Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jack's Favorite Story Books


Each night I try to read a nice story to Jack and yet each night he walks away, pushes the book or takes it out of my hands and hides it. Instead of stressing I've decided to read to him when he can't reach them. I read to him in the bath tub. He plays with his tub toys. I read away and we both get something out of it, at least I hope so. We have lots of favorites. These are the ones I find myself reading to him most often. I would suggest any Nancy Tillman to any new moms! On The Night You Were Born has to be the most heartwarming book I've ever read. Right after Jack was born I would read it and cry my eyes out. I still do sometimes! Love You Forever is also another one that starts the waterworks. Holy cow, the tears! Our other favorites are some of our fun favorites.

We are always looking for new things for Jack and I to read.

What are your favorite baby book recommendations?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I'm The Kind Of Mom

I'm the kind of mom who:

...let's her baby co sleep.

...let's her baby eat in the living room. liberal with bed times. a germophobe.

... knows all the words to Thomas and Friends and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

...knows her baby fever needs to chill.

... enjoys it when people talk to her son.

... uses good diapers at night and Target brand during the day.

... spends a lot of money on baby clothes.

... struggled with nursing but refused to give up and nursed till my son was 11 months.

... takes A LOT of pictures.

... has a living room filled with toys.

... sometimes survives on coffee and caffeine.

...asks her mom friends just about everything.

... still doesn't sleep through the night.

...still hasn't lost much baby weight.

...  has her son's clothes to match.

... sometimes coordinates outfits with her son.

... doesn't judge other mom's for the decisions they make.

... loves the unexpected support she received from blogging.

... still struggles when she leaves her baby to go to work.

... realizes her life and the world got infinitely better since her son arrived.

...Is completely and madly in love with her son.

What kind of mom are you?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Oh Hey Friday

My favorite day of the work week has finally arrived! Although I only worked 3 days this week its tough getting back after a 4 day weekend with Jack. Long weekends make it hard to go back. It's like a taste of what it's like being a stay at home mom. What I wouldn't give to work less or not work at all just to be with my little dude. I feel like I miss so much! I think the stress of work sucks the life out of me!

Here are my FIVE this week:

[one] jack's party is supposed to be tomorrow. Guess what?!?! Snowstorm expected! Of course it happens on the weekend I plan. Jack is all set. I even got him a hair cut. We will see what tomorrow holds for us. I will probably make a decision tonight on whether or not we should reschedule. I also ordered a 1st birthday shirt over 6 weeks ago. NEVER ARRIVED!!! My luck is just not with me for this party. I'm totally stressing. The weather reports are saying 100 different things and none of which are good news.

[two] Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. BEST $20 I have ever spent! My nails look incredible. My nail polish always chips and fades really fast. It's been a few days and they are still shining. I really hope they stay this way for the 10 days they claim they do!

[three] When Jack was tiny I would give him baths in the kitchen sink. It was much easier on my postpartum body than doing tub baths. When he got older we put him in the tub and then in a bath seat. Yesterday he kept trying to get into the sink while my husband was doing dishes so I had a bright idea of just giving him a sink bath. Best decision ever! Jack had a bath, I cleaned the counters, and prepared his food while he played with measuring cups and bubbles! Multi tasking momma for the win!

[four] I was elated to hear that President Obama mentioned Cystic Fibrosis during his State of the Union address. CF is classified as a rare disease and so many people do not know of it so to hear it being highlighted was huge for the CF community.

[five] I have major baby fever again. I don't really know why because I keep telling myself how tough it is with one toddler. I also have to remind myself I am still waking up every night at 3am and how exhausted i still am. I couldn't imagine being pregnant again! Hey ovaries, Calm the EFF down!!!

This is why I don't sleep! 

Happy Friday!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Year Without Cable


So last year Brian and I decided to ditch cable. I was completely skeptical at first and sometimes I still am. We live in an area of NJ that only have 1 option of cable providers and they are terrible and expensive. Plus, they don't care about customer satisfaction. We also had the option of satellite but it's not a great option as every single wind storm our neighbors lose service for hours!

I was skeptical about ditching cable. I have no shame in admitting I like television. I love mindless, reality tv and most of the time I'm paying attention. It's only background noise most of the time. My husband ensured me it wouldn't be to bad. It turns out it hasn't been THAT tough. We purchased an Apple TV and also a Chromecast. The Apple TV gives us lots of options as does the many apps on our phones. I have had difficulty with some sports. We missed all Yankee games and most Ranger games. Although I have missed out on those I have found some new shows to get hooked on and some old favorites.

These are some of my favorites:

1. Dawson's Creek- I watched the ENTIRE series and would start all over again! I used to love that show. I would watch it every week, religiously, back in high school.

2. One Tree Hill- Another I watched the ENTIRE series all over again and would do it again.

3. Breaking Bad- I never watched when it was on tv but during maternity leave I had extra time. By far one of the best series I've ever watched.

4. Revenge- Loved it and I'm so lucky to be able to watch the newest episodes thanks to the ABC app.

5. House of Cards- I am looking forward to it returning this winter! So devious!!!

6. Criminal Minds- YIKES! I became obsessed and now I'm afraid of my own shadow! The show is terrifying!

7. Anything Food Network and HGTV- I like background noise so I'll often put the tv on

Thanks to my CBS and the Fox Now app I'm also loving American Idol, Selfie and Modern Family.

Problem is I haven't found any new shows to new to watch on Netflix. We don't have Hulu although I have been thinking about it. A new channel called Feelin was also added and I'm not sure of the title but the shows look awesome.

Any show suggestions Netflix, Fox or ABC shows I can tune into?

How about Hulu? Is it worth it to do both Netflix and Hulu?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One Year With Cystic Fibrosis

Being a mom of a child with Cystic Fibrosis isn't easy. My dream is to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. My son Jack has a fatal genetic disease that effects his lungs. Have you heard of CF? Thick mucous causes problems with the lungs and digestion, (Jack's lungs are the only organ affected) but can affect almost any organ in the body. There is no cure. Only half of those with cystic fibrosis are expected to live into their 40s, some younger, some older. On a daily basis Jack spends 2 hours on nebulizer treatments and chest therapy to keep his lungs clear.
Jack's 1st breathing treatment

It's been a year since we received the news that our 2 week old son had CF. During my pregnancy I had prenatal blood work done and I was informed I was a carrier of a Cystic Fibrosis gene. My husband also went in for testing and tested negative. During prenatal testing doctor's do not test for all the of the CF mutations. Brian's mutation is one that is not widely tested for. We had no idea our son would be born with cystic fibrosis. 

Great Strides walk for Cystic Fibrosis

Motherhood, for most, is a time filled with excitement and overwhelming joy. But what about moms like me who are faced with the unexpected? Potentially devastating news. Some moms were created to face challenges. One of them happens to be me. Being a mom of a child with CF is a very scary place. Not many understand it or the anxiety I struggle with. Each day I fear the cough, the chest rattle or the runny nose. I worry the next illness will end up with treatments every 4 hours, or worse, a hospital stay. I sometimes get lost in the anxiety and have trouble living in the here and now. The hardest thing for a parent to do is watching their child go through something really tough and not being able to fix it for them. I'm doing all I can and sometimes feel absolutely helpless. People with CF sometimes say it's like breathing through a straw. If you try it for long enough it feels as your lungs are straining, your head starts aching and your body starts sweating. Scary, right? 
Testing days at the clinic 

Life is not easy for someone with cystic fibrosis. My Super Jack is my inspiration in so many ways. I have not idea how I got so lucky. I can only hope I am strong enough to continue to fight for him. 
We are Team Super Jack during our walk a thon

Recently, I found "I Lived" by One Republic. I loved the song before watching the video and realizing they were featuring a child with CF. Every time I listen I get chocked up. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why I Fear January 17

“Maybe somewhere in all of this there’s a reason. Maybe somewhere in all of this there’s a why. Maybe somewhere there’s that thing that lets you tie it all up with a neat bow and bury it in the backyard. But nothing, not getting angry, not prayers, and not tears, nothing can make something that happened unhappen.” 
~The United States of Leland

It may sound crazy but January 17th is a very unlucky day for me. For the last 2 years have been sad days. I almost feared what January 17, 2015 would bring.  January 17th of 2013 was supposed to be our 1st baby's due date. In the early stages of my pregnancy I got very ill and found out the pregnancy was ectopic. I went to emergency surgery to save my life. It was a tough time for our family and caused a lot of fear and anxiety with in me. When I found out I was pregnant with Jack and due around the same time I knew it would help to our family. 

After Jack was born January 5, 2014 our whole world felt new and beautiful like nothing could go wrong. On January 17th  of 2014 when our little boy was less than 2 weeks old I received a heart breaking phone call telling us that Jack had abnormal test results and may have Cystic Fibrosis. It was earth shattering. I knew CF as a friend of mine was diagnosed years earlier. I knew her pain, fear and illness all too well and I didn't want for my son to deal with so much. It didn't seem fair. After that call I remember walking around in fog for days. I refused to put my son down fearing that he was so sick and I needed to spend as much time with him as I could. A few short days later we rushed off for tests at the children's hospital and Jack was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Since last January we've had many ups and downs but we are thankful that Jack is healthy. 

Thankfully, this January 17th rolled around and was very uneventful. We spent the day with my mom shopping for Jack's birthday party. We were completely focused on him and all the good things we can look forward to in our future and his. Brian and I even had a date night and my mom slept over. This January 17th didn't hold me back from living. It's just a day like all the other 364 days a year. I don't know why bad things happen or why they happen on a certain day. Good things happen, bad things happen but we are grow from it, we love and we are loved in return. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Oh Hey Friday

Am I the only one who tends to feel like a different person when Friday hits? I think I always feel more of a sense of relief from the work week. I also really like relaxed blogging on Fridays when I just blog about 5 things. So here are mine this week.

[one] This week was an eventful one. Jack has been on the move for a little over a month. My heart stops just about every time he falls. This week as we were getting ready for one of his usual medical appointments Jack fell HARD! He fell backwards and smacked his head on our tile bathroom floor. I freaked and called the doctor who thankfully took him in immediately. He was checked out and he was fine. I, of course, freaked out all day.

[two] I've noticed I have had some serious anxiety lately. I've always been an anxious person but being a mom has only intensified my anxiety. It has worse this year than it was last year when I was a new mom. I've started toying around with the idea of using some essential oils to help. Have you have

[three] I've joined a Facebook group for blogs and I've really enjoyed what I'm getting from it and some of the support from other bloggers! Feel free to to check our group out, The Blogger Life for Life

[four] We are going on a date tomorrow. I am super excited because we haven't been on a date in almost a year. We haven't had a date night since Valentine's Day last year. We even have grandma babysitting.

[five] In closing....

This kids. Happy scrumptiousness!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Oh Hey Friday

A Friday, it's such a sweet sound even if the snow is falling from the sky already today. It's been the most perfect week. I spent Monday and Tuesday celebrating my little man's 1st birthday and only working 3 days made for a great week. Here is my Friday free for all:

[one] I really have to get on top of Jack's 1st birthday. I've been dragging my feet and before I know it BAM! It's too late. Having a baby right after the holidays is tough. This weekend I really need to get my behind in gear and get everything in control. So far the invites are out, birthday onsie ordered, cake is ordered and I'm lucky to have lots of left over cups, plates and napkins from his baptism.

[two] I have realized I am so in the dark with music. I used to be on top of lots of new bands and music when I was younger and now it's like I'm living in a cave and the only song played is Thomas The Tank Engine theme song. I even miss shows like One Tree Hill (for many reasons) for the music.

[three] This month it will be a year since our family ditched cable. In our area there is only one option  for cable providers and the cost for what we were getting was ridiculous. It hasn't been the easiest switched but I'm pretty proud we were able to reach this milestone. We don't watch as much mindless television as we used too. Netflix is about the only thing we watch and anything we can live stream. I just finished watching Criminal Minds so I need some suggestions on some good shows to watch. I was never the biggest Friends fan but I have started watching a few of the older episodes.

[four] The flu has hit hard around these parts. So many people I know are sick! Our pediatrician said we should try and keep our babies out of high traffic areas because it is so bad and everyone seems to be on their death bed. People are flooding the hospitals and it's so much scarier when you have children. I hate germs!!!

[five] How is this boy 1????

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Reflections on My First Year Of Motherhood

On Monday our little family reached a huge milestone. Our baby boy turned 1 and officially turned into a toddler (although he will always be my baby boy), mom and dad survived the first year and we did a pretty good job; and for the 3 of us a full 365 days of beautiful family bonding! 

When I gave birth to Jack I became the person he most depended on. It was a role I was so grateful to become but I was filled with uncertainty. It is still a difficult role and I do have a lot of anxiety on to whether I am doing the best for Jack. 

My pregnancy was fantastic, besides the hernia I formed at month 5. I loved carrying around my little angel. With each movement or flutter my heart grew. I never felt alone knowing my baby was growing strong inside me. Each sonogram, scan and hearing his heartbeat I dreamed that the pregnancy would go speed up so we could hold my sweet angel. If I only knew how fast it would all happen. 

And on January 5 my water broke a week early and my labor went by in a flash. Before I knew it all the pain had subsided, the doctor yelled out "It's a BOY" (we didn't find our what we were having) and Jack was being lifted onto my chest crying. The second I spoke to him calling him "my sweet baby boy"all those little cries stopped and he was content just laying with me. My little angel had arrived. I felt like the grinch as my heart grew about 3 sizes that day. 

Although my first year as a mom has come to a close, and I I reflect on the last year, there is so much I have learned but much more is yet to learn. While I'm still pretty new at this I thought I would share the lessons I've learned with moms who are just starting this journey into mommy hood. I hope these can help to encourage you. 

I've learned to love my body. I learned how to love my husband as a good daddy! I learned how to be a more patient person and forgive myself when it was difficult. I learned to breastfeed in the car, in the doctor's office, pump every where else and pump while holding a sleeping baby. I learned how to pee while holding a baby and washing hands and dishes while holding a baby. I learned there was poop; so much poop. I learned that being covered in some kinds spit up is very normal. 

I learned to ask for help when help is needed. It was needed! I learned that people are eager to help when it comes to new moms and new babies. I learned that brushing my teeth at 4pm wasn't as disgusting as I thought it would be. I learned maternity leave goes by way to fast. I learned how to make baby food and draw the line when I couldn't do it all. 

I learned that plans change. Babies can be absolutely perfect but a diagnosis can surprise you and turn your world upside down. I learned to trust doctors and nutritionists. I learned how to be a mom of a child with an illness that has no cure. I learned how to use a nebulizer and chest PT. I learned it's not the hand I wanted to be dealt in life but we play anyway! 

I learned that I don't need make up to go out. I learned that painting your nails isn't important and you  can never have enough yoga paints and Old Navy tank tops!

I learned that you can find support in unexpected places like an Instagram mom group where we can lift one another up! I've learned to celebrate little victories when they arrive. 

I've learned how little sleep I can survive on. I've learned how a smile from my sweet boy can make every bit of my soul happy. 

I've learned to love wildly! I've learned to sacrifice a part of myself each minute of each day. I've learned that I could miss my boy the minute I put him to sleep. 

I learned true HAPPINESS and JOY!

It's been the best year and I can't wait to see all the amazing things yet to come. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Baby Jack- 1 YEAR OLD!!!

Weight and Height- 
Last appointment he was 19 pounds even. 
He is still wearing some 6-9 month clothes. 

Jack is doing AMAZING. He has made it to a year with NO COLDS or ILLNESS and 1 fever due to teething. 
We will continue his treatments and continue to visit his specialists.  He is doing so well. I am ecstatic 

Jack just doesn't sleep. He has not slept more than 3 hours in a row since August. It has been even more difficult these last few weeks. He won't give in to sleep at all. 

Jack is super social but really loves his mom and dad. He has some separation anxiety and cry when I walk away. When he does cry it is often if his needs aren't met immediately. He has often exchanged his cries for shrieking screams! He sounds like a dinosaur.  

Jack is a total piggy but has gotten a bit more picky this month. I have a feeling its his 2 top teeth coming in. When all else fails he LOVES yogurt! It's not so bad. His favorite is chicken soup and homemade chicken pot pie. He gets lots of fat, protein and veggies as well as all that extra sodium he may need due to losing so much salt. Thanks CF :( 
He also really enjoys French Toast and grilled cheese.

Most days start at 5am. We begin with this treatments and follow that up with a couple of hours of sleep. He is usually up by 8:30. He stays with my mother in law and his older cousin each day. He has a built in big brother and they have a blast together. Our nights usually contain of eating together when I get home from work. We give him a bath, we play, he eats and another treatment after he has fallen asleep.Lately sleep comes even later than it used to. It has to be completely dark with no noise for him to get to sleep and sometimes that doesn't even work. 

It's such a beautiful blonde color with some red highlights. 

A gray blue!

Jack is wearing 6-9 months. I have put on some 12 month pants and sweaters but they are usually way too big for him 

He is so incredibly happy and friendly. He is such a flirt its crazy! He smiles at any one who pays attention to him. He now waves at anyone waving at him. He loves watching older kids play. He squeals with excitement when he sees kids and he adores dogs. He verbalizes lots of sounds. He says ma, da, and dar dar a lot. He calls grandma Ga-Ga and calls out for Bogart! 

- Jack got his 1st black eye Christmas. He fought the table and the table won! 
- He also had his first tantrum! In Walmart and gave himself a bloody nose. It was the worst.
-Jack is walking...Lets just say its a full on run these days!!! 
- He is talking up a storm. 
- Jack says so many words now including "Thank you" when he is given something. "Hello" when he picks up a phone
- Jack understands SO MUCH. I'm shocked that he seems to understand so much of what I say. 
- Jack recognizes familiar faces in pictures. 
- Jack's fine motor skills are incredible.
- He points at things he wants
- He continues to sign "more"
-Jack sits up on all his ride on cars. 

- Clapping
- Remotes, phones

-Showing off
-Thomas the Tank Engine
-Playing with Bogart
-He is a water boy. He loves his baths.
-Jack love dogs. 
- Listening to music
- Dancing
-Family- He loves his grandmas and grandpas. 

Laying down for diaper changes
Car rides
Being told no
Going to bed
Sleeping in his crib

This mom is tired!!! Somethings never change! 
More than anything I am so HAPPY. 
I just love being a mommy and can't believe my little man is a year old.
Jack is such an awesome kid I am already having baby fever!!! 
Shhhhhh! Don't tell my husband yet!!! 
I still have working mommy guilt but it has gotten a little better. 
It still sucks! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

On The Night You Were Born

"On the night you were born the moon smiled with such wonder and the night wind whispered Life Will Never Be The Same"

January 5, 2014

My sweet baby boy is 1!

It has been the most challenging and happiest year of my life. His first year has been hard yet very rewarding beyond my wildest expectations. It has been amazing watching him grow and develop so quickly! I guess it was as quickly as Jack's journey into the world and my labor. A week early, water breaking at 12:30, no time for an epidural, and born at 7:26am. 

Jack is loved beyond measure. My life is so blessed to have been chosen to be his mommy. My life is infinitely better because of this little boy. I am overwhelmed by joy! How lucky am I to wake up to his smiling face every day. 

Here are just a few of my very favorite pictures of Jack on the morning he was born. 

"Heaven blew every trumpet and play every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born"