Thursday, August 25, 2011

You decide....

When coffee creamer cups become building blocks.....

Does this mean Mommy drinks too much coffee???

Or does this mean Mommy is using creamer cups as a diversionary tactic to keep two little busy bodies occupied until the food comes????  You decide!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

NICU Reunion 2011...

 You may remember reading my previous posts about our family attending the annual St. Vincent Women's Hospital NICU reunion. 
(If not they can be found here.... 2009 reunion and 2010 reunion)

This is definitely an annual tradition in our home.  It truly is incredible to celebrate so many miracles in one location.  God's handywork was definitely on display all morning.

It's surreal to me to go back and look at how much the girls have changed in the past two years.
It was so great to see all the doctors and nurses who took such great care of our kiddos.  An eternal gratitude is not even close to explaining how we feel about each and everyone who cared for our precious girls like they were their own.

Here are a few pictures...

Addison on her pony.  The pony's name was Sunshine.  She kept repeatedly asking for Sunshine the remainder of the day.


Alexis not quite so sure. 

After dismounting her horse...Alexis kept saying "sit on, sit on".  She wanted to keep sititng on the horse.

No fear this child....I think we came close to losing a few fingers.  She was so eager to pet the mini-pony.

Alexis was mesmerized with the pony that was her size.

The girls also spent a few minutes attacking a bunny.

Of course the famous train ride where the parents have to squeeze into a car way to small. Alexis was so intense with the steering wheel.

Addison ready to roll.

Two of the most amazing nurses ever.  Carrie on the left holding Alexis and Liz on the right holding Addison.  Liz was our primary day nurse.

The duck pond. 

Addison just couldn't choose.  She told Terry... "I take all duckies".

Addison gave the Fire Pup a big hug.  Alexis was petrified of him.

One of the most amazing woman ever, and our girls.  Lisa was our primary night nurse and is still a huge means of support to our family. 

Dr. DeSanto, Nurse Lisa and our girls.

Dr DeSanto was one of our primary doctors in the NICU.  You may remember this post (click here to read) that my Mom wrote a few years ago.  Dr. DeSanto was the one who told us about the initial findings of Addison's brain bleed.  She was also the doctor who told us that Addison would probably never walk or use the left side of her body.
When we ran into Dr. DeSanto she imediately remembered our case.  She quickly asked how things were going and if the girls have any residual preemie issues.  She told us that having to give us that bad news was one of the worst days of her career.  She said she remembers it like it was yesterday.  She continued to tell us that God is the only explanation because what she saw in those test results just doesn't go away.  Good thing I had my sunglasses on because the tears were flowing out of my eyes.

The girls can't pass by a slide without giving it a try.  Addison was having a blast.

Alexis wouldn't get off the slide.  This girl can spot a playground a mile away.

Both girls loved these quack quacks. 

This always is such an amazing event designed to recognize the strength and accomplishements of former patients of the NICU and allows all families to reconnect with other NICU families and the staff members who cared for their children.

As always, it was great to see all our doctors and nurses again.  It really does take a special type of person to be a NICU employee

Friday, August 19, 2011

State Fair....

I'm sure by now you have all seen the below video of the tragedy at our local state fair.

After attempting to go to the zoo on Monday, only to find that they had closed early, I was a little leery of heading to the fair instead.  I had the girls all pumped up to see animals so we had to find some form of backup plan to appease their requests to see some animals.

Terry quickly suggested that we go to the fair.  After the horror stories that I had been seeing and hearing on the news, I was a little nervous about going.  I'm not sure why, but I just didn't want to go.  The girls were in the back of the car begging to see animals so I agreed. 

I'm not really sure how it happened, but Terry and I ended up being ushered into the park grounds and directed into a media parking area.  No joke, we parked next to at least 75 television news vans from all over the country doing stories about the tragedy that had happened a mere two days before.  There was a very quiet calmness that lurked around the area where the stage once was.  I wish I could find the words to describe how creepy that feeling was.

They had this area roped off but we were still able to get strangely close to it.  I'm convinced that since we somehow parked in the media area, we weren't really supposed to be where we were. 
Immediately tears welled up in my eyes.  I wanted to go to this concert, but because of our trip to Chicago I didn't.  My heart was (and still is) aching for all the families that lost loved ones or had a family member or friend injured in this horrific fluke accident caused by mother nature.  I felt the strange need to kiss my kids and give Terry a ginormous hug.  There really are no words to explain it.  I even caught Terry with a small tear running down his cheek.

Any who... The girls had a fantastic time walking around all the animal barns.  We saw the worlds largest and second largest pig.  Addison's words explain it perfectly, she pointed and yelled...
"BIG FAT PIG".  The pig's bodyguard actually burst out laughing.  Yes, the pig does have a body guard!  Weird I know!

One of my absolute favorite things at the fair is corn.  I don't know why... but a big fat ear of corn, soaked in butter is so much better at the fair than it is at home.  Once we left the swine barn, we ran into a booth that was selling corn.  Terry and I both got an ear.  Alexis immediately started yelling, "bite, bite bite".  I didn't figure they would like it since they have never really eaten corn well at home.  Needless to say we ended up going back to the booth and buying two more ears of corn.  They girls also enjoyed pigging out on other fair food such as corn dogs, french fries, funnel cakes and ice cream.

Sadly I had forgotten my camera at home and my cell phone battery was getting low so I was only able to capture a few pictures. 

When we were leaving the fair we were once again reminded of the horrific events that had happened just a few days prior.  Our prayers continue to go out to all the victims of the tragedy at the fair.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My two Princesses...

This past weekend we made our way up to Chicago to celebrate our twin niece's (Greta and Amelia) fifth birthday.  Our kiddos were invited to join in the celebration at their very first princess party!  

Our girls were such troopers in the car on the way.  Despite being stuck in Chicago traffic for over an hour and a half, the girls did great minus one small vomit issue from Miss Addison.
Addison appears to have inherited her mother's aptitude for getting car sick.  Luckily I saw it coming and was able to grab a cup to mitigate some of the damage.  She still was in need of an immediate bath upon arrival, and her stuffed piglet doll also took a quick bath in Aunt Gretchen's wash machine.

*****quick note and a big thank you to my good friend sherri for helping me hem the girls dresses.  i couldn't of figured it out without her help!*****

Here are a few pictures....

The very cool "gates" upon entering the party.

The girls and Ga Ga.  (Terry's Mom)

An attempt at a family photo.  Not the best but it was all we got.

Both girls were obsessed with the balloons.

Addison and her cousin Greta. 

Addison people watching.

Alexis checking everything out.

My Girls with the birthday girls.  Amelia in pink and Greta in blue.

The very cute princess crown cupcakes.

Alexis and her droopy eyes.  She was so tired.

Lex again.

My little Miss Addison.

Best Friends.  I'm still shocked that they wore those crowns for as long as they did.

A very intense conversation between Addison and Pop.  (Terry's Dad)

The Limbo

The girls watching the real live princess that was at the party.

Alexis and Ga.  This is Alexis' cheese face.  Luckily we had brought a change of clothes for the girls.  They were getting very hot in their princess dresses.

Getting pedicures at the party. 

Sitting for story time with the princess.

And here are a few videos.....

If you're happy and you know it.... 

Alexis was all over the place and wouldn't sit still for too long.

My little jumping bean.  Addison is constantly jumping all the time now.  This video captures it perfectly.  Again, poor Alexis was just so tired.

We had originally planned to stay in Chicago from Saturday through Monday.  Unfortunately, on Sunday afternoon the girls began to melt down.  Terry made the executive decision to pack up and head back home.  We were very surprised that we made great time getting out of Chicago, only to be disappointed to be stuck and parked on the highway just 30 minutes from home.  Again the girls were such troopers.  I really do credit their good travels to the portable dvd player we installed in the car.  What a lifesaver!  We finally got home around 9:15 Sunday evening.

Since I had already taken Monday off work we decided that we couldn't waste such a beautiful day.
Stay tuned for Part TWO.....
(sorry too many pictures for one blog entry)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Keeping with the theme of finding indoor activities to "beat the heat"....  earlier this week, we turned to painting with water.  About a month ago I found some neat puppy paint books where all you have to do is add water for the "paint" to appear.  I thought this would be a perfect indoor activity to help with the boredom of being stuck in the house.  The girls were in heaven, although I quickly learned that any form of painting needs to be an outdoor activity from now on.

For the first few minutes the girls were very intense about carefully placing their paint brushes into the water and precisely painting their dog pictures.  Then came their version of "splatter painting"....smash the paint brush into the water cup (which was barely filled with a Tbsp of water, at most), then press the paint brush as hard as possible onto the paper and flick the water in every direction except for that of the picture.  It was actually quite comical to watch.

Once my little Picasso's decided that they would try to drink their colorful paint water, we had to end the paint session for the day and headed straight to the bath.