Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Don't Be Fooled

Although it may look like Nathan is cooperating by holding his own nebulizer, Don't be fooled! He has been absolutely horrible during treatments recently to the point where I have to restrain him with every available appendage, both arms and legs.

Jay managed to get Nathan to cooperate by pretending to do the treatment on himself first. Apparently that was all it took. From that point forward Nathan sat on his daddy's lap holding his own nebulizer, calmly.

own neb

Monday, September 28, 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.

This week when Nathan handed me a book to read, I did not turn to the first page and wonder about the mysterious brown substance sandwiched between the pages. I most certainly would know immediately what the brown stuff was and would not have to inspect more closely.

I have never ever witnessed my son making a mess of my house. Nope, Not Me! Not my son! He does not sneak cake off the table nor does he smear cake all over the sliding glass door. And if such a thing would have happened I most certainly would have learned my lesson and kept my eyes on him instead of cleaning up the mess while he dumped baked ziti on the floor and smeared his stuffed animal around in tomato sauce. I also do not write run on sentences, especially not the previous sentence.

I also did not just stare at my son {in disbelief} when I realized he dumped pancake batter all over the floor. Furthermore, I did not continue to stare at him while he methodically removed things from my pantry, looked at them, and then tossed them onto the floor...

bigmessgroup1

...again and again.

bigmessgroup2

After all was said and done, I had no clue how the mess was made.

Big mess evidence

Not a single bit of evidence remained.

Big mess evidence2


And the winner is...

My brother in law, skrekster97, already owns a tshirt (what a good uncle) and is disqualified from this contest, not saying that he would've won or wouldn't have won. You have no idea how this is going to drive him crazy. Moving along.

There were so many good entries that I could've picked but I left this one up to my husband.

And the winner is...

"I can have my cake, and smear it too", by Jana Green.

Sneaky Son10

Jana, please email me with your address and t-shirt size (YXL, AS, AL, AXL) so I can send your prize.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

copy cat

I've recently discovered that Nathan is copying things my husband and I do. Grandma E taught him Ring Around the Rosie. Now, everytime we start singing the song he watches us carefully and waits to fall down squat.

I've also notice that he is analyzing our every action, especially the workings of the baby gates. I swear, if he figures that one out I will be buying a padlock, for my sanity!

We started him with the Your Baby Can Read DVD's when he was only a few months old. We cycled through each DVD and then started with the Baby Einstein DVD's and now that he is being a copy cat, we are starting Your Baby Can Read again. He is clapping, waving, saying or trying to say "baby" and "cat".

So...while our copy cat is still copying, we've got nothing to lose by trying this...

Copy cat

I did see him walking around holding his nebulizer cup and putting Bubbles the Fish against his face, but by the time I had grabbed my camera he had already moved on to the next thing.

And don't forget, you still have time to enter the Name that Photo Contest and Giveaway here!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Name That Photo Contest & Giveaway

Right now my life is a real mess, much resembling what Nathan does to my house on a daily basis. But I am trying to hold it together for my family and for my little guy. My sneaky and {sometimes} destructive, charming little boy.

A little over one week ago while I was on the phone with my mother in law, I heard nothing. Silence is rare, extremely rare, and I knew Nathan had to be into something, most likely breaking stuff or making a mess. I rounded the corner and saw this...

Sneaky Son1

A leftover slice of my neighbor, Lorna's birthday cake sitting neatly on a plate under a piece of aluminum foil on my kitchen table being ravaged by tiny toddler fingers.

Sneaky Son3

Being caught in the act {foil flung to the floor} didn't stop him from taking one tiny taste...

Sneaky Son4

...or two. Wait, is that Baxter in the bottom left corner of the photograph? I don't think cake icing was included in his diet. In all seriousness Baxter is doing well. He lost 2 pounds. But back to my sneaky son...

Sneaky Son5

My sneaky son who was caught in the act and continued to smear icing all over his face. I couldn't get mad at him since he was just exploring the new textures at his fingertips...

Sneaky Son7Sneaky Son8

...and being creative. I couldn't dare stifle his creativity. The world window is his canvas.

Sneaky Son9Sneaky Son10

And now for the contest for which there will be a fabulous prize. Choose one {or both} of the following two photographs and give it a clever caption or title. Here is the prize. So get naming! Winner will be chosen and announced tomorrow, Saturday.

Sneaky Son6

Sneaky Son10

The person who chooses the best caption, to be determined by my dear husband, will win one of these t-shirts. There is a small catch, I have limited sizes remaining (1 Youth XL, 1 Adult S, 4 Adult L, 3 Adult XL).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alphabitty Moments: The Letter "D"



MamaBear from 4 the Love of Family created this carnival as a way to record the little things kids do. Check out her blog to view more Alphabitty Moments.

This week is The Letter "D". For this letter, I cheated and chose two things instead of one.

For the first page I chose DOG. Nathan loves them, obviously. These furry companions always evoke a smile and a giggle. Nathan loves my father's Black Lab, my neighbor's English Mastiff, and the lovable German Shorthair Pointer, Briar, shown in the photograph inhaling the fumes from Nathan's diaper and loving every second of it from down southish. A note to my sister in law, Megan, from the students sharing the quiet computer lab, Please hold your laughter and your bladder.

AlphabittyD1

For the second page, a no brainer, DADDY. Nathan adores his daddy almost as much as his daddy adores him. Recently, he has been learning to associate da-da with the usually scruffy faced man who works his tush off for this family all day and returns home with a wide grin, arms wide open for his son.

AlphabittyD2

15 Things I absolutely adore about my husband, Jason (Jay):

1. Although I tease him about this, I love that when he does something around the house (hanging frames, patching holes, painting) he strives for close to perfection.

2. He has the best sense of humor of anyone I know. We share some good laughs.

3. He would never skip one of Nathan's airway clearance treatments. Never ever, no matter how tired.

4. I love that he welcomes my direction and that he will help me whenever I ask him to.

5. He has an enormous heart. When he read Beyond Breathing, he cried every single chapter.

6. I love that he admits being touched by another CF (Cystic Fibrosis) family's story that it brought him to tears.

7. He gives me the best cards on special occasions. I love his {boyish} handwriting and heartfelt messages.

8. His dimples. Enough said. Love his dimples.

9. I love that he reads my blog and the comments my kind readers leave me.

10. I love even more the rare occasion that he leaves me a comment.

11. Along the same lines as #9 and #10. I love that he was the {only one} to leave me comments when I first starting writing this blog.

12. He is working extremely hard to find a way to keep us in our home.

13. My heart melts when I see him reading books to Nathan. He reads to him. All the time. Every day. And knows the stories by heart, without looking at the pages.

14. He is self-sacrificing. He will watch a movie over and over, and over, because he knows how much I love it.

15. I secretly love his love for wrestling, but I won't admit that one too readily. He was a tremendous wrestler and so were his brothers. A family thing I guess.

Singlet

Yet another reason why I love reading Amanda's blog. She helps me to focus on the important things in life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is how I cope with stress

I apologize for dropping off the face of cyberspace the past couple of days. I received a phone call from the mortgage company with some pretty heavy news. Now that I have had a little time to regain my composure, I am back. Still stressed beyond words, but back.

Nothing has changed between then and now but that does not mean I am giving up. In summary, the Obama Making Home Affordable Modifications takes three steps to lower your mortgage to 31% of your income due to a change in financial cercumstances that puts the homeowner in immediate danger of foreclosure. The three steps are:
1. Lower the interest rate up to 2%
2. Increase the length of the mortgage to 40 years
3. Create a balloon payment.

After begging our case manager to get to our mortgage before the transfer of our mortgage was complete on October 1st, she informed me that we were ineligible because our balloon payment would be $140,000. This was in unacceptable amount of money for the mortgage company to set aside. Her advice to us was to make more money. Duh! Don't you think we would like to make more money? Easier said than done, especially when we have a child with a chronic medical condition that requires countless hours of attention per day.

Enough is enough. It is obvious that if we are going to keep our house we are going to have to do it on our own with no help from the generous President Obama or the banks that he bailed out. I am even willing to sell this...



I won't even get into how hard it was to get this vehicle. Ok maybe I will. I originally had a red 2006 Jeep Wrangler. I loved this vehicle because it was identical to the red Jeep Wrangler that my father drove. Then when I found out I was pregnant I traded my Jeep Wrangler in for a silver 2008 Jeep Liberty. Every time I saw a Wrangler on the road I missed mine terribly. So several months pregnant, I sold the Jeep Liberty to my brother and his wife in Colorado and found the above beauty in Wisconsin. A 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with a 6 speed manual transmission. It made the journey from Wisconsin to New Jersey and I could not have been happier. This is all before we knew Cystic Fibrosis would change our lives and our finances forever.

Regardless, I would be willing to say goodbye if it meant keeping our house our home.

I am stressed. And when I am stressed, I shut down and I eat. Some people cope with stress by not eating but not me. Unhealthy, I know it but my appetite screams, "feed me!". Yesterday, still not feeling well enough to accomplish anything around the house, the last thing I wanted to do was prepare dinner. But stress begged for food so I turned to my trusty 'ole crock pot. I leafed through a pile of papers and pulled out the recipe for Chili Jay's older brother, Will, shared with me.

I know I have been including a lot of recipes lately and I will explain why. Every time we eat a meal that we really enjoy my husband says, "we have to add this one to our recipe book". The problem is that we don't have a recipe book nor do I have the time to make one. After publishing some of our favorite recipes as blog posts I intend to compile them and print them as a photo book.

Back to the chili, forever more known as Willy's Chili.

Willys Chili-11-2

2 pounds ground beef
2 16 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 16 oz. cans red kidney beans, drained
1 16 oz. can of pinto beans, drained
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 6 oz. can sliced jalapenos, diced. (I bought one small jalapeno pepper in the produce section and diced that up)
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. Tabasco sauce, more or less to taste

Brown the ground beef and add to the crock pot.

Willys Chili-1-2

Take the {washed} peppers.

Willys Chili-3-2

Dice them and add to crock pot.

Willys Chili-8-2

Take the onions...Ok I figured I would give it a try but I am getting sick of all this step by step stuff. Here is the abbreviated version of the recipe:

Dice the onions and add to crock pot. Open up all the cans. Drain the beans and add. Add the diced tomatoes. Measure or eyeball all of the spices and Voila!

After 4 hours on high, you will be able to enjoy Willy's Chili.

Willys Chili-11-2

Serve over pasta or rice, freeze some, enjoy today or enjoy tomorrow!

Monday, September 21, 2009

our mortgage has been transferred

I am well aware that the sale and transfer of mortgages is very common.

I am pissed. I am stressed. I am annoyed that our mortgage was transferred at this time, in the middle of our loan modification application.

And now I am hysterically crying. At this very moment I am about to lose my mind. After writing a desparate email to Flagstar trying to get the process completed before the transfer I received a phone call.

We are not eligible. This is all after finding out that the insurance company would not cover Nathan's hypertonic saline. I am fighting that as I type.

But anyway, we are not eligible because in order to get out payment low enough they would have to set aside close to $140,000 of our mortgage balance and that is not allowed according to the program guidelines.

So now what? I guess we are going to have to sell our house and still owe $50,000 on the loan. I am going to lose all of our down payment which is all I have left of my inheritance from my mother.

Can you tell I am frantic?

This is only the beginning of the end.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

season finale, a day early

Today was our one day early celebration to the end of summer. It was a bittersweet celebration, for sure. I will miss the Summer sunshine and the long Summer days. I will also miss the sound of crickets in the evening and lightening bugs. Even though I love Autumn, I do not look forward to the days becoming shorter.

Grandpa Frank came over this afternoon to enjoy the second to last day of Summer with us. You can definitely tell the weather is beginning to change here in northern NJ. This morning I woke up freezing and had to turn on the heat. A little later in the day I was burning up under the hot afternoon sun. I am hoping I don't become sick like I usually do when the seasons change.

We headed outdoors and savored the last bit of summer sunshine by taking a walk to the park. Currently Nathan's big thing is to point at the cars passing by and say "gung". I say "car" and Nathan repeats "gung". I say "CAAAAR" and Nathan repeats "GUUUUNG". Ah, cuteness.

Park with Grandpa-10-2 copy

Nathan climbed up the slides.

Park with Grandpa-11-2

And clapped his hands.

Park with Grandpa-20-2

Nathan slid down the slides with Daddy.

Park with Grandpa-18

And clapped his hands.

Park with Grandpa-36-2

Nathan sat in the grass.

Park with Grandpa-28-2

And wanted to shoot some hoops.

Park with Grandpa-38-2

Nathan rocked on the horse.

Park with Grandpa-42-2

And then we walked home and enjoyed a home cooked dinner.

Pasta and Broc-1-2

My neighbor shared this recipe with me and I am going to share it with you because it was a real crowd pleaser. Do not pay any attention to the fact the my husband will eat practically anything. Anyway, the recipe.

Zesty Pasta with Broccoli, for the lack of any other descriptive names

1 pound of pasta (any shape that would catch the sauce)
4 cups, I would use more next time, of broccoli florets
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
5 flat anchovy filets, diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 chicken bouillon cubes or chicken broth

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occcasionally. Add the broccoli florets and cook for an additional 4 minutes. After you add the broccoli to the pasta, I would begin to heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Drain pasta and brocoli, reserving 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water. Add the broccoli, pasta, salt, and pepper. I added 2 chicken boulion cubes to the remaining pasta water and added it to the skillet.

Transfer to a serving platter or pasta dishes, sprinkle with Parmesan, and enjoy.

Pasta and Broc-1-2

Now that I think of it this was an extremely inexpensive dish to prepare. I had everything in my cupboard/fridge with the exception of the pasta and the anchovies.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Redeeming Halloween

Call it the 2nd consecutive day of Blog Karma if you will. I love to learn the meaning of certain holidays and holiday traditions. This past spring I wanted to reflect on the symbols of Easter and to learn why people hunt eggs, so I wrote this post.

I love Autumn and I love Halloween. I love that my mom was born in October and I love that she loved the Autumn season. I love decorating my house with {cute} pumpkins, black cats, witches, frankensteins, mummies, ghosts, mums, pumpkin spice candles, etc. I love that I used to dress up with my fellow science teachers at my former school to do Halloween Chemistry demonstrations for our students. I love thinking of coordinating costumes to wear as a family.

This was us last year on Halloween.
Halloween 2008
Jay was Super Mario, I was Princess Peach, and Nathan was our Lil' Yoshi.

Here is another shot of Nathan without the "I just saw a ghost" expression.
Halloween 2008 Nathan

Not being the type of person who likes to reinvent the wheel, I am going to share the research another blogger did regarding the Christian meaning of Halloween, which I discovered through TheBlogFrog of course. She got most of her information from a book entitled "Redeeming Halloween". No don't get me wrong, I am still going to dress up in costumes and eat {tons and tons} of candy this Halloween and all Halloweens in the future, I just like to be informed.

Christine wrote a series of 4 posts on her blog, Journey With The Lord.
"Post 1 is my thoughts and how I began to research Halloween. It also gives the history of the meaning of Halloween.

Post 2 is how Halloween came about and about the Christian history of what the original holiday was intended for. And about how we as Christians can take this back as the holiday to celebrate the martyrs.

Post 3 is filled with ideas about how to celebrate Halloween as a Christian. It talks about how we can use this to teach our children about the lost and remembering those who died for our faith. There are fun ideas about trick-or-treating, decorating, and pumpking carving tips - like sharing the gospel while carving your pumpkin.

Part 4 has ideas on how to welcome trick-or-treaters, how to show the love of Christ to your neighbors, and to make the most of this opportunity to share Christ with your children and others."
I really enjoyed reading the series of posts Christine wrote about "Redeeming Halloween". Celebrating Halloween is no different than celebrating Christmas or Easter. It is great to have fun and enjoy these holidays but it is important to remember the meaning of the holiday and use it as a day to share God's love. Thank you, Christine, for sharing your knowledge on this topic.

Friday, September 18, 2009

saying it forward

As a BlogFrog Community Leader, I have been given the assignment to select a blog I love or a blogger I respect to highlight here on Nathan's Fight. So whether you call it blog karma, paying saying it forward, or applying the "golden rule" to blogging, here is my spotlight on Amanda, from i am mommy.

I began reading this blog not too long ago after I drooled all over my keyboard looking at pictures of homemade sugar cookies. I admire artsy and craftsy individuals and always relish the opportunity to try something new. If you want to see the best darn cookies ever, then you just gotta click here. Amanda has to seriously be sick and tired of me praising her cookies. {smile}

Why did I choose to spotlight Amanda? There are many blogs I enjoy reading and many bloggers I respect but Amanda stood out after reading this post, Things Successful Bloggers Do That I Do Not Do (installment #4). If nothing else, I would like everyone to do me a favor and read this one post written by Amanda.

Amanda puts a different value on her blog than most others. The worth of her blog is not measured by the number of hits she receives on a daily basis, the number of followers she has, nor the amount of comments she receives on each post. Amanda values relationships. I feel honored to have received some comments from Amanda because that means she values our blog relationship.

I love Amanda's sense of humor, I love looking at her photographs, and I love learning about new crafts. Did I mention how much I loved her Matchbook Minutes post? Well I do and I am sure you would too!

Oh and I almost forgot to say "Hi Amanda!"

PS. Nathan, if you ever read this post I want you to know all about Amanda. Genuine people are hard to come by and I would be willing to I have learned a thing or two from her. And please never compare any of the cookies I bake and decorate for you to the cookies you see here. That just might hurt my feelings.

Remember to check back next week for a contest/giveaway.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alphabitty Moments: The Letter "C"



MamaBear from 4 the Love of Family created this carnival as a way to record the little things kids do. Check out her blog to view more Alphabitty Moments.

This week is The Letter "C". Although I was tempted to choose cake, I did not. You will see why I almost chose cake early next week when I have a contest and giveaway. Let me put it this way, do not take eyes of a sweet toothed toddler, not even for one second.

What I did choose for "C" is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness. Aside from my son's health and my family, creating awareness for CF has become a top priority of mine. A cure is in the horizon, I can almost taste it! {smile}

Alphabitty C1

Alphabitty C2

Just for the record, the back of Nathan's t-shirt says Nathan Parker. Parker is Nathan's middle name not our last name, although my husband and I both agree it would not be a terrible last name to have. It would make life easier on the telephone: "S as in Sam, K as in King, R as in Robert, E as in Edward, T as in Tom, K as in King, O as in Ocean, W as in William, I as in Igloo, C as in Charlie, Z as in Zebra".

To see more of my Alphabitty Moments posts click here.