Friday, July 27, 2007

It could save your life....

Keeping this going....

WhyMommy over at Toddler Planet is fighting a battle with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. She wants our help to get the word out. Here is a post of hers that she would like you to read, to remember and to pass on.

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.


P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.

Thank you.


Photo Hunt Saturday - Creative

This week's photo hunt theme is creative. While this post itself isn't creative (I recycled it from April) the shoes are rather creative. The girls love wearing their funky shoes out.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

White Stripes....

Einey has always loved music. From dancing to the Wiggles to Raffi to They Might Be Giants, we've enjoyed them together. At the town' Wild West Day last week, she heard a song form "Annie Get Your Gun" and has been walking around sing that this week.

However, with her appreciation to music, it was bound to happen one day. She found a band she likes. Really, really likes. That band? The White Stripes. Definitely not quite age-appropriate. In particular, she likes "Fell in Love" and their Coke commercial. (Okay, I have to say, the latter is pretty cool)

I guess it's time to start weeding through "real" music and letting her get a taste of some more appropriate songs.
So here's a question, what music do you let your kids listen to? Do you control their tastes?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Making Wishes Come True...

Do you like ice cream? Yeah I like the triple chocolate myself. Do you like sunflowers? Yup there's plenty here. Do you like making wishes come true? Well then I have just the place for you.

[To finish reading this article, click here]

{{continued below as the other site is no longer supported}}

Now through July 29th, Buttonwoods Farm Ice Cream Stand is donating all of the proceeds from their sunflowers to the Connecticut Make A Wish foundation. For $5 you can purchase a huge bouquet of sunflowers. The girls and I took the drive today and walked through the fields. Then they sat and enjoyed their Raspberry Sorbet. They each brought a bouquet of sunflowers and then we made the trek home.

So if your in the area this week and want really good ice cream (it's all made right there) and want to help make some wishes come true, stop by!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Not Rocket Scientist Material...

Anyone with kids know your going to have interesting conversations at some point. Her e are a few from the last week:

While driving to the store....

Einey: hey Mom, have you ever seen a dog driving?
Me: Honey, dogs don't drive. They can't they have no hands.
Einey: But Mom, what about the seeing dogs for the blind people? They don't let the blind people drive - that would be dangerous cuz they can't see.

Me: ???

Me: after laughing a bit - Well honey, that is correct - the seeing eye dogs do help blind people when they walk, but they cannot drive for them. They need other people for that.

Although, I have always wondered about the braille on drive-up ATM machines and other Drive through apparatus...


While shopping:

Husband and I just happened to accidentally walk by curtains that will match our bedroom. Have I mentioned we've lived in our house for 6 years?

We went to get a closer look -

Me: These are perfect - right color, nice pattern.
Husband: Yeah but look how long they are. They are too long for the windows.
Me: ????

Me: after a slight pause - you do know that your Mom is pretty much a professional seamstress right? If she can make a bridesmaid dress for our wedding, and new dresses for the girls, I'm sure she can handle hemming some curtains. Hell, I'm sure I could figure that one out.

One day it was raining so instead of swim lessons, they had an indoor water safety class. On the sheet of paper were different people and their jobs. The kids had to explain who they were and what they were responsible for. One picture was a man holding a hose.

Swim Instructor: Who is the man in charge of your house?
Einey: (with a look of pure bewilderment) Um I confused. What do you mean?
Me: laughing
Meenie: Daddy!

Einey knows - Mom's the boss!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Photo Hunt Saturday - Tiny

This week's photo hunt theme is Tiny. While browsing my pictures, I came across quite a few that fit the theme, but narrowed it down to two.

The first is a picture of some aphids on the stem of an Dahlia plant. See them? They are the tiny yellow things. See the ants? They are "milking" the aphids for their honeydew secretions. It's true - I even checked here. This is something I observed last year and didn't believe Husband when he told me. I should have believed him, after all, he was right about Ant Lions and other odd facts I never knew.

The second picture is of a yellow crab spider hiding camouflaged on a sunflower.

Friday, July 20, 2007


As I was waking up - doing my morning check of my favorite blogs, I stumbled upon this nomination by Fairly Odd Mother. She is the mom of three young children who is just crazy enough to homeschool them. I once thought about homeschooling my girls, but realized school = sanity! She is also one of my fellow New England Moms, so that makes her even more rockin'!

I am now supposed to 'tag' five other 'Rockin' Girl Bloggers'. I can't believe all the people I am about to choose have not been chosen before (at least as far as I can tell!). So, without further delay, in no particular order, here are some girls who I think rock:

1. Binky at 24/7 is a real life friend and the one who introduced me to blogging. She is an amazing writer! We will miss her and the Boss ow that they have moved.

2. Mrs. Chicken is a New Yorker living out in the Midwest (it is considered the mid west out there, right?). And while the shopping isn't always the greatest out there, she has great stories to tell! And for a little bit in the summer, she comes out East to the cape to vacation, so that makes her a temporary New Englander.

3. Mrs. Chicky is another New England Blogger whose life with Chicky Chicky and her two dogs is never boring. She swears she lives too far away from all of us other bloggers, but really, I think she may be closer to me that we know, after all, it's a small world. If you ever need advice on your dog, feel free to stop by her Dog Gone Blog. I sure wish this was around when we got The Dog all those years ago.

4. Lauren at Memoir takes totally amazing pictures. And now that she's got her new camera, she's taking even more! I envy her and all her pictures. You rock!

5. Toyfoto at Ittybits and Pieces is also another amazing photographer. Her pictures of her daughter and new son are amazing. And while unlike the others, she doesn't live in New England per say, but close enough!

You girls rock!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tagged (Again)

I was tagged again - this time for a 5 things... meme by Jenifer of Everybody Loves Raymond (well some maybe) on her way back into the blogosphere.


5 things in your refrigerator.

1. A bag of cherries which have been in there for a long, long time. (I think from Meenie's family birthday party about a month ago) Apparently the girls do not like cherries. Either that or I am to lazy to cut the pits out of them. Either way, I think I need to throw them away.
2. A half gallon of milk (and I swear I just brought it). I think I need to invest in a cow- it would probably be cheaper.
3. Cream cheese and sour cream for the super yummy cappachino cupcakes I'm making for a party this weekend.
4. Husband's bar of chocolate from God knows when. And I was nice enough not to eat it on him.
5. Three and a half dozen eggs - because they were buy one get two free last week.

5 things in your closet (I'll do husband's closet because it's in our room. I actually share the closet in Einey and Meenies room).

1. A Darth Vader voice changer mask.
2. A really big super soaker.
3. A pirate costume and sword
4. Rolls of wall paper that have yet to be hung on the walls.
5. A Gargantuan Blue Dragon and Gargantuan Black Dragon

5 things in your purse or backpack

1. Pictures of the girls
2. Raffle tickets for a school function I have yet to sell (yeah we get them over the summer as well).
3. Tickets from the Wiggles 2005 concert.
4. My cell phone (and Husband's cell phone).
5. Tokens to the local grocery store.

5 things in your car

1. Two bicycles with training wheels (plus helmets), a soccer ball, bunch of kites, three folding chairs (2 adult and one child) and a stroller.
2. A few changes of clothes (mostly Moe's, I need to put more in for the other girls).
3. A bag of pasta that I need to drop off at the local food pantry.
4. A box of individually wrapped crackers and cheese for when the kids get hungry while we are out. Dubbed the snack bucket, but there isn't much of a variety yet.
5. My beach bag (which we use every day). Contents include a life jacket, two towels, a gazillion pairs of swim goggles, two pairs of water wings, three bottles of sunblock, s container of baby powder, a sand pail with shovel, lots of sand and a comb.

5 things in the world you want to see before you die

1. My grandchildren and even (hopefully but no too soon) great-grand children.
2. Victoria Falls
3. Australia
4. Europe
5. World Peace

I guess it is now my turn to tag 5 of you to participate...

So let's see, I'll go out on a limb and choose....

My fellow New England Mamas (yeah I choose all of you!)
Nate (because well, I can't ever comment there!)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Photo Hunt Saturday - Shadow

This week's photo hunt theme is shadow. I knew exactly what picture I was planning on using ever since I took this photo back in May. This is Moe's shadow taken as we were leaving a day at the lake. Unfortunately, my picture was late as I was having issues with my logging into blogger (and google) yesterday.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

High Flying

We live very close to a small airport. So close, we frequently have Cessna's and other small planes flying over our yard. This plane isn't about the planes though, it's about the parachuter's and hang gliders. Yup we can watch them too. We usually see them during the week in the early evening as we are enjoying dinner on the deck or relaxing in the yard. On weekends, they can usually be seen continuously throughout the day. We have never seen them actually jump though, we just see them usually slowly drift to the behind the tree line (I saw usually because on occasion, you will see one enter a pretty quick spiral).

Because of this as part of their lives, my girls have decided they want t ojump out of planes when they grow up. They were actually upset when I told them they couldn't do it until then. Apparently they think it's safe for kids to be jumping out of planes. I told them they can jump when they're older, I'll be on the ground taking pictures.

Anyway, I wanted to give you a bit of background before I shared a snippet of conversation:

Me: Get down from the deck railing before you fall (out deck is actually about 15 feet off the ground as our house is built on a hill). Einey to Meenie (who was leaning over the railing): It's okay, I'll grab a blanket and then she'll have a parachute if she falls.

She had me laughing for a bit before I explained that a) she wouldn't be able to grab a blanket before her sister hit the ground and b) a blanket is not a parachute and would not stop her sister from getting hurt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Click on the image for more information!

Day trips

In addition to letterboxing, while Husband was on vacation the last two weeks, we shipped the girls off to VBS each morning for one week and they started swim lessons the next week.

We took two day trips, one to a semi-local zoo and the other to the aquarium.

The zoo is one I went to all the time when I was growing up. I have very fond memories and hope that the girls will too. They have (in the past few years) added a HUGE chimp exhibit, a large area for their big cats (Lions and Tigers and opening very soon - the African Panther) and added a mandrill exhibit. Husband chased the male mandrill around the perimeter of the cage trying to get a picture, that he started to snarl and bare his teeth at him. I remember growing up, the big cats were in very small cages in the center of the zoo. It wasn't fun to see them that way (yes I know, animals shouldn't be in cages). And of course, they still have the "Big Red Bat" which the girls get a kick out of, just like I did when I was a kid! The day we went, it was raining off and on all day. It worked out well as the majority of the zoo is tree lined so the tree canopy kept us dry. The nice thing about this zoo is it is in the middle of nowhere. It's a nice easy drive!

And bonus, there is a letterbox here which became our first out of state stamp!

The aquarium is the one we go to all the time. We actually brought their membership and can now go whenever we want. They just opened their "birds of the outback" exhibit where you can walk through and feed the birds. They weren't very hungry though because they have so many people feeding them all day long.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Going Postal...

The other day I went to the Post Office to mail a summer fun package to our best friends. The girls have been working hard to gather stuff to send their friends - party favors, crafts and even some of those fake rocks! When we were at the zoo last week, we picked up a post card. I hadn't had time to send it, so I affixed it to the outside of the box (in a plastic bag taped securely). And do you know what? I was told they had to charge me for both the package and the post card! WTF, it's not like they were handling the post card at all)!

And this was the good post office. Not the one which always tells us we cannot send a package with delivery confirmation unless it's sent priority mail. Uh huh, yup, okay. That's why all the other post offices let us get delivery comf. with parcel post.

(Ok so I wasn't at all upset at paying the 26 cents, just highly amused)!

Berry Fun!

Weekend Fun!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Childhood Obesity

It's true today that more and more kids suffer from childhood obesity. In fact, it is a growing problem in this nation.

I recently took Meenie in for her four year physical and voiced my concern for her. She is 41 inches tall and 45 pounds - which puts her BMI (according to KidsHealth) at roughly 18.8 or in the 95% for her age. She she was 6 pounds at birth and dropped to 5 pounds, 10 ounces at her 1 week visit. However, just 3 weeks later at her one month visit she was a whopping 10 pounds already! Anyway, her doctor and I talked extensively about my concerns for her. He feels that she is fine right now and doesn't believe in diets for kids. Also, for us, it isn't lifestyle. We rarely keep chips/cookies/ice cream and other high fat snacks in the house. We do keep yogurt/fruit and fresh veggies in the house. The doctor believes genetics play a big part (Husband and I are both overweight). As for activity level, she is always on the go. She is involved in soccer and swimming lessons. During the day, we can be found horsing around outside in the yard, at the playground, on our bikes and hiking in the woods. In fact ,every morning when I used to drop Einey off at school, we would hit the track walking. I swear she can do a faster mile than I can!

Another thing the doctor and I discussed was how school physical education focuses too much on competitive sports and not enough on everyday sports. Instead of focusing so much on soccer, basketball and baseball, they should teach kids about swimming and bicycling and hiking. I know it's not feasible in most schools due to budget and space, but those are activities they can enjoy fully as an adult and with their families. Did you know there is a sport called "speed stacking?" I can't tell you how baffled I was to learn that Einey had a whole section of gym focusing on how fast she can stack cups. I mean, where is the sport/exercise in that? I still don't get it. Gym wasn't Eineys strong subject this year. She consistently got "meets the expectation" on her report card. But you know what, I'm okay with that because I know she is getting what she needs to know at home. She's the youngest and smallest in her class, so I know she isn't going to be the biggest, fastest or strongest! We celebrated when she told us she went from being 21 out of 22 in the 50 year dash to 17! For her, that was a huge accomplishment! In addition to soccer and swimming, Einey spent one afternoon a week at our local Audubon Society for an after school nature class. It's something she wanted to do this summer but wasn't old enough. There the kids took hikes and learned about nature. On one hike, while cleaning out the nesting boxes for spring, they found a pair of field mice who settled there for the winter.

Einey is on the small side. Eighteen months older than Meenie, she weighs in at 37 pounds - to light to even be in a booster seat by state laws! Moe is average for her age I think - she's about 27 pounds. All three eat the same, all three do relatively the same activities (Moe isn't involved in soccer, biking or swimming lessons yet).

One thing that always astonishes me when I see it is that children today do not spend enough time outside. The National Wildlife Foundation recommends that kids get "one green hour" a day of unstructured activity outdoors. One hour! How can kids not be outside for one hour??? That is nothing! I just cannot fathom that kids today don't spend that little time outside!

Between putzing around in our gardens (the veggies are growing finally!), looking for bugs and playing games, we spend more than that time. Sure, I have to be out there with them, but there is always work to be done. My gardens alone take up plenty of time. And when the kids get bored, I stop what I am doing and play games with them! Sometimes I turn on the sprinkler and let the just run, other times I had them bubbles or sidewalk chalk.

Now the garden is another story. I have found that we don't actually get many mature veggies out of our hard work. You see, there are six tiny hands that do an awful lot of picking the tiny veggies. I can't complain too much though because they are eating veggies and generally liking it. Although sometimes I would like to enjoy the freshness as well. There is nothing like fresh veggies right out of the garden! And our raspberry bushes - well they are 1/2 bare now. The girls have been raiding them morning, noon and night!

So I guess for now, we are going to encourage the girls to eat well and have plenty of outdoor activity time. If for nothing else, it will set them up with a lifetime of appreciation of nature and a sense of self.

How to spend five hours....

Goodwin Forest State Park

Earlier this week, we decided to take a small hike after swimming lessons. It was around 11:30 am so we grabbed some snacks, water, and our letterboxing bag and hit the road (notice I didn't say lunch because after all it was supposed to be a small hike). We sprayed ourselves down with Deep Woods Off (we've learned our lesson)! and off we were with our trail map in hand.

After getting off to a rough start, we couldn't find our first box, but did find a box with no clues to it, we were on our way. We ended up wandering around, following clues and having fun. We ate our snacks slowly and really weren't too hungry even without lunch. The girls attempted to pee in the woods. Einey had no problem, but Meenie made a mess. Not fun! Little girls and squatting in the woods is not good!

We really urged the girls to use their five senses. We encouraged them to smell the wildflowers, talked about how different it smelled than by the lake, or in the middle of the pine forest. We discussed how the forest changed as we walked, from overgrown fields to pine forests to cedar groves to a marshy causeway. We listened to deer in the forest, birds singing and trees creaking (I thought one was about to fall!). We watched a deer leap through the forest over a stone wall and into a field. We saw old stone foundations and an equally old dam. We saw butterflies and birds in abundance. We spied another deer on the edge of a stonewall. We watched chipmunks scamper and a great blue heron soar across the lake. We looked for frogs and turtles by the pond. We looked for beavers by the beaver dam and observed a tree the beaver's chopped down. We saw red squirrels and gray squirrels. We saw people with dogs and people on horses. The girls picked wild flowers and ferns.



And 5.5 hours later, we emerged from our journey. Happy. Hungry. Exhausted. Kids catching their second wind. Only two deer ticks. And 14 more stamps later. We went home, ate dinner and crashed!

Note to self: eat before you go on a "little" hike!

Did you know that the CT State DEP has letterboxes? Yup. Collect five stamps and contact them and once it's verified, they will send you a patch. How cool is that?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Photo Hunt Saturday - Fake

This week's photo hunt theme is fake. I had a hard time finding something fake until I remembered the bag of toppings from our cake in a bucket. The picture is of candy rocks. They taste like M&M's but look like real rocks. We fooled the girls with these! Unfortunately the picture isn't that great, I will see if I can grab a better one in the morning!


Okay, one more shot of the rocks in the cake!