Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking back: Goals 2009

One of the great things about having this blog is getting to look back at previous posts. I looked up our "Grasso Goals 2009" post to see how many we acheived. We'll set new goals in the coming days so stay posted! I hope you all have a WONDERFUL New Year!

Brooke's Goals:
1. Retake the Math class she withdrew from 9 months pregnant and get at least a "B" (I really want an "A" but c'mon--Math + Brooke = do not mix! DONE: I got an A!! Also took 3 classes in the fall and earned A's in all 3--keeping my 4.0! :)
2. Become more organized DONE: still working on it!
3. Knit one item other than a scarf--Have my Oma teach me! FAIL: Although I did knit another scarf!
4. Take LOTS of pictures of Dominic--he's growing so fast that I truly want to remember EVERY moment! DONE: I think we can all agree on this one! Especially if you're on facebook
5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by working out & eating well! We both want to be at our very best for Dominic! DONE: And with my new diagnosis of MS, this is more important than ever before!
6. Keep in better touch with family & friends. It's so tough with a "newborn" (can he still be considered this?) but I want to make more of an effort! IN PROGRESS: I'll always strive to be a better friend and family member
Lou's Goals:
1. Lose 25 more pounds and maintain that weight for an entire year IN PROGRESS: maintained weight from last year and working on 20 for this year
2. Run at least a 5K (maybe a 10k) FAIL: Was on pace to run one but never signed up for a race
3. Study and sit for at least 2 parts of the CPA exam IN PROGRESS: first year as a parent takes up a lot of time!
4. Spend as much time as possible with my family and be there for every moment I can as Dominic gets older. DONE: I make time for my family as it comes first
5. Send a birthday card to my nieces & nephews on their birthday DONE: I'm very proud of accomplishing this goal because I know it meant a lot to my neices and nephews.
6. Have at least one "date night" each month with my wife. (hint hint..we'll need 12 babysitters!)FAIL: Time goes by way too fast but we did manage to get out alone together thanks to our family!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dominic: 2009

My, what a difference a year makes!!




Monday, December 28, 2009

An answer..8 years later!

Once again, I apologize for the lack of posts. The holidays have kept us very busy and I've been going through some medical issues that have kinda kept me from posting until I knew what "it" was.

In December of 2002 I woke up and couldn't move my wrists. I went to the ER where they told me I had tendinitis and sent me home with a referral to a orthopedic physician. A week later I woke up and couldn't move my ankle. I followed up there and they referred me to a rhumatologist. I had elevated ANA's and he began treating me for Lupus. I've went years taking up to 8 pills a day, getting cortisone shots and waking up many, many days in intense pain. The joint pain (and I do mean PAIN) jumped from joint to joint-I've limped to classes and winced in pain, but over the years I learned to manage the pain and eventually went off all medication. Once I got pregnant with Dominic I had seemed to go into remission and have had very few "flare up's" since.

December 2009: I started to feel that something was just not right. I was having trouble swallowing, had swollen glands and felt a weird "fluttering" behind my eyes. I just had a feeling that I HAD to get to a doctor and get a piece of mind. I went in and met with our new family physician and went over my symptoms. He ordered lots of blood work, a thyroid ultrasound and because of my family history with immune deficiency and the concerns I had with fluttering-ordered a brain MRI. I had the blood work done and scheduled my ultrasound and MRI.

A week later I went in for the Thyroid ultrasound first. 10 minutes later I was finished. I was then whisked in for the brain MRI. I had a cold at the time so she gave me a peppermint to suck on during the scan, but wasn't allowed to move my mouth--can I tell you how BADLY a mint stuck in one spot burns!?! LOL. About halfway through the scan the tech stopped it and told me she saw "something" and she needed to inject me with a special dye. I asked what she saw and she said she couldn't tell me. (Hello!! Insert panic!). It was at this moment I began to have a feeling that I knew what she had seen. We finished the scan and she told me that they'd have the results at the end of the week.

4 days later: I received a call from the doctor's office telling me that my results were in and I tested positive for Strep throat. *explains the swollen glands* She also told me that the doctor wanted to see me immediately. I thought that was strange-it's just strep? So I made the appointment to go in that afternoon. I knew something was up just by the way the doctor was fumbling his words. He looked nervous. First he told me I had strep and wrote a prescription for an antibiotic, then that the thyroid ultrasound revealed a small cyst that was really nothing of concern but we'd keep an eye on. Then he got to my brain MRI. He explained that the radiologist had seen many lesions on my right parietal lobe of my brain and that "given my age and family history" is indicative of Multiple Sclerosis. My mother has MS so I did know a bit about the disease. He told me he'd work with me to schedule an appointment at the Mellen Center, a part of the Cleveland Clinic that specializes in Multiple Sclerosis.

Today: Lou & I made our way at 9 am through the snow to Cleveland. Walking into the Mellen center was a bit scary. I saw people with many ranges of the disease-some in wheel chairs, many walking very wobbly and others who looked completely normal. I got a little panicked but Lou and I joked around and laughed a lot about funny apps we found on our Iphones. I got called in to see/meet my new neurologist and he did a bunch of tests and talked with us. He took a few minutes to look over my MRI and then came back in. He told me the same-that I had MS-the chance of me inheriting it being 3-5%, but he thinks we caught it early and it may be very mild. He also explained that he saw paleness on the nerves in the back of my eyes. Thanks to my brother, the med student, I learned that this is often one of the first symptoms of someone with MS. He ordered more blood work and a weird eye exam that I will have done in 2 weeks. I will then meet back with him on February 2nd, 2010 to discuss treatment options. The neurologist told me I will most likely be doing the same treatment as my mom-daily injections of a drug. It has worked well for her and I am hopeful that it will stop/slow the progression. So that's that.

So now to how I am feeling-knowing all this. I have to say, I feel relieved in some way. I wasn't crazy to know something was wrong. My intuition was correct. I finally have an answer after all these years-an explanation for everything I've gone through. I most likely do not/never had Lupus at all. It's been multiple sclerosis the entire time and now I can be correctly treated. I'm relieved and hopeful that we caught this early. I'm grateful for a great Family Physician who was proactive and took my concerns seriously! I'm thankful to have a supportive husband and a mother who will be able to help and understand me like no one else on this planet can because she's going through the same thing.

Lou, Dominic & I will be walking the MS Walk again this year as the team "Daly Miracles" but this year, we'll be walking for my mom and for me. I'll have updates soon once I register our team.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I am: a wife,mother, daughter, sister, friend, housekeeper, cook, teacher, student

I think: positively

I know: that I would have never imagined my life to turn out the way it has, SOO happy and grateful to have everything I've wanted and MORE!

I have: an amazing husband & son, wonderful family and two cute doggies

I wish: that I could win the lottery-I mean, c'mon-who doesn't!?

I hate: to be late for anything!!

I miss: many of my friends from college!

I fear: things out of my control-which includes tsunamis! lol Yes in Ohio!

I hear: the sounds of my husband wrapping my Christmas gifts! Yay!

I smell: the aftermath of the 3rd and 4th loaves of bread I baked today! mmmm

I crave: sweet hugs and kisses from Dominic!

I search: for missing socks, toys, etc on a daily basis

I wonder: what people ever did without the technology we have now

I regret: nothing, everything has led me to where I am today :)

I love: my life. My husband, Dominic, family, friends etc etc

I ache: On a daily basis.

I am not: always as organized as I should be-but working on it.

I try: to see every day as a gift

I believe: in God, fate and the good in people

I dance: with no rhythm! lol

I sing: to only Dominic because I have a horrible singing voice!

I cry: when Dominic does something new, or his face lights up with happiness.

I fight: to remain strong and positive no matter what obstacles are in my way!

I lose: my chap stick

I never: go to sleep without telling my boys how much I love them!

I always: HAVE to have my morning coffee!

I confuse: the exact title of Lou's profession

I listen: to the sounds of daily life..giggles, cries, barks (from the dogs)

I can usually be found: Chasing Dominic around the house, on Facebook, or just busy being Mommy!

I need: Coffee in the morning! <--it's seriously essential!

I am happy: period.

I imagine: having a home with enough space for us all. A yard big enough for the dogs to run in, for Lou & Dominic to play "catch" in and one that I can plant flowers and just enjoy! :)

Play along, won't you?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Been MIA!

I know there has been a major lack of posts lately but we have been so busy getting things together for Christmas and chasing around a true to life toddler now. Dominic keeps me on my toes during the day and when I do try and sit down at the computer he climbs all over me and bangs whatever toy (usually a truck) against my laptop. Once I get a moment I promise to update more often!

CONGRATULATIONS to Shannon & Dan on the birth of their beautiful twin babies, Emma & Joshua! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wednesdays with Lou


Last weekend I was talking with a friend who has a 1 month old about the frustrations of a crying child. After being a parent for a full year now I realized probably the most important attribute a parent needs to have is patience. You need to exude patience when he doesn't want to eat or when he finally does open his mouth he decides to spit the food out. You need patience to handle the melt downs and crying fits when you have no idea what he needs. Patience of course doesn't take a break because those 2 am wake up calls need patience too. When the only thing that calms him down in the middle of the night is holding him or rubbing his back for near hours you need patience. I've mastered the art of "count to 10," "deep breathes," and the mantra of "relax, stay calm." I'm sure my patience will continue to be put to the test but in talking with my friend I could sense his frustrations with exercising patience during the crying fits. It's not easy at all but if you want to survive as a parent it's the only way, be patient and life will seem easier. As I write this Dominic just started crying after he's been asleep for about 45 minutes. Does it stress me out? Sure, but oh well, that's life. I'll give him about 5 minutes to see if he can relax himself back to sleep then I'll go up and save the day...crisis averted, he fell back asleep on his own.

T-minus 9 Days

Christmas is quickly approaching and we haven't had our first big snow fall of the Winter season yet. Christmas just doesn't feel the same without a bunch of snow on the ground. Makes me wonder how people in warmer climates celebrate Christmas. If the weather never changes how would it feel like Christmas. It wouldn't be Christmas here without snow or the sting of the cold air. Having snow on Christmas is one reason I like living in a four season region.

I'm really looking forward to these next two weeks to take some time off work and be with my Family. I'm not looking forward to our regular shows not being new so hopefully Santa brings Brooke and I something fun to do in the evenings together since our shows won't be on.

I'll try to come up with a good Christmas blog for next week. Stay tuned...but don't get your hopes up. Here are some pics of Dominic to get your fix in.

Best Cookies ever. Thanks Brooke

Dominic playing at Aunt Anna's store

Hey! When did Dominic get my Xbox controller?

Proud of himself after playing with my Controller. He has next.

Sitting in his big boy chair

Monday, December 14, 2009

Memo to Mommy

Today I was sitting in the waiting room of the doctor's office and of course, they were running behind so I decided to pick up an edition of Parent's Magazine. I flipped to a page and found a few quotes of what a baby would say to their mommy. It was entitled "Memo to Mommy". I thought it was cute so I snapped a picture with my Iphone (I wouldn't dare rip the page out!) and decided to share some of them with you!!

"Stop freaking out about the mess!" There's always time to clean--but how often do we get to make mud pies!?"

"Love me, even when I'm naughty. I'll only be this age once"

"Be patient. I do everything for a reason, but I don't know enough words yet to give you an explanation"

"Let me do it. I know that you can do it faster and better but sometimes experience is the best teacher."

"I want to do what you ask and make you happy, but I'm still little."

"Don't try reasoning with me when I'm having a tantrum. Trust me--I cant hear you over my own screaming."

"Keep your promises. It's all about trust. When I'm a teenager, you'll understand why it's so important."

"Don't let me think that you're perfect. I feel a lot better knowing I'm not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes."

"Set limits. I can't actually eat a whole box of cookies--I just want to see if I can get away with it!"

It was just nice to see that with as much as we try to teach our children--there are a couple things we could learn & understand as well!! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend review

The weekends go by so quickly! We had another action packed weekend here at the Grasso house. Saturday Lou & I got to go to an annual Christmas party and had a great time! (Thanks Anna for watching Dominic!) Sunday, I baked what felt like a bajillion (3 dozen) cookies for the Mommy Meetup Christmas party and then another 2 dozen chocolate peanut butter chip cookies for Lou. He learned the hard way that too many sweets WILL give you a tummy ache!! But in his defense, they are quite delicious! This evening we headed out to the Christmas party. It's always so fun to see Dominic interact with other kids. Here are a few pictures!

Dominic loved the alphabet floor mat-he was showing off and surprisingly very social with strangers!

These two letters were the chosen ones. There were a few snickers and points his way when others realized what two letters he chose. Yes, that's correct..F and U. He carried these two around-waving them in the air. Tsk Tsk Dominic!

We are very lucky to have the fabulous Miss Misty as part of our Meetup group. She works at a local library and is in charge of the children's program. Dominic loved dancing to her songs and shaking the bells during "Jingle Bells"! I think we may have to start going to her program this winter!

As for me, I'm very excited for my first week without school! Dominic and I are going to finish up our Christmas shopping and find some fun indoor places to explore and play! I felt so bad this past week studying so much during the day. I think Dominic watched Dora's Christmas special about 8 times! <--I wish that was an exaggeration! ::sigh:: But now it's Mom & Dom time! :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Patting myself on the back!

I am just popping in to boast that I got an "A" in BOTH A&PII and Cross Sectional Anatomy!! I actually got 100% on my Cross Sectional final (my first 100% this semester) and therefore kept my 4.0 cumulative gpa!! I'm so proud of myself for working hard, studying and actually enjoying what I am doing! Now I have to wait until March to see if I get into clinicals in the fall. There is a wait list so I'm hoping that my gpa proves a factor and I can get in. Then I have 21 months of clinicals and I'm finished!! For now, I'm just excited that I've done so well with my classes! Now I get to have a life and enjoy my days with Dominic! I also have a LOT of Christmas shopping to get finished! Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wednesdays with Lou

Taking the Day Off

I am taking this week off so I can focus on the Biggest Loser Finale tonight instead of writing this post. Before I cut this off I have to give Brooke credit for pulling a fast one on me for my Birthday on Saturday. She suprised me good. Thanks Brooke for a great Birthday weekend. Also, great job on your first final of the week and good luck on your last final on Thursday. I am so proud of you for all the hard work you've put into this semester. You've sacrificed and totally dedicated yourself to your classes and still managed to be an amazing Wife and Mother at the same time.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Lou has always been great at surprising me. He surprised me with an engagement ring on October 27, 2007, a laptop one Christmas morning-even hiding it and giving me my very own "A Christmas Story" experience, and once again when he orchestrated a surprise birthday party at a Cleveland Indians game (it was so rainy/cold we went to Dave & Busters instead) for my 26th birthday and I've never quite been able to pull one over on him...until last night!
A couple weeks ago I started putting together a special surprise birthday party at a local bowling alley. Now Louie and I spend almost every minute together when we can so I knew it would be tough to secretly plan it. Thank goodness for Facebook-where I was able to invite friends and have them RSVP to me through messaging! I couldn't use my phone because I knew he'd know something was up when my phone became drastically more active. I had the venue booked, guests invited, babysitter set..I knew we would put Dominic to sleep around 8 so I planned to meet at the alley at 9.

We put Dominic down and he, shockingly, fell asleep without a fight. As soon as Lou came downstairs I looked at him and told him to "get dressed! We're having a datenight". He didn't believe a word out of my mouth and it literally took me going up and getting dressed and ready for him to believe me. Hannah (our babysitter), arrived at 8:45 which was right on time to hear Dominic screaming in his crib. I immediately started to panic. I had planned on leaving at 8:50ish! We let Dominic cry it out for a while and then Lou went up and worked his "Baby Whisperer" skills. As soon as we could we scooted out of the house and headed for the bowling alley!

The whole way there I spun a few "stories" about where we were going. At one point I convinced him we were heading to his parent's house to play board games! After we passed their street he realized we were heading towards the bowling alley. I fessed up that we were, in fact, going bowling--just the two of us, a nice little night out. I told him open bowling didn't start until 9:30 so we could just sit at the bar and play Keno until then.

We arrived at the bowling alley and I basically started having a nervous breakdown! I was so worried someone was going to be walking through the parking lot or he'd recognize a car. We made into the bowling alley and into the bar without incident. Once we entered the bar, Lou looked and saw about a dozen familiar faces. Now you have to understand, Louie does not like being the center of attention and specially told me "Not to make a big fuss" out of his birthday so when he saw all the people his only reaction was to look at me and say "You're a dork!" haha!!

We had such a great time and my first surprise was a wonderful success!! :) Thanks to everyone who was a part!!

4 lanes of fun!

The Birthday boy

Becky & Allisa

Diana & Jesse goofin' around!

Zack being Zack!

After looking at this picture, you can tell I'm the mother of a toddler. The knees are all worn out in my jeans!

Zack, showing off his form


The McKillips! Mindy bowled a 197!!! She is an amazing bowler and put to shame my 127!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 Words Thursday

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wednesdays with Lou

Smarty Pants

I posted this as my status on Facebook last week but am still so impressed with what Dominic knows that I wanted to share it on our blog as well. One morning last week I asked Dominic if he could find me Brobee. He walked over to his toy bin and pulled out Brobee and brought him to me. I was shocked so I asked him to bring me Elmo just to make sure the first one wasn't just luck. So Dominic walked back over to the toy bin threw out a bunch of toys until he found Elmo and brought him over to me. I couldn't believe it. For his final test I asked him if he could find Buddy. Buddy is a miniature stuffed Dominic look a like toy that my sister Anna made him for his birthday. Brooke and I named him Buddy for now but we've only referred to that specific toy as Buddy a few times so I wasn't sure if Dominic would have picked up on that since he's not a regular character he's been exposed to before. Sure enough Dominic walks over to Buddy and picks him up. The kid knows his toys.

He also likes to show off what he knows in his books. I was flipping through one of his picture books and when I got to the page with Cars on it he immediately starts making his "car noise." Dominic loves cars. I asked him if he could get me a car thinking he would bring me one of his toy cars. He walks over to the kitchen window which overlooks the street and starts pointing at all the cars going past our house. He can pick out several other items in his books now too. We're working on teaching him so many other things and it's so much fun watching him grow and learn.

Birthday Week

My 28th Birthday is this week and as I approach the big day I truly realize how fortunate I am to be where I am at this point in my life. I have an amazing Wife and a healthy Son. I like my job, have a roof over my head, and really have nothing to truly complain about. I know last week was Thanksgiving so I'm double dipping on last week's blog post but I think every person should reflect on their birthday about what they have in their life and what they hope to accomplish in their next year of life. At 28 my life is right where I hoped it would be and I'm looking forward to the future with my Family.

Biggest Loser

Brooke and I love Biggest Loser on NBC on Tuesdays. I usually write my blog post during it every week so figured it would be a good topic to write about this week since the season is almost over. If you're not familiar with this show you should give it a try next season. It's inspiring to watch the transformation the contestants go through by losing hundreds of pounds. Brooke usually needs a box of tissues for each episode so if you're like her make sure you buy stock in Kleenex before next season.
Weight loss and staying fit is something that is always on my mind. I want to be healthy for my Family and for myself. I had lost 50 pounds from April 08 to December 08 last year. I struggled with the first quarter of 2009 and put 20 of those pounds back on so in June I hit the treadmill again and at this point I'm down 25 pounds from June and 5 pounds below where I was at this point last year. My ultimate goal is to lose another 15 pounds and I'll eventually get there but for me it's more important to maintain where I'm at now and not allow myself to slip again the first half of 2010.
Watching Biggest Loser helps make you accountable for your own health. I downloaded the Nutrition Menu App for my iPhone and keep track of what I eat each day and when i think about what I used to eat I'm shocked. It's not that I would eat bad but anytime you eat fast food you pretty much blow through an entire days worth of calories and nutrition in only one meal. Cutting out fast food is the first step in weight loss and making an effort to look at labels and keeping track of calories and fat intake will go a long way towards reaching your goals. I think it's important to find the balance though between extreme dieting and allowing yourself an indulgence once in awhile. If you crave fast food try getting your sandwich without mayo or even cheese and maybe order a size smaller. Every little bit helps.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Final Countdown!

This semester will finally come to end for me on December 10th at around 1:00 pm. Until then I have 4 exams that stand in my way. I've worked so hard this semester and at times, didn't think my brain could possibly retain any more information. I've also learned a tremendous amount this semester and am really excited about the field I've chosen to go into. (Rad. Tech) So I guess I'll share my grades with you all so far (not bragging because they aren't ALL that great!). Let's hope I can crank out these last 4 exams and I might, might, might be able to continue my 4.0 accumulative GPA!
Anatomy & Physiology Lab:
Lab Final Exam 94%
Anatomy & Physiology Lecture:
HAPS exam-?
Exam 5-?
Lecture Final-?
Cross Sectional Anatomy:
70% (messed up the scantron sheet!)
Cross Sectional Final-?
Just looking at the number of exams I've taken this semester it's no wonder I sometimes put the cereal in the refrigerator and the milk in the cupboard! haha!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Because you can never have enough..

Wakey wakey cupcakey!! I was actually going in to take a picture of him sleeping. By the time the flash went off this is what I got!

Playing in the car at Playground World

Little LeBron James! Throw the Hamma Down!!
Dominic & Ryann playing together
At the Lake Erie Nature & Science center
"Oh cool! Leaves!"
"I'll take this one..."

"And this one...and this one..and.."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

July in Christmas??

Tonight our city is having a big Christmas lighting celebration. All of the store fronts downtown are decorated. They have music, choirs, and also carriage rides from the beach to the festivities. Oh and FIREWORKS! We had a great view from our deck-it's nice to have a little taste of summer in the winter! :)

I was so close!! :(

I decided this month to participate in the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and vow to blog every day for 30 days..I was doing so well and then forgot to post yesterday with all the madness of holiday shopping and decorating for Christmas. 28/30 isn't so bad. But it stinks to come so close to the end and then forget! Oops!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We had a wonderful day! Dominic was exactly two weeks old last year so he really couldn't enjoy much of it-and slept through most of it! This year was different, Dominic watched the Macy's Parade with us and loved all of the floats, balloons, and marching bands! It was so cute to see him so into it and one day I really hope to actually go to the parade! (on my bucket list!) We went over to my mom's house for dinner and Dominic was able to sit at the table with us and eat lots of goodies! For dinner he had mashed potatoes, squash, stuffing, and corn-he only has 2 1/2 teeth so we are still keeping it pretty smushy when it comes to the texture of foods. For dessert he had some "baby" (a jello/berry/whipped cream concoction) and chocolate roll and of course pumpkin pie! He was quite the little piglet today!! But I guess I am thankful to not have a picky eater!!

I can't believe it, but I forgot to take ANY pictures! I even made sure before we left the house to grab my camera! I've been slacking lately on pictures but I'm going to make a more conscious effort now.

The poor little guy is battling a nasty cold today as well and combined with very little sleep today-bedtime is a bit rough tonight.

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving day! We all have so much to be thankful for! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

3 Words Thursday

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesdays with Lou

Whiner Boy

Quite awhile ago I had discovered something with Dominic that surprised me. He started whining and quite often. I thought to myself how did he learn this? Brooke and I don't walk around our house whining so where would he have learned this oh so fun trait? Made me think if whining is something we're born with. His whining although at times annoying has been much more tolerable lately. This whole experience that Bella has gone through has really put being Dominic's Dad in perspective. No matter how many times he cries at night or how many fits he throws I'll gladly deal with it than have to go through what my niece, Rachel, has to deal with these days. I'm so proud of her for her outlook throughout this last week. I don't think I would be as strong if my little boy was laid up in the hospital going through the surgeries and treatments that Bella has been through. Whining has a whole new sound now and it's music to my ears...well maybe not great music but it's not awful.


When I was growing up before we ate our Thanksgiving meal we would go around the table and say what we're thankful for. With that in mind and being the eve before Thanksgiving I figure no other time would be more appropriate to list what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. I'll have to edit my list a bit or this blog post would be ridiculously long as I am very blessed with a fortunate life.

I am thankful I have a job and can provide for my Family, for the roof over our heads, for my Parents, for the delicious Thanksgiving meal prepared by my Mother-in-Law, Wife, and Oma, for my Siblings, for my In-Laws, for the Buckeyes going to the Rose Bowl and beating Michigan, for my Friends, for Bella's latest prognosis and positive outlook, for my I-Phone, for my health & my Families health, and most importantly I am thankful for my beautiful Wife Brooke and Son Dominic. Without them in my life I would be lost.


I had said last week that if Brady Quinn didn't do well against an equally sub-par team like the Lions then he was most likely not the Browns QB of the future. Quinn was 21 of 33 for 304 yards and 4 TD passes with a QB rating of 133.1. To put Quinn's 4 TD's in perspective the Browns through their first 9 games scored only 5 Offensive TD's. In one game he nearly matched the total Offensive output for 9 games! His performance tells me if the Browns can put together a good team around him that Quinn can probably lead the Browns and be the QB we all need him to be. We're likely going to get a high first round draft pick and I hope we use it wisely. We still need to get rid of Mangini though. My hopes for the rest of this season are to be competitive but not necessarily win unless it means ruining another teams chances of making the playoffs.

Update on Bella

I'm reposting this note that Bella's grandma *Lou's sister* posted onto facebook regarding Bella.

Today....the Oncology report did not show Hepatoblastoma. It shows that she has a Germ Cell Tumor. A Germ Cell Tumor feeds off of blood. It is all throughout her body, and most likely in her bone marrow, so they are not going to even do that test. The are going to start treatment immediately, maybe tonight or tomorrow.

The team of doctors said this type of cancer is 100% responsive to Chemotherapy!!!! And the prognosis is excellent considering her age and her strength.

Bellas is still in PICU and will remain on the ventilator for another day or two because this large tumor on her Adrenal gland is pressing up on her lungs and making it difficult for her to the machine is helping her do that to avoid putting her under anymore stress. All her vital signs are great and where they should is just so hard to see her in a comatose state, even though we know this is being done on purpose....

Prayer WORKS!!! I truly believe in the strength of all the prayers out there have helped bring us to this point!! Praise God!!! But keep praying as this is going to be a long difficult road for Bella and her parents and and all of us who love her so much.....

And in your prayers...don't to forget to thank God and praise God for holding our Princess Bella close in His hands!!!

Love, Rita

Monday, November 23, 2009

Teach Me Tuesday

Sorry! I have nothing to teach today-I have my lab final at 9 study study!

We haven't heard any updates as of 7:45 Monday evening regarding Bella's surgery. I do know that she went in at 5:30. Thank you for all the prayers--keep them coming! :)

Update: They went in and could only get a bit of the tumor on her liver out, they couldn't stop the bleeding and had to close her up. Bella will be in intensive care (she's stable), and they will go in again in a few days. They do not believe it to be neuroblastoma, but another very rare form of liver cancer. I'll await the results of the biopsy. Please keep on praying.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Please Pray for Bella

Over the years I have prayed for many, many people through the blog-osphere-I've prayed for "friends" to conceive children, for babies in hospitals, for the losses of loved ones, or financial hardships. Now I'm asking for prayers from all of you!

Our two year old great niece, Bella, went in to the doctor last week because her tummy appeared bigger than normal and was hard. They sent her to a nearby hospital for what they thought was an unexplained enlarged spleen and liver. Once there she was sent by ambulance to Rainbow Babies Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. While testing they discovered many (some quite large) tumors on her little liver, adrenal gland, spine, and lungs. The doctors believe it may also be in her bones-they are 90% certain that Bella has neuroblastoma, cancer found primarily in infants and children. She will be going in for surgery sometime on Monday and they will be taking out pieces to biopsy and be taking some bone marrow from her hip. At this time they will also be putting a port into her chest to administer medication. A relief to her mother, Rachel, who told me that Bella is really unhappy with the I.V. This poor little girl has also already had one blood transfusion and will receive another one before surgery due to anemia.

I spoke with Rachel this afternoon and she is very positive and has strong Faith, the doctors are also keeping her very informed and are treating them all with the up most care. Rainbow Babies is one of the best children's hospitals in the country and I know Bella is in wonderful, more than capable hands.

Please keep sweet Bella in your thoughts and prayers. Please send strength to her and her family. Thank you!

Here are a few links as well:
Rainbow Babies: