Thursday, December 27, 2012


Katie's Winter Concert

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say 
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say 
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will live as one

-John Lennon

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I was nominated for a Liebster Blog Award.

What is a Liebster Blog Award?
The Liebster Blog Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

Liebster: (der) n. sweetheart, beloved person, darling 

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. The nominee must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.
3. Choose up to 11 bloggers that have less than 200 followers.
4. Go to your nominees page and inform them of their award.
5. You cannot tag back.

Thank you to Tina from Tina's Tid-Bits  for the nomination.

11 random things about me:
1. I always wanted to live in a home filled with kids and animals.
2. Someday, I hope to become a foster parent.
3. My favorite color is pink.
4. I don't like driving at night or in the rain/snow.
5. I love red hair.
6. I am an only child.
7. I was in a serious car accident when I was 19 and my injury was centimeters away from me being paralyzed from the waist down.
8. I love coffee ice cream...
9. wet walnuts too
10. I am still friends with women who were in my preschool class.
11. I  tend to be am a hypochondriac

Tina's questions for me:
1. Name something you can't go a day without doing. Drinking tea - it's an addiction!
2. If you were given the keys to a time machine, where would you go and why?  I would simply like to go back and relive my first date with my husband.  
3. Do you prefer blue or black ink?  Black
4. What's the last thing you regretted buying? The pumpkin I bought last Saturday that was rotten by Wednesday!
5. Who is your favorite cartoon character?  Currently, it is Phineas (from Phineas and Ferb)
6. Would you break the law to save a loved one?  I am SO not a rule breaker and I hate getting into trouble, but if it was to save a loved ones life and it only meant I would receive a fine--no hancuffs, fingerprinting and jail time, then I probably would.  On second thought...if one of my babies were in danger I would do anything to save them.
7. What's #1 on your Bucket List?  Go to the Olympics/Opening Ceremonies
8. Name the first song that comes to mind.  One More Night - Maroon 5
9. If you could trade lives with anyone, who would it be?  Nobody comes to mind, but if I could experience someone else's life (just for a day), I would like to see what it feels like to be a size 4 and go shopping all day long!
10. What's your favorite game show?  LINGO
11. Do you own more books than movies? Yes

Now, it is time for me to nominate some deserving bloggers.

1.  My Hands And Heart Are Full
2.  Patch of Blue
3.  I Used to Have a Real Name Until I Became Mommy

Nominees, here are your questions:

1. Drink of choice? Coffee or Tea?
2. What is your favorite book?
3. How did you meet your significant other?
4. What was your high school mascot?
5. Favorite vacation spot?
6. Do you have any pets?
7. What is the last item you bought for yourself?
8. What are the first three names that pop into your head?
9. Do you have a memory from childhood that stands out?
10. Did you enjoy high school?
11. What is your dream job?

Congratulations, nominees, and thanks again to Tina!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An update about Hudson Valley Parent and my final vent (I promise)

I am not as angry anymore.  After a day of venting, writing, and trying to relax, I feel like I am in a better place.  The editor of Hudson Valley Parent apologized to me yesterday, explaining that this is the first time she has edited the magazine. I emailed her back and asked her to remove my name and Linus' name from the article about orthoses since I do not want to be associated with it.

I understand that she is new to editing and this is probably the first time she has been handed this much responsibility.  I feel that a good editor would ask for a rewrite, a bad editor just will rewrite the article.  I understand that there are deadlines, but you cannot write a first person account about someone else's life experiences, especially when the information was largely a fictional account.

She also took a quote I had gotten from a third party, and she rewrote it. A journalist/editor does not rewrite quotes.  It is unethical. What she did is totally unacceptable to me.  My credibility could have been damaged by her acts.

The article I pitched was about orthotics and prosthetics for children.  This is my exact assignment (given to me by the former editor of Hudson Valley Parent):

Orthotics and Prosthetics for Children: What are the most common appliances? How do they work? Where do you get them?  How much can they cost? Does insurance cover them? Speak to someone who works with children about how the child handles it?  Are they upgraded and resized as the child grows? Whatever else you feel is appropriate.
Real family experiences WITH PHOTOS. 
Sidebar story: what a parent should know if their child needs a cranial helmet

The article I wrote was exactly what I was assigned.  I interviewed parents and an orthotist who works with children to get his point of view.  The only mention of helmets was supposed to be in the sidebar.  

The publisher/editor did ask me to rework my article a bit and make it a little more personal, which I did last month.  I explained to them that I do not have a child who wears an orthosis or a prosthesis, but I could add some of my experiences with Linus along with the experiences of other parents.

I would have preferred that if she wasn't happy with my style she should have written her own article, leaving me entirely out of it.

I asked the editor for a correction/retraction printed in next month's magazine.  I am still waiting for her to remove my name and Linus' from the online article, which she hasn't done yet.

I did write a second article for the Baby Issue of Hudson Valley Parent which should be out soon, if it is not out already.  It is available online and I am happy to report that this article is exactly as I wrote it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Don't believe everything you read in Hudson Valley Parent Magazine!

I am ticked off.  Let me say that again....

I am ticked off!

My "article" came out in Hudson Valley Parent this month, and the beginning of the article where it outlined Linus' time in a helmet was not anything I had written or would have wrote.  Not only did the editor put words in my mouth, but the things she wrote were entirely untrue.

First of all, I never panicked or stressed out about Linus' head shape, nor did I call any nurses to voice my concerns.  I had noticed his flat head before he was discharged from the NICU, and it was something I was monitoring along with my pediatrician and the various therapists who visited my home for my older daughter, Josie.  Linus was also born with a piece of his skull missing, so after head ultrasounds and consultations with neurologists, something as minor as a flat spot on the back of his head was not going to be an absolute tragedy.   I knew that if the skull hadn't miraculously grown in, Linus would have been facing wearing a helmet for years as well as having to undergo surgery.  Honestly, I was thrilled all he had was Plagiocephaly!

Linus was a preemie who spent 3 months in the NICU, obviously I didn't think, nor did any medical professional tell me that his head shape was going to correct itself in six to eight weeks.  That only holds true for a full term baby born under normal circumstances.  Obviously, the editor did not do her homework on this subject.  

My son was born at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces, he was on a ventilator for over a month, and supplemental oxygen for almost three months.  He was fed high calorie formula via a nasogastric tube.  There were tubes and wires attached to every part of his body.  I didn't get to hold him until he was over a month old.  Linus was born after losing two babies to prematurity and stillbirth.  Do you really think that I was going to be panicking over Plagiocephaly or putting him in a helmet?

I never had any "difficulty" putting the helmet on Linus.  I knew that it wouldn't hurt him.  I did my research and spoke to various parents and professionals and learned all about how a cranial molding orthosis worked.  My husband and I made a very informed decision to have our son wear a helmet to correct his Plagiocephaly.  

Never once did I worry that people were going to stare at my son.  I am not that petty or self-conscious about those sort of things.  No one ever stared at my son, pointed, or made comments.  I picked his blue camouflage helmet because I had wanted a helmet in the blue family and my older son loves camouflage.  I have always been proud of Linus and his helmet, in fact I couldn't wait to take him out and show him off .  I even created a blog to celebrate this time in Linus' life and raise awareness about Plagiocephaly.

Originally, this article was assigned as an article about orthoses and the children who wear them.  It was not written to be a story about Plagiocpehaly or helmets.  If the editor had really read my blog, she would have known that I never felt the way she portrayed me.  

My apologies to the people I had interviewed.  One of the quotes I included had words added to it.  


I didn't know that editors had the ability to change quotes to make them sound the way they want them to.  

I would never refer orthoses as a "stigma."  I have far too much respect for the individuals who wear orthoses to ever refer to them as a "stigma."

I have contacted the editorial staff at Hudson Valley Parent magazine and I have requested that they print a retraction, both online and in print disassociating me from this article.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

trying to write

As I sit down to type, a little voice calls to me, "drink...peeeeeaaassse."  I get up and pour a glass of milk.  I sit back down again and another little tap on my shoulder "can I have milk too?"  I am off to the kitchen to pour more milk.  I sit down one more time and the child who was playing quietly in her room, comes walking to me with a full gallon of milk in one hand and a cup in the other.  I find myself back in the kitchen and as I look around, all I hear is silence.  No sooner do I sit back down at the laptop..."POP"...the vinyl Spiderman blowup my son bought yesterday is handed to me, limp and defeated.  My son is at my side saying, "Can we tape it...NOW?"  Now, I need to find the duct tape.  On my way to the cabinet, I find my favorite three year old standing in a puddle of milk in the middle of my living room.  I clean up the mess, totally forgetting about Spiderman, and I sit back at the computer.  I hear, "Did you find the tape yet?"

Can you see how successful I have been so far today?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Free haircuts

In August, JC Penney offered free haircuts to all children in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade.  I took advantage of this, being that I have four kids who meet this criteria, and scheduled my appointments.  I had never visited the salon at JC Penney with my children and I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were with my kids and the other cuties getting their back to school haircuts as well.  The stylist was even nice enough to trim Josie's bangs for me at no charge.

Today, I found out JC Penney is making their free haircuts for kids program permanent every Sunday starting November 4, 2012.  The only requirement is that you make an appointment in advance.

Thank you, JC Penney, for helping me to stretch my budget a little further.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bumbo Recall

Earlier this month Bumbo issued a voluntary recall of the Bumbo Baby Seat to add a restraint belt and new warning labels.  If you hadn't heard about this recall, stop using your Bumbo and go to to order a repair kit.

I loved our Bumbo seat.  Lucie, Josie, and Linus used it.  Linus was the only one to figure out how to wiggle his little behind up and try to flip himself out of the seat.  He only used it for a short time due to his strength, adventurous nature, and the fact that he doesn't like to sit still for two minutes.  A restraint belt would have been a small deterrent, but I think he still would have found a way out.  Needless to say, the Bumbo has been sitting collecting dust for a few months now, and was on my short list to go back up into the attic.

On the Bumbo site, it states that you shouldn't return the seat to the manufacturer or retail store, but I found out that Walmart's corporate policy is to issue a full refund on any recalled items.  Since I know I won't be needing the Bumbo seat ever again (at least, until the grandchildren start coming for visits), I decided to bring it over to Walmart today.  

Walmart was quick to refund me the full amount on a Walmart gift card, no questions asked.

Before the recall, I had considered putting the Bumbo on Craigslist for $15.  I am glad I forgot all about that, because an extra $42 was welcome this week.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Aunt B's

Last week, we visited Aunt B's Yogurt Bar in Somers, NY.  Aunt B's is a self serve yogurt and waffle bar which offers a large variety of yogurt flavors and toppings.

Some of the flavors available were Angel Food Cake, Cake Batter, and Raspberry; as well as Chocolate and Vanilla.

We had to limit the kids to two toppings each, because there were so many to choose from.  You could top your creation with fresh fruit, gummy worms, Fruity Pebbles, nuts, and a wide assortment of chocolate treats.  

I stuck with Cake Batter topped with crumbled Butterfingers.

Rainbow colored sprinkles and fresh strawberries for Josie.

 Linus enjoyed sampling a little bit from everybody.

There were iPad stations set up at the window counter.  So you could surf or play games while you eat.

The prices were reasonable and the frozen yogurt was the best I have had in a very long time.  I used to love my White Chocolate Mousse from TCBY.

The kids are begging to go back.  Hope to make it back there the next time we are in Somers.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I am becoming  frustrated with the school district.  How is it acceptable to not know what the supply list is for my incoming 6th grader?  The school year starts in less than 2 weeks.  If you are not going to tell us what team the kids are on, then require the teachers to write up universal supply lists by grade.  It is very nice that the supply lists for teams A through G are up on the school's website, but since we don't know which team we are buying for, what good is it doing?

New students to the school are anxious and excited.  Did the district ever consider that the uncertainty of not knowing if they have the right supplies is causing undue stress?  I have bought pencils, pens, crayons, paper, and erasers; but I need to know how many binders, which type of notebooks, and if there are certain colors required.

We contacted the school yesterday and they told my husband that they don't even know what team Katie is on.  You must think I am stupid, if you think I believe the teachers do not have their class assignments yet.  I know the teachers at the high school received their class lists at least two weeks ago.  I do not care what Katie's schedule is, when she has lunch, or who is in her class.  I just want to know what to buy her before the sales end, or worse, before the stores run out of that obscure item on the list and then Katie receives a zero for a homework grade because she is unprepared.

Katie wanted like a large zipper binder like she used for 5th grade, since that worked for her.  Luckily a good portion of the teams have this on their list.  If she gets placed on a team where two separate binders are required, I am not going to go out and replace what is already bought.  It is my hope that the teachers will accept that.

Now to look for a suggestion box so I can suggest creating uniform supply lists by grade for next year.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A new dress for me and a promo code for you

A few weeks ago I was excitedly awaiting my new dress from eShakti.  It arrived recently and I couldn't be happier.  In case you don't know, at eShakti you can customize your measurements and style preferences.  You do not have to settle for standard sizes that don't fit correctly.  Also, if you like the design but want to change the sleeve, neckline, or length; you can customize that too.  

I love my new sundress, but, I needed new shoes, and while I was out, I picked up a sweater too.  Now, I am all set.  All I need are plans (hint hint).  Pictures to come soon.

I am pleased to offer you a special promo code JM3ZZNG, especially created for Adventures From Beyond The Crib readers.  From now until August 31 use this code to get 10% every time you shop at eShakti.  This code can be used in addition to the other offers online.  This discount code is not applicable on  overstock items.  Please feel free to share this offer with anyone you believe would like eShakti for their clothes and accessories as well as the sizing, customization and great customer service.

Go check out

Friday, August 10, 2012

Pacifier Dilemma

Where do pacifiers go?  Do they wind up in that black hole that all our socks must live in?

We were faced with a night with no pacifier and an unhappy little boy, so we stopped at Hannaford to grab a new pacifier.

The pacifier of choice is the MAM.  He loves that thing.  When Linus was admitted to the hospital last November, the nurses gave him a MAM pacifier and he never went back to the Gumdrop one he had been accustomed to.

I walked down the baby aisle, located the MAM pacifiers, and all the 6+ month ones were pink.  Now, I was faced with a difficult decision.  Do I buy the pink pacifier and have a peaceful night or do I buy the blue NUK pacifier?  Either way I would be wasting $6.99, because I knew that I would have to go out and buy a blue MAM in the morning.

Pierre offered to get a Sharpie and color the pink ones blue for me if it made me feel better.  I didn't take him up on the offer and bought the blue NUK.  As soon as we checked out, I handed it to Linus.  He kept taking it out, staring at it and flipping it around in his mouth.  He sucked on it sideways and upside down.  He is such an easy going baby, that he went along with it, but I could tell he wasn't happy with change.

We made it through the night, and most of the next day with the NUK, but I made a pit stop at Babies R Us last night and bought a 2 pack of the MAMs.  Linus is happy.  I just need to figure out how to attach a tracking device on those things.

If faced with the same situation, what would you choose?  Pink or Blue?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Almost 1

Last year at this time I was sitting in a hospital bed on bedrest.  My water had broken 4 days prior and I was not sure how much longer I would be able to continue my pregnancy.  There was talk of transferring me to another hospital and inserting a PICC line.  All the doctors from the practice were aware of my situation and were ready to jump into action if I went into labor or further complications arose.  One year ago today was my last full day of being pregnant.  I didn't know what tomorrow would bring or if I would get to bring my baby home.

Today, I am prepping for Linus' first birthday party which will take place tomorrow.

I am blessed.

Check out the big boy "bowling" yesterday!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Balloon Festival

The 20th Annual Mid-Hudson Valley Balloon Festival took place this weekend.  Two balloons launched from the Poughkeepsie Galleria parking lot (and a bunch of other location throughout Dutchess County) on Friday.  It was a good excuse to go window shopping and enjoy the air conditioning at the mall.

 The kids scored Poughkeepsie Galleria tote bags, stampers, and a tire gauge for daddy.  Josie has an assortment of green and orange stamps on her hands and creeping up her wrists.

Saturday and Sunday mornings there were mass balloon launches from the Hudson River Boathouse at 6am.  This morning, we headed out in search of balloons with eight kids and a dog.  We wound up watching the launch from the Poughkeepsie train station.

 By looking at Josie, can you tell it is 6am?

One balloon was even close enough that the kids were able to wave and say "Hi!"

Afterward, we drove over to the Walkway Over The Hudson for a morning walk with Mattie.  She gets very excited when she sees other dogs, and there were plenty of friends for her to meet.

We were back home by 8am.  It was a good morning.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Open letter to pushy parents eveywhere

Parents, naturally, have concern for their children and are interested in their lives.  When does this concern go overboard?  Too many parents become overly involved in their child's life.  Personally, I see this happening far too often, particularly in respect to children and sports.

Children need to explore their independence and learn how to live and grow outside of their home.  When parents step in and try to control their child's life, the only person to get hurt is the child.  As the child starts to feel like they are losing control over their athletic life, they will become disinterested in their sport and lose all drive and motivation.  Unfortunately, it winds up with the child abandoning the sport that they once loved.

Parents need to learn to take a step back.  Encourage your child.  Give them support.  Stop questioning the officials, the judges, the directors, and the coaches.  These people are there to make sure your child is safe and treated fairly.  Some parents hoot and holler and, frankly, make themselves look like baboons.  When their child fails, they take it as a personal blow.  They stress unnecessarily over upcoming games, meets, and tournaments.  When exceedingly high expectations are constantly placed on the child, eventually they will start to crack.

Sometimes parents will take on  their child's achievements as their own.  If your dream was to play baseball, score a perfect 10 on balance beam, or score the winning touchdown, then put on the uniform and do it yourself.  Your child is not a puppet for you to put on display.  Cut the strings.

Don't go around and try to break other children down.  Don't dredge up past failures or injuries. Teach your children respect for their peers.  Don't talk down about other children in front of your child.  Don't ever, ever, EVER let your child talk down to their teammates.  It will only come back to bite you in the behind, or worse, bite your child.  It will be pretty lonely when no one wants to associate with your child anymore because of their attitude.  

Stop hovering and stop pushing.  It is a marathon, not a sprint.  Sit back and enjoy yourself.  It is not about who gets there first, it is about who works the hardest and wants it the most.  Ultimately, it is about letting your child grow up and figure it out for themselves.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Contest winner

So far this week, Alice celebrated her 7th birthday, Linus learned how to scoot around the living room on his tummy, and I won another contest.  Little Bumpies, is all about helmet fashion.  If your son or daughter is currently wearing a cranial helmet, you should go check out the cute designs available to adorn his/her little head.  Earlier this month, Little Bumpies asked for stories about our babies and their journeys with their helmets.  The one request was that we share the stories as often as we could.  The person who shared their story the most times and helped to spread awareness about cranial helmets would win a $50 gift card to the store or restaurant of their choice.  Yesterday, I found out I was the winner.  Now comes the hard part, deciding where to get a gift card from.  Like a little kid trying to decide what candy to spend my fifty cents on, I can't make a decision.  I need clothes, but the kids need stuff too.  A night out at a restaurant sounds nice, but the money could go to something a little less frivolous and more practical.  In the end, I am pretty sure I will choose Target.  Something for me, something for the kids, and maybe a soft pretzel from the cafe.

Make me think, if I hit Lotto, what would I do with the money?  
  • I would pay off all my debt, and my family's debts.  Everyone would own their home free and clear.
  • Katie would go to gymnastics 24/7 if she wanted.  
  • My "braces fund" would be set and ready for all my little ones with crowded teeth and cross bites.  
  • I would take the kids on vacation.  We haven't been away on vacation for over 6 years now.  Lucie, Josie, and Linus have never been on vacation, stayed in a hotel, or have gotten ice from the ice machine in a hotel lobby (one of my favorite things to do at the hotel.)
  • We would move into a larger home with more bedrooms and a large, flat, beautiful, green lawn.
Hey, a girl can dream.  Maybe luck will strike three times this summer, and I do have a Lotto ticket for tonight.

Happy Independence Day.  Tomorrow, I am looking forward to a fun day filled with sunshine, hamburgers on the grill, and fireworks.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Baseball and Ice Cream

Friday night, was Where's Waldo night at Dutchess Stadium. Evan was excited to bring Linus to his first baseball game.  All day he held his crumpled dollar bills in his fist. He wanted to buy a foam finger for him and Linus.  Even more exciting than a foam finger was a foam racoon paw (the Renegades mascot is a racoon.)

Saturday, we celebrated the High School Graduation of a very special young lady whose father happens to be our favorite ice cream man.  During the party, Josie was given the opportunity to take orders and hand out ice cream.  Now, we have a favorite ice cream girl too.