Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today is special.

Today is Katie's birthday.


Who is Katie? While, technically she is my aunt; my mom's sister. However, the relationship we have isn't really described by the term "aunt."


She is a little bit of friend, a little bit of mother, a little bit of aunt, a little bit of sister...


It gets even more complicated when I think about what she is to my children. Great-aunt? Yeah right. Great-aunt sounds so old and removed.


To them, she is a little bit of aunt, a little bit friend, a little bit grandma, a little bit of... ??


So, to us, she is just Katie. One of the most important people in our lives.


The person who spends hours creating perfect monarch butterflies out of chocolate for the top of Katherine's birthday cupcakes. The person who searches high and low for the perfect "bride" dress for our dress-up collection.


The person who I called hysterically crying when they moved up Charlotte's open heart surgery to happen on Katherine's birthday, and was at my house in 45 minutes throwing together a make-shift birthday party (with the help of my mom and Missy of course :-)).


The person who made my wedding cake, arranged all our flowers, and decorated the reception hall. And a few years later is now the person who makes sure my kids have the best birthday parties around.


The person who told me the day after Charlotte's birth that no matter what happened, she had a feeling it was all going to be okay. I believed her; her "feelings" are usually right on. This time was no different; everything is okay.


The person who, while baking cakes with my mom and I for my little brother's wedding told us that after 25 years of living on the east coast her and Bill had decided to move back home.


Thank goodness they did. I couldn't do it without her. Everyone needs a "Katie" in their lives.

Happy birthday, we love you so much.

Friday, April 29, 2011


I love the zoo. My kids love the zoo. Our friends love the zoo. Luckily, we have a great zoo 15 minutes from our house. Today was a zoo day.


The weather was perfect. The kids were excited.


As usual, Katherine couldn't get enough of her sister.


Last summer, our lives were filled with doctor's appointments, constant worry about upcoming surgeries, and trying to find acceptance of a life we didn't expect.


I have been counting down the days to this put all of those crazy memories behind us and create new ones.


One of the best parts of spring/summer is hanging with our friends at the zoo. This is the first of probably 30-40 times this summer we will visit (and that is not an exaggeration!).


The kids have their routine; their favorite animals? For Katherine and Alec, the prairie dogs (which they have named Katherine and the egocentricity of 5 year-olds!). Will's favorite? The lions. Though today, they were more entertained by trying to decide if the mommy lion or the daddy lion was responsible for the giant pile of  poop.


Missy and I chat while sipping "good" coffee. The kids lead the way, stopping to see what animals are close to extinct, endangered, or doing okay.


Charlotte and Sam both started in their respective strollers, and later moved to the baby carriers for a better view. At one point, Missy and I looked like an ad for baby wearing.


Charlotte was determined to be barefoot; despite 60 degree temps and my constant attempt to put her socks back on. I finally gave in.


Being together, enjoying each others company. So simple.


Days like today remind me that yes indeed, summer is coming.


I think everyone else had the same idea, as today the zoo was quite busy.


The kids didn't seem to mind though. We have been there enough times to know what to avoid on busy days (the fish house is the worst!). We know where to find treasures that the casual zoo goers don't know about.

 *Check out this kid's dimple! Seriously, is he not the cutest?


Yes, summer is coming! I am determined to make up for everything we missed last year. Bring on the parks, pools, beaches, and many more trips to the zoo.


Bring on the worry-free days of enjoying my children, and living life through their eyes.


Bring on all of Charlotte's "firsts"...first time she experiences grass between her toes, splashing in the baby pool in the backyard, and running her hands through sand.


This summer is going to be a great one.


Happy zoo day, and to many, many more this summer.

*On a completely different note, in between all the great summer memories, it looks like we will be packing and MOVING....accepted an offer last week on our house, and while we have yet to find a house that we like, we are looking. Barring anything crazy happening during the upcoming inspections, it looks like we will be moving in mid-June. Ekk!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Busy times

I have been a little lax on the blog entries lately; I apologize! Life around here has been crazy. We spend this past weekend in the Dells with Mike's family, and with the kids having off of school this week there hasn't been much free time. I promise to update soon. For now, here are a few pictures to hold you over.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

March of Dimes

Just 6 days before Charlotte was born, her best buddy, Max, came into this world....eight weeks too soon. Because of his prematurity, Max has had to overcome many obstacles during the past ten months. However, because of medical technology, he is now a healthy, thriving, handsome little man.

On April 30th, I am walking as a part of "Petrie's Blessings" in the March of Dimes walk. Max's parents, our good friends and neighbors, have organized the team not just for Max, but of his older brother Nick, who was also premature.

Every day, thousands are babies, like Max and Nick, are born premature.  Continued research helps to ensure that babies born premature get the best start possible. If you can, consider donating or walking with us on April 30th.

Max and Charlotte snoozing last summer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Look what Charlotte can do?!?!

Fold her hands! Her fingers are no longer "stuck together" (as Katherine used to say)!

And because she is so cute when she smiles...

Monday, April 18, 2011

The countdown is on...

Just under two months until my baby turns 1! Yikes! Where has this year gone?!?

The party planning is in full swing. Invitations have been sent (evites actually) in an attempt to let everyone know early so they can save the date, and just this morning Kate and I started canvasing the party stores looking for the perfect color scheme. It is going to be quite the party, and if I do say so myself, Charlotte deserves it....and so do we. We have been through a lot this year, and come so far since the early days after Charlotte's birth.

It is time to celebrate!! Hope to see you there!!

I entered this world June 9th, two thousand ten
7 pounds, 4 ounces, 20.5 inches back then
I came three weeks early, much to everyone’s surprise
A head of dark hair and big round eyes

Yes, I have had a crazy first year,
But I’m a fighter, I hardly shed a tear
Doctors, surgeries, therapy and more
But really, who is keeping score?

Now I am healthy, happy, and cute
I laugh, I wave, I coo, and I scoot
Adored by my parents, family, & friends
The joy that I share never really ends

As my first year comes to a close
I deserve a party, I do propose
A special day, to celebrate me
For all I have been through, and all I will be

We have a lot to celebrate
So please, don’t hesitate
To come for drinks, food, laughs, and fun
Tractor rides, a bounce house, and hopefully sun!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good day.

Today was a good, actually great, day. Why, you may ask? Three reasons....

First, as it turns out, the camera battery charger I ordered does in fact work, I just couldn't figure it out a few days ago...whoops!! Anyway, we are back in business! No more grainy cell phone pictures.

The second reason for this great day; Katherine came running into the kitchen this morning as I was making breakfast, urging me to come quick and see what Charlotte was doing. "Mom!" she said, "Charlotte is sitting and I didn't even touch her!" Yes, my friends, Charlotte can now go from her belly/hands & knees to a sitting position. I am so proud of my little peanut.

Finally, to finish off this great day, the realtor called to schedule a second showing for tomorrow night; someone who has been through the house before and needs to see it one more time. Fingers crossed that something comes out of this; I am kind of sick of cleaning my house!

A few additional things to catch up on...these pictures were on camera the day is died and I never got to post them. Katherine and Will were super excited to sign Charlotte's cast.

Charlotte's hand is healing nicely. We no longer have to bandage it, however, because it is impossible to keep her hand out of her mouth, we do still have to keep her sock contraption on to prevent her from sucking on it.

**I just want to point out what an awesome "healer" Charlotte is; notice how you can barely see her heart surgery scar? Every doctor we see comments on how good her scar looks, not that it matters to us, the important thing is the healthy heart underneath that scar, however it amazes me that it looks so good. **
One last thing before I hit "post" and head to bed (up with the birds to start the cleaning marathon while entertaining four kiddos...), notice the book Katherine has chosen to read....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekend Update

This is going to be quick, as I am in the midst of an awesome "me" night. Boys are at the Bucks game, girls are in bed, and I am in the middle of a pretty awful, yet mindless romantic comedy. However, I did want to share a few things.

Biggest accomplishment of today:
Charlotte learned how to use a straw cup! I finally found a straw cup with handles, and it took her about two minutes to figure it out. It is important for babies with DS to use a straw cup over a traditional sippy cup because it helps develop their oral tone, which in turn helps with things like speech. Once again, Charlotte proves that she is a rock star.

Biggest disappointment of the day:
The battery charger for the camera came in the mail. It was the wrong one. I screwed up. Damn.

Best purchase of the day:
These adorably cute, matching hats for the girls. And of course, an apology once again for the crappy cell phone pictures.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

3rd child

It is true (at least for me), the more children you have, the more lax you become. Tonight after dinner, we made ice cream sundaes for dessert. Charlotte got to experience a little sweetness as well...

Yep, that is what you think it is. A big, whipped cream "C" on her high chair tray. 

Despite being pretty tired tonight, she thought it was pretty awesome.

I rationalized it by reminding myself that the PT recommended letting Charlotte "play" in baby food, whipped cream, or pudding in order to "desensitize" her before surgery. Of course, her surgery was last week, so we are a little late on this one. 

Oh well, my third child thoroughly enjoyed her treat. Five years ago, I never would have dreamed giving Katherine a tray full of whipped cream!

Another apology for the quality of the pics; once again they are cell phone pictures. I broke down and bought a new battery charger for our other camera, I figured it was easier than digging through a huge storage shed only to discover it may not even be there. 

We are hoping for a good night's sleep once again. From the pictures, you can probably tell sleep hasn't been a priority for my almost 10-month old lately. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Who would have thought that once Charlotte's cast came off, surgery recovery would get harder?!?

It is next to impossible to keep a bandage on Charlotte's hand/arm. We have tried it all; tape, extra layers of ace wrap, a glove, baby leg on the arm....

This morning, after getting up at 5AM to re-wrap her arm yet again (the dang thing comes off all the time while she sleeps, and then she wakes up screaming), I headed to my aunt's with the kids so she could help me figure out how the heck to keep this dang thing on her arm.

The solution? A onsie with a babyleg (for those in the dark about babylegs, they are basically baby leg warmers; super cute!) attached to it with velcro (with the gauze wrapping underneath of course!). She also had to put velcro on the opposite end in order to keep it from sliding down. 

 So far so good. I'll let you know how tonight goes. Fingers crossed for a good night's sleep.