Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wii would like to play

I'm embarrassed to post this but I am suffering from severe shoulder fatigue. I am absolutely hooked on that darn Guitar Hero 3 and my shoulder is a hurtin. Thank goodness for Motrin. I sure feel like a rock star though. My rocker chick (Judy Nails) is super cool looking with blue hair and a fabulous body. I think I need to go join Curves.

The boys are also loving the Wii and Austin is hooked on the Wii sports. He is doing pretty well with all the games. He is golfing right now and it is quite comical as he only knows to swing really hard. The over the hole, and over the hole, and over the hole his ball flies until finally he gives up at a +8. Once in a while he will amazingly chip one in. Joe and Tommy make quite the tennis combo and Austin does well at that too. Bowling is fun also, especially when you throw the ball backwards and the people watching all spin around and scream. I can see why these things are so popular in nursing homes. Austin just got a ball on the green amazingly and he is all upset because they won't let him change his club from a putter. Well he just blasted it past the hole and off the green so now he is able to change clubs, here we go again, over the hole, and over the hole. I wonder if it sounds as funny as it looks. Time for baseball now I guess.

Tommy just finished his 4th and final day in a row of early hockey. Joe is already back in bed. Tommy came in joking that I will miss his next game because it is at 7:45 next Saturday. Can I just ask what fruitcake makes a schedule with hockey games that early??? Man oh man. Yes, I am lazy and enjoy sleeping in on the weekends! My brother Andrew plays on the high school hockey team and he has 5:30 am practices. That is insane! They are growing boys, how can they be successful in school after going to a 5:30 am practice? I just don't understand!

Wow! Austin just hit a Wii home run. He'll get some serious experience points from that!

I guess I will sign off. Christmas vacation is certainly flying by! I hope everyone has a wonderful time on this long holiday weekend!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tales of Christmas and other tidbits.

What a wonderful 3 day spread of Christmas did we have. This one was very different from years past but good nonetheless.

The family was totally spoiled this year and we're loving all our presents. Santa brought the family a Wii and Austin is loving it! He is playing baseball right now. It is so nice because most of the games can be handled with one hand and he is doing awesome. He will also use righty a bit to box but usually drops it after a little while. Oh well, a little use is great. We need to kinesio tape it to his hand and see how he does with that.

All is well, I think of Autumn often but really am at peace with it all. Sr. Tereska reminded me again on Christmas morning that she is in heaven and I will be with her again one day. That is so comforting to me. I also have comfort knowing she is not suffering and was just too beautiful for earth. There was/is a reason that God gave her to us even for that short time. I don't know the reason, but I believe everything in life has a purpose.

I guess I will keep this short and just give you a few pictures.

In the hospital before getting started. Joe and I had a laugh over Aunt Noni giving us a new view of the "cookie bucket." Check Joe's blog for the latest Aunt Noni gift story. God love her! The booze cars. LOL. Tommy had the whole family cracking up because he was so excited that the cars had "gas." Whew was that strong, it was gas all right!

Christmas Program - Both boys did great! Austin before his performance.

Tommy the Shephered chumming it up with buddy Zane.

Autumn's service on Friday. The white ribbons say sister, daughter, and granddaughter. My Mom left her a Christmas tree Tuesday morning. It had an angel on the top and was a nice Christmas surprise.

Christmas Morning Madness

Autumn's tiny hands. The prints are smaller than dimes, except for the swelling they were perfectly formed.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. It's hard to believe another year has gone by.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

This is why we didn't send out Christmas cards this year. ;) Well not really we just ran out of time but here are a couple that would not have made the 2007 Papesh Family Christmas card.

Excitement is in the air! Santa comes tonight! All our snow had melted Saturday night after a pelting rain but today we awoke to a fresh layer of snow. Yay, a white Christmas!

I hope everyone has a great holiday. We will busy busy running the roads seeing all the family.

So Merry Christmas from the Papesh's and God's Blessings to you and yours!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

He Says it Best!

Don't I always talk about Joe always outdoing me? The bigger the better in everything. I tell him I budget $100 for him on Christmas, he'll spend $150 on me. I put up a blog with pics, he does a slideshow. He finished 7th in his high school class, I finished 18th. He got a full ride scholarship, I got a measly few bucks and am still paying off a huge loan! He cooks better than me! He is much more organized than me! About the only thing I've consistently been better at is ping-pong and video games and you have to go back years to when we've actually played. I'm reaching far here aren't I? So anyways, sorry it took so long to get to this post but I just thought I would link to his story on yesterday. He really said everything so well. Joe's Blog

I guess I will just add that it was a crazy day full of highs and lows. I had a very easy time with the service. I was very calm and unlike Joe, I remember just about everything. It was a beautiful day for December, mid-30's and the sun was out a bit. I wore my Jackie O sunglasses so people couldn't see me cry. The eyes, just give away your pain and I was happy I had them on. Joe and our parents definitely had a harder time than me. It was just perfect and so beautiful. It's hard to fathom that our little girl was in that pink casket and not inside of me where she really belongs.

Mass yesterday was so nice and I have so many wonderful students. I got many many hugs. I heard that they had a rough day yesterday behavior wise. It's the time of year I suppose and I know they feel bad about this too. It's the 2nd time I've screwed up my students lives. I had Austin early. I left a lunch appointment on Oct. 21, 2003 and told them I'd be back in an hour and didn't come back until January. I know that a few them handled it very hard. It's tough having a long term sub when you aren't expecting it. They all knew this scenario could happen. I'm just thankful I'll only miss 3 days and 2008 will be better for them.

At mass I had an old lady hug me and say "I've been there, I lost one at term." She had tears in her eyes and I'm sure she still thinks of that child that should be in their 40/50's. I may ask her about him/her later, I'd like to know about her loss. Sad to think about but maybe with today's medical technology her baby would have survived. I know if Austin had been born 20 or so years earlier he would not have survived.

One thing I've learned is that times in our life are not easy, I knew that before this happened. It's kind of like Joe and I were due for a tragedy. Things in our life had been almost too perfect lately. I get scared thinking about the whole bad things come in 3's. I guess if I search hard enough I can find 2 other bad things to get rid of my 3. I get that nonsense from my Grammy, she always had these nutty ideas like if you drop silverware that means company is coming. Bad for me since my house is always a disaster.

Yesterday was the worst day I had physically. I forget that you use muscles you're not used to in labor and felt worse yesterday than I did during the whole ordeal on Wednesday. I'm feeling better today so I'm thankful for that. I also slept GREAT!

I will try to get some pics on here soon, maybe in the next few days. I have some from the boys program the other night and of course I do want to get a few of Autumn's hands/feet on here and also her little casket and flowers. Now though we have to get ready for the busy day ahead. We're also a tad behind on household items like bills and laundry that I should try to plow through even though I really just want to be on this computer all day. I find myself on here at least every hour I'm home. I'll reread and reread the posts I've written over the past 2 months and am just amazed when I realize we actually made it to this point. I also just gaze and gaze at her pictures. I know eventually I'll get past this, I guess it's just so new that right now it's all I ever think about.

Hope you all enjoy your long weekends! Christmas break is officially here!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Winter Solstice

Is today, Fr. Bill's homily at mass focused on the winter solstice. It's obvious that the Bible was written by people living in the Northern Hemisphere. Today is the longest night of the year for us Northerners. After today the days lengthen and light enters our darkness. It was a good message to hear on a day where I somewhat feel like I'm walking in the dark. Christmas is 4 days away, Christ be my light.

Autumn Rose had a beautiful sending off and I will detail it all later when I gather my thoughts. Everything was done perfectly and I have no regrets. Right now, the lack of sleep from a restless night is wearing on me. Didn't I say something the other night about never having trouble sleeping? I guess that long nap yesterday really screwed that up.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The day after...

Well today has been tough. We just got back from meeting with the funeral director and cemetery sexton. Again everyone we encounter on this journey has been so wonderful. We will have a small service at the cemetery tomorrow at 10:30. We picked out a sweet little pink casket. It's hard to believe still that we have a daughter. Girls just aren't that common in either family. Joe and I bought our plots and we're on the sunrise end of the cemetery and I will be buried with her someday in the future.

Here is the labor and delivery story I promised.

After getting the news that she had passed we decided it would be better for my psyche to go and induce right away. I could have waited a few days but I think that would have just made everything harder. So we got the boys and ourselves packed, they went to stay with my IL's and we got to the hospital around 7:30 Tuesday night. Just before 9:00 they put the cytotec pill behind my cervix to get things started. They only put in 200 vs. the normal 600 for induction because I had a previous c-section scar they were worried about if I started contracting too strong. They said with that small amount it could take 12 - 18 *edited from months to hours* to get things moving. They figured I would need the cytotec every 4 - 6 hours. Around 2:00 I started contracting, it wasn't anything really strong or painful at all but they lasted a long time and came fairly frequently. So they held off on another dose. They woke me up at 6:30 and said I could eat breakfast and have shower because they figured it would be quite a while yet.

So I did all that jazz and by the time I got out of the shower I was really contracting a lot and it was starting to hurt a little bit. I knew it would probably get a lot worse so figured this was the right time to ask for pain meds. Around 9:00 they came in and checked me and I was dilated to 5cm and the bag of waters was just bulging I guess. I got my shots of Nubain and that just made me feel drunk and I slept off an on until about 9:45. At 10:00 I felt like I was leaking so we got the resident doctor in there and sure enough my water had broke. At this point I was pretty nervous and shaking because I knew we were well on our way. I calmed down and just decided to rest again. I was feeling no pain at all.

Around 10:30 I felt her slide out of me; no pain and no warning that she was coming. So we called the nurse and the doctors got paged and it was a little crazy for just a few minutes. The OB doctor and nurses were just awesome. They put her on a pillow and described what they were seeing and whether we wanted to see her. I had seen some pics online, Joe had also seen a couple. The doctor told us that generally the pictures in our mind are worse than the reality. However, if we were expecting to see a beautiful porcelain doll than we'd be better off not seeing her and keeping that image. We said we were expecting "bad" and so he basically put her in front of Joe and said in so many words "what do think can your wife handle this?" I was already craning over trying to see her, I knew I wanted to if Joe could I could. She looked rough but the picture in my mind was indeed worse than what was in front of me. I had a few people I met online tell me when I was preparing for this that I would not regret seeing and holding her and that no matter what she did look like she would be beautiful to us. They were all so right. I could look at those pictures all day. The nurse took some beautiful ones of her hands and feet. As soon as I get around to scanning them I'm sure will share those. They were perfectly formed. My Mom was up there with us and got to see her too. So I'm glad she was real to more than just Joe and I.

Later that day, the boys came by with my IL's and were wild as all get out. I guess they were excited to see us. My Dad came by too. At 4:30 the nurses coordinated a little prayer service in the room with the hospital chaplain. My Dad decided to stay for it so he got to meet Autumn Rose too. The nurses had her dressed in a little gown that was made from a baby washcloth. She was all wrapped up snug and tight in a blanket and had a bonnet on and was in a basket. She looked beautiful and so dignified. I might share those pictures too depending on how they look in black and white. And that is Autumn's day with us. The hospital gave a beautiful set of momentos they really did a great job I can't say enough good things about the whole staff there! We went home around 6:30, the funeral home picked her up at 5:00. We drove by the funeral home on our way home and just said that's where she is now. Crazy I never thought about her being there when we were in the office this morning, too busy with other thoughts I guess.

The hospital plays a recording of Brahm's lullaby every time a baby is born. I remember hearing that when I was in the hospital after having Austin. He was in Ann Arbor and that depressed me so much hearing that. It was different this time. I must have heard it about 10 times during our entire stay. It didn't bother me so bad, sure it stung a little but I just kept saying happy for that Mom, sad for me. I did hear a few babies crying up there and one Mom screaming every few minutes yesterday. I never cried when that happened, I just kept thinking oh the irony. I would think maybe someday I'll be back in this hospital with a healthy newborn. We aren't even talking about trying, or not trying right now for another baby. I think we will talk about it in the spring. It's hard to think about now. I was scared to death to have another child, and sometimes I wonder if God didn't think I could handle another one or maybe I didn't want her bad enough. I don't know, I'm talking imponderables again and I know I shouldn't that. So I'll stop. :)

So now it's moving on time. It's been a sad day. I'm hoping that after tomorrow's burial service the true healing and moving on begins as it did with Grandma in April. I know that to everyone maybe we've done too much as she was just with me for a short time. I hate the word "fetus" and the poor funeral director was telling us a story about what the Midland hospital does with their "fetuses" and I just about died. She was such a big part of our life even if only for a short time. I'm glad the funeral director called her Autumn and our baby and said we weren't doing anything weird by having her buried as opposed to the mass burial the hospital has once a year with the "fetuses." The selfish part of me wants the world to stop and have everyone acknowledge our "loss" but I know that just isn't going to happen and it's not fair to think that it should happen. Life does go on and thankfully I have the boys and they will force me to go on happily. I don't want to dwell on this but right now it's all I think about it. I know that is ok for today and tomorrow but then it will be time to move on.

Thank you all for following our journey. Yesterday I had a record 186 hits on the blog. I know those numbers will go down and understand that. But for one day Autumn was ultra special and 186 of us thought of her. So for that I thank you. Have a good day and love you all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Autumn Rose arrived around 10:30 this morning. Everything about this whole experience has been positive. I had so many fears and anxieties that have now been eased. I am so relieved that it's over and everything was so much easier than expected. We got to hold her and took many pictures. We just said our goodbye's about 10 minutes ago. She was just tiny tiny tiny. She looked very rough but if you could look past the hydrops and the hygroma she had all her features. We are thinking she had Joe's nose and my hands and feet. Again you would be amazed at how small she was. She could fit in the palm of my hand. Joe is doing ok and was an amazing support person through all of this. I couldn't ask for a better husband. He is down eating lunch, I know this has been hard on him.

They are talking about letting me come home tonight. Again I can't believe how easy it was. I'll probably share her birth story soon but for now I'm just going to relax and try to get some sleep. She was due 5 months from today. Thanks again for all the love and prayers. Talk to you soon.

Good morning

Not much to report. I've been cramping up and such since 2:00 so that is good but am not in any excruciating labor pain like I know can happen. They just let me order breakfast and then I get to have a shower and clean up before doing the next pill. I guess it's going to be a while longer, not shocking to me though.

Things seem to be picking up in intensity a little bit so maybe after my shower I'll get some pain meds. No reason to do this with pain that is for sure.

As for sleep when I wasn't being checked on I slept fine. That is one thing I'm lucky with sleep has never been a struggle. Have a great day everyone. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

She was only with us for the fall.

It's weird how time works. 3 months ago tonight on another Tuesday, I decided to take an EPT even though I could have a week earlier. I was in denial about being pregnant, we hadn't tried long and with the boys we tried for 9 months both times before being rewarded. I probably spent 100's of dollars on EPT's when we were trying for them and getting BFN's Big Fat Negative's every time until FINALLY getting our BFP. This time I bought 1 test and it was a BFP! It was so crazy! Joe and I were I think about as nervous and excited as we were the first time. But we were also crazy guarded this time. We didn't go share our news to a bunch of people right away. I think we were so scared with Austin's scenario that we either didn't want to jinx it or couldn't believe it was true. Maybe we knew. I don't know.

I hadn't really felt the baby move since Sunday so I was kind of expecting this today. I didn't dread hearing that it was over as I kind of knew. I laid the preemptive out there to the midwife that I hadn't felt movement and thought this could be it. She put the doppler all over and at one point we heard a slow hb and I quickly said that is probably mine. I was right, she kept looking and couldn't find it. So she gave me the u/s on the primitive machine that was in there and I was looking at it on the small monitor and you just knew, the baby lay there so still. I felt one fat tear fall out of my right eye and that was it. She left Joe and I there for a moment and then we went into the big u/s room and another tech confirmed that she was gone. She put the hb measure thingy on there and it was a flat line. Then we went to a different type exam room which I figured was the bad news room because there were a bunch of nature pictures on the wall and not the typical baby pics you see on the other walls. I guess the photos were taken by one of the docs there. So we went over our options and I could have waited to induce but for my sanity we decided to come in tonight. Ah, my Mom just stopped in so I will finish this in a bit.

Continued...Crazy Claudia is still here and her and Joe are shooting the breeze. I got my first dose of the meds almost two hours ago and not too much is happening yet. They think it will take a while 12 - 18 hours, with my previous c-section scar they have to go slower. I'm sure we'll be rocking and rolling by morning. I've got a darn IV and the saline is dripping so fast. I know I'll be up peeing all night. Oh well, I guess I should be up all night for the next year really but we see how that turned out. Ok, no pity party here.

This is actually a good week to have this happen since it had to happen at all. I've got Christmas vacation to recover and Joe is off already next week too. Something's just work out. Not to mention our name. I guess Autumn Rose is kind of poetic as we approach winter.

Well I seriously feel like I am rambling so I guess I will sign off. Thank you all for your love and support.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Well now!

Hello everyone, it's been a crazy week. You regular readers must be shocked to see two posts in two days. This week, I had that one mystery comment left on my blog and now according to my sitemeter I have people visiting from all over the world. Before I would get my typical local visitors and didn't really know who they were because so many of you know about the blog but don't leave comments. It was safe to say that the Illinois visitor was Deb, Indiana was Angie, etc. and that was it for me. In the past 2 days I've had many visitors from all over the US but also one each from Canada, Bolivia, Austria, the UK, and Australia! So if you are visiting, drop me a line. Let me know how you found the page and a little about yourself. I'd love to hear from you.

OH and almost forgot to include the visitor from Hungary! Too cool!

Friday, December 14, 2007

The XO Baby

This will be a boring full of nonsense post, but I noticed my visitor ticker is getting up there so you all must want a post. :)

Joe and I have been together for 15 years, married for 10. We knew early on we wanted to get married and the sooner the better. I was a senior in high school working at a dime store kind of place and Joe was at Chuck E Cheese. Not the best of jobs. January he got his foot in the door at this new internet company Concentric Network. It paid $8/hr and I thought he was rich during our $4.25 min. wage days. I knew from him getting that job we would be able to get married and we did about 18 months later. Joe quickly moved up the ranks there and with a bunch of stock options in a bull market we made big bucks. Every Christmas we get out the Concentric Network ornament and put it on the tree even though he hasn't worked there for a while because after all, "this is the house Concentric built." In 2000, Concentric and Nexlink merged and then soon became known as XO Communications. Darn XO, such crazy days. It just floored me when Joe talked about his former employer and laughed about having an XO baby. If you don't understand what Turner's is, basically all humans have two genes XX for girls, XY for boys. Either a defective egg or sperm, we really don't know kicked out the one gene and so we have an XO baby, that's really what the doctors call it. Just a silly irony I suppose.

That darn Tommy wants on this computer and says to me, "I thought you said you have 6 hours of school work to do this weekend?" Little Beast! I should have said to him you are up awful late for being 6! Mr. Attitude, ah to be 6 and think you are the shizzle! He did have a hockey game tonight and played great!

At school the staff is doing Secret Santa! It's fun and I've gotten a few surprises. My mean students come up to me today and say "we found a secret santa gift for you in the bathroom!" I was so excited and what do they do? They throw a roll of toilet paper at me! Their crazy humor! Gotta love them.

Austin is doing well still weiner shaking! What's a Mom to do? His cuteness lets him get away with murder!

Well I guess I shall go, don't know how much PC time I'll get with my 6 hours of school work. Only 5 more working days until Christmas vacation! YAY!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Amnio Update

Good evening, we got our amnio results back today. The baby does have Turner's Syndrome 45X. The good thing with this diagnosis is that it is highly unlikely to happen again.

Our appointment today went fine. While we were waiting in the exam room for the midwife there was a code blue in the lobby. An elderly woman was slumped over in her car and the husband just wheeled in there thinking it was his best option. So the two midwives and the doctor in the office ran down to help so we waited for quite a while before they came back. That must have been scary not being in an actual hospital setting. Hopefully she is ok. Our baby's hb was 192 with the doppler, very high. We got to have another u/s and the fluid just keeps getting worse and worse. The tech was a wonderful lady who assured me that the baby is warm and cozy and isn't aware of any pain. It eased my mind so much to hear that. My midwife and the tech both talked a little bit about their faith with me and that also helps. I just can't say enough good things about the staff there, they've been great through all 3 pregnancies. The midwife said we're kind of like a married couple, "the practice and us" for better for worse. Joe was joking that they were going to blacklist us as we have such odd situations. Joe always finds a place for humor, but that is a good thing.

So again we wait. Many moments I wish the time would just go by. I need to not wish my days away. Especially as I realize I will be 30 six months from today. Aye Carumba! I know a month from now I will be well on my way to physical and emotional healing. One comment I've heard from a few people is how tough this must be with the holidays here. It's not too bad actually and maybe it being advent is helpful to me; daily I'm reminded of the four themes of hope, peace, joy, and love. This year especially I have hope that I will be with my daughter some day in heaven and she will be perfect. I have peace knowing that she is not suffering. I have joy in my life with the great family I have. I have so many loved ones in my life; so many blessings.

So all is well on the Papesh front. Here is a pic of the boys with Santa. Only 2 weeks until he visits. Tommy is going to pee his pants when he opens his gifts. I thought I had a bunch more pictures to share but none of the hockey ones turned out. I'll try again this Friday night. Have a great rest of the week and thanks again for everyones thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Welcome December

My favorite time of the year. I can't believe we've already made it through a week. We've been insanely busy. I know I promised pictures last week and I'm sorry to disappoint. I actually had the memory card out one night to work on it and my laptop crashed on me so I said heck with it. That happens to me a lot, darn technology. For the record I'm on my desktop so no pics tonight either, sorry.

Not much to report, the baby beat goes on. The hb was back up to 175 on Wednesday. My next check is on Tuesday afternoon. I'm pretty sure I'm feeling movement so that is always neat.

The boys are absolutely crazed about Christmas! It can't come fast enough for them, but it sure is coming fast to Joe and I. Today we were out shopping forever and got so much accomplished. Ah, success. If Christmas came tomorrow we'd be wrapping all night but we'd be ready.

On the school front, we are in the full throes of Christmas play fun. Tommy is a shepherd this year and is so excited. He even has lines! I'm sure he'll do great. Austin is singing a couple songs and has been practicing at home. I can't get him to stop saying "We Wish you a HAPPY Christmas", I'm sure he knows it's Merry Christmas. Of course with Mr. Potty Talk I should be glad it's not "We Wish you a Merry Poopy!" He's pretty conscious right now about being good though, he knows Santa is watching.

Well sorry for the lame catch-up. I figured though that Joe has been updating his blog regularly and I have to at least post a quickie. He even has a slide-show going now! Just typical he has to out do me with everything. ;) It's his darn competitive nature I suppose.

I hope you are all enjoying the season and maybe I'll get some pics up this week!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Midweek Update

Mainly a baby update. Yesterday we had an appointment with the midwife and the heart was still beating and it was moving all over the place. Amazing actually, but I had thought maybe I was feeling it! Today we saw the specialist and it was much the same as the last visit to her 3 weeks ago. The hygroma and hydrops have gotten worse so nothing has changed as far as outcomes. We did have an amnio done to find out what exactly is causing this. We'll find out in 2 weeks.

They were able to get a good look and it looks like our baby is a girl! This makes it seem so real. I can get a Christmas ornament with her name (we've always liked Autumn Rose) so we can remember her every year. After all, to quote from Horton Hear's A Who, "A Person is a Person No Matter How Small."

2007, what a year. Not terrible by any means but definitely we've had our teary moments. I don't know what heaven entails but I do believe this is not the end for us and though my baby won't breathe on earth, I'm sure she'll be waiting for me in heaven. For now, it brings me great comfort knowing she has four Great-Grandmother's waiting for her. My Grammy who just died in April was always a nut for little girls, sure she loved my boys (even called them dolly) but hey my cousin Jen and I know that we were the cat's meow growing up. So in my dream Joe and I are sending the Grandma's a little something. Not that you need a purpose in heaven...I don't know, it eases the mind to think this way.

And thank you Lord for getting me to December...I hope. December has such a prettier birth stone than November. ;) How is that for tacky? Now if I'm typing a month from now that we've entered January garnet land I'll be shocked. It just doesn't look good, the baby wasn't moving well today and the heart is beating 50 bpm slower than 3 weeks ago. Who knows how long I'll carry her with me, I'll just be thankful for everyday I have her with me until it's time to let her go. Joe and I are at an amazing peace about this, sure we have our sad moments but we aren't living in sadness and we definitely have a lot to be thankful for.

In other news, Austin had his 4 year check up and is doing great. The only cognitive concern Dr. Thill had was his speech which is not that bad. Poor little dude had to have 5 shots. He handled them great, he is so tough. He is still one inch too short to ride the big rides at Disney but our next trip he will definitely be big enough. Now if someone could just fund a 2008 trip for us that would be sweet. We've already decided to take the year off of the big Disney vacation as it's so expensive.

Tommy is doing great with school, hockey, and cub scouts. I need to post pics, I promise this weekend to get some updated pics on the site!

And finally an Aunt Noni story. This Great Aunt of mine is 89 years old and a truly sweet lady though a tad nutty. Our school had a cookie dough fundraiser and she bought some dough and made the cookies for us. Well they were pretty hard but the boys did a great job chowing them down at her house. She sent us home a bunch in a container that I just can't get over. It was one of those pink pans they give you in the hospital that has all your toiletries in it and also combos as a bedpan/barf pail with the metric measurements on it to track your output. OY! The thing was probably very clean but gosh it took all the strength I could muster to get my mind past the "where the heck has this thing been" stage. Oh mental power, I was definitely lacking there. Bless Aunt Noni's heart, she is a good soul and just adores the boys. She is especially crazy about Austin. I wonder what I will be like if I make it to 89?

Well I have been working on this post for well over an hour, I must get on already! Thanks for reading and for the comments, I definitely like reading them. (Makes me feel better knowing I'm not talking to myself) :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Weekend Update

That's really what I've become eh? A weekend poster? Oh well, I guess weekdays are busy.

Our Thanksgiving was nice. Joe made a nice dinner here and my Dad came over. The Detroit Lions couldn't do anything but oh well that didn't surprise me. We then went to my Mom's for her dinner.

Yesterday Tommy had a hockey practice with a tournament team he got asked to play on. I swear the kid loafs so bad in practice on his own but when he's in a race with other kids he turns on another gear. Hopefully he will do ok. He got all nervous before hand like he used to. I like my strong and confident Tommy, the nerved Tommy is no fun at all.

My brother Andrew's football team won the State Championship yesterday. We went down to Ford Field to the game. It was exciting. He is only a sophomore but still got in on a few plays. That is two state titles in a row for Nouvel, I might have to send my kids there. ;)

I have a bunch of pictures from the week. If I get some motivation I'll try and post them later. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Streaker and the Streak!

Our boys! Gosh do they bring such joy! I'll start with a Tommy story. Last night the lady that used to babysit for him for years had a birthday party for her oldest boy who is in the 5th grade. It was at the roller rink. Her younger son is Tommy's age so they invited Tommy to come so Bryce would have someone to hang out with. We got him there and put him all in his gear, elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, helmet and none of the other kids had on any protection and we were feeling a bit like helicopter parents. Joe gave him the option of not wearing them if he would skate at a nice safe speed but Tommy replied, "no I'm gonna fly." And fly he did, circles around those 5th graders! He got out there and all the parents were like "WHO IS THAT?" Joe and I were puffed right up of course. We left to do some shopping and by the time we got back Tommy was doing all kinds of hokey tricks holding his one foot up in the air behind him and such. He's such a show-off. And I guess I am no different as I blog about something so superficial. That I hate to admit comes from my Mom, she is quick to brag. I try to generally keep it in check but sometimes it's hard. :)

Austin's story is not much to brag about but is worth sharing anyways. We knew he did this at home but didn't think it happened at school. He loves to walk around naked and talks about butts and peepers and is just a naughty little dude in that regard. We have a strict "underwear" policy that states that butts and peepers must be covered at all times. Well imagine our horror when last night we were out at a friend's house and his daycare director who is also a friend told us that Austin will come out of the bathroom basically shaking his wiener at everyone! Mortifying! With his CP he can't get his pants up and down but he's supposed to stay in the bathroom and when he is done yell for them to come in and pull him up. Well he thinks it's funnier to come out on his own and announce to the world, "Pull up my pants!" showing off wiener.

Speaking of bathroom mortification! I was going to the bathroom last night and my dear friend Lisa just walks in on me. Of all the responses though, what do I do? I cover my face. LOL. I guess I was hoping she wouldn't realize it was me??? I don't know. What an interesting post on a Sunday morning. Hopefully my good friend Debbie will post some of her interesting bathroom stories to make me feel better. :) So much fun! What a life!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Revising the Dream

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray" by Robert Burns. Quoted to Joe and I on August 9, 1997 as we were married by Fr. Jim Carlson. The whole premise of Fr. Jim's sermon on that day, (after a quick dig on Joe for being so darn meticulous all the time) he reiterated over and over again how, no matter how much we plan for something, things in our life aren't going to be perfect. I know we understood that but it still leaves us the question, "why the heck not?" On that day, I figured the "imperfections" that would occur in our married life would be limited to the likes of burning a dinner, dropping fly balls, storms on vacations, cars breaking down, you catch my drift.

You don't ponder the "unthinkables", if you did you would go crazy. We didn't think we would have a child with CP. We didn't think about our Grandparent's leaving their earthly homes. We didn't think about how our brothers would turn out. We just thought for the most part our lives will be perfect with a little snag here and there.

Our latest "snag" is a bit harder to handle. Our baby isn't going to make it. We found out on our October 30th ultrasound that the baby had a cystic hygroma on it's neck. We knew things weren't great then but a visit to the specialist on the 6th just confirmed our fears and it's only a matter of time before I miscarry. The baby has hydrops which is fluid around the belly. Basically, the baby's heart and other organs will be taxed out dealing with this extra fluid. Hydrops is the end of the line, there is no hope. We can only pray that the baby has no pain. The hardest thing is waiting, we don't know when it will happen. She said it could happen anytime in the next two months but didn't think it would be long with the size of the hygroma being so large. I don't think you can mentally prepare yourself for this, but am thankful that medical technology has given us this heads up. Joe and I will get through this, as will our parents who I think sometimes have a harder time than we do. We all have our crosses to bear in life, this is ours. We can't understand why but we just have to deal with it. Honestly though, I'm getting a bit miffed about bearing imperfect children. Yikes, that sounds harsh. Someday I'll get my answer of why Joe and I have been "chosen."

I guess I'll close by saying we've had amazing support from family and friends through this. One very dear friend of mine, the very 1st person I told I was expecting always knows what to say, she gave me some awesome words of wisdom and I don't think you have to be Catholic to appreciate them. They are...

"remember our model of faith, Mary. She shows us how to pray and how to live. As a mother, she wants all of us to be happy, peaceful, and full of love no matter how bad the circumstances of life - even when the sword of sorrows pierces our heart as it did hers. And she knew the key to peace is prayer. May we all follow her example."

Here's wishing everyone happy and peaceful days. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Halloween Fun

Poor Tommy has been sick this week. On Halloween he stayed home from school with no voice and a bad cough. He seemed better but yesterday he was running a fever all day and ended up throwing up. No fun. Today he is better thankfully.

Here are just a couple pics from Halloween night. They didn't make it too far but had a good night nonetheless.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Birthday Boy!

Big Austin is 4. We had a small but very nice party for him on Friday. Too bad the kid is afraid of fire. He wanted nothing to do with those candles. Why? I don't know.

Here are some pictures. You can see how happy he was and then how timid he gets with the cake scene. He's been like that since he's been 2. We've got some great video of him at his 2nd birthday all smiles and then shrinking like a violet into his high chair when everyone started singing for him. Maybe next year he'll blow out his candles.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Don't you just love that category on Jeopardy? A little bit of everything and that's what this post will entail.

The Sod Farm had another great ending to a mediocre season. After going 2-5 in the regular season we finished 2-1 in the tourney for 2nd place. You have to be proud. Here is a pic of our most loyal fans.

I got to see my friends baby yesterday. He is so beautiful. I'm so mad I forgot my camera. They finally named him last Monday morning after neither one wanting to budge. Walter Wesley or Wesley Walter, Dad finally caved and so it's Wesley Walter. He's so precious.

Austin will be four on Friday. So hard to believe. 4 years ago I was in the hospital with so much craziness happening. What a difference 4 years make.

So the excitement for Tommy is hockey and Cub Scouts. He loves both activities. He's doing great in hockey and his team is 4-1, he plays defense. In scouts he's busy learning his scout promise and all that jazz. He'll try and practice and his brother the clown is always there to sabotage. Tommy will start in with his "I Tommy Papesh promise to do my best" and Austin will yell out, "I Tommy Papesh I go home!!" The funniest part though is Tommy gets to the part where he says "do my duty to God and my country" and as soon as he says "God" Austin screams out "IN THE HIGHEST!!!" Ah, our church going is paying off. I'm slowly turning both boys into Rod and Tod Flanders. Hidely Ho!

Tonight's excitement. A steak dinner on the grill having to be broiled instead due to some uninvited guests. Look who took up residence in our grill. There were 3 babies that apparently were born in there. I hate mice, I don't like the fact that they are this close to the house. We've had one mouse in this house in 6 1/2 years and life is on hold until the mouse is caught. Hopefully they won't get in here. Yuck!

Well it sure seems like more is happening but that is the most exciting. Tonight is our only free night of this week. We can relax in November. ;) Busy busy busy!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Speaking of Babies!

My best friend IRL Renee and her husband Josh are having their 2nd child today. I can't wait to hear whether they had a boy or girl and if a boy hope they have a name for him! There is a school mass today, in fact Tommy is reading the Psalm, I know that they will be on my mind the whole time. I'm sure they are a nervous wreck waiting for their c-section this morning. So exciting! I hope they have a little girl for Big Brother Wilbert to look out for!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's true!

And we are happy as pie! Still nervous as it's early but the newest little Papesh is officially on the way. We are due May 19th and the 1st ultrasound is October 30th. A grueling 3 weeks away. So far I'm feeling very well and am hoping to enjoy every moment of this pregnancy as it could very well be my last. I was lucky to get #3! So hopefully all will go well and 8 months from now we are holding a perfectly healthy newborn. I'll definitely enjoy sharing all the fun with you readers!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

You are the center of attention

Hehe. That was in my fortune cookie yesterday. How did they know? It's been a busy/exciting weekend after a busy/boring week. Lots to tell you.

Friday - 1:30 I get a knock on my classroom door and this soldier is coming home in about an hour from Iraq who lives in Reese and the family goes to our church and they want us to get out by the road and wave when he comes by. Fine, we scurry around and get some banners together, scrounge up all the flags in the building and finally get the call that they'll be there in 10 minutes. More about 10 seconds as we get outside and are walking to the road and the one teacher is like "they're coming, they're coming!" So it was a sprint to the road and my classes beautiful "Welcome Home Sal" ended up being "Home Sal Welcome" LOL!!! We totally botched that I guess. It was neat to do though quick.

That night was the homecoming parade. The boys road on the St. Elizabeth float and I walked. My cousin Amanda was crowned queen by my other cousin Kelsey! It was awesome, even more awesome because Amanda was one of my students at St. E. So that was great!

Yesterday, Tommy had his first hockey game and his team looked great! Tommy played really good defense, almost scored and he had one assist! So fun. I'm glad we're back into that.

The biggest news of all though is that Austin is moving up to 4 year old preschool tomorrow. Mrs. T thinks he'll do great with the 4's as he knows his alphabet pretty much, and many songs and all. He's also a copier, definitely not a leader. He will march to the beat of everyone else's drum. So instead of copying all that young 3 year old behavior, he'll just behave like an angel with the 4 year olds. I'm not sure what to think but he is excited to move up. So then it would probably be Young 5's for next year as I certainly don't think he'll be ready for kindergarten.

Today is Sod Farm Ball! Hopefully we can pull off a win.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Last week I had the pleasure of being Austin's preschool helper. It was a lot of fun but I was so tired afterwards. I had to then teach my class the rest of the afternoon and we pretty much did nothing. Yes I'm a loser. I have new respect for the early childhood workers. Those kids are busy, busy, busy!!!

On Saturday Joe was up to school helping a bunch of other parents work on the playground and such. Austie's teacher was there and she told Joe that no matter what Dawn says he's doing fine. So I will just leave it at that. He's doing fine! Glad to hear it!

So I usually leave my students out of the blog but I have a proud moment that I simply must share. All of the teachers had to go to mass yesterday and I'm usually at the Saturday night mass. Well imagine my shock when one of my students was playing the piano. He played with the regular organist and I was so impressed. Usually he'll tink around at lunch and play the YMCA or other fun tunes. He did so well!!! I guess he's been doing this for a while now. Needless to say I think I will be heading to Sunday masses more often. Way to Go Big "J". Stewardship in action!

Our ball team stinks. We've been killed and are 1 - 3 now. We just can't score. We've scored 2 runs in our last 3 games. Bah humbug. Oh well, it's still fun.

Tommy is well and enjoying school. They're turning his room into three different habitats so he's all about that. I did walk by his room today and I heard Mrs. B giving him a little business about something. Not listening apparently. Oy vey! I guess that's normal 1st grader hopefully.

Hope all is well in your realm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I thought I was going to post but my brain just isn't bringing anything exciting! Hump Day is tomorrow. Yay!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Busy Bees

We've quickly settled into our new school year routines. Austin isn't liking preschool as much lately but I'm sure he'll end up ok. He has a few criers in his class and once they get going, he gets going and he's harder to calm down. He just lets loose. Hopefully that will end soon. I get to be the helper on Thursday so we'll see how that goes. Tommy is doing great and aced his first spelling test last week. He has another this week with much harder words. The challenge is good for him though. Austin has about 5 more lower case letters to learn and he will have mastered the alphabet too. Maybe he will be an early reader like his big brother. One can hope! Although sometimes I just don't know about him as he comes over laughing with a candy corn stuffed up his nose. Who is this kid? Such a little turkey butt.

After a few fall feeling days last week we have a forecast in the 80's all week. I suppose this will be our last taste of summer. I usually look forward to fall and winter but I'm actually sad about saying goodbye to the warm weather. Maybe I'm just getting old. I don't know it's just been a fun summer.

Our ball team is 1-1. The team we played yesterday killed us 9-1. They had 3 guys who could just blast home runs. Ridiculous! Oh de well. It was fun anyways, especially the after party at the Bojo's. Party on a school night, we're getting bold over here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Play Ball!!

Sunday the Sod Farm began the fall season. We started off with a 3-0 victory. It was fun, everyone played well. Then a couple on our team has a son that has his own team and he was short two girls. So the Mom and I played on their team and won that game as well. Fun Fun!!

Last night we took the boys to the Detroit Tiger game with Dad and Uncle Scott. It was the best game, or at least the best ending ever. Austin picked a great 1st game to go to. We were losing starting in the first inning and by the 9th were down to 2 outs, no one one and losing 4-1. The Tiger's got 5 straight singles and a walk to win it in walk-off fashion. It was Magg-nificent! Magglio Ordonez hit the game winner, Tommy had his shirt on so yup we're fans. I have pics from the game I'll try to post them tomorrow.

Austin had his teeth cavities filled today, that was rough. I'm so glad that is over with. Now we have to focus on keeping him cavity free.

In other ball news the Detroit Lions are 1 - 0!! Unbelievable! We'll see how long it takes for them to win again. ;) And what is up U of M? Not cool, at least the Spartans are 2-0 and our Reese Rockets are 3-0. Don't you just love fall?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Picture Perfect

Have any of you ever had a camera with a roll of film in it that has taken years to develop? It's almost as if it were an unintentional time capsule.

Yesterday was our biweekly pizza visit to Grandpa's. He had some new pictures to show us. The one roll had pics of them in their old home that they moved out of over 5 years ago. There was also a pic of Grandma, & Uncle Everett and Aunt Sylvie all together. All of them have left their earthly home. How neat though to have some new pictures to look at of someone so special to me!

The 1st week of school went very well and even Austin has done great in his first two days of preschool. Pray that he keeps it up. Tommy is having a good time in first grade too. He likes having specials this year like gym, art, & music. Today is his first day of hockey practice on his new team. Yay for hockey season.

Hope all is well for all of you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The 1st Day of School!

How many do people normally have in their lifetime? Preschool to 12th grade gives you 14 1st days, I don't know if you would count college. It's such a different scene. Us lucky teachers have the 1st day of school for most of our lives. And you know what? There's nothing more nervewracking yet exciting than the 1st day of school. How quickly though do things becomes business as usual. Probably by mid-morning actually. ;)

The boys both did GREAT! Austin got good reviews from his preschool teacher and the daycare teacher as well. Thank the Lord, I was so worried about him. I walked by at one time and heard a screamer and was thankful to see Austin just looking probably towards the upset kid. Last year Austin was the screamer in daycare. He cried I know for at least 5 hours before finally falling asleep. He did that for about a week and then quickly settled in. Bless him heart. Tommy likes his teacher and 1st grade though he said he had to do a lot of writing. Oh if he only knew.

My class was good too. A very fun and lively group I have this year yet they also settled down to work very well. We'll see how it goes but I was very pleased today.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Monday Musings

What a day. I don't react to stress usually but at about 6:00 tonight I about cracked. Tomorrow is the 1st day of school and as any teacher will tell you, you're never totally ready. I actually had just left school and my room is all set for the new year. What about set me over the edge was the fact that at 6:00 I finally remembered that we were supposed to do a family poster for Austin's classroom. DOH!!! I already had a 6:45 tennis match scheduled with my Dad and I frantically called to cancel but he didn't answer so he showed up on time and we just played one game. He killed me as usual. A certain student of mine was running by and after an exceptionally lousy play by me he yells out, I see you are improving Mrs. Papesh! Every stinking time I play tennis in Reese I swear he is there! I will have to have a match against him someday and show him! ;) He'd probably mop the court with me, super athlete extraordinaire! So anyhoo, I'm delaying the poster making for tomorrow.

Earlier today was the annual Bean Festival Parade. My IL's live in Bean Town and we always head there for the parade and lunch. It was fun and the boys liked the parade. We had to skedaddle out of there pretty early because I hadn't gotten any clothes or shoes for the boys. Thankfully uniforms make it super easy to buy. I also picked up a couple things for myself so I will look new tomorrow too.

On the way out of Fairgrove we drove by my Grandpa's and he was out on his lawnmower so we wheeled in. Further putting us behind in our errands but a good visit as always. He loves the boys and had Tommy steering the lawnmower. He sent me inside to get some sweet corn and I had one of those "stolen moments" I suppose every woman needs once in a while. It's not everyday where I'm in that house by myself, so while Joe and the boys visited outside I sneaked into my Grammy's bedroom. It was just like it always was. Every other Friday for years Dad, and our family would truck over there with pizza. I always had to go into her room and the plant room for extra chairs when the whole family made it over. I'd always have to take a pile of clothes off the chair and sometimes this bright flannel would be hanging on it if it wasn't already on her. We don't need two extra chairs now that she is gone and I of course get the chair from the plant room. So in her room of course I noticed the chair with the clothes on it, I sniffed the flannel shirt and muzzled into her pillow on her bed for just a short moment. I then meandered at the pictures on her vanity, noticed her tennis shoes and slippers on the floor, the "now I lay me down to sleep" cross stitch on the wall and then headed back out. I was probably in there less than a minute but that moment delighted my senses.

Oh how I miss her. I think of her so often. She was just one of those special ladies, I could talk all day about her. She could talk about her Grandma too though. I remember her telling me how she cried for 2 weeks straight when she died, my Grammy was 18 when this happened. I knew it would be traumatic for me when it would finally happen and she'd always say oh don't worry Dawn, I'm going to live to be 106. LOL. Yeah, she was cool. I cried so hard, pretty much non-stop when she died and then after the funeral I stopped just as suddenly as you can imagine. I haven't cried since and it's been since April. I don't understand that. I've had my moments of sadness and I've maybe welled up a bit especially when my Grandpa gets shook up but I haven't had a good cry over her at all since the funeral. I get sad, but somehow the tears elude me. I wish I understood why. Sometimes I wonder if it's because I was always so threatened with the thought of losing her. I found a letter this summer while cleaning a closet I wrote to Joe in 1994 talking about how worried I was about losing her someday. I know I was always so thankful for every visit I had with her and I had the most irrational fear of losing her. Maybe it was because she was the most stable person in my life growing up. I don't know.

Well I have to go, Joe gave me "the look" and a few "words." Can't blame him, he's had a long weekend too and dinner is on the table. Yup, we're a tad behind on the day. Probably a bad time to get into a long ramble but sometimes you're overcome you know?

Wish me luck for tomorrow.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Happy Holiday Weekend!

So Labor Day weekend is here. Last night we had a great party. The last of the crew left by 1:30 and thankfully both boys slept in today. Tommy was all torqued up and told everyone we were partying like rock stars and had to stay up until 3:00. We did that at Disney World one night and I guess it stuck with him. He's definitely a party animal. He had his own kid party inside while us adults sat out on the deck with a fire. Lots of fun and fellowship.

Only a couple more days until school starts. Austin will be a big preschooler. I know when we were told he had brain damage I never dreamed that he would go to St. Elizabeth's. I figured at best he would be in a special ed classroom at the public school. I'm so happy that he's going. We've worked a lot this summer. He knows his whole upper case alphabet and now we need to work on the lower case. He's not a sponge like Tommy but he's definitely smart. A smart Aleck especially. I hope he doesn't get in a ton of trouble in school. I'm seriously worried about him. He has a tendency to be stubborn. Tommy is such a good boy, especially with other adults we never had any troubles with him. Austin though will challenge anyone. So pray for us that we make a smooth transition into preschool and that a week from now he's still welcome there. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

College for Knowledge

So I started another semester at SVSU. Teachers are kind of like doctors in that we are constantly learning; updating our credentials to better serve our students. You have to have a plan when you do this, most teachers work on a masters degree. I chose to get a science minor. So I have the great pleasure of taking classes with young kids. Every year I go back and feel more like a dinosaur in the classroom. I'm taking geology and the teacher reminded me of Forrest Gump. He spoke in a long drawl, kind of like Forrest Gump. I have to write a paper in this class and keep a journal. Such a PITA for a freshman level class. On our break a kid was walking with me and started saying, "the internet was right" and went on about how our professor is terrible and was raked over the coals on I checked it out tonight and sure enough it looks like I'm in for a long semester. So not cool.

So it was 11 years ago that I started college. Some days it doesn't seem so long ago. I know on my first day I was crying at Taco Bell because I had to eat alone. I was so embarrassed/lonely sitting there all by myself. Funny thing was it close to a gas station and while I'm eating I see Joe pull in the gas station on his lunch break from work. I threw away all my food and almost got hit by a car in the drive thru, and ran through a ditch to get to him. Life is so much easier with cell phones for sure. Anyhoo, I cried and cried in his arms thinking I'd never survive the loneliness of college. I can only roll my eyes now as I go back yet again. We'll see how another semester goes. Life is getting busy, that is for sure.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down Like Piglets

Hehe. Not really like Piglets but that's how Austin sings it. The proper line in the song is...

The rain, rain, rain, came down, down, down
In rushing, rising, rivlets
'Til the river crept out of it's bed
And crept right into Piglet's

I don't think it rained at all in June and July and now it's rained for a week. We've had some sunshine between storms but I guess we're now making up for our drought. Not so bad I guess but I've tried to go canoeing 3 times this week and had to cancel every time. Tuesday was helped by Tommy as he got sick overnight. He must have ate something crummy.

I made it back into the classroom this week. It felt good to be back. New year = new beginning and high hopes for a great year. I had a couple of my girls come in and help me decorate. Such a great feeling. Teaching really is a wonderful career. A highlight of my summer was when a former student of mine painted me a beautiful country portrait. She is such a talented artist. She wrote me a nice note saying I was her favorite teacher of all time and thanks for all the help in school. She wasn't a great student and especially struggled with math. One thing she wrote was "you deserve the painting after all the time you wasted trying to teach me math." It definitely wasn't a waste of time teaching her. She had a very hard time in school but she's a testament that being a teacher isn't all about reading, writing, and arithmetic. She may not become the valedictorian or even go on to get a college degree but I truly believe she will use her God given talents and be successful in life. Some of the hardest students to teach are the easiest to get along with and the most appreciative. Some of the easiest students to teach are the hardest to get along with. I'd rather have 10 struggling students who act as Jesus would then academic and athletic all-stars who think the world revolves around them.

I'm very lucky to teach in a wonderful Catholic School. My students are not perfect by any means and some days have been truly a struggle. But I will have my 7th group of students arrive on the 4th and through the years I've been truly blessed to know some great kids. I remember my student teaching days at the Public School and I hear stories from other teacher friends and though I don't make the big bucks, I'm rich in comparison when it comes to a good working environment with Christian kids.

Tommy has started up with hockey again. It's so fun to watch and I look forward to the games starting up in October. He has a clinic tomorrow and draft later this week. It's so fun. We moved him up to Mites in the spring because he did so well in Atoms even though he still qualifies as an atom by age. We took him to an Atom shinny last week for ice time and the score was 11-1 and Tommy scored 10 of the goals. It would be shameful for us to keep him in Atoms even though a selfish part of me thinks it would be so cool to have him kick little hockey butt all season. He won't be a big goal scorer in Mites but it'll be more competitive and definitely not annoying to watch. I know last year I'd get annoyed at Atoms who are playing with all these beginners and scoring 10+ goals a game. It's time for moving up, he'll do ok.

Well thanks for reading all of you out there. A month into blogging and I'm really enjoying it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Did I mention Cancer SUCKS??

After yesterday's celebration for Kelsey's good health, today I had to visit the funeral home for my Dad's cousin. I don't know if that makes us 2nd cousins or what. Tom was only 47 and leaves behind a wife and 3 daughters, his mother, and many more family members. Still so darn young, and like a tragic accident often so random. Yes indeed, cancer sucks.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cancer Sucks

Those words were on a T-shirt of a Michigan Mom I met 3 years ago. She had a son that was born around the same time as Austin and we were in the same online December birth board. Her daughter was 10 and died the next year of a brain tumor. I know "E" was having problems with moving her arm and the doctors were holding off on looking into it. I mean she had a month wait for an appointment. Anyways, I remember vividly telling her it's not normal to not be able to move an appendage and told her to go to the ER. She listened and they quickly found out she had the tumor. The beginning of a nightmare. Another Mom on that December board had her baby "A" diagnosed with Leukemia in April that year, by September she was gone.

I followed A's and E's stories and still do check in on their websites frequently for family updates. Through them I've found other cancer kids to follow. It's absolutely heartbreaking and yet uplifting at the same time. I've seen kids die and seen others survive. I just thank God daily that my immediate family has not been hit by such an atrocious disease.

A year ago my cousin Kelsey, I can use her name since she's family and all you readers all know her anyways was diagnosed with cancer. What a way to spend your senior year of high school. I know there were many days that I was terribly worried she would not make it. Well today she is officially cancer free and we celebrated with her. She had the most wonderful get together at her home. We also got to see her wonderful doctors from U of M and met a few other cancer kids who are continuing in their fight. We also met two parents who had lost their precious boy in the winter, he wasn't even two years old. Life is so precious, children aren't supposed to die before their parents and I'm sure it is every parents greatest fear.

So I'll ask you all to give God thanks for saving Kelsey but also pray for healing for those still in their courageous fight, and comfort to those family members who lost their cancer battle. And hold your little ones a little tighter tonight; be thankful for all you are given.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Disney Pics and other Tidbits!

Joe went way overboard with the pictures so I cut it down from well over 400 to 213 pictures. Hope you enjoy looking at them. Here is the link to shutterfly as it would be unreasonable to post them here.¬ag=1

Tommy lost another tooth today. It really was lost too, we can't find it anywhere and he didn't even know when it had fallen out. I didn't realize it was that loose. So now he looks like a real hockey player. He had a hockey shinny today and did well. I'm excited that the season is starting up again.

Ok, I'm cracking up over here at the Viva Viagra commercial! Give me a break! Too funny what they come up with. Now we've got an incontinence commercial happening. Gotta love late night television.

Joe is saving the World....OF WARCRAFT! He has made it to the ever so important, cataclysmic, climactic, pinnacle, highlight moment in the game; The ultimate Level 70! I'll never see him again. ;) I guess he got a bunch of cyber high-fives. I'll never understand it.

Well thanks for reading, I've just about made it a month here on the blogging front. Longer than 2 weeks for sure!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yo Ho Yo Ho!!!

Hello all, so a few pirates have traveled home from Florida with us. The trip was so fabulous! We definitely didn't want to come home. We had a little bit of Disney Magic bestowed on us the last night there. They have a private Pirates and Princesses party which is super expensive to attend. Joe went to guest services explaining how disappointed we were since we like to spend our last night at the Magic Kingdom watching the fireworks et al. He mentioned we were annual passholders and it was our 10th anniversary trip and we were given complimentary passes to the party.

The parade and fireworks that night were absolutely amazing. People were dressed as pirates & princesses, some went a bit overboard I think but it was a very interesting night. I don't know if I would pay to attend again as it was very busy and we're not into the Pirates movies but it was neat to experience nonetheless.

The weather was absolutely fabulous. It rained on our arrival day and then only two other short moments. It was very nice. Probably the best weather trip we've had.

So Austin has been a scurvy pirate since we've been home. Yesterday he and Tommy wore their pirate hats to the Secretary of States and Austin behaved horribly. Everyone in the place thought he was so cute singing his "yo yo ho ho pirate's life for me." Joe and I were quite annoyed that he has decided not to listen to us anymore. I guess vacation was a little to lax on him. He'll acclimate soon again, I hope anyways since school starts 3 weeks from today. Wow, where did the summer go? Tommy was very excited to get a postcard from his teacher today. He's been bugging me to get his school shoes and other supplies. I guess he is getting excited for school. I am too.

Well I guess I will sign off. We took a ton of pictures, hopefully I can post some soon. Toodles!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me!

And Joe! We made it! 10 good years.

The Disney trip has been great. Fun and relaxing! I think we've spent more time relaxing at our hotel in the pool than we have in the parks. Tommy is officially swimming with no help. He's like a little fish and will jump in, dive for rings and is just doing a great job! Austin is doing great too. He will go under water like it's nothing. Today we went to the French Quarter pool and they had life jackets, with muscle swimmers as well he was able to motor around all by himself. He loved it! Both boys also went down the water slide. They are so awesome!

Tommy lost his first baby tooth the other day too. He was very excited.

It has gone by too quickly, Sunday will be here before we know it. :( Oh well, I know we will be back. We always come back. As Mickey says, See You Real Soon!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Have A Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Day!!

The long awaited trip is here! I'll hopefully post during the next 10 days, no promises though! We're going to Disney World!

The boys had no problem getting up at 4:00 either. ;)


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bikes, beer, and sickies

Good evening campers. Been a few days I guess. I had all intentions of posting some pics of us at the Bay City Rail Trail. The boys did great, Tommy biked the whole 9.2 miles. So much fun. This was Sunday. My IL's brought over some homemade beer that night too. We've had enough of that for a while I think.

Yesterday I progressively got to feeling crummy. Today I feel like I got run over by a truck with a full blown summer cold. Aren't those the worst?

We leave for Disney the day after tomorrow! It's been raining like crazy down. I hope that it trades places as MI is in a bit of a drought and I don't feel like having my vacation washed up. Each day has rain in the forecast, hopefully just a quickie storm though. That is normal for FL.

Well I'm hoping for better sleeps tonight! Don't want to be feeling bad for Florida.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Ugh, so not cool. So by mistake I hit the "next blog" button. I thought it would take me to a blog I have a link to. Imagine my shock when I hit a disgusting porn scene and then Internet Explorer opens (I run Mozilla) and my computer starts freaking out.

Such disturbing images! I hate being caught off guard like that. Thank goodness for Digital TV and I don't have that happen on TV. There was nothing worse when channel surfing years ago and hitting a channel that was in the middle of a gory horror scene or something. Now I can read what's on before I click. It's the safe way to surf. They need that on the internet.

So a word of warning. Don't click on the next blog button!

B E E R ! !

The title says it all. Friends of ours had a party tonight. The gentleman has been brewing his own beer and had 7 for us to try plus some cherry wine! Joe was the iron man and drank a glass of all 7. I've joked forever that he will need a new liver someday. He loves his beer and is always the life of the party. I had a glass of wine, then had shot glass fulls of all the beers. I decided that beer #1 was the best and had a full glass of #6 boy that was hoppy.

Good fun and fellowship with dear friends. What more could I ask for?

Oh and I made a great and fancy chip dip tonight. So don't think that I can't create any tasty viddles, I just choose not to most times. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

3:00AM Eternal

It's now just about 3:00AM. How come so many songs mention 3:00 am? When you're talking about the middle of the night, why does 3:00 am come to mind? Right now, I've got MatchBox 20 and KLF ringing in my head. "It's 3:00 am I must be lonely." So odd as I'm usually a good sleeper, but a 1:30 train and Austin waking up at that time have set me back. I know part of it is I'm hungry, the ice cream social after VBS wasn't quite enough sustenance for me.

Speaking of VBS, the kids all went up front and sang their songs tonight. I was so proud of both of them. Tommy is a natural up there singing, he does great. And I had a few worries about his rhythm recently but those have been erased. He was up there clapping perfectly to the beat. Yay, I was worried since both Joe and I are music moguls. Austin made me especially proud. They did a lot of motions and he did his best with lefty and sang his little heart out. "Dive deep, deep, into God's word" has been playing over and over in my head all night too. He loves that song. It's nights like tonight that I think Austin will be ok.

Since it's the middle of the night I can be forgiven for interesting posts. Oh Austin, my dear Austin. Today we got news that he has cavities and needs to see a pediatric dentist. Poor dude can never catch a break. Once in a while I'll get into an Austin funk. I'll think, that poor boy will never make it in school. He'll never play sports or on playscapes. He'll always live in his brother's shadow. He'll never live a normal life. But then I have those "aha" moments and I know it won't be so bad. Tuesday was of course botox at U of M. Visiting this hospital always brings a myriad of emotions for me. I can't help but go back to days like Oct. 28 2003. I had been discharged from the hospital less than 48 hours after a c-section to get down there with my baby. He looked so sick, I remember saying to Joe right away "he's gonna die." Joe's always the strong one, he never let me think that would happen. But later his Mom would tell me that the night before when they were down there that Mr. Rational Joe was going all over the ECMO machine, figuring how it worked and in an elevator very matter of fact says "and we might lose him." Know this, whenever doctors pull you into a room alone know that it's not good news. Austin's heart just wasn't coming around, they wanted to go in and look around and maybe drain some blood they thought was pooling in the left ventricle. Of course we gave our consent and then went off to cry in a lonely hallway for hours. Then we got back there and it was one of those places where you always had to call ahead before entering the "pods" where he was. The nurse said you have to go downstairs somewhere else the doctors need to talk to you. Then we had Austin's turnaround. Dr. MacDonald Dick exclaims that while looking at his heart they found an extra nerve causing his SVT. They wanted to do a heart ablasion, this wasn't new to me as my Mom had this same thing in her 40's. They usually don't ablate babies but Austin was an extremely severe case, worst they'd seen in 25 years supposedly. So they did his ablasion and within minutes his heart was finally beating normally. Amazing! We went home with peace that night knowing that he would survive while only earlier in the day I was certain he wouldn't make it.

Gosh the above was long, I'm getting to a point here though. Austin came home after only a little more than 2 weeks in the hospital. Our ped. wanted to do a head ultrasound because of the risk of brain bleeds from ECMO and later we'd find out he arrested 3 times in Saginaw when he was born. Hence why he was airlifted to U of M. U/S came back bad so it was now CT scan time. This also came back worrisome so off to U of M neurology we go. January 19, 2004 another bad U of M experience. I can tell you another certainty of bad news. When two doctors come in after an initial evaluation by one you know they are going to give you bad news. It was crushing, Austin had pretty significant brain damage which would lead to possibly severe CP and severe retardation. I don't think I understood, I do remember thinking at one point; "I prayed in that hallways months ago just wanting him to survive and I now I'm angry that I'll have a vegetable" I had already known something wasn't right with him. At a Christmas school gathering I cried to coworkers that I knew something was terribly wrong. I just didn't know what. So then we were on the "wait and see" game. What a horrible game to play. Pretty quickly after the news he started smiling thanks for waiting 3 months dear. I knew he would have emotion.

Well I didn't think I'd get going so much. I'm still not tired but I feel like I'm rambling. I guess I will end it after I fast forward to Wednesday's "aha" moment.

Austin has therapy at Highland Pines School in Caro from 2:30 - 3:30. Tommy and I sat out on a bench out front and read. At 3:00 school let out and probably about 30 kids from ages 3 - 26 came out to get on buses to go home. What I saw truly horrified me. Wheelchair after wheelchair, some kids completely out of touch with their surroundings, drooling adults. I had one of those moments of "Dawn, you are the most selfish person on earth, who cares that Aus won't be valedictorian chances are Tommy won't be either, who cares that he won't play in the NHL what's the likelihood of that for anyone, who cares that he still has to go to therapy, botox injections, castings, AFO's, maybe special ed in the future, you are DARN LUCKY things turned out so well for you." Google the writing "Welcome to Holland" I need to embrace Holland because our Holland really isn't so bad.

3:35AM I'm still not sleepy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Botox Shell Shock

Yesterday Austin had to have his right arm botoxed. No problem, we've done this before but anesthesia is always a little scary for little ones. Well there was something about yesterday's drugs that just didn't sit well with him. He screamed and thrashed around for almost an hour afterward and just wasn't happy at all yesterday. Last year he slept peacefully most of the day afterward. Today though he is right as rain. Hopefully it will help with the function of his right hand/arm. Here is a pic of him before his procedure, the anesthesiologist brought him a mask to play with.

Oh and for all of you worried that we're over here starving, fear not. My IL's invited us over tonight for a fabulous dinner. Thanks bunches!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The next Tiger Woods lives here.

So Austin had a first today. I took him and Tommy putt putt golfing. On the 3rd hole Austin got a hole in 1! It was quite comical. The front 9 went much smoother than the back 9. I decided that after fishing balls out of the water for the gabillionth time I'd never take them putty golfing again. Then at the end you have the hole that is way high and I thought impossible to sink one in. Well I did it and won a free game. So I guess I will have to take them golfing again.

In other news we had our 2nd evening of VBS. The boys are having a great time. I'm helping in the recreation department. Fun Fun!!

The 3 of us should definitely be losing weight without our personal chef here to cook for us. We've lived on the Genji leftovers from Friday, pb&j, and hot dogs. Austin and I did plow through a block of cheese so we at least got our dairy. Oh yeah, and cucumbers from my neighbors garden. They are out of town and we're in charge of the plants and feeding the fish. They've let me lose on their cucumbers. ahhh, delicious. Can you tell that I am not a gourmet here? Either way we are surviving without Joe but definitely miss him.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Softball Happenings

So today was our coed softball tournament. We did well and took 2nd place. The team that won was very good but we lost due to one bad inning. That was usually the case with all our losses. Oh well it was fun. Our record for the season was 5 wins, 4 losses. This was our best season so far and we've been playing together since 2002. I guess we are going to play fall ball so at least this wasn't the end. It's quite the family and coworker affair. My Dad, brother, and husband play along with 2 cousins. Then the rest of team for the most part is my St. Elizabeth School coworkers. It's full of good camaraderie that is for sure. Man, so close yet so far away. I was hoping to post some championship trophy pics tonight. Maybe one of these days our team will actually win it all. As I say, stranger things have happened.

Joe is loving CA, Disneyland anyways. I think tomorrow he actually has to go to his conference. I think he'd much rather play at Disney. But he'll be back; only 10 more days until we leave for "the World."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane!

Not me, but Joe of course. My traveling man. The boys and I just dropped him off at the airport where he'll head to Anaheim, CA for a Networkers Convention. Last year's event was in Las Vegas and tales of $100 margaritas and other fun abound. This year he has a 3 day hopper to Disneyland. Lucky dog. As most who know us already know, Joe is the biggest Disney fan there is. He's never had the pleasure of going to Disneyland. Hopefully he can get a new Main ST Electrical Parade t-shirt that he has worn out from the 99' trip. Have fun hubby!

Tommy was pretty upset when we dropped him off. Crying all the way to Clio, then calming down only to get home and get upset again when he saw Joe's car in the garage. :( This week will go by so fast though, we have something planned everyday! So I'm not too sad, and plus once he gets back Friday night then we are only 6 days removed from our trip to Disney World!!!!!! YeeHaw!!! Gosh I love summer!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Trying this out!

So my dear friend Debbie started a blog to chronicle the lives of her two boys. I thought it a good idea and have decided to jump in the blogging pool. Not sure if anyone will ever read this besides a few good friends but I'm looking at it as journaling. My Dad has kept a diary since the 60's, it's interesting to pick them up and see what he was doing at a certain time in his life. I personally love to type about myself but to actually handwrite something is pure misery. Hence why I never got into a diary. I'm hoping this will be my online diary and years from now when I get that feeling like Dad gets wondering what I did on this date 5 years ago I can look back. Who knows though, I could be done with this in 2 weeks. Oh well stranger things have happened.

So here it is, my first post!