November 30, 2010

ENT visit/Decanulation

I’ve got tons of pictures from our most recent trip to Disney World coming up. For now I’ve gotta document a couple of things.

Arabella had her visit with Dr. Singer today. He’s the ENT that did the tracheostomy. Going to see him is a pretty big deal because we only go in every few months. It’s been 5 months since our last visit. So we went in and he did the same thing he always does…sprays her nose with some numbing stuff and then after a few minutes of chit-chat he puts a scope in her nose and down to her vocal cords. I hold her arms down with a cozy little bear hug and a nurse comes in and hold her head. She HATES it. Then again, I think anybody would. He always lets me take a peak. This time I saw white bumps:( That means her reflux medicine isn’t working. Gotta switch, ASAP.

The verdict? Nothing super spectacular but she is making progress. Her vocal cords are healing slowly. It might not be as quick as Aidan’s but we’ll get there. Aidan had his trach removed at 16 months. Arabella will be 1 next week. I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I’m really ok with it though. We are going to start capping her trach. The cap is a little device that does just that, caps the trach so that no air goes in or out of it. Once she can tolerate the cap 24/7 she is really close to getting the trach out.

Let me teach you a word.

Decanulation- aka TRACH REMOVAL!

I totally called it! I knew it was coming and I must say, I’m happy with the way it all went down. Arabella pulled her trach out. I could go into a long, complicated and detailed explanation of why and how it happened but I won’t cuz I’m tired. I’ll shorten it up;) I was going to bed and she woke up. Her bed is right next to mine. I got in bed and turned off the light and just a few seconds later I heard wheezing!!! That little stinker! I jumped up to check on her and sure enough, her trach was sticking out. Freaking out, I yelled…ok screamed for Rich to come and help me. There wasn’t really anything he could do but it made sense to me at the time. I tried to calm myself while praying/pleading out loud. I was able to very quickly undo her trach tie and slip the trach back in. FHEW!!

I’m so grateful I was right there when it happened. Having a trach baby comes with a great deal of stress. It’s stressful from day one but I personally feel like the stress level rises when they get older and more aware of it. This is right around the time I start to get really anxious for the trach to be removed. Ah well. Disaster averted for now. As for next time, all I can pray for are similar circumstances.

Here's a link to read about the 1st time Aidan pulled his trach out.

November 27, 2010

I want a SILHOUETTE!!!

Just this past year I’ve really gotten into crafting. It all started with these Halloween bags. I actually learned how to use a sewing machine while making them. I loved the end result so much that I ended up making 9 of them for my nephews/nieces.


From there I moved on to different obsessions. Through crafting I've learned a  lot about myself. I confirmed my suspicions of an addictive personality. Any time I get excited about a craft I go all out and make a bazillion of them until I get sick of making the same thing. Then I move on:D

I am a random crafter. I like to try EVERYTHING. It becomes quite overwhelming. When I find a balance it is so fun, relaxing and gives me a great feeling of accomplishment.

Another thing I learned about myself is my potential. I can make anything I set my mind to. Of course, the whole time factor comes in and reminds me that I have the ability but I just don’t have the time. My kids are more important than crafts.

I am a bit of a perfectionist. I’m not saying that all of the stuff I make is perfect at first, but after about 10 attempts it is acceptable. Which reminds me, sorry for those of you who got bags and the letters fell off. I learned that I should have stitched them on instead of using fabric glue. Mine are stitched so go ahead and stitch yours.

So the last thing I learned is that I NEED A SILHOUETTE MACHINE!!! You probably haven’t heard of it but it is the ultimate tool for a crafter! I have a couple of friends that have one and I am soooooo envious. I know, that’s bad! That is exactly why I need one of my own. Right now, there are tons of crafting blogs that are having a Silhouette giveaway. Of course I’ve entered every single one of them along with THOUSANDS of other people! Probably not gonna win one:( One of the giveaways required that you blog about the giveaway for a chance to win it. That is what inspired this post. So here it is:


Isn’t it beautiful?

I know what you must be thinking. “If she loves it so much why doesn’t she just get it for Christmas?” Well, I would LOVE to get if for Christmas but there is something else that I’ve been wanting for years and I’m pretty sure I’m getting “that” for Christmas. Definitely can’t afford both. This little beauty is originally $300. So, there it is. By blogging about this giveaway I just put myself in the running for one…along with 2241 others. Wish me luck!

November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Lesson Learned

Thanksgiving. What am I grateful for? So many things come to mind but lately one thing in particular has been a constant on my mind and at the top of my list. I don’t know if it’s the holiday season that takes me right back to where I was a year ago but Baby Girl has been on my mind constantly. She’s growing up so fast and getting more and more beautiful every day.

P1040247(Was supposed to be a really cool shot. Obviously didn’t work out how I dreamed it would.)

In just a couple of weeks Arabella will be 1 year old. I started crying just writing that. Not because I want her to be a baby forever or anything like that. I don’t think a parent ever recovers from traumatic experiences like the 2 we’ve had. Both were extremely difficult to go through. Almost losing Aidan at birth and then Arabella…what incredible miracles. It really makes you look at their lives in such a different light. Today, while we were at Disney World on “It’s a Small World”, Rich and I were just staring at her in awe. She was loving all of the fun, singing dolls. We talked a little bit about those minutes in the delivery room, when we were both pleading with our Heavenly Father to please let us keep her. Those 3 minutes felt like an eternity. She had gone into cardiac arrest and could go either way. We look at her today and are so very grateful to see her grow. She is our little sunshine.


(On “Small World”)

I’ve asked myself the “why me” question several times. I’m totally over it, finally! I’ve wondered “what is the lesson that I need to learn that I apparently didn’t learn the first time around?” Well, what a perfect time to REALLY come to terms with my life experiences. I have learned my lesson. GRATITUDE! In such an overwhelming way I feel gratitude when I look at my baby girl. She was just a couple minutes away from not being mine. She came with a trach. So what! I’ll take her and the next however they come. I’m not saying it’s not hard but I will always be grateful to have them at all.


(Don’t look too close! I’m in desperate need of a pedicure (Karlee)!

I had an “Ah ha” moment on our way to Disney. A week ago I sprained my ankle and tore a ligament. I moped and cried because I was in a splint and couldn’t walk. “I hate using the crutches! How am I supposed to carry Arabella?” Boy oh boy have I been feeling sorry for myself! We stopped at a service station and what do you think I saw when I stepped out of the car? I saw a man without a leg, on crutches. Just happened to be the same leg that I sprained. I felt lame. Gratitude, my friends. Let’s stop feeling sorry for ourselves and see the blessing instead of the hardship.

November 20, 2010

Taking a stroll





November 19, 2010

Out of commission & potty training

(pictures will be coming soon)

Potty training is going quite well. He’s still not perfect at it but he is doing so much better than I had expected. Not that I doubted my little man…I did, however, doubt myself. We’ve been consistent!

We decided that after he was completely potty trained we were going to reward him with some toy trains and a super cool train table! Not one of those BIG train tables that take up half of your house. This one is smaller and has the track built into the table AND (my favorite part) it turns into a table! After they are done playing you just put the table top on it and it’s a regular little table where they can color, play with play dough or whatever! Can you tell I’m excited about it? Ok, so Rich and I were both so excited about it that we couldn’t wait until he was potty trained. That’s right, we caved. We set it out right when we got home. Aidan and Maya both LOVE IT! So, that is my potty training story. He’s doing great.

Now, lets talk about me. I’m not doin’ so hot. 3 days ago I went for a walk with the kiddos and my good friend, America. We had a good ol’ time. We walked to Publix, got a cookie and picked up a few things for dinner. We walked back to my place and BAM! Down I went. Right in front of my place the sidewalk is uneven by about 2”. I stepped right on the edge and boy did it hurt! I heard a pop and felt all kinds of tearing going on.

Later that night, my friend, who is an Orthopedic surgeon, came over and looked at my foot. He suggested that I go to the ER. I did, and came home with a splint and crutches and orders to stay off of my foot. Luckily, I have the most amazing friends in the whole world! My friend, Elise, drove me to the ER so that Rich could stay home with the sleeping kiddies. My friend, Lori, spent the entire next day at my house taking care of me and the babes. Last but not least, my friend America brought us dinner and then spent the second day with me. Am I not the luckiest girl ever? I have the coolest friends. So here I sit. Waiting for my ankle to heal and hoping it heals before Disney next week! If it doesn’t, you’ll be hearing “beep beep beep” when I back up on my scooter rental. HAHAHA!

November 16, 2010

Day 2 of Potty Training- More Success!

I am so proud of my little man. He went through the whole day without ANY accidents! I think potty training is a much bigger deal to me than it is to him. I am constantly pestering him, asking him, “Do you need to go potty? Let’s go sit on the froggy toilet.” He just looks at me and says, “No” and continues playing. He almost looks at me like I’m getting on his nerves sometimes. He’s so funny! I was incredibly surprised and proud of him today. Yesterday, I turned down an invite to the park because I didn’t want to interrupt the potty training routine. Well, today I NEEDED to get out of the house, so off we went to our weekly park group with all of our friends. He went before we left and I put the froggy toilet in the van just in case. We were at the park for almost 2 hours and nothing! I kept asking him and he kept saying no. When we were leaving I asked him if he needed to go and he said “Yes!”. So, I whipped out the potty chair right there, in the parking lot, and he went. Still kicking myself for not taking the camera! Day 2 of potty training was a great success. Looking forward to tomorrow.

November 15, 2010

Day 1 of Potty Training- Success!

Well, I’m gonna go ahead and call it a success because he is going along with it. He had 2 pee pee accidents today. Other than that he did GREAT! I am going to take all of the blame for him not being potty trained yet. I have totally been slacking. I don’t feel too bad though because it’s HARD! I mean, come on, my oldest just turned 3, my baby has a trach (requires extra attention) and I’m pregnant…ok, I’m not really but can you feel sorry for me anyway? Aidan has shown interest in going potty for a couple of months now. My struggle has been consistency. I will be consistent for 1 day then slack, then give up. Consistent again the next day, slack, give up. Not any more! By golly, I am gonna get him potty trained just in time for Disney World next week…so he can have a bazillion accidents there. Dang it! I forgot about Disney World!

My Man is a Half Ironman!

Oh heck yeah! Rich completed his very 1st Half Ironman yesterday! There is just no stopping this guy! He has found his passion and he is just tearin’ it up out there! I am blown away at how quickly he has progressed from doing Sprint triathlons to Olympic triathlons and now a HALF IRONMAN!!! Can you tell I am so incredibly proud of him? A Half Ironman consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike & a 13.1 mile run. He’s amazing!

This is one race I could not miss. I haven’t been able to be there for any of his events because I just couldn’t bring myself to get all 3 kids up at 4:30am to go with him and take care of 3 grouchy kids for hours. I REALLY wanted to be there for this one and we were lucky enough that our awesome friend, Josh Sparks, wanted to go support Rich. Josh drove Rich to Miami at the butt-crack of dawn and I met up with Josh later.


(The day before the triathlon. Picking up packet & dropping off bike)


(Got his number put on)

The event was at the Miami Metro Zoo. I thought I would be able to take the kids around to see all the animals but we were too busy running from place to place just trying to catch a glimpse of Rich.

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(Mile 4 of his 13.1 mile run. Still smiling!)

He was a little behind schedule from what we had anticipated. Not because of him but because of his bike. He got a flat! It was one of his biggest fears. Turns out somebody threw thumb tacks on the road and he landed two of those lovely tacks:( He didn’t let it stop him though…

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Here he comes! Approaching the finish line!


So close to that red carpet finish!





I survived the day with all 3 kids. That is a Half Ironman of itself!

So sad:(


We had a little accident last night while suctioning Arabella. Baby girl has gotten way too fast. This is our suctioning routine:

*I always lie her down on my bed to suction her.

*She always flips over and takes off crawling.

*I always grab her by the leg and drag her back.

*She always laughes.

I finish suctioning her and grab her and all is well…until last night. Same routine except she was so hyper that she had super speed. It took me one split second too long to take off the glove after suctioning her. I watched her as she went over the edge of the bed and I screamed, “ARABELLA!” It was too late. I jumped over the bed and picked her up. She was SO SAD! She looked at me as if I had failed her. I feel so guilty every time I see this sweet little rug burned nose. Well, needless to say we will be changing our suctioning routine. She will no longer be suctioned on my bed. Lesson learned.

Family photo shoot

A little over a week ago, we had a family photo shoot done by my good friend, America. We had been trying to get together for weeks but it just never quite worked out. We were finally able to get together and all 3 of my kids just happened to be sick and kind of grouchy that day:( She did get a couple of good shots even though we were a tough bunch to work with.


 image(This is my favorite one. They look so cute!:)


She is an excellent photographer. I am so happy with the great shots she got. Can’t wait until our next fun little shoot!! Thanks so much America!

November 9, 2010

Big girl, great deal & true love

I’m gonna play a quick game of catch-up. Maya is OFFICIALLY a big girl! She has graduated from her crib to a toddler bed. After a couple months of searching craigslist for the perfect bed, I finally found it!! It is exactly like Aidan’s only in white. I LOVE IT! Saturday night was her big night. Ok, truth be told, she has actually been ready for a bed for 2 months. She’s been sleeping on a mattress on the floor ever since the morning that I went in to get her out of her crib and she was already out!

First night in her big girl bed!


I love their new set-up! In about a year you will be joining them, Arabella:D


In other news…a friend told us about a HUGE crocs sale that is going on. Of course we couldn’t pass up shoes that our kids can put on themselves for a super great deal! Boy did they have TONS of crocs!! Rich wanted to buy 2 pairs for each of our kids, unborn kids, neighbors kids, nephews/nieces and list goes on and on. We left with 2 pairs for Maya & 1 pair for Aidan. Can you tell they like them?


An associate told Rich that they will be getting different styles in every weekend and the sale will continue through the end of November. Yep, looks like we’ll be back.


Last but not least, we went on a little walk today because the weather is PERFECT! During our little stroll Aidan got so excited about what he saw in the sky. It was an airplane that was writing uplifting messages! It was soooo cool! I took some pics with my phone. Some of the messages read: U + GOD = :D, INVITE JESUS IN, LOVE GOD

Anyway, it was pretty awesome. When we got home I ran in and grabbed the camera. This is the shot we took:


November 2, 2010

Can’t believe we had fun

Today, was a day of errands. Rich has been studying like crazy and today was the first day in a while that he didn’t have to study. We took advantage of his free time to run some errands. We dread running errands with all 3 kids. I mean, combine a morning of stores, bank runs & 3 kids stuck in a carseat/stroller…it’s a recipe for disaster! Well, not today!


(This is how we roll, now. Pretty awesome, huh?)

We spent a good 40 minutes in Target and hardly got a whimper. Ok, that’s a lie. Aidan got a little upset because he really wanted to play with the drum in the toy isle, but we made it out of there without any huge tantrums.

Then we went to Ikea. I love that place! Every time I go there I find so many things I didn’t know I needed. We shopped around for a good while and the kids were being so good, we decided to go ahead and grab some lunch there.



Like her little bun? ;)



We had such a fun time running errands with the kids. It was just a really great day. For dinner we had stir-fry . Then, we walked to Publix for a little treat & a movie. We all watched Toy Story 3 & loved it. Aidan’s favorite character was Mr. Potato Head!



Trunk or Treat!

Yes, I may very well be the worlds worst mother for not only taking but also posting these pictures. Oh well, I think they are funny & cute:D


She didn’t really like her costume at first. Not sure if it’s because of what it was or how it felt.


She got used to it.


Made it to trunk or treat and got so busy that we didn’t take very many pictures. Here are just a few…


(You may have noticed Aidan is barefoot. We forgot his sandals. Reason #2 why I am a bad mother.)

Off they went in search of candy. After just 1 trunk they stopped to trade! Who taught them this?!?!

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Good times.


November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Patch=Too Much Fun!

Ready for a picture overload?


Dressed & ready to play at the Pumpkin Patch!

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She really didn’t want his affection while posing for pictures.


Into the patch they went! Aidan is a one pumpkin kind of guy. He found his pumpkin and stuck with it. Maya on the other hand…




Baby girl wasn’t too sure about pumpkins


There were sooooo many pumpkins! They were in patches, boxes and piles. Aidan likes to sit and ponder on pumpkins.


Maya likes to climb on piles of pumpkins.

P1030643 P1030644 P1030647


Time to head home…but not without a souvenir!


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