Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Very Busy Christmas

YO HO HO! Little stinkwad.

This is probably the best pic that Frank and I have ever had done together.

Wow! Color Frankie happy here. Not easy to pin all four of them down together for a picture; and this came out wonderful. A real Kodak moment. Philip home for Christmas, Rachel here on Christmas morning - what a great day it started out to be. What a busy, busy week it has been.

These chairs were a hit for the kids, too bad I didn't get one for Philip. They love them.

Since the kids went to their Dad's this year on Christmas Eve evening, we decided to have them wake up on Christmas Eve morning and open up their gifts - without their knowing of course. That is the sucky part of divorce; switching the holidays every other year. But we make do with it, and it worked out fine. It was a very long holiday.

Lexi and Bri fell asleep at 10:30 - AM! How sweet is this, they also crashed at, rather Bri crashed by 7 pm the night before, and Lexi had been asking to go "night night" by 6:30. I wasn't sure if we just bored them or if they were totally exhausted. They were running constantly; from my house, then to Daddy's and back; then to Uncle Joe's and back here. By the time Tuesday came, they were so ready to go home, Lexi was growling (literally) and Bri had their bags packed and at the door.

But not before she could perform Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer with Frankie. And Joey played his violin, and even Vanessa got in on the act, naturally, being the performer that she is.

All before a live studio audience; "Uh, wake up, Larry. Larry, wake up, Larry!"

Anyway, it was very cute.

The very hot item this year was the digital photo frame; which we bought for Nonno and Nonna. I liked it so much, that Frank bought me one. I can't wait to be able to have some fun with it. I still have to get over and show them how to use it. I loaded photos from Italy, and their grandkids in Ohio and all over in it. Lot's of fun. Next, I will put Bocceli on it for them, as I got his new CD!! Good stuff.

My Dad also got my Mom a new digi frame AND camera set! GO DADDY! They will be coming to our New Years party, so hopefully, she will be sporting her new camera. (We were putting wine in Lexi's soda here) Look at the size of my Mom's wine glass!

The prince of all things smelly opening his gift. He is soooo disgusting.

Me and my beautiful girls.

Me and Frankie and his brother Joe.

hey, this is how I feel now. oh, and have been pretty much for the past two weeks. Can't seem to shake the migraine at all. Went for a little infusion drip on Friday and have been steadily taking my abortive, without much improvement. Hmmm, now what?

Time to go make some greens and beans soup. Poor Phil isn't feeling good today. They went to The SU game and he's feeling sick to his stomach. Hopefully, he'll feel better soon. It sure is good to have him home.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are pain-free


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tomorrow Philip will be driving home. YEAHHHHH!!! We can hardly contain ourselves, we are so excited. This past weekend, we decorated the family room/his room for Christmas; so he feels welcome and it feels homey to him. I hope it does.

He's so funny; when I talked to him on Saturday, he told me that he expects a home-cooked meal on the table everynight because he mentioned to his buddies that I'm a good cook. Ear candy. He is a charmer. I did tell him that I am planning a nice, big turkey dinner for him on Thursday, as he missed Thanksgiving. He wants the stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy. He is going to make collard greens. I can't wait. His Father is just beside himself. Oh:

On Sunday, they will be freezing their butts off at a Giants gamePhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket and having the time of their lives together. For the life of me, I cannot understand why these players don't have a covered stadium; or WHY they subject themselves to playing in those conditions. Hey, it's not like they can't afford the stadium! Right

Oh, I almost forgot, Rocco's daddy, Bull; is ok. They were able to save his leg! We will be visiting him while Philip is home, and Maxwell, the house dog. I will be sure to get pictures. I'm told there may be a possible litter coming after spring. Not by my idiot dog, but by Maxwell. Who, incidentally, seemed about as bright as Rockhead. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right? They have the same - Daddy. Let's not forget, he chewed his way (gumless) through his kennel to get to his bit*h. Talk about dedicated. Men!

Well, off to finish up some more dreaded freaking shopping and beating off the weirdo's who circumvent around my dying carcus as I reach for the last of the good bargains out there. Wish me luck.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pretty things

This is the Blue Jay that sits at the top of my tree, looking down over the other pretty birds and bird-like items in my tree. Note the non-traditional topper I chose for my tree. Sparkley and iridescent pheasant feathers with gold spakley ostrich feathers.

How adorable is this little house? I actually have two, the other is red brick. So, so cute. They were on my tree when I was a little girl. On the bottom, it says, "Made in Japan" - which shocked me when I unwrapped it this year. You just don't see that! When I was a little girl, things were made, well, in Japan.

The peacock and quail are new to my collection this year. Oh, and so is that little gem there.

The white dove was a gift from a friend last year, and because it came the day after Christmas (when I take down my tree), this is the first year it hung in the tree.

The Santa face on the Goose egg came from a patient a very long time ago; when I, um, worked. You can't see from the picture, but it has tiny little, itty, bitty candy canes and gumdrops on it.

This is trying to hide the smell of the poly that is STILL filling the house.
This concludes the tour of Christmas here today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

this room = migraine

This room has become TOXIC. Literally. Label this under, "What was I thinking."
For the past three freaking, justkillmenowsomeone, PLEASEJUSTGETITOVERALREADY!!! three. days; we have undergone a quite beautiful , in the very end I might add, process of finishing the hardwood floor in Cinderisa's room. And as beautiful as it really is becomming, it is killing me. Really, what was. I. thinking??
This IS winter, right? December 11. STINK, that means today the Ultimatum is on the shelves!!! And I am in my pj's, out of Toradol, waiting for my nurse to call me with the "joyful news" that there will be a chair available for me at the infusion center tomorrow. Which means a few things; I can't get out when I want to because I NEED my Toradol, and I desire (oooh yummmy) the Ultimatum. I don't want to miss the call. Oh, then there's the many reasons why I shouldn't drive right now thing. moving right along............
Again; WHAT! WAS!! I!! FREAKING!!!!! THINKING????? It's quite amazing how you can actually, or rather, I can feel the fumes in my body now. Today, the final coat went down. It is penetrating my shoulder blades now, as I type this. My ears have been in a constant banging-like sensation since yesterday, a sort of back and forth ringing and pinging sound/pain duo their performing. Think of this as a very loud and obnoxious version of JINGLE BELLS (CRASH!!!!! ZZZZZZZ) JINGLE BELLS (ZZZING!!!!)
Just sort of bouncing back and forth from right to left; I'm the crash in between the two cymbals. Rather, my head IS the crash my ears are making. If that makes any sense.
Oh, here's the killer, my migraines, that used to be only right sided; they must have been, well bored and lacking space, so they've decided to take up a little loft in my left side as well. So much for the old; one-sidedness in migraineland. I've never been one to follow the rules, so why here, right.
At least I don't need to go out today. More stormy weather coming. Unfortunately, I may miss yet another Christmas party tonight. I may just refuse missing this one. I missed out on one Friday night due to the monster.
As my Christina says, when she gets punished for her brattitude; "It's not FAIR!" In this case, it really isn't fair. But then again, I think of little Eric, who doesn't have his Mommy this Christmas - and I suppose I can live another day with the monster in my head. Because when it comes down to it - THAT is what's not fair.
As far as the rest of the floors go, they WILL wait until spring comes; when the windows, ALL off them, will remain open for the duration of the renovation. And I can leave the house. Who will take me in?
Oh, tomorrow is the day that Bull (Rocco's Daddy) is having his leg removed. Wish him well. Stupid dog. Did I mention - NO PUPPIES!!!!! I know, true bummer. ..........

Friday, December 07, 2007

2 hats, 1 ugly dog

Yes, he's festive and overly excited. Poochey lip and all. Oh, and no, it's not my official Christmas card. What will we think of for New Years? Any ideas out there? Oh, Cesar please come save this poor dog from our wrath of terror. (I will have bottle of wine waiting) oh, hi there Illusion. No, Frank, I won't give out your bottles of Phantom. what kind of name is that anyway? Illusion?

Update on the sperm-donor up there: His girlfriend had a (I'm dying here, I can hardly contain myself from giddiness); false-pregnancy. Can you stand it? So while poor Frankie and Philip are secretly (NOT) planning their little puppy-to-be entering my home, Miss Sweetie fakes a pregnancy on them all. I think I should send her a Scooby Snack via the big man in red.

On a very sad note, though; here's how "smart" these dogs are; Bull, our favorite of the bunch - who weighs in at a whopping 140 pounds, and jumps 6-8 feet straight up, decided a few months back to chew his way (yes, chew) through the wire kennel into the female bully's to, ahem, get some. He lost pretty much all of his teeth in the process of his little escape and had suffered such a major infection, that he now is losing his front leg - due either to cancer or bone infection.

Since these dogs carry most of their bulk in their front quarters, this is going to be very difficult for Bull. And Glenn, the breeder. Bull, is gorgeous. The female that he studded with, never did carry out her pregnancy, she will be spayed due to complications. I thought I had pics of him, but I do not. Well, at least not digital. So picture a gummy, three-legged, dark version of Rockhead, only bigger and darker. Pitiful, isn't it. Poor Bull. I have a feeling we will be taking a ride North this weekend. I'll be sure to get pics

For now, I need to get off my duff and continue my shopping, ugh. I hate. shopping.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


It appears I've been tagged. Several times, I might add. And there's no way of getting by it, so here goes:

1. When cleaning my, or your, or any vehicle of the dreaded white fluffy cold falling stuff right now, it must must MUST be completely cleaned off. For me. Windows especially. The top of the car/van, hood, trunk, mirrors, lights - all of it. I need to see where I'm going, I'd like to see what's coming behind me. I believe people who simply use their wipers ONLY to brush the snow should be ticketed. They are a menace on the road. And a serious danger. You really can't see much through just the wipers.

This crazy snow-clearing makes Frank absolutely insane; as he is not the most patient person in the home when it comes to, well, leaving the house. When I'm the one clearing the off the van or car. It doesn't bother me to clean it off, mind you; but it bothers him a LOT that I spend such quality time dusting off every square inch of it. It's quite comical.

2. Back to the wipers - I use a LOT of windshield wiper fluid in the winter. I like my windows to be super extra clean and sparkling clear of debris and dirt and salt. I want to see where I am going, where I have been and what idiot is flying up on my rear end ready to blow me off the road is approaching. I am also very insistent if I am a passenger, I like MY side cleaned. It really does weird things to someone with neurological problems to see the crazy dirt patterns on the window, trust me. It's a very strange trigger for aura.

3. I am terrified of falling on the ice, so I make itsy bitsy teensy weensy small steps so that I don't fall. These little steps will probably make my falling much worse. At the very least, the sliding will be much more, oooh how do I put it, not graceful, but choreographed, yes that's it. Please just catch me if you're there. Somebody sign me up for Dancing with the Starz. (Terri??)

4. Today was a half day for the kids; but because I like to play tricks on them, today I got Christina, because she is easy. I told her I received an email from the district that said only the HS got to have the half day - hee hee. So she made her lunch, and grudginly went out the door. I told her to "have a rotten day," like always. Then told Nicholas what I did. We usually toss one of Frank's slippers or Rocco's chew toys in her bookbag before she leaves. I think this was much more fun, since she will be telling the kids on the bus that they have a full day of school. She is a lot of fun. Maybe I'll let her shovel when she gets home. Or make cookies.

5. It is taking me waaaaaaaay too long to paint this room:

and I'm not changing the color of the room. Just painting the trim. Oh, and fixing, did I mention that I am FIXING the trim. Oh, yes I am doing some repair work. The ginormous window in the front which had been replaced and had the woodwork removed, was pretty gouged up. It's not pretty. But fixable. To me, it's an eyesore, Frank says to just sand it out, prime and paint and cover with curtains. But i just grumble inside as I look at it. It's a mess. Saturday the floors will be refinished. Then, she will have a fresh slate to mar and gouge all herself. What am I thinking? This will, afterall, be Cinderisa's room.
Things that used to take me a weekend, now take me a month or more. The bare blue wall will feature a (hopefully)cool design with colors and squares and geometrical shapes that should send me right into migraine attack mode and my trusty infusion center.
6. I talk to people in public. Especially the not so nice people. AND I smile at them. Lord knows, they need a smile more than anyone else.
7. I am the gullible person who believes every stupid email I receive. The first time. But after several generations of the same thing, I finally catch on and delete if my spam isn't working. Like right now. I try not to forward to everyone on my list, but sometimes, I can't help myself. sorry.
8. here's the killer; for those of you with weight issues, I do apologise and comiserate. Frank has issues that he, too struggles with, as do I. Although, mine are waaaay on the other end of the spectrum; (I can feel the darts coming) gulp; I have trouble gaining weight. Muscle-mass weight. And it's no fun, really. Because, being in the little bubble I'm in has seriously depleted my weight. Exercise increases my migraines. Now that is fun. So what to do?? Yes, walk the dog, I know........ I feel the hate mail coming.
enough said. I have work to do in the big blue room.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More on the Migraine-Stroke Link

Migraine Might Bring More Than Meets the Eye
Posted 11/27/2007

Marian C. Limacher, MD

Migraine with visual aura was associated with stroke risk in young women.

Migraine has long been recognized as a risk factor for stroke. To clarify this relation, researchers conducted a case-control analysis using data from the Stroke Prevention in Young Women Study; 386 women (age range, 15-49) who had experienced ischemic stroke were compared with 614 matched controls. Women were classified as having no migraine history, having probable migraine without visual aura, or having probable migraine with visual aura (PMVA); visual aura was defined as "seeing spots, lines, or flashing lights around the time of probable migraine, or ever experiencing loss of vision."

A total of 145 ischemic strokes were identified in women who had PMVA, yielding a 50% greater likelihood of stroke compared with that in women who did not have migraine. However, probable migraine without visual aura was not associated with likelihood of stroke. PMVA significantly increased the risk for stroke in women without a history of hypertension, diabetes, or myocardial infarction. The minimally adjusted risk for stroke of undetermined cause in women with PMVA was 1.6 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.3), but other stroke subtypes (large-artery atherosclerotic, cardioembolic, and lacunar) were not significantly associated with prior PMVA.

In an adjusted analysis, neither smoking nor oral contraceptive (OC) use had independent effects on the association between PMVA history and incident stroke. However, women with PMVA who smoked and used OCs had sevenfold higher odds of stroke (95% CI, 1.4-22.8) compared with women with PMVA who did not smoke and use OCs. Among the few women reporting a first PMVA within 12 months of stroke or of study enrollment, the odds ratio for stroke was 6.0 (95% CI, 1.9-18.6).

The results of this population-based study confirm a substantial risk for stroke in young women who use OCs and smoke, especially for women with PMVA. The suggestion that new-onset PMVA is associated with stroke within the first year bears further study and could call for heightened assessment and standardized screening for this form of migraine.

— Marian C. Limacher, MD

It sure does make you stop and think now, doesn't it! I must say this; in the worst of my absolute worst migraine attacks, my fear has always been exactly this right here. Why? Because of a previous tia. At the age of 37. 37!! I do NOT smoke. Nor do I use OCs.

At the time, I had(over) used the injectable type of triptan, as prescibed, by an unknowing doctor (that I no longer use) THANK YOU TERI!, anyway - educate yourself with your medication. With your physician. Pharmacy. What you put in your body, who you trust to take care of you. It really does matter.

You wouldn't let someone put sugar in your gas tank right? Are you treating your body with the same regard?

May you have a healthy, and pain-free day

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Coming Home for Christmas

Christmas with DuoWest! Vocalist Steve Sugihara, along with DuoWest regulars Ian Ginsburg-cello, Sherry Lenich-piano will perform Jim Brickman's "Coming Home For Christmas" with this special slide show put together by Steve and dedicated to our troops safe return home to their families, along with many other Christmas favorites December 7th in Scottsdale AZ. Details at This particular recording was done at home on a multi-track recorder during a practice session.

And because I'm just slightly link illiterate, and youtube and computer usage; my thanks to Steve for putting this beautiful link to my site.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. We will be welcoming our own Marine home for Christmas this year, for the first time in two years. Please, when you see a service man or woman; hug, salute or at least thank them. It doesn't matter if you support our government or our politics, just support their efforts. Their sacrifice truly is our freedom.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Migraine Linked to Structural Brain Changes
Caroline Cassels

November 19, 2007 — New research suggests repetitive migraine attacks may lead to or be the result of structural changes in the somatosensory cortex (SSC), offering a potential explanation for the high comorbidity of other pain disorders observed in migraineurs.

In a comparative study of individuals with migraine vs healthy controls, investigators at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, found, on average, migraineurs' SSCs were 21% thicker than those of nonmigraineurs.
The study is published in the November 20 issue of Neurology.
The most significant thickness changes were noted in the caudal SSC, where the trigeminal area, including head and face, is somatotopically represented, the investigators report.

"Repeated migraine attacks may lead to or be the result of these structural changes in the brain. Most of these people had been suffering from migraines since childhood, so the long-term overstimulation of the sensory fields in the cortex could explain these changes. It's also possible that people who develop migraines are naturally more sensitive to stimulation," study investigator Nouchine Hadjikhani, MD, said in a statement from the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Hadjikhani added that changes in the SSC, which plays a crucial role in noxious and nonnoxious somatosensory processing, might explain why individuals with migraine frequently have other pain disorders, including back pain, temporomandibular disorders, and fibromyalgia as well as sensory disturbances such as allodynia.
Long-Term Sufferers
For the study investigators compared 24 individuals — 12 who had migraine with aura and 12 who had migraine without aura — with 12 age- and sex-matched controls.

Study subjects were assessed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Patients ranged in age from 21 to 52 years. On average, those with migraine had experienced episodic attacks for the past 20 years, with age of onset occurring in most individuals during adolescence.

According to the study, the average pain intensity of the attacks was rated 6 out of 10 on the numeric analog scale, with a frequency of approximately 4 migraine attacks per month. None of the patients had a previous history of either other trigeminal chronic pain or current acute pain or any other major health disorder.

No Correlation to Clinical Data
Investigators also examined cortical thickness and correlated these findings with clinical data including migraine duration, age at onset, frequency, and disease time span.

On average, migraineurs had thicker SSCs than the control group. However, investigators found no clear correlation between cortical thickness changes and clinical data.
According to the authors, the thickening of the SSC is in line with a recent study of the same cohort, which showed diffusional abnormalities in the subcortical trigeminal somatosensory pathway.

"Repetitive migraine attacks may lead to or be the result of neuroplastic changes in cortical and subcortical structures of the trigeminal somatosensory system," they conclude.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Swiss Heart Foundation, and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine Dean's Award. The authors report no conflicts of interest related to the study.
Neurology. 2007;69:1990-1995.

Hmm, I knew it wasn't really all just in my head. No, wait, I guess it really is; and now it's growing. And changing. Scary, isn't it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

another birthday in the house

Today is my little man's birthday. He is 7. I can't believe it. If you have the time, wish him a Happy Birthday. He's growing up so fast. (Now, to go and disinfect - YEAH, I KNOW, AGAIN) It's a good thing it's his birthday, cause it's all his fault.

Monday, November 19, 2007


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Oh yes, that sums it up EXACTLY! That is the sign that should be posted at my front door. No Happy Harvest sign,no Christmas wreath, no Happy New Year um, what have you. But this sign, up there.

The kids come in from their dad's lastnight, the usual bickering that comes in the door. No joyful, helping each other with the bags. Not my children, they wouldn't dream of helping each other bring stuff in from a long freaking weekend spent with their father and obviously, and apparent nagging (hmm bummer) step-motherdearest. What a shame. (NOT) It really is a shame for them.

My littlest guy stands against the wall, looking very wiped out, standing. against. the. wall. It is obviously holding him upright at this moment. I can see that something is still upsetting him. He was very upset in the morning on the way to church and when we got out of the van, I just stood with him for a moment as he grabbed me and let out a little cry and hugged me and told me he wanted to come home. I felt for him. I wanted to tell him he could come home, but I can't tell him that, it is his father's weekend.

Christina had been telling me how Tita had been screaming and yelling at him all weekend because he was being a brat; which I really find hard to believe. Not because he is an angel, being my son. But because he really is a good little boy. Maybe because he is at my home. Where he has boundaries anyway. I suppose this is why I find it hard to believe him being a brat. I do believe he can be pesty, but for her to scream and yell; a trained pediatrician, nontheless; hmmmm, well, where do I go from here???

Back to my little man holding up the wall; he tells me has a tummy ache and he's cold. He did just walk in from 30 degree, NO hat - what was his father thinking? And I have been on Nicholas all day about the hat thing.

Dad comes to the door behind a very angry Christina (12) who barges past me, "Yeah, I took her MP3 away because of her attitude in the van; she had to sit in the back and didn't like it."

blah blah blah............I was going to take it for my reasons, too. I know all about the attitude. ciao.

Let's all get to the table now! Meanwhile Lexi, yes, she is starving at this point, and yelling ,"PASTA" is under my feet. Gotta love this kid. She is so funny. What to do? Put her to work! Give the kid a job and she gratefully does it. I gave her things to bring to the table, and she brought them TO the table. I know what she will be doing on Thursday!

So we are sitting for dinner, ahhhh, spaghetti and meatballs! I have been craving a good old fashioned Sunday supper like this for months! So I finally convinced Frank to make it. Yeah, I could have, but hey, I like Frank to cook on Sunday.

Nick had sucked down a cup of apple juice and requested a cup of milk. "I want you to eat a little meatball first, buddy, ok."

"I'm freezing, Mom. Can I have a blanket."

By now, I'm getting the feeling that this child is getting S.I.C.K. in the tummy area. He feels warm to the touch. Not eating the meatballs????? Oh, definitely.

Frank leaves the table. Suddenly, Nick sits up straight and puffs his little cheeks out; this weird sound emits from his tummy. A rumbling, roaring sound that you KNOW cannot be stopped, controlled, no matter what you do.

My girls, both Christina and Cinderisa spring from their chairs with lightening speed - and I swear I didn't see them leave the room. Lexi, she just kept right on eating and coaxing him, "Mick, Mick, Mick"

I'm doing something like command control - no flags - "Run, to the bathroom, GO GO GO!"

To the right of the table he blows! Then he climbs MY DINING ROOM CHAIRS! (are you kidding me man????)

To the left of the table where the dog is laying just a few feet away, and in his direction - (serves him right) picture the dog squinting his eyes: Nick's head starts to spin as the juice comes flying out at Rocco.

Through the living room and on the way down the stairs, he stops; yep, on the newly carpeted steps. but. of. course. The girls in the background, are like crowd noise. They are just standing in the kitchen, hoping and praying he doesn't come near them; and at the same time, they are giving him directions and clueing Frank in as to what is going on and where he is.

GIRLS:"Oh, Nick, Not on Rocco! Frank, he just got Rocco
Here he comes. Go down to the bathroom, Nick, we turned the lights on for you!
Oh, not on the steps. He missed."

FRANK:"He got Rocco?
he puked on the stairs? THE NEW RUG?"
he emerges from the computer - "aww that's ok, little buddy"

BARFMAN: "I want my Mom! I want my Mom" Yeah, well, I'm just upstairs throwing paper towels everywhere. and laughing. oh, and trying to eat meatballs, would you believe it? with...

LEXI: "Want more Mom. More pasta meatball Mom."

It all unfolded in roughly 5 minutes. The cleanup time, that was another ordeal. Besides the dinner cleanup we still had; I had, I HAD to clean up the rest of the mess everywhere. Literally. I'm not sure really what parts of it were funniest, it was all hysterical. I was laughing through all of it, AND I actually told my friend Robin lastnight, when I was telling her about this, at least they give me blog fodder.

The girls were grossed out at me and Lexi sitting there finishing our meatballs. She's yelling for Mick! The dog had to be thrown outside for, well, obvious reasons I refuse to think about, because I will just get sick on. EEWWW. He just barked and barked and barked. Frank was in the computer room yelling SHUT UP! Yeah, like that was going to do anything. Those are times I wish I could call my friend Cesar and just hand him the phone.

Stupid dog squinting his eyes when Nick was blowing at him. I mean he didn't even think to get out of the way! DUHM DOHG!

I am thankful for the giant container of disinfecting wipes I buy. Because the girls and I wiped down every nook and cranny, every door knob and light switch, microwave, fridge, counter, cabinet, railing, you basically name it. It sparkles with disinfecting, germ- free, I'm clean! I love my Libman mops that I can throw in the washer when they get icky. Yes that is a word.

Rocco was thankful to be able to come in to a warm and stange-smelling house. Frank made sweet potato pies. There is no room in my refridg for ANYTHING! ANY. THING. We will try to eat meatballs with a different pasta tonight since our meal was rudely interupted last evening.

I must tell you, my sick little boy kept hugging my arm and saying, "I'm sorry Mom, I'm sorry" I kept saying to him, "There is no need for apologizing when you're sick Nicholas. Sick just happens. But if you make Mommy sick, I will beat you up baby!" then he giggled and threw up a little more. And that was the end of it.

He had a fever for a few hours. We read his comic Bible for a little while. He sipped some giner ale and slept throught the night. When he woke this morning, he was running up and down the walls like his normal self. Until he said, "Uh-oh, I need to change. I tooted and it was wet"
It was then I realized, it hasn't quite left him.

I wondered if I should call his dad and let him know about him getting sick and all. I thought about that last little scuttle I had with him, and the one I'm sure we'll have real soon; I thought I'd leave it up to you; I think I know your answer. I mean, it WAS pretty short lived and all, riiight.

Have a really nice day

Thursday, November 15, 2007


This color sums it up.

Last week, Cinderisa had a sore throat and fever. Thankfully, she tested negative for strep. Lasted three, maybe four days.

Same week, Frank had body chills, fever, aches and pains and tummy ache. Lasted two days.

Nicholas, had a cough that lasted for approximately three days, very benign. No fever, mucous, runny nose did occur.

Christina is just ending her two days of sore throat and coughing.

I started coughing on Friday, it will NOT stop. It just keeps going like that stupid bunny on the commercial. Getting tighter and less and less productive. Went to doctors yesterday. Left with inhaler, z-pack and cough suppresant syrup to sleep. Which I need to be very careful with, as it's a narcotic.

For the first time, in many nights, I did sleep. My head is pounding; I'm not sure if it's from the change in the weather that just hit, or from the one little dose I took of the syrup. I am so reluctant to take meds anymore.

Going back to the couch.

Hope you're pain free. And flu-free, and germ-free. Thanks Jeff! you cursed me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Restless Leg Syndrome May be Associated with Migraines

November 2, 2007 — Restless legs syndrome (RLS) occurs more frequently in patients with migraine than in those without, according to results of a case-control study conducted in Germany. A possible co-association of depressive symptoms with both disorders also emerged in the study.

While the underlying mechanism for the comorbidity of migraine and RLS remains undetermined, it might involve dysfunction of the dopaminergic system, the researchers note in the November issue of the journal Cephalalgia.
Dr. Stefan Evers from the University of Munster and colleagues investigated the prevalence of RLS in 411 patients with migraine and 411 sex- and age-matched controls who had no history of headache suggestive of migraine.

"In addition, patients with migraine showed a trend towards worse symptoms of RLS than patients who suffer only from RLS," Dr. Evers and colleagues note.

There was no significant association between migraine and a diagnosis of depression — 9.6% of migraineurs were diagnosed with depression compared with 4.0% of controls (p = 0.190). However, the Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) score was significantly higher in the migraine group than in the control group (8.8 vs 6.1; p < 0.001).

Similarly, rates of depression were not significantly different in the 71 migraine patients with RLS and the 340 migraineurs without RLS (13.6% and 8.7%, respectively; p = 0.312), but migraine patients with RLS had significantly higher BDI scores than migraine patients without RLS (12.1 vs 8.0; p < 0.001).

Dr. Evers and colleagues also found evidence that older age and longer duration of migraine may raise the risk of RLS. Migraine patients with RLS in the study were significantly older than patients with migraine only.

Age and the duration of migraine "are of special importance because patients with migraine and RLS have probably taken headache medication for a longer time," the clinicians note. "These patients may more often exhibit a symptomatic RLS based on renal insufficiency due to medication overuse."

Older migraine patients are likely also to have used ergotamine derivatives for headache, they point out, which "can cause myalgia and paraesthesia as a side-effect of clinical or subclinical ergotism. In these cases, the symptoms of the vascular side-effects could mimic RLS or ergotamine use, with subsequent (e)ffects on the spinal tract, and polyneuropathy might lead to symptomatic RLS," Dr. Evers and colleagues write.

They note that future studies may uncover a common genetic background for both RLS and migraine.

Migraine has been associated with sleep disorders such as prolonged rapid eye movement sleep latency and narcolepsy, and an association with RLS has been suggested, with dopaminergic pathways as a possible mediator for both conditions. RLS is a sensorimotor condition with a prevalence of 2.5% to more than 10% in the white population, and prevalence increases to a peak at age 65 years and then decreases, with diagnosis based on criteria of the International RLS study group. A positive family history is seen in 50% of patients with idiopathic RLS, and family history is also described for patients with migraine. In addition, patients with migraine have a 3-fold increased risk for depression, and a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression has also been described among patients with RLS.

This is a prospective case-control study to examine the association between migraine and RLS, and migraine and depression in patients presenting to neurology clinics.
Reuters Health Information November 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Little Man and His Cave

Lastnight, Nicholas had his first sleepover in his little man cave. I didn't really see too much of him for most of the night, or much of the morning.

These would be the pre-sleepover pictures. And then the following of course, you get it. His best buddy, Eric.
some of the mess

some good, old fashioned horse-play, or dog-play, with Rocco.

Yes, I know. My little guy is, well, little. Where DOES he get it?? Ok, so Eric is a good foot and a half taller than him. Oh, and 2 years older, but they are best friends. He, Nicholas, could not ask for a better friend.
He came home from school a few days ago to tell me that some kid was pulling his ears on the bus. Little brat, I'm thinking to myself. What kind of kid pulls on another kids' ears?
"What did YOU do, Nick?" I asked him.
"I told him that he better knock it off or I'd tell on him." he very quickly AND sharply replied.
Now, although he does have the Bruce Lee posters and the Marine going on in his room, I'm not for fighting; and neither is the school policy. The idea is to "Stop Bullying in it's Tracks" OK.
He has it down. Frank and Philip would rather see it the other way, and have him knock the kid on his a$$. The world is violent enough to me. I don't know.
Now, the kid starts to pick at him to another kid, "Nick's going to tell!"
By this time, the Staunch Protector, Eric (the Great) starts to climb the steps of the bus and hears the conversation, and sees the kid go for Nicholas' ears, again; Nicholas says, "Don't touch me, or..."
.....and Eric finishes his sentance "Or I'll punch your lights out!" and shows his fist. The kid sat down. And so did the rest of the kids.
They all like Eric, because he's really a big sweetheart, who is afraid of hurting anyone; mostly because of his size, and probably because he really is a great kid. Who wouldn't want a friend like him?
He told me this morning that he was so thankful to have Nicholas as a friend. That made ME feel fortunate. My little guy made Eric feel fortunate, too. There is something very special about little boys; they are special little treasures.
Please keep this litte treasure close to your heart and prayers this holiday season; he lost his Mom this past summer to cancer. I see her face in his when I look at him. He is a wonderful, sweet little-big boy. He will be going through his very first Thanksgiving and Christmas without his Mommy; and I cannot imagine how that is going to be for him, or for his Dad.
I do know that my Nicholas will be a wonderful friend to him. I am so proud of my little man. Yes little boys are truly wonderful little creatures. Snips, snails and puppy dog tails. They are wonderful.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Nicholas' Room; One Down, Four to Go,

At long last, the day has little guy is moving. sigh...

He is moving away from the safety of my arm's reach - um, at night that is. His room has been the big, blue Yankee room directly across the hall from my room. That is, until today. He, being the youngest, has lost rank. His theme, as if anyone needed a clue:

yeah, I know. This has been a very fun room to create. He wanted me to paint an entire wall in camouflage or "cameraflage" as he calls it. It just couldn't happen that way. The border itself was killer. But fun. I won't tell how long it took. As I post this, the rug is being installed.

The mascot, who sat with me the whole time. I will remember to disengage my flash when I take the next pix.
Lastnight, as I tucked my little man into bed, I realized that it was the very last time in his big blue room. So I told him so, and he became very sad and scared and said to me, "Mom, it's so dark and far down there."
OK, so just knife my heart out why don't you, buddy! I grabbed his sweet, smelling little self and just held him tight and told him that I'd make sure he had a night light in his room and one in the bathroom and that Bosco would sleep with him. I have a sneaking feeling he may end up in my room tonight. That's OK. And as I just told Frank the story, we agreed that Rocco should sleep with him, too. I am SO glad that is solved.
As soon as the room is totally finished, I will absolutely update with more cool pics.