Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Break

Have you been wondering what has happened to me, well, I'll tell you what...spring break! We had such a busy week I can't believe it's over already. Easter Sunday was very relaxing, it was just the kids and I. My brother Rick and his wife Anne Marie went to visit her family in Georgia, and as you know, Sherry was in Boston with her family. My brother John's wife, Chris, was stranded in Las Vegas (because of the snow storm we had here on Good Friday) and ended up getting a flight to Phoenix to be with her mom and my niece Meghan. John and my nephew Ryan spent the day alone, I told him he should have come over. The kids and I went to church and then just hung out all day. The Easter Bunny was very busy at my house, he hid about 60 eggs! The kids loved looking for them, they did miss a couple, I know, because I sat on one!

On Monday I had a root canal done, and then was fitted for a crown. Did you know that you can have an infection under your tooth from trauma caused to the tooth over 20 years ago? I didn't know that. My infection was not bad, and not painful at all, it showed up on an x-ray. My infection was caused by an old filling that had weakened the tooth, I didn't know that could happen either. I was very surprised by how very little it hurt, it was more painful to write the check! That night we celebrated Robbie's birthday, he turned seven.

Tuesday I took all of the kids to get a haircut, my hairdresser Linda is a brave soul! She rents out space within another hair salon, it is very small. She put the kids out by the shampoo bowls and gave them some toys to play with. To my surprise, the girls were the loudest! Helen had gotten hold of a green crayon and found the nice white wall was a great looking canvas...scribbles everywhere. I tried my best to wipe it off, Linda was going to bring her pen (the kind that gets crayon off of walls) the next day to get what was left. Helen got her haircut right above her shoulders, it used to hit the middle of her back. She was starting to play with it all the time, it was becoming a distraction in school, not to mention how tangled it would become. She looks very cute, and her hair looks healthier.

Wednesday Helen had a doctors appointment at Children's with her Endocrinologist, it was just a check up. It went very well, I will know more when the test results are in. I'm hoping her dose will not have to be adjusted, but it may just need to. I noticed she has her tummy back, she gained about 5 lbs. since her appointment for her sinus infection a month ago. She is the first one to wake up in the morning, she gets into anything that she can find. I have to hide things before I go to bed, and make sure the cabinet and refrigerator are locked. One morning I followed a trail of fudgesicle wrappers to where Helen was sitting watching TV, eating one. This is where you would hear a heavy sigh....I had forgotten to lock the refrigerator the night before. Ted had a birthday party to attend in the next town over, so the rest of the kids and I went to Burger King for dinner, and the kids played. It worked out perfectly.

Thursday was the only day we didn't have anything to do, well, the kids didn't have anything to do. I got caught up on housework and laundry. I needed to start getting the house ready for Robbie's birthday party, which we had today.

Friday we met with Robbie's Tiger Den at the local radio station to get a tour, that was fun. The station manager gave us the tour, he told us that you didn't need a college degree to become a radio DJ. He made it very clear that you do need to go to college so that if things didn't pan out with the radio, you would have something to fall back on. I joked with one of the mom's about maybe one day she would hear my voice over the radio...I would love to have a radio show. All of the DJ's they have at that station have been there a very long time, so it's a very low turn over, but, you never know.

Saturday Katie and Robbie both had birthday parties to attend, they had a great time. I was once again trying to get my house in order. I noticed most of the snow had melted in my backyard, underneath all that snow were little piles of...did you know we had a dog? I got most of it up, there was still some snow left in places. I'll have to go out there again sometime this week and finish up, but it does look and smell much better!

Today we had Robbie's party, he was very excited about everyone coming over just for him. It doesn't take much to make a child feel special. It was an enjoyable afternoon, and to those of you reading this that were here, I hope you enjoyed yourselves.

I'm off to watch my movie that was sent to me, we had to move movie night from Saturday to Thursday, due to Robbie's party. I haven't had a chance to watch mine yet, tonight's the night!
Now you can see why I didn't have a chance to write my blog this week, and also to see how busy life can be for this single parent.

Until next time-
Take Care,
Free Counters

Free Counter

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Greetings from Boston!

Evan and I are in Boston this week, enjoying the city and its many sights and sites. Yesterday we visited the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. As we waited for the shuttle bus to take us from the T station to the library, I told him that the last time he was here he was in a stroller and his brother, sister, and cousins Meghan and Ryan (who joined us for that vacation) passed the wait time by pushing Evan's stroller up and down the T station ramps as fast as they could. He seemed really taken by the thought of that. I'm just astonished at how quickly time passes. On that earlier trip my older son, Alex, was the age Evan is now (10) and Evan was too young to remember any of the trip. Now Alex is finishing high school and getting ready to head off to Auburn University in the fall - and Evan actually enjoyed and learned a lot at the museum. Life is such a fast, whirling ride that sometimes I don't even see how quickly it's moving.

Anyway, since we're on the road I don't have anything to post about It'll Fit'll (except a reminder that we'll be back in Boston in early July for the convention of the National Down Syndrome Congress.)

It's going to be 51 degrees in Boston today - perfect for walking the Freedom Trail. Hope everyone's getting a bit of Spring these days.

Free Counters

Free Counter

Friday, March 21, 2008

Snow, Cupcakes, and Netflix

The snow is falling again! The news is saying we can expect up to 15", the largest snowfall of the season, and I thought it was spring! The airport just grounded all of their flights, they are hoping to reschedule for this evening. What a way to start the Easter week-end. I'm hoping the people I know who had travel plans were able to get out before the snow fell, otherwise, what a headache! I spent the week preparing for spring break. I hit the grocery stores and Target, stocking up on everything we need, we are good to go!

I'm feeling better, I had a stomach bug of some sorts. Only half of the kids came down with it, and the ones that did, it only lasted for a few hours. Once they had a good nights sleep, they were feeling fine. Mine lasted days, nothing that knocked me off my feet, just the feeling of having a "sour" stomach.

At the kid's school they have hot lunch on Wednesdays, some of the mom's cook and serve it. Once or twice a month the kids get homemade cupcakes for dessert. At the beginning of the year we sign up for what week we would like to bring them in, they are usually themed. My last day for baking them was this past Wednesday (Easter theme), so I baked on Tuesday night. I have a cupcake holder to put them in because it so much easier to transport them. I put the container on the counter, not thinking...Helen got into them. I went into the kitchen to get their breakfast, and there she was, sitting by the refrigerator, cupcake in hand!! She had licked the frosting off of four of them, my heart sank. I called her teacher warning her of what could follow...tummy cramps. When I dropped the cupcakes off at the school they laughed and told me not to worry, they usually have extras. Helen never had any accidents at school that day, just a lot of gas. Her teacher gave the kids an extra treat that day for being so good about not laughing when Helen passed gas. I can only imagine what the air was like in the room that day...

I want to know why nobody ever told me about Netflix, like it was a secret or something. I signed up for a trial period of two weeks and fell in love. We didn't rent movies, something I missed very much. Peter and I used to rent all the time, we enjoyed the hunt of finding that one perfect movie. We could spend an hour going through movie after movie, trying to talk each other into the one that we picked. When we moved to Wisconsin, Peter would go to the library and get the movies. He would come home with some that I would have never agreed to, he also favored foreign films. I have to admit, they were usually very good. When the kids and I moved to this house I started movie night. We all get into our pajamas, grab our blankets and pillows, make popcorn, turn off the lights and watch movies. We would always have to settle for what was on TV, or what they had to offer on PPV. Now with Netflix, the skies the limit. We have seen some very good movies so far. It was a very pleasant experience going through the list and choosing what we wanted. They put the movies in order of when they wanted to see them. If there was a dispute, it didn't matter if there was yelling involved, I was the only one that could hear them. They like going online to see what's coming next, and to choose more movies. Movie night is much more enjoyable now that we are in control of what we watch.

Tomorrow we will be coloring eggs for the Easter bunny, the kids are getting very excited. I hope all of you who are celebrating Easter on Sunday have a wonderful day.

Until next time-
Take care,

Free Counters

Free Counter

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jenna's Jammies

Thanks to my new pal Laurie, mother of 7-year-old Jenna, It’ll Fit’ll is developing a new product and I couldn’t be more excited. I think of this product as a “dream” product. It will, as you might have guessed, be called “Jenna’s Jammies”. That’s the girl’s line, anyway. We’ll probably call the boy’s line the “Boy’s One Piece Sleeper.”

Jenna’s Jammies will, indeed, be a one piece sleeper. The unique aspect of the product is that it will zipper in the back. Laurie explained to me that Jenna, who wears a diaper at night, would routinely take off her pajamas and diaper in bed sometime during the night. To avoid that situation, and the messes that implies, Laurie began buying one piece sleepers for Jenna – and putting them on backward. That way the zipper is in the back and Jenna can’t get herself out of the jammies during the night. Problem solved!

My first thought was “What an ingenious, elegant solution!” I immediately shared the insight with Susie. She completely agreed. Speaking with that awed tone of someone who’s just been illuminated by the bright light bulb, Susie explained that she’d had the same problem with Helen. But, Susie said, she would never have thought of such a creative, yet straightforward approach. Instead she just suffered through that long period, cleaning up the messes when they occurred and breathing a big sigh of relief when Helen was able to make it through the night without needing a diaper. The beauty part of Jenna’s Jammies is that once a child reaches the point of not needing the overnight diaper, the jammies are still useful. They still do their basic job, keeping the child warm and covered during the night.

This is exactly the kind of product that Susie and I feel great about producing. It fills a unique, important need and will make life a little easier for you parents in its humble, yet profound, way. While the need may be limited to a particular development period, and will likely never be a blockbuster in terms of sales volume, it’s a blockbuster idea in that it solves a problem with great practicality and simplicity.

We are working hard to have Jenna’s Jammies available for purchase at the convention of the National Down Syndrome Congress in Boston in July. We’ll have a girl’s version as well as a boy’s version. The size range will be 4 through 7. So, we’ll have sizes 4, 5, 6, and 7; the size should generally correlate to age (in years.) We will have a fleece version, for the colder months, and lighter weight cotton knit for the warmer months. Our current plan is to make the sleeper footless. As practical moms we think that the absence of feet allows kids to wear them for a longer period of growth. A sleeper with attached feet will stretch and pull and stop fitting once the child grows beyond a certain point. These sleepers will be so durable and well made that they will hold up to a very long period of use.

We also plan to have the flap that snaps at the neckline/top of zipper. That’s usually there to cover the zipper pull so that the child is less likely to be scratched by it. In this case, we’ll include the flap in order to limit access to the zipper and thereby make the jammies harder to remove during the night.

Please share your own thoughts and design ideas about this one-piece zippered sleeper. We want to produce the best product possible for you guys. So, do let us hear from you. In the meantime, sweet dreams to us all.

Free Counters

Free Counter

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

If We Could Have You Back

This was given to me, it was written by Ann M. King. I'm not feeling that great, some of the kids have been sick, I may be fighting it off. I think I'm just going to post this for now and post again when I'm feeling a little better.

Until next time-
Take Care,

If we could have you back for just one day
There would be so many things we would like to say
If we could just be with you for one whole day
To have you close and know that you really are Okay.

If we had known that you would be gone forever
If we had known all those ties were going to be severed
If we had known the pain, the loss, and the ache
If we had known the difference without you would make.

In the darkness you slipped away from us all
Now it’s just your memories that we have to recall
They say that parting is such sweet sorrow
But it’s the longing, the wondering, and how to cope with tomorrow.

Now all we have are memories
The good times that we had
We spend so much time in tears
And pain and feeling sad

So if we could have you back for just one day
You could let us know how to cope until that day
When we’ll be together as a family once again
When we’ll all be happy and free from all this pain.

Oh! It’s so hard to live when your loved one has to die
Then we spend our lifetime trying to say Goodbye!

Free Counters

Free Counter

Monday, March 10, 2008

Third Time's The Charm?

The Los Angeles International Textile Show is April 14th through 16th and I'll be there, hoping that the third time's the charm. I've written about my adventures and disappointment at fabric shows in Chicago and New York. I'm fairly certain that this upcoming show in Los Angeles will be the home run that I've been hoping for.

This is the text on the show's web site. "The Los Angeles International Textile Show is the premier showcase for directional textile companies and design resources in the United States. Featuring hundreds of the most creative domestic, European, and Asian fabric and trim collections, in addition to design studio resources, complimentary seminars and trend information, the L.A. Int'l Textile Show is the starting point for contemporary apparel and interior design."

Sounds promising, though I am a little concerned about the adjective "directional" (as in "...the premier showcase for directional textile companies and design resources....") One of the definitions of directional is: "Serving to point the future direction, as of fashion: "A directional group of sweater knit colors are winter pastels" (Women's Wear Daily)." I hope that doesn't mean that the show will feature mostly wacky, "high performance" fabrics like those I found at the show in New York. I do expect that there will be some new-fangled, high tech fabrics available. But I expect some more traditional fabric offerings as well.

Apparently the best, thick, high quality cotton knit that's #1 on my wish list comes from India. So, because this show features Asian fabric collections - among others - I am hopeful that I will find the cotton knit of my dreams. Now that I've written that I realize that I've got a different kind of "California Dreamin'" going on!

In addition to the textile show, I'm looking forward to visiting a wholesale fabric reseller in LA. It's called "Ragfinders of California" and they're a textile "jobber." They buy excess fabric from large manufacturers and sell to smaller manufacturers - like It'll Fit'll! I am excited at the possibility of finding great fabric, at reasonable prices, in practical minimum quantities that I would otherwise be unable to purchase for It'll Fit'll. I also, very much, like the idea that the availability of the fabric is limited.

One of the principles of our "fashion" line (as opposed to our "classics" - standard offerings like jeans and chinos) is that the quantities will be limited. We will produce a limited number of an item - say, a dress - in a particular fabric, in a range of sizes. Once those dresses have been sold, there will be no more of that particular item available. The reason for that approach is that we want to assure that your child has the opportunity for some fashion individuality - that she or he won't "see themselves coming and going", as my Mom used to say. Mom once told me about her favorite local clothing store as a young woman. It stocked and sold each item in just one of each size. So, when she bought a dress there she knew that no other size 8 woman would be buying the same dress. I've always appreciated that concept - ever since she spoke of it so nostalgically back in my high school days, when that shop sadly closed due to competition from national chains.

Of course, we'll produce more than one fashion item per size. But because we'll be a web based business, we expect to have a national customer base and therefore a wider area of distribution for those fashions than my Mom's little store had. So, the idea is the same. You will not likely see a bunch of other children wearing the exact dress or shirt that your child is wearing. The style may be the same - I understand how important it is to our children to wear the same type of clothes that everyone else is wearing - but the particular fabric and trim will likely be different.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to all of the fabric treasures I expect to find in Los Angeles next month. I'll also look forward to sharing my findings - and observations and adventures - with you guys! And, OK, the warm, sunny weather won't be bad either!

Free Counters

Free Counter

Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Service Engine Soon"

I received my license plate renewal notice along with a note telling me I had to run my car through emissions in order to renew. Two days later the "service engine soon" light came on, UGGGHHHH!!! Why is it every time I have to go through emissions, that light comes on!!?! Two years ago the exact same thing happened, but Peter was still alive, so he dealt with it. You want to know how?...he ignored it! Guess who ended up dealing with it after! I ran it through and it failed, I drove around with expired plates for months. At one point I noticed the light hadn't been on for days, so I quick ran it through, and it passed. This time around, I took it to the garage to have the mechanics take a look. It's getting up there in age, and it's the only car I have so I need to take care of it. One of the oxygen sensors was no good, so they replaced it. Noah was in heaven!!! Once again the mechanics name was "John", and Noah got right down on the floor with him as he went under the car. He was fascinated with everything in that garage, it was like a playground to him. The mechanics got a big kick out him and told me how cute he was. I think Noah will be just like my brother John when it comes to fixing things, and working on cars. He didn't even mind getting dirty from the floor!

I took Helen to the doctor yesterday, she has a sinus infection, and very dry skin. The last infection she had was in December, so we're doing very well this winter. I remember a few winters ago, it seemed like she was on an antibiotic the whole season! All of us have been pretty healthy, until now that is! Helen has the sinus infection, Katie has a cough that keeps her up at night, Grace and Noah have runny noses, and I feel like I'm fighting off what all of them have put together! Ted and Robbie are the only ones who don't have any symptoms...yet. Robbie has birthday parties to go to this weekend, one on Saturday, and also on Sunday. He will be exhausted come Sunday night!! Katie has Girl Scout Mass on Sunday morning, I'm hoping she gets involved, she told me she wants to, I'm going to play it by ear. She is doing fantastic at school, she has spoken to her teacher everyday since she started almost two weeks ago. She has received her happy meal for the first five days of talking, and is now one sticker away from receiving a sundae from Dairy Queen. This means she has talked to her teacher for nine days straight, tomorrow will be ten!!! I told her I'll have to make sure I have money so we can stop and get ice cream after school. She had a huge smile on her face, me too, when Katie gets ice cream, we all get ice cream!!!

I'm off to take a couple Advil, get in my pj's, and make some hot tea.
Until next time-
Take care,
Free Counters

Free Counter

Monday, March 3, 2008

The 36th Annual Convention of the National Down Syndrome Congress

Late last week I received an email from the National Down Syndrome Congress. It was the Exhibitor Application Form for their 36th annual convention. That means that the show is just around the corner! Susie and I are looking forward to being there. Click on the "36th annual convention" link earlier in this paragraph for details of the convention if you might be interested in attending.

Assuming that our application is accepted, we will be selling It'll Fit'll clothes this year. Last year we attended to talk to you guys about our idea and to get feedback. Several folks asked if we had clothes there, available for purchase at the show. I'm excited at the notion that this year the answer is Yes!

This year's convention will be held in Boston - at the Seaport World Trade Center - July 11th through the 13th. I heard great things about the lectures and workshops last year from the attendees who stopped by our booth and chatted. The exhibition hall had loads of activities to keep children of all ages occupied while parents visited the booths. We were very near the center stage area so I could watch everything that went on. There was always something going on! And it always looked and sounded fun.

Boston is a wonderful city and an ideal place for a summer vacation. It is, in my opinion, one of those cities which offers so much - especially if you consider the surrounding area as well - that you can't possibly take it all in during just one trip. I have visited often, for business and for pleasure (including family vacations; the kids love Boston too) and there are still new places I want to visit. If you do plan to attend and would like suggestions about what to do, or opinions about a particular spot, based on our family vacations and my own solitary adventures there, just drop me an email.

Hope that we have a chance to meet some of you there. July 11th will be here before we know it.

Free Counters
Free Counter