Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve

We attended Christmas Eve mass at our church with Dustin's family. I was so wrong when I though arriving 40 minutes early would be enough to get seats in church. The church was packed full, so we sat in the annex looking into the church. There was also a separate mass going on in a room down the hall! That's what happens when you belong to a growing parish of already 10,000+ parishioners! Still, we enjoyed the mass and Addison loved listening to the Children's choir.

These pictures are from before Mass began.
Not the best picture, but I had to get the cousins together.
We all came to our house afterwards (and after sitting in the parking lot for 45 minutes....ahhhhh!) for dinner and some gifts.
Addison, Logan and Aaron

She really knew how to tear through the wrapping paper this year!

Ooooh, we love play-doh! Thanks, Aaron and Logan!
Dinosaur stamps for Aaron.
Even sweet Bubba got a gift.
And once he realized it wasn't something he could eat or play with (a gift card), he went back to sleep.

Couples Night Out

Some of the girls and husbands from my moms group took an opportunity for a night out before Christmas. We went to Dave and Busters for food, drink (water for me!) and games. It was great fun and I wanted to share a few pictures to highlight the evening.

Liz, Ryan, Me and Dustin
I beat Dustin. I also beat him in air hockey, pop-a-shot, skee-ball..... :) Love ya, honey!
If you know Dustin, you will think this picture is just as funny as I did. He does not get this serious about games. EVER.
Tim and Bethany.
Rambo...I mean Brad.
And his other half caught in action on my point and shoot. Love it!
The winners! Dustin and I had the high score in Pop-a-shot and Caroline and Brad in Skee-ball.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

30 weeks

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday. I know we will be enjoying ourselves this year....Addison, especially!

I am 30 weeks today. Time has flown!

My hip is thankfully a lot better. I brought this to my OB's attention at my appointment last week and he was not too pleased that I had put it off. His first instinct was to advise me to get a scan (to rule out the big 'C'), but I convinced him that I really didn't think that was it and pleaded for another week or so to see if it improves. I promised to have it looked at after Christmas if there was no change or if it worsened. He blessed my request and fortunately for me, it is better! I am hoping to get it to 100% by the new year. But, then again, as I get bigger, I'm sure the aches and pains will increase, in general.

The big news of the week is that we have scheduled my c-section for February 25th (a week before my due date, which is normal for second c-sections). I can't believe the little guy will be here in 2 months! Assuming I don't go into labor before the 25th, that will be his birthday. How exciting!

He is moving like crazy, which is very reassuring, and is enjoying all of the holiday treats I have been consuming. Even with all the sugar, I am starting to feel tired again. My second trimester energy was a tease! I guess this is my body's way of preparing me for all the sleepless nights that are ahead of me. I yawn just thinking about it!
Hopefully in a couple of weeks, I'll be able to post beginning phase nursery pictures. We are painting next weekend! I can't wait!


This week's info about the little guy:

Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Breakfast with Santa

We went to Damon and Kathy's church last weekend to have breakfast with Santa. The food was actually decent and Addison got within an arms reach from Santa. Success! Granted, she wouldn't sit on his lap and just about lost it when I tried to do so. Maybe next year....

Grandparents, Grandkids and Santa.

Grandparents with their Grandkids.

Addison and Grandma.

Our family with Santa.

Posing with Daddy.

Making Christmas cards for the soldiers overseas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

MOMs Nursing Home Visit

My moms group visited a nursing home with the kids to spread some holiday cheer. The kids had a great time and the residents loved it! I hope I will like to be around 15 loud toddlers when I am old and gray, too!

The kids learned "Jingle Bells" and sang to the residents. Addison has nearly perfected the song. (Maybe I can sneak in a video camera during one of her singing sessions so I can post it!) We even had a 3 year old piano prodigy (not kidding, this kid is good!) play Christmas music for the residents.

Addison and a couple of the others thought they were just as good on the keyboard.

We made gumdrop snowflake ornaments with the residents

And enjoyed a snack of popcorn and cookies. What do you know, it's Abby and Addison - together as usual!

Andrew's Baptism

Dustin and I are the proud Godparents of a sweet, super cute little boy named Andrew Josef. He is the son of Beth and Josh. I have known Beth since we were 6 years old and spent over 12 years with her in school. Beth and Josh have become great friends since Dustin and I relocated to Columbus 2 1/2 years ago. We were honored that they asked us to be Andrew's Godparents. Not to mention, Addison loves him and talks about him daily!

Addison was really good during the ceremony, after being SUCH a good girl during an hour+ long mass (which isn't unusual....she is always trying to impress Jesus!) She sat with a complete stranger to her and only called out to me a few times to hold her. After telling her to just be a good girl and pray to Jesus, she was content. Ha!

Please note the pink crocs. Daddy was in charge of her shoes that morning. His story is that he thought he was just supposed to put on "temporary shoes" while I gathered up the ones I really wanted her to wear. Um, okay. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Tiffany Foundation Ballers against Breast Cancer

There is an organization that holds a special place in my heart. It is named after a beautiful woman who lost her life in 2006 at the age of 36, after a 5 year battle with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). If you've never read about IBC, I encourage you to take a couple of minutes to do so now (just click the pink link). IBC is an extremely deadly form of breast cancer, primarily because people do not know enough about it, so it often goes undiagnosed until it is too late. This is because symptoms of IBC are nothing like those of "the usual" breast cancer. Tiffany didn't know she had it and neither did the doctors until it was beyond curable. She was diagnosed at age 31. Young people get this type of breast cancer, too. By reading and gaining just a little knowledge about this type of breast cancer, you could save a life. Just saying.....

I would also encourage you to click on this link: The Tiffany Foundation and read about what an an incredible person Tiffany was and the full life she led until she no longer could. You will be amazed! It is an honor for me to even be associated with this Foundation, let alone having gotten to know Tiffany's family as I have had the pleasure to do over the past 2 years. 2 years ago, just a few months after my diagnosis, they held the first Tiffany Foundation Fundraiser and on that evening, gifted Dustin and I a vacation. We took that vacation to Maui this past March and like I said when I spoke at the event this year, that vacation was our restart button. I had completed treatment and was starting to feel like life was getting back to normal. It was just what we needed and I will forever be indebted to Tiffany's family for allowing us the opportunity to do something we probably wouldn't have been able to do, otherwise.

Below are two of my favorite pictures from that vacation. I wrote Tiffany's name is the sand on Wailea Beach outside of our resort and a black sand beach in Hana.

Tiffany was with me that entire trip and you could feel her presence everywhere a the third annual Tiffany Foundation Ballers against Breast Cancer. It's a great event, complete with food and drink, live music and both a live and silent auction that raises thousands for the foundation!

Tiffany's family (Husband - Ron, Brother - Ryan, Sister in law - Cory, Dad - Rowan and Mom - Paula)

They asked me to speak again this year and I was honored.

I presented Tiffany's parents with a picture frame of the two sand pictures from above.
Then, last years recipient (Julie), spoke. She is finishing up her treatments right before Christmas, just like I did last year. She's my girl!

And she introduced Mary Jo, this years recipient. Mary Jo is such a warm-hearted individual and I was so happy to get to know her. She has been fighting this disease for 17 years. WOW! She has an entire wing named after her at a local hospital because of her amazing contributions over the years. She accepted her award and announced that she is donating it to the hospital to develop a mentor program in which women who are newly diagnosed with Breast Cancer can be paired up with someone who has been there, themselves. It sounds like a great idea...something that would have been nice to have available to me when I was diagnosed.
Beth, Carolyn, me and Jen enjoying the evening.
Tiffany's favorite song was The River by Garth Brooks. The first year of the event, they played the song from a CD. Partway through, the song skipped. I guess it had never done this before. We all said it Tiffany trying to tell us how pleased she was with what we were doing in her honor. Last year and this year, they hired an incredible local musician to play at the event. Last year, he learned The River in 15 minutes, just by listening to it.
This year he played it for us twice. I don't know why, but it's such a special moment for me. I sway and sing to the song as if no one is there, reflecting on how fortunate I am to physically be standing there.
I didn't know Tiffany, but from what I do know of her, these lyrics seem to sum up how she lived her life. It would be a better world if we all lived as she did. Here are the lyrics:

Garth Brooks - The River

You know a dream is like a river
Ever changing as it flows
And the dreamer's just the vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what's behind you
And never knowing what's in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores.

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry.

Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow
Has now become today
So don't you sit upon the shoreline
And say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide.

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry.

And there's bound to be rough waters
And I know I'll take some falls
But with the good Lord as my captain
I can make it through them all.

Yes I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry.

Yes, I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
'Til the river runs dry

29 weeks

29 weeks...wow. This week with Addison, I was getting my mastectomy and not only praying that the cancer would be forever eliminated, but also PRAYING she would stay put (which she did for 13 days...ha!) I would say I'm definitely in a better situation this time around!

My hip is a little better (meaning I no longer have to crawl up my stairs on hands and knees, but rather place most of the support on one leg and hang onto my banister to support my other side). My foot is probably about 95%. In general, I feel great!

I have an OB appointment tomorrow and will talk to him about my treatment options for this hip. But, I do think it's a positive that there is improvement.

Really not much else to report. Enjoy the growing belly!

How your baby's growing:
Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2 year checkup

Has anyone seen my brain? I think I left it somewhere between weeks 13 and 26. :)

Addison had her 2 year well-check a couple of weeks ago and just today I realized I had failed to write a post about it!

Addison is now a big doctor fan, as opposed to 15-18 months when she completely freaked out as soon as we hit an exam room. I think it's helped her to accompany me to a few of my OB appointments and see the doctor working on Mommy rather than her. I also believe that the doctor kit she received for her birthday has made her much more comfortable with the typical things doctors do. (Thanks, Jen!)

At her appointment, she was very clear in stating that she did not want to be held by the doctor. The first thing she said when he walked into the room was "Dr. Barrett no hold you." He assured her only Mommy would hold her and she relaxed. She then proceeded to tell Dr. Barrett what he was to do next (look in her ears, throat, nose, etc.) He called her a pro!

She stood on the big girl scale for the first time and weighed in at a whopping 25.5lbs (45th %) and measured 33 3/4 inches (50th %).

Dr. B and I talked about a couple of things that were on my mind, one of them being an issue that Addison has had since serious potty-training began.

STOP here if you don't want to read about my daughters poop issues. It's kinda gross.

For the past couple of months, Addison seemed to be holding in her bowel movements and was only going every 3 or so days, mostly in the potty. This quickly began to cause A LOT of pain for Addison and required several hours of sticking around the house on "poop day", waiting for her to build up enough courage to go.

I knew this was not a good situation and probably wouldn't resolve itself. Dr. B agreed that Addison was probably holding it in because she had developed an aversion to pooping due to the pain that she was enduring. He told me that most 2 years olds don't know the difference between a toilet and a toaster and not to push her into it.

I assured him that I am not pushing and that Addison is more than willing to go on the potty. He thought that was wonderful! At the same time, he thought it best that Addison knew she could go poop in her diaper if that made her more comfortable.

So, I told her this (once) and wouldn't you know that she immediately (and has continued) having having normal, easy bowel movements 1-2 times a day! Most of them are in her diaper at the end of her nap. (And if I don't get to her soon enough, the diaper comes off and....well, you know the rest!) This must be when she is most relaxed and can go with ease. Though over the past couple of days, she has gone a few times in the potty, too, so perhaps we will get back to that one of these days. Until then, poopy diapers are fine with me! Better than having her cling to my neck and cry while pushing out rock-hard poo!

Addison had also, just 2 or 3 days before her appointment, developed a few small red dots on her belly and back. It turned out that she had a staph infection. We don't know how this happened, but it was treated with antibiotics and went away. I am definitely glad we had an appointment that day because I don't think I would have had it checked out until it worsened!

Everything else checked out perfectly.

My favorite was when Dr. B said (almost verbatim) "Well, I see there is not a problem with her language development. At this age, we want to make sure they are putting 2 words together, but Addison is in here talking in paragraphs and telling me short stories." Yes, my girl is a talker. LOVE IT!

My least favorite was when Addison had 3 shots. She was so sad and we left with her saying "Addsin no like Dr. Barrett". Crap! Here's to hoping she doesn't mean it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

The Christmas tree in our great room has been up for a month now. It's large and beautiful and formal and artificial and pre-lit and matches the rest of the room. Just how I like it!

And it blows a fuse when we have it lit with too many other lights/electronics on at the same time. But, it's soooo gorgeous!
We've been talking about it for the past 3 Christmases and this year we finally did it. We bought a second tree. "The kids tree" as we call it.
It's small(ish) and high maintenance and it's not formal nor is it prelit or matches the rest of the decor in the room. But it's real and it smells good and it puts me in the Christmas spirit, and it dons all of our meaningful ornaments, including the ones Addison has accumulated so far, and the cheerios that she and I strung together and I LOVE IT!

And on the top sits a representation of the real angel God sent to us 2 years ago.