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Monday, November 20, 2017

Here is another #sign I made this past week. Our favorite #nursepractitioner from our pediatrician’s office just left the practice this week after helping to build the practice for 30 years. Sadly, she is not retiring, but moving on to another practice that is too far for us to travel to. We have been going here for 11 years (ever since our daughter was still in my belly). And this NP is a wonderful lady. She is kind, very knowledgeable, super smart, patient, and has a laid-back demeanor, which was very useful in balancing the paranoia of a first time momma. 😜 Most importantly though, we credit her with saving Miracle Man’s life. When he was four weeks old, we went in for a routine check up. He was so tiny, and being a #twin there was a lot of chaos going on in the room with both boys being examined and making noises. The NP was listening to Miracle Man’s heart and thought per chance she may have heard a slight murmur. She kept listening, and listening. Finally, she looked up at me and said, “I’ll be right back!” She literally ran to get another doctor to come listen to his heart, too, to confirm what she thought she heard. The other doctor came back and agreed that it sounded like a heart murmur and the wheels were set in motion. We had a #cardiologist appointment set up, and before we knew it our little munchkin had open heart surgery at seven weeks old. When all was said and done, the renowned #pediatric #cardiology #surgeon from our area told us that Miracle Man’s heart had been 87% blocked! And we literally had no idea anything this major was going on with him. All of the symptoms he had been experiencing were also typical of late #preterm babies, which he was. So I am eternally #grateful to this NP and I wanted to wish her well on her new journey. To do so, I made this sign for her, and wrote a special note to her on the back. I had been hoping to give it to her at my daughter’s physical the other day, but the NP had already left. ☹️ Luckily, I still have contact with her and she will receive it soon, I’m sure. It will probably just be after #Thanksgiving .🀷🏼‍♀️ #blogpost #painting


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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Some friends of ours had a baby boy recently and I wanted to give them something special for their nursery, so after a #Pinterest perusal and some stealth Facebook stalking of their #nursery photos, I came up with this sign. I like it so much, I’m going to make something similar for my #baby when I get the chance. 😊 It wasn’t too hard to make! I used a piece of scrap wood, which I painted gray and let dry. Then on the top surface, I painted a layer of navy. When that dried, I sanded over the top and sides to give it the rustic, worn look. Next, I designed and cut out of #vinyl the saying and owl on my #cricut . I used the negative part of the cuts to make stencils, which were placed down on the wood and painted over in gray. It took two coats to get the gray to look the way I wanted it to. And on the second coat, I lifted up the vinyl #stencils while the paint was still wet. The owl was a three step process. It required two stencils, the base of the owl being the first one in white. The second stencil went on top of the white paint after it dried so that I could add the gray details. Then when that dried, I painted the beak and talons in yellowish orange and the eyelids and lashes in navy. It was a fun #diyproject . and our friends really liked it when I gave it to them yesterday! 😊 #painting #baby #newborn #crafts #craftymom #diy #giftideas #gifts #sign #welcomebaby #babyboy #paintingismytherapy #blogpost


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Thursday, November 16, 2017

This is how I am feeling today. I haven’t been sleeping well this week. My #glucose numbers aren’t so great even though I am working super hard on controlling them with my diet. And I’ve been so alone throughout my whole pregnancy (well, with the exception of my three screaming meemies 😜). It’s very hard. I am having a difficult time getting excited about this baby. I know that in the end, I will love and adore her just as much as my other three. But with everything I’ve been going through, alone, it’s just.so.hard. Of course I know how this makes me sound. And I know how desperate other women are to have children, so there is enormous guilt associated with my admission and my feelings. And I really do believe she is a gift. I’m just being real. This is where I am at. Alone. Frightened. Worried. Sad. Angry. Exhausted. #truth #pregnancy #pregnant #advancedmaternalage #pregnantat41 #gestationaldiabetes #emotional #chronicandpregnant #fibroandpregnant #chronicillness #fibromyalgia #scleroderma #ibs #fml #depression #anxiety #blogpost #momlife #momoffour #canirunaway #wouldanyonemissme


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Today I am trying a new smoothie for breakfast that has a combination of vanilla protein powder, strawberries, almonds and almond milk, and spinach. It’s not bad. It tastes a little bit sweeter than I thought it would. But the carbs are still pretty low....close to 26 (the goal is to be below 30 for breakfasts and snacks). But this #smoothie has a lot of protein in it, too, so that helps combat or balance the effects of any carbs that are in it. For those interested, here is the #smoothierecipe : 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 1/4 cup almonds 1 cup frozen strawberries 1/4 vanilla protein powder Handful of spinach Fill the rest of a single serve blending cup with water That’s it. Super simple and easy, but tasty and filling. So, my endocrinologist is wondering if I may actually have #type1diabetes (which, I am learning, is different than #type2diabetes in that it is an autoimmune diabetes). Typically, this is the type of diabetes that children are diagnosed with. However, it can, according to the endocrinologist, remain dormant in your system until it is triggered and then can be a diagnosed as late as even 60 years of age. Once all is said and done and the baby is born, they usually test a patient with gestational diabetes for two months after the pregnancy to see if the blood sugars return to normal. So I will be doing all of that, but once that postpartum period is over, she is going to look into whether or not I have type one diabetes, as well. Long story short: I might as well embrace this as a new lifestyle, rather than just a temporary change. 🀷🏼‍♀️ #chronicillness #chronicandpregnant #diabetesawareness #diabetesawarenessmonth #diabetesawarenessday #gestationaldiabetes #pregnancy #pregnancyproblems #advancedmaternalage #fibroandpregnancy #fibromyalgia #momlife #spoonie #blogpost #momof4 #pregnantat41


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Monday, November 13, 2017

Today’s breakfast (brought to you on a Christmas kitty plate), consists of 1/2 of a whole wheat sandwich thin, 1 tablespoon or all natural peanut butter, and 1/2 of an avocado. Coming in at around 20g of carbohydrates, but with plenty of protein and healthy fats to satisfy the appetite, this breakfast is an interesting combination. The avocado actually helps cleanse the palate a smidgen in between bites of the peanut butter, but I long for a fresh glass of orange juice. But whaddya gonna do? 🀷🏼‍♀️ It turns out that the #gestationaldiabetes diet didn’t work too well for me, so I am now on the #insulin shots. But the diet remains in place . I’m getting a little bit bored of my regular meals, so I’m starting to switch it up a bit, trying new recipes and combinations of foods...measuring and counting every #carbohydrate along the way. The finger pricking is going alright...it’s starting to feel a bit more painful than it initially did (probably due to the frequency of irritation on my fingers??). I do test different fingers each time, and never stick myself in the same spots. So I wonder if the #fibromyalgia is causing the sensitivity, or if it’s just the way it is. Does anyone have any insight on that? TIA I hope you all have a great day! 🌞 #blogpost #preggers #pregnant #pregnantat41 #advancedmaternalage #fibroandpregnancy #fibrosucks #diabetesawareness #diabetesawarenessmonth #manageyoursugar #momlife #chronicandpregnant #chronicillness


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Monday, November 6, 2017

Hoping to walk out that door in the next few minutes. It was a rough day of too many #preterm contractions. It didn’t matter what I did to ease them, cuz they just kept coming! I made a “quick” trip to the hospital to get everything checked out and since everything looks good, I will be on may way soon. Once they finish the paperwork, of course! πŸ™„ Oh the joys of #pregnancy 🀷🏼‍♀️!! #blogpost #preggers #contractions #advancedmaternalage #pregnantat41 #pregnant #pregnancyproblems #pregnantlife #pregnancyjourney #chronicandpregnant #fibroandpregnancy #sotirednow


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Gestational Diabetes Monitoring Tutorial

Gestational Diabetes Monitoring Tutorial Monitoring your blood sugar when you have gestational diabetes.






http://eepurl.com/cH91Mn

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Yesterday was my first full day of monitoring my blood sugar levels as a momma with #gestationaldiabetes . So here’s the breakdown in how it works. First thing in the morning, before I have any breakfast, I test my blood sugar level and log it on a recording sheet. To prep for that test, all I have to do is make sure my hands are clean and that I have inserted a new lancet in the finger pricker. I can then have breakfast, and from the moment any food touches my mouth, I have to set a timer so that I can take another test exactly 1 hour after the start of eating. I’m learning a lot about controlling the carb intake at various times throughout the day. For those of you who have never gone through this or any other type of diabetes, it’s interesting to note that, although you have to be aware of your carb intake throughout the day, morning time is of the upmost importance. My diabetes educator explained to me that at breakfast time, I can have between 15 and 30 g of carbs (but no more than that). That basically eliminates any type of cereal (due to the carb count in the cereal, as well as the milk). It also eliminates traditional pancakes, French toast, bagels...pretty much everything most Americans have for breakfast (except for eggs). The focus during breakfast, she explained it to me, should be to have a lot of protein. Yesterday morning, rather than cook up an egg, I opted for half of a 100% whole wheat sandwich thin With 1 tablespoon of all natural peanut butter. I also had a quarter of a cup of cottage cheese, and approximately 1 ounce of Colby Jack cheese. For that breakfast my carb count was around 17 1/2 g. I was aiming to... #blogpost


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Sunday, October 29, 2017

I made a #Halloween #wreath this weekend with an old wreath I had laying around the house from waaayyyyy back when I used to own a craft business. (That was pre-kiddos)! I spray painted the wreath black and added black and silver glitter before the paint dried to make it sparkle and shine. ✨Then I made the purple glittery bow from ribbon I picked up at @michaelsstores this week on clearance for two dollars. The black sparkly witch’s hat also came from Michael’s and was on clearance for $1.19. It came with black glittery sprays that you can’t quite see in the picture, but they are super cute and have styrofoam balls on the ends of some of them. The polka-dotted pumpkin and the purple glittery bat came from @walmart for $.98 each. The feathers, which don’t reflect their true colors in this photo, are feather sprays that I had left over from my 40th birthday party almost two years ago, which was a masquerade theme. They are actually more purplish than magenty in real life. I had them laying around the house, too, and I don’t recall how much they cost. But I had originally purchased them from @acmoorecrafts. So, if you ignore the original cost of the items I already had laying around the house, I have under $6 into this wreath! That’s pretty darn cheap considering that the Halloween wreaths at Walmart are selling for $20 right now. They may be a little bit bigger and a little bit more detailed and involved, but I am very satisfied with my shoestring budget results! After all, how could I not be? It has purple and glitter!!!!! ✨😜✨What’s not to love πŸ’—about that? #crafts #craftymom #crafting #lovetocraft #lovetocreate #momlife #mommylife #pennypincher #painting #blogpost #art #chronicillness #chronicandpregnant #fibromyalgia #fibroandpregnancy #lovemykids #lovemyfamily #familyfun #halloween2017 #scleroderma #shoestringbudget #therewillbecrafts #halloweenwreath #halloweentime #halloweendecor #halloweenlover


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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Here are a few of the designs I painted today at the birthday party for my sons’ friend. Most of the kiddos didn’t want their faces painted, so they opted for a design on their hands. I enjoyed creating designs for them on the fly, like the Minecraft heads. I think they had fun with it, too. I came home after the party and collapsed with a #headache and a nap. And I’ve basically been in bed the whole evening. But it was worth it to see their smiles!! 😊 #chronicandpregnant #chronicillness #facepainting #newtofacepainting #facepaintingnewbie #myart #artsy #lovemykids #lovemyfamily #twinmom #momlife #mommylife #withabrush #blogpost #specialneeds #specialneedsmom #fibromyalgia #fibroandpregnancy #scleroderma


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More #halloween art. πŸ‘»πŸŽƒ☠️πŸ‘Ή This #painting took me all week to complete. But I am happy with the results! I got the idea off of Pinterest from here: https://pin.it/NruzCU- The original #artist had more bats and a different spider, but I had a difficult time with the bats, so after I finished the one, I decided to add another web instead. The cat’s eye was a bit tricky for me, too, but I finally got it to look the way I wanted it to. Sometimes it can be frustrating when painting because I have no real training behind me other than a few YouTube videos. But I do what I can. I choose projects I like...that I also think I am capable of. So they’re usually pretty simple. 😜 With #Halloween2017 only a couple of days away, that’s probably it as far as Halloween paintings go. I am planning on starting some Christmas ones next to give as gifts. I probably won’t have time to start them until later this week or next weekend, though. Today my boys have a birthday party to go to...with a Halloween theme!! πŸŽƒ I offered to do some face painting for the kiddos, so I’m pretty excited about that!! If any of you follow me on Pinterest also, that explains the sudden increase of face painting pins in your feed! Lol #blogpost #arttherapy #artoninstagram #momlife #therapeuticpainting #mommylife #lovemyfamily #lovemykids #familyofsix #somanyprojects #toolittletime #chronicandpregnant #chronicillness #fibromyalgia #fibrosucks #scleroderma #blackcat #lovecats


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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

And then there were the #pumpkins πŸŽƒ!!! These took a few days to complete...and they're finally done!!! Did I happen to mention how much I LOVE #Halloween ??? Or just how #stressed I've been!?!? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!! #painting #paintingismytherapy #artoninstagram #momlife #fibromyalgia #chronicandpregnant #chronicillness #scleroderma #blogpost #happyhalloween #halloween2017πŸŽƒ #makeartnotwar #pregnant #pregnantandbitchy #advancedmaternalage #pregnantat41 #familyofsix #toomanykids #lovemykids


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More #therapy for the week!! I love #Halloween πŸŽƒπŸ‘»πŸ‘Ή☠️!!! Thankful that it is inspiring me to calm down and #relax a little!! Plus, bonus...I needed some new Halloween decorations just to change it up a bit. As a #disabled stay-at-home mom of three, almost four, money is tight, so there's not a lot extra in the budget for holiday decor. Good thing I can make it!! 😊 #blogpost #fibro #fibrosucks #fibrowarrior #advancedmaternalage #pregnantaf #pregnantat41 #mentalhealth #painting #artoninstagram #scleroderma #chronicillness #chronicandpregnant #familyfun #familyofsix


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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My husband and I finally got a chance to go out to dinner the other night. It was our first #datenight since #valentinesday and gave us the opportunity to celebrate our 13th #weddinganniversary a month late, but at least it happened! 😜 We chose the @6housepub in #williamstownma in the #berkshires to celebrate and were not disappointed! The atmosphere in this old building was wicked cool...even for a slow weeknight after the #berkshiretheatrefestival ended. We loved the period furnishings and decor. Being that it was a slow night, we had our choice of indoor or outdoor seating. After a quick perusal of the choices, we opted for the unique indoor environment, with the plan to come back soon to experience the outdoor seating and πŸ”₯ pit. The waitress/hostess/bartender/one-woman-show for the night seated us and asked for our drink order. When we told her that I was pregnant she offered to make me a mocktail and I only wish I had taken a pic to share. It was a tropical frozen drink that lit up my night! So fun and delicious!! For an appetizer, we ordered their garlic mozzarella sticks, which were tasty but didn't really have a hint of garlic. That was a slight disappointment, but my dinner definitely made up for it! I had their special for the evening, which I NEVER do! 99% of the time at restaurants, the specials of the day do not fit within my taste or dietary preferences. It was pretty exciting to be able to choose the special just because of the rarity for me! 😊 The menu was quite well-rounded and offered interesting combinations of flavors like a black raspberry chicken that was very tempting! But they also had a lot of the favorite stand-bys like chicken parmigiana, which is what Prince Charming chose. As for me, though, I opted for the Cajun chicken in a vodka marinara sauce over spaghetti. Omg! It was scrumptious!!! I loooooooved it!! So very tasty! It was definitely spicy and between my #scleroderma and #pregnancy I really paid for that choice in acid reflux all night. But I would do it again in a heartbeat!! I wish it was on the regular menu!! It was a really nice evening and we had a chance to enjoy each other's company! #blogpost


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

More pics from #theberkshiremuseum in #massachusetts 😊. The dinosaur statue is a favorite of kids from all over the place. I can't imagine how many kids have climbed up his back over the years! The #wigwam is always a must-see, as well. The kiddles can go right inside and look around or play pretend for a few minutes. There is an exhibit that is permanent that has a real #mummy and an interactive #hieroglyphics demonstration. The last pic is a silly pic we took after we found out that the museum was giving away goody bags to the kids who visited on #freefriday that had safety goggles and a drawstring backpack for them to keep! 😊 It was quite an eventful day there!! Thank you to The Berkshire Museum for another great visit! We will be back soon!! πŸ’— #family #blogpost #berkshires #freefamilyfun #familyfun #familyadventures #familytravel #familytime #camping #seasonalcamping #exploreyourcity #exploretheusa #lovemykids #lovemyfamily


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Touring the #Berkshires again, we've come across some real gems! The Berkshire Museum is always one of our favorite museums within a short drive of our home. It's even closer from our #seasonalcamp though! Last Friday was one of the last of the free Fridays in #Massachusetts where free admission to many different museums is offered throughout the state during the summer. The #berkshiremuseum was the one that was closest to us this past week. Plus...it was raining. All.day! After a while, being at camp on a rainy day with 3 kiddles loses its appeal...well, okay, honestly...real fast!!! So we headed over to the museum to meet up with some of our closest friends for an afternoon of fun! I have to be completely honest. I hadn't looked up anything about the museum this time around, since we have been there often enough over the years and I just figured I knew everything there was to know about it. 😜 Well, I couldn't have been more wrong! But it was a very pleasant surprise! They had changed up some of the exhibits and had a new temporary exhibit about guitars. If I had looked online and seen that they were having this exhibit, I probably wouldn't have been too excited to go. But let me tell you, it was wicked cool! There were tons of different guitars from all over the world, history lessons about how guitars have evolved, and the worlds largest payable electric guitar. There were plenty of hands-on things for the kids to do within the guitar exhibit alone. And there were guitars the kids could pick up and play. We had a blast! Besides the guitars, there was so much for the kids to see and do! They have a small aquarium on the bottom floor and a hands-on Lab where the kids can build and assemble things that we always love to visit. But it turns out that they periodically rotate the toys in the lab. Almost none of what we played with the last time was there again. So that really makes it more interesting for the kiddles!! We had to leave to go eat lunch, but we will definitely go back again sooner rather than later to continue to explore the fun there! #blogpost #familyfun #lovemyfamily #familyadventures #familytravel


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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Love is love is love is love. And kids are the embodiment of love. They don't see color. They don't see socioeconomic status. They don't see religion. They see people. People in their most basic form. And all that matters to kids is: "are they nice? Are they good people?" That is all. Last week...even before #charlottesville my little man exemplified this pure love in the most simple way. We were at a garage sale looking at baby doll stuff since my kids are all now currently obsessed with playing with babies...we had two baby dolls in the house, but that's not enough for three kiddles who all want to play with the baby doll...just think of all the fighting we were experiencing!!! It was enough to drive this momma a bit nutty!! πŸ˜œπŸ˜³πŸ™„ Anyway, so I decided to look at garage sales for baby dolls and all of their paraphernalia to encourage the kiddles to learn how to take care of their babies properly, thereby practicing for their #babysistercomingsoon (and also to encourage their softer, loving sides). πŸ’—πŸ˜Š We found this one garage sale that had several baby dolls and a ton of other items to go along with them. So I held up a couple of dolls for the boys to pick from. Without a wink of hesitation, Super K-Man (formerly known as Chub-Chub) grabbed this baby doll, looked at her face and said she is beautiful. He didn't even bat an eye that her skin was different than his. Why?! Because kids don't see color. They don't see it. They just love. ❤️ #lovemyfamily #love #lovetrumpshate #lovemykids #lovemyboy #momlife #mommylife #thrifting #thriftymom #justlove #kidsofinstagram #blogpost #timeforchange #parenting #loveislove #family #innocence


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Friday, August 11, 2017

Exhausted beyond exhausted. My quest to accomplish all of the housework remains at the FAIL level, and yet my body is COMPLETELY beat. I feel like I've fallen and I can't get up. Last night, my daughter and I had a girls' night, which she has wanted all summer. I was completely out of energy, though. So we watched a movie at home after grabbing some takeout...and then I just passed out. I was able to make it almost to the end, but I did miss the last 20 minutes or so. What ended up waking me up after the movie ended was my restless leg syndrome. It's been driving me nuts lately, and waking me up all night long. There's nothing that says deep sleep quite like your legs jerking around uncontrollably. 😳😜😭After settling back down and going to sleep again, I woke up from round ligament pain while I was tossing and turning. The round ligament pain with this pregnancy is excruciating. And it started at the very beginning of the pregnancy. I'm thinking that carrying my #twin boys stretched it out so badly that that's why I'm experiencing it so drastically this time?! It does help to use a belly band or other supportive device throughout the day, but by bedtime, I just want to take it off. It's kind of like getting home after a long day and wanting to take your bra off! I have to get one of those pregnancy pillow thingies for seeping. I've been using a Boppy the last couple of nights to support the belly, and that has been helpful, but it is definitely not ideal. I need good, quality sleep so badly!!! 😩 #preggers #pregnant #pregnancy #pregnantlife #pregnancyproblems #pregnantbelly #pregnancyjournal #pregnancypillow #blogpost #complaints #advancedmaternalage #fibromyalgia #fibroandpregnancy #fibrosucks #momlife #mommylife #girlsnightin #girlsnight #mommyanddaughter #momdaughterdate #roundligamentpain #restlesslegsyndrome #restlesslegs #restlesslegssyndrome #fibro


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Thursday, August 10, 2017

More photo shoot fun! #sweetie #loveymygirl #lovemykids #lovemyfamily #mygirl #tweenstyle #tween #tweenmodel #tweenfashion #tweengirl #tweenager #tweenlife #momlife #mommylife #family #photography #photoshoot #blackandwhitephoto #blackandwhitephotography #portraitphotography #parenting #parenthood #parents #parentblog #blogpost #momblog #momblogs #momblogger


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More photos from our photo shoot yesterday. This girlie loooooves the camera!! 😊😜 I wish I could have been half as beautiful as her when I was her age. I was more like that awkward pre-teen who never felt like she fit in and had no fashion sense or self-awareness as far as looks and, sadly, hygiene were concerned. 😳 sometimes I don't like that she is so into appearances. And I think girls these days are exposed to beauty expectations at a much younger age than my generation. It's sad that kids can't just be kids. With that being said, I have never pushed her or forced her or even drew her attention toward beauty. But, rather, she has always sought it out on her own. And although she is beyond her years in this sense, and many girls of her generation are, too, I do think there is a part of it that is pretty cool--in that she is going to approach middle school and the awkwardness that goes along with it from a perspective that allows her to feel more at ease with her appearance than I had. And even though I am constantly reminding her that her personality, intelligence, thoughtfulness, and concern for others are way more important than her beauty, Let's face it: our society judges first on appearances. Whether we like it or not, it is the truth. And no matter how much education, encouragement, and socialization we give our young girls, they will always be judged first by the way they look. So if they feel more comfortable in their own skin while going through the tough middle school years, I guess I am for it. #sweetie #loveymygirl #lovemykids #lovemyfamily #mygirl #tweenstyle #tween #tweenmodel #tweenfashion #tweengirl #tweenager #tweenlife #momlife #mommylife #family #photography #photoshoot #blackandwhitephoto #blackandwhitephotography #portraitphotography #parenting #parenthood #parents #parentblog #blogpost #parentingproblems


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

He has such a sweet face. But an even sweeter personality. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’— #lovemyboy #lovemykids #lovemyfamily #sweetie #sweetboy #photography #photoshoot #portraitoftheday #blackandwhitephoto #photo #parents #momlife #mommylife #blogpost #sadnessinmyheart #sweet


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A little silliness in between the serious and sad poses.😜 #lovemyboy #lovemykids #lovemyfamily #sweetie #sweetboy #photography #photoshoot #portraitoftheday #blackandwhitephoto #photo #parents #momlife #mommylife #goof #sillyboy #silly #sillymood #sillytime #blogpost


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My kids wanted to do a photo shoot today. Here's K-man (formerly known as Chub-Chub 😜) expressing his inner sadness. Looking at this photo, I feel what he is feeling. I am not sure if that's just because I know him. So I'm looking for objectivity here. Can you feel it too? #lovemyboy #lovemykids #lovemyfamily #sweetie #sweetboy #photography #photoshoot #portraitoftheday #blackandwhitephoto #photo #parents #momlife #mommylife #sad #sadnessinmyheart #sadness #blogpost


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Friday, August 4, 2017

How sweet is my little guy?! The other day I found my daughter's baby doll from when she was little girl. She had given it the name of Baby Doll back then and that doll went everywhere with us! Baby Doll has been known to travel across the country and the world! When I took Baby Doll out of storage, I also found my doll from when I was a little girl. She is a Strawberry Shortcake baby doll that blew strawberry-scented kisses when you pressed on her tummy. It's from waaaay back in the 80's! All three kids have been playing house with the dolls the past two days. We have been dressing them with a few of the newborn outfits that I just got from a neighbor, and learning how to swaddle them. The kids have been pretending that they go to work and then come home to help take care of the baby. Chub-Chub (who seriously needs a new nickname) has even been checking in on his "wife "to see how she is doing with the baby. πŸ’—Miracle Man has been going to work as a veterinarian and leaving his baby with the babysitter. 😜 Tonight, Little Miss had her opening night of her theater camp play, and Baby Doll (who has now been renamed Marissa) had to go to the play, too. Chub-Chub tells me all day long how much he loves his baby. This little guy melts my heart. But all three of them are so incredibly excited about having a little sister, that it makes me feel not quite as bad about how horrible of a mom I've been this week. The fatigue this week has been outrageous!! I literally cannot move all day because I'm wiped out and need to conserve whatever energy I have so that I can take Little Miss to her camp/theater group practice at night--and entertain the boys at a park or a playground while she is there. My fatigue has been horrible and because of that, the kids have watched TV all week. I do read with them occasionally and snuggle with them, but I feel like the worst mom ever this week. And then I see my little man snuggled up with his baby, sleeping, after playing with her all day (no TV was allowed most of the day) and I realize I must be doing SOMETHING right because this guy, this little sweetheart, is such a loving boy!! As are my other kiddles!! #blogpost


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Another #bump snuggler. Kallie is normally psycho in the morning, all excited that we are finally, AT LAST...awake! 🌞She climbs all over us, wagging her butt in hurricane fashion. Fur and slobber flying in every which direction. She lays on me, steps on me, and paws at me. She's nuts! 😜 But not lately. Intuitively, she has become supremely gentle, tentatively nuzzling into me. She doesn't lay on top of me, but opts to getascloseasshecantomyside! She still tries to give me hugs, but she gently places her paw in different places until she is sure it's okay. It's amazing to watch her behavior change as the bump grows. Pets are quite incredible with how they just "know" when you're pregnant. We've had many cats do similar things in the past...like our beloved Tiggy who passed away many years ago. He didn't like being around people at all. He loved us and wanted to be near us, but always several feet away. When I was pregnant and on bed rest with my daughter, I'd be laying on the couch in the living room watching tv and he would come over to me and give my belly kisses. It was so out-of-character for him, and really very sweet. πŸ’•πŸ’— Not everyone likes having pets in their home. But I cannot imagine a life without them. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’—πŸΆπŸ± #goldens #goldenretriever #goldenlife #goldensofinstagram #blogpost #chronicandpregnant #fibroandpregnancy #fibro #advancedmaternalage #babybump #petsofinstagram #dogsofinstgram #dogmom #dogsofinstagram #pregnant #preggers #pregnancy #loveofadog #unconditionallove


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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Now that the surgery is over and we can move past it, my boys have a little (well, okay...maybe BIG) something that they would like to share with the world. In January of next year, they will become big brothers to a sweet little baby sister! We just shared the news with them this past weekend, and just found out about the baby's sex today. They are incredibly excited to become big brothers! Although we had thought our family was complete, apparently there was a larger plan for us. This little baby is 100% A miracle! There is no other way to describe how she came about being. With all that we have going on in our lives with Miracle Man and my health issues, there have definitely been positive and negative emotions about this #Pregnancy, but we are excited about having a new little bundle of sweet smelling #baby to cuddle with! We are thrilled she will be a girl to even out our family...2 girls and 2 boys!! Being of advanced maternal age, I was expected to get genetic testing, which is why we know today that it's a girl. The testing also showed us that there was an indication that she could possibly have #trisomyx Syndrome. Naturally, that is frightening, but I am learning a little bit about it now and the odds are in our favor that she could have little to no symptoms at all. Of course, now I will have to go through genetic counseling, as well. Nobody wants to hear that on the other end of the phone call. But we will figure it out just like we have every other challenge that has been presented to us. #mommylife #momlife #pregnant #pregnancy #preggers #specialneedsmom #specialneeds #family #lovemyfamily #familyadventures #familyofsix #nowwehaveabrood #largefamily #yikes4tikes #chronicillness #fibro #spoonie #twinsplustwo #advancedmaternalage #geneticcounseling #genetics #worriedmom #trisomyxsyndrome #blogpost


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All done and eating his chocolate ice cream 🍦 in recovery!!! πŸ’— #parenting #momlife #lovemyboy #sweetie #surgery #mommylife #specialneeds #specialkids #parentsofspecialneeds #family #warrior #warriorkids #blogpost


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This handsome guy has no idea he's headed towards his doom. We are on our way to the hospital for another surgery...minor adjustment to the poor kid's weenie. Ouchie!! πŸ˜₯ On the way to the car he needed to stop and make sure he found a worm! Because...worms! This will be his 7th surgery. He's a tough little guy!! He will be fine. It's just the momma that freaks out a little each time. Although, I have to say that over time it does sort of become kinda ??normal? πŸ˜” #momlife #mommylife #lovemyboy #specialneeds #specialneedskids #surgery #surgeryday #mylittleboy #specialkids #parents #parenting #parentsofspecialneeds #warrior #blogpost #boysloveworms #boyslovebugs


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Monday, July 17, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Kids Vaping

PSA: Especially to parents of tweens and teens:


I'm trying not to freak out at the moment. 


What do you all know about vaping? My 10 year old daughter was peer pressured to try it last weekend at camp!!! Holy freaking crap! 


I've read a few things on the internet so far this morning and it seems like, although people believe it is safe, it's really not. Especially for KIDS! I'm not trying to be an alarmist. Please keep reading or do some research on your own to find out about the seriousness of kids vaping.


So let me break it down for you a little bit so that you can understand some of the basics about kids and vaping. And by the way, I DO NOT claim to be an expert on this topic by any means!!! I'm am merely synthesizing for you all the info I found in my short internet research. It may have been short, but I read a lot from credible sources like well-established organizations. I will post some links in the comment section below.


Anyway, here goes:


There are these liquids called "e-juices" that are designed to taste, smell, and look like candy (cotton candy, sour patch kids, etc.) that are being used in "vape boxes".  Vape boxes are like an e-cigarette, but since they are shaped like a box and do not look like a cigarette, kids see them as less harmful...safe.


The kids who pressured my daughter to try vaping (some older, some the same age) all told her it was safe and that it didn't have nicotine in them. So as a tween, what would you think? "Tastes like candy, not a cigarette, no nicotine...sounds safe alright."


While that may be true that these e-juices do not contain nicotine, and there is no "smoke" going into their lungs, they do contain other harmful chemicals like formeldahyde and acetone, among other things. 


But they are being marketed to kids by their flavors, colors, packaging, etc. The kids (and some adults) believe they are safe...but there are studies/reports indicating that children across the country are being admitted to hospitals with comas, seizures, etc. from trying these things. Some of the chemicals are known carcinogens, as well.


Naturally, being exposed to vaping at such a young age has also been linked to tweens and teens becoming more willing to try other harmful substances like real cigarettes and marijuana. 


So here are my tips to help other parents navigate this new world we are entering with our tweets:


1. Keep an open line of communication with your tween...and try hard NOT to freak out when they tell you they have been offered these things. If they can trust that you won't scream and yell and freak out on them, they will be more likely to continue to share with you what is happening in their world.


2. A recent article that made the rounds on Facebook is proving to be extremely helpful for our family. We have devised a plan to help her escape the peer pressure by having her text me a specific emoji so that I can then call her and have her come back to camp/back home when she is feeling uncomfortable. No questions asked. 


3. Know your kids and know their friends!! The kids that are pressuring her to do this are not her actual friends at camp. They are acquaintances. She felt uncomfortable around them anyway. She plans to stay away from them now that she sees them for who they really are. 


4. Be aware that even really smart kids can be peer pressured!!! My daughter is a strong-willed, smart, young lady who has a good sense of right and wrong. But even she was peer pressured! Complacency is not an option in this day and age. EVERY kid is at risk. Every single one. It is up to us as parents to keep our kiddos safe and help them navigate their coming of age. We must be vigilant and not rest on our laurels thinking "my kid wouldn't do that". Peer pressure is a force to be reckoned with!!!


Please feel free to add to this discussion and to share. I am posting this as a public post to help other parents keep their kids safe, too.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Here are some of the pics of the Ancient Glacial Pot Holes. The #kids really enjoyed seeing them and learning about them. They're pretty amazing for sure! You'll never take the teacher out of me! 😜 #bridgeofflowers #shelburnefalls #seasonalcamp #camping #camp #blogpost #summer #sightseeing #travel #family #familyfun #momlife #mommylife #vacationtime #vacationmode #explore #adventure #adventuretime #discoverearth #discoveryourworld #childhood #childhoodunplugged #newengland #berkshires #ancientglacialpotholes


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Here are some of the beautiful #flowers that we're on the Bridge of Flowers. πŸ’—πŸ’— Thought you might enjoy seeing them!! #bridgeofflowers #shelburnefalls #seasonalcamp #camping #camp #blogpost #summer #sightseeing #travel #family #familyfun #momlife #mommylife #vacationtime #vacationmode #explore #adventure #adventuretime #discoverearth #discoveryourworld #childhood #childhoodunplugged #newengland #berkshires #photography #naturephotography


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We tooled around the #berkshires some more yesterday. I had wanted to check out The Bridge of Flowers, but we hadn't really planned on going there in particular. We came across it in our travels, though, and it was so beautiful! The town (Shelburne Falls) was a cute little New England town with bookstores, eateries, and desserts. So we grabbed a bite to eat for lunch and walked around for a little while. We also came across a spot that had glacial potholes, which I will show you in my next #instagramphoto because it was super cool to see, too. Our world really is beautiful! #bridgeofflowers #shelburnefalls #seasonalcamp #camping #camp #blogpost #summer #sightseeing #travel #family #familyfun #momlife #mommylife #vacationtime #vacationmode #explore #adventure #adventuretime #discoverearth #discoveryourworld #childhood #childhoodunplugged #newengland


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