drool).
  • Finally, when the preteen who started the chain of events comes down stairs, after showering off the soda (and while his sister is still in the bath removing said soda from her entire body) and apologizes with sweet doe eyes, you find the grace (with the help of the Lord above) to hug him and say “It’s alright sweetie. I‘ve cleaned it up. Don’t worry about it."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jumping for Joy

Things that make me happy today:

  • A new computer
  • Time for blogging
  • Time for writing a new delivery room story
  • Time to start to read my favorite blogs

I'm jumping for joy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Walk to Remember

The Walk to Remember was a huge success.

It was an honor and a privledge to read the names of 99 babies who were lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death and death during early infancy.

What a bittersweet occasion...

400 people came to validate the lives of their precious babies

and/or those of their loved ones and friends.

The names of baby Angel and Elijah were read...this is my beloved work,

but it is also very personal.

( I have not shared about Elijah, but I will soon)

On a different note: We had to attend to Scout's computer issue first, since he is in the laptop program at school.

This desktop is not adequate for doing much blogging, as each page opens as slow as a snail! Looking forward to a return to normalcy soon.

Keeping it in perspective here...I'll choose a sick computer any day over what we have been through lately!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Remembering Babies Who Have Died

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

October 11th is my program's (in Southern California)
4th annual "A Walk to Remember"
I am busy with preparations for this beautiful event this coming Sunday.
There is a lovely ceremony.
Candle Lighting.
Reading of the babies names.
Beautiful harp music.
A dove release.
An easy one mile walk.
Please check if there is a Walk to Remember in your area.
If not, be the force who helps bring comfort
through this meaningful recognition of lives lost and steps not taken.
Help Create a Walk to Remember in your region.

American Pregnancy:
There are approximately 6 million pregnancies every year throughout the United States:
4,058,000 live births
1,995,840 pregnancy losses

American Pregnancy Loss:
Every year in the United States there are approximately 2 million women who experience pregnancy loss:
600,000 women experience pregnancy loss through miscarriage
1,200,000 women experience pregnancy loss through termination
64,000 women experience pregnancy loss through
ectopic pregnancy
6,000 women experience pregnancy loss through molar pregnancies
26,000 women experience pregnancy loss through stillbirth

Pregnancy Complications:
Every year in the United States:
875,000 woman experience one or more pregnancy complications
458,952 babies are born to mothers without adequate prenatal care
467,201 babies are born prematurely
307,030 babies are born with Low Birth Weight
154,051 children are born with Birth Defects
27,864 infants die before their first birthday

Statistics sited from:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

American Express

Fixing Julie's broken laptop- a bazillion dollars

Replacing Scout's broken laptop- a kazillion dollars

Replacing broken washing machine-a zazillion dollars

Repairs to 2002 Honda CRV- oodles of money

Julie and Brian -Cashless

For everything else, there's American Express!

OH HOW I MISS MY LAPTOP! Look at this horrible mess that my cruddy desktop does!!!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!