Saturday, November 26, 2011


I started my Thanksgiving with some really awesome women that I am lucky enough to work out with a few days a week. We drove out to Glen Ellyn to run 5 miles in a Turkey Trot. It was the furthest they have run, and they did an amazing job and made me so proud and lucky to have shared the morning with them. They are true rock stars! Great job Cindy, Barb, Pam, and Chrissy! Best start to Thanksgiving EVER!

In the afternoon it was off to Nonna and Grandpa's for our traditional Thanksgiving festivities. Daddy had met Scarlett before, but for the rest of us we were finally able to meet her! Baby Amelia was there too, who is a month younger than Scarlett (3 mos and 4 mos). Scarlett must have had some turkey earlier in the day because she slept through the festivities so there wasn't a chance to have the two babies together at the same time. Maybe next time! After a yummy, big meal and lots of desserts to top it off it was down to the basement for some games! Joey and Jillian had fun sitting with everyone playing LCR!

The next morning we had Uncle Chris, Auntie Brooke, and Scarlett over (awake the whole time!) for a Christmas gift exchange since they won't be here on Christmas. Joey and Jillian took to the gift opening quickly and loved all the fun things they got, thank you! The coolest thing I thought was the Sit 'N Spin! I want to check the box to see the weight limit because watching them on it brings back some memories and I can't help but laugh watching them spin around...especially Jill who has her own method of spinning. It was fun to get to play with Scarlett and get all 3 cousins together for a picture. Hope you got back home safe and sound!

Friday night we headed to Wheaton for the light parade. We hadn't seen it before so we didn't know what we were in for. We were pleasantly surprised to see a few bands, Elmo, Micky and Minnie, Buzz and Woody, the folks from the Wizard of Oz, a Snowman, lot of firetrucks, ambulances, and plows donning lights, a pile of coal, and of course Santa! It was a nice night to be outside, thanks Grandma for coming out with us!

Grandparents Day

Last Thursday at Joey's school it was Grandparents day. Joey had Grandma, Nonna, and Grandpa come to his school so he could show them all the things he's been learning and doing. Joey loved showing them around and going out to lunch with just them and him! I went to conferences this past Tuesday and his teachers said that you could tell he really loves his grandparents!

Random pics

Here are some random November pics of the kids... from Jill's Illini shirt from Grandpa and Joey decorating his tree to them cleaning the house!

Body By Joey

Joey is in the process of not napping most days now. One day I was trying really hard to get him to nap so I could get a run in since I neglected to get up at 5am that morning! I had less than 1/4 mile to go when he was up or should I say demanding to not take a nap at all since he had been tossing and turning the whole time I was trying to run. So, when I got him he asked what I was doing and if he could exercise. I said sure, and he ran to get my yoga mat! He showed off his pilates/yoga moves for me before asking to head to the basement to run on the treadmill. I put the safety strap on him and kept the pace really slow, he insisted on me increasing it. As I did he laughed and would say "the house is really moving now!"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Joshua's Journeys #64 3 Years Ago

Three years ago today Phil was in Florida on a trip for work. Josh had finally graduated from the NICU after his 126 day stay and we were settling into our routine of therapies, doctors visits, and appointments for pretty much everything under the sun. I was going in for a routine check on Josh's shunt. I had his tube feeding with me, along with his afternoon meds since the neurosurgeon's office usually meant a good 2 hour visit. As the nurse practitioner came in to look at Josh's shunt she noticed something white poking through. After some back and forth, and of course waiting for the doctor...the doctor I hate the most, he came in and it was decided that his shunt was actually popping through. In slight disbelief I asked the NP if that meant we were staying in the hospital and she said I should plan on it. Not having my pump, anymore milk for Josh, and Joey left with his grandparents it was a quick call before Grandpa showed up with my pump and parts and I was heading across the hospital with Josh, at this point not thinking we'd actually be admitted. Well, a few hours later it was official, Josh would need a shunt revision. That would entail 2 major surgeries, one to take the shunt out, a few days to let the spinal fluid drain where Josh would have to remain on his back and not moving so that the fluid could drain, and then another major surgery to put the shunt on the other side of his head. Once admitted I made the call to Phil to let him know our fate. He was not able to be reached. Later he called back when NICU nurse Tina stopped by to say hi to Josh and I after hearing of our admission, so I handed her the phone and she broke the news to Phil. Outside of worrying about the health of Joshua and how in the heck to keep a 4 month old baby from moving too much, I was wondering if we'd be home for Thanksgiving. It was this first readmission after Josh had finally made it home that I realized my life would never be something that could be "planned out" anymore. At any given moment our family could be split between 2 in the hospital, 2 at home, or some other juggle of sorts. The upside was that Joey was able to be in the PICU (whereas the NICU no siblings under a certain age are allowed even if they themselves were NICU graduates or twins). And since Josh had been home Joey and Josh had been side by side for meals, activities, and cuddle time. So it was important for us to allow Joey in to be with his big bro.

I was somewhat mopey today, not sure if it was the weather, the fact that Joey is so painfully shy sometimes, I was just not myself. Then I started thinking about the holidays, how Josh had come home from this hospital stay just in time for Thanksgiving, and I looked down at my watch to note the date. 11/19, the day we returned to the hospital. It is funny how Josh can still pull at my heartstrings and how I am still emotionally tied to him and can be "off" on certain days only to realize the connection of why or what the day means to us.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Joshua's Journeys #63 My Christmas Wish

Phil and I have spoken in the past about how many pictures we have of Josh...I often say that on the blog when I do a Joshua's Journeys I now feel like I am repeating pictures. I think Phil and I did a great job taking as many pictures as we could of our time with Josh and Joey. I even took a picture of him stripped down in the doctors office showing the red line on his chest, knowing other doctors would be questioning what it looked like. I remember the neuros at Children's being impressed that I had the camera and the picture with me to show the line when it was almost a week after the fact and that line had gone done and they were trying to figure out what it was like before. Anyways, to come back from that tangent, I love and live for pictures of Josh...remembering the good and the bad of whatever was happening on that particular day or in that particular moment. I know I feel I have cached out pictures that we have but notice you each have pictures that I don't and from different perspectives. Of course there is no way to get my first born back, but I would love nothing more than to sift through pictures and reminisce about those times. So for Christmas this year I am not asking for something you can go out and buy... I am asking for a bit of your time. Please look through your pictures from July 3, 2008- March 14, 2009 and any pictures you have of Joshua I would love to have. I can supply you with a USB to make things easier on both ends--for you to just load your pictures and for me to be able to put them on my computer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Sunday we had a Halloween party at Uncle Chris, Auntie Christy, Andrew, and Emma's house. There was tons of food, activities, and kids dressed up and running around! Earlier in the day I had pulled out some old costumes we had in the basement. Couldn't quite figure out how we had it, but we had a Superman costume in a kid's size. Turns out we forgot, but are so grateful that our awesome neighbors gave it to us last year even though Joey was a little too small for it. He still was quite small for it, but some safety pins got it fitter a little bit better and I'm sure he will wear that costume for a few years now! He decided Tow Mater was old news and once he saw and put on Superman there was no turning back! Good thing I got the Tow Mater costume for $3! And thank you to our great neighbors...he loves that costume and will be wearing it for years!

Yesterday, of course was Halloween! Joey was dressed in his costume all day long, while Jill sported a Tinkerbell shirt, but didn't get fully dressed in her costume until after naps. After naps we headed out on our block for a little trick or treating and then back home to wait for Auntie, Uncle, Andrew, Emma, and Grandma. They brought over some of the left over pizza so we heated that up while I distributed some fun Halloween place mats for the kids to color while they waited. After a little bit of dinner, glow sticks, and pumpkin flash lights we all headed out for another block and cul de sac. Joey and Andrew were running from door to door, Emma followed yelling "Hello!" as she approached the doors, and in princess fashion Jillian only did a few houses before insisting on someone putting "Pixie Dust" on her so she could fly aka be carried from house to house! Before we hit the end of our block we were greeted by a police man in his car who stopped to hand out candy to the kids. It was pretty cool to see the kids running up to the police car to get candy (good way to make friends Officer Friendly!). We made our loop and headed back inside to warm up and watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! Happy Halloween!