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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random Proof We Are Still Alive!

I knew that the adjustment to working full-time was going to be tough...but I never knew how much it would zap from me!  I would open the blog, look at the page, and sigh because I was just too tired to even put two words together!  But my energy is returning as we adjust to this new way of life...and I'm home with an asthmatic I decided to catch you up with some iPhone pictures!

We packed away the last of the sippy babies are growing up!

Our school built a new playground and we went to test it out.
Tater climbed like crazy...

and Sassy couldn't wait to slide!

Bruiser has spent some time's hard being a 4-year-old boy in a neighborhood of big kids!

Papa and Mimi came for a weekend visit.
Bruiser and Papa had some quality Leapster time.

This picture was from the first day of school.
We had gone outside for pictures and when we came inside, Bruiser and Sassy decided it was too early for them!  Luckily, they are doing a bit better with our new schedule!

Sassy started her dance class...and I love the tongue hanging out!

We've had a particularly tough week.  There are issues with Sassy and the therapy and services she needs and the school department not agreeing.  And then there is Tater and her asthma...which has included round-the-clock breathing treatments and multiple doctor visits...all in hopes of avoiding a trip to the ER.
So, here we go...!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tater's Walk 2011!

Every year our local NephCure Foundation holds a walk to raise money to fund research for Tater's specific kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome.  The event is an amazing day that we spend as a family and focus on Tater.  Not only that, we value the chance to contribute to research that will directly benefit our family and sweet Tater!

For more information, please visit the NephCure's walk website.

Here is the letter we have included to ask for everyone's support!


Support our team! The NephCure Walk is coming up, and our team needs you! We are walking to raise awareness and funds for The NephCure Foundation, an organization that is very important to us. NephCure funds research that will help us to find better treatments, a cause and a cure for two devastating kidney diseases, FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome.

Tater was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome in December of 2006, two months before her 2nd birthday. We are still struggling to get her in a good remission. We are trying to control her frequent break-through relapses with experimental treatments but little is known about their outcome and her prognosis. Our hope is to raise funds to support further research in this area.

Our team goal is to raise $1000 and have 10 members come together on this team. More than a fundraiser, supporting us at this walk provides support for those lives that have been touched by Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS while raising awareness in our communities.

Will you support our team?

Thank you!

Daddy and Mommy Sprout
You can make donations directly through the Nephcure's site (Team Kate's Keepers!) or mail your check to:
Nephcure Foundation
Attn: Nadia Stadnycki
15 Waterloo Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312
(include Kate's Keepers, Hingham, MA in the memo line!)
Know that every donation, thought, and prayer is appreciated and valued!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago...

...we didn't own a house.

...we didn't have children.

...we were newlyweds.

...we lived far from our family.

...we watched our world change as the towers fell.

Daddy was in graduate school at Brown University.  All the grad students on his floor gathered in one lab around a small back and white tv to watch as the second plane hit and then as the towers fell.  I remember I couldn't reach him because he was in a different room and had no cell phone.  How times have changed.

I was teaching reading at a local school in our city.  I remember not believing it when someone reported that a plane hit one of the towers.  Then parents began to pick up their students early and I began to take it more seriously.  At lunch, we all gathered in the kindergarten room to watch the news coverage.  By this time three more planes had crashed and the towers had fallen.  We had to tear ourselves away from the tv to return to the students who hadn't left.  I remember walking out to my car to call my father, who was and is a newspaper editor.  In his frantic state, he assumed I was my sister and told me to just stay inside.  Later he didn't even recall me calling him.  I remember walking back into the school and noticing how clear the sky was and how silent everything was.  Of course it was...there were no planes flying anymore.

I remember leaving and coming home to sit in front of the tv watch the news coverage.  I remember watching it for hours.  I also remember waking up in the middle of the night to find Daddy sitting in the living room watching more...he couldn't sleep.  It was hard to not watch.  It was hard to go to work the next day and not be able to know all that was happening as it happened. 

I remember the frantic calls from my mother.  She didn't know I had called my dad...because he didn't remember me calling.  No one knew we were okay in our state 6 hours away...on the other side of the destruction.  I remember the feeling of panic that all the roads to get "home" were closed and we were stuck 6 hours away.  I remember that feeling of fear.  I remember that feeling of the unknown.

Now, today as we remember that time, I struggle to explain to my six-year-old the events and the meaning of that day.  Luckily the four- and two-year-old are too little to understand.  Tater, being the Drama Mama that she is, takes everything to heart.  So we have to be careful.  We are limiting her tv exposure, talking just little in simplistic terms, and treasuring our family moments today.

We are remembering 9/11 in our own way.

Beachin' It!

We are clinging onto every last moment of summer that we can!  Yesterday we spent the evening on the beach, sweatshirts and all!

Love that marshmellow-y face!

The First Day (finally!)

This arrived in the mail this week, making it real!  Tater is in first grade!

Mommy went back to work on Tuesday and then the kids started on Thursday.  This working full-time is REALLY hard!  I came home after the first day of students and announced I was quitting...but Daddy wouldn't let me!  So went in the next day with a better attitude (and no migraine!) and it went much better.  I guess I'll stick with it...because I don't have any other choice!

The kids were SO excited to head back to school.  We were up early on the first day for those traditional pictures.  The sky was dark black with impending rain so we headed out quickly to snap a few pictures before it down poured (which it did ALL morning long!) and made it back inside just as the first drops began to fall.

Bruiser's last first day of preschool!
Can't believe he'll be in kindergarten next year!

Tater's first day of first grade!
Who let her get so big?!?!?!

And, of course, this one HAD to join in!
Can you even stand that face?!?!?!

During my recess break, I snuck into first grade a snapped a picture of Tater at her desk!
Good thing I'm good friends with her teacher!

Luckily the kids had better first days than Mommy!  Tater LOVES her teacher and her friends.  She did great with a full-day (since she was only half-day K last year).  Her only complaint was that recess was too short!!!  Bruiser is back with his same teacher and aide from last year so he settled in well.  We're waiting to see how the year progresses after his difficult summer with his sensory issues and anxiety problems.  We always get good reports, but I'm sure I'm not getting the whole story!

And, Sassy?  She did great at the sitter's house!  She loves leaving the house and seeing new friends and playing with different toys.  She kisses me goodbye and says "See you later!" as she pushes me out the door!

So I guess three out of four is a good report!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hanging On

We are still alive! 
We are just busy clinging to the final moments of summer!

The kids started at the new sitter's house this past Monday.  I pick up three very happy, exhausted, and dirt children!  All good signs that they love it! 

While they were busy playing and exploring, I was busy in my classroom, setting things up.  Even with a complete re-arrange, I was still fairly together after a day and a half.  It amazes me how quickly I get things accomplished compared to ten years ago when I was a newer teacher.  I have still been working like crazy at night at home, but I actually feel pretty pulled together...both at school and at home. 

So with my classroom together, I pushed to get my own kids' therapies arranged and scheduled and our house pulled together.  I think we are almost there.  Laundry is done and clothes are planned for the week.  Meal planning will be done after I get off this computer.  I still need to hire the cleaning service but it's in the works!  And before long, the groceries will be delivered.  With so many obligations with the children, I'm trying to simplify everything else that I can!

So, I start back on Tuesday with two days of professional development.  The students arrive on Thursday...and Tater will start first grade while Bruiser heads to preschool again.  I anticipate a very tiring and long week!

So here are a few Bruiser quotes to make your heart melt:

"If the moon falls in our yard, I'll pick it up and keep it."

"Mommy, i wish I could turn you into a Taggie!"