Friday, May 30, 2008

Any Attention is Good, right?

I went out for dinner & drinks with some girlfriends last Friday evening. Our server somehow became overly attentive to me. Usually, this is a good thing, right? Well, not in this case. He's kinda stalkerish. Creepy. Gave me the willies to be honest.

I was telling the ladies about our news interview and he happened to overhear me as he brought our beverages. He comments that he's got a tv star at his table and asks for my autograph. I have a very difficult time being outright rude to someone unless they've pissed me off in a major way, so I kinda chuckled and we went back to talking. He then goes on to say something almost each time he comes to our table. And at point, I, for some reason, had my hand in the air for the briefest second and he walked by and high-fived me.

It kind of became a joke, and most of the others were just as weirded out by him too. We discovered the lamp above our table had this bat, as in the flying-winged creature, on the piece. On purpose. It wasn't just some leftover Halloween decoration. Someone asked him about it and he had no clue, but thought it was cool and said he'd probably have it in his house if he could.

He must have been new as he had some issues with figuring out our checks and we seemed to be his only table. I'd feel a bit bad for him and then he'd comment to me again, and I'd drop that bad feeling quick. When we left, he made sure to ask what night our interview was going to air and said he'd watch. All I could think of was that he was going to tape our piece and masterbate to it later. Isn't that awful of me? But seriously, that's how creepy the guy was to me. Second that I was with a group of ex-coworkers who work with abuse victims and we are all thinking along the same lines. I got two emails from the group on Monday after I sent out the link to the news article, that mentioned how said my "stalker" was going to be when he didn't see me on TV this week. I am ever so grateful our story aired days earlier than I expected.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quick Walk Update

We hit the $1000 mark in pledges yesterday. Thank you to those who donated! I appreciate it. The walk is in two days and we're hoping the weather holds out for sunny skies on Saturday. It looks like we will have a much larger group of walkers than last year, and that is exciting. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are joining us to walk on Sat. And as usual, I'm looking forward to seeing my PE sista's again.

I still need to create the iron-on's for the kids shirts, make the buttons for our team, finish the team flag, finalize the program and get that printed, among the most important tasks yet. Guess I better get off the computer, cuz I also have actual work to do as well.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lost and not found

I feel a bit lost today. I'm not sure if it's because I just have so much swimming in my head at the moment, or what. But I'm feeling lost and definitely not found. I feel disconnected from my husband. From my friends, IRL and online. From just everyone. And I know it's of my own doing. I feel hurried and I just want to chill out for an entire day. No kids, no demands, no responsibilities. Maybe that will happen in oh, say, 16 more years once my kidlets are over 18 years of age.

Our story on the news

We were interviewed this past weekend by our local news station in response to our story and the walk coming up this weekend. It aired at the 6p & 10p news, with us being the top story at 6pm. It's always interesting to see how the 30-45 minutes you spend with the reporter comes out on the news piece. Overall, it went very well. You can check it out here

Friday, May 23, 2008

PF Walk Update

We are just over one week away from the walk and I have to say thank you for the support. The Madison walk has received some great sponsors, and I hope that we can possibly have a walk here in our city in the coming years. At the begining of the month, the Preeclampsia Foundation put out a news release that shared recent survey results of over 1300 women. One key item that emerged from the results was that over half of pregnant women are not informed about the signs of preeclampsia and this lack of awareness translates into poor health outcomes for women and babies. I have been in contact with the local media on this, and will be interviewed this Saturday by our local ABC news station for a short piece on preeclampsia. I am extremely excited for this opportunity.

If you haven't donated yet and would like to, please do so in the coming weeks. For every $20 raised, the Preeclampsia Foundation can produce 100+ brochures. For every $50, 10 educational DVD's can be created for continuing education of medical professionals. Even if you just share our story or would like a brochure to learn more about preeclampsia & share it, your efforts are appreciated. We also still have time for anyone to register to walk with us yet too!

Thank you again, and much love,
Denise & Family

New Link

Welcome! It's the same old blog, just a new address to reflec the title.

I'm also thinking of a layout change/upgrade. Anyone have a suggestion? I'm willing to look into having it revamped by the "pro's", so share your fave design place. Thanks!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Phoenix!

My buddy turns two today! I cannot believe how fast the last two years have gone.

Days old
Phoenix 1 day old

One Year
Mr Cool

Two Years Old

You are growing...

My dearest son,

Today you turn another year older. You are defintely a spirited child like your big sister. Everything must be done in a big way. You are coming into those "terrible two's" that everyone talks about, and are in no way near the "terrible three's" (which should be oh, so fun). The tantrums are becoming more frequent and you love to let us know if you are not happy. "No" is a word we hear often. And it's said with that snarky lil' attitude only a toddler can carry off.

You are a daredevil. Fear of adventure does not exist for you. From leaping off the couch to going down the slide on your belly, headfirst. You seem to crave walking the line. When I joke that you will climb Mt. Everest someday, I do truly mean it.

You are so full of love. You give the best hugs, wrapping your arms tight around us. You even pat our backs in comfort at times. It's not time to go to bed unless you give each of us a hug and kiss. You yell for "ug" and smack you lips. It's just adorable. At least until it's the 5th or 6th time you want an "ug" and kiss. When your sister is hurt or just plain mad and crying, you try to comfort her. You find her blankie or come lay down next to her with your head near hers. It's the sweetest thing.

You are so friendly, you say hi to almost everyone. Of course, you will play the shy game and hide once in a while. But as soon as we get 10 feet from the cashier at the store or whomever, you are waving, smiling and saying "bye bye". You love to bring people things. When we have family or friends over, you bring them toys one by one to share.

The zest for laughter shines so brightly in you. I think laughter is second to breathing for you. And that laughter is so contagious. I rue the day when I start getting calls from your teacher to say you are the class clown. You have this delicious snort when you laugh, I could just eat it up. And you've learned that we think that is funny so you continually snort. Which makes us laugh even harder.

I wish a long life for you, my son. One filled with much laughter, much love, and much peace. I hope you always know you are loved and treasured.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"The List"

Jason and I have a "list." The list consists of people we find, how shall I say it? Appetizing? Appealing? Sexy? The listees are individuals who are pretty much famous and ones that we'd never ever get a chance to talk with. They are people that should an opportunity arise, we'd get to have a one nighter with. And he or I would have no issue with it. Obviously this is a joke as I just know I'll never have that shining orgasm with Orlando Bloom, but hey a girl can dream right?

We find it interesting to see who ends up on each other's lists. If one of us mentions that we find someone attractive, usually the first question we ask is....would they make your list? No one close to us personally would ever make the list. That might be crossing a line. But is allows us to dream and so what if I dream of Brad or Viggo or Orlando making me sweat. I know that Kathy Ireland is on his list and we joke about it when we see celebs on each others list on TV.

I know that a few people find it odd, but it's something that keeps our relationship fun. Not that I'd ever admit to him that Orlando occasionally makes it into a fantasy.

Walt Disney World - May 2008

Margaritas in Mexico at Epcot

Funky photo

Mini Golf

I heart Jack Sparrow

Magic Kingdom

Our rental car...a convertible PT Cruiser

Epcot & the Flower & Garden Festival

Animal Kingdom
I rode Expedition Everest!

Misc Photos

Wedding Photos

Here are a few wedding photos. These are all photos I took that day.

The bride-to-be
Photobucket Photobucket

The bride and her big brother

Getting ready to go...
Photobucket Photobucket

Lookin' good
Photobucket Photobucket

My Hottie

Mad Hatter cake

Hidden Mickey's in her bouquet

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New linky?

I'm thinking of updating our blog address to reflect the blog title. But then I have to update the change everywhere else. Is it worth it?

Update: Okay, I'll be updating the link to the blog to.... probably this weekend.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pixies needed for a friend

Please keep my friend Jen, and her daughter Grace, in your thoughts if you can. Grace has a lump on her neck and will see an ENT this week. They've been through so much already, and I hate to see Jen have another thing to worry about. Check out her blog on my sidebar, Unique But Not Alone.

Much love and pixie dust to them.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tired as hell...

but we're home. What a fast four days! Being part of a Disney Fairytale Wedding was truly a magical moment for me. A real dream come true, next to someday having my own vow renewal there. The bride was beautiful, the weather was gorgeous (hot and sunny). I'll have some photos up soon. And hopefully in the coming days I can catch up on what's going on with all of you. Any news, let me know in comments.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

So long, Farewell

We leave Tuesday morning on a mini-vacation. Jason's sister is getting married at my favorite place, Walt Disney World! The halflings will be with my mom, and Jason & I will be enjoying some "alone" time.

Enjoy your week everyone! I'll have some good photos to share upon my return.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Parenting Sucks

I'm having one of those days where I hate being a parent. I long for the days of sleeping in late, taking a shower when it fits MY schedule, reading a book uninterrupted, peeing by myself, and having a quiet dinner. My halflings were awful today. I completely understand why some animals eat their young. Seriously. I'm not kidding.

I've about had it with Phoenix and his fascination of taking off his diaper everytime he pees. Dammit kid, if you figured that hard is it to get to the toilet before you pee?! We are flying through the diapers and of course, he has to get naked for naptime and wet the bed. I do laundry daily. He has hit the tantrum mode, making telling him "no" quite the experience. He wants to be outside ALL the time. When I need to buckle him in the van, he fights me with everything he's got. I'm exhausted dealing with him.

Ariana has some good days until dinner time this evening. In seconds, it turned from a mild reprimand to an all out freakout by her. She wouldn't sit on the timeout mat and when we put her in her room she slammed the door and proceeded to throw things at it. Which then pisses us off and we are trying to keep our cool while dealing with her. She's tired and upset and everything we do pisses her off even more.

Ugh. My good friend, Crown Royale Whiskey, was calling my name this eveing.

It never stops, does it?

Ariana is our spirited child. She is the child we've experienced lots of ups and downs with. From her NG-tube feedings in the NICU, to the murmur detected and found to be innocent, to the benign shuddering attacks, the the block tear ducts that required two surgeries, to seeing a therapist to help her with her anger....there always seems to be something.

She had her five year check up this week and overall is looking wonderful. She's growing like a week and no longer falls in the small end of the charts for everything for the first time. However, she has been exhibiting some odd symptoms that when all put together could signal something may be wrong. She complains she's tired. A lot. I know she's got high energy, but there are days where she literally lays on the couch and whines that she's tired every 15 minutes. She drinks beverages like she is dying of thirst. Sucks down a juice in seconds and wants more. Now! A few weeks ago, she had a case of the itchies and we were putting lotion on her a couple times a day. Little by little, I started to get a bit concerned and planned on discussing it with the pediatrician. She thought it was odd too, so we ran some labwork after her appointment. Poor child got stuck for vaccines, which she was devastated by, and then had to have a blood draw. She was through the ringer Monday morning. The doctor called me late that afternoon to say that the tests came back normal. Except for her glucose, which was mildly high. So we are running a fasting lab tomorrow morning to see what that brings.

I'm not freaking out, and haven't even looked too closely at what the "could be's" are at this point. One thing all of the things we've been through with her has taught me is to not worry until the doc tells me to worry. But good thoughts are appreciated. Ariana knows she's going back to the lab for another blood draw and is being pretty darn brave and okay with it. I have a feeling my bigger issue tomorrow morning will be keeping her liquid & food free until 8:55am.

Update: I got a call from the nurse that said, "Things look good, if she has worsening symptoms give us a call." Um, okay. We see the pedi again soon, so I figure I'll get the actual lab values then rather then deal with the nurse. If the pedi didn't call me herself, things are okay.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vacation Book

I need a book to read on the plane next week....any suggestions? I've got a ton on my list that I'd like to get, but haven't picked a winner yet. I'd like something light, but not too short.

Do you get a special book when you go on vacation?

May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month

Preeclampsia, formerly known as toxemia, is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Preeclampsia occurs as often as breast cancer. Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading global cause of maternal and fetal illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal deaths each year. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Additional signs and symptoms may include swelling in the hands, feet, or face; sudden weight gain; nausea or upper abdominal pain; headaches; and/or changes in vision; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms. Preeclampsia is the leading known cause of prematurity.
Visit for more information.

Preeclampsia Awareness Walks will take place around the country this month to create awareness and raise donations Walk proceeds will support foundation efforts to fund and drive research, raise public and professional awareness, and provide support and education for those whose lives have been touched by preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. In honor of our kids birthday, both of which are in May, our family (Team “Lang Gang”)will be participating in the Wisconsin Preeclampsia Awareness Walk on May 31, 2008 in Madison to help raise awareness.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Ariana

My oldest halfling turns 5 today! Five years ago I was preparing to give birth without the epidural I was counting on and in a mag-induced haze. Our 4lb guppy has turned into a lovely little girl with a fascination with bugs, volcanoes, weather, and of course, make-up.

Days old Isolette May 2003

March 08 SLR Photobucket

May all your wishes come true and always remember to dream big. You are one of a kind, a treasure for sure.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another year comes to a close

Tomorrow, my baby girl will turn five. I cannot believe it. She is growing up and watching her makes my heart sing.

My dearest daughter,

On the edge of the end of your fourth year, you seem to grow a bit each day. You find joy in the simplest of things and I hope you carry that for the rest of your life. You are truly a miracle to me. Of course, you do present challenges for us and while there are days I want to tear my hair out as you scream in frustration, I know that the intensity of which you feel things has it's good side too.

You have such an open heart and love for life. And I hope you never lost that. I love that twinkle in your eye when you announce, "Mom, I have an idea." The love you show your little brother makes me proud, and even though he's a pest at times he loves you just as much.

Much love to you sweetheart.


Lil' Big Man

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What's Wrong With Me

This has to be more than just PMS. I'm so moody, pissy, so close to tears at times. God, I feel exhausted with just the emotions coursing through my body. I have suffered from depression before and while I don't believe or feel that I'm in that despair again, I am starting to wonder if a little St. John's Wart would help a girl out. Or some lovely white pills.

I switched up my general practitioner care, for the much better. My old family physician, well, he just sucked. I only saw him for my yearly cholesterol check. Any other time I tried to get in for a problem, he was on vacation or had no openings, so I would end up at the walk-in. I switched to an internal medicine doc and jeez, we are on the move immediately. Got some lab work next week and had some tests last week, which are resulting in my going in for a CT scan tomorrow. I'll update once I know something other than me having some "decreased lung capacity."

One of the main things we are looking into is the possibility of me having PCOS. I actually questioned this back in 2005 when I saw asshole OB. He told me I didn't look like a PCOS gal and that was about it. I remember being pissed at the time, but we were also TTC for almost a year at that point, so my focus was more on that. Happily we got pregnant not long after that, so I just put it out of my head. I never mentioned it to my current OB and frankly haven't thought about it until the new doc said something. I have many of the classic symptoms and when I take the little quiz on the support site, it says most women with my score turn out to have PCOS. Not sure how this affects me in the long run as I know more about the infertility piece of it.

I've been struggling lately. The lovely memories of HELLP are back with Ariana's birthday, and the fears of Phoenix's pregnancy & birth. Each year I think it won't bother me as much, and then whammo I feel everything just as strong as the year before. I'm not sure if I hold shit in regarding this that I just can't seem to let the emotions go. I've felt like I've made peace with our experience. I know it's the same for some, well most, of my other preeclampsia sisters. Tomorrow it will be five years from the day where I learned I would be having my baby over 5 weeks early and I had this preeclampsia thing. It would be months later before I learned just how sick I really was. Denial is such a wonderful and awful thing. We also had a loss last year that was unexpected. I don't share this for sympathy, so please don't share you're sorry. I'm sharing to open up and let things go. Things weren't going well that's about all I can fully say. It's very private for me. We haven't shared here, or with pretty much all of our family & friends. We have/had several family members & friends who were experiencing infertility and it was just too private. It's been a rough year.

I am a person who may seem very outgoing to many people who know me in real life, but honestly it's so hard for me to open up. My patient husband can attest to that fact. I've always had to hold things together since I was little and it's carried on into adulthood. I grew up in a single parent home, my mom was 17 when she had me. I never really knew anything about my father until I was much older. All I knew was that I didn't have a dad. It didn't make sense when I was young, that feeling of rejection. And the reasons for him not being there were not known to me until much, much later. Even now, I don't believe I know the entire story. It's simply something we don't discuss. I was surrounded by love growing up and I'm incredibly thankful for that. But those early years of childhood into teenager, have left their mark. I withdraw when I'm feeling anxious, sad, worried, etc. It's what I do. I have a difficult time discussing real emotions or having a disagreement as I usually start to tear up immediately. It's one of those things that I hate about myself. I'm much more happier being able to hermit myself at home with a movie or a book than going out with the crowd or to a party. I don't really have social anxiety over being out, it's just that I'd rather stay home. I put on the show of "everything's fine" and that really gets tiring after a while.

Well, now. That's way more than what I intended this post to be. Wow. Talk about vomit-speak. Now the dilemma of leaving it or deleting it. The self-questioning begins, was I too open, do you think I'm nuts now....all those lovely things. The one bad thing about sharing your blog with family & friends is that they can read it. So to post something so private is taking some balls. Please be gentle and don't beat the shit out of me with your comments.

Preeclampsia Awareness Walk

Our family will be participating in the 4th annual Preeclampsia Foundation Awareness walk on May 31st in Madison. Walk proceeds will support foundation efforts to fund and drive research, raise public and professional awareness, and provide support and education for those whose lives have been touched by preeclampsia.

Most of you know that I developed HELLP Syndrome with Ariana just shy of 35 weeks. She weighed 4lbs and spent 15 days in the hospital. I developed gestational hypertension with Phoenix at approximately 32 weeks and was able to make it to 37 weeks before being induced. He weighed 5lbs 6oz and was able to room in, as well as go home with us.

From the Preeclampsia Foundation : Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. It affects at least 5-8% of all pregnancies. Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading global cause of maternal and infant illness and death. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 deaths each year.

I posted two news stories earlier this year where two moms lost their lives after developing this condition. Last week, I shared the video of a little boy who died from complications of prematurity which resulted after his mommy developed preeclampsia. There are countless other women out there who have lost their lives or their children. This MUST stop. Please help us by raising awareness and by donating to help researchers find the cause and the cure. I don't want to read about another woman who leaves behind a child, or who's dreams are shattered when she loses her baby.

If you are interested in walking with us, or making a donation, please click here . Our team name this year is Lang Gang. You can enter the team name in the online registration/donation form.

Here is the photo montage I put together of our preeclampsia babies.

Thank you.

Kids's Bday Parties

I was at a meeting at school today for Ariana's kindergarten parent orientation. I was speaking with another parent who's daughter is in Ariana's current 4K class and she asked if Ariana was attending one of their classmates birthday party tomorrow evening. Um, no. We never got an invitation. She frowned and said that she thought all the girls were invited. She described the invite, which was homemade, thinking that maybe we thought it was an art project and put it aside. But I never saw anything like what she described in Ariana's backpack. Then she wondered if it got lost, etc. I didn't want to make a big deal of it, but wasn't quite sure what to say.

To be honest, I'm a little shocked that we didn't get one (assuming she wasn't invited and the invite wasn't lost) as Ariana and the birthday girl have played together outside of school and they hang out together at school. But, I don't ever see her parents because their sitter picks her up. Ariana doesn't have a clue, which I'm thankful for, but I'm also afraid of her being hurt if someone does say something and she figures out she's not going. On the other hand, what if the invite was just lost? I don't plan on calling the parents. It was suggested that I ask their teacher. Which I'm not sure is actually a good idea either. It's really not that big of a deal. She's got her birthday this weekend and is focused on that, so I'm sure this would ever bother her. But I personally have issues with exclusion. I know what it's like to be excluded as a child due to petty reasons and it hurts. I guess I feel that it's all or none for parties like this.


We are just having cake & ice cream with grandparents this weekend for Ariana's birthday. I was not planning a kids party for her this year. But this has me thinking now about what to do next year.

Do you do the whole kid party thing for your kids? Do you invite the child's entire class or just a few friends?

Update: The invite was lost. There was another child's who's didn't make it home either. Yes, all the girls were invited and I had two more moms mention it to me at pickup this afternoon. And then birthday girls mom came to pick up and she asked if we were coming since she hadn't heard from us.

I think it's only natural that the first time you find out that your child is maybe not invited to a party that you wonder a bit. I'm all for keeping friends open and not forcing each other to play. For me, I can say that our parties will be all or none in the coming years.