Friday, January 30, 2009

January 30, 2009 Bacon Explosion

I was surfing the web on Thursday afternooon when the picture on Yahoo struck me, and with nothing planned for men's night dinner, I thought aha! They want meat...I'll give them meat. Little did I know that in giving them what I thought they wanted, I'd be accused of trying to kill the neighborhood... The pictures below are of Bacon Explosion, the recipe which is causing sparks in internet lines everywhere. One site alone was said to have had over 400,000 hits last week alone, with superbowl coming up it's no wonder....I had to try it.
I used...
2 lbs thickly sliced bacon
1.5 lbs sweet italian sausage minus the casings
2 tbs dry BBQ seasoning
3/4 cup BBQ sauce

Take one pound of bacon, and laying it on aluminum foil start a basket weave pattern, until you have a square similar to the one below. Sprinkle some BBQ seasoning on top. Take your italian sausage meat and carefully lay it over your bacon. Fry up remaining bacon until crispy, break into pieces and sprinkly over the italian sausage. Generously drizzle some BBQ over the entire sheet. Without lifting the bottom bacon layer carefully roll the sausage toward you until you reach the bottom. Gently knead to remove air pockets and seal the ends closed. Working backwards roll the bacon along with the sausage roll in the opposite direction until the seam is on the bottom of the roll. Sprinkle with BBQ seasoning and bake in the over at 350 degrees until internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Generally 1 hour for each inch of thickness. Glaze with remaining BBQ sauce, slice and serve as is or as a sandwich filler.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

January 24, 2009 Cold and playdates

Emily arrived home from Virginia uneventfully. We took Dan to play in the children's room until only minutes before Em's flight was due. By the time we got down to her gate my cell was buzzing. It was her asking where I was! She was down stairs in baggage claim. Mike went to get the van, Dan and I went to get Em. 10 minutes later we had her and were on our way. Stopped at Chili's on the way home and she talked endlessly. Called Vavo to let him know she'd arrived safely and to ask him if he'd kept her gagged the entire trip, she was just verbally vomitting. He said she barely talked the entire time she was there! Always strikes me when someone says my children are quiet.....because No, really...they're not!

Saturday morning started off as usual. My friend Marie has been encouraging me to join USA Fitness for women down the street but it's really expensive, like $200 for 3 months plus paying for childcare. I told her I'd check it out but wasn't opptimstic. I'm pretty happy with my weight loss and seem to be holding steady despite not exercising on a regular basis, however I don't expect that will continue for very long and I can't feel my diet starting to slip back into familiar patterns....warning, warning!!! I did go shopping this week one morning while Dan was in school and found a dress I really liked. I'm not sure where I will ever where it but it felt really good on! I bought it and saved the reciept so I can return it if I change my mind.

My neighbor Pam found my on Facebook this morning, befriended me and before we knew it we were scheduling play dates with her son Justin and Danny. Dan's been dying to play at Justins house but he's in Kindergarten and is not home much during the week. Pam and I decided to let them play at their house and see how it went. They did great, Dan and Justin played fairly well together considering they have similar like to be the boss. The play date went so well, and since Pam was sick we decided to ask Justin over to our house to play on Sunday. It was a lousy cold day, but between playdough, legos, the smart cycle and wii we kept them both entertained. Emily had a play date too, her friend Ben came over and showed her some notes on the new electric guitar Mike brought home and sold Emmy and amp for it. It was a fun weekend.

The weather continues to be cold and I can't remember such a long stretch. The pond has been frozen for weeks, still I haven't taken my overactive preschooler ice skating despite him having skates and a new snowsuit...Derek our neighbor did volunteer to take him out one day, I don't think they made it to the pond but since the whole world is pretty much covered in ice these days, the neighbors yard worked just as well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21, 2009 Palpitations

Sleeping with the monitor wasn't that bad and I awoke this morning around 7:30, got Dan up, ready for school and out the door right on time. I feel pretty good so far today, still having a racing heart from time to time, but no more feelings of passing out, so far so good. Dan and I had a discussion about what he'd do if the situation happened again and although he didn't want to talk about it, am now confident he'd be able to at least find my phone and call 911. Hopefully GPS tracking would do the job and we'd get the help we needed. I hope we never have to find out. Just one of those things I never thought he'd need to he knows...

Dan and I spent the afternoon hanging around playing games. Mousetrap is his new favorite and he plays it relentlessly. I think he has more fun setting it up then actually playing so sometimes he just does that, without playing the game. We played Mario galaxy for a while before it was time to make dinner, at which time he switched to Wii cars, one of the games he can play by himself. I made rotini with meatballs for the boys, a seared tuna steak for myself with garlic bread and Cesar salad. We finished dinner and the guys resumed their game of cars. I impatiently counted down the minutes until I could remove the monitor and take a nice hot bath, then tucked Dan into bed and climbed in myself. I couldn't use the electric blanket the night before so I was thrilled to curl up under it, with a good book.
Emmy comes home tomorrow, the plan is for Dan and I to drive up to Braintree, meet Mike there, drive into Logan together, I'll run in and get Em and her luggage, while Mike and Dan drive around avoiding paying the $12 parking fee.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009 President Obama, Danny's first date, Palpitations

It's Tuesday morning here, and although from where I'm sitting it feels just like any other Tuesday, today is going to be written about in history books, as the day that the United States of America swore in it's first African American President. We've really come a long way in a short amount of time. Although he wasn't my first choice, I hope with everything I've got that he gets in there and does some really great things, fast. America could certainly use some good news right about now.

Friday we awoke, back in 6 degree Massachusetts, and I cursed my decision to drive north. I should have thrown caution to the wind and followed my gut. I might have had to drive all the way to the Southernmost tip but warmth I would have eventually found. Dan and I did a little shopping then went over the the Mashpee Library for 1pm story time. The Waldorf school was there doing a little play, and there was a raffle for movie tickets that I quickly scrawled Danny's name onto. He sat and watched the play, I logged onto one of the library computers. A half hour passed quickly and I suddenly realized that someone was calling Danny's name. A bit alarmed I walked over to the corner and was surprised to find out that Dan had won the movie tickets to see Hotel for Dogs, he was very excited. We checked out a couple of books and since Buzz had the girls decided we'd go over there for a little while to let the kids play together. On the way, Danny asked if he could ask Seneca if she'd like to see the movie with him, like a date, he said. I laughed and told him it would be OK.
We arrived, took off our coats and shoes and the kids proceed to play. Dan asked Seneca to the movie. Very cute. Buzz and I decided we'd take them Sunday at 1:20pm. Saturday passed, and Sunday arrived. I asked Dan if we should met Seneca and Buzz at the movie and he said, usually the boy picks up the girl. I laughed, the boy is TOO much. We got Dan in the bath and dressed for his date, picked up Seneca and Buzz right on time. Walking into the movie Danny asked Seneca if she'd like to hold his hand, she said OK. Very cute. Dan gave the attendant their tickets, we got some popcorn and found a seat. The movie was cute, at one point I looked over at Dan and Seneca sitting side by side and swatted Buzz's arm. Dan was puckered up for a kiss, Seneca wanted no part of that and Dan went denied. We drove them home, visited with Jen and the other girls for a few minutes before we had to say good bye, so I could go to work. Fun day.

Monday was the MLK holiday but Mike had to work, Dan and I went to Kmart to pick up Big Brain academy for the Wii, brought it home and played for a while. Pretty cute game, and Dan can play by himself, we're doing all we can to promote some quiet alone play, as Dan will exhaust us otherwise.

Tuesday morning we planned for Buzz and the girls to come over here for the morning while their cleaning lady made their house sparkle. The kids played for a while, Buzz and I watched as much of the inauguration as possible with 4 children 5 and under running around. Ruby had school so Buzz and the girls had lunch and said good bye, the kids wanted to continue playing so we decided he'd bring everybody back after school and Joey's nap, and I'd make dinner. Dan and I ran out to the store. While there I felt strangely weird and my heart was racing. Not sure of what was going on, and having palpitations on a pretty regular basis, I decided to call my primary from the parking lot since I was already out and these episodes were starting to make me nervous. He was on vacation, I got the number of the on call doctor and decided to head home.
On the way, I felt my heart start racing again, and suddenly felt like I might pass out, not a good feeling driving 45MPH down a single lane road with no shoulder and a 5 year old in the back seat. I suddenly thought what might/would happen if I really did go out, would Dan know to find my phone and call 911, would someone stop to help, would that person really help. I think my panic might have exacerbated the issue. I remembered that if you were having a heart attack that you should cough hard and long and gave it a few tries. I did seem to help and the feeling was lessened. I immediately called Laurie who wasn't home, then Derek who lives next door. Quickly asked him if he could watch Dan when I got home, explained what was going on and thankfully he stayed on the phone with me until I pulled into the driveway. The feeling had passed but I could still feel my heart racing.

Once home, Dan safely with a friend of Derek's who was visiting, I called Elias, my dear cicada loving cardiologist from NY. Told him what had happened, he reassured me I was OK, but would need/want to see somebody today. Derek and I unloaded the groceries and put them away. I called Dr. Bowers' on call doctor who very coolly and calmly took my name, birth date etc. I found myself getting very frustrated with them, and realized it was starting again. Derek agreed to drive me to the hospital, we packed up Dan, made a quick call to Mike to let him know what was going on and we were on our way. Elias called en route and agreed if it was happening again I needed to be seen immediately. How lucky am I to have such a great friend. We arrived at the hospital only minutes before Mike, Derek agreed to take Dan home with him and watch him as long as we needed him too....lucky again, another good friend.

We were eventually taken into the ER and met there by the two best nurses Jane and Mary, ever. I was assessed, blood was drawn, and port left. Hooked up to a blood pressure cuff, oxygen sensor and heart monitor, and seen by the doctor who quickly ordered a chest X-ray. It was amazing how quickly things happened once I was in, and it was only a minute or two from the time it was ordered until I was being pushed down the hall.

The X-ray was uneventful and I was back in Room 3 in no time. I'd asked Mike to run down to Stop and shop to pick me up some lunch since I hadn't eaten all day, so he'd returned and I enjoyed some sushi. Then we waited. X-ray came back normal, one of the blood test was a little off and the doctor said it could be an indication of a blood clot, and ordered a chest cat scan which I was again quickly whisked away to. This time dye was injected into my port and within seconds I felt warm and tingly all over, an interesting sensation. Back in my room and just waiting I was happy to see Jen who had just finished her shift upstairs, she came down to see what was going on and ultimately lifted my spirit and made the wait for those results bearable. (you never know what they'll find when they start looking) before too long and PCT came in with a portable heart monitor which was my cue that I was being sent home. 7 electrodes were stuck to my upper and lower chest and a playing card sized box was fastened around my waist by a belt, the CAT scan came back normal, there some question about a possible thyroid connection but the results weren't back yet.

I'm to return the monitor after wearing it was 24 hours and a cardiologist will assess the results and send them to Dr. Bowers. So I'm to follow up with him next week unless I hear from the hospital sooner or I have another episode. I was released about 9:00 and while calling Derek to check on Dan was told that he was making us dinner. Nice, we were hungry. Dinner was great, Dan was sad to leave but exhausted and was asleep before his head hit the pillow. I curled up next to Mike on the couch and fell asleep.

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16, 2009 D&D, Virginia, US Air flight 1549

Here it is, Friday and Dan and I have made the trek south and north again.
We left here at 7:05am on Tuesday. Made an uneventful and speedy trip south and arrived in Mechanicville, VA just after 4pm. 9 hours. Dan traveled beautifully, only had to stop once in Delaware for gas, food and a pee break. Dad, Kat and Em had spent the day in DC touring the department of agriculture, treasury and the botanical gardens. We actually arrived at their house before they did. Dan behaved remarkably well, and during the drive I weighed the pros and cons of spending the night in VA then continuing south to Florida Wednesday morning. Dan's reaction upon arriving in Virginia changed my mind. He was frustrated and unruly upon arrival, obviously overtired and overwhelmed. Dad and Kathy picked Red Robin for dinner, a good choice and he made it through. We got him home, dressed him for bed, and tucked him in. He was asleep within minutes.
We awoke Wednesday morning. Dan and I took a walk/bike ride down to the end of Dad's drive way, quite a ways, and back, then a walk through Dad and Kathy's nicely manicured woodland paths so Dan could collect gum balls. (Seed pods from the gum tree) Dad and Kat had some things to do but Dad, Em and I ultimately agreed to meet Kathy in Richmond at the museums. Dad and Emily went to the science museum Dan and I checked out the Children's museum was right next door. Kathy met Dad and Em sometime during their visit. Everybody had a great time, We all climbed into the van and drove down Monument Ave, and the around the corner to a restaurant called Kuba Kuba. was very eclectic, a highlight was the fresh squeezed lemon and limeade. Dad had a crayfish omelet (obviously not called that, but it's what it was) with vegetables. The girls Turkey, spinach and tomato sandwiches, Dan macaroni and cheese and I had a fishcake sandwich which was very good. Dad, Dan and I drove past the Richmond speedway on our way to BJ's for trail mix. One ingredient of our later dinner. Kat and Em headed for the library, then met us at home. Dad retired to the garage for a cigar, Dan and I curled up on the couch to watch Tarzan and Jane, one of the movies we borrowed from the library and he watched at least 5 times on the ride down. I don't understand how someone can watch the same movie over and over again but it works for him. Admittedly it was pretty cute...once. Dan and I thought we'd try a computer game called Qbeez that Dad, Kat and Emily have really taken a liking to...and Dan and I were quickly addicted as well. Dad, Kat and Emily prepared dinner. Since we ate lunch at 3pm or so we weren't really that hungry and decided to have cut melon, pineapple, grapes, pears, apples, trail mix and popcorn for dinner. It was very good and just enough. We all found a spot in the living room to watch Pirates of the Caribbean. Dan really liked it but before the final battle couldn't keep his eyes open. He and I went off to bed figuring we'd watch the end in the morning.
I woke up Thursday morning and with no plans for the day considered leaving. It was about 15 degrees. I considered that the inauguration was the following Tuesday, and that DC was probably only going to get busier, and harder to get around. Talked to Dad, and decided that would be the plan. We'd leave at 10am. One thing about split second decisions is that very often things are forgotten. An unhappy Danny waved goodbye to Em, Vavo and Kathy and we were on our way. I did have a unsure moment as I debated the wisdom of taking a right onto 95N or a left onto 95S. Both presented delights and pitfalls. But deciding not to push my luck with Dan and traveling took the right and headed north. It wasn't until we'd navigated the mixing bowl that I got the dreaded text from Emily notifying me that her carry on backpack was still in the back of my van, or that we'd completely forgotten to reload Dan's bike into the van. Whoops. With 2 hours behind us and bad weather in New England I briefly questioned continuing on. We did however and decided we'd mail Em's wallet, ipod, etc back down to her, and get Dan's bike on some later trip. The ride was great and except for some pretty significant snow squalls in New Jersey uneventful until Port Elizabeth at about 3:25pm. Dan said "Mom" from the back seat and I look back to see him wiping blood from his nose. He'd woken up with a slight bloody nose that morning so I wasn't all that surprised but driving 80 MPH in the high speed lane with a child leaking alarming amounts of blood from their body is unnerving. I managed to make a few quick lane changes and pull over regrettably to the breakdown lane. Not my favorite choice but I didn't have the luxury of choice at that moment. I made my way into the backseat and did what I could to contain the bleeding until it subsided. We started our trek North after about 10 minutes. What I didn't know was that had I been looking to the right I might have seen US Air flight 1549 make it's final landing into the Hudson river. Dan and I were on the George Washington Bridge at exactly 3:37. The time of the crash was estimated at 3:26, The plane cleared the bridge by an estimated 900 feet. Sometimes I'm very sure that everything happens for a reason. Had we not been pulled over for Dan's bloody nose we might have been right there when it happened, and although the outcome was good, it could have been different. Miracles. We made the slower trip through rush hour Connecticut, stopped at McD's for dinner, gas and a pee break and made the relatively simple drive through RI and Mass. We saw no evidence of the storm until we were driving down Rt. 130 in Sandwich, the further south we went the more snow there was. Nearly nothing at the Sagamore bridge, 4 inches at our house. Very bizarre. We arrived home a little after 8pm, (10 hour trip home) to Mike who was completely surprised to see us. We did a quick unpack, got Dan in the bath since he looked like he'd been in a fight with his bloody hands, face and clothes. Mike built a puzzle with him and we tucked him in. I quickly followed. It was a good long day, I was very interested in seeing the images of the plane that I'd been listening to on the ride home, and so glad that everybody was rescued safely. We had a good trip and a quick adventure. No warmth to speak of. Wished I'd kept my motivation and left Wednesday morning for Orlando. But then again I'd still have 24 hours of driving to not look forward to...OK, maybe I'm glad to be home.

Monday, January 12, 2009

January 12, 2009 Virginia for Danny and I?

I was sitting watching TV this morning, it was shortly before 7am. Mike and I were navigating the day each in our own way. Mike is usually very quiet in the mornings, like to take an hour or so to meet the day and warm up to what it holds. Generally it takes me only a few minutes and my mind is in high gear and about as sharp as it will be for the entire day. Yes, sometimes I do feel bad for Mike. The morning of New Years Eve for example, then again this morning.
So we sat on the couch and watched as our sweet local weather woman JC Monahan told us that it was going to be so cold in the next few days that even the snow birds were going further south....and I thought...hmmmm....I don't have to work again till Saturday. Dan only has one more day of preschool this week due to an administrative day anyway. Em's in Virginia. Dan and I could leave early tomorrow morning and be in Virginia by suppertime.....I turned to Mike and spewed my plan. Yup, he thinks I'm nuts but being so understanding and knowing how much I hate the cold he agrees it's a good idea. We decided to keep the plan a secret from Dan until all parties were in agreement. I dropped him off at school, then called Dad, Kat and Emily to make sure it was ok with them. They all said sure and the plan was set. Danny was very excited that we were going and he and I spent the afternoon getting ready. He really enjoyed shopping for snacks for the trip, something he never gets, and helping me shop for stuff that we know Daddy likes so he'll have plenty to eat while we're gone, and picking movies from the library for the ride down. We packed up everything we needed, and headed to work. Emily usually watches Dan for us between 5pm when I go to work and 6:30 or so when Mike gets home, but with Emily gone we decided I'd take him in with me and Mike would come home a little early. It'll work! And this time tomorrow we'll be in temperatures very similar to what we're in now, at least its not 5 degrees!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 10, 2009 Emily flies to VA, and Museum of Science

Our day started very early. Mike woke me up at 4am with a cup of coffee. I climbed out of our nice warm bed (thanks to our electric blanket) and out into the cold world. Quickly dressed, woke Emily and started the van while Mike showered. I carried Dan down from the loft and directly into the van, we left the house at 4:35am.
The trip to Boston was uneventful. Danny didn't fall back to sleep, but rather kept himself busy with his Leapster. Emily seemed calm and happy. We arrived at Logan a few minutes before 6am. Checked Emily's bag in at Jet Blue and sat to wait at the airport D&D until the boarding of Emily's flight was imminent. Then we ushered her to security, gave her a hug and watched her as she entered and exited the checkpoint. She was on her way. Mike, Dan and I went in search of the observation area, unfortantely when we finally found it we couldn't see her plane. With no time to move again, we waited to see her plane in the air, since we did have a good view of the end of the run way. That's her plane airborne just as the sun was breaching the horizon. I couldn't help but think what a wonderful adventure and what a great day for flying. Another first for my not so little girl.
Mike, Dan and I found the car. Paid the $12 it cost to park for 2 hours and headed for The Boston Museum of Science. While in route, Dad called and since I'd neglected to find out what time the museum opened enlisted Dad to check for us. We ended the call with love and thanks, and asked him to let us know when Emily had safely landed in Richmond. We went to the museum and even though the exhibits didn't open until 9am the museum itself was opened so we strolled and took advantage of the bathrooms, and the sights to be seen from the outside. Dan did find a sign that said Live animals this way, so following the signs we made our way to the basement where sure enough the animals lived. There were snakes, rabbits (not in the same cage) two white ferrets and our favorite a Meercat. She was really cool, obviously very aware we were there and very curious. She blinks from the bottom lid up, very strange to see. We liked her and I sent a picture text to Em knowing she would like her too. We made our way back upstairs a few minutes before 9am and just as we were shoving our coats into lockers got a text from Emily saying she'd landed. I was relieved and continued to text back and forth with her until she'd found Vavo, claimed her bag and were on their way home. The boys and I bought our tickets, decided we'd see a 3D shark movie at 10am and started exploring the museum. As always lots to see and do. Our collective favorite was the taxidermy room. We were all very impressed by the saber tooth tiger skull, and the Kodiak and polar bears. Dan loved the shark movie, the guys looked pretty daper in their glasses. We finished exploring just about noon. Paid $13 to park there for 4 hours. With the $5 per person library pass and the movie admission for all of us the total was $28. Not too bad for a morning at the museum. We quickly found the highway and made our way home, with a brief stop at Old McDonalds in Plymouth for an on the road lunch. We arrived home at 1:30pm. Full and tired and we all layed down for a nap. It was a good day. Emily's happily visiting her grandfather and Kathy for 12 days, Dan had a great time at the museum and I had a night of work to look forward to. Unhappily another snow storm as well. Winter in New England.....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

January 8, 2009 Harmon Girls, Emily's trip to VA

We had a mostly quiet day on Sunday, it was miserably cold and I can't help wishing I were someplace warm. I have a friend in Ft. Lauderdale who keeps nudging me to visit and since a trip down to help a friend move fell through I'm itchy to go. However Emily was the one we were booking a flight for very late on Sunday night when I got home from work. Emily will be flying Jet Blue Boston to Riohmond on Saturday January 10th and returning Thursday January 22nd. I'm glad she's going and I know she'll have a great time, although I'm still working on Mike to take Dan up skiing for the long MLK weekend so I can go to the beach. We'll have to see what happens. I did enjoy a wonderful Monday, I dropped Danny off at school at 9am - then drove to the Shinning sea trail in Falmouth for a run. We'd had icing the night before so the first mile or so on the trail was ice skating, but as the sun rose the trail melted and I enjoyed the much needed exertion. A long leisurely coffee break was followed by another high energy sprint back. I wasn't sure how long it would take me to do the round trip so Emily agreed to pick up Dan at school and since she didn't get to see the Tale of despereax with Dan and I on Friday decided she wanted to take him to see Disney's bedtime story. With time to spare I did some shopping and met them at home a little after 2pm. I had a terrific morning,was glad to have expended some much needed energy and have some time to enjoy myself. Since I had to work I set up roast chicken, mashpee potatoes and asparagus for Em throw in the oven.
Tuesday I had a doctors appt with a new gynocologist. My current midwife is in Wareham and with no future plans to have children decided it was time to find somebody closer. My primary suggested a doctor in Falmouth who is only a Gynocologist and just recently got appointed to chief of Surgery. We met only for a consult but I liked him instantly. I had orginally planned on taking Dan with me but Buzz was taking the girls to the CC children's museum and invited me to drop him off there so I could go alone, I agreed. My appt went a little long so Buzz decided to take all the kids to our house until I got home. It was good to come home to a house full of children. Joey ran into my arms yelling with arms flailing. I miss those girls sometimes! We fed them lunch and the kids played, Dan was so happy to have them there. We set them up with movies upstairs, Joey and Ruby took turns using Buzz and I as trampolines, we finally got them sort of settled down and watched Hook for a while. 5pm came and it was time for them to go. Dan wanted a toy with his birthday money from the Stop and Shop in Mashpee commons, the house was trashed and with only a vague idea of what I was making for dinner knew we needed to get moving. I decided to try making french onion soup with scali bread patti melts. Of course saw 3 people we knew at the store and arrived home at 6pm in a frenzy trying to get dinner made before Mike got home. With just about everything done, table set, swiss cheese happily burbling on top of a very nice french onion broth, and crunchy french bread cubes, 3 inch thick patti melt sandwiches nearly perfectly browned, Mike pulled in and declared he wasn't really hungry! UGH!!!! He ate a little anyway, dinner was good. I had made a piece of salmon for me, with some mixed vegetables. We cleaned up dinner and settled in for a quiet night.
Wednesday we woke up to rain with a one inch layer of slushy ice coating everything. I had to make a quick trip out to the store, so we dropped Seneca's bottle off with Buzz at work then went stopped at Cape Maid farms so Dan could play with the animals. On our way home we stopped at Stop and Shop in Marston's Mills to pick up dinner. Danny decided it should be ravioli, garlic bread and salad. We picked up what we needed and left. However I'd forgotten that Dan had brought his leapster into the store, we had used one of the car carts and accidently left it there. I didn't notice until I got home and since it's at least a 10 minute ride frantically called the store asking if anybody had turned it in. I got a very rude person who was no help at all. I drove back and thankfully found in right where we left it. That leapster is the difference between a nice quiet 4 hour flight to Florida in February or a very loud obnoxious one.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4, 2009 Lots of catching up to do, and Danny's Birthday

I can't believe it's been so long since I've blogged, the more days pass the more resistant I become to updating due to the ever increasing backlog.

On Friday December 19th we had a snow storm. It started around mid afternoon and by early evening the wind was howling and the snow was falling quickly. It was our men's night, thankfully I'd planned ahead and prepared Chicken Marsala the afternoon before so I'd only need to throw it in the oven an hour before dinner for it to be ready. It worked out very well because at just about 6pm we lost power. We've had a couple of instances over the years where we've lost power and with 13 windows on our North wall, facing the pond, it's nearly essential to keep heat pumping in our house otherwise it cools off very quickly, especially during a bitter cold nor' easter. We decided rather then waiting to see if power would come on, to fire up one of the two generators we have, to power a light in the kitchen and the pellet stove. Our kitchen stove is about 20 years old and runs on propane, as does our hot water so even without power both of those still work, thankfully. Our house became the place to be, with some power, heat and a warm meal it quickly filled up, we enjoyed the company and a few games of cards before power was restored at about 10pm. It was a nice cozy evening.

Saturday morning I woke up to find some spots on my chest, they were somewhat itchy but since I'd been wearing clothes that hadn't been washed I didn't think too much of it. Just a little contact dermatitis, or so I thought. By Saturday night it had turned to raised patches and was also starting to appear on my back. Sunday morning I awoke very itchy and my entire chest and upper back were covered with these raised red itchy patches. I called my doctor first thing Monday morning and went in immediately. I showed him the rash, told him of the clothes I'd worn, he agreed it was probably just contact dermatitis prescribed a 6 day course of Prednisone and told me to take benadryl until the rash went away.
Danny had a great time at his school Christmas party on the 22th of December. Mike, Dan and I made chocolate Christmas bulb pops for the kids and teachers. The kids and I have made chocolate in the past, however is seems that Mike wasn't around because he had more fun making them the Dan and I did, and before we knew it he was in the kitchen, melting, pouring, freezing and wrapping and Dan and I were curled up by the stove enjoying a book. Dan had a great time at his party and Santa even made a surprise visit and gave Danny a fun doodling toy.

Tuesday I treated the itch as my MD recommended but didn't get very much relief, even with the prednisone. We spent the day getting ready for Christmas. Mike had a meeting so we met him down at Adam and Kristin's for their annual Christmas Eve's eve party. The company was great, the food gets better every year...I don't know where they find the time or the energy! I asked Dawn, Kristin, Aunt Fran and Ed about rashes and lupus since they all have experiences with one or the other. Still nobody seemed to know exactly what it was. Wednesday morning I woke up and concerned that the rash wasn't getting any better and with Christmas only a day away I called my doctor who said go to the emergency room. It was Christmas eve, there was about a thousand things to do in the next 24 hours, there's no way I could go to the ER. Took two benadryl and hoped for the best. Finished wrapping presents, enjoyed a Christmas eve Chinese dinner with the Leone family, tucked the cherubs in, filled stockings, finished up with the Christmas preperations and went to bed.

At 4:30am Christmas morning Danny whispered in my ear...."Mommy, Santa came!" we'd left the tree lights on so he could easily see what Santa had left. I convinced Dan to lay down for another hour before my and Marley's bladder forced me out of bed, and with the effort woke Dan. It was the first year that we didn't have to wake him up on Christmas morning, I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. The kids opened their stockings, I made some coffee rolls and we sat to open presents. We all had a great Christmas morning. Emily got her Nintendo DS, Danny assorted toys, Mike his vacuum pump for his lathe, I was so happy to have a new real terry cloth bathrobe and a mother's ring. The family gift this year was guitar hero world tour band, which we knew we'd all love! With Christmas presents opened, everybody fed and only twice baked potatoes to contribute to the Leone feast I suddenly felt the need to visit the ER. I hadn't realized I was waiting, but I was....for everybody to be happy and content, enjoying their Christmas they wouldn't miss least for a little while. I drove myself to the ER, there were only two other patients waiting to be admitted, and I only waited a total of half an hour. Once in the emergency department, there was only one other patient, one nurse and one doctor. The nurse was attentive, the doctor took one look at my back, said he saw the classic Christmas tree shape and quickly made a preliminary diagnosis of Pityariasis Rosea. After doing a little research and running some blood work he was confident he was correct. Prescribed a stronger then benadryl antihystimine and sent me home. I returned by 1pm. Unfortunately I'd forgotten what day it was and instead of filling my script at the 24 hour CVS in Falmouth returned to our little one down the street which was, of course, closed. I decided that rather then heading back over I'd wait until the next day. Somehow knowing it wasn't anything serious made the itch more tolerable.

The next morning we all went out to breakfast at the Picnic Box, made a not so quick stop at game stop, our new favorite used Wii game store and finally picked up my script. After one dose I was wishing I'd made the trip back to Falmouth the day before. The itch was nearly instantly gone and one of the other uses for the medication is that it's a mild anti anxiety, used before and after surgery...all of a sudden I felt like I needed to sin!

The rest of the week went fairly uneventfully. We enjoyed the after Christmas togetherness. Mike took vacation so was off until January 5th, and Emily was officially unemployed as of December 24th. Ed had suggested a few weeks earlier that I should join him and Alicia for a night at the playhouse and since I was really itching to get out of the house decided I'd like to go down on the 27th of December to have lunch with the girls to celebrate Holly's 37th Birthday, see Mom, Mo, Fran and Gary off since they were all leaving for Disney at 1am Sunday morning and join Ed and Alicia at the playhouse. I arrived in RI around noon, met the girls at Coddington's for lunch to wish Holly Happy Birthday. Decided I'd go for a run up at Sachuest Point then arrived back at Mom's house to a nice hot bath...she's so good to me! Went next door to unpack in Zack's room and dressed for the night out. We were too late for dinner but visited with Matt until the show was ready to start. The play was great, very funny and well done. Afterward we enjoyed a drink or two before closing the playhouse and heading down to the Blue's cafe for the last half hour of their U2 tribute -Love is a temple-. As we were leaving there we got a call from Mom and Mo who were just leaving the shell gas station at the rotary, and wouldn't wait for us to say goodbye. Ed quickly noticed that they were on the ramp headed for the bridge and followed and passed them horn blaring. Once safely ahead and with no on coming traffic we pulled a U-ey on the bridge and waved good bye once more. Starving from a fun busy night we tried to go to Blue Plate diner only to find them closed. With I HOP as the only option we nearly had to wait for a table. My garden omelet was mediocre at best, but the company was great and it ended a very nice night. Sunday morning I awoke at 7am, with only a little hangover and again headed up to Sachuest point for a run. Came home, showered then met -Marie in Dartmouth for a late afternoon dinner and after two glasses of wine, and long walk through the mall to burn it off. I returned home around 8:30 Sunday night happy but tired.

Mike took the week between Christmas and New Years off so it was good ole fashioned family time. We ate out, worked on house projects, played Wii and enjoyed each other's company. New Years eve came with another snow storm forcasted. 6-8 inches on the Cape. I made sure I went out the day before and stocked up on milk and bread, heaven forbid we be caught without it! I checked my e-mail and noticed one from Alicia, checking in wishing us a Happy New Year etc. Alicia works at a computer so I can always count on getting a quick response during working hours. I asked her what her evening plans were and she said that Ed was helping at the playhouse and they were going to bring in the New Year there....hmmmmm....I thought. I went and found Mike and asked him if he'd want to drive down to RI, in a blizzard to stay at Mom's house overnight so we could bring in the new year with Ed and Alicia. He looked at me as if I were nuts, but being the good husband he is said "sure!" I asked Alicia if we could tag along. She told me to call Jonathan. I texted him at 9am, asking if he had two seats and let him know I'd be willing to help. 9:15, 9:30, 9:45....the snow has started and it's falling hard! 10am my phone vibrated....We have room...$%@&* snow! Mike walked in just a moment later and I told him they had room. We decided since the snow had already started that if we were going to go, we'd better do it now. Within a half hour, we were all packed including the Wii (so the kids would have something to do at Mom's house all night) We made the very slow 2 hour drive (normally 1 hour and 10 minutes) to Middletown, stopped at the grocery store for supplies and unpacked at Mom's house. With time to spare we decided we'd take the kids to see Marley and Me. A bad choice considering Marley dies for the last half hour of the movie and Dan's sadness consumed him by the end. We got back to Mom's in time to change and head to the Playhouse. Ed was helping Jonathan so Mike kept Alicia, Audrey (Jonathan's girlfriend) and I company. The food was unbelievable and we enjoyed the company. The rest of the patrons finished dinner and went into the show. Since I'd seen it the Saturday before and Mike wouldn't be interested we sat out and helped set up for the cabaret and New Year. By help out I had one job. Jonathan looked at me, as he handed me a tray full of empty champagne glasses, and said "You've done this before, right?" "Of course!" I said! and confidently started walking for the dining room. Just as I was stepping down my boot caught on the rug and crash! Three glasses to the floor. Thankfully none of them broke, we set the table. Mike carried glasses and I set thereafter, however Jonathan did break a glass after that event so I didn't feel too badly. The patrons came back out, and we enjoyed Cabaret and the dropping of the ball. It was a great night and I was glad we'd come. We went home freezing and climbed into Mom's nice warm water bed, and to sleep I went. Mike didn't fare quite so well. He and the water bed fought the whole time he was in it, he woke up early for a smoke on the back deck. The temp was 6 degrees and the wind was blowing at about 25mph. He was not happy. I found him at 7am sitting at the table, already into his second large Dunkin Donuts coffee. I was hungover but could clearly see we wouldn't be staying long. Packed up, woke the kids and in PJ's headed home. About 10 miles from the Bourne Bridge I suggested stopping for breakfast at a diner in Wareham. We pulled off but was unable to find the diner, spying a breakfast shack we decided it would do and pulled in. The Cranberry Cottage is my... new favorite breakfast place. I had New England Benedict which is fish cakes on english muffins with scrambled eggs and hollindaise sauce. Even hungover it was the best thing I've tasted in ages. I ate it all. Mike had eggs Benedict, Danny and bagel with CC and sausage and Em scrambled, a bagel and home fries. Nobody was as impressed as I was. We made it home to find the house a chilly 54 degrees. We'd left the pellet stove running on low, and although it was still running it hadn't been on high enough to battle the 6 degree wind. By 7pm the house was up to 69 degrees. I fed the animals at Green Briar and did what I could to stay out of our cold house. Made baked stuffed shrimp for dinner with garlic butter pasta and casear salad and invited the Leone's over to join us. The Leone boys brought over their Wii controllers and fired up the Wii band for the first time in it's entirety. Two guitars, drums and vocals. It was really impressive. Everybody had a good time.

Friday we were scheduled to feed the animals as well and with Danny's birthday just a day away we had preperations to make. Em joined me in ordering balloons, picking up cake decorating supplies and a couple of last minute presents. We enjoyed lasagna at the Leone's for men's night.

Happy 5th Birthday Danny!!!

Saturday January 3rd, was going to be a busy day. Danny wanted to go to breakfast then bowling. Since bowling is in Buzzards bay, wareham I suggested we go back to the Cranberry cottage for breakfast. I was craving fish cake benedicts. The family agreed and we arrived here at 10:45am. Dan paid the bill as he had a couple of days before and told the waitress it was his birthday. When Dan sat back down the waitress announced that it was Dan's birthday to the entire restaurant, and brought out a muffin with a candle. Everybody sang him happy birthday. The time on my phone said 11:30am. He was exactly 5 years old. It was a special moment. I briefly recounted how thrilled we were to have him join us at 11:30am on that cool January morning 5 years ago during his homebirth. We left there and bowled a set at Ryan's family amusement, and spent a couple of dollars in the arcade, before a quick stop at the store to pick up his balloons and the ingredients for his spaghetti and meatball birthday dinner. We arrived home to find Gramma Nettie and little Gram just arriving with Christmas and birthday presents.
We exchanged Christmas gifts and finished just as friends started arriving for Danny's birthday. Laurie, Janni and Derek joined us in watching Dan enthusiastically open his gifts, slice his Spiderman 3 birthday cake, and enjoy his party. A group retired to the living room to play in the band as I dressed and got ready for work. Mike wrapped up the party and made Dan his birthday dinner. I think he had a great day!