Monday, December 31, 2007

Longest Post Ever...

It's been too long since I've blogged. Part of the reason is that we've been on vacation and I didn't spend much time on the computer and part of the reason is that I can't access any of my pictures from work anymore. The meanies that give us access to the internet have blocked Picasa. I'll have to go another route...

We had a fantastic trip to Massachusetts last week. We made what turned out to be a brilliant decision to drive through the night. We left our house at 1am on Friday and pulled into my parent's driveway at 11am on Saturday. 10 hours is definitely a record. We only stopped twice and were able to split the driving, letting the other person sleep part way. The kids were angels. Zack woke up randomly at 3:30 and talked my ear off until I stopped for gas and a potty break. We were all up then so I played some Christmas carols and we all sang, around 4:30 they zonked out again.

We were SO excited when we crossed the border into Massachusetts and there was tons of snow on the ground. The kids spent most of that afternoon going in and out, in and out. Since we don't live near snow, I had forgotten how fun it was getting kids all bundled up from head to toe only to have them come back inside 15 minutes later. Matt stayed out almost all afternoon. He cleared snow from the back deck, built a snow tube run off the back steps, made snow angels with Skyler, basically relived childhood since he didn't have much snow growing up in California either. I grew up with snow, so I took some pictures and then took a long nap.

It was great being with my family. My brother and niece spent the weekend with us at my parents. The kids raised hell running all around inside and out. They were so excited to see each other and were so excited for Christmas especially when we told them that Santa was coming a day early. They wrote letters to Santa on Sunday telling him how thankful they were - it was really sweet.

Christmas morning (Monday) was exciting. The kids woke up early, 6:30 am and were raring to go. They were excited to see that Santa had written back to each of them. We had a lot of fun. Each of them was thrilled with the gifts they received. There was no fussing and lots of bright smiles. We spent most of the day undoing twist ties, and locating batteries. Oh one really cool thing that Zack and Nadia got from Grammy and Papu was a kids' digital camera. They can now take their own pictures without damaging our cameras. Later today I'll upload Zack's pictures and let you see what he thinks is important enough to take a picture of...

Even though we had our Christmas, it was really just Christmas Eve. So we had the annual get together at Mike & Rochelle's. We haven't made it in years and there aren't usually kids there so it was fun for everyone. We got to enjoy some pirogi and the kids entertained everyone with their silliness. Not great pictures - but they were dressed cute...

Actual Christmas morning was quiet for us. We had no where to go, nothing to do, and it was a bright and sunny day finally. We brought Matt to the airport (he had to go home to work the next day) and then spent the rest of the day sniffling and sneezing (we were all sick) and playing with our new toys.

Wednesday we ran some errands and then went to visit with my girlfriend Mindi and her family. The boys were elusive so I didn't get any pictures of them together. Zack and Riley see each other maybe once per year but always pick up where they left off. Skyler and Mia are finally at an age where they can play together. They had loads of fun changing from one princess outfit to another. Mia is a fiery little fairy. She's definitely going to take the world by storm.

Thursday we continued sniffling and sneezing and went to see the movie Alvin & the Chipmunks. The kids had been anxious to see it after a barrage of tv commercials. It was an adorable movie - we all had a great time, even Grammy. That night it snowed lightly again so we were outside catching snowflakes in our mouths and making a snowman which turned out to be more of a snow amoeba.

I was going to leave for home on Friday but procrastinated a day and waited out the weekday traffic. I'm glad I did because Nadia got another day with her cousins. They made the most of it and played hard. Leaving on Saturday was harder for it, but I'm glad they got the time together.

Saturday and Sunday we made our way home. The trip was longer with one driver but we did well. The kids were good and were happy to stop in Delaware to see Cha Cha Lisa and Ransom and Montana.

Now we're home and unpacking the car. It was a disaster site but we'll get it worked out soon. Zack and Skyler were really happy to be with their Daddy. They missed him terribly.

We hope you all had a Happy Holiday and enjoy this New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Celebrating with friends...

We had the most delightfully warm and enjoyable dinner with our friends Mike & Amy last night. We cooked, we ate, we did dishes. We exchanged gifts. The Wilkinsons are so thoughtful and found the perfect gift for each member of our family. I can't thank them enough.

Most enjoyable to all of us was a joint gift to Matt and Zack. They gave The Dangerous Book for Boys:

At first Zack gave the "Oh it's a book, but my Mom will kill me if I don't act grateful face". Then when he and Matt started looking at it and discovered that it was a book of all the things any boy should know and then determined that it was a "secret" book for boys, well it was the best gift EVER! We all enjoyed looking through it until Zack decided that it was for boys' eyes only and hid it from anyone with ovaries. He and Matt sat up late in Zack's room reading the first chapter. We highly recommend this book to anyone with a son. It's fantastic!


Matt also enjoyed the card that Mike & Amy made him:


Overall, I had such a nice evening, and SO love Amy's creativity with picking the perfect gifts.
I'm surely lacking in that regard. That tingly Christmasy feeling has begun. I'm planning on thoroughly enjoying the next week!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Zack and his buddy Cameron were together a good part of the weekend. From the second they meet up, they fight, argue, bicker, and compete with each other.

Zack: I wish Cameron were my brother. I wish we could adopt him.
Me: Cameron has a family honey, they would miss him. Is he your best friend?
Zack: YEAH (said with his "DUH MOM" voice)
Me: Do you guys even like each other?
Zack: {repeat above answer}
Me: All you ever do is fight and yell at each other.
{long pause}
Zack: Mom, that's just what boys DO!

Too Crazy to Blog...

Sorry I haven't blogged much this week. I've been running around crazy. I've taken to making lists of things I need to do this week and I know I'll be up crazy late on Thursday night getting ready for our trip. Anyway, here are a few snippets:

Zack started basketball and has practice two nights a week (part of the reason I'm running around crazy). I finally got a few pictures although there isn't great lighting in the gym at night so they're kind of funky looking:

On Sunday my cousins came over with their kids. I haven't seen my cousin Jill in so long that I've never met her youngest child. They've been living in Hawaii and just moved and are making the rounds visiting. Her twin sister Jackie lives here near us. The kids came right in and all the cousins made themselves right at home playing with each other and wrestling our friend Mike. Somehow kids just gravitate to him!

Towards the end of their visit Skyler was kind enough to hootchie all the girls up with her stash of makeup. I didn't happen to catch a picture of it. All I could do is apologize to Jill :-) Sky loves her makeup!

This week I'm running around getting packages shipped out (the ones I have had for months and swore I'd get shipped by Dec 1 at the latest) and packing for our trip. Thus presents the problem of finding all the gifts I've stashed over the past few months. Hopefully I find them all before we start driving.

Thankfully, we're all sleeping great because it's been cold and we're all snuggled down under piles of blankets. Well, we WERE sleeping great until I made the mistake of showing the kids two movies that I thought were harmless. Skyler is having nightmares from watching 5 minutes of Jim Carey's The Grinch and Zack is having nightmares from watching Meet the Robinsons. There's some part with hats that are bad that's still freaking him out. So sometime early this morning, he snuggled in on one side of me, pushing me to the middle. Later, Sky came in and seeing that there was no more room at the head of the bed, got in at the foot. She just slept upside down. Of course, as soon as my alarm went off, so did they. "MOOOOMMM, Skyler's touching my feet". Uh, go back to your own bed that is completely Skyler free. I guess maybe we aren't sleeping so great. It's all quiet between 9pm and 2am anyway.

So I'm off now to pick up the rental car while my car is getting the steering pump replaced, pick up a package at the post office, make two pies, wrap a present, tape two boxes for shipping, pack a suitcase, and thaw some chicken. That's just tonight's list. Add to that some whining, fighting, homework, Skyler helping (which is so sweet but makes everything take twice as long) and constant nagging from me to do the things I told them to do 10 minutes ago. Wanna come over for dinner?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Can’t we all just get along?

We live in the Bible Belt or just north of it depending on where you view the belt as being cinched. There’s a church on every corner and when they ran out of corners they started putting them in strip malls. You can now pick up a pizza, rotate your tires, and praise your God, all without re-parking your car. Since this is the Holiday Season, the current favorite argument to put the “Christ back in Christmas” is being batted around all over the place. {sigh} Why can’t everyone just share?

Here’s the thing. Jesus wasn’t even born on December 25th; the best guestimates put his birthday sometime in September. Thousands of years ago, Christians took over the Winter Solstice celebrations in order to convert pagans to Christianity. So really, it was never a Christian Holiday to begin with and was started with dubious intentions to say the least, so why all the bickering over it now?

Many major religions have a celebration of some kind or another in December, there’s Hanukah, the birth of Christ, Kwanzaa, and Solstice off the top of my head, not to mention the secular celebration of Santa Claus. Most of us have friends of all backgrounds and enjoy being with them and celebrating the good feelings of this “Season of Holidays”. Why must one of them claim rights to it over another? Each celebration is special, to learn more about something you haven't experienced is a good thing. To know that others are celebrating something that is important to them and makes them feel good, while you are doing the same is a good thing.

Let’s take time this season to remember to be accepting of every one and their beliefs; you’ll be a better person for it!

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oprah, sign language, and the weather...

Skyler is finally interested in playing games on the computer. Specifically webkinz. She's usually quite happy to wait her turn for all the other computer nuts in the house get their surfing and gaming done. Last night after dinner, I was checking email and she was watching cartoons. She comes up to me and says "Hey Mommy, do you want to watch Oprah? I'll let you change the channel." I asked "Do you want to use the computer?" Yes she wanted to play webkinz. I was cracking up because I don't usually watch Oprah so I'm not sure why she thought that would be so enticing to me and how funny that she came up with a little bribe rather than just whining that she wanted a turn.

I've had laryngitis again this week. It hit its peak last night when I just couldn't even squeak out any words. I had to resort to sign language and clapping to get attention. Zack thought this was so much fun that we sat on the couch for 30 minutes or so signing goofy things to each other. He's pretty good - he'd make a good charades partner.

The weather here is just stupid. It's supposed to be almost 80 degrees today. It's DECEMBER. White Christmas my ass! The only thing white here IS my ass! Okay that was crass, but really what's with the summer temps? Hopefully Grammy's house will provide the snow that my kids are wishing for! In the meantime it's a Green Christmas for us.

Sorry about the lack of pictures lately. I just haven't uploaded any - actually I haven't even taken any. I'm slacking - tis the season...

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Everything...

I am listening to Michael Buble's new CD Call Me Irresponsible this morning while working and really listened to song #9 Everything and it just made me feel sappy about my dearest, Matt!

The chorus goes:

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, You make me sing.
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything.

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, You make me sing.
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything.
You're every song, and I sing along.
'Cause you're my everything.

I love you Baby - You're my Everything!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Santa's watching you...

Yes, I admit that I have been using the "Santa is watching you" threat lately. For the most part it works nicely to change a nasty attitude when it pops up.

I was giving Skyler a bath the other night and she was giving me a hard time about washing her hair. I pulled the "you'd better behave, Santa is watching you" and she comes back with "No he's not, there aren't any windows in the bathroom". Nice, she's even a smart ass about Santa.

Friday, December 07, 2007

All I want for Christmas is my four front teeth...

That is Zack's theme song for the Holiday Season. His 4th/last center front tooth was dangling from his gums yesterday, but he just wouldn't pull it out. We were all begging him to let us touch it. A light touch would have let this puppy loose. He was having none of it. Even his basketball couch tried to get in the action by telling him that if Zack missed a basket he got to pull the tooth. He played VERY well this practice and even won the last man out shooting challenge, so the tooth stayed in.

I had no plans to spend another day listening to his whining agony so as soon as he was asleep enough that his mouth was hanging open, I reached one finger in and flicked it right into my palm. I didn't even need to pull. He didn't even flinch. I left it with a note from the tooth fairy that she would be back the next night so he could see it. He woke at about 11pm to report that his tooth was missing. We did a search and found the note and the tooth. He was obviously relieved and planned to bring the tooth to school to show his friends and teacher.

Why won't this child pull out a tooth?
1st tooth - Dad
2nd tooth - apple
3rd & 4th teeth - Mom

When I was a kid I would work on it and work on it until that tooth came out. I distinctly remember Mrs. Paul, my second grade teacher, telling me to get my fingers out of my mouth. I'm not going to be able to reach his molars. He's going to have to get tough! I'll try to post a picture of the gaping hole in his mouth later.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

4 going on 14 going on 2...

Remember the post about me putting make-up on Skyler for her school pictures? Well, apparently I created a monster. Last week I picked up Skyler's pictures from school and in addition to the tiny bit of foundation I used to cover the giant scab on her face, there's a hint of lipstick, just a hint. She must have snuck that in somehow. I wish the photographer or her preschool teacher had wiped it off, but they didn't and probably only I (and Amy) would notice. Then Tuesday I picked her up and her teacher handed me a tube of lipstick and said that she took it away from Sky whose lips were very very pink that morning. She snuck it in her pocket on the way to school. Daddy is going to have to start frisking her in the morning. That is the going on 14 part. I can only imagine what she's going to be doing when she actually IS a teenager, probably sneaking padded bras in her book bag. I took the lipstick, gave her a look, and stuck it in my pocket. She looked at me, thinking she was going to get it back, and pitched the mother of all tantrums when she didn't. That is the going on 2 part. She hasn't done this in quite a while and her teachers were absolutely shocked. They had never seen her behave this way before. There was screaming, crying, flailing (is that a word?) on the floor. I can't really pick her up so I had to do the "Mommy's leaving" thing. She would race after me, get in front of me and grab at the pocket with the lipstick in it. It took forever to get her in the car and another teacher even came out thinking that she was hurt because she'd never heard Skyler screaming like that. Can you just imagine what type of tantrum she's going to throw when we don't buy her that cute little Volkswagen convertible that she wants for her 16th birthday?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Very good friends of ours are expecting a baby in March. I asked Skyler if we should have a big baby party and get lots of baby gifts for them. She got so excited.

Me: What do you think we should get for the baby?
Sky: Lots of soft soft blankets so he'll be snuggly and warm.
Me: What else?
Sky: Some bottles, and Mommy what's that thing you put in the baby's mouth when you don't want to hear them cry anymore?
Me: You mean a binky or a pacy?
Sky: Yeah a binky, we should get a binky.

I was cracking up. Apparently in Skyler's world, if you don't want to listen to a baby cry, you stick a binky in its mouth and the problem is solved.

In other family news, Zack started playing basketball yesterday. It's a local rec program. He seemed to enjoy it and fit right in with the coach and other kids. He has one friend from soccer on his team and I think he recognized a few other kids from school. They already asked me if I wanted to be a Team Mom. I told them that if they got desperate I'd do it, I'm all Team Mom-ed out. I actually hear the words "No, just say No" bouncing around my head but they never come out sounding like that...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Family Pictures

I've been desperate to get some family pictures for Christmas cards but haven't wanted to go through the terrible effort it takes to get my family dressed appropriately and behaving appropriately. BUT - we did it and had fun too!

Here are a couple that didn't make the card but are so precious to me anyway!

You can see that Zeke has a dangling tooth, some gaping holes, and a tooth growing in, this is such a funny time for pictures for him. Skyler still has a gorgeous smile and sparkling eyes!


So much fun!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Big Daddy - not so big anymore!

Big Daddy, that's what the kids and I call Matt. He's lost {drumroll please} 41lbs since September. I couldn't be prouder of him! Last night I hear Zack say to Matt, "Daddy, your big belly isn't big anymore". We all know that he's lost weight, but when a six year old notices, you know you're getting somewhere!

Congratulations honey! I'm insanely proud of you! Keep up the fantastic work.

Oh and the downside to having observant children is when they point out that your belly IS big - such as Skyler did to me last week, thanks sweety! Off to do some crunches...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cough cough cough

Skyler is sick again. She's had a little cough for a few weeks now. The doc said it was just an asthma flare up and we've been watching it. Tuesday night she COUGHED ALL NIGHT LONG. Matt and I got only a couple of hours of sleep. I got up with her at about midnight and had her take her inhaler and some delsym and put her in my bed. Matt came to bed (after falling asleep on the couch) at about 4:00 and it truly must say something about how tired I was or how being a Mommy has beaten me down because I didn't even freak when I woke up and realized the entire back of my t-shirt and my underwear were completely soaked. Skyler had coughed so hard she had peed my bed. I have no idea if she was so close to me she peed on me, or if she peed and I happily slept in the warmth of it, but I was soaked, she was soaked, the bed was soaked. We figured that all out and tried for another couple of hours of sleep while listening to the lullaby of Skyler coughing us to sleep. When the alarm went off at 5:45 I thought - "there is just no freakin way" - she and I stayed home. OF COURSE, she was fine all day, some coughing but not too much. Come 7:30 last night it began again. WHY do kids only get sick symptoms at night? We've been through this enough times, and I have enough medications in my "Mommy of an asthmatic" arsenal that I can fight this without another doc appointment, but man does it suck. My lungs ache for her. I see a lot of quiet snuggling watching movies in our bed in our future!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Magic of the Christmas Tree...

Yesterday afternoon I picked the kids up from school and they immediately grabbed a snack and headed for the living room. They picked out a game and asked if we could sit on the floor and play. We played games under the Christmas Tree until dinner. They were kind and courteous to each other. No one cried, no one complained if they didn't win. It was a Mother's version of the Twilight Zone. I LOVE this time of year!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Deck the halls....

I was determined to get the tree up this weekend. It was a hefty task as there is more furniture in the living room than there was last year. I decided that I would have to block the back door for a month. The first step was to clean up the toys. This is always a giant PIA. The good part is that I end up with several piles of junk the kids have accumulated that I can throw away. PLUS - they are always more likely to play with their toys if I've organized them.

Matt offered to go up in the attic on Friday/Saturday and get down the Christmas buckets. I was shocked, it took no begging/bitching on my part. Last year Matt organized the attic and was all prepared for this to be much easier than usual. Skyler was SO eager to help Daddy go up in HER attic (it's above her bedroom). She climbed right up the ladder and Matt grabbed both her hands and she disappeared. She was the big helper/flashlight holder, you would have thought she was a job foreman. Matt had a good time laughing with her.

I always love opening up the buckets of Christmas ornaments and decorations. It's like taking your memories out of storage. Each item is a little treasure. Last year was the first year that the kids really made ornaments and decorations in school. This year they had so much fun pulling them out and remembering making them. I have no idea if the memories were imaginary or not but they enjoyed it.

Don't tell any of my New England relatives but {whispering} we got a fake tree last year, a really nice one. AND it was a bargain, because I'm a bargain shopper. Matt thought I was absolutely nuts when I brought it home, but it was SO easy to put away last year, and click click click, fluff fluff fluff, and our tree was up this year. Granted we didn't do the tree dance that Matt grew up with, but really there's no reason why we couldn't. Maybe I'll make him do it next year.

Anyway here it is:


A work in progress:

Ooooh Sparkley

That's as far as I've gotten. No lights outside, no garland, I'm working on the mantel. The tree is always first! I hope you enjoy decorating your tree this year!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Day - Part II

As I mentioned in my last post, we had a wonderful day yesterday. My cousin Jackie put on a wonderful dinner. Everything was cooked perfectly and everyone really enjoyed dinner. There were 8 kids and 7 adults. The kids actually behaved for dinner (minus eating their peas) and then we scooted them back outside. We ate SO much food. The women cooked and laid out the table, the men cleaned the whole kitchen!!! That might have been the best part of the day. Then we sat and ate many many desserts and drank wine and coffee. Then Jackie's entire neighborhood went outside. All the kids organized a game of wiffle ball. We brought out a big table and each household brought all their desserts out to the street. We pulled chairs out to the curbs and cheered on the game. It was so much fun. Thankfully it was a warm and beautiful day. Once it got dark people started heading indoors, probably to start making turkey sandwiches. The kids finally wandered in around 7:00pm moaning that they were starving. We dragged all the tupperware back out and made sandwiches and snacks for everyone. They started dropping off one by one. The littlest, Madison (who reminds me of Cindy Lou Who,) passed out in Jackie's arms first. We didn't head home until almost 10:00pm. You just never know how a Holiday is going to go, but this was certainly one of the best! Thanks Jackie & Patrick for having us over!

ps - Matt wanted me to make sure to mention that he made a double-play in wiffle ball, apparently that's a great thing. I'd tell you more, but I have no idea what any of that means.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day - Part I

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family! We had a wonderful dinner at my cousin's house with my cousin, her family, and my aunt & uncle. It was such a fantastic day - I'll post pictures later when I upload. I just wanted to take time to tell everyone how thankful we are to have each of you in our lives. We really have the very best friends and are fortunate to have a wonderful and supportive family.

We hope you all enjoyed your holiday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Old people and airports - kid conversations...

At the breakfast table:

Skyler: You can't kick old people or they will die.
Daddy: You shouldn't kick anyone.
Skyler: Yeah but OLD people will DIE if you kick them.
Zack: Not old people in China! Old people in China are strong.
Daddy: How do you know about old people in China? We don't know any old people in China.
Zack: In the Karate movie, the old guy is strong and beats up the bad guys [Karate Kid anyone?]
Matt: Oh yes, Mr. Miagi was very strong, but he was from Japan.
Skyler: Daddy, remember when I was a baby and we went to China?
Matt: No Skyler, we've never been to China. But Daddy went to Japan before you were born.
Zack: In your submarine?
Matt: Yes.
Skyler: Yeah, but I didn't know you then.

We're in the car going to the airport to pick up my Mother. I'm on the phone with Amy (I didn't follow this conversation until Matt & Sky started yelling to each other), Zack is playing his DS in the back-back, Skyler is in the middle talking Matt's ear off.

Skyler: Where are we?
Daddy: Virginia Beach
Skyler: Is the airport in Virginia Beach?
Daddy: No.
Skyler: It's not even in VIRGINIA?
Daddy: Yes it is, it's about half an hour away.
Skyler: Do you wish the airport was really close so we could walk to get Grammy?
Daddy: Well, then it would be really loud if the airplanes were always flying over our heads. You'd have walk around with your fingers in your ears all the time.
Daddy: Skyler?
Skyler: WHAT?
Daddy: I said it would be really...
Skyler: WHAT? I can't hear you, I have my fingers in my ears!

Little Zacky update: He had a MUCH better day at school today. He's even talking quite a bit which leads me to the realization that his voice has changed. :-( {sniffle} I'm going to miss that raspy Zacky voice. The doc said that it could change a few times over the next two weeks as the swelling increases and then decreases. He's a little squeeky right now, almost like a toy that hasn't been used in awhile. His voice has always been so distinctive. I'm going to miss it.

This is the stuff that makes my heart beat...

Zack's class made a book about Thanksgiving today.

Front cover:

The best part?

That's a picture of me reading to Zack.

Do you ever have one of those days where you think "hey, maybe I AM doing something right!"?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back at School...

After having been out for a week of school, Zack's first day back was a bit strenuous. For starters, he was nervous last night so he couldn't sleep. It was after 11:00 the last time I remember telling him to get back in bed. I finally turned my light off and pretended to be asleep so he could crawl in my bed and let himself fall asleep. He has some stealth, he crept in, sat lightly on the bed, eased himself under the covers. I fear he'll be an expert at sneaking in past curfew. He was up by 4:30 complaining that his ears hurt which the doc warned us about (did I mention that? I can't rememeber). He took his medication and was up again when I got up at 6:00.

Matt says he went off to school okay but at 10:45 I got a call from the school nurse telling me that he was in pain, no fever, and could I bring his medication to school. I did that. I just got another call at 2:30 telling me he was resting in the nurses office through P.E. I explained to his teacher and the nurse that if I brought him home today, he'd want to come home again tomorrow. He's been really great all week. I think he's tired and needs to ease back into class work. They agreed to keep him quiet and take it easy. His doctor really urged not stopping normal activity for more than a week. I have that giant pile of Mommy Guilt riding on my back, but, he's there until I can get there at 4:15. Poor Baby! He's going to bed at 6:00 ;-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pierogi Day Virginia Style

For as far back as I can remember and much further than that, there has been Pierogi Day in our family (Mom's side is Polish). It's usually the weekend before Christmas. All of the women in our family get together to make pierogi to be eaten on Christmas Eve. It's a lot of work so this only happens once per year. Everyone brings an ingredient, my mother makes the dough.

Since moving away from home seven years ago, I haven't attended many pierogi days. It wouldn't matter much anyway, I'm not much help. They've dubbed me "The Pierogi Princess", which basically means I sit around and munch on goodies and do my nails while they work and make fun of me! :-)

Since my mother was coming to visit for Zack's surgery and Matt and our friends Mike & Amy love pierogi, we got her to agree to help us make some. She had to bring the cheese with her as Farmer's Cheese seems to be impossible to find around here.

In true Mom style, she had all the prep work done long before we got home from work. The dough was made, the filling cooked. All we needed to do was roll, stuff, boil, cook, and eat YUM! Mom was the super star, but we did pretty well. Skyler LOVED helping. I think from now on I'll ship her up to Grammy's the week before Christmas so she can further enjoy this tradition - goodness knows she's not going to get much exposure from me!

Matt walked in JUST in time to grab a plate of deliciously cooked pierogi. He's got great timing!

edited to explain: A pierogi is a Polish dumpling. You can make them with just about anything in them, but our family has always made them exactly the same and only once per year. The filling is mashed potatos, farmer's cheese, and onions.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tonsils look like meatballs... or so I'm told.

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile, Monday Zack had his tonsils & adenoids removed. He was SUCH a trooper! I was a nervous wreck. Matt couldn't understand it, but there's something about your child being unconscious that makes a mother's heart skip a few beats.

We had to be at the Children's hospital at 7:30. Zack didn't seem nervous for the most part. He just didn't know what each step was going to unfold so he was cautious.

We signed in in the day surgery office and were careful to obey the NO FOOD signs posted everywhere. One Dad showed up with his thermos of coffee and was asked to leave and find a place for his cup. They meant business. If the kids can't eat or drink, neither can you! I love it. The first order of business was having the nurse check Zack in and take his vitals. Every time she asked him to do something, he glanced at me like "is this going to hurt?", even if it was just getting his weight. They assigned him some cute jammies and we met with nurses and the anesthesiologist.

He was a little nervous at this point because we were talking a little bit over his head, his eyes were wide as he glanced back and forth between us. We had a great chat with a nurse from Massachusetts - we compared notes and teased her about her accent.
Back out to the waiting room, I found the key to making any six year old boy calm. The adolescent waiting room was empty and had a video game console. Zack and Matt played Mario Golf for about 45 minutes while we waited for Zack's surgeon to come get us.
Right at 9:30, the scheduled surgery time, Zack's surgery nurse, the nurse anesthetist, and his surgeon came in to get us. They had him give us a kiss and a hug, took him by the hand, and walked off down the hall. Zebra got to go too. This is a bad pic, but there they are at the end, walking towards the surgery suite.

Matt and I were sent to the waiting room with the rest of the nervous parents, well I was nervous, Matt was cool and calm! Mikey stopped by and hung out with us while we tried to play rummy with 51 cards.
Within an hour, our favorite surgeon ever (did I tell you he took the quarter out of Skyler's throat two years ago?) came out and updated us. Zack's tonsils and adenoids were definitely enlarged. He also told us that they look like meatballs, who knew? About 10 minutes later, one of the sweet little volunteers came to get us. Zack was in recovery, awake. He looked PISSED. He obviously didn't have much to say, and was sort of out of it, but he looked angry. Matt and I kept looking at each other and making the "uh oh" face. I think it was just the only face he could make.
Our little trooper, did so well, so quickly, that they moved him right over to the second phase of recovery. I slowly spooned in a grape slushy and we watched The Incredibles. We had to stay for at least two hours.

Zack didn't talk at all, but didn't seem too miserable. He really didn't like getting his IV out, but that was the worst of it. At the two hour mark, we got him dressed, got a popsicle for the road, and had him wheeled out to the car.

He was perky, but fell asleep right before we got home. Dude slept for a couple of hours and then was ready for movies and ice cream. In two days we've gone through two half gallons of ice cream and we're working on a third. He says it hurts but basically refuses to take his pain medication. He's not talking, but can. He does a lot of clapping and pointing at the freezer - MORE ICE CREAM PLEASE!
I'm so proud of Zack and happy to get rid of those super large tonsils!

edit: a little tonsil/adenoidectomy lesson (I went searching for pics)

Adenoids and tonsils are the same tissue. Another name for adenoids is: pharyngeal tonsils. The "tonsils" that most people refer to at the back of the throat are the palatine tonsils. SO - if one type is enlarged, odds are the other is as well.

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled blog...
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