Monday, February 28, 2011


  • Outside of his preschool class Nolan was showing me a painting of his snowman. He seemed very proud to show me, Gramma (who was in town) and one of his favorite teachers. He explained, with glee, that the two purple dots on the second to top circle of the snowperson were boobies. That's my boy.
  • Nolan was in trouble and Brian said, "I am going to have to take stories away tonight." Nolan said, "No, you don't." So Brian said, "What should I take away?" Nolan picked up a 'baby' toy and said, "This." Brian said, "Will that make you sad?" Nolan said, "No." So Brian said, "Try again." Nolan went through his bin of monster trucks and found a broken monster truck and handed it to Brian. And on and on it went.
  • Nolan asked me if Brian and I would die before him (deep, right?). I said I didn't really know, but I sure hoped not. He was worried he would be all alone and I assured him that there would always be someone to take care of him and love him lots. Without missing a beat, he said, "If you die, I could go to Gramma and Pa Pa's house, but I'll have to use the GPS."
  • I then told him, I hope we're all old and wrinkly when we all die. He said, "If you're wrinkly I might not love you, because you're not pretty anymore. I love you because you're so pretty." I was so relieved the mood was lightened that I didn't go into that issue....
  • Nolan was in the bathroom combing his hair and he saw my hair bobby pin with the jewel on it. He asked Brian “What is this for?” Brian told him it was to hold up Mommy’s hair since her hair is long. He laughed and said “Mommy’s not Rapunzel!”


  • The boys are both getting speech therapy through the local group that helps Daniel with nutriton and physical therapy. They've been evaluated and the result was that it was very obvious that they understand, but they are behind on receptive language, which is a technical way to say "talking." An AWESOME woman comes out once a week and bascially plays with them and then helps give me pratical tips. We also get to go to a once a week playdate, with awesome toys, slides, hands on activities and other kids their age. Already their speech is improving! This is not something I was terribly worried about and knew they would talk in their own time, but poor Joseph gets so so so frustrated and angry when he can't communicate what he wants, we really appreciate the help. They have encouraged us to keep using sign language to bridge the gap and both boys can communicate most of their daily needs through this (drink, milk, napkin, eat, bath, please, thank you, yes, no, more).
  • They both love to sing, and adore "the itsy bitsy spider." They do the appropriate hand gestures for the song. At night when I sing "moon, moon" song, Joseph says, "Mooo"
  • Joseph will often hold up one little pudgy finger, right in front of his nose and his lips always go in this little "O" like he's about to kiss you. We ask, "One more time?" And he always nods happily! Daniel has taken to doing this, too, but his finger usually goes straight into his eye.
  • The boys LOVE butterfly kisses and shriek with laughter when I give them.
  • When either is mad or frustrated they start by throwing toys, then look at me. If this doesn't get them what they want, they'll often go to a chair or table and try to knock it down. Time outs are a pretty popular hang out right now.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Its SNOW big deal

Okay, so we lived in Florida for four years. Contrary to popular belief it DID get cold there. But it only snowed once (and that was the first time in 17 years, so it is indeed rare). Usually, though, in between cold days would be random warm days and winters that included grilling out and Christmases spent outside. But lets not forget that before Florida we lived in Wyoming, where most autumns found it snowing by September and every single Halloween we lived there it snowed. I expected Boston to be similar to Wyoming, so by December when we still hadn't had any significant snow I was quite frankly frustrated. I had promised the boys sledding and snow angels. Hot cocoa with marshmellows that always tastes good...but tastes the best after playing in the snow. And then, Christmas arrived with the threat of a storm the following day. And after that...the snow didn't stop!!! So far, this winter, we are at 68 inches of snow. It was the third snowiest January ever. Nolan's had 5 snow days and one delayed start. The base has had 4 snow days, with one delayed start.

Here's Brian shoveling our front sidewalk (much of Jan it was one big sheet of ice). This is one of the icecicles he was brave enough to take down.
Another view of the icecicles on our roof. There has been serious problems city wise with roofs leaking and collapsing. Our friends house had a serious leak that resulted in the celing having to be ripped into and replaced. Since we live in a quad, we have a tiny patch of grass that is our "front yard." We share that tiny patch of grass with our neighbors. Where do we put all the snow? They actually have dump trucks come take it away, thankfully. This may give you an idea... My neigbhbors across the street have a single standing home, so a bigger yard, thus resulting in less snow removal. I like seeing the snow pile growing above her van... Getting the mail was fun there for a while...that's not just snow, there is plenty of ice, too! Trees in our much trouble as the snow has caused, this is beautiful!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

PJ's & Pancakes

Saturday I had a little Valentine's party at my house for the kids and mommies. It was a PJ & Pancake party and we all sported jammies while we chowed down on pancakes, did a little craft, played and hung out. It was a fun morning and something I want to do again in the future.

Brian was the pancake master!! He made 60!
Brian thinks I went a little overboard (I believe his direct quote was, "I thought this was just pancakes?"), but this is the closest I'll ever get to decorating with pink and hearts!
Nolan picked out the pj's for himself and his brothers.
Even after chowing down forever at the table, Superman wanted more pancakes.
Callie is so sweet!! This is Nolan and his "girlfriend" (and fellow classmate), Katelin. She has decided they will be married and he's not putting up an argument.
I love this picture for so many reasons. (Cheyna, minus the superhero get up, does this remind you of anything?)
I stole this from Erica's blog (thanks Erica). Jess took some pics too, I will add more when I get them. I actually didn't take nearly as many pics as I wanted to!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CHD Awareness

Febrary 7-14, 2011 is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week. I've been blown away by the awareness that alot of my fellow heart mom bloggers have raised. I'm a total slacker, but after seeing all the effort plan to do a whole dedicated week next year. Be prepared!! This year, I will say that if you are pregnant or know someone that's pregnant, insist on getting an echo to make sure that your baby does not have a heart defect. Many defects cannot be detected in a normal ultrasound. When I look back on that day in January 2009, surrounded by people I loved,(thankfully), and the doctors delivered the news, my heart breaks all over again. It is still painful to think about that day. But I shudder to think of how traumatic it would have been if I DIDN'T know and we would have delivered at a hospital that didn't have the surgeons to fix Daniel's heart. Helicopter rides, ambulances, being seperated. I get sad thinking that the twins were across the street from one another after their birth, can I even grasp how sad it would have been to be hours apart??? And yet, so many parents HAVE to do this because that is when they discover that their children have heart defects!! Being prepared is hard, but its such a gift. And spread the word about CHD, please. There is so much more research that can be done and so little being done compared to other diseases. All sick children deserve hope. Lets give our heart babies that hope! Here's my hope, with his big brother. Congenital Heart Disease is considered to be the most common birth defect, and is a leading cause of birth-defect related deaths worldwide. Despite the fact that CHD affects approximately 1.8 millions families in the U.S., a relatively small amount of funding is currently available for parent/patient educational services, research, and support.
  • Here are some CHD facts: Congenital Heart Defect Fact Sheet

    -Sometime during early pregnancy, a baby's heart may not form properly, resulting in structural abnormalities known as Congenital Heart Defects. In many cases the cause is unknown.

    -It is estimated that 40,000 babies with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are born in the United States each year.

    -Although some babies will be diagnosed at birth, newborns are not routinely screened for CHD. The consequences of a late diagnosis can have serious, lifelong implications.

    -CHD is the most frequently occurring birth defect, and is the leading cause of birth-defect related deaths. Nearly 1,800 infants with CHD die each year as a result of congenital heart defects

    -Some CHDs may require visits to a Pediatric Cardiologist. Others can be treated with medications or repaired with surgery and/or procedures. Complex defects may require several surgeries and are never really "cured."

    By sharing our experiences and providing information, we hope to raise public awareness about conditions that affect approximately 40,000 babies each year in the United States alone.It is our sincere hope that efforts to educate the public will result in improved early diagnosis, additional funding for support and educational services, scientific research, and access to quality of care for our children and adults.

Monday, February 07, 2011

First Haircuts

Last weekend we did what I consider to be one of the last BIG firsts. I know, I know, there are many momenumental firsts to come...but as far as "baby" firsts, this was a big one. On Saturday a friend and neighbor cut Nolan's hair. I wanted to have her cut the babies hair, but was so unsure how they would do, plus Brian was gone, so I knew he'd want to be there. Sunday we took the boys to a kid haircut place. We let D go first, because he's so much more laid back. They both did AWESOME! Here's some before pics. Daniel's mullet:
Wow, Joey has a lot of hair. This almost looks like a mug shot.
Halfway through, she gave him a mohawk.
(He got a fat lip earlier in the week when he fell pushing a truck. That's why he has a big red dot above his lip)!
Joseph was a BIG fan of the succer.
All done, so handsome!!
I really miss the crazy curls, but she assured me they would grow back, probably thicker.
Nolan's haircut. He asks for a mohawk most days, I'll have to take a picture of that. I miss the long locks a bit, but he's so dern handsome I love this cut, too!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Peek A Boo!

The transition from hospital to home has been amazing. I guess from start to finish, I didn't have anything to compare to. In some ways, yes, the hopsitals, wires, tubes, I did. But in so many thousands of ways this second heart surgery has been so different from Daniel's first, so it really went so much differently and so much better than I thought it would have gone. For starters, after his first surgery, he wasn't up walking around 3 day later. Duh, he was 4 days old. But that didn't change that I thought this time around he would come home and be sleeping most of the day...or if nothing else, sprawled in front of the tv, chilling out, recovering. And yes, everyone, from people on the street, to neighbors, friends and doctors said, "Babies recover so quickly." It fell on deaf ears because it was MY baby and quickly is quite relative. That could be 2 weeks. And if that was the case and I still had my baby after 2 weeks, I wouldn't complain. I was shocked, to say the least, when he was back to a normal routine within days of coming home.

Daniel definitely had some trouble going from sitting to standing, and was wobbly walking those first few days, making us on edge and nervous. But those first days he was also super mad we wouldn't let him go up and down the stairs. He was up a few times a night those first couple nights. At first I would offer juice, food, snuggles, but he wanted one thing only past that first initial mommy hug...TV. He had gotten very used to it at the hospital. So, once I figured out he wasn't in pain and that was his "want" I ignored it. Not him...I would go in and hug him gently and he would begrudgedly go back to sleep, but after a couple nights he stopped fussing. Thank goodness! I think most moms out there can agree that once our kids sleep through the night getting up in the night is extra exhausting.

As far as day to day, Daniel is, in my opinion, much, much better. More energy, better eating, more talking and laughing and generally less grumpy. My relationship with Daniel has flourished and though he will never be the cuddler or momma's boy that Joseph is, he does show me more affection and actually gets upset if I have to leave. And comes running for a hug when I return. I don't want to make him out to seem unnatural or myself to be unloving, but for whatever reason, Daniel has been a complete daddy's boy from day one. He still is. But now he is also a closet momma's boy, but I'm not supposed to tell you that. That week in the hospital was very hard and watching him have to be in pain over and over again broke my heart. But unlike the first surgery I was blessed to be able to leave J & N and be by Daniels side the whole time and its a blessing I don't take for granted. It grew our relationship and my appreciation for just how tough that little boy really is. And my husband is awesome and selfless...we were supposed to switch places, but when his turn came to stay with Daniel, I told him I didn't think I could go. With no judgement or guilt laid on me, Brian said he understood and helped his parents hold down the home fort. I'm so so grateful for such an awesome family. So here we are, slowly making our way back into the world. We've been to lunch, the mall, the library and lots of neighbors houses as we return to everyday activities. And I'm grateful. So grateful, for every moment, every brothers quarrel, every moment of chaos in my home. I really am so very blessed.