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"I'm gonna take this itty bitty world by storm, and I'm just getting warm..."

Oh my gosh!

This has just been one of those weeks- complete drama with bookends of awesomeness on either side!

But, that said, let me rewind a few days to late last week, when finally, FINALLY, I felt the baby moving for the first time! I was so excited- at first, I wasn't sure if it was just gas (sorry! TMI!) but by the next day, there was no mistaking that what I was feeling was a tiny, naked person moving around! Right now, it's just a very faint tap..tap..tap sometimes followed by a big Flop! But, oh, feeling the baby is almost as good as SEEING the baby!! Or maybe better, it's a close race!!

In a few more days, we will find out if the baby is a boy or a girl, and then the real fighting over names can begin we can truly start to imagine how different our lives are going to be in a few months!

Now, on to my fun weekends!

Last Sunday there was a get-together with Pete and myself, Shelly, Carl, and their cousin Heather, who I had met a few times but had never hung out with before! We had the best time hanging out at the Tap Room in Westmont, eating, drinking (Sprite for me, beer for everyone else!), talking and more often, laughing hysterically! I ate way too much and stayed up way too late, but it was just such a good time, and so much fun getting to know Heather better- she's just fabulous!! This particular picture of Shelly, Heather and I is from my wedding!

Fast forward to this Friday night, when we all celebrated the 3rd birthday of my niece Emilia Ann Trefz! The party was at Shelly's and featured a visit from the Mr.Softee truck (Best.Idea. EVER!), much running around and merriment among the kids, and lots of companionable hanging out for the adults! It was one of those magical nights when the kids aren't whining (much), the food is delicious, and the company is even yummier! We even got enjoy yummy BBQ leftovers the next night! And who could believe it- Emilia is three years old!! She's quite a kid, that Emi! She's full of energy and fun and...well, badness! :-) She is one sassy little chick who loves shoes, hummus, and her mama and sisters, and we all get a kick out of her!! Oh, and I stole that picture of her on the beach in Punta Cana from her mother's Facebook page! :-)

So, that was the beginning and the end of my week! Now lets get to the grody, gooey yuckiness that was sandwiched between all of that weekend yumminess! I am afraid if I write the whole thing out, it will have too many swear words to be considered publishable. Instead, I will share the main bullet points of the week:

*horrible weather that kept my gals away from the pool all week
*a visit from a few of Cherry Hill's finest Men in Blue when the Terminix guy set off the alarm system
*feeling absolutely terrified for the safety of my baby and my gals when there was the possibility that termite poison was accidentally pumped into the air ducts,and spending a whole day at the house breathing in said poison
*the Lunatic Carpenter completely LOSING HIS SHIT in front of my gals over, I kid you not, spilled paint
*my mounting impatience for home improvements in general

I know that it really doesn't look like much to deal with, and I know that in the grand scheme of things, it isn't. Trust me. But in the moment, all of those annoying things in succession was enough to have me completely spent by Friday night!

There have been alot of big decisions to be made since Pete and I found out we were expecting, the main one being what we will do as far as my going back to work after the baby arrives. I find that in my heart, I am longing to be able to fully give my all to my family, something I have not been able to fully do for a very long time. But the pieces have not fallen into place yet to allow me to do this and still ensure that my family has all of the things we need. It's frustrating, a little disheartening, and extremely scary.

Still, we soldier on, with our Littlest Solider wiggling away inside of me! :-)


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{ of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
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