Friday, February 29, 2008

Caroline Reading!

Here is my baby girl reading a story that her and her friend Drew wrote about February Vacation! Caroline is in 1st grade this year... It just amazes me that she is reading so well!!

Stay tuned over the weekend for a pre-hospital update about David's upcoming surgery at Shriners Hospital in Boston.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Back to winter...

After all my griping about cold and snow in the last post, it's kind of ironic that I am now posting a video of Ryan and his friends snowboarding this past weekend... the video came out really cool so turn up your volume and enjoy....

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Summer Vacation 2008!

Good morning eveyrone... Happy Saturday!

The last post about the kids swimming has got me thinking about summer.... I have had just about enough winter. I am not a winter person to begin with and every year I seem to hate it just a little bit more than the year before... I am sick to death of:
wet puddles on the floor
my truck covered in salt
wet boots, mittens, hats, snow pants
Did I mention how sick of being cold I am???

So.. in attempt to chase the last 6 weeks or so of winter away, I am posting some pctures of the beach where we have our summer house rented this summer... it isn't far from our house, but it is VACATION! & it is ON THE BEACH!!!! So stare into the pictures and try to imagine:
the warm sun
the feel of sand between your toes
the smell of sunscreen and salt water
the sound of seagulls
the kids playing in the sand
boardgames with the kids at night

sigh... only 125 days until we start vacation...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Swimming away the February vacation blues....


Saturday, February 16, 2008

A new twist in the road...

Above is Ben's new BFF (best friend forever) an Epi-pen

Lastnight, I took the kids to the firehouse for their Friday night Lentin Fish Fry. We go every year during lent, usueally several times. It is big treat for the kids who LOVE, LOVE, LOVE anything to do with the firehouse and also LOVE the fish dinners!

Just about the time we were finishing up dinner, I look across the table at Ben and his face is all blotchy. After looking closer, I realize that his eyes looks puffy and his ears are bright red and swollen. I quickly grabbed one of the EMT's who was manning the take out counter and as soon as he looked at Ben he turned to one of the other EMT's and said, "dispatch the ambulance!" He looked at me and said " Vicki, he is having an anaphylactic reaction to the fish, we need to get him to the ER"

I had David and Caroline with me (Dave and Ryan were at a Football Conference lastnight), so I couldn't ride with them in the ambulance, Thank God Alex is a member of the Fire Department and we know everyone there. One of Alex's good friends Mom who is an EMT offered to ride with Ben. Ben knows her well and I felt good knowing that Ben would be in good hands until I could get to the hospital. I quickly gathered up David and Caroline up, grabbed the "to go" meals I had ordered for Alex and Aric who are home with rotten colds, and headed out the door. I watched Ben get loaded into the ambulance and then I took off to go drop the kids at home so I could head to the hospital.

The ambulance left and met up with a medic from American Ambulance in route beacuse they were afraid he would need to have a breathing tube put in because he was swelling up so bad.

I got to the hospital just after the ambulance did, and I couldn't believe how red and swollen Ben looked. They had given him a shot of epinephrine, & steroids and he had an IV in place... the IV amazed me and I actually hugged the very suprised Medic because Ben's vein access is so bad that it has literally taken hours before to gain access.

We got to hang out in the ER for several hours while Ben's color slowly returned to a more normal shade, his heart rate came down from 180 beats a minute to a more reasonable rate of 120-130, and to make sure that once the first round of meds started to wear off that he would 't have a relapse. They gave him a second dose of stweroids before we left to go home and a prescription for an epi-pen (Shown above.)

Ben is no worse for the wear this morning and has been repeating " No More Fish Fry!!!" all morning & showing off the stuffed bear he got in the ambulance. I have a call into his pediatrician this morning to see what the next step is.. I am assuming formal testing is in order. Ben had a reaction 2 weeks ago that I didn't really think anything of at the time but now realize that it was a reaction to latex. He was at a friends birthday party and they had latex balloons at the party. The kids were hitting eachother with the balloons just playing around at the end of the party.. as we were going home a short time later, Ben had red marks on his face, when I got him home he also had red marks on his neck and chest so I gave him some benidryl and he seemed fine after that. The Dr. in the ER lastnight now tells me that reactions like this can be progressive and the next one could be much worse than the one he just had, so we need to find out what his triggers are and carry an epi-pen at all times.

I told Dave lastnight when we got home, that it's been a long time since I have had a "2 hospital day" earlier in the day I had David at U-Conn Medical Center just for an evaluation in the orthodontic clinic.... no big deal... but it was 2 hospitals in one day! Anyone who know us, knows that there was a point in time when a "2 hospital day" was a common thing!

So a BIG Thank you to everyone at Gradner Lake Fire Co. for their dedication and quick response... We have kept you all on your toes over the years with our kids and their antics... David has been transported several times to the hospital for respiratory issues when he was a baby, Ben was the first person ever to use the helocopter pad at Gardner Lake when he was 15 months old and had a seizure that lasted 10+ minutes, David was airlifted from the pad 4 years ago after he was burned... I wonder if we get frequent flyer miles??

Here's hoping that the rest of February vacation is uneventful!!!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I will start by apologizing if I ramble, but I have been playing around with my thoughts for the last few days and want to try to get some of them out.

My Grandmother died just before Christmas. She was 86 years old. I was her first Grandchild, I remember her telling me all about how she would drive home from New Haven at lunch time just to steal a few minutes with me before going back to work.

She wasn't your everyday, run of the mill Grandma.. she was young and spunky, she didn't want to be called "Grandma", she picked the name "LaLa" for herself because she was a singer... she had a beautiful voice and sang opera. She wanted her name to reflect that. I had different plans for her name though and at some point when I was learning to talk, I dubbed her "Iyah" because I couldn't say "LaLa" and so she became "Iyah" to me, my sister and brother. My kids even called her Iyah. That's who she was... Iyah.

So when I think of Iyah and Poppop here are some of the random things I remember...

Strawberries in her garden outside the side door.

Her putting "Shirley Temple" curls in my hair.

Her really cool clothes and how she would let me wear whatever I wanted from her closet.

How beautifuly she sang and played the piano.

Sleeping over her house and how much fun she always made it.

A fire in the fireplace, and the little red stool that my sister and I used to sit on in front of the fire. ( I have that stool in my bedroom now)

Her green Pinto with the stickers of all the places they had been on the back window.

A shopping spree at Macy's for my Birthday and the beautiful clothes she bought me.

Ice-cream when we would visit and how she would "bunk it up" meaning she would mix it until is was smooth and creamy.

Her telling the story about the first time I had Lobster when I was 5 ans we were on vacation in Maine.. I absolutely LOVE Lobster to this day.. and think of the story every time I have it.

The way she would always call me "sweetheart"

There are a million other things, I could go on listing things all day, but you probably get the idea.. she was one in a million.

So this past week, I had the opportunity to go to her house and pick some momentos to remember her by. The house is being closed up and sold even though my Grandfather is still alive he is in a home and is not well. Walking though the house, so many memories came back to me and I fould comfort in being there, it was sad though to realize that this is all thats left... memories and boxes of stuff.... and Iyah had stuff.... I think she saved every piece of paper and every pair of shoes she ever bought... most still in their boxes stacked in her closet. The house is cold and dissembeld into piles of things. In the end, I picked out some things that will remind me of her everyday when I look at them.

The Buffet that was in her dining room is now in my dining room. (I'll try to post a picture)

The little red stool that my sister and I used to sit on in front of the fire

Some photo's of her as a young woman, and one of her and my Grandfather later in life.

Their wedding photo and a story about how they met and fell in love.

A drawing of the Battleship my Grandfather was on in WWII The USS North Carolina.

The headboard from their bed ( We have been wanting to upgrade to a kingsized bed, and she also had a brand new king bed in the guest room that we took home and set up)

And the one thing that I am just so thrilled to have is a box of letters, probably 300+ of them that my grandparents wrote back and forth to eachother while my grandfather was in the Navy.. they are all still in their original envelopes and postmarked as early as 1937. I haven't even been able to bring myself to read more than a few of them... they seem so private and intimate that I feel like I am intruding on their privacy. They are sitting in the box I found them in right now in the drawer of the Buffet.

I have my memories and have spent much time sharing stories with my kids this week...

She truly was one of a kind and she is missed.

Here is a photo of the Buffet.. I haven't decided what .. if anything to display on it yet... right now I kind of like as is...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Trip to Shriners in Boston Yesterday...

Yesterday David had his annual check up at Shriners Burn Hospital in Boston to check on his scars. Many of you who have known us for awhile, will remember that David was severely burned 4 years ago in a back yard accident. ( I have an old webstie where most of the story is archived.. I haven't updated it in a long time, but click here if you want to read about it.) We spent many months in the hospital between the burn unit here in CT during the acute stage where the Drs. there literally saved his leg (and his life for that matter) and then at Shriners in Boston for reconstructive surgerys to make his leg the best that it could possibly be.
Davids legs are completely scarred and the scarring tends to be thick bands around his knee and especially behind it. The scar tissue doesn't grow and stretch the same as healthy skin does so he is leterally outgrowing his skin. There are areas at the back of his leg that are starting to pull and are restricting his ability to straighten his leg out.

In order to fix this, David will be having yet another reconstructive surgery to release these bands of scar tissue. The surgery is called a z-plasty . We will be heading to Shriners on March 1st and he will have the surgery on March 2nd. We will be there a few days while he heals, it is important to keep his leg immoble for a few days so that will be the fun part!

The Shriners Hospital in Boston is the most amazing place I have ever been to. Every time we go for a visit or have to stay for a surgery, I am just so humbled and awed at the level of care that we receive. The Drs and nurses have a way of taking a very stressful situation and turning it into something that you can deal with, they are so attentive to the individuals needs and really listen when you talk to them. The other thing that makes it so wonderful is that there is NEVER a bill. Everything is fully funded. They never even ask for insurance information, so therefore they are not bound to what the insurance companies want. They do what needs to be done without permission from some insurance Dr. that has never met my child. For instance, we will be going up on Monday night and staying over so that I don't have to drive first thing Tuesday morning. They will get David's labs done, get an IV in and whatever else needs to be done ahead of time. Then afterwards we don't get kicked out after a certain amount of time because the insurance will only pay for X number of days... we stay until Davids Doctors feel he is ready to go home! It is truly wonderful.
Ok, enough for today... I will update more about this as we get closer.


Friday, February 1, 2008

David at Yesterdays Basketball Game!

I wish every nay saying Dr. we came across when David was a baby could watch this video... all I can say is never say never...