Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Last of the Christmas Pics

I don't know why I didn't snap more pictures, but these are from our Christmas with Grandpa Jim and Grandma Marilynn. This little race track was a huge hit with Sam.

Friday, March 25, 2011

General Updates

Gavin - continuing to do well with his math papers - his latest score on addition facts was 33! Soccer practice started this week, and today I signed him up for swimming lessons that he will do all summer, and baseball camp and soccer camp. We also signed him up for the competitive track club which will start in a couple weeks and t-ball league will be starting up at the end of April. He has been a pretty good kid all around lately.

Sam - is doing well without his bottle and has been sleeping til 5 or 6 most nights before waking up, which I am enjoying, but he still wakes about 2 or 3 in the morning every third night or so. This morning he told me: "I want to play baseball like bubby too". Chad said: "There's got to be stuff for 3 yr olds." Me: "Yeah but he's only 2". Chad: "But he acts like he's three". And that pretty much sums up life with Sam. Age 2 going on 5.

Chad - has successfully expanded his business and is spending a lot fewer nights working in his office til all hours of the morning and we are enjoying having him around more! We are fortunate to not have any long lasting impact from the car wreck, he is still seeing the chiro occasionally.

Bridie - going on my first business trip in 4 years or so next week. Grandma Betsy is coming to stay to help with the boys in the evenings. I'm going to mss them and am stressed that everything happen that needs to happen while I'm gone (making soccer practice, cleaning out Gav's backpack, etc) but I am sure it wil be just fine. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a touch excited about uninterrupted night's and dinner!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Celebrating Christmas with Grandma Betsy - the boys got "laptops"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gavin: Age 4

Man, it's hard to believe my peanut was ever this small! Or had all his teeth!

Enjoy this blast from the past -

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break Week

It's been a crazy week with spring break this week. Gavin has been home and having a blast. Our nanny's boyfriends son is just a grade older than Gavin and so he came along Mon - Wed so that Gavin would have someone to hang out with.

Monday was science center day, Tuesday they went to the mall and played and ate at Old Chicago, Wednesday they went to the zoo. Thursday Gamma Janet picked Gavin up for a special date and they went to breakfast and the science center and then her house to hang out.

Tuesday and Thursday evenings Grandma Betsy came over to play with the boys and enjoyed playing outside in the nice weather we've been having!

And yesterday Uncle Zach hung out and watched basketball and is coming back for more today.

We have had a lot of visitors this week and I don't know what Sam is going to do when it quiets down again! (Hopefully sleep better....not sure if it has been all the activity or what, but he has been sobbing himself to sleep and then waking up once or twice and crying for a long time in the night. Delayed reaction to the bottle???)

Anyway, I have been horribly remiss about taking pictures lately....not that you would see them for six months anyway if I was taking them  :) But the video in the last post is from last night and that's G-Betsy in the background cheering them on as they dance.

We are going to enjoy some down time this weekend....and then the fun begins. Soccer practices start Tuesday. Games start first weekend in April. Baseball practices will likely start sometime in April and games start in May. And Gavin will likely be in track and field as well if we think we can juggle it (Chad is going to an informational mtg on Wednesday next week) which will make May insanity with 3 sports going on at once.

I Like to Move it Move it!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Accomplishments: Gavin

Saturday morning Gavin said "Mom, I have something in my back pack to show you!"

On Friday's they have been doing timed tests for math - one for addition and one for subtraction. Gavin was doing really well with these before the holiday break, but then when he went back he was struggling. I didn't really understand why because he knows his stuff when we do flash cards. I think he got used to using crutches (number lines, fingers) during the test, even though he wouldn't use those at home. When they took away the number line, his scores dropped.

At any rate, we have been working on this at home - using flashcards, as well as talking about the test, and just trying to boost his confidence. Pumping him up, telling him that he knows these, and a test isn't that much different than the flash cards, he just has to write them down instead of saying the answer. (He's a pretty slow writer, so that puts him at a little disadvantage for timed/written tests, although that is getting better as well).

Over the course of the last few months his scores have gone from single digits, to the teens, to the low twenties. His issue wasn't that he was getting them wrong, it was that in the three minutes given, he was only answering that many questions.

Anyway -  back to the papers Saturday. +29/30 on addition!

Then the best news....he was so proud of this. And I know he's totally my boy because these are the things I used to get really excited about in school too. Only we were doing timed math tests in 3rd grade, not 1st!

He handed me not 1, but 2 sheets of paper for his subtraction test! He had completed all 30 of the subtraction problems, and still had time left, so he was given a second sheet and got 32 right. He was so proud that he had two pieces of paper. I was so proud of his accomplishment - I know how hard he has been working and it was great to see him take so much pride in his scores.

Accomplishments: Sam

Wow.....I was so proud of both my boys this weekend!

I decided it was time to part ways with Sam's bottle. It was to the point where he would drink his milk at bed time, not be asleep yet and ask for more. I wouldn't give it to him, because he would be peeing all night if I did. So he was falling asleep without it anyway, he cried for about a week and had gotten to the point where if he would ask for more and I said no, he would eventually just fall asleep on his own.

The nanny and I started talking to him about it Thursday and she took them with her Friday when she left. I knew if I just threw them in my trash bin, I would be digging them out in desperation! She showed Sam that she was taking them. In full bribery mode, I came home with treats to celebrate his big boy status as well as a brand new dinosaur sippy cup.

He whined about his bottles a little when I first came home. Then he drank some juice from his new cup. Then came the real test....would he accept milk in it? He did! Then came bed time. I braced myself. I was prepared for 5 hours of crying. I let him play a little longer than usual so he would be good and worn out by the time he laid down.

He asked for his milk. I handed him his cup. Braced myself again. No crying. Took a few sips, handed it back. Asked for it again - repeated this a few times. And he fell asleep. Just like that. He's been fine all weekend. Asked for it a few times, but no big deal.

I guess it was more my crutch than his after all.

At any rate, I am so proud of how well he handled it! I think he's smart enough to realize they were really gone and I couldn't have done anything about it anyway.

I've decided that was a long story and that Gavin deserves his own post. Check back to see Gavin's big accomplishment!

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Baby is More Expensive than Your Baby

Note: In an effort to be "fair and balanced", I googled extensively to find postings or articles in support of the MOD and their support of this drug. I could not find anyone arguing for them. I also could not find a public statement from the MOD in response to the pricing, although it's been stated in articles that they did not know, etc, etc. I wanted to find a press release directly from MOD, to be fair, and all I found on their site was a press release from Feb 4, 2011.

The FDA recently approved Makena, a progesterone injection used to prevent pre-term labor in high risk women. This drug has been available for a long time through compounding pharmacies at a cost of $10 - $30/shot. The drug will no longer be available in the compounded form, instead people must buy Makena.

The catch is that Makena will cost up to $1,500 per dose for this weekly injection. The cost of preventing pre-term labor could be as high as $30k per pregnancy! Read more here.

I never used the 17P shots, but had we decided to have one more child, this would be part of my pre-natal treatment, given my history of premature labor (along with the cerclage). I don't know yet if insurance companies will cover this, and if they do - what is that going to do to our already stressed health care/insurance system? If compounding pharmacies could produce this for $30/shot, why does KV Pharmaceuticals need to charge $1500??? A rep from KV Pharma says that the cost needs to be "in light of the problems and the costs of premature births". The costs of premature births is going to skyrocket when people can not afford this drug.

Further disappointing news comes in the March of Dimes support of this move. Their reasoning is that it makes it more consistent and accessible to all women. Obviously a good thing. Their response to the uproar is that they had no idea what the price point would be, nor had they any input. I believe that. But wouldn't you ask before you supported something like this? And if you were really naive enough to think the pharmaceutical company wouldn't try to make an insane profit on this, wouldn't you come out with a statement against the pricing once it was known? I don't know this information first hand, just from reading blogs, but I've read that MOD has taken money in the six figures from KV Pharmaceuticals.

And honestly, while I was pretty secure in my decision to be done having kids, there was a small crack in the door of possibility - I hadn't completely shut it. Now I feel like that door has been shut for me. So I guess maybe MOD is carrying out their mission to prevent premature births. Because this drug is making it completely cost-prohibitive for women that are high risk to even try.

I expect this out of a pharmaceutical company. As slimy as it is, it's their job to make money for their shareholders. Is it morally bankrupt to do it at the expense of people? Sure - but that's not the business objective. The business objective is to return value to shareholders, and this company was near bankruptcy in the not so distant past. So even though I think it's gross, I get what KV is doing. I don't agree....just saying from a busines standpoint, I get it.

However, the FDA has a responsibility to the people of this country. And the MOD has a responsibility to prevent premature births. The support of Makena by both these groups is a total failure. I found this post an interesting analysis on the MOD involvement

While I am and will always be so grateful to the March of Dimes for the work that they have done, and what that means for my family, I believe this will be the last year I am supporting this organization. I'm also taking down my fundraising badge. I am drawing a line between my gratitude for their past accomplishments and a fundamental disagreement with where the organization is going today. I kept thinking I had to keep supporting them as a thank you. But I realize I can't ask people to give money to an organization if I don't believe in how they are managing their organization going forward.

Instead I will focus my efforts on local charities that are making a direct impact on our community and that I have greater faith that dollars I am giving are being managed appropriately.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Frequent phrases from Sam:

"Come on dude - do it dude!"

"I want my baby ba-ba please mommy"

"that's annoying!"

"I want salmon and green beans"

"more candy"

"NO bubby!"

"kk/uncle chris/baby eisley/kids/babies pushed me DOWN!" he tells me this almost daily that someone pushed him down - usually someone we haven't seen that day


"give me a real kiss" meaning on the lips

"where did grandpa rui/dan go?" he's been asking about my dad ever since he left, and he is obsessed with my stepdad

"I want to watch yo gabba-gabba"

"snuggle mommy a minute" i hear this when i am trying to get out the door for work in the morning

"i want a cold lunch too!" when Gavin asks to take cold lunch to school

"here Mommy, hold my purse" his "purse" being an old Cars lunchbox of Gavin's that Sam loads up with snacks and juice boxes and takes everywhere with us

Friday, March 4, 2011

It Takes 40 Weeks to Grow a Baby

Now, I think most people that read this blog understand the implications of prematurity, so I guess I am kind of preaching to the choir. But today I got into a rather uncomfortable exchange at work, and I just have to get it off my chest. I know people can't be expected to understand circumstances that they've never experienced. I know that. It's just hard to remember in the middle of a conversation.

Exchange in the ladies room at work with a lady I am acquainted with.
Me: "So when are you due?"
Her: "Really soon....well, six weeks, but really I am ready any time now."
Me (well, you're not really ready, and neither is your baby and if you delivered now you would have at least a week in the NICU and you don't really want that): "Well, two more weeks in would be good"
Her: "I just keep thinking I can't possibly get any bigger - and then I do!"
Me: "Yeah, I wouldn't really kids were early"
Her: "Oh you are so lucky! I hope mine's early too, with my luck I'll go past my due date"
Me: "Well, not lucky really. They were 27 weeks and 33 weeks"
Her: "Oh really tiny! But they are doing great now right?"
Me: "Yes, they are great." (but it hasn't always been great. we spent lots of time in the NICU. and there were brain bleeds, and staph infection, and learning to breathe and learning to eat, and constant stress over illness after coming home, and wondering if/when we would "catch up".....)

We're very lucky that they are "doing great" now. But not all preemies are. And we had to go through a lot to get to great. And I wanted more than anything to take some time to educate this pregnant lady on the risks of prematurity. There is a lot of work being done around prematurity prevention - but I think we are lacking education on the subject. I haven't really been in that position before - like I was today - where somebody was just so flippant about it - like being born early just isn't a big deal. My baby spent 82 days in the NICU. If an older kid, or an adult, spent 82 days in ICU - do you think people would shrug that off as lightly?

It takes 40 weeks to grow a baby. Embrace it. And if you can't embrace it, at least don't whine to me about it. I would gladly exchange the NICU for some stretch marks.

And if someone as vain about her appearance as I am can say that....well, that says a lot!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sharing Gavin's Story

Gavin's story has been added to the testimonials on Blank Children's hospital's web site. It's such an honor for me to be able to share his story with others, and promote all the amazing work that is being done for children at that hospital.

Check out his story here!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Christmas Pics

Yeah, yeah, I'm two months behind. Whatever!

Christmas Morning

 Christmas Dinner at Grandma Janet's - she made all the kids "Super Cousin's" capes

 The masks gave the kids a really eerie look!

 Looking at our family photo book with Aunt Kate

 One of many unsuccessful shots of all the kids. There were at least three of us snapping pictures and they had no idea where to look! I love Gavin and Eisley's expressions.