Monday, November 23, 2015

There Is No Greater Agony...

There are moments in our lives that seem to make very little sense. Moments that are sheer joy that quickly turn to immense sadness with little to no explanation why. A few weeks back we were pleasantly surprised with two little lines on a pregnancy test. In all actuality it was about 6 lines because I didn't really expect it so I took numerous tests with the same results, a big fat positive. A week later I was pretty surprised with an OB office test results were negative. This led to several blood tests with the same conclusion. All my HCG levels decreased over time and several days later it was confirmed I was losing our baby. I wish I could say this is the first time and these feelings were new to me but they are not. Sadly, this is my third loss and they all hurt same. I've cried. I've asked why. I've doubted my body and I have blamed myself. This time I do have my Jack to remind me that miracles do happen and I have to stay positive. I have to rally for him to be a good mom for him. It is a blessing but it is also really hard when you have little to no time for self care when your body is fighting against you.

To anyone else going through this or have gone through it my heart is with  you. I know your pain. I share your pain.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Swim Lessons

I signed our little boy up for swim lessons. I was very unsure if it was the right decision to make as I'be played around with it for some time. It wasn't until I saw a video on FB of one of Jack's friends swimming all by himself after several months of lessons. Last Saturday I took Jack for a trial class and he loved it. It was a small class of 3. The instructor had awesome songs to sing and toys to play with. They cut right to the chase and Jack went under right away. He did amazing! He didn't even swallow water. I couldn't have been more proud. I loved their methods and couldn't wait to sign him up. From now on Jack and I will be going to swim classes each Saturday.

It's so wonderful to watch your children grow and learn every day. He lights up my life and I adore how he's growing. It's pretty great to be a parent.

Sidebar: Week 2 was not so good! The screams that came out of my poor boy! It was like some one was trying to torture him! To say I felt awful was the understatement of the year. Lots of tears and screams but we made it through and we will try again next week.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thoughts on Expanding Your Family

As Jack gets older and closer to 2 the thoughts of having another baby become stronger.  Almost all of our mom's group friends are currently pregnant with number 2 or just had baby #2.  The struggle that comes with the decision to have #2 becomes a little harder. Now I am completely content with the life the 3 of us have now. The more I see birth announcements and the ever fun bump dates that baby fever gets a little stronger.
How could I not want another one of these to snuggle on???

The path to conceive wasn't easy for us. I often think about the baby I lost during my ectopic.  My ectopic pregnancy could have taken my life. It was misdiagnosed for 2 weeks and with each day that went by the baby grew in my tube causing massive internal bleeding. It cut off some circulation to the left side of my body causing nerve issues. At 9 weeks I had surgery to remove the baby from my tube. My surgeon was pretty fantastic and was able to save my left tube. Six months after I had healed from the ectopic surgery I had a miscarriage. This was one cycle before I got pregnant with Jack. Both were extremely tough on me our marriage. I only told my husband and best friend about my miscarriage. I was so traumatized after the ectopic I was very ashamed. I know that conceiving Jack helped save our marriage. If we didn't conceive Jack when we did I feel like the path I was going down was not a good one.

In addition to losing 2 pregnancies there is the constant fear of Cystic Fibrosis. As most of you know both Brian and I are carriers of Cystic Fibrosis genes. Jack was diagnosed with CF at 2 weeks old. I tested positive for the mutation during my pre natal bloodwork. Brian tested negative but the labs only test for 30 panels instead of 90 when testing for CF. Last year at this time I would have never even thought of having another child and subjecting them to this illness. During the last year of testing and information I've realized that medical science is so close to a cure, Jack is doing so well, actually BEYOND WELL and his CF is A-typical meaning due to the 2 mutations we have effects Jack differently than most cases. During Jack's last appointment we were informed of some pretty amazing medical advancements for Jack and others like him. In January Jack can begin medications that could potentially "fix" some of the genetic mutation. If your interested in reading more the medication is called Kalydeco.

I recently brought up the idea to Brian and his thoughts are to wait. There are several factors on why I agree with him. Being a parent, although so worth it, is exhausting and stress filled. Jack has gone through a phase where he hits, kicks, yells and melts down. It is not easy being a parent. We still don't sleep well and adding a pregnancy and new baby to the mix seems a bit crazy. Now although I completely agree with Brian there is a little part of me that realizes I'm 35 already!!! Ugh, I can't believe I'm getting so old. This old gal's clock is tick tocking away!

For moms out there; Was your decision to have one based on one thing or many? or did you stick to one child? What were the bases for your decisions???

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Perfect Little Halloween

We had the most perfect Halloween! I have always enjoyed Halloween. I just love the fun and mischief involved with it. I never expected how much more I would love it with a child. We celebrated last year but Jack was only 9 months old so he did dress up but it was a simple day. This year we went all out.

We started out at our favorite book store Sparta Books with their Halloween story time and party. Jack got to play with friends and enjoy the book reading of Monster Needs A Costume by the author. Jack and I went as my favorite Pixar duo Buzz and Woody! Afterwards we took a ride home for a nice nap. After Jack's nap we got him back in his Buzz Lightyear costume and took him out for some goodies. Our neighbors were so great. They had special treats for little ones like fruit snacks, pretzels, sugar cookies and granola. Our one neighbor was giving out treats to parents too. Beer and wine for the win!

The weather was so perfect we sat outside all day giving away candy. Our entire neighborhood gets crazy. We are the only development in our town so it is the place to be on Halloween. Police actually direct traffic getting in and out of the development. We ran out of candy by 6:30. We had over 300 candy/pretzel and cookies to hand out. That is how crazy it gets. 

It was the most perfect day for all of us. Halloween is so much more magical when you can watch children enjoy it. I think that is why I have always loved Halloween. We all get to be kids, we can be social with our neighbors and friends plus there are Reeses involved!

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween.

Monday, November 2, 2015

All Dogs Go To Heaven

It was a late Thursday night when you took a turn for the worst. You couldn't move, your breath shallow but you crawled onto my lap and let me pet you for about an hour. You were surrounded by all the people who loved you most. You looked up at me and took your last breathe. It was quick. I could feel the life leave your body. I sat with you for a few hours and cried. You were my very first baby, you ruined my shoes, begged at every meal, but you loved us. You loved Jackie boy so much and I will never forget that. We buried you in the backyard. The place you loved to run and play the most.

Our house is quiet now, we laugh a little less and Jack calls for you all. We told him you went to Heaven. I'm sure he doesn't understand but maybe some day he will. I'll tell him you taught him so much about love, loyalty and the best way to treat our fury friend. 

We miss you Bogart. Thank you for all the years of love and laughter. We are forever grateful. 

Shortly after Bogart's diagnosis we asked our good friend Katrina to take a few "Bogart Bucket List" photos. In September, we went apple picking as a family. The orchard where our little family began. We wanted to have some keepsake photos of Bogart for Jack when he gets older. Katrina sent these to me the day before Bogart passed away. I am so grateful for these images. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

This Past Weekend

This weekend was pretty great. Are you ever in a moment in time and realize it will probably be remembered as one of your most favorite days? I had one of these moments this weekend.

I started off the weekend early and took Friday off. My parents and I took Jack pumpkin picking. I wish I could say it was a good trip but poor Jack is fighting another cough and really didn't feel well. He cried for most of the day and as we were getting ready to leave the poor kid coughed so hard he threw up! After a full night sleep, 12 hours worth, he was feeling a bit better on Saturday. We still had a very easy going day. He spent most of Saturday in his pajamas cuddling,

Sunday we had the best day. We got out early to our favorite state park. When Brian and I were dating we would do day dates there and picnics overlooking the water so it is always nice to bring Jack to places where our relationship had it's first few dates. We had a fantastic hike, ate lunch and it really was the perfect morning. We finished off the day at one of our new favorite places. BrookHollow Barnyard is the cutest little farm. They have a bunch of farm animals you can feed with  a shovel and a bucket of carrots. They have a train ride, sandboxes, hayrides and tractors. It was a kids dream! We all had such a fantastic time. It was definitely one of those days that will go down as one of my most favorite!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favorites

Fridays that start a 3 day weekend are always my favorite. My work anniversary is coming up shortly and I have a bunch of vacation and personal days I still need to use before I lose them in November. Today my parents and I are heading to the farm with Jack and picking more pumpkins, you can never have enough pumpkins, and they will be watching Jack tonight while I join Brian for his work fundraiser. It will be nice for the 2 of us to get out and do adult things like eat a meal warm and not cutting up tiny human's food.

Here are a few things I'm loving this week.

Sparta Books

This is our local bookstore. Sparta Books has been around for over 50 years. It is our local gem. Each week Jack and I go to story time with Ms. Michelle who reads, sings and does crafts with all the children. She, along with the rest of the staff are wonderful. Last weekend we met Oliver the Goose at the book store and next week we are going to a Halloween party and parade. We are so lucky to have found such an awesome place.


Matt Bellassai

Oh My Hilarious!!!! If you like cursing and a little vulgarity than Matt is for you! His buzz feed videos are hysterical! I can watch multiple times and find it just as funny. His most recent video about fall is the best.


We started watching the first season last week on Netflix. Brian and I have a hard time agreeing on television. We barely ever agree. The only thing we really ever agreed on were American Horror Story and Breaking Bad. I really like Donal Logue and Ben Mackenzie. Brian loves the connection to the comic books. So far so good.


Shea Moisture Products-

 I started using their baby line not long after Jack was born. I love that they are certified organic and made with shea butter. Our favorite for Jack is the raw shea chamomile and argan oil with frankincense and myrrh. For myself I started using the 10 in 1 renewal hair masque and all types of their bar soaps! They are probably my most favorite products. They leave out all potentially harmful ingredients and do not test on animals. I feel somewhat safe using them on my son.

The Night Before Books-

I just love the series of The Night Before books. We have started out a little collection. They are the cutest books all set to The Night Before Christmas rhyme. We just picked up The Night Before Halloween.
"'Twas the night before Halloween, and all through the house, All the creatures were stirring, except for the mouse. The monsters had gathered to plan and prepare, For the trick-or-treaters who soon would be there."

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How I Try To Survive a Toddler Meltdown

Attitude for days... 

Some time during his 17th month of life Jack went from being the sweetest and most cuddly little boy to a fiery, "NO" screaming and temper tantrum filled maniac, most days! He is becoming his own person. He knows what he wants and when he wants it. I think I have a real strong willed kid on my hands. I'm totally ok with it. But for now, the tantrums, holy cow, I can't believe how quickly the toddler tantrum thing happened. I also can't believe how caught off guard and unequipped to deal with them I was.

There are a few things people have told me on how to deal with Jack's tantrums. I have tried to use the "Gentle Parenting" method in almost everything I do with Jack. Although this method often blames the parents for the meltdowns. Like I need more stress thinking I'm not a good enough parent?!?! I have a temper although not when I was a child. I have adult meltdowns so I try not to blame Jack. Jack has also began hitting. I hate it. It is often only towards me. I get so upset and think he hates me. Most times I try and immediately redirect. I redirect by quickly asking him for a hug. I ask him to gentle touch. Almost always this method works. We have also began requesting him to say "I'm sorry". It seems to work well but I tell ya it is the saddest thing to hear that little voice say those words.

I get what it's like to be frustrated and feel like there is no outlet for his frustration. Jack has a pretty large vocabulary but he doesn't always have the words so it must be so hard. I attempt to calm him I try and offer support. I often ask him to "show me" what he wants. There are times when he is told no. Like last night when he refused to sleep and wanted goldfish because he saw me putting away the bowl he usually has his snack in. When I told him no he had an all our meltdown. Screaming at the top of his lungs. It was late. I was tired and I gave up and walked away from the screams. He was in no danger of hurting himself. He was just laying on the kitchen floor, overtired and a screaming his bloody head off. This completely goes against the gentle me. He calmed himself after only a couple of minutes. I think it was harder on me than it was on him.

What I learned from last night was that no real method works all the time. Sometimes the best thing for my sanity and his sanity is to walk away. I was so exhausted I knew I couldn't give him the support he deserved. I was getting frustrated and the 2 temper tantrums would not have been good for anyone!  Not long after the mega meltdown Jack cuddled up with daddy and was fast asleep with in 3 minutes.

What are some of the ways you deal with the toddler tantrums?

Monday, October 19, 2015


It was 7 years ago today I went out on a date with a guy who followed none of the rules and quoted Dane Cook. I can't believe that was my LAST first date. Our first date was a kind of marathon. We started off apple picking, followed it up with dinner and drinks and finished it off by drinking coffee and closing up cafe. As I type it I almost can't believe that it has been that long but at the same time it feels like it has been forever. Our seven years have been filled with many ups and downs as well. In honor of the last seven years I'd like to share just a few of my favorite moments.

Our first vacation to Disney World together. He really got to see my true colors on the flight considering I didn't tell him how deathly afraid of flying I was. We had such a wonderful time together. I can't wait for Jack to get a little over so we can't return as a family. 

The day we purchased our first home. I can remember the nervous excitement that we both felt. After dating only 9 months we questioned ourselves as to if it were the right decision. We are still here 6 years later. We have made this little house our home. 

The day Brian proposed! During our regular Sunday morning softball game Brian seemed so off. When we went apple picking later that day he was even weirder and I was getting a strange vibe. That was until he asked me to join him under a tree and followed it up by a "Will you marry me?"
Every year since our first date we visit the same orchard and the very same tree. 

The day we were married. The day we both vowed to love and honor one another. One of our happiest days. It strange that people always talk about their wedding and their favorite moments. I must say that sharing the happiest day with all the people we hold dear was my most favorite part! 

Brian's journey to fatherhood In his own special way he was excited. I know that part of him was frightened after our first 2 losses but equally as excited. I just loved the moments when he first started touching my growing belly and talking to baby. 

This moment- our first night home from the hospital. We didn't get much time together with our new baby in the hospital so on our first night home and seeing this moment between father and son couldn't be more special to me. 

Watching Brian become a daddy. Being a wife isn't always easy and being a mom is harder than I ever thought. Brian is finding his way as a dad and he's doing a great job. He never gets worked up or stressed out. I love watching him teach Jack new things and look forward to all the moments still waiting for us. 

Cheers to 7 years and many more.