Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah & Happy New Year to all my J-LAND Friends

Merry Christmas!

                              Happy Hanukah!

                                                          Happy New Year!

To all of my J-Land friends, and faithful readers, I hope that your holidays are full of family, friends, and joy!  May your New Year find you in good health, wealth and happiness!

I had my second IV of the new medicine yesterday.  No relief yet for my sore hands and other joints, but I am very hopeful that I will get some after the next IV.

As you can imagine in a house filled with three kids, everyone is busy and very excited as Christmas approaches!  There is still a lot to do, and we are all enjoying every minute! 

This is my favorite time of year, but I bet you could have guessed that already! 

I am going to sign off now for a while to spend time with my friends and family over the holiday season, but I will back to visit with you after the New Year!  If anyone wants to reach me for any reason, just send an email, as I will check in periodically at my mailbox!

Blessings to all the military men and women serving our country and a special salute and thank you to your families and friends who are missing you at home at this time of year!

Be well and be hopeful as you ring in 2006!!!


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas 2005 - The Card

This is the picture that I used for this years Christmas card! 

I am sending it out to all of you in j-land to wish you Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Each year we take the picture in front of the fireplace, it is amazing as I look back over the years at how the kids have grown!

Our tradition is that they get new pj's and wear them just for the picture and then again for Christmas Eve.  It is just one of the holiday traditions we do with the kids.

The tree is up and the house is decorated.  The outside is decorated too.  I decorate just about every room inside the house.  The foyer, the living room, bathroom, dining room, kitchen and family room.  The kids also have decorations in their bedroom.  Is it any wonder I get tired from all of this?

This year the kids were a big help with carrying things up and down stairs and boxes up from the basement.  My hubby and dad do all the outdoors stuff, but the kids even helped with that, too. 

Christmas is at my house.  We will have between 18 and 22 people.  6 are kids!  The number fluctuates a bit because we have open invites to some family that may or may not come. 

We do it very casual.  The first couple of years I tried to do a big sit down dinner like my mom used to do while I was growing up, but I really didn't enjoy it.  Now, everything is buffet style and casual for quick cleanup!  It is wonderful because everyone gets more time visiting. 

This year I wouldn't be able to do it at all if it wasn't for my parents.  They will be a huge help.  My hubby will be too, but he will deal with the kids, and I know my parents will help with the food and preparation and the 'details'. 

We also have a Christmas Eve tradition of going out to dinner just the seven of us, the kids, my parents, hubby and myself, after church.  After dinner, we put the carrots outside for the reindeer, and the cookies and milk our for santa.  I like to read 'T'was the Night Before Christmas' to the kids, and then we get them off to bed.  Believe it or not, they usually fall asleep pretty fast!

Then, my parents, my hubby and myself open our gifts.  It is nice and quiet, and we enjoy that.  Then comes the preparation for Santa.

So, I hope you enjoyed reading about our holiday traditions and plans.  I am very much in the holiday spirit today!

Be well,

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Use the Pain Scale for Lupus, Fibro, MS

Just a quick note to say thank you for all the great comments I received on the pain scale!   I will get back to you individually soon!

I think you could definitely us this for many other diseases also, basically, anything with Chronic Pain!  Many of us are never a number 1 or 2 because we are always on medication! 

Also, the percentages are for you to translate for you!  Those of us dealing with a chronic disease, never see 100% normal/healthy, but we all have a 'normal' for us that we prefer to be at!

Please, copy freely, just give me credit and send as many people here to read it as possible!  Who knows maybe Joe, the editor, will put a link on his page if he hears about it!

Be well,

Regarding the Pain Scale...

I decided to this Pain Scale as a way to help my family relate better to how I am feeling and coping on any given day.  I also shared it with a group of about 15 women and one man that I have had the pleasure of being in an email loop for over 2 years. 

I wanted them to have it to use for their families and friends and even doctors.

While on the Remicade I was usually between a 2 and 5.  Not bad, believe me.

Now, since it has worn off and the new medicine has not begun to work yet, I am between a 6 and 8.  Yesterday was an 8.  Today is a 6 so far. 

But I am going out Christmas shopping in the 15 degree weather anyhow.  Things MUST get done!  So, I have motivated myself this morning with coffee and the promise of a nap

Be well,

The Miller Pain Scale for Rheumatoid Arthritis

                 The Miller Pain Scale for Rheumatoid Arthritis

                                        Copyright 2005 Dawn Miller
                All rights reserved, right to copy with attribution freely granted.

0    Pain Free.                                              No medication needed.

1    Very Minor annoyance,                            No medication needed.
      occasional minor twinges.

2    Mild discomfort.                                      Mild painkillers, nsaids, are effective.

3    Annoying, occasional                               Mild painkillers relief pain for 3-4
      breakthrough pain.                                  hours, medication a must.

4    Distracting pain, but able to                      Medication a must.
     function at 100%.

5    Distracting pain, can’t be ignored,             Medication a must and limits
      must make adjustments and                    required on activities, work.
      limits to activities and work.

6    Pain constant, can still function                 Stronger painkillers required,
      but only with additional pain                     such as codeine, ultram, vicodin.
      medications and limits. Ability                   Activities must be limited.
      to function at approx. 75%.

7    Pain constant, making it difficult                Stronger painkillers partially
      to concentrate or sleep. Can                     effective.  Activities must be
      still function but requires constant             limited more.
      effort, personal care is slightly

8    Physical activity severely limited,                Stronger painkillers are only
      very difficult to concentrate, you are          minimally effective.  Limits to
      functioning at or below 50% of                  activities and grooming a must,
      normal for work, activities, personal           and rest required.
      care is moderately limited.

9    Constant moderate pain, unable to             Strongest painkillers are minimally
      work, or do any activities.  Only able          effective.  Pain is a constant, rest
      to address most basic required                  required, and you are basically 
      personal needs.                                       limited to your house; couch and bed.

10    Pain unbearable, near or in delirium,        Hospital intervention is required.
       becoming unconscious is a possibility.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

First IV Infusion of the New Medicine

Sorry, I have not been on to update, but I have been doing the Round Robin Sick Kid Game, ugh.

Yesterday, I was off to NYC again to my hospital.  The RN's in the Infusion Therapy Room (who used to give me the Remicade) took my blood and put in my IV, each on the first stick!  Yay!

Then, I went to a private exam room with Peggy, the RN who runs the study.  I had no allergic or IV infusion related reaction!  Yay, again! 

Unfortunately, I found out that I probably won't feel any effects of the new medicine until after my February IV infusion.

Prayers and positive thoughts welcome that it will begin to help at some point!  It not working for me at all, is a possibility and that would, in plain english, really suck.

The waiting stinks because I am getting more sore as each day passes.  My hands are swollen like two baseball mitts, my left elbow is painful, and doesn't want to work properly, and my ankles and feet are hurting more and more.

But...alas, it is the holiday season, and there is no rest for the weary.  Particularly for this mom with 2 sick kids who are cutting into my shopping time!!  LOL  Gotta laugh, otherwise, I cry.

I have actually been doing a fair share of crying lately.  Dealing with the constant aches and pains, especially now as my joints are getting worse, drains me, and I get really sensitive, and can start crying at the drop of a hat by the evening. 

It isn't pretty, poor hubby and kids. 

Time to go... I will try to get back here sooner than later...

Be well,

Thursday, December 1, 2005

South Park and Yesterday at the Hospital

Thanks to Jody at DUST BUNNY CLUB OF NORTH AMERICA I now have the South Park version of me, PrincesssAurora, in my 'All About Me' section! 

Jody has just had her 40,000 hit on her journal, please go visit her to get the link to making your own South Park character and to read all about her and her wonderful family.

Her eldest son is serving in Iraq right now as well, another reason to support Jody and her family via her journal!

Yesterday I had my appointment at the hospital in NYC to be evaluated and pre-tested for the Orencia study.  A new drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis. 

I survived, all is well, and I was accepted into the study, as expected, but it was a loooooooong day.

We left the house at 9:30 am for the 11:30 am appt, hoping that we would be early enough to grab breakfast at the cafe there and still get to the appt a bit early.  We were parked by 10:30 am and done eating by 11 am.  I was taken in at 11:15 am, all in all, good so far.

The RN who runs the study and I did oodles of paperwork and reviewed my medical and surgical history then she examined me.  Then, the MD who runs the study also came in and examined me, they spoke and agreed, I am perfect for the study!  YAY!

Now, the blood work, as I may have mentioned before, my veins are very difficult, so I warned the RN, but I could tell, she hears it all the time and at first, didn't believe me.  Then, she put the tourniquet on my right arm, then my left, then back to the right and said, " You are right, your veins are shitty!!!  And, I usually say 'crappy' but you said 'shitty' first and you are right!"   Yes.  Yes I am. 

She then narrowed it down to a good spot and missed in drawing blood for the first time in about 4 years.  Then, she went and got one of the two rheumatology lab techs who spent about 20 minutes checking for where to stick, and convinced me to let her try my right hand and then, she also missed.  The study RN then told me that in over 10 years she has never seen this woman miss with blood draw, only IV. 

Yes, I am a special patient.  @@

Next, she tried the left wrist, and she did succeed.  However, by then, I was so over wrought that my blood pressure plummeted, I turned white as a sheet, and almost passed out.  I know, I am weird, most people have their blood pressure go up, no, not me.  So, then 15 minutes of lying down with my feet up.  And I had to get stuck for the TB test too.  ugh

Now, it is 1 pm and off to radiology we go.  To sit and wait.  Finally, around 2 pm I was given my 1-2-3 chest x-ray and we were ready to leave.  At 3 pm, we made it across Manhattan and I dropped Glenn at his office for a meeting he could not miss.  I then made 2 quick right turns into the Lincoln Tunnel and got home about 3:25 pm.

It was a lot longer than I expected considering I didn't even get the medicine infusion!  Yikes.  And I was starving.  lol

Anyhow, my first IV infusion is Tuesday, 12/6 and since I am a 'hard stick' my infusion room RN's that I went to with Remicade, will draw my blood and get my IV in and then the study RN will give the infusion of the new medicine.  It takes 1/2 hour via drip and then 1/2 hour of observation.  Second infusion will be Tues. 12/20 and third 1/3. 

The third will be in the infusion room (yay, I love them!), and then each month afterward, once a month IV infusions at the infusion room.

So, there you have it!  The exciting world of RA and bad veins...

Be well,

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Question Thingy

I found this questionaire in these three journals 

Tracey    Foxy    Gem

  and more...and decided to do it! 

Please join in the fun if you haven't already!

1)  what sign are you?  Scorpio and 'yield'

2)  what is your favorite color?  cranberry

3)  how many waffles could you eat at one sitting? too many

4)  can you touch your tongue to your nose?  no

5)  if you had a choice between cats & dogs, which would it be? 

I have both, but it would be cats, if forced to choose, because they are more self sufficient

6)  what is something you have learned recently?  That after the Hindenberg the Germans wanted to rebuild airships using Helium but we, the USA, were the only supplier and we refused to sell it to them.  ( thank you History Channel)

7)  what is your favorite quote?  From the movie Moonstruck -

 Nick Cage to Cher's Character - "Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn't know this either, but love don't make things nice - it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and *die*. The storybooks are *bullshit*. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and *get* in my bed!"
Just what a girl wants, a really hot sensitive man that tells the truth.  I found one!!!  (thanks Honey!)

8)  what is your favorite entry in your journal? Minnesota and my grandma

9)  what colors are your bedroom? Sage green walls, white moldings and ceilings, multi-hued bedding in greens, golds and a touch of dark purple

10)  what is your favorite place to visit?  Wildwood Crest, NJ, the Pearl of the Jersey Shore

11)  why do you write in a journal?  I started it as an outlet for my writing and as a way to reach out to others struggling with RA & Lupus and the demands of family life!

12)  what is your favorite joke? 

A 3 year old boy is taking a bath, and he grabs his testicles, looks up at his mom and says,

"Mommy are these my brains?"

The mom answers, "No, not yet, dear."

ahem, truer words never spoken - Yeah, I said it.

13)  do you like the city or the country?  city

14)  what style is your house decorated?  Eclectic and classic

15)  who is your favorite artist?  My kids, VanGogh and DaVinci

16)  can you pat your tummy and rub your head at the same time?  yes

17)  are you a night owl?  yes, now I am thanks to RA

18)  what is something you love in your house?  the people & the pets, the rest can be replaced!

19)  do you believe in God?  YES

20)  what hobby could you never give up?  reading & computer are both a necessity!

21)  what color makes you think of hope?  My daughter, of course~! (think about it....)

22)  what color makes you think of love?  white roses

23)  what is your favorite flower?  White roses!!!!

24)  if you had one wish for the world, what would it be? 

For everyone to be tolerant and accepting of all people and to reach for peace

~~~> tag, you're it!

Be well,

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christmas 2004

Can it really be a year since this picture was taken?  Wow.  Time isn't just is zooming by me like a supersonic jet at Mach 10!  

Not the best picture, there are some red eye issues, hopefully, this year will be better as I am more used to my digital camera. 

In case you aren't sure, from left to right above is Libby, the Yellow Lab, Hammer, Fuzzy and Pumpkin Muffin.  This year, the boys pj pants will match, too.  Oh yes, I am so nerdy with this stuff, but it is a rich tradition! 

The fireplace picture has been done every year since we moved into this house, starting in 1995...meaning this year is 10 years, and our 11th Christmas.  Each and every year as the holiday card we send out to all!

I will try to get someone to scan my picture from that year, 1995, it is a beauty.  Hammer is just over 3 years old sitting in matching Winnie the Pooh footsie jammies next to little brother Fuzzy, who is a mere 8 1/2 months old! 

There was no thought of a Pumpkin Muffin yet! 

Yup, time is screaming by!!!

I hope you enjoy....more to come.

Be well,

My Lack of Computer Savvy

Dinner is almost ready so this is just a quick 'hello' to all and a great big THANK YOU to Dianna!!!

I have been trying to get a picture in my 'All about Me' section for a long while now, with no luck.  Every pic I had was too big and I could edit the size like I did before!  I still don't know why that is happening, BUT, Dianna shrunk my picture and sent me a bunch with cute little graphics!  Yay! 

Hopefully, no one will be frightened away with my face popping up at them.  Dianna has assured me that I look good for someone going through so much... I don't know... but I will take her sweet, kind words to heart and throw caution to the wind!  So, the picture is there for j-land to see.

Today I ran to Old Navy to buy Christmas pajamas that the kids will wear in our Christmas cards.  There was no was eerie...the cashier was standing there filing her nails...  I was in and out in a flash!  I will post the picture at some date in the future!   I have to try to get 3 kids and a dog to sit still and smile nice...all at the same time...not an easy feat!

Be well,

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Time Marches On...

I am getting used to being $39.95 plus shipping & handling.  Oh yeah, and I am now officially in love with Hadon who left me a comment and said that he saw my picture and I don't look a day over $19.95 - yes, I am officially smitten.

Thanksgiving was wonderful.  K had a fabulous dinner for all, the turkey was the moistest I ever remember having and all the sides were unique and tasty!  It was so nice not having to be the one doing anything for the day, just showing up as a guest.  I have not had the pleasure of doing that on a major holiday, so this was a real treat. 

Thank you K, sister of my heart, you are the best!

And, you had Pumpkin Muffin stay with from Thanksgiving until yesterday which she loved!  Thank you, again!

Black Friday the boys, hubby, and myself slept in late and then went to a late breakfast at a nearby diner.  It was yummy!  Then we went to join in the usual tradition of that! 

It took 2 stores, and a huge sale, but Hubby bought me my belated birthday present, a treadmill.  I need one that will go completely flat, so it does not put any stress on my knees due to the RA and I need good side rails to help me stabilize since my ankles are bad.  The treadmill I have had my eye on for a long time was half price at the second store, so we snatched it up!  It has a fan built in, great side rails, drink cup holders, a book holder, pulse thingy and all kinds of stuff!  I love it!  I did a mile on it on Friday and Saturday.  Today I am resting.

We also decided to get the boys their snowboard equipment for the season.  To rent it now for the whole season is a lot cheaper than to do it at each ski resort, plus this saves lots of time.  This is an early Christmas present for them, also.  The store was brand new and no one has ever rented these boots or boards before, a nice plus!

Yesterday, K brought back the Pumpkin Muffin and came to visit!  The baby is getting so big!  At first, he was put off by using our potty, but then he did!  YAY!  We all went out to dinner to 'officially' celebrate my birthday, it was really nice.  The restaurant is in our town and we were able to get our favorite waitress!!!  It was her birthday on Thanksgiving!  lol

Today, hubby is working on finishing the basement.  He is installing new windows and finishing up the floor installation.  We insulated and raised the floor so it wouldn't be cold.  Next, he will start framing it out and one of our friends is going to help with the electric.  I can't wait until it is done!

I spend the last hour or so helping Fuzzy with a school project!  He is doing a country report and each month is a different part of the project.  This was a slogan and travel poster.  His slogan is 'Canada, Come to the Wild Side!'  I helped him draw a brown bear and a moose and he colored them in and jazzed up the poster.  It looks great!  Hopefully, another A!!!  lol

That is about all that is going on in the world of the Princess right now.  Wednesday, is when I go to NYC for the new med interview and pre-testing.  I will keep everyone posted on that.  My hands have been pretty sore, so I am ready for some help!

Fingers crossed on that front! 

Oh yeah, I am going to try to get the bulk of holiday shopping done this week and next, wish me luck!  I am so late this year!  Yikes!

Be well,


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thankfully on Thanksgiving

I am thankful for so many things...too many to list and instead of the obvious, I thought I would be very specific by listing the things I am thankful for TODAY.

I am thankful that my sweet cat Pumpkin is sleeping by my feet, as always and that she purrs happily each time I give her beautiful black coat a stroke.

I am thankful that this morning started off with a great cup of coffee!

I am thankful that Fuzzy had a successful first time ever walk to the town pizza parlor from school with his friends today.  It was a half day, many boys have done this already earlier this year and he was happy to join in.  My only caveat was that he had to call after eating and I would pick them up.  I ended up picking up him and 3 friends, who came over for the afternoon.

I am thankful that my Pumpkin Muffin enjoys helping to clean around the house!  Today, she cleaned the bathroom sinks, counters and toilet!  She is really amazing and knows that this was a HUGE help with her mommy's sore hands!

I am thankful that Hammer gave me a wonderful hug and kiss for no reason earlier today, right when I needed it most!

I am thankful that my Mom cleaned my kitchen, straightened various parts of the house and vacuumed for me today even though she has a rotten cold.  As usual, she gives me more help than I can ever give back, and just when I needed it most.

I am thankful to my Dad for all his help picking up the kids, medicines, food, and so much more each day, and I am glad he didn't have to do anything today!

I am thankful that my husband knows he is in the dog house, deserves to be there, and knows not to come out until he is given sufficient indication from me that it is safe to do so. <grin>

I am grateful that my best friend, to whose house I am going tomorrow, told me not to worry about making the homemade Cranberry & Pear Relish since it requires lots and lots of stirring and my hands are hurting and most importantly - neither of us eat it!!!!  Thank you, K, you know how to cut to the chase in making these terribly important holiday decisions!

I am thankful that both the boys helped me make my famous Maple Glazed Carrots to bring tomorrow to their Aunt K's house!  They are actually so very easy to make, but it was a pleasure to have them both there with me 'helping'.   I am also grateful to Hammer for telling me that these tasted 'the best ever!'.

Of course, I am also very, very, thankful to be going to K's house for Thanksgiving.  I cannot wait to see her, her family and especially, my little nephew.  He has just learned to do pee-pee in the potty and I am sure he cannot wait to show this new skill off for all!  Yay!

I am thankful that my naughty kitty, Tina, was less fresh than usual today, and didn't bite or scratch anyone during the boy's play dates.

I am thankful that Libby, the ever enthusiastic yellow lab, didn't escape out the door today at all, requiring me to run out coatless in 34 degree weather!  Good girl!  As Hammer says 'she isn't stupid, she just uses her intelligence for stupid things.' - truer words were never spoken.

I am thankful that we may see some snow!  There is just such a pure joy that I feel seeing the first snow of the season,  it brings me back to the innocence of childhood years, making snow angels and drinking hot chocolate after inside. 

I am so thankful for all the Birthday wishes I received from J-land!  Thank you, each and every one of you has a special place in my heart.  My birthday was not the best of days, but those messages gave me a lot of joy and shone into my heart the warmth of friendship that I needed!

I am so thankful that today I knew that God was there for me in many little ways.

I am thankful for a blessed life...


Monday, November 21, 2005

$39.95 Plus Shipping and Handling

$39.95 Plus shipping and handling!  Yes folks, that is how old I am today!  Not 40, how droll....nope, $39.95 plus shipping and handling.  That's my story and I am sticking to it!!!

I wish I could say that this decade is rolling in for me with a sense of certainty, but since I can't I will fill you in on the situations at hand.

Medically, things are still up in the air, although a plan has been etched out.  Next week, 11/30, I will go into NYC and meet with an RN who runs a study on a new med that is not due out until sometime early next year.  The RN and I did have a long telephone conversation and it seems that I will fit nicely into their study.  However, formalities must be observed, so on the 30th I will go to fill out mounds of paperwork, bloodwork, a chest x-ray and TB test.  As long as all is okie dokie I will be able to be entered into the study and begin to receive the drug.

The drug in called Orencia and it is a biological response modulator which means it has been manufactured to specifically target part of the immune response in RA.  Orencia suppresses t-cell response in inflammation.  The drug has been tolerated very well and shows little to no side effect, unlike the drug I was just on.  It is also given via IV infusion though and I will go to the same unit as before to get it.

The first month you receive three doses, day 1, day 15 and day 29.  Thereafter, the infusion is every 28-30 days and it should only take about an hour!  That is also good news, much less time than before.

I will keep you posted about it.

The family is good!  Football season has just ended and Fuzzy had his dinner last night and received his trophy and jacket. He is thrilled.  My little football man looks quite handsome in it, I will post pics as soon as I have them.

Hammer will be starting wrestling soon, which will be his first sport since pee-wee soccer, t-ball and karate, all of which ended by second grade.  He requested this, I hope he likes it, I would love to see him finding something physical that he enjoys.

Pumpkin Muffin is doing great in dance and piano, and is very busy practicing for an outdoor Christmas concert that is coming up in a couple of weeks. 

That is all for now, sorry I have been away so long, I missed you all, and have been reading here and there.  I will try to get back to reading more and commenting too.  I hate the ads... and I am really hopefu that AOL will let us turn them off soon and only non-AOL people will have to see them. 

Be well,

Monday, November 7, 2005

Treading Water

I am barely keeping my head up, need a lifesaver...

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave a comment or send me an email.  It means the world to me.

I will be back, hopefully soon, just need this time to adjust to some things, and attend to my health.  I need to figure out what the next step will be for me with medication. 

Someone mentioned that I talk about the IV's so nonchalantly, and you know, that is sad, isn't it?  I have few options to consider, but out of the ones I have, they are all via IV, so that will continue to be in my future and part of my routine, I guess.

Be well,


Thursday, November 3, 2005

When Several Days Attack at Once - Part 3

Thank goodness, my mom took off from work on Wednesday.  I had my monthly Remicade infusion at the hospital in NYC, and it was set for 9am, which means we leave about 7am and pray for good traffic.

My mom had to get Pumpkin to school and then bring Fuzzy into the school to the office as it was his first day back since his arm injury.  I had already set up all the assistance with the guidance counselor via phone and email.  Gotta love the ease of computers.

Traffic has been real wacky around here for the last two weeks, it is cyclical sometimes, you can go weeks where everything is just smooth as can be and then weeks where every day is a new mess.

Wednesday continued with the messy traffic theme.  We got to my appointment with just minutes to spare.

Drawing my blood went smooth and so did the IV line insertion, always a good way to start!  I got all my pre-medication by mouth and my pre-med steriod IV bag to avoid a reaction.  Then the Remicade itself was up! 

All was good through the first 300 mls and the increasing speed of infusion.  About 3 minute after the last infusion increase, the chest tightness began.  I whispered it to Hubby so he knew, but I didn't tell the RN's right away.  I wanted to see if stayed slight so maybe I could get all the infusion. 

I know this sounds nuts, but the stuff works!!  My infusion was a week later this month and I was already starting to have more swelling and discomfort in my joints.

After a bit, and with 61 mls left, I had to tell the RN's.  They were not happy with me that the feeling started 15 minutes early.  In fact, I think one of them would have spanked me if she could have done so.  They stopped the medicine, began to pump me full of saline, did and ekg (normal) and called my rheumatologist.

An hour later, my rheumatologist checked me out, pronounced me okay to leave once my saline bag was done, and told me to call her to discuss my options.  They are familiar with this reaction, it starts this way, as chest tightness, then ends up in respiratory distress, anaphylaxis or heart attack.

So, yeah, looks like I need to pick a new med to try.  Very frustrating, as Remicade worked!!!!  Still not sure what the new course of action will be.  I was very tired yesterday after the ordeal as you can imagine.  Even today, I pretty much just slept in and relaxed. 

Tomorrow, I should start to feel better, pretty good even.  After all, I did get most of the medicine in me!  LOL

Okay... I am behaving, really.

So, there you have it!  Several days jumped up and attacked me all at once!  Emotionally, psychologically, physically - everything has been tested and retested.

Sadness over the bird, worried for my son, medical reactions...yes, it has been a wild ride. 

I hope you will forgive me being so behind in journals....I will get caught up, if the days will stop attacking me!!!!

Be well,

When Several Days Attack at Once - Part 2

Saturday was a busy day, filled with dance classes, shopping for new winter coats for the kids, and last minute Halloween things. 

We had a party to attend as a family at 7 pm.  The party was great fun, and we had a really nice time.  A few times Fuzzy wandered away from his friends and came by me.  One time, he admitted he was still sad about the little bird and was having a hard time letting go to enjoy himself.  In the end though, we had to pull all the kids away from their friends to head home at midnight.

Fuzzy had a football game on Sunday.  It was a tough game.  The team was very good and beat them soundly 34 - 0.  Fuzzy played every play for the offense.  We sat in 2 hours of traffic on the way home due to an accident and construction on the NJ Turnpike.  Not fun.

Fuzzy had fallen hard on his right arm and complained that it was hurting.  Hubby is a coach and remembers this happening and since Fuzzy seemed okay, he kept playing.  We began to ice it and gave him motrin and then a while after dinner Fuzzy asked to go to the ER for an x-ray, it was hurting real bad.

Off we went at 7:30pm.  Two sets of x-rays, a sling, and referral to a pediatric orthopedist, we were back home at 11:30 pm.  Not bad really.  They have a special Pediatric ER, and they kids through pretty quickly.  Yes, I do think 4 hours is pretty quick for an ER visit.

The pediatric ortho visit was on Monday afternoon.  He confirmed the ER was right in its final decision that there was not a break.  However, he felt that Fuzzy pulled ligaments and needed to be in the sling for two weeks and no sports or gym either.  He will recheck him on 11/15, and decide if he can return then to contact sports.  Fuzzy will have only one football game left on November 20th, and he has already told us he will be 'freakin mad' if he can't play. 

Well, we shall see.

Fuzzy, Hammer, and Pumpkin were still able to trick or treat on Monday afternoon.  Pumpkin very happily held her brothers bag as we went up and down our town center that hosts the trick or treaters each year.  The kids got a great haul of candy as always.

Fuzzy is getting help at school with someone carrying his books and helping him with writing and notes etc.  It is his right hand, making this more tricky!  At home, the doc said he can remove the sling more and more as he feels able to do so. 

Tonite, he had it off most of the night.  It is starting to feel good, which the doc said is the most dangerous time for re-injury, that is why at school he will keep the sling on.

Never a dull moment, huh?  Sunday night after the ER, Fuzzy told me that this had to be the worst weekend of his life.  I am sure that it must have felt that way.

And then, there was Remicade and an allergic reaction... coming up next.

Be well,



When Several Days Attack at Once - Part 1

Fuzzy came home from school on last Friday and sat down next to me at the dining room table to start his homework. 

We heard a 'whap' against the window and I caught a glimpse of the bird as it hit.  I jumped up and saw the beautiful little thing on the ground and the blue jay in pursuit.  I got out in time to chase the blue jay away, but apparently the fight had started elsewhere, and just ended under our window, because the little bird was stunned and bleeding from underneath.

I gently picked up the injured bird and moved it to the front yard away from the stalking blue jay.  The jay didn't follow, thankfully.  I gently placed the bird down in the towel I had it in, but I was hesitant to investigate under its feathers; I am not familiar with bird injuries or care.

By now, Fuzzy was next to me with tears in his eyes.  I asked him, 'Do you want me to call the vet to see if they will try to help him?', he nodded - yes, and I ran into the house. 

The vet gave me a different vet's number that is properly licensed to care for wild animals, before this, I didn't know that there were different licenses regarding non-pet care.  The wild animal vet said to bring the bird right away, and their office staff sounded very kind.

I got a box, and grabbed my dad's car keys, since my hubby was at work with my truck.  Fuzzy got in the back and buckled up and I handed him the box with the bird, still partially wrapped in the towel.  He gently put his hands around the bird to hold it calmly, and to keep it from trying to move and injure itself further - it was all I could think to do.

Fuzzy was still fighting those tears in his eyes, and I tried to drive as quickly and safely as I could.  It was just about 15 minutes to this vet. 

We were about 7 minutes into our trip, and in the middle of the highway, when the little bird had a seizure and died in Fuzzy's hands.  I never heard my son so panicked, so I tried to reassure him that maybe it was not dead, just passed out, but he was truly hysterical and positive it was no longer breathing.

I got to the vet in 12 minutes, but it was too late.  The bird had died. The vets office staff was very nice, and I am very glad I know about them now, they checked the bird immediately, but I already knew it was gone.

Fuzzy and I sat in the car a bit and cried together.  He was very distraught and kept repeating it wasn't fair.  He is right, it was not fair. 

It would seem that he is cursed with my sensitivity and love for animals.  I remembered the first time that I went through this with wild baby rabbits that were injured, it was awful, I can still cry about that myself today.

And, so, all night, I told him all the things we say when this happens to animals or people, that sometimes an injury is fatal, and that even if we had gotten there in time, death may have been inevitable, that this is the circle of life, and nature is not always pretty and serene, sometimes, it is the survival of the fittest, and it is ugly and hard and sad.

And, I told him that for the last minutes of that beautiful little birds life, it knew that it was safe, and cared for, and loved, and sometimes, that is all we can do, and that it is enough.

Fuzzy couldn't get to sleep, so he climbed in bed with me, and we talked and finally, he fell asleep with me rubbing his back and holding his hand. 

It was a tough way to start a weekend, and it didn't end too well for him either, but more on that in the next entry....

Be well,

A Quick Howdy!

Just a quick 'hello' to let everyone know that I am out here and still kicking!  Everytime I try to get on to write an entry something seems to happen to keep me away.

Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers... and I will be back to catch up completely very soon. 

Be well,

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Best Friend - Sister of My Heart

I layed in bed for about an hour before I decided to give up for a bit and come to J-land!  It is almost time for my monthly infusion and I am trying to lower my daily low prednisone dose even lower, sooooo my hands are sore. 

Tonight, my pinky is throbbing like it is doing a cha cha!  Amazing how one little finger can hurt so much.  The rest of my hands are just achey-ish.  Is that a word?  I had to take one of the 'big gun' meds and while I wait for relief, I will write.

I don't write often about my best friend, the sister of my heart, although, I truly owe this journal to her.  This conglomeration of ponderings and ramblings is usually what she has been subjected to over the years, and in person, the poor thing!

K and I went to high school together, but she was two years ahead of me, and we did not get to be friends then.  It was through a mutual friend at my work, in the summer after I graduated in 1983, that brought us together.

Like two peas in a pod, within a couple of months we were working TWO jobs together, yes, often at the same hours, and she was practically living at my house.  That was quickly rectified when her mom remarried and moved and shortly therafter, she WAS living at my house! 

K's dad was out of the picture, at least that is the short version and her mom's path was not working with hers.  My parents loved K by this time, she was always with me and staying over most weekend nights anyhow, so it was a no-brainer.  All my mom said was, 'You are the one sharing your room and your space - fine with us!'  We had all manner and type of relatives living in my house over the years, my parents were always seen as the stable helpers, so another stray, so to speak, was hardly a thought to them!

In fact, at one point for year, it was three of us in what used to be 'my room'!  My cousin needed a place to live, she had just graduated college after working full time to put herself through it, landed a job near us, andwas getting married in a year.  The more the merrier!  LOL

Back to K, it was like a continual slumber party in a lot of ways!  From 1984 until I met my hubby in 1990, we spent more time together than with anyone else!  Working together, partying together, dating together and vacationing together.  Oh, the stories, nay, the legends I could share, but won't because my son and mother read my journal!  LOL

Even after I married, K was always a part of my life.  She still was putting herself through college and was living at my house with my parents.  They were thrilled to have their 'adoptive daughter' there with them.  And, thrilled to have a new son in law, too.  Hubby and I were there 2x a week for dinner and on Sunday's.  We lived 3 towns away, and about 7 minutes door to door. 

The day I suspected I was pregnant, about 2 weeks after getting back from my honeymoon and married just a month, it was K that I called and told, and asked to skip work.  I ran over to my parents house, having called into work myself that day, with the test.  She looked first, I couldn't, and she got to see that, in fact, I was pregnant before I did! 

K is my eldest's Godmother and the best auntie to all three of my kids.  I should also mention now that my hubby and K are closer to each other than either is to their own siblings.  My dear hubby loves her so much and can be fiercely protective of her... if she only knew how much!!! 

K moved out of my parents just after I had Fuzzy in 1995, but only three houses over the border into the next town.  LOL 

K was a huge part of our every day life.  She was my constant companion when my hubby wasn't, and even when he was!  She was a huge help with each and every child and each and every emergency, I cannot give her enough thanks or credit for all the things she did over those years!  Most of all, she helped me keep my sanity, and that probably seemed like a full time job at times!  

K met her hubby and began to date him when I had just became pregnant with Pumpkin, my youngest.  She was still a huge part of our lives, and even after their marriage, for a year she was still just five minutes away, and we were always together.  And, my mom had another son-in-law to spoil!  LOL

Then, K and her hubby moved.  They aren't far, just about 35-40 minutes, but, far enough that our visits were whittled down considerably.  At first, we saw each other 3-4 times a month, and we made up for it with phone calls!

Enter my sweet nephew in February 2003!  Now, my dear sis is a mom, too, and I get to be the fun auntie!  It is now much tougher to see each other.  The distance is prohibitive to getting together except on weekends.  K works full time, and has a toddler and it is hard for us to talk on the phone as much, too.  Even the weekends aren't easy because my kids are older and their schedules are our life!  Dance classes, football games, they keep us local, and it is hard for K to always come up, and little J doesn't even have his own schedule yet, but soon!

None of that matters, though.  I know whenever I really need her, she is there.  When I am really upset, for whatever reason, K is the one I reach out to and she always knows what to say and how to make me feel better.  Yes, I have my hubby too, but sometimes, he is the source of the problem, and sometimes, you just need your sister, your friend.  And, K drops everything and runs to help whenever I have needed her.  How can I ever repay that?  How can I ever repay what that means to me?  I can't.

I only wish I could be half the friend to her that she has been to me over the years.  I am handicapped in giving her the same support by two things, kids that are older and have demanding schedules and my illness.  Yet another aspect of my life affected by my RA and Lupus. 

All I can do is tell her.  K, I love you and appreciate you so very much.  You are the best friend, the best sister, anyone could ever hope to have.

Thank you, thank you for being one of my many blessings.

Be well,

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The "TWO" Thing

I got this from my buddy, Ellen, at One day at a time - but I have seen it all around and swore I was going to do it a while back, but here I am now, finally doing it!

Two Names You Go By:

1. Dawn    

2.  Mommy

Two Parts of Your Heritage

1. Italian

2. German  

Two Things That Scare You

1. Something bad happening to my kids

2. Losing my independence completely or my mind to RA/Lupus

Two of Your Everyday Essentials

1. Coffee (as any of my regular journal readers must know by now) 

2.  Hugs and kisses from the kids and Hubby

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now

1.  cotton pj pants in gray

2. gray t-shirt from an old employer of my hubby's 

Two of Your Favorite Bands or Musical Artists (at
the moment)

 1. BonJovi (always)

2. Rob Thomas

Two of Your Favorite Songs (at the moment)

1.   This is How a Heart Breaks - Rob Thomas

2.   When September Ends - GreenDay

Two Things You Want in a Relationship (other than
Real Love)

1. A best friend who makes me laugh (thanks, honey)

2. hot sex (and thank you again, honey)

Two Truths (confessions)

1.  Sometimes I let my dog climb on the bed to sleep with me. (my hubby does not like that)

2.  I often feel guilty about being sick and not being able to do as much as I believe I should do, even though, I know it isn't my fault.

Two Physical Things that Appeal to You

1.  Eyes

2.  Hands, big strong ones....

Two of Your Favorite Hobbies

1.  Reading books

2.  Writing

Two Things You Want Really Badly  (assuming this means material things...)

1.  A new coffee pot  

2.  An Ipod

Two Places You Want to go on Vacation

1.  Scotland

2.  England

Two Things You Want to Do Before You Die

1.  Go to Paris and see the Louvre 

2.  Be published 

Two ways that you are stereotypically a Chick/Guy

1.  I hate spiders

2.  I don't like to camp or 'rough it' in any way...not my idea of fun!

Two thingsyou wouldn't normally admit

1.  Sometimes (rarely though) I miss work  (it's that instant gratification you get from completing a work task and knowing that you did it well, you don't get instant rewards often in parenting, it is more of a cumulative thing)

2.  Sometimes I just want my mommy and daddy!  LOL

Two people I would like to see take this quiz...

Oh, you know there are more than two of you out there, so, if you didn't do it, give it a shot!

Also, please wander over to see the new edition of wonderful journal entries to read at CarnivAOL !  It is updated every two weeks, and yesterday was the day!

Be well,

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Hubby-filled Happy Day

My hubby stayed home today!!! 

I love when my hubby stays home, tomorrow will be 15 years from the day we were engaged, and we still enjoy every minute that we are in each other's company, and wish we could be together more!   That darn work thing keeps getting in the way.  LOL :-D

First, he got up and got the kids up, ready, and drove them to school.  Then, he let me sleep, and got Dunkin Donuts Cinnamon Coffee before he woke me at 11am.  Keep your roses...sleep goes a long way in marriage! 

Next, my hubby took Hammer (who I homeschool) out for a nice father/son lunch!  I got to take a nice, long, hot shower to loosen up my achey joints from the rainy weather.   They brought me home lunch, too.

Then, while Hammer attended to his school work, Hubby offered a nice back rub.  Very nice, indeed, which developed into a spontaneous afternoon delight! 

In spite of the rain, it has been a downright wonderful day!

It is so sad to me that I often hear at various school and sporting events mom's complaining about about their hubbies being around.  That is disrupts their routine, or they are just annoyed by it.  So many mom's complain about their hubbies in such a way that you can hear that they are not "friends" with their mate and do not often have fun with them. 

I am ecstatic to say that my Hubby is my best friend and we always have fun together.  No one can make me laugh like he can.  I am very blessed.

There are rumors that tomorrow will not be raining, thank you, Mother Nature.  I need to leave my house and do some errands that I really cannot put off any longer.  Doing it sans rain will be quite pleasant, for a change!

So, signing off from my very wet, but happy little corner of NJ!

Be well,

PS - Remember, it is still Lupus Awareness Month!


Monday, October 24, 2005

Coffee and Weather

I am happily able to lift my coffee cup to my mouth and back to the computer desk without any pain!  Hooray!

Prayers and good wishes going out to the people of Florida who just had Hurricane Wilma whip through there this morning.  Wilma surprised everyone as she gathered up strength again to a Category 3 and speed as she flew across Florida at 20-25 mph. 

This isn't going to be Wilma's last hurrah yet either, more on that coming.

Here in NJ we are back in the land of gray, since Friday.  No sun, just gray cloud cover.  We even had more rain, as if any part of NJ needed it after getting about 15-20 inches in one week, just the week  before. 

I know we shouldn't question Mother Nature, but, dang, we have more rain coming... why???!!!

Starting later today, we will be getting pummeled with more rain from a Noreaster that started in the Ohio Valley.  Tomorrow, in the very early am hours, it will join up with Storm Alpha and Wilma and have a party over the entire Northeast Atlantic States. 

The weathermen have assured us that it isn't quite as bad as the 'Perfect Storm' of 1991, but it will be pretty darn close.  We are going to be getting tons of rain, again, 5-10 inches depending on where you are located, and wind 50-60 mph, with gusts in the 75 mph range. 

I can assure the weathermen that this sounds pretty much exactly like how I remember that Noreaster in 1991, but hey, they get paid to do this, I don't.  If it isn't as bad, it is definitely bad enough!

In 1991 the ground was not saturated from a week of torrential downpours like it is now.  I am very concerned for all of those in flood areas.  This is truly an unbelievable amount of rain in a short period of time, and one on top of another, no one here has caught their breath!  The rivers and resevoirs are so swollen, it is a sight to see, and does not bode well for tomorrow's storm.

Hubby may work from home tomorrow, since they are predicting the Eastside and Downtown subways in NYC will all be flooded tomorrow and there will lots of service disruption.  Then, add all the weather chaos above ground, and staying in NJ seems to be a good idea.  Thanks to the digital age, he can work on his laptop and Blackberry without a hitch.  Unless, the service goes out, which could happen in a storm like this one.

I will most certainly be staying in the house and nesting!  It would be a perfect day to bake some bread and some brownies, both of which I have ready to go, however, my oven is still broken.  :(   Oh well, c'est la vie.

My joints are screaming today, in response to the increasing drop in barometric pressure.  Especially, my fingers and wrists.  <sigh>  Life with RA.  Life with Lupus.

So, I will drink my coffee, it will warm my bones and energize my mind, and the weather, well, it will be what it will be.

Mother Nature should kick back and relax with some Dunkin Donuts Cinnamon Blend coffee, I think she would ease off some of this fierce weather if she did.

Be well and safe,


Friday, October 21, 2005

Plug for CarnivAOL & Miscellaneous Life

I want to plug CarnivAOL.  Paul, works very hard on this journal that gives us a place to highlight our writing efforts and get to meet some new J-Landers.  Please go visit it via this handy link CarnivAOL and also follow the directions to email Paul your journal entries by 10/23, so he can add them to the next issue, due out on Tuesday, 10/25.

Next up, I got my flu shot on Wednesday.  All day yesterday I was happy that I was not getting a big swollen lump at the injection site and annoyed that my bra was apparently pinching me under my arm.

Fast forward to bed time, I haven't had my bra on for sometime, (I know, too much info) but my armpit still hurts and I still have not had a bell go off, until I try to lay down and roll onto my right side.

OUCH!  I leapt up out of the bed!  What the #@*&????

Upon further examination, I have a huge swollen lump of lymph nodes under my arm, and after further investigation, yes, this can be a side effect of getting a damn flu shot.

Great.  Every time I rolled in my sleep to the right I woke up.  It was not a good night.  I cannot sleep on one side all night thanks to RA which stiffens me into a pretzel.  So, it was a lot of fits and starts all night to find just the right position to sleep with the minimum amount of discomfort.

Here is the worse part:  It hurts to pick up my coffee mug to drink!  ARRRGGGHHHH!!

Next time, I will not be so busy chatting away with the RN that I absent mindedly let her inject me in my right arm!

Oh!  Don't let this scare you from getting a flu shot, I am sure that I got this stupid reaction because I am immuno-suppressed from the drugs I am on for my RA and Lupus. 

And now, for something completely different...

Thanks to John Scalzi at By The Way...

Weekend Assignment #82: What was your favorite bedtime story as a child?

Extra Credit: As an adult , have you shared that favorite bedtime story with a child?

I loved any and every story as a child.  I was born a voracious reader and I still am.  I don't recall any particular favorite but I had a big Disney Treasury of Bedtime Stories, and I do recall my daddy reading from that book for many nights.

As I got older, my favorite bedtime reading was Nancy Drew.  I would read and re-read her books, putting myself in the stories and solving the crimes with the help of Bess and George.  I still have my Nancy Drew's and now, my kids have been enjoying them, event the boys!

Yes, I did read from the Disney Treasury book to my kids, from the exact same book that was mine.  Mostly, my hubby did.  Since he works all day and is not home with the kids like I am, bedtime was and is still his special time with the kids.

I would read GoodNight Moon to the kids when they were toddlers before they went to their bedroom with dad.  I still love that book. 

The kids now read on their own, and after daddy puts them in bed they all have reading time with their book lights.  They go to bed earlier than most kids, which gives them the opportunity to decompress from the day and develop great reading skills.  It gives hubby and I time alone each night before one of us falls asleep.  We usually get to watch a few shows together and get time to talk.  The kids are all great students, so the plan is working so far!

Okay, that is enough blabberings from me for today.  Now, go visit CarnivAOL and send Paul a journal entry...scour your archives...go!

Be well,


Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Idylls of Pregnancy

Back tracking some more years through the memory machine, let's talk about pregnancy.

I loved being pregnant. 

There is probably not another woman on earth who loved being pregnant more than me.  I reveled in it.  Glowed?  No, I beamed.  I loved it all, the good, the bad and the burping.  I smiled through every inconvenience, every bizarre twisting of my body, the heartburn, and the deliveries.  I still cannot imagine anything in life that compares to carrying and bearing children!

Becoming God's little (did I say, little?) incubator was a defining moment for me in my life.  I knew as the first little parasitic being began to grow inside me and began to take over my life, that this was 'it' for me. 

What was 'it', you ask?  Being a mom, Mother with a capital M, the children's caregiver, teacher, nurse, comforter, confidante, anything and everything that you associate with the word, Mom.  It was my destiny and I never knew it until then.  I was fulfilled.

It is still the best part of 'me'.  If I have to pull out the one thing I am most proud of about myself, it is being Mom.  Not a mom, but the Mom.  Do you know what I mean?  I am happy that I am a wife, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a reader etc., but being Mom truly defines me.  It is the thing I am best at, enjoy, and want to succeed at most.

Getting back to pregnancy, I still remember where I was when I first felt each of the kids move inside of me!   For Hammer, I was at our, mine and hubby's first apartment.  I was home on disability, from complications from the 10th week of pregnancy from placenta previa.  I had to stay home and rest to avoid bleeding, which was sporadic on and off, since I conceived.  I remember talking to my mom about this flutter feeling, like someone tickling me with a feather from the inside, and she said, "Yes, that's it!".  I was so happy, over the moon really, with joy!

From that moment on, the bond I felt was so tremendous, I couldn't imagine loving anything more!  Of course, then came Fuzzy.  I remember I was at work, and I realized absently that I was scratching back at my belly and then it hit me, duh, it's the baby!  Yay!  I remember calling my hubby right away, to share it with him, too!

Next, with Pumpkin Muffin I was home on disability, like I was with Hammer's pregnancy, except this time I knew I wouldn't be going back to work, and I had 2 toddlers home with me!  I remember the boys and I were sitting in the black leather chair in our family room, one of them on each side of me, and we were watching Nick Jr.  I felt the familiar flutter and tried to explain it to the boys.  I remember Hammer started to yell at my tummy, "Hello Baby!", and explaining to him that the baby couldn't hear yet, but I would let him know when!

Each pregnancy represents a different stage of my life at the time as well.  Being the first time mom, and all the focus being on me and the pregnancy.  Second time around, already a mom, working and juggling being pregnant, it was tough to keep all those balls in the air sometimes!  Third, and final time, knowing it probably was my last pregnancy, it was so poignant and bittersweet at times, and I truly tried to savor it, yet, 2 toddlers were demanding in their needs as well; it was a baptism into the world of the official SAHM, while being pregnant, and trying to do modified bed rest!  Quite tricky, as you can imagine.

All three kids were conceived at different places, all three pregnancies were unique and worlds apart from the other, and I have three unique and amazingly individual children.  Even each of their actual births varied drastically, one from the next.  Their birth experiences shaped them, it seems ...or at least they fit as a metaphor for their personalites well.

Hammer was a tough pregnancy, with quite few scares and his birth was pretty tough!  After a long, exhausting labor of 36 hours, he was wedged in my cervix, and the c-section was like having a freight train back over me, after hitting me the first time during the labor!  He has always been a fighter and sometimes, because of his Asperger's there have been difficult times, but just like his pregnancy and birth, always accented with great joys!

Fuzzy's birth went much like his pregnancy, textbook, his scheduled c-section went off without a hitch, and I even called my office while they were sewing me up!  Classic middle child, easy going, yearning to please, that's my boy, although, he always makes just enough of a fuss, to be sure to be fully recognized and keep us on our toes!!

Pumpkin Muffin's pregnancy was not the easiest, I had sciatica and bleeding problems throughout.  At the end, she never made it to her scheduled c-section date, 10 days earlier, she stopped moving, and luckily I picked up on it. After a mad dash to the hospital, it was determined that my amniotic fluid was drying up, and she barely had much time left.  The c-section was quick and harried, but thankfully, she arrived perfect, no worse for the wear, and quite ready to be heard!  Oh yeah, she knew from day one, she was the baby and the princess, hear me ROAR! 

So, there you have it...more memories and ramblings from the life of Dawn!

Be well,


My Poetry Journal

I just wanted to give a shout out there for my own poetry journal, for those interested in it!

Touch of Empathy

I added a new poem yesterday, but probably have a good 20 or 25 overall for your perusal!

If you visit, please leave comments so I know you were there!

Be well,


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

An Addendum to Pondering Halloween

Thank you to all who commented and reminded me that I do still have a chance for Princess stuff with my own Granddaugter!  I didn't think of that at the time, and I feel better now!  LOL

Also, here are my mom's comments for you all to read, she's the best!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005   Comment Added
A comment has been posted to the Journal:
Carpe Diem - Seize the Day
Pondering Halloweens - Past, Present & Future
Comment from: darlenedennis

Gotta love my Mommy!!!!

Be well,

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pondering Halloweens - Past, Present & Future

I was thinking today about Halloween when I was a child. 

Then, I was thinking about the Halloween's with my kids. 

Something struck me as odd, and worth pondering some more.

When I was a child, when I dressed up for Halloween, I wanted to be pretty and never, ever, scary or (gasp) funny.  I, of course, I was the Princess, the gyspsy, the kitten, the fifties girl, the hippie, I Dream of Jeannie, or what long as I looked the requisite "pretty" and/or "cute".

There was no negotiating this desire.  Not that my mother didn't try.  One year she was given a beautiful handmade costume.  It looked like a professional one, it was done so well.  I was 5, and told I would be wearing it, much to my chagrin.

It was a clown.  A white satin, big red polka dotted, big ruffled red and white collared, clown costume!  I was not happy.  Did I mention the matching hat?  No, not happy at all.

I wore it and pouted all day.  I was definitely channeling old Emmett Kelly and the whole sad clown thing.  It didn't stop my mom from taking pictures though; we have the whole fiasco preserved for generations to come.

My mom didn't force me to be "funny" or "scary" after that fateful year.  She did ask and try to cajole me each year to deviate from the "pretty" and "cute" thing, but I was not to be convinced; "pretty" was the thing for me.

In fact, even as a teen and adult, I have stayed with the "pretty" or "cute" theme, as a Southern Belle, a toddler in pink feetie jammies, a french maid, a prisoner (my hair & face were done up pretty!) a hooker and a doctor!

I have been teased about it for years, by family and friends.  I have no idea what it says about my psyche, but I justdon't like things on my face or head, and I don't like scary costumes!  I like to believe it is that simple, although I am sure that a therapist would have field day.  C'est la vie!

Fast forward to having my own little girl.  I am thinking this is great!  Just LOOK at those costumes in the Disney catalog!  I couldn't be the "perfect" Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, to those who don't know), but my daughter can look like she stepped out of the movie!  YES!

The toddler years were the usual fluffy cute costumes and then finally, at age four, Pumpkin Muffin asked to be a princess.  Be still my heart!!!  She wanted to be a "pink" Princess Aurora, and although the blue was my favorite, I was ecstatic.  I couldn't wait until the next year, thinking the road to "pretty" had just begun. 

AND, just look at all the Princesses there are to choose from now!!!

Nope.  It was not to be.  At age 5, Pumpkin wanted to be a witch.  I cajoled, she insisted.  Okay, fine, I am not my mother (stop snickering all of you), I will not force her.  At the costume store there were only "pretty" and "cute" witch costumes for her age so I was fairly happy. 

As we get the costume and turn to walk to the front to pay, Pumpkin spots something, and runs over to a rack off to the side.  A second later, she turns around and has pulled over her face a green rubber mask witches face, wart and all, with wild black and gray hair! 

She screams, "This is perfect!  Just like the evil witch with the apple in Snow White!  I want it!"

Hubby says, "Yeah, sure!"  The boys scream with delight that their sister will be so cool looking.  I want to drop dead on the spot. 

I know what this means.  Payback is a bitch. 

Age 6 - Wonder Woman.  Okay, not scary, kinda "cute", but she would put on this fierce serious look and face off with the bullets every two seconds with her bracelets.  She was very into the "kick bad guy butt" Super Hero part of the fantasy.

Age 7 - A cat.  Again, kind of cute, but Pumpkin did take it to extremes that I never would do.  I would wear the ears and collar and tail, but wouldn't do my face with all the black stuff.  She did.  The nose, and the whiskers.  We had to keep re-applying the make-up all day.

And now, this year, Age 8 - Female Vampire.

Pumpkin wants blood dripping from her fangs and all over her face.  Joy.

What did I ever do to deserve this?  I know, I know, I shouldn't have pouted all day in the damn clown costume.  This is karma, what goes around comes around, right?  UGH.

And, when we discussed possibly going to Disney again, Pumpkin told us during the same weekend that we bought the vampire costume, - and I quote - "Oh pu-lease, I would rather cruise, I am sooooo over those princesses!"  Emphasis hers, not mine.

There will be no 'perfect-blue-Princess Aurora-gown-costume-like-she-just-stepped-out-of-the-movie-from-the-Disney Catalog' for my daughter or me.

However, I am sure that my mother is thrilled, and is enjoying all of this from the sidelines as the all too happy-to-encourage-her Grandma.  <sigh>  The scary truth is that she needed no encouragement.

So, what's the moral of these stories, one from many years past, and the others from not so long ago, and the present? 

I don't know, but I'll take a stab at it anyhow. (Halloween humor, I know, don't quit my day job)

I am happy that my daughter is so much like my mother, though.  It is actually pretty funny and nice.  I don't know what that will mean for us during the tumultuous teen years, but I do know, that once they are over with, I will have a great friend in my daughter, like I do in my mom.

I think it all indicates that my Pumpkin Muffin will be fearless and strong, like her grandma, and ready for action in the scary world that is ours today.  I think she has some of my sensitivity and optimism though, just not as much, but overall, it will serve her well in the 21st Century. 

Or I am just pondering way too much about Halloween costumes!  LOL

Be well,