Thursday, June 25, 2009

Relay for Life

I’ve decided to take action and fight back against cancer by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life® event along with my husband, Mother-in-law and kids. After having participated last year, I can share that it was an eye opening event that will never be forgotten.

Our team is Baker’s Dozen in honor of my Father-in-law who passed away due to a brain tumor two years ago. My husband and I have also had to endure my father and brother as well as my brother-in-law’s step daughter contracting this dreaded disease within the last two years also. All have since been fortunate enough to have been deemed in remission. It is our goal to make sure that through the generosity of others that we can find a cure for this disease.

Please support us in this important cause by making a secure, tax-deductible donation online using the link below if you would like to be a donor.

To donate online now, click here to be taken to William Baker's (my husband) personal page.

Relay For Life® is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people worldwide -- 125,000 in New England -- to:

CELEBRATE the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.
REMEMBER loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have lost loved ones can find strength and healing among others who have walked in their shoes.
FIGHT BACK. Relayers pledge to take actions that will reduce their cancer risk and bring us closer to the day when cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease.

Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up! We greatly appreciate your support.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Waiting and wondering...

I hate to say it but if you've been waiting for a new update on here, you're going to be stuck waiting a while longer. Call it writer's block or just sheer laziness, I just can't seem to get motivated to blog about our everyday happenings. I'll be back though...some day...I promise.


Friday, May 08, 2009

Day and Night

Gipper brought a "treat" to our back door last night in the form of a bird. Of course the kids were completely enthralled by the goriness caused by the cat. I, on the other hand, stood back and laughed as Bill quickly tried to remove the carcass from our door step before the kids ended up needing therapy from seeing all the blood and gore up close. (Ok, there really wasn't any blood, just a shit load of feathers everywhere.) The cat had other ideas such as grabbing his loot and running off while Bill chased him from one end of the deck to the other and then down into the yard...all while cursing the animal.

This morning, the kids were checking out the remainder of the feathers left behind on the door mat when Matt asked me what kind of bird it was. Now I could be wrong (never - would be a first) but I told him it was Mourning Dove. To which he replied, "or maybe a Night Time Dove"!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Holding them tight

There are a few blogs that I read on a regular basis, written by women that I've never met, living in cities across the US. One of them is written by Emily, who can be found at her own blog, http://www.captainhambone.typepad.com/, as well as over at http://www.parents.com/.

About a year ago, Emily posted an entry about some friends of hers, who while on vacation, found out that their young daughter, baby Emily, had a brain tumor. For those of you who know me and my family you are well aware that my Father-in-law passed away after a very short battle with a brain tumor. So this story hit home, simply because of the familiarity of the situation. I was touched by their story and was drawn into their lives as they uprooted their home life in VA and moved to Boston in order to get some of the best medical care for their daughter in the hopes that they would be able to fight the tumor. Throughout their journey they posted stories, updates and pictures.

There were some days that I would be reduced to tears as I imagined how difficult their lives had become. How they were facing an upward battle and how they would be left making decisions that would keep their little girl from growing and learning the way a normal 1 year old would. Between the surgeries, the emergency procedures to eliminate unforeseen issues, the tubes, chemo and radiation...well it's hard to put my thoughts into words but anyone who is a parent can understand.

Yesterday I received an update on one of the websites that after a year of fighting, on March 28th, the family sat down with the doctors and reviewed her latest CAT scan. There was new blood vessel growth that was applying too much pressure on her brain stem. Additional chemo was out of the option due to the rapid growth, radiation would cause more swelling so that was also ruled out and although surgery would be an option to help extend her life, the risks were far too dangerous and so the family chose to bypass that route as well. The decision was made to make her comfortable and enjoy whatever time they had left with her.

Yesterday, March 30, 2009, Emily's parents snuggled her with her favorite blanket, pillow and stuffed dog. Her breathing tube was removed and as she was cuddled in her mother's arms, surrounded by family and friends, she passed away. She was two years old.

As I look at my own, soon-to-be two year old who is babbling to me in his own little language from over the baby gate, I can't help but count my blessings. I'm relieved that the hardest decisions I've had to make for any of my kids are the everyday, tedious decisions such as vaccinations, what schools they should attend, they sports they'll play, how late they can stay up and how much T.V. we'll allow them. I'm grateful for the fact that I can walk over into the other room, swoop Robert up into my arms and hold him tight, right now or anytime I want. I breathe a sigh of relief that I can do the same thing when Megan and Matt get home from school.

Tonight, after they are asleep and I make that one last daily trip into their bedrooms to make sure that they are covered up for the night, I will touch their heads lightly as I kiss them goodnight and say a little prayer that I have the opportunity to do this over and over again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ass over tea kettle

It's taken us 5 years (7, if you count Megan) but we have finally had our first real "accident" with one of the kids. We swore this day would have come years earlier but fortunately luck has been our side up until now.


Last evening during a walk around the block, in a moment of over-confidence with his new bike, Matt took a digger that left him with three loose teeth, some torn gums and a huge fat lip. If anyone has ever dealt with any type of mouth injury I'm sure you are quite familiar with the amount of blood that comes with it. Add Megan's shouts to me from down the side walk of, "MOMMY! MATT'S BLEEDING BADLY! THERE'S SO MUCH BLOOD!" and we wound up with a kid that was probably more freaked out than normal. Even after we cleaned him up and calmed him down, the blood continued to ooze and it took us a good 30 minutes to get him to stop shaking.


A quick trip to the dentist today (just to be on the safe side) told us what we had already figured out on our own but also confirmed that there was no major damage to the baby teeth and no fractures of any kind to the adult teeth.


And of course, to commemorate this moment in time for him? A picture! (What kind of parents would we be if we didn't take the time to ignore his discomfort for a few moments in order to take a shot for the blog?)

The end of the hockey season...

This past weekend marked the end of hockey for us. The team played in a weekend long tournament and we went into it feeling certain that our kids on the ice were going to go home on Sunday with a three game loss. The clinic itself was to teach the fundamentals of skating with a little about the game towards the end. The past 2 practices marked the first time the kids had played in any sort of positions on the ice and in fact Friday night was the first time our goalie had been in the net and had ever been geared up.

We entered the first game with Matt playing defense and were treated to quite a few laughs at his expense. The poor kid was a bit lost when forced to play an real honest to goodness position. He forgot to follow the puck and instead simply followed the pack of kids skating around him. It reminded me of a school of fish as they changed direction and he would quickly turn to follow them even if the puck had just flown past him in the opposite direction. Oh well...maybe next year he'll figure that part of it out.

As it turns out though, the team did far better than we anticipated. We won the first two games against two of the Southern CT teams by a landslide and although they were beat 6-0 by East Haven in the final game, Hamden took home second place! They all walked away with metals but most importantly (to Matt anyways), they each had a hot dog and soda in their hands.

So now we have a slight breather before soccer and baseball begin!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Profane expressions

Bill and I have often said that we really should censor our language better than we do but for some reason our filters just don't seem to kick in when they should.

For the most part, Megan has always been very good about not repeating what we say. Oh sure, there was that one time where she decided to say "f*ck" and "sh!t" all in the same week but after we spoke to her about it, she never said them again. (I will have you know that although she was only two years old, she used them in perfect context!) And of course Matt has said a few things here and there but nothing quite as dramatic as what Megan threw out there. So all in all, we've been rather lucky, all things considered.

So now we come to Robert. His list of distinguishable, honest to God, actual words is rather short. And much of his speaking skills sounds very similar to Swahili. (Not that I've actually heard someone speaking in Swahili, but you get my point.) He does repeat one word over and over and although we've never quite figured out if it's an actual word or just another sound that he likes to make, it sounds the same every single time and in the conversation that I had with him this morning it came out so much clearer than it ever has in the past.

I was doing a quick clean up with the vacuum this morning and whenever I'm done I usually hand it over to Robert to play with. It keeps him occupied and allows me to move on to something else. This morning, as he was pushing it around, Remy went nuts barking at it and chasing him around the living room so Robert paused for a few moments as if he just wanted to watch Remy's reaction. As I stopped to see what was going on I asked him, "what's Remy saying Robert?"

To which he replied without hesitation, "Oh shit!"

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Similarities

Buddies


There have been a lot of things coming out of my mouth in the past couple of days that I realized have been applied to both Robert and Remy. And I feel like I'm repeating them over and over. Such as:
"Put that down!"

"No biting!"

"Quiet!"
"Good boy!"

"Sit!"

I've also come to the conclusion that we've cleaned up more poop in the past two days than we have in the past 7 years!
Here are the pics of our new addition:

Oh wait - that was before the dog. We were trying a new style of parenting called "crating"!


Obviously the similarities don't end with what's coming out of my mouth! (And, no, he did not drink out of it. He was only demonstrating!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Success in small doses

Today marks the first day since Robert was an infant that we made it through an entire mass (OK, a little shorter than usual at 40 minutes long) without enduring a screaming fit, temper tantrum, snack food upheaval, toy and/or sippy cup propelling or a massive, stinky dump!

It's been a long time since I've actually been able to walk into church without Bill and not been loaded down with the feeling of dread for what was sure to come. Double that feeling of pending doom when I've got all three of the kids on my own. It's easy enough for me to walk away during a melt-down with just Robert but when I have to deal with him and I still have the other two sitting there, well it just makes life easier if another adult is there to lend a hand and/or stay behind with the older kids.

So, while I know that my next trip into church on Friday morning for the Stations of the Cross will be filled with all of the above mentioned tragedies just because I dared to rejoice out loud on the internet, I'll take today's victory and savor it, while hoping that maybe, just once, we'll be able to continue in the right direction. Lather, rinse, repeat...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Picking" Hair Styles

I'll let the pictures do all the talking on this one...



Oops!

Did I forget to mention that we DID celebrate Christmas last year? Because after downloading a ton of pictures the other day I noticed that I still had Christmas morning pictures on there and hey, guess what? There was no Christmas post on here! Hhhmmm...how did I let that one slip past? So here you go...
Starting out with the stocking stuffers...
Moving on to the good stuff...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More hockey

Matt has definitely progressed during the '08-'09 hockey season. If you need a reminder of how he started out, click here. Otherwise, enjoy the update of our "Problem Child". (Music courtesy of AC/DC)


video

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Yesterday was Grandpa's birthday and it has been two years since he passed away. With the weather having been relatively crappy (in a snowy way) we've been unable to make it up to the cemetery for quite a while. However, the past couple of days have warmed up a bit and so the kids and I decided to surprise Daddy with a visit to Grandpa's grave last evening.

Prior to heading out, they had made a Happy Birthday sign to place by his headstone and we decided to stop at the grocery store for some cupcakes to "share" with him as well. We didn't tell Daddy where we were heading but of course in my 3 minute absence to purchase the cupcakes, Bill managed to get Matt to spill the beans.

Once there, the kids hopped out of the van, still in their school clothes and wearing snow boots, and pranced around the cemetery while Bill and I did our best to secure the sign that they had made to one of the flags that was implanted in the frozen ground.

We lit up a single cupcake and sang happy birthday and while the kids enhaled theirs they decided to leave one behind for Grandpa to enjoy as well. As I placed that cupcake on the bottom ledge of his headstone I couldn't help but smile at what he might be thinking as he watched his three grandkids enjoying this moment.

Robert may never have a single memory of his Grandpa Baker nor remember the "crazy evening in the cemetery" but I know that Megan and Matt will remember it for a long time to come.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snatchtastic!

Matt was babbling to Bill tonight about how Simone snatched a toy from him today at school and it's bad and rude and blah blah blah.

To which Bill replied, "not all snatches are bad".

Friday, January 23, 2009

Brotherly love

While I was straightening up and gathering laundry upstairs the other day, Matt and Robert were playing together in the TV room. Because they were entertaining each other so well I was able to do a few more things than usual and was enjoying the relative peace and quiet. There was no arguing (not that Robert argues per se) or screaming, or any kind of crazy chaos. Just two brothers getting along.

Later, as I was feeding them lunch, Matt informed me that he took very good care of Robert while they were playing and that Robert hurt himself by banging into the coffee table as he walked past it. Matt said, "Robert broke his heart so I kissed it and his heart went right back together!"

Aaaahhhh...