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Friday, August 28, 2009

Fun Friday Photos

Ninja Turtle Meets Avatar

The three oldest Nuts love to do face paintings, I suppose I should actually know who is who, but at this point all I know is there is one Ninja Turtle with two characters from Avatar, I think one Air Bender and one Water Bender, but I could be way off with this.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

So far this week is flying by. Not to much happening at the Nuthouse this week, getting back into the school year and ironing out the kinks with the homeschool lessons for my oldest.

This week I am very Thankful to my mom who ordered many of the books that we need for Wing Nut's homeschool curriculum. We are still waiting on one more to come, and I have to order a few more, but we have everything we need to get through the first several lessons.

I am so very Thankful for new tires on my rides so much better now!!

Thanks to my neighbor Kari (hope I spelled you name right!) who brought over a few bags of girl clothes last night.

Thank you Ken and Andrea for those clothes...that is so funny you got a bigger size of my favorite outfit. And yes I love it so much that I wish they made that in my size haha!

Thank you Aunt Steph and Uncle Chris for the baby clothes, very cute. And THANK YOU for taking away all those bags of Boy clothes that I have been hanging on to for years and years, through 4 boys while waiting for you two to start having babies!

Thanks Grandpa Curcio & Katie for all of those Magic Tree House books! What a great addition to our collection. And I didn't think we would be getting Ariel (Little Mermaid) gifts for our baby girl until Christmas...I should have know you would be the first to get her a Little Mermaid doll, so cute!

And as always, I am so very very Thankful that my husband has a job, that my children are healthy and that we have such a great group of family and friends.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nuthouse and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner at the top of this post and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How does my garden grow?

I have been struggling this year to get my garden to grow. Between the freshly turned red clay that turned up in our garden when we started our addition and my little Ariel, my garden is suffering.

It's not a total loss though, hop over to From My Kitchen to Yours to read about the latest Tales From my Veggie Garden to find out how my garden is growing and what I am feeding my family.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

This week has been a long & hectic one getting E Nut, my 1st grader back to public school and trying to get everything in order for Wing Nut, my 3rd grader to start homeschooling.

This has been another one of those weeks when all I really want to do is grab a good book and go in my bedroom and hide from all of my responsibilities and forget about everything piling up around me. Thankful Thursday couldn't have come at a better time...

Simply put:

I am Thankful for the sleep that I do manage to get and that Wall Nut is coming home tonight from working out of town for the past 3 days!

My friend Michelle brought over a huge bag of adorable clothes from her 2 girls and that is a huge help!

My friend Paloma who moved back to Mexico last year is back in town...hopefully to stay!

E Nut was a big and brave boy as he went to his first day of 1st grade, and did it alone without his big brother to walk into school with him...and did it with a smile!

I made it through my first day of homeschooling Wing Nut as a 3rd grader without any tears, fighting or frustration...we had a great time and he was focused and cooperative...Take that, ADHD!

Wee Nut is still practicing his walking, She Nut is gaining curiosity...looking round at things when she is awake instead of crying, Little Nut Nut is almost ready to say goodbye to diapers and they are all wonderfully healthy!

William has a job, my freelance articles are earning more and more every month and we still have a roof over our head. Our home addition is eating up all our extra money...but it is really starting to show some progress...our new goal is to be moved in this fall, I think it might just happen if we can stay focused!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Well, almost wordless, you know how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut...I always have something to say.

Wing Nut is homeschooling, but E Nut is still going to public is his first day back to school...yes school starts in the middle of August, how crazy is that!?!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Owain's First Steps

I know you all have been waiting for pictures of Ariel, so I was working on that today when I came across Owain's first steps...actually they were just moments after his first steps, but the fact that I actually had the camera in my hand when he started walking is an amazing thing in itself. When you combine that with Owain's first steps it is even better. I am so glad that I did have the camera at that point, because he has not even come close to repeating this since this day, about 2 1/2 weeks ago.

Sorry for the chattyness of the video, I didn't even know that my photography camera recorded sounds. I am sure I could find some cool program to add music to it, but if you want to see pictures of Ariel, this is what you get for now. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Oops! I almost went through the entire day thinking it was Wednesday!

I missed Thankful Thursdays last week because we had one of those Crazy moments that involved my 5 yr old and newborn Ariel...we had to rush out to the pediatrician first thing in the morning and then run over to UVA for an appointment with the Heart Center clinic because Owain was having some issues last week that made me very nervous. By the time we got back from all of those appointments Thursday was pretty much over and there was just enough time for a quick dinner, bedtime for the kids and I passed out on the couch before ever realizing that the day was over.

What is Thankful Thursdays? Check out why I started this little moment of reflection that I posted when I decided I needed to slow down and look at what I have.

And since today is almost over and we still have much to do, this will have to be quick this week.

So I mentioned that Ariel had to be whisked off to the 5 yr old, in some moment of not being able to hear a word I say, regardless of the fact that I was yelling at him to stop and watch out for Ariel, he blankly stared at me as he tripped and fell on top of Ariel. Hard. It was one of those painfully slow motion kind of moments where I couldn't believe it was happening. It happened first thing in the morning, Will was already gone for the day, and I was juggling all the kids, getting their breakfast, changing diapers...and I put her down on a pillow on the floor for just a minute to take care of something...thinking it was a bad idea to put her down, but thinking 'What can go wrong in just a minute?' Now I see what can go wrong. Silly me, not very smart...but we took her in to her pediatrician and she was fine, mostly scared and not really hurt too bad. I am so very Thankful that she was OK.

I also mentioned that I was nervous about some things with Owee. I have noticed in the past couple of weeks that there are times when his fingertips and toes are blue...but not all the time. I also noticed that sometimes he gets out of breath and starts panting, and then I noticed one day when he didn't have a shirt on, that when he started having a hard time breathing, that I could see his skin pulling in between his ribs when he breathed in. He has been learning to walk and wants to do laps, back and forth, back and forth. He loves it and has a great time, but even when he is out of breath, panting and turning blue, he still doesn't want to stop. If I stop holding his hand he just crawls over to the table or couch and starts cruising along, around and around the table over to the couch and back again. It is a wonderful thing to watch, he is so exited, but at the same time it is scary because he turns so blue and has such a hard time breathing. So I talked to Peds Cardiology, and they say bring him on in. He fought every test, the couldn't even check his blood pressure, he kept trying to rip the cuff off. He pulled at his leads for his EKG and the wire for the pulse oximeter and screamed and wrestled with us through his Echo...but in the end he got a clean bill of health. Basically, now that he is active all of these things are going to happen to him. It might take several months for his body to adjust to being so active or it may take a year, or his body may never completely adjust. It is all part of how his Heart works after his Glenn Procedure. At some point after he learns to walk and gets older and when he settles down and doesn't have this drive to move move move all the time, he will most likely learn to take cues from his body and take a break when he gets short of breath. As long as his oxygen levels are still in the 80's when he is resting, he is considered just fine. I am more than Thankful that we are not ready to start moving forward with his next surgery and that we still have lots of time before we start thinking about that...the time-line still remains "around 2-3 year old". Whew! What a relief.

And that is pretty much it for me this week (and last). It has been one wild ride and I am running out of steam.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Buy a Blizzard at Dairy Queen on 8/13/2009 to Support Children's Miracle Network

After Owain ended up in the NICU, and after his surgery last year to start repairing his Heart, we were so grateful to the UVA Children's Hospital for saving his life, we thought a great way for us to give back would be to direct our donations there. Until then when we would get a request from this organization or that group we would give what we could, but we never had one group we felt connected enough with to give a big contribution too. And when we see those red and yellow balloons, we also give a donation at the local stores that participate in the Children's Miracle Network fundraiser because this money goes to UVA Children's Hospital.

On Thursday August 13th, when you purchase a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, you will be helping the Children's Miracle Network raise money to help your local hospital and the children who are admitted there. Not sure where your closest Miracle Network Hospital is? You can look up where the closest participating hosptial is by visiting the Children's Miracle Network website.

Then, you can visit the Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day website to search for a DQ shop in your area that is participating in this years Miracle Treat Day. At least $1.00 for every Blizzard will benefit the Children's Miracle Network and your local hospital. How awesome is it that by purchasing a DQ Blizzard you are actually helping to save lives of sick children?!? It is beyond words kind of awesome!

This week has been the hottest so far this summer, Miracle Treat Day at DQ is gonna be the perfect treat for these hot days! And since school starts next week (way too early if you ask me!) this will be a great way to justify going out for ice cream...ending Summer Vacation by helping out others and getting a tasty treat.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Today Owain is 15 Months Old, Comparing Him & Newborn Ariel

It is hard to believe that I just had a baby less than 2 weeks ago and today my little Owain is just 15 months old. It is a bit strange to have two babies around the house so close together. When the other kids were born, their siblings were much older and while they didn't have complete understanding of what it meant to have a new baby in the house, they did know that we were going to be adding to our family.

I think that Owain was young enough to have an instinct that we were having a baby. One of the signs that Ariel would be joining us soon, was Owain's sudden need for extra attention. The week before she was born, he started crawling up to me and wanting to cuddle on the couch and take a nap. He would just wrap his legs around the baby belly and fall asleep. I think that some how he knew that he wouldn't be the youngest baby of the family any more.

He doesn't seem to be phased at all by Ariel. He is curious and will come and try to play with her, but he really does not seem to be put out by her. He just goes about his business as if today is just another day, and now we have another baby living with us. It does seem like he is putting an extra effort into being super cute though! I don't see any hurt feelings, anger or frustration in him the way that I did with my oldest when I brought home a new sibling. When he does get my attention for an extended period of time, he pulls out all of his cutest faces, moves and babbles non-stop. He is very patient for a 15 month old, much more so than my 3 year old.

I think my 3 year old was concerned that when Ariel was born that she would need surgery like Owain and that we would be spending our days in the PICU. The other day, I was changing Ariel and he looked at her chest and said "Look, Ariel is not not broken, her Heart is fixed". He was almost 2 when Owain was born, but he remembers everything we went through to 'fix' Owain's Heart. He wasn't old enough to understand everything that was going on, so we told him that Owain had a broken Heart and that the Doctors had to fix it.

I have mentioned before how the month before Owain's first birthday, along with his birthday, the anniversary of his surgery, the entire month of May, and the Heart Center picnic were hard on me emotionally. Every time I turned around something brought back memories and before I knew it I was walking round the house, store or where ever crying. Ariel's birth has brought another whole set of memories...along with lack of memories. Like the day I realized that Ariel was 9 days old, I lost it when I thought about the fact that at 9 days old Owain had Open Heart surgery. When she was discharged and we where leaving the hospital to go home I looked down at her and thought about how when Owain left the same hospital he was transported in the NETS Van and I didn't see him again for almost 12 hours after that. As I crawl across my bed to get to her bassinet for middle of the night feedings it occurs to me that I never had to do this for Owain because he was almost a month old when he came home and pretty much slept through the night.

There are all sorts of little things that I do with Ariel that I suddenly realize I never had the chance to do with Owain and I have found myself mourning for the loss of things I missed out on with him. This is yet another thing that has caught me off guard and I was not expecting. I look at him now, and it is so hard to believe everything that he went through. It is hard to believe that he almost didn't make it. He is so amazingly healthy right now. No, he will never be completely 'healthy', he will never be able to play any high impact sports, he will never be able to do many things that could get his heart rate too high and put too much stress on his heart, but he has so many other options in life. He is strong, happy and is here to be loved by is big brothers and little sister. He is an amazing little boy and is one of my biggest inspirations. I find myself feeling a little silly to be crying over the fact that I didn't get to be both irritated by those exhausting middle of the night feedings that never end and blessed by those precious moments spent alone for those magical middle of the night feedings that pass by so quickly.

I am not sure how many more things will pop up unexpectedly and trigger those emotions and experiences that I thought I got over almost a year ago. I don't know for sure that there will be any more moments where I find myself driving down the road crying because of a smell, a song or something one of my older children say. I know that today Owain is happy and healthy, that he loves bananas, carrots and taking apart his brothers Thomas the Tank Engine train tracks, he is learning to walk, cutting his back teeth and he loves to dance, play in the sink and flood my kitchen when he takes a bath, he is gentle with Ariel when he rubs her head, and smacks her when he wants to play and she just lays there(not hard enough to hurt her though!!), he can tackle his 5 year old brother and is so strong that diaper changes have become wrestling matches, his favorite word is Mama and giggles with glee when we play, he sleeps through the night, wants to go to bed every night by 8 and almost always finishes his food. He might have had a rough start, scarred us silly and is one of the reasons for our current financial difficulties, but everything that he has gone through in the past 15 months has made him what he is today, and that to me is perfect.

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