Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Aaaand it's September!

Life does have a way of running full speed ahead, or at least feeling like it is. I was doing so good keeping everyone updated and then I just fell off the grid again. Sorry about that – but I know the people reading this understand. So. Updates since February…

After we somehow managed to survive the colds of March, April and May, we finally got a break in June…woohoo! Honestly it wasn’t so bad, and I think we were so numb to the illnesses that occurred in January and February we just became pros and got out the cold remedy arsenal to get us through to summer. 

Owen has made slow but steady progress over the past six months. He is holding his head up much better, really starting to stiffen up his back when you hold him and a couple weeks ago he (in his sleep) rolled from his back to his belly! He’s done it a couple times since too which we are pleased as punch about. He’s getting a lot of therapy – six different 30 minute sessions a week and two more to be added in the next month or so. (Side note: his therapy is entirely funded through the Early Intervention program in New York State. I will gladly play NYS taxes knowing that some of our money is going towards programs like this for kids who need it!) His therapists are amazing too, we are so blessed with a team that just helps him the way he needs it and he really loves them (even though sometimes he cries when they make him work hard!).

Big boy got up early to see his big sister off
to school on her first day!
He has a sleep study again this week (prayers please!) so we can see where his apnea is at…which I think it is slowly subsiding as he grows bigger and gets stronger. He has had two rounds of genetic testing, all of which have come back negative so he remains a little enigma. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post (maybe not?) but I am ok with him being a little enigma. He’s just going at his own speed and only time will tell what his limitations may or may not be. He still is as sweet as pie and has a smile and giggle/laugh that will light up a room. 

My big girl started Kindergarten this week. I had two goals: 1) Get her on the bus without her crying/refusing to get on and 2) Have the bus pull away before I started sobbing so she wouldn’t see me. Thankfully we accomplished both, and although there were tears the rest of the week, we made it through and I’m hoping for a better week this week. I know it will get easier as time goes on but each day seems to bring its own adventure of sorts and I’d kind of like to go back to boring (I’m laughing in my head as I just wrote that, boring, what is that?).

This one was a tough one for me – relinquishing control not only to my daughter and her independence but to the adults and children that surround her. Did I teach her enough so that she would be successful in school? Is she going to do what is right? Or is she going to pick up bad habits from other kids?  It took me awhile to think and pray about what I wanted to tell her before she went to school the first day, this is what I got out: I know you are smart and you are going to do well in school and love learning. All I really want to hear from your teacher though is how kind, caring and helpful you are not only to her but to all your classmates. Do you understand? She responded, yes mama, and we went about our nightly routine. Now, all I can do is pray she exudes love and kindness. Well, I can also remind her every so often too J

I promise going forward I’ll try and do a better job posting updates!

Things I am grateful for today:
1) The simple things in life that bring great joy. Like Luke mis-pronouncing a name and Millie laughing so hard she gets the hiccups.
2) The kids’ neighborhood friends. They and their parents are God-sends!
3) Our access to amazing education. We are very very blessed.

Friday, February 9, 2018


Dear 2018 –
I have had enough. Seriously. I’m tired of the sickness. I’ve had enough of the flu, coughing, runny noses, vomiting, and fevers. I’ve had enough of the hospital visits, doctor visits, and Lysol-ing my entire house multiple times. I want my nice hands back. You know, the ones that aren’t dried, cracking and bleeding from washing them so much. Finally, I want to stop worrying all the time. I know as a mother this is impossible. But a little less worry would do me good.

Instead of skipping over you entirely, I’ve decided that as soon as my 6-month-old gets out of the hospital this time, I’m starting you over. Really. Sometime in the next few days, it won’t be early February for me. It will be my new January 1. And if we get sick again, I will start over again until we can move the healthy train forward. Seriously, enough. Give this mama a break.
Kind regards,

I know I was meant to be a mama. I love my kids so much I think my heart may burst. I love my husband so much for helping me produce such delights. I don’t want to rush this time because it is precious and I know it is just a blink in the larger picture. But, I really need the sickness to subside. Or just lessen even for a bit. I need a minute to breathe.

After I got hit hard with the flu a few weeks ago, I was laying in the ER at 2:30 am one night, and my mom (who graciously took me there so Matt could stay with the kids) put down the book she was reading and said, “I never told you the most important thing about being a mom. You have to take care of yourself first.” I smiled and rolled back over to sleep, all while thinking “bull****.”

Why? I never once remember my mom putting herself first. I often find myself wondering how she did it with six kids. I think back to what my mom was like when we were sick. All I can remember is her always being there. Her love. Her constant attention. I know there were times when all 6 of us were sick. I can’t believe she still has hair left. Maybe she did put herself first but was really good at hiding it? If so, I need to work on that. Because I was miserable for a few weeks there. And the best I could do was the bare minimum for my kids.

I walked to Mass at St. Louis church from the hospital on Sunday and I’ve said it before – but wow, was I meant to be there that weekend. From the readings, to the homily and then the little faith reflection in the Bulletin afterwards (see below)…it was like I had a direct line from God that day. Despite all the illness, we are all doing fine and recovering. And we will continue on, germs or no germs. It’s all good. “For He is good…He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking over the past few months how easily we take things for granted. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is our health. Which I was super grateful for feeling better after really 4 weeks of being on the down and out. But even looking at Owen and seeing him still unable to continually hold his head up at 6 months, which is something that typically comes to “normal” babies around 3-4 months. And seeing how hard he works to use his arms and grab at things.  It just came so naturally and easy to my other two kids, but he has to work…and work hard. For what he’s been through and will go through until he’s better, he really is a strong boy. And I will continue to appreciate his hard work in accomplishing each and every milestone that came so easily to his siblings.

I hope you take nothing for granted. And I hope you got your flu shot…this one is no joke.

Happy January 2nd everyone!

Things I am grateful for today:
1)    Good reports from Millie’s pre-school teacher. She loves school, and that makes me really happy she will hopefully not run screaming out of Kindergarten next year.
2)    Our house. I love being here and have a renewed appreciation every time I have to be away.

3)    Healthcare workers who choose to take care of babies and kids.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Who’s ready for 2018?

This girl!

What a year. Really, thinking back, I can’t believe that we started this year with an incredible trip to Rome…had our kids blessed by Pope Francis…I even climbed 463 steps to the top of the Duomo in Florence while 14 weeks pregnant. We really couldn’t have kicked the year off in a better way. Thank God that happened though, I don’t think I would’ve made it through our family illnesses and Owen’s predicament without it!

I didn’t want to blog recently because I didn’t want to, I will just complain a tiny bit (sorry Pope Francisand then move on. I spent the better part of November on the phone trying to get Owen scheduled for his next sleep study (this is an instrumental test to see if he is still having apnea spells while he sleeps, but without the oxygen support). I won’t get into the details but it started with me thinking I was losing my mind because of the miscommunications between offices and then ended me breaking down in tears when, AN ENTIRE MONTH LATER, he was finally put on the cancellation list.

The break down really was just culminating from a month of frustration and then finally joy because he was finally on the list. But then it happened. Through my tears, I was telling my sweet boy he was on the list, and he gave me a smile. And then another. I have been waiting so long for my sweetie to smile at me…it was a great message from God through Owen saying, “hang in there mama, it’s all good!” He is still pretty stingy with those smiles (Luke was too) but we get them more and more. And that makes everything ok!

Fast forward another week and he is officially scheduled for his sleep study. So please, prayers, good vibes, whatever you got, we will accept and God willing we can leave the oxygen and equipment in 2017 and start fresh in 2018!

Being a parent certainly has its ups and downs. Even if you are not a parent, life in general has its ups and downs. But if there is anything I’ve learned from the downs this year it is that the ups make up for them. And as low as some of the lows were this year, I wouldn’t trade them for a thing. Suffering is part of life and I will accept what is given to me and make the best of it. I remember singing Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love” to both Millie and Luke as babies. I sang it to Owen in the hospital and really, no words ring truer as a mom…

I'd go hungry; I'd go black and blue
And I'd go crawling down the avenue
No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
There's nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of this Earth for you
To make you feel my love

Merry Christmas everyone. Many blessings for a happy and very HEALTHY new year!!

Things I am grateful for this day:
1) Our health insurance
2) Hearing "I love you" from my kids. It is the BEST!
3) The song "Feliz Navidad." It just inspires so much joy and dancing in our household.