Michelle Muscatello

First Flakes of the Season on the Way??

October 26th, 2011 at 10:59 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

In one word–yes!  We are still looking at the potential for some wet flakes in our inland areas on Thursday evening and night.  There may even be enough to leave a brief coating on grassy surfaces in our northwest corner of the state—Foster/Glocester I’m talking about you. 

Here is some of the brand new data  just coming in late this morning, that continues to indicate at least a brief period of wet snow from Providence and points north and west:

NAM Model Predicted Snowfall Accumlations Through 2am Friday

The map above comes from the 12z Wednesday (8am EDT) North American Model (NAM).  It continues to show the potential for some accumulating snow in central MA and some very light snow in northern RI. The light pink color is a coating to 1″ , the dark pink is 1-2″ and the blue color is 2-3″.   

GFS Model Predicted Snowfall Accums though 2am Friday

This map is another computer model, the 06z (2am Wednesday) GFS. It also shows predicted snowfall accumulations through 2am Friday.  Once again it has northern RI as an area with the potential to see a coating of snow.  The heavier accumulations are a little further north  on the GFS with a few inches predicted in northern MA and southern NH/VT.


Hurricane of 1938 Anniversary

September 21st, 2011 at 11:20 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938., also known as the “Long Island Express”.  It is one of the most destructive and powerful storms to ever hit New England.  It roared ashore in a time before modern tracking tools, like satellites, were available…… catching New Eglanders off-guard.  Based on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale it would have been a strong Category 3 hurricane at landfall with winds sustained at 121mph and gusts to 186mph.  It decimated downtown Providence, flooding the city with a storm tide of nearly 20ft.

Here’s a Purdue University map that shows the track of the hurricane:

Hurricane of 1938 Track

Here are some additional stats:

–More than 600 Deaths in New Enland

–Almost 9000 buildings destroyed

–More than 3000 boats destroyed or damaged

–50ft waves in Glocester, MA

–Storm Surge of 15-20ft

–Raced north at 58mph

This is a story that TJ Delsanto did last year at the Anniversary.  It includes some video and Eyewitness accounts.


Dreary Days Ahead

September 6th, 2011 at 8:59 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After summer heat and humidity for the Labor Day weekend, we’re beginning this shortened school/work week with rain, drizzle, chilly temps and some gusty winds.  It’s all due to a cold front that swept in this morning, bringing a rapid 10 degree drop in temperatures and gusts over 30mph+ .  Those gusty winds actually knocked out power to a few thousand people in our area. 

The front gets hung up along our coast today through Thursday with more showers, plenty of clouds and unseasonably cool temperatures continuing.   Rainfall totals look to be between 1-2″… not expected to be enough to cause river flooding, but enough to create a nuisance with some localized street and poor drainage flooding.


Meteorological Summer Coming to an End

August 31st, 2011 at 10:13 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Today marks the end of the meteorological summer, which runs from June 1-August 31.  The calendar version runs another 3 weeks until the autumnal equinox on September 23. 

Here’s what the Climate Prediction Center has to say about the next three months:  The climatologists are forecasting Above Average Temperatures in New England for the period from September 1 through November 30 with average precipitation. 

Autumn Temperatures

Precipitation Forecast for Autumn

Forecasters take in account whether we are in an El Nino or La Nina… which this Autumn looks to remain neutral with a slight lean toward La Nina conditions which may re-emerge by winter.  They also use a combination of long-range computer models that are hinting at a warmer than average Autumn. 


Dry Skies for Days

August 30th, 2011 at 10:52 am by under Consumer, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

If you’re like me and still without power at your home, then at least the weather is cooperating—it’s dry, it’s sunny, it’s seasonable and it’s not humid.  The nights have been comfortable for sleeping without A/C or a fan on and the warm sunshine in the afternoons means all the kids can be outside playing. This stretch of fine late-summer (dare I say, “almost early-Autumn-like”) weather will continue through the end of the work week. 

There are some slight changes down the road… another cool front pushs through on Thursday, bringing a shot of dry, cool air.  It will be accompanied by some clouds, but looks to be moisture-starved (ie: rain-free).  The humidity begins to build on Saturday and the upcoming Labor Day weekend will feature the risk of a passing shower or thunderstorm–though definitely NOT a washout.  The best chance of having to dodge the raindrops looks to be on Sunday night and Monday morning.


Power Outages

August 29th, 2011 at 1:03 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency has just finished an afternoon news conference talking about yesterday’s storm and today’s efforts to get the 280,000+ residents that are still without electricity today. 

Our reporter Walt Buteau asked a great question to the reprentative from National Grid, “why were there so many power outages in this ‘tropical storm’… when we’ve had worse storms?”  The spokesman from National Grid said what our weather team had been forecasting… that it was the long duration of these pounding winds in excess of 50mph that uprooted so many trees and downed so many powerlines.  We had about 12 hours of strong, damaging winds that combined with 2-5″ of rain on already soggy ground caused the statewide numerous power outages. 

They are telling folks to continue to be patient, that this is a multi-day event and it may be until the end of the week until everyone’s power is restored.  I must say that, while I’ve been without power before, it’s a new challenge to be without electricity with a toddler and infant to care for.


Abundant Sun

August 29th, 2011 at 7:18 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’re waking up to sunshine and much lighter winds this morning…. a trend that will continue over the next few days.  Wind speeds diminished significantly after 2am and the threat of damaging winds has come to an end.  That said… there may be a few gusts to 15-20mph from the west today. 

It’s unsettling, as I looked at my neighborhood yesterday and saw all of the pictures and reports sent in to WPRI, that all of this damage was caused by “just” a tropical storm…. and one that was centered nearly 200mi away from RI!  Irene was a force to be reckoned with–even as it weakened. 

All of our local rivers are back below flood stage this morning, and additional flooding is not expected in our area.  Here’s a wrap up of the winds in our area yesterday. 

Peak Winds on Sunday

Peak Gusts on Sunday


Irene makes landfall in NC

August 27th, 2011 at 8:16 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Hurricane Irene has made landfall in NC at 8am.  The storm has weakened slightly further with sustained winds at 85mph… a Cat 1 storm.  Irene will probably continue to weaken as it moves over eastern NC this morning but is still forecasted to be a hurricane as it approaches New England.  Forecast for RI/SE Mass remains unchanged…. A stormy day Sunday with trop storm force winds likely (perhaps gusts to hurricane strength at the south coast) and potentially high storm surge causing damage at high tide (around 8am and 8pm).

 


Irene Looking a Bit Ragged on Satellite

August 27th, 2011 at 7:14 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good morning… Irene has weakened further this morning and is looking a bit ragged on satellite images as drier air over land gets pulled into the storm and the hurricane begins moving over the NC coast.  It’s still a large storm… and just because it’s weakened and is “only a Cat 1) doesn’t mean that we can become complacent.

We are still looking at a windfield that is expansive…. hurricane force winds extend out 90 MILES!!! and trop. storm force winds extend out 260miles!!  That means that we will begin getting these stronger winds well out ahead of the storm and lasting for a long duration (up to 12hrs) into Sunday.  In fact, even if Irene weakens to a trop storm before reaching New England, potential wind damage is still expected.  The strongest winds will be on the south coast where gusts over hurricane strength are possible.

The other main concern is storm surge flooding…. we’ll have to watch at both high tides (around 8am Sun AM and 8pm Sun evening)…. but our computer models are speeding up the timing of Irene even further this morning… and I’m beginning to think the AM high tide may be the big issue.  During this time storm surge flooding could reach 5-10ft in RI and 3-6ft in SE MA.  This is a very dangerous and potentially deadly situation for coastal residents.

Here are a few maps this morning.  I’ll post another update after the National Hurricane Center sends out it’s next advisory at 8am. ~Michelle

NHC Forecast Probability of Trop. Storm Force Winds

NHC Forecast for Hurricane Force Wind Probabilities


A Faster Pace from Irene

August 26th, 2011 at 12:51 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

New data in this afternoon is showing a slightly weaker and faster-paced Hurricane Irene.  The path from the National Hurricane Center remains unchanged, but the storm may stay a Cat. 2 Hurricane as it roars into coastal North Carolina and weaken to a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches Long Island.  The storm is going to pick up pace as it moves into the cooler waters north of the Carolinas and is now looking about 3-6hrs faster…. with the height of the storm from mid-morning into late afternoon/early evening.  We’ll watch and see if this trend continues.   ~Michelle


Potential Wind-Related Damage From Irene

August 26th, 2011 at 9:20 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Just wanted to quickly post 2 graphics about potential wind damage from a Category 1 and Category 2 hurricane.  This does not take into account storm surge or rain-related flooding. 

Cat. 1 Hurricane Wind Damage

Cat 2 Hurricane Wind Damage

 

All of this information was taken from the National Hurricane Center website.  Here’s a link to a more detailed explanation: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/sshws_table.shtml?large


Hurricane Watch Issued for Southern New England

August 26th, 2011 at 6:41 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Two big headlines early this morning:

1) Hurricane Watch Issued for southern New England’s coast

The watch includes Narragansett Bay.  That means most of our major cities are under a hurricane watch… including Providence, Narragansett, East Greenwich, Warwick, Cranston, Barrington, Bristol, Newport, New Bedford and Fall River.  A Tropical Storm Watch issued for northwest RI and northern Bristol and Plymouth Counties in MA.  A “Watch” means there is the potential for these conditions within the next 48 hrs.

2) The track of the hurricane has shifted slightly east .

The shift in the track now has a potential landfall over central Long Island and Central CT.  The storm is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane as it makes landfall in New England… there is still a slight chance that it could be a low end Cat 2 hurricane.  On the latest forecasted track, RI would be closer to the center of the storm and on the eastern side–with potential for significant wind damage and storm surge/coastal flooding.  Weak tornadoes are also possible.  There is still time for the track and the intensity of the hurricane to change slightly…. though a signifcant impact from Irene is expected at this point.

More details to come this morning.  ~Michelle


Thursday Morning Update

August 25th, 2011 at 7:22 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Morning.  Hurricane Irene remains a major hurricane this Thursday morning with 115mph sustained winds and gusts to 140mph.  Its expected to start to take on more of a north-northwest then northerly turn over the next day or 2, with a forecast track that moves over the Outer Banks of NC then hugs the mid-Atlantic coastline before crossing Long Island and CT on Sunday. 

Thursday 5am Update from National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Watches have been issued for the North Carolina area…. a watch means hurricane conditions are “possible” in the next 48hrs.  I expect additional Hurricane and Tropical Storm watches to be issued further north as we head into the end of the work week.

Our computer models overnight trended a bit west with the storm track… with nearly every model now showing a landfalling HURRICANE in New England on Sunday.  That means our area will likely be significantly impacted by this storm.  It’s a large storm (hurricane force winds extend outwards 70mi from the center of Irene) so even if the eye stays well west of our area, we would still see damaging winds, some heavy rain and dangerous storm surge. 

Thursday Morning Computer Models

If you have not already done so, now if the time to prepare…. we have many helpful links on our website.  http://www.wpri.com/generic/weather/hurricane/more_storm_ready

I’ll keep updating you through the day…. We should have another update from the National Hurricane Center at 8am.  ~Michelle

Irene could hit New England

August 24th, 2011 at 1:07 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Afternoon, no big changes in the track to tell you about with the new mid-morning weather data.  Irene remains a Cat. 3 storm with winds of 115mph.  The National Hurricane Center has it strengthening to a Category 4 storm by tomorrow morning.  There are still computer models out there that take Irene off-shore, but several reliable models are giving reason for growing concern about New England landfall.  Here’s a look at the newest data in from the GFS computer model:

GFS Model at 2pm on Sunday

It’s tough to see RI in the middle of all of the bright colors and isobars (lines of equal pressure)… but what this map shows is an organized and still fairly strong hurricane passing over or very close to southeastern MA.  The bright colors on the map are for rainfall…. this particular computer model prints out 7″ of rain in our area.  So while this model may not be exactly on point with the track of the storm, it has been consistent over the last few days… and gives us reason to prepare for potential hurricane conditions in our area on Sunday.  ~Michelle


Vocab 101

February 12th, 2010 at 7:52 am by under General Talk

All of a sudden Charlie’s vocabulary has blossomed… both his comprehension of what we’re saying and his own funny way of talking.  It seems to have happened overnight… I went to his 1-yr check-up and mentioned to the doctor that Charlie was understanding what we were saying, but had yet to say anything beyond baby babble… now just a few weeks later and here’s our line up of Charlie’s “words”:

Daddy

Dog

Light

Head

Hat
Up

Down

Banana

All Done

Anyone notice what’s missing from the list?  How about Mommy?!  The little stinker is saying all of these words, but has yet to say the name of the woman who carried him in her belly for 9months and 3days, nursed him for 9months, changed hundreds of dirty diapers, spends every afternoon with him, showers him with endless hugs and kisses and worries about him all day and all night.  Just the beginning of being underappreciated (Haha!  I sound like my mom!).

I’ve been warned that soon enough he’ll be saying it and won’t ever stop… something along the lines of:  “Mom.  Yes. Mom. Yes.  Mom, can I…”


One Year Ago Today

January 21st, 2010 at 9:13 am by under General Talk

One year ago today.  It’s so hard to believe… such a cliche, but oh-so-true!  My little man is a year old already.  I swear I can remember every moment of the day… the work it took to bring him into the world, seeing his gorgeous face for the first time, amazed at the little wrinkles in his fingers… thankful for the healthy cries he let out, melting as my husband held his son for the first time, the pride and joy at the first-time grandparents.  What an amazing day.  And what a remarkable change from a year ago! 

CHarlie newborn
Charlie Just Born

At his 1st Birthday Party


It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To

January 18th, 2010 at 5:58 pm by under General Talk

Charlie’s 1st birthday party was this weekend, and prior to the big day we decided to try on his party hat. 

charlie party hat2

Am I a bad mommy for absolutely loving this photo?!  AND, even worse, when he started flipping out we didn’t help him, we just ran for the camera!


The Cap on the Lense

January 15th, 2010 at 8:46 am by under General Talk

I was suprised and disappointed to hear this week that Kiddie Kandids photography company closed its doors.  Kiddie Kandids is the children’s photo studio based inside Babies ‘R Us stores–including the Warwick location.  It was super convenient and, in my experience, great at capturing my little man’s infectious but fleating smiles.  Here’s the letter on the website:

Kiddie Kandids Announces Closure
Sandy, Utah – January 10, 2010

Kiddie Kandids, a Sandy, Utah based chain of photography studios, has ceased operations, effective immediately. This shutdown occurred as the result of an abrupt and unforeseen loss of funding from is banks. Kiddie Kandids’ operations have been particularly challenged by the economic climate over the past 18 months and its lenders have informed the company that they will no longer provide funding for Kiddie Kandids’ immediate cash needs. Without continued funding, Kiddie Kandids was unable to meet its imminent financial obligations. We have exhausted all possible avenues for funding and have come to the end of the road. This is truly unfortunate in light of the great team of employees and the great customers that made Kiddie Kandids a leading national children’s photography studio. It is our hope that if the assets are purchased out of bankruptcy that the buyer will consider hiring back many of our employees. In light of the unforeseen termination of funding by its lenders, Kiddie Kandids intends to file a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code in the coming days.

Prior to its closure, Kiddie Kandids was one of the nation’s premier children’s portrait studios, specializing in newborn, infant, toddler, and pre-school portrait photography. Founded in 1974, Kiddie Kandids grew from a single camera in a mall kiosk to a nationwide network of 184 hi-tech portrait studios. The majority of Kiddie Kandids’ studios are located within Babies ‘R’ Us retail stores across the country.

What a bummer!  Nothing beat the convenience of being able to get your kiddos pictures taken, doing a little diaper shopping then picking up your order 15min later.  Hopefully another company will take over the studios inside Babies ‘R Us.  Until then, Charlie’s daddy is the photographer on duty.


Toddling Into 2010

January 5th, 2010 at 7:39 am by under General Talk

With the help of his “Nunny”, my little man started walking around New Year’s day.  It’s quite a sight…. Charlie precariously balancing on 2 wobbly legs as he toddles across the room.  He is so proud of himself, laughing, screeching and flailing his arms as he goes.  While I am excited that he has hit this latest milestone, I also fear the bumps, bruises and endless chasing after him that lie ahead.  As my mom has said… this boy is going to run, not walk.

Meanwhile, we are beginning preparations for his 1st birthday!  I keep thinking about last year at this time.  I was huge (covering up most of the weather map!) and sooo ready to get him out of my belly. Haha!  The minutes dragged on and on as I anxiously awaited Charlie’s arrival.  Now I am trying to figure out how to slow time.  How has a year already passed?


The Gift

December 23rd, 2009 at 8:49 am by under General Talk

The greatest gift I could ever receive on Christmas is the one I was given just over 11 months ago, with my healthy baby boy.  While he’s not aware of Santa, the hustle and bustle and the tempting Toys R Us catalog… I can already feel a new wave of excitement in the holiday season for our family.  I can only imagine the fun we’ll be having in the coming years.  

The holidays are also filled with some sadness, too, as it’s the first Christmas without my beloved father, who died of brain cancer earlier this year.  When he was diagnosed on Valentine’s Day ’08, my husband and I immediately decided we wanted to have a baby.  What better gift to give my father than the grandchild he’d been asking for.  And while my dad did survive just long enough to hold his namesake, I will always be sad he never witnessed all of the joyous milestones we’ve celebrated in the last year. 

The amazing thing is that as much as I anticipated Charlie being a gift to my dad… he’s been the greatest gift to those of us left behind… especially my mom.  I am grateful that we’ll be spending this Christmas chasing after our busy little boy, laughing at his endless babbling, and smiling and waving back at his happy self instead of focusing on the sadness we’ll all be feeling. 

So, Santa, thank you for the Charlie under my tree.
Photobucket


Charlie the Woodchuck

December 11th, 2009 at 8:07 am by under General Talk

Apparently my son is part woodchuck. 

woodchuck

He has completely knawed the front and back rails of his crib and has begun working on the back rungs. 

I was warned by friends that this would happen… they encouraged me to put the teething rail covers on early, warning me that one day I’d go to get him from his nap and find Charlie had taken to the wood like he was munching on corn on the cob.  Sure, enough, a few months ago the outside rail had teeth marks (but only on the inside)… I put the covers on and thought all was good…. at least they weren’t that noticeable.  That was until 2 days ago.  

Now, with 4 teeth and more on the way, the crib is toast.  I’m very glad I listened to some of my mommy friends and didn’t spend a ton of money on it.    I can’t help but think about the chemicals he’s ingesting with the finish he’s taken off the crib.  All I can do is laugh about it, though.  The damage is already done….


The Family Rivalry

November 20th, 2009 at 9:15 am by under General Talk

boston collegetar heel

It’s a big weekend in our household, as the Boston College Eagles (Pete’s team) take on the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (my team). We’re headed to the game tomorrow.

 The big question is: who will Charlie be cheering for?
charlie at frerich farms

 My husband and I thoroughly discussed this prior to having children, because yes this is a big deal.  I joke that I wouldn’t have married my man if I had known BC would be joining the Atlantic Coastal Conference a few years later.  But, alas, several times a year–in football season, then again in basketball season–the battle lines are drawn in our house. 

(Shhhhhhh….Secretly, Charlie is a Tar Heel fan)  Pete and I made an agreement a while back that Charlie could cheer on the Eagles during football season and the ‘Heels during basketball season. 

Here’s my plan though…. I’m going to get up with Charlie tomorrow morning and (wink, wink) let Pete sleep in…  and since I’ll be dressing him, he’ll be donning his Tar Heel shirt.  It’s war, baby.


Safe-Proofing the Festive Home

November 16th, 2009 at 8:40 am by under General Talk

How do you mesh a nearly-1-year-old and a Christmas Tree and have both survive the holiday season?  I can’t fathom NOT putting up a tree this year, but I also envision constantly chasing after my speed-crawler and worrying that he’ll tip the tree over, choke on one of those ornament hooks, get tangled in the lights and any number of other hairy situations.

Moms, Dads, Grandmas… somebody… what’s the secret?

Those that know me, know I am a closet holiday music lover.  Looks like my little guy takes after me, too!  (Please excuse the dark and grainy cell phone video)


Recall Alert!

November 9th, 2009 at 8:28 am by under General Talk

The extremely popular and reputable stroller company Maclaren is set to issue a massive recall tomorrow.  Here’s the story from the CBS Early Show this morning: McClaren Stroller

(CBS)  A major stroller manufacturer is set to make a massive recall Tuesday over concerns that children can have their fingertips sliced in a hinge.
Maclaren will recall all strollers dating back to 1999 – one million in total – a source
tells the New York Daily News.
“Parents should stop using these strollers right away,” the source told the newspaper.
Twelve children who allegedly had their fingertips chopped off after getting caught in the hinge sparked the recall, the newspaper reports.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which plans to announce the recall Tuesday, declined to comment.

Yikes!  ALL STROLLERS!  My hubby and I just bought a Maclaren Quest last week!!  I’m going to be safe-guarding my little munchkins digits until then.  Apparently Maclaren has designed a cover to go over the faulty hinge which will protect those precious fingers.


Crawl to Washington

November 6th, 2009 at 10:39 am by under General Talk

There’s a push to get better screening and testing done of common household chemicals, and now mommies can get on board. 

The company, Seventh Generation, has an internet campaign called the Million Baby Crawl where you can sign up to support toxic chemical reform.  According to Seventh Generation’s website, the Environmental Protection Agency requires safety testing on only 200 of the more than 800,000 chemicals on the market.  The hope is to get a million babies signed up to support legislation that will be presented to congress for a stronger chemical law to keep our families safe and healthy.  Sounds good to me!!

While I don’t always use Seventh Generation products, I have become more conscious of the cleaning products that I use around the house.  I’ve tried to ”go green” with most of the products.  For example, I use good ’ole vinegar water to clean Charlie’s high chair, etc.   It’s simple and cheap!


Resetting the Internal Clock

November 4th, 2009 at 12:44 pm by under General Talk

It only took 4 nights, but it appears my 9month old’s internal clock is finally back to Eastern Standard Time.   He woke up at 6am this morning.  Yay!  Yes–that’s a big improvement from earlier in the week, when he was happily babbling “dada dada” at 5am. 

So I have another item to add to my list of things every new mother should know:  The joys of “falling back” and getting an extra hour of sleep when Daylight Saving Time comes to an end now represents having a few very early mornings and cranky evenings with your infant as you try to reset their internal clock. And if anyone could use an extra hour of sleep, it’s a mom!


The Protective Momma

November 2nd, 2009 at 9:58 am by under General Talk

Something inside me fires up when it comes to my little guy…. an instinct stronger than any other to protect him.  It brings out a pushy side of me I haven’t seen too often. 

So when I heard my son’s pediatrician’s office got a shipment of the H1N1 vaccine on Friday afternoon–it was pure luck that we happened to be there for his 9month healthy check-up– I made sure he received one of the shots.  Seeing as he’s an asthmatic infant, we were towards the top of the list anyway.  But I’ve learned that sometimes you have to be a little pushy, and on Friday I wouldn’t take no for an answer. 

I couldn’t believe it, though, when his pediatrician told me 1) she’s pregnant! 2) she hasn’t been able to get the H1N1 vaccine yet.  Can you imagine being coughed and sneezed on all day by sick kiddos and at a high risk of complications due to pregnancy and NOT be able to get the shot? Scary. 

I’ve heard many stories similar to mine from people who were able to get the vaccines through a little luck and persistence.  A pregnant co-worker called her OB’s office every morning until she called the day they got a shipment of the vaccine in.  She dropped everything she was doing and headed straight to the office.  You gotta do what you gotta do, right?


H1N1

October 28th, 2009 at 10:52 am by under General Talk

The tragic news of the healthy 12-year old Bristol, RI girl who died this week from a suspected case of the H1N1 flu has sent this concerned mom into a downright panic.   How did a healthy, active little girl succomb to the flu?  How did she get so sick, so fast?  How do we prevent this from happening again?  My heart aches for her family, her friends and her neighbors in my town of Bristol. 

I’m sure I was not alone when I held my baby a little tighter last night and gave him an extra kiss good night.  Nor, I’m sure, was I alone in feeling a sense of fear and unknown about this flu season… looking at the calendar and seeing the long winter months that still lay ahead of us.  I keep wondering what else I can do to protect him and keep him healthy.  I have the added concern of having an infant recently diagnosed with asthma, which puts him in the high risk category for possible severe complications if he were to contract H1N1.  I’m frustrated that he doesn’t have access to the H1N1 vaccine.  I’m frustrated that our company just cancelled it’s flu clinic for next month because of a shortage of regular flu shots for adults.  I’ve been contemplating whether I should pull him out of his home daycare and pay for a nanny to watch him at our house instead.

Can you really truly protect them from the germs that are everywhere?  You can be clean and cautious, but they will still be exposed to them. 

I have almost daily discussions with my co-anchor, Vince, about whether the media is blowing the H1N1 flu pandemic out of proportion.  The big question is, is it worse than the regular flu?  From research I’ve done, it appears that majority of cases are no more severe than the regular flu.  But, there’s still that small subset of the population that will have a major complication from it…. healthy, young people who suddenly find their lungs under attack and end up fighting for their lives.  And that’s what is scary.


Nine Months and Counting

October 21st, 2009 at 9:36 am by under General Talk

My little Charlie is 9months old today… happy day baby boy!!  It got me thinking about all the things no one ever tells you when you’re contemplating bringing another life into this world.  So here’s my list of things every new parent should know:

1. Sleeping in will be 7am.  You’ll try not to think about those lazy Saturdays of days gone by when you awoke at 10am and went straight to the couch to watch “Jon and Kate Plus 8″ marathons on TLC. 

2. You and your spouse will talk at length each day about your baby’s bowel movements… how many he had, what they looked like, were they contained or part of a “blow out”.

3. Work will be your “down time”.  You won’t bat an eye at going from a 9hr day at the office to your next shift as mom, collapse into your bed for a “replenishing” 4hrs of sleep just to turn around and do it again tomorrow. 

4.  You’ll forego television in the evening to watch your baby sleep on your color, flat screen video monitor that you dutifully take from room to room lest you miss a single wimper.  How did any parent survive without it?

5.  You’ll laugh deliriously at the term, “sleeping like a baby”.  Who came up with that phrase?  Babies don’t sleep.  And they certainly don’t sleep soundly. 

6. Your baby will look like a million bucks when you run to the grocery store, but only after you leave the store will you realize that you have make-up streaking down your face, a piece of carrot in your hair and spit up on your shirt. 

7. You’ll immediately have people asking when you’re going to have your next baby.  Seriously?!  Don’t ask a mom this question until her baby has been sleeping through the night for at least 6months. 

8. Your “first baby”, the furry, barking kind that your swore would never become background noise, has indeed been demoted to a dog.  You still love ‘em, but more often than not they will be what sends you over the edge when your emotional state is hanging in the balance.  Something along these lines:  THE DOG IS PUKING ON THE CARPET RIGHT NOW AND THE BABY IS SPEED CRAWLING RIGHT FOR IT!

9. You’ll feel like your heart is going to burst when you tiptoe into your baby’s room to watch him sleeping in his crib.  There is nothing sweeter in the world. 

10. In a blink of an eye your baby will be sitting up, feeding himself, crawling, trying to walk and approaching his first birthday… then his 16th.   And you’ll say… it feels like yesterday.


Baby-Proofing

September 28th, 2009 at 11:38 am by under General Talk

With Charlie on the move, it’s time to baby-proof our home… check out today’s segment on the Rhode Show, as local mom blogger, Audrey McClelland, helps me find the hidden dangers in our home.  Plus, she shows us some of the latest tools in baby-proofing.