Friday, December 29, 2006


On December 23rd, I was wrapping gifts in our rec room, and heard "Jen, Meghan just puked." I walked up the basement stairs to hear whimpering from Meghan, the puker. She was covered in it and so was my mom (the pukee) who had tried to help her. Upon entering the living room, I smelled THAT smell. You know. That horrible, awful virus puke smell. I'm sure any day care provider could identify it as the "smell smelled round the world." haha

In any case, this began Megs nonstop episode of consistent vomitting for nearly 8 hours into the wee hours of Christmas Eve. I spent much time cleaning up Meghan in baths, scrubbing soaked clothes, cleaning the carpet, and washing my hands over and over again. I was hoping beyond hope that I wouldn't catch the ick, but in the back of my mind, I kept remembering that I was still on prednisone for my bronchitis. Right on the package, it said something to the effect of this medicine can lower your resistance to infection.

Upon the puking ending, Meghan then started with the worst smelling BMs. She put pig farm smells to shame. Even the flys wouldn't come around her. Poor baby...In any case, our Christmas experience in the B family household was a bit lacking. We were too busy being covered in puke to get into the spirit of the holiday, but we still went through the motions.

Ultimately, we made it to Christmas morning. Charlie and I were a bit blurry eyed due to the normal parent experiences during the wee hours of Christmas morning. About 1/2 hour before the girls woke up, I came down with a nasty migraine headache. Merry frickin Christmas! Sorry if that offends you but this holiday is going down in the number one spot on my list of worsts. Ooh la la! How wonderful! A blinding, raging headache to go with your Christmas cheer.

After the headache had been dulled a bit, we opened our gifts. The girls were quite pleased with what Santa brought, but Meghan's pallor was ghastly to say it nicely. Plus, she gifted us with some of those lovely scents of ransid, rotting flesh in her diaper.

In any case, Meghan seemed to be past the worst of norovirus, and I was glad that she was a bit better. Well much to my chagrin, Meghan was sitting nicely in my lap helping me to open one of my gifts and suddenly hurled into the very convenient gift bag I was "opening." Thus, commenced round 2 of puke fest 2006. Eeeeeeewwwwwwww!

So, is anyone wondering if I acquired this ick yet?

DA DA DA DA DAAA DAAA DAAAA (say that to the theme of STAR WARS)

I awoke on 12/26 to a fun filled festival of pukiness too. 12/27 was a day of visits to the potty for me too.

So there...there was my holidays wrapped up in a nutshell.

Wasn't this the most pleasant posting I've ever written?

Yours in norovirus recovery,


PS: Somehow, Charlie and Grace have evaded the fun. I hope that doesn't change. I've already "boiled" myself and everything around me to minimize germs. :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Boston Marathon

Today, I found out that a runner in the Boston Marathon will be running in honor of Grace & Meghan. Her name is Jen, too.

In any case, I'm so excited about this. It just means so much to me that someone else is thinking of my girls. We are so blessed for their current state of good health, and I'm honored that the girls were matched up with Jen.

She is part of a team made up of about 230 runners, who last year raised over $1.1 million for the American Liver Foundation. The team goal this year is $1.2 million. Over the past 3 years, Jen has personally have raised over $20,000. Her goal this year is $8,500.

Isn't that awesome!

The marathon is on Grace's 5th birthday, and we'll be routing for Jen all the way...from Wisconsin. :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ho, ho, ho…I’m sick

Last week, I caught one of the nastiest colds I’ve had in a very long time. My nose was rather faucet-like. ha ha I think I caught the bug that Meghan had to fend off with antiobiotics recently.

Today, I took myself to the doctor because my left lung hurt. I’ve never had lungs hurt before. I also have a very nasty “chunky” cough with lots of Christmas green color “things” to use a technical term. I guess you could say that my Alpha-1 radar was up.

Being that I’m a gene carrier (MZ) for Alpha-1, I know that I have less Alpha-1 circulating in my blood stream to fend off this particular nasty infection. I do admit that I say that with a little hesitation, since I don’t want to state my case as being horrible when compared to the many individuals who live with ZZ Alpha-1 on a daily basis. ZZ Alphas certainly deal with much greater consequences of repeat lung infections. In any case, I thought it wise to protect my lungs by telling the doc about my recent illness.

Well, my dear old doc informed me that I’m wheezing pretty badly especially on my left side. So, guess what? I get to take prednisone, a steroid to reduce the inflammation in my lungs, along with an antibiotic for 10 days.

Fun, fun, fun

Cough, cough, cough

Ho, ho, ho

I hope to be better by Christmas.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Always See the Bright Side

Today while I was dropping Meghan off at her day care, Grace looked at the back of our filthy mini-van and said, "Mommy, why is there a rainbow on our car?"

I paused for a moment and thought, "Huh? Rainbow?"

As I examined the back of our van, I noticed the perfect shape of a rainbow on our back window. It was the only clean spot on the back of the van...exactly where I had turned on the window wiper.

This made me laugh since I was being the jaded, scruntinizing adult that I am. Gracie simply saw something pretty in the middle of something so dirty. All I saw was the filthy, gray "guck" on the back of my van.

I need to act more like a 4-year old from now on.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jenni Richters

My sister reminded me of how my baby brother, Timmy, used to call one of my high school friends Jenny Richters. Her name was then Jenni Richter. It made me laugh since I accessed a very archived memory. I had almost forgotten that.

Jen, are you out there? Tim is now almost 22. Come out, come out whereever you are.

"What? Drop your face?"

"Look at all the snow men!"

Missing you my friend...

Jen :)


Well, I took Meghan into the doctor today. She has had a cough that got gradually worse, and thus worried Alpha mom Jen. Meghan's cough reminded me of someone who had been a smoker for years. Ick! She is now on Zithromax and hopefully, it should do the trick.

So what I just described probably sounds like normal "mommy" stuff, right? You are right except...

Every time Meghan gets a lung infection, it means she loses healthy lung tissue, too. Since she is a ZZ Alpha, her body is not able to produce enough Alpha-1 in her liver to be sent to the lungs to turn off neutrophil elastase. Those neutrophils are like minature pac-men who come in and eat up the bad stuff hanging out in Meghan's lungs. Unfortunately, Meggie doesn't have enough Ms. Pac-Man (aka Alpha-1 proteins) to nag, nag, nag, nag the heck out of Mr. Pac-Man (aka neutrophils) until he finally backs down and stops destroying healthy lung tissue.

Fortunately, my mommy instincts kicked in about Meg's cough today, and we caught her bronchitis in an early stage. I'm grateful for that, but I can't quite turn off that obsessive thought of how much lung tissue will be destroyed with this infection. These are my inner most thoughts, and well, are now shared with you all in cyberspace. Getting my thoughts out into a narrative is what helps me to feel better.

In any case, Megs was so cute at the doctor. She actually cooperated since I was able to tell her what the doctor would do before he came into the room. When he walked into the room, she told him, "Just listen, right?" Funny...

"I has medcines. Make me fee betta. I go docta's room."

She is growing up so fast now. I can't believe how much she is talking and figuring things out now.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Today, I was late getting the girls up to get ready for school and was still at home about 20 minutes after I should have been. While ironing a very wrinkled set of pants for myself around five after eight, I heard a very loud "metalic" crashing sound almost as if something had fallen over.

I thought, "What the heck was that?"

I peaked out my window to look into our alley, but didn't see anything. I figured it must have been someone getting one of those huge metal dumpsters delivered, but then I thought, hey everyone has snow on their roofs so it can't be a roofing dumpster...strange. In any case, I quickly put the strange loud noise out of my mind.

Then, I proceeded to go about scurrying the kids off to school. When I arrived at work, my hubby had left me a message telling me to get online to see the huge explosion that had happened about 8 miles from my house.

The Falk Corporation complex here in Milwaukee which does metal forging, etc...literally blew up today. Two full city blocks are gone in the valley near Lake Michigan...when I saw the coverage on, it looked like 9/11 again...they think it was just an accident with a gigantic propane tank. Thankfully, it sounds like an evacuation was in progress because of the smell of gas. It could have been much worse, but horribly, three people died and another 50 or so people were injured some critically.

It was upsetting to me that as I was chastizing my kids for being pokey, people were dying or literally running for their lives. I so very much feel for the families of those men who died...they all had young children and wives. Certainly, this makes me feel grateful for all of the blessings in my life, and I'll be praying for all of the victims of this tragedy.

It was very strange juxaposition at least in how I experienced it.

Please pray for the affected employees and families.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

All I Want for Christmas...

As I've gotten older, I've noticed that I'm less inclined to "want" for physical items. Our family is already so blessed with a home, cars, food to eat, clothes to wear, toys to play with, and other extravagences. So, this year for Christmas, I'd rather have my family and friends donate to some very worthy causes, which are near and dear to our hearts, rather than receive gifts.

The Alpha-1 Foundation is dedicated to providing the leadership and resources that will result in increased research, improved health, worldwide detection, and a cure for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. Since both Grace & Meghan have ZZ Alpha-1, we'd love it if you could help fund research for Alpha-1. 100% of what you donate goes to research. The Alpha-1 Foundation has other ways of generating the money to run the business side of the foundation.

Donate at:

The Make a Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Several of our liver friends have been granted wishes and their experiences were invaluable. Please share in helping critically ill children find some joy in their lives.

Donate at:

The Curative Foundation, which runs our Birth to Three Program provides pediatric outpatient therapy services and special education to children ages birth to 3 years in Milwaukee County who have a developmental delay. Our little peanut girl, Meggie, has received speech, occupational, and physical therapy from this organization for the last 2 years. She is thriving because they've shown us how to help Meghan on a day-to-day basis so that she can overcome her former micropreemie beginning.

Donate at:

The March of Dimes' mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Both of our daughters were born premature due to my preeclampsia. Both of them suffer the side effects of being born preemie. Yes, they are doing well, but they both wear the "badge" of prematurity still. Please give generously.

Donate at:

Have a very magical holiday season! Thank you for considering these organizations.