Thursday, September 27, 2007

Little Man and an I.V.

We got back from visiting Chris' family on Sunday night, and during the night, Colin threw up. Okay, I thought, we have a little bug, no big deal. Monday he was pretty lethargic - just wanted to lay on Mommy all day, and didn't eat anything. Tuesday dawned pretty much the same - while I enjoyed the snuggling with Colin, I was starting to get a little worried - he wasn't eating any food, and wasn't nursing all that well. When I put him down for bed that night, I just had a strange feeling that something was wrong. I called Elizabeth and asked her about symptoms of dehydration. She told me to take him to an ER. I knew that was what I needed to do, but it was nice to have someone else validate my "mommy instinct".

We left the apartment at 9 pm, checked into the ER at 9:23 pm, and finally got back to a "room" at midnight. Our nurse, Darlene, was a little "off" - I didn't know if she was just tired, or not altogether there. She just seemed unsure of herself - didn't help me feel better about being there I'll tell you.

Mr. Donald (the paramedic) came in and inserted a catheter into my poor little guy (there was much screaming; mostly because I was holding him tightly against me). Mr. Donald was actually really nice and seemed very competent. Seems Colin inherited his daddy's visible veins versus my almost non-existent ones - thank goodness!

Dr. L. came in shortly after and she asked what was happening with Colin. I went through the litany of issues with her. She spent about about 5 minutes with us, checking Colin out and ordering some blood work, a urinalysis (ha!~that would require someone to be outputting urine!) and a chest x-ray.

Colin and I then spent the next 2.5 hours just hanging out together on the bed while the I.V. ran. At 2:30, Darlene came back in and told me that the doctor wanted me to wake Colin up and get him to drink the 4 oz bottle of Pedialyte. Easier said than done - Colin is not a fan of drinking from a bottle, and I was trying to figure out how to mainline it into my breast to get it in him. After about a half hour of futile trying - our new nurse gave me a straw to help Colin drink. So I then spent the next hour putting the straw in the bottle, covering the top with my finger, pulling it out and dropping the 4 drops into his mouth. I got 3 oz in him this way!

The nurse then told me that the doctor said we could leave. Since it was after 4 am at this point, I didn't even think about asking, but I assume that all of the tests and x-rays came back fine. I never saw Dr. L after that 5 minute stop at midnight. Overall the care we received was a little lackluster.

Fortunately, Colin seems to be getting back to himself. His funny little personality is back in full swing and he's cruising all around. He's starting to eat again. The bright side of our ER visit was that even sick, Colin made everyone smile. That's my little man!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Long night at the ER

No time to post now - got a total of 2.5 hours sleep last night. Colin and I spent 7 hours at the ER trying to rehydrate him. Please keep him in your prayers. Off to bed now - more on this tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Jack!

We just spent the weekend visiting Chris' family for a big birthday weekend. As my father in law, Larry said, Jack was the only one in the room who could say he doubled his age in the past year - yep, Baby Jack is now 2!We had a great time visiting with the family. The only people missing were John, Becky, Sara & Erin (and missed they were!).

Colin was rather fussy after not having a nap all day and didn't want to be put down or held by anyone other than Mommy...that is until Grandpa came in the door. Colin just reached out to him and that was that.
Colin was also the hit of the party with all of his cousins - here he is being entertained (or is it entertaining?) Alyssa and Meaghan.
Aunt Terry finally got to hold Colin at the end of the night.
Brian just loved putting on his birthday party hat and signing Happy Birthday to Jack!

And let's not forget Chris' favorite image of the evening - Sean prancing around in princess high heels!This is the reason we moved to Florida. To make memories like this.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Like I said,

I'm really a closet introvert!

Click to view my Personality Profile page

HT: Mom to 5 Minnies!

Friday, September 21, 2007

One Year Ago

One year ago, Chris was in Blacksburg, VA on a recruiting trip for his former employer.

One year ago, I was 5-1/2 months pregnant with Colin.

One year ago, I woke up with a familiar pain in my lower back, and nausea bad enough for me to run to the bathroom.

One year ago, I had to call my parents to come to my house in the middle of the night for my mom to stay with Brian & Sean while my dad took me to the hospital -my dad, who has a strong gag reflex, and had to work really hard not to join me in using the trashcan in his car.

One year ago, as Chris drove me home from the hospital (he got back into town after attending the job fair), I got an awful call from my neighbor Phil who was home watching Brian & Sean - my friend Katie's husband Mike had died from what appeared to be a massive heart attack.

My heart just ached, and still does, for Katie. I met Katie through her sister, and my friend, Terri. I knew Katie before she was "Katie and Mike". Katie, like all of her siblings is outgoing, full of energy and life. When I first met Mike, he seemed very quite. I wasn't sure how he would fit into Katie's family. But Mike turned out to be Katie's rock. He kept her grounded. He was the oft talked about "wind beneath her wings". Mike would do anything for Katie. It was always so apparent to those who saw them together how much Mike adored Katie - and how much she adored him. They were the perfect complement to each other.

Katie and Mike went to the same church that Chris and I attended and got married at. I remember meeting up with them after Mass on one Sunday in early December 2002. Katie was walking on air - they were going to be adopting a little boy in a matter of days. Mike looked like a man who didn't know which way was up. He told us, most men have 9 months to come to terms with becoming a dad - he had a couple of days. But Mike didn't need 9 months to become a great dad - he did so immediately and with great love for Zachary. If you didn't know any better, you would have assumed that Zachary had been his son for years versus days.
Katie and Mike went on to later adopt sisters Shelby and Hannah, and their family was complete and full of love.

When Katie and Terri's mom passed away a little over 2 years ago, Mike is the one who called us to let us know. I remember the sorrow in his voice, but the strength there as well. When Mike became a Catholic, Katie's parents were his sponsors, so his mother in law's death was hard on him. But he was there supporting Katie through his own grief.

I am convinced that Mike is connected to Colin, and kept him safe during the whole time I had was pregnant and taking all the pain medications for my kidney stone. I started having to take pain medication on September 21st - the day Mike passed away, and Colin was born on December 2nd - Mike's birthday. I don't believe in coincidences.

After Mike's funeral, I was planning on having a rosary made for Katie out of the roses from the funeral. However, with going back into the hospital to have a stent inserted into my kidney and the general upheaval that follows the loss of a family member, I was unable to get the roses. Instead, I found Kimberlee who made a rosary in Mike's memory. The ave beads are a blue heart symbolizing Mike's love for Katie, and the Pater beads are each a different color crystal corresponding to the birthstones of each member of their family. The cross is the papal cross that John Paul II carried, symbolizing the time that Mike entered the church, and the medal is St. Michael, with a baseball glove dangling from it, symbolizing Mike's great athletic prowess in baseball. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of it, but Katie still carries it in her purse.

Mike was just one of the nicest, most down to earth guys you could hope to meet. I'm sorry that I didn't get to spend more time with him in this life, but I know he is waiting for all of us in heaven.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stretching myself

Today I managed to break inertia. As I posted yesterday, I am really very content to stay at home with the kids. Part of it is dreading the thought of rounding up all 3 little people and then making sure everyone stays together, no one runs out into the street, I don't have to run after someone who runs away, etc.

But the insanity of being cooped up together in this small (at least compared to what we are used to) apartment finally took its toll on me. This afternoon I rounded the troops up and we headed outside. And boy, am I glad we did!

It was a nice day here - warm, but with a nice breeze blowing to keep us cool. We went skipping (at least Brian and Sean did - I was wearing Colin in my Moby!) down the path to the playground in the neighborhood. The big boys ran around, slid down the slides, played on the see-saw, played make believe games (Brian told me he was driving his new car to his new house in "Floreda"), gathered sticks, and just generally got all kinds of sweaty.

Next we headed off on the nature path in the neighborhood. It's not anything to write home about, but we did find some interesting things along the way. First off, we spotted an orange tree right along the path. Of course being "wild" oranges, they were not orange in color at all. The boys were fascinated and stood staring up at the oranges. Further down the path we spotted some dragonflies. Neither of the boys had ever seen them before and thought they were pretty cool. Heading over the bridge we looked at the "swamp". Finally, as we made our way back home, we saw a sandhill crane standing next to one of the lakes. It was beautiful as it took off and flew over our heads.

We had such a nice time exploring today. I'm glad my sanity sent me out of the house - I have a feeling this will become part of the rhythm of our day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Confessions of a Closet Introvert

I'm in a bit of a melancholic mood. I've been thinking about my life a lot lately - can't imagine why, move to a new state, husband start a new job, living in temporary housing.

I've been talking with Elizabeth lately about Waldorf and how I might try and bring some concepts about in our house this year. Mostly I want to explore nature with the boys, and let them color and learn about beauty and just let them play. One of the concepts that Waldorf espouses, especially in the early years is keeping things calm, not schlepping the kids from one activity to another. This concept actually appeals to me.

I'll admit it; I'm a homebody at heart. I don't know that I was truly content staying at home before I had kids. Once Brian arrived, nothing appealed to me more than just being at home with him - snuggling on the couch, reading books, playing. Once Sean arrived, it was more difficult to get out and about, so staying home was even more appealing with my 2 little men. I just don't need a lot of external stimulation like I used to.

I remember talking with my friend Kary right after our first children were born. Kary left a highly successful sales job to be a stay at home mom. She told me that she was just not used to being in the house all the time so she scheduled lots of time out of the house - meeting friends for lunch, going shopping, things like that just so she didn't have to be sitting in the house all the time. I remember thinking how glad I was to be able to do that now.

Don't get me wrong; Kary is still a stay at home mom and loves being home with her girls. Her life is just different than mine. While her girls are in school, dance and going to play dates, my boys are with me all day, playing, doing "work" and snuggling on the couch. It's just a different lifestyle - not better, not worse, just the one I'm most comfortable with.

I'm looking forward to spending more time with my kids this year - we'll explore this beautiful world we live in. And I'll get the chance to step outside my comfort zone and leave my house to show my boys the wonder that God has put before us.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Watch" out


Daddy: "Brian, that's Mommy's watch."
Brian: "But I need it."
Daddy: "What do you need it for?"
Brian: "I need it to do stuff."

And I just thought my watch told the time...who knew it could do "stuff"!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I don't want to ever see another Palm

Restaurant that is.
As I mentioned weeks ago, there were many (too many) good-byes to be had before leaving Virginia. I wasn't able to write about them before leaving, but will try to chronicle my farewells now that I have a couple of minutes - of course as I type that I am ensuring that someone will wake up and need my attention!

Monday, August 20th saw the farewell dinner of the Fabulous, Fearless Foursome. Daniella, Trish and I have known each other since college (and before for Trish and Daniella) and we all met Kary once Daniella and I moved down to Northern VA from NJ back in 1996. Back then, none of us were married. We all had significant others who were less than present, so we had lots of time for each other. Once a week, like clockwork, we would gather at one person's home for dinner. The host actually made dinner, and of course we all liked to try and outdo each other with our meals - nothing like a little friendly competition, right:-)!

Then, as we began to meet our future spouses, we saw each other a little less frequently, but still probably a couple of times a month. Whittle that down year by year, and we were fortunate to be able to all get together at Christmas to exchange ornaments. I'm simplifying the process, but just to show my point that life starts getting complicated.

Despite the fact that we rarely got together in person, our affection for each other never has waned. We celebrated each others' highs, and cried and prayed for each other in the low times. Physical distance did not affect the bond we shared.

So, despite the fact that none of us wanted to say good-bye, we knew we needed to make this last night together a special one. We decided to get wacky, go all out and have dinner at The Palm. We had eaten there at least one other time and had a wonderful meal, from the food to the service to the atmosphere. Seemed like the perfect place to revisit for this "Last Supper" if you will. Of course I was just moving, not getting ready to die for all of humankind, but you get the picture.

The evening started out a little shaky when we went about 10 minutes or so without seeing anyone to take our drink orders or bring us a menu. Then things picked up a bit when our waitress advised Daniella not to order the red wine she asked for - it wasn't that great, and she'd be better off with the one that was $5 LESS expensive!! How many waitress tell you to order the less expensive wine? We were feeling good! But that good feeling was soon to leave the building.

All of us ordered the filet mignon (I told you we were living it up that night). Trish, Kary and I ordered ours medium, and Daniella ordered hers medium-well. Our food arrived, and we all dug in. As I was cutting my steak, I noticed that it didn't look quite medium. I asked the other gals to take a look - sure enough, it was rare. Trish took a look at hers and found the same rareness that graced my plate. We then spent about 5 minutes trying to find our waitress only to flag down another waiter and ask if we could get these steaks cooked correctly. He happily took them back to the kitchen for us, and about 10 minutes later the hostess brings our steaks back to us. Keep in mind that our waitress is still nowhere to be found. I cut into the steak, and now it is STILL RARE! So was Trish's. I'm not really sure what exactly they did back in the kitchen with these steaks for 10 minutes, but it certainly wasn't cooking them!

Still looking for our waitress, and now getting irritated, we finally flag down the poor little hostess who had brought our steaks out from the kitchen. She went looking for our waitress and finally came back and asked if she could help us. We told her our problem with the steaks hadn't been resolved, and she removed them from the table with the promise of new steaks. Meanwhile, Daniella mentions to us that her steak is actually well-done, and Kary says hers is more medium-rare, but neither wanted to complain seeing as how long it was taking to get our food!

Trish and I nibbled on the side dishes while Kary and Daniella finished their steaks. Still nothing from the kitchen for us. We are all getting irritated at this point. No one has come to the table to see how we are doing, give us a status update, schmooze us, nothing. Finally, I get up from the table and go find the maitre' d. I tell him that we've been waiting for 20 minutes for our second round of steaks, our friends are done with their meals, and frankly, we're not hungry anymore. He tells me that there is a manager in the kitchen waiting on our steaks, and let's just get them to the table before deciding that we're not hungry anymore.

Another 5 minutes goes by, and finally 3 people show up at our table; the hostess, the maitre'd and our waitress (finally!). They come bearing our steaks and 3 more plates of side dishes. Huh? I just told the man that we're not even hungry for our steaks, and he brings more food? Ah, the lost art of listening. Our waitress proceeds to tell us that our steaks were taken off the check (duh!!~they'd better be). She then asks if we'd like some coffee - Trish ordered coffee and I ordered a cappuccino. My coffee drink comes out within minutes, but Trish's black coffee...nowhere to be found. When our waitress shows up with our dessert, Trish asks for her coffee and the waitress says it will come out with my cappuccino - um...

Finally, the night drew to an end, and the waitress dropped our check off. Kary was stunned that she even gave us a check. Fortunately they had taken the steaks off, but that was it. Kary grabbed all of our credit cards and went storming up to find a manager. She found him and told him that we were going to pay for this meal but that we would NEVER come back again - the whole evening was abysmal. What was supposed to be a wonderful evening of reminiscing ended up being totally consumed by kvetching about the miserable service and food we had just undergone. The manager snatched the bill from Kary and told her in a snotty tone that it would be taken care of. Kary insisted that we were going to pay, but he just turned and walked away.

So that's why I never want to see another Palm. I reminded my friends that God works in mysterious ways, and by having this less than perfect experience, we spent the night focusing on that instead of being sad at my leaving.

More good-bye stories to come...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

How Colin Made Total Strangers Smile

This was Colin on moving day. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We are SOOO going here...

The Holy Land Experience - who knew I could show my kids about Jesus' life without flying to Israel? I knew moving here was a good thing!

What She Said...

Matilda at Waltzing Matilda gave such a perfect description of the new Signing Times Series 2 that I can't possibly compete with her. Go check it out. Brian & Sean were mesmerized today!

Isn't He Just the Sweetest?

I know how lucky I am to have met and married Chris. He doesn't need to remind me - but he always does, and it always brings a smile to my face.

I was having an especially hard day today. We had to run a bunch of "administrative" type errands today (driver's license, vehicle registration, etc.) and ended up having the boys in the car for 6 hours. They were on edge, I was on edge.

When we got back to our apartment, there was a box from ProFlowers waiting by the front door. Little did he know how much more those flowers would mean to me today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We're Here

Well, we have arrived in the great state of Florida after nearly a week of our lives being turned upside down.

Last Wednesday, 4 total strangers came to our house and began packing up all of our worldly possessions - and let me tell you, we've got A LOT of worldly possessions! The packers actually ran out of boxes not once, but twice. While they were packing us, my friends Elizabeth and Mary Chris graciously entertained Brian & Sean while Colin hung out with the packers, making them smile.

Thursday dawned bright and early with our new best friends arriving to finish packing us up and loading the above mentioned worldly possessions into a rather large moving truck. What I thought was going to be a shorter day turned into another 10 hour day. When Brian and Sean came home and saw their house was empty, let's just say that they were a little out of sorts. Brian, with tears in his eyes, told me that he wanted his couch back.

Thursday night also saw the return of our friends David & Lala from their anniversary trip to Hawaii. I saw Lala blinking back tears when she saw our empty house. We went out to dinner with them at Red Robin and afterwards, Chris and I went back to our house to finish patching holes, picking up all the little junk left over. The boys took a cat nap during all of this and then around 11, our little clan headed over to the Residence Inn for the first of 2 nights. When we arrived to the hotel, all 3 boys decided that their 2 hour nap had been sufficient. We had a 2-room suite and Brian and Chris were in one room - Brian finally fell asleep around 1 am. I had Sean and Colin in the other bedroom - Sean finally slowed down around 2:07 am, and Colin at 2:52 am. Of course Colin decided that he then needed to wake up at 6:30 for breakfast.

Friday was spent returning cable boxes, Smart Tags, and other various wrap-up type of things. We met David & Lala for breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and again for dinner at San Vito. Between the two meals, I had to say good-bye to Mary Chris and Elizabeth - I was a mess. After dinner, David & Lala accompanied us back to the hotel where the 4 grown-ups spent the next 3 hours trying to ignore the good-byes that were coming. Finally around midnight, we realized that we couldn't put this off forever. Let me just say this - saying good-bye to them was just awful! There were tons of tears, lots of hugs, and then more tears. Chris and I were deliriously tired at this point, so emotions were running even higher than they normally would.

Saturday dawned nice and early. We had to go pick Bailey up from Club Pet and then we got on the road. We were traveling down to Virginia Beach and Chesapeake to say good-bye to Chris' Uncle Frank & Aunt Anne and many of his cousins. We also went to my Aunt Gail & Uncle Gary's house so that we could see my Gramma Summers and her new husband Lyman. Gramma & Lyman got married 6 years ago September 8th. They are so cute together - they still hold hands, and sit close to each other on the couch. I had to laugh when Lyman said that they were celebrating their 5th anniversary - I had to remind him that it was their 6th! They got married a few weeks before Chris and I did, so I definitely know how many years they've been married. We had a nice visit with everyone, and the night ended with Chris spending time hugging the toilet. He wasn't really sure how he was going to be able to drive, and seriously thought he might have to go to the hospital. Fortunately he didn't, but he was pretty weak on Sunday morning.

Sunday was a long day - a 7 hour drive that turned into 9 hours. We pulled into Yemassee, SC around 8 pm and tried to get everyone in bed and asleep at a decent hour.

Monday saw the final leg of our trip south. We left SC around 10:30 and were scheduled (according to the GPS) to arrive in Melbourne at 3:45. We didn't get here until close to 5:30 after driving through what felt like a monsoon! We met our friend Kellie at our apartment complex where she brought us dinner. Afterwards we took the boys to our future neighborhood and showed them where our house is going to be built and walked them through the model home.

We spent today waiting around for Mark, our moving van driver, to arrive with the items we are going to have in our temporary residence. I've spent the rest of the afternoon/evening unpacking and trying to get our life back to some semblance of normalcy - or at least for the next 59 days until we have to move to another apartment!

Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers during this time. My family and I really appreciate it. More posts on our last days in Virginia coming soon.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Blogging Break

To all of my adoring fans:

I know you have been anxiously waiting for more pearls of wisdom from me. Alas, I am going to have to take a short blogging break. With the movers coming on Wednesday to pack the house and load on Thursday, I just don't feel I can do justice to my blog right now. But don't worry; I will be back with a vengeance in a week or so - filled with all of our final good-byes, and tales from the road. Until then...