Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bobbidi Bobbidi Tootique

Ariana will be visiting Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on our Disney trip next year.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


You can watch orcas at Sea World via the Shamu Cam It's one of my favorite things to do each day.

It's All in Your Perspective

I was watching an episode of Oprah last evening, one that I had recorded from earlier in the week. It was about the Day Spa they had taken several women to and how to live our best lives. Very inspiring to say the least. One of the things I took from it was to change how you look at something that majorly affected your life. So here goes.

I am thankful for developing preeclampsia. (How weird does that sound?) Why am I thankful?
-I am thankful because I now have a knowledge of my body that I would never have developed without preeclampsia.
-I know more about the babes that grow inside my body than what it shared in the "week by week" guide to having a baby.
-I have met tremendous women who I am forever grateful for having them touch my life. I have seen courage, strength, and wisdom from those ladies and that has inspired me.
-I am much more acquainted with lab results that I was before.
-I have become a much better advocate for my own health.
-I am incredibly thankful for my children's health as well as my own.
-I have learned to cherish each moment of my children's lives.
-I am so appreciative for the incredible nurses and my wonderful OB to keeping such a great eye on me during my second pregnancy. You just cannot know how appreciative I am.
-I am thankful to have this thing called preeclampsia affect my relationship with a fantastic partner. Our relationship may have bumps in it, but our experience strengthened our relationship.
-I am thankful for having developed preeclampsia. It made me realize that I am much more strong that I could have ever imagined. I did things I didn't know I could do, such as give birth without an epidural while in a mag-induced haze.

The one thing I am most thankful to preeclampsia is for helping me become so passionate about one subject in a way that I never was before. Sure I supported various organizations, but this affected me in a way that preeclampsia is a part of my fabric as a human being now. I am thankful to be a preeclampsia survivor.

I'm a winner!

Our local weatherman is leaving his job to focus on his own business and his family. We are sad to see him go as we've enjoyed watching him over the last several years. The news station has a place set up on their website where viewers can leave a message for Tony, and I did so last week. Apparently, when you leave a message you are entered into a drawing for a free autographed umbrella. And I won! They read my message on air too. How cool is that? Just wanted to say goodbye and to thank him, and I win something.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mmm. Mmmm. Good.

Seriously, what woman wouldn't want this pirate? Damn, I can't get a larger photo.

Here are some others I like to salivate at...

Orlando Bloom is my hollywood crush if you can't tell.

Thank you's

Been seeing commercials for this and thought I'd check it out. A Million Thanks

Also, send a card to a soldier via Let's Say Thanks

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hell Yeah!!

Can I get a hell yeah?!?!?! I received my scores for the testing I did last month for a probation & parole agent. BoooYaaa!!! I placed 4th out of 206 eligible candidates!!!! Depending on who has openings, etc I could have a new job within the year!

Memorial Day

Please take a moment this weekend to remember your loved ones who have passed on, and also for all of this country's fallen soldiers.

Yo Ho, Yo Ho

It's date night, and Jason & I will be seeing Pirates!! Kudo's to grandma for babysitting!

And it begins...

The fun of your children using what you say against you.

We have a time-out corner in our home and when a house rule is broken, the person is sent to the corner and they need to apologize before they can come back out. If we ask something of Ariana and she doesn't reply or comply, she is given a warning, "I need to you pick up your toys please. If you do not start picking up toys by the count of 4, then you will go into the corner." That type of thing. Well, she knows how to push it and usually we end up at 3 going into 4 before she makes her move.

Lately, however she has been saying that to us. If we can't get to her request for whatever soon enough, she says, "Mom, I'm going to count to 4 and then you will go in the corner, alright?"

Friday, May 25, 2007


I sit here reading blogs of friends and I really need to get my ass into the shower. I have to leave the house in 40 minutes and here I sit. This is a sign of my addiction to the internet. ;)

Okay, I really need to go. Happy Day everyone!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Why is grief so hard for us to talk about? Society has expectations on grief and, in my opinion, those expecations are unfair. People think there are certain ways to grieve and if the person left behind does not subscribe to those, something is wrong and that person aught to be ashamed of themselves. I read a very intriguing essay in Newsweek this week where the writer lost her father and the things people said to her. She talks about how all she needs to hear are the words, "I'm sorry." And how many people focused on how lucky she should feel that she got to spend the final moments with him or that he's in a better place.

I know I'm guilty of trying to focus on the positive. Dealing with grief is not something many people know how to do and do well. There is no course in school, no lesson from parents, etc on how to offer condolensces. And we have to as a society understand there is no timeline for grief, no prescribed behaviors for grief. And that it's okay for people to grief in public. Somehow many think grieving should be a private matter, and that is a disservice to the greiving person who could use support.

I think it's more difficult when a parent loses a child, or a friend loses her partner at a young age. We know that when we get old we will eventually die. That is a given, and the idea of dying is uncomfortable for some. But it's not fair to ignore or criticize someone for their actions when they lose someone. How should a mother act when her child dies? How long should she grieve? What about the husband who loses a wife and is left with unfulfilled promises of a life together and possibly a family to raise by himself. No one can answer those questions except for the people who are left behind.

Say "I'm so sorry for your loss." And stop there. Sometimes not saying anything at all beyond that is the best way to simply be there for a friend or family member. Be mindful of what the person is going through. They just lost a loved one, possibly someone they never thought they'd have to lose this early. Death is painful for all who are touched by it. And it's okay for them to cry, to scream, to sit silently, to do whatever they need to do. If they need to talk, then listen. It may be awkward for you, but hey what's a little awkwardness compared to the loss the person is feeling.

People should be able to remain sorrowful as long as they need to. It's difficult to watch another's suffering, but let them mourn the loss of their loved one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Phoenix

He's one today!! I still can't believe it. At this time one year ago I all hooked up and getting ready to have a baby!

And here is he today....

Monday, May 21, 2007

Phoenix's First Year Montage


Have you ever felt alone when you are physically next to another person?

Feel good moment

Here is my feel good moment for the day. I saw this story over the weekend and was hoping they could save these whales.


Why is it that kids love to play with whatever you have in the cupboards more than the toys you buy for them?

Phoenix (Ariana did too at 1yo) loves to play in the pots & pan cupboard, and the cereal/snack one. He carries around the container of canola oil like it's a teddy bear.

What's up with that?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Party Time!

We had Phoenix's birthday party yesterday and were joined by many friends & family to celebrate. We had a wonderful time, and although it rained from time to time the weather was warm! YAY! We had a luau theme for the day, and had his photo put on his cake. Phoenix was in heaven eating his cake. He devoured the entire lil cake we had for him. He got to take his first spin on the carousel too!

I can't believe my lil guy will be one in just two short days!! Here are a few photos....

Friday, May 18, 2007

Amazing story

My mom was telling me about a story they had on GMA the other morning. A woman was 6 months pregnant and had a brain aneurysm. They kept her alive to get the baby to a place where they could deliver. The husband/father was talking about how he had to prepare for a death and a birth at the same time. I'll see if I can find the story and share a link.

I find it an amazing story of love, sadness, and the power of the human body.

ETA: Here's the link:

Hey you

I know people are reading this, but are not making any know who you are. ;) Thanks to Jen and others for the comments they have made.

Come on, feel free to reply to something.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's his birthday....

and I can cry if I want to.

Why am I having such a difficult time with Phoenix's birthday? I am excited, but yet so sad about it. He's going from baby to toddler before my eyes and I have so many mixed emotions.

Argh...the joys of motherhood.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you all who donated for the Preeclampsia Foundation walk this past weekend. Our donation total reached $1310! Jason and I cannot express in words the appreciation we have to everyone for their support. The day was beautiful, and we had a great time.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I am overwhelmed with emotion this week. My baby girl turned 4 last week, and the lil' guy will be one in 10 days. The birthday emotions are hard to explain to others. Yes, I am excited and happy for my children to be growing up so beautifully. But birthdays take me back to memories of how they came into this world. This is something I've been able to discuss with other moms who have suffered from pre-e, we all have this thing that happens to us at birthday time. Other people just don't understand, and simply can't.

I am overwhelmed with emotions. I turned to look at him in the back seat this morning on our drive to the walkathon. He gave me this huge grin and tears immediately began to well up. He is so beautiful, and my children are so precious to me. To think things could have turned out differently is something I may acknowledge briefly, but mostly I deny myself to think about.

I sit here writing this and tears are rolling down my face. I am creating a photo montage for Phoenix in celebration of his wonderful first year. To see how he has changed over the past twelve months is absolutely breathtaking. They grow so fast this first year. I want to capture every smile, every pout, every gut-busting giggle in my mind and remember them forever. I see how his big sister loves him so much and while she may pound on him occasionally, she loves to give him huge hugs. I am so proud of my children.

I am overwhelmed with sadness. Sadness that this baby time is ending. To see that my oldest is going to enter school and she is more grown-up each day. Sadness that not every mom gets to cherish all the memories with their child. Sadness that a son or daughter is without their mom tonight. Preeclampsia steals something from us and it saddens me.

I am overwhelmed with anger. I am angry that my body betrayed me. That I had to change my vision of what my birth experience would be like. I am angry that we lose babies and mom's to preeclampsia every day. I am angry that people don't take this condition seriously. Angry that I cannot be naive about having another child, and had to give so much consideration to actually taking the step to become a mommy again.

I am overwhelmed with fear. Fear of what, I'm not sure. I just know it's there. Fear of the small chance that we may decide to have another baby in a few years. Fear that someone I know will lose their child or their life to this awful thing called preeclampsia. Fear that a cure will never be found. Fear of the possible long-term consequences we don't know about yet. And the ones that we do, namely my risk of cardiovascular issues has risen even further after developing severe preeclampsia.

I am overwhelmed with love. The love of my husband who was witness to my suffering, who loves me unconditionally, and is the greatest partner and father I could ever ask for. The love of those precious bundles that I get the honor of tucking in at night. The three of them are so amazing, and they are mine. So much love my heart feels as if it will burst. The love of family & friends who support us and are simply there for us when we need them.

I am overwhelmed with kinship. There were 4 of us today, standing shoulder to shoulder representing the thing that connects us, preeclampsia. It has touched each of us in different ways. For one it was the loss her child, and then the development of PE again in two more pregnancies. For another, the recent birth of her second child gives us all hope and the blossom of wanting another baby. For another, the knowledge that she gained this week about her health and what it could mean for future pregnancies. Our stories and experiences are all so different, yet so alike. We've all suffered from the destruction of hopes and dreams. I love those ladies, and all the others I've met through the PF. I don't know what I would do without my PE sisters.

I am overwhelmed with guilt. The guilt that I was faulty somehow. The guilt that my firstborn wasn't able to feel her mother's arms for the first day of her life. That she had a bit of a rough start. Guilt that I made the choice to get pregnant again. Feeling I was selfish to want another child so badly that I was willing to risk everything to do so. We knew the odds were in our favor, but the fear and guilt were always present. I feel guilty that my body is not the perfect place for my babies. The one thing I should be able to do as a woman, to carry my child safely.

I didn't want to face alot of this over the past year and honestly have been in denial of most of it. With the birthdays, the feelings rush to the surface whether I like it or not. I mentioned in a previous post that I haven't written up Phoenix's birth story yet. I'm scared to remember the more fearful parts of that day. I remember the excitement and happiness of the day clearly. But in the dark recesses of my mind and my heart is the fear that I felt when they thought I was having a placental abruption. I knew what that meant and how emergent things could become. But Jason didn't. So I chose to be strong so he wouldn't freak out. I know I didn't have to be strong, but that is how I deal with things. I go internal and buck up. It's what I do.

Overwhelmed. I feel like all these emotion are a crack in my armor, the stronghold I create to protect others and myself. But the flood gates are open, and I cannot stop the river of emotions raging through my body. I am in awe that I can feel this much at one time. Overwhelmed that I can.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Almost Walk Day!

We've raised $1165 as of last night!!! THANK YOU!! Above are the shirts I made for the kids to wear tomorrow.

Info below taken from the Preeclampsia Foundation website:
Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. It affects at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, that is about 1 in 12. Every 6 minutes a woman dies because of Preeclampsia, formerly called toxemia. We lose three women a week in the U.S. and many, many more babies. Preeclampsia complicates pregnancies as often as breast cancer occurs and is the most common known cause of prematurity.Signs & symptoms include high blood pressure; swelling of the hands, feet or face; protein in urine; sudden weight gain; headache; changes in vision; dizziness; and/or nausea.

You can find further information on preeclampsia at the Preeclampsia Foundation website, The Preeclampsia Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit operating organization established in the year 2000 to promote safe pregnancy and post-partum research, public education and patient support.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Check me out-Self Promotion

Come over and check me out....

I'm up and running on the agency website! If you or someone you know is planning a Disney vacation, share my name. With 7 Walt Disney World vacations under my belt, I can help them create the vacation of a lifetime.

Ding Ding-WAT Update

We reached $1140 in donations last night! We've got two days to go until the walk!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Doesn't he just have the cutest smile ever?


One year ago I was going crazy with anticipation and fear. I was reaching the end of my pregnancy with Phoenix and so scared I would get sick with preeclampsia again. By this time last year, we had thought he'd be here already. My blood pressure was climbing and beginning to be a bit more erratic. I was seeing the OB twice a week along with weekly BPP's, NST's, and labs. I was supposed to be working part time hours and resting, but I ended up spending alot of that time with appointments.

I remember how the fear would become overwhelming at times. A time when we should be happy and excited to bring our second child into this world was marred by our previous history. Don't get me wrong, we were optimistic in that Phoenix would make his way into the world safe and sound, hopefully at at term. But we were realistic in knowing that there was a chance he'd have to come early. I can't fully explain what late April and May felt like, it was such a jumble of emotions. The last two weeks, especially that last week, is painful to remember. I'd go into my OB appt and hope that this was the week I'd be induced just so I didn't have to worry anymore. What kind of mother wishes her baby would come early? I felt awful for thinking that, but it's how I felt. I wanted him out so he, and I, would be safe. Of course, I was also scared he'd come early because he was a boy, and would probably spend time in the hospital. You see, boys typically do worse than girls in the preemie world.

I remember the last 2-3 OB appts and how I kept a brave face on for my OB, but once he left the room I'd dissolve into tears. The second to last appt, I hated that man. (And I adore him, really) I knew he was balancing things out and my labs were holding steady so no immediate induction was necessary. That was the week I asked the OB nurse, "When will my mental health outweigh things?" I seriously felt like I was going insane. I burst into tears, sobbing my heart out at work with my co-workers. Jason was just as tense as I was.

The day I came in and Phoenix got his walking papers was one of intense relief. I remember sagging with relief and elation that this baby would be out (and safe) in 3 days. The time had come.

I still haven't written up his birth story, and I have every intention of doing so. It would probably be carthartic for me to do so, but that would also mean facing some of those fears again with the memories. While his birth experience was completely different from Ariana's, it had it's tense moments and it's own moment of fear with the possible placental abruption.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Yes, it was scary. But the payoff in the end was so worth it. I have this precious little boy. I don't know if we will have another baby, but I do know that I made it through his, and I could do it again.

Phoenix will be one year old in two weeks, and I just can't believe how fast time has flown. It seems it went even faster with him than his big sister. I'm going to enjoy these last days of babyhood.

Monday, May 7, 2007

What makes a thumping sound and then cries?

How about your son tumbling down the stairs. Yes, the lil' guy had an accident this weekend and fell down the basement stairs. We were so scared, but he turned out none the worse for wear. Jason called me on my way home and I met him at the ER. The doc thought he looked pretty good, but with the contusion on the side of his head and the location, decided to do a CT scan. The sedation was the worst part I think. I was able to go with and stay with him while he was in the scanner. The nurse stays with him and they bring a pediatric resuscitation kit along in case he would crash. (This after they tell you the sedation is not that bad, and is quick) He had a minor reaction to the meds and he became pretty flushed and vomited what little was in his tummy. Poor guy! They were able to bring his temp down and after a bit he drank some of a bottle and kept it down. CT was clear and we were able to go home. Within a few hours he was wanting to walk around and play, although he was a bit unsteady due to the sedation yet. Today, his bruise is faded yellow and you'd never know what happened.

Let me tell you, no matter how positive you try to be...the worst still runs through your mind. That door is almost always kept closed, just for the simple reason is that it IS a magnet for kids. Somehow is was cracked open and he decided to explore. It was an accident, one that could have happened to anyone. But that doesn't make the guilt any less.

I was so happy that he didn't need tubes and hookups at birth, I never expected to see him with the O2 piping into his nose. I was fully unprepared for that sight, and that is what did me in, almost. I am so thankful he rolled rather than bonking end over end, and his noggin is alright.

We did it!

We have officially raised $1020 as of this evening! And donations are still coming in! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!

WAT Donation Update

We are so close to reaching the $1000 mark!! We are currently at $915 with a few more donations to roll in this week. We are so going to make it!

Thank you to all who have donated!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Ariana!

My little girl turns 4 today!!

Here is a photo montage of her first year of life...

Here are some photos from the last 4 years.....

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Days Old

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket One Year

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Two Years

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Three Years

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket And just the other week, almost Four years old

More pics