Thursday, November 29, 2007

TMI Warning...Surgery

I've been dealing with a plumbing problem for years now and it's been steadily getting worse. Each cough or sneeze would have me errr...springing a leak so to speak. I'm 44 years old and with all those commercials for things like "Depends", I thought it was just a normal sign of aging. Until I brought it up at my last check up and my doctor was SHOCKED and informed me in no uncertain terms that this was NOT at all normal for my age. This is the reason I'm even sharing this embarrassing predicament, in case anyone else out there is experiencing the same thing, that they would know there is something that can be done.

I was sent to a specialist, Dr. Joseph Carbone. That's his official title but he's an Italian from Brooklyn so the first thing I thought of when I met him was that his family in Brooklyn would be saying, (in a Brooklyn/Tony Soprano type accent), Yeah, that's our Joey. He done good. He's a docta now down dare in Vuginia. I liked him immediately. He explained everything in detail and answered all my questions and laughed at my Joey from Brooklyn joke. He also told me that that is EXACTLY what his father says when he goes home for a visit. His brother is also a doctor and when they go walking in the old neighborhood, his dad points his boys out to everyone they meet....My boys...both doctas. :)

He was funny in his explanation about what exactly was wrong with me. Here comes more TMI. The pelvic floor was weakened by having babies and of course getting older. So stress on the bladder from coughing or sneezing without the support it used to have allows for leaks. He compared it to a driveway. The urethra being a hose on the driveway. If you step on the hose on a driveway, the water will stop. My pelvic floor is now more like a trampoline. LOL Step on a hose as hard as you want to on a trampoline and that water isn't going to stop. He talked about kegel exercises but also said that he could go to the gym every day and he'd never be an Arnold Schwartzeneger. LOL Which told me what I needed to know. I was never gonna have a driveway again either.

He also explained that his success rate with this surgery is higher than the national average but that it was because he chose his patients carefully to make sure they were good candidates for the surgery. I went back for a series of excruciating tests and was SO happy when I passed...or failed, as the case may be. I felt like I passed the audition and got a call back. :) By this point I didn't want to deal with home remedies if there was a way to just fix it already. I told him, Great! Get out the nail gun or whatever and let's get this thing done!!! :)

On Monday I had the surgery. It's called TVT Sling. And I'm here to tell ya it works!! :) It's only 3 days post surgery and I'm still healing but it worked! After I heal all the way, I'm gonna go and get me some big girl panties!! ....Maybe with Barbie on them!!! LOL

Anyway, readers, I only told you about all of this, in case someone out there is having this problem and thinks it's normal. It's not normal...go talk to your doctor. You don't have to live with this and YOU can go get big girl panties too!! :)

See ya next time! :o)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving & My Birthday Day

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. :) Now you may be wondering about the title of this blog. My birthday day? What is that? In our home, when it's your birthday it is tradition that you are waited hand and foot and pampered all day. You do no work and whatever you need someone will get it or do it for you. You choose your birthday dinner and cake and you are pretty much the king or queen for the day.

That being said, sometimes the actual birthday falls on a day when it's impossible to do this for the birthday person, like during the work week when everyone is out working or at school. So on a weekend day when everyone is home, we celebrate the person's birthday and call it their birthday day when they will be pampered all day by the rest of the family.

This year, Steve decided to do my birthday day on Thanksgiving! Which meant I had NOTHING to do all day yesterday for the big Thanksgiving feast. Usually he and I cook together for the rest of the family and company. Yesterday, I got to sleep in til 10:00! When I got up the turkey was stuffed and in the oven and the table was set with our nice china and crystal. I had breakfast and tea served to me while I watched the Macy's Parade and read a book. When company got here, I sat and chatted with them. It was wonderful! The kids helped and brought me whatever I wanted. Someone ELSE fed the dog! Pure bliss!!

After dinner, while we had dessert Mom and Joe gave me a new robe and slippers for my birthday. Soft and pink and fluffy. So nice!! Now Taco, who loves my old robe and thinks it's his, can officially have it. LOL

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. I know I have a LOT to be grateful for this year.

See ya next time! :0)

Lego Robotics

Never heard of it, right? Me neither! Until Anthony went to middle school and it was one of the classes offered as an elective. Huh? They're gonna grade you on playing with Legos?

What I found out is that Lego Robotics is kind of like a pre-engineering class. They make bots out of Legos that are powered by engines. The engines have to be programed to make the bots perform certain tasks without the help of its creator. Once you turn it on and press the button, it has to be completely autonomic and function completely on its own. Pretty cool stuff.

Anthony is a part of a team that competes with other schools in Lego Robotic Competitions. All of the kids on Anthony's team are first timers. There were different parts of the competition.

One part was on a table where their bot had to perform the different tasks against another team. Each task performed correctly earns points and if you do it faster than the other team, you earn bonus points. Highest number of points, obviously wins.

Other parts were tests in design of your bot, a speech including a power point presentation and a teamwork competition where each team was given the same task and they judged how well the team worked together.

Well, the table competition wasn't going so well. It looked more like a demolition derby than anything else. But they do get three rounds and did improve with each round so that was good. Their presentation went well but what they really excelled at was the teamwork competition. They communicated well and built their bridge quickly and efficiently. They only have 5 minutes to complete the task and it's not really how well the bridge is built but how well they participate together.

Awards time came around and my newbie team didn't really expect to win anything. Reminded me of the Olympics where the new skater comes in and all the judges are talking about how much potential she has for the NEXT Olympics.

We were happily surprised when we won the Teamwork Award. :) Great job, you guys!!!

See ya next time! :o)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Torture is OVER!

Here it is!! THIS is the big surprise!! I couldn't believe it!! It's a Chrysler Town & Country. It's not brand new, but new TO ME! :) It has duel sliding back doors and a remote door opener thingamajig and it's just beautiful!!!

Our old van has been having problems and we've been "making do" for quite awhile now, adding fluids nearly every day along with other stuff that is going bad on it. NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think THIS would be my birthday gift! No wonder everyone was freaking out!

Steve, Anthony and I went to pick up Michael at work and then planned to go out for pizza. We went into the grocery store where Michael works supposedly to check out turkeys. What a coincidence, Mom and Joe were there! They had gone out for Chinese and popped in for soda on the way home. We all walked out together to our car and there was a beautiful white van parked next to our car with a big red bow on the door handle. On the HANDLE? While we stood there talking about other stuff. Someone pointed out the red bow on this van and I said, I know people decorate vehicles for Christmas but who puts the bow on the HANDLE? Usually it's on the grill. It's just in the way on the handle. Steve said, Or instead of a decorated van, maybe it's just a really great birthday gift. And with that, he clicked the remote and the lights lit up. I stood there, shell shocked. Literally, speechless for a few moments. Until I found one word...just one. What? What???? WHAT????? Then, I found two more.....NO WAYYYYYYYY!!!!

It was just so fabulous. I totally bought the whole thing. Mom and Joe hadn't gone for Chinese food. They didn't need soda. I was so not expecting anything because we'd agreed to celebrate my birthday on Thanksgiving, since everyone would be here anyway.

We all went for pizza afterwards, where Joe took this picture of me and the remote doohickey, and I just kept sitting there, smiling and trying to get my breathing back to normal. Two hours later, I still felt like I couldn't get a deep enough breath. After getting home, I kept looking out the window at it and it was just shocking each time.

I couldn't stop smiling or hugging Steve. I kept telling him that he was something else! He asked, How am I gonna top this? I told him, Baby, you NEVER have to top THIS!

Thanks to Mom for coming out for the surprise and bringing the big red bow. Thanks to Joe for coming out for the surprise and his help to Steve beforehand in checking out the van and getting it into town. Thanks to my kids for doing such a great job keeping the secret. Thanks to Bridget and Tink for being SOOOOO excited for me before I even knew what I was supposed to be excited about and then for sharing my excitement when the surprise was revealed. And thanks to my sweety, who wanted me to have this new van because he loves me and worried about me breaking down on the side of the road. You are truly the love of my life.

See ya next time! :o)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Taco, the Wonder Dog

Well, maybe he's not really a wonder dog. He didn't save a life or alert people about a building being on fire. He doesn't even KNOW who Timmy is or which well he fell down. But he IS cute as hell! LOL Michael took some video with his cell phone of these two newest tricks, beg and high five!

See ya next time! :o)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Birthday Torture

My birthday is next week. In our house we do the "birthday torture." It's not as bad as it sounds. The birthday torture is when you have a gift for someone that you are really excited about giving them and for weeks before their birthday you take every opportunity to let them know it. Usually it's in chant form. Think of a kid's playground chant. It goes like this, I know what you're gettin' for your biiiiiiiirrrthdaaaayyyyyyy. This birthday torture is also used in December as the Christmas torture.

Every year, my husband asks me for a list of things I'd like for my birthday. Most years I have no idea. I actually usually dread the question. So much pressure! LOL Last week, Steve came home and surprised me with the birthday torture chant. The surprise is not that he's torturing me, but that he never asked me what I wanted. Instead, he chanted with a gleam in his eye and said, And you are SOOOOO gonna love it!

He then proceeded to take my boys into the next room to tell them what the gift is, to which I heard gasps, shrieks and a very clear, NO WAAAYYYYY!!! They came out with huge grins and, of course, started the chant.

Next, he told my mom. He actually whispered to her in front of me so I got to SEE as well as HEAR her reaction. Jaw-dropping shock followed by, OMG!! Are you serious??? HOW did you DO that????

My daughter knows, my brother knows...everyone knows! And everyone is getting into the birthday torture act. They are getting SO creative with it too. Not just the chant this year. This year there are texts, messages popping up on my computer screen, phone calls and talks of a serious sounding nature starting with, I have to tell you something.....followed by a serious non-chanting version of Well, it's just that.....I know what you're getting for your birthday.

What on EARTH could this be that everyone is so excited about???

I'll let ya know when I know!

See ya next time! :o)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Tawt I Taw a Putty Tat

I wanted one for a long, long time. But I wanted it on the curve of my breast and my sister-in-law told me, NOOOO, don't get one THERE!!! (She is a big tattoo fan and has a lot of them.) She said, You know....they have to make the skin tight, so they have to hold on to SOMETHING. Don't get it there!

Well, I decided if I couldn't have one where I really wanted it, I wouldn't bother getting one. I didn't even know what I wanted yet but since it was not going to go where I wanted it, then never mind.

BUT I finally did it!!! 15 years later I finally did it! I think I was 35 or 36 years old. Mine was not an act of rebellion or anything like that. I had thought about it for years and years and finally knew what I wanted and where I wanted it. After my last child was born and we were done having children, I got three tiny, red rose buds on a green and yellow vine for my three kids. It's about as long as my index finger AND I got in on the upper curve of my right breast, just above the bra-line. I researched and chose a reputable, sterile tattoo place and my husband, Steve, came with me. There was no grabbing.....there was barely any touching and I didn't even have to take my bra off.

I am also a big baby so I was holding Steve's hand and waiting for pain....I was prepared for child-birth pain....LOL I thought it was needles poking you again and again and again and agggaiiiinnnnnn. AHHHHH! But to me it felt more like a dry pen being dragged across your skin, so I was very relieved after I had psyched myself up for PAIIIINNNN! ROFL

Anyway, I am so glad I got it. It is something that will never ever change or go out of style. I will always be a mom to three so my tattoo is very special to me. It's only seen when I want it to be seen since I'd have to wear something pretty low-cut, but it's still a little sexy when I wanna show it off. ;)

Last year I decided on one more tattoo. A pair of butterflies, one blue and one pink for Steve and I. I went back to the same tattoo artist and was once again very pleased with his work. My butterflies are over my left breast....kinda balances out the art. :)

See ya next time! :o)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Last Game

This past Friday was our last football game of the season. It was with our biggest rival school who have had a great season. We knew we were gonna get our butts kicked but we packed up our stadium seats, our big blanket and our umbrellas. We put on our heavy jackets and hats and gloves. And we drove to the rival school to sit in the stands in the rain as the temperature dropped into the 30's to watch our team get ....well, slaughtered. I mean REALLY slaughtered! LOL At halftime the score was 42 to 0. It was pathetic, really. At that point, we were just hoping that it wouldn't be a shut out. The final score was 63 to 20. At least they got the goose egg off the board.

The real reason we bundled up and went out there in the cold, nasty weather was, of course, to watch the band. It was Michael's last high school game...the last time he'd play on the field in his Comet uniform....the last time he'd rock out in the stands. It was bittersweet for him and for us. They had a great performance. HE had a great performance. He hit every note he went for. He marched hard and danced the breakdown part of the show with abandon. He had fun!

Even the rival band was dancing to their music and applauded them when they were done. The rival band was rockin' in THEIR stands to OUR playing from across the field. It was pretty damn awesome.

So here's to the half time show...the REAL show! Here's to rockin' out in the stands! Here's to the Marching Comets...our band home for past 7 years. We are going to miss being band parents. It's been a hell of a ride!

See ya next time! :o)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I've been published!!

Okay so it was only in our local newspaper, but I'm still happy! :D Around here, sports get all the glory at the school, in our town and in the paper. I get that sports supposedly make money for the school and I love sports, but band is not a seasonal activity like sports are. Band camp starts in July during summer break to get the half time show ready for football season and continues straight through to graduation when the band plays for the ceremony in May. It's a real commitment and these kids and their band director, Mr. Cooper, work so hard. Yet they never seem to get much public recognition. I hear all the time from individuals that they love the band and that halftime is the best part of the game but never anything public, like in the newspaper. So I wrote this letter to the editor and they published it. Here it is:

Dear Mr. Cooper and the Marching Comets,

Congratulations on your huge successes at your first three band competitions of the year!! We are all so proud of our kids and the terrific job they are doing out on the field. For those who haven't heard, your Pride of Halifax Marching Comets have had three competitions so far this year. The first week they took first place trophies in every category including marching, horns, dance, flags, percussion and drum major. They took the first place trophy in their class and then the Grand Champion trophy for best band over all, beating out all the other bands in the competition! The second week was much the same taking all first place and one second place, first place in their class and then Grand Champion. Last week they took all first places and one second place, first in their class and then took the second place Grand Champion trophy over 13 other bands. We couldn't be prouder to be wearing our band parent shirts and cheering you on these past weekends. Way to go, Comets!!! You rock!!!


A proud band parent
Donna Chafatelli

A band parent saw me at the game last week and pulled me aside to thank me for my letter. She said that some of the parents have been talking about writing to the paper for a long time but that none felt qualified to do so, so it was a great surprise to come across my letter. :) Yay me!

See ya next time! :o)


My daughter was 15, about to be 16. She is my oldest child and she is very mature for her age. At her school they have a program where you take home a mechanical baby for the weekend. The baby has a special key that is attached to the "mom's" wrist and cannot be removed except for with a special tool at the school. This ensures that the "mom" takes care of this baby herself and doesn't pawn the baby off on "grandma" for the weekend. The baby cries whenever it wants to and needs to be held or fed or changed by the "mom". You don't know what it needs so you have to try all the ways and sometimes even those three things don't work and it just cries and cries. (Like a real baby.) The key must be held to the baby's back until it stops crying which can be for hours. There are different types of babies...some you just turn the key and go on, but hers was the kind that you had to touch the disc of the key to the back and hold it there. It can be in the middle of an activity or in the middle of the night...ya never know when the baby will start up. You have to hold this baby just right because his head will flop back, just like a real baby.

There is a computer chip in the baby that tells the school things like, how long it cried, how it was handled (you can tell by the head flopping thing), how many times it cried, etc. All of these things affect your grade, so you can't just say I don't care and leave the baby home crying all weekend. (besides that, the baby cries really loudly and its VERY annoying! LOL) It also has censors in the lips and in the bottle tip so that when it needs to be fed, you must sit there and hold the bottle to its lips so you hear the sucking sounds and know that its being fed. And censors in the diaper area that says its been changed and how many times.

Now my daughter couldn't WAIT to get her chance with this baby!!! She counted down the days til it was her turn...she named him Chris. She got off the bus on a Friday afternoon with the baby and its diaper bag and its baby carrier/carseat and its little blanket and bottle with this big smile...Mom, look at Chris, isn't he so cute!!! And he is such a good baby too, so far he has only cried one time.

Well, let me tell you that baby ruined her entire weekend. Friday night she had a football game (she was in the band) and had to bring the baby with her and take care of it every time it cried even when she was supposed to be playing....Saturday she was invited to a movie but didn't want to take this crying baby with her and ruin it for everyone else so she didn't go.....Saturday night she was up with this baby for 4 hours of constant crying..nothing she did worked to make this baby stop. By Sunday she was exhausted, but couldn't sleep in because the baby needed her again. By Sunday night, cute little "Chris" was being called "THAT THING!" I can't wait til tomorrow when I can get rid of "THAT THING! "That thing" finally gave her a break on Sunday night...until about 3 AM when it decided it was up for the day. Monday at school, Kristi was dragging butt all day and finally she came home on Monday afternoon and got to sleep. It took her a full two night's sleep to get caught up and back to normal. Smile

Yes it was only 3 days, but those three days really had an effect on my daughter. I totally applaud the program...and as I said, I would hope that for many teens, it's as close as they come to having to deal with the "REAL thing."

See ya next time! :o)

Monday, November 5, 2007


A few years ago, our landlord decided to fumigate the house during Thanksgiving week. The place was torn apart, so rather than trying to do dinner at our place we went to my mom's. She was going to be away for the holiday so we packed up all of our Thanksgiving supplies and headed over to her place on Wednesday night so we could get an early start on the cooking in the morning like usual. Because of the fumigation, we had to take the hamster with us. Mom had five (Yes, FIVE) cats.

So we load up all the food, the kids, clothes to change into in the morning, and the hamster, named Furball and went over after Steve got off of work. After unloading, putting the turkey in a sink of cold water because it hadn't defrosted all the way, getting the kids settled, and putting the hamster cage on mom's desk, we finally sat and relaxed for a bit waiting for the kids to fall asleep. The cats finally noticed Furball and hopped up on the desk surrounding the cage. Poor little Furball was scrunched in the corner having a little hamster heart attack at these uninvited guests.

Before heading off to bed, I put Furball in the spare bathroom and closed the door. We finally hit the sack about midnight, totally exhausted.

Mom's cats apparently are nocturnal animals because as soon as we went to bed they went nuts!!

1:00 am - cats racing around the house, knocking over all mom's knick knacks, sounding like a herd of small elephants. I get up, collect all the knick knacks, shush the cats and head back to bed.

1:30 am - cats scratching at the door. I get up, shoo the cats, head back to bed.

1:45 am - I hear this noise...this weird noise...sounds like tapping or something. I get up to investigate....and find 5 cats hovering over the sink trying to tear the plastic wrapping on the turkey. GRRRRRRRR, I grab the turkey throw it into the fridge and head back to bed AGAIN!

I finally got to sleep about 2:00.....

6:00 am - I wake to my daughter screaming, OH NO FURBALL!!!!!! My feet hit the floor running to the extra bathroom. The door is wide open. One of the boys must have gone to the bathroom in the night and not closed the door. Furball's cage is in pieces on the floor, cedar shavings and hamster food everywhere and 5 cats all milling around the bathroom on the prowl. Poor little Furball is in the corner behind the commode making himself as small as possible, probably with a tiny broken bottle to use as protection. Kristi is crying, the cats are everywhere, the bathroom is a wreck! I scoop up the unharmed (THANK GOD) Furball and hand him to Kristi, yell at the cats and get them out of the bathroom, and then proceed to put the cage back together and get as much of the cedar shavings back into it as possible and then get out the vacuum to clean up the rest of the mess.

Mom calls later in the day, How was everything?? My reply: GRRRRRRRRR....well mom, at this point you're lucky we didn't have CAT for Thanksgiving dinner!!! LOL

What a riot!!!!! We can laugh now but when it was happening, those cats were certainly in my doghouse!!

Have a happy Thanksgiving, all!!

See ya next time! :o)