Monday, December 14, 2009


It was a horrible disaster. She woke up at midnight wet and wouldn't go back to sleep in her bed.  We brought her in with us where she kept us awake until 3a.m. until I couldn't take it anymore so I put her back in her room and she screamed until 4 a.m.  She did wake up cheery at 7 a.m. for school though. So, I guess that's a plus.  Mama, on the other hand, is dead tired and there are three bathrooms that need her attention after Bubba goes down for his nap. 

Good times!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I've SO got this!

I’m going to admit…. I am a little nervous tonight. A few nights ago, Ellie forgot to put a pull-up on before bed. She woke up a mess, but it was no big deal. I threw everything in the wash and just told her “No pressure, someday you’ll be big enough, blah blah blah.” WELL, now she wants a big girl bed. We’ve been talking about it for a while, but Hubs and I have yet to go out and buy one. She’s in a toddler bed from IKEA; it’s long enough for her. The problem there is that I think it’s getting tired of holding my fat ass while we do the whole bed time routine.

When I last spoke with the pediatrician regarding her potty training, she reassured me it was no big deal that she was still in a pull-up at night. She said it would be easier for us and eventually she would just stop wetting overnight. I’m totally going to embarrassment myself here (Chris too, sorry babe), but as far as we remember we both wet the bed at night until we were like seven! So, this is a battle I just haven’t felt ready to take on. Ready or not, Magoo has decided she is ready because she wants her big girl bed, with princess sheets no less!

Tonight at bed time she said she didn’t want a pull up. I put a pad under her, ya know, the ones you steal from the hospital when you are there giving birth, and gave her an extra blanket to sleep with hoping to make clean up tomorrow easier if things don’t go as she planned. She was so calm about it though, like she really thought it through. She just said “if I wake up I’ll go to the bathroom because I have my nightlight.” Then she gave me this look like she wanted to say, “Duh, Mom, I’ve SO got this!” OKAY!! Not that I think tonight will be a success, though for her sake I hope it is because she was just so sure of herself tonight… but I know that it can’t be THIS easy. I am the sucker that though potty training was going to be easy in the first place and we all know how wrong I was about that one!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This Thanksgiving is a holiday of firsts. It was our first Thanksgiving away from extended family. It is the first Thanksgiving that I cooked the entire meal all by myself. It is our first Thanksgiving as a family of four, and it will also be our last!

This morning I think we all woke up a little bummed that we didn’t spend the holidays with our family in New England. Last night, we even considered a surprise early morning drive up. I’m glad we stuck with our decision to celebrate Thanksgiving here at home. It is shaping up to be a truly wonderful day.

We decided to start some new traditions this year. We woke up this morning, had breakfast, and loaded the family in the car. We headed into the city for the parade. We only caught the tail end of it, but it was worth it. Ellie was so excited to see the floats, marching bands and best of all, Santa! When it was over, I cried. It was just a magical moment and knowing I’m providing memories like that for my kids warms my heart. (Chris on the other hand thought I was crazy and I just blamed it on pregnancy hormones.)

I am thankful for my children, my wonderful husband, the fabulous family and friends we have. I am thankful my husband has a job he enjoys and he works in a supportive environment that appreciates family and friends. I am thankful that his employment affords for me to stay home with our children, no matter how much we have to sacrifice to make that happen. I am thankful for every facet of my life, because when I was a child I thought it could only be a dream.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Random Thursday Update

I know this blog is a million shades of boring. I'm not a writer, never was, never will be. I just like that I can write down what we've been up to so family back in NE feels at least a little more connected to the kids. I know they are still cursing us for moving them away.

Charlie had a dermatology appointment today because his diaper rash came back. The dermatologist said that everything looks good and he doubts Charlie ever had a staph infection. I'm annoyed by this mostly because I had to throw away a bunch of diapers that run about $18-$22 each just to be on the safe side. I was majorly disappointed when the rash came back after tossing a small fortune. By what I described, because of course it was 99% cleared up by the time we got in to see him, he said it was most likely yeast and nothing to be concerned about. He did give us an Rx diaper cream to use if it does come back again. He was really nice.

Ellie has been a trip. She's been talking a lot about babies and being pregnant lately. We started putting up the Christmas decorations and she has a small nativity scene on her night stand. She keeps telling me that her baby isn't named Jesus.... imagine if we named the kid Jesus? Goodness!! On the flip side of all the cuteness is a little girl I want to send away on vacation for a while. She just loves to say “No” and has trouble listening when there is something else she’d rather be doing. Last night she went to bed without stories. She screamed her head off for five minutes before she fell asleep. She woke up at 5 a.m. asking for stories. I gave her Gramma’s magic sleepy blanket (a random blanket my MIL gave her) and she went right back to bed. It worked like a charm and I only wish Chris had thought of this idea earlier!

Still no decisions in the baby name department. I do know that after the power cleaning last weekend I have absolutely zero energy, which makes me a little sad because I feel like I'm ignoring Ellie just a wee bit! It seriously takes me all damn day just to get the kitchen cleaned. It’s in a constant state of mess, which I why I have a hard time enjoying cleaning in the first place. Why doesn’t anything ever just STAY clean?

My doctor called me. My lab work came back negative so I’m fine. The thyroid ultrasound did show a nodule, but it’s only 3 mm and they don’t worry until it’s over 1cm. I go back in a year to get it checked again. They’ll just continue to keep an eye on it. Chris had his yearly check up too. He has to go for a sleep study and still has to get lab work done. Why does everything go downhill after you turn 30… actually Chris isn’t even 30 yet!! I have no idea what I’m going to do for his b-day. Any ideas? I doubt he ever looks at this so you can leave a comment if you have a good one.

We are going on a DATE Saturday night!! This will be our first date out of the house since Valentine’s day when my in laws where here and stayed with the kids so we could get a drink and catch a movie. We are hitting up the movies again to go see “New Moon.” I am beyond excited.

Monday, November 16, 2009

If you want to feel like you're the best parent on earth... attend a flu clinic.

Bubba, Magoo and I got our H1N1 shots today. The clinic was from 4-8pm. We got there at 3:45 and by 7 we were vaccinated. Nothing like standing in line for three hours with a bunch of strangers to make you feel REALLY good about your parenting skills. Now, I’m not usually one to judge, but it was just plain crazy. There was one Mom who wasn’t watching her son as he took their friend’s stroller and ran-a-muck with it all through the line and the PARKING LOT, where there were many MANY moving vehicles. Then there was the lovely woman behind us who hit her kid a few times and repeatedly told him she was going to “beat his a$$,” “make his a$$ warm,” oh and let’s not forget the ever charming “I am going to beat your f***ing a$$.” She was quite charming. I gather she’s from Camden. At one point her son accused Ellie of kicking him… Ellie… my scaredy cat, gentle, couldn’t hurt a fly unless it’s her brother, Ellie. All in all, they were pretty ridiculous. My last, but certainly not least, favorite parent was the guy who shook his daughter over in the corner and SCREAMED at her “stop crying, you’re scaring all the other kids.” Really? Because I’m pretty sure he was scarier to them than her crying. Chris and I certainly left there feeling like we deserved awards for Mom and Dad of the year.

I was supposed to go out with my preschool Mom’s tonight. By the time we left we were all tired, cold and cranky from standing outside for three hours. The kids were starving so we took them to Friendly’s. I could have met up with the girls when I got home. After all, they did move it back to 7pm and changed the venue to a restaurant in town…but all I could think about at that point was going to bed. After all, I would rather spend a nice night out with my hubby and kids more than anyone else.

On the kid’s front, they are both doing well. Ellie is gaining weight and her cardiologist was really happy with her progress. Her sats hung out at 98% while we were there last week. Her echo showed that her heart function is great and the fenestration closure is holding up nicely. We go back in 6 months. He even said he thought it was about time we got her g-tube out, since we haven’t used it since February and it’s more of a nuisance anyway. We have a GI appointment on the 30th, so hopefully we can talk about it then and get a plan in place.

Charlie is just a perfect almost 11 month old. I can’t believe he’s going to be a year old in a month. It’s crazy. I feel like he was just born yesterday! His latest bag of tricks include: blowing kisses, waving, giving high fives, doing “so big” (which is his favorite), and saying “Yay.” He really understands so much too. I can ask him to come over to me and he does. I ask him where his binky is and he finds it. It’s just unbelievable the amount of “stuff” that gets processed through that brain of his! He won’t be walking by his first b-day. He will walk with his push toy and cruise around on the furniture, but shows no more interest than that.

#3 is doing well. I’m going in every two weeks now. He’s insanely active just like his big brother was. He is still nameless. We currently are considering: Cooper Scott Luis (Coop), Brycen Christopher (Bryce), Brody Scott Luis, Nathaniel Scott Luis (Nate or Than) and Maxwell Scott Luis (Max). Any thoughts or ideas? The middle name will most likely be Scott Luis, but we really liked the way Brycen sounded with Christopher… so it could go either way. I just have a feeling this kid is going to come home from the hospital without a name.

I had a serious case of nesting this weekend. #3’s clothes are washed and put away. I scrubbed the house down top to bottom and went through all the rooms. We put all the toys downstairs and rearranged Ellie’s room. We also rearranged the boy’s room. It looked a little weird the way we had both cribs set up before, but now it looks perfect. Once we buy some crib bedding and get that up I’ll take pictures and post some. This place has never been so clean!

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Very Own Food Blog

I just started a new food blog to keep track of all of my recipes and stuff like that. If you're curious here is the link to it: Powdered Sugar!!

Charlie 10 month update!

Charlie turned 10 months this week. He is starting to cruise a little.  He points and when he does Chris and I think he may be saying "dat" but who the hell knows.  He got his first buzz cut, thanks to Daddy. He doesn't look like a little baby anymore. So sad!

He has come down with a virus and a staph infection. He's on an antibiotic, Motrin & Tylenol.  Since starting the antibiotic his rash/staph infection has gotten a bit better.  His fever is pretty much gone today. He got one dose of Motrin at breakfast and has been free of any fever/pain meds since then. 

The nights have been the tough part.  He only sleeps for a couple of hours at most and won't fall asleep again unless I'm holding him up against my chest.  Chris has been super supportive often taking the night cries without me having to elbow him despite working late the last couple of nights.  Charlie went down for his afternoon nap without much of a fight. Hopefully, tonight will be better.

Charlie is starting to smile and eat again so that's a good sign.  Dr. Sarah said we should see a big difference in him by the end of the weekend.  I think he's about 75% of the way back.

Amazingly, Ellie has remained fever/virus free.  Somehow Charlie is the only one in the house that got it (for now!). Here are some pictures from a recent park playdate and Ellie with the life size version of herself she made at school!

Charlie is a huge fan of the swing.

Ellie & her new buddy Audrey.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A (mostly) Charlie Update

Charlie had his 9 (1/2) month appointment today. We had it late because he was supposed to get his flu booster. They were out and I was rather annoyed. Oh well. Anyway, he weighed in at 20 pounds 13 ounces and was 28 1/2 inches long. Dr. Sarah was really impressed with how well he is doing and was happy to hear that we got to drop the Urology specialist!

Charlie is pulling himself up on anything and everything. He doesn't really "cruise" yet though... which I'm okay with because I feel like it is delaying any random trips to the ER. He crawled up the two steps my MIL has at her house last weekend. That was cute to see because we don't have any stairs at our house. (Can I get a hell yeah to having a ranch when you have small kids running around!) He has 7 teeth with #8 well on its way to popping through. His first word was "Dada" and second "Mama" I swear he sometimes says "Hi" and "Ellie" but that would make him a boy genius so I guess it's all in my head. Dr. Sarah did say that she doesn't think he'll be an early walker, but could be an early talker since he can already distinguish between Mama and Dada. I guess his ability to do that so soon makes him super special :) I was happy to hear that because I have been setting myself up for him to not be that great a talker because second kids typically aren't when they have older siblings to speak for them (or so I've been told).

He is completely on table food and is transitioning well to milk. We'll have him transitioned off the bottle and completely on milk by 11 months. The ped suggested we do it this way with #3 coming so close after Charlie's 1st b-day. His iron level was through the roof so there were no worries on her end about going all milk so early. Did I mention meatballs are like his favorite meal of all time :)

#3 is doing great. He's completely healthy and is getting to be a little porker. We can feel him outside my belly now which is fun for Ellie and Chris. I have an appointment in a week or two for a regular OB visit. Nothing exciting going on here (finally!). Here's a 24 week belly picture:

Ellie is beyond adorable and continues to love school. We just got back from our annual trip to Maine and she was quite the dare devil. It was the first time she actually went on rides at the fair and she was the most excited for the Ferris Wheel... which is super sized and gives me heart palpitations just looking at it. Yeah... Ellie was bending over the edge looking DOWN!! Who knew she had that in her?

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Our trip to D.C. and a few random kid pics

We really had a great time in D.C. Chris attended the Inc. 500/5000 conference and awards gala with the President and VP of the company he works for. I was lucky to get an invite to tag along. We stayed across the street at the Marriott and I spent a lot of time in the comfy bed and my PJ's! I spent the mornings attending entrepreneur sessions and the afternoons watching my soaps in bed. It was pure bliss. I missed the kids a lot, but it was nice to only have to worry about myself. It took a couple of days to adjust once we got there and then another couple of days to readjust once we got back!!

The black-tie gala was great. I only wish I could have drank with a million open bar events and a champagne reception before the awards gala. It's funny how much you miss something only because you can't do it! I'm not much of a drinker usually!

I had one epiphany about entrepreneurs... some are just arrogant a-holes while others just consider their good fortune a stroke of luck, even though they possess the same charisma and business sense the a-holes have... the second type are far more likable. Here are some random pictures from our trip:

Outside the Gaylord National (Conference Headquarters)

Inside the Gaylord Atrium where there are shops and restaurants

Charlie at the doctor's before we left.

Charlie enjoying our new stroller.

Ellie at the park after school.

Charlie enjoying a cracker.

Lunch at the park!


The best stroller ever invented. EVER!

Lounging around during our trip through Target.

Oh, we're back to our vacation... this is where we had lunch.

The pier.

Oh and there is the Mercedes that we didn't win!

Special thanks to Gramma and Papa for coming to stay with the kids. They had a great time and Chris and I could only enjoy ourselves knowing that the kids could care less that we were gone!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A few random updates

Magoo is doing fabulous on the potty... no accidents in about a week now. We are through all of her surprises and she's still keeping up with it so I'm happy. She is thoroughly enjoying school.

Bubba is standing up on things now. It's really cute. He falls sometimes, but most of the time it doesn't even phase him. He is cutting another bottom tooth. He had his LAST Urology appointment today. He right kidney is perfect and his left kidney is a little large, but nothing the doctor is concerned about. No more visits with them unless he gets a urinary tract infection or something. Woo hoo!

Hubby and I are leaving for Washington D.C. in a few hours. The kids are staying here with my wonderful in-laws for the next few days. I have never left them for more than a night so I'm nervous... not nervous exactly... I guess I can't explain it. I know they will have a ton of fun with the grandparents and I know the 'rents will take great care of them. It's just going to be weird being without them for so long.

Why D.C. you are wondering? Well, the company Chris is working for has made it on the Inc. 500/5000 list. FIG placed #574 on the list and is #8 in the education industry! It's a wonderful honor and they are going to treat us like rock stars while we're there for the conference and awards gala... I am certainly looking forward to a few nights of uninterrupted sleep and not having to wake up at any specific time, but I'm REALLY excited for the crab bake and black tie awards gala. Of course they are having a champagne reception and I'm totally pregnant... but whatever. Maybe they'll make the list again next year and then I can enjoy myself a little bit too much :)

I am aware that I have been seriously lacking in the pictures department. I'll do better when I'm back from vacation!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The way to a little girl's heart

Magoo has been doing great at school. As soon as she gets home she morphs into her evil twin... but I'd much rather her act like that here than at school. Yesterday while she was at school, Bubba and I took a trip to Walmart. It's the cheapest place around here to get apple juice. I was very excited to find a light up Cinderella princess dress and coat that Ellie can use on Halloween, on clearance no less! Along with that I got her a Cinderella tiara, princess undies, and a Cinderella pajama set.

So what does a mother do with all things Cinderella? Hold them over their three-and-a-half year-old's head of course. I'm being mean. I'm using them as surprises to get her to stay dry all day. I showed her every item and with each new one I took out of the bag her squeals of delight became louder... then I broke the news to her that she couldn't get them until she stayed dry all day, and that she could only get them one at a time. You should have seen her face. It was like the end of the world!

I'll let you know if it works!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

She was ready...

She was ready... Last night she picked out her "first day of school" outfit and left it in the bathroom so she could get up and change all by herself.

She was ready... She slept in her bed all night (first time since our trip to CHB), woke up this morning, and got dressed and ready for school.

She was ready... We got in the car and she clapped the entire way to school saying how excited she was for school today.

She was ready... At 8:45 a.m. she lined up outside of her classroom and barely took the time to yell "bye" to me over her shoulder before rushing into her school.

I was not... As soon as we turned onto our street I burst into tears.

Happy first day of preschool Curly Cue Magoo... Mommy is so proud of you!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Serious Dilemma!!

I have a serious dilemma... and for once it has nothing to do with Ellie's heart or her health (can I get an Amen?) I am sitting here catching up on all-things-internet when I realize that my blog is The Many Adventures of Bubba & Magoo... not "Bubba, Magoo... and whatever else children end up in our family. So what do I do? Do I start a new one? Or just hope #3 never notices that he was left out?

p.s. Magoo is still going strong. Still PINK. She ran around the house today while playing outside with Chris and didn't even get out of breath!! Gotta love it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our princess is PINK!

When we were pregnant for Ellie I remember them preparing us for how "blue" our baby would be. Honestly, when she was born she was rosy pink and didn't look like she had a thing wrong with her. That quickly came to an end and I can't remember a time when Ellie did not have purple lips, finger tips, and toes... wellllllll NOT anymore!! Our girl is PINK, bright beautiful PINK, head to toe!! It's amazing really. I'll post a picture I took of them today when we get back to Jersey.

We went in Thursday for our pre-cath tests. She did great and only freaked out about the blood draw, which Chris bravely handled while I sat in the waiting room with Charlie. Friday we were first case for the cath. They had trouble gaining access through her right femoral artery (I think that's what it's called, but I know the abbreviation is RFA, LOL). They entered through her left and had success. Her Fontan pressures remained low with a balloon sealing up her fenestration so they went ahead and put "the device" (which is how they all refer to it) in the stent and closed up the fenestration. They also ballooned her left pulmonary artery, which has a stent in it from a previous cath because of narrowing. She required no coiling of collaterals and the doctors were happy there was no leakage or regurgitation in any of her valves... which is pretty significant. Most HLHS kids of a little of both I guess?

It took a little while for them to get her on the vent and then gain access through her groin, but once they did it only took an hour and a half. I think in total we were away from her for less than four hours. When we got the call to go back she was just waking up and very agitated. The next hour and a half were the hardest because she was still pretty doped up and hard to reason with. She wasn't easy to calm and was completely freaked out by having IV's in both of her hands. She just kept waving them in front of her face and screaming. On top of that we had a know-it-all nurse that came in and told me basically that I was over stimulating my child. I know she was just trying to help, but her tone of voice really pissed me off! We know Ellie. TV calms her... and guess what? We were right! All it took was some Dora The Explorer and she was quiet and calm. LOL At this point her oxygen saturation was 100%, which is quite insane and still hard to believe. She never dips below 95!! Before the fenestration closing she was 73-78. Of course the day we went in for testing she was 85... but that is SO not the norm for her!

We were discharged this morning a little after 8 a.m. She has been doing so well. She already seems to have more energy and breath. It's truly amazing. We have to keep telling her to lie down and relax a bit so she doesn't make the incision site bleed. I think the only challenge we have left is changing the band-aids. Ellie doesn't have many fears considering how much she has been to the doctors and in and out of hospitals, but tape and band-aids are always an issue. She still has her lead stickers on! We told her she could take them off when she's ready. The groin band-aids need to be changed every morning for the next three days though so those she really doesn't have a choice about.

We have had a minor set back in the potty area because she doesn't want anyone to touch her. She thinks everyone is going after her band-aids. When she first got out they had clear medical tape over gauze covering the two incision sites. She threw up after having a pop and a half. When she threw up she caused a rebleed so they immediately had to call in help and put a lot of pressure on it after ripping off the tape. She hated that and the new covering was pulling at her skin and she couldn't even walk. That has caused some major emotional trauma. I'm hoping in a couple of days it will just be a distant memory.

I am thinking of just putting her in a pull up the first few days of preschool and hoping the teachers don't notice. I just don't want to push her. She really just needs to trust that nobody is going to hurt her when she takes off her shorts. Poor kid.

Other than the band-aid issue though, she really is doing so well. We are considering heading back home to New Jersey tomorrow depending on how Ellie is feeling. We were nervous she wouldn't be able to handle the car ride, but now we think she might be able to. We'll see tomorrow I guess!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Amnio... check!

Today wasn't so bad. As I have told a number of you already, the shot in the ass from the Rogam shot was way worse than getting stuck for the Amnio TWICE! The first time he (yes it is a confirmed HE!!) moved right for the needle so they had to find another spot. We should have the results Wednesday night or Thursday morning. I'm not really worried about it right now. I do believe in the power of positive thinking, but it's not even like that. I just honestly feel like he is healthy and will be born with no VSD. The VSD is so small that at least four professionals have told me that they would be surprised if it didn't close up before birth. They also added that if by chance it didn't it's already so small that it shouldn't present a problem after birth.

My only concern comes from hearing that sometimes a VSD is part of a larger heart problem that they can't yet detect. The amnio will help with part of this, ruling out any type of chromosome issue. We are also getting checked for the 22q deletion, which is also called DiGeorge Syndrome. We got checked for that with Ellie as well. Oh and we are part of a super cool research study where they look at each chromosome for me, Chris and the baby and carefully look at each strand of DNA for any deletion, shading, anything out of order, stuff like that... it's called a something-array-something-or-other (I am very technical, I know). We won't get the results of that until after the Amnio and DiGeorge results.

Given that the VSD could be a sign of a bigger problem, I don't know that I'm comfortable waiting until 30 weeks for the next fetal echo like they originally suggested. Originally I was supposed to have one between 22-24 weeks and then a final one at about 35 weeks. I think I'm going to ask them to go back to that original plan. I go in for an anatomy scan on September 9th. It will be nice seeing him on ultrasound again. He is already a cutie! Today, we caught him sucking his thumb.

The only thing I worry about is the fact that if something is chromosomally wrong and we choose to terminate I will never be the same person again. Nothing in life will be the same. Nothing. I am hopeful that this is a decision we will never have to make, but like anyone would naturally, my mind does go there on occasion.

I am still a little crampy from the procedure. I have been on the couch since I've been home. Heading to bed now. I can't lift anything for three days. Woo hoo no laundry! If I don't have any issues tonight and tomorrow I can be confident that miscarriage won't be a risk I have to worry about. The odds are 1 in 400 and I lucked out with the best doctor in the practice. He was really funny too and I was giving it back to him as quickly as he was dishing it out.

I am so ecstatic that #3 is a boy. And no I didn't cave as most of you thought I would. At my fetal echo last week they were looking at the baby and I swear I saw a penis. After having so many ultrasounds I usually know what I'm looking at, so that pretty much ruined it for me. We found out for sure today because I had already figured it out. Anyway, we think we have a name we both love and Chris just told me he wouldn't kill me if I let the cat out of the bag. We like the name Nathaniel Scott Luis and we'll call him Than. We had a friend in college named Than and for the longest time I never knew what Than stood for, but I loved it. So we aren't really naming our kid AFTER him, but he did give us the idea because he's the only Than we know. I should also mention the name isn't 100% so don't go out ordering embroidered blankets or anything. I need to mention that because my sister is crazy when it comes to spoiling my kids. It's just the first name we both got excited about and we came up with it the amnio room and it just got me really excited for #3. I am already picturing my boys four years from now in bunk beds!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Such a big girl...

Magoo has been such a big girl. She really is just so smart. I know that all Moms think that about their kids... but I'm different, because I'm right. She is sitting here practicing her letters. So exciting about starting school in September. My biggest fear is that she is going to get kicked out for having one too many accidents. She's peed on the floor twice today and had countless accidents this weekend while my parents were here visiting. It use to be so frustrating, but now I am just at a loss. I keep telling myself she won't have any problems at school. Kids are different when they are around other kids, right? Ughgh. I'm just going to feel bad if she's "that kid." I remember having an accident in Kindergarten and waiting in the bathroom while my godmother brought me a change of clothes... I'm 30. I shouldn't remember that, but I do. Granted, it was Catholic school so who knows what kind of shame they tried to lay on me :)

On another note, I stopped nursing Bubba last week. I think I pumped once on Thursday and that's it. My poor boobs hurt for so long. I forgot what it's like. I am so unbelievably sad. Much more upset about not nursing than I thought I would be. I was sort of looking forward to it. I have cried about four times. After the first two days he was taking the formula fine. He doesn't have any issues. I have many. I know that this really is the best thing for him and #3. By the time #3 gets here he won't feel like he's being dumped and abandoned because I am nursing #3 and not him. I have a few months to have my body (somewhat) back. I'm not as tired as I use to be, which is better for both Bubba and Magoo! I was just surprised by the emotional attachment nursing brings. I never expected it, but it was pretty great.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Charlie doing the leap frog....

It's short, but it gives you an idea as to how Charlie is getting around these days :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Slow Cooker Lasagna

Another recipe from my current favorite cookbook.

Makes 6-8 servings
Ideal slow cooker size: 6 quart

1 lb. ground beef
2 29 oz cans tomato sauce
8 oz package of lasagna noodles, uncooked
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese

1. Spray interior of the cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Brown the beef.
3. Stir in tomato sauce. Mix well.
4. Spread 1/4 of the meat sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker.
5. Arrange 1/3 of the uncooked noodles over the sauce. (You may need to break them up so they fit nicely).
6. Combine the cheeses in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 of the cheeses over the noodles.
7. Repeat the layers twice.
8. Top with remaining sauce.
9. Cover and cook on low 4 hours.

I also added onion to my hamburg. Next time I'll also add some Italian seasoning and add a sprinkle of cheese to the top about a 1/2 hour before it's done cooking. For a healthier option, consider using ground turkey. I also used reduced fat mozz and fat free cottage cheese.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Piquant Chuck Roast

My cook book "Fix-It and Forget-It: Big Cookbook" arrived today. This is what I made for dinner tonight:

Piquant Chuck Roast

3 lb. chuck roast
1/2 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1. Put the meat in the slow cooker. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour them over the meat.

2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hour, or high for 5 hours.

I served this with snow peas and Potatoes Poupon.

We all liked it. If you try it out, let me know!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bubba's back... and a Magoo update

Bubba is a bottomless pit. So much so that I can officially call him Bubba again. He's sick right now, so he literally only nursed twice yesterday. BUT this has not stopped him from eating anything and everything. I am a lot less nervous with him than I was with Ellie. When I was a first time Mom I waited until she had an appointment with her Early Intervention Service Coordinator before I tried "real" foods with her. I remember the first time I gave her peanut butter a little before a year old (I know that's early, but it has a lot of fat and protein and she needed it) my mother shoved some in her mouth while I held the phone in case I had to call 911. (Do you remember that Mom? LOL) With Charlie I just throw food at him and see what happens.

He's a little over 7 months old. He has been eating Cheerios for a few weeks now. In the last couple of weeks I've gotten daring with him. I knew some day he would eat more than Ellie, which isn't hard to do since she's my sweet little bird, but I had no idea it would be so soon. The other day while grocery shopping Ellie wanted pepperoni. I got a little bit from the deli and she ate it through the store - so did Charlie! He had at least four slices while in Wegmans. It was spicy! He loved it! He has eaten ham and cheese for lunch. The other day at Panera he ate some of Chris' cheese and broccoli soup AND some of both of our rolls. I gave him graham crackers a couple of days ago. He devours them. They are very messy though so I'm not sure how much longer I (the girl who usually doesn't mind a messy kid - so you know they are MESSY) will be giving them to him. I am trying to find some Mum Mums for him. They are an organic baby teething cookie that Ellie use to like. I found the toddler ones at Wegmans, but not the baby ones. I'll keep looking.

Ok back to our future foodie, this morning he ate two stage two's AND a waffle! Ellie didn't even eat her entire waffle. While pieces of his ended up on the floor I'd say he ate a good 75% of it! I think at lunch I am going to give him a slice of wheat bread and see what happens. I just love this age. He is so much fun and I'm starting to enjoy the two of them together again.

Magoo, as most of you know, has had some MAJOR regression issues as of late: potty accidents, acting out against Charlie, not sharing, being a BRAT! Enough that it has tried our patience as parents and Chris and I were beginning to wonder where we went wrong... but I am happy to report that she went all day yesterday with no accidents. She has been waking up in the morning, making her bed and getting dressed for the day, in big girl undies, all before she comes into our room in the morning. While she did kick her brother in the nose this morning, it was an accident. She is like a new kid and I'm really enjoying it. I'm sure now that I wrote about it I have jinxed thing, but I'll take it for as long as I can get it!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Quilt Project

Ellie has a quilt block on quilt #50 as part of the The Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Quilt Project. They had a showing this morning in Fall River and since we're five hours away and I just found out about it this morning, my fabulous sister and mother went to see it in person for me. I've seen a picture of it before, but was so happy someone saw the REAL quilt!!

Her block has her name, birthday and CHD. They put princesses on there because she LOVES her princesses! And ballerinas because she use to dance all around the house when she was a toddler. The caterpillar is from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," by Eric Carle, which is still one of her very favorite books to this day. "Good Night Moon" is another favorite and we use to read it to her every night at bed time. I recently started reading this to Charlie on most nights. The turtle is from a Disney movie, but we put that on there because Ellie's cousin Kenny brought her the stuffed version when she was in recovery in the hospital after her Glenn.
I am sad I wasn't there to see it myself, but so happy someone got to see it!!!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Talked to the folks in Boston...

I had a "conference call" with Dr. T and his nurse this evening. They agree that Ellie needs a cath. He is on vacation for the next two weeks so they are sending in the paperwork to get Ellie scheduled for a cardiac catheterization (cath) the week of August 10th. He said he can't say she won't need surgery, but he hopes she doesn't... so the cath will tell us what the next steps are. It was so nice to hear his voice. How weird is that?

He said that he'd prefer we go to Boston because they know her there and if they do one in Philly they'll basically be starting from scratch with her. We've been through too much to start all over, so Boston it is!

When I told him we were expecting again he laughed and told his nurse we obviously don't have TV! Ha ha!! He's so cute!

I'm glad that we finally have a plan... Now I need to hit up the stores to fill her "surprise box" again for the pre-cath day when they do all the testing (blood work, chest x-rays, EKG, echo). We usually get away with not having all of this done, but since they haven't seen her since January I am sure they'll want it all. The "surprises" she doesn't get in between tests will keep her busy in recovery and if we have to stay the night. I'll plan on an overnight stay, but sometimes if you're first case you get to go home that evening. I'll keep you all posted when I hear from them with a date!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My lovey...

Ellie fell asleep watching TV while I was on the phone with my MIL for an hour. She is so cute! We thought she was awfully quiet while we were talking! Ha ha!! She didn't even pee her pants!! I was so happy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

10 things that make me terribly happy...

Christy posted what makes her happy and asked that her friends to the same... so here goes!

1. Ice cream - pretty much any kind, but especially Mint Chocolate Chip, Vienna Mocha Chunk by Friendly's, Peanut Butter Cup (made with chocolate ice cream though!) and New York Super Fudge Chunk by Ben & Jerry's.

2. Being near the ocean. I just love the smell and sounds. It doesn't have to be warm and I don't have to actually go IN the water. I just like being near it.

3. When my kids smile at me. They are just so damn cute. I can't get over it.

4. When Ellie is in a good mood. The terrible three's are tough.

5. Chris - anything and everything about him.

6. When Chris has days off/weekends. I just love when we're all together. Even though I find it easier to handle the kids when I'm by myself.

7. Soft pretzels. They are a newly discovered love of mine. Especially with yellow mustard.

8. Getting unexpected mail. I just love to know that someone was thinking about me enough to get a card and put it in the mail. It seems like an easy task, but it takes time and thought.

9. Being able to listen to MY music in the car at a very loud decibel and sing a long. I don't really get to do this that much anymore, so when I do I cherish it.

10. Pedicures. Manicures are always disappointing after I get them... but NEVER a pedicure!! They are heaven on earth!

Leave a comment letting me know what makes YOU terribly happy!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When does your luck run out?

As far as I'm concerned, I live a pretty charmed life. I'm not trying to brag. I'm just really grateful that I have so many blessings in my life. I have a so close to perfect husband it's sort of disgusting. I have two amazing kids that I get to say home with and one more on the way. I have a great family and so many wonderful friends. So my question is... when does your luck run out?

I never thought I'd be able to stay home with my kids. Chris and I both always WANTED it that way, but what you want and what you get aren't always the same thing. Scary to think that Ellie being sick as a baby is what lead us to have to make it happen. The sacrifices we made at the time aren't even a big deal now, but at the time they were life changing. How lucky to have a miracle child that has successfully made it through three open heart surgeries with only a few bumps along the way?

How lucky were we that just when we feel like we're going no where financially Chris lands an awesome new job?

Chris and I have always been that kind of couple. Our life together has never been boring. For us, when it rains it pours, but after the rain the rainbow is truly amazing. Everything always happens all at once, for example... last Fall I was 7+ months pregnant, Ellie had her third open heart surgery and we were selling our condo to make the big move to Philly. All very big things in their own right, but I never flinched. I always just "know" things will work out, because they always have for us, but what if some day we aren't so lucky?

I hate that nobody can tell me what the future holds for Ellie. I hate that she probably won't be able to carry children of her own some day. I hate that Chris and I will never be able to let go of the fear we always carry around inside of us, even if sometimes it's buried so deep we think we're fine. I don't really know what my problem is. I don't really have a problem. I am just so ANGRY and scared right now! I wish I had spare dishes to throw on the ground. I think that would make me feel better. Ya know, I think what I hate the most is that even if she never needs another surgery or intervention of any kind in her entire life it won't stop me from worrying. I will never again in my life be 100% okay. The fear and worry will always be there and quite frankly, it makes me tired.

Where to begin...

Ellie's cardiology visit wasn't bad, but wasn't great. They did an echo and couldn't see all that they wanted to see. They want to get her in for a cath in the next few weeks. Dr. A came to this conclusion because Ellie has remained blue and her stats don't normally get out of the 70's since her Fontan surgery 10 months ago. She is also extremely out of breath and tired after just a few minutes of playing. Basically, he hasn't seen any improvement since her surgery and that shouldn't be the case. He is sure that it has something to with the stent in her fenestration. Dr. T (our HLHS god) said after surgery that the fenestration was "generous" allowing a ton of blood flow to the small non functioning left side of her heart. Now, my worry is that when I asked Dr. A if a fix could be made through cath, avoiding another open heart surgery (don't we all agree, three is enough?), he basically made a funny face and was like "Weeeeeelllll, not necessarily." This does not sit well with me. I thought we were done with surgeries, at least for a LONG while. I can't really wrap my head around it. I have put an email in to Dr. T in Boston to see if he thinks we should travel to Boston for the cath. Bottom line - if we ever need another surgery she is going to Boston, so if this cath could lead to that would it be more beneficial to Ellie to have the cath performed at CHB?

On a positive note, there are no glaring issues with Ellie's heart. That damn fenestration just has never, and will never, make things easy on us. Ughgh!

Honestly, the thought of the mere possibility of another surgery scares the crap out of me.

My appointment last night was boring. They wouldn't tell me anything so I either have to ask the perinatologist I meet with tomorrow or when I see my regular OB next week. The tech wouldn't even check the heart for me. I thought that was just plain mean.

OMG... the great news of the day - No DIABETES!! For anyone who hasn't heard yet, we're just dealing with a little girl with some obvious toilet regression issues :) LOL

Take care and I hope I haven't freaked any of you out too much. If I did sorry, but this is a great way for me to vent so I can function again!

Monday, July 20, 2009

And our week of doctor's appointments begins...

We just got back from Ellie's GI appointment. She gained a pound since we last saw them three months ago. She made a giant leap from the .4% to 1.6% on the growth chart!! WOW! (That's me being sarcastic!) I always thought she was on the 3rd? Oh well! She was 25 pounds 9 ounces, but they weigh her with her clothes on, which will only start to bother me if they go back and forth and don't consistently weigh her with them on. I think now that she is on the "big girl scale" they will. She is doing well gaining without using her feeding tube and she gained in height as well. Over all her BMI is at about 3% when they'd like her at 10%. No doctor we've ever been to has said a thing to me about BMI so this is new to me.

Dr. M was very pleased with her progress. We are going to go back in three months. The current plan is to continue on a high calorie diet. Once we have this Diabetes Insipidus thing under control, if she does indeed have it, we will start her on "Magic Milk" which is basically her whole milk mixed with a 1/4 cup of non fat evaporated milk to increase calories and protein. She doesn't want us to start it until the doctor calls with an all clear regarding her DI. We should know by Wednesday whether she has it or not. If she does, we'll have to see an Endocrinologist and there is one at the satellite office we currently go to, so we won't have to travel into Philly and go directly to CHOP. I wouldn't mind, but it's awfully convenient having the office right down the road.

In three months if Ellie is still doing well we are going to wean her off of her Prevacid! I never thought I'd see the day, never mind the meer mention of it. I am eager to get her off of any meds she doesn't need so we'll see! She is what they call a silent refluxer so we'll only know if it works once we get her off and if she starts complaining of pain or her eating slows down.

As far as her mickey button, we will keep it in until she's weaned off of her Prevacid and get the all clear from Cardiology that she won't need any surgeries in the near future... which we don't plan on, but who the hell knows, Ellie keeps us on her toes as far as her medical situation! We're looking at next year now. I'm totally okay with this. It's a nice little crutch if we need it and once it's out it's out and there's no going back unless things get really bad.

I was going to put up some pictures since we spent the last two weekends in Philly, but I can't seem to find the camera. You'll see more at some point this week.

Charlie is doing well. We are waiting on a call back from CHOP with a Urology appointment to let us know once and for all that he has no kidney/bladder issues so there is one less thing we have to worry about. He's sitting up and eating finger foods now. He still misses his mouth most of the time, but it's a work in progress and so fun to watch!

Chris is great. Still enjoying his job. Nothing new to report there.

I'm good. A little over 12 weeks along now. Tonight we go for my first trimester screening to make sure #3 is healthy and doing everything he/she should be doing. I'm excited to get another ultrasound. My OB here is awesome and I've had one at every visit! We go to the hospital where I'll deliver tonight though so that should be neat. OK enough blabbing. I'll update more tomorrow after Ellie's cardiology appointment. That's the one I'm anxious about!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Soft Taco Bake Pie & Stuffed Pepper Recipes!

Here they are!! I substitute a lot of the ingredients for FF or LF so I don't gain a million pounds with this pregnancy because I can't seem to STOP eating, so feel free to improvise as you'd like!

Soft Taco Bake Pie
4 tortilla wraps
1 can of refried beans or kidney beans
1 jar of salsa (16 oz)
1 cup of shredded cheese (I like the taco blend!)
1 lb. of ground meat (you can make this with turkey, beef or chicken)
1 packet of taco seasoning (or you can just make your own - google it)
sour cream
shredded lettuce

1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees while you are browning and seasoning your meat.
2. In a 2 qt. casserole dish layer your: tortilla, beans, salsa, meat, and cheese
3. Top your casserole with a little extra cheese
4. Place in the oven for 20 minutes - or until the cheese is melted
5. Garnish each individual serving with shredded lettuce and a dollop of sour cream.
Serves 4-6

It's really a quick and easy recipe. You can buy a kit from Old El Paso that contains the tortillas, taco seasoning and some cheese sauce, but the amount of sodium you'll be consuming when you're done is nuts!

When I make this I use FF sour cream, FF refried beans, whole wheat tortillas and reduced fat cheese. I either make my own seasoning or buy a packet of the reduced sodium taco seasoning.

Stuffed Peppers
4 green bell peppers
1 cup of brown rice
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 lb of hamburg or turkey (I use turkey)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
a little shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook your brown rice using the chicken broth
2. While your rice is cooking, brown the meat with the onion
3. Clean the seeds and ribs from your peppers, (you can just cut the tops off or cut them in half), blanch 2-3 minutes, don't overcook
4. Mix meat mixture, rice, seasoning and tomato sauce.
5. Place peppers in baking dish and fill with stuffing.
6. Top each pepper with a little bit of cheese
7. Bake at 350 for 20 or so minutes.
Serves 4-6

You can just make the rice in water, but I like the extra flavor the chicken broth gives the dish. Again, you can make this with turkey or hamburg, but turkey is the healthier option. The peppers are even better the next day! I'll try to take a picture of the Stuffed Peppers tonight if I remember and I'll post it here later!

Let me know if you try either of the recipes! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


My friend is having a give-a-way over at her blog. Check it out and enter for a beautiful rug!! And if you don't need it... enter anyway and if you win you can give it to me!! Ha ha ha!!!

It is the Recife Veranda Black and White Indoor/Outdoor Rug from CSN Rugs pictured below!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We just got back from the park...

We met our new friends at the park today. Ellie had a blast. We even got a treat from the ice cream truck! Here are some pictures from the day:

You can see one tooth really good, but the other one is there too just starting to pop up! He loves the swing.

Ellie loves to swing too. We should really put one up in our yard, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

I was getting the camera ready for no more than 3 seconds and Ellie decides to say, "Mom are you going to take the picture already or what?" Can you believe that?!?

We had a great day today. I have to throw the chicken together for dinner tonight then I'm going to take a break and watch my soaps. If anyone is looking for a new recipe, we made this last night and it was AMAZING!!