Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Road trip to Virginia

Wouldn't you know that the one morning we want to leave the house early is the one morning that the kids don't want to wake up?


This is our bed. A king size mattress once felt large to us, the space between me and my husband was vast but now the bed is beginning to feel a little cramped. Can you spot my assigned area of the bed? Look harder, it's there.


Co sleeping is cozy, most of the time but other times I'd like a little more space. Like when I wake up in the middle of the night with a foot in my face or when I get hammer legged across my neck. Those are the times when I'd like to stumble down the hall and curl up in either the empty crib or toddler bed.


When we finally got on the road the kids were enthralled by the portable dvd player. Best. Invention. EVER!

Mickey Mouse and Yo Gabba Gabba worked well until the sun hit our eyes, which was pretty much immediately.


Then there was a lot of complaining from the back seat and sad faces up front.


We knew the kids would go crazy strapped into there carseats for 6 hours so we planned to make some stops. Every road trip needs a stop at a Play Place. Fortunately we found an awesome Burger King in West Virginia right before crossing into Virginia. Nathan shall forever refer to this Burger King as the Rocket Ship McDonald's, because every fast food joint is McDonald's didn't you know that?


Nathan particularly enjoys being "Nathan King".


He kept this crown on his head for the remainder of the car ride and smart little guy used it to block the sun by wearing it down over his eyes. And I thought he was sleeping, ha!


Everybody seemed to perk up after we got the BK Family Bundle, also best deal ever. The bundle includes a Whopper, Whopper Jr., 2 small fries (we always substitute for onion rings and zesty!), 2 small drinks, and a kids meal, all for $9.99. Good deal.


And it has been a while - The Many Faces of Teagan


...and some more.


This girl has some pretty fantastic facial expressions.

Then to the rocket ship, outdoor play place. Because you can have outdoor play places in areas where the weather is nice.


You know how you are supposed to remove your shoes when you play?  Well Teagan didn't have to.  Primarily because the person in charge of packing, ahem Jay, forgot to pack shoes for her.  At least it gave me to perfect excuse to buy her a cute pair of sneakers.


We've been told that we spent way too much time on our pit stop playing but honestly it only felt like a half hour. When you are having fun, go with it!









Monday, November 28, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

our second thanksgiving

We will celebrate another evening of being thankful today here in Virginia with Jay's brother and sister in law.

I am so thankful to enjoy two days of thanksgiving.  Not that every day isn't a day worthy of giving thanks but I do enjoy spending time with family even if it means driving over 7 hours.

These were some of our Thanksgiving photos from Thursday.


These two stinkers are not the most cooperative children when it comes to taking photos. A photographer's nightmare, but it is so worth the effort when I get them to actually sit still, next to each other, and almost look at the camera.


Nathan is becoming such a handsome little gentleman. Well, gentle might be pushing it, but he is polite, always saying please and thank you and give me that. Ha! I am thankful for the little laughs I get from the funny things he says.


And I am also thankful for my little almost 15 month old girl who has learned to kiss on demand. I took a scissor to her bangs on Thanksgiving. It is technically her second trim, first by me. I felt bad that she was always looking through strands of hair and since she keeps pulling hair elastics and barrettes out the hair had to go!


And a little late, our week.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A shortage of salt water?

I am thankful for the CF community.  They always come through in times of need.  Whether it be a CF parent or a CFer themself, I know I can always count on the community for whatever I need.  Jamie came through when I was in need of Tobi.  Mail order pharmacies and insurance companies just don't seem to understand the urgency of medications and antibiotics.

It is frustrating when I am sitting in the car at the drive through pharmacy, which I am totally thankful for, and the pharmacist tells me one of the medications my son takes twice daily is on backorder.  In this instance it was his hypertonic saline, although I know others are having problems obtaining prevacid.  I did get shortchanged on this month's prevacid. Whether it was a true mistake or not I can't be certain.  I did go back to demand the rest of the supply since I do double and triple check all of Nathan's medications.

I don't even think hypertonic saline is on backorder since nobody to the best of my knowledge is having any issues obtaining it, other than me of course.

Regardless, I still have no answers and no idea when or how I will be fulfilling his prescription.  Thankfully, another local CF mom donated a box of 7% hypertonic saline so I have one month to figure it out.  Nathan has been without his hypertonic saline since Friday night and is currently sounding terrible.  His cough is becoming more persistent and more gunky.  Oh joy.

All this hassle for essentially a salt water solution.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's on my playlist

My playlist is a work in progress.  Some people have many playlists but I technically don't even have one.

I received my ipod for my birthday in July and it is now almost December.  Can you guess how many songs I have in music library?  A whopping 9 songs.   I have been slowly adding one song whenever I hear one that inspires me to get my feet moving.

On my computer I have thousands of songs that I love but since I mainly use my ipod for running, I want to be very selective.

Most of the 9 songs I have currently playing are the very trendy over played pop radio hits like Party Rock Anthem and Super Bass but you know what, these songs get me pumped up.  When I get sick of it, I'll just delete it.

New on my playlist is Good Feeling by Flo Rida - go listen to this one, has a nice stereo effect.  My friend recommended it and I love LOVE it.

Everyone also needs a  "here comes my second wind song".  I have my songs on shuffle so it is totally random when my second wind song starts playing but it is amazingly always at the perfect moment.  This song is more of an inspiration to me in the words than in the beat.  Breathe by Matthew Scales.   I've written about this song before but every time I listen to it, I become grounded in the reality of Cystic Fibrosis, I am so fortunate to be breathing, without effort.  I have the original on my ipod but I linked to the tribute recorded by 3 adult CFers, Josh being one of them.  <3 Josh and Moganko!

I always think of this little guy when I start houghing and puffing while running.


Nathan walking on top of my car. We just recently sold our Ford Taurus and bought a used mini van! Where has this mini van been all my life?

Friday, November 18, 2011


I just hit the jackpot!  Although I doubt I will be faced with a giant cardboard check after answering a knock on the door first thing in the morning while I am still wearing my pajamas.  Heck, it is a good possibility I would still be wearing some version of my pajamas in the evening.  Who doesn't love flannel pajama bottoms.

As a side note, I could totally live in flannel pj's and flip flops.  Not too flattering but super duper comfy.  In fact I thought I would be retiring my flip flops for the winter today but I just couldn't bring myself to do it just yet.  I was reminded by a facebook friend that there is no snow on the ground yet, or anymore considering that October snowstorm we experienced.

So I didn't hit the financial jackpot but I did hit a photo jackpot.  I just popped the memory card from my old backup camera into the computer to see what was on there and was surprised by almost 500 photos taken since the end of August.  I am getting ready to sell my first backup camera and am hoping to turn my current camera into my new backup camera.

Anyway, 500 photos!!! Finding otherwise lost pictures almost brings a tear to my eye.  Teary eyes are not too common around these parts, unless you count the kids, then there would be a teary river running straight through my house.

Basically you better expect some photo overload in the next few days because I missed so many sweet moments had in the past few months.

So I leave you with one.  Can you guess what my dear son is up to here?  No pun intended.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

crying and refusing enzymes (a preschool update)

Nathan is still enjoying preschool, today was his 3rd day and he ditches me at the door.

Teagan wraps her arm around mine like a koala and clings on for dear life.  Today she cried from drop off to pickup.  I feel bad for her that she just can't feel secure in her surroundings without me holding her.  I feel bad for the teachers who have to listen to her crying for two and a half hours, who try everything they can to make her happy, but nothing can console her.

When she saw me through the glass standing outside, she made a bee line for me.  Crying hysterically until I was let in to pick her up.  As soon as she was in my arms, it was like she had never been crying in the first place.  On the way out she looked over my shoulder, waved, and said "bye bye".  I am going to bring a fuzzy microfleece blanket, a huge hit in our household,  to hopefully comfort her.

I know she will get used to it after a while.  I think the problem is that she hadn't been there in a week since school was closed Thursday and Friday.  I am sure that once she settles into a routine she will be fine.

Nathan adjusted really well and he is even eating snack with the other kids.  One thing he is not doing is taking his enzymes for his teacher.  Flat out refusal even with a sticker as a bribe.  I don't know what to do.  Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tastefully Simple Fundraiser for CF

I had a Tastefully Simple Party Friday night.  A portion of every sale benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  The turnout to my party was dismal, but I am so very thankful for a supportive mother in law and a group of amazing girlfriends.  It depressed me a little bit but after talking to my father I came to the realization that I am very fortunate to have not only one but three extremely close friends who would do anything for me and I would do anything for.

I want to believe it was nothing personal that friends and family didn't show and I know it probably wasn't but I am such a sensitive person.  It is one of my best attributes and one of my worst flaws at the same time.  I think it got under my skin since it was for Cystic Fibrosis, I could care less if it were just another home party.


But on the bright side, I had a great evening.  The Tastefully Simple food was amazing and so easy to prepare.  My favorite was the Bountiful Beer Bread which is so strange considering I hate beer.

I also had a display of Stella & Dot Jewelry.  This jewelry is stunning and I'm not much of a jewelry person besides the wedding band/engagement ring, but I found pieces that I fell in love with.  I always gravitate toward La Coco Rope Necklace in Tourquoise but I now I am leaning toward the Clover Key Necklace.



To browse and order Tastefully Simple:

The online link is It is very simple to order online: 1) Use the link to view the online catalog. 2) At checkout select "Find Host/Event" 3) Enter in Christina (First Name) Skretkowicz (Last Name).

To browse and order Stella & Dot:

The online link is  1) Use the link to view the online catalog. 2) At checkout under where it says "Were you invited to a Trunk Show?" click the drop down "My trunk show hostess is..." Christina Skretkowicz.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Photo Dump

Had the sweetest session with a newborn and his sister this morning, bottom right. How adorably handsome is he?

photo dump nov 9 11

Monday, November 7, 2011

We're sticking with it, Nathan is a preschooler!

After a bit of hesitation last week, we decided to stick with preschool.

Nathan Preschool 2011 - 01

I know a lot of people living with and around Cystic Fibrosis like to avoid school and germs as much as possible especially during the early lung growth and development years. On the flip side I also know of people who believe exposure to germs builds immunity. I agree with both to some extent. We are very on top of how Nathan looks, sounds, and feels. We are fine with him getting the occasional cold if it builds immunity because we will add in some extra treatments to minimize lung damage. I am not going to send him to school if there is something more serious going around.

Nathan Preschool 2011 - 02

He is a silly little preschooler, who is definitely giving me and everyone else a run for our money. A little boy who knows what he wants and wants to drive everyone else crazy trying to figure it out. I taught the teacher how to administer his enzymes with snack. She did a terrific job, I even got a phone call telling me that Nathan flat out refused to take his medicine. This really ticked me off, the part where Nathan gave the teacher a hard time. I've been talking to him about why he needs his medicine all afternoon.

Nathan Preschool 2011 - 04


Back to School Printables found at I Heart Nap Time.

Teagan also started daycare today.  I expected to leave to the sound of screaming and that's exactly what I got.

Teagan 14 months - 02

I don't like to hear her throwing fits but she does it when I leave the room to use the bathroom.  She is just attached, she is not in danger, I need to just let her cry.  It is not like she was abandoned and all alone, she was sitting on the teacher's lap who was beginning to sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to distract her.  She was safe and she was loved.

Teagan 14 months - 01

When I came back 2 1/2 hours later to pick them up she was still crying but I was told she did stop and do some playing in between the crying. I am so happy to hear that she didn't cry the entire time.

Teagan 14 months

Hopefully I will be able to leave her at the YMCA pretty soon for an hour. After daycare, an hour will seem like nothing for her...I hope.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Beginning preschool

I've been throwing the idea around for a couple of months now and I always decide against enrolling Nathan in a preschool program. Initially we made our decision against preschool purely from a financial standpoint. Forget not having any money leftover each month to add to our nonexistent savings, how about struggling to cover all of our expenses? But before I begin to feel sorry about ourselves, which I often do, is there anyone out there who is not currently struggling financially? Ok, forget that...moving on.

Then we decided that since Nathan has no expectations of preschool (he was asking to go), we would sign up for a family membership to the YMCA. Yes, it was a perfect solution...enter screaming, I don't want my mama to leave me, Teagan.  What I thought would give Nathan some social interaction and me some alone time working out and showering at my leisure became me rushing and worrying that my time was running out.  My father in law has been fantastic about giving me time and staying at my home with Teagan while Nathan and I go to the YMCA "preschool", but it is burdensome to me to be burdening others.  Precisely why I paid for the YMCA membership in the first place.  I don't feel bad having them watch my kids if I am paying them to.  I know that's what family is for and I would totally do it had the tables been reversed, but still.

But the YMCA solution still left one of my concerns unaddressed.  I sure do hope other parents think of preschool as more than just a place for their toddler to begin learning and socializing and that I am not alone when I say I need some time without my children to accomplish some work.  Not just housework, which could definitely use some of my attention, but also some business.  It is extremely difficult trying to grow a home based photography business when I can't return calls due to the loudness of my children (read screaming, crying, demanding).  I can deal with this, I am a mom, that's what I have to do, but it is not professional and I refuse to return a phone call, even from the bathroom for fear of children trying to break down the door (it has been attempted).

That being said, my photography business is not just a hobby that I can put off until they are a little older.  We need this income to support them.

So I called the preschool/day care center that I had called a month earlier and inquired about the program again.  After discussing it with my husband we decided to give it a try.  You need to spend money to make money and having them in preschool/daycare for 2.5 hours 3 days a week would give me some time to take care of some housecleaning and some of my business.

Yesterday was supposed to be their first day of preschool but then the night before I couldn't sleep and began to freak out.  My worries were all pertaining to Cystic Fibrosis and not about Teagan having separation anxiety or Nathan enjoying himself.  Being a preschool within a daycare worried me.  In my opinion, children who are enrolled in daycare have parents that need to work whether their children are sick or they are healthy.  Daycare centers are business that need to make money.  If you charge by the hour then days without children are days without being paid.

An hour before preschool I decided not to take them.

Then a half hour before preschool I changed my mind again, they were going to go.   I was going to give it a try and address my concerns with the director and the worst that could happen is that I could decide not to continue with the program.  Nathan had an enormous smile when I unbuckled him from his car seat at the preschool and Teagan grasped a little tighter to my arm.  I didn't actually leave the preschool right away, not because I was trying to hover but because I was waiting to speak with the director.  Teagan got a glimpse of the baby room but I kept her with me since I wasn't leaving.

I know children build immunity through exposure to germs but I want to keep Nathan away from anything more serious.  Although I would prefer not to, a cold I can deal with.

So next week I will officially consider week one of preschool.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011