Friday, May 30, 2008

Rocky Theme in the background....

Our 1st ever Triathlon! And its all for CARRA research to find the cause & cure for childhood arthritis. Its tomorrow - Emma & Ellie will be biking, running & swimming for their sister!


This is AN AWESOME VIDEO of Mr. Hayhurst - PE Teacher & uncle to Anna who has arthritis - this is his passion: Newschannel 8 at Sunrise.


Date: Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Time: 8:00 AM

Venue: Conestoga Aquatic Center

Address: 9985 SW 125th Avenue in Beaverton, OR

Description: Family friendly event for kids, ideally between 3 and 13 years of age.

Events include a 50- or 100-yard swim, a 2-mile bike ride, and a ½-mile run.

All athletes receive a medal and a t-shirt. Non-timed competition... Everyone is a winner!!

Additional Information: All athletes must be set-up and ready to race by 7:45am.

Mandatory race meeting before the start of the race.

All proceeds go directly to CARRA.

Additional donations will also be accepted on race day.

Fees: $12.00/day of race

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Preschool's out for-EVAH!

Oh how I LOVE LOVE LOVE Ellie's preschool teachers/environment/experience. She's in PRE-K / so next year its off to kindergarten, although I am pretty sure she's ready to tackle OSU tomorrow, lets start off with Kindergarten (she loves to go, go, go!). Today we celebrated the last day of pre-k at the park w/ her friends & their families, and what amazing families we have met through preschool!

I will never forget the 1st day of the 4's class last year, wondering, "how do you meet mom's @ preschool?" Then it happened & the playdates happened (ours & theirs) & the emergency phone calls of "Oh my gosh I am totally late, can you pick her up?" happened & now we have amazing friends that are scattered around the area that have touched my heart, taught me their passions & most importantly shared themselves!

I include the teachers in that, they have become a part of our family, have been OH SO supportive during our news of Charlotte's disease, learned with us, shared with us. They are so loving to the children & are excited about their teachings & in turn it has gotten Ellie excited, she couldnt wait to go to school EVERY DAY!... They are crazy about Ellie & in turn, she thinks they are the cat's meow! Many of us will reunite when our younger ones start the same path of the 4's class one year, the pre-k the next (didnt make that cut off for the 3's class).

Race For CARRA is soon!

Meet the Grand Marshall of this year's RACE FOR CARRA - sign-ups are still happening for the event on June 8th! Come Join Charlotte!!! I will send out details closer to the 8th on meeting up w/ us.

Bella's big day

Bella Smario, a first-grader at Scholls Heights, will serve as the grand marshal for a 5K walk and run to find a cure for childhood arthritis

By Christina Lent
The Beaverton Valley Times, May 22, 2008

Bella Smario, a Scholls Heights first-grader, has childhood arthritis but won’t let that stop her from being the grand marshal in an upcoming 5K walk.

An exciting day is ahead for 6½-year-old Bella Smario.

The Scholls Heights Elementary School first-grader will serve as the grand marshal of the third annual Race for CARRA, a benefit for the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance.

The 5K family walk and run begins at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 8, along the Willamette River on the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland and around the Oregon Convention Center.

Bella thinks it’s pretty “awesome” that she’ll be the star to kick-off the event.

“I get to say, ‘On your mark, get set, go!’ – and start everything,” Bella said.

At the same time, she and her close-knit family will also help raise awareness for the search to find the cause and cure for arthritis and other painful rheumatic diseases in children like Bella.
Bella has systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Her parents, James and Olivia Smario, first realized something was wrong with their youngest daughter in the summer of 2006 when a persistent rash popped up.

After making diet changes; switching the soaps, detergent and shampoo Bella used; and several doctors’ visits, doctors seemed to get the rash under control.

Just when the Smario family thought Bella would be fine, the Beaverton family was hit with a devastating blow.

“One day we went to pick up her sister at soccer camp,” James Smario recalled. “Bella played tag and soccer, but then wanted me to carry her because she was in pain.”

Bella spent the next three days in bed with a high fever and pain in her ankles and legs. It hurt for her to move any part of her body.

Her parents took her to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, where she was admitted for 11 days and underwent a series of tests that eventually revealed Bella had a rare form of systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

With no known cause or cure for the condition, doctors began the process of trying to find the right combination of medications to manage Bella’s pain and flare-ups.

The next year was a tough one for Bella and her family.

“The hardest part was getting out of the hospital and seeing a change in Bella,” her father said. “She realized something was wrong and experienced some clinical depression.

“She would lay in her room. The street would be full of kids outside playing, and I’d come in and find her in her room alone. It was heartbreaking to see her not wanting to be around anyone.”
At the same time, Bella began kindergarten and found it difficult to keep pace with her young peers.

“She was in a lot of pain,” recalled James Smario.

Nearly two years later, Bella takes a combination of eight medications daily.

“We’re struggling a bit to figure out the combination that is going to work for her,” said Dr. Daniel Kingsbury, Bella’s pediatric rheumatologist at Legacy Emanuel Children’s Hospital. “She’s functioning far better, but she’s not over the hump.

“She’s a work in process. Unfortunately, every treatment has issues.”

Bella wakes up stiff and has trouble getting up and moving.

Her day begins at 5:45 a.m. when she takes her first medication in bed, sleeps a little longer and then takes a long, warm shower before heading to school.

“Some days I’m okay, and some days I’m not,” Bella said. “I sleep in when I’m hurting.”

On a good day, Bella enjoys playing outside with her 10-year-old sister Brianna, swinging, taking turns on the slide, doing activities with her Brownie Troop 1294 and drawing.

“She really enjoys swimming,” her father added as Bella listed off her favorite things. “She’s in her element when she’s in the water. She’s like a little mermaid.”

The swimming could come in handy in Bella’s future.

“I want to be a scientist,” she said. “I want to study and swim with dolphins – they’re my favorite.”

Bella’s winning personality and ability to cope with the struggles and chronic pain associated with arthritis made her an ideal candidate to serve as the grand marshal of the Race for CARRA.

“She’s a trooper,” James Smario said.

“She’s adorable,” added Kingsbury. “She’s really been dealt a difficult set of cards.

“I’m certain she’s feeling miserable quite often, yet she still embraces life.”

Debbie Wright, founder of the Race for CARRA, said Bella was the first person who came to her mind to serve as grand marshal.

“She will be fabulous,” Wright said. “Her sweet, dear, little face will touch the lives of a lot of people out there.

“I hope the experience shows her that there are so many people who really care about her and other children like her. I hope she looks out and sees all the families and people gathered who are working really hard to find the cause and cure to ease her pain and allow her to live a pain-free and care-free life. It’s going to be an amazing day.”

Brianna Smario is excited for her little sister to shine in the spotlight. She’s also looking forward to participating in the event with members of her Westside Metros’ Red Magic soccer team.

“I think it’s exciting that Bella gets to be in the front and she gets a wonderful chance to walk and have fun,” the fourth-grader said. “I think people should know that Bella’s just the same as other kids, she just has a harder time doing what other people can do.”

For more information about the Race for CARRA, visit

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Emma HEARTS Organic Farming!

From Emma's 1st Grade Teacher:

Oh my goodness, I am laughing inside. This morning we learned about chickens and Emma gave her table group a mini lecture about “pestiveyes” and the importance of eating brown organic eggs.

From Emma's Babysitter this weekend:

Emma asked me if I ate organic or if I ate foods with "pestiveyes"?! Then she watched me eat strawberries & said that the seeds were going to come out in my poop like birds.

Can you tell that Emma has been learning about the FARM at school?! She's a walking OSU Vetrinary School right now, horses & farming & chickens = oh MY!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I am listening to XM Radio / Sarah Van Breathnac author of Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.

Its all related to what I am listening & reading lately about living in the now, law of attraction (getting what you want), appreciating the present, etc.

1. She recommends journaling each night 5 things you are grateful for that happened in your day.

Noting your daily gratitude helps you to start paying attention to the little things in your daily life & appreciating even MORE the NOW. Gratitude is transformational in our lives, it helps us be love, show love & grow in grace.

I am also reading Michael Losier's "Law of Attraction" about how every thought you have is a vibration in your body. And you may not get what you want, but you always get what you vibrate. So transforming your vibrations into positivity, love & gratitude will help you to achieve your goals.

They all relate. Its beautiful & I am appreciating having these messages in my life at a moment when we have been given the opportunity to understand & live with a sick child. To have these messages come into my life at THIS moment is a gift upon itself - its when I was ready to hear it. It was the right time to receive these messages & I appreciate that!

Here's what I have been doing this afternoon while listening to these messages, I was being creative & enjoying my art time!

1/4" headbands & 3/4" headbands w/ flowers.

New Alligator w/ teeth clips on the left (blue w/ polka dots) - they grip GREAT! & 10mm square snap clips w/ "non-slip grip" on the inside. As always, Tottie is my tester & they hold fabulous!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Saturday, in the park.... Friday, at the hospital

May '08 - Charlotte's Remicade treatment - 3rd dosage.

It was POURING here today which made Friday morning of Memorial Day weekend traffic a nightmare so we were a little late in our start.
Methotrexate first in the IV & then the start of remicade. 20 minutes in, Charlotte started crying saying her tummy hurt & she started coughing like she was going to throw up. Orders say if stomach cramping happens, must stop transfusion, pause for 30 minutes, then start up slowly again. I argued that she was fine, my sweet husband tried to explain in front our wonderful & patient nurse that it wasnt up for negotiation, stop badgering the nurse from doing her job :) HA HA HA!!! Oh I love those nurses, and I am sure they are not paid enough for their gifts! I just saw that Charlotte was ALMOST asleep & that if she could sleep, then maybe the tummy pains werent THAT big of a deal. But... not up for negotiation.

Charlotte actually fell asleep in Daddy's arms, and they started her up again after giving her some anti-nausea medicine. While she was sacked out, they also put a splint on her arm so the iv would have a smooth ride. We might do that more often, seems that Charlotte moves around too much, & here we always thought it was a testy machine, but it does appear to be Miss Tottie and her activism (it was almost 7 long hours today... that's a day!).

Our amazing FG#1 came to keep us company & brought yummy lunch. She shared how she went to New Seasons (a local grocery store here that is amazing in its philosophy & mission of keeping local as much as possible) & met w/ the nutritionalist there about diet for her activity level & life (nutrition sessions are FREE at new seasons! just call them & ask for LEAH) and shared what she learned:

  • Try to keep your food to as few ingredients as possible (example, gardenburger has 40some ingredients - there is another portland brand that has 4! LOOK for it at New Seasons!!). Its just BETTER for your bod - more true to the source, more natural, is better for your body, your health!

  • For protein, shoot for RICE protein over WHEY protein (easier to digest - am going to look for that in the drinks).

So speaking of food & simple ingredients.... We had friends visit last night & got to mingle over Gorgonzola Cheesecake - its DREAMY (thank you Teresa, my Demarle Guru - PS: use a demarle mold for easy maneuvering!):

Blue Cheese Walnut Cheesecake (I actually use Gorgonzola cheese and don't use walnuts.)

2 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. (I actually double this) crumbled blue cheese
2 1/4 cups sour cream, divided (I use less than this, see below)
3 eggs
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
red grapes
sliced star fruit
fresh herbs

Preparation time: 15 minutes (needs to refrigerate overnight)
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

Place Sponge Cake Mold (you can use any mold) on Perforated Baking Sheet. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and blue cheese until fluffy. Add 1 cup sour cream and stir until blended. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in pepper.

Pour into Sponge cake mold. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes., or until center is almost set (top may crack).

Let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes; spread with remaining sour cream (I have skipped this step the last few times and I like it better without the extra sour cream). Bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run cake server knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Unmold cheesecake and sprinkle with walnuts (I don't use nuts). Garnish with grapes, star fruit and herbs if desired. Serve with crackers.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I have written about BabyLegs many times & their help with keeping an IV "Out of Sight-Out of Mind." I finally shared with the marketing dept at BabyLegs in Seattle & here's what they wrote back:

Hi Erika,

Thank you so much for sharing your daughter with us! She is too cute in her stylish Jill Jester BabyLegs! We love getting amazing pictures and stories like yours here at the office, it makes our job all the more enjoyable to look at cute babies sporting our BabyLegs!!We are so happy to hear you love our product and find so much function as much as we hoped our customers would. Be sure to check out our new Summer 08 and seasonal releases that are now up on our website (

Charlotte should be appearing soon in our Customer Photo gallery, so be on the lookout sometime later next month for her big BabyLegs debut!!Thanks again for taking the time to share your pictures with us and all of your BabyLegs support is much appreciated!

All the Best,
Amanda, BabyLegs

Share the good!

I am on listservs & watch blogs of many families that struggle with JRA in their child's life. I see emails & reports of concern, bad things, sadness, etc & I said out loud, "I wish that there were posts of the celebrations!" and then I heard it spoken back to me:


OK! I heard that loud & clear! So allow me to post our celebrations with JRA! Juvenille Rheumatoid Arthritis is a "crazy monkey" as Dr. Foster told us. If you have that visual in your head, imagine the monkey sitting eating, he's under controll & then SPASTIC, WILD, RAGING, wreaking havoc. It can.

Right now, we are in the quiet & controlled stage beacause of medications. (Charlotte has a weekly shot at home of Methotrexate & monthly IV infusions of Remicade.) I love this stage & would like to stay in it forever (the conrol, not necessarily the meds)... and then SHOOT THE MONKEY & NEVER LET HIM COME BACK!! AH HA HAHA!!! Did you get that visual too? At summer camp I was a pretty good aim w/ the bow & arrow so watch out crazy monkey!

Tomorrow starts our "official" monthly visit to the hospital for Remicade (Infliximab). We have had two inductions so far, but now starts the "monthly" visits for the next two years. I think I will be making a countdown chart.....
I have my stickers & paper ready to go for art projects, we need to go knock on our neighbors door for the IPOD, we have our "playdate" with our sweet friend set up & she will drop by with lunch (she's amazing FG#1 - fairy godmother #1 - & yes there is a #2 as well!). So we are set!

After this remicade infusion, we will drop our eye drops (pred forte steroid) DOSAGE down to every 4 hours & then weekly drop it another hour - until we are DONE.

I keep this all written down in my calendar - its the only way to remember it all & when it changes. We have a fantastic huge timer & i will share the brand with you at a later date.

I am trying a new calendar system since the handheld isnt working for me. Since I am a writer, I tend to print out each day & keep it on my clipboard (I hear the trees crying now) - its such a waste & not efficient, i know. SO! I am looking forward to seeing my Whomi Clarity calendar coming SOON! It was only $9 to try because its a 2008. That's worth checking out - Especially if Kelly Ripa uses it & it made Oprah's favorite's list!

Today is our friday for our Memorial Day weekend - the girls are off F&M so WHOO HOO! I have to get back to work of making a cherry slab pie for our friends visit tonight!

But I make this promise to myself - I will post the GOOD! And the progress! And the learning! And the inspirations (CARRA WALK is June 8th)!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Got your 411 cards?

anyone need new biz cards?
during may & june, you get this beautiful card case w/an order of biz cards.
do you have your 411 cards, for when you meet those fun moms at the park & you want to get together again?
what about when the dr. wants to fax the results to you,
can you whip out your 411 card?
i have one friend who's in charge of her school auction -
what giving it to vendors? my other friend is working in the
city this summer at an internship law firm - what about your card for meeting up @ the Obama rally after work?
i just heart oblation & their classic letterpress
technique (much like
my favorite carrot & stick) & their
quality is thick, classic & quality. check out their site! & what a cute holder!

Friday, May 16, 2008


What would you do with it? Its 7" high, has a 4" diameter. Its SCREAMING "cover me with cool paper & do something crafty with me" - but what? I am going to collect them all summer long & thought a teacher could do an amazing art project with them, they are stiff & sturdy & I cant throw them out.

So look at it, think about it & then shoot me an idea of "what would YOU do with it?"
The Culprit: Trees & Grass

Evil Doings: Alter head/eyes/nose activities of 5 year old Ellie.

How Bad: She missed school yesterday because she fell asleep at noon, "I'll just take a quick nap..."

The Look: Eyes are watering, nose is dripping, cough is loud, spirits are up, but body wants to stay down. She's wiped!

Lockdown: Our AC is on, all doors & windows remain locked, we never open a window in our house. Ceiling fans are blowing in 3 bedrooms upstairs for circulation, the hepa air cleaner is buzzing in her room w/ the door shut.

YUM: Daily claritin ready tabs, 2x a day in each nostril of Nasonex, before bed clear out the nostrils w/ Sinus relief spray.

Timeline: By mid-june, this should all be over & she'll be in the water swimming like a fish every day & tanning with spf 50 like no one else in the family, her hair will get highlighted blonde from Mother Nature & we can all forget this short little time of the year when she feels absolutely miserable.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Most original finds

I have such fun clicking on the finds that Alexis Stewart buys or bakes or tries or whatever! And that's the name of her Sirius radio show - WHATEVER! She's Martha's daughter & if she buys it for Martha - I definitely check it out! Like these cardboard coasters she got Martha for mother's day. Did someone say monogrammed? You know my two favorite words are monogrammed & argyle! But these are brilliant & affordable!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pork over Chicken

Charlotte is CRAZY for beets. She loves eating them. So wierd to me because I open the can & immediately smell DIRT. Its like a wiff of earth & maybe a little bit of concrete. ick :) But the girl loves them, so I have been doing some research tonight on anti-inflammatory diets to make sure that beets were ok for her.
Beets are an excellent food for anti-inflammatory diets. Beets are high in Vitamin C & are RED! The pigments in brightly colored fruits, vegetables and berries contain many phytochemicals that have antiinflammatory properties. One example is quercetin, which is found in apple and red onion skins and has strong antiinflammatory properties.
Thank goodness berry season is coming & Charlotte LOVES them - Berries are also a great food choice, especially blueberries and strawberries which are packed with anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and anti-oxidants.

Listen up regular people w/out health issues :) Want to slow down the aging process? They say to incorporate an anti-inflammatory food into every meal for great benefits!
Whole fruits and vegetables are important to eat for their vitamins, minerals, and natural antioxidants, however some vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant may actually make pain from inflammation worse. These vegetables are part of the nightshade family of plants and contain a chemical alkaloid called solanine. Solanine can trigger pain.

Here's a quiz for you to see if you know about other anti-inflammatory foods:

Classics never die!


The 70's classic Electric Company is coming back to PBS!

Y'all can look forward to hearing kids across the land screaming EC's famous opening, "Hey you guys!"

Production on the new Electric Company started this week, Tuesday.

The show’s new format will encompass interactive online elements and community-based activities across the country.

Music for the show's being looked after by Broadway babes, Chris Jackson, Thomas Kail and Bill Sherman (all from musical In the Heights, which was just nominated for a bunch of Tony awards).

We want Lambchop or Madam to come back next!!!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I am learning...

So I didnt admit to my freaking out last night, but I truly was freaking out at Charlotte's 101 temperature. Only because I was worried that it had something to do with the current medical cocktail we have her on for her uveitis.

I wont share the details of that worry, because now I know its nothing to worry about, and why we may not always get what we want, we always get what we vibrate, & I dont want to have any negative or doubtful thoughts about Charlotte's progress & future. SO!

The great news is :) Charlotte has a bi-lateral ear infection. I can talk that way because sometimes I feel like I am practically onbe of Charlotte's doctors, or I just play one on TV! HA HA! So an ear infection in both ears is something to celebrate for Charlotte - isnt that crazy?!

So I am also learning that when my daughter writes a Mother's Day Card at school & delivers it to me & it says, "You are the craziest person I know," it can make me cry! She thinks I am crazy & I cry - HA HA HA! No, I shouldnt be pregnant, it was just super cute & funny & totally her & I love it when she writes, she's eloquent for 7 in MHO! She said more than that & it was beautiful, but the crazy made me laugh!

I am glad she sees it, here I thought she was ignoring my one woman shows when I dance & sing for them at the dinner table. Glad to see she recognizes my talents & I mean that in the literal sense!

What a great Mother's Day! Ear Infections & Crazy! WHOO HOO!!! :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mommy Docs

Since Charlotte has a 101 temperature tonight & is complaining her ear hurts (AND hallucinating that she sees BEES & SPIDERS everywhere - freaky!), I have doctors & diagnosis on the brain. No pause for Mother's Day, no day off of worrying.... 101 temperature might be ok for everyone else, but I am starting to wonder with a child who has Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, when do you REALLY worry? Its a question I will ask at our next infusion, but I have put a call into the emergency nurse just in case. Her immune system isnt normal, so when do I freak out & tylenol isnt enough?


This is a GREAT website for your perusal & usage.

Practical Pediatric Information For Moms by Moms (And Doctors)
We are 2 Moms, 2 Docs, with 2 Husbands, 4 Children, 2 dogs & 2 silver minivans

PS - Doc called back & wants us in the office on Sunday morning if her fever is still there, because that would be day 3 of a temperature in a JRA child. Or what she called, a "not well child." UGH with the terminology.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

She's an entertainer

Plane Ride Entertainment!

Running by the Charles River! Celebrating a clean bill of health!

Cultural Opportunity

Emma & I saw CINDERELLA put on by Blue Monkey Theatre Group in December & I have been anxiously awaiting Robin Hood ever since they talked about it!

Swashbuckling ROBIN HOOD Opens Friday.
Use the link below to GET TICKETS NOW:

Top 10 Reasons you simply should NOT MISS Robin Hood:
(in no particular order)
3. KENDALL WELLS. Take our word for it: this guy knows how to brandish a sword! He’s one of the best martial artists in town and is astounding as Robin Hood. Kendall, who won a 2007 Drammy Award for his fight choreography in Macbeth (Northwest Classical Theatre Company), is also Fight Director for the show.
4. WHIP FIGHTS. Just to mix things up a bit.
5. COREY BRUNISH. Need we say more? Well, what the heck... Corey is the first Equity guest artist to appear on the Blue Monkey stage. And according to Director Brian Allard, he and James Peppers (who plays the Bishop) are a "comedy dream."
6. MAID MARIAN. Don’t even try to "fence" her in! Played by Kristen Martz, this Sherwood Forest gal holds her own in the sword-fighting department, among other things.
7. ROMANCE. Amidst all that robbing from the rich to give to the poor, Robin Hood and his Merry Men manage to steal the odd kiss (or perhaps have it stolen from them!).
8. (Very) TALL MATT HAYNES AS LITTLE JOHN. Has an actor ever been born to play a role this much?
10. Did we mention SWORDFIGHTS?

WHAT: Robin Hood
WHEN: May 9-June 8 (Fri & Sat at 7 pm; Sun at 2 pm)
WHERE: West End Theater, 1220 SW Taylor
WHO: Everyone! Best for ages 5 and up.
TICKETS: $20 adults $16 students/seniors
Buy online at (or use link below)
Or call 503.593.2466

Boston is Beautiful & So Are Her Eyes

Thanks for all the positives, THEY WORKED! Here's a super quick synopsis of our super quick trip :) A little jet-lagged, but thankful & happy & ready to celebrate Momma's day this weekend!

Charlotte travels like a champ! She did a great job in the airplane. Thank you Play-Doh & the Alaska Dig-E-Player (no inflight movie for a 5 hour flight - seem weird to anyone else?!?!).

Boston Cab drivers are NUTS & do not care to save the ears of innocent children with their colorful language towards other drivers. I have written down every word heard for our future "story" & wish I could share here, but its too offensive for a family blog. Just know that we were laughing the whole time & shaking our heads in disbelief & then to be funny, used that language on each other later in the trip for fun :)!

Marriott Residence Inn employees are the NICEST! And they have candy jars in the rooms full of yummy hard candies (& those were gone in about 24 hours).

Children with bows & sunglasses get a lot of attention. There's a theory for you :) And proved positive!! In Dr. Foster's office you were either 100 or Charlotte. So it was nice that little Miss Sunshine put a smile on the eye-patched patients.

Dr. Foster's office is AMAZING, efficient, professional, busy & BEAUTIFUL!

Dr. Foster's staff is equally all those things & more & nice!

For the guru himself - we couldnt be MORE appreciative & thankful that we made the trek cross country... & the diagnosis:

Charlotte's eyes are gorgeous according to uveitis specialist Dr. Stephen Foster. No damage, they are beautiful (details spared) & she's on the right cocktail of a weekly shot & monthly infusions (MTX & Remicade).

He wants us on that medical duo for the next 2 years as her body will slowly ween off it (as it grows) at the same dosage amount. We will see him in 2 years if life stays this good. We couldnt be more HAPPY! Bottom line he said keep your eye on the goal of getting the eyes controlled & staying off of the drops (they are steroids & can be just as damaging as NOT treating uveitis). We will ween those 1 hour per week LESS after our next infusion.

We celebrated! And everywhere we went, angels were planted to remind us to celebrate, to share in our joy of Charlotte & to give thanks! WE DID! I would like to thank the beautiful Italians in the North End for their warmth, humor & kindness that afternoon.

And while I know I am not one of their decendants & do not plan to move into that neighborhood (I heard from a local that they love visitors, but if you arent italian, dont even think about moving in there - for your own safety!!! Oh my gosh, Jersey has got NUTHIN on the North End - it was awesome!), we sure enjoyed our afternoon & looking at the gorgeous churches & reliving history that went through there (Paul Revere, the 1st Church, the 2nd Church, chains from Old Ironsides)!

What's a trip if I dont talk about the food????

Eat like a local! Cambridge Brewing Company paired their homemade brews to cheeses and fruit. OH MAH GAWD! Who'duh thunk, spare the wine, add the beer. It was the best treat after being on a plane for 5 hours (that was going, coming home, add 2 hours + headwinds).

Emma's Pizza is an AMAZING pizza place to celebrate - UNIQUE doesnt begin to describe the pizza we had but the NW has NOTHING like this & so we were just vocal with every bite on its yumminess (yes a little like Sally in when Harry Met Sally, but not as dirty, totally true to the food :)). Picture this - on our pizza was traditional sauce, mozzerella, bacon, yukon gold potatoes, cilantro, dried cranberries.

I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how the flavors of that combo blended in my palate to be the most AMAZING meal. Truly - i had to go with it when i read it... i didnt set any expectations but "wierd but ok" - OH MY WORD! And so! Every Emma (& the Ellie's that love them) is getting a shirt! Made friends with the owner. It might have been when he asked me to pipe down my OHMYGAWD THIS IS FANTASTIC :) hahahaha!!!

We did find our starbucks in the bottom of the marriotts scattered around (thank you!) but its funny, the locals prefer dunkin donuts iced coffee over anything! I didnt get to try it (darn it) but they swore by it. oh & they swore, did i mention that?
The subway rocks - it was pretty cool! Charlotte even got a honk & a wave from the driver as he wizzed past!

Harvard is gorgeous & bustling. But i just wanted to close my eyes & let the intelligence seep through my pores. Alas, its gated & locked up. !!! So we ate at a landmark across the street where we got to watch our daily dose of crazy front row style :) Tellin' ya, the people are colorful & fantastic :)
Charles River tour was an educational way to end our trip & relaxing too. Learned that Boston University is the #1 employer of Boston residents. 38% of the residents are college students (I cant even begin to name off all the colleges, but i suppose if you live there, there's no reason for your child to leave to attend school!!).

We missed the girls - The E's! - and started to plan our next trip with them in mind (would be fun to take everyone & plan a weekend around it!). We were pointed in some great directions this trip from my sweet friends sister & her contacts - so AWESOME! Thank you Katy! We brought back educational goodies (2 books, 1 on the presidents & "MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS" which was set in Boston - caldecott winner, classic) & Charlotte brought home fun for them (lil'kinz) :)GREAT TRIP! We are tired & thankful! What time zone are we in NOW?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Leaving On A Jet Plane...

We see Dr. Foster on Tuesday in Cambridge & look forward to sharing every detail of our 4 hour appointment here in the ole blog.

Pray for Charlotte that she may have patience & a little bit of sweetness.




Our Favorite Boys

Our BOY Cousins Are Growing! LtoR: Twin Jackson, Charlie, Twin Carter


Lemmetellya....State PTA Conventions put on a great show!! You sit & think & think & think & get jazzed & then realize you gotta find some volunteers. Alright, that's cool, but they will come!! They will come!

But the other cool thing is you get to sit in "closed" therefore forbidden hot tub until 1am, and then get to view other face cleaning regimens, talk makeup & try new hair dryers. This is just as vital & fun as learning about funding the outdoor play equipment at community elementary school!

And I am here to tell you - my life has been CHANGED! ITS TRUE!! ITS ABSOLUTELY TRUE! A good hair dryer makes a DIFFERENCE!!! It absolutely does! I didnt believe it before... and so I thought it was normal to put about 4 different styling products in my hair. That's normal right?

I forgot the styling products.... uh oh, i am foreseeing broom Hilda will be wearing MY name tag walking around representing! NOT SO!

Tried the new friend's hair dryer, my hair was as sleek as smooth as BUTTA! BUT - TUH! Remember ZERO styling products are in my hair & with the drying, it laid down smooth as silk & still had body! So now I am thinking, "YES! must get a new hair dryer! Where's my INSTYLE Magazine w/ the 157 Best Beauty Buys?" Becuase of course they are the MECCA of all knowing the BEST & MUST HAVES. And then... CANT FIND IT!

Help me! If you have it - what's the expensive and cheap hair dryers they recommend???? HELP ME! They recco two & i want to compare before the big purchase - I will be grateful! And lets see if its the same as new friends?!?!?