Sunday, April 6, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
As far back as I can remember we would dye Easter eggs with our cousins every Saturday before Easter. We were made to wear ridiculous trash bag drapes to protect our clothes and then went at it. We had a ball. I wish I could scoot right down to my Mom's house and scan some pictures to prove it, but that's a little too far to go just for a blog. Sorry. Your loss.
Today our local cousin Josh came over and although we did spread out an old tablecloth, we spared the kids the humiliation of the trash bag drape. Wish you were here Mom and Dad!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
1. In retrospect, I think I should have bought stock in this company about thirteen years ago.
2. Is there anything better than grilling??? Your kitchen stays clean, your husband does most of the work and it tastes fantastic! Love it!
3. This is what happens when you get all caught up in IM'ing your sister and lose track of the 18 month old:
4. I don't think there is anything hotter than a man who grocery shops.
5. I think its HILARIOUS that while I was away at Duke and "The Saint" was home alone for days with two toddlers, he not only did the dishes and kept the house clean, but taught said toddlers the "Hokey Pokey".
We had a great time together as a family last Saturday. All our siblings (except Tricia and Nate!) got together at my sister Megan's house for some backyard fun and pizza. The weather was perfect and the kids all had a blast:
My youngest Jack inventing some kind of scooter ball game:
Here's my oldest brother with his son playing soccer:
Britton and Jack enjoying swinging together:
And, last but not least, Jack discovers that someone left some cookies low enough for him to investigate:
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Five for Friday is in the works..but for now...here are some shots from our awesome day at the park. First, the babies had to fuel up...
And, of course, we had to bring our favorite cousin...
And then just have some fun in the sun...
Saturday, March 8, 2008
We had a little bit of cousin fun tonight and wanted to share it with Aunt Tric-ey! Wish you were here. We love ya and miss ya! Hugs! Mwah!
Joshua and Jessica tearin' it up to Veggie Tales:
Jessica and Cousin Leah:
And a little shout out from Jessica. Josh was too busy playing to stand still....sorry.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
1. I think it would be easier to raise wolves than five children.
2. I think it would be easier to climb Mt. Everest in a bikini than to continue potty training my daughter.
3. I think parents who take their kids to the park and talk on their cell phone the entire time are sad. Very sad.
4. I think parents who take their kids to the park and talk on their cell phone the entire time and smoke are also sad. Very sad.
5. I think Dora could use a whack on the head with a hammer.
Can you tell I had a looooong week and am very ready for Spring?
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
What a great weekend we had. It began by telling my three oldest that we had a HUGE surprise for them. Upon hearing this, my quick witted little Britton (cough*smartaleck*cough) responded, "Are you pregnant, AGAIN?" What a little sweety-pie she is. Once they heard that they were going to FLY to see Aunt Tric-ey they were beyond thrilled!
So, we headed off to Philadelphia International airport on Friday afternoon. All three kids got window seats and all three sat bug-eyed the whole flight. If you ask any of them they will tell you the best part was when the nice airline people gave them FREE soda. That is actually one of the most favorite thing about my kids. They get geniunely excited about the little things in life. I hope they don't lose that.
Once we arrived at Duke we were able to stow away in a back hallway where we knew Tricia was going to be coming by to visit Gwyneth. The whole hospital is on a "lock down" of sorts because of the flu and my kids wouldn't be allowed up to see Tricia. It was kind of a paparrizzi situation where Tricia's elevator opened and there we all stood waving to her and telling her we loved her and missed her, but we weren't allowed to get close so we wouldn't spread germs. Here's a picture of us all including my Mom:
My mom graciously took Britton and Ben for a tour of Duke and let them run all around while Megan, Bryanna and I got to visit with Tricia. Bryanna was thanking her dad for those tall genes because she was able to go right up to Tricia's room even though she's a bit young.
It was so great to just sit and talk and get all caught up on each other. Tricia looks FANTASTIC! You would never guess what she has been through these past few months. And, can I tell you, for someone who was the baby of the family and pretty much had my dad doing everything for her growing up because he's such a softy that way, she is amazingly strong. Watching her do her physical therapy without even a drop of sweat while breathing through a ventilator? Are you kidding me? Oh, and then she walked four laps of the hallway, which is pretty close to a half a mile. She ROCKS :)
Another highlight of the trip for my kids was eating out. For those of you with big families you know this doesn't happen that often. As you can see, wise food choices were made when presented with a buffet. Well, if he was a Elf and was following the four food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.
Tricia felt sad that Britton couldn't come up to see her, so she passed on a note and a special friend to her---a SINGING dinosaur. Britton LOVES her new special friend and has barely put her down since. Jeff and I have a different name for Britton's new special friend, but I won't share that with you.
All in all, a fantastic trip. The kids were rockstars and had a ball and I got to spend hour after hour with Tricia. The highlight of the trip was when Tricia got me to push her wheelchair down to see Gwyneth. I hadn't seen her since she was born and she has changed so much. Gone were the bright red skin and tightly shut eyes. The nurse changed her diaper so she would wake up a bit and we got to watch her do a cat stretch and wiggle all around. Beautiful! Wanna see? I knew you did....
Monday, March 3, 2008
Hello all! We are home safe and sound after the most spectacular weekend and I can't wait to tell you about it and show off some fun pictures. I'll get right on that as soon as I have five minutes to myself....so, you can look for that post in about the year 2015.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Sorry all you loyal readers who I know look so forward to "Five for Friday" ;) But, this morning I am very busy packing up my three oldest for a trip to Duke to visit my sister Tricia. The last time I saw her, she was still in a coma, so this is HUGE. HUGE! I can hardly keep from jumping out of my skin. There will be lots of pictures when we get back of our amazing trip, so stay tuned...
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
It must be in the blood, PopPop!
For those of you who don't know my dad, he was quite the ice hockey player in his day. During his lunch hour at work, he played in a league and did some reffing. The best of all for us kids, though, was that on the weekends he would take us over the bridge into Philly and take us ice skating. He was a pro and could skate circles around us...literally. Another perk was when you got invited to roller skating parties and dad would come and teach us how to roller skate backwards. He was light years ahead of all the other parents. Ah, those were the days! Fun times. Thanks Dad!
Monday, February 25, 2008
What a great way to start the week! The weather was chilly but very sunny, so off we headed with buddies to the park for a brisk walk (Whoohooo!) and some playing in the rather soggy, mushy mulch. Jessica and Jack could not have been more thrilled...nor could I when they both went right down for their naps. Seriously, you cannot beat that!
Watch out! There seems to be some kind of strange, yellow wild animal at the park!
OK, I think we are safe. He seems to only feed on sticks. Whew!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Ya gotta love being married to a teacher that loves playing with his kids in the snow! The funnest part was getting poor Jack jammed into his snowsuit for the first time. Boy, he was not loving me. (Please don't mind the carnage behind him...the result of three big kids looking for matching gloves.)
But I think in the end he kind of liked the snow. He couldn't bend at the waist at all...thus the 'dead man' sled ride. Hilarious!
Everyone worked really hard to build the biggest snowman EV-AH!
And Bryanna and Britton made themselves a very fierce snow fort to keep out the boys...I'm not sure who won that one in the end. I just know the fort is no longer standing.
And now just some cute snow faces:
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Well, you can't go to nirvana every day of the week, you know? So, what should ya do when you are all cooped up and it's gross outside? Hmmm, Jessica has an idea:
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
I have discovered nirvana. If I had to spend another half hour in my living room with two toddlers today, someone would have ended up bound and gagged....and it probably would have been me. Let me introduce you to a mom's best friend come the end of winter. A very, very long winter that involves way too much time cooped up inside. People, I give you LITTLE SPORT.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Moms...do you ever feel like you live more in a frat house than a family home? Every piece of furniture is either broken or stained. I found one of my candles the other day with bites out of the wax. I found a box of oatmeal in my freezer. Frames are always askew. There is always a wet towel on the bathroom floor. I just found a tater tot in my printer. And tonite, at dinner, this one topped all. How does one even do this?
My second oldest child has a strong, passionate personality. She is fiercely loving and loyal to her family. My second grade son had a run in with an older boy where he got bossed and pushed around a bit. Here's the pep talk I overheard her give to him this morning:
Britt: So, what did I tell you?
Ben: No one can tell me to do something I don't want to do. No one can push me around. I don't have to listen to any of them!
Ben: Well, except for you.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
If you remember my "Five for Friday" list, number 3 stated that I was going to have Saturday morning all to myself. Ahhh, heaven I tell you, heaven! Here's a glimpse of my day...
I started here:
And then went here:Where I picked up some of this and that:
And then did some of this:
And then....topped it off with some of this:
All in all a great day! Ahhhhhh.....
Thursday, February 7, 2008
1. Can you do 20 minutes on an elliptical bike? Because my sister can.
2. Shoelaces are put on toddler shoes to torture mommies. I bow to George de Mestral.
3. Saturday my family is celebrating my birthday. My husband, who from this day forward shall be known as "The Saint", is taking all five kids out of the house until lunch/nap time so I can have time alone. Whatever shall I do?
4. Only 15 days left to endure of my husband's basketball season.
5. Hello IRS refund directly deposited into my bank account. Nice to meet 'cha!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Did you ever get so familiarized with a portion of the Bible that it just kind of lays there. Flat. Not on God's end of things, but on your side of things? And then, all of a sudden a certain verse you have known by heart since you were four hits you like a ton of bricks?
This past week my sister has struggled with trying to sleep in the hospital. Besides the normal, "I'm not in my own bed with MY pillow"---which, by the way, would devastate me---there are the checks of vitals every four hours and monitor alarms going off and the fact that she has to lay flat on her back because of the vent. Add to that medications that are stimulants and the fact that the poor girl hasn't tasted solid food in weeks. Weeks, people! "Nutritional feeds" just don't cut it, I'm sure, in the middle of the night when your stomach is growling and you just want, hmmm, let's say...chocolate covered strawberries. I have chosen to fall asleep each night praying for Tricia to follow suit and each time I wake up in the night I pray again. This is what I have been meditating on and praying for Tricia:
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
While we are on the topic of sleep, sweet sleep, I have come across upon a phenomena in parenting. When I play with the kids I am usually roped into being Boots to Jessica's Dora. Or the Tower Builder whose creations are endlessly smashed down by little evil Godzillas. Or the crayon partner who always gets the stinky picture on the opposite side of the coloring book where the fantastic picture is. Or the one that has to clean up all the colander 'hats' left all over the kitchen floor. Why, oh why is it that Jeff has stumbled upon the best ever play partner role??? With each of our children, starting back a looong time ago with Bryanna, he has been playing the same game successfully. It goes something like this....
Daddy: I'm all tired out.
Bryanna/Britton/Ben/Jessica: Awww, poor Daddy! Let's put you to bed!
BBBJ: You lay right there on your bed, Daddy. I'll be right back!
BBBJ: Here Daddy. I got you a soft pillow. I got you a nice blankee.
BBBJ: Do you want me to rub your head?
BBBJ: Do you want me to sing softly to you until you fall asleep?
BBBJ: Now, you stay "Night, night". I'm going to shut the door and go play Dora with Mommy.
Friday, February 1, 2008
1. Today for lunch I made two grilled cheese sandwiches for two one year olds. I made one ham and cheese with pickle sandwich for one two year old. I made a bowl of noodles with butter and parmesan cheese for one four year old. How on earth is the thirty seven year old supposed to do WW under these circumstances, I ask you?
2. It poured. All. Day. Long. I hate having the lights on during the day,
but I do love my new Yankee Candles on during the day.
3. My sister and brother get to go see Tricia this weekend and I am more than jealous! I will be spending my weekend praying for her donor family.
4. There are only TWENTY TWO days left of my husband's basketball season for me to endure.
5. My eldest daughter is a rockin' basketball star. Wanna see?
Thursday, January 31, 2008
So, here is what happened to me yesterday. I was taking the most awesome, warm, cozy nap ever.... dreaming about dirt and worms.....good times!
And then my Mommy pulled the biggest rookie mistake of all times. She woke up a sleeping, tired baby. Don't you Mommies know that only makes us GRUMPY??? But, I held it together. Because that's the kind of good kid I am. Always thinkin' of Mommy. Besides, I like looking out the windows for boats when we go over the big bridge.
Hmmm, I wonder where we are going. And while we are it, where is Jessie? It's just me and Mommy. Uh-oh. Wait a minute! That sign looks familiar!
Awwww, man! I know what all this means!!! NEEDLES!
Okay. I'll admit. That wasn't so bad. My new friend did a great job and was really fast. And I got a cool Bugs bandaid. See? Hmmm. Now what? Oh. Sitting in a boring little, little room. I hope my Mommy brought some entertainment! Aw, my friend Monkey came in my bag. I know what would be fun. Mommy's favorite game. "Throw the Monkey".
I can tell this is Mommy's favorite. She has a big smile on her face. What's that she is muttering under her breath? It sounds like "...a half an hour.." And why is she rubbing her head? We need a new game Mommy says. I don't know what was wrong with "Throw the Monkey". That's everyone's favorite. But, oh well. Now we can play "Hide the Monkey".
I am sooo good at this game. Seriously. It doesn't matter where you put that Monkey. I'm on it!
Uh oh. My Mommy is muttering again. Something like...."an hour and a half in this little room? Are you kidding me?" I'm bored. I need a new game, Mommy! Think of something or I'm gonna blow! OK, my Mommy rocks. She thought of a new game. Wanna watch me play?
So, after a very, very long time in that little room, finally my favorite doctor came in. He said my blood is great and my MRI said I am cute and perfect. Jesus loves me. Gotta go.
I have to call my cousin Gwyneth and tell her she is one tough kid, for a girl anyways, because I think she has had way more needles than me.
Today Jack and I will travel over the bridge to Philly for our follow up appointment due to his pancreatitis hospitalization right before Christmas. He'll have blood work done to check the level of lipase which would let them know if his pancreas is fully healed or not and we will hear the results of his MRI from last month. My next post will let you all know how that goes....
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Did you ever watch the movie "Forget Paris" with Billy Crystal and Debra Winger? There is one classic line in there that I just love and can sooo relate to:
"It's been a bird glued to my hair kind of day".
You must go rent it. Very funny.
Anyway, here is what happened to me today:
Jessica stuck 17 Dora stickers on to Jack.
Jessica used EVERY single sippy cup to make a tower in the kitchen. (I've had five kids. I have A LOT of sippy cups.)
Jack held both my legs while screaming his head off while I was going all 'Betty Crocker' putting stew in the crock pot to make my tired, worn down husband happy.
Jack practiced being a homeless person by carrying the recyclables all over the house for me.
Jack bit Jessica on the back...out of love and trying to kiss.
Jessica decided a much better place for her hair elastics was not so much in the drawer, but behind the toilet.
This was Jessica's activity while I showered....fast as lightning because I knew they were up to something and YES, I did get shampoo in my eyes.
Disclaimer: I do dress her. She chooses to randomly undress. Also, notice the ever present "sprinkly shoes".
While blow drying my hair Jessica climbed on my bed and jumped on my back and Jack pulled my hair.
And now, mind you, this was all BEFORE lunch! Can I hear a "NAPTIME WOOT! WOOT!"?
Monday, January 28, 2008
Obviously, the weekend was too much for them. You know, attending town basketball games for the girls, watching Veggie Tales, going to church and just general rebel rousing. They could barely keep themselves awake today. Make sure you volume is turned up for the video, but please keep the noise down. We're trying to sleep....
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I'm trying to change my blog template...sorry about the gigantic flower block that is just floating there at the top. Hopefully I'll figure it out soon....
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
1. My sister Tricia is rockin' off the vent for HOURS.
2. I've heard from some old college buddies that I miss immensely.
3. My sister Megan and I couldn't stand to be in the same room when we were growing up. Now I can't stand to not have her in the room with me. I hope the same deep friendship for my girls as adults.
4. Jessica calls her new sparkly shoes "sprinkly" and it makes me smile every time.
5. I want desperately for Tricia to see and touch her new baby.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Jessica was looking at some pictures of her new cousin "Gren-meth" and wanted to send her a little shout out. I simply cannot wait until they can hang out together at the beach!
P.S. My sister and I both had this idea, but she beat me to posting it. Just wanted everyone to know that I'm not a big, fat copycat. That is all.
DISCLAIMER: Turn your head sideways to view video. I came just short of throwing my computer out the window trying to get it to appear the correct way.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The time had come. The time had already come and passed us by actually. Jack has so been due for a first haircut. If you remember back when I took him for his first year pictures we had begun to call him "toupee head" and "comb over". Today the situation was remedied. I was visiting with a good friend who happens to be a barber. Lucky me. Really, lucky Jack! Cute, eh?
Saturday, January 19, 2008
If you grew up in a big family like I did, than you will have no trouble picturing this scenario. I would imagine...and yes, I do have to imagine, that most people would describe their family dinner time as pleasant where family members take turns sharing stories from their day and enjoying each other's company. Our family dinner time is a little more like a front row seat at a NASCAR event. The three oldest each have exciting adventures from school to share and as they vie for our attention the volume increases and increases. Not to be ignored, our 2yr old gets in the mix sometimes to the point of screaming. Jeff had to tell her several times throughout dinner last night to "Please wait your turn, young lady" and "No screaming, we'll listen to you when it's your turn, young lady". At which point, the 'young lady' turned to me and said: "Mommy, will you please tell Daddy to not talk to me anymore."
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Years ago...and I mean years ago...probably eight or so, my good college buddy TJ handed down the cutest little red GAP sneakers for my son Ben. Well, he wore them, Jessica wore them, Cousin Josh wore them and now Jack wears them. They are all soft and worn from their many washings and wearing through the years. The other day while getting Jack dressed to go outside, try as I may, his little piggies would not fit in. I shoved and pushed and he winced and fell over. My little baby boy is growing up, people! I have mixed feelings. He has been through so much with his medical issues this past year. He is and will be my last baby. And now, he has grown out of my favorite shoes. They will now be packed up for Baby Leah. Isn't he a cutey pie???
"Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
My brother-in-law Nathan has faithfully been blogging about their journey these last few weeks. Many have been reached. Many have renewed their relationship with God. Many have stated that their prayer life has become more active and alive that it has been. I am one of these many. Today the sedation that has been in my sister's body has finally worked itself out and she is awake and alert and is slowly becoming aware of all that has been happening while she peacefully slept. God is so good and has rewarded Tricia's faith more than she yet is to realize. Wanna read more?
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
It's been a hard adjustment to return to being a full time mom of five. I'm finding myself very distracted and a bit overwhelmed at meeting everyone's needs. But God is good. He knew to send me some encouragement. I had to run to the store to pick up poster paper....you know, for the book report no one told me about that is due "TOMMORROW, MOM!!!" When I returned, lying on my porch were the most beautiful white roses and an even more beautiful card left anonymously for me. WOW. WOW. I was so deeply touched that someone cared enough about me to do something so out of their way and so generous. What a perfect display of love to show to me and for my kids to witness and learn how we can care for each other in times of need (Matthew 6:1-4).
Monday, January 14, 2008
On this day, January 14th, you need two things:
1. FAITH: I have decided to revisit a Beth Moore Bible study I had begun a year and a half ago. Jack had just been born and due to the sleepless nights and lots of nursing sessions, I didn't get much out of it because I didn't have the time to devote to it. This passage hit me smack in the head:
Ephesians 1:18-20 "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead..."
Try to wrap your head around that. That there isn't a need I have that can't be met with the same power that God the Father used to raise the dead.
On a lighter note...
2. WOGGLES: Jessica insisted she "needed" these today.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Some observations since returning home from Duke:
* There is no yummy, hot buffet breakfast here
* There is no cable TV here
* No clean, white towels are delivered everyday
* Each of my five children are miracles in their own right and I cherish them
* I am madly, deeply in love with my husband.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Home. It seems like its been months. I'm kind of struggling with how to go back to posting about your kid licking a glue stick and sticking M&M's up their nose after what I have witnessed. It's kind of like that allergy medication commercial, where once you take it a fog is lifted and you see the world in vivid color.
I wanted to share another story about the testimony of my sister and her faith. The day before Tricia went down to the OR for her vent and possible Csection, a slew of doctors stopped by her room. It's kind of protocol to have the top doc run through the procedure with the patient and then his fellow, the residents and the interns on the case all stop by and follow up to make sure the patient understands what they have been told and to see if they have any questions. So, the parade began to Tricia's room on Monday to get her prepared for Tuesday morning. With each explanation the doc explained to Tricia how grave the situation was and that she may not be able to be revived. With each explanation, Tricia politely told them "You're wrong." I'm sure the docs thought she was either a kook or not in touch with the gravity and reality of the situation. So, for future reference when you pit degrees, credentials and experience versus a woman with great faith in her God, God always wins.
In closing, I'm not even going to make an attempt to post the pictures I took because they pale in comparison to what you can find here: Nathan's blog
Thursday, January 10, 2008
This morning I was able to go sit with Tricia while Nathan went to visit with Baby Gwyneth. I know she has a long road ahead and many milestones to meet medically, but just seeing her lying peacefully after months of struggling with every breathe, to see pink in her cheeks, to see her blissfully asleep was ....well, I stand in awe of you, Lord! I had twenty minutes alone with her. I held her hand, I prayed, I cried, I sang to her, I told her all about Gwyneth and I told her it was a privilege to be called her sister.
Please continue to pray for Tricia as she slowly comes off the sedatives and adjusts to the vent. Also, Baby Gwyneth has a rough 24 hours ahead of her the NICU has told us. Megan and I will be flying back tomorrow morning. It will be one of the hardest things I have to do. Please check Nathan's blog and also his dad's and uncle's (they are linked on the sidebar at Nathan's blog) for pictures and some really cool perspective of what is going on here.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Megan and I arrived safely at Duke on Monday night. Tricia requested that we be at her bedside throughout the night. What an honor. It was probably one of the most amazing nights in my life to date. Megan and I watched her sleep, prayed for her, listened to music and as Tricia woke up throughout the night in extreme pain and aggitation, listened to her requests and just talked sister to sister. I will remember every word the rest of my life. At one point, while Tricia was bent over in the fetal position in pain for every breathe, she looked at Megan and I and told us that Esther was her favorite story. She told us that Esther had the Jewish people pray and fast and that God did great things for her. She told us in all confidence that God WAS going to do great things for her. Megan and I talked later, that after watching her all night and seeing how weak and the level of pain she was in that we weren't so sure. In the morning,we said our goodbyes and hugged her and kissed her and promised her that we would love and cherish little baby Gwenyth. At noon, they wheeled her down to be put on the ventilator, very risky and Gwenyth might have to be saved. About an hour later, we got an emergency phone call that Gwenyth was being delivered. We did not know what this meant for Tricia. They had warned us, she may not be able to handle the CSection. We sat stunned in the OR waiting for word. It was then that at doctor walked out and shared with us what Tricia had known all along. God had done great things. Both were stable and being moved to Intensive Care. We all just broke down in praise to our Loving Heavenly Father for doing His will and our desire.
The next 8-12 hours will be critical for Tricia. She is medically paralyzed right now so that her body will accept the vent. She needs to be weaned off those meds and slowly brought to consciousness. Tricia has no idea she is a mother. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when Nathan gets to share the story of Gwenyth! Be praying that she handles the vent. Also, she is extremely susceptible to infection and phenmonia.
Gwenyth is doing well. She is bigger than they expected...about the length of your forearm and1.6 pounds. I can hardly wait to meet her and take pictures. If you can't wait, visit Nathan's blog (on my sidebar) for the amazing slide show he has put together. Also, Nathan's dad has s a must read blog (and can be found on the sidebar on Nathan's blog).
Thank you for your prayers! They mean so much to all of us!
Monday, January 7, 2008
Meg and I are flying back down to NC this afternoon to be with Tricia. For an update, please check Nathan's blog.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
by: Casting Crowns
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
Friday, January 4, 2008
We had a safe trip down and arrived late Thursday night. We were able to sneak in and see Tricia when we arrived thanks to a very generous nurse. The word is ....so far, so good. Tricia's levels have remained such that she doesn't need any intervention yet. She is having some trouble with an IV site where they check her blood gasses and has to have it done again and it is very painful. We were lucky enough to be able to see a 4-D of Baby Girl and it was beyond amazing. Miraculously, this little Baby Girl is doing perfectly fine safely in her little home. We continue to covet your prayers and I will update as I can. Our mission tomorrow is to transform her room ala 'Tar-jay". She has one stark white wall that we plan on decorating to the nines with lights, pictures, bulletin boards and anything else we can find that is girly and fun.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Tonite my sister and I are going to be flying down to Duke Medical Center to be with our sister Tricia. Please be praying. Tricia and Nathan have many decisions to make in the next day or so concerning their baby and when they can deliver. If you would like to read more, please visit my BIL's website: Confessions of a CF husband.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
You know when you spend countless conversations with your toddler trying to train and teach them about something that is really important to your family? And then, one day it all just clicks.
Me: Jessica, Jack just woke up and he's kind of grumpy. Let's leave him alone, ok?
Jessica: I know. Like the Grinch, right?
When I was twelve years old, my parents brought a precious little foster baby into our home. I was very much like my Britton--all about babies and learning to care for them. She was cute and chubby and had brown ringlets. She smiled at everyone she saw. I would take her for walks up and down our street just hoping someone would walk by us so I could show her off. We adopted Tricia when she was two. I got to miss school and come to the courthouse to watch the proceedings. Tricia was adorable in a frilly dress and showed off her smile, charming everyone in the room. When I went away to college I missed her so much. I would make her (and brother Joey) packages and mail them home. By the time I graduated college and got married Tricia had grown into a wise, spiritually mature high schooler who loved the Lord and served Him. She had verses posted all over her bedroom and I often found her Bible left layed open on her bed. Without knowing it, she often convicted me of having a closer walk with the Lord.
Tricia was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was six months old. She never once complained and has always kept her quirky sense of humor. In the last year, her disease has progressed to the point where she was getting ready for a double lung transplant. God had other plans, for reasons I may never understand until I get to Heaven. Tricia found out she was pregnant. This pregnancy has put a huge strain on her body and she was no longer able to be a part of the transplant program. On Wednesday, Tricia will be 24 weeks along, a point the doctors think the baby could survive outside the womb. In the last two days Tricia's breathing has become horribly difficult. Her husband Nathan, my parents and her pastors are there with her today. They are going to be praying for her intensely between noon and 1pm. So will I. Hundreds of people from all over the globe have been following her story at Nathan's blog "Confessions of a CF Husband" and will be praying also. You are invited to join us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Thanks to all of you who keep checking in with our family. Jack had a weeks stay in the hospital battling pancreatitis...not fun! It can be very painful and the only way to treat it is to stop all food and drink until the inflammation goes down. Can I just say, not very fun for a 15 month old and a little hard for the Mommy to explain. It was a long, hard week with not much sleep and a lot of comforting, but we survived. The doctors slowly reintroduced food and Jack did well and his pancreatic enzyme numbers came down to normal. This week we went for an MRI to look at his pancreas and they shot dye through his intestines to look for things that may have caused the pancreatitis in the first place. It could have been totally random, perhaps a virus, or it could have something to do with his liver surgery of last winter for a choledochal cyst. We return to the hospital this week to go over the results with his surgeon (what 15 month old has a surgeon! Sad!)
In other news, Santa got me a brand new digital camera....so, watch out! As soon as it arrives my blog will be saturated!
Thanks for bearing with me during this long blog break and no worries. I'm back, Baby! I leave you with a picture of Jack with his sister, Britton and the very cool, Cousin C!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Our youngest Jack was admitted to Children's Hospital yesterday. They are running labs and tests to get to the root of the problem with his bowels. If you are the praying type, it would be much appreciated. Thanks you....
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that my 15 month old only knows four words. The pediatrician assures me that being the baby of four older siblings who will talk for him is the cause and he will eventually grow out of it. Actually, the embarrassing part is the four words he does know are "Mama", "Dada", "ball" and........"Diego". He'll walk around just saying it over and over..."Diegoooooooooooooo". Jessica has been a bit obsessed with one particular DVD we borrowed from the library where Diego has to rescue elephants that have been turned into stone. It's kind of a sick obsession, because the story kind of scares her, but she wants to keep watching it. She tries to reassure herself by saying over and over "It's gonna be okay Mommy. The elephants can turn back....right? Right, Jacky?" So, when we got a nice day of sun and kind of warmer weather we decided to head to the Philadelphia Zoo....where Mommy could save the day and show her REAL elephants. Or elefante as Diego would say. One small problem. The Philadelphia Zoo had to move their elephants to Pittsburgh due to the high cost of creating a better environment for them. But, you know what they did have? Right at the entrance? Really huge and looming? A stone sculpture of an elephant! Poor Jessica. I've started a savings account for therapy.
Here are some pictures from our day. Jessica refused to remove her hood for pictures. I decided not to touch it. You know, how you decide not to touch the pin on a grenade.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Today my sister and I decided to be brave, adventurous moms. When we were little, my Grammom would take us to the big Light Show at the famous Wanamaker's store in Center City Philadelphia. My mom took my older kids to go see the show when they were younger. In fact, when my mom was a little girl, she and her mom would meet up at the famous Eagle statue and see the show. So, since my mom was up for an impromptu visit, we decided to load up the kiddies and take the train over to Philadelphia to let them enjoy the tradition. The only glitch was we were running a little late due to lugging double strollers up and down steps at the train station and walking a little out of our way once in Philly. We arrived at the 10am show 12 minutes too late. Yea, the show is 12 minutes long. So, what to do? We had put in all the time and effort already, so we decided to tough it out and stay for the next show at 11am. That meant we had 48 minutes to kill.....with four babies. Under 3. In about a 3 foot by 3 foot space, because there were tons of people who had the same idea we did to come see the show. Fun times. Here is how some of the time was spent....
I decided that since the babies were kind of dressed up and looking 'matchy' I would try to get their picture together. Um, yea. Not so much. Here is my attempt to get them to sit together for a picture...notice how when Jessica is sitting nicely, Jack has run off behind her. And when Jack is sitting nicely, Jessica has run off behind him.
But, in the end, we all survived, be it with a bit of a headache. Once the Light Show started, all were mesmerized and loved every minute of it. And memories were made and the tradition continued...
Sunday, December 9, 2007
This afternoon Ben and I studied for his History test.
Me: OK, Ben. What is an artifact?
Ben: An object from another time or place.
Me: Great! Can you name one?
Me: Hmmm, how about an old key you dig up in the backyard...
Me: How about an old flag found in someone's attic....
Me: How about an Indian arrowhead....
Ben: I know! Uncle Al's GameBoy! Because it's black and white! Right?
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Toddlers are funny little creatures. I think it's fascinating to see how their little minds work. For instance, when I came out of my room today, Jessica was sitting at the keyboard 'typing' away. She knew she had been caught and had her excuse all ready for me. "I'm writing to my friends!", she told me. So, I apologize in advance if your toddler receives non-scensical emails today.
Jack, my one year old, likes to walk around the house carrying things and depositing things. For example, I have found a golf ball in my dishwasher. I have found the vitamin E oil in the toy box. I have found the letter "G" piece of a puzzle in my printer. When I dump out my laundry baskets in the basement there is always a toy car or lego to be found. Each night before he goes to bed I have to thoroughly check his crib because no doubt there will be a random family member's toothbrush, a tissue, a hair clip, a pencil or maybe even a math ditto from someone's folder in there. I think his future wife is going to have a pack rat on her hands.
Here are some pictures from the 'babies' latest escapade. My eight year old left the package of cookies on the table while packing his lunch. This was the result: Cute, aren't they? In a brown, drooley, chocolatey kind of way.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Free Parenting Tip: If your toddler is going to shove something up their nose, I highly recommend mini M&M's. It will only take about a minute or so of hysteria before the body temperature melts that little sucker and it basically falls out on its own. Do not ask me how I know this.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
In any given week, I struggle with whether I should laugh or cry. For my own mental well-being, I try to opt for the laughing. In reading back over some of my blog, I want to make a small disclaimer before sharing the latest antics of my two year old. I actually do supervise her. Really, I do. Most of the time.
Jessica saw me making Cream of Wheat for myself and thought she would like to give it a try. So, I made her up a little bowl and got her settled at the coffee table where she has eaten before and usually does great. Not sure why she choose this particular day to use Cream of Wheat more as a medium than a food...
*I recommend clicking on the thumbnails so you can get the full effect.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Jessica: This is mine. It's very special. Jack can't touch it!
Me: Jess, I think you could let Jack touch it. He won't hurt it.
Jessica: NO! It's mine, I said. I looooove it. He will ruin it.
Me: Jess, we have more. I can give you another one. Please, share with your brother.
Jessica: NO! MINE!
The object of all this devotion? A used dryer sheet.
Friday, November 30, 2007
And to think, all the effort I put into doing Weight Watchers and trying to fit in walks that include pushing approximately 60 pounds of baby....when this is all I need to do.
While driving home from the mall....
Jessica: Mommy, you obey me!
Me: Hmmm, it doesn't work that way, honey. Mommy will listen to you, though.
Jessica: NO! Obey me!
Me: Little ones obey their mommies and daddies.
Jessica: I know that already. You obey ME now!
Jessica: You have to obey me because I'm pretending to be the Mommy.
Now, at this point, I just ignored her, but after some thought, I'm thinking I should have gone with it. Maybe she would have put me down for a nap. And you darn well know I would have stayed in bed.
Here are some pictures of dear little Jack's face. He is doing so well. What a little tough guy. He will have such bragging rights when he gets older. This so beats Ben's three stitches to the head for running into a sign.
So, I've become one of those moms. You know the ones. The dreaded 'Helicopter Mom' who hovers all over her child at the playground. You've seen her. She follows her little one where ever he may go with her arms outstretched ready to dive into the mulch in order to break her little one's fall. She dons the fanny pack filled with antibacterial band aids, tissue, wipes and full change of clothes in case of emergency. I took the babies to the park yesterday and spent the whole time trailing Jack and making gasp noises every time he wobbled. I was never this mom. I was always the one who let my kid run around with a stick in his hand, try to climb the ladder that arches out all on their own, and jump on the wobbly bridge without holding my hand. Once, in a crazier moment, because I didn't have the full change of clothes in my non-existent fanny pack, I stripped one of my children to his underwear because he had 'played in the creek' and let him ride home that way. I promise it was over 40 degrees.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Today's post won't be an attempt to be funny. I'm just plain thankful. On Monday, I was in a car accident with both babies in the van on a busy highway. A man pulled in front of me and totaled our van. We are all fine. Today, my one year old fell out of a chair and cut his lip requiring seven stitches in his mouth and dermabond on his chin---poor little guy all papoosed and held down screaming himself hoarse at our local ER. I'm thankful that God has watched over us in the most amazing ways this past year and that I have five healthy, beautiful, active children. That is all.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Can I just say, on some days the only thing that keeps me from abandoning my family and running far, far away to a deserted island equip with a great bookstore is NAP TIME. I love it. I start thinking about how great nap time will be around ...hmmmm...when do I wake up?
During nap time:
Me: Goodnight, Jessica. Have a good nap time. When you wake up we'll play outside in the leaves. I love you. Smooches.
*ten minutes elapse*
Me: Jessica, get back in bed!
*ten minutes elapse*
Me: Jessica, get yourself back in your bed right now.
*ten minutes elapse*
Me: Jessica! It! Is! Nap time! You are going to get punished!
Jessica: I'm very, very punished already.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I was reading a magazine article about how to draw your family out in conversation by asking more in depth questions then the run of the mill "How was your day". So, at breakfast this morning I thought I would give some of the questions a try on our kids. Here's a gem.
Me: So, Ben, when was the last time someone said something really nice to you?
Ben: I don't know. I wasn't paying attention.
My eldest daughter has brought to my attention that I have yet to blog anything about her. I told her, "Honey, that's a good thing. Have you read my blog? It means you are the closest one to normal."
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
I thought it would be cool to share with you some of my favorite things. I love reading what other people love and use around their houses, so here goes.
This calendar/planner is something I just can't live without. Add some of those super cool mini sharpies, one color for each person in the family and I'm in heaven. I live and die by this book. They can be purchased at Borders, and probably elsewhere. Seriously, if I lost this book, the whole kit and caboodle would come to a screeching halt and we'd sit in the living room staring at each other.
Another favorite is this shelving unit from IKEA. I don't have much storage space in our kitchen, especially for all the little kid stuff, so this was my solution. I love it. I have a bunch of these little wire baskets that are full of sippy cups, kiddie plates, bowls and utensils and all my tupperware-type stuff. Without it I would be ankle deep in plastic ware every time I made a grilled cheese.
Now, this last one I can't share too much information about because I'm in the processing of working out some kinks and then I'm going to be pursuing a US patent. A Stay at home mommy cloaking device! Enough said.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I took Jack for his one year portraits yesterday. The baby of the family is growing up. What a dear, sweet little guy he is. Even though he was a bit of a surprise, I cannot even imagine our family without his funny little personality and his great hair. So, what do you think ladies? We kind of have the toupee look going on. To trim or not to trim, that is the question!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
You know when you go food shopping with four of your five kids? At the end of a long day. And you load up all 22 bags into the minivan. And then you do two car seat buckles and two seat belts. And then you shut the van door. And it's sooo quiet. And maybe when you go to return the cart, you really want to walk to the furthest possible 'cart keeper'. And maybe, for a really quick millisecond, you want to just keep right on walking....
If I had money...this is what I would do. I would build a little addition off the back of my house...something modest and simple. It would then be decorated in warm, soothing earth tones and rock gardens. I would have it checked by a registered feng shui expert.
Then it would be time to invite Bob Harper to come live there. He is just so positive, and smiley, and encouraging. And I'm sure he would tell me each morning, “Janet, I know you can do this. I believe in you. I can see the slimmer, more fit you inside. I will help her get out and then we will celebrate together with a Jenny-O turkey burger".
Monday, November 12, 2007
Not too long ago, our Baby Jack had his first birthday. The living room if full of new toys with all the bells and whistles. So, while the babies were fully engaged in play, I decided it would surely be a safe time to run to the basement and move the laundry through. How long does that take...five minutes at the most? Really. What could happen? Did I forget to mention that I had a diaper order delivered that morning also? When I came back upstairs and noticed the deafening silence, I raced to the living room. I don't want to brag or anything, but it seems my babies are gifted in the field of architecture. Somehow, working together I'm sure, they took the diaper boxes and stacked them so they could reach the living room windows. There they both stood, on the boxes, scrubbing my windows with some kind of shiny, yellowish substance. Upon closer inspection, I see they have liberally applied aforementioned unknown substance to their 'cute' little faces. What the heck was it??? Then I saw it. On the floor. At the bottom of the diaper box staircase. An empty container of Blistex. EW! Really, EW! I wish I had pictures to share of this little adventure, however I was too busy taking deep breaths and counting to ten.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
When my son went off to kindergarten, I was so excited to hear about his day, all the new things he experienced and all about his new little friends. I was used to girls, I guess. Both Bryanna and Britton would come home bursting with tales of recess games, who they sat with, who wore headbands compared to who wore barrettes and who brought what for 'Show and Tell'. Not Ben.
Me: So, what did you do today?
Ben: I don't know.
Me: Well, what was your favorite thing?
Ben: I don't know.
Me: Hmmm, who were your friends today?
Ben: I don't know.
Me: Give me something, Boy!
Ben: I guess I kind of liked art.
Me: OK! So, what did you like about art?
Me: Did you paint? Did you color?
Me: Was your teacher nice?
Ben: When you lick a glue stick one time........ it tastes like Lucky Charms.
Ben: But if you keep licking it, it doesn't.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Today Dora traveled through the quiet forest to get to the library to return her books. It was quite the concept. I am thinking maybe Dora should consider the whole "quiet" theme as a new creative direction. I, for one, would be fully on board.
Conversation in the minivan between my 2yr old Jessica and myself:
Jessica: Mom! My carseat is too tight!
Me: I know. It needs to be tight so you will be safe.
Jessica: Mom! It's too tight! Make It Looser!
Me: No, honey.
Jessica: Mom! It's too tight! I can't reach Britton to hit her.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I guess it would be funny to tell you that my kids forgot to tell me about the bake sale at school and I had to rush around at midnight buying an elaborate list of ingredients and then spend hours baking, frosting, decorating and bedazzling wonderful treats. But, I knew way in advance. And I got them all done and packaged the day before. What can I say? That's just the kind of SuperMom that I am. Well, mostly. I thought you would like the recipe to the most amazing homemade biscotti known to man given to me by my Italian neighbor, Bridget.
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of melted butter
1/4 cup of anisette liquor
5 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
Preheat your oven to 375. In a large bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, butter and anisette. Add eggs one at a time. Add sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate over night.
Divide dough in half and return unused half to the fridge. Shape dough into two long logs on cooking stone (I'm sure you could use a baking sheet, this is just my preference). Cook dough for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool just until you are able to work with it. Use a good serrated knife to cut one inch segments from the log and return the cookie to the stone on its side. Bake another five to ten minutes until desired browning and then put them on cooling rack. Brew coffee. Enjoy!
A conversation between my eight year old son and myself this morning at 7:15am
Ben: Hey, Mom! Can I bring my new kazoo to school?
Me: Um, no. I don't think your teacher would appreciate hearing a loud, squeaky toy all day.
Ben: That is so not fair. Everyone else brings toys to school.
Me: But, they don't bring kazoos, do they?
Ben: Yesterday, Patrick brought fifty kazoos!
Me: I stand corrected.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
It's peer pressure, I tell ya! Everyone has a blog but me! I'll start by telling you a little about myself. I was born and raised in NJ. While attending college in NY, I met my future husband while we both majored in Physical Education. I lovingly persuaded (OK, more like manipulated and forced) him to move to NJ where we both taught high school.
About eight months into happy, peaceful and quiet (those are the key words) married bliss, I found out I was pregnant with our dear daughter Bryanna. We decided that I should put my teaching career on hold and be home with our little one. Two years later, Britton joined the party. Three years later, much to my husband's relief, a boy named Ben was added to the girl party.
Our lives were busy and full and fun. But as time passed, I knew I needed another little baby....one that would be home alone with me while the "big ones" were at school that I could cuddle and savor and cherish. Along came Jessica....full of fire and spirit....not exactly the cuddler I had in mind, but hey...it was one vs. one...surely an experienced mom could handle that, right? So, why on earth was I so run down? Why was I having headaches? Why was I passed out in bed by 8:30?
Hmmmm.... so, on a whim I took a pregnancy test. And then took another. And then took another. By the third test I was convinced, kind of. We thought our family was complete, but God had other plans for us. Along came little Jack 17 months after Jessica. So, our lives are even more busy and full and fun.
So, now that we have been introduced, keep coming back and get to know us better. I promise it will be highly entertaining as there is always something happening around here.