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Help IzzyB Get Cancer Free!

My friend Chasity is a Super Hero.  You won’t recognize her among the other super heroes, because like some of the real heroes in the world, Chasity doesn’t wear a cape.  She’s a mom. 

While I admire anyone who can mother a child – because I have three of my own, and there really are days when they make you understand why some species eat their young – Chasity is unique among moms.  Her super hero abilities outshine us all.

This beautiful little girl is Isabella   

IzzyB is Chasity’s daughter – and the twin sister to the incredibly handsome Landon.  Chasity’s children were born at only 24 weeks gestation, and not long after these gorgeous babies arrived in the world, Chasity found herself having to survive as a single mom. 

As anyone who knows anything about babies can tell you, babies born at 24 weeks are going to have many mountains to climb.  Landon and Isabella can vouch for that!  The obstacles these babies have had to jump over in just two short years would be staggering to even the strongest among us.  Landon has gone through two open heart surgeries, has had a pacemaker placed in his tiny chest, aortic stenosis, and cerebral palsy.  He’s a fighter, and is growing and doing well, in spite of the road blocks life has thrown before him.


And this brings us back to the beautiful Miss IzzyB.  After spending nearly the entire first year of her life in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Isabella has made strides that the great runners of the world would be envious of!  She has tackled some big medical giants, and just like David in the Bible, she has triumphed, no matter how big the opponent. 

But now, Isabella needs us.  This darling little girl is facing cancer, and her only option right now for survival is a liver transplant.  As she waits on the transplant list for an organ to become available, Chasity must don her Super Hero attire and fight the biggest foe she may ever fight in order to see to it that her baby girl has a chance at life.  The expenses associated with Isabella’s medical treatment are staggering.  We’re not even talking about doctor visits and band-aids here folks – we’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars!  In addition to the actual medical needs, funding is needed for transporting IzzyB to specialists; help for Chasity to keep her head above water while she tries to maintain her full time job and competent child care for Landon when she has to be at the hospital with Isabella.  This goes beyond what health insurance is willing to pay for.  And we’re counting on friends from far and wide to come through for Isabella.
If you can donate ANYTHING, please consider clicking the link – don’t be ashamed it’s too small!  These babies know that small things become great things – they are proof of that themselves!  Go here to help save Isabella’s life – http://cota.donorpages.com/PatientOnlineDonation/COTAforIsabellaG/
Even Super Heroes need help sometimes.  Surely you’ve heard of the Fantastic Four.  Here’s your chance to be part of another Fantastic Four – Chasity, Landon, Isabella, and Us.  Let’s fight together to save IzzyB.

Review: Mary Kent Children’s Boutique

Mary Kent Children’s Boutique

606 N White Horse Pike
Stratford, NJ 08084

This is not my first visit to Mary Kent’s.  If it were, I do not know that I would be back. 

Let me start by saying in previous visits, I’ve been met with nothing but helpful sales staff – ladies who have gone out of their way to make sure my shopping experience was positive.  The shop has been there for decades, and they boast a gorgeous collection of specialty clothing for children, including gorgeous Christening outfits; stunning special occasion dresses; and amazing First Holy Communion dresses.  We bought my oldest daughter’s first Christmas dress here, and her First Holy Communion dress was purchased at Mary Kent.  Even the baby has a few lovely things I picked up there, and the two little ones got matching Christmas dresses there two years ago.

My experience on this visit, with Eilis, was less than perfect.  I phoned a few days before to ask about their selection of plus sized dresses – specifically dresses in Eilis’ size – and was told they had a very good selection.  I was optimistic that we would leave with a dress after our Saturday visit.

Well, when we got there, to begin with, there was no help at all.  No one directed us where to look for plus sized dresses, and no one acknowledged that we had come in.  There were two women waiting on the mother of one of the girls in Eilis’ class, who was there with her cousin.  Another woman was on the phone.  After about 10 minutes, one of the women who was helping the one mother and child that Eilis knew from school asked if I needed help.  I asked her for the plus sized dresses, and she asked me what size I needed.  She pulled three dresses out for me, and hung them on the far wall, away from a fitting room.  Only two of them were the size I told her I thought we needed.  She did not tell me they were for me, so I just assumed.  As the other mom was leaving, she walked over to one of the dresses that this woman pulled for Eilis, and commented on how beautiful it was.  The woman walked over to her and said in a loud whisper “If you are interested in this dress, tell me now, because if this other lady likes it, I can’t sell it to two kids in the same class.”

Despite seeing the two saleswomen helping the other woman and her daughter, Eilis and I were on our own to try dresses on.  After about 30 minutes, the woman who had been on the phone came over and offered the most amount of assistance we had received so far – pulling a few dresses, and informing me that I could order dresses in Eilis’ size if I saw something we liked.

The whole thing put a sour taste in my mouth.  And that’s a shame, because Mary Kent is a wonderful shop.  I cannot say that they were very busy.  After the one little girl and her mom left, it was just Eilis.  Then another little girl came and received the same time and attention that the first kid had been getting.

I will probably look somewhere else first next time I need a special occasion dress.  And that’s a shame.

The Communion Dress!!

I have a bit of a tom boy.  She does not like dresses, tights, nice shoes, fancy hair things, or anything remotely restrictive in her attire.  Shopping for the dress that will be second in importance only to her wedding gown with this child is not going to be fun. 

To make matters worse, this child is not your average sized kid.  She is, after all, my child.  I believe her pediatrician calls her an “efficient absorber” – meaning that what she consumes is absorbed very well, and stored for future use.  She would make an excellent caveman.

We began shopping on Saturday with my ever patient stepmom.  We went to a dress shop I’ve been going to for special occasion dresses for as long as I’ve had children.  I called ahead of time to see how they’re selection of half size dresses was, and was assured they had plenty.  After a frustrating hour or so, we left empty handed, with a disgruntled kid who wanted no part of any more dresses.  She was begging at this point to consider converting to Judaism, and when she found out about Hebrew school and a Bat Mitzvah, I swear the child renounced God altogether and declared herself an atheist.

I took the the little heathen next to David’s Bridal.  They had a ton of white dresses, none of which were Eilis’ size, but some of which could be ordered in her size.  They could not tell me which ones could be ordered in her size, and squeezing her into dresses that were clearly too small was no fun.  At some point, she suffered a complete meltdown, crying in the store and attempting to walk home.  I told her she might get picked up by Baptists, and be forced not only to attend Church AND Sunday school, but also not be allowed to drink or dance or whatever it is that Baptists do and don’t do.  That kept her with me – although still in tears.

At the mall, we found out that Sears had NO Communion dresses, and Penney’s only had regular sizes.  Boscov’s and Macy’s had none, either, much to Eilis’ sheer delight.  We ended the disappointing day with lunch.  How’s that for a fat mentality?

Yesterday, armed with renewed hope and my mom, who was spared the torture of the Saturday experience, we headed into South Philly – which I have been told is the First Holy Communion dress capital of the world.  We went into the St. Jude Shop with such optimism, only to have all hope dashed when they had such a small selection of plus sized dresses, but then again when the size Eilis fit into perfectly on Saturday was not fitting her here.

As we turned to leave the shop, one of the women who worked there recommended we try Edie’s Children’s Corner at 2nd and McKean streets in South Philly.  With nothing to lose but time, we headed over that way.  The shop is jam packed with everything you might need for a child.  Clothes, hats, pajamas, school uniforms are bulging out of every corner and off of every shelf.  The best part was the woman who worked there.  She was so incredible, and so understanding of the difficulties of shopping for a plus sized child.  She made recommendations and reassurances, and she was so prepared for Eilis to be crabby and uncooperative.  They gave us a soft cotton slip to put on Eilis so she didn’t have any itching or scratching going on from the dress.  They put gloves on Eilis so she was free to touch things.  They let her stand up, sit down, twirl in the dresses to make sure they were comfortable.  And best of all, when I said we needed a size 12.5 for Eilis, she didn’t believe it!  And she was right.  We got a 10.5!

So here’s the dress and the veil.  I couldn’t get Eilis to put it on to model it – you’ll have to wait for the actual event to do that.