Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our Little Pumpkins 1st Birthday Party

Well, now that's is over, I can say all in all it was a success. The babies loved their cupcakes and they were in baby heaven when we got home and could play with all their new toys. I cannot say however that it all went smoothly, mostly thanks to me.

The party was at Schnepf farms, who every year hosts a pumpkin and chili party. There are rides, a petting zoo, a train, pumpkin patch, face painting, etc. What a perfect location for an October birthday party, especially when the theme is "Little Pumpkins". The plan was I would leave early and take all the decorations, cupcakes, etc. with me. Tommy would leave later and get there a half  hour before the party starts with the babies. I did leave early and got their on time. The place was already very busy though and I had to make several trips back and forth to the car to get everything unloaded and then go find parking. Once I got to our reserved area, I check my phone and it is 11am. 30 minutes before the babies are supposed to get here, and hour before the party starts at noon. I receive a text from Tommy saying that he cannot find the keys. I check my purse and sure enough, I have BOTH sets of keys, which means he has no way to get there with the babies and we live about 45 minutes away. OMG!!!

The next few minutes were sheer panic, I admit I was a tad stressed at this point and also VERY mad at myself. Luckily, my mom and Maureen and Dennis arrived  at the same time and they could drive Tommy the keys, of course, given the distance, the babies would still be late to their own party.

The babies finally arrived at 1pm, an hour after the party started. Good thing we were at a farm full of stuff for people to do so they did not all have to sit and wait for the guests of honor. In addition to their late arrival (thanks to me), Mickey got sick right when they pulled in and threw up all over his birthday pants. They were, unsavable, to say the least. In all the commotion, Tommy had forgotten a second set of clothes. Oops! So, Mickey arrived pant less. At least the birthday shirt was spared.

After that, it was just non stop fun for everyone. The babies were loving all the attention. The girls looked beautiful in their tutus. They all got lots of toys and clothes. All 3 babies helped unwrap the presents, but mostly Jolynne who never likes to miss a thing.

The cupcakes were the most fun to watch. Mickey started in before we had a chance to light the candles and sing happy birthday and then he knocked his first cupcake on the ground, so he tried to take his sisters, then we gave him a second one and he knocked that on the ground too. He was a complete mess but atleast he did not have a tutu on, because the girls had orange icing all over their tutus.

Mickey had one more vomiting episode and threw up all over James. He seemed a little tired but it had been a chaotic morning so I was not to worried at the time. We found out the next day when day care called, he was much sicker. Our poor boy had a stomach virus and an ear infection. But, like I said that did not stop him from enjoying 2 cupcakes.

Schnepf farms was a beautiful fall location. I had Caketini in Gilbert make the babies cupcakes and  the cake pops, and then I made all the other cupcakes myself, which for those of you that know me, know I don't bake. Anything for my babies! I was able to find a cute pumpkin design on Etsy where I could make the banner myself and the cupcake toppers. It all came together nicely, but next year, we may be at home. That way, I cant forget the keys and the babies cant be late to their own party.

Thank you so much to all our friends and family that came and helped us celebrate and showered the babies with love on their special day. Special thanks to Maureen for helping me decorate and not stress out, to my mom and Dennis for driving the keys back to Tommy, to Christie and Kendall and Holland for taking such great pictures and keeping the babies entertained, and to James for being such a good sport when Mickey threw up his lunch on you. But especially thanks to my wonderful husband. I am pretty sure I had a few momzilla moments while planning this party. Thank you honey for being so patient, keeping it real, and helping me think outside my detail oriented mind when things did not go as planned. After all, its not the details that made the day so special but the people we shared it with and the babies, who were the reason for it all.

Happy Birthday again to Georgia, Joylnne and Mickey. I love you more than anything.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Walk to Defeat ALS

Every year, we walk to defeat ALS in my dads memory. There is not to many times any more that I actually talk about what happened to him. I like to focus on the good memories and the good times with him, and all the wonderful things about my dad rather than the way in which he had to leave the world. And I could probably write a book about all of it really. There is too much to say that will not fit into a simple blog entry.

But I will say that as a child to watch their father suffer the way he did was almost unbearable and the last couple nights, watching this man who I thought was made of steal, slip away from us after only 4 months of being diagnosed with ALS, is something that I am still not completely over and probably never will be. You see, we don't know what causes ALS and we don't know why certain people get it. There is evidence that it could be from repeat trauma to the head, like from playing sports, which my dad did and he had many concussions when he was younger, but further research needs to be done. Once they find out what causes it, we can work on finding out how to cure it. But until then, it is a death sentence. If you get ALS, you will die. And I am being very blunt about it because it is reality and it was my dads reality and it was our families reality, and it always will be to some extent.

Raising money for ALS will not bring my dad back but he did say after the one walk that he participated in that it was the best day he had since being diagnosed. All those people walking and cheering, full of hope, full of determination, brought him hope. And so we do it every year because there are so many that are still suffering and every minute, more people are getting diagnosed. That being said, it is very hard on me emotionally because as I mentioned earlier, I would rather focus on the happy times, and the walk brings up a lot of not so happy memories from when my dad was sick. I am not sure if I will be able to continue doing it the future, but it was important to me that my babies were there this year.

We could not keep the people away and I should have counted how many people asked to take their picture. Definitely a first for me to get that much attention because of them. I mean we get it, but this was just crazy. The nice thing about it was though, the people would then ask my tie to ALS, and who was George and I get to tell them that he was my dad and that this little baby Georgia is his granddaughter and she is named after him. It really was special.

The babies did great as usual. There was no crying at all. They were all smiles. Then right towards the end of the walk, Georgia and Mickey fell asleep in the wagon. It was adorable!!! Jolynne was not tired at all, she was ready to play with everyone and no way was she going to miss out on anything!

Our team raised $445 and the total raised by all teams was $306,343.88 and they are still accepting donations. Thanks again to everyone that supported us this year and especially to those that donate and walk with us every year. To me that says you truly understand the importance of why we do it and it means the world to us.