Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monkey business...

Look who I found lying in my bed reading one of my books...

Big Giant Monkey!!  All I know is, he better not tell me the ending!  

Gotta love my boys!! They know how to end the night with a good laugh.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mommy's purse...

Mommy's purse = my boy's new hiding place.

Everyday I wonder, why is my purse so heavy?  I swear I clean it out each night. (which seems a little excessive but a must!)  So, this morning I look in my purse to try and figure out what could possibly be in there and this is what I found:

* a baseball (Ethan received the game ball last night!!)
* a baseball card
* invisible ink (doesn't every mother need that?!?)
* papers from the boy's school
* random toys- matchbox car/ robot/ bunny

Seriously?? I am already caring around the extra weight a baby in my belly... is it too much to ask that they carry their own toys?  My purse has turned into the boy's mobile toy box.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Life isn't that bad!!

Every since I heard those words "your baby has Down Syndrome" and will have a heart defect that requires surgery, I have had many emotional/dark days... many days of feeling sorry for myself, and worrying about everything.   I have had days where I am confident that I can handle anything and then the very next day, I want to crawl under a rock and pretend none of this is happening.
The unknown of our future has kept me from preparing for baby Isabelle and even becoming too excited for her delivery.  But the time is coming so close to her arrival that I can't put off preparing any longer.  I have spent the last few days going through baby clothes that have been given to us and putting together Isabelle's bassinet and I am finally getting excited.  I look at these newborn clothes and wonder... are babies really this tiny??  I know mine haven't been!  Mine were walking, talking and demanding a cheeseburger right after delivery.  I showed Ryan these tiny onesies and we both just sat in amazement at the thought of our baby girl possibly fitting into these tiny outfits.  I do have to say that I was getting a little overwhelmed by all of the pink.  After having 2 boys, pink has not been in my vocabulary.  This is something that I will have to get used to.  (Don't worry... I think I am up for the challenge but it will take a little time to get used to it all!)
I think Isabelle's diagnosis was put into perspective for me last Friday, I was walking around the hotel and I noticed a mother pushing her child in a hospital bed through the lobby struggling to get out to the pool deck.  I watched in amazement as this mother was going through what looked like her normal daily routine of caring for her child.  She wasn't worried about what others thought or said.  She was walking around with a smile on her face and obviously enjoying her vacation with her family.  When I saw that her child wasn't even able to get out of a hospital bed to swim or run around the beach like all of the other children, I thought to myself..." and I am feeling sorry for myself??"  Yes, things have not turned out like I would have planned and still if I could change the outcome... I would.  But really... things could be a lot worse.  I am blessed and I will be blessed beyond measure to have Isabelle in my life!!  I know that I will continue to struggle because I am human.  I will still have my good days mixed with some bad days but as long as I keep things in perspective... I will make it!
My devotional a few days ago said:  Tomorrow is busy worrying about itself; don't get tangled up in its worry-web.  Trust Me one day at a time. 
I need to stop looking to the future because the future is unknown.  I need to focus on each day and enjoy the life that I have and know that I will grow and become stronger as I continue on this new journey that has been placed before me.  I don't have all of the answers and I never will but Isabelle is my little girl... the little girl that I was meant to have.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Isabelle update- week 29

First off, I want to say that Isabelle and I have reached a milestone!!  When I was pregnant with Aiden by week 27, I was on partial bed rest (working 1/2 days) and by week 29, I was put on full bed rest.  Isabelle has reached week 29 (actually now closer to week 30) and we are both doing well.  Although, this pregnancy has been a bit rougher on my body, we are managing and surviving.  My feet are swelling by the end of the night, I can't sleep without discomfort unless I am sleeping sitting up, and I already have the pregnant waddle.  All these combined ensure that I am looking fantastic during this pregnancy (bags under my eyes, sausage feet and a duck walk).  At least I am managing my weight very well - according to my nurse (I almost started crying... it was exactly what I needed to hear!)
On Monday, I had my regular check up with Dr. E and Isabelle is measuring right on track and her heartbeat was very strong.  She is still currently breech which I didn't have this issue with either boys so she really needs to switch positions.  I don't really like any of the options for delivery of a breech baby.
Yesterday, we had our Pediatric cardiologist (Dr. M.) appointment in Pensacola.  We received some very encouraging news.  Isabelle does still have the AV Canal defect however; all valves on each side are balanced and the atrium (the large chamber at the bottom of the heart) is a little bigger and very strong which will actually help compensate and help her heart pump strong when she is born until she can have the surgery.  All of the vessels around the heart are also very strong.  This is all great news since these things will help her heart function to the best of its ability until she is scheduled for surgery.  Our main concern after birth is to make sure she is eating enough to gain the amount of weight she needs prior to the surgery.  Her body will need to be as strong as possible. 
I am nervous about the feeding because we were told that she could turn a little blue around the mouth from loss of air while sucking.  I am a pretty laid back mother (or I have been with my boys) so hopefully I can continue this with Isabelle and not freak out if/when this happens. 
Dr. M. is still very confident with me delivering at the Sacred Heart in SanDestin.  After our next appointment with her (week 35) she will then contact the hospital to let them know what to expect and speak directly with the Pediatricians as well as the echo tech.  After Isabelle is born, the echo tech will send all images and results to Dr. M. and be in constant contact in case anything arises.  This information did help ease our minds as we were wavering about our decision to deliver in SanDestin or Pensacola.  My worst fear is that Isabelle would have to be transported to Pensacola and we would then be separated.  We will have to continue to pray for the delivery and birth so that this hopefully will not happen.
Isabelle has come through so much already with this pregnancy.  It seems like with each appointment we continue to receive good news and we are so thankful and blessed.
* The cyst around her neck initially found during our 16th week ultrasound is no longer visible.
* Her chin is no longer showing smaller than it should.
* The fluid around her heart and abdomen have both decreased significantly and are almost invisible.
* Her bowels that were initially showing bright on her ultrasounds are now back to normal and look to be functioning properly.
Our Isabelle is a fighter and she is already showing us just how strong she is!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our sleepy boys...

Last night we allowed the boys to stay up a bit longer since they are now on spring break.  We thought it had gotten really quiet so we went out in the living room to check on them and this is what we found...

Ethan was sleeping right outside our bedroom door with his watch dog Brodie
 Aiden swears he was just blinking.  He actually had not fallen asleep.
I promise the boys do actually have beds!! 

Aiden's officially a baseball player!

Aiden had his first Pee Wee baseball game last Thursday and he did great!!  He started off at first base and then played short stop.  We noticed while playing first base, he ended up talking to the other team's coach more than focusing on the game.  He is our little social butterfly!  He did pretty well with hitting although when he was tired of running, he would basically walk to the next base.  Oh well... he is learning.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baby Shower... EEK!!

I have my baby shower coming up soon and I am so excited but also very nervous.  I know that sounds crazy to most people because any type of event where people come together and open presents should be so exciting. Right??   I am afraid I am going to be an emotional wreck and no one will really understand why.  I think this shower solidifies the fact that this is real and Isabelle will be arriving soon.  You would think my growing belly and achy body would be enough to remind me that this is all real but sometimes... not so much.
After we had Aiden, we slowly started getting rid of all our baby items so now we are left with only the crib.  I have yet to really get her room, clothes or baby items prepared and I know that time is passing by very quickly.  So we are very grateful!!
My feelings are hard to explain... I can't even grasp them at times myself.  I am so excited to meet Isabelle... this little life that has been growing inside me but at the same time, I am so scared.  Scared like I have never been before.  I still have my moments when I just don't want to think about it or even look at baby stuff.  This doesn't mean that I do not want her in our family... it is actually quite the opposite.  It is just sometimes I am not ready to face what our future holds.  I often wonder if I am strong enough.  I know that God won't give me more than I can handle but is he really sure about all of this??  I think he knows me better than I know myself so I am sure he will show me in time everything I need to be the best Mommy I can be for Isabelle. 

I mentioned this blanket in my last post... and I had to show it off.
 It is beautiful and it was made especially for Isabelle with lots of prayer.  I actually slept with it last night and it was one of the best nights sleep that I have gotten in a very long time.  Ryan probably thought I was a bit crazy but oh well... it gave me comfort after a very draining day.  Who knows... I might sleep with it again tonight and every night until she is born.

Basket case...

Yesterday after picking the boys up from daycare, I was a complete basket case.  Luckily I made it out the door and to the car before actually breaking down.  Although by the time we all got to the car, both Ethan and I were in tears.
Lately, it seems like every time we pick the boys up, I have to hear about these few boys that are picking on Ethan.   It is beginning to get hard to hear each day especially when you don't see any results happening to resolve the issues.  (Don't worry... Daddy is picking them up today and he will have a talk to help resolve the issue).  I have been on the emotional side lately and I knew I would not be able to articulate what needed to be said at that moment so I went home (after church) and cried to Ryan and now he will take care of it. 
It breaks my heart to know that I am sending my child somewhere and he is picked on each day.  He is 7 years old and he doesn't understand why some kids are just mean and they don't want to be his friend.  I have no idea how to explain something like that to him. 
Ethan and I cried all the way to church and that should have been a sign that we should have just headed on home.  But no... the boys really wanted to go to church and I already felt like a horrible mother at the time so off we went.  By the time we parked the car, I thought I had composed myself enough to get the boys in for their dinner but that didn't happen.  I got them to the back and asked someone to help them with dinner so I could excuse myself.  Thankfully, some friends stopped me and just allowed me to cry it out.  I think it was a combination of Ethan's situation and Isabelle- all wrapped up in one.  I was just overwhelmed with life. 
Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you just aren't ready for it and that is how I am feeling right about now. 
Although, my night did end on a good note.  My sister in law's mother (did you get that???), whom I have known for years, gave me a gift last night.  She made Isabelle the most beautiful blanket and said she prayed for her all while making it (which makes the blanket that much more special).  Of course... that brought on more tears but this time they were happy tears.  I have to admit that I slept with the blanket last night (I thought I would break it in for Isabelle) and I had a wonderful night sleep.
Today was a new day and we all started fresh.  I said a little prayer for Ethan as I dropped him off and then a prayer for me that I would make it through the day.  Next, I will be saying a pray for Ryan so he doesn't lose his temper when he discusses the issues Ethan is having at daycare. 
Oh the joys of parenthood!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Orlando- Part 2

The boys finally made a decision to go to Animal Kingdom on Sunday.  We got a late start due to zero sleeping on Saturday night... at least for Mommy and Daddy.   I spoke a little too soon about Ethan's fever breaking on Saturday night.  It actually got worse during the night but he did seem to start feeling better by Sunday morning. 
Before we left the hotel, we had to go to the lake nearby and visit with the ducks.  Papa had taken Ethan on Saturday morning and Ethan loved it and needed to show Aiden.

We got to the park and immediately rented me a wheelchair.  I was a little self conscious on Saturday but by Sunday, I could have cared less what others thought about me strolling around in a wheelchair.  There is absolutely no way I would have been able to walk the entire park without being in major pain by the end of the day.
Animal Kingdom wasn't near as busy as Disney World so we were able to ride a few more rides and enjoy the sights without having to push our way through the crowds of people. Aiden (my little 5 year old) insisted on riding Mt. Everest... one of their huge roller coaster.

I was so jealous that I couldn't ride this roller coaster with him.  Aiden definitely takes after me with his love for roller coasters and couldn't wait until he was tall enough to actually get to ride them.  Papa made me get on my first roller coaster at an early age and I have loved them ever since.  Ethan decided that he wanted to wait until he was a bit older so he and I rode a dinosaur ride (similar to Dumbo) and then shared so yummy popcorn.  He also enjoyed taking a spin in the wheelchair.  I didn't think it was appropriate for me to ask my 7 year old to push me around the park (although he did offer). 

Aiden and Ethan getting cooled off...

We visited the petting zoo and got to see all sorts of animals so the boys had a blast.  We decided to call it a day and head out for some yummy dinner at Maggianos.  Ryan and I love this restaurant and when we are in Atlanta or Orlando we make sure to schedule a visit.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel so the boys could swim in the pool and then back to the room to call it a night. 
Thankfully, Aiden didn't catch Ethan's cold this weekend although he did have the worst case of eczema that we had ever seen on Sunday evening.  After swimming in the pool and by the time we got back to the room, his legs and arms were out of control.  He was miserable and we only had a limited supply of his medication.  I thought I had packed enough medication to last 2 weeks but of course, I forgot some of his eczema cream at the house.  He did survive and we are now beginning to get his legs back under control.  I am still not sure what caused the major breakout but at least he isn't miserable anymore.

Isabelle update- 28 1/2 weeks

Isabelle- 28 1/2 weeks.  This is a close up of her face.  I am loving her chubby cheeks!

Today, we had our high risk appointment for Isabelle.  We got some great news which was wonderful!! We had a new doctor today and we loved him.  He was very personable and went through everything before we left.  During our previous appointments, the doctor had noticed fluid around her heart and in her abdomen.  Today, the fluid in both areas had decreased tremendously.  This is a great sign because if the fluid didn't decrease or had actually become larger then it could mean a sign that Isabelle is going into heart failure.  We are thankfully that the fluid seems to be decreasing with each visit.  There was also signs from previous ultrasounds that her bowels were not developing properly and showed brighter on the ultrasounds than her other organs.  This too has gotten better.  He could no longer see any signs that her bowels were not developing or functioning correctly.  Our baby girl is a fighter!!
Isabelle is right on track with her weight... weighing in at 2lbs.  I am hoping she doesn't try and follow in both her big brother's footsteps and start gaining a tremendous about of weight before birth.  Ethan was ready for a steak as soon as he came into the world.  He debuted at 9lbs. 11 ozs.  Aiden was a preemie and weighed in at 7lbs. 1oz.  The doctor said he would have been over 11lbs. had he been born at full term.  No thanks!!
Isabelle is currently breech but has plenty of time to change positions before birth.  Let's hope that her little stubborn streak doesn't kick in and she decides to remain in that position.
We have a follow up with Dr. E on Monday for my regular check up and then we go to Pensacola for our Pediatric Cardiology apointment next Wednesday. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Orlando- Part 1

We made it to Orlando in record time.  I actually was able to make it all the way to Tallahassee before the car sickness set in and I had to take over driving.  We were in Orlando by 7:30 and ready to eat some dinner with Nana and Papa.  It was so nice to get away and start to relax at bit.  It is amazing how just leaving town can give you that refreshing that you so desperately need sometimes. 
Dinner took a while since we decided to pick a weekend that spring break started and everyone is down in Orlando for a bit of fun and relaxation.  Once we were back at the hotel, the boys convinced Papa to take them for a swim.  Vacation is the only time when they would ever be allowed to go swimming at 10:30 pm.  Then they stayed up watching a movie until well after midnight.  This is the result of a late night partying...

I couldn't even wake him by bribing him with Mickey Mouse!  He was wiped out.  Mommy on the other hand, had been wide awake most of the night thanks to Daddy.  Ryan has night terrors/nightmares sometimes and will kick and scream until I wake him up.  Last night, he started to scream but I was able to catch him before he got going but then he was running from something all night long.  I was surprised to hear his legs weren't sore in the morning.  I threatened to take him to a sleep study center if this behavior continues. 
Once we were all up and had eaten breakfast we headed to Disney World.  We decided to rent a wheelchair for me to use instead of walking through the park.  I have been so good and trying not to over due it with the pre-term labor that we didn't want to push our luck and end up having Mickey Mouse deliver Isabelle.  It worked out really well once I got over being self conscious initially.
The boys also enjoyed riding around...
I think Ryan got his exercise because I am definitely not the lightest I have ever been and majority of the time, I had one of the boys in my lap so they could rest their legs.
During the day, Ethan began to not feel well.  He was running a fever and began to take a turn for the worse.  We thought he was just getting a little cold but this was really kicking his tail.  We knew that it was time to get some lunch and get back to the hotel for some much needed rest.
Aiden got a piggy back ride from Papa and ended up falling asleep leaving the park...
and Ethan immediately crashed as soon as he got into the car.  He slept for a few hours which he needed.  I think he temperature has finally broke. 
Poor thing was wiped out!!
Tomorrow, Nana and Papa leave to head back home and we are going to head to one more park.  Hopefully both boys will be healthy enough to enjoy it(especially since we already paid for the 2nd day)!  They can't decide if they want to go to Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.  Right now, we are heading to Animal Kingdom but we will have to wait and see if we actually end up there.  They have changed their minds about 5 times so far.
Below are a few more pictures from our day at Disney.  These were all taken with my phone.  I am blaming "pregnancy brain" again for not remembering to charge my camera before leaving.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cry baby...

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wanted to sit down and have a good cry?? Let it all out... hold nothing back??  Today was one of those days.  I felt I was on the verge of crying at any given moment and didn't really need a specific reason.  At this point, I think I can safely blame this on the pregnancy and the extra hormones running through my system but someone just had to give me one reason- good or bad- to let it all out and I am sure it wouldn't have been pretty.   
My day started off a little shaky.  I just couldn't get it together this morning. (nothing new there)  I would have much rather stayed in bed than get up and go to work today (but I made it through the work day with zero tears).  Then I get home from work and start getting things ready for a quick get-a-way weekend to Disney World.  I think I am doing great and have things so organized and all of a sudden... Ryan's phone starts buzzing like crazy with texts.  The next thing I know... he is telling me that he hopes the boys and I enjoy our trip to Orlando.  What?!?  What just happened???  That was enough to put this pregnant lady over the edge.  I almost sat down right then and had my cry baby temper tantrum.  Thankfully, after about 30 minutes of everyone working together, he and his Supervisors figured out a new game plan for coverage over the weekend and Ryan is back on for Disney World.  I don't think I am ready to drive to Orlando by myself with the boys being almost 7 months pregnant.  Plus, this will be out last family trip before baby Isabelle arrives and I want this to be extra special for the boys.  They are so excited and it wouldn't be the same without Ryan.  So we are keeping our fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly from this point forward and we all have a relaxing time!
Right when we get back from our little trip we jump right back into doctor's appointments for Isabelle.  Continue to pray for Isabelle's health and stress free appointments! 
We are off to see Mickey!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oh Aiden

This afternoon I got a call from Aiden's daycare that he had gotten sick and we needed to pick him up.  This is nothing new with Aiden so I asked the normal questions... had he just eaten?  Was he coughing at the time? 
Aiden has a horrible gag reflex which makes him throw up and then he'll be fine just a few minutes later.  This makes it very difficult to tell when he is actually sick or just his allergies or gag reflex acting up. 
So, Ryan was able to leave work and go pick him up and I told him to find out what happened so we might be able to pin point the cause of his latest episode.
About 45 minutes later, I get a call at work from Aiden.  He sounded just fine so I asked him what happened at school to make him get sick.  He said " Mommy, I smelt the dirt and I got sick!"  He what?!?  He finally explained in a little more detail that his friend had dropped a piece of mac and cheese on the floor and got dirt on it and when he looked at it and smelt it, he threw up.  Seriously?!?
These types of things were happening so often that we actually talked to his allergist about it at his last appointment.  All he could tell us was that he would have to grow out of it.  I sure hope he out grows this before his gets too much older. Could you imagine him on a date and he smells something funny and gets sick??  That might be a little difficult to explain.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Ryan sent me this picture while I was at work today...
I actually laughed out loud.
Ethan normally strips down to his boxer shorts as soon as he enters the house so this is nothing new for him.  Aiden on the other hand, will walk around the house for hours with his shoes still on.  (I think he gets a bit distracted and forgets he is at home and can relax.)
So... they are washing the dishes and decided that they needed to remove their clothes so they didn't get them wet.  I am just happy they are washing the dishes!!  Maybe they will even remember to put their clothes in the dirty clothes hamper.  Keeping my fingers crossed!  I wonder what other chores they might have done by the time I get home from work?  A Mommy can dream, right?!?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Leg cramps... Really?!?

Another thing I forgot about with pregnancy... leg cramps!  Last night, I tried to roll over (which tends to take a lot of effort these days) and I woke up with so much pain in my calf muscle that I started screaming and crying for "Help".  I am sure my husband was very happy to be woken up to me screaming.  I picture this going through his mind...  Honey, it's time!!!
Although it would be awfully early for me to go into labor, that is probably what he was thinking when I was screaming "Ouch and followed by Help me!!"  I have to say, that I have never seen him jump up that fast in our 8 years of marriage.  I was impressed.  (I will have to keep this little bit of knowledge tucked in my brain for later use.) Ryan, my hero, came to my rescue and was able to massage and stretch my leg out enough for the pain to subside.  This must mean that I need to drink more water and/or eat some bananas.  That will help, right?? I will get right on that if it means I won't have to feel that pain again!  Oh the many joys of pregnancy.  I think I have blocked some of these wonderful side effects of pregnancy out of my mind since it has been quite while since I have been pregnant.

*Ryan did mention later on that he was amazed at how fast I fell back asleep after all the commotion.  (That leg cramp wore me out! Sleep is precious these days and definitely not easy to come by)  Meanwhile, he was wide awake from all the adrenaline pumping through him.  Poor guy!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Aiden's allergies are acting up...

The allergy season is now in full swing around here.  Aiden's newest best friend again is...
 his inhaler.  This one along with one other one has been a life saver for him the past few days.  He now has a pretty bad cough and tonight he told me he was having trouble breathing.  Thankfully, I made a call in to the doctor this morning to get some refills.  We are running low and now is not the time to run out of these things.  He is such a big boy when it is medicine time.  He has never complained or fought us.  He knows exactly what he needs to do and often times he even has to remind me that he needs his medicine.  I am blaming the pregnancy for all of my forgetfulness lately (it is getting pretty bad). 
Hopefully this cough won't turn into anything more and we can make it through this season without a visit to the doctor.

On a side note:  Aiden mooned his Daddy last night!!  I couldn't help but laugh and after I was finished being completely immature, I turned back into the Mommy and explained that we do not do this in front of others.  I wonder where he learned that from?!?