Sunday, May 29, 2011

House Picnic...

Thursday Joey's last day of school picnic was cut quite short. It was supposed to be from 11am-1pm. We arrived promptly at 11 and were greeted by one of his teachers and saw another family. Slowly a few other families showed up, but it was very windy and rainy out that no one lasted very long. I even attempted to wipe down playground equipment with a towel I had in the car, but most everyone (well adults at least) were miserable and the kids had wet pants from sitting and sliding around on the playground. So in an attempt to warm up we stopped at Dunkin' for some coffee and a donut for the kids and went home where Daddy joined us for an indoor picnic! Not as fun as being outside with all of Joey's school friends, but we exchanged numbers and some of us will get together this summer.

Happy Birthday Uncle Chris! Here are some pics of Joey and Jillian making a carp wind sock for Uncle Chris' birthday, and Joey showing off the finished product while Jillian plays with her dress up doll.

And of course yesterday we had another Arboretum visit! We went when they opened so I could get in a 7 mile run...pushing 2 kids in a stroller that had somewhat flattened wheels, up really big hills...lets just say it was a challenging but fun run! Joey and Jillian ate their cereal and grapes while I ran and greeted other runners and bikers which many commented on how I was going to get those kids up the hills! Afterwards I changed and we played around until lunchtime. A lot of pictures probably seem like the same thing, but Joey just amazes me how "strong and brave" he is on the ropes and how Jillian is fearless on some things as well. Joey loved seeing the growth of the tadpoles from the last time we were there and did not want to leave that area at all. We finally got them to settle down for a quick craft before heading home.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Last Official School Day, Just Play, and Baby Shower

Quite a bit to update here...I am going to go a bit out of order and talk about today and then move back to the weekend.

Today was Joey's last official day of school. Thursday he has an all school picnic with parents and siblings too, but today was at school and again parents and siblings were invited. Joey showed us all the fun things he gets to do at school: the sensory table, painting, reading books, snacks, potty breaks, playing outside, play-doh, you name it we did it! Jillian was completely into it as well and Joey's teachers got a kick out of her playing house and setting her own little table when the kids were playing with Play-Doh. They said she is definitely ready for school! Joey gave his teachers big hugs before leaving, and a lot of moms exchanged contact information so we can hopefully get some play dates in this summer as well!

This weekend was Just Play a fun outdoor event for kids and adults. It is sort of like a huge health fair but with games and activities for kids too. There was Legoland, DuPage Children's Musuem, BMX professional bikers, firemen, and so much more for the kids to do! I had to work the Group Exercise booth for the park district on Saturday but Daddy, Joey, Jillian, Andrew, Emma, Auntie, and Grandma played! Looks like they had a great time!

Sunday we had a fun brunch with Auntie Trisha and Uncle Alex (and the rest of the crew). We went to Just Play to burn off some more energy, and then it was a quick nap for Jillian before she was scooped up to go to Uncle Kevin and Nicole's baby shower. Jillian did very well considering she was on limited sleep and asked to sit for a length of time. She loved the cupcakes, and was happy to have coloring books and crayons waiting for her--thank you!

And then just some miscellaneous pics... I love the pictures of Joey and Jillian with their blankets in their chairs. Joey favors my Chicago Marathon blanket which suits him well since he is my race day buddy, and Jillian was sporting the blanket I loved when I was little. I used to call it "Bubble Covers" because it reminded me of the Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum that came out with two flavors in 1 piece--remember that? Anyways, the name stuck and it was so cute to see Jillian with Bubble Covers.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Remember just last week when some of us turned on our air conditioner? When the thermometer hit the upper 80's/low 90's? When we took out the pool/slide thing for the first time? Well, we had it out again last Wed. when the weather was nice and warm, but ready to rain. Luckily it didn't rain until close to bedtime that night, and then of course the winds shifted and we went back into our sweatshirts. But, we did get Grandma, Auntie, Andrew, and Emma to check out the water fun too! We can't wait for the warm weather to stay!

Even thought the weather was quite chilly and rainy this weekend, I still was able to get everyone to accompany me to the Arboretum (yes, I am addicted that place!). We didn't last terribly long, but were able to get some fresh air in the morning playing in the Children's Garden. The lady even showed us the tadpoles! There are millions of them, literally, and in another month they should be turning into toads! We stayed inside to have our lunch, but still had quite the view. And to top off our visit, Uncle Kevin was there too! Joey played shy, but managed to give Uncle Kevin a high five. I wish I had remembered to pull out the camera! Hopefully we'll run into him again there!

After a good rest from the great outdoors, we headed over to Uncle Paul, Auntie Katherine, Ben, Abbey, and Juliette's house! We hadn't seen them in a while, and the kids were so excited and had so much fun. Daddy's birthday is on Memorial Day, but since we don't get together as often as we'd like, they made Daddy a yummy cookie cake (his favorite!) and the perfect birthday crown! Thanks for the great company, delicious food, and birthday wishes!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

I had a great mother's day weekend! The weather was perfect and everyone was in good spirits. I had just gotten an Arboretum membership so that was all I wanted to do on Saturday! Joey and Jillian love being outside and they had so much fun running around the Arboretum. I ended up upgrading the membership, long story short now we can get more people in for free and I know it will pay for itself in the long run, got a free bag which is now my new diaper bag (I look like a tree hugging hippy, but that's ok!), and the best part was it didn't rain! We started off at the Children's maze and then did the big maze. We headed into the Children's Garden where there was so much for everyone to do. Joey and Jillian loved climbing and running around everywhere. I will just let the pictures speak for themselves...

It was a perfect day!

Sunday Joey and I woke up early, Phil and Jillian joined us a little later and after a light breakfast we headed out to Uncle Chris' work for brunch! There were some pretty fountains, trees, flowers, and of course the green to take pictures so we took advantage a little bit and tried to round everyone up. After brunch we went on a golf cart ride around the course. It was another beautiful day to be outside! We headed home for naps, and then it was back to Elmhurst, this time the destination was Grandma's house. Grandma was gone for the weekend, but came back after dinner so we all crashed her house and had some pizza and waited for her to get home!

Another update is that we finally took out the pool/slide that Daddy and Nonna were crazy about getting for the kids. The weather was really warm and humid today so Daddy came out during lunch and Nonna and Grandpa stopped over to see the unveiling of the monstrous water park! The kids loved it, took too short of naps because they just wanted to get back out there again!

And finally, here are a few random pictures. The first few are of the kids feeding Daddy some popcorn. I love popcorn and so do they. They love watching the popcorn pop in the air popper, and then feeding the popcorn to Daddy. Daddy claims to not like popcorn, but he never refuses when he's hand fed by his kids! The one of Jillian sleeping is the only one I have from Uncle Chris and Aunt Brooke's baby shower because after she woke up she fell back asleep on me which didn't allow me much movement for other pictures!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Joshua's Journeys #57 Mother's Day Again

I miss Joshua every day, but holidays and anniversaries (of surgeries, milestones, and many other anniversaries of his life) make me ache for him that much more. Mother's Day is certainly one of those times. Joshua made me a mom before he was even born. He taught me to persevere in trying to get and stay pregnant. Once I did get pregnant with Josh and Joey, Josh started giving me a run for my money. The stubborn little guy wanted into this world very badly but also wanted me to slow down and realize the journey I was on; from my cerclage at 19 weeks which put me on bed rest, along with numerous hospital visits and stays, not to mention the terbutaline pump and other efforts to keep them in as long as possible. Then at 32 weeks and 6 days the shock of being told Josh is pushing way to hard to get out and my water will break so its go time happens and the fireworks begin! Josh is delivered first without a cry, nurses rushing over him to get him breathing, rushing him out of the room only catching a quick glimpse of him in his warmer as he is whisked past me, and then seeing Joey somewhat briefly as well before entering recovery. Not having been able to hold either of my children, I was driven once again to get up and recover as quickly as I could so I could get to the NICU and see the boys I had been dreaming of for so long (well, not as long as I should have, but long enough!). Within 2 hours of an emergency c-section I mustered up the strength to go to the bathroom to get the catheter out and walk so I could get up and see the two sweetest little guys in the world!
Josh asked me to be a mom in so many ways from the very beginning, learning to sacrifice, prioritize, trust, and most importantly love. I never knew as most moms find out once they have their children that I could love so much and on so many levels. I learned in a trail by fire way how to care for two boys, one not being able to be heard when he cries, needing me to have that one ear open while sleeping instinct in case he needs to be suctioned. Having twins in the NICU and then one at home and one in the hospital, followed by the two of them at home, then Josh back in the hospital, and his passing, Josh also taught me the importance and strength of my marriage and of the people to which I am closest to. It was with Josh's life that I learned what I truly value the most in my life and to not be afraid to share love with others.

Words cannot articulate how I miss you and wish you were here each and every day. I cannot wait to see you again. Thank you for being the first to make me a mommy. "Mommy loves Joshy."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blog Award

Ok, so I am one to delete e-mails that are chain e-mails, hitting the button as fast as I can before I find out what bad luck I will encounter if I don't forward to how many ever people in how ever short amount of time, etc. But, I can not ignore something from a friend like Ellen. Ellen is an adult with CHARGE that lives in Sydney and I am so excited to meet her this summer at the conference. Ellen passed on the Versatile Blogger Award to me (and 6 others) so I am doing my part as best I can...

Here's what I have to do:
*Thank the person who gave you this award
*Name7 things about yourself
*Pass the award along to 15 other bloggers

Thank you so much for this award Ellen, I am honored to receive it from you!
7 things about myself:
1- I get nervous when people ask me to name 7 (or any number of) things about myself because I don't think I'm that interesting!
2- I have 3 children 1 is in heaven, 2 are sitting with me at the table drawing while I blog this
3- My honeymoon was spent in Australia from Sydney to Cairnes. I wish I knew Ellen at that time!
4- I can not wait to meet Ellen in July at the CHARGE conference, as well as see many others that I haven't seen in 2 years and some others that I still haven't met in person but are in contact with through blogs or e-mail.
5- I just spent the last of my birthday money (and added a little bit to it)on a Morton Arboretum membership and cannot wait to go on Saturday! (Hint--blog post will probably be of the kids at the Children's Garden, I can't wait!)
6- I don't like doing puzzles...Joey is really good at them and pretty quick too, but I have never been a fan of puzzles!
7- I am so hopeful that the rain goes away for a while and we get some warmer days because I love being outside with Joey and Jillian!

And now to pass on to 15 bloggers, this will be tricky. I will need to duplicate some of Ellen's because I don't know that many bloggers and don't think all that many even read my blog! So here's my try:
Crystal and Eva M., Carrie Ann and Abby, Marissa S., Victoria and Moriah N., Katherine S., Lisa and Kennedy W., Tracy R., Theresa R., Chris W., Amy and Ben R., Karen and Lily R., Amy and Max, Catherine and Alexis S., Prayers of Hope, and Jack W. Whew, I think I have exhausted all blogs that I follow or know on this one!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Joey at the Southwest Half Marathon

Sunday I ran a half marathon. I was not expecting to do well, coming off of a long winter, but was using the race to stay in running shape to start training later this month for a marathon. Well, the race was in Palos Heights, and I know why the height part is part of the town's name. It was a very, very hilly course. It was also a very windy day, topped off with running over many bridges that had no protection from the winds so even the downhills at times felt like uphills. I was more than pleasantly surprised with the course and the day itself. I had a personal best in the half marathon and that was with lots of wind and hills. So of course that leads me to wonder how well I may have done if the conditions and course were a bit more favorable...ah, it keeps me coming back for more.

Anyways, I had told Joey I was going to be running in a race and he was super excited. He kept telling me what color shirt I would be wearing. He had a long day on Saturday with Auntie Brooke and Uncle Chris' baby shower, he didn't go but he partied at Grandpa's house the whole day and after the shower up until bedtime. So I was a little hesitant to wake him at 5:20 to go to Grandma's house and then head out to Palos Heights, but I went in his room and touched his back and whispered "Joey do you want to go to the race?" He whispered quite loudly, "yeah!" And he sat straight up and extended his arms up for me to grab him. I told him he could sleep on the way to Grandma's but he told me he didn't want to sleep. He was talking to me the whole way. We transferred to Grandma's car and headed out for the race. Joey is such a trouper and really loves watching the races. Even though they are not cars like I know he'd prefer he makes me smile and I can't wait to see him (and Grandma too!) as I'm finishing. There is nothing quite like putting my medal around his neck.

At the end of the race I had given Joey my medal and a reporter asked to take a picture of Joey and I and ask me about the race. So without further ado, click here for Joey's first press release.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Saturday Jillian attended her first baby shower. It was Uncle Chris and Aunt Brooke's shower, but while Jillian attended it, she did not see much of it at all. Jillian was a little crabby from teething, and the timing wasn't to her advantage so she ended up falling asleep just before the food came out. Auntie Miya and Nathan were so nice to let Jillian rest in Nathan's stroller...sorry Jillian couldn't stay awake to play very much Nathan! Jillian woke up briefly for me to take her out of the stroller and fall back asleep. She didn't wake up until presents were halfway done making a liar out of me. I had told everyone how Jillian doesn't sleep well and won't go down for a nap unless she is in her did she make me put my foot in my mouth! Jillian and Nathan had fun playing with the balloons after the presents were opened, and Jillian did well the rest of the time back and Nonna and Grandpa's house.