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 flying...it 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 line...it 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 day....shopping! 

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,