Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas pictures!

Okay, here we go. I have a lot of pictures, but not very much to write. I promise to be better with posting and looking on other blogs now that the Christmas rush is over. We had a nice Christmas, and as Becca would say, it looks like Toys r Us threw up all over our house (sorry Becca, I HAD to use that one!)

Mary and Anna on Christmas Eve. We went to my in-laws house to eat lasagna (real Italian food made by a true Italian Grandma, there is nothing better!)
These pictures are so typical of my girls. Anna goofing around as usual (hiding under the table, I knew she was there so I had my camera ready when I said I found you) and Mary very calm writing Santa a letter so that he could read it while he ate our very delicious cookies!
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Alexandria even got into the spirit of Christmas, while Max the cat just lazed around.
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When we got home the girls got ready for bed and put out some cookies and milk for Santa!

Jason and I didn't get to sleep until 3 in the morning because I put off all the wrapping, and the girls had a hard time getting to sleep so we didn't start till about midnight. Up again at 7. We had a wonderful morning with the girls. It was snowing, nice big snowflakes, I made cinnamon rolls, then the girls ripped open their packages 100 times faster than it took us to wrap them. Santa got them what they wanted. Anna got her American girls doll with Hazel eyes as she specifically requested. Mary got her American girl doll bed, which is a lot bigger than I thought after Jason put it together. It takes up a good amount of room in her bedroom. Santa got Alex a push and walk/rider, she didn't ask Santa for it, but he knew it would suite her;) Okay, last set of pictures:

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Prayers still needed for Moreena and Annika. Annika is still in the PICU, and still under sedation and on a vent.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Santa, great! But no lap for me!

Today was Anna's last day of preschool until January. The teachers threw a little holiday celebration for the kids, and the kids sang songs for the parents. Because Jason had to work, and Grama and Papa went Christmas shopping, it was just Alex and I. They sang a few songs for us, recited a little Santa Clause poem, and then we had refreshments. The teachers had told the kids that if they sang loud enough for the parents, they would have a special visitor. Of course, they all knew she meant Santa. So, as we were eating too many sweets, Santa walked through the door! Anna jumped up from her plate full of cookies, cupcakes, chocolate covered pretzels and snowmen made out of marshmallows to go to try and be the first to see Santa. For Anna to leave her sweets behind without making me promise to guard them with all my might, is just unheard of. I guess Santa is a very important guy. By the time I made it over to Anna she was already next in line. The way she acted toward Santa was different than I thought she would have reacted. I envisioned her running up, giving him a big hug (like she did for every single character she saw at Disney), jumping on his lap, and telling him in detail what she wanted for Christmas. When I walked up to them I noticed her teacher nudging Anna toward Santa. She was very hesitant when Santa asked her to sit on his lap, so she only just stood next to him. His first question was "Have you been a good little girl?" Anna answered yes. Then he asked, "What would you like for Christmas?" I did not hear her answer, I was trying to pass Alex off to someone so that I could take a picture or two without getting the camera ripped out of my hand. Darn. A couple of quick pictures, and Anna's turn was over. When we went back to sit down to eat the rest of Anna's sweets I asked her why she didn't sit on Santa's lap. She told me that she wanted to wait till we go to the North Pole to see Santa again, she would sit on his lap then. The North Pole? I told her I didn't think we were going to the North Pole to see Santa. Anna started to cry, "but you told me we would go to see Santa tomorrow!" She meant the mall. We promised since Jason is off from work tomorrow, we would all go to the mall to visit with Santa. Since they make it look like the North Pole, that's where we miss understood each other. So, we finished our sweets, gave the teachers big Christmas hugs, told them we would see them next year, and went on our way to pick Mary up from school. In the car I could see Anna reminiscing her visit with Santa. After being quite for a good ten minutes (so not Anna) Anna said to me "It was good I told Santa that I have been a good girl, that way I will get what I asked for, huh?"

"Well Anna, you didn't lie to him did you?"


"You know, Santa will check his list again, he knows who is naughty and who is nice"

"Do you think I have been a good girl Mommy?"

"Yes Anna of course, now what did you ask Santa for?"

"I can't remember"

"Well, I'm sure Santa will"

I could tell Anna wasn't sure if she had actually been a good girl this year. She was scared that maybe she had lied to Santa, and all that silence in the back seat was her going over in her head whether or not she thought she had been a good girl. Besides the usual kids stuff, she has been a good girl. All kids throw fits when they don't get what they want, right? Get into fist fights with their big sisters, take toys away from their little sisters, give their food to the dog, torture the cat by trying to put butterfly clips on his tail to make him look beautiful. That is all normal kids stuff. I wouldn't have it any other way. She can also be THE sweetest girl in the world with all of her hugs and kissed and thoughtfulness. Anyway, I hope she asked Santa for what she told me she would ask him for. I am going to have to pay attention tomorrow when we visit Santa at the North Pole. At least I will be with Jason, and won't have a grabby baby to hold while trying to take pictures at the same time.

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I want to request more prayers for Moreena and Annika. Annika had to go back to the OR earlier this afternoon, and she is resting now under sedation and on a vent. This family is going through a lot right now, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Winter Wonderland Part 2

Well, a few more inches are falling tonight. It's beautiful out there. On Thursday when the first big snow fell it took me an hour and a half to drive to get Jason from work when it would normally take 15 minutes. It was a mess and dangerous, I am sure people heard of the Northwest plane that slid out of Midway Airport. I almost got into an accident driving, someone lost control of their car and almost smashed into the side of our car, but I managed to turn out of the way and keep control. I will try to avoid driving in this as much as I can, but I sure love to watch it fall.

The girls had fun yesterday playing in the snow. They were out there from the time Mary got out of school until it got dark. They had a blast, and their cheeks were bright red when they came inside! It wasn't great packing snow, so they weren't able to roll a snowman out, but they managed to pile up enough snow to make a little hill shaped snowman.

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Payers are still needed for Anna's liver pal Annika. The surgery to place the shunt is not working for her. They are waiting to talk to the doctors to see what has to be done now. Moreena is thinking that she will hear the word retransplant. This would be Annika's third transplant. Please pray that there is an easier alternative.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Winter wonderland

Sorry for the lack of updates. Everyone is sick in this house. Alexandria has been sick off and on for a few weeks now. She just finished her second round of antibiotics for her ear infection, and I think she might still have it, unless it is just habit for her to play with her ears now. Anna's ear infection is a little better, but still there. We went to Children's Tuesday for a follow up on her latest ear infection, and she had an ear full of puss that needed to be suctioned out. She is telling everyone that the doctor vacuumed her ear. The night before that I went to bed with my eye feeling a little funny, like I maybe had an eyelash in it, but couldn't see anything to pull out. I woke up a few hours later to use the bathroom and as I was washing my hands I glanced up at the mirror to see my eye swollen almost shut. Knowing I had so much to do the next day, I headed to the ER to get some explanation as to why it was like that. I guess I had a stye in my upper eyelid, which I guess is a backup of Bacteria, so basically like a pimple in my eyelid. I looked really pretty, I promise. I was told to use Warm compresses and some antibiotic eye cream, and I was on my way home. A few hours later I was up getting Mary ready for school. I have been having to drive Jason to work because his car broke down, so I did that, took Anna to Ballet, then brought Mary and the baby to Grama's and took Anna to Children's, and all of this with my eye half way swollen shut. On my way to Children's I got some relief because the stye in my eye popped, and all of the puss oozed out, but at least I was able to see a little better. We were supposed to visit Annika while we were there, but I started to feel like I was getting sick. There was no way I was going to expose her to anything, she doesn't need anything more to deal with right now. Since we had a little something for her we just meet Moreena, Annika's mommmy, in the lobby. Please say a prayer for Annika, she is bleeding again, and back in the PICU.

On the way home from Childrens, I felt horrible. Major sinus headache. The next day it was all over, full blown sick. Jason was off from work and took very good care of me, I was so glad to be able to take a nap (that wouldn't have been done otherwise, not with three little ones) and didn't have to worry about getting anyone dressed and running around to school and back. I am paying for it today though, with all the dishes and laundry backed up from two days. Today Jason has it, and has to work sick as a dog, poor guy. Mary was up all night coughing, so was Alexandria. Surprisingly, Anna doesn't have what we all do. She is usually the one to get it worst, and lasts longer with her (knock on wood). So, I am starting to feel better, and am able to take care of everyone else.

Today it started snowing, big time. We are supposed to get up to 6 inches, and it looks like it's already there, and is still falling. I didn't' send either of the girls to school with snow boots. I guess I need to start watching the weather channel. I just realized that Mary does not have any snow pants, so I need to run to Target. Thank you for checking up on us, hope everyone is well, Happy Snow!!!!

Right now this is what it looks like outside of my house. It's beautiful!

This is a picture Anna drew all by herself the other day while I was napping. Notice it's on lined paper with the edge cut off, but the binder holes used as the snowman's buttons. Very creative for a 4 year old I think!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


They are finally in enough to be able to see in a picture! She has new hair growing in, it's so fuzzy. Maybe that means it will be curly? Who knows, but it is out of control.


More updates to come. Anna has been suffering with an ear infection. Alexandria has a double ear infection, again. We are going to Childrens for labs tomorrow for Anna, then a follow up for her ears at ENT at Childrens Next week.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day was great. Jason woke up early to play football with his buddies which is a tradition for him. He calls Thanksgiving Football day instead of Turkey day! Our good friend Victor is in a band that was playing in town the night before, so Jason went to see him, then brought him back to our house to spend the night since he was invited to Jason's parents house for Thanksgiving. It was only 18 degrees here in Chicago, too cold for me but it didn't stop them.
They left pretty early in the morning around eight, to play at our near by park. Pretty silly if you ask me, but the guys love it! The girls didn't wake up until after the guys left. I gave them breakfast and we ate while we watched the Thanksgiving day parade on TV.

When we walked into my mother and father in-law's house it smelled sooooooooooooo good. I just love the smell of Thanksgiving. The house was filled with food, and we ate, let me tell you. Appetizers of all sorts. Grama's Turkey came out great, she made sure not to dry it out this year, because last year it was a little dry. For the first Thanksgiving in her life she bought a meat thermometer to make sure she didn't over cook it.

The Turkey is done!
Papa carves the Turkey
And like you don't get full up enough on the actually Thanksgiving dinner and the appetizers you eat before it, there was dessert too. I felt like I was going to blow up.

Mary and Grama had gone shopping the week before. Mary picked up a nutcracker for Anna because since Mary's grandparents took Mary to see The Nutcracker Ballet last year and got a souvenir for her (her very own Nutcracker) Anna had been admiring Mary's. So, Mary gave that to Anna as a gift for Thanksgiving. This was very thoughtful of Mary, and Anna was so appreciative of it. It made my heart melt to see how very much these girls love each other.
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I don't know if you can see from the picture above but Anna must have eaten something that she has a slight allergy to because all of the sudden her face broke out, and she was very itchy. I had to go home to get some benadril. Of course this made her sleepy and she passed out on the couch for a little while with uncle victor. And of course Alex was the most tired. After a day filled with bottles, crawling, and pulling herself up on everything, who wouldn't be tired. And Daddy played with Victors guitar.

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After we all stuffed ourselves to the max we all settled down to watch The Polar Express. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It's one of those kid/adult movies. It is filled with Christmas spirit, the perfect movie to watch on Thanksgiving, right up there with Miracle on 34th street (the original of course.)

There are so many things to be thankful for. The most obvious is my family. My girls, Jason, my in-laws, our health and our friends who are always their for us. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table. I'm thinking of Anna's liver buddy, Annika, and her family who could not be together on this day. Annika is in the hospital right now for a bleed that she had last week, and is now waiting to go into surgery next week. Please say a little prayer for this family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

They grow too fast!

These children of mine are just getting so big, and their personality's are so much older. First of all, Mary has been asking for months to get her hair cut. Then Anna started asking as well. I have been fine with the idea, but Jason had been having a hard time giving into them. Finally, last week, we did it. We took them both to great clips. They didn't get it all chopped off, I wanted to keep it long. They both had their hair down to their waists. Anna had about 5 inches cut off, with some layers. Mary had 7 inches cut off, with layers put in as well. They both look great, but I am a little sad. Anna's curls got cut off, and I cried the other day. I thought that she would still have them, and that they would show up better with her hair shorter, but they are long gone. Here are some pictures of their new does:

The first cut on Anna's hair, then after it's done
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I didn't get a picture of Mary getting her hair cut, but here is how it turned out:
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Daddy and Alex waiting at the Hair salon.


In Alexandria news: She has learned to pull her self up to a standing position. I was at the grocery store last night doing some last minute shopping for thanksgiving when I got a call for Jason. He asked if I had put Alex to bed. I started to freak out, "why, is she not there?"
"No, she is here, did you lay her down?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I was just wondering if you lied her down because she is not laying down, she is standing up!"
I could not believe this. Isn't this a bit early? I didn't think she was even close to pulling herself up to a standing position. Then I thought maybe Jason had lied about it, but why would he lie about that? When I got home he had her up, playing with her at ten in the evening. So, I put her down. Ten minutes later I walked in and sure enough she was standing. I startled her, and she fell to the side and hit her head, poor thing. It took her forever to get to bed that night. I think her reasoning behind it was that she didn't want to forget what she had learned that day.

Jason was quick and got a picture for me. The first time she pulled her self up.
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Anna's friend Delta was over today. They played dress up with Alexandria, Mary was at a friend's house.
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I know I posted a lot of pictures, but I can't help it. They are my pride and joy and we need to capture them in these young years because before we know it they will be in high school, college, having boyfriends, having babies themselves.....

Tomarow is Thanksgiving, we will be going to Jason's parents house. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

4 years ago.......

Well, yesterday marks the four year anniversary for Anna's first surgery, the Kasai. I can't believe it has been four years already, she has come such a long way. At the time I don't know if I really knew what was going on. It all seems like a blur to me. I think I was still in shock during this time. I know that some of my readers know exactly what I'm talking about. It was at seven weeks old when Anna's regular pediatrician became concerned with Anna's still being jaundice. I had talked to a family member the day before that told me I should get her checked out, "she may need to be put under bili lights", she said. Oh how horrible. I thought it sounded horrible to have to bring her to the hospital for a few hours to be put under bili lights. The very next day we went to visit our pediatrician, who hadn't seen Anna since she was about three or four weeks old. He told me it wasn't right that she was still jaundice, and that he would like to send us to a specialist at Children's Memorial Hospital, he also mentioned something about blocked bile ducts. My first thought was, ok, so you they'll give her some medication that unblocks them. I didn't even know where bile ducts were. On his referral, from what I could make out, he had written down ?biliary atresia?. That was the first time I had seen that word. Looking back I can't believe how very little I knew about all of this. I didn't even know why babies got jaundiced, or that it had anything to do with the liver. You can imagine my shock when our Dr. Whitington told us that he was sure it was Biliary Atresia, Anna was to be admitted that day to run further tests to be sure including a liver biopsy, and that if it was indeed Biliary Astresia she would need a procedure called the kasai and eventually at some point in her life she would need a liver transplant. It hit us like a ton of bricks. It took hours, days, for it to all register. Anna seemed fine besides her yellow color, is what I thought then. Looking back I know better, she was anything but fine. She was crabby all the time, barely slept, and had major feeding problems. I was in denial, I know that now. Only three days after we came to Children's Anna had her Kasai. She was just 2 days short of 8 weeks old. Those seven hours in the waiting room were miserable. Our 7 week old baby was having major surgery, I was scared about what the days following would be like, heck, what the years following would be like. It's unbelievable now. Anna is doing so well. It seemed like years while Anna was sick. It's hard to believe now that she had the kasai, 2 bouts of cholingitis, a month in the PICU, and her liver transplant all before she was 6 months old. Now, Alexandria is 7 months old, and it seems that she was just born yesterday. The time has flown by with Alex. By the time Anna was 7 months old she was home from the hospital and doing very well, it seemed like 7 years then, not 7 months. It's hard to explain the way I feel about all of this, and I am not great at getting my feeling out in writing. This was a bitter sweet day for us.

Now at seven months old Alexandria is getting growing up very fast. She has a tooth! She is crawling, and she does so big! You know, "How big is Alex?" Then when you say, "So big" she puts her arms up. She even tries to say it, but it sounds more like "AHHHH, AHHHH!" She is brilliant. Poor thing has been sick though. For a couple weeks now she has had a cold. One night last week she was up almost all night. In an attempt to calm her down I laid her next to me with her sleeping on her stomach and I was stroking the back of her head. As I was doing this I noticed a little lump on the back of her neck. This naturally freaked me out. I woke up Jason to make him feel it, but he didn't think it was anything. After I finally got her to go to sleep I put her down in her crib and tried to get some sleep myself, but you can imagine the thoughts going through my head. This could very well be nothing, but it could very well be something. After Anna and all she went through I don't take anything lightly. So, I got up and did a little research on my trusty computer, (well not so trusty lately, but that could be a whole other post) I came to the conclusion that it was probably just a swollen lymph node which was very possible because she had been sick. That put my mind at ease enough to be able to sleep until I cold call my ped the next morning. I got her in and he thought it felt like what I thought it was. He checked her out and asked me if she had been pulling on her ears, but aside from being stuffy and sneezy she had been pretty happy besides that restless night before. She had an ear infection in both ears, poor thing. I wouldn't have brought her in if it wasn't for that lump I felt, but I am glad I did. He was surprised that she didn't act like she was in more pain. My strong little girl, she takes after her big sister Anna.

I wouldn't feel right unless I included a couple pictures in this post. In an attempt to get a picture of Alexandria's tooth, this is what I got. It isn't big enough yet to see in a picture, but I like this picture anyway
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Here she is doing SO BIG!

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And crawling
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Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Fun!

Sorry for the delay in posts everyone. My computer has not been working correctly and I will be lucky if I can finish this post and publish it. This post will be mostly pictures and of Halloween. The girls had a lot of fun. Mary went as a Zombie Cheerleader, Anna was Cinderella and Alexandria was a flower. It was perfect Halloween weather here, gloomy with some drizzle. Enjoy the pictures!

Here is Anna last Thursday at her preschool parade Dressed as Cinderella!
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This is the pumpkin that the girls carved with a little help from daddy. I was busy separating the seeds from the gunk to get them ready for roasting.
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I'm not one to spend a lot of time decorating the house for Halloween, but we do have a year round Halloween decoration, Our big black cat Gizmo!
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My Girls posing for the camera before going out for trick or treat.
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Mary and Anna hitting the first house up for candy.
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Friday, October 21, 2005

Five Questions

Quiz taken at the request of Laurie

5 things I plan to do before I die:
1) own a home
2) learn to Quilt
3) give birth to a boy!
4) buy a yellow mustang
5) see each of my daughters off to College (and hopefully my son!)

5 things I can do:
1) french braid
2) make the world's best pot of chili ( so I've been told)
3) make it everywhere on time with 3 kids
4) sew
5) save a lot of money using coupons

5 things I can’t do:
1) Whistle
2) bake
3) cook thanksgiving dinner (maybe I could if I was given the chance)
4) ice skate
5) Algebra (that will be daddy's job to teach the kids)

5 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1) sense if humor
2) understanding
3) dark hair
4) nice smell
5) nice butt (sorry, have to be truthful)

5 things that I say most often:
1) "oh my God!"
2) "you go girl"
3) "sweatpea"
4) "whaz up?"
5) "yah, uh huh, right, ok!"

5 celebrity crushes:
1) Mel Gibson
2) George Clooney
3) John Travolta
4) Matthew Mchonahay
5) Nicholes Cage

5 people I want to do this:
1) Colleen
2) Becca
3) Valerie
4) Beth
5) Rowan

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Gymnastics class

Observation day for Anna's gymnastics class was held last week. Parents got to go and watch what the children have learned for the past eight weeks. Anna was definitely comfortable showing off for us, which is unusual for her. When we are at home and she is dancing to music in her room she'll stop as soon as we walk in the door. Ballet class was the same last year. If she saw me peek in she would stop what she was doing right then and there and yell at me, "don't watch me!" Sounds braty I know, but that's the way she is, or was I guess. The instructers would try to help her and she would tell them, "no, I can do it myself!" After everything she did in class she stopped first to make sure we were watching (Jason, myself and Grama went) then would look directly at us as she finished with the biggest smile she could give. She was very proud of herself, and we were very proud of her. It made me mad that all of the other parents were not watching their kids, but talking to each other instead. I guess I can appreciate these things more than them. They were letting their other children do as they please, so I was trying to snap pictures and they were getting in the way, and on top of that my camera was running out of battery power so the pictures didn't come out very well.

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Not much else going on here. The girls are excited about Halloween. Anna is going to be Cinderella (that was a given) Mary wanted to be something scarey, she's going as a zombie cheerleader (can't wait to see how that turns out) Alexandria is going as a flower. I have scrubs from when Anna was inpatient so I will be a nurse or doctor, and Jason got a black robe, I'm not sure what he is going as, the grim reaper or something? Your guess is as good as mine. I don't really like dressing up for Halloween, but Jason and the girls call me a party pooper if I don't. Halloween is Jason's holiday. He loves it, I like to pick through the girls candy for chocolate! Friday we are going to Six Flags Great America for frightfest. That should be fun, haunted houses and scary people walking around. We will all have a good time, except Alex, she will have fun with Grama.

Speaking of Alex, she is almost there with her crawling and is sitting up well on her own. It sure is amazing how much they change in 6 months. She went to doing nothing to doing everything. Still waiting for that first tooth to pop in though. Now that she is sitting on her own she can sit in her high chair. Look at how big she looks!

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