Saturday, April 26, 2014

 SO Which March of Dimes shirt should I wear tomorrow? That's a lot of shirts over 12 years! I can't bring myself to throw/give any of them away. I "earned" them... LOL! :)  


Our Team is $85 away from $4,000 collected for the March of Dimes. Can u please help us reach that amazing amount, with a small donation! THANK YOU!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New TEAM UPDATE for March for Babies! :)

We are SUPER proud to ANNOUNCE that our family team...Team Emily CR-213 has raised $3,595.00 for the March of Dimes thus far!!!! There are 5 days left & we still are hoping to collect a few more donations! :) BUT this is by far our best effort ever & I couldn't be more proud of our team.  Especially of Brian who raised $2,100.00 alone! It's also a new RECORD for me... so far I've raised $665.00 & I'm so happy with that! :) Thank you to everyone who's donated to our team! U ALL ROCK!!! I'm $35 away from goal & so I still need a little help. Please donate & help all babies be born healthy & help preemies have the chance to survive like our Emily had! Thank YOU all! :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Give & GO Outside

I've decided for every 1/2 hr  Emily spends outside.. she'll earn 15 minutes more on the computer.  Don't worry we'll still limit the amount of time on the computer.  BUT she's outside right now!!! Why didn't I think of this years ago... LOL! :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Operation Communication"

We are working on something we call, "Operation Communication" in our house.   Our daughter, Emily (13) is really an introvert & being an only child doesn't help.  She has a very hard time making friends due to it.   Her father & I aren't what you'd call "Social butterflies" either & so perhaps our example hasn't been the best for her either.  Not to mention she had a one on one aide (for various reasons- but not academic) for many years in school, which I'm sure didn't help with the whole "making" friends thing.  Or the fact that she's not an athlete & team sports wasn't something our pediatrician really recommended for Emily.  She's always been super smart----as such she'd rather be reading or writing than outside playing  & she just has a general lack of "social" skills, perhaps as a result of her premature birth.  But she's ALSO such a great girl & we know if the kids would just have a little patience with her & get to really know her they would totally have so much fun being her friend.   We really want her to make friends & be more of a "participate" in her school & just the world in general. Her father & I had a good talk with Emily the other day... a really good one.  I think we made a breakthrough. It's obviously something we've communicated with Emily over the years BUT maybe perhaps not this in-depth or with a specific "plan" ie: Operation Communication.  We tried really hard to explain why communicating with others is so important.  If you don't understand something... you have to communicate that.  If you want something you have to say it, or you might NEVER get it & in order to make friends you have to start conversations--- you have to put yourself out there!!  I know we could be asking for trouble.  I'm sure a lot of "middle school" moms might be thinking, we are crazy for opening that "middle school girl drama" can.  But we know it's important- nonetheless to make friends. At one point during our talk both Emily & I were getting a little teary.  I was upset because I told her I wanted the world for her & I was afraid that if she didn't start putting herself out there a little more she might miss a bunch of opportunities in life.   I don't like seeing her inside all the time & I really want her to make friends with other kids.  I remember how much fun I had with my best friend Denise when I was her age.  I too, didn't have a whole lot of friends but I had that one good one.  That is all we really want for Emily.  When I asked Emily why she was getting upset she said, she was getting upset seeing me get upset.  :) She's so sweet.  I know if kids got to know the Emily we see- they'd realize just what a great kid/ friend she could be.  But I can't make the friends for her.... She has to.  So we're starting "operation communication" to try & get her to better communicate--- starting in our own house & hopefully she can extend it to school.  It's been going really good.  We usually get the "typical" teenage response when we ask her how her day was? GOOD.  Then we would find out something she forgot to mention, like a test or some information we should be knowing... so we talked about her not saying "one word" answers but actually going in to details with us, we are really encouraging this at home & hopefully it will extent to school as well.  The thing that is great about Emily is she is generally willing to put in the work, & since we're making it like an "assignment" hence the "operation communication" title it might just work. She's a bit of a perfectionist & hopefully in this case that will work to her benefit- & she'll want to have a successful outcome. Hey, whatever works.... :)  So hopefully if we keep on top of it,  more communicating will soon become second nature.   Emily tends to keep to her self in school, she's a bit shy & usually during any free time she'll have her head in a book... so when ever I ask her well what were the other kids doing? & She's like... I don't know.  She's so focused academically, that the "Social" aspects of school & making friends are not something she cares too much about. I mean she is in the National Jr. Honor Society & takes EXCEL Science & Social Studies.. Until this year she got straight A's & even this year with taking a really tough Algebra class, she has made HONOR roll every marking period. :) We are so proud of her & really happy she is such an academic, but we wish she would get involved more in school socially.   The thing is we think Emily wishes it too, even though she is really a HAPPY person & generally fine with how life is.  I know at times she wishes for me friends, etc.   I think "Operation Communication" is actually starting to work... just this week she told me about two conversations she had with the same girl this week & I'm hoping it's the start of good things "in the friend's" department for her.  One of the conversation----- she even started! So stoked! I hope she allows the kids into her world, & maybe even more importantly I hope they allow her into theirs.  Here's hoping.  I've written about wanting her to have more friends before & I just hope taking this "extra" step with Operation Communication helps... if she puts in the effort & sees results hopefully it will make a world of difference in her opening up to others.  As a parent, you worry about your kids... you just do.  You can't help it.  She's been really blessed in life.  As have we to be her parents... I just hope she has others in her life that have her back & get her.  It can't just be her family. Having friends is really important.... We think she's starting to get that.  :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Baby Book & Graditude

So while cleaning up our home office I came across Emily's baby book.  We had it in there because in the latest copy of A Life Begun, we added pictures from it.  This time of year around the walk always reminds Brian & I about those first 6 months when Emily was in the hospital.  So of course I started going through it.  I've looked at that book probably 1000 times & again today.  I spent so much time on it & I worked hard trying to add as much as I could from that time to it.   There's everything in it, from the tiny little blood pressure cuff to the signs announcing to the "world" or at least the visitors of our room, how old Emily was that hung on her isolette.  Everything in that book I treasure, all are a reminder of how hard Emily fought to simply be here.  All are such gifts.  But the one section I love most of all might just be a section where the Nurses & Doctors wrote messages for Emily when it was time for her to go home.  Those mean so much, because we had such love & respect for the team of Doctors & nurses who took such amazing care of our daughter .  Their kind words mean the world to us.  I thought I would share a couple of them on here. (I'm sure they wouldn't mind, but just in case I won't include their last names)

Dear Emily, "The Divine Miss Em"
Your parents have often spoken throughout your hospitalization of the strength of your spirit and your sheer will to live. "HOW TRUE!" You have amazed us all over and over again, defying all odds to reach this point on the verge of going home.  So many people have cared for you, worried about you and watched your progress. Often someone will stop by your crib and ask in amazement, "Is this Emily, that tiny little baby from back in (room) 2015?" You were once thought to be one of our most fragile babies but have since proven to be one of our strongest.  Know that your parents are your strongest advocates.  They have felt every needle stick, fought every infection and held their own breath as they watched you try to breathe on your own.
Though we will miss you and your family, it is time for you to go home.  It's time for you to feel sunshine on your face and sit on your parent's lap during "Friends".  There is a whole world out there waiting for you.  You've fought so hard for it----Go Get it, Emily!


Dearest Emily-
Congratulations on going home today. You and your parents have certainly waited long enough.  You sure are a very strong little girl, a strength you surely inherited from Mom & Dad.  Some day you'll hear amazing stories about so many months spent in the hospital with you feeling so sick and your family at your crib side cheering you on. These stories might sound unbelievable to you- Trust us, it's all true.  Again, CONGRATULATIONS!

These are just two out of 20 messages that were written for Emily & that was only a portion of all who had a hand in Emily going home. We were un-able to get messages from all the doctors & nurses who took care of our baby girl, because they weren't on staff at the time but I'd like to say thank you to all the nurses & doctors who took care of Emily & I just hope they know how important they are, not just in the care they give but in the kindness they show. They are some of the most caring and amazing people I've encountered in my life- I'll never forget them.   They are a part of our hearts.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The "throwing my favorite sweaters away" blues

Isn't it just awful when you have to throw away a "favorite" article of clothing?   Because it's beyond repair & can no longer be your go-to piece.  I know it doesn't seem like a big deal & in the grand scheme of life it isn't but in the day to day makes your life so much easier part.... it is.  It's the piece that you wore when you felt un-comfortable with your body.  It hide all the "trouble-spots" just so & now it's gone....that was me today.  I had to get rid of two favorite sweaters, they were the most comfortable sweaters. I had got them from Old Navy years ago.  In fact I got the blue one first & wore it & knew right away I loved it, & went back and got the orangey-red one too. Thank goodness- for once I bought another one quickly before it was too late & sold out in my size.  They were awesome sweaters- light weight & longer, they were a sweater material but didn't feel like it----really easy to wear.  But now they had holes in all of the arm pits in BOTH of the sweaters, & they weren't just little holes- they were "no way was that lil' sample thread in the plastic baggie that came with them going to fix it" holes.  Not that I had that baggie still anyway... I'm not that organized.  Where do all those lil' baggies go anyway?  It wasn't that the sweaters weren't well made, it's just that I wore the heck out of them.   
13 days left til the Walk for March of Dimes... To every parent: Imagine having a new baby... but not getting to hold it whenever you want because it's in a plastic isolette with wires-monitoring how she's doing every second, your baby being fed by a feeding tube or IV, not taking your baby home after a few days but having to go to a hospital every day to see for 6 months, not days filled with toys & rattles but of blood transfusions, surgeries, blood gases & more. Now imagine that helping March of Dimes you could help a family have a healthy baby & avoid all this, if you've been meaning to give NOW is the time! THANK YOU!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Our March for Babies family team has raised $2,935.00 SO FAR for the March of Dimes!! We still have 17 days left & are only $65 short of $3,000!!! WOW!! Can u help us reach it by donating to our team? :) TY! Any size donation is appreciated $1, $5, or $100.00.    You can also help out by "SHARING" & "Liking" our pages on your facebook page or tweeting the link of either my page or one of the other team members of Team Emily CR-213 OR sharing our "Team" pg! Also please check out our new "TEAM" message on our team page. It tells you why we walk & why this is our 12th year doing so. :) THANK YOU, we are trying to get the word out there about our team & appreciate your help.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Dancing with Emily

So Emily wanted me to write a blog about this so here goes.  Emily& I enjoy watching Dancing with the Stars.  We started watching it several years ago, the season that Hines Ward was on it.  Being Pittsburgh Steelers fans that was why we started to watch.  But we ended up becoming fans of the show as well.  We enjoy watching it together, I like that it's some mommy-daughter time.  This year we have several favorites... We like Danica McKeller & Drew Carey. among others.. I think Emily likes Cody Simpson. Emily's funny & she likes to tweet "during" the show.  Which isn't usually the "night" of the show because we usually DVR it & watch it some other day.  SO last week Emily tweeted something about Erin Andrews... The new co-host! Something about she wasn't as good as "Carson Kressley" would have been. Or something like that.  Anyway...Erin REPLYED to her tweet.  She asked did she have any suggestions or tips for her?  Emily was soooo excited! She replied back, "You are doing good but you need to be more exciting" LOL! *Erin replied, "ha"  Which Emily was like, "huh?" Anyway that was kind of cool.  Emily loves twitter & enjoys commenting on the shows she likes & tweeting to celebrities.  Ofcourse her favorite is Carson Kressley!  She became of fan of his also because of DWTS.  She thought he was so funny & exuberate on the show.   Emily likes over the top personalities. So she really thinks he's great.  Speaking of Carson,  we noticed something funny while watching the show last week.  Candace Cameron Burr's husband is a Carson Kressley doppelganger.  TOTALLY! Both of us noticed it, separately & finally I said something & she was like I know!!!! It was really freaky.. they really do look like each other, or atleast did that week.  What else?  Oh it was a double elimination last week.  The first of the season.  The two to go were: Diana Nyad & Sean Avery.  We didn't really know either of these "stars" so we were fine with them being eliminated.  We just watched this week's episode last night... it was good. Everyone seemed to do well, & Billy Dee Williams decided to stop doing the competition because he's doctor said his back problems prevented him from competing.  My question is why did he even try out for the show, kind of annoying.  I guess he wanted to see IF he could do it.... the clear answer is NO. (not trying to be rude but I think you should have known something like that before & some other celebrity missed their opportunity to do the show, which doesn't seem all that fair.)  Oh well.... at least the right person, left the show.  I'm not really in the mood to write but PROMISED Emily I would write this & didn't want to lie to her. :) Have a great day everyone!