Sunday, May 31, 2009

fun in the sun garage

It is a sunny 75 degrees in New Jersey right now with a frost advisory in effect from midnight until 7 am tomorrow morning. Strange, isn't it? So before the frost settled in, we decided to enjoy...

...a little fresh air and indirect sunshine...

crabby shirt blur

in the garage.

If it were not for the antibiotic induced light sensitivity, pollen, and pasty white baby skin, we would have opted for a lot of fresh air and full sunshine. Nevertheless, we sure do know how to enjoy ourselves wherever we must be.

Did I forget to mention that we made it to church this morning? Better yet we were only 15 minutes late! I did not have my hopes set high after the last week of vomiting including the incident on the way to church last Sunday with less than a mile to go.

I should regain some sanity in the week to come thanks to my husband and Nathan for installing safety gates in the dining room play room. Although, in Nathan's defense, he was unaware that he was assisting in the installation of yet another gate designed to hold him back.

Teething toddler in training

tool time

takes the tools

tool time-2

for his turn at the task.

tool time-3

Friday, May 29, 2009

scratch that

You know this post, the one I published a mere hour and a half ago? You can know forget about it.

Since then I have sat through an hour and a half worth of screaming and coughing. All the Tobi I have painstakingly tried to get my little boy to inhale has been forcefully expelled from his lungs. And the morning treatments would most certainly not be complete without topping it off with a load of vomit, or two, or three.

So you can join me by saying goodbye to antibiotics and hello to bacteria. Adios Tobi and Bactrim! Hola swampy bacteria creatures.

On that note I am totally done for the day. Now that I have one red faced, puffy eyed, sweaty bodied, upset little boy on my hands.

And if you have a moment, check out this beautiful video montage of the Baker Boys who also live with CF.

sending the canary into the cave

A short update on the vomiting, Nathan only vomited once in the past two days. He made that one time really count though by regurgitating the reddish Jello tinged contents of his stomach onto our light whitish colored carpet.

Now for the not so short update on the vomiting. As I have already mentioned a few days ago, I have been trying anything and everything possible to reduce the frequency of the vomiting. The question is now what change was ultimately successful. The science teacher in me really screwed up on this one being that I made a handful of changes at the same time.

Scientists test only one variable at a time because if you change all variables at once, like I did, you will not be able to identify which variable was responsible for the observed results. Herein lies the problem. But what can I say I am only a science teacher and a mother not a scientist.

The canary has officially been sent into the cave. What is this about canaries and caves? Before special equipment was available, miners would send canaries into the shafts of mines if there were a question about whether the mines were safe. If the canaries died, the mine could be dangerously low in oxygen. How does this relate to our situation? I am glad you asked because until my husband brought this up about 2 hours ago I had no idea myself. Sending canaries into caves was a method of experimentation for miners.

UPDATE: In Jay's own words "All I was saying was to send you [referring to me] out first as a guinea pig to see if the pollen was gone before exposing Nathan. You are the canary, if you sneeze, then it is not safe."

Now to relate it to our situation. If I am the canary, I would be exposed to pollen fresh air. If I begin dripping profusely from the nostrils and sneezing, and shortly thereafter Nathan begins coughing, sneezing, and vomiting there may be an environmental seasonal allergy component at the root of his vomiting. Ok, enough of this canary and cave thing because I am getting confused.

Now for the specifics of my experiment. A little bit of scientific method, shall we? If none other than to show you that there is still a slight chance that my brain still functions.

Define problem:
Nathan has been vomiting much too frequently.

Background research:
What makes Nathan vomit?
What causes the mucous to increase? decrease?
Is there a specific pattern to the vomiting? At a specific time of day? After doing a certain activity? After eating a certain food?

Hypothesis, Hypotheses:
1. Nathan vomits because of the three different swampy bacteria creatures invading his lungs.

2. Nathan vomits because of seasonal allergens such as pollen. (I have terrible seasonal allergies and have noticed that when I am affected most by pollen Nathan also begins to cough, sneeze, and often vomit.)

3. Nathan vomits because of mucous.

Experiment, Experiments: Ideally each of the following experiments should have been done separately. This way I could properly identify which of the variables made a difference. But what can I say, I am desparate and impatient for change!

1. Continue to administer antibiotics, Bactrim orally and Tobi in the nebulizer, twice a day to eradicate bacteria in lungs. Allow 30 minutes for absorption of Bactrim before feeding or physical activity. I try to keep Nathan occupied in his high chair for about a half an hour.

2. Keep windows closed and remain indoors as much as possible to prevent exposure to seasonal allergens and increased production of mucous. I have not gotten a HEPA filtration system yet but this is a future experiment.

3. Increase the duration and frequency of airway clearance treatments to break up mucous.

Analyze Results:
I can't analyze the results because I changed too many variables at once, what a doofus! All I know is the fact that something was effective at reducing the frequency of the vomiting.

Possible Conclusions:
1. The antibiotics eradicated the bacteria in his lungs and the vomiting has decreased because his body is no longer fighting the infection.

2. I have prevented the pollen and other irritating seasonal allergens from upsetting and increasing mucous production.

3. Not sure about this one yet because I have only increased the duration, not the frequency.

In time I am sure I will have a better understanding of the cause of the vomiting. I have had such wonderful advice from other CFer's, CF moms, and moms and am so appreciative for the suggestions. I have added some of the items to my "list to discuss" with Dr. A at next appointment and I have some items to research on my own, like a HEPA system.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

CF T-Shirts: don't let time pass you by

Get 'em while they are hot!

There are still a few sizes remaining.

Hanes Heavyweight T-shirt in Light Blue

I still have the following sizes and quantities
1 Youth XL
4 Adult Large
3 Adult XL

If you would like to order a custom designed CF T-shirt to support Nathan, please include:
  • Your name
  • Address
  • Size(s)
  • $20 per t-shirt
Mail the above to:
Christina Skretkowicz
12 Indian Field Dr.
Hamburg NJ, 07419

Or you can pay with a credit card through Paypal:


You may email me with any questions.

VX-770, a CF therapy enters clinical trials

Exciting news
in the world of Cystic Fibrosis!!

VX-770, a drug aimed at treating the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, started Phase 3 clinical trials. This trial will determine if VX-770 will help CF patients with several different mutations -- including the most common mutation -- DeltaF508. DeltaF508 is the mutation that Nathan inherited from Jay.

VX-770 is being developed and tested by Vertex, with support from the CF Foundation. The potential drug aims to open the chloride channels that do not function and improve lung function.

Click the link below if you are interested in reading the entire article as it appears on the CFF website.
VX-770, A Promising CF Therapy that Addresses Basic Defect, Enters Pivotal Clinical Trials

Vertex (Nasdaq: VRTX)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Having a difficult time finding words today for anything. All I can say is thank God for Wordless Wednesday!

Having some fun after the Ridgewood Memorial Day 5K.

ridgewood memorial day 5k

Nathan wears this hat because he desperately wants to meet his Uncle Frankie, Uncle Mark, & Aunt Erika out in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Do you think he is trying to drop any hints?

ridgewood memorial day 5k-2

Just in case you are curious about the results of the 5K, I came in at 30:23, which is a 10:04 pace. Much improvement over the Sparta 5K a month ago.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Paging Dr. A.

In lieu of recent vomiting activity events, I decided to give the CF clinic's respiratory center a call today at 9:30 am hoping to speak with one of three people, either his pediatric pulmonologist Dr. A., pediatric respiratory therapist S, or pediatric nurse K. I left a message with the receptionist indicating this since they were all seeing patients, in clinic, and on the phone respectively.

I received a call back from pediatric nurse K about 45 minutes later who spoke with pediatric pulmonologist Dr. A. He believes the increase in vomiting recently is directly correlated to his body fighting infection caused by swampy bacteria creatures pseudomonas aeruginosa, chryseobacterium indologenes and staphylococcus aureus.

I have been directed to carefully monitor his level of hydration and his activity level, meaning that he should be acting like himself and not lethargic. Believe me, at the moment, this little boy is anything but lethargic. Did I mention yesterday was his 9 month birthday? Anyway, I digress, back to Swamp Thing.

The balancing act continues, trying to find the correct sequence of medications, treatments, and feedings. Here is Nathan's current schedule according to him (subject to change any minute second without prior notice):

Wake up from peaceful sleep, screaming my head off and eat 6 ounces.

Proceed to cough and gag, scare mama and dada and make them think I am going to vomit all over their dry clean only comforter again.

Suck down my oral antibiotic, Bactrim, with no contest because the pharmaceutical companies trick me with the ever so delightful flavor.

Make mama monitor me for an entire 30 minutes so that the Bactrim has time to absorb.

Resist sleep, sit on my beanbag watching a show, resist sleep, Albuterol in nebulizer, resist sleep, succumb to sleep. (Chest PT, Tobi in nebulizer).

Wake up, eat 6 more ounces while scratching mama's face and pulling at her hair and lips. Repeat as necessary in order to replenish what vomiting has expelled, to increase calorie consumption, and to maintain level of hydration.

Continue to eat all day long anything and everything I can get my hands on including formula, meatballs, soil, branches, rocks, leaves, carpet fuzz, cat toys, etc. Cough. Gag. Gulp. Vomit.

Repeat cycle of treatments all over again in the evening.

If nothing changes over the course of the next several weeks with respect to the effectiveness of the antibiotics and the vomiting, then Nathan will require IV antibiotics.

In the meantime, I still believe there is an environmental component at least partially responsible for the increased mucous activity and I will be researching a whole house HEPA filter, such as this. If anyone has any experience with HEPA filters or filtration systems please comment below with your thoughts!

Monday, May 25, 2009

playroom paint reveal

And the moment you have all been waiting for has finally arrived!

The color is...

paint preview

"Pool Party"

And for those of you who are still curious about the object from which I drew my inspiration, the object that Nathan loves, adores, and cannot live without:

playroom inspiration

His binky!

Yes, I am aware that the color does not match precisely but Lowe's does not have one of those color matchy machines, that must be Home Depot.

And Carla, who guessed orange and green, you would have been correct if I would have gotten my way. Even though these two colors happen to be my husband's favorite, I had to fight hard enough for the bright electric blue. Seriously, I had no chance with orange, primarily because the play room is one of the first rooms you see when you walk into our house.

Do not worry though, I will get my way with an abundance of orange and green accents along with many other obnoxiously bright colors!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

guess that paint color

Yesterday we began to paint the dining room. What dining room? We don't have a dining room! Technically it is a dining room, with a dining room-esque chandelier and all. But since we have no dining room table and have no current need for a dining room in the traditional sense we figured we would transform it into an official "play room".

No don't get me wrong we do eat, but this is primarily done at the either the kitchen table or kitchen counter peninsula on bar stools and even less frequently over the kitchen sink or on the living room sofa. I promise this is almost entirely true.

Anyway like I said, yesterday we began to paint the play room. I have not yet revealed the paint color which we ultimately decided to smother all over the walls but I promise that it is a beautifully scrumptious color. Today we will finish the painting. That is after we buy more paint because apparently I like to lay it on a little on the thick side.

After this feat is accomplished, let the decorating begin. Maybe I will be able to contain the toys that are slowly spreading and taking over our entire house like some sort of highly contagious rash. What do you think?

I will reveal the paint color this afternoon. Until then let's have a little fun and play "Guess that paint color!" So have at it, what color do you think I painted the new play room?

Hint: I used something that Nathan adores, I mean seriously cannot live without, as my inspiration.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

energy, or lack thereof

Today I was asked a question. Well, I guess it would be more like a series of questions. They went something like this:

Where do you get all of your energy?

What energy? I don't have any energy. You should see me sipping my morning, I mean evening coffee as I am doing right now at 9:39 pm desperately trying to stay awake to finish blogging my son's many treatments.

You are always doing one project or another!

Ok, this is not a question. You caught me. But yes, this is true. I am always doing one project or another. Like the deck gate I made with the help of my father in law on Thursday. Or staining said deck gate Friday morning before Nathan woke up. Or painting the dining room play room like I did today. And if you are anxiously waiting to see the results, I am too. So take a number and stand in line! Maybe I will reveal the color sometime tomorrow. Gasp! I can guarantee it will be shocking.

Is what you're using legal? May I have some too?

Yes and yes! Nathan can be borrowed any time, just be sure to bring a U-Haul to transport all his medications and equipment. Yawn.

Bottom line is, I have no energy and I do not sleep enough but I sure do like to get stuff done. A self proclaimed do it yourselfer and make kindly request others do as well. Thank you to my husband the best honey list doer around!

Lastly and totally unrelated to anything above, Nathan vomited 3 out of his 5 feedings today. This behavior is becoming all too familiar around here. It makes me so sad to see him coughing so much and losing his meals. It does not matter if he has an entire bottle or a sip of a bottle, an entire banana or one bite of banana, oatmeal or apple sauce, you get the picture, right?

Allergies? I don't know. Mucous? Most definitely. I really don't know what to do at this point. I have been experimenting this past week trying to find the best way to keep him from coughing the entire contents of his stomach including his oral antibiotic all over the floor.

It seems like the mucous is the worst first thing in the morning and right after any nap. It is best right after his airway clearance medications and treatments, which I normally do twice a day morning and evening. I am thinking that I might try a third series of treatments mid day.

I am so worried about him staying hydrated and continuing to gain weight. Today I would most definitely consider his calorie consumption sub par.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Life is still Good!

Despite all the coughing.

Despite all the vomiting.

life is good monkey 1

Despite all the medicines.

Despite all the treatments.

life is good monkey 2

Life is still Good!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Swamp Thing: back with a vengeance

Remember this post. Well Swamp Thing has returned and with a vengeance! Nathan's past several sputem cultures grew the little swampy bacteria creature pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Yesterday Nathan's pulmonologist, Dr. A, called to inform me that his most recent sputem culture not only grew swampy bacteria creature pseudomonas aeruginosa, but it also grew its swampy bacteria creature buddies chryseobacterium indologenes and staphylococcus aureus.

So what does this mean? Well this clan of swampy bacteria creatures are invading and lurking in the shadows of Nathan's lungs. We tried asking them politely to leave however they refused. Now we must bring in the heavy artillery. This calls for a change in battle treatment plan.

New and improved battle treatment plan is as follows:
Continue the current treatments (albuterol in nebulizer, followed by chest percussion therapy, followed by Tobi in nebulizer) twice a day.
Introduce Bactrim (a combination of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) orally twice a day for 2-3 weeks.

Our fingers are crossed hands are folded in prayer that this is sayonara to all 3 swampy bacteria creatures!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Scrumptious tootsies, don't you think?

may12 nathanpark 3

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CF T-Shirts: get 'em while they're hot!!

Although these t-shirts were selling like hotcakes at the benefit last night, believe it or not, there are still a few sizes remaining. An enormous thank you to Mr. & Mrs. Watson and anyone else who donated their time to oversee the t-shirt sales.

Hanes Heavyweight T-shirt in Light Blue

I still have the following sizes and quantities
1 Youth XL
4 6 Adult Small
4 9 Adult Large
4 8 Adult XL

If you would like to order a custom designed CF T-shirt to support Nathan Parker, please include:
  • Your name
  • Address
  • Size(s)
  • $20 per t-shirt
Mail the above to:
Christina Skretkowicz
12 Indian Field Dr.
Hamburg NJ, 07419

Or you can pay with a credit card through Paypal:


You may email me with any questions.

double the c, double the s

and you will always have success! Which is exactly what last night's Spaghetti Benefit Dinner & Silent auction was, a success!

How do you measure success?

For me success is not only about how much money was raised, a little over four thousand smackers!

It is also about the evening I spent with family, friends, coworkers, and former students of mine. For me, seeing so many familiar faces coming out to support my family and Rachel's family was priceless. For two families struggling with difficult circumstances it was sure nice to take a break and see so much happiness all around. The cafeteria was humming with conversations and laughter. Children were running all over the place having a great time. What more could I ask for?

The event was organized by my coworkers and was held in the cafeteria of the school where I work. No matter where I turned I saw a familiar face. Thank you for selling tickets in advance and at the door, for cooking and serving food, for selling Nathan's shirts and Breast Cancer bracelets, for organizing the silent auction, for donating services and gifts!

I am thankful for middle school students who cleared tables the entire evening and for the many local businesses were very generous and also helped make the evening a success. Although I do not have the specific names of the businesses, I am very grateful for their generosity.

Thank you for volunteering and sacrificing your own time to make last night's event memorable for me. Thank you for making the evening a success!

When my husband arrived with his mother, he said he was having a difficult time finding me since so many people had purchased and were wearing Nathan's CF T-Shirts. This surprised him and he told me later in the evening when were sitting on the sofa doing Nathan's treatments that he was so happy to see everyone supporting Nathan and helping to spread CF awareness.

And to satisfy your need for visuals, here are a few photographs of the children playing outside!

benefit dinner

benefit dinner-2

benefit dinner-3

benefit dinner-4

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I have been working really hard at losing some of the baby weight recently. I gained 50 pounds with this pregnancy and came home from the hospital with 25 pounds still to lose. Almost 9 months later I still have 25 pounds waiting, begging to be lost. I can not be the only person whose weight remained unchanged by breastfeeding.

And while I am talking about weight, this week I did not eat almost an entire pan of brownies. And if I did do such a thing, I definitely did not eat said brownies one teeny tiny little sliver at a time to make it seem like I was only having a small portion. There is no way that I would justify brownie binging in my mind this way.

And if it seems like I am losing my mind at times, I surely am NOT!

I did not stand in front of the garage door key pad repeatedly pressing the enter button while wondering why the garage door was not opening. I most certainly did not almost panic because Nathan and I were locked out of the house and it certainly did not take me well over a minute to realize that I had never entered the code.

On an entirely different and completely unrelated note, bladder situations have not been common since my blessed little boy entered my world. While on the one hour drive home from my cousin's house and faced with a bladder situation, I did evaluate my options (loosen belt, unbutton pants, hold out for another 30 minutes, make a stop and wake up sleeping baby in car seat to use dirty public restroom) but I did not give in to the large plastic cup screaming at me from the cup holder. Nope, Not Me!

Read what everyone else has not been doing this week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

things that go vroom

I always wanted a motorboat and now I finally have one!

UPDATE: benefit dinner

The benefit dinner is tomorrow evening! Are you excited? We most definitely are!

If you are located anywhere near the Sussex Middle School you should attend this dinner. The find out the complete details click here.

benefit dinner at sms

Also wear your CF T-Shirt if you purchased one to show your support for Nathan. If you did not get one yet, I will be bringing the remaining extras. See you there!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

teething hurts

I absolutely can not stand seeing my baby in pain, and today has been one pain filled, miserable day.

Teeth are overrated anyway, don't you think??
may15 teething misery-8

I mean he does not need teeth to drink this bottle, does he?
may15 teething misery-3

But the bottom line is that every baby experiences the pain of teething. I am so glad that I do not remember experiencing this pain and that Nathan won't either. Better to have miserably sore gums at home than to be experiencing complications from CF (cystic fibrosis). Thank God for Nathan's current health. We will get through this!!

What do you think is going through Nathan's head here...
may15 teething misery he is looking in on our cats from outside??

Or better yet...What are the cats thinking?

To Infinity and Beyond!

may12 nathanpark

Name That Photo! Winner - Now why on earth would I request people to name a photo if I can't even pick a winner? Seriously, this most difficult task was actually making me nauseous. Anyway, I have overcome the anxiety and chosen "To Infinity and Beyond!" by elisebre

My other favorites:

"Another obstacle I WILL overcome!" by CarrieGoldz

"Nothing is too big for Nathan" by Angela

"The longest journey begins with a single step" by Tiaras and Tantrums

Not to mention all of the captions suggested by husband and his brother. I have to say they kept me laughing. Thank you to everyone for participating. I now think I can handle this!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

my mountains and valleys

Fluctuations in life are normal since humans are not perfect and can never be perfect, like God. It is impossible to maintain the ideal and perfect "high" all the time. Instead, God gives us "lows" which help us to appreciate the "highs".

Bad things happen all over the world every minute of every day. It is true, we all have highs and lows! What matters is how we cope in these "low" situations. The best way to cope is to recognize the "lows" as "lows", knowing that the "highs" will return. Do not get caught up with or overcome by the down days for you will prevent yourself from progressing with God and fulfilling His plan in your life.

Celebrating my first Mother's Day with my husband and son.
Searching the house for my Mother's Day gifts and cards.
Reading what husband wrote in Nathan's card to me. (Happy Mother's Day to someone who's fun to stay with and play with and spend all day with! Thank you for keeping me happy and healthy and making me smart and strong.)
Opening my brand new camera and lens.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail to the spot where husband proposed.

Beginning Nathan's Tobi antibiotic treatments, again.
Nathan coughing and vomiting, still.
Not being able to celebrate Mother's Day with my mother and knowing that she has never met Nathan (and another "high", knowing that she will eventually meet Nathan in Heaven a long time from now, God willing.)

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, Name That Photo

It is currently 9 am EST and I have just returned from the pharmacy with Nathan's Tobi which I will begin this morning and continue for an entire month! Lucky me. Needless to say I will be very, um, busy for the next 28 days.

So for today I am going to be a bit lazy and being that it is Wednesday and I am currently lost for words I am going to leave it up to you to do my job.

This photo...

may12 nathanpark

...needs a name.

So leave a comment below with a caption or a title for the above photograph, and be clever! I know you guys are reading this and I am pretty sure my husband is dying to read some comments not left on facebook will have his thinking cap on to create a comment more clever than yours so...comment, below, now!!!!!

I will announce a winner soon...or eventually...or whenever I feel like I have a good caption. And it better not be husband's caption, sorry Jay!

Also, did you guys buy your tickets yet for the Spaghetti Dinner Benefit & Silent Auction?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Goodbye, for now, sweet little "one pound blessing"

Last night Kayleigh Anne Freeman, "the one pound blessing", took her last breath. Please pray for her journey to Heaven and also for her family who have said goodbye, for now, to their sweet little baby girl.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Today I absolutely did not let Nathan take a taste of my fudge pop.

This did not happen and even if it did happen, which it didn't, it would not have been because his little gums were sore from teething. It also would not have been my attempt to comfort him after he took a tumble from the first step of stairs.

Even if I did let him taste my fudge pop, I would not have photographed him doing so. No way, not me! And I would not have let him get chocolate all over his face and outfit for such a photograph.

None of this happened, not even once!

Even if it did happen once it most certainly would not have happened twice.

Or even three times.

I also never gave up hope that I would be able to finish my fudge pop.

Read what everyone else has not been doing this week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom I made and ate hot meals.
I had unstained clothing.
I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I went to bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was Mom I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom I had never been puked on, pooped on, spit on, peed on, chewed on, or pinched by tiny fingers.

Before I was a Mom I had complete control of my mind, my thoughts, my body and all my feelings.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew how much I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a Mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was alright.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache or the satisfaction of being a Mom.

I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much...
...before I was a Mom.

Author Unknown

Now that my first Mother's Day has come to an end I am sitting here reflecting. I came across the above poem and found much of it to be completely true regarding the transformation I have gone through these past eight and a half months. Although I may not sleep enough or shower enough, I have never been happier.

This little boy has brought so much joy into my life and only wish that my mother was still here to have experienced this joy as well.

My muscles may be sore from all of Nathan's treatments and my eyes may be tired from the lack of sleep but each day is more rewarding than the last.

My handsome husband and my sweet son have gone all out to make this day extra special for me. I truly feel that I am appreciated.

The day began with a hunt, a scavenger hunt. The ground rules were set and I began to search the entire house for two gifts and two cards, one of each from husband and son. Once I found all of the above, I was required to open in the following order: munchkin's card, husband's card, husband's gift, and finally munchkin's gift.

I opened husband's gift, NEW CAMERA!!! I could not believe that I finally got the camera that I had been drooling over. I would have been thrilled to have gotten the camera along with the kit lens that has been often deemed useless and referred to as a paperweight. Then I open Nathan's gift...a telephoto zoom lens!!! Considering I take hundreds of photographs on a daily basis, you can consider me the happiest mother on the face of the earth.

What could make Mother's Day better than being able to spend the entire day with husband, son, spectacular camera, and ridiculously rad lens? I am so glad that you asked. We packed up the Jeep and went for a hike on the Appalachian Trail to the spot where Jay proposed. This is such a special place for us and I was ecstatic to be sharing our sanctuary with Nathan Parker for the very first time.

Even though I am now covered in poison ivy and I have pulled several ticks off my husband this is one of the best days of my entire life. To make the day even more special, two beautiful azalea bushes were waiting on my doorstep and are waiting to be planted.

Now that I am completely exhausted and happy as ever, I will finish rambling and put my head to rest.

Happy Mother's Day to ALL!