Monday, December 24, 2007

Nail bling

So I went to get my nails done a few days ago. After she gets done painting them she grabs this bottle of pink paint and starts going to town. She says (in Chinese accent), "For you-Christmas present for free" So I now have pink and gold paint and a gem haha


Alexis had a Hanna Montana birthday at Chuck E. Cheese this year!

We had lots of fun with family and friends

Daniel had a few issues with the big rodents, but the small ones were ok

My brother Dave, and his daughters Erica (left) and Victoria (right)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Our visit to Santa

Today we went to visit Santa! The visit went a lot better than last year, with no tears.

I had tried to prep Daniel by showing him the picture of Santa and Alexis from last year and as soon as I showed it to him, he started yelling " I don't like it! I don't like it!" uh-oh...better bring out the big guns. "Daniel, ready to go see Santa and get some candy?" "YAHHH" (jump up and down)

So we waited just a moment when we got there...

Daniel went willing into Santa's arms, and Alexis is an old pro by now.

No tears, and I got a couple of good present tips

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Jammies

Thanks to Tate and Auntie Cat for the nice warm jammies! They have really come in handy!

I wanted to take a nice "Thank you" pic for Cat, these are what I got haha
Alexis "helping" Daniel do a summersault
Puppy Daniel
Daniel pretending to sleep

Sunday Musical Time

The kids and I had a great time at Caties Musical, "Two Nights Before Christmas" on Sunday.

Alexis sat pretty quietly the whole time and Daniel decided to see what the people in front of us were up to.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Just about there

I visited my pcp yesterday and he said no more visits to the hospital, no more antibiotics! He took my picc line out. Alexis had come with me and she was sticking her little head under his arm so she could see everything. She watched, eyes wide open as they pulled the looooong white tube from my arm. They didn't compress the opening enough and I managed to bleed on me, the table and the floor before they got it. Alexis was quite impressed. As for me, I got to take a shower with no plastic on me and I got my whole body wet at the same time. Heaven! My arm is almost closed and I am sooooo glad. The CMV is still kicking my butt a bit as I get worn out fairly quickly, but I'm working with my oncologist to see if we can't take care of that as well. I'll be so thankfull when I'm completely healthy again!

I generally don't dream about people I know, and when I do, they're more like nightmares. However, last night I had a dream about Karen. I was at her apartment, we made dinner, watched some tv and gabbed in general. It was fun to hang out with Karen again, even if it was only a dream!

Monday, December 3, 2007

CNN, the Wiggles and Me

A few months ago, I was contacted by a journalist for CNN, David Williams. He had read my blog about the kids and I going to see the Wiggles and wanted my thoughts on the new wiggle, Sam Moran. Below is the article that was published.

Wiggling on without Greg

By David E. WilliamsCNN

(CNN) -- Imagine the Beatles going on without Paul McCartney. Or *NSYNC without Justin Timberlake. Or Van Halen without David Lee Roth (or Sammy Hagar, or that other guy).

Young fans of the children's rock group the Wiggles -- and more important, their parents -- faced a similar experience when singer Greg Page, the Yellow Wiggle in the brightly colored group, left last November for health reasons.
On Tuesday, the group released "Getting Strong" in the United States, its 28th DVD and the first without Page. They're also getting ready to set out on their third U.S. tour of the year.
The Wiggles, as most parents know, are as ubiquitous as sippy cups and blankies in the preschool set with catchy songs like "Hot Potato," and "Fruit Salad" that can wedge themselves into the brain for days.
The group started as a class project for childhood education students Page, Anthony Field and Murray Cook, who recruited Jeff Fatt to help them with a few songs.
Fast-forward 16 years and you've got a global entertainment empire that's sold more than 15 million DVDs and videos, 2.5 million CDs and 7 million books in the United States alone. They've also opened "Wiggles World" sites at three Six Flags amusement parks in the United States.

In Australia, the Wiggles are more like an institution than a rock band. The government named them Australian Exporter of the Year in 2005; they were the top-earning Australian entertainers for the last two years and were voted the third most trusted Australians (behind a famous burn doctor and a cancer researcher) in a Reader's Digest poll earlier this year.

Each of the characters can be identified by the color of his shirt and a personality quirk. Blue Wiggle Field loves to eat healthy food, Red Wiggle Cook invents things and plays guitar and Fatt, the Purple Wiggle, tends to nod off and must be roused with a shout of "Wake up, Jeff!" Page performed magic tricks and drove the Big Red Car, the group's primary mode of transportation.
So Page's departure raised big questions for the band.
"We did do some soul-searching and discussions, but it didn't last very long," Cook said. "The three of us were pretty keen to continue. But it was really planned out how we would go about it."
Page handed over his yellow shirt, or skivvy as they call it in Australia, to his understudy and longtime Wiggles dancer Sam Moran.
"The way we really went about it was we wanted to be honest with people and just tell them what happened. That Greg was sick and couldn't continue and that Sam was the new Wiggle," Cook said. "And I think if you're honest with your audience they're fairly accepting, really." Moran said he gets recognized as the Yellow Wiggle once or twice a day and that it's a little weird "when you go to the supermarket and see your face on the side of a box of some breakfast cereal or something."
Moran said fans have been great and really welcoming.
"It's been a much more gradual thing for me because being the understudy for Greg and filling in more and more as his condition got worse, so it's been a much more gradual transition from my perspective, but it's fantastic, we just have a ball," he said.
Page has a chronic condition called orthostatic intolerance that, while not fatal, causes weakness, fainting and made it impossible for him to keep up with the group's hectic touring and recording schedule.
He's not doing interviews, but a spokeswoman for the Wiggles said he was doing much better than he was a year ago.
Cook said they keep in touch, but their travel schedule makes it hard.
"He's been up and down really with his illness and he says some days are better than others, but the last time we saw him he was looking quite well," Cook said. "I know his doctor has changed his medication around a bit and I think he's managing quite well."
The transition was a challenge for Page and the rest of the band, Field said.
"We'd be about to go on stage and Greg would take a turn and faint and Sam would have to step in, so it was very unsettling ... not knowing how Greg's condition was in the last year or so," he said.
Field said it helped that they knew Moran so well.
"Sam's been a mate of ours for years and of Greg's, and stepped in for Greg many times so it wasn't hard from an entertainment point of view," Field said.
But he said they still give Moran a hard time.
"We just constantly tease him about being the new guy. If we're still around in 15 years, we'll still be teasing him about being the new guy," Field said.
Field said they let Moran get behind the wheel of the Big Red Car, but they put learner plates (for new drivers) on it before his first official gig.
Jodi Grundig, a writer for the blog "Mom's Favorite Stuff," said she didn't know how her 3-year-old daughter Isabelle would react when she saw a review copy of the DVD.
"Before I put the video in I told her this was with a different Yellow Wiggle, so she kind of expected it," Grundig said. "She didn't really comment on it, but when she wants to watch that video she says 'I want to watch the one with Sam.'"
The Wiggles are working on a new television series with Moran that's due out next year, but in the meantime, Page is still wiggling away every morning on the Disney Channel.
Grundig said that's confused Isabelle a little bit.
"I told my daughter that Greg's not on any more because he's sick, but then when the Disney Channel comes on she says 'Look, Mommy, Greg's not sick any more'," Grundig said. "I think she thought that by sick it meant he had a tummy ache or something."
Laura Chin had a conversation with her 5-year-old daughter, Alexis, before taking her family to see the band in Detroit, Michigan, this summer.
"I also explained to her that Sam was a Wiggle before, so when we saw him in the old videos I would say 'there's Sam. that's the new Yellow Wiggle; he's the one we're going to see'."
Chin said her 2-year-old "Wiggle fanatic" son Daniel didn't notice the difference, and Alexis didn't have a problem with the change.
"She would have liked to see Greg but she was glad he was taking time off to get better."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tears were shed

Tonight the kids and I made a trip out to Eaton Rapids to have dinner with the Chins, as Paul, Cat and Tate are making the journey home tomorrow to Swansea, Il. Cat and Tate have been with us in Eaton Rapids for the past 6 months while Paul was deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan.
It's been great having them here, and I'm so sad that they're leaving.
Alexis cried in the car, "Now I don't have any Aunties here" I tried to reassure her we would see them again, plus we can always call or use the webcams, but I agreed, it wasn't the same.
Daniel and Tate did some bonding over Blues Clues and jumping, I can't wait to get them together again!
Hurry back soon Schwartz Family!

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm a drug user

Again! Or, I should say, still. After a break from the hospital on Sunday and this morning, I'll be back tonight for more iv Vancomycin. One more week, I can hack it. I wish it wasn't musical weekend though! I haven't made it to ONE practice yet. I know Cheryl (the director) is sympathetic and understands, she IS a nurse after all, but I feel like I'm really dropping the ball.

I did get clearance to go back to work 1/2 days, so that will be good. Thankfully I only really NEED to be there monday and wednesday afternoons for food bank. The other days they can get along fine without me if they have to.

Thanksgiving weekend was great! On Thursday we went to Aunt Cyndee and Uncle Dougs house and had dinner with them, Brad, Young, Max and Mia! It was delicious of course, with all the traditional fare.

The kids went to Papa and Lori's house Friday and Saturday morning while I went to the hospital. We kept clear of all the stores!

Sunday, after church, the kids and I went back out to Papa and Lori's house for another Thanksgiving dinner. There were lots of friends and family there! Lori, Suzann (my stepsister), Kurt (Suz's fiance), Craig and Mark (my step brothers), Evey (Marks girlfriend), Paul and Julie Merrill (Dad and Lori's best friends), Dave (my bro), Erica and Victoria (my neices). Unfortunatly, Dad wasn't feeling well and spent the entire afternoon in bed.
Suzann and Kurt brought wedding cake samples for us to try and everyone agreed banana was the favorite. We also celebrated Evey's birthday with a tasty cake made by Julie. She is a whole 20 years old.

So, it was nice to have a one day break from the hospital, but I'm glad my doctor cares enough to see my treatment through until he KNOWS I am better!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm thankful for...

1. Uncle Paul is HOME SAFE from Afghanistan!!! Having all my family on one continent is a good thing.
2. I have great doctors and nurses who know how to treat me and really care.
3. My family support system is SO awesome, as I've really learned through this past 3 weeks
4. My church family is awesome too! I've recieved visitors, flowers, meals, and LOTS of prayers!
5. My daycare! I recently had a chance to watch Daniel without him noticing me. Miss Char, Maddie (Miss Char's granddaughter) and Daniel were watching a movie. I saw Daniel get down from his comfy chair and blanket he was sharing with Maddie, walk over to Miss Char who was sitting on the floor and give her a big smooch, a big bear hug, then sit down in her lap and cuddle. With no prompting from Char whatsoever. I can't tell you how full it makes my heart feel that Daniel is with someone he loves so much every day. He's a happy little guy and I know that Char and Scott have a lot to do with that.
6. Alexis got a glowing report card and comments from her teachers. She is thriving in school and really is blossoming as a leader.
7. My job. I've had to take almost a month off of work and they have been so supportive and understanding and my job is waiting for my return on Tuesday, if I get the ok from Dr. Koz on Monday.
8. The Shower. I got to take an actual, full body shower today for the first time in 3 weeks. The only thing that was covered in plastic was my picc line. I washed my own hair, shaved my legs, it was heaven!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

So what happened was...

Here's a timeline for the past couple of weeks.
11/1-Mom leaves for Mexico. 11/2-I wake up and my joints are sore and I feel a bit tired 11/4-Still feeling sick, I take my temp, it's 101.4, my urine is also very dark
11/5-I call the doc for an appointment. At the appointment Dr Liz says she wants to admit me. Ummm yikes! Mom's in Mexico! Thankfully our good friend Sue Little was able to come to the house and stay the night with the kids, and she took them to day care the next day too! I spent the entire night in the ER getting iv fluids because I was so dehydrated I would throw up any bit of water I would drink. I didn't even realize I was dehydrated! Turns out my urine was dark because there was bilirubin in it which meant my liver was not functioning like it should.
11/06-The kids spend the day at Char and Scotts house and the night as well! We're so blessed to have such a wonderful couple for our daycare providers and friends. They fold my kids right into their family before I even have to ask.
They're running every test known to man and trying to siphon all my blood to figure out what's wrong. My family is so great, coming to visit and bring me presents, makes me feel so special! Finally on the 8th they come up with Cytomegalovirus. Mom finds out I'm in the hospital while she's changing planes in Houston and comes to the hospital about 4pm. They also diagnose me with strep throat. I have a little spot on my right arm that hurts, like an ingrown hair maybe, so I just get some neosporin and a bandaid for it. On the 10th I'm deemed well enough to go home.
By Tuesday morning the little spot on my arm is so infected the red goes all the way around the cuff of my arm. I'm having pelvic pain so bad I can hardly walk. I manage to get Daniel to daycare, and Alexis to school and I drive myself to the ER, sobbing the whole way, what a mess I was!
During an ultrasound they find I have a hemmoragic cyst on one of my ovaries. Painful, but no treatment really necessary. I get a bag of IV fluids and an order to have IV antibiotics twice a day for the next ten days.
So, now I go to the hospital at 9 in the morning and 9 at night for 2 hours. I have at least another week to go and I'm doing a bit better every day I think. Whew! What a couple of weeks!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Unexpected CPAP benefits

So the past 3 days I've been feeling like ish, joints sore, everything tender, stomach upset, I thought it was from the wine I had had Thursday night. Then yesterday I was SO cold the heat was up to 70 at night (unusually high for us), I was wearing polar fleece, a scarf and a hat in the house. A friend said "Are you sure you're not sick?" Naaaahhhhh, just an allergic reaction to the fermentation process of the wine, right?

Last night I climbed into bed and was SO cold I couldn't fall asleep. That's when I realized: I could cover my whole body, including my head and not smother because I use the CPAP! I was blissfully warm awhile after I had added a few more blankets and sealed the cracks.

I've been popping ibuprofen all day (a no-no for bandsters) and finally took my temperature. 101.2 grrrr

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Like every year, the kids and I went out to Eaton Rapids to trick or treat from the House of Chin. This year we had a great big group! Cat and Tate went as Steve and Blue, Daniel went as Bob the Builder, Alexis went as a Ninja, Catie went as a Princess and two of Caties friends joined us as well!
We posed for a few pictures...

Then got ready to go!
Catie, her friends and Alexis ran ahead.

Daniel and Tate got into the swing of things VERY quickly! We had a great night and THIS year, no one threw up on me.
The quietest I have ever seen a kindergarten class.

Monday, October 29, 2007

You're IT

TAG--if you read this you're "it" :)
I was tagged reading my sister in law's blog

4 Jobs I've Had:
1. Nanny
2. 7-11 clerk
3. Medical Assistant
4. Momma

4 Movies I Could Watch Over & Over:
2. What Dreams May Come
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
4. CastAway

TV Shows I Watch: (only 4???!!!!)
1. ER
2. Dr. Phil
3. Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Places I've Lived:
1. Lansing, MI
2. Eaton Rapids, MI

Favorite Foods:
1. Popcorn
2. Shrimp with lobster sauce
3. Mexican Food (or any food really haha) cooked by Dad
4. Caramel Apple Pork Chops

Places I'd Love to be Now:
1. In bed SLEEPING
2. At an overnight scrapbook convention
3. In San Francisco
4. Barbados

Names I Like, But Would Not Use for My Children:
1. Cloud (an obscure french saint)
2. Joaquim
3. Hermione
4. Rowena

Again, if you are reading this, you are tagged. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The next time....

The next time I can smokey ham pea soup, I will make sure NONE of the gristle goes into the soup. YUCK.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Karens Fall Decorations

In my way of trying to take care of everyone, even if they're not here anymore, I took a drive out to Eaton Rapids to visit Karen on Friday to put up some Halloween/Fall decorations. Karen loved halloween and last halloween was one we'll never forget!

Posted by PicasaI also got the tulip bulbs planted, my first experience planting spring flowers in the fall, hopefully they'll come out ok!
*edit 10/2008: my bulbs were a no show this year. My thumbs are not any shade of green lol I did get some nice impatiens planted in front and some climby stuff in back on the trellis I put up.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The one thing...

Ok, so there is ONE thing I don't like about my favorite season, fall. The sickness!! Last week I went to the doc with tonsilitis again, and got on an antibiotic. Easy right? Not so fast!! Saturday night I start with a little cough, by monday morning it's a full on hack and I can feel my voice starting to go. grrrr

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Full of Apple Fun!

We had so much fun at the Michigan Apple Festival in Charlotte last year, we decided we would go again this year! The kids had a great time tasting apples, drinking cider and eating doughnuts.