Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Amelia had her surgery 3 weeks ago. She's still doing great, popped a stitch and her skin is breaking down a bit around her stitches, but the doctor said it's to be expected. 

Recap: We arrived on time, early in fact (a first) for A's surgery. She was in a wonderful mood despite the lack of milk that morning. We waited for what felt like forever while they got things ready. The surgery before us ran late and our happy girl didn't stay in that mood for very long. By 11:45, we had endured two bouts of wailing, a quick nap and some unhappy baby faces. When they took her away for surgery, I couldn't help but cry. A is a constant in my day, there arevery few moments that I have to myself and now I wouldn't see or hold her for hours. 

The surgery waiting area was packed with families waiting for their children. All day we would watch as the parents received telephone updates, meetings with the surgeons or leave altogether. 
We waited. We received two phone calls during a four hour period and each time it was good news. 

When we finally got the second call, it was to tell us that A was in recovery and would be waking up soon. After another half hour or so, I was allowed to go in and see her. A was still puffy from all of the fluids, but she opened her eyes and looked around. It was the best feeling. 

We were at the hospital for four days. On the third day, she had a BM and I was finally able to nurse her. The nurses were wonderful. One of them even brought in the toy aquarium to keep on the side of her crib. We didn't sleep much that weekend, but I didn't mind. 

I feel blessed to have A healthy and strong again. I'm happy that the surgery is behind her so we can move beyond always worrying about her or the upcoming procedure. We had a check up today and begin dilations. I wasn't quite ready for that part, but it's got to be done. 

As for the rest of the month: 

It's been rough. Last year around this time, we were enjoying 80 degrees and sunny. This year it's still cold and gloomy (this weeek, however, has been sunny and 40 so no complaints here!). The kids have been stuck in the house to allow A some recovery time and have just been angry. I get a lot of "meanie Mommy" or "you're not a good cooker" or my fave, "you can never ever ever come in my room, EVER again". Ah well. You'll love me again in Spring. 

Liam went back to Preschool last week and also started G-Ball, like golf but teaching the fundamentals of golf indoors. He loves it. Lilah of course is still in dance and Olivia is in gymnastics and just started track. That one definately gets her athletic abilities from her Dad! 

Amelia started doing something that I refer to as "Go crazy!" where she kicks her legs and gets this funny look on her face. It started when I placed her on the couch with no shoes and she realized that her feet stuck to the sofa back when she kicked. My silly girl:) 

We saw the Easter Bunny today. Amelia was sleeping so she missed out, but Liam and Lilah loved meeting him. When we were walking away, Liam informed me that the Easter Bunny was a real person in a costume. I was a little taken back but I said " No, he's the Easter Bunny". Liam then said "well I know he's the Easter Bunny. When he takes off his costume, he is real person and when he puts it back on, he turns back into the Easter Bunny". Whew, much better. Stay little forever:)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 2013

Amelia is 3 months old now and we're getting ready for her surgery on Friday. Nick and I are nervous, but I keep telling myself that in most circumstances, she would have already had a surgery with this type of malformation. I've spent all week preparing; cleaning and cooking/baking some things so that it's a little easier on my Mom while watching the kids. It's been rough though...Amelia has the most amazing smile. It literally starts with her eyes and spreads to her mouth. This past week I've found myself just staring at her when she smiles and praying that things go well.

She loves to stand up and has the most amazing leg strength! She always lets out a laugh when I get excited and tell her how big she is:) She also rolled over twice, one way, while doing tummy time last week.

Everyone else is doing fine. We're all healthy and happy and waiting for Spring to come:)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's February. Unfortunately I've fallen behind on my resolution to update this blog weekly, but I'm here now and that's what counts. 

It has been an interesting month! Amelia was admitted for RSV. Poor little thing has seen the inside of the hospital more than any of the other kids:( Since then, we have met with the surgeon again and are meeting one of his colleagues next week to discuss other options (our surgeon=colostomy, other surgeon=no colostomy). I spoke to Cincinnati Children's Hospital today and we're waiting to see if heading there might be an option also. 

Two days ago, Amelia laughed for the first time. I was letting her "stand" and started to tell her what a great job she was doing. She threw her little head back and gave this little squeal! Nick came running in and said "she laughed!" and the grin on her face was just priceless. We were all's funny how even after 3 kids, we all still find the little things exciting. 

Olivia celebrated her 11th birthday this month. The night before, I made chocolate raspberry cupcakes for her class and because of the trip to the hospital, Nick ended up making her a cake that evening and celebrated with her and the kids (and Auntie Nicole and Ro). The next night, we had another cake and did it all over again once we were home! 

Lilah turned 3 on Monday. Again, we celebrated with cupcakes (her choice-vanilla). At the end of the night, she looked at Nick and I and said "I really liked my Happy Birthday." Melt my heart. 

I think I've gained 5 pounds from all of these sweets! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Year-new resolutions

I started this blog two years ago and added, hmm...4 posts?! That's pretty pathetic. We just welcomed a new baby (number 4) and I realized that I don't even have a photo album for her. Number 3 doesn't even have pictures in hers (but she still has an album, that counts right?). Anyway, I realize that I won't always remember all of the funny, naughty and weird things that my kids say and do so I made a tiny vow that I would write something every week (every day if I'm really on top of things!) so that I can print these off and keep these memories for all of them. 

It's 2013 and I've missed a lot of details over the past year or so. We lost our dog Brody last January, but to help with the healing we got a new pup, Cooper in February. Cooper just turned 1 on Christmas Eve and he's Lilah's best friend:)

Olivia kept us busy with soccer last year (Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring!). She just joined tumbling and is working on learning aerials. She's in 5th grade and will be turning 11 next month, which seems crazy to me! I just turned 33 a few days ago and it really makes you realize how fast time flies. Olivia is your typical girl...loves clothes, malls, boys (Justin Bieber is out and One Direction is in). She has posters plastered all over her walls and keeps her room like a little pigpen. I hope to share that with her one day when her kids do the same:)

Liam is my little man. We started a chore chart a few months ago and he loves getting prizes. He used to volunteer to help me with things just to get more stickers. I found that the chores kept him in check...he's a little overemotional and has been getting cabin fever since we've been staying home a lot over the past few months. He loves ham sandwiches and hot dogs (not the ones with the casings though, he calls them the "crunchy" kind). He hates casseroles, stir fry and my homemade chicken pot pie. A few weeks ago, he cried (actual tears) because there were peas on his tray and one was also in his mash potatoes. He loves Playmobil, puzzles, winding up the vacuum cord and playing Angry Birds on Nick's phone:) 
He's always requesting milk with meals and always puts his dishes in the sink. He just finished weekly preschool and will be going back in March, as well as starting golf. Nick is so excited about that one! He's a great big brother and he and Lilah are best friends. He loves Amelia. He loves Olivia, but likes to harass her even more:) 

Lilah is our little princess. She recently started fitting into Olivia's old dress up clothes so we brought those down for her to play with. We usually stay pj's (Umm, its cold here, the flu is spreading like wildfire and we have a new baby!), but Lilah changes into different princess dresses two to three times a day. She is our "loud talker"...Nick thinks it's because she has to fight for attention, but I think it's just part of her personality. I think she'll be on stage one day! She started ballet lessons last semester and absolutely loves it! She talks about "Donce Closses with Ms Sa-nay-dra" in this funny little British accent. She loves to let Olivia fix her hair and likes to play with her American Doll when Olivia lets her. She's recently started to push Liam around a bit-just to see how far she can get. 

Amelia is our newest addition. She is perfect:) She's 5 weeks now and started smiling last week...real smiles and goofy grins! She likes to wake up around 4am and has this look on her face that shows that she missed us while she was sleeping:) Amelia was born with a congenital defect called IA, or Imperforate Anus. IA can cause other anomalies as well, but we were fortunate as she only has the one issue. She was also born with a fistula, which allows her to get rid of waste without having to use a colostomy. We found out about the IA three hours or so after she was born. We basically held her for those first few hours and when they took her for her bath, they came back with the news instead of with her. We were floored. Nick and I looked at one another and were speechless. I felt like everything around me stopped moving during that moment...
They immediately took her to the hospital's NICU to run tests. I wasn't able to sleep and found myself sneaking down to see her every few hours. We could hold her, but they needed to transfer her to our local Children's Hospital so I wasn't allowed to nurse her, pending possible surgery. 

The next day, we were released and Amelia was taken to the other hospital. She spent 6 days in the NICU where they tested her to make sure she was able to come home. We were relieved to find that she passed her tests, including the echocardiogram (they thought she had a heart murmur). She was so sleepy those few quiet and tiny. Looking at her and watching her sleep made me less anxious about all of the things that were yet to come.

Other than twice daily dialations, Amelia is like any other newborn. She sleeps, cries, eats and is awake for tiny amounts of time in which she allows us to be enamored with her. Besides smiling, she recently started making tiny gurgling and cooing sounds. She loves her nightly baths and LOVES taking showers. 

We met with our surgeon and discussed her pending surgery set for March. We are also talking with the doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital to see if she would also be a candidate for surgery there.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Yard inspiration

It's April and we're finally getting some nice weather! The hubby got excited and raked away at the side garden yesterday and cleaned up the yard. Our rose bushes are wild and spindly looking and grab at people that are walking along the path (ie: small people especially!)...and the Canna (guilt sets in). Sigh. Last Fall, my one job was to dig them up and put them in the basement for Winter storage. I dug up 3 or 4 of them, got tired (I was also watching the little ones) and forgot about them. A few days later the frost came and the ground froze. I'm hoping for some miraculous the meantime, I plan to make the porches fabulous to make up for it!

We've been throwing around some ideas for the back porch to hide the horrible Queen Anne Victorian behind us. Why anyone would paint a beautiful old home yellow and teal is beyond me. I love the idea of building something simple over our exsisting deck and making curtains on the sewing machine.

The top left image is from the HGTV website under: budget outdoor rooms. The container gardening pictures are also from HGTV: gardening, container gardening. The last picture: source unknown. The window planter contains SOME of the following plants and flowers: Coleus, Geranium and Petunia. I also think I see some Sweet Potato Vines. The bottom left: carpet roses.

I love old planters and want to move beyond our typical clay pots this year. I also hope to add some wicker chairs to the back porch and add some extra plants that keep mosquitos away. I've recently read that Rosemary, Catnip, Marigold, Garlic, Mums, Lemongrass and Basil all work! I think Lemongrass would be beautiful as the centerpiece in a big urn and Rosemary can be trimmed into topiaries!

I'm hoping to do some before and after pictures (and hopefully get these things accomplished before Winter sets in again!). Hopefully I will have some transformed thrifted beauties to show off as well.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bakerella's cake balls!

I've been baking a ton lately. I'm a so-so baker, I tend to overdo it though and sometimes do things that are way beyond my expertise. I am in LOVE with Bakerella's website-she has some fantastic ideas! I thought making these for O's birthday class treat would be something fun and different (birthday treats still confuse me to this day-it's my birthday, you should bring ME a treat! Ah well:). I originally attempted to make the ones inside of peanutbutter cup molds and failed miserably! These came out ok, not as nice as the one's on Bakerella's site, but with the magic of photo editing-Voila! This link brings you directly to her recipes. O wanted chocolate cake and loved the Wilton brand blue chips (vanilla) so I used milk chocolate frosting, devil's food cake and the vanilla coating. The process was messy but well worth it. The cake inside is so moist it's almost truffle-like. My flavor combination resulted in something that tasted vaguely like an inside out Hostess HoHo!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


In December, my family and I embarked on a two week long vacation to Florida. We drive straight through...from Wisconsin! Yeah, we're pretty amazing:) Seriously though, if you are planning a similar journey, my only advice is: don't make plans! Picture this: three children (8, 2 1/2 and 10 mos), a Jeep Grand Cherokee (that's right folks- no mini-van!) and very little leftover space! We tried to make it as easy as possible on everyone- we left at night before bedtime and had the kids dressed in pjs, we had a portable DVD player, portable snacks and drinks, coloring books and art supplies. We thought it would be a breeze, drive straight through and wake up in Florida! Not so much. We had two sets of diapers to change and with all of the coffee breaks, I needed bathroom breaks as much as the kids. I couldn't seem to fall asleep while Nick drove, and when I finally got in a few naps, it was 2am and my turn to drive! Once the kids awoke the next day, Liam and Olivia had little fights here and there, more bathroom breaks, crappy coffee and then we had to meet St. Nicholas at a  truck stop so that the kids would get their treats! :) He sent us a text you know. Olivia was very concerned that he would forget about us, seeing as we were driving cross country and all. Luckily, Nick is very creative when he's put on the spot!

Our first stop was to see family in Orlando where we invaded their home for 5 whole days. It's nice to have family in warm places! We spent one (very long, very expensive) day at Magic Kingdom, a first for all of us! If you've never been, it's an experience. I would love to go back in a few years, stay onsite at one of their resorts and spread it out a few days. If you try to get through it all, I think you spend too much time stressing out on the things you don't want to miss! We visited "Uncle" Michael in Cocoa Beach where he was working on sport fishing charter-the kids loved being on the boat, especially Liam!

We spent the latter part of the trip in Ft Myers Beach, a little place called Estero Island right outside of the main beach area. We got our condo for a steal and had a private beach all to ourselves. The weather was a little warmer (averaged mid 60's), but the sun was out and we were having snowstorms back home, so no complaints here! We were outside everyday and found more shells than we could've found at the famed Sanibel Island. Olivia and I walked the beach a few times and spent time throwing back all of the little conchs (live ones) that had washed ashore. The cold weather was causing a change in the tide that basically was washing all of the creatures from the bottom of the ocean, up to the top. It was sad seeing the beach littered with horsehoe crabs and sea critters everyday so we did our little bit to help:) Nick attempted fishing a few times but had no luck:( The best part was seeing the dolphins jumping in the bay, right in front of us! Redbox became our best friend at night (it was chilly!) and Liam had quite a few meltdowns, but overall it was a wonderful time spent with those I love:) Next time though, Nick and I think that a vacation sans kids is in order! Or, in the least, we will plan to go to Florida when they aren't experiencing their coldest Winter in history!