Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Afternoon

Today, after a quick trip to a children's sale, where I scored a lot of great deals for the kids, we went  to the park.  Katie was hard at work at the gym, so we will have to go back soon and bring her.  Even Mattie came to run around and meet some new puppy friends.

 Josie loved putting her feet in the water.

 Mattie had a great time splashing.

 It was almost windy enough to fly a kite.

Avete vos

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day

I love being able to go to school to help out at parties and celebrations.  Today, Lucie's Kindergarten class celebrated Earth Day.    
 I met one of Lucie's admirers today.  Lucie giggled as she told me that he wants to date her.
 The children learned about recycling and conservation.  There were crafts, and food, and planting.

Like Lucie, the sunflower is going to bloom.  I can't wait to watch them grow.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Zip Zip

Medals and Badges

Weekends at our house tend to be very busy.  This weekend was no exception.

Saturday started off bright and early with a gymnastics meet in Westchester.  The girls did great.  Katie was at her best.  She is starting to come back into her own.  Her demons still got the best of her on bars, but the bars judge called her over after the event and told her that the rest of her routine (after she missed her jump) was flawless.  Katie placed in three events, including 2nd Place on Vault, and the all around.
Check out how sweet these two are, holding hands because they placed next to each other.  They even held onto each other as they presented.  The girls at our gym are so supportive of each other.  This one girl, in particular, is the first one to hug Katie after a bad event and celebrate with her after a good one.  They are more than a team, they are a family.

Today, we were in attendance at the Blue and Gold brunch for Pack 227.  We enjoyed food, an awards ceremony, and a magic show.   Evan has made many strong and lasting relationships at Boy Scouts.  Over the past 4 years, Pack 227 has welcomed us into their family.  In good times and bad, they have not only been there for Evan, but for all of us.  

I look forward to when Linus becomes a Boy Scout.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Josie is getting ready to transition out of Early Intervention, which means I need to get ready to send my baby girl to preschool.  In preparation, we are touring schools in the area to see which will be the best fit for her.  We have visited two schools this week and have an open house at the third school at the beginning of May.

We took Josie to the neurologist yesterday and he has ordered a 24 hour EEG for the end of May.  We are to bring her into the office to have the electrodes placed on her head, and then we go home, returning 24 hours later to have the electrodes removed.  I asked the doctor how I keep her from pulling them off and he told me to tell her not to touch them.  Yes, OK.  That seems logical, I suppose.  I imagine this will be a challenge for us as she is three and she will have all these wires protruding from her head.  I was told by one of Josie's teachers that it will look like a helmet.  If Linus is still wearing his helmet at the end of May, they will look like twins.

My Josie is such a sweetie pie.  She has faced many obstacles since she was born three years ago.  She had trouble sucking after birth and could never successfully nurse.  She experienced an ALTE (Apparent Life Threatening Event) when she was six weeks old and was airlifted to the children's hospital.  She was diagnosed with Transient Hypogammaglobuliemia of Infancy (which she thankfully grew out of, hence the word transient), which just meant she had a low immune system and was sick often in her first two years, including two hospitalizations.  She has tubes in her ears, and has recurrent ear infections.  She gets Speech, PT, OT, and Special Instruction.  She has been diagnosed with Hypotonia, Dyspraxia, and Developmental Coordination Disorder.   

Josie finally walked when she was two.  She is finally stringing two or three words together in an attempt to speak in sentences.  She has improved so much since she started with Early Intervention.  Today she told me she was 'hung-y" and she rubbed her tummy saying "in my tummy."  When I was pouring her juice, she grabbed the top to her sippy cup and closed it saying "le-mo-ade" (lemonade.)  Finally, she is telling me what she wants and what she needs.  It is so hard when your baby is crying and she can't verbalize what is wrong.  

I am having trouble thinking about letting my baby go to school and be away from me for so many hours every day.  

I have to stand back and let her go.  I have to do what is right for Josie, but all I want to do is keep her close and protect her.

I know she will be fine.  She is headstrong and stubborn, bright and bubbly, sweet and lovable.  Those teachers won't know what hit them when she gets there.  

I can't wait to see what the future holds for my sweet girl.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Open House

We went to Josie's first preschool open house today.  Josie couldn't wait to get to "school" as we drove there this morning.  This was only the first school on our list to visit.  On Friday we will tour a second school and then we have one more open house to go to at the beginning of May.  There were lots of things that caught Josie's attention, but the best part of the visit is when she found a scooter.  When she said, "like the scooter" as she climbed on it, I wanted to run out and buy one for her.

After our tour, the girls were hungry.  In celebration of our big girl we went out to Cracker Barrel for breakfast/lunch.  I ate the best apple butter on warm biscuits.  On our way out, Pierre picked up a jar of it for me to bring home.  I can't wait until breakfast tomorrow.

Only at Cracker Barrel, can you get wooden seat attachments that can safely strap a baby car seat to the chair.  I also love the sweet little booster seats.  The girls had a blast playing with the wooden games on the table.

Cracker Barrel's gift shop is a kid wonderland.  Josie wanted to touch everything, especially if it was glass, and especially if she could make noise.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Bennett was born sleeping February 13, 2010.

I found out I was expecting baby number eight in October 2009. I felt, from the beginning, that it was a boy. The morning sickness was like I've never experienced before. I was put on Zofran, because I had ripped my esophagus and needed to let it heal. I was still experiencing morning sickness up until the day of Bennett's birth.

There was a small scare with bleeding at 10 weeks, but I had an ultrasound and saw his beautiful heart beating. I had a Level 2 ultrasound a few days before I went into labor, because my Triple Screen showed an increased chance of Down Syndrome.  The ultrasound lowered my risk and revealed that my suspicions were right.  I was having a boy.

On the morning of February 12th, I had a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions. I drank some water and rested on the couch, and I was feeling better. At dinner time, I had one or two more contractions, so I took a long shower, ate a little dinner and snuggled on the couch with my husband. I felt all better at this point and figured I was probably just catching the stomach virus a few of the kids had and that I should probably up my water intake. I woke up at 2am in a considerable amount of pain.  I called my OB and headed to Labor and Delivery. On the way to the hospital I went into labor.  I have never gone into labor on my own without the help of Pitocin. I went from having no contractions to having a contraction every 90 seconds or so. By the time I arrived at the hospital I knew this was it. The triage nurse tried for a few seconds to find a heartbeat, but gave up as I started hemorrhaging.  Within seconds, he was here.

The nurses and doctor quickly cleaned him off and got him ready for me. They brought him to me wrapped in a miniature blue quilt with the tiniest blue knit hat on his head. He was absolutely perfect, all 11 ounces of him.  He looked just like Evan. I held him for 6 hours, constantly kissing him, smelling him, memorizing him. I took countless pictures, not that I could ever forget his face.  Thank goodness I grabbed my camera as we raced out the door.  It was almost as if I knew.

We named him Bennett, which means blessed little one.  The name Bennett had been on my mind constantly since early Friday morning. I loved the meaning and was going to bring it up to my husband later that evening.

I didn't want to give Bennett back, but I knew I had no choice. I needed to get home to take care of and comfort my sweet children who were waiting for me.

We called the funeral home and made the arrangements. When I woke up Friday morning, I didn't think that 24 hours later I would be planning to bury my baby boy. I didn't want to hear about caskets and obituaries.  I wanted to buy a carseat and a new crib set.

A few months later we were blessed again with a new pregnancy.

Elijah was born sleeping October 19, 2010.

I was closely monitored with this pregnancy.  I needed a cerclage at 21 weeks.   I took weekly progesterone injections and was on modified.bed rest.

I started feeling a little ill on the evening of October 18th, and figured I caught something from the kids.  I woke up very ill, we called Labor and Delivery and raced to the hospital.

On the ride to the hospital, I was convinced I was dying - hemorrhaging - internally bleeding.  I knew something was wrong. My husband kept telling me that I was not bleeding and to just keep taking deep breaths. I was so afraid that I would die before we got to the hospital.

The nurse put a monitor on me and found the baby's heart 162.  She put the pulse ox monitor on my index finger and saw my heart rate was 162 as well.

They rushed me down the hall, into the room I delivered Bennett.  Another doctor came in and did an ultrasound. My doctor came over and took my hand and said "I'm sorry, but your baby does not have a heartbeat."

Shortly after, I was in full labor. My obstetrician took out my cerclage and three pushes later Elijah was born. He was absolutely perfect in every way. He probably died earlier Monday, before I even felt ill.  He had such big hands and feet. He weighed 1 pound 8.6 ounces.  Elijah was a perfect sleeping baby with beautiful red peach fuzz on his head.

After delivery, my temperature went up to 103.5. My heart was racing. My respiration was high. My blood pressure was 50/30. I held my baby as ICU came in to get me. We were able to get a few pictures. The nurse arranged for me to have him in ICU once I was all set up and she took Elijah to weigh and measure him, get footprints. She even kept the camera to take pictures for me. Elijah was brought to me in the ICU dressed in a white gown wrapped in a blue blanket, and I kept him with me for a while.

A few months later, we were blessed again with another pregnancy.

On July 21, 2011, I gave birth to my Linus, a micro-preemie born at 24 weeks.  Each and every day he continues to amaze us.

Each day, I remember my babies.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Event

Yesterday, was the big event, Gold Star Flips For The March of Dimes.  Gold Star Gymnastics, the team, and parents generously donated their time and efforts to help raise awareness for the March of Dimes.  The event was a success and the kids all had a great time.

Now, for some photo overload:

Getting ready for the fun to begin.
Cranky boy took a helmet break for a little while.
Balance beam
These postcards are pretty cool, especially since my talented hubby designed them.
Gold Star Gymnastics and other local businesses generously donated items for the raffle.
More beautiful design work by Pierre.

Evan is holding the hoop, but it almost looks like Josie is hula-hooping.

Those are pretty big beach balls.
Katie and her teammates
Standing on one foot contest