Monday, November 30, 2009

Can you spare 5 minutes, a birthday card, and 44¢ stamp?

I am copying this letter from an email I received. I was very touched by the request and thought maybe my readers could spare 5 minutes, a card, and 44¢ stamp. Please read the letter below and you will be touched too. Cathy's friend is not asking for us to send money, just a card or a note for her freind who has terminal cancer and is soon to be celebrating her 50th birthday.

This story was very near to my heart because my own mother passed away from cancer the day after Christmas (also her favorite holiday) when she was only 50 years old. Thank you for spreading the Christmas cheer!

To all my friends and family,

I am writing because I need your help. I have a great friend, Cathy, who has terminal breast cancer. Cathy is one of the most genuine, caring friends I could have ever asked for. This is where I need your help.

Her birthday is on December 7th and she is going to turn 50. She is sooooo excited about this milestone and I want to be sure she has a birthday to remember. As I sat and wondered what could I possibly send her to make it so memorable, I realized that with the help of all of you, we can make her birthday as special as she has made me feel all these years. I am asking that you all send her a birthday card, a funny 50 card, or an inspirational birthday card, whatever you find and mail it to her home.

What a surprise it will be when she goes to her mail and finds hundreds of well wishes or birthday cards from people she doesn't even know. I know if you had the opportunity to meet Cathy, you would agree she is very inspirational. Her strength has taught me to appreciate every gift God gives us, as we should never take our health or good fortune for granted.
She has taught me so much about faith and how to make good out of every little "bad" thing you may encounter.

Cathy's breast cancer has traveled to her lungs, several areas on her liver and now her brain. She told me that she isn't mad, or never asks "why me", because she knows that God has a plan for her. Thanksgiving and Christmas and the whole holiday season is her favorite time of year.

Please help me in celebrating Cathy's birthday, please, send her address to everyone you know, family members, friends, whoever you know that will also send her birthday wishes. Cathy has been battling cancer and has had many rounds of chemo for 2 years now. She stays strong and continues to fight. If she sees how many people are behind her, she will continue to fight this terrible battle.

Please, as I said, her birthday is on December 7th, (just
around the corner) and I ask you to all help me celebrate her 50th birthday. Please make it a birthday for her to remember, and I would be forever grateful. Her address is below. I haven't mentioned this on facebook as I didn't want her to see what we were up to.

God Bless you all and Merry Christmas!!

Cathy Strzelewicz
6 South Iowa Ave
Addison, IL 60101

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

As for me, I have not developed a love affair with vacuums. The dust buster was not used this past week to clean flour off the counters and crumbs off the kitchen table. Only an extremely lazy person would use a hand held vacuum on every surface imaginable from the sofas, to the highchair, to the kitchen counters and table.

I also did not squeal with delight when my father purchased me a Shop Vac on Black Friday. This high powered vacuum has not become my vacuum of choice these days. I am a girly girl who would only be caught pushing a snazzy Dyson or the likes. I have not become totally obsessed with the capabilities of the Shop Vac and have never been caught shoving the hose into the air conditioning and heating ducts to catch whatever Nathan has hidden on me. Did you know that everything you suck up gets stowed in a huge open canister? Isn't that totally exciting, I mean totally boring? Would you look inside after every vacuuming session? Not me!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tailgating, Christmas Style

Today we joined some friends and their family at a local Christmas tree farm for some tailgating. We stopped at a Dunkin Donuts on the way to the farm and Nathan discovered doughnut holes.

Here is our munchkin eating a munchkin. He analyzed to ball of dough for a few minutes and then finally realized it was edible.

Christmas Tailgating-3-2

The wind was blowing today which made it feel much colder than it actually was. Nathan, an avid hat hater, put up quite a fight. Each time I placed his hat on his head he quickly tossed it to the ground.

Christmas Tailgating-9-2

Eventually Nathan left the hat issue alone and snuck away from mama to get closer to beer bottles, the barbecue, and the men. That's Ayden's daddy, Wally, behind Nathan on the left and Ayden on the right.

christmas tailgating collage

He was magnetically attracted to a football that was being tossed back and forth between the guys.

Christmas Tailgating-15-2

Then I took Nathan to check out the Christmas trees. He was not impressed. Maybe he did not enjoy the fact that he was all warm and cozy in my arms and then I plopped him on the ground in from of a tree all by himself for a photo. I am sure he will change his mind when the tree is in our warm home, covered with lights, and ornaments.

Christmas Tailgating-17-2

We did not choose our Christmas tree today but if we had listened to Nathan like we did at the pumpkin patch we would have gone home with this Charlie Brown Christmas tree. He really seamed to like this scrawny tree.

Christmas Tailgating-31-2

When Nathan's nose began to run, all three of us warmed up in the car where daddy taught son how to use the stick shift. I smiled at this moment from the back seat.

Christmas Tailgating-61-2

Christmas tailgating cold

What a fabulous tradition this family has. I think we could get used to Christmas tree tailgating every year. How about it, shall I add it to our calendar for next year? {smile} I am so thankful to have such wonderful friends.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Recently I have been thinking about all that I am thankful for, you know because that is what you do around this time of the year. I have so much to be thankful for in life.

I experience hardships like many other people. I do not want to compare notes because so many would have me beat hands down. I am so thankful that my family has not gone hungry. I am thankful that I packed on an additional eight pounds since Nathan was born {chuckle}. Maybe I was a little sarcastic on that one but it just goes to show that I am not hungry and neither is my family. Through the generosity of family, friends, food cards, and our own limited finances we have managed to keep food in our cupboard and even some treats on the table.

I am thankful to have met some really fantastic bloggie friends all of whom have taught me so much. Take these cookies for example. I think with each batch of cookies I get a smidgen better but there is still much room for improvement.

Thanksgiving 2009-58

I am thankful for holidays and having loving family to share them with. I am just beginning to realize how fortunate our family is to have two vehicles. This really is a luxury that not every family has. Some may think it is a little strange that I am thankful that there is a potential buyer for one of our vehicles but I am. I will be even more thankful to have only one reliable vehicle with a fantastic view because it will reduce our expenses greatly, and well because it really has quite a fantastic view.

Thanksgiving 2009-61

I am thankful {in advance} for my very supportive family who will undoubtedly be there for me when I need a ride. *hint, hint*

Most importantly, I am thankful for my two guys. For my husband - even though he gets sucked into Nick Jr. shows, he is always very supportive of me and most of the time understands me despite my emotional rollercoaster way of dealing with life's problems. For Nathan - God's greatest gift to me, a smile that can brighten even the darkest days, an inquisitive mind, a fighter, and a lover of life. He makes my world go round.


tgiving collage2

tgiving collage3

A heart of thanksgiving is what I have. For spending time with family on a warm and sunny November Holiday with a no longer feverish sock wearing son. For having an aunt who reminds me so much of my mom that cooks and bakes quite like Martha Stewart. When I compared her to Martha Stewart over the Thanksgiving meal she prepared from scratch down to the cranberry relish, she responded "No Christina {that's me!} Martha Stewart would have built the table too."

What are you all THANKFUL for this year?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Alphabitty Moments: The Letter "K"

"K" is for kisses goodnight. Every night after finishing treatments, I give Nathan a single kiss on the forehead and then Jay brings him to bed. I treasure these goodnight kisses, all 458 of them {and counting}.

Alphabitty K

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alphabitty Moments: The Letter "J"

I am so hoping to be all caught up on my Alphabitty Moments by tomorrow. That means I will have to complete and post "K" and "L". Oh wait, tomorrow is Thanksgiving so scratch that entire plan. There is always next week!

"J" is for Jeep. Do you remember this post? I love my Jeep but the time has come to eliminate one more monthly payment. I am a little sad that it has come to this but the bottom line is - "it is only a vehicle". A little over one year ago (September 29th, 2008 to be exact) Dr. A with support nearby informed me of Nathan's diagnosis. I knew from that point forward our lives would never be the same. God has a different plan for us. We are not quite sure what it is yet but we do know that selling my Jeep is the right decision.

One thing is certain though, I will always have fond memories of my Rubicon. I will always remember...
...Nathan's infant seat and how I thought I would eventually get a hernia from putting it in and taking it out of the Jeep.
...Having to constantly climb in the back to get Nathan situated.
...Hopping out with Nathan in my arms trying not to hit his head on the roll bar.
...Driving with the windows out or the top down.
...Putting Nathan in his car seat through the open windows or the trunk, so much easier!!

I think Nathan really enjoyed the bouncy ride and looking out the rear window. He had such a good view of the road and all the "cahs" (more commonly known as "cars"). You would think my son was from Boston. Whenever we drive around he repeatedly says "cah" and moments later "cah" again. Such fond memories created with my little man.

Alphabitty J

broken heart

I have a prayer request. This man's broken heart has been weighing heavily on my own heart.


He is a pastor of a church and is a friend of my family. I know how important he is to his own family, his children, his grandchildren, his friends. I hope they do not mind that I am publicly posting a request for prayer but could it really hurt? It is not like God is going to send our duplicated prayer requests to His spam folder.

Van Saun Park-23-2

Out of respect for his privacy and his family I will not divulge many details but he is currently hospitalized and intubated for stress induced cardiomyopathy also known as broken heart syndrome. Pastor J prays for Nathan and even offered a prayer before the meal at Nathan's First Birthday Bash. Now we find ourselves praying for him. Please join me and pray for this God loving man!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday - Blog & Address Book

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

"Tackle It Tuesday is about giving ourselves incentive, deadlines and satisfaction in getting our household tasks done."

Today my goal is to finish rearranging and tweaking my blog layout. Sorry again for confusing you guys with all the changes I have been making.

My second goal is to rebuild my address book database, again. This is not the first time and it is probably not the second time that my computer based address book got deleted by accident. The last time I used it was for Nathan's first birthday and now I need it again for Christmas cards but it is not there. Jay even tried to recover it from the hard drive but it must have been overwritten by another file. So I want to apologize to family and friends in advance for harassing you again. Maybe I should just write them down this time.

please pardon the dust

I have been doing a little rearranging on my blog so I am sorry for the confusion. I am still not completely satisfied but must take a break for breakfast and treatments. I promise, when I find something that works for me I will try to stick with it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alphabitty Moments: The Letter "I"

I am still playing catch up with my Alphabitty Moments. I think MamaBear will be posting the letter "L" this Thursday so maybe I will catch up by Christmas.

The letter "I" is for Independence. Independence with everything except holding his own bottle, that one took forever. This one makes me sniffle and smile all at the same time. No time to elaborate, my sick boy is awake again.

Alphabitty I

sick boy


We just finished up at the doctor. His throat culture was negative for strep so he was prescribed liquid Tamiflu (apparently many local pharmacies are out of this so they must make it from capsules), additional ACT treatments, and Tylenol every 4 hours as needed. For the next couple of hours Nathan is supposed to follow a clear liquid diet and then can follow the BRAT diet. I will keep you posted.

The only good thing about this illness is the extra cuddles I am getting. Feel better soon, baby boy!

Original Post

This was originally going to be an update on last Wednesday's clinic appointment but this morning I found myself trying to comfort an ill baby. After another irritable night of sleep, I brought him downstairs to feed him a bottle (6 am) which he promptly vomited all over. It is only after I began removing vomit pajamas did I notice how feverishly warm he was. I. Just when I thought I'd get away with one measly visit to the doctor in a week, I end up with an additional one to two ill baby appointments on my calendar.

So here is my slightly abridged version of the clinic update.

For some reason Nathan is entirely freaked out by the scale but we finally managed to get a weight of 24 pounds - Outstanding, nearing closer to the 50th percentile!

There is always a huge discrepancy between the height measurements at clinic vs. the pediatrician. At clinic, Nathan is measured standing and is a little over 31 inches. At the pediatrician, he is still measured on his back and is significantly longer than 31 inches. Kinda makes me laugh!

Nutrition: Limit juice consumption, serve milk in a sippy cup with meals keep offering vegetables, salt!

Dr. A Review: Last culture grew staph but not pseudomonas, bloodwork showed low hemoglobin (possible anemia), may need iron supplement. If the current (I do not have the results yet) and the next sputum cultures are both pseudomonas free, Dr A. would like to perform a bronchoscopy and a PFT (pulmonary function test) in one visit.

I had prepared a list of questions for the Respiratory Therapist. Pacifier with treatments? Preferably not. Cleaning the chamber of MDI? At the same time I clean chamber and mask. How to tell when the MDI is empty and needs to be replaced? Never really got a good answer to that one so I will continue to toss every month.

Now I am going to continue tending to my sick boy.


On the way home from the supermarket to get food I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up a cheap (yea, right!?) thermometer since I couldn't locate my trusty ole rectal. Between the $50 ear thermometer and the $50 forehead thermometer, I chose ear. I am still learning how to use the darn thing and after 4-5 readings in both ears I got a range of 101.7-103.7. My poor lil fella.

He has an appointment this afternoon with the pediatrician. Until then I will attempt to keep his fever down, push fluids, and monitor his cough. I also called his CF doctor who said to kick up Nathan's treatments (add an afternoon session) if he begins hacking. The only thing I am enjoying right now is cuddling with my extra cuddly sick boy but I do hate seeing him so uncomfortable.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Goodnight Moon

Nathan loves to read and he loves reading with his daddy but Goodnight Moon is a Mommy & Nathan book.

Jay, if you are reading this, "Leave Goodnight Moon for me. I will let you have A Very Hungry Caterpillar {makes me hungry} AND Guess How Much I Love You {the rabbit names, Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare make me tongue tied}."


To all my family, friends, neighbors, and anyone else in the area: I am hosting a Grand Opening At Home America HomeShow at my house next Sunday. I can't seem to locate my address book database on the computer so I only have a few email addresses. If you would like to come and enjoy an early dinner and some holiday shopping together just email me (christina.athome at yahoo dot com) and I will give you all the information. You can also shop online if you can't make it to our house.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

chocolate chip coffeecake

In order to stop myself from eating handful after handful of chocolate chips straight from the bag, I decided to search for a recipe that didn't require flour because wouldn't you know that I am all out.

Apparently you can do a lot with the "complete" pancake mix, the type of pancake mix that you just add water to. The recipe I found came from Hungry Jack's website and is called "Chocolate Chip Coffeecake". I was shocked that I had all of the ingredients including the sour cream! Who ever has sour cream in their refrigerator that isn't covered with green fuzz? Not me! Actually I do, for once!

Chocolate Chip Coffeecake
Photo credit:

2 1/2 cups Complete Pancake Mix (Just Add Water)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation Directions:
1.HEAT oven to 375°F. Spray an 8 or 9-inch square pan with no-stick cooking spray. I don't have a square pan so I picked a rectangular pan that had a similar area.
2.COMBINE pancake mix, 1/3 cup sugar and chocolate chips in medium bowl. Add water, sour cream and vanilla. Blend well. Using an ice cream scoop, shape dough into sixteen 2-inch dough balls. Place in 4 rows of 4 each in prepared pan. I used an ice cream scoop but didn't really pay attention to size.
3.COMBINE 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle over dough. You can also add finely chopped walnuts to the topping mixture if you are so inclined. I wanted to save my walnuts for my morning oatmeal so I left them out.
4.BAKE 24 to 26 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Here is how mine turned out. Jay's parents just invited us over to eat lasagna so I think I will bring this to share.

choco coffee cake-2-2

Friday, November 20, 2009

home where he belongs

Shortly, and I mean minutes, after publishing the previous post, I heard Jay open the front door and in he walked...


...carrying Baxter! Almost 24 hours later he is back home where he belongs!

another rough day

Today has been another extremely rough day for me and for my husband. Last night upon returning from my first real At Home America HomeShow, I must've let our Baxter out of the house. I have been an emotional wreck all day because of this and other undefined stresses.

I made a flyer and Jay is currently walking door to door to door in our development. I pray that Jay brings our beloved big fat cat home with him. If someone found Baxter and brought him in I hope they are willing to return him when they find out he has special medical needs.

I will be posting an update about Nathan's Wednesday visit to the hospital this weekend but right now I must pull myself together and put a smile on my face for my little man.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I am not a believer in luck, good or bad, but today feels a little bit like a "If it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all" days.

I am doing the best I can to help or at least attempt to help make up for the financial deficit in our household. I am accepting commisioned side jobs of all sorts and am extremely grateful that there are side jobs available for me. I started a business with At Home America and am working my tush off, hoping that I will succeed. But juggling all of this with the lovely duties that come along with being a mom to an inquisitive toddler and more importantly a CF caregiver is nearly imposssible and is draining the life out of me.

I am not complaining, in fact I would not have it any other way. I am truly blessed to have these opportunities to generate income but at the same time I feel like a deserve a morning to sleep late and a bit of undisturbed "me time" that involves soaking in the tub, exfoliating, and painting my nails.

The miniature meltdowns I have been experiencing all morning have been escalating and that is why I am currently taking a moment to breathe and a moment to vent.

I have much to accomplish before my first real At Home America HomeShow this evening and have been multi-tasking all day. Coffee while banking and feeding Nathan bits of corn muffin smother in cream cheese. I used to savour every sip of my morning coffee but I am beginning to wonder why I even bother anymore. And breakfast? I may have had a few bites of Nathan's corn muffin but I am not quite sure. And I also may have had a forkful or two of leftover ham that my neighbor made for us last week. Again, not quite sure.

Then I began writing a last minute shopping list of items needed for this evening. Nathan ripped it up while I was organizing papers and small gifts. I began writing a new last minute shopping list, typed a text message to my father begging him to come watch Nathan for an hour so I could run to the store. Thank God! He said, YES!

So I began sterilizing Nathan nebulizer cup and mask and while that was degermifying I gave him two puffs of his Albuterol inhaler. I continued to organize my materials for this evening then stopped Nathan from shredding important papers so that I could begin his Hypertonic Saline treatment. My father arrived mid treatment and Nathan began to put up a fight, so I did something I don't normally do and stopped mid treatment. I grabbed a handful of chocolate chips, maybe it was more like two handfuls, and left to get what I needed at the stores.

Quick trip to Staples then a pit stop at Arby's for some curly fries and a diet coke at 11 am. Refuel at the gas station so I wouldn't have to worry about that on the way to the HomeShow then finally Walmart. I ate my fries while throwing various items into the shopping cart at Walmart and then returned home.

I placed my bags on the kitchen table only to have Nathan pull down the 4 dollar and something cent gallon of whole milk I just purchased and have it explode on the floor. I used a roll and a half of paper towels to clean up the mess since our mop is upstairs and I didn't want to have the stairs consume the last of my remaining energy. I threw our kitchen rug out on the deck in the rain so I wouldn't have to battle the odor of sour milk in the future.

Nathan and I finished the last 5-10 minutes of his Hypertonic Saline solution and CPT (chest percussion therapy) during which he fell asleep, thank God!!! Changed his diaper and put him down for a nap, threw a load of diapers into the washing machine, layered cookie ingredients in a mason jar, and here I am!

Perhaps I should think of eating something nutritious, regrouping, surviving the day, and looking forward to this evening.

I can only imagine what life would be like if I had returned to teaching this year. The grading, the lesson plans, the conferences, the school duties and meetings and Nathan's treatments?! Today's experience tells me that my decision to resign from teaching was the correct decision.

I need sleep.

silent shame

This week on JuiceBoxJungle (check the right sidebar for widget) I watched a video entitled "Ashamed to bottlefeed?" My answer is complicated. So here is my breastfeeding story.

Upon checking into the hospital to give birth to my son, the nurse asked me my preference between breastfeeding and bottlefeeding. There was no question in my mind that I would breastfeed my son when he was born.

After giving birth to him, the nurse taught me how to get him to latch on, it was not easy. For those of you who know me in real life, you may want to stop reading right here. The details that follow may be TMI, too much information.

So here I go. Throughout the pregnancy, and even before the pregnancy, I had the misconception that God had blessed me and that I would have a large supply. But apparently size has nothing to do with supply. Anywho, I came to the conclusion in the hospital that having a large chest can actually make it more difficult to breastfeed. In my opinion, not that I have anything to compare my experiences with, the larger you are the more difficult it is to get a good latch because you need to, ahem, support yourself at the same time as supporting a teeny tiny little newborn.

By the end of my recovery in the hospital I was, let me think of the right word, sore! The water from the shower was burning my cracked and sore nipples and lanolin became my new best friend. I could have easily quit but I was determined to make breastfeeding work for me and for Nathan. The nipple shield provided by the nurse did show some promise but never really solved the problem. Down the road I found products that made breastfeeding easier. The Boppy is an all around good product with so many different uses. I also used a Breast Pillow {don't laugh}, I thought I would invent this product but discovered after researching online that it already existed.

Breastfeeding Obstacle #1 - Artificial Nipples

I never devised a birth plan but, in retrospect, I should have. Me informing the nurse that Nathan would be exclusively breastfed and not bottlefed did not stop her from supplementing with a bottle of glucose water and a pacifier while he was in the nursery. I did not see this happen but found out when he was brought to me with the half used bottle of sterile glucose water and pacifier in his mouth. He was required to stay in the nursery because he was born with premature atrial contractions and was attached to a heart monitor. The nurses would bring him to me every few hours to nurse.

After leaving the hospital and arriving home, I was a 24 hour milk machine. Change Diaper, Breastfeed, Nap, Repeat.

Breastfeeding Obstacle #2 - Sleepy Newborn

I had a difficult time nursing Nathan in the beginning because newborn babies are so sleepy and breastfeeding is so comforting. I read books about how to train your baby to sleep by feeding him on a schedule and was given the advice to offer feedings every 3 hours. I woke Nathan up to feed him and he would fall right back to sleep. We were told to undress him, wipe his face with wet cloths, flick his feet, whatever it took to keep him alert enough to eat. Now that I think about it, this was all so ridiculous! I will never wake a sleeping baby ever again. A hungry baby will eat!

I think the doctor's visits during the first month just added stress. Nathan's weight was dropping closer and closer to the 5th percentile and his pediatrician was making me feel like I wasn't feeding him enough. Now I know the reason was Cystic Fibrosis and not my breast milk.

Breastfeeding Obstacle #3 - Not knowing how to discreetly breastfeed in public

Discrete breastfeeding is not something that comes natural, it requires practice and must be learned. During that first month, as Nathan was failing to thrive, eyebrows were being raised and testing for Cystic Fibrosis began. I spent hours in uncomfortable public places, laboratories, and exam rooms at the hospital. I was still just learning how to breastfeed and now I had to do it in front of the world. I ended up feeding him in the car after allowing him to get irritable during lengthy visits with doctors.

Breastfeeding Obstacle #4 - Pancreatic enzymes and Cystic Fibrosis

When Nathan was one month old, he was officially diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and breastfeeding became even more difficult. Now I was required to administer pancreatic enzymes with every feeding. What used to be a simple whip it out and let him eat turned into a huge feeding ordeal.

Step 1 - Make a trip to the kitchen. Grab the applesauce out of the refridgerator, a baby spoon out of the drawer, and the medicine bottle off the counter.

Step 2 - Open enzyme capsule onto a spoonful of applesauce and administer to one month old son.

Step 3 - Whip it out and let him eat.

Step 4 - Repeat Steps 2 and 3 when switching sides or when feeding continues longer than 20 minutes.

Just one more thing to disrupt the enjoyment of mommy and baby feeding time.

After that first month, we began introducing an occasional bottle of expressed breast milk for Jay to share feedings. At first, I thought bottlefeeding was so much easier in terms of CF. I was able to hold the bottle with one hand while preparing the medication with my other hand. I was able to comfortably feed him during our visits to the hospital. But then I had to pump in addition to breastfeeding and all my other newly acquired duties as a CF caregiver. I couldn't just be mommy and enjoy my new baby, I had a job to keep him healthy first and foremost.

Nathan became increasingly used to the ease of the bottle and by 6 months old Nathan flat out refused to nurse. Each time I attempted to nurse him it was as if I was torturing him. He screamed and arched his back and head. This was torturing me. I wanted to make breastfeeding work so badly but the cards were not stacked in my favor. I have learned so much from my first experience with breastfeeding and will know how to avoid and possibly overcome many of the obstacles I initially experienced.

Note to self for future children: No artificial nipples {bottles}, Avoid pumping and use only for the purpose of increasing supply {it is no fun}, Learn how to feel comfortable breastfeeding in public {ignore stares, it is not a sexual act}, Breastfeed as often as baby wants, Never wake a sleeping baby.

I do not feel ashamed to have bottlefed Nathan since I did succeed in breastfeeding him for the first 6 months. I do continue to wish we would have succeeded longer with breastfeeding but there is always next time!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nathan's Current Medications and Treatments

Last updated: 11/18/2009
Age: 15 months
Gene Types: Delta F508 (∆F508) and 711+1G→T

Albuterol: 2 times a day, every 4 hours as needed
Hypertonic Saline: 2 times a day
CPT: 2 times a day
TOBI: 2 times a day (28 days on, 28 days off), currently on
Bactrim: currently off
Cipro: currently on
Creon 6: 3.5 capsule per 8 ounce bottle, 2 per meal
ADEK: 2 ml once a day
Salt: 1/4 tsp. once a day

Weight: 24 lbs.
Height: 31 inches

Wordless Wednesday {Sleepy Boy}


This post has been scheduled to publish ahead of time, since I just learned how to do that! I am currently either at the hospital or on my way to the hospital for Nathan's regularly scheduled clinic appointment.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday - Garage

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

"Tackle It Tuesday is about giving ourselves incentive, deadlines and satisfaction in getting our household tasks done."

This week Today, I am tackling our garage. Have we ever parked out car in the garage since we moved into our house January 2007? No! If you look at the "before" photograph below you can see why this would be impossible. My goal for today is not to park our car in the garage but to do a little organizing so I can walk through without climbing over obstacles.

garage before

Check back in a few hours for what I hope will be an amazing transformation!


Far from perfect but this is how the garage turned out in as little as one hour of organizing and tidying.

garage after

I brought all the spring and summer items down to the basement. I did not shove anything!! I also brought down some of the seasonal and holiday decorations, again not shoving them in a corner but organizing them in the basement.

On the right hand side of the garage I have the recycling and garbage. On the left hand side I have some items that I need to sort through in addition to some craft and business supplies and tools...then there is that enormous ladder that I can do nothing with until my husband finishes some work in our foyer.

Monday, November 16, 2009

boy meets girl

Or should I say boy apron meets girl apron?

I was commissioned by a friend to sew a total of 12 aprons for her cooking party scheduled for this evening. She requested 6 aprons for each gender. This is what happens when boy apron meets girl apron.

aprons copy

I wanted to sew medium black rick rack onto the pockets of the girl aprons but Walmart must not have been paying close attention to their inventory.

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

For me, I have not wasted all morning on the computer completing the online disability report application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Nathan. I would not even consider skipping breakfast and lunch to get this done during nap time and am not jittery at the moment because of this.

I am not incredibly thankful that God made me obsessively organized, or maybe I am. You would think I would have printed out the application I completed last year and saved it for this exact scenario. When all I found in Nathan's 3 ring medical binder was the Notice of Disapproved Claim for SSI, I did not resort to my pile of calenders and planners from previous years to help me remember the dates of various clinic visits, treatments, tests and procedures since Nathan was born.

I did remember to print the summary sheet of the application this time. All 6 pages are nestled in page protectors and secured in Nathan's medical binder just in case I get another Notice of Dissaproved Claim for SSI and have to reapply yet again.

Can you guys tell that my mind is all over the place today?

Happy Not Me! Monday. Time to feed my stomach and deliver 12 completed aprons! Check back later today or tomorrow for pictures of the aprons.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Alphabitty Moments: The Letter "H"

MamaBear from 4 the Love of Family created this carnival as a way to record the little things kids do. Check out her blog to view more Alphabitty Moments.

I am slowly catching up. For the letter "H" we have {big boy} hair cut. Nathan had his first hair cut right before his first birthday by my close friend, Kelly. I only wanted her to trim a very little off because I wasn't quite ready to let go of the baby haircut. She did a great job and Nathan behaved very well. I don't have a photograph of this hair cut because he was on my lap and I was holding his arms.

But Nathan needed another hair cut, badly. His hair was in his eyes and he was developing dread locks. So his second hair cut involved clippers. Nathan was not a happy camper, that is until I gave him a lollipop. From that point forward he just sucked away at his hair clipping covered lollipop.

Alphabitty H

Saturday, November 14, 2009

i don't want anything anymore

I don't want
the house.

I don't want to remember where our down payment came from.

My mom would be so disappointed,
the money she worked so hard for is going to disappear in an instant.

I don't want to be jumping through hoops with the mortgage company anymore.

I don't want the car.

I don't want the monthly payment.

I don't want to remember what it felt like to drive my Jeep
on a warm summer evening with the top down stars twinkling above.

I just want to walk away from all of the stuff that is weighing me down, stressing me out.

I have been trying for so long to save what we have,
but I am out of energy.

My will to try is completely gone.

I want a simpler life.

I want to be happy with my husband and son.

I want to be able to enjoy an afternoon out with a friend
without feeling guilty about buying lunch or coffee or gas for the car.

I want to be able to go to church with my family.

I don't want to worry about putting Nathan in the church nursery.

There are a lot of things I want...

...but there are even more I don't.

Friday, November 13, 2009

had a bad day

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Today, I agree. Judging by the following photograph I can get a pretty clear picture of how my day was and I am sure you can too. It was a rough day, to start. Nathan removed the heat register and then knocked over a kitchen chair. I am not quite certain, but I think he was trying to climb into the vent or shove the kitchen chair into the vent. He gave up, eventually, but noticed that there were 3 more chairs still standing. He pushed these chairs all over the kitchen and used them to climb on the glass table repeatedly*.

*I kept taking him off the table, but he kept climbing back up. If you are connected to me on facebook, you probably already saw the video of him stomping around on the table throwing my bills all over the floor {not like we can pay them anyway}.

rough day-1-2

After doing Nathan's morning treatments, he refused to nap. Instead he did some more table stomping, chair tipping, bill throwing...etc. Then I received a life saving text from my friend, Breanne. I quickly buckled Nathan into the car seat and loaded his stroller into the car after dropping it on my toe {ouch, that's what I get for wearing flip flops in November} for a trip to the mall. The car ride was fabulous all thanks to a five point harness {car seat}! The mall was fabulous all thanks to another five point harness {stroller}! I found a pair of boots that I loved {and would save my toe from being crushed by falling strollers} but I did not purchase them because they were $$. These just might be the exact pair I secretly, or not so secretly, want.

After leaving the mall, Nathan and I drove directly to the doctor for his 2nd monthly Synagis to shot of the season to protect him from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). I guess I am not the only one who had a bad day, my poor baby. He is always being poked and prodded for one thing or another. But that still doesn't get him off the hook for the hard time he gave me all morning.

rough day-7-3

The day did get better though. I attended a spaghetti dinner benefit for a former coworker and saw a lot of familiar faces. Nathan stayed home with Grandma E until Jay got home from work. When I got home Jay had already begun Nathan's treatments. <-- That was the BEST part of my day. I just love when my husband surprises me with the little things, like beginning treatments without being told. rough day-5-2

I still love this boy!

Which one do you like better?

This one?

Alphabitty G

Or this one?

Alphabitty G BW

And CONGRATULATIONS to Ronnie and Mandi on their engagement!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alphabitty Moments: The Letter "G"

MamaBear from 4 the Love of Family created this carnival as a way to record the little things kids do. Check out her blog to view more Alphabitty Moments.

Today for the letter G, only 3 weeks behind MamaBear, I chose Grandparents. Nathan adores his Grandparents. Nathan has already figured out how to work his charming little smile to get what he wants from each Grandparent.

When Nathan sees Grandma E, he knows one or more of three things is coming: a milkshake, a bath, or a bag full of clothes. She taught him Ring Around the Rosie and is working on 1,2,3.

Grandpa Bill is stern but a lot of fun. He carries Nathan around on his hip and lets him watch
while he cooks Nathan all sorts of high calorie meals and snacks. When I need a babysitter, Grandpa Bill is the first one to volunteer and even though he makes a big stink about changing dirty diapers, he does it!

Lastly, when Nathan sees Grandpa Frank he points to and says "clock" or "car". Nathan also knows how sensitive Grandpa Frank is. When it is time to leave, Nathan knows how to keep him around for at least another 10 minutes by grabbing tighter and whining.

Alphabitty G

Nathan would have loved his other Grandma {my mom} as well...and she would have adored him. {12.26.02}

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

say a little prayer

After chatting on the phone with my Aunt last night I knew that a special little girl needed our prayers. So if you wouldn't mind, please include Alex in your prayers today.

The situation is complicated but there will be a custody hearing this week and I pray that the judge will keep the best interest of the child in mind.

I went searching through my computer for photographs and all I found were a few cell phone pictures. She loves ay-than (Nathan). These pictures were taken on our walk to the park. She pushed the stroller and chatted the entire time. Her fingers were cold but she refused to let me push. And when I say she chatted the entire time, I mean the entire time.




I was told that Alex used to love going to church but being that my Aunt has had very little time with her since early September it is difficult to continue religious practices. I could hear the pain in my Aunt's voice on the telephone and my heart breaks for the two of them. This is a very special girl that most definitely needs all the prayers we can give.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

my heart

Oh, the things my little boy does to my heart.

He makes my heart pound in anxiety when he climbs. He is my little mountain climber. All day long he mounts the stairs, the kitchen chairs, the kitchen table, his toys {with wheels}, the sofa, the end tables, and the cat tower.

Cat tower-1-2

He makes my heart smile, at the same time as it is pounding away, when he climbs the cat tower to get closer to Mi-Mi {Mischa}.

Cat tower-14-2

It is plain and simple, Nathan makes my heart melt, mismatched attire and all!

Cat tower-25-2 copy

Monday, November 9, 2009

our weekend getaway

For the second weekend in a row, our family has piled in the car and driven up and down the east coast. First to Lexington, VA and most recently to Lake George, NY. I over-packed as always but one thing I purposely left behind this time was the laptop. It was a difficult decision but not one that I regret. Being disconnected was delightful. I even let the battery on my cell phone drain without feeling compelled to recharge it!

We were fortunate enough to join our friends at their lake house. We arrived late Friday evening and were welcomed by chocotinis (chocolate martinis).

Lake George-14-2

What do you think, does this look like a place where you could kick off your shoes and relax? Or walk down to to water and enjoy the scenery from the dock?

Lake George-6

If I didn't know and better I would have a hard time believing that Lake George is actually a lake. The water is crystal clear! Seriously, you can see the bottom of the lake.

While the girls enjoyed some hot mulled cider, the guys enjoyed guy time near the fire before the girls {and babies} invaded.

Lake George-3

Do you recognize the little boy in the photograph below?

Lake George-34

That's right, it is Nathan's best bud, Ayden {and his grandparents}. The 4 month age gap is quickly closing between Nathan and Ayden. Ayden has developed his toddle and is now toddling around with Nathan.


By the way, Ayden's grandparents built the house you saw in the first photograph, paying close attention to every little detail including the trees outside.

Lake George-20

Thanks to my friend, Breanne, I finally have an updated non-blurry photograph of myself and my little munchkin who most definitely did not consume any chocolate.

lk george collage

And me with my partner in crime. We are dangerous together, and I am not just talking about Old Navy Weekly.

Lake George-29-2

The little boys stayed home with Ayden's grandparents Saturday evening while the adults went out and attempted to sing karaoke. I tried to convince Jay to sing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun but he opted for Johnny Cash's Hurt. The girls teamed up to sing Madonna's Like a Virgin. It was a disaster, apparently we did not know the words and thank God Jay saved us.

Ayden must have really tired Nathan out because this is what I saw when I returned home.

Lake George-47

I think he takes after his daddy. What do you think?