Wednesday, September 24, 2014

10th Annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day~September 26, 2014

Cancer. It's a word that you probably hear every single day. I know I do. Whether it be on social media, the news, or in your own family, chances are you hear it. Chances are you know someone who is battling cancer, survived cancer, or sadly, lost their battle with cancer.

Cancer is not something I had ever really thought much about, until the age of 15 when my sisters best friend was diagnosed with it, and sadly lost her battle only 9 short months later, at the age of 17, mere weeks before graduating from high school. Cancer knows no ages, it knows no ethnicity,it  knows no social class. It doesn't care if you're a child, a mother, or a father. There are so many different types of cancers out there, it's pretty overwhelming. Each one, is equally as terrifying, but some have greater odds to beat it than others. Some get substantially more research than others. I understand why the more common diseases get more search, it only makes sense BUT I pray that one day ALL cancers will be researched equally and cured. No one should EVER have to lose their battle with cancer in this day and age when we have so much medical knowledge and advancements at our finger tips.

I'm sure you've heard of the common cancers like leukemia, breast cancer, and colon cancer, but chances are you may not know about the less talked about ones, like mesothelioma. To be honest, I didn't know much about mesothelioma...other than commercials I've seen on TV for law offices representing people exposed to asbestos, which causes this form of cancer, and an episode of NY Med where a patient was diagnosed with mesothelioma, but that was the extent of my knowledge. Until I was approached by Heather Von St. James, an 8 year mesothelioma survivor, inquiring if I would write up a blog post, to bring awareness to this relatively unknown cancer. Social media (blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) can be SO negative sometimes, that I jumped at the opportunity to post something that could put a face, a name, a family to something you might not otherwise know about!

First things first...what is a asbestos? It is a natural occurring mineral that was often used as a building material in homes, schools and commercial/industrial buildings. From the 1930's to the 1970's asbestos was at its highest production and usage. In 1989 the EPA banned most asbestos containing products but this decision was overturned in 1991 leaving only a few asbestos containing products banned. What!?!??! How is something that is known to cause 100,000 cases per year (in America) of asbestos related diseases still allowed to be used!??!? Awareness is key friends! If you don't know about it, you can't be angry about it, and you can't fight for it to be stopped! For more alarming facts about asbestos click here.

As a mother, there are two things I fear in this world the most....losing one of my children and leaving this Earth, leaving my children motherless. I just truly can't imagine (and I pray everyday I'll never know either of those feelings!) But for Heather, she had just given birth to her daughter Lily when she was diagnosed, and given 15 months to live! 15 months...think about that for just one second...you have a newborn baby at home, a husband, family, and you are told that in less than 2 years, you won't be here. It's unimaginable. But that's what Heather was told. She knew, as a mother and a wife, that prognosis wasn't acceptable so she took drastic measures to improve her odds of living. She had life safe surgery that included the removal of her entire left lung, a rib and half of a diaphragm. With her 2nd chance at life, she has chosen to bring awareness to this cancer!

Displaying Heather And Family.pngHeather and her beautiful family!


Mesothelioma is still considered a rare cancer in America as "only" 2500 to 3000 cases are diagnosed each year, but behind that "rare" number is a mother, wife, father, husband, grandfather, grandmother, well, you get the picture! Cases are expected to increase as incidences of exposure to asbestos become more known. We must spread awareness for this horrible disease!

Although there is no known cure for this disease, there are treatment options available but awareness and detection are key!
href
="http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/prognosis/" target="_blank" title="Mesothelioma Prognosis By Stage" style="background: url('http://www.mesothelioma.com/images/mesothelioma-prognosis.jpg') top left no-repeat; display: block; height: 410px; text-indent: -9000px; width: 508px;">Mesothelioma Prognosis By Stage , Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10px; margin: 4px 4px 12px 4px;">Image courtesy of the href="http://www.mesothelioma.com/">Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Take time to become informed. Take time to read about Heathers journey. Don't sit back and think, "Oh well, this will never happen to me!" because friends, we have no idea what today holds, and knowledge is key!

Monday, September 15, 2014

365 days old!

**I began to write this post on 9/9, edited/forgot to post it on 9/10 and then couldn't bring myself to post it on 9/11/14 because to me, 9/11 is sacred, and I choose not to do anything (social media related) that doesn't honor the lives of those lost.**

Well, I certainly remember this day like it was yesterday because that's certainly what it feels like! How did an entire year pass already!?!??! Maci Louise turns ONE today! It really is surreal, but I love this age (minus the getting into EVERYTHING) and I can't wait to see my baby girl turn into a toddler (but for the record...I need that to happen VERY slowly! She's my last one! ;))

Maci Lou,
  It's crazy to think that 365 days ago I was up at the crack of dawn, preparing for your scheduled c-section. We drove your brother and sister to Nonna and Poppys (I bawled my eyes out! SHOCKER! ;)) and headed to the hospital. At 9:16am you entered the world, screaming your head off, and goodness knows you didn't stop screaming your head off for almost SEVEN MONTHS! You had colic, and that was a tough, tough time, but boy oh boy did I love you no matter what! Your first two weeks were perfect! You slept in 4 hour stretches, in your bassinet, and it was absolutely insane to me. Then, I'll never forget it...one day we went to visit some of my Mommy's co-workers, and as I put you in your carrier, you started crying and didn't stop (or so it seemed! ;)) until you were almost seven months old! :) Girlfriend, you threw Mommy for a loop, but I think that's what made us REALLY close! I had to "wear" you most of the time, so we spent A LOT of time together. Not to mention I worked from home for 4 weeks (after my maternity leave was up), so you got 4 weeks of extra lovings, and we are still pretty inseparable to this day! :) You are cute, sweet, sassy, hilarious, wild, loud and absolutely everything I hoped you'd be! I can't wait to see what this life has in store for you sweet girl! I love you with all of my heart and soul!


What are you up to these days...

*Developmental milestones: as of the week of 8/23/14...you are a pro at going up the steps (goodness you LOVE to climb steps!), when I say, "Maci rest" you lay your head down wherever you are, and you have taken a few consecutive steps, several different times. On 8/26/14 you had your last bottle of formula. On 9/6/14 you started throwing both arms up in the air when Mommy says, "Touchdown!"On 9/9/14 you had your last bottle (of milk). You are completely off the bottle as of your 1st birthday! :)

*Your stats: You don't have your year check-up until October 7th, but I'd guess you're around 25 lbs, and still tall as ever! I'm sure you'll continue to remain off the charts until you start walking, then you'll slim down some. As for height, I'd venture to say you'll always be off the charts!

*You are in size 5 diapers

*You wear mostly 18 month clothing, but sometimes 24 months! :)

*You continue to be SUCH a good girl at Linnie's. Everyday when I pick you up Linnie always brags about how good you are! :)

*You love Manuel, Mia and Daddy. You do this super adorable "shy" face when you're around new people. You actually even do it when you're around people you know, and you just feel shy!

*You're a momma's girl, through and through! 

*You're officially in your crib as of the night of September 3rd! Mommy is holding strong and you are doing well. It's not the easiest thing to do with you teething, and I've ALMOST given in a few times, but thankfully I changed my mind. There is NOTHING wrong with co-sleeping and I love every single second of doing, but it was time...we made it almost a year my baby girl! :)

*You do a lot of babbling...still clearly know that Mommy is "Mama" and Daddy is "Dada". Linnie and I both swore you said, "Ninny" (meaning Linnie) yesterday, but we'll have to see if that keeps up to call it an actual "word" :)

And for good measure:

As with the 11 previous months, on Maci's birthday I did a monthly photo shoot. I have AWESOME pics on my camera but this is Maci in her "party outfit" (from my Iphone). I haven't posted this pic on FB yet (and I won't until after her party on Saturday) but I felt no harm in sharing it here because no one I know (in real life) reads this (at least not that I'm aware of! :))

 I know, I'll give you a second to breathe...you can't handle all the cuteness! ;)
You only turn one, once! ;) 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Motherhood

A week ago today, Mia started preschool and as I expressed in my last post, it was a hard, hard, HARD ;) day for both of us. The days after it, at drop off, were "easier" but still hard. There was still tears, there was still "Mommy, please take me to the bathroom before you leave" requests and I was really starting to wonder if she'd ever be okay with this new place. (I for one HATE change, so I couldn't blame her if she wanted to stay at Linnie's until she moved out of her house! ;)) I know she was fine once I left, but drop off was breaking my heart. Today was a pivotal moment for us, I wanted to post it here because I do look at this blog as a journal/baby book (although I do fill out their baby books as well! :)) Here is my FB status (excuse the Ray Rice reference, clearly, living in Maryland, that's ALL that in my newsfeed these days!!!) :

"I was hesitant to post this for fear of being annoying and then I realized it can't possibly be more annoying than all the Ray Rice posts! I am sooooo proud of Mia...today there were NO tears, NO requests to take her to the bathroom, etc. The director met us at the door, I signed her in and she walked away WITH A SMILE! I said, "Bye Mia! Mommy is SO proud of you!" She turned back with a huge smile and we (Maci and I) walked out! A week ago she walked in those doors holding her Daddy's hand and I caught (accidentally) the saddest picture of her, as tears streamed down her face. Today, that smile made everything worth it"

The level I love my children is beyond words, but with the daily living of life ;), that sometimes gets forgotten or pushed aside because of a meltdown, lack of sleep, misbehavior, work, school, lack of patience, life in general, and I read this line on another blog a few moments ago, and it sums it up perfectly...


"My love for my children is profound, but because we spend our days living, working, surviving we don't stop much to feel how deep we love."-CJane Kendrick

I love my children SO deeply! I hope they always know that and feel that!

I can only pray that Mia continues to enjoy preschool. I pray that Manuel continues to "enjoy" 3rd grade (he's 8.5, unless it's gym, he's not ENJOYING it, but he does well! ;)) I pray that my baby, who turns one TOMORROW continues to enjoy life and being a baby! :))

And for good measure:

 Manuel's after his 1st soccer game (the real feel temp was 105 degrees that day and those boys still played their hearts out and won! ;))
Mia thoroughly enjoying the 105 degree soccer game! ;)

This girl keeps me on my toes!
But is SO darn adorable, it makes up for it! ;)
My loves on our 1st "Purple Friday" of the NFL season

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

1st Day of Pre-K

My, my, my...so many milestones in the last few weeks and in the coming weeks for the Gomez family! It's a bag full of mixed emotions! :) I don't do well with change, and my babies growing up, but I also know how blessed I am to have healthy children that are well enough to experience all of these things, so it's just a lot for this Momma heart to take in! :) And let's be honest, I can't help myself so there is A LOT of tears! ;)

On August 27, Manuel started 3rd grade (worst mother, for not doing a post about it, but clearly I'm not a regular blogger! :)) He got on the bus without issue or incident (I cried, even though this is the FOURTH time I've done this with him! ;)) and so far, his year is going well!

My sweet Mia Grace started preschool yesterday, September 2nd. She attends a preschool/daycare at a church by our house. Our neighbors daughter goes there and it came highly recommended. The hardest part of it all, was Mia saying "see ya later" to Linnie last Friday. Linnie has been Mia's primary care taker (besides Manny and I) since she was EIGHT WEEKS OLD! That's 4.5 years! It was a VERY hard goodbye for all of us (probably the worst for Linnie and I! ;)) So Mia and I did great all weekend. No tears shed in anticipation of her starting school UNTIL it was time for Manny to walk her in (I knew he had to do it. I knew I was going to lose it, and I didn't want to lose it in front of her.) As I got her out of the car, and Manny grabbed her hand to walk her in, she started bawling! :( (I got in the car, and did as well. Maci probably thinks I'm crazy! ;)) After about 10 minutes Manny walked out and said that she was "okay". By the time he called at noon to check on her, she was fine. Once they moved from the group setting (with all the kids) to her pre-K classroom, she was okay. I was SUPER excited to pick her up at the end of the day and see how she was...she was fine. She survived! We survived! ;)

Today was day #2, and she teared up, but no major breakdown! I hope each day gets easier, because this Mommas heart can't handle tears (from either of us! :)) everyday!

Here are a few (cell phone) pics from her 1st day. I overslept (UGH!!) so we were rushed, but at least I got some good shots!

And for good measure...

 Getting ready to walk Manuel up to the bus stop before her big day! :)
 Looking up at Daddy (this wasn't staged! and I LOVE this shot!)
When I picked her up at the end of the day...crazy hair and all, she's still SO beautiful! :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

11 months with Maci Louise!

It's crazy to think that in a little less than a month, we will be celebrating a year with our little Maci Lou! I've been saying this for the last 11 months, so I'll say it again ;) Time flies! Mia starts preschool and Maci turns one all within 8 days of one another...clearly it's going to be a very emotional time for this Momma! But I know this is also just the beginning of the super fun stage with Maci, so I'm excited for that too! :)

What are you up to these days...

*Developmental milestones: Back on 7/15/14 Maci started "cruising" and that girl can't be stopped! She's taken one small step, but nothing that I'd consider her first "official" step yet, but I have no doubt that she'll be walking by her 1st birthday! She LOVES dancing to music! It's super cute! On 7/18/14 she starting standing for a few seconds without holding onto anything. On 8/4/14 she can officially and correctly put up 1 finger when you ask her how old she's going to be AND give you five when you ask! :) Oh, you've really have the waving thing down now, with both hands. SO cute!

*Your stats:There is no 11 month check-up, so I'd venture to say you're around 24 lbs. My big girl! :) But you're proportionate because you're also very tall!

*You are in size 5 diapers

*You wear mostly 18 month clothing

*You continue to be SUCH a good girl at Linnie's. Everyday when I pick you up Linnie always brags about how good you are! :)

*You love Manuel, Mia and Daddy. You do this super adorable "shy" face when you're around new people. You actually even do it when you're around people you know, and you just feel shy!

*You're a momma's girl, through and through! 

*You're still in Mommy and Daddy's bed and we're 100% okay with it! (well, Daddy isn't really 100% okay with it anymore...usually he ends up on the sofa! ;)) but I told him I'd give a REAL try to get you in your crib after you turn one! :)

*You have started to cut back on your bottles. You still drink 6 oz. every 5 hours, but lately you've been not finishing your entire bottles. I think you're going to be ready to transition soon. But, since you're my last baby, if it were up to me, you'd be drinking from a bottle until you're 10! ;)

*You do a lot of babbling...you definitely know I'm "mama" and Daddy is "dada" but no other words than that, yet.

And for good measure:








Wednesday, July 2, 2014

9 (well closer to 10 ;) month post (and a bit of life in general)

Let me start off by saying that summer is cruising along for the Gomez family! I certainly can't believe that it's already July! Wow! In a little less than two months Manuel will be a 3rd grader and Mia will be ending her life long "run" at Linnie's house and starting pres-school :( Then, in a little over two months, Maci will be ONE!?!??! It just doesn't make sense to me! ;) It makes my heart ache, literally, how quickly time goes. BUT I try to remind myself that each day I'm given with the kiddos (and Manny) is a gift and more than some people are given (WAY MORE!) so I need to just sit back, relax and enjoy it. Easier said than done! :)

We just got back from a week+ long vacay to the beach! It was awesome! Many laughs were had, many memories were made, and we're so grateful to have had the time away! We spent a lot of time at the beach, hit up the waterpark, rented a pontoon boat, rode rides and of course spent ridiculous amounts of money at the arcades on the Boardwalk, to only walk away with some candy, a mini water gun, a few other items that broke the next day. That's what it's all about though, right? ;) Now, it's back to Linnie's for the girls, summer camp for Manuel and work for Manny and I!

Of course I took a zillion pictures, and they are all posted on Facebook, but here is my favorite pic from our vacation (or quite possibly EVER) of the 5 of us...


EDITED: As of Maci's 10 month birthday, she has two teeth. The two bottom (front) are through! :)

Now on to the Maci Lou update...Sheww weeeee, this has been a busy, busy month and a half for Maci Louise, in terms of milestones! :) She is growing like a weed and certainly changing each and everyday! I wanted to do a post, wayyyyyyyyyy back on June 10th, but not much had changed, and her 9 month well child visit had to be moved until after vacation (it was last night), so I figured I'd just do a 9/10 month combo post. Mommy fail! ;)

Maci Louise, your smile lights up a room! You are your sisters twin (or at least that's what EVERYONE says! Mommy really doesn't see it! :)) But you are just as adorable as your brother and sister! ;) We love you more than words and your presence completes our family (although I'd be fine with another, Daddy says we're done. It's time to give you, Manuel and Mia the best life ever! I can't say that I don't agree with him, BUT you're growing up WAY too fast, so I can't imagine the teeny tiny baby stage not happening again :( But this next stage of baby-hood is SUPER cute, so I'm excited for that as well! :)

What are you up to these days...

*Developmental milestones: Holy moly, you are reaching milestones like crazy! Since my last update: the week of 5/19/14 you started saying "dada" ALL THE TIME (but not to the point of associating "Daddy" with that term! ;)). On 5/23/14  you pulled yourself up to your knees in your pack n' play. Then on 6/17/14 you started sitting yourself up, by yourself, from the lying down position. The week of 6/21/14 you started clapping. On 6/29/14 you started "real" crawling. You've been army crawling, like a champ, for awhile, but this day you started, up on all fours, crawling. Super cute! Mommy teared up! :) And lastly, you pull yourself up, all by yourself, to your feet ALL THE TIME! The second you fall down, you pick yourself right back up and do it again! It's so funny to watch you because you get the BIGGEST smile on your face and look SO proud! You even to stand, only holding on with one hand, and you're really good at that too! :)

*Your stats: 23 lbs 3 oz (96 percentile), 29.5 inches (94 percentile) and your head circumference is in the 96 percentile (just like Mia, who's head was always off the charts! :)) You are a chunky monkey! I even looked in Manuel and Mia's baby books after you appointment last night, and Manuel wasn't 23 lbs until his 12 month check-up and Mia wasn't 23 lbs until she was 14 months, so you are my big girl! :) But you're totally proportionate so it's all good! ;)

*You are still in size 4 diapers

*You wear mostly 12 month clothes, but Mommy still tries to squeeze you into your super cute 9 month summer stuff ;)

*You continue to be on your best behavior at Linnie's each day, and Linnie just adores you! She calls you her "wild child" (lovingly, of course!)

*You continue to crack up at your brother and sister. Our neighbor, Halle (age 9) is also one of your besties! :)

*You're a momma's girl (just like Mia), and I love it! 

*You're still in Mommy and Daddy's bed and we're 100% okay with it! Maybe I'll shoot for the one year mark, to have you in your crib! ;)

*You've finally up'd your intake to 6 oz every 5 hours or so (even through the night! That is correct, you still don't sleep through the night! Oh well! ;)


*You do a lot of babbling...lots of "dada", "nana" and FINALLY "mama" but not associating it with actual words.

I think that's it for now baby girl! :) You are AMAZING!

And for good measure a few pics from her 9th month :) ..








Tuesday, May 20, 2014

8 months with Maci Louise

Back on May 10th Maci turned 8 months old! We "celebrated" like we do every month with a photo shoot and singing "Happy Birthday" to her, but I never posted here! :( Thankfully I do keep an actual baby book for her, so that counts for something! ;)

Maci Louise, your smile lights up a room and your happiness makes Mommy's heart overflow with joy and thankfulness! I'm not gonna lie sweet girl, those first few (ahem, 6 or so! ;)) months with you were super difficult! Nothing seemed to make you happy and things just weren't easy. I wouldn't have traded it for the world, of course, but it was just HARD! You have really turned a corner and are so happy and smiley MOST of the time (unless someone new comes in the room and you think Mommy is leaving! ;)) You definitely favor your Momma and I couldn't be happier! :) All the "big girls" in the  neighborhood call you "Smiley" or "Bouncy" because you are just always so darn happy! :) (or they call you "Mini Mia" because everyone thinks you look JUST like your big sister! Funny thing is, I really don't see it THAT much, but apparently everyone else does! :) Thank you for bringing our family so much joy! We love you!

What are you up to these days...

*Developmental milestones: you give the sweetest, opened mouth kisses when asked. It's ADORABLE! You aren't crawling yet, but you do a little rocking back and forth (not up on your knees yet). When sitting in your pack and play, you reach over to the side and try to pull yourself up, but haven't done it yet on your own. You can stand (if we stand you up), holding on to something for a few seconds. Mommy isn't rushing ANY milestones since you're my last baby! :)

*You are still in size 4 diapers

*You wear mostly 12 month clothes

*You continue to be on your best behavior at Linnie's each day, and Linnie just adores you!

*You love playing with your brother and sister, and they really crack you up!

*Your eyes light up when you hear Daddy's voice or see his face!


*You've made your way completely out of your crib, completely out of the mattress on the floor in your room and back in Mommy and Daddy's bed. I guess you can say we're officially a co-sleeping family! Oh well, I'm 100% okay with it. I LOVE having you close to me and, for now, can't imagine you in your crib! :)

*Still no teeth!

*You continue to drink 5 oz every 4-ish hours. You love to eat your stage 2 fruits and veggies. You've also started eating puffs and other dissolvable "baby" foods :)We started you on stage 2 "meats" (ugh, typing that word grosses me out...Mommy doesn't "do" the thought of pureed meats! ;)) but either way, you love them! :)

*You do a lot of babbling, but no real words yet.

And for good measure...

 My babies sending balloons to their cousins in Heaven on their 6th birthday
 Maci Louise on her Dedication day at church
 Hubby doing what he loves most...rock fishing!
 Manuel playing baseball
8 month photo shoot (outfit courtesy of EmbroiderybySharon on Etsy! I won a giveaway that she had on her Facebook page for this outfit, but I also purchased Maci's 1st Thanksgiving Day outfit from Sharon!

I hope life is treating you all well, friends!























Tuesday, April 15, 2014

7 months with Maci Lou

I continue to post here, month after month, without much other stuff posted in between (besides Maci's monthly updates) and I'm not sure why! :) Although I love to have a written account of my childrens lives, I also am pretty good about keeping up with their baby books and milestones! :) Life is awesome, amazing and all those other adjectives, like crazy, chaotic, and overwhelming ;) I wouldn't trade it for the world. Again, I'm not sure why I continue writing in this little ol' space, but I guess I'll just roll with it...

My sweet girl turned 7 months old April 10th! I swear, I blinked and she's 7 months old. It seems almost unbelievable!

What are you up to these days...

You go to the doctors on Friday for your flu booster so I'll get an official weight for you :)

*Developmental milestones: you sit up, unassisted, GREAT! Just yesterday you started to lift up one knee and "scoot" but I think crawling is still a ways off, and I'm a-o-k with that! :)

*You are still in size 3 diapers, but once this pack is done, I think we'll move up to stage 4

*You wear a lot of 12 month clothing. I had a HUGE bag of Mia's SUPER adorable 6 month Spring/Summer clothes that I was anxiously awaiting Maci to wear, but after a fashion shoot, unfortunately most of it doesn't fit her! :( My sweet girl is just long and chunky! :)

*You continue to spend your days at Linnie's. After a very rough several weeks, you seemed to have become "easier" at Linnie's. You still throw fits when you're tired, but you don't spend all day screaming, so that's wonderful! (for Linnie's sanity! ;)) We attended your sister dance recital on Sunday and for the first hour you slept and after intermission you woke up and stayed completely well behaved for the entire 1.5 hour second half! YAY MACI!!!! :)

*You are interacting more and more with Manuel and Mia, and it's SO cute!

*You were doing "okay" in your crib, but many nights, we've ended up on the spare mattress on the floor in your room, snuggling. I'm okay with that. This won't last forever! :)

*Still no teeth!

*You continue to drink 5 oz every 4-ish hours. You love to eat your stage 2 fruits and veggies. You've also started eating puffs and other dissolvable "baby" foods :)

Sweet baby girl, you have really blossomed this last month, and have become less high maintenance and more laid back (I use that term loosely, but compared to what you were, it's a major improvement! :)) I can't believe how quickly you're growing and changing. Your smile lights up the room and that uni-dimple makes me melt. You're my last baby so I'm trying to enjoy every second, even the trying ones. I love you more than life itself sweet girl! :)

And for good measure...

My 3 babies (not sure if I've shared this before :)) 

7 month photo shoot :)

 
 Mia Grace ROCKED her recital!!! :)

 Such a good big brother (most of the time! ;)

Daddy and Maci (uni-dimple twins :))

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

6 months official post

 Back on March 10, my baby turned 6 months old. I won't say how hard it is to believe that she's six months old already because I say it every time I blog most of you are mothers and know that time flies! ;) We had Maci's 6 month check-up on Monday, so I wanted to document everything. Her pediatrician is still on maternity leave, so this was our last visit with the "fill in" ped. For Maci's 9 month appointment, her doctor will be back, WOO HOO! Don't get me wrong, the fill ins were fine, but her pediatrician tells me how adorable my kids are every time she sees them, and who doesn't love to hear that?!?! I mean, her pediatrician is an amazing professional! ;)

 *Weight/height: 18 lbs 4 oz (81st percentile) and 27.5 inches (95th percentile). She's a TALL girl! :) 

What are you up to these days...

*Developmental milestones: your favorite mode of transportation is rolling. You've perfected that skill (belly to back, back to belly). You can sit up like a pro with some support, and you can sit up unassisted for a bit before you tumble over :) You now eat cereal, fruit and veggies. You continue to grab and pull at everything and it goes RIGHT into your mouth! :)

*You are still in size 3 diapers

*You wear a lot of 12 month clothing. Your cousins Vivi handed down a bunch of adorable winter 12 month clothing that I insisted you are able to wear, because goodness knows come next Fall/Winter they won't fit you! :) It's too long in the arms and a little loose in the belly, but because you are so tall, they fit fine length wise

*You continue to spend your days at Linnie's. You certainly make Linnie earn her money! ;) I love you to pieces, but you are very high maintenance (and I mean that in the most lovingly way possible) so if Linnie's isn't holding you, you get mad! (Sorry, I think Mommy caused that habit! ;)) But you are getting better and I'll leave it at that, before I jinx things

*Your brother and sister love you to pieces, and the feeling is mutual. You just smile and smile when you see them. But I'd have to say, I'm pretty sure I'm still your fav! ;)

*You transitioned to a crib on Saturday night (yes, at 6 months old! I loved you sleeping in our room or SAFELY co-sleeping!) You've done semi decent since you moved in there. You COULD do better, but I'll take what I can get at this point ;)

*You continue to drool (but not as much as before), but still no teeth!

*You continue to drink 5 oz every 4-ish hours. With your reflux, you just can't handle any more or else you just get gassy and miserable

My sweet girl, your smile lights up a room, your eyes are the widest most beautiful things I've ever seen. Everywhere we go people comment about your eyes, your dimple and how much you look like your big sister. You are a blessing! It breaks my heart that you're my last baby, but what an amazing baby you are! :)

 Last night (3.18.14)
 St Pattys Day
On your actual 6 month birthday (3.10.14)


Monday, March 10, 2014

"They" say...


I always wonder who this "they" is that people refer to ;) but I know one thing that "they" say that is SO true, and that is...TIME FLIES! Goodness gracious, how in the world is my Maci Louise, 6 months old already!?!? I mean REALLY, how is it possible!??! I get that time marches on, children grow up, but I feel like it was yesterday I was taking my final belly shot in the mirror, preparing to head to the hospital for my 3rd (and final ;( csection. She is halfway to ONE! I JUST.DONT.GET.IT! I've said this before, and I'll say it a million and one more times, I think time has flown even more so because she's our last, and I know it :( Regardless of why, it happens and my sweet angel is 6 months old today. We'll do the standard monthly photo shoot tonight, and then she'll have her 6 month appointment next Monday (so I'll be back with her "stats" :))



6 months ago! Gosh, I LOVED being prego!!!!

 Meeting my baby girl! :)
Heading out for errands this past Saturday

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Maci Lou is (was ;) 5 months

So way back on February 10th Maci Louise turned 5 months, but that day came and went without an update, however, I do have a reason...my sweet baby girl came down with the stomach virus that day and needless to say, updating the blog was the last thing on my "to do" list. Then Tuesday night rolled around and I woke up with it in the middle of the night, and while I was "getting sick" (sorry!) in walks Mia covered in "sickness" so it was an awful few days! Then the biggest snow storm to hit Maryland came through Wednesday, into Thursday, which also happened to coincide with Manny (my husband) get the flu (as in influenza!) so while I wasn't even close to being recovered from the stomach virus, I'm outside shoveling 20 inches of snow because OBVIOUSLY Manny couldn't with the flu! So it was a very busy/crazy week. Prior to the stomach virus Manuel had his Pinewood Derby for Boy Scouts, Manny was inducted as Assistant Den Leader (in Scouts) and life has been busy and wonderful! Thankfully we were still able to get away this past weekend for the kids belated birthday gift. We headed to Ocean City, got a nice hotel and swam and ate a lot! ;) But here I am, with Maci's 5 month update :)

*Weight/height:this is an "in between" month where she doesn't have a well child check-up, so I have no clue. I'd venture to say she's around 17 lbs or so. As for height, NO CLUE! Next month will be more specific! :)

What are you up to these days...

*Developmental milestones: you are a rolling machine...back to belly and belly to back. You are able to sit up by yourself for a few seconds at time before you fall over (like a little weeble wobble ;)) You grab for EVERYTHING...hair, your brothers glasses, pretty much anything that is in your reach! You have the cutest giggle because you laugh so hard that almost no noise comes out! Your smile lights up a room and I'm pretty sure it's because of the single dimple you have on your right cheek (just like Daddy!)

*You are in size 3 diapers

*You wear mostly 9 month clothing...you are a bit of a chubber, but the main reason for the bigger size is because you are very long!

*You continue to spend your days at Linnie's (although between snow and sickness, I think you've only been there 2 full weeks since Mommy came back to work full time, in the office, in January!) You love it there!

*Your brother and sister love you to pieces, and the feeling is mutual. You just smile and smile when you see them. But I'd have to say, I'm pretty sure I'm still your fav! ;)

*So last month in the sleeping section of this update I mentioned how we started you on a bit of cereal at night, which caused you to sleep two days in a row of a 7 hour stretch, wellll, needless to say, that hasn't happened since then! :) You just aren't a good sleeper, AT ALL (just like your brother and sister!) I know I need to start letting you self soothe, etc. but I can't, not yet. So until then I guess I'm just going to continue to roll with the punches, and get up with you when you want to still eat every 4 hours. (I know that sounds SO crazy to some people, but it works for our family! :))

*You continue to drool (but not as much as before), but still no teeth!

*The day you got the stomach virus (before we knew you had it!) was the day we started you on some fruit. So needless to say, we haven't gone back to that, yet. You still eat 4 oz every 3 hours (or so). Your bedtime bottle is 5 oz and that gives me a 4 hour or so stretch. I've tried making bigger bottles to get you to go longer, but with your reflux, it just doesn't work! You get pretty gassy and miserable! :(

You bring SO much joy to our lives sweet girl! I LOVE YOU!!!
And now some pics from your 5 month "photo shoot"




Friday, January 31, 2014

Manuel Christopher is 8

How in the world are we here!??! Where, you ask? To this day, January 31, 2014...the day my first born, my only son, turns EIGHT! I say it all the time, and it's a huge cliche, but really, it floors me how quickly times go! :( I was looking at Manuel this morning, making a loom bracelet before school, and I thought, "He was JUST born. I mean really, wasn't it yesterday?!?? Heck, I'll even go as far as to say a year ago! But EIGHT years ago, NO WAY!!!"

I'm finding myself having a more difficult time with time (confusing, I know) lately, and I can't quite put my finger on why????? My mom turns 60 in April and that hurts my heart. I try to put it in perspective that yes, she'll be 60, but that's not old. In reality, she could live to be 90 and then heck, I'll be 62 by then with possible grandchildren of my own, so why be sad!??! I'm not sure!

My baby turns eight today and my heart aches to type that. I wonder if it's because I'm getting older, I know we can't live forever and the bottom line is time passes too quickly! No way around it! I guess I just need to learn to live in the moment instead of focusing on the, "I can't believe my last baby is already 4.5 months..." or "I can't believe...." Just live Christina! :)

But back to my post about my sweet boy...he is EIGHT today! Full of life, love of the outdoors, an increasing self confidence, and a heart that would make any Momma proud! Manuel would spend every single second, of every single day playing outside if he could. If we want to punish him, we make him stay inside and watch TV, seriously! :) It's awesome to have a child who loves to be so active and doesn't want to sit in front of the TV playing video games! He's a gem! He's not perfect, but such a good kid at heart!

And because Facebook is my go to on days like today, here is my status that pretty much sums it up:
at 3:30pm, EIGHT years ago we welcomed our sweet, kind, sensitive, suddenly confident, super cute, smart, Manuel Christopher into this world! He made me a Mommy for the very first time and thinking that I've been his for 8 years brings tears to my eyes! I should not be sitting here today typing this...my life was on a downward spiral to nowhere good, my life was so full of complete chaos, doing things that certainly should have killed me and definitely didn't have God in it! The very second I found out I was going to be a Mommy, ready or not, my world stopped and I started to live for this angel inside of me! I fail as a Mommy, more often than not, especially with Manuel because he's the oldest but he's quick to forgive and even at 8, jump up for a snuggle or hug Manuel Christopher, i love you more than life itself! Always remember what Daddy teaches you...love Jesus, work hard and protect your sisters! Happy 8th Birthday Buddy!

And because Manuel was born before (my) digital camera and blogging days, here are some AWFUL pictures of pictures of his first days of life:

 Heading home from the hospital
 The morning of my c-section (41 lb weight gain wth my first pregnancy! ;)
 Not sure why his skin looks orange and his face looks multi-colored...it wasn't! :)
 He was a few weeks old here :)
 Our first pic as a family of 3
10 hours of labor with ZERO progression (I wouldn't dilate past 1 because of a huge cyst I had that prevented Manuel from dropping) will clearly tire you out! ;) Hence my appearance! :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

The circus

Happy Monday Friends!

My apologies if you think this post is going to be filled with pictures of my family at the circus! When I say circus, I mean what is lovingly my life, at times! ;) When my plate seems so full (and in reality, when I step back, I know I have it SO easy!), I often think to myself, "How in the world does Michelle Duggar do it!??!" SERIOUSLY people! I feel in over my head with 3...I can't imagine 6 times that chaos! :) God bless her!

On Saturday, Manny had to work at 5am (it isn't often he has to work weekends, pretty much never, but when the opportunity for overtime arises, at a time when we could really use it, he doesn't say no). But with Daddy out of the house at 5am, that means the kids and I would be venturing to Mia's Saturday morning (9:30am) dance class together. As you can imagine, that is the last place my almost 8 year old wants to be on a Saturday morning! ;) So we walk out the door and it is about negative 600 degrees outside (or thereabouts! ;)) and windy. My mind wasn't working when I transitioned Maci to her "big girl carseat" (meaning the non-infant carrier one) because I swear I did it, and then we've had the coldest winter on record, so just imagine juggling a diaper bag, a 4 month old who has the wind and coldness whipping her in the face and taking her breathe away, and unhappy 8 year old, and a 4 year old that will inevitably slip and fall on the teeniest, tiniest piece of ice if there is one! :) We make it to dance, on time (YIPPY!) and when we go to leave, guess what, it's SNOWING!!!! :( (I know there are snow lovers out there, but this girl is NOT one of them!) Maryland has seen more snow this winter (and it's only January 27th) then probably the last 5 winters combined, so I'm OVER.IT! So once again, lets rush to the car, wind/coldness/and now snow, whipping in our faces and I set Maci in her car seat and cue the music...it's time for her bottle AND she's decided to have a blow out! (Thank you Maci for waiting until we got into the car! :)) So, our minivan is a perfect changing/feeding station so I position myself in the backseat and begin to clean up this mess. I overhear Mia say, "This is like a parade" (she's 4. I have no clue what that even meant! ;) to which Manuel replies, "No, it's more like a circus!" I just started cracking up...you're right kid! A complete circus! :) (that I wouldn't trade for the world, of course!) We get home to the comforts of our home and just spend the day relaxing, waiting for Daddy to get off work. Saturday was spent at family game night at my cousins house and we all had a great time! :) I didn't get to bed until after midnight, and for a Mommy who still wakes AT LEAST once (usually more) in the middle of the night to feed her baby, midnight is not a time I usually stay awake until these days! :)

Game night selfie :)
7am came awfully early but it was time to get up for church! There isn't much that keeps our family from church, lack of sleep or not! So I soldier through, get up, get everyone ready, out the door, ON TIME (with hubbys "help" of course! ;)) My husband is an usher/greeter at church (and Manuel helps him) so the girls and I go take a seat (Mia stays with me during the music portion of service, and then I take her to Sunday school during Offering. Maci has yet to stay in the church nursery, but the more vocal she gets, the sooner it's going to happen :)) as we are about to sit down, you guessed it, Maci pooped (see a theme here? ;) So instead of dragging the entire diaper bag to the bathroom, I grab a diaper, the pack of wipes, Maci and Mia and head to the bathroom to change the poopy baby. As I lay Maci down on the changing table, you guessed it...BLOW OUT! (Do you think I'd learn my lesson EVER!??!!) so back into the sanctuary I go, poopy Maci in tow, to get the diaper bag so I could change her clothes! :) Back out, and then back in again to finally enjoy the music...as I sat down, I just laughed..we are a circus act! ;) Our contemporary service is filled with lots of young families, so I'm sure if anyone even noticed, they sympathized and probably laughed a little too when Maci comes back in Mia's socks that are HUGE and pants that are too short (Mommy really has to work on keeping the spare diaper bag outfits up to date! ;))

Then this morning came, Maci was a cranky mess, hubby has already left for work when the kiddos get up, so I fly solo in the mornings, and the kids had a case of the Mondays, and I think, you know what this morning needs, a baby wearing a bunny hoodie...
And with that, I smile, the kids laugh, I (of course) post it to Facebook and my day is made! I've looked at this picture no less than 15 times today and smile each time! With the speed at which time flies (my heart aches that Manuel will be EIGHT on Friday!!!) I say, "Thank you God for my "circus" because there are SO many people out there that would trade their lives, in a heartbeat, for the life I live! THANK YOU GOD!" :)