His grace is sufficient for me, for power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


It's been a little while since we have arrived back home...but we had a BLAST in Pennsylvania! My kiddos are world class travelers. We made it there and back without any issues! I was nervous since my little guy loves to be moving...I didn't know how traveling in the car with minimal time out of the car seat would be for us! He did great! So great that we made the 12 hour journey home in 11 hours...with two babies under 2...go us! :-)

Playing with Daddy's hat!
SNOW at the rest stop...very exciting!
Catching up on some reading...
A little nap on the journey up to PA!

We stayed with Greg's Aunt Bim and Uncle Scott! Their home was just beautiful and they were so great to us...not to mention that they spoiled my children! I don't think Maria was ever left unheld and someone was always helping us chase and entertain Greg! Greg's Grams also lives there and we spent a lot of time with her! She was so sweet and was soaking up every moment with her Great Grandbabies! The weather was not super great so we spent lots of time visiting, playing outside, made a trip to the park, and saw the sites of Pittsburgh!

Just being cute!
Cutie Pie!
Relaxing on Vacation!
She thinks my tractor's sexy!
Cousin Scottie and Maria
Daddy and Maria enjoying some TV!
My chunky monkey on Saint Patty's Day!
Cousin Jessie and Greg in the snow!
The only pile left the next day!
Exploring the land!
Uncle Scott and Aunt Bim taking Greg and the dogs on a walk!
Pondering life with nature!
We even got to snag lunch with Greg's Godmother!
Possible career as a caddy?
Grams and Maria
One of Greg's and Gram's many outdoor adventures!
We Love Grams!
Greg found Daddy's toothbrush on the way home and enjoyed brushing his teeth!
Again...we love to read in the car!
Adios PA!
We even got a chance to see my lovely, most wonderful former college roomie and amazing friend, NATASHA!! It had been WAY too long since we had last seen each other! Brett is a FOCUS missionary at Pitt and we were thrilled to have an opportunity to see them and visit with them! Natasha's sweet girl is 9 months old and may have the CUTEST personality ever! She is also expecting baby number 2 in September so we pretty much caught up and talked all things mommy! It was great and such a blessing to be with her again!! As usual...I didn't capture any of our visit on my camera! This saddens me deeply!

Our visit was great and we look forward to more adventures in PA to come!!
Sleepy Baby number 1!
Sleepy Baby number 2!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Doctor, Doctor...

...yes, number 2 visit to ER for Greg! NO FUN!! On March 5 (Saturday) Greg went to Children's Health Care Urgent Care for what I thought was the beginning of an ear infection...and it was just plain terrible from that moment on!

Greg was doing great all day Saturday! On Saturday evening, after dinner, Greg lost all balance! It was crazy! He could not walk without falling or sit up without tipping over. Even in the bath tub, he was teetering on his belly! CRAZY! Greg has never had an ear infection before, but I knew a loss of balance could be a sign...so I called the pediatrician. He had no other symptoms...no fever, was not fussy, was not pulling at his ears...he just had ZERO balance. It was so sad watching him try to walk around and just fall all over the place. The pediatrician advised we go over to Urgent Care and get him checked out. So out we went at 730pm to urgent care...also bed time at this point...LOVELY!

Upon arriving at Urgent Care, Greg was checked out....NOTHING wrong! Ears were clear, and he looked to be in perfect health aside from his lack of balance. He was not acting dizzy or anything of the sorts! They did some blood work...NOTHING! So the doctor comes back in and advises we go to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital downtown. She told me she already contacted the Neurologist there. Excuse me??? Neurologist...as in his brain has something wrong???? I was not so okay at this point...but held strong because I had to for my sweet baby boy!! So we got in the car to head downtown! I called my mom and had her bring Maria to me because I did not have enough milk pumped for her! So we get to Scottish Rite around 11 and get taken back by 11:15 in an EMERGENCY ROOM...only the really bad cases get taken first, right?? CRAP!

After some waiting, the doctor comes in, does the initial evaluation, and tells us we need to get a CT scan...awesome, just awesome! At this point, he was able to sit up without falling over, but had some issues walking still! :-( Also, it's after midnight and the poor baby has slept maybe 45 minutes! It just broke my heart taking him to get his CT. He was such a big boy though and really did not cry! He thought the noise the machine made was pretty cool! We got the results at around 2...NOTHING! Everything was clear on the scan! The doctor told us the next thing was a spinal tap and MRI. Just great. Greg got his spinal tap around 2:30 AM. It was terrible...I was not allowed to be in the room for this one...and they brought him back to me just screaming. If you don't know what a spinal tap is, googling it while your 17 month old is having one is not the appropriate time for figuring it out! Spinal tap results....nothing...all is clear...good, right? Except my little guy cannot walk and no one knows why!

So we got admitted to the hospital around 3:30 AM, awaiting the MRI in the morning! He finally slept from around 4:30 until 8:30! That was about as much sleep he got over a 24 hour period! He woke up that morning...still teetering, but not nearly as bad as before. The pediatricians came in, the neurology team came in...all were puzzled, but could clearly see something was not right! He checked out as one healthy boy...minus the walking! Both of our parents came to be with us which was nice. It took my mind off of worrying...well a little, at least! Around 12:30, they took us back to radiology for the MRI. Please keep in mind, Greg had slept for maybe 5 hours total that night and had not eaten since 5 the previous evening and has had doctors probing him and checking him practically every hour for the past 16 hours! He was not a happy camper!

In radiology, the doctor ordered the MRI with contrast. Contrast allows for a more detailed image, and was ordered since nobody had any idea what was wrong with my baby! Parents have to sign off on contrast after they watch a video of the risks. Curious of the risks...no big deal...paralysis, infection, death....just to name a few! AWESOME! So here I am watching this terrifying video, trying to decide what to do! What to do?? I just watched a video with a risk of death and now I have to decide to okay this procedure? It was terrible thinking about all that could go wrong, but I knew having contrast would be for the best in this case, seeing as how we had no idea what was wrong with him. The team let me come in with the little guy as they put him under! It broke my heart as he passed out in my arms. They laid him down and strapped all sorts of tubes, nodes, and other things to him. They let us give him kisses, and then we had to go. It may have been the longest hour and half of my life! They brought him back to me and he woke up in moments in my arms...pretty droggy, but awake and a-okay! :-) MRI results....clear! Just lovely...right? So three major tests later, lots of blood work...and still we have no clue what's wrong! At this point, around 3, his balance was almost back to normal. The neurologist told us that Greg most likely had a virus that ran so quickly through his body it was not detectable on tests and this was something that could have thrown him off balance. He assured us that we took the right steps in taking him here for testing...even though we may never know what went wrong!

Greg really was a trooper durung it all. He rarely complained...although he got upset with the doctors coming in all the time to assess him. He really hated the blood pressure cuff! I was SOOO impressed with the doctors and nurses throughout our entire visit. They were so patient and loving and SO great with Greg. Their interactions with him truly touched my heart. I know this is not our last ER visit, but hopefully future ones will not be this scary! I am just so glad nothing was wrong! By the time we got back to our house at 6 pm, 25 hours later, you would have never known anything was wrong with him. He was back to his normal self...balance and all!

Heather took some great pictures of Greg when she came to visit us! Clearly, I was not thinking of capturing this on camera! :-)
Heather brought him this Tiger to make him feel better! He liked to kiss it! I love that the hospital had wagons to transport them around in instead of wheel chairs!
Look at that hair!
He wanted to push the wagon himself. The nurses were not too wild about this!
Riding around in the play room. Look at his IV hook up on his arm! :-(
Checking out Mr. Potato Head!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Forks and Spoons!

It has been so much fun watching Greg hit all of his fun little milestones! Our latest one...using forks and spoons! I just think it is so cute! He wants so badly to use the things Greg and I use and he has loved having big boy utensils at the table! It's so funny to watch him use them! He has gotten really good with them...but when things get too hard to stab or scoop...his hands are always ready!

LOVE! :-)
Perhaps I will eat this one with my hand!

Big boy!!
We have also put the high chair away and got out little man a booster seat! He loves it and you can tell he really enjoys being apart of the table with all the other grown ups! :-)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Watch Me Grow...2 months!

Yes, I know I am SUPER late in posting this! We have been out of town, and the week leading up to us leaving was BUSY!!! But here it is - my sweet girl is 2 months old! Time is simply FLYING!

(She was kicking so much...this is as good as I could get!)
So what is Maria up to these days??
*Doctor Appointment update: weight - 11 pounds, 15 ounces (76th percentile) height - 23 1/2 inches (85th percentile) She is one healthy girl and the doctor said she was just perfect...her words, not mine!
*Maria is in size 1 diapers
*She wears 0-3 month clothing...but is moving into 3 months!
*She drools A LOT!
*She holds her head up perfectly.
*Maria does great with tummy time!
*Maria can sit up for short periods of time with assistance! Time to bring out the BEBE POD!
*She coos all the time. She loves to catch your eyes and have a conversation with you about anything!
*She loves to SMILE at you! When strangers engage her, she always smiles for them! Such a cute personality!
*She still eats every 3 hours during the day.
*She sleeps through the night. She goes down around 9:30 and sleeps until 6/6:30! Mommy loves this! :-)
*She cat naps during the day between feedings...there are about 2 naps that are much longer during the day...nothing too consistent yet! We will start scheduling her more when she hits 3 1/2 months!
*Maria has found her hands and loves to stare at them. She likes to rub them all over her face.
*She likes bath time! Most of her baths are pretty quick since I just bathe her when I bathe Greg!
*She loves her swing!
*Maria had her first road trip to Pittsburgh! She was an AMAZING traveler. She only cried when she was ready to eat!
*She loves her boopie! (pacifier)

Maria is such an easy going baby! She loves to stare at her toys, especially the ones that light up! She is always in a good mood, and rarely fusses! She is just as cute as can be! It has been so much fun dressing her up, too! :-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photos of Maria...

...are sorely lacking in comparison with her brother. Greg has about a million pictures from birth to one year. Poor Maria...

I have fallen into the trap of business and have not taken nearly as many pictures of my sweet girl. Greg would make a poopy face - kodak moment, perhaps some spit up on the face...better get the camera out. Not for Maria...my camera is rarely next to me and to be honest, I have not thought much of taking pictures. It's hard to think of thinks like that when I am chasing Greg, feeding Maria, rocking one of them, getting lunch ready, cleaning, laundry...you get my drift...I am sorely lacking on time! But alas...here are some recent pictures of Maria. Most of them are her sleeping...but I just love me some sleeping baby pictures...so innocent and peaceful...I have learned that these moments are numbered when they get older! :-) Better to capture it now and have it to remember when they are running around and into everything and take only one nap! :-)
Hanging out with Pooh Bear!
Sweet Sleepy Baby
Just hanging in the car...this was take at 7 1/2 weeks...she is almost sitting up with support! Time is flying!
Maria likes Coach accessories, too!
Relaxing with my doll!
She was supposed to be helping me fold laundry...she found it rather boring!

Passed out at the park!

I am trying hard to remember to capture all of her moments on my camera! My house is clean, laundry is kept up with, my kids are happy...I guess I'm not doing too bad if pictures is where I am falling apart...good thing I have a great memory, right? :-)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Boys will be boys...

...isn't that the truth!! Greg certainly has had his fair share of bumps, cuts, and bruises in his short 17 months of living! He is ALL boy, perpetual motion...he does not sit...EVER! But, I love this. I would not change this for anything. He is so curious about everything, constantly exploring his world as he destroys mine! HA! He is so smart and picks up on everything that Greg and I do in our daily activities. Recently, Greg is enjoying jumping on the couch and jumping from the end table onto the couch or from the couch to the floor. He falls running around the house or while he's outside. He scrapes his knuckles and hands because he is too busy to let go of the rocks and sticks he has collected. It would be a sin to let them drop, so his fists stay clenched as he trips! He keeps me on my toes...and I may one day have a heart attack for real, but for now...I take it all in! This curiosity amazes me and I would not want to stifle it in any way because I see how much he learns as he explores. He certainly hears the word "no" a lot...but more for safety reasons...like when he walks down the stairs like he is a grown up or when he runs out in the middle of the street or beats up his sister! :-) His adventurous personality is adorable and I certainly LOVE watching him discover new things each day that he is able to do! My big boy has stolen my heart...even when he destroys my house, pots, tupperware, DVDs, and other things he is trying to figure out!
Playing inside the toybox is a lot of fun!
This is my face the day after I slid on it at the park. It's hard to catch yourself when you have rocks and sticks in your hands!
Trying it on for size...someday...sooner before we know, I'm sure!
Sometimes he likes to dress like an old English man while he plays!
Painting in the tub can be fun!
He is so sweet to take time from his business at the park to help push his sister!
His latest trick...yep, turing on and off anything with a switch! AWESOME!

But at then end of the day...my sweet boy always finds time to calm himself and let me love him. It's not often, but throughout the day he likes to take about 5 seconds to soak life in and relax.

Chilling in the carseat!
He decided he wanted to be like Maria and take a little rest in the swing!
My sweet baby boy loving on Maria's doll!
AND...sometimes we just crash from all of our running around!