Thursday, December 31, 2009


I was playing with the camera yesterday and Cheney was making faces at me, so I took his picture.

This picture is such a reflection of his personality - he's very "perturbed" that I was disturbing his sleep to take a picture

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I have just become my parents ...

... as if that hadn't already happened.

I just met up with Mike in the parking lot of Harris Teeter to hand off a child! I had done two drop-offs and he was going to go do two pick-ups, and Emma was just along for the ride. I'm off to a meeting and Christmas shopping and he's feeding the kids and home for bed.

Memories of another time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Straight As!

Samantha returned to public school this year after three years of homeschooling. We've had an adjustment in a lot of areas, including an adjustment by me to not actually knowing what she's studying since I'm not the one teaching her.

She brought home her first quarter report card - All As. This includes two classes for high school credit (Latin and Algebra) and two additional honors classes! We are very proud. Samantha hadn't gotten any "letter" grades in elementary school before we started homeschooling, this is the first real time she's had a bunch of assignments with individual grades that add up to an overall grade.

Good Job, Samantha!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween

Emma had her Halloween party at her preschool today. I thought I'd share a couple of pictures. I'm not sure why they're grainy - I think maybe I had the wrong setting on the camera.

But her costume was easy - we just dug into the dress up box and look what we found. At one point, it was complete with long gloves, a magic wand, and a bejeweled ring!

All of her class looked cute - I thought I'd share that photo as well!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Next stop: Daisy, Chip and Dale, Goofy ...

One day a few weeks back I was dropping kids somewhere - I don't even remember the context - and I said something to the effect of the title above. The kids chuckled but didn't quite know what I meant. I told them that the tram drivers at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World when you were going out to the parking lots would say this to let you know what part of the parking lot you were approaching - all of them were named for Disney characters. For some reason, this memory has stuck in my mind from when we went to Disney World in high school.

Emma recently laughed and said she was remembering when I said this in the car.

But my kids are deprived - they have never had this experience. When we go to Disney with them, we stay on property and we don't rent a car. So, we don't park in the parking lots and we take the bus. So they have never had the experience of having the tram drivers announcing the names of the Disney character-named parking lots!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Smart Cat

I didn't really need any more evidence that we have a smart cat, but I got some today - daggone cat!

A few months ago we noticed that Cheney was losing weight. Through a bunch of checking and testing, they realized his thyroid was overactive - pretty common in a 16-year-old cat. So, they gave me some medication to slow down his thyroid. It was supposed to be 1/2 pill, twice a day. By the third day, Cheney would see me get up from the couch to go into the kitchen and he would go running - and the great chase had begun. I finally asked the vet if I could do a full pill once a day - not because I had trouble actually giving him the pill, but because the great chase was wearing me out! Smart Cat!

Well, for a couple of reasons, we have stopped the medication for a little while. But last week, we started giving him one package of moist cat food a day - in addition to his regular cat food. He's picky - he'll only eat Meow Mix dry cat food and it turns out he'll only eat Meow Mix moist cat food. I've been giving it to him usually around lunch time. We leave out his dry food all the time. After the first couple of days of shunning the dry in hopes of the moist cat food, he has finally settled in to eating both the dry and the moist.

I just came home from taking Michael to art class and I walked in the door to Cheney yelling at me - how DARE I leave this house around lunch time WITHOUT giving him the moist cat food first. You'd think I was starving him.

Smart Cat!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Summer, Fall, Winter, Fall, Huh?

The weather has been quite unusual recently. We went from really quite warm to outright cold last week - the high one day was in the 40s. And it was raining. A lot. It rained for 4 days straight! And the wind blew. It was miserable.

The high today is projected to be 72.

Can we please just pick a season and stick with it - my sinus pressure goes nuts when we change back and forth, because each one is a result of a changing weather front and each change wreaks havoc on my sinuses!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Travel Baseball - Fall 2009

Not long after the last summer tournament of 8U Eagles was over, Michael started right in with tryouts and then practices for the new 9U Eagles. New age group, a few new rules, a couple of new teams in our league, but a continued positive outlook.

We've had a pretty good season so far - we are 7-1 in the regular season and placed 3rd in the USSSA Fall State tournament in Petersburg, VA the first weekend in October.

Michael is doing a great job pitching - is pitching consistently more than 60% strikes, with a decent number of strikeouts each game and few long hits. The other thing we have noticed is that the Eagles defense seems to really work well together when Michael is pitching - it enables the coach to put each player where they play the best and we have the strongest outfield - so all in all, the team really plays their best with Michael pitching.

We have a tough opponent this weekend - the Manassas Generals who have been in our league since the first season. We look forward to strong competition this weekend (as long as the weather holds out).

I think the twin bed will come soon!

We have kept Emma in the toddler bed for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that its closer to the ground - and she still manages to find a way to come close to falling out of the bed, despite two bed rails.

But tonight as I tucked her in, with her head near the top of her pillow at one end, her toes are starting to hang off the end of the mattress. Of course, the mattress on a toddler bed is just a crib mattress, but I think she's getting to the point that she's getting too long for the toddler bed and we'll finally have to pull out the twin bed and upgrade her.

Who told these kids they were allowed to grow up?!

Friday, October 09, 2009

8 interim reports, 8 As

Samantha has adjusted pretty well to going back to middle school. For my part, I wish to see that she had a little MORE work so she isn't looking at school as "easier than home" (although it sure appears to be right now - guess my standards are just a lot higher)

Anyway, mid-way through the first grading period, each of her teachers gave her an interim report. It breaks down, assignment by assignment, what their grades are and what the overall grade is.

She has 8 classes - and has 8 As!

We're pretty proud of her!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Chopped Liver!

So, I just asked Emma a question and she answered, "No, Thank You". She was so polite. I told her that she had great manners and I asked her where she got those great manners. Her answer? "Granny and Granddaddy".

What am I? Chopped Liver! :)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Back to School

Its almost time for "Back to School". For us, this year's back to school will be a bit different - as Samantha is LITERALLY going back to school. After homeschooling for 3 years, she will be going to Middle School this year. And the adventure is heightened because they redistricted the area middle schools and all the kids from our immediate area are going to a different middle school.

She received her school schedule last week - twice - because there was one class that I didn't think was right. She starts off every other day with Algebra 1 and Latin 1 - fun for her!! I'm thinking those will be big homework days!

I was going to start up with Michael this week, but decided instead to register him in a last minute baseball camp at a facility I really like a lot. We hadn't been there since lessons last fall, but within 5 minutes I was reminded why I liked it so much. The men that run the facility are so good at working with the kids - they help them understand the "what and how" of what they are teaching them, and this year they have incorporated lessons about leadership. Even on the table in the lobby are books about raising gentlemen out of your boys!

Emma's preschool starts up in about 2 weeks. We already have her "first day of school" outfit picked out and she has agonized for weeks about WHICH lunchbox she should use to take her lunch!

Dance, art, and piano will all be starting up soon too - I guess it really is almost fall! Where did the summer go!?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

ECTB World Series

Michael's 8U Eagles travel team travelled to Allentown, PA for the ECTB World Series tournament July 24-26. The team qualified for this tournament by taking 2nd place in the fall end-of-season tournament.

The team finished the tournament with a 3-2 record, but there is so much more behind that record. The two losses were both to the same team - the Lehigh Valley Stealth. They are a professionally trained tournament team. They had an ace pitcher that was pitching faster than just about any kid we've seen this year. And they had one huge hitter that hit 2 home runs (in the park) in our first loss to them, and 2 triples a double and a single in the 2nd outing against them - we considered the fact we held him to a single at the end a great accomplishment for the game!

Michael had a good weekend and one fantastic game. After pool play, we were ranked 2nd going into the elimination round. We played the York Young Revolution, a team that had just beaten the Manassas Generals - our ODBL tournament champions. Michael took the mound as the starting pitcher in this game - and never got off the mound! He pitched a complete game! This is a pretty outstanding accomplishment for an 8-year-old. He pitched 6 innings and about 65 pitches, giving up no runs and only a handful of hits.

Michael also was a consistent hitter for the team - not always getting on base but consistently putting the bat on the ball and the ball into play.

This entire year with this team has been a great experience for Michael, with an exceptional coach, and we look forward to our fall season (provided he makes the team after tryouts this next week)

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Its funny what you do and don't remember from your childhood.

I grew up around a lot of baseball. My brother played it and my dad was involved with the league as well as a coach.

I'm around baseball a lot now!

One thing I was recently reminded of was Little League pins. When players play in a Little League tournament, they get a pin. I can now distinctly remember my dad having a hat full of pins from various tournaments.

Recently, my husband was the tournament director for the local district Little League tournament. I kept score for a few of the games. As such, I was given an all-star hat for our league (since we hosted).

And I earned my first Little League pin! Hope there are more to come!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eagles Baseball!

Michael is wrapping up his second season on the 8U Loudoun South Eagles travel baseball team. This has been a really positive experience for him and we're thrilled with his team, his coach, and the overall league. Michael is shaping up to be a pretty strong pitcher, especially for his age. His percentage of strikes to balls was close to, if not exceeding, 60% - which is really unbelievable for his age. Because he's a lefty, he also has a natural curve to his pitches, which make him even more valuable as a pitcher because kids his age just can't hit a curve ball yet.

Michael's team had a great regular season - 10-3. He pitched a lot in the last half of the season, including pitching 4 complete innings in the last regular season game, which the team won! He also pitched a "complete game" of 4 innings in the first round of the playoffs, as the Eagles won 12-0 with the "mercy rule".

But alas, the team didn't do so well in the playoffs - not even making it to the semi-finals. It was a disappointing way to end such a great season.

We have one last tournament in Pennsylvania next weekend - the "World Series" for the league our team is affiliated with - a tournament we qualified for when coming in 2nd in the playoffs in the fall. The boys have been practicing and I think they're ready to go. We hope they do well, but whether or not they win, this has been a great season and we look forward to moving forward onto the 9U Loudoun South Eagles in the fall!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Emma Talk

I could sit her all day with my computer open to write everything down, and still wouldn't be able to capture all the funny things that Emma says in the course of a day.

In the past five minutes, she has said two pretty cute and funny things I wanted to share, just to show you how funny she is:

- I wish I had lipstick, so you could see my kisses. When I'm a Mommy, I have to wear lipstick to church.

Then, she asked me what color daisies are, and I said they are white. She was sitting there for a minute, and I asked her what she was doing, and she said, "I'm trying to figure out how to draw the daisy, because my paper is white!"

She's too funny!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Maternity Ward!

It must be. That's what our rose bushes are. Because for the third time this season, long after what I thought bird baby season was, we have blue robin's eggs in the nest in the back. That nest has been there for three years now, and we don't want to touch it. Well, after no visitors for weeks and weeks, a robin starting visiting, and yesterday there was one blue egg - and today there are two.

We will never be able to prune our rose bushes - but we're looking forward to some new babies in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Red Belt!

Michael recently had his graduation test for his Tae Kwon Do Red Belt. The Red Belt is a pretty big milestone because its the last belt before Black. Once they earn their Red Belt, the requirements and testing needed to get to Black Belt are a bit different that previous belt progressions.

In addition to learning the new skills and form for the Red Belt level, in order to earn a Black Belt, Michael needs to "re-learn" all the skills and forms from all of his previous belt levels, demonstrate each of these in several belt tests, and ultimately write an essay answering questions about things he has learned in Tae Kwon Do.

We're all pretty proud of his earning his Red Belt - this is a major accomplishment and we look forward to the next step - Black Belt

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Dance Recital!

We've been busy since the piano recital. The irony is that we have been busy enough to have lots to share, but so busy that I didn't have a lot of time to sit down and share.

Samantha had her dance recital the weekend of June 19th and 20th. This was her first recital at her new dance studio - Encore Performers. I have really enjoyed her dance classes this year and was looking forward to the recital - and it didn't disappoint. I am actually looking forward to getting the DVD so I can see it again and share it with family.

Samantha was in 3 dances - tap, ballet, and jazz. Her tap and jazz used the same costume and just changed the skirt.

They hire a professional photographer to take photos during the recital that we can purchase - and I look forward to seeing them in a week or so - in the meantime, these were mine taken without a flash during the Saturday night recital.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Boy, things have changed!

It used to be - a computer cost $2000. Didn't matter which model you bought - laptop or desktop - it was $2000. Then, technology improved, it was time to get a new computer, and the new computer was, you guessed it - $2000.

Not any more.

Last fall, the monitor on my laptop stopped working. Mike took the hard drive out of my computer and put it in an old laptop shell from work. That has worked for a while, but the internet card was slow and the computer is just in need of replacing.

So, we finally went to Best Buy tonight (not my first choice but other electronics stores in the areas have closed down) and bought me a new laptop. Base cost - $399! That's right - $399. We paid an extra $60 to upgrade the memory, so the total was $459!

That unbelievable! Thus, the end of the $2000 computer!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Piano Recital

Samantha and Michael had their annual piano recital this past Friday. I thought I'd share videos of their performance (please pardon the dark and grainyness as it was especially dark in there and also pardon the foreground movement from another student who was unable to sit still)

Michael's hymn: Down in the Garden

Michael: Dangerous Journey

Samantha's hymn: Battle Hymn of the Republic (I missed the first couple of notes because I pushed the wrong button):

Samantha: Pachabel's Canon in D:

Duet: American Patrol

Friday, May 29, 2009

One BIG Happy Family

We've been watching the robin's nest in the backyard. A few weeks ago the first babies left and 5 new eggs were laid.

Last Saturday, we were blessed with four new babies. They had clearly just been born, as they had no feathers and were teeny tiny. There was still one egg in the nest for the rest of the day. Sunday it was gone so we were sure that it didn't hatch.

We've been watching this week as they have gotten a lot bigger and more feathery. Today one of the kids noticed that there were indeed 5 beeks poking out of the nest. Its been hard to tell since usually they are just a big pile of bird, but we indeed saw 5 beeks - so all 5 eggs hatched.

We stood quietly on the porch and watched as two different robins flew around the back yard and approached the nest - and then both of them flew to the nest.

I guess with this many babies, it takes both a mom AND a dad to feed the babies.

This nest has really afforded us some fun bird watching over the past few years.

(photos are grainy because I'm taking them through the screen of the porch - I don't want to go out and get close enough to get photos for fear of scaring away Mom and Dad)

Start of a busy weekend

So we have a busy weekend planned this weekend.

It starts this evening with the kids piano recital. Samantha will be late to it as I will be taking her straight from her dance lesson.

Tomorrow is actually our calmest day with Michael's little league game at 9am.

On Sunday, I head out bright and early to DC to work at the DC JDRF walk (our walk is next weekend). Mike and the kids will go to Michael's double-header travel games - I will arrive just as the games start at 1pm

Sunday night Mike and I have to run to a meeting kicking-off the planning for our little league to be hosting the District level all-star tournament for 11s and 12s.

Wake me up when its Monday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kilroy Was Here

Samantha has been a member of a drama group associated with a nearby church for this past school year. Throughout the fall, they had drama lessons, culminating with auditions for their spring production. Throughout the winter, they rehearsed their play with more and more rehearsal hours each week, leading up to 3 2-hour long productions over a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the end of April.

The play was called Kilroy Was Here. It was based on the World War II character that began showing up all throughout the European theater of the war, and became the American calling card.

Samanthas was Mrs. King, the supervisor of a Long Island USO.

I really enjoyed the play. It had lots of singing and dancing and the kids did a great job - much more sophisticated than I expected for kids from 3rd grade - 8th grade. The costumes and the hair and makeup were perfect for the 40s era. I was overall very, very pleased with the production and I know that Samantha had a great time doing this play and made some great friends in the process.

(You can click on any photo to see a larger version)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Nature takes care of itself

The eggs in our birdsnest hatched a couple of weeks ago. We have been watching the birds and they've been growing quickly, getting their feathers, etc. Its been raining for about a week, and a few days ago we looked out to see all the birds gone. I thought that was unusual because it was pretty quick and I hadn't even seen the birds flapping, etc. I looked to make sure they hadn't fallen out of the nest (this happened to one last year) and concluded that maybe Mama took them to another, dried place.

Today, there are new eggs in the nest.

Do you think the birds getting ready to lay eggs told the other Mama she needed the nest and Mama moved her birds to another location? Sure seems to me. Seems we have the most popular nest in town - for the third year in a row.

Friday, April 17, 2009


For the third year in a row, we have a robin that has taken up residence in the nest built between two rose bushes on the back of our house. Last year we actually had two cycles of eggs and babies.

Mama robin is staying pretty close to home these days, keeping her eggs warm with this unseasonably cold weather, so I don't have a good shot of the eggs, but we're excited to see the babies when they're ready to hatch!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"Spring" Break

I think not!

I had great plans for some outside things to do this week of Spring Break. But, its not Spring Break. At least, its not spring. I do not call 45 degrees with winds gusting 20-30 miles spring.

So, the flowers I bought on Sunday are sitting in the garage waiting for it to get warm enough for me to plant them.

The sand that I wanted to get out of the sandbox and mix with the topsoil in the garden is STILL in the sandbox.

The tree that has decided that it is happily poised on the neighbor's fence is still there - hanging over their yard - because I couldn't start chopping away at it.

Maybe it will be warm enough by July!

Friday, April 03, 2009


Last Thursday, Emma started wearing a Continous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) full time. We have done a couple of trials before but this is now OURS. The proceess to acquire it was actually pretty painless, which is surprising because most people find themselves in a months-long process with multiple insurance appeals - ours was approved in 4-5 business days.

So, we went into Children's Hospital last Thursday to get trained on it and insert our first sensor. The sensor sits right underneath the skin and attachs to a rather large radio transmitter. That transmitter sends readings of Emma's glucose readings every minute to a receiver that we can have up to about 20 feet away from her - which means we can receive these readings on the reciever on MY nightstand while she's sleeping at night.

It alarms us for highs and lows in the hopes that we can catch them sooner than we would with just a planned or unplanned finger stick.

Our goal is for Emma to be within her target blood sugar range as much as possible. What this picture is showing you is bliss. The grey bar across the screen represents her target blood sugar range. And the black line represents the readings that were taken all morning by the sensor on the CGMS. So, from 7am until noon, Emma stayed almost perfectly in range. And after breakfast is usually the most difficult time to control, so I'm thrilled with this.

I look forward to a lot fewer highs and a lot fewer lows as a result of the CGMS.

Oops, it just alarmed that she's going low - guess its time for a finger stick to make sure!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Brown-Stripe Belt

Michael is consistently working his way closer and closer to a Black belt in Tae Kwon Do. A couple of weeks ago, he earned his Brown Stripe belt. This is the 10th belt that he has earned in 18th months (White, White-stripe, Gold, Gold-stripe, Green, Green-Stripe, Blue, Blue-Stripe, Brown, Brown-Stripe) and he displays them all proudly on a belt rack he got for Christmas last year (which is now too small as his next belt will put him beyond the size of his rack)

There is one major level to earn in his belt progression with new material - Red Belt. At the Red Belt level, he learns a few new techniques, but mostly he goes through the process of relearning everything he learned at all the lower belt levels and must demonstrate all of these skills and techniques in order to earn a Black Belt. His Master Instructor thinks that he'll probably earn his Black Belt around October.

One thing Michael has to his advantage is that he has a great memory. He remembers lots of things so I think it won't be difficult for him to remember all of the forms that he has learned to get to this point. A form is a sequence of moves that are put together in different orders highlighting increased knowledge and skills as they move up belt levels. I think the biggest challenge will be remembering which ones are in which forms, since he's had so many, but I have no doubt that it will all come back to him quickly. I hope he earns his Red Belt before the early summer and then he can have the summer to do the 10-week focused training that they do for Black belt. The summer is a lot less busy for us and he'll be able to focus more on it.

Congratulations Michael!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Play Ball!

After having indoor workouts all winter, and a couple of chances to get on the baseball field in the past week or so, Michael's travel baseball team, the Loudoun South Eagles 8U team, played their first game today. Our opponent was a new team in the division this season, so we didn't know what to expect.

After going ahead in the first and second innings, our bats finally starting ringing with some hits and we had some very smart base running and we finally got ahead. In the end, we won the game with a score of 16-9.

Michael did well today. There are more boys on the team this season, so more that the coach wants to rotate in and out of the field positions. Michael played 3 innings and sat 2 innings, but they bat all the way around so he got up to the plate 2 or 3 times.

Michael had two great hits - one blooper and one strong hit. Of course, he hit each of these with 2 strikes in the count - its almost like he needs pressure before he'll hit the ball!

And, he scored a run, as seen by his running to home!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another funny video

After watching yesterday's "Danny Boy" video, I saw a couple of other really funny ones and wanted to share this one as well with you:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This video, commemorating all that is Irish, was shared by a dear friend on Facebook today.

Warning: Do not be imbibing your Guinness whilst watching. This web site is not liable for any keyboard or computer monitor damage incurred as a result of watching this video while imbibing!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two years

Two years ago this past Sat, March 14th, after a trip to the National Zoo with the kids in the morning and a very lethargic afternoon, I took Emma to the Emergency Room at 10pm at night where she was dignosed with a blood glucose reading of 585, large ketones and Type 1 diabetes.

She has had Type 1 diabetes for 24 months and 2 days. She was diagnosed at 25 months old. She has basically had diabetes for as many months as she didn't.

Two years later, things are pretty good for us. Yeah, we have to deal with this sucky disease (which feels even suckier on her anniversary), but she wears an insulin pump that makes her management so easy, she has her finger poked without even batting an eye and she's happy and healthy and has a great life. She goes to a fantastic in home preschool where the teacher has learned to check her and dose her for snack and lunch, which is certainly a God send for us - Emma LOVES her preschool.

I'm thankful for the advances of the past 100 years that have made it possible for her to still be here with us and to be flourishing and I look forward to the advances in the future that will hopefully mean a cure for her and all of those who live with this disease!

And this morning I got the call that insurance approved our request for the Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) so that we can have more timely access to her glucose levels and hopefully fend off some of the highs and lows before they hit - more to come on that in the future!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Beautiful weather

After getting about 6" of snow on Monday, this week has ended with some beautiful weather. Yesterday's high got into the low to mid-70s with a lot of sun. Today was the low 70s with overcast, but still warm.

Its nice to have the cahnge in weather - I hope it lasts. Yesterday, Mike went with a bunch of parents from travel baseball and Little League baseball out to the main baseball field for the league to do some field maintenance to get ready for the season. Today a neighbor called to have Mike and Michael go play some baseball at the school down the street. Its nice to be able to have the kids outside more.

I just hope it will last. I'm still suffering from the loss of an hour last night!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Been busy

I haven't been posting much just because we've been busy. We're trying to trudge along in schoolwork although February is always a rough month. Never ask a homeschooler if they will homeschool next year during February - my answer probably would have been "send them now".

So much is up in the air in our county that I can't even think about what decision to make about next year. Our area of South Riding is potentially being sent to a different middle school due to overcrowding in our current one. I would be fine with that - taking an entire section of the neighborhood, instead of what they do now, which is just cherry picking the new people in the neighborhood and sending them to the other middle school.

There are also budget cuts that are affecting potential options for Samantha's high school algebra requirement. She's ready to take Algebra next year and needs to get the credit through the school system. She can 1) go part time just for that class, at which point I would be driving her to and from every other day (M/W/F one week and T/Th another)- not ideal; 2) go back full time and take it as part of her course selection; or 3) potentially learn it at home with me, then enroll in summer school the summer AFTER (Summer 2010) and take it AGAIN through the school system, take the SOL test through the school system and get the credit, and then start back to school full time in the fall of 2010 with a slate full of high-school credit courses.

All of this because Loudoun County won't transfer in a homeschool credit - even if the child "places out" of a course through a placement test.

And, then once Samantha starts in, its figuring out the right answer for Michael at the right time. And Emma has 1 more year of preschool before she's technically a Kindergartener, but I see little need to send her right away when I can teach her more in less time at home and still manage her diabetes a little longer myself until she can do more self-care.

So, there's a quick status of our schooling at the Stopper Academy

Sunday, March 01, 2009

For need of toilet paper

They are finally calling for a decent snowstorm tonight - now that its March, of course! I have wanted a good 8"-12" snow storm all winter to no avail. Now we are supposed to get one tonight. I hope we do.

People in Washington, DC get a little crazy when the weather gets bad here. When it starts snowing, people start driving like complete idiots on the road - and I mean idiots. There is a DJ on the local radio station who as a joke comes on when the first flakes blow, yelling "The snow is coming. Abandon your vehicles where they are and walk to safety". Yes, people have been known to abandon their vehicles on the beltway because the snow made it difficult traveling. I don't get it.

But the funniest thing is the run on milk, bread, and yes, toilet paper at the first sign of snow. Like we are going to get snowed in for so long that the 24-roll pack isn't going to be enough.

We were already stocked up on milk, bread, and of course toilet paper, so we'll happily stay AWAY from the grocery store today and enjoy the snow coming down - when it actually STARTS coming down, that is.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm 4!

That's what Emma said when she came in our room this morning - "I'm Four!"

Four years ago after being on bedrest in the hospital and then back and forth to the hospital for daily tests, the Doctor decided that we'd ALL had enough; and at 37 weeks and 2 days into my pregnancy, it was finally time. We knew Emma was breech from all of the bio-physical profiles I had had done in the past few weeks, so they planned for a C-section. After getting the older kids settled for the evening, Mike came to the hospital and it wasn't long before Emma was born!

Welcome to the world Emma!

I'm 1 ............................................. and I'm 2!

Then Three............ and now I'm four!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Samantha's new room

I'm finally posting photos of Samantha's new room. Its not quite done yet - as we still need to rehang her trophy shelves and the watercolor pictures we have. We also have bright pink "sheer" type curtains to create a "partition" in her room.

The colors were chosen by her with my guidance, and I'm glad I convinced her to let us put the turquoise in the corner I see down the hall.

From the door looking in, and then down the wall with the door, looking to the left-hand corner:

From the left-hand corner, looking to the wall with the door and from behind the bed, looking to the bathroom door:

And then there's her closet. I love that its bright pink, even the ceiling, because it contrasts well with the white modular ELFA closet that we have:

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This was Emma's A1C at her quarterly Endocrinologist appointment today! That's a pretty good reading and equates to an average blood sugar readings of 145. I'm pretty happy with that, especially since it was down 0.2% since last quarter. The bad part of that is that a lot of this is because of the number of lows we've been experiencing. The good news is that we aren't experiencing as many as we were but we're still experiencing them, and Emma doesn't feel them any differently than other readings, so we don't catch them as quickly as we'd like. I'd be fine with a higher A1C if it meant fewer lows.

The other positive news is that her endocrinologist has agreed to approve a Continuous Glucose Monitor for us. This will enable us to see what her blood sugar is doing without sticking her finger as much. And hopefully we'll be able to start catching the lows before they get too low.

There are 3 CGMSs on the market these days. We've piloted one before (the Minimed Guardian) but there are 2 others on the market that we haven't tried yet so I'm not sure which one I'd like to get. The Navigator was hyped as the most accurate of the three, with readings being only 7 minutes behind blood sugar readings. But the size of the transmitter worn on the body is pretty big and I'm not sure we want to do that yet. The third one - the Dexcom - is used by a lot of people happily and others hate it - I think you either love it or hate it and not much in between. So, I'm not sure what we'll choose between the three but I think we'll try the other two and then decide which one we want.

I'm not sure what kind of insurance battle we'll have. Some people get immediate approval for CGMSs. Others have to fight and appeal and others are just flat out refused. The endocrinologist thinks that having a good A1C (6.9% is pretty good) will make it tough for us, but weeks and weeks of documented low readings and zero awareness of lows should help. So, our amount of documentation will be very helpful.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

It's just cold!

No other way to explain it - its just cold.

Its been warm-cold-warm-cold for a few weeks now. We got about 2" of snow last week, topped off with sleet and ice, which just made it dangerous and not fun. Mike took the kids up to Ski Liberty to go snow tubing, so at least they got to take advantage of the snow.

Samantha has a birthday party at the local pottery place - the girls all painted mugs and they were all cute.

Two days later, we started redecorating Samantha's room. We had a painter come in and repaint the walls and woodwork - they are now bright shades of teal and pink. I'm holding off on pictures waiting for some new bed lifts to lift her new bedframe off the floor. She has new bed linens from Pottery Barn Teen and soon we'll be hanging bright pink curtains across the middle of the room.

Mike and the kids of course were happy with the results of the Super Bowl. I had told them up front that they weren't staying up until the end, but then the game was close and I didn't have the heart to make them go to bed - so they got to see the exciting ending to the game!

I don't know why the first of the year always feels so busy - perhaps its because Christmas is barely over and I need to plan for Samantha's birthday and by the time I'm done with that, I need to plan for Emma's birthday, which is in about 2 weeks. For lack of a better idea, we'll be having her party at McDonalds where they can play in the play room and then have Happy Meals and cake! Sounds like a party to me!

Is it Spring yet?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Samantha!

Today is Samantha's 12th birthday. Happy Birthday Samantha!

She was born at 1:48am, so her actual birthday has occurred. She was born on a Thursday, after we went to the hospital around 11pm on Wednesday night, in labor. Little did we know that Samantha was breech, having turned AFTER my weekly checkup the week before. I actually challenged the doctor when he told me and he brought in a sonogram machine to confirm it.

So they quickly prepared us for a c-section, a possibility we hadn't really prepared for, and rolled me into the operating room where Samantha was born.

Samantha was born at Fairfax Hospital, the busiest hospital in the area, and at 1:48am was already the 8th child born that day!

Happy Birthday Samantha!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My son, the engineer

We have remarked for a while that we think Michael is going to be an engineer when he grows up. When we ride rides at Disney World, he spends most of the ride looking at the mechanics of the ride. And he loves to build things.

He compalins a lot these days that he's bored, since its been basically too cold to play outside. My threats of finding some cleaning for him to do are usually met with his running off to find something to do.

The other day he found his box of math manipulatives and decided to build something. The result - the teddy bear movie theater, complete with large screen and stadium seating for all teddy bears. Click on the photos for better detail of the bears in the seats - they are color-matched so its tough to see!