Thursday, May 15, 2014


Blue for Ben. Photo via
Yesterday was a very sad day.   Yesterday we heard the news that the world lost a brave, inspiring little boy. Little Ben Sauer. A dimpled, just-turned-5 boy with big, bright, brown eyes that could melt your heart in seconds.  A brave little boy who was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive brain tumor just a few short months ago.  A brave little boy who finally took his last breath on earth two nights ago. A brave little boy leaving behind an amazing mom, dad, identical twin brother, a sister, and with another little sister on the way.

If you haven't heard about little Ben or his passion for bugs, snakes and worms, or his amazingly resilient family, perhaps you've heard of Blue For Ben (#BlueForBen).  Ben's family lives here, in the Western New York area and I've never seen a community rally together for someone like it has for Ben.   Ben's community, amazingly, now extends across the world.  Read Ben's story here, and be sure to have a lot of tissues handy.  His mother eloquently puts into words their heartbreak, their hope, their love of family and their strong investment in faith.  Her words, which describe the most horrible thing imagineable, are absolutely beautiful and will surely move you to tears.

This is such heartbreaking news which hits close to home for so many reasons.  Ben was taken too soon.  Much too soon.  As a mother and a mother of twins, this makes my heart truly ache.  Ben was an identical twin and I don't ever want to imagine one of my boys not being with me, or the other one getting by without his best buddy.  I met Ben's mom Mindy a few years ago.  I'm sure she doesn't remember me, but I still remember how beautiful I thought her boys were.  Angelic.  I couldn't get over their adorable faces.  And now to follow along through Mindy's words on her blog, and watch the Sauer family prepare to deal with what no parents should ever have to deal with... well, it sucks.  Cancer sucks.  At any age.  I'm truly at a loss for words.  It's just not fair.

Last night was our monthly Mothers of Multiples meeting.  Many of us wore Blue for Ben in remembrance of Ben's all-too-short time on this earth.  Prayers were said for Ben and his family.  Thousands will keep their porch lights on this weekend as we light up the night for Ben, and thousands more of us continue to cry with the Sauer family.  Their story has touched so many.

Perspective.  It's always things like this that put things into perspective.  My boys were showered with extra kisses last night.  After they were tucked in and fast asleep, I kissed them again... and again.  I checked in on them again... and again...  and then I kissed their cheeks some more.  I didn't care if I almost woke them up.  I didn't care at all.  This morning when I dropped them off at school, I said things I don't usually say on a normal rushed morning, but today, I said these things.  Heavy words that meant so much to me, but I know my kids don't really realize it was above and beyond the usual i-love-you-have-a-great-day things I usually say.  I meant what I said more today than any other time I have spoke.

Ben is not the only one, and I realize that.  Sadly, there are many other children battling awful diseases, and we must not forget about any of them.  Ben was a silent spokesperson representing thousands of little warriors.  He fought until the very end and had so many praying for a miracle.  If Ben's journey has taught me anything, its to embrace my kids being kids.  That's what they do best. Kids are expected to grow up so quickly, but I must remember that mud can be washed out, broken things can be replaced and Band-Aids can fix most scrapes. I will cherish every moment. Even the not-so-enjoyable-ones.

Ben's journey also reminded me that I live in an amazing place.  Say what you will of Buffalo, but we sure know how to join together as a community.  In times of need, the outpouring of love and support offered here is like no other. I'm proud to call this place home.
The Peace Bridge in Buffalo, NY was lit up #blueforben again last night, after the family released the news of Ben's passing. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Notes for the Babysitter

If you have little ones, your date nights are probabaly far and few between. We are very lucky to have two sets of grandparents nearby that occasionally help us out with watching our boys (sometimes even overnight! Yahoooo!), but every now and then, we use a babysitter.
Fast forward to the big night out.
If you are anything like us, then you are probably already running late, looking way too much like frazzled-parents-who-don't-get-out-much and forgetting everything you need to tell your babysitter (or the grandparents) in that three minute ride you have from her house to your house...
Been there?
My blogger friend (and Super-Mom to super adorable twins Aurdrey and David) Dory, from The Doyle Dispatch has created the perfect document for capturing anything and everything the sitter should know.
Sitter Notes!  GENIUS!  Here is what she created for our family:
I mean, this is totally perfect, right?

I cannot wait to use this.   I feel like this can be filled out WAY in advance.  For once I can be prepared.  No rushing.  No last minute "Oh-I-totally-I-forgot-to-tell-you..." texts sent to the sitter 30 seconds after you pull out of the driveway.  All the info is right there. 
Fill out the info that won't change (phone numbers, allergies, emergency contacts, etc) and laminate this bad-boy.  Use a dry erase marker and you can use this over and over again, all while saving a tree or two.
Be sure to check out Notes for the Sitter and other personalized creations in Dory's Personally Yours etsy shop.   You can purchase the sitter stationery as is, or for an extra dollar, Dory will personalize the form to meet your specific needs (bottle feeding amounts/times, tricks the kiddoes may attempt, etc.).  Not only would this work for parents, but this would also be perfect if you have a pet sitter or house sitter. 
Thanks for creating this for our family, Dory!