Wednesday, February 23, 2011

MN here we come!

We have been having a fun time with Grandpa Rui this week. He flew in Saturday and is staying with us through next Wednesday. The boys took to him right away, and he was a good sport putting up with their abuse.

On Sunday, the Saldanha clan came over for lunch (Chris, Kate, and Eisley) and E showed off her crawling skills. Sam gets very excited whenever people "come to my house", so he was thrilled that they came over.

Tonight we are headed up to Ames to have dinner with them and celebrate my little brother turning 28 (ugh that makes me feel old!).

Tomorrow Gavin gets out early from school and has Friday off, so we are heading to the Mall of America. Oddly enough, I have never been there! We are staying at the water park hotel, so will do the water park tomorrow night and on Friday see the aquarium and ride the rides at Nick Universe.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time to March!

Ok Friends and Family - here's your mission should you choose to accept it:

March for Babies!!!

Everyone has always been so generous to donate to this cause. And yes, at the end of the day, raising funds is the goal of this event.


This walk means so much more to me. There is something so amazing about being there surrounded by all these people that were either touched by prematurity or just want to support those that have. You look around and see the other family teams and the stats on the back of their shirts and you feel a connection that you know what they've been through.

Gavin and Sam are great. They are happy, and healthy, and smart and active. There are no obvious effects of prematurity. But I don't ever want to forget how this all started.

I want to remember how hard we fought.

I want to remember:
3 surgeries (2 for me, 1 for Gavin)
5 weeks of bed rest at home
21 days of hospital bed rest
99 days in the NICU

I want to remember the day I was in the bathroom of our NICU room sobbing to my mom that I thought Gavin might not make it while nurses and Dr's and respiratory therapists worked on him.

I want to remember how good it felt just to hold my tiny baby and feel his little chest rising and falling against mine. There are so many tough memories in the NICU, but there are many moments that are so amazing as well. Changing diapers and finally feeling like a "mom", seeing reductions in the number of IV's and medications over time, babies waking up hungry in time for a feed, the first full bottle that Sam sucked down. All the little things that people would never think of, that are incredible victories in the NICU.

I don't ever want to take what we have for granted. I want to celebrate their lives and that the work of the March of Dimes has played such a huge role in where they are today.

Please join us for the walk on Saturday, May 7th! This year it is taking place at the Aviva headquarters in West Des Moines. The walk is ~ 2.5 miles and starts at 9:30. After the walk there is food and fun activities for the kids.

And now for the bribes.....if you walk, I will have a custom shirt made just for you!

Click here to go to the team dashboard and join the team.
Click here if you are unable to walk, but would like to donate.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Random Pics

Not much going on around our house other than flu bugs! The grown ups got the stomach flu a couple weekends back and then the kids had the respiratory flu - Gav not so bad, but Sam was really sick the last few days. He is on the mend though.

I have a lot of pictures I need to download, but here is a random sampling.

Had a big family brunch at Machine Shed to honor my Grandpa Joe's birthday, here are the boys with Uncle Chris:
 Blowing out birthday candles
 My mom and I with Sam and my niece Eisley. Thanks for the camera angle, photographer. Our legs aren't really as fat as they look!
 My mom made all the kids super hero capes for Christmas. These masks made their eyes look all sorts of spooky!
 This is what happens when I am at work. Kalin is the other little girl that the nanny watches. These two have been together since Sam was 7 months old and Kalin was 6 weeks old. People mistake them for twins/siblings!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I am so behind on updates and pictures. Here is a shot of the birthday boy enjoying his cake. He was insistent on a baseball cake.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Proud Big Brother (and Mom!)

Since Gavin has the afternoon off tomorrow, I suggested to our nanny that she take the kids to Pump it Up as they happened to have open play time for all ages tomorrow. I recently got a really good deal from Groupon that I need to use before they expire.

Thinking two little ones might be a handful at a place like that, I said "Gavin was really good with Sam at Playground for Kids last weekend, helping him up the stairs for the slide".

She said "He has been with him everywhere we go. He's a very proud big brother."

And I am a very proud mama! Way to go Gavin - you are the best big brother Sam could ask for!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Shift

Weird day today.

I spoke to a mother in the hospital - 31 weeks, water leaking, trying to hang on til 34 weeks. We're distantly related - her grandmother and my grandfather were first cousins. Speaking to her brought up so many old memories, and I will go visit her tomorrow and hope to give some solace.

So I started out in a funk.

I met an old friend for lunch that I hadn't seen in a couple years. She and her husband are wonderful people, and after many years of trying, IVF took and she is pregnant. Best news ever! Had a wonderful time catching up, but left emotional - sad for everything that they had to go through to get to this point.

Still in a weird emotional place.

I returned to my desk at 3 pm after a mtg. I was talking to a co-worker while at the same time checking my voice mail. He apologized, not realizing I was on the phone and I brushed it off, but said "I have to check, I rarely get messages on both my cell and work phone, need to make sure it's not a kid emergency".

Chad was in a car accident that totalled his car. Somehow, he walked away without a scratch, although I am sure he will be stiff and sore in the coming days. The car slid off the road at a curve, hit a snow bank, then a tree. The air bag deployed - fortunately due to his height his seat is all the way back so I think that may have helped. I've heard nasty stuff about the impact of the air bag alone.

I felt much better after talking to him of course, but the rest of the afternoon has been tough to concentrate. I look outside and the world looks the same. But it's like there's been a shift in the universe. We dodged a bullet. He could be sitting in the car unable to call for help waiting for someone to happen upon him on a remote road. Or worse I could get a phone call from the police later tonight.

Instead I am sitting here wondering how we got so lucky and thinking of the people that will get bad news today. This could have been a life altering day.

Tomorrow is not promised. Live each day like the gift that it is.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011