Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review 2009

Nathan's year by the numbers

6,570 enzyme capsules

485 ml fat soluble vitamins

91 teaspoons of supplemental salt

520 ampules of Albuterol
6,240 minutes inhaling Albuterol

420 puffs of Albuterol in MDI (inhaler)

14,600 minutes of chest pounding (CPT)

224 ampules of TOBI
5,600 minutes inhaling TOBI

210 ampules of Hypertonic Saline
4,200 minutes inhaling Hypertonic Saline

At least 1,095 dirty CF diapers

14 days of Bactrim

28 days of Cipro

1 broken nebulizer compressor

3 nebulizer compressors in closet on standby

I am most likely leaving something out.

Here is to a happy and healthy 2010! How are you guys bringing in the new year?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

still feeling bleh

I don't know what else to say right now. You know it is bad when I want nothing to do with the computer. I feel bleh, still.

My poor son is bored out of his mind having a couch, floor, or even bed potato of a mom.

My mucous is clear, thank God, but is making me sick to my stomach. I have been looking forward to afternoon naps every single day and wake up feeling rested but congested and dizzy. Right now, I am looking forward to husband coming home from work so I can soak in the bath tub.

In a few short hours I will be back in bed fast asleep, after Nathan's treatments of course. Nine more days, 18 more treatments of TOBI remaining!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

the rule of 3

Why can't I get a different answer? I developed a cold Christmas evening and it is still hanging around. I keep asking everyone how long a cold lasts and I am getting annoyed that all the answers are pretty much the same.

A cold can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days, boo hoo and I am only on day 3. I am being super careful not to share any of the cold bugs with anyone, especially Nathan.

A Facebook friend of mine, and a friend in real life, told me the saying "3 days coming, 3 days here, 3 days leaving". I am going to pretend I did not experience and symptoms during the "3 days coming" and that I am currently on the 3rd "day here". God willing that leaves me with only the "3 days leaving". Cold, cold, go away!!!

Besides being pretty darn miserable, I was able to take a pretty sweet 2 hour nap today!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cookies for Santa Nathan

Christmas morning went exactly as I had anticipated here. Food, food, and more food!

We slept in, and by this I mean we woke up at 8:30. A few years ago we would have considered this early but this year we slept in. Something tells me that next year may be different.

Nathan immediately saw the gifts under the tree but was distracted by the half eaten cookies on the table. Santa must have been too full to eat all the cookies so Nathan polished off the remainder of the "kie-kie's" with a bottle of milk and 4 1/2 enzymes.

christmas morning cookies1

When "Boppa" Frank arrived, bringing his girlfriend and her children, we tore into the presents. Nathan had been eying the big gift all morning and used our hands to help rip it open. He literally wanted us to open the gifts for him by grabbing our hands and bringing them to the wrapping paper.

christmas morning gifts2

So he played with his toys on his new table and was hyper and merry all day long.

christmas morning mater

christmas morning toys2

He played with his toys in his jammies late into the day, so excited that he barely even napped. We enjoyed the company of Jay's family for dinner when I began to develop a sore throat. I thought it was strep throat but now I am thinking it has developed into a cold. Hopefully I'll feel better soon and will be able to share some more of our Christmas celebration. Nathan got a really cool remote control "cah" set {car set} and Jay gave me something pretty neat too!

But until I begin to feel less crummy I am going to lay down. Hope everyone else had a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

looking back

On this Merry Christmas Eve I napped and Nathan napped. My nap was much shorter.

While I waited for my little Christmas elf to wake up and spread his Christmas Eve cheer, I spent some time looking back, looking through photographs of Christmas past. This is what I saw...

One merry little Christmas wrapped munchkin under the Christmas tree.

christmas portrait 2008

The very same little dreaming child on a soft and fluffy fur blanket.

christmas portrait 2008 2

And my very own living nativity complete with baby Jesus {and candy cane}.

a look back

I want to wish everyone a "Very Merry Christmas Eve", Ayden a "Very Special Happy Birthday" and Jesus an "Early Happy Birthday"!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

in good company

Someone seriously need to get this mama {me} a doll so she can stop playing dress up with her son.

lil elf

It is quite apparent that he takes no enjoyment in my escapades. I am so sorry Nathan but you look absolutely adorable as Santa's little elf and you are in good company. See, even your best pal, Ayden dresses up as an elf.

ayden elf

Actually it is Ayden's costume that I borrowed from his mommy to dress you up. I guess I am in good company too. {grin}

Monday, December 21, 2009

3 days, 11 hours, 2 minutes

That's how long until it's Christmas!

Santa won't be bringing too much this year but I helped him wrap a few things this morning to ease the load on his sleigh and as soon as I hear my little elf wake up from his nap we will be collecting our Christmas cards from the photographer. It would be really nice to have the cards in the mail today but I am still missing so many addresses and am not hopeful.

I don't understand how this happens to me year after year. My address book database goes MIA and our Christmas cards are sent out the very last minute. I've recovered many of the addresses but am still missing some addresses to very special family members and friends.

Also, I have an enormous At Home America order sitting in my foyer that needs to find its way to some customers (friends and family). If you ordered something from me and need it by Christmas please let me know and I will make sure you get it one way or another.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

a day of rest

Today I am enjoying a day, or at least a morning, of rest. Yesterday was a bit hectic with Nathan's Christmas photo shoot, the arrival of a snowstorm in New Jersey, and Jay working overtime all day. Don't get me wrong, I love that Jay was scheduled to work on a project yesterday because we definitely need the OT pay but I am so happy that he is upstairs in bed right now.

Nathan's photos came out great. No huge smiles this year but at least we avoided full on screaming. I am in the process of narrowing it down to the official Christmas photo and will be spending a portion of this day of rest addressing Christmas cards.

If the roads improve, we will be attending Jay's family Christmas party this afternoon. If we are snowed in, we will be attending our neighborhood Christmas party. Or maybe we will attend both?

Either way, this morning will be a L-A-Z-Y morning and I am loving it!

How are you spending this day of rest? Anybody else going to a Christmas party this afternoon?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas photoshoot

Nathan is getting his Christmas portraits taken today. Hopefully I will be able to mail our Christmas cards on Monday. Here is a preview.

christmas preview

Friday, December 18, 2009

Give the Gift of Community

BlogFrog is giving the "Give the Gift of Community" to my readers and to The Children's Hospital! For every community, including mine, that adds 20 new participants (someone who starts a discussion or replies to a discussion) between now and the end of the year, BlogFrog will donate $10 to The Children's Hospital. Also, all qualifying community owners will automatically be entered to win a $100 Target gift card.

So help me help The Children's Hospital by clicking here and creating or replying to a discussion now!!

tis the busiest time of the year

I do love Christmas but why do the days go so gosh darn fast in December. I feel like yesterday was merely December 1st! Not that I have very much Christmas shopping to do because we're broke, but I do have a few special somethings to wrap up this year.

Tis a very busy time of the year and we haven't even mailed our Christmas cards yet. Actually, we don't even have our Christmas cards yet! I am hoping to get this taken care of by Monday otherwise we will have to change them to Season Greetings or Happy New Years cards.

But today... I must do a few non-Christmas related things. Like changing the oil in the car, getting (and returning) a few items at the store. Then you can throw in a Christmas party to top it all off. I will surely sleep well again tonight. I say again because I have been getting terrific sleep lately!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A very frosty birthday

Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday. She just so happens to love snowmen and that's not just because she was born in December. She loves snowmen ALL YEAR LONG! So what would be better than to have a snowman {head} cake to celebrate! And yes, that is a real carrot.


The black icing turned our tongues, lips, fingers, and shirts blue. Nathan had his traditional "bathtime with Grandma E" after making a mess. I think he expects this by now.


Nathan also got an early Christmas present, a fish tent!! He loved it so much that when anyone else tried to go in with him he would push them out. In fact he grabbed a chunk of my hair and attempted to pull me out at one point. That wasn't much fun.



Grandma E also got a birthday present of her own, a photograph of Nathan. It was somewhat of a traditional birthday present. Judging by the look on her face I think she liked it. What do you think?


When you visit Santa at Fuddruckers...

You can expect your child to prefer

french fries and a milk shake

{sorry no photo of this, I was starving}

playing in the arcade



and hanging out in Grandma and Grandpa's arms


over sitting on Santa's lap!


But with a little persistence

it is quite possible

to get a decent photograph!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday - Mother-In-Law's Birthday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

"Tackle It Tuesday is about giving ourselves incentive, deadlines and satisfaction in getting our household tasks done."

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday. Nathan and I will be heading to the doctor in a few minutes for his 15 month old well baby visit (even though he is almost 16 months old) and to get his second dose of H1N1 and his monthly Synagis shot.

I baked four round cakes this morning and am hoping they are cooled and ready to decorate by the time we return and by the time I finish Nathan's treatments.

Today I am tackling my mother-in-law's birthday cake. Pictures to follow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

All Aboard!

As you already know I took Nathan to visit Santa last week. The mall was decorated with Snow Globes featuring The Polar Express. Really, it was quite awesome!

While making our way closer to the front of the line we passed through the engine room. Nathan enjoyed spinning the wheels, tooting the train whistle, and pulling the levers.




After the engine room, we walked through a giant snow globe where we were "snowed on". It was as if we were transported all the way to the North Pole! The kind lady in front of us offered to take a picture of us inside the snow globe. Nathan was extremely antsy at this point. Can you tell?


He recovered after we sat down for some dinner with our friends. The restaurant would only allow one high chair at the table so Nathan had to use a booster seat with no straps. I was shocked that he sat nicely for the majority of the meal. Then we played a little bit in the mirror before shopping.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

CF and Our Life

Nathan officially began another round of antibiotics last night {TOBI and Cipro} to treat the pseudomonas putida in his lungs. Apparently the antibiotics are taking a toll on his diapers. PEE-UUU!

He also spent the night over his grandparent's {B&E} house. I just picked him up and after a napless morning and afternoon he conked out all of 2 minutes into the 7 minute drive home.

The mortgage company called again this morning. It is amazing that now they are calling us, ALL THE TIME. Unfortunately, this is not a good thing.

And last kicker of the day, received our 2nd annual rejection letter for SSI and Medicaid. Last year we had too much money {assets} and this year we make too much money. Ha! They are hilarious.

On a nicer note. We are having our good friends Bre and Wally over tonight!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

O Christmas Tree

christmas tree-2-3

"Dad, that tree wouldn't fit in our yard" "It's not going in our yard Russ, it's going in our living room." I couldn't resist another reference to Christmas Vacation since my husband was acting a bit like Clark during the search for our Christmas tree.

After concluding that the first tree was too large, we agreed upon a smaller tree that was still quite large.

our christmas tree

And if Nathan looks upset, it is most likely the result of two things. Not being able to get his hands on the saw and face planting in the snow.

christmas tree-30-2f

Our tree is all set up in our living room just waiting to be decorated!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

three things

What three things did you see in the photograph at the end of this post.

Most of you saw a paw print, Tricia was the first. Congrats, Tricia, you win bragging rights.

CFMommee saw a tiny finger. Congrats, bragging rights are heading your way as well.

I won't keep you waiting any longer. The three peculiar, or not so peculiar, things in this photograph are a paw print, a tiny finger, and a sugar cookie craving mama / son duo.

Tree cookies-12-2

The paw print occured during the early stages of decorating. Nermal, our gray tabby, was the culprit. I couldn't give the cookie away but that didn't stop mama and son from completely devouring said cookie...

Tree cookies-12-4


Tree cookies-3-2

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Everybody Ought to Know About Baking Sugar Cookies

Here they are! All 67ish sugar cookies or however many made it to the end of the decorating stage.

Tree cookies-24-2

I learn more and more and become less and less frustrated each time I bake sugar cookies.

There is no instant gratification. Baking and decorating sugar cookies, or any cookies for that matter, requires a lot of waiting and a lot of patience. Wouldn't we all love to have our ingredients portioned out into their own bowls ahead of time. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could dump all the ingredients, not forgetting the cream of tartar, into the mixer and have no issues with the dough sticking to the counter or transferring the cutouts to the cookie sheet?

If I could recommend one thing when it comes to baking and decorating sugar cookies, or any cookies, it would be to have patience. Do not bake sugar cookies a couple of hours before you are supposed to be having Thanksgiving Dinner at your family's house. Oh wait I did that, and was pulling my hair out and hyperventilating.

I started these cookies on Monday and finally finished them two days later. Another warning, if you plan to spread the cookie baking and decorating process over the course several days do not snack on them as you go. Oh wait I did that one too, but it was all for the purpose of saving me time during the decorating stage.

So here is how I spent the past three days:

Monday afternoon I prepared the dough. I let the dough chill for about three hours in the refrigerator. This is important! Believe me, I already learned my lesson when I attempted to speed things up by using the freezer...the butter was not a fan of the freezer and decided not to cooperate.

Three hours later I preheated the oven, rolled out the dough, cut the shapes, and baked. I also made turkey soup using frozen stock from Thanksgiving but that is not relevant.

Tuesday I "lined and spilled" the green onto the cooled cookies during nap time.

Today I attempted to decorate the cookies. I guess they came out alright, you just have to blur your eyes a little.

Tree cookies-24-2

Now all I have to do is get some of them off my hands. I made some of them for a family from our church. They are the reason we have a Christmas tree this year.

Now one last thing. Can anyone tell me what is going on in this photograph? There are three things, in case you were wondering.

Tree cookies-12-2

Dear Santa,

Although the Polar Express and Snow Globe Displays were awesome, the one hour line I waited in to see you was not. I was so happy to visit you and sit on your lap but after waiting for over an hour I wanted to be on my own two feet, not in the stroller, not in mama's arms, and definitely not on your lap. You did not scare me I just couldn't possibly sit still any longer.

From a boy on your "nice list",

santa before and after

Luckily, we get another chance on Sunday when we visit the real Santa. I bet you didn't know I was related to the real Santa, did you? Until then you can find me in the kitchen trying to patiently decorate sugar cookies. I know that was yesterday's Tackle, but I am still working on them, secretly trying to make a bloggie friend proud.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday - Cookies

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

"Tackle It Tuesday is about giving ourselves incentive, deadlines and satisfaction in getting our household tasks done."

At this very moment I am in the process of decorating 70, 69, 68 Christmas tree sugar cookies. I will just say I am tackling 67ish sugar cookies, I really must stop eating them as I go. I prepared the dough yesterday afternoon and baked the cookies last night. If I can find my memory card I will take photographs later.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

As for me, I did not buy any product from a website entitled Udder Covers. Why would a currently non breastfeeding mama feel compelled to buy a nursing cover because she received a coupon code for a free cover for her udders.

I am known for my fabulous manners and ability to control my dirty mind. Therefore I have most definitely not been creating opportunities to say the words Udder Covers. I do not break out into little fits of laughter each time these words come out of my mouth either.


I feel uninspired today. Actually, I have felt uninspired pretty much since last week.

Perhaps I am feeling uninspired because I can't hold a single thought long enough to make anything of it.

Perhaps I am feeling uninspired because my son is removing the heavy wooden drawers from the end tables and dropping them on the floor.

Or because he is magnetically attracted to the one kitchen cabinet that has a broken latch, the one that houses all the cleaning supplies, the latch that I broke during a meltdown a few weeks ago.

Or because he is unraveling entire rolls of toilet paper.

Or because he is trying to unzipper the wet bag that is currently housing several foul smelling cloth diapers.

Uninspired, that's me! Regardless, I had a fantastic weekend. Jay and I shared some of our Christmas traditions with Nathan and I will write a separate post about this when I am feeling more inspired and when Nathan is not getting into trouble.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


And no, I am not referring to my husband's favorite band, I am talking about some of our family from down south who came to our house last night for dinner. Jay's Aunt Gloria and her boyfriend Ray, live down in Gator-land, more commonly known as Florida, where I am almost certain there is no snow. Lucky for them we have snow here in NJ!

Here is a photograph of GNR, Gloria, Nathan, and Ray.


Hopefully we can take Nathan down to visit our Floridian family members in the not so distant future. Maybe they will even introduce us to their good friends, Mickey and Minnie.

We had a great time last night. I am so happy that the snow didn't ruin our plans. I can't wait until Nathan wakes up from his nap so we can go get our Christmas tree. If we don't get our tree today we will have to wait until Jay gets home from work during the week and by that time it will be dark and cold.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

winter wonderland

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,


In the lane, snow is glistening,


A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight.

walking in a winter wonderland

Snow is accumulating outside and I'm loving it! We postponed getting our Christmas tree until tomorrow. It's been a really lazy day, besides vacuuming and doing the dishes. I've watched Elf, twice, while gazing out the window at the white winter sky but the time has come to get off my tush and start preparing for our dinner guests. I am hoping I can get Jay to clean the kitchen floor because that would just make my day!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

the most wonderful time of the year

It has been a few days since Dr. A prescribed TOBI and Cipro and I've been hitting obstacle after obstacle already.  Of course the pharmacy needs to order the medications but before that can happen we must wait for authorization from the insurance company.  They approved both medications back in August.  Wouldn't you think they would keep an authorization on file?  Oh well, at least I have one more weekend of short, or relatively short, treatments.

And it's December!!! The most wonderful time of the year.  I am excited to be spending the weekend ahead with family and friends. More importantly, we will be kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.  And I am not talking about one of those stupid ties with Santa Claus on it.  I love Christmas (and Christmas Vacation).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Thursday {My Miniature Man Makes Monstrous Messses}

Seriously, I just published this as a Wordless Wednesday, but I now realize it is Thursday!  Silly me.

enzyme mess

TP mess1f

TP mess2F

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Most recent sputum culture (bonus video)

Dr. A just informed me that although Nathan's most recent sputum culture did not grow pseudomonas aeruginosa, it did grow pseudomonas putida.  Apparently this strain is not as serious as pseudomonas aeruginosa because it does not generally become mucoid.  Nonetheless, to be on the safe side, Dr. A reccommended we treat it with 2 weeks of oral Cipro and a month of TOBI.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Can you spare 5 minutes, a birthday card, and 44¢ stamp?

I am copying this letter from an email I received. I was very touched by the request and thought maybe my readers could spare 5 minutes, a card, and 44¢ stamp. Please read the letter below and you will be touched too. Cathy's friend is not asking for us to send money, just a card or a note for her freind who has terminal cancer and is soon to be celebrating her 50th birthday.

This story was very near to my heart because my own mother passed away from cancer the day after Christmas (also her favorite holiday) when she was only 50 years old. Thank you for spreading the Christmas cheer!

To all my friends and family,

I am writing because I need your help. I have a great friend, Cathy, who has terminal breast cancer. Cathy is one of the most genuine, caring friends I could have ever asked for. This is where I need your help.

Her birthday is on December 7th and she is going to turn 50. She is sooooo excited about this milestone and I want to be sure she has a birthday to remember. As I sat and wondered what could I possibly send her to make it so memorable, I realized that with the help of all of you, we can make her birthday as special as she has made me feel all these years. I am asking that you all send her a birthday card, a funny 50 card, or an inspirational birthday card, whatever you find and mail it to her home.

What a surprise it will be when she goes to her mail and finds hundreds of well wishes or birthday cards from people she doesn't even know. I know if you had the opportunity to meet Cathy, you would agree she is very inspirational. Her strength has taught me to appreciate every gift God gives us, as we should never take our health or good fortune for granted.
She has taught me so much about faith and how to make good out of every little "bad" thing you may encounter.

Cathy's breast cancer has traveled to her lungs, several areas on her liver and now her brain. She told me that she isn't mad, or never asks "why me", because she knows that God has a plan for her. Thanksgiving and Christmas and the whole holiday season is her favorite time of year.

Please help me in celebrating Cathy's birthday, please, send her address to everyone you know, family members, friends, whoever you know that will also send her birthday wishes. Cathy has been battling cancer and has had many rounds of chemo for 2 years now. She stays strong and continues to fight. If she sees how many people are behind her, she will continue to fight this terrible battle.

Please, as I said, her birthday is on December 7th, (just
around the corner) and I ask you to all help me celebrate her 50th birthday. Please make it a birthday for her to remember, and I would be forever grateful. Her address is below. I haven't mentioned this on facebook as I didn't want her to see what we were up to.

God Bless you all and Merry Christmas!!

Cathy Strzelewicz
6 South Iowa Ave
Addison, IL 60101

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

As for me, I have not developed a love affair with vacuums. The dust buster was not used this past week to clean flour off the counters and crumbs off the kitchen table. Only an extremely lazy person would use a hand held vacuum on every surface imaginable from the sofas, to the highchair, to the kitchen counters and table.

I also did not squeal with delight when my father purchased me a Shop Vac on Black Friday. This high powered vacuum has not become my vacuum of choice these days. I am a girly girl who would only be caught pushing a snazzy Dyson or the likes. I have not become totally obsessed with the capabilities of the Shop Vac and have never been caught shoving the hose into the air conditioning and heating ducts to catch whatever Nathan has hidden on me. Did you know that everything you suck up gets stowed in a huge open canister? Isn't that totally exciting, I mean totally boring? Would you look inside after every vacuuming session? Not me!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tailgating, Christmas Style

Today we joined some friends and their family at a local Christmas tree farm for some tailgating. We stopped at a Dunkin Donuts on the way to the farm and Nathan discovered doughnut holes.

Here is our munchkin eating a munchkin. He analyzed to ball of dough for a few minutes and then finally realized it was edible.

Christmas Tailgating-3-2

The wind was blowing today which made it feel much colder than it actually was. Nathan, an avid hat hater, put up quite a fight. Each time I placed his hat on his head he quickly tossed it to the ground.

Christmas Tailgating-9-2

Eventually Nathan left the hat issue alone and snuck away from mama to get closer to beer bottles, the barbecue, and the men. That's Ayden's daddy, Wally, behind Nathan on the left and Ayden on the right.

christmas tailgating collage

He was magnetically attracted to a football that was being tossed back and forth between the guys.

Christmas Tailgating-15-2

Then I took Nathan to check out the Christmas trees. He was not impressed. Maybe he did not enjoy the fact that he was all warm and cozy in my arms and then I plopped him on the ground in from of a tree all by himself for a photo. I am sure he will change his mind when the tree is in our warm home, covered with lights, and ornaments.

Christmas Tailgating-17-2

We did not choose our Christmas tree today but if we had listened to Nathan like we did at the pumpkin patch we would have gone home with this Charlie Brown Christmas tree. He really seamed to like this scrawny tree.

Christmas Tailgating-31-2

When Nathan's nose began to run, all three of us warmed up in the car where daddy taught son how to use the stick shift. I smiled at this moment from the back seat.

Christmas Tailgating-61-2

Christmas tailgating cold

What a fabulous tradition this family has. I think we could get used to Christmas tree tailgating every year. How about it, shall I add it to our calendar for next year? {smile} I am so thankful to have such wonderful friends.