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Monday, December 31, 2007


Sorry for the long delay I had a big problem with my camera - I accidentally formated the memory card without taking the pictures off! I had to spend some cash to get them back, but I got them, finally!

The day started out wonderfully - Ari slept in! (slightly) We got up around 8 o'clock and I
got her out of her crib and changed her diaper while Shawn ran to get the video camera.

Here's video of her opening her presents:

Arianna opening her presents

After that she had a small breakfast (just yogurt) and then off to the bath for a much needed wash down. She looked irresistably cute and these shots were the first one's I took with my new Canon 50 mm f/1.8 II camera lens:

Then it was off to my parents (with a short detour at my friend Karen's to drop off her christmas gift) for dinner/gifts. We got there about 10:30 AM and hung around for about an hour as other folks started arriving and then it was Arianna's nap. She looked super cute in her dress and even more so when it was covered in tears from her screaming, at the top of her lungs, when I put her into the crib to nap. She eventually fell asleep and the rest of us could open our presents in peace.

When she did get up we opened her gifts and she was thrilled - her favorites were the rocking horse and the tea party set:

Then we had a fabulous meal (which included this ham, doesn't it look yummy? It sure tasted it! Add mustard pickles... hmm hmmm hmmm):

Arianna didn't eat well at all but we kept pumping egg nog into her and that probably filled her up. I really wish she'd take to eating better but I'm not sure how to make sure her weight stays up while she focuses on eating vs. drinking her calories.... sigh.

After a few hours at my parents we trotted over to my brother's girlfriend (fiancee now?) house to open more presents. I got this great picture of Amanda and Arianna, I just love it:

We stayed there for about an hour and then drove to Quincy to visit with my grandmother/aunts/cousins. At this stop Arianna thought it would be fabulous to throw up on my nana's rug. For anyone that knows my nana... this is really embarassing. But I cleaned it up and got her changed and she didn't seem any the weary. I snapped these cute pictures of Arianna with her cousin Samantha:

Then it was home about 7:30 PM - Arianna fell asleep in the car before we even got back on the highway. She was darn cute the whole day though :)

Of course, the next 10 days will be consumed with her barely eating. Tonight concluded with a beautiful vomit fest on the kitchen floor. Amazingly she goes right back to playing!

On the plus side, Santa must have really liked me this year cause I got great stuff:
  • Speedlite 430EX, 8 batteries and charger for it
  • 50mm f/1.8 - I'm in love!!
  • Cactus wireless camera trigger
  • Sto-Fen Omnibounce for flash
  • Sunpak Tripod
  • Extra camera batteries (2)
  • New bag - Canon backpack
  • Bunch of clothes from the 'rents
  • Foodsaver system (gotta start saving money to buy my new studio lights!)

Phew... Goodbye 2007!

Happy new year (this took a long time to write!). I'm going to bed now! *yawn*

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cruiser ignorance...

Post I made on a cruise message board:


Has anyone cruised with young children? My daughter is 2 and a fairly picky eater - thankfully we've been trying to get weight on her so feeding her the usual kid food fare (mac n cheese, chicken nuggets etc.) is usually pretty good - except that what works one night doesn't necessarily work for another. If she doesn't eat what we ask for her can we ask for something else?



What ever happened to kids eating what their parents told them to eat, within reason. My parents made me eat stuff I didn't like, but I ate it until my mom smartened up and realized that making us eat turnips will not work, nor will trying to make me eat tomatoes work. I still do not like tomatoes, tomato sauce (seasoned) I will eat.

Don't let your child win, make them eat what you want within have to learn they can't dictate what they want when it isn't on the menu!!!!

Come on preemie moms - wanna get a good laugh with me?

That's funny... sort of.

Armchair quarterbacking someone parenting is easy to do... I know, I used to do it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still in shock...

Guess who went poo poo on the potty tonight?

Ya... I'm still in shock too!!

Some pictures!

I have a huge post about our Christmas but I'm swamped at work and can't write it up right now... so for now you can check out some pictures of Arianna from Christmas Day.

One of my gifts included a new lens for my camera - a 50 mm f/1.8 and I'm in LOVE!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Visiting Santa


Isn't she the cutest?



during after

Aww, isn't she the cutest?

Not even breaking out the ELMO doll was enough to keep her happy on Santa's lap this year. Maybe it was the lack of a dress? Ya, that's it...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thoughts for Thursday

I'm having a hard time breaking through a blogger block lately. Probably because I have SO much going on right now.

- Thank god my christmas shopping is 90% done. It's hard when the majority of your christmas list is on the other side of the country and you have to buy shipping boxes and supplies and remember to get everything out on time for christmas. I just have my mom to buy for now and then I'm DONE!

- I think I'm setting a new world record for the number of FOR loops I can put in an application. I'm working on an 'in house' application that is taking a long time and my work flow is causing me to use alot of FOR loops. I thought FOREACH was the end of be all in .NET but FOR is working much better right now... so I'm setting a new world record - every method has a FOR in it! ha!

- I've put on some weight from all the cookies here in the office but it is my goal to take it all off after the holdiays... but I feel even bigger than the few pounds that have crept on because I'm so bloated. Only woman can understand this. I had the IUD for 18 months - 14 of which had me bleeding EVERY DAMN DAY. Now that I've had it out I've been bloated and cramping and generally feeling like crap. Gosh... I hope all these wacky hormones work themselves out soon cause I'm in PAIN. I'll take bleeding every day versus PAIN.

- I'm getting so excited for the holidays because Arianna is just so much more aware of her place in the world now that it'll be fun to see her at christmas. Earlier this week I took her down to the basement while I did some laundry and she wandered into the room with the gifts and found a stuffed elmo I got for her. She picked it up, walked in to see me with a HUGE grin on her face, said "MELMO!!" and started kissing it! It was way too cute. I managed to get it away without her noticing so she can enjoy it at christmas time.

- She's putting on weight folks! I had to reschedule her GI appointment from last Thursday because we got a KILLER snowstorm and it's rescheduled for after the new year. I can't wait to see what she weighs cause she's got a little double chin and huge (for her) baby belly! WOO HOO!! GO EGG NOG!

- This is the only time of year I'll listen to Delilah. She's on the radio on the only station that plays good Christmas music this time of year. Normally I hate listening to her sappy stuff, but this time of year I get sentimental and love that stuff. I think I'm annoying my coworkers by playing christmas music all day long...

- I need to take pictures off my camera and spend less time learning how to use Photoshop CS2...

I don't know if I'll get more posts on here before Christmas, so HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I am Legend


I went to the movies with my brother Friday night, something I haven't done in years.

We saw 'I am Legend' with Will Smith.

I really like scary movies and although the previews don't really come out and say it - this movie is about vampire-like people - so its a 'scary movie'.

I was intrigued by the movie within the first hour. There's a human engineered virus (which was supposed to 'cure cancer' and is both airborne and blood transmitted) that has wiped out 90% of the population, turned 9.9% into vampire-like people and .1% are 'immune'. Dogs are immune to the airborne transmission. Robert Neville, Will Smiths character, is the only surviving human in New York City (ground zero, where the virus was developed) and as far as he can tell, the entire world. He has flashbacks to the city's evacuation/destruction often, which tells you a little about the government's response to the virus.

When I worked at RI Hospital I was a member of the RI emergency management response committee - I was the secretary and took notes at all the meetings, it was fascinating. I met folks from RI EMS, heads of all the hospitals etc. and learned, more importantly, that we're not prepared for a '9/11' in this area. We are, however, better prepared than many areas of the country. You're never more than 7 minutes from a hospital here - which is the smallest interval IN THE COUNTRY. That, I thought, was pretty cool. My 'boss' was the head of the RIH emergency preparedness department (all 2 of us) and was also a member of the RI legislature and wrote a bill to refine legislation after the Station Night Club Fire that killed 100 people in W. Warwick, RI in 2003. Ironically, he was called to NYC to meet with officials there to help them be better prepared for another '9/11'. They felt they were no more prepared than the day after the original incident happened.

So I was really excited to see Hollywood's interpretation of how government would handle a mass virus spread like the one depicted in this movie.

Alas, I would have to wait... forever. After the first hour this movie tanked excitement wise and got really boring and 'hollywood-ish'. The ending was anti-climactic and overall the movie was really depressing.

The best character, in the movie, was the dog Samantha. The relationship between the main character and his dog was creepy/moving at the same time.

The funniest part of the movie was the dialog from when Will Smith found 'Hank' not where he thought he should be... until about 2 minutes after that discovery, of course.

I'm glad I saw it - I spent time with my brother, which I don't get to do much of now - and was entertained for an evening. If you have $10.50 to waste on a ticket - do it, its a good watch. If you have NETFLIX - put it on the top of your list when its released. Otherwise, wait for HBO.

I promise to blog more about my regular stuff soon - life is busy during the holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


You'd think that we were the type of parents to just sit our child in front of the TV all day...

...but Arianna is head over heels in LOVE with Elmo.

It all started just a few weeks ago when she went to CA to visit 'mamaw'. My mother-in-law bought Ari a Elmo swivel chair which now sits in our living room. You press his hand and he 'talks' to you. Arianna looks very cute in it - she sits in it 'reading' books often.

Then the fall line up for our PBS station changed and now sesame street was on during breakfast. Arianna eats better when she's distracted so we frequently feed her while she watches tv - but she doesn't watch a lot of TV, mainly during meals.

I opened Pandora's box.

I got her an animated elmo christmas stocking to replace her 'baby's first christmas' one from last year. Its very 'top heavy' and she nearly knocks herself out swinging it around so we keep it on the table and she screams for it often. Last week I went to the library and got an elmo DVD. I wanted to see if she would like it and it would be a christmas gift... Now she can't even pass the cabinet with the dvd player without jumping out of my arms screaming 'MELMO!!!' The worst part is that if we don't put it on she will throw a tantrum and start crying! HUH? What have we done to our poor sweet princess? Elmo has turned her into... something we're not used to!

Shawn told me that this morning she was in her bedroom with the nanny when the elmo segment of sesame street came on. Now her bedroom is on the other end of the house and the TV is anything BUT loud... she started SCREECHING and RUNNING (yes, running!!) to the TV screaming 'MELMO!!!'

Do they have detox for toddlers hooked on Elmo? Seriously. I just want to go one day without her watching it. I miss the baby einstein days!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Has this ever happened to any of you?

I've had a dream 'story' going on for days now - a continuation of a dream from the night before. It's gotten pretty elaborate now and I'm a bit skeeved out.

I get these dream stories often and they always involve me in a highly dramatic event during which I die or come very close to it - very scary. The worst part is that it goes on for days!

I wonder if its a premonition?

If you suddenly hear of a woman robbing a bank and it shot and killed fleeing from police you'll know two things: 1. that I was incredibly stupid 2. that I had ESP

Thursday, December 06, 2007

They're not going anywhere...

So Arianna is in the last stages of 'snot fest'. I brought her to the pediatrician earlier this week and was given an antihistamine for her nose - she was surprisingly good though the whole appointment. I put her on the scale just before we left, clothes and all and she was 22.4 lbs! So without clothes she should be AT LEAST 21.5 which would be a gain of 1.5 in a bit more than 2 months. Not fantastic, but I'll take it - its been horrible to get her to gain weight despite a concerted effort of nutritionist/nanny/parents/grandparents, cases of pediasure and GALLONS of eggnog (I'm totally not kidding on that last one).

We had our visit with our EI caseworker yesterday and she reminded me we're coming up on Arianna's review. She's doing well as far as EI is concerned and I'm fully expecting her to be dismissed at her review...

Wendy, her caseworker, told me that because of her failure to thrive diagnosis (which won't leave anytime soon, obviously) she qualifies for services indefinitely and in RI would qualify for an IEP and cost free preschool next fall (if she is still failure to thrive). This would be wonderful as preschool is expensive here... but I almost feel like I'm abusing the system. Arianna hasn't had any actual services, ever. We meet with Wendy once a month and play with toys and Ari always does exactly what she should - and actually with fine motor/cognition she is ahead, yesterday she put together a Mr. potato head, hat and all! She was evaluated by PT a few months ago and didn't qualify. Nutrition met with me once in the early summer and said 'yep, you know what you're doing'... she had OT when she was 4 months as I had real concerns over her lack of suck (thus the end of my attempt at direct breastfeeding and continuation of 13 months of pumping) but she's done well and Wendy doesn't think there is much OT will be able to help us with as Arianna eats a variety of textures, just not a lot in any one session, which we all believe is due to her reflux.

So Arianna doesn't use EI except to watch for problems - I can withdraw her if I feel its necessary. When I see Arianna with her peers I don't worry too much about her at this point - socially she handles all interactions well (even that evil little boy at the pediatricians office who wouldn't share). I know she needs more interaction with her peers but weighing that need vs. her health needs has proven tricky - for now we're taking the safe route and will try to keep her out of the hospital this winter.

Socially/Personally I have real issue with people 'abusing the system' and I don't want to fall into that category - but I pay taxes so I should be able to use it and if it will help Arianna I should just do it right? The preschool she would go to would be the town run one and you can only get into it with an IEP so she won't be with 'normally developing' children - so is there an advantage to her going there if the only reason she'd have an IEP is that she can't gain weight?

Then in the back of my head I think "my parents never had to deal with this and Arianna is doing better than I was...". But again my biggest concern for Arianna, right now, is social development...

I never thought, when I was pregnant, that I would have to think about these things. It's really not a big deal and many would be envious of our position, its just totally unfamiliar to me and I'm not exactly sure what the best answer is...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Too cute not to share

I'm stealing this from Jess... Her kids were so cute I had to!

Elf Arianna!

hehe - my dad's gonna bust a gut laughing...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Arianna's nanny just called to say she has 'green stuff' coming out of her nose, is hacking up a lung, and has been really lethargic all day.

'green stuff' was always a precursor to one of her dozen or so ear infections - only now she has ear tubes so you're not supposed to get those as easily. Thusly, I don't know how to deal with 'green stuff' anymore.

So rather than deal with the urgent care center tonight, if it turns out she really is sick, I'm taking her to her pediatricians office at 4:30 today.

I hate seeing my beautiful princess so miserable.

I know I could make everything better if I could give her the christmas gift I picked up for her today.... TMX Elmo... but that has to wait a few more weeks.

Poor baby! Keep her in your good thoughts today. We dealt with illness like this from October to May last year (with barely a break in between) and she was in the ER and room-in at the hospital quite a few times... we don't want a repeat!


New ticker!

Although I'm not losing weight, I'm maintaining ok (and just ok)...

So I thought I'd put up a new ticker for our big vacation! Woo Hoo! I'm very excited for it!

Arianna has a nasty cold and I feel so bad for her, she won't eat and can't really sleep well either. She's all stuffed up and yesterday she developed a cough. I hate seeing my baby sick because she gets so miserable. Truth be told I'm glad its the nanny dealing with that today - last night she was driving me up the wall with the whining and crying all the time. It really starts to grate on your nerves after 30 minutes.

Poor baby! (and poor mommy and daddy!)