Tuesday, May 31, 2011

36 Years

Today, my mom and dad celebrated 36 years of marriage. That is amazing to me! I sure hope someday my kids will be talking about how their mom and dad have been married for 36 years. Mom and Dad, just wanted you to know that I've been thinking of you today! You have been such a great example to me and hopefully I have learned enough from you to keep my marriage going strong for 36 years. I hope you had a great day today. Happy Anniversary!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Birth Story #4

Here is the final chapter in my posts of my children's birth stories for the month. Here is Alyssa's. I know I pretty much gave the story just about 4 months ago, but here it is again with everything leading up to her birth.

Alyssa was born February 2, 2011 at 11:00 p.m. Eastern time.

So much like my pregnancy with CJ this one was not without its problems. I continued with the blood pressure issues and I had questionable Gestational Diabetes. I say questionable because I opted out of the 3 hour glucose test. Instead my doctor had me check my sugar levels four times a day. All of my numbers were really pretty good though so I never needed insulin. As long as I watched what I ate I was good.

My doctor was getting concerned about her size. Meaning too big so I had to go for a couple of growth scans. I was also getting twice a week non stress tests. The last month or so I was contracting pretty regularly although I did not feel it. I tested positive for Group B strep which was a concern for Alyssa and not so much for me. So I needed to get antibiotics on board and of course being allergic to penicillin (the drug usually used to treat Group B strep) that made things a little more complicated. My doctor and I discussed what we could do. Now having had the c-section with CJ my doctor knew that I was going to attempt a v-bac (vaginal birth after c-section). So we discussed being induced. This way we could get antibiotics on board before my water broke and my doctor would be there to deliver. I wasn't entirely keen on Pitocin, but after discussing the problems with Pitocin I decided it wasn't that big of a risk and my doctor knew what she was talking about. After all she was the one who had performed my c-section 3 years before. So the plan was actually we would try breaking my water first and then if things didn't work we would add a little something to get things moving. I figured okay, we have a plan. My induction was scheduled for February 3rd which was six days before my due date. I had everything all planned out. My mom was going to come up early in the morning to get the kids off to school while Joe and I headed to the hospital and then hopefully by the time they got home from school they would get to come visit their baby sister in the hospital. At my last appointment on January 31st I was contracting away as usual. All looked good. My doctor did not want to check me and I kind of agreed to just leave it be. We didn't need to know. I figured I was going to see her 3 days later and things should go perfectly.

Then February 2nd the kids had yet another snow day. Everyone was home due to an ice storm. I had been feeling kind of blah that day, but really how I had felt a lot lately. I was noticing a few contractions, but it felt like what I had been experiencing for the past month. When the snow and ice stopped falling Joe went out to clear the sidewalk and driveway and clean off the car. Then he walked across the street to pick up something for dinner from the store. He came home and we fed the kids and then Joe and I sat down to eat in the living room. I was sitting on the couch finishing up my dinner when all of a sudden I felt this pop and then a gush. I jumped up and said, "Oh crap!" Joe was like what? I said, "I think my water just broke!" I ran into the bathroom to try to access the situation. I had never actually seen my water break before. It had always been done for me so I wasn't sure what was going on. I figured out pretty quickly that it had to be my water though. Joe started making phone calls. He called the doctor and my parents. The doctor told me to head to the hospital. So we packed up. We were going to wait for my parents to come to the house, but knowing that the roads were icy, we were 20 minutes from the hospital on a good day, and in the past I had gone quickly we decided we would have to meet my parents at the hospital. So we loaded everyone in the car. Joe was freaking out. I was trying to stay calm for the kids. Contractions were definitely there, but not too bad.

They brought me in and checked me out right away. I was actually only around 4 centimeters dilated which I was a little surprised about. They brought me to a delivery room where they hooked me all up. I was being closely monitored due to my vbac attempt. I also needed to get the IV antibiotics going. They had to give me a stronger antibiotic to make sure it took care of everything. I was contracting pretty hard while the children watched. Thankfully my parents arrived to take them away and I could really let it out. I was in a lot of discomfort and the jerky on call doctor wasn't helping matters by questioning my induction (which really was pretty moot at that point). And when I chuckled during a contraction when he said and you want no pain medicine and he was like what's so funny I wanted to jump down the man's throat. I did end up getting Nuban just to take the edge off the back labor I was having. I still felt it, but it made me sleepy so I could rest a little between contractions. It didn't last long though because I quickly became very uncomfortable. I was moving all around trying to find a comfortable position. The poor nurse who was trying to keep a close eye on me had to stay in the room with me to monitor things. I was standing, I was sitting, I was laying on my side. Finally the nurse suggested I turn to my other side which was super uncomfortable for me, but that was what got me fully dilated and pushing. I think I pushed twice and she was out with a perfectly round little head. I got to hold her and then they took her away to check her out. She was perfect and not nearly as big as my doctor feared. As a matter of fact she was the smallest weighing just 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 19 inches long. She looked just like CJ. Tons of dark hair. Explained all that heartburn I had. When they were done stitching me up, which I still swear took hours and not like 10 or 15 minutes they brought her to me and put her right on my chest to breastfeed. She was a pro, right away. We hadn't decided on her name yet. We had a few choices which we went through with her and she responded to Alyssa so that's how she got her name.

Because of my questionable Gestational Diabetes they checked her sugars shortly after birth. They were concerned with what they saw and wanted to give her formula. I refused a bottle so they set us up with a way to get formula at the breast. They didn't hold out much hope that it would work, but she was a champ sucking at the breast and got colostrum and formula in her all at once. And after that her sugar was fine from then on out we didn't even have to worry.

I pushed to get out of the hospital as quickly as possible. She was born at 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night and I was ready to go home Friday morning. However, they hesitated in discharging her because she was getting jaundice. I knew I did not want to stay there though and experience what I had with CJ so they let us leave only if we went back Saturday to have blood work done and go to see her pediatrician on Saturday which we did. All ended up being fine. My milk came in on Saturday too so that helped get that jaundice to go away.

My labor and delivery definitely was an adventure with her. She had to make things interesting. But I am so pleased that I can say that I had a successful v-bac. I wish it didn't have to be with the jerky doctor and I often wonder what would have happened had I truly let him have it like I wish I had. But she came on her terms and I accomplished what I wanted to with her. No surgery and a healthy baby!

And that completes my birth stories and our family of 6.

Natalie's Birth Story
Kaitlyn's Birth Story
CJ's Birth Story

Bronx Zoo

Last Monday Natalie went with her class to the Bronx Zoo. She had a good time until she was almost home. She brought my camera with her and ended up taking some pictures and video so I put it all together in a little movie for you.

Memorial Day 2011

While you're eating your hot dogs and hamburgers, watching your parades, and enjoying what is considered the official start to summer lets not forget what today is all about. Remembering those who we lost fighting for our country. And I want to say a special thank you for the families who are left behind while their loved ones are deployed! It takes a very special person to deal with that day in and day out and I will forever be grateful for all of those sacrifices.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Natalie the Country Music Star

So here is Natalie all dressed up as a country music singer. She had a project for her music class today. She had to write a report on a genre of music. She chose country music. She had a lot of fun with it I think too. She wanted to dress the part as well so I put her hair in braids this morning to help her out. Her hair is so pretty. Mine used to be like that, sigh.

Anyways, she missed most of class today because I had a meeting with her regular class teachers and the guidance counselor. I had wanted to talk about her struggles with keeping organized and keeping her grades up. It took a little longer than I expected because the guidance counselor wasn't ready for me. There isn't too much that can be done at this point for this year. I mean her grades are good. As her Social Studies teacher said she's a solid B student. Which is great, I'm happy with that. She's in accelerated classes after all. What I am not happy with is when she brings home 50's. Not acceptable. Because that means she has to work that much harder to increase her grades. So mostly her teachers just spoke to her about finding a way to come to them when she's not getting something or when there's a test grade she's not happy with. Whether it's coming to them after school, after class, or slipping them a note about it. We then spoke to the guidance counselor. I wanted to get more information about the Avid program she got into for next year. It is really going to help her with organization because she has a huge notebook that gets graded every week. So maybe that will help her out. Since we know what team she is going to be on since they put all of the Avid kids on a certain team I wanted her to hopefully get to know next years teachers a little. She will have that opportunity too with a field trip coming up for Avid that she gets to go on and her guidance counselor is going to set something up too.

So while all of the changes of this year have been tough for her I think we are getting her set up very nicely to do great next year. She went back to class and I came home after that. Natalie stayed after to retake a math test she did very poorly on and she was very pleased to tell me she got an 80 on it. Much better than the 55 she originally had on it. And she thinks she did really well on her music project too. Her teacher was really pleased with how she had dressed the part and loved the music she chose to play too. So hopefully she ends the year on a good note.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kaitlyn is a success!

So last year I made no secret of my distaste for Kaitlyn's teacher. She was awful. She broke Kaitlyn's spirit and made 2nd grade a terrible year for her. In all honesty after talking to numerous parents who's child has had her as a teacher I'm surprised she's still teaching. She is definitely not well liked.

Now anyone who knows Kaitlyn knows she is a good kid. Now I'm not some delusional parent who thinks her children are perfect. I am sure they make mistakes at school, but in comparison to some teachers generally wish they had 20 more of my kids in their class. That's the feelings of Kaitlyn's teacher this year. We truly lucked out to leave the school we were in.

I've also made it no secret that the teacher Kaitlyn got in her new school has been superb. In all honesty the man is the best teacher any of my children have had. It's actually sad to see the year come to an end. This year Kaitlyn's teacher took that broken child and transformed her into one with great confidence. In October she announced to me and her teacher that she would like to reach a reading level of 30 by the end of the year. I worried that her goals were too high and she would be so disappointed if she did not achieve this goal. Her teacher and I even had a discussion about it. After all we're talking about a child who only managed to leave the 2nd grade reading at a level 12. She really made no gains to speak of at all in 2nd grade. However, while Kaitlyn did not reach her goal she came very close. Just one level away at a level 28. I asked her if she was upset that she didn't quite make her goal and she said no. She's proud of what she did. I am too. Her teacher is blown away by her. He has never seen anything like it. He attributes it to her work ethic. That is the thing with Kaitlyn, she doesn't give up. She keeps plugging away. She sets her mind on something and she works to get there. She managed to not let what happened last year get her down. She managed to do all of this at a new school with a bunch of children she didn't know. She managed to make better friends this year at this new school than she has ever had too. The entire atmosphere in her new school has just been such a great thing for her.

She came home the other day with a grade of a 95 on a project about kangaroos that she did. She was so excited. Here she is with her project:

A close up of the kangaroos habitat...

She had fun doing this. She had fun doing most things in school this year.

She is still behind where she should be. I will never know had we moved her out of her old school sooner last year if that would have been better for her. There really can be no looking back and playing the what if game. We are where we are now for a reason and she's getting the education that she needs and deserves and that she could not get in her old school.

She will continue with her special arrangements for testing. She will continue to work on the Wilson reading program to continue to build on what she has already learned. I see no reason why she can't possibly be at or even above grade level by the end of next year. Just look at the gains she has made in such a short time after having such an awful experience. To go now from a wonderful experience onto hopefully another wonderful teacher there really is no reason that she can't do it.

And her teacher has already assured me that he will sit down with Kaitlyn's teacher for next year and tell that teacher all about Kaitlyn. Honestly, there really is no better person to do it either. He knows Kaitlyn almost as well as I do. It is going to be so hard to say goodbye, but I know that he will continue to check in on Kaitlyn and I just see so many great things for her. Don't ever count Kaitlyn out of anything because she will work her butt off until she accomplishes what she wants to accomplish. With gentle nudging and a helping hand there for her in case she falls nothing will stop her. I will be forever grateful to the man who got Kaitlyn to increase 8 reading levels in one year! And I couldn't be prouder of what my determined girl has done. She's a true testament to the never give up motto.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monica's Musings #16

Things are coming to an end for the school year and there's lots going on around here.

Kaitlyn had a field trip to see Charolette's Web last week which she enjoyed and then two more field trips coming up in the next two weeks. One of them is to a local baseball game.

Natalie had a field trip to the Bronx Zoo yesterday. She had a lot of fun even though the weather wasn't the greatest. It didn't end so well for her as she got sick on the bus. So embarrassing.

As a matter of fact both of the girls were throwing up last night and are home today. That has thrown a monkey wrench into my plans for the day. I'm nothing if not flexible though, lol.

CJ has VIP day today. He got to choose someone to come to school as his VIP today. I asked him for days who he wanted and he kept requesting Daddy so daddy made sure to get the day off to go to that. CJ got to show him his classroom and eat snack with him.

Alyssa has been sleeping longer clips at night. I don't consider it sleeping through the night yet, but she has been going six hours at night.

She's quite the chatty Kathy these days too. Always making little cooing noises. It's very sweet.

Well, I guess that's enough randomness. Be sure to check back though, I'm working on a post all about Kaitlyn.

Tales from the potty part 2

So I'd love to be able to say he's got it he's really got it, but we're not there yet. I have noticed that there are days when he is dry, but he just poops in his underwear though. I have thought well maybe we should rejoice in the little things. So okay if he stays dry even if he has a poop accident he gets a car. And then if he poops on the potty he'll get a car. Well, I'm not sure if that's exactly caught on because today he wanted a car after he peed on the potty every time. Well, that can't happen. He has stayed dry a couple of days and he has managed to poop on the potty once since I instituted this new rule last week. So maybe just maybe there's progress. It could have been better if I didn't feel the need to keep him in a pull up over the weekend after the whole concussion scare. I just wanted to focus on his neurological function rather than whether he was pooping and peeing on the potty. I hope I haven't just jinxed everything by saying I'm seeing some small progress out of him. We'll keep plugging away...

And for your viewing pleasure some school pictures of my little potty boy in training. Six months has brought a lot of change for him...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Birth Story #3

Continuing with my month of May birth stories, here is the story of my only son, CJ.

CJ was born on November 1, 2007 at 8 a.m. Eastern time.

My pregnancy with CJ had been my most problem ridden. I had chronic high blood pressure and then developed Gestational Diabetes. I managed to control that with diet. But I was being seen twice a week in the last few months of my pregnancy with him. It was discovered around 30 weeks pregnant that he was breech. We watched to see if he would turn, but he did not. So my doctor began discussing my options. Either we could do an external version where her and another doctor would push on my stomach from the outside to make him turn. If all went well then I could just continue on happily with my pregnancy until the end and he'd come on his own. If he became in distress we would have to do an emergency c-section. I had to make up my mind about this before 36 weeks because my doctor said they'd have the best chance of turning him at 36 weeks. Or I could just opt for a planned c-section. She could not deliver him breech vaginally because the hospital would not allow it. I was willing to give it a try, but my doctor had no experience with it and there was a hospital policy against it. So it didn't seem I had many options.

I went back and forth on my choices for weeks. I researched to try to figure out ways I could get him to turn on my own. I tried a few of the things I was able to do like putting something cold on the top of my belly or playing music on the lower part of my belly. Some special exercises to try to get him to turn. He wasn't budging though. And I got to thinking, I never had an issue with my two girls before with them being breech so there must have been a reason that he was not in the right direction. He just couldn't get there. I didn't want to go through a painful procedure like the external version and have it not work or worse have something go wrong and need an emergency c-section and a preemie baby. So I finally opted to have the planned c-section. It was the best choice for our family.

Originally it was scheduled for November 2, 2007 which would have had me sharing my birthday with my boy. However, they realized my doctor wouldn't be there that day so they changed it to November 1, 2007. That worked too. In the weeks leading up to my planned c-section I was experiencing some contractions. I went to the hospital a couple of times worried that I might be in labor. I was sent home each time though. I held on until my scheduled c-section date which was 8 days before CJ's due date. After trick or treating the night before November 1st we brought the girls over to my friends house to spend the night and for her to bring to school the next day. We came home and tried to go to sleep so we could get up early the next morning and head to the hospital. By 6 a.m. we were on the road to the hospital. We arrived and got all checked in. I was contracting away. They checked to make sure he was still breech. I got hooked up to everything. I was shaved. I had to sign consent forms and then my doctor came in for one last talk before we headed into the operating room. They put this warm blanket on me and I walked into the freezing cold operating room. Joe who was already all gowned up had to stay out in the hallway. They put my spinal in which I was shaking for. I had never even had an epidural and I was freaked out about the thought of having something stuck into my back. They got it in and laid me down on the table and brought Joe in. Before I knew it they were starting. My doctor informed me that it was a good thing that we did not attempt the version because CJ had the cord wrapped around his neck twice. So this was the only option we had. I knew there was a reason he was breech. At exactly 8 a.m. CJ came screaming into the world. He was my smallest baby weighing just 7 pounds 12 ounces and was 19 inches long.

My doctor stitched me up and Joe checked out CJ and took pictures. They brought him over to me to see all wrapped in the blanket. I remember thinking where did he get so much dark hair from. I didn't get to hold him until we were in recovery. There he breastfed for the first time, but he was having a hard time maintaining his temperature. They ended up having to take him away and we had to go to our room without him. They brought him to us in an incubator after he was doing better. Our stay in the hospital was a long and stressful one. He had some issues with jaundice. I was up and moving around by the next day (my birthday). And I was able to enjoy a special birthday dinner and cake. It was a very different experience from the birth of my girls, but I knew I had made the right choice for him by having the c-section. The recovery was a long one, but really not much longer than my recovery from Natalie.

Check back next week for Alyssa's story, my VBAC(Vaginal Birth After C-secion).

Here's Natalie's birth story.

Here's Kaitlyn's birth story.

Here's Alyssa's birth story.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Update on CJ

So after CJ's possible concussion/minor head injury from yesterday here's how he is doing...

Last night I woke him up at about 4. He wasn't easy to wake, but nothing I wouldn't expect out of him at 4 in the morning. He did roll around and move with my attempts to wake him and he sat up at one point. I asked him how his head was and he mumbled something and laid back down. Okay, seemed about on course with when I've tried to wake him up any other time so I tucked him back in.

Then Joe was up around 7 this morning to go to work. He went and woke CJ up no problem. He brought him into our room and put him in bed with me and Alyssa. He fell back to sleep. I got up around 8 because I had a headache and I needed to call Natalie out of school. Everyone stayed home because it ended up being a late night of worrying for everyone.

Shortly after I had gotten up CJ was up and calling for me. He wanted something to drink. So I got him a drink and started feeding Alyssa. CJ then wanted something for breakfast so I told him to go wake up his sisters to help him. So he did. They got him something to eat and before he sat down to eat it he threw up. However, he then got up at the table and ate his breakfast.

I called Kaitlyn out of school and then CJ and asked the nurse to call me back to discuss CJ. Then I called the doctor's office. I told them about CJ throwing up and they said okay but other than that how is he? He was fine. Playing with his sisters and talking and walking normally. They said okay well if anything changes call us, but we don't need to see him. Okay, sounds like a plan.

So we laid low all day today. CJ played with his sisters. He did take a nap for nearly 2 hours, but he had gone to bed 4 hours later than usual last night and still got up kind of early. He didn't really eat dinner again tonight, but he had eaten the rest of his meals today fine. He has for the most part been back to his mischievous self though. Seems to be doing better. He still has a good size black and blue egg on his head, but other than that he's good.

The school nurse never did call me back. Guess she wasn't too interested in what was going on with CJ. Oh well, I'll talk to his teachers on Monday to let them know what had happened so they can watch him a little more closely. Glad things seem to be getting back to normal with him and hopefully he continues to improve.

Concussion or minor head injury

Either way, it just gave mommy and daddy a few more gray hairs. CJ fell at school today and bumped his head. It literally happened right after I dropped him off because as soon as I pulled in my driveway and was about to get Alyssa out of the car my phone rang. The nurse said she'd like ice to be kept on it for a while because where he bumped was right by the temple and she thought he needed to go home. Okay, no problem. So back in the car I went. This is the I don't know how many times CJ has fallen at school and bumped his head, but this was the first time the nurse thought it warranted going home. However, she didn't seem to think he needed to see the doctor.

So I got to the school and he was sitting in his class holding ice on his head. I looked and he had a good size egg just around his left eyebrow. I asked him what happened he said he fell. His teacher showed me what he hit his head on. We got his stuff and came home in a quiet car. CJ requested no music. I gave him another ice pack when we got home and he sat and watched TV for the rest of the morning. I gave him some lunch and he fell asleep at the table. Not entirely unusual for him though. He played in his room and was acting fine. We went to pick Joe up from work later in the day and then went to do some shopping and he seemed fine. Then we came home and were making dinner and he said he didn't feel well. He didn't want to eat and he was just very irritable. After not eating his dinner he was saying he wanted to go to bed. Not like him at all. It was only 7:00 and he wants to go to bed.

I called the doctor and she said well if he's not vomiting or stumbling around then just let him sleep. He probably has a concussion, but sleep is what he needs. No TV or video games just put him to bed and check on him before we go to bed at night. So we went to put him to bed and he started vomiting everywhere. So I called the doctor back. It took a while this time to hear back from her, but she told us to go to the Children's Medical Center. She would call ahead and let them know we were coming.

So off we went to the hospital. We got triaged right away and then they made us sit and wait. We got admitted and we sat and waited again. And we waited and we waited. Finally nearly 2 hours after we got there we were in a room and being seen. The doctor talked to CJ and asked us questions about his behavior and said I don't think it's too serious. He has normal neurological function so he'll get some Tylenol for the pain and you can bring him home, but wake him every 3 hours or so. If he is harder to wake up or doesn't know who he is call the doctor. If when he's awake he walking around like he's drunk call the doctor. So we left with a diagnosis of a minor head injury.

Didn't get out of there until 11:30. Home at midnight. Now it's time to go to bed so when Ms. Alyssa wakes up to eat again I can go wake Mr. Man up. Fun fun fun. Never experienced anything like this with the girls. This boy is giving us a run for our money. Usually I'm like oh, just another bump on his head no big deal, but this time definitely something more was going on. Glad he got checked out and hoping for no more symptoms and no lasting effects from this.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chorus show shenanigans causes a public apology from principal

Natalie had her chorus concert tonight. Someday maybe I'll actually get a good seat so I can take some video of her, but as it is I just really can't usually see her. I got one shot of her as she was walking out onto the risers.

I wasn't entirely planning on blogging about this. I mean my daughter did a great job I'm sure. She got up there and sang. She only sang three songs in this huge group and then we had to sit through the rest of this program even though she was all done singing. Don't get me wrong, it was a good concert, but it just seemed to drag on. There was some excitement of the evening though and it's what prompted me to write about tonight.

There is an 8th grade chorus. There last song was a rendition of "Splish Splash". The kids had this cardboard cut out of a bath tub that they brought out with a chair. No one sat in the chair which was placed behind the cut out. They began singing and this kid came running through the audience and jumped up on stage, took off his shirt, and hopped in the "tub". He was very entertaining dancing around in the "tub". Hopping out of the "tub". Running around the auditorium. He really got the audience going and cheering. Everyone seemed amused by him. I sure was. I wish they had ended with that instead of putting it in the middle because after I must admit I was getting a little sleepy sitting there.

Anyways, after this little performance the principal of the school made a "public apology" for this student's shenanigans. She said he'll be dealt with accordingly and that this isn't what she expects of her students and our children. Now maybe I'm just so desensitized to the shaking of the booty or the pelvic thrusts because my potty training toddler does that and much more running around here half naked. Heck, ten years from now he might be that kid up on stage doing just that, who knows. I'm assuming the principal had the issue with the booty shake and the pelvic thrusts. I would hope that she was okay with him splishing and splashing in the "tub".

I found myself wondering about the parents of this boy though. Are they sitting there turning all shades of red hoping no one knows that's their son? Are they proud of what he did? Are they just indifferent and a little disappointed in the principal for ruining all the fun? I think I kind of fall into the latter if it were my kid. I mean they are 8th graders. It's their last year and they just want to have a little fun. I don't know that I'd support a school punishment.

I do see why the principal had to say something I guess. I mean she has to keep some sense of order. And I know there are probably parents who were totally offended by that. So she was probably trying to head off the phone calls and complaints. But you know what I think sometimes schools are way over sensitive to things and think it's their job to do all of the discipline. Yes, this did happen on school grounds at a school function so it is her turf, but it was also a performance and to me it just seemed like this student was trying to make it a most memorable performance for the outgoing 8th graders. And I think he did just that. I wish he didn't have to get in trouble for it.

Maybe I'm in the minority. When I asked Natalie what she thought of it she said it was funny, but she thinks he SHOULD get in trouble for his actions. Huh, go figure. What do you think? Was this just a kid expressing himself or was it a lousy prank that should be punished by the school and the parents?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The latest acceptance to AVID

After filling out an application, having an interview, and watching a bunch of her classmates get accepted into AVID Natalie finally got the word today that she too got in. That means next year she will be on the Blue team in school. That means the skies the limit for her in her future. That means she will spend the rest of her time through high school getting all of the best she can get out of her education. She will get to visit colleges. She will get advanced placement classes. She will get challenged. She will be required to have a well rounded school career. Just another step towards getting into college.

I'm proud of the latest AVID student, but I'm also very frustrated with her. I'm hopeful that AVID is going to help her get a little more organized and maintain much more consistent grades. While she came home today with this wonderful news she also came home today with a 55 on a math test. She lost the test which she needs to have signed because of the grade. Seems that spring fever is really getting to her. Hopefully AVID will help keep her on track.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Birth Story #2

For the month of May I am writing out each of my children's birth stories every week. Here is the story of Kaitlyn's birth.

Kaitlyn was born on April 11, 2002 at 2:10 a.m. Eastern time.

My pregnancy with Kaitlyn was anything but uneventful. It started out with morning sickness unlike what I had with Natalie. I eventually started having problems with my blood pressure towards the end. So weekly I was going for non stress tests. At 8 months pregnant my doctor was concerned about my heartbeat so I had to wear a Halter Monitor for 24 hours. Not something I would recommend at 8 months pregnant. All was fine though. As the final weeks approached my doctor had asked me if I was getting uncomfortable enough that I might want to be induced because he wasn't against doing that. I originally had said no because I did not want Pitocin. He offered to try Cervadil if my cervix was favorable for it though. Joe and I had discussed it and knowing that Kaitlyn's due date was just a week before Natalie's birthday I did want to be done with the pregnancy before her birthday. Also we lived about half an hour away from the hospital and knowing how quickly I went into labor with Natalie we didn't want to have her on the way to the hospital. So we called up the doctor and told him we wanted to be induced. He said he'd check me at my next appointment on April 11th.

On April 10th Joe and I had been out all day long shopping and what not. We came home and were just relaxing around the house. We had something to eat and then I was playing Bejeweled on the computer. Joe was sitting there with me and began noticing that I was wincing. He kept asking if I was okay and I was like yeah I'm fine. So he started timing my wincing. It was every five minutes. He was sure I was having contractions. He made me call my doctor. I got the on call doctor though. When I told him how my labor with Natalie was only 2 hours he told me to get to the hospital. So it was 10 p.m. at this point. We packed up and left Natalie with the woman we were living with and headed to the hospital. I wasn't too sure that I was actually in labor though. We got there and they put me on the monitors and sure enough I was contracting hard every 3 minutes. They checked me and I was 5 almost 6 centimeters dilated. I was told that didn't mean I was going to be admitted since this was my second child. However, the doctor arrived and he said she's staying. And again I was walking around feeling nothing in the halls. At midnight the doctor decided to break my water. And yet again that got things going. By 2 a.m. I was fully dilated. I pushed for 10 minutes this time and Kaitlyn was born. Right onto my stomach she went. Again, no pain medicine of any sort. Completely natural. She weighed in at 8 pounds 15 ounces and was 22 inches long. The biggest baby in the hospital. She had about five chins. She was perfect. I did scare some other lady in the hospital who was having her first because I screamed so loud during delivery.

Kaitlyn came in her own time though and not when we had wanted her to come. She was 4 days before her due date.

Come back next week to read about CJ's birth story.

You can read Natalie's birth story here.

Here's CJ's birth story>

Here's Alyssa's birth story

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Birthday month comes to an end

The month of April turned out to be extra long this year. The birthday celebrations finally came to an end yesterday. We went to my parent's house so they could celebrate the girls birthdays with a little party, some presents, and some cake. The weather wasn't looking too great, but the rain did hold out so they could spend a good portion of the afternoon playing in the yard at my parents house.

When we got there everyone was ready for lunch, including Alyssa. So while I fed Alyssa my mom got the rest of the kids fed and made something for the adults too. We ate lunch.

Alyssa hanging out after she had a full belly

Chilling with Grandpa while he plays on the computer

So after everyone had something to eat we went outside to play. Kaitlyn begrudgedly rode her bike. She did not want to do it. Natalie sped up and down the driveway and through the back yard. CJ went on his bike. And then we played some games. What is a birthday party without a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Kaitlyn went first and she got it pretty close

Natalie was next...
She was all over the place
She finally got it on there and pretty close too

CJ didn't want to play so I took a turn with Alyssa.
Alyssa didn't help out much with direction

Not even on the game board

After some measuring it was determined that Natalie and Kaitlyn had tied. We played outside a little longer and saw this crane in the pond at the house behind my parents across the river...

CJ spotted it. My parents refer to him as Fraiser. I guess he's been coming around for a few years now.

After that we started cleaning up to go inside and open presents. Kaitlyn got things going...

Oooh a Game Boy

Hmmm, what games do I have?

Then Natalie started opening her presents...
A joke book!

A game for her DS

What else?

Mario Kart for DS!

Oooh a pretty necklace

and matching earrings.

Kaitlyn had one more gift to open
Her big pack of paper, the only thing she wanted for her birthday from Grandma and Grandpa!

The kids played with their new toys...

We hung out while dinner cooked...

We ate dinner and then had cake. The candle was a very old candle which once upon a time sang happy birthday, but now it just sounded like someone trying to get on dial up internet. The girls weren't too impressed while all the adults were getting a kick out of the weird sounds the candle was making. I think they just wanted to eat that cake...

After cake and some searching for some old pictures to show the girls our trip to Disney when Uncle Dan was getting his head rubbed by Goofy we decided to call it a night. The toys were cleaned up and we were on our way home. And now the girls birthdays are officially over!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sure to put a smile on your face

Here is a little something that is sure to put a smile on your face. I know it makes me smile everyday...

Have a smiley day!

*Just a little note, this adorable baby girl rolled from back to front for the first time 5/13/11.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A picnic date with CJ

I tried to post this yesterday, but Blogger was down. Now it's back up so I can share my date with CJ. The weather yesterday was beautiful here in CT. I had asked CJ in the morning if he wanted to go have a picnic at the park and he said yes, he wanted to see the duckies. So I asked him what he'd like for lunch and he told me jelly peanut butter and then I brought him to school. When I went to pick him up he was so excited to see me. He came running over to see me and said, "We go Burger King?"

I said, "No, we're having a picnic, remember?"

He replied back, "Duckies!"

I said, "Yes, we'll see the duckies."

We got in the car and he was backseat driver telling me to go around cars and whatever we could to get to the park as quickly as possible. And when we got there and he saw the duckies he was ecstatic. The ducks didn't really come near us and we ate our lunch and he watched the ducks. Then he ran around a little. I managed to get this shot of him and me together...

I think he was looking at the ducks.

And we were looking in the pond and saw some gold fish which he wanted me to get a picture of.

We had a very nice afternoon together even if Alyssa had to be there too. CJ didn't seem to mind too much. I love our little dates. When Natalie found out that we had another date she informed us that we were getting serious. She's so silly. Seriously though I look forward to these dates I have with CJ.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

CJ shows appreciation to his teachers

This week CJ's school has asked that the kids show their appreciation to their teachers in many different ways. Monday they asked the kids to wear their teacher's favorite color and/or sports team. CJ has two teachers. While they had favorite colors like pink and purple (colors I would not put on my son) one of his teachers also said blue was a favorite. Perfect! Even more perfect? The other teacher;s favorite sports team is the Mets. Just so happens to be my favorite too and I also have a hat which CJ borrowed for the day. His teacher was so excited to see him wearing that hat on Monday.

Tuesday they were to write a letter of thanks. I had CJ draw a picture of what he liked to do with them. For one of his teachers it was writing letters and the other was singing songs.

Wednesday was a raffle for the teachers. Nothing for him to really do.

Thursday was bring in a school supply from the teacher's wish list. So today CJ brought in some glue sticks, which were greatly appreciated.

Friday is a special teacher luncheon. I can't help out with that at all because CJ will be out of school by the time they need volunteers and I have Alyssa. Hopefully CJ's teachers are able to enjoy a nice lunch.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fun Factory

On Saturday my cousin had invited us down to her place and to go to the Fun Factory, an indoor bounce house, with the kids. It was her treat as a birthday present for the girls.

CJ started out very unsure of himself. Once he spent some time in the toddler area though there was no stopping him. He tried it all after that.

Alyssa slept...

All of the kids playing in the big bouncy things...

This big slide was the icing on the cake for CJ. He did not want to do it at all. We had to talk him into it, but once he did he was so proud of himself and wanted to do it again.

When Alyssa woke up she had to get in on the action too

After the kids ran around and jumped and jumped we went out for pizza and then it was time to come home. Surprisingly it took a long time for CJ to fall asleep in the car and the girls stayed up the whole ride home. I was sure they were going to be all tuckered out. When we got home they did go right to bed though. And they slept pretty late the next morning.