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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why you should never count on me...

Post once a day with a picture... How difficult could that be?

Apparently for me - IMPOSSIBLE

I had to cheat with 2 summer pictures too.

I'm a failure, a FAILURE I TELL YOU!

DPP Day 15

DPP Day 15 (by floreksa)

DPP Day 14

DPP Day 14 (by floreksa)

DPP Day 13

Still wishing for summer.

DPP Day 13 (by floreksa)

DPP Day 12

Shame, shame on me. No picture today, so here's one from this summer. Oh how I wish it was summer.

DPP Day 12 (by floreksa)

DPP Day 11

DPP Day 11 (by floreksa)

Day 10

Chocolate Chip Pie that had some "issues"

DPP Day 10 (by floreksa)

Day 9

DPP Day 9 (by floreksa)

DPP Day 8

DPP Day 8 (by floreksa)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

DPP Day 7

Princess Dress-up clothes and blue raspberry lollipop lipstick.

DPP7 (by floreksa)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

DPP Day 6

Ya, Ya, I know. Where's day 4 and 5? They're coming. I was too lazy to download the camera (its a pain on the laptop). They should be up tomorrow.

This is my 1st shot at our card this year. I'm not crazy about it, but I'm running out of time.
Christmas Card 08 (take 1) (by floreksa)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

DPP Day 4

DPP4 (by floreksa)

DPP Day 3

Bright Nights At Forest Park

DPP Day 3 (by floreksa)

With an extra "what the heck was this suppose to be?"

DPP Day 3 Extra (by floreksa)

DPP Day 2

Yes, I'm already woefully behind in the posting...


Breakfast measured out.

DPP Day 2 (by floreksa)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

November Daring Bakers

I'm still completely bummed that I missed last month's pizza challenge. Its just a tad difficult to bake when your oven is in the living room, next to the dishwasher and refrigerator. sigh...

BUT I do have a shiny, new, awesome tile floor so I suppose I'll survive.

This month's challenge is all about the sugar again. Literally. Brought to us by Dolres of Culinary Curiosity, Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo), and Jenny of Foray into Food.

Caramel Cake from Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater

I was completely intimidated at first reading the problems some people were facing with this recipe - greasy, oil messes, dense, flat cakes. I was pleasantly surprised that I really didn't have any issues at all.

I've made caramels before so I'm familiar with the "carameling" process (is that even a word). I think my biggest issue was that I had no clue how to "brown" butter for the frosting. (*ducks head*). I figured I'd just cook the heck out of it until it browned and whadday-know, that's how you do it ;).

I'm afraid that I overcooked my cupcakes though. I figured 15 minutes would be a good "look and see point" and when I peeked, they were golden...sigh.

caramel cupcake (by floreksa)

My cake is dense, but not horribly so. It reminds me almost a bit more of a cross between a coffee cake and a pound cake, but neither are good examples.

The icing is ridiculously sweet though. I ended up added sea salt to it, to get that nice occasional salt crunch.

All in all this was a pretty easy challenge and I'm happy I gave it a try.

caramel cupcake 2 (by floreksa)

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm a winner! :)




Thanks Michelle of Simply Blessed for nominating me!

The Rules:

1. Put the award up on your blog


2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you


3. Nominate at least seven other blogs


4. Add links to these blogs on your blog


5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog


And my nominees are:

http://myversionofthestory.blogspot.com/
http://delucasworld.blogspot.com/
http://thebookishone.blogspot.com/
http://kidsinthesuburbs.blogspot.com/
http://pbdreams.blogspot.com/
http://www.tredways.org/
http://abigcupoftea.blogspot.com/

Rock Star!

So I've been woefully behind here.

We had Ally's 4th birthday party a couple of weeks ago. A Princess extravaganza complete with a castle cake.

cake1.JPG (by floreksa)

Ally's newest obsessions:
Bratz (and my hatred of them cannot be adequately expressed...)
Getting a puppy
Riding a horse
and chapstick.

Oh and becoming a Rock Star
RockStar (by floreksa)

She's got the attitude. Ooh, how she has perfected the attitude!

Friday, November 21, 2008

On the Phone with Great-Grandma

Overheard Ally on the phone with her great grandma last night:

"We got the big, old turkey today, but its dead, not alive one."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The day I thought I went blind

So I went out to lunch yesterday with my sister and a co-worker. About 1/2 way through my eyes started getting weird. I thought I had looked at a light a little too long. It was a little comma of vibrating, pulsing, shimmering colors right in the center of my vision. Got me a little worried.

Driving back to work (I wasn't driving) I noticed it was getting bigger, more like a crescent, and was moving to the side and was in both eyes. Freak out commenced.

By the time I got back to my desk it was a HUGE crescent of shimmering, pulsating colors and had taken over 2/3 of my field of vision. I could barely see and was pretty hysterical. Thankfully my opth was able to squeeze me in if I got there ASAP.

Couldn't drive, was now crying at my desk at this point, figured "I lost, game over, I busted every blood vessel in my eyes and was going to be blind forever." (dramatic much?)

My sister drove me to my parents (my mom had the day off and was going to drive me to the opth). By the time I got to my sisters car, it was completely gone. Totally normal vision. From start to finish it had lasted 20-30minutes.

Then the nausea hit.

Praying it was a 1 time deal, but eye doc thinks I may start to suffer from "classic" migraines. The type with auras. What I described to him was a 100% classic aura. I was pretty nauseous yesterday with a mild headache. The boomer hit last night and is still going pretty strong. Not the worst headache I've ever head, but still not fun.

At least I got an eye exam out of the deal. Those puppies are still going strong. ;) He did make me do a peripheral vision test which is NOT fun when you're nauseous and have dilated pupils, but I apparently passed.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

WHAT are you Doooding?

Daddy!!!
What are you dooding?
This is my house!
I live here!
You're going to fix tat right? Because I'd live here.
I moved here and my stuff is here and...
YOU NEED TO FIX THIS NOW!!!!




We tore the linoleum out today in preparation for new tile.

I AM STOKED.

Ally - not so sure..

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My Life Right Now

I'm calmer now. I can write this without freaking out. Without crying my way through it.

We've been dealing with Ally's GI issues again. The beginning of September, I hauled her back to the Ped's. She had stopped eating and I could hear her refluxing again.

The Ped put her back on Prilosec and sent us back to the GI.

We saw the GI and he decided that "things weren't quite right" and ran more extensive, invasive tests. She has an abdominal ultrasound, more lab work and an endoscopy.

The endoscopy was horrible (for a parent). Holding her while she fought and struggled and screamed while they gassed her broke my heart. I just kept telling myself that this is a "simple" procedure - over in less than a 1/2 hour. I can not imagine what parents go through who do this while their child has surgery and is gone for hours. My heart breaks for them.

After the endoscopy the GI came back and told us he was "surprised" at what he found. Her esophagus was covered in white exudates (patches). He was convinced she had eosinophilic esophagitis (EE). I had an entire post ready to go, describing EE and Ally's treatment options, once we had the pathology report. Her symptoms match those of EE kids to a T - explaining every issue we've had from the minute she was born.

EE is a fairly new condition. It is thought that it is caused by food allergies (usually multiple) which causes the immune system to attack the esophagus. We had a week to research the condition and get used to the idea of restricted diets and allergy testing.

We met with the GI yesterday morning and he started with "I'm sorry" and that the "pathology report surprised him more than her endoscopy did" and while we were all set to "going left" and treat EE, the pathology report "went right" in a bizarre and heart-stopping twist.

Ally's esophagus is currently covered in a Candida infection (yeast infection). This is RARE in healthy children, very rare. The GI started in saying how they only see this in AIDS, chemo kids or kids on inhaled steroids. He stopped 2x to confirm that Ally was not on any sort of steroid (she's not). He has dropped looking into any sort of GI issue and is now focused on this 1 infection and her Immune System. Insistent that something is wrong with it. Her body should have fought this off.

HE SCARED THE LIVING HELL OUT OF US.


He is still positive that she has an underlying GI issue, either EE or severe reflux. That condition caused the inflammation which opened the door to the Candida. The pathology report could not confirm/deny any other GI issues, though, as the Candida was so prevalent it was all they could see.

I was a mess yesterday. Cried a lot. Googling esophageal Candida is not pretty, but once I calmed down and really started reading, I found references to proton pump inhibitors being a "contributing factor" (Ally is on Prilosec) and that "Candidal esophagitis can also affect healthy children" (though rarely).

Ally is healthy. I know she is. She's not sicker than the "normal" child. If anything, I think she's actually healthier. She's been in a daycare setting since she was 9 weeks old. She's never been hospitalized. We've never had to run her to the ER because of a cold or bug. She's fought everything off herself (with exception to ear infections) without medical intervention. We just need to get over this "bump". We need to clear the infection (she's on a med for the next 13 days). We follow up with the GI on Oct. 30th. We'll have to do another endoscopy.

We'll get through this.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September Daring Bakers Challange

Lavash Crackers!!

I had never made crackers before and was excited to try. Of course life got in the way and I almost didn't complete. I mean seriously, it was my 2nd challenge and I almost bagged out! Shame, shame on me for even considering it.

As a side project we could attempt to make the cracker gluten free and had to create a dip that was gluten free AND vegan. My dip was actually quite nice for its quickly thrown together idea. I wanted to make a black bean salsa. Of course it was only as my crackers were baking that I realized I had no tomatoes. Subbed in stewed and it was still quite nice. The salsa was: stewed tomatoes, onion, green pepper, corn, black beans, some cumin, some salt, some hot shot pepper (mixture of black pepper and cayenne).

Anyway, I managed to make the crackers last night. I took the easy route and went with the chock-full-of-gluten recipe. Recipe itself is very easy - its the rolling that is a killer. And I hate rolling. ANYTHING. I don't do pie crusts (isn't that was those frozen pie shells are for?!), I don't do cut out cookies. I HATE rolling. And I'm pretty sure that was my problem here. The cracker itself had a nice taste, but I definitely didn't roll thin enough. They were chewy and heavy, not at all light and crisp. DH and DD still loved them (even if her days of eating gluten might be numbered - post about that later, when we know more).


Please excuse the suckage photos.
Lavash Crackers (by floreksa)

Lavash Crackers (by floreksa)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Daring Bakers - August is the Month for...

ECLAIRS!

I'm so excited to showcase my very first Daring Bakers Challenge! August's recipe was Chocolate Eclairs using Pierre Herme's recipe selected by Tony Tahhan and MeetaK. Yum! I've made Pâte à Choux before, but nothing ever this decadent. Diet be damned I just had to have one! YUM!

eclair 2 (by floreksa)
Please excuse the annoying random drop of chocolate


The recipe (below) itself wasn't as daunting as I was expecting it to be. From start to finish this took me about 3 hours.

Reading the ingredients, I had no clue what Velrhona Guanaja chocolate was, but I was determined to find some. Which I did, at whole foods for $16/lb. Lordy, lordy. Wallet started scream "Back away, back away from the chocolate and we might all live". I had to have it though. Had to see if it made a difference. Oh.Maw.Gawd is that some seriously good chocolate. SOOO worth it. I wanted to bathe in the chocolate sauce and honestly a fair portion of the chocolate pastry cream, alas, never touched the choux pastry. Mmmmmmmm.

Anyway, where was I....Oh ya, pictures. So um, I started off all "I'll take pictures of every step" and about 10 minutes later was all "How the hell do you hold the camera while stirring and NOT drop it into the chocolate and DAMN does this slow everything down". So ya, step by step pictorial - didn't happen.

I've made Pâte à Choux many a times before but always using Alton Brown's recipe. I have to say I prefer Alton's to this one. Maybe its because I'm more familiar with his having made it at least 15 times. I had issues with this pâte à choux. Cooking time seemed to be off, or maybe my oven (I've since bought a new thermometer and oven seems to run fine). My eclairs took almost 20 minutes longer to cook so that they didn't deflate every time I pulled them from the oven.

The only other issue I had was with the glaze. It wasn't quite thick enough for me and never really set right, but was still beyond YUMMO!!

Oh and the left over chocolate sauce makes the most DELISH chocolate milk ever.

eclair 1 (by floreksa)



Chocolate Éclairs by Pierre Hermé


Éclairs consist of 3 elements:

- Pâte à Choux, also known as Choux Pastry or Cream Puff Dough
- Pastry Cream
- Chocolate glaze

First the modifications:

Under the motto - Culinary Liberty For All, Tony and I thought we should give enough leeway for creativity.


What’s the point in cooking if not to cook what YOU want to eat?


In terms of modifications of this recipe, the possibilities are endless. In order to maintain some sort of cohesiveness throughout the challenge, here are a couple general guidelines for eclair month at the Daring Bakers.


1. The dough used for the eclairs must be a pâte à choux from the recipe given below.
2. Keep one chocolate element in the challenge. The recipe below is for a chocolate glaze and a chocolate pastry cream. You choose which chocolate element you want to keep. Then feel free to mix and match flavors to the base recipe.
3. Everything else is fair game. Enjoy!

Posting Day: August 31st, 2008

Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Éclairs
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• Cream Puff Dough (see below for recipe), fresh and still warm

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Divide the oven into thirds by
positioning the racks in the upper and lower half of the oven. Line two baking sheets with
waxed or parchment paper.

2) Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a 2/3 (2cm) plain tip nozzle with the warm cream puff dough.
Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in long, 4 to 41/2 inches (about 11 cm) chubby fingers.
Leave about 2 inches (5 cm) space in between each dough strip to allow them room to puff.
The dough should give you enough to pipe 20-24 éclairs.

3) Slide both the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes, slip the
handle of a wooden spoon into the door to keep in ajar. When the éclairs have been in the
oven for a total of 12 minutes, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. Continue
baking for a further 8 minutes or until the éclairs are puffed, golden and firm. The total baking
time should be approximately 20 minutes.

Notes:
1) The éclairs can be kept in a cool, dry place for several hours before filling.

Assembling the éclairs:

• Chocolate glaze (see below for recipe)
• Chocolate pastry cream (see below for recipe)

1) Slice the éclairs horizontally, using a serrated knife and a gently sawing motion. Set aside the
bottoms and place the tops on a rack over a piece of parchment paper.

2) The glaze should be barely warm to the touch (between 95 – 104 degrees F or 35 – 40
degrees C, as measured on an instant read thermometer). Spread the glaze over the tops of
the éclairs using a metal icing spatula. Allow the tops to set and in the meantime fill the
bottoms with the pastry cream.

3) Pipe or spoon the pastry cream into the bottoms of the éclairs. Make sure you fill the bottoms
with enough cream to mound above the pastry. Place the glazed tops onto the pastry cream
and wriggle gently to settle them.

Notes:
1) If you have chilled your chocolate glaze, reheat by placing it in a bowl over simmering water,
stirring it gently with a wooden spoon. Do not stir too vigorously as you do not want to create
bubbles.

2) The éclairs should be served as soon as they have been filled.

Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• ½ cup (125g) whole milk
• ½ cup (125g) water
• 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
• ¼ teaspoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
• 5 large eggs, at room temperature

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to the
boil.

2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to medium
and start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together very
quickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. You
need to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the dough
will be very soft and smooth.

3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using your
handmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,
beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.
You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again do
not worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time you
have added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted it
should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

Notes:
1) Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.

2) You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined baking
sheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer the
piped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by PierreHermé

• 2 cups (500g) whole milk
• 4 large egg yolks
• 6 tbsp (75g) sugar
• 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
• 7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted
• 2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.

2) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.

3) Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.

4) Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.

5) Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.

[bNotes:[/b]
1) The pastry cream can be made 2‐3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

2) In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream.

3) Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.

Chocolate Glaze
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1 cup or 300g)

• 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream
• 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
• 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.

2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

Notes:
1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.

2) It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.

Chocolate Sauce
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
(makes 1½ cups or 525 g)


• 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 cup (250 g) water
• ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
• 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.

2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.

Notes:
1) You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.
2) This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

3

I hate 3.

Ally just chose bed instead of chewing her chicken AND swallowing. She chose bed instead of chewing her chicken AND swallowing with the promise of brownies after.

My daughter she's stubborn.

I'm a dead woman walking.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Did someone say traffic?

So I spent the day out with my mom, my memere and Ally. We were up at the camp in the mountains and decided to go to the big "city" in the mountains which is about 40 minutes west of the camp. I drove. Spent all day there, thunderstorms EVERYWHERE, eat lunch, head back to the camp.

Get back and there's complete darkness. Storm knocked the power out. I pack up and head home. Cause seriously, there's very little you can do in a 960 sqft cottage, in the dark with 5 adults, 2 toddlers and 4 dogs besides go insane.

MAJOR MISTAKE.................

Start heading home...10 minutes into my ride, I hit my first downed tree, then my 2nd, then my 3rd. Get into "Tofu City" and am suddenly in the worlds LARGEST traffic jam. Turns out a tree fell on the interstate and everyone is getting off the highway and now taking major road 1 into "Crap City". Wedge my car into the line and silently start swearing as I'm still a good 20 miles from home and need to follow major road #1 just about ALL the way there. 35 minutes later and I'm at "point of no return" - its either take this right, or keep going and pray the traffic eases up (I'm following a river on my left with a mountain on my right). There's no more turning until I'm in "Crap City". I keep going.

Roll, stop, roll, stop, roll, stop .....

"Allison STOP kicking my chair"

"No Allison, Daddy can't come pick us up"

"Yes Allison the stupid cars should just go home"

roll, stop, roll, stop, roll, stop.....

About 2 miles past "point of no return" - oh look, they're turning All the cars around. A power line is down across major road 1. I now get to follow all of the cars, BACK to "point of no return" and follow them up major road #2. Police are JUST putting up a road blockade when I make it back to "point of no return" & major road #2.

Took me another 20 minutes of roll, stop, roll, stop to get to major road #3 which was THANKFULLY clear and I was able to make it home from there.

A 35-40 minute drive AT MOST, took me over 2 hours today (and that was to get the to 1/2 way point).

Supposedly the area my sister and mom live in got hit REAL hard. Neighbor called them at the cottage to let them know their houses are all ok, but there's trees and power lines down every where there.

Obstructed View


Obstructed View, originally uploaded by floreksa.

Only for my Sox, would I sit in a seat smaller than the smallest airline seat with a pitch designed for someone roughly 4'10" for 6 hours, pay $50 for the privilege and NOT be able to see the batter.

Baseball - BORING AS ALL HELL when you can't see home base or the batter. Had this been my 1st trip ever to Fenway, it would have also been my last.



When the tickets say they're obstructed, they're not suggesting that you might not be able to see a tad bit of the field. They mean you're going to miss vast portions of the game.

May I suggest NEVER buying a ticket in Section 20 seats 1 - 6ish, any row?

I'm edjumacated!

Stole this from Lisa! (thanks!)

blog readability test

Movie Reviews

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Twittering like no one's business

I've taken the plunge and signed up for Twitter. I've know about it for forever, just never really bothered to sign up. Did it today. For all the world to see the aimless wanderings my mind takes while at work.

Hi! I'm Sarah and I'm an internet junkie.

oh - I'm woefully shy of followers, so if you'd be so kind...I'm floreksa

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Prayers Answered!!!!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!


It is NOT MS. Capital N, Capital O, Capital T, NOT MS.

Apparently my sister is a freak of nature and has a "cavity" in her neck, basically a hole - probably there since birth. They have no idea why its causing an issue now and not before and it may never cause an issue again.

Its a relatively new "thing" in the Dr world - they only really discovered them with the advent of MRI's (or during autopsies). There's nothing for it. It might grow, but most likely won't. She'll see the neuro every 6 months for an evaluation and ONLY if the evaluation warrants it would they even bother doing another MRI. She does have to see him immediately if anything else worsens (but he's not expecting it too).

The best he could tell her was to be careful with her neck and not wrestle, but couldn't offer a good explanation why she shouldn't and if she has a lot of speeding tickets, to slow down.

:)

No one can take this grin off of my face today!

D-Day

Its Diagnosis day for my sister. Please say a quick prayer that its not MS. Her appointment is at 9:30 est.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Feeling Kerflumped

I had Monday off. Daycare was closed. Usually a day off does me good. Gives me a minute to detach from work and relax and Monday should have been no different.

This time I even had something to look forward too. We had a plan and a destination. I was meeting up with some other mom's from a forum I help admin. I was even going to finally meet Major Bedhead (who lives less than 5 minutes from me, and yet we had never met!)

Julia picked us up and off we went. We had an amazing time at the spray park. It really is a gorgeous park. The kids were great, everyone had a blast and the ride home was blissful with a van full of sleeping kids and Julia and I just gabbing away.

Ally-sprinkler (by floreksa)

The kerflumped-ness? Well that occurred yesterday. At work, out of the blue I found myself almost in tears, dangerously close to tears, tears that would totally betray my bad-ass, bitchy, get it done attitude that has served me well working with so many men. I couldn't figure it out. What the hell prompted it? It had me scratching my head (and reaching for a tissue to blot the wetness collecting around my eyes).

It took me awhile, but it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm not a stay at home mom and sometimes it kills me. I'm not even sure I could do the SAHM thing, but I sure as hell wish the option was available.

Looking at the pictures from the day at the park made me mentally do a little
"One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn't belong".
I was the only working mom. The one who doesn't even know where all parks are, great or not. The one who's kid goes to the park every day, but with someone else.

I feel like I'm never there for Ally. I come home from work so completely annoyed that its all I can do not to yell at her for no reason. I lose my temper before we even get home. Daycare is less then 2 minutes from my house. I need to learn to disconnect as soon as I leave work. I need to learn to use her play time with me as my means of relaxation. But right now I can't. I come home and just want to be alone.

And that makes me cry.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

PhotoShop Friday Project

Courtesy of http://spraguelab.squarespace.com/blog/

The ShaZAM Lesson

Before
9-30-07 (by floreksa)



After
Ally-fall-redone (by floreksa)/

Skin tone is still a little too blown out, but DH was screaming for me to get ready to leave.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I can hear it!!!

The Ding Dong cart is oooh so close. I can hear it sitting here in my living room chair, teasing me. Tormenting me. Will it come down my street? Will we have ice cream tonight?

I'm very, very tempted to go find it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sister Update pt 2

Well the spinal tap is done. She said it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be. Right now she's on the 5 hour, lie on your back and do nothing else at the hospital. She thought she'd be able to go home and lie down there. I didn't have the heart to tell her that no, she'd be stuck at the hospital the whole time. Thankfully, my mom is with her.

I think the only test left now is an MRI of her lower spine.

She goes on the 22nd to get the results of everything.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sister Update Part 1

Her MRI came back negative, or at least that's what her Nurse Practitioner said the report said. There are no visible lesions. Which is REALLY good, but could also mean that the MS is very, very early and none have formed yet.

She goes today for 3 hours of nerve testing and then on the 8th for a spinal tap.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Prayers and Positive Thoughts for my Sister

There's some bad things going on with her. Multiple Sclerosis was mentioned today at her Neurological visit and a MRI was immediately done. We won't find out until her followup visit on Thursday.

Please keep her in your thoughts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Time to pick a pump

I love, love, love my Cozmo. Let's just start there.

BUT

My warranty is up. Its time to pick a new pump and I'm not sure what to do. Its pretty much between the Cozmo and MiniMed.

So tell me - what do you use and if you could pick what WOULD you use?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cause I feel like it

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name? Sarah
2. What is your favorite food? Chocolate
3. What high school did you go to? Holyoke High
4. What is your favorite color? blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Jason Stathem
6. Favorite drink? Malibu Rum & Cranberry Juice
7. Dream vacation? Australia
8. Favorite dessert? Cannoli
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Interior Decorator
10. What do you love most in life? Family
11. One Word to describe you. Loyal
12. Your flickr name. floreksa




1. Sarah (the Backstage), 2. I ate 6, 3. Reflections of the Past, 4. Berlin blues, 5. JASON STATHAM, 6. peer pressure., 7. 'So what are you doing this Australia Day ?', 8. Leave the gun..., 9. loft bedroom, 10. The Calvo Family - Holidays, 11. A Dog's Best Friend, 12. Mosaic #15 - Playtime

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Vacation Pics


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Vacation Part One - The Drive

7 hour drive isn't bad. We can do that. Massachusetts to Washington, DC NO PROBLEM! We'll just borrow the DVD player, pack some toys and get up at the butt crack of dawn! Heck, she'll sleep for the first few hours. We'll gingerly move her from her bed to the car seat. This is going to be great!

Are we insane?

We started Saturday morning - May 24th at 4am. 4am hurts. I don't like 4am, but if we wanted any hope of making it to DC while it was still Sat, 4am it was. Thankfully we had loaded up the car the night before, so it was just a matter of getting dressed, chugging some Red Bull and getting Ally up and into her car seat where we figured she would quietly go right back to sleep (you can stop laughing now!). We were on the road by 5am. Here we go!

Enfield, CT (approx 20-25 minutes from home) we got our first "Are we there yet?". Oh boy, this might not be pretty. By NYC (3 hrs) Ally was screaming "I don't want to go to Hotels! I don't want to go to Hotels". I have to admit I was beginning to agree with her. A 7 hour drive with a 3 year (who WAS NOT sleeping as we thought she would) was suddenly a horrible, horrible idea.

We stopped for breakfast in NJ, loaded her up with pancakes and got back on the road. She promptly passed out(and I swore I heard angels sing, but maybe that was just DH).

It was pure bliss through the rest of NJ, DE and MD. She woke up right outside of DC and promptly screamed that she could "still NOT see the hotels! WHY couldn't she see the Hotel. Why? WHY? WHY???". Ahhh, my little dictator.

After a LOT of traffic we arrived at our hotel (which was GORGEOUS! - Hilton Garden Inn on 14th), unloaded the car, handed the keys to valet and got into our room.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

"Mommy? I want to go home."

NoooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooo

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'm coming back!!

Ok, so I know I've been gone for forever and a day (ok maybe 2 or 3 or 100), but I've been busy lazy boring vacationing for a week now.

You know its been a good vacation when you get home and have honestly forgotten how to set the alarm clock.

Look for a vacation post as soon as I stop being lazy and upload some pics for flicker.

In the meantime, have you seen this awesome FF extension PicLens. I'm completely in love with it and want to have its babies. Drop me a line if you've got other FF extensions that you couldn't possibly live without.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ummm, ok? I'm Pinocchio

I got this from my SIL. It pegged me 100% besides the fact that if there's one thing I'm not its a liar, so I'm not too sure about this... LOL Unless maybe its counting all the times I've told people "Its ok" or "I'm fine" when I'm not? I'm a good liar there.





Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Pinocchio

Your alter ego is Pinocchio! All you want is for everthing to be real, no fake dreams or things that can't be achieved. Ironic that you are quite the liar.


Pinocchio


69%

Goofy


56%

Sleeping Beauty


56%

Peter Pan


50%

Cinderella


50%

The Beast


50%

Cruella De Ville


31%

Ariel


31%

Donald Duck


13%

Snow White


6%


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Pepere

I don't think I'm ready to actually create a post about this yet. My pepere died on Saturday morning, ending his battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

Pepere1

Louis
Louis 1923 - 2008 - Louis, 85, a sixty two year resident, died on Saturday, May 3 in a local nursing home. He was born in Lawrence, MA on January 22, 1923. He retired after forty years of service as a press operator from the former Moore Drop Forge Co. He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty two years, Gisele, three daughters, Jacqueline and her husband Alfred, Denise, and Michelle and her husband Gary, four sons, Robert and his wife Joanne, Daniel and his wife Brenda, David and his companion Theresa, and Steven and his wife Laurie. He also leaves three brothers and one sister. He will be sadly missed by thirteen grandchildren, six great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two granddaughters, and one great grandson. Relatives and friends are invited to gather on Friday, May 9 for a 10am Liturgy of Christian Burial at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church. Burial will follow in Notre Dame Cemetery. There are no calling hours. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Alzheimer's Association.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Our Night

20 mintues ago - I've got Ally set up with paper and paints. I'm walking to the living room to sit down. "MOM-my, you can't sit down." "Why not Ally?" "Because you have to paint with me. I have no friends" :( "But I thought you didn't like me?" (her fav thing right now is to tell me she doesn't like me) "No,no,no...I just tembering to like you" (gee thanks!)...

15 minutes ago - Ally and I are painting a card for Zackie (her cousin in VA). Ally has successfully painted an 8by 8 heart with approximated 16 fluid oz of paint. She then decides it would be more fun to dip the brush into the paint, then straight into the water... "Ally we don't do that. If you're not using the paper, I'm putting it all away" - "no,no,no...Mommy I tembering to make soup" - "that's great Ally, but tember to make soup without using all the paint." Ally then informs me that when she's done painting daddy will either tickle her or play the couch game with her (she runs around the living-room while he throws pillows at her). She "loves her daddy because him is a funny guy".

10 minutes ago - I'm scrubbing approx an inch of paint off the kitchen table, while Ally draws a cow, a silly face and a pillow. The 3 look remarkably alike. The only difference was the cow had an extra circle.

5 minutes ago - Ally is telling her "sisters" that "she can't talk right now because daddy said we had to be quiet, so we have to be quiet, no I can't talk... we need to be quiet. Jasmine you're not being quiet, remember my daddy said we have to be quiet. Him needs to be quiet." (she then breaks out into the "we have to be quiet song"). Screaming from John ensues.

Right now....Ally is tearing around the living room, while John chucks pillows at her. This game can only end in tears. He's already nailed her about 3 times where its knocked her legs right out from under her...Yet she loves it. Oh and he came dangerously close to breaking the ceiling fan...

CALGON TAKE ME AWAY......


The ending - the fan is broken. One light completely ripped out. Home Depot here we come. Little did I know the "can only end in tears" meant my own.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'll be interesting one day....

but today is not that day.

A is testing our every last nerve. Actually I believe she got to the last one sometime on Monday.

Apparently 3.5 years old is a time of:

1) screaming
2) crying
3) hitting
4) kicking
5) "I do!"
6) deafness
7) utter defiance and stubbornness
8) "no,no,no,no,no....Mommy, mommy, I" fill in with the exact opposite of what I just asked.

and the world favorite

WHINING.

OMG with the whining.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Prayers for Western MA

There were 2 big fires here, less than a day apart.

In one (Spartan Brake and Muffler) a friend of the Bosses' here at work was severely burned and is now in Boston clinging to life.

The other happened just a few hours ago. A tanker carrying jet fuel just overturned on Interstate 91, fell off the highway onto several cars. It took approximately an hour and a half for the foam rescue trucks from Westover Air Force Base to put it out. All we know right now is that the driver was severely burnt (one of our Technicians was on the highway right when it happened and saw a man on fire).

We need some good news out here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

6 Words Meme

Julia tagged me with the 6 words meme.
The Rules:
1) Write your own six word memoir;
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like;
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere;
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links; and
5) Don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

I was hoping to come up with something smart, witty and all encompassing. Instead I'm sick and can't think. So the best I've got right now is the current mantra in our house:

Nothing in your ears or nose.

I'm horrible at tagging people. My address book is just not that full.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lessons of the Day

I learned a few things today. Interesting things. Things you don't really consider before having kids.

1) My child is NOT smart enough to know not to shove a jelly bean up her nose.
2) Jelly beans can go extraordinarily far up one's nostril.
3) Seeing a Jelly bean protruding out the side of your child's nose near her eye is freaky.
4) Being that entirely freaked out will make one momentarily forget that they are currently dying from the flu.
5) Jelly beans will dissolve that far up one's nostril from the temperature and moisture and can eventually (say in about 25-30 minutes) be blown out.
6) Even Pediatricians can be amazed at how far up a nostril a jelly bean can fit.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'll Never Learn

Seriously, what mad person would tell a three year old that there is going to be a "big party" on Sunday. Its wrong on so many levels. Yet, hello kettle, its me calling you black.

It spilled out of my mouth like a fine, smooth chocolate. It was Wednesday night, 10:30 AT NIGHT and she was no where near asleep.

"Ally if you don't go to sleep RIGHT NOW you won't go to the big party on Sunday!"

And in that instant my life changed. I have now spent every waking moment with Ally attempting to teach her the days of the week and the passage of time.

"Odebody going to the party? All my sisters and brother?"

I love odebody! and don't ask me where she gets sisters and a brother. It's always sisterS and 1 brother. Is she trying to tell me something? I AM NOT planning on more than 1 more pregnancy and it sure as hell better not be triplets!

Back to the party. Every 5 mintues. "Mommy we going to the big, big party now? With the big kids? Now? NOW? I.WANT.TO.GO.NOW!"

I've been reduced to telling her she still has 2 more bedtimes before the party. Its going to be a long weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2008

At least somewhere I'm still in my 20's

Stolen from It's a Mann's World




You Act Like You Are 29 Years Old



You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel like an adult, and you're optimistic about life.

You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.



You're still figuring out your place in the world and how you want your life to shape up.

The world is full of possibilities, and you can't wait to explore many of them.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ever Have Those Days...

Where you want to post, but just don't have one gosh darn interesting thing to say. Ya, me too. I've been suffering a terminal case of it. It should be called "wheretheheckisspringandwhyamIworking-itis"

So I found this site and it told me to write about:

My 10 Favorite Qoutes


So here you go (I've never been one to rock the boat. I do as I'm told. I'm a good Catholic girl like that).

1)Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
MARK TWAIN, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

2)In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks.
Bill Watterson as Calvin

3)You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don't help.
Bill Watterson as Calvin

4)The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.
George Carlin

5)I am not the boss of my house. I don't know when I lost it. I don't know if I ever had it. But I have seen the boss's job and I do not want it.
Bill Cosby

6)Technology: No Place for Wimps!
Scott Adams

7)I'm in shape ... round's a shape isn't it?
Source Unkown

8)Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others.
Groucho Marx

9)I do benefits for all religions. I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality.
Bob Hope

10)Electricity is really just organized lightning.
George Carlin

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Want. To Take. A Bath!

Does you kid beg endlessly for a bath? Minute after minute, day after day. Mine does.

"I take a bath now, Mommy? I want to take a bath, NOW."


Its become a mantra. An annoying constant mantra by A and I'm losing.my.mind.

If she's not asking for a bath she's begging for waffles. The kid that wouldn't eat a damn thing for the first 2.5 years of her life can now pack away 6 or 7 waffles a day. She woke up at 5am one morning and after prying my eye lids open announced:
"Daddy said I could have waffles when I wake up! Its wake up time! I want waffles. Mommy its wake up time. See its not dark. Its waffle time.".


I'm waiting for her to request waffles in the tub.


"Now I take a bath?"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

We bought A a small v-Day present, comprised mainly of the 50% off Dollar bin at Target and 1 pair of pink camo fake crocs. By her reaction you'd think the girl has no shoes and we send her through the snow, sleet, ice and 3 feet of currently pooling water barefoot.

"Oh.My.God! Shoes! Mommy. Look at MY NEW SHOES"
I apparently hit the jackpot when I threw them in the cart as a last minute decision to round out the rest of the junk.

I was quite proud of myself, if not concerned, by her reaction, until she found the card.

"I get a CARD, mommy? For ME? Just for me? Oh TANK YOU! TANK YOU! TANK YOU!"


Yup my kid was the most excited about the card. The $.50 generic, bargain bin, blank inside frog card with bobble eyes. It's apparently the cat's meow. The only thing she expressed that could've made it any better would have been if it arrived in the mail.


Don't think for a second that I didn't lie.
"Yes, in fact it DID come in the mail. I went out and got it this morning. Just.For.You"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stolen from Major Bedhead (how does she find the best quiz's?)



It is eerily me, as I stare at the clock on my phone wishing it to be 4:20 so I can pack up and go home.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I had to take the test

Perusing my bloglines this morning I came across this post by Major Bedhead.

there's no way I could pass up a nerd test. Let's just say I didn't fail.


I am nerdier than 91% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!


Ah, crap...I'm only "Kinda Dorky Nerd Queen" on the extended version.


NerdTests.com says I'm a Kinda Dorky Nerd Queen.  What are you?  Click here!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Night Heart Attacks

I dialed the phone and gave it to Ally
ring, ring
"My finger's all better, memere. I'm going nah-nites now"


An hour earlier, the scene at our house wasn't so calm. Ally was, we thought, upstairs watching Scooby-Doo. We were downstairs watching the Packers/Giants game until we heard a blood curling scream.

I ran upstairs to find Ally in our bed, her hand covered in blood. I got her into the bathroom and screamed for John to come up. I had her hand under water when DH came up with the band aids and Neosporin. We spent 20 fruitless minutes in there trying to get the bleeding to stop.

Dh, during that time at least got Ally calm enough tell us how exactly she had sliced her finger off laying in our bed. She brought us into the bedroom and that's when DH found them, my razors, scattered throughout the bed. She had been opening all of them (they come individually wrapped). We wrapped her finger in paper towels and brought her downstairs, where DH applied pressure and kept her arm up and I not knowing what to do, frantically Googled "How to tell if you need stitches". Very helpful, I know.

An hour later and the bleeding had slowed enough for me to see what DH was trying to tell me. She basically shaved a layer of skin off. There's nothing to actually stitch. He put a bunch of band aids on it, gave her some chocolate and I put her bed.

Now I feel like the crap-tastic mother of the year. Tomorrow I'll be off buying door locks for the bathroom closets.

Why you shouldn't see Cloverfield



Bleh. The entire movie is filmed in the First Person perspective. An apparently, drunk, epileptic person using a non-stabilizing home video camera. The WHOLE movie. Imagine filming yourself running during an earthquake for an hour and a half and then watching it.

I tried my hardest to watch the movie. I wanted to like it. I wanted to search for those little hidden tidbits that JJ Abrams made Lost famous for. I made it about 1/3 of the way in before throwing in the towel. I kept waiting for it to magically shift to a steady cam "movie". It never did. I had to close my eyes or vomit. I closed my eyes and listened to the rest, wishing for the theater to stop spinning.

I hope the rest of the people in the theater appreciated my sacrifice, because I'm pissed that I paid money to get sick and miss an entire movie.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don't eat the Yellow Snow

Tinkle, Tinkle Little Star
Wonder how you go
Up above us, in the sky
Tinkle, Tinkle Little Star

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm in so much trouble!

Yesterday morning DH went into Ally's room to get her up for the day. He turned her lights on and opened her door, then left to brush his teeth.

pitter, patter, pitter, patter, click, slam


The door is now closed and the lights are off.

DH goes back, tells Ally its time to get up. Turns the lights back on and leaves her door open.

pitter, patter, pitter, patter, click, "I'M STILL TIRED!!!" slam, lock


She locked her door! My 3 year old LOCKED her door. Locked her loving parents out of her room at 7am because, and I quote "I'M STILL TIRED!". I am not going to survive her teenage years.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Why I hate Monday mornings in New England

Snow1

Even More Snow

Enough with the Snow!

And to top it completely off:
Broken Tree

Yup, tree split in half. DH was out shoveling at 6am when he heard the cracking. The tree, when we moved into our house 8 years ago was a beautiful, perfectly round tree. A tree you could write poems about it was so perfect. About 4 years ago it split in 1/2 during a particularly nasty thunderstorm. Today the 1/2 that was left split in 1/2 again. We'll have to have the whole thing taken down this spring.