Monday, June 29, 2009

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.

What is it about carnivals that make the children so happy? Nathan thoroughly enjoyed the local carnival last week and so did I. Lights! Rides! Bright colors! Terribly unhealthy food! What isn't to like?

I can tell you one thing, I did not get myself and my 10 month old son kicked off of his very first ride. This did not happen. I would never have thought that I would go unnoticed among the many small children (not MckMama's MSC) nor would I have attempted to squeeze my adult sized behind into a child sized seat. Nathan and I blended right in with all of the other children, we did not stick out like sore thumbs.

help cure sophia

Please do me a favor and visit Sophia's Cure. I am very distantly related to this precious little miracle through my husband. Sophia is my husband's cousin's cousin's daughter. I think I got that right. Related or unrelated, Sophia has been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and needs our prayers and support. In short, there is hope!

There is an upcoming clinical trial where motor neurons will be injected into the spines of children with SMA to replace the neurons that are dying off. Learn how you can help by visiting Sophia's Cure. The page is only loading for me in Internet Explorer, not sure why.


Please help Sophia participate in the upcoming clinical trial that could help cure her SMA by displaying the following button on your page.




Thank you very much.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

send in the clowns!

I managed to muster enough energy to experience the local carnival for the first time as a family of three.

The carnival is held annually at the catholic elementary school that my husband and I both attended along with our siblings. That is until my parents got divorced.

At the carnival we met up with Ayden and his parents.

We decided to start with some carnival games. We were forewarned that Ayden's mommy, Breanne, was unbeatable at the water gun game. Rumor has it that she jumped in on a game last minute once and beat an entire family out of a prize. Sounded like a challenge to me!
carnival games-3

carnival games

Look who ended up with the prize...
carnival games-2
That's right, Ayden had his eye on the prize right from the get go and was fortunate enough to have the reigning carnival water gun sharp shooter champion for a mama. Phew that is a mouthful.

While my husband and friend, Breanne, waited on line to purchase tickets, I caught sight of this beautiful moment between proud papa and son. I came to the carnival equipped to wear Nathan in his fleece sling so I could have both hands free to photograph moments like these.
carnival games Ayden

And here is Jay with balloon obsessed Nathan.
carnival-4

Ayden wanted to play too! Judging by the tight grip Nathan has on the string, it doesn't look like the balloon is going anywhere anytime soon.
carnival

Next we were off to the racetrack carousel with jockey whip balloon in hand of course.
carnival pony

carnival pony2

The original plan had been for the guys to take the little boys on the carousel and the girls to take them on the train. After realizing the train was for children only, we needed a revised plan. How about the cars? Some of them look big enough for an adult to squeeze into.

The guys laughed at us gals when we thought we could take our boys on the car ride and offered to photograph the momentous occasion. Breanne managed to fit quite nicely seated sideways in the front seat and convinced me that I could fit in the rumble seat.
carnival-3
Quite wrong! Now matter how many different ways I tried to squeeze myself into that rumble seat, I just couldn't swing it. Even though we attempted to go unnoticed, we were ultimately kicked off the ride as onlookers were laughing hysterically while wondering what was going through our minds giggling in amusement. I still have no clue what gave us away. Any ideas?
carnival-2
Nathan, I apologize for embarrassing you and being responsible for getting you kicked off your first ride ever. I am sure it will not be the last time for either.

Since we were unable to use our remaining tickets on the car ride and the guys had already gone on the carousel, the girls went down the slide, wearing a skirt and a dress. Again, what were we thinking?
carnival slide

Saturday, June 27, 2009

four teeth, almost five

Thought you would like to know that the 5th tooth will arrive at any moment.

Also take a peek at his two top teeth. This is their photographic debut even though they've been here for several weeks now. I must say that they are shy little chompers.
4 teeth almost 5
I am getting the feeling that Nathan would like a full set of teeth by his 1st Birthday.

Friday, June 26, 2009

perfect pals

Since I am still feeling pretty exhausted, I am going to be short and sweet today.

My husband had to take another personal day without pay which is not a wonderful thing. I spent a few minutes researching natural remedies this morning to reduce fatigue and enhance energy. Nothing new and extraordinary that I didn't already know (vitamin B complex, CoQ-10, ginsing, magnesium, etc...)

Ok, enough of that.

Feast your eyes upon this adorable little boy.
ayden2
This is Nathan's slightly younger guy pal, Ayden, who was born on Christmas Eve. Pretty fabulous Christmas gift, don't you think? I actually attended high school with Ayden's mom and am pretty sure our little boys will be perfect pals pretty soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

ten terrific months today

Exactly ten months ago, Nathan, you were born. Happy ten month birthday, sweet son.

Here are a few of the things happening as of today, your ten month birthday.

You are eating...
enzyme monster edit2
...empty enzyme capsules. I try to dispose of them but you have developed a keen eye for identifying them in the strangest places.

Can we get this ten month old a glass of water...
eating creon
...to wash down this empty enzyme capsule? Actually can we get him another enzyme SOOB, you know straight out of the bottle? Nathan, I am sure you will be swallowing your zymies in no time. Take your time, hurry up, no really I mean it, please take your time! Do you know that as of today you have swallowed the contents of approximately 4,536 enzymes.

You have also begun doing this...
finger twist edit
...with your fingers and this...
splash edit
...with your hand.


You thoroughly enjoy eating...
birthday cake -30
...ice cream and slurping...
french fry edit-1
...french fries.

You are becoming more independent by holding your own...
hold own bottle
...bottle. {sniffle}

And to think that you are my son. I consider these ten terrific months to be the best I have ever lived. I truly am blessed!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

french fry fiend

This morning I took a trip to Home Depot with my father in law to select lumber for my upcoming woodworking project. I spent time yesterday figuring out the design and dimensions and bought all the wood today for $44. If I had bought the units in the store I would have paid nearly $300.

Not only did I get to go shopping today without without Nathan and my 50 pound diaper bag in tow but I also got a break from doing Nathan's morning treatments. My mother in law said he slept through his treatments. Now why doesn't this happen for me? Nathan must have mommy radar.

And it wouldn't be a visit from Grandparents B&E without some ice cream and french fries, would it? Come on calories, let's see what you got!! Normally I wouldn't advocate such junk food but the more calories the better, for Nathan that is.

french fry edit-1

Amber, the big bad wolf black lab

Amber is my father's black lab who will be our house guest for the next three weeks while my father is in Spain. She is almost eleven years old and I thought I nearly gave her a heart attack yesterday while taking her on one of my long walks. I guess she can't handle such exercise anymore.

I then treated her to some time outdoors with me and Nathan. This she couldn't handle either since she was never socialized with other animals and she barked at everything. Everything from my cats on the other side of the glass door to each and every dog that walked by.

She was driving me and my neighbors insane. Nathan, on the other hand, found Amber and her odd ways to be quite amusing. The more obnoxious Amber's barking, the more hysterical Nathan's laughing. View proof below, minus the barking.



Monday, June 22, 2009

"Let's Hear It For The Boys!"


In honor of Father’s Day, it’s “Boy’s Week” over at I Faces. Both of my entries are photographs from two separate birthday parties of the two boys in my family.

Kids Category:
This photograph was taken on my father's birthday in March of this year. It is a classic photograph of daddy and son. Nathan is smiling with his eyes and his mouth.

gpabday -1

Adult Category:
My husband's birthday was this past Saturday. He is mesmerized with Nathan's reaction to the candles. Hurry, blow the candles out before we have to eat ice cream cake covered with melted wax!!

jason bday-1

Sunday, June 21, 2009

HYOB: Hold Your Own Bottle

What can I say, Lil Mama is at it again. She is always a huge help to me hence the nickname Lil Mama. She plays with Nathan, changes him, feeds him, bathes him, reads to him, watches his shows with him, and even helps do his treatments.

This time (on my husband's birthday) she taught Nathan how to hold his bottle all by himself.

Once she realized that he could hold his bottle, she refused to hold it for him.
I'm not holding your bottle. You are going to hold your own bottle! *Lil Mama then proceeds to position his hands around the bottle*
Born prematurely and never expected to live (her story in itself is amazing) I consider it a blessing to have her around. She is a tough, patient, polite, helpful, beautiful, funny girl all wrapped up in one small package. I am somewhat sad that both she and her sister will be on vacation in Chicago for a few weeks.

ownbottle3

Imagine Nathan rotating the bottle in his mouth below. clockwise. counter clockwise. clockwise again. counter clockwise again. Trying not to make a big deal of what has just transpired for the first time I quietly and frantically ran for my camera before I missed the moment.

ownbottle edit

Kicking back in the recliner and getting used to the independence. Oh no, not independence!? My baby is growing too quickly.

ownbottle2


I love the time I spend with Nathan holding his bottle for him, but I must say this new ability was extremely helpful while driving my father to the airport today.

Instead of holding the bottle with one hand, opening the enzyme bottle with the other hand holding the bottle and pressing and turning against my cheek, then opening an enzyme capsule between my teeth, then holding the spoon of applesauce between my lips, and dumping contents of enzyme capsule onto applesauce without spilling the micro spheres all over the car; I let Nathan hold his own bottle and Voila! two hands to prepare and administer enzymes.

birthday present scavenger hunt

My husband and I have a little tradition of hiding presents around the house and creating a scavenger hunt with clues. Yesterday was my husband's 29th birthday and of course I created a scavenger hunt for him to enjoy.

Now if you follow me on Twitter you will already know that my husband was not happy with his presents, but let's pretend you don't know this for the moment.

I hand stamped all of his cards which contained subtle clues to where he could find his gifts.

The first card had an upside down design on the cover. This was actually a mistake but I decided to use it as my clue since time was running out before my husband would return from his fishing outing with his high school buddy, Matt.

Bday scavenger hunt collage 1

The inside of the card threw him off a little because of the second mistake I made. I stamped the L in the wrong color so he thought the clue was "Beside L". I had to give him a verbal hint that the clue had nothing to do with what was written inside the card.

He finally got it and looked around the house for things that were upside down. Not my teddy bear! I just left him upside down when I woke up. He finally found the upside down, empty box of diapers in the basement. Yes, this is a box of disposable diapers next to another box of disposable diapers. I would lose my mind if I had to use cloth diapers all the time. Which brings me to the second clue, "you might use this on a rainy day".

Jay Birthday Collage 2

He was fooled by three umbrellas and his suede leather sneakers. He has been known to wear these sneakers every time it rains, coincidentally. Finally he found the third clue and second present near our rainy day money.

Jay Birthday Collage 3

The third card said, "I tried really hard to clean up everything but Nathan just..." Jay instantly knew that it had to be something Nathan would make a mess of. Now that I think of it this could have been anywhere in the house but Jay found the mess and his final present in the family room.

Jay Birthday Collage 4

Now to see what is inside all these boxes.

Jay Birthday Collage 5

A Playstation 3, a PS3 Blu Ray Remote Control, and Season 1 & 2 of Dexter.

From hearing Jay talk endlessly about Dexter, a television show about a vigilante type serial killer, I knew he would love to have the first two seasons on Blu Ray Disc which he could now watch on his brand spanking new PS3.

From the moment he opened the PS3 though I knew he was disappointed even though he said he wasn't. He tinkered all day with the PS3 showing his disappointment on his face yet verbalizing his happiness to me. I was somewhat quite hurt to read a text message sent to his brother this morning about how he felt like he only got two movies for his birthday and how I could have gotten him a Nintendo Wii and a Blu Ray Player all for the same price.

So why do I post about his birthday present scavenger hunt? I am posting because I thoroughly enjoyed selecting gifts for my husband that I thought he would enjoy, handstamping his subtle clues onto cards, hiding his gifts, and watching him search for them.

He can do whatever he wants with the actual gifts (return them and get whatever he wants), I will remember the scavenger hunt this year for all the fun that it actually was.

I just wish my husband would have told me his true feelings about his gifts and that I did not have to read about his feelings in a text message to his brother.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Skyhawks promote CF Awareness

While tackling the unread portion of my inbox I came across an email from the Director of Special Events for the Greater NJ Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The email contained a schedule of the upcoming events that will benefit CFF (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation).

In June, July, and August, the Sussex Skyhawks will be promoting CF awareness and raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by selling CF bracelets and pin-ups as well as having ceremonial "first pitches" thrown by people with CF.

Skyhawks Logo

If you are in the area and would like to attend a Skyhawks game to help promote CF awareness, you can attend any of the following games:

June 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th
July 10th, 11th, 24th, 25th
August 7th, 8th, 21st, 22nd

The stadium is located at 94 Champion Pl., Augusta, NJ

We will definitly be attending one or more of the games this summer because Nathan misses the Skyhawk, his very own gigantic stuffed animal.



The above photograph was taken at the Mainstreet 5K Festival on April 25th, 2009. Nathan adored the mascot and I am sure he would love to attack this big feathery blue personal stuffed hawk again.



Friday, June 19, 2009

can i get a little help here?

Since my husband's mother came over today, I had somewhat of a break. She worked really hard at making sure my little boy was exhausted by the time my husband came home from work. Between you and me I am not quite sure who was more exhausted by the end of the evening, Nathan or my mother in law? I am certain of one thing, both will sleep soundly tonight, like rocks.

There are a few things, maybe only one, about my husband's parents that are similar to the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. High on the list of priorities is to make sure that nobody goes hungry or even begins to feel the slightest void in his stomach. For Nathan's dietary need for high calories this is absolutely perfect!

Within the four hour visit, Nathan ate an entire banana, half a McD's ice cream, 4 oz. whole milk yogurt, 6 oz. formula, and a crust of bread with lots of butter. And don't forget all those zymies (pancreatic enzymes) to help digest all that fat! GMama Skret did well!

While she chased Nathan all over the house, played with fed Nathan, I cleaned and mopped the entire kitchen, stenciled, the playroom, wrapped my husband's birthday presents (it's tomorrow!), whipped up a batch of hummus, and did a load of laundry. Wait a second, I never did throw that load of laundry in the drier...nor did I scrub the poop out of Nathan's last cloth diaper. I should probably get right on top of that, now. Busy day of birthday festivities for the love of my life tomorrow.

Oh yea and before I forget to mention, Nathan has recently (like this week) been letting go and taking a few steps at a time without falling. Also, I think I may have noticed tooth #5 at dinner tonight, upper left lateral incisor. Way to go Nathan! I am hoping that I did not also notice a chip in his upper left incisor. Please excuse the dental jargon, daughter of a dentist and dental hygienist.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

imbalance

I have not been feeling myself lately and have been noticing a trend...Debbie Downer. I am sick of complaining, sick of typing my complaints, and sick of reading them as well. I refuse to let Debbie Downer succeed.

Really, I am quite fortunate in many ways. I am fortunate. I am. Nevertheless, I have dealt with my share of stress, hardship, and loss. All of which have created me, the way I am today. I am a stronger individual now more than ever, however at times I am mentally and emotional fragile.

I was deeply and irreversibly damaged by my mother's recurring battle with cancer that ultimately resulted in her death at the age of 50. I was 19, merely a college freshman leaving the safety and comfort of my home for the first time. This hurt, bad. It still hurts and the memories of these horrible years linger vividly in my mind.

I watched her struggle for several years with the side effects of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, medications, etc. I also watched her check into the hospital on Christmas after spending the entire day sleeping on the sofa. Less than 24 hours later I saw her her struggle to take her last breath without having the chance to say goodbye (morphine). I went to her funeral and returned back to school as if nothing had happened because life goes on, right? I thought I had coped with it and moved on but for years it seemed like I was always up and down.

Bad things do happen to good people. Nevertheless my mother is gone, never to return to earth. I have accepted the goodbye for now until we meet again in Heaven. Then the rain stopped, figuratively speaking. A few short months later I was married. Life couldn't get any better, right? That very same summer I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Virus which is often linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I slept. A lot.

Another few short months later I became pregnant. Again, life couldn't get any better!

Then my world came crashing down upon me when Nathan was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis after he was one month old. Actually my world slowly began to crumble a few short days after he was born, when eyebrows were raising and testing for CF began. I knew deep down inside of me that something was not right. Does God want me to suffer and struggle indefinitely? Can't I just get a few breaks in my life?

The ten day forecast in my area.
10dayforecast june09
Hopefully this weather is not any indication of my week to come, emotionally speaking. Even if it is an indication, there is that one day without rain to look forward to.

I need to remember that I am not the only one suffering, that there are a lot of bad things happening to good people like little Jaxson who recently had surgery and needs our prayers. It also looks like Marcy is going through a rough time, she could use some prayers too, don't you agree? I will get through this rough period. I am going to overcome this and will be even stronger when I do. Maybe not overnight, but I will!

Pray for MeWe participate in "Pray for Me... Pray for Others" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to add your prayer request. Join a community of friends who care about you, and hope you will care about them.