Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011- what a year you've been

What a year it's been!  Like everyone else, we've had our share of ups and downs.  One of the best days ever, followed shortly by one of the saddest.  Obviously, having to say good bye to Greta was one of the hardest things I've had to do pretty much ever.  She was not just a dog.  She was not simply our pet.  Greta was all we had for 5 years before we were blessed with the twins.  Greta was a constant companion, the best listener, the most non-judgemental best friend I could ever have had.  She sat with me and witnessed more of my tears and pain than anyone else had, including Jamie.  I miss my first baby - my furry baby - still.  That would be in my top 5 all time worst days. 

This year, super obviously, also held the number 1 spot in my top 5 best days ever - Gabriella and Benjamin's birth day!  These babies mean the whole world to me.  I would be nothing without them, now that I have them.  I have a hard time even remembering what life was like without them.  My sweet little Benjamin and his big open-mouth, gummy smile just melts my heart.  And the way he grips onto my shirt with his tiny fist, like a baby monkey!, is beyond precious.  Oh, and Daddy's girl Gabriella who has a new found love of hearing her own voice shreik and her healthy, squeezy, chubby cheeks that beg to be covered in kisses.  I see so much of myself in her.  She's like a little mini-me personality wise.

So, I'll be ringing in the new year with my little family, making homemade pizza and wearing pajamas.  Hopefully come midnight we'll all be fast asleep!  Now that's living the life.  =)  I couldn't ask for anything more.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas recap

We had a beautiful 1st Christmas as a family of 4!  Christmas Eve we ventured out to mass with my parents, Nick, Brooke, Dominick, Owen, and Nancy (Brooke's mom).  Afterward everyone came back to our house for dinner.  [ham, turkey breast with gravy, cheesey potato casserole, homemade pierogi (by yours truly)cheese and kraut - 2 kinds, not mixed together, corn casserole]  Dessert included fudge, potato chip cookies, Christmas tree spritz, oreo balls, and Brooke made melting moments.  Jamie's family normally is here, too, but his niece had just come down with strep the same day, so we actually still haven't celebrated with them yet. 
me and Gabriella
Jamie and Gabriella

me and Benjamin

Nick and Dominick

Benjamin and Owen

Brooke and Owen

Dominick and the dessert
my mom and Gabriella

Nick, Owen, and my dad



We put out cookies and milk for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer.  Blitzen does not like carrots and when Santa is not looking he spits them out!
Christmas morning was just so nice.  We opened presents with Benjamin and Gabriella who were totally spoiled.  Santa brought Gabriella a holiday Barbie - her first Barbie doll! 

 Jamie and I had been working hard to make fleece blankies for each baby.  We did them full size so that way they'll have them forever.  =)

 Then we headed over by my parents in our jammies.  Holy smokes... these babies seriously must have every single toy made by Fisher Price, Playskool, and VTech.  Present opening over there with the same group from Christmas Eve plus my grandpa took almost 3 hours.  We came home for a bit and normally would have gone by Jamie's side, but since they had germs we went back to my parents and had leftovers. 

I couldn't have asked for a happier day with my little family.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

'amazing' Christmas lights

Best Christmas Lights Display (HD)

Sometimes it just seems like nothing can go my way.  In the last 24 hours, three different Christmas things I ordered were messed up.  Two items were presents and the last one is one of the new stockings I ordered.  It's not the end of the world about my stocking, but it's not how I ordered it.  They are all beautiful and handmade by an etsy seller.  On my stocking, though, she used solid green fabric and gave me a solid green cuff - not what was ordered!  I know she'll fix it, but I just have this picture in my mind how I wanted things to look and it's very disappointing when it doesn't work out.  I'm bummed. 

We're still not finished shopping.  We haven't wrapped a single gift.  Our house isn't clean for Christmas Eve.  I have to bake.  Jamie and I haven't watched a single Christmas movie together yet.  And I frickin love Christmas movies!!!  I've caught bits and pieces of  "Home Alone", "The Polar Express", "National Lampoon's Xmas Vacation", and some Christmas Disney cartoons, but no movies start to finish, and nothing with anyone else, usually just 10 minutes at a time of whatever is on when I'm pumping.  I'm just tired and overwhelmed.

The video above made me smile, though.  It's so neat and definitely worth clicking on!  Thought I'd share.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

lights and sirens for Gabriella

Gabriella's acid reflux was under control for about 6 weeks.  This foolish mommy thought we were past that stage.  I was wrong.  In the last week and a half she had a few episodes - screaming out (it's a different scream than any other sound she makes), arching, white sour smelling acid coming out of her nose and mouth, red face...  I called her pediatrician last week, they adjusted her zantac and prilosec, and said if there wasn't much improvement to call this week and bring her in. 

This morning I woke up with Benjamin around 6:30, fed him, put him back to sleep, pumped, and then was messing around on the computer for a few minutes.  Gabriella screamed.  I ran.

She was deep red, head bent back, arching, white acid streaming from her nose and mouth.  I scooped up her rigid little body and firmly patted her back.  Her eyes went wide open, glazed over, and breathing stopped. 

I started back blows for a few seconds and then felt the need to call 911.  While I was on the line with the call center - after about 10 or 12 seconds -  Gabriella started breathing again.  The paramedics still came out to assess her (she was her normal self and smiling when they arrived) and decided she needed to be checked to make sure she didn't aspirate any fluid into her lungs, which could lead to pneumonia. 

I called my mom; she left school to stay with Benjamin.  Jamie left work to meet us at the hospital.  I got her loaded up in her car seat, which was strapped onto the stretcher, and off we went... lights, sirens, the whole she-bang. 

After not even an hour at the hospital, we were discharged.  Her body did what is considered normal while choking.  Breathing stops to protect itself from aspiration.  While I won't have an itchy trigger finger with the medics, I also won't hesitate if I think a reflux episode is escalating quickly.  One of the paramedics said "time is tissue", meaning the longer one goes without oxygen the more tissue can be damaged. 

We have insurance.  Anything that's not covered we can be billed for.  Just put it on my tab! 

Gabriella spent a lot of the day sleeping.  I think all of the excitement really drained her.  She's doing great now.  We follow up with her pediatrician tomorrow, which also happens to be Benjamin's weight check since we started him on his calorie boosted food.  Who would have thoguht that he'd be our "easy" baby?  It's always something over here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

so random

Like everyone else this time of year, things are crazy busy over here.  Early Intervention is coming out this afternoon to evaluate Benjamin.  We're thinking about getting a puppy soon (since I don't have enough going on).  We haven't even finished decorating for Christmas yet... don't even get me started on the shopping left to do, and nevermind the wrapping.  I just ordered the babies' Christmas cards last Friday; they should be here by this Friday.  I'll address them all Friday night so they can be sent out on Saturday.  So much to do, so little time.  I'll elaborate more (at some point in the near future) about all of our craziness.  Heck, maybe I'll even write a thorough, not so random post!  Here are a couple of smiles for ya, though:

Gabriella - 5 months old

Benjamin - 5 months old

Thursday, December 8, 2011

this time last year

It was one year ago today that I found out I was pregnant.  I waited a couple of days to post it on here because we had family to tell first.  I've cried a few times today when I was looking at Gabriella and Benjamin.  This time last year they were about the size of a poppy seed.  I don't know why I go getting all emotional about it, but the excitement and joy and surprise and disbelief and fear all come flooding back.  I remember the nurse's voicemail.  I remember the drive home when I stopped at Walgreens to get Jamie a Baby Ruth candy bar.  I remember telling Jamie the news and having him listen to the voicemail, too. 

It amazes me how much has happened since this time last year.  It makes me wonder what life will be like at this time next year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

baby updates

We took Gabriella to the dermatologist this afternoon.  As soon as we unwrapped her bandaged nuggin' the doctor said that there was no need for the laser.  Beyond excited!!!  Her ulceration has been healing beautifully and the hemangioma has also made positive changes.  We were in and out in about twenty minutes. 

News on the Benjamin front- I called Early Intervention and did his background information yesterday.  A developmental therapist, physical therapist, and his case manager will be out next Tuesday to evaluate his development.  Our concerns are with his neck, core, and trunk muscles.  In order to qualify for services, he would have to have a 30% (or greater) delay.  I cried.  I want him to get any and all help that he needs, but shit.  30%  is a lot of percent.  The case manager understood my fear and basically broke it down like this: Although he's 5 months old, we use adjusted age up until he's two for all milestones.  So they'll be looking at him as if her were 3.5 months old.  If there is a delay, we'd rather close the gap sooner than later. 

Just for conversation's sake, let's imagine a 50% delay.  It's less catching up to do for a "3.5" month old to be only reaching milestones like an almost 2 month old than it would be for a 2 year old to be developmentally at a 1 year old level.  Huh... that made me feel better, but I still just want my baby to be ok.  Ultimately it's not about me or my feelings though; it's whatever's best for my little man.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Right now I'm...

Things have been a bit crazy and stressful over here with Gabriella lately.  Her hemangioma ulcerated back when she was at Children's, but it's gotten a lot worse.  My baby girl has been in some serious pain.  We're on the road to recovery now (I think), but Tuesday she's going to have laser treatment done on it.  I've been warned by the doctor that Gabriella will scream while it's happening, but it'll be over quickly.  Jamie is taking the day off (his birthday, by the way) because I'm just not willing to do it on my own. 

I've seen this on a few different blogs and thought it would be an easy, fun post.  So here goes.

Right now I'm...

obsessing over: all kinds of crafts and diy that I started or want to start, brownies from Weber's bakery (hint, hint Jamie), bills

anticipating: Jamie's birthday party this weekend, Gabriella's laser treatment, Santa's arrival

thinking about: decorating the tree, taking the babies' Christmas card picture, all of the Christmas stuff I have to do, how much has changed in a year

working on: making a few Christmas presents, getting the babies on a schedule of sorts (ha!), putting up Christmas decorations, cleaning the house for Saturday

wearing: blue striped pajama pants and one of Jamie's t-shirts (I'm dangerously close to being the frump that wears a "this is my sexy lingerie" nightgown to bed)

wishing:  Gabriella heals quickly, Benjamin gains more weight, Greta was still here, time slows down