Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This is why I am thankful. I am thankful for family, friends, life, love, laughter. I am thankful for a nice town, a beautiful home, a fantastic job that allows me to spend every waking moment with my children. I am thankful for the sun, the moon and the stars. I am thankful for books and music and crafts and photos. I am thankful for days that go by slowly and sickness that goes by quickly. I am thankful for mountains and lakes and oceans. I am thankful for technology which keep me in touch, safe, amused and entertained. I am thankful for deep breaths, an active body and all my limbs. I am thankful for a creative mind, big smile and contagious giggles.

My list is endless, there is just so much to be thankful for...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


You know what sucks? Censoring myself on my own blog. I have been at this for 2 years and now more and more people read it. It started with my mom... and then my in-laws... and now with Facebook more of my family. If you Google Michele Horne, you get my Twitter account first, my Amazon account next (what??) and my blog third. Although it is a tiny bit cool to be the top three results for my name- I can't hide anything. Not that I am some foul-mouthed, trash talking Momma, but I'd love to speak my mind freely. And who speaks their mind freely in a room with their mom, in-laws, coworkers, local parents, kids and who the hell ever else cares to look on? In all honesty, we express ourselves on different levels depending on our audience. I clearly wouldn't walk into the PTA meeting and start spewing profanity or lurid sex tales.

During our pumpkin carving party we had a few parents hanging out. Something was said and Colby said "Yeah, Michele talked about it on her blog." "Noooo..." I said all in slow motion... in my own head. This was the last frontier. I had never revealed my blog to any other parents, and now I was outed. I have made some snarky remarks on here about some less-than-stellar parents that I interact with because, well, shitty parents should be called out. But I didn't necessarily want them to know I said it. Thankfully, the parents he outed me to were never a victim of my writings or that might be a leetle beet uncomfortable.

So, now I am torn. Pretty much every person I encounter has access to this blog. Should I stay honest, true to my own thoughts? Should I censor like I would in any real life situation? I am torn. I really want this to be me, a reflection of me, a piece of me... not a shaded, altered, edited version of me.

What to do...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unique Advent Calendar (No Candy!)

I am so on top of Christmas this year, it's frightening. I finished designing my Christmas cards and actually had them printed today at Staples. November 23. Printed Christmas cards. I am usually the one stressing the week before Christmas to get the cards out while shopping, gift wrapping , baking, etc., etc.

In the heart of being on the ball, I am going to get our Advent calendar prepared early as well. This year, I am switching it up... no candy. Oh, ok, we have never used candy. Someone bought the girls one of those cheesy chocolate filled calendars a few years ago and they lasted about one day! But, I digress. We have one of those felt pocket calendars like the one pictured and you just move the felt candy cane from one day to the next. I thought this year they would like a treat in the pocket so I came up with some notes to use. Activities of sorts for each day. There will be 2 of each note in each pocket (Yes, Acadia gets left out of everything but, come on, she can't even reach the calendar!) Here's my list, feel free to steal this idea or share with me if you have some other notes I could include. Clearly, mine are more feminine leaning, so you might want to change it up for boys... not that there is anything wrong with painting your boys toes, although daddy might not agree.

• Watch a Christmas movie.
• Make Christmas cookies/ treats.
• Have a family dance party for 1 hour.
• Write letter to Santa.
• Have breakfast for dinner.
• Go for a ride to see Christmas lights.
• Make a Christmas ornament.
• Write our own Christmas book complete with illustrations.
• Have a nail salon party with mom.
• Have a lights out/ candle reading hour.
• 1 hour of coloring with Mommy or Daddy.
• A game of your choice with Mommy or Daddy.
• A sleepover in Mommy and Daddy's room
• Go shopping for a gift for a charity
• Read Polar Express with some hot cocoa
• Have a 'fancy' dress-up, candlelit family dinner
• Breakfast in bed
• Sleep in the living room by the light of the Christmas tree
• Wrap some Christmas gifts with our saved comics
• Go to the library and pick out a holiday book
• Go on a 'Winter in New England' photography field trip with mom.
• Go to Goodwill and purchase a present for each sister.
• Deliver some handmade treats/ desserts to friends and neighbors.
• Open 1 gift before bed.
• Enjoy this wonderful day with your family.

Do you have any other fun, simple family holiday activities to suggest? This is my first try at this, so I would love input.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday Citar: Simply A Moment

Life is traveled only once, today's moment becomes tomorrow's memory, enjoy every moment of life whether good or bad, because the gift of life is life itself.
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
This quote has even more meaning to me since Edna was a strong, brilliant woman from Maine (my home state.) She was also the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry... very inspiring.

Visit Fresh Mommy for more Sunday inspiration.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unique Handcrafted, Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Wow- Christmas will be here before I know it and, as usual, I am totally unprepared. I have committed to making a large portion of our gifts by hand this year and I have even started buying the supplies (not actually making anything yet, but I have lots of shopping bags of supplies!) I thought I might share with you the plethora of easy craft projects I have found on the internet and give you plenty of time to go out and buy all the supplies yourself (you might even MAKE the projects, unlike me so far)

My first project I decided on was a Tooth Fairy Teddy Bear that I saw on Martha Stewart. I The Tooth Fairy always hates digging around under the childs pillow for the tiny tooth wrapped in toilet paper, so this little teddy bear holds in handy until I the Tooth Fairy can get to the tooth.

I have purchased my felt and some large needles and embroidery thread from my local craft store for this project. Hopefully it goes quick because I'd like to make 6 of them!

My next project is some cool decoupaged blocks. I have purchased 100 1" blocks for only $18 (including shipping) That should get me at least 5 sets for gifts. You can either do some nice alphabet blocks, use vintage paper to make decorative blocks for a shelf or sill or use photos to make a fun activity for the kids. The possibilities are endless. EHow has a quick tutorial on how to decoupage on the blocks.

I have not bought any supplies, but I thought making a terrarium for each girl would be fun. They wouldn't have to work too hard to take care of them, but I know they would enjoy having something of their own to take care of. MooMama has a great tutorial on how to make your own. Or I found a great mason jar terrarium tutorial at Craftzine. I also found some cute accessories here and I hear that pet stores have some fun stuff in the aquarium section.

I found a super easy tutorial for a super cute scarf over at HopeStudios. I have purchased my jersey fabric from Joann's already and if you use one of their 40% off coupons (almost always available with a quick Google search) this can be a very inexpensive, yet beautiful gift. Wish me luck, since I have never sewn with the elastic thread, so I am really hoping this turns out well!

Design Sponge offers up this cute tutorial on alphabet cards. I want to make these for Annika since she is just really getting into writing her letters. I also think it would be a fun project for myself, Colb and Ariana to do as a family gift for her.

This butterfly collage is something I have already created for Ariana. It is easy and great for little girls. I was inspired by Ali Edwards and bought all the supplies at Michaels. Again, search for a 40% off coupon online and you can buy the butterfly punch for $4-$5. You can then punch butterflies from junk mail or magazines, which makes the project very inexpensive.

As I have mentioned before, I like paper dolls for my girls. So I was psyched to find a whole book that I can download for free. All I have to do is print and assemble it on cardstock and it will be an adorable little gift!

It may seem like a boring gift, but I am going to make some Boo Boo Bags. If you have kids, you also know how often boo boos occur... as in daily! We have one rice bag that Colby's aunt gave us 10 years ago and it has been a lifesaver. And now, with 3 girls, the chances of having at least 2 injuries at once (like when the knock their heads together) is much higher. So I figured I could make each girl her own and they will be psyched. I just need to stop at Joanns and pick up a couple of cute fabric squares and these will be one of the quicker projects to complete.

Don't Eat Pete- I found this cute game at Executive Homemaker that I can print, laminate and it will be quite fun. You might think it is such a simple gift, but it is just these type of things that will keep my kids occupied for hours... AND it involves M&M's, so you can go wrong. I will just package the laminated game with a bag of M&M's and it will be easy peasy.

Holy cow! Now that I have written this all down, I see that I might have to hole up in my house for the next 5 weeks to complete them all! Why do I always bite off more than I can chew???? Anyhow, I hope you find some great ideas here and if you have any more please share.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tattoo You: The Conclusion

If you remember a few weeks ago I had made a completely arbitrary post about giving a tattoo as a birthday gift. Ironically, my friend Kelly's husband called me in reference to said post, "Ok, clear this up for me cause I am a guy and kinda thick... if I give Kelly a nice card and some cash for her birthday and a promise to stay home with the kids, she might want to go get a tattoo?"

"Why, what a great idea. I bet she would love a tattoo and love you for being so thoughtful."

So, Kelly got her card, her tattoo and a promise of a night away. Well, good great friend that I am, I couldn't let her go alone, could I? So I immediately ran to the tattoo shop and made our appointments. "Oh, by the way, hubby, I am going to get a tattoo with Kelly. I mean a girl can't get a tattoo alone, can she?"

Hubby: "Wait, YOU are getting a tattoo? What is going on here? How did this happen?" (In reality, this was my Christmas present from 2 years ago that was severely postponed though pregnancy and nursing.) Plus, hubby couldn't deny me my tattoo and risk being outed to the whole internet. I love the internet.

We went to get a beer at the conveniently located bar-next-door-to tattoo shop before our appointment. Kelly did not sleep the night before as she was nervous about her design, nor did she eat since breakfast and she was quite nervous. And of course, I have my camera because, let's face it, this should be good! Thankfully she only took a couple of sips of her beer since that might not turn out well.

When we entered the tattoo shop, Doug had a few choices of our text drawn up. Hers was some absolutely gorgeous script, mine was less extravagant since, well, it was supposed to be simple. He then handed me an entomology book circa 1960 with hundreds of butterflies to choose from- decisions, decisions.

I made it clear, in no uncertain terms that Kelly was to go first. No way she was going to watch my writhe in pain and get even more nerved up... she'd never go through with it.

So, does it hurt, Kell?

I'll take that as a yes.
"Well... no. It's ok, not too bad... kinda stinging... wait... it's getting hot in here.. I... um... can we stop for a minute." Ummm, Kell, you are a scary green shade of white.

Let's pause for a moment for Doug to put Kelly into a horizontal position, elevate her legs to his shoulder. And let's let the assistant come in and put a wet rag on her neck. Now, this is a good picture. Should I take a picture? I could totally put this on my blog and it is a pretty funny visual.

Ok, nevermind, I will be a good friend and not exploit her moment of trauma. Alright, I'll just take pictures of me... I'm cute.

I'm totally there for you in your time of need, Kell. I'll be over here checking out this cool Garbage Pail Kids poster.

Ok, 1 photo of her waiting to recover won't hurt... she'll never know.

Ok, she was fine. Just a moment of adrenaline/ endorphins/ exhaustion/ hunger. A little small talk until her color comes back... "So, Doug, where is the most painful place to get a tattoo?"

"Idaho." Funny, tattoo man. Real funny. I guess when you spend hours sitting inches from our clientele, you must hear the same insipid questions over and over. Do you think he changes it up? Some days it's Kathmandu, other days it's Nebraska?

Ok, at least one photo to prove we were here together.

Kellys tattoo was finished up within minutes without a hitch, and it was gorgeous. As a matter of fact, I think it makes her look like a superhero. (See the final photo at the end.) I might just give her my Wonder Woman shirt so she can complete the look.

My turn. I wasn't really nervous. It must have been the soothing speed metal on the radio. "It's a Scandanavian band. I think the lead singer is in jail for burning down a church... or maybe murder. Something like that." I mean he must have sized us up when we walked in and thought, "These girls are totally up for some thrash metal." I was a little sad when he went to the radio and stopped it. But, thankfully, he then played Dayglo Abortion. (Of course I asked the band name so that I could go out and buy my own CD!) I think the song was America Eats Her Young. Sweet song... great songwriter.

Ok, no turning back now...

Doug (tattoo man): "Yeah, I haven't slept since a short nap yesterday."
Sweet, just what I'm looking for in a tattoo artist marking on my body with a permanent ink in a conspicuous place with the tiniest, finest line." Well, I will just use my labor breathing techniques to breathe through the pain and anxiety. My happy place...

Who knew I could withstand pushing 3 humans out of my body and a needle puncturing my skin 200 times per minute all by breathing???

Mine went quick and painlessful. I absolutely love it! Love it. Not a moment of second guessing... which is pretty important when you have a piece of art on your body that pretty much every person you will ever meet from here on out with have a gander at.

Oh, what do the tattoos look like, you ask? Well, let me show you...

Please excuse the goo and bandage marks, I just wanted to get a picture before she went home. Aren't they gorgeous??? Doug did a fantastic job. Mine is so fine and crisp, it sorta looks like I drew on my arm with an ultra fine pen. There is not even one slight imperfection. How is that possible? I can't even write that neat on paper... let alone, squishy, twitching, textured human skin! Amazing artist, that Doug! Here's one better, day after, photo...

Oh, and don't ask me what Kelly's tattoo means. Go visit her blog and she might reveal it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday Citar: Live Simply

Visit Fresh Mommy for more Sunday inspiration.

Fancy Nancy and Fritz Wetherbee

Local Borders store are having a Fancy Nancy event today at 11am. There will be storytime, activities, giveaways and more. Put your zip code in here and verify that your Borders is having the event. Print out a 30% off coupon here if you are a rewards member and might buy a book while you are there.

Make sure you check for the other upcoming events as well. Our borders is having Polar Express Pajama Storytime next Saturday. I know my kids will love this one since we got to ride the Polar Express last year.

Also next week, Fritz Wetherbee will be at a book signing at the Borders in Concord! Fritz Wetherbee! If you are not familiar, he is the consummate New England storyteller. We own some of his books and love to watch him on NH Chronicle to hear interesting tales about our state.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Twitter Cliffs Notes

If you don't follow me on Twitter, you should, because this is what you are missing...
(I have removed other people's @'s, as to protect the innocent.)

Did your parents have those little rugs that went around the bottom of the toilet? Eww..... just... ewwww!

Iron Maiden... not so much.

I am unduly distraught over this national pumpkin puree shortage. No pumpkin muffins, pancakes, pies! It better be fixed by Thanksgiving!

She's 15 months old... yet I am still determined to 'wipe' that freckle off her butt at every diaper change. Poor baby.

Parenting tip 4567: disuade use of your toothbrush as gardening implement. > or as toilet brushes

yes, some ppl DO drive expensive cars and live better off while receiving welfare than some who do not. >AGREED

• 3 Year old: Mom, is my no-no a muscle? Me: uhhhhh

I do not enjoy picky eaters or kids without manners.

I hate HATE dealing with raw chicken. It makes me want to vomit.

My husband just told me I am not old enough to be a cougar. Damn it!

He did look very young... and I do not own acid washed jeans anymore or belly shirts (Lucky for the world!)

Forced to stop at a backwoods gas station. I couldn't pay at the pump and the patrons did not a have a full set of teeth between them all.

Well you could do the rain boots with sweat pants if you're going to Walmart. Everything goes with sweatpants there.

Overheard through the Dunkin's drive-thru speaker "Don't give me that headset all wet with your earsweat." Um, gross!

3 year old: This is the best muffin in the whole wide world. Why thank you, sweetie, thats what happens when I let the bananas rot.

I just taught my 3 year old to write her very first word.... POOP. Come on, she's good at P's and O's.

well, well, well, we are both traveling back to 1992 tonight... how bizarre.

4 year old just ran out the door with a spoon... hmmm... I wonder where all my silverware goes?

Daughter just read me 1/2 hour of 'A Wrinkle in Time'. I still love getting stories read to me.

i am posting embarrassing photos of friends from high school on Facebook! Have to sort through and hide the incriminating ones!

Good mommy! I just did 1 tattoo parlor with one baby and I am exhausted!

To the ones who find my blog via "drug addicted soccer mom" and "swinging mom"... sorry to disappoint.

I avoid Walmart at all costs! The one in my town is especially dirty/ scary/ smelly.

I hate alleged boyfriend dickfaces. They suck... for everyone involved!

I swear to God, if I have to read 1 more Facebook update on your headache, tummy issues, sore back or general malaise...

Why are you allowed to reproduce? You ARE a moron.

You get the point. This is the brilliance that you are missing out on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

RIP Gauge

On October 29, a friends young son took his own life. He was just 14 years old. I am not going to write a lot here as words seem inadequate. I have no idea what his mother, father and little brother must be going through at this time. Please take a moment and put them in your prayers and thoughts.

Gauge Barnes obituary is here.

His online condolences and tributes can be found here.
A memorial video for him is here on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kids Say The Darndest Things

4 year old: Mom, my body doesn't want me to do what you want me to. It wants to do what it wants to do.

Me: Wow, that's too bad because my body wants your body in time out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Unique Christmas Ideas- New England Experiences

It is that time of year... time for me to give you outstanding ideas for Christmas presents to make you the hero of the holiday instead of the one bringing the Chia Pet to the party.

As you know, I am a fan of experience gifts or something unique that is not plastic and in the trash in 2 days. I tried to find a list of great ideas for season tickets or cool memberships in New England, but there was not a comprehensive list anywhere. So, I had to come up with one... why do I have to do all the work around here???

The first on my list is a season pass to Water Country here in New Hampshire. My Mom has already gotten Ariana and Annika each one for Christmas. Do you know how excited they will be each time we get to go to Water Country this year courtesy of Grammy & Grampy??? It is way better than some plastic toy that they will play with for 2 days and then forget about. And for only $59 per pass, it actually makes trips to the Water park affordable for the year. Check your local water park to see if they have season passes (most do). ANother water park here in NH is Liquid Planet that sells their season pass for $60.

You can also get season passes to many other family attractions around New Hampshire, like Santa's Village. (at $67, it's a great deal, although it does not appear to be available to order online yet.)

In Maine, you can get a season pass for Funtown for $85-$95 dollars or Aquaboggin for $60 (I am not sure if you can order those online though.)

Aquariums are a great idea as well and memberships are usually reasonable. The Maine Aquarium is only $48 for a full family membership!

A pass to the state park system is a perfect gift for a family like us who enjoys the outdoors. It covers admission to the beaches, hiking, playgrounds and all of the other amenitites that the state park system offers. The NH State Park pass is only $120 for the whole family for the year.

A lot of communities have indoor play gyms or activity centers that us stay at home moms love to utilize in the colder months in New England. Locally, we have the Discovery Stop, which offers a nice respite inside on snowy or rainy days. You can get a year membership that covers 1 child and 1 adult for $145.

A universal great experience gift would be to get movie theater gift cards. What family doesn't love a good trip to the movies... but who can afford it these days? My parents gave us one for Christmas one year and Ariana was so excited to have it, she begged to use it every day until we finally went. Check out Fandango for gift cards for $10-$100.

Probably the best experience gift we have received so far was a trip on the Polar Express last year from Colb's parents (see our adventure here.) We got to go with Colby's brother and his family and all of the kids had a fantastic time. I highly suggest getting tickets now, if you can. Couple it with a copy of the book or movie and it will be a fantastic adventure.

So, in researching these ideas, probably the best value I have found was the Association of Children's Museums Reciprocal Program for memberships. You buy a membership at your local children's museum and it is good at hundreds around the country! At around $125 dollars that is a great value for someone like me who doesn't mind taking the kids on day trips to get out of the house. There is a caveat where the membership might not reciprocate for a museum within 90 miles of your home museum, you'd have to call and check first, but there are literally dozens around New England:

The Children's Museum of New Hampshire (Dover, NH)
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center (Concord, NH)
Mount Washington Observatory and Weather Discovery Center (NH)
SEE Science Center (Manchester, NH)

Boston Children's Museum (Boston)
Cape Cod Children's Museum (Mashpee, MA)
Children's Museum in Easton (North Easton, MA)
World, Children's Global Discovery Museum (Cohasset, MA)
Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, MA)
EcoTarium (Worcester, MA)
Museum of Science (Boston, MA)
Springfield Museums/Springfield Science Museum (Springfield, MA)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, MA)

Children's Discovery Museum(Augusta, ME)
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine (Portland, ME)
Coastal Children's Museum (Rockland, ME)
Discovery Museum(Bangor, ME)

Providence Children's Museum (Providence, RI)
Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University (Providence, RI)

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center (Burlington, VT)
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium (St Johnsbury, VT)

The Children's Museum (West Hartford, CT)
Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut (Niantic, CT)
Imagine Nation Children's Museum (Bristol, CT)
Kidcity Children's Museum (Middletown, CT)
Lutz Children's Museum (Manchester, CT)
Stepping Stones Museum for Children (Norwalk, CT)
Bruce Museum (Greenwich, CT)
The Children's Museum (West Hartford, CT)
Discovery Museum, Inc. (Bridgeport, CT)
DNA EpiCenter (New London, CT)
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (New Haven, CT)

• Check out my gift ideas for last year with everythign from murder mystery cruises to spa gift certificates.

Check out for 50% off ski gift cards, restaurants, salons and more in NH and MA!

• If you are in New England and have a suggestion for a membership or season pass, please let me know.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sunday Citar

When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I wrote down “happy.”
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.

Visit Fresh Mommy for more Sunday Citar inspiration.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Family Fun Activities in New Hampshire November 6-8

Why does Ariana always get grounded when there is so much cool stuff going on around the state??? We won't be enjoying these activities, but I hope someone else can...

First off, free is the best, right??? Tonight is Family Fun Night at the Children's Museum in Dover from 5:30-8pm with free admission for all! We have gone there and can honestly say it is blast for kids up to about 9 years old. Our 3 year old and her 3 year old cousin really enjoyed it.

Also free is the admission to Currier Museum of Art tomorrow, November 7, 10am-12noon.

For those music fans, Saturday, 10:30am at Baker Free Library in Bow you can catch:
Music in my Pockets: Family Fun in Folk Music (FREE)

At Border in Concord there is a Book Release of new kids book with Josh Judge
Saturday from 1:00pm - 2:00pm
The release of "Weather Facts and Fun," the new children's book on weather by WMUR TV-9 meteorologist Josh Judge and Kathe Cussen, will be held at Borders in Concord. Meet the authors, have your kids ask them about the weather and get an autographed copy of the book!
Free and open to the public!

Cats is playing through Nov 14 at Palace Theater in Manchester.

Cirque du Soleil is at the The Music Hall in Portsmouth on Friday and Saturday.

Something that most everyone in NH can make it to is the NH Open Doors Festival. Nov. 7 & 8 there will be dozens of participants around NH opening the door to creativity, adventure, relaxation and tax-free shopping. Let the scenic highways and country roads of New Hampshire take you to picturesque towns and roadside farm stands. Meet the talented artisans and craftspeople who are opening their studios to welcome you. Stroll through the shops and galleries filled with NH-made products and artwork. Savor the local cuisine. Sample the wines.
I might just go to the Concord participants to get a jump start on Christmas with some local goods. Check out the website, there is a lot to see.

If you and your family like to volunteer and give back to our great state, this Saturday is the second to last Beach Cleanup at 10:30am at Jenness Beach in Rye, NH.

I am not personally a fan of the American Girl conglomerate, but I know lots of people are so there is an American Girl Fashion Show at Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord this weekend:
Sat, November 7, 2009 11:00 AM
Sat, November 7, 2009 3:00 PM
Sun, November 8, 2009 11:00 AM
Sun, November 8, 2009 3:00 PM

For those of you near Amherst, Gymnastics Village is sponsoring Parents Night Out
Sat 11/07 from 6:00pm - 9:30pm. Leave the kids for $25 for 5 years and older and go on a much needed date.

Also in Amherst: Creature Feature, Saturday 2:00pm - 3:00pm at the Peabody Mill Environmental Center. This program is geared towards people of all ages who want to learn about and/or visit with local and exotic animals. Those brave enough might even get the chance to hold or touch the creatures. A different critter will be featured each session.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is playing Friday and Saturday in Epping at the Leddy Center.

Enjoy your weekend, the weather should be gorgeous!

Photo was taken at the Children's Museum in Dover.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Swallowing Button Batteries Can Cause A Quick Death in Children

I don't usually beg people to read my blog, but this is an issue I feel strongly about as it affected my family personally. Here's the short version: Keep those little button batteries out of your children's reach. 10% of children who swallow them will die. If you want the longer version and how I know, read on...

*UPDATE* If you have found me by searching because your child swallowed a button battery, please read this article first and then come back here to continue on.

Annika was 17 months old. Colby had purchased a new battery for our car key fob. He replaced the battery and then left the old battery along with the packaging on a table in the living room. As I came into the living room something drew my attention to the battery package, which no longer had the battery next to it. I quickly pointed to the package and asked where the battery was. At 17 months, Annika didn't have many words, but she did point at her belly. I frantically looked around for the battery, but knew in my heart she had swallowed it so I scooped her up and headed to the ER with battery package in hand.

At the ER, they were less than concerned about our situation. First off, Annika was perfectly happy and healthy with no outward sign of distress. Secondly, by looking at the packaging, the doctor assessed that there was no way she could have swallowed it without choking on it as it was so large. But I had the mother's intuition that told me she was telling the truth, so I persisted. Unfortunately, we were not high priority, so we waited around for hours. She napped, I paced. She played with rubber gloves, stethoscopes, tongue depressors... I paced.

Finally, we made our way to the X-Ray room. The X-Ray tech and doctor were in shock at what they saw...
The doctor then made a scramble to find a pediatric gastroenterologist in the state on a Saturday. Apparently, the only ones in the state are at Dartmouth Hitchcock and none were on call that day. So, he had to call Children's Hospital in Boston. The pediatric gastroenterologist there was not well versed in the battery situation and she wanted to research further. So, the ER sent me home and told me to come back in the morning to see if Annika had passed it by herself. If she hadn't, we would get back in touch with Children's to see what she had come up with.

We went back Sunday morning and it was in the exact same spot. The lack of movement over 24 hours signaled that it probably wasn't going to move. Now, if this were a penny, it would be much less frightening, as pediatricians usually tell you it is a common occurrence and it will pass. But batteries are filled with heinous chemicals and we were unsure of the consequences.

I could go on with the next 2 days of anxiety and waiting that ended up with us at Children's Hospital... but I'll spare you. Basically, the doctors were clueless on what to do. It had been in there 48 hours and they told us to decide: either operate to remove or wait it out. They did not have any advice on what would happen if the battery eroded in her. AND then... I read this article yesterday and I was in shock!

It stated, "The National Capital Poison Center said more than 3,000 people each year unintentionally swallow "button" batteries. Ten percent of kids who swallow button batteries die, according to the poison center... within eight to 10 hours, it can cause death." How did this major hospital not know this stuff? This was nearly 3 years ago, so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. But please, please read this article and inform yourself.

Keep those batteries locked away. And IF your little one does swallow one, please know that you only have a matter of hours to deal with the situation. Make sure that the doctor recognizes the severity of the situation.

Oh, yeah... Annika passed it herself the next day. Yes, I did rummage through her diaper to find it. It was very eroded from her stomach acids. There were 3 sizable holes in it, with 1 nearly completely eroded though. Who knows how much longer until the alkali would have been released.

Why does parenting have to be so damn disturbing?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Aiming Low With My New Friends

As I mentioned, I went to Boston for a blogging event with the ladies from Aiming Low. Right up there with my social anxieties is my issue with driving in Boston. Although I know that it's not just me who breaks into a cold sweat at the thought of driving into (& parking in) Boston.

Anyhow, enough bitching... after actually arriving at the event, I had a blast. The ladies from Aiming Low were hilarious and down to earth. I spent a few minutes with Shauna Glenn and Meghan at the end of the evening when they were particularly tired and punchy, which was a treat. Aiming Low is a great blog to visit if you 'strive for anti-perfection.' They "are a group of women/moms/bloggers/friends/writers that believe that there’s no shame in serving mac and cheese for dinner three nights in a row, Febreeze was created to make a questionably clean shirt smell ready-to-walk-out-the-door-fresh and that slack isn’t a way of life…it’s an art. They believe you’re perfectly not-perfect exactly as you are."

HP and Staples were also there giving out tons of cool photoprinters, gift cards, office supplies (I totally did not reveal that I work for Staples in case I won they wouldn't have said it was some conflict of interest... alas I didn't win anything anyhow!) I am already a huge fan of HP's photo printing and I only buy HP, so I spent more time socializing with other New England bloggers than I did playing with the technology. (Also, not conducive to a shy person coming out of the closet was a film crew hovering over all of the toys with a scary boom mic. I was avoiding that whole scenario like the plague.)

So, I got to sit at a table with some really great ladies and talk about fashion, office supply obsessions, books, boobs, cute kids, having children after you kill off your husband... you know... the stuff women talk about when they get together.

The first person I introduced myself to was Liz. We had bonded a little beforehand trying to figure out what to wear and who would be the coolest wallflower wearing glasses. Well, she totally won. She showed up in this supercute dress and funky boots. AND then, not only was she cute, but funny, smart and crafty. I have already fallen in love with her scarves and purses and was really taken back that she said she just recently started sewing. What? But I have seen a ton of stuff on your Etsy site. Clearly you don't work outside the home. "I work full time in the Biotech industry." And she has 2 little boys that she is constantly doing fun things with. Liz is the type of mom that gives the rest of us a bad name. I mean, whatever. I work at least 2 hours per day. I make pizza like nobody's business AND, if Colby is lucky, I even make the bed once a week.

So, as if Liz didn't make me feel inadequate enough, there was Kameron... who also works in Biotech, crafts gorgeous baby items and is the most beautiful pregnant lady you have ever seen. Truly.

Coincidentally, LZ, from My Messy Paradise was sitting at the same table. I actually did a post for her a few weeks back. I have followed her for awhile since I discovered she was another New England mom raising girls who is a gadget geek like me. LZ is a really funny lady. Unfortunately she was across the table from me and I did not get to talk to her enough, but I am sure we will be working together more in the future.

I also met a great lady who I can't talk about since she blogs from the Blogger Relocation Program (aka, I don't want my friends and family to know all the awful stuff I say about them!) But, she was a sweety and funny as well.

And then there was Deb who was also across the table, but I enjoyed her dry wit while I was eavesdropping on her conversations.

Sooo... that's my rambling post for the day- go check out these fine ladies and tell them AYummyMommy sent you.

*This post was sponsored by LZ, Liz, Kameron and Deb who all paid me copious amounts of money to say nice things about them.*