Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This and That

A HUGE thanks to the wonderful people manning the template area of the Blogger Forum who were able to help me fix the template problem! They are just awesome!

Some posts got deleted in the template mishaps but Friday's post about life here is here because I wnated to make sure it was on here again:

On the Homefront.....

Matthew is turning into quite the little climber and driving me crazy. Soon he will need his own set of climbing ropes and a grappling hook! I dread turning corners these days to find that he has once again managed to get on top of the computer desk or began to climb up the shelves in the pantry! He makes my heart stop every time!

I am making my journey with Weight Watchers again full force so alot more postings will have to do with my desire to be healthy for both my husband and me and our kids! Before having Matthew I was at my heaviest ever and started Weight Watchers. I got back on it a few months ago and from the heaviest to right now I am down 25 pounds! I am on the edge of seeing a weight I have not seen since 2001. Keep me in your prayers and wish me luck please that I can do this. My family history of heart disease and diabetes has me looking to do this more than ever now that my mother and father are both looking at heart disease complications at the age of 50.

August is around the corner which means only a few weeks until back to school for Nick and Jake and Alex's new PreK class. I need to get some back to school shopping done for uniforms and supplies soon.

Adam and I have discussed having Jacob tested for mercury poisoning. There are many studies, groups, etc that attribute many causes of Autism to mercury levels in vaccines. This was never a consideration for us regarding Jacob's Autism because his vaccines were delayed as a child due to an illness at the time and he began showing signs of delay before receiving vaccines that are linked to this theory (MMR, etc). Recently though, we found out that a shot Jake received after he was not even 12 hours old in a hospital in NJ for his Rh Factor also has links to mercury poisoning. Being that he was our only child to receive this shot ever and our only child with Autism, we have decided to have the test done. I am so apprehensive about it. Mainly because if the test shows he had been poisoned all of this time and we did not know I would be mortified. The other part of me is not sure I want a positive test result just because removing the mercury is a long process that can provide him more of a "normal" existance which would be great, but I do not want to get my hopes up that his development will improve so drastically that certain things will be within his grasp at almost the right age finally. And then there is the other side of me who loves Jake just as he is and just wnats to stop putting him through all of this guinea pig type of stuff and let him be happy with what he knows now. No bashing please, I know how much of a disservice to him that would be and what kind of life that would leave him with without any intervention but I must admit everytime we have to jump through these hoops with something new the thought does occur to me to just let him be not that I would ever stop fighting for him, but it flutters there for a moment and so there it stays and we press on. I need to research it more and see where we go from there on both ends on the result regardless, because I need to be prepared. Any thoughts or experiences on the subject would be most welcome.

Onto today,
When I have not been trying to fuss with this thing to fix it, I have been busy trying to get things decluttered and organized around this house!

Yesterday I spent hours sorting through toy boxes, closets, etc getting all of the toys for four little boys condensed into two toy boxes and a few drawer organizers for their little stuff.

Today I am planning on tackling their ever-growing pile of stuffed animals and their desk.

I am trying to get lots done around here by Aug 18th which is Alex's 4th Birthday party. That way the house is back in decent shape again after enduring a summer of four kids the weekend of the party and before school starts that Monday.

My major projects:
1. Tackling the boys' toys ----> DONE
2. Cleaning the carpets in the bedrooms and living room
3. Washing all of the blinds
4. Recovering a dinigroom chair and touching up the stain on all chairs and table legs
5. Touchup stain on Pergola outside
6. Wedding and bushes done outside
7. Put more sand down on pavers to fill in from all of the rain
8. Scrub down house!!!!
9. Finish running the electric outside for extra outlets on pergola
10. Fix screening in lanai that the dog ripped

Wish me luck! I will need it!

Posted By Melanie @ 8:22 AM (0) comments |
Monday, July 30, 2007


I have no idea how but somehow I screwed up the template and have been trying to fix it with no luck. Currently trying to delete some stuff and see if it helpss but nothing yet - please bear with me!

Posted By Melanie @ 10:23 PM (1) comments |
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4 -

Thirteen Books Currently On My "TO READ" List

1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

2. Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger

3. Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm

4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

5. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

6. Middlesex by Jeffery Eugencides

7. The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkein

8. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

9. It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton

10. My Life by Bill Clinton

11. For One More Day by Mitch Albom

12. The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren

13. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Posted By Melanie @ 8:09 AM (2) comments |
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #3 -Getting his turn no matter what!

    Posted By Melanie @ 10:00 AM (5) comments |
    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Bad Mommy, Good Harry Book

    OKay I should not be on here right now considering I have spent all day long neglecting both my house and probably my children to finish reading my new Harry Potter book! The house has fallen victim to four children who have not been trailed to pickup toys, dishes, eat at the table, ect all day while I was parked on the couch nose deep in my wizarding world of fiction. And as for the neglect comment - Well, I didn't exactly neglect my kids because I fed them, changed diapers, put them down for naps, but other than that I have been parked on the couch reading like a mad woman!

    The book was GREAT! No spoilers - I am just going to say I was happy how she ended the series. There were lots of surprises and back story coming together, some characters died as always, but some remain. Harry and Voldemort's end were true to all that was laid out in each book!

    Poor hubby's audio version is still not here yet and I am already done! I am dying for him to hurry up and read it so I can discuss it with someone!!!! I will probably wind up reading it a second time before he finishes his first.

    Well, now I am off to spend some time with my kids and reclaim the clean house I had this morning when I woke up.

    Posted By Melanie @ 3:44 PM (4) comments |
    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Friday Feast #1


    Appetizer ~ On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest) how much do enjoy watching sports on television? That all depends on the sport for me....Football would be a 10+ whereas bowling would register a 1 !

    Soup ~ If you could completely memorize any one work of fiction, which one would you pick? Probably Angels and Demons by Dan Brown....I could read that over an over

    Salad ~ What is your favorite breakfast food? I love Everything Bagels with Butter and a cup of coffee with French Vanilla Creamer

    Main Course~ Name something fun you can do for less than $10.00. Rent a movie with the kids and hubby, grab some microwvae popcorn and drinks and crash on the couch

    Dessert ~ How long does it usually take you to fall asleep? Maybe 15-30 minutes most nights

    Posted By Melanie @ 12:13 PM (5) comments |

    Friday Random stuff

    I have to work tonight, tomorrow afternoon and Sunday evening. Only about 4 hours each day so not too shabby - they are cutting hours right now which isn't awful for me considering I am only part time and happy to be home more with my family.

    Mom had her angioplasty yesterday. No major blockage, but the doctor wants her to quit smoking and is prescribing her some magic pill that helps it happen in 30-90 days. She has stopped before so hopefully this time it will be for good. She is sore and at home resting. We'll go visit her on Sunday morning.

    Tomorrow I will be outside doing one of my very favorite pastimes.....pulling weeds. You have no idea how much I despise doing this. It is all my parents fault since they used pulling weeds as a punishment when I was a preteen/teenager and now the chore at my own home is just as dreadful a punishment to me as it was then. I would rather have the weeds become new plants in our side and front beds then be out there trying to take care of them. Can't very well leave the hubby out there to do all of the yardwork in the FL summer heat alone though now can I??? Is it terrible that I dream of the days when my four boys are older and can do all of the yardwork as their chores???? Ahhh... til then.

    Have an enjoyable weekend everyone!

    Posted By Melanie @ 11:56 AM (1) comments |
    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Wordless Wednesday #2 - Keeping up with the Big Boys

    Posted By Melanie @ 9:14 AM (1) comments |
    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Monday Weekend Movie Reviews

    I was able to see two movies this past weekend which is quite a feat for my husband and I with four children and limited babysitters! We generally hardly get to one every few months yet we got to see TWO in one weekend!!!

    1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Let me say that I am a firm believer that movies never can do books their due justice. Although I must say I was quite happy with the way the film portrayed this book. They left out alot but did a great job completing the story regardless. This was by far my favorite Harry Movie to date. I loved all of the wand fighting in this one. It is certainly an older, more mature picture for Harry and certainly begins to show the dark times coming. They did an excellent job casting Umbridge who I wanted to slap while reading the book, and the actress brought forth the equal amount of aggravation to the screen making me want to slap her too! :) Luna was also a terrific casting job! She was just as I had pictured her in the book! I don't want to spoil the movie with details for anyone so I will just say it is a must see for any Potter-fan, of course!

    2. Transformers

    Wicked cool! The effects alone in this movie were outstanding and worth seeing even if you do not like the storyline. I always find that I either love or hate comic book-type movies. Like Spiderman movies which I really liked verses the Hulk which I thought was awful. This movie was fantastic. I was laughing and saying "Holy Crap" the whole time as was the rest of the audience. The fight scenes between the transformers were great and I absolutely loved the way they made them transform. They did an awesome job with this movie! And let's face it - Josh Duhamel not too bad on the eyes!!! LOL I am married to a muscle-car loving guy who the entire walk out of the theater informed me several times that he will be getting that Camaro! Which I would not mind since I am also a muscle-car lover! But definitely a must see movie. One of the best I have seen in awhile....even better than the new Harry in my opinion!

    Posted By Melanie @ 8:35 AM (1) comments |
    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Walgreens is Awesome!

    I often wonder what Jake's options will be in his future. One of the things I wonder about is how he will be able to make a living. Most employers work with "handicapped" individuals but will hire only those with a disability that is evident (physical limitations, down syndrome, etc) and those with developmental handicaps that are not "seen" are many times excluded from their disability hiring guidleines. I received this video from an Autism List I am on and was so very thrilled at the prospect of more of these type of opportunites available to him. Please help support Walgreens so they can continue in their endeavors!

    Posted By Melanie @ 10:41 AM (0) comments |
    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    Thursday Thirteen - Couples

    My Favorite Thirteen Famous Couples

    1. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson

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    2. Bill and Hillary Clinton

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    3. John Lennon and Yoko Ono

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    4. JFK and Jackie

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    5. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

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    6. Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick

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    7. Courtney Cox and David Arquette

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    8. Al and Tipper Gore

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    9. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith

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    10. Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy

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    11. Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

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    12. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick

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    13. John Travolta and Kelly Preston

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    Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
    1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

    Posted By Melanie @ 8:47 AM (1) comments |
    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    My First Wordless Wednesday - Updated kid Pics

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    Posted By Melanie @ 11:12 AM (5) comments |
    Monday, July 09, 2007

    My Monday TO DO List for the Week

    We'll see on Friday how much of this gets accomplished, but here is what I need to do this week:

    1) Deep clean this house!!!!
    2) Return the Home Gym we purchased in April that is still in boxes in my garage to the store before the 90 day return window closes this weekend
    3) Finally finish Alex's paperwork for his PreK enrollment
    4) Clean out my closet and possibly tackle the hubby's
    5) Go through Matthew's clothes that no longer fot to see what is suitable for Ebay and what could just be Freecycle'd
    6) Write to Adam's grandmother in PA and send her new pics of the boys
    7) Get childcare set up for my work schedule this weekend while Adam goes to a trade show for work
    8) Take down and clean the blinds in the living room and dining room
    9) Begin cleaning out toys in the kids toy boxes, closets and rooms to condense them and Freecycle them outta here as quickly as possible!
    10) Buy baby shower gift for a friend from work's daughter's baby (don't ask how I got roped into that one - I still don't know)
    11) Get my requests off in to work for days I need in August and September for Birthday parties and School dates, etc so I meet my 30 day notice requirement

    I am sure there is more I'll need to add later but those are the major things so far.

    Happy Monday!

    Posted By Melanie @ 9:00 AM (1) comments |
    Friday, July 06, 2007

    Anally Organized

    I know I am a tad bit anal and full of a whole lot of OCD issues, but I figured out a way to try to manage my food bill a tad better around here by using those traits. Want a good laugh???

    I took some old food reciepts and made a table for each place I shop (BJ's, Walmart, Publix, Albertsons) and put the items into the table so that I can make a meal list for each week and shop for the items at the places that will save me the most money.

    We are on a tight budget at the moment trying to save for a new car downpayment and the way these boys eat, my main spending each month is my groceries bill. Hoping this helps cut it a bit.

    To give you an idea of what I mean by my boys eat like crazy - Yesterday Nick had cereal for breakfast at about 7am, by 9am he was having 2 pieces of french toast and a gogurt. Then at 11:30 he had a hot dog and some grapes, an hour later he was making 2 bagels with cream cheese and by 2pm he was eating a PB&J sandwich. This doesn't even count the snacks he ate in between or even dinner! And this is only one of my kids!

    See why I need to budget more for food? That budgeted amount for groceries needs to go absolutely as far as it possibly can with the way these kids eat! Not to mention my diet.... wish me luck.

    Posted By Melanie @ 10:27 AM (0) comments |
    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    Thirteen Random Things about Melanie

    1. I found that I have a Lego Star Wars Head in my Makeup Bag...I'm sure I threw it in there on accident at some point but this morning it made me smile when I saw it there as a little reminder of my crazy Mom Life!
    2. I just finished reading "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Albom. It has instantly become one of my favorite reads and I highly reccomend it! Looking for a new book to start now before Harry Potter comes out...
    3. I am planning a major vacation for summer 2008 for about 18 of my relatives from all over the Eastern coast of the US to go to Myrtle Beach. It is proving to be quite the project.
    4. My husband always laughs at my over-use of earthtones whether it be in our home decor or my wardrobe. I am looking to order a hot pink tshirt with these crazy bright neon green shorts just to shock him!!! Yeah - probably not.
    5. We watched fireworks form our front yard last night for the 4th of July. We had our own little bit to light off, but our neighbors put on a better show than the city does! Jake watched from the comfort of the foyer through the door windows (the noise really bothers him)
    6. I am anxiously awaiting the new Harry Potter movie and book this month! I am hoping they are both great!
    7. I am currently on Weight Watchers and have lost some weight but have a long way to go on this journey! I'll keep you updated!
    8. I finally got to see the last episode of the Sopranos the other day with Adam. I have to admit a bit of disappointment with the ending, but kind of what I was expecting too. Heard there are rumors of a possible movie to continue the story a bit. I would go see it too, sad I know!
    9. I laugh often at my sister's new found additction to MySpace, but I remember it was not too long ago that I was also there a few times each day. I still love finding old friends there and new ones. My page link is over there -------->
    10. I have been increasingly bored these days and am hoping coming back to blogging will help with that. I miss reading everyone's news and writing about my own. Who else would read about my tantrums with Autism dealings, raising boys, housework, part time work, etc than the wonderful blogging community???
    11. I despise laundry and have a lot of it to do today. I have a lot of it to do everyday, so that really makes today no different. Just felt like it was worth the mention with as much as I am dreading it.
    12. Adam and I will be married for 10 years at the end of next month so we are trying to decide where to steal away for a long weekend. We both know we will wind up at Disney World, but we are exciting about trying some new stuff in Orlando and over that way. 10 years of marriage seems like a long time but at the same time it is almost like - that's all it has been??? LOL HAPPY years at least!
    13. I am hoping to get the boys into bed early tonight so Adam and I can sit outside under the pergola, cuddled on the little sofa and light a fire to relax and plan our anniversary trip. The weather doesn't look like it is gonna agree with me and who am I kidding...neither will the boys!

    Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
    1. Happy Momma
    2. Lady Bug Crossing

    Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

    Posted By Melanie @ 12:16 PM (1) comments |

    Back to Blogging

    Yup I know I have said it before and I'll say it again now - I am back to blogging.

    Lots going on - mostly medical and family stuff.

    Everyone here is good. The boys are enjoying the summer even though I am already looking forward to their days back in school! They have been hanging out, playing games, watching TV, swimming, and playing outside. School starts late this year for them – August 20th, so we have a while to go yet.

    We had an awesome time in Georgia last month on vacation which we all really needed and thoroughly enjoyed. The cabin we rented in the Blue Ridge Mountains was great and the kids had lots of fun playing in the creek and hiking the trails. It was gorgeous there and hard to leave.

    Alex is gearing up to go to Voluntary PreK this year so he will also be going to “school” in August. Nick will be going into 4th grade and Jacob into 1st. Jake is still seeing the behavioral therapist at our home for the summer. His therapist, Michelle, does a great job with him and he loves when she comes. So do the other boys because she brings things for them to do and play with as well. When school starts he will resume having speech and OT as well. One of the downsides of therapies are their cost to us so he is only able to have Michelle for now.

    Matthew turned one in May! He has been busy with doctors these days. He continues to be moitored for the hole in his heart (VSD) but has had some other small issues come up too. Matthew was sent to a Hematologist/Oncologist regarding his low white blood cell count and was tested for all kinds of blood disorders and tons of related diseases from Lupus to Leukemia. Fortunately he has none of those things, but due to his heart condition he is going to be continuously monitored. Every time he has a temperature of 100.4 or greater we have to call the Hematologist to see if he needs IV antibiotics at the Children’s Hospital. Recently Matthew had a slight fever one morning and then after his nap he was at 101.5 so I had to call into the hematologist. So I did and they told me he needed to go to the children’s hospital – he could have a viral infection or a bacterial infection. With either infection and his low white blood cell count they wanted to give him IV antibiotics so he didn’t wind up with something like pneumonia. So I called Adam and he met me at the hospital. They checked Matthew over and did a CBC on him only to find that his white cell count was actually higher right then than it had been since his birth! Just shy of 1500 (1500 being normal) so they monitored him for a while and let him go home since there were no signs of anything bacterial to mess with his heart. Very scary but the outcome was good. We are hoping that those kind of things do not happen too often, but we will be following up with his pediatrician at his next visit now before he has to go back to the hematologist again.
    He got to see the cardiologist recently also for his EKG, Echocardiogram, and Chest Xray and checkup. That all went okay. His doctor was happy with the results saying that Matthew’s heart is looking okay and not looking like it is causing him any kind of issues. The tissue around the hole is trying to repair itself and will hopefully close the hole on its own eventually. His one concern was that Matthew’s heart is larger than normal size and the hole in his heart is still a large enough size, so if in the next few years the hole does not close it will cause strain on his heart. The heart is already working overtime to make up for the hole and its size, so it could cause some “issues” later in his life when we may need to consider a surgery or something. So he will see Matthew again in 9 months to view any more progress and see how things look. His weight is finally within normal ranges which is great. So that is all of his medical issues at the moment!

    Adam and I are busy as always between the boys and working, but things are going well here.

    And that is our update for now!

    Posted By Melanie @ 12:04 PM (0) comments |
  1. My Photo
    Location: New Jersey, United States

    Mom of 4 - Nick, Jake, Alex, and Matt, Married to my best friend and other half that makes me whole, Adam. Liberal. Jersey Girl always....

    1. Adam, The Hubby, My Best Friend & True Love
    2. Nicholas, aka The Professor: tenured 9/97
    3. Jacob, aka Bam-Bam: debuted 5/01
    4. Alexander, aka Lil' Michaelangelo: creating since 8/03
    5. Matthew, aka Bun in the Oven: arrived 5/06
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    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
  2. Autism Society of America
  3. Autism Speaks
  4. Hugs4SmilesUSA
  5. Autism Recovery Network of Florida
  6. Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
  7. March of Dimes Walk America
  8. The Home Designer
  9. Happy Momma
  10. LadyBug Crossing
  11. Michele Agnew
  12. Amy's Random Thoughts
  13. For The Love of Peas and Monkeys
  14. Valtool's Box
  15. Especially Heather
  16. And Miles To Go Before We Sleep
  17. Our Happy Happenings
  18. My Home Sweet Home
  19. The Goat Rodeo
  20. Not Enough Hours...
  21. Sarge Charlie
  22. It Coulda' Been Worse
  23. My Home Sweet Home
  24. braincancerbutton.png
    We're Watching You
    1. Some of my all time favorites:
    2. The DaVinci Code
    3. Angels and Demons
    4. The Lovely Bones
    5. The Five People You Meet In Heaven
    6. The Tales of the Otori
    7. All Harry Potter Books
    8. Julius Caesar
    9. Cell
    10. Misery
  25. Disney
  26. All Ears Net

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