Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pow-Wow Princess and Too Much Honey

Happy Halloween! Kate has been an ecstatic bundle of energy ALL DAY LONG! She was, in her words "so essited" to go "twick ow tweating"!!! I have never seen her eat her dinner so fast in all her life because when she was finished with dinner she got to go beg for candy! :)

Kate loved her "Indian Princess" costume - though someone suggested I call it a "native american princess" costume for the sake of being politically correct. Um - I tried to get my three year old to say "native american princess" and it came out sounding like "naked man princes" so I just let her stick with the word "Indian". I THINK people will understand!

The costume that Kate is wearing is actually the same exact costume that I wore when I was little! We have pics of me in it and I tried to scan them in, but it is not working. Oh well. It is so neat that she is wearing the same thing I wore X number of years ago!

Liam was supposed to be Winnie the Pooh. I got the costume about a month ago - when he was reaching the end of 6 months and moving into 7. It was a 12 month old costume and looked HUGE. Well, guess which Pooh Bear ate too much Honey and doesn't fit into his costume? In the pics it is on but what you don't see is that it would not zip up the back at all and his giant head barely fit through the neck hole for the hood part. Sweet, darling, squishy, yummy, huggy LIAM! The tummy girth in the pics by the way, despite his substantial size, is largely due to the costume stuffing! :) tee hee We put him in it for pics and he just stayed home from trick or treating. It is freezing outside anyway.

Well, enjoy the pics!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cutie Pies

Here are some pics of the kids, followed by a funny story about Kate. Kate is posing here like she is having her Senior Picture taken. Liam is SO close to crawling. He gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth. He does not even need to crawl though - through rolling and scooting he can get into anything. He loves to stand and hold on to the couch, the coffee table etc. He is so active and fun. And, at almost 8 months old, HUGE. Wearing 18 month old clothes and tall tall tall. He is also the happiest guy in town with a smile and a giggle always.

Here is a transcript of a conversation that occurred between Nick, Kate and me.

Kate: That's a pretty necklace, Mommy! Where did you get it?
Mags: Thank you, Kate! Your Daddy gave it to me!
Kate: Why did Daddy give it to you?
Mags: Because he is a great guy and he loves me!
Kate: Why does he love you?
Mags: Well, you'll have to ask him that!
(Kate later runs to find her Dad and this follows)
Kate: Daddy, why do you love Mommy?
Nick: Well, because she is smart and funny and pretty!
Kate: NO, Daddy!!!! IIIIIIIII am smart and funny and pretty:
MAGS: Where do you think you got that from, Kate?
Kate, looking right at Maggie: From DADDY, Mom!!!!!! (In a GEEZ don't you know ANYTHING tone of voice)

Now really, should three year olds know that kind of humor? She laughed maniacally and thought she was funny as heck while Nick walked around all puffed up and proud. It's always the Mom that takes the hits, right? Oh well! They were high fiving like crazy. I could not help but laugh along!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Big congrats to my WONDERFUL brother, Patrick! He is now a homeowner! Patrick has purchased an incredibly amazing, impossibly cool Loft in downtown Minneapolis! It is in a converted warehouse and is awesome with soaring ceilings, insanely huge windows, exposed brick, sleek new architecture, and appliances that I drool over. He made such a great buy and I am so happy for him. He is in the process of moving in and making it his own. Here is a pic of us on a pause from looking at paint chips, floor plans, and getting it move-in ready. I cannot wait to see what it looks like when he is all done with it. His photography is going to look so amazing on those cool loft walls. Yay, Pak!

An apple a day.....

To celebrate the fall season, Nick and I wanted to take the kids Apple Picking! Nick and I used to do this together as an annual ritual when we lived in New England and it just celebrates Autumn like nothing else! On a crisp, cloudy day when my medicine effects were not too burdensome, we bundled the kids up and took them for some leaf crunching, cider tasting, wheelbarrow pushing apple pickin'! My Mom came with us and it was such a nice time. We picked some great pumpkins, too! When we got home we made homemade apple crisp, apple sauce and enjoyed some apple cider. Liam got some super fresh apple baby food, too! :) So fun. Here are a whole bunch of pics from the day.

Kate ready to pick some apples!

Kate, YOU are the Apple of MY Eye!

Liam, YOU are the Apple of my OTHER Eye!

Kate and Nia - special buddies - what a pair! And with matching jackets, too! (unintentional!)

The Family that picks apples together, falls over while trying to take a picture together. Wooops.

So Many Apples!

Kate Picks the Perfect Apple

How Tall is Kate? This will be a neat pic to take over the years as we return to the orchard!

Kate waits for the Great Pumpkin!

Liam and Nick pick apples!

Snow Flowers in our yard!

So here we have the fall leaves under my flowering Vinca bushes, topped with Snow. Talk about seasons! We have them all here in Minnesota - at once!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Nick!

The kids are sending a message to their Daddy at work via the blog! :)

RA News

I'll post pics of the darling kiddos very soon to counter the seriousness of this post! :)

I know I have not been posting with my usual frequency as of late. I have been adjusting to a new Rheumatoid Arthritis medication and it has been less than fun and glamorous! :) After exhausting the available "nice" drugs for my RA, my rheumatologist finally decided to try putting me on Methotrexate. It is not the most pleasant of medicines, and can have some undesirable side effects AND I have to be monitored pretty closely while taking it - meaning regular blood work, liver function tests etc. No prob! It may seem familiar to some because it is actually a chemotherapy drug, but given to me in lower doses of course. And, yes, it CAN cause some hair loss just like in chemo. It is more mild if it happens so we won't have to see if I have any dents in my head! I take the drug once a week - a whole bunch of pills at once. It has not been easy-going adjusting to it - mostly feeling "flu-ish" and having a bit of an upset stomach. I just feel "off". Quite exhausted as well. But hopefully it will all wear off as I adjust to the drug over the next few weeks. As far as an effect on the RA, it is too soon to tell - it can take up to 12 weeks to really notice a difference and I am on the drug indefinitely - and I am just confident it will work!!! I have to be! It is a drug that is used a lot for RA with great success rates so I only have positives ahead as soon as my body gets used to processing what are basically toxins!

I DO NOT say any of this to incite pity or "poor Mags" remarks. Just being frank about what is going on. One of the things that I am sllooowwwllly learning about this disease is that I can no longer afford to always put on a happy face and be a "yes" person all the time. I need to be honest about what is going on so I don't put me or other people in difficult positions. As Nick would say it is all about "managing expectations". Mostly my own! It has taken two years of battling this to finally personally grasp that I have a degenerative disease that IS NOT going away - and that I actually have it and it is not like a cold I can get over in a week. What I can do is work on managing the illness and raise awareness toward a cure. Along with the drugs, I have to keep the right attitude and just focus on taking the steps to maintain the best quality of life I can - which means exercise, taking time for me and my family, knowing when to say "no" and when to REST.

To many, the word "arthritis" sounds like something mild and mostly just an irritation - like a headache. But Rheumatoid Arthritis is far from mild and the stats can be scary - and while I don't want to wallow in the fact that I have a serious disease, I cannot ignore the significance of that. THANK YOU to all of you who have taken time to get educated about the disease, understand what it is, are sensitive to the emotional effects it has on the patient and their family and those of you who are always there for me and my beautiful family. When I am 60+, I plan on enjoying hiking mountains with Nick and skiing and canoeing and walking all over Europe with him in our retirement. And I will do it despite my RA - because I am going to work to make sure I can.

RA does not define me. It does not need to be a daily part of conversation with others. So don't feel like you need to always say "how ARE you?" or handle me with kid gloves. I appreciate the support and the love and don't expect or WANT any special treatment from this. That would be so irritating! I know you care and that is enough! But it is important to let people in your life know that you are battling something - and I am and will continue to! I mean, let's face it, there are so many WORSE things in this world, right?! I am BEYOND blessed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ooh! Pretty Winter Sprinkles!

Ok - It is October 11th and Kate and my Mom and I are sitting here in our living room as Liam naps. We are looking out the window at a SNOWSTORM! It is blowing so hard that I cannot see the end of the street 4 houses down!!!! It is OCTOBER, people!!!! What the heck?! Maybe we have had it super easy these past winters in MN? This snow is actually accumulating! I am sure it will melt fast, but still.......

This display of weather has led Kate to just exclaim, "OOOOOH! Look at the Pretty Winter Sprinkles!!!!! Winter is hhheeeerrrrreee!"

Oh joy!