Friday, November 29, 2013

Rittenhouse Teddy bear tea

Are you looking for an elegant afternoon with your child? The Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia is featuring a Teddy Bear Tea until December 31 between 11:30-2. Reservations are encouraged. 

When you arrive at the luxurious Rittenhouse Hotel, signs point you to the Mary Cassatt tea room. The very polite and delightful staff will take you to your beautiful table. The child will be excited to see their stuffed teddy bear. The teddy bear is theirs to keep.

The table is elegantly laid out with white china. The staff will swiftly offer you a choice of water and champagne for the adults. Children are offered delicious hot chocolate. 

The choice of tea is wonderful. I recommend the tea called the Duchess First Love. To me, it tastes like Christmas in a cup. If you love tea, you will love all of the selections.

After the tea is selected, you will receive bite size lunch Heaven. The children will receive more child directed food. Everything was absolutely delicious complete with pumpkin bread and scones. The chicken salad and beef tatar were scrumptious.

The staff was marvelous.  They filled your tea and water almost instantly. They did everything possible to make you feel comfortable and as if you were royalty.

Dessert didn't disappoint and had variety for everyone. Mostly everything was bite size and made your taste buds rejoice. The children also had teddy bear cookies.

At the end, the children were read to in a cozy library setting. It was the perfect ending to an enjoyable afternoon. We left with smiles, full bellies and everlasting memories.

To make reservations, call 215-790-2533. Visit the web site at The cost is $60 per adult and $30 per child.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cold school mornings

Every morning I often dread waking up to take Laura to the bus. I feel jealous and even angry sometimes when I see my husband sleeping as I get up. One human flaw usually is being selfish.

However, when she leaves on her bus, I feel awful silly for my negative feelings. I feel very blessed to have spent the last 40 minutes with such a sweet, smart and funny person. I think, yes, once a week I wouldn't mind staying in bed but the rest of the week, I'd be missing out.

My heart melts when I hear her whisper carefully in a way not to wake her brother - "Good morning, Mommy." Then we talk quietly and she might tell me small details about school or friends.

She helps me buckle my seat belt and we watch a little bit of a movie on Netflix as she eats breakfast. Then at the bus stop, we review spelling words and Spanish. When the bus comes, I always tell her that I love her, do her best and I'll see her later. She flashes a big smile and waves as the bus pulls away.

Laura is such a gentle soul with wisdom beyond her years! I'm not saying tomorrow morning, I won't feel the same as I pull myself out of my warm, cozy bed. However, I know I shouldn't feel jealous of Jeff but vice versa. I get my 40 minutes with an angel. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Thanksgiving is coming up soon. If you are hosting, the menu choices can cause stress. Everyone wants to have enough and provide guests the food they most crave. Take a big deep breath and use this guide to help.

How big of a turkey? The size of a turkey depends on the number of guests you are expecting. A general rule of thumb is a pound per person. So if you are having 10 people, you buy a 10 pound turkey.  

Let us say you are having 20 guests. Buy two ten pound turkeys. They are easier to defrost and cook opposed to a twenty pound turkey.

Defrost the turkey by putting it in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Give it five hours for every pound according to Martha Stewart magazine. 

Ask your guests to bring something but tell or suggest what they bring. This way you know what is coming. Make it a group effort!

Stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, corn and turkey make a delightful Thanksgiving. Don't forget the pumpkin pie and cool whip.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November is health care and hospice month

November is home care and hospice month. In the last ten years, the need for home care and hospice has rose considerably. November is the time to remember all those individuals who have the heart and soul to provide care.

Home care is the alternative to going into a nursing facility or an institution. Employees come in to help and provide care in the comfort of their home. Without these employees, home care would not be possible.

Remember this month the people that give your friends, family members or even yourself care. Yes, they are getting paid, but they work hard everyday. Many times they go over and beyond what the job duty entails.  They often treat their clients like family.

 Simply say thank you after they perform a task and when they leave for the day. Little gifts or tokens of appreciation are very nice too. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and their work means something. 

Have a happy home care and hospice month! Spread the love!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Blind man get kicks off a plane

We have all seen on the news about the man who is blind being kicked off the plane in Philadelphia. Why? The reason was his service dog was getting antsy a little bit. 

Albert Rizzi was asked to leave his US Airways flight because Doxy, his service dog, became restless. The plane was waiting for time to take off for a long time. Doxy didn't want to sit in a little space by Rizzi's feet.

Passengers said that Rizzi was confronted by a flight attendant who was unwilling to listen or remedy the situation. She made Rizzi and Doxy leave the plane. 

However, all the passengers decided collectively to leave as well. US Airways did provide ground transportation to the destination. 

This is remarkable to see people without disabilities rallying behind someone with one.

Five years ago, many of those passengers would have stayed and even complained. Disability awareness is finally seeping into society and hearts. Thank you.

Public partnerships a year later

Public Partnerships is responsible for the payroll of personal care attendants in Pennsylvania. Through an article today, it was revealed that glitches in the system costs taxpayers millions. It also caused heartache for attendants who some went months without pay.

Last year, the governor, decided to reward Public Partnerships $1 million a month to take over payroll of attendant care for physically disabled and elderly clients. Attendant care allows people to stay at home and receive the care they deserve in their own environment. 

For many attendants, the switch over was a complete nightmare. Paperwork was either lost or filed incorrectly. Phone lines were busy for days on end. Emails were never returned. Pay checks were not sent correctly.

Some attendants had to leave their positions to just get money for their families. This leaves people who are dependent on care stranded. It was a disaster.

One year later, things have improved but no where as good as it was before the take over. In several cases, it can take over a month to get an attendant on the payroll system. So that means that if an attendant quits unexpectedly, the person needing care has to hire someone else and then wait a month for Public Partnerships to file the necessary paperwork. 

Tom Corbett should have left well enough alone!

For more info.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elf on the shelf, Croods and milkshakes!

Should I get an Elf on the Shelf? Jeff thinks it's a waste of money. I think it could be fun and a nice tradition that Jason can grow up with. 

Laura is, unfortunately, on the brink of not believing in Santa. She's dropped hints and is very logical.  Thank goodness she hasn't asked me directly if there really is a Santa. Last year she saw an Elf on the Shelf in a Target magazine and right away knew it wasn't real because in her words, "mom, why would they sell an elf if it's helping Santa?"  Yep, that's when she was 6!

I like Christmas time and imagination. Laura knows the meaning of Christmas and we celebrate Jesus daily! I think imagination can fit into Christmas. I think it's fun.

Anyway, today was pretty much a typical Wednesday. I taught, cared for Jason and kept the household going. My full of surprises husband came home with Laura, dinner and the Croods.  

I loved the movie! I cried even because it's sentimental. Any stories or movies that has anything to do with families leaving each other makes me cry. Laura is very sweet to console me. The movie was very funny and a good family film.

Now I'm relaxing with a milkshake Jeff made me and watching Jason clap, smile and laugh!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crossing the street

I went grocery shopping today.  The best deal I got was 3 rolls of wrapping paper for $1.50. I did good though and love my coupons.  

At the grocery store, a woman came up to me and said how she sees me and Laura cross the street for the bus stop. She worries I will get hit by a car crossing the street. The cars there are ridiculous and they don't always pay attention. It's scary.

Being in a wheelchair, you are shorter and cars don't always see you. It was nice of her to show concern.

My student came a bit later than planned. It worked out but I did feel a bit annoyed. I do like teaching very much.

We worked a lot on Jason sitting up.  We hope that he will be able to sit on his own soon or he might need a PT evaluation.  He is so on the verge of crawling. I know it is going to be anyday now.

Laura was in a good mood. She's as cute as always.

Monday, November 11, 2013

You won't break me..

My attendant who had been off for a month due to a work related injury was returning today. I felt very excited because we have a good working relationship and I thought all would return to normal.

Jeff had to leave for work early so I had the kids since 6am. They were both wonderful. It's a lot of work but as far as babies go, mine is terrific.

When 8:30 came, I was anticipating my attendant to be at the door. Nothing. I gave it ten more minutes and no one came. My heart sank. I'm not sure how she could do this to me but she did. She never returned my texts or calls.

I'm very fortunate that my sister could help and Grace could come. How this person couldn't inform me she wasn't coming in knowing my situation is just too painful to think about. It's evil and cold.

The thing that hurts the most was that I asked her during the month if she was coming back. She said yes and told me how much she loved the job. On Friday, she excitedly told me she was coming back Monday.

Of course, I worried about if she was safe and okay. But then I saw she read all my messages just fine and just ignored them.

So yes I feel completely betrayed and used. I'm stunned anyone could do that. She could've easily texted me and said she decided to quit. But no she took the mean coward approach.

Now I have another notch to make me stronger. People may want to hurt me, bring me down, lie and ignore me. But what they don't know is my spirit will not break..


Sunday, November 10, 2013


Jeff and I saw the second Thor today. My dad baby sat both kids. He did a great job.

I liked the movie a lot! There was no cursing, sex or extreme violence. It's just a honorable story with humor and romance. I recommend it.

Afterwards, I helped Laura with her homework and preparing for the week ahead. She went to her swim class as I chased a rolling Jason around the living room. He fell asleep for a bit.

I was anxious for Monday. My attendant is due back but her lack of communication makes me nervous. I hope she comes because I'm depending on her.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Reading for young kids

It is time to get ready for a National Young Readers Week. The week is November 11-15! Reading is so important for babies until 110. 

Whether you read the book first and then watch the movie or TV show, or watch the title first and then dive into the book, movies and TV shows based on books bring storybook pages to life for kids. 

Parents can share the timeless classics their parents once read to them with their children, with this curated list of Netflix titles below that are inspired by books. All of the titles below are available to Netflix subscribers, and parents can use these titles to introduce their kids to favorite characters – like that very hungry caterpillar or the girls from The Babysitters-Club. 

National Young Readers Week, November 11 - 15 is a great reason to celebrate these titles. This might work well for an online slide show – we can provide you with images.
Big Kids
1. Hugo  
2.Escape to Witch Mountain NEW! 
3.James and the Giant Peach
4.The Baby-Sitters Club
6.A Wrinkle in Time
Little Kids:  
1. Charlotte's Web NEW! 
2.The Velveteen Rabbit 
3.The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories
4.The Magic School Bus
5.The Little Engine That Could 
6.Stuart Little 2
7. Tall Tales: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, The Snowy Day, I Stink! and Trashy Town
Source: Netflix 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

RIP Rocky

My student didn't make it again due to being sick. I went grocery shopping and saved money. At the first grocery store, a  woman I didn't recognize said that she liked my hair cut. That was nice. 

When I went to the second grocery store, a man came up to me and shook my hand. He said God bless you and have a beautiful day. People can be funny sometimes but I'll take extra blessings! 

After putting everything away,  I had a terrible headache and even felt light headed so I took medicine and took it easy. Jason has been a mess with sleeping since the time change. He hardly wants to nap and up by 4:30 in the morning! 

When Laura came home, she immediately entertained Jason. Then she ran downstairs to get her dictionary. She sat in our recliner and looked up all kinds of information. She said she was educating herself. It looked so cute. 

After dinner, we watched Little People, Big World. I knew it was  going to be an emotional one.  Their dog of thirteen years was diagnosed with cancer and the outcome was not optimistic. 

Peacefully he died in the backyard. I also have a dog going on thirteen. She is a tough dog with a lot of spirit.  I dread the day she dies,  but I hope it's peaceful and at home. Lucky and I have been through a lot together.  She is very smart and feisty.  

I, of course,  cried when he died.  Laura comforted me and giggled that I cried.  Any shows that are sad with children and dogs get me everytime! 


This week has been interesting but going well. On Saturday, we took the children to the pumpkin fest in Phoenixville. We decided to walk since it was a nice day. The walk always seems closer than what it is.  We made it though and had some fun. They had rolling pumpkins, art stations,  bounce house and free cotton candy. 

As we walked home, I had a craving for Chinese food. So we ordered some after we came home. Jeff and I were tired from dancing the night before. We rested and ate dinner. Then we helped Laura study Spanish. We all crowded in our bed for a show before going to sleep. 

The next day, Jeff had to work from 9-11.  No big deal to handle but then he called asking if he could work until 3!  Ugh.   Laura and I worked together taking care of Jason. We did pretty good. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Election Day

My student didn't come today. He was sick. Today I did some house organization of closets and cleaning my bedroom. I washed the cover on my wheelchair seat since I knew I'd be out of my wheelchair most of the day. 

Jeff and I voted later in the afternoon. I always vote if I'm able. I feel it's an important duty that many people take for granted. When I vote, they assign a person to help me vote. The man was nice and helpful.

I talked to Laura about voting and how to vote. I wanted to take her with me but she didn't want to go. 

Afterwards, I helped Laura with her homework. She earned a 95 on her Spanish test. I was very happy. They don't waste any time though because they already sent home a new list of words and phrases for her December test.

The evening was nice.  Laura and Jason played very sweetly together. She is a very good sister.  Jason spent the day babbling and being loud. He just yells and makes noises. It's so funny when I think about Laura was talking by his age.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Skateboarding in a wheelchair

For some, just jumping a curb in a wheelchair can be terrifying. Imagine using your wheelchair like a skateboard. For Jonathan Stark from Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, this is an everyday occurrence. And so is falling since he falls about five to ten times a day!

Jonathan used to be an avid BMX bike rider and heavy into using his skateboard. However, when he was only 18, he had a severe car accident. The accident left him paralyzed from the chest down. 

He went on to graduate high school. Jonathan also never gave up his desire to skateboard. He decided to use his wheelchair like a skateboard. He does all kinds of spins, twists, and moves that many people who use wheelchairs would cringe about.  

Jonathan is now 23 and recently spoke at a film festival about a film of a runner who is blind. The movie is called' "The Straight Line."

Jonathan competes avidly with his wheelchair. It is a growing sport with some competitions worth $10,000 to the winner. Jonathan admits he has broken his ribs, feet and lots of bruises. But it's all worth it to follow his dreams!

The power of a toy

Some people have a difficult time understanding the importance of toys. Toys aren't there just to spoil a child. Children shouldn't get exactly what they want when they want if either. However, toys help children learn,  develop,  and learn. 

Think about your own childhood. Certain toys must come into mind. I had several baby dolls and that certainty helped nurture my wanting to be a mother. Toys often get kids from point A to point B independently,  mentally and emotionally. 

I enjoy seeing children grow with the toy.  The biggest mistake that I did with toys was donating them too quickly as my daughter grew.  She could still play with them but just differently. Her imagination grows and is inspired. 

As we enter the Christmas and holiday season,  pick toys wisely.  Do not underestimate the power of a stuffed bear,  toy car or Lego set.  To you,  it might be a waste of money,  but to a child it's learning,  maturing and comforting. 

Being a boss

My kids are still adjusting to the time change.  Jeff left for work at 5:45 and Jason was up. Then Laura woke up about ten minutes after.  It was actually nice having some alone time. I like the early morning sunshine. It's so much more inviting to wake up to.

After Laura left for school, Jason and I played a lot. He let me write some articles and he fell asleep for a few minutes.  When my attendant came, I had to quick get ready to teach. But unfortunately quick isn't in her vocabulary as nice as she is and I needed to be a boss.

It's not easy being a boss when someone is caring for you. However, if you don't speak up, you get taken advantage of. So it's a hard road sometimes but usually I feel better speaking up than not.

I taught today and did some cleaning too. Jason was cute as ever. He played hard and lots of giggles. When Laura came home, we had to do her homework right away. We were going out to dinner with Jeff's parents.

Jason is getting better and better at being at a restaurant. He will eat what we eat but much much smaller. He's pretty entertained by a few toys and the scenery.  He hasn't grasped the concept of throwing food and toys yet. Laura did that at his age and it wasn't pleasant..

Laura and Jason went right to bed when we came home.  I fell asleep shortly after. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Turkey crafts

Just about everyday in November,  I will feature a Thanksgiving or Christmas craft,  recipe or activity.  Please join the newsletter so you will always stay informed.  It is simple to join and you will be notified of new articles. 

Thanksgiving craft - Get an orange piece of construction paper and some brown paint.  Paint the palm of your child's hand.  Have them place it on the paper.  You have the body of the turkey and its feathers. Feel free to paint around it and decorate an entire scene.  Be as creative as possible. 

Turkey hand - Outline the child's hand on brown construction paper.  Use different color construction paper for each finger and have them write what they are thankful for on each feather. 

Pine cones turkey - Use a pine cone and put an outline of their hand in the pine cone. The pine cone is the body of the turkey and the hand are its feathers. Glue googly eyes on the turkey. 

November souls

November Catholics remember especially the people who have died before us. As sad as it is, we all will eventually die.  People who are alive can help those in purgatory by praying for their souls. 

Last week we celebrated two important days in the Catholic faith.  They were All Saints Day and All Souls Day.  All saints day is thinking about all the people in Heaven.  All souls day is praying for the souls in purgatory.  Purgatory is the place where souls are purified to enter the kingdom of Heaven. 

This week take some time to remember those who went before us. 

Sunday - O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood, which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the Garden, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that one which is the most forsaken of all, and bring it into Thy glory, where it may praise and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Monday - O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory, that it may soon begin to praise and bless Thee for ever,  Amen. 

Tuesday - O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the souls in purgatory, and among them all, particularly that soul which is in the greatest need of our prayers, in order that it may not long be delayed in praising Thee in Thy glory and blessing Thee for ever. Amen.

Wednesday - O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in the streets of Jerusalem whilst He carried on His sacred shoulders the heavy burden of the Cross, deliver the souls in purgatory and especially that one which is richest in merits in Thy sight, so that, having soon attained the high place in glory to which it is destined, it may praise Thee triumphantly and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Thursday - O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Body and Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus, which He Himself on the night before His Passion gave as meat and drink to His beloved Apostles and bequeathed to His Holy Church to be the perpetual Sacrifice and life-giving nourishment of His faithful people, deliver the souls in purgatory, but most of all, that soul which was most devoted to this Mystery of infinite love, in order that it may praise Thee therefor, together with Thy divine Son and the Holy Spirit in Thy glory for ever. Amen.

Friday - O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Jesus Thy divine Son did shed this day upon the tree of the Cross, especially from His sacred Hands and Feet, deliver the souls in purgatory, and particularly that soul for whom I am most bound to pray, in order that I may not be the cause which hinders Thee from admitting it quickly to the possession of Thy glory where it may praise Thee and bless Thee for evermore. Amen.

Saturday - O Lord God omnipotent, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred Side of Thy divine Son Jesus in the presence and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in purgatory and among them all especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Thy glory, there to praise Thee in her, and her in Thee through all the ages. Amen.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Just Sunday

Jeff had to leave early this morning for work. I had Laura and Jason. They were excellent.  Laura came into my bedroom full of excitement that Jason said Laura. I didn't hear it, but I'm sure she did.

I helped Laura do her homework and we cleaned a bit. Jason fell asleep when I showered and got ready.  I'll be so happy when Cassie returns so I can wear something other than sweat outfits. They are about the only thing I can put on myself. 

I also can't wait until Cassie comes back so I can teach again. I hear my kids are acting up and they miss me!

Jason had two dirty diapers.  Laura and I tagged teamed changing him. She handled the diaper and I cleaned him. At one point, I spasmed and the wipes flew! Laura became upset but she relaxed. I cleaned them up and life went on. 

My friend and her daughter came for lunch and help me with Jason. We had a great time. Jason didn't want to eat until he saw us all eating too. 

After dinner, Jeff took Laura to her swim class and my mom surprised me with a visit. We had fun. Now we are all relaxing and gearing up for Monday!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Goalie stick

Jeff and Jason took me to play hockey today. I was given a real goalie hickey stick. Goalie is my best position, I think. I'm horrible at offense. I'm pretty good at defense, but I'm good at blocking those balls coming in the goal.

I really enjoy hearing praises when I do a good job out there. It's always a nice feeling to know that you make your team proud.  I like that Jeff is in it too and enjoys watching me play.

Afterwards we went out to lunch. I picked Mexican because it's Jeff's favorite. I don't like it so much but can usually find something that I like. I had shrimp fajitas and they were actually quote delicious.

On the way home, we got gas and baby formula.  We looked at the new place my sister is moving into and then returned home.  We were ready for some relaxation. 

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