Saturday, December 26, 2009

THAT MOM Strikes Again

The boys had their Holiday Concert at nursery school the other day. I was determined not to have a repeat of "The Gingerbread Incident." So, I set my alarm for 6 am to ensure that I would have plenty of time to have myself and all 3 kids out the door by 8:30 am. I must say it started off very well. I fed and dressed the Princess, then showered and dressed myself, then got the boys up, fed and dressed them, and packed bags. At 8:45 (only 15 minutes off schedule) we loaded the Mom Mobile and prepared for take-off. I quickly went through the list before I pulled out of the driveway:
The boys -check
The baby -check
Fruit tray - check
Marshmallows on a stick-check
Camera and video-check

Not too shabby!!! The boys and I high five each other and off we went.

AND THEN we arrived at school and it fell apart fast...

I drove into the lot and as if in slow motion I noticed parents walking into the building holding packages. Small. Gift wrapped. GRAB BAG GIFTS...NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
You have to be kidding me!!

Flashback... one night it was time for the Princess to have hr 3 am feeding and I was craving M&Ms so I go to the Emergency Food Cabinet and odd boxes caught my eye. Gee, that looks like matchbox cars and a doll. Hmmm... and then that thought went away never to be recalled again until..yeah Grab Bag Day.

And then it all comes back to me...The boys had picked the names of other students to buy gifts for, one boy and one girl and a $5 limit. I had bought the gifts way back at the beginning of December. All set, no chance of being "That Mom" who doesn't buy a gift for the grab bag.
But, my helpful Hubby moved them from the pile of presents to the EMERGENCY FOOD CABINET. Yeah, cause that is where I would look for gifts for nursery school kids, in the cabinet with my secret chocolate stash.

SO-I went into panic mode. Literally. I set off the alarm on my car. Way to make an entrance. Then I unloaded all 3 kiddies and trek over the icy parking lot into the school. I left the boys in their classroom and went to the Hall to help set up for the show. My mind was racing. I had 20 minutes until the show starts and knowledge that 2 children will not be getting gifts unless I risk missing the show. I decided to leave the Princess with another mom that I am friends with and race to a store. Luckily in the parking lot I met up with my parents. Stregga and Papa are always good in a pinch because they are quick on their feet. They don't require much of an explanation or direction. Basically they see that I am on the verge tears and, boy, girl. $5 and they head off to save the day!!

In the meantime I headed back inside to save seats for my parents and in-laws and hope it all works out. Each minute ticked by with a cruel twist. It went by super fast and it was almost Show Time, yet passed sloooowly because Stregga and Papa were still out and it was almost Show Time. Gotta love irony.

I thought to myself no big deal, my parents will sneak in the side door and put the gifts on the table with the others and no one will know the difference.


The teacher came up to me and asked if I had my grab bag gifts. Ummm...
When I mention that my parents on their way with them she says no problem

AND THEN she holds up the ENTIRE show for us!!!! She got up in front of the waiting parents and grandparents and starts small talking, she is a quick thinker!

Thankfully it was for only 5 minutes, the looooooongest 5 minutes of my life, but still. Finally, in walk Stregga and Papa with 2 bags chuck full of goodies- THANK YOU!!!!!

AND THEN the Cutest Show On Earth began. I videoed every adorable moment for Hubby who could not be with us. Stregga took pictures for us, broken hand and all, gotta love her!!!!

It was a fantastic show and my little guys were too funny. Cenzo sang his heart out and Luccio stood there like he had never heard these songs before in his life! LOL!! We enjoyed the show and the kids didn't know what had gone on behind the scenes.

But, I did. It was another moment that proved I am now That Mom. The one who forgets grab bag gifts for her preschool children to share with their friends at Christmas.

But, hey at least I didn't forget any of my kids. least not that day!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Time Out For Santa

I have spent the past month preparing the boys for Christmas. We talked about how Santa brings special gifts to each child to help Baby Jesus celebrate his birthday. We have been listening to Christmas music and singing songs, shopping for gifts to give loved ones, reading book after book about Christmas. We have talked about Santa and his elves preparing toys and reindeer that can fly. I have tried to help them experience the holiday magic and sacredness of Christmas. But, somehow I think the boys have missed the point...

I overheard them playing "pretend." And they have decided to incorporate rules and consequences into their imaginary world. SO...

The elves were sent to Time Out for not making enough toys, the Reindeer were given a Time Out for not eating, and Mrs. Claus gave Santa a Time Out.

The other night, even Grandma was threatened with a Time Out if she woke up the baby!!!

I knew it was getting serious when I heard them telling one of their dolls, "You better be nice or you will go to Time Out and Santa won't bring you any presents."

Ah, all of my hard work for nothing. They missed the whole point. The magic, the marvel, the holiness. All out the window. The only thing they took to heart is THE SANTA THREAT.

At the beginning of the season I swore I would not be a parent who used Santa to manipulate my children into good behavior. But, somewhere along the way I feel off that soapbox. It was just too darn easy!! It started simple enough...Hubby and I wanted the living room cleaned and Hubby said, "Santa is listening." Well, that room was cleaned in a flash!! It was as if Santa himself had sprinkled magic dust on our children and set them in motion.

Next, it was "You wouldn't want Santa to see you hitting your brother, would you??"
And eventually it got to the ever popular Naughty List. No one wants be on that list!!!

Once I heard Santa being put in time out, I decided to take it literally. I thought we needed to step back from that jolly old elf and start focusing on the real reason for the season. So I set up a day for the boys to give back. I told them we were going to help Jesus celebrate his birthday by helping someone who needed it. We decided to donate jackets to a local ministry that participates in the Midnight Run in NYC. So the boys and I loaded up a bag of outgrown coats and drove them over to the community center. They had a great time dragging the bag around. They told the woman in charge that they were there to give their jackets to people with no jackets. Plain and simple.

I have no idea if they "got it." But, for a few minutes we stopped in the middle of the holiday madness to take in the importance of it all. And although they fought me on giving away Daddy's jacket because "he might get cold," they were excited to drop off that bag.

And so we will wait for Santa to arrive, we will be overjoyed to open gifts and play with all the new treasures. But, I hope what they will remember is the holiday "feast" with their family, the time shared with loved ones, the simple moments that make it all magical.

And I hope that no one will have to get sent to Time Out! At least for the day!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Meals on Wheels

Most Moms I know are excellent multi-taskers. They can juggle house chores, bill paying, play dates and doctor appointments while feeding, changing, and caring for their children. On most occasions this means wiping noses and behinds, cooking meals, opening juices boxes, gluing toys together, finding lost socks and shoes, and basically saving the world all while talking on the phone and checking emails. I even know some Moms that are able to update their Facebook status during Labor!!

There are some tasks however that require more attention than others. These tasks are far and few between, but there are exceptions to the rule, driving is one of them. Yes, you can talk on your cellphone, eat and drink your coffee at the same time as you sing songs and tell stories and break up fights. You can even pass out snacks and retrieve fallen toys with your bionic arms. But, one thing you CANNOT do is feed a baby. Well, maybe you could, probably you really shouldn't for a multitude of reasons.

Well, my children have a hard time understanding that theory. They think I should be able to do everything, instantly. I remind them that I AM NOT MAGICAL, even though it often seems like I am, LOL!!

So, the other day I picked up the boys from school and loaded them into the Mom Mobile. Just as we pulled out of the parking lot, Princess Bean woke up. She had been sleeping for 3 hours and was starving!!! She let us know it too, loudly!!

The boys immediately started yelling, "She awake!! She hungry!! Feed her!!"
I explained that I would feed her when I got home. But, Luccio thought that was unacceptable, so he kept saying "Feed her! Feed her now!" I calmly said, over baby's screams, that I would have to feed her at home.

Luccio said, "Oh, you forgot your boobies??"

Uh, no- I am DRIVING!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gingerbread Meltdown

The exhaustion finally caught up with me yesterday and it wasn't pretty. I felt like I was running a leg of the Amazing Race. The task was to get myself and 3 kids out of the house by 8:30 am and deliver the boys to their field trip at Gingerbread Village on time. Well...I woke up at 6 am and fed The Princess. But, I was so tired from having been up on and off all night that I fell back to sleep. I was woken up again at 7:15 by the boys. The race was on...

I fed and dressed the kids and took a quick shower. Ahead of schedule the Princess was up and demanding food. I still needed to get dressed, "pump" and pack bags. So I enlisted Luccio's help in giving his sister a bottle. He did great! Of course more milk was on her clothes than in her belly, but she went back to sleep and that was good!

At 8:35 I loaded everyone into the Mom Mobile, only 5 minutes behind schedule. Not bad!

I had the directions to the Gingerbread Village that the teacher had given us. It was located in the hall of a local church in an area of town that I have driven through A MILLION times.

With that said...

We drove in circles for 30 minutes. The street that the directions said I was to turn onto did not exist, I drove up and down the main road and could not find that road!! I kept getting to the area where I thought it was and there was a ROAD CLOSED sign so I kept turning around and starting over. My cell phone was not charged so I couldn't call the teacher whose number is on the directions. UGHHHHH!!

I was supposed to have them at the field trip by 9 am, they were only going to stay there until 9:30, finally at 9:05 I pulled over and asked a guy sitting in car for directions. He said I could follow him and he would drive me there. Thank you!!!

He drove us to the wrong church -there are 4 in the center of that town and none were Gingerbread Village!!! I was panicking. Now it's 9:10 am.

I pulled into a parking lot and see this older woman get out of her car. Mercy, that poor woman!! She wasn't expecting me to say the least. I got out of my Mom Mobile, I thought I was calm (and sane.) And then, all of sudden I am talking to the poor woman and crying like a loon!!! I tell her I haven't slept through the night in almost 2 months and I am exhausted and I can't find the Gingerbread Village and I have two 3 year olds who are now 15 minutes late for a 30 minute field trip. I can't disappoint them and I can't find the church... and on and on...

The woman looks at me and says, "Honey, it's ok. It's right across the street."

OMG!!! How embarrassing!! The driveway of the church is right at the sign where it says "Road Closed." I drove past there numerous times, so focused on the road being closed I never saw the GIANT sign that says the name of the church right there!

So I quickly dry my eyes, reapply lip gloss and race the kids out of their seats and into the building. We made it and it's only 9:20!!

We spend 10 minutes looking at Gingerbread Houses and then its time to load them back into the car to take them to school. Luckily other parents and even the teacher had gotten lost too, so I am not the only one. Although no one else looks like they have been crying on the shoulder of strange old ladies in the parking lot across the street.

On the way to school Luccio says, "You crying Mommy?" I tell him "No, not anymore."
And he keeps asking me, "You crying Mommy?" No, sweetie I have recovered thanks!
Then Cenzo says, "I cry when I wet my bed."

We arrive at school, I open the door and there is a fake fireplace the teachers have hung on the wall. It's covered with handmade paper stockings. Stockings that the kids have decorated. Stockings that the kids were supposed to have made for HOMEWORK!!! Yes, the first homework assignment of their school careers and I completely forgot to do it with them. I unpacked it from their bookbags last week and stuck in on top of the fridge. Real nice!

Luckily I walked in with a Mom Friend and she didn't remember either!! Thank God!!! I am not the only one!! We commiserate with another mom in the parking lot who forgot too!! We decide to hand the projects in the next day and act like that is when it was supposed to be due!!

So, now I am "That Mom." The mom with more kids than hands to hold them. The mom who shows up late to field trips and forgets homework assignments. The mom who is wearing mismatched socks and has puke on her shirt. The mom who so desperately needs a cup of coffee its like being in the desert without water.

In the words of Kate Gosselin, "It might be a crazy life, but it's MY life."

And I love it! I wouldn't change it for all the sleep in the world!! I just hope that if my kids end up in therapy someday recalling a "gingerbread incident," they will agree!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Better Than A Towel

The boys seemed to have gone from babies to big kids overnight. They have hit a new milestone too- pillows!!! I wasn't sure when to introduce pillows. I spent the first 2 years petrified of SIDS and keeping everything out of the cribs. Then they turned 2 and they started piling all their stuffed animals in bed with them at night and even have graduated to blankets covering them. Then a couple weeks ago they had colds and I propped their mattresses up with towels so they could breathe better. They thought that was the greatest thing ever!! They were fascinated that towels were under their mattresses and even asked if they could have an extra towel "to fold into a pillow." Poor deprived boys have been sleeping on their towels for weeks now. But, Grandma took pity on them and bought them pillows!!! So the other night they went to bed with their new pillows and Luccio snuggled onto his pillow and sighed, "Ah, that's better." And Cenzo agreed, "Yeah, that's much better than a towel."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The First Breakfast

As you can imagine, with a new baby in the house there have been lots of questions. Since the boys are only 3, I wasn't quite sure what they would understand about the pregnancy and then arrival of their sister. So we told them simple information like there was a baby growing in my belly that would soon be their baby sister.

Well, they wanted more info than I was prepared to give. So sometimes I had to get creative and think fast and be as honest as possible. They wanted to know, "How did the baby get in your belly?" Well...the Holy Spirit of course. "How is it going to get out of your belly?" Well...The doctor will take it out. "What tool will the Doctor use to get it out?" Well...OMG, I have no idea! A scalpel maybe??

You get the idea, the questions go on and on, especially since taking Isabella home. Lots of questions about her day to day care about feeding, changing, and bathing her, etc.

So last night we are at a local Christmas Festival and on our way out we stopped to pay homage at the Nativity. The boys greeted Baby Jesus and Mary.

And they had some questions...

Luccio wanted to know if he could sit on the ceramic cow? Easy answer-NO!

Cenzo walked up to Mary who was standing over the Baby Jesus. And he wanted to know,
"Does she have milk in her boobies?" Ummmm......

This reminded me of a retreat that I went on that was held at a Franciscan Friary. In the dining room was a huge painting of The Virgin Mary nursing Baby Jesus. One of Friars joked, "You have heard of the Last Supper, well this is the First Breakfast."

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Thankful Thing

I read a fantastic children's book called, The Most Thankful Thing by Lisa McCourt. It tells the story of a mom looking back at her life through a scrapbook with her daughter. She tells the little girl all about her favorite moments like going to summer camp, the prom, her wedding etc. But, in the end the thing she is most thankful for is her daughter. I love that!! It got me thinking and feeling sentimental. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was reflecting on how people, places and experiences have impacted my life and what has been the most important. Nothing compares to the moments I have shared with my family. I was so grateful to be able to spend the holidays celebrating with my family and friends. And most of all I am thankful for my three beautiful children, true blessings!

The boys were reflecting on what they are most thankful for too. It was talked about at home and at school, so they really seemed to get the concept. They came home from school with paper turkeys they had made and on them their teacher had written what each boy had said they were thankful for. Luccio's said, "I am thankful for my toys." And Cenzo's said, "I am thankful for my Daddy." So cute!! That made Hubby's day!!!

That night Cenzo was sitting with Hubby and I. And out of the blue he said, "I love my Daddy." It was so heartwarming!!!

Then he looked at me and said,"Mama?" I replied, "Yes..." in anticipation of what adorable words he would say.

He said," Mama, I don't like you anymore, I only love my Daddy."

Well...there you go.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Falling For You

One afternoon Hubby raked a giant pile of leaves in the back yard. The next morning when I took the boys outside they were thrilled with the "surprise" Daddy had left for them!! They spent 2 hours jumping in the pile and laughing!!! It was a beautif
ul Fall day and I am so glad we got outdoors to enjoy it!!

Cenzo had to bring his "magazine" outside with him. It's actually a KMART catalog that came in the mail. He has been carrying it around for weeks now deciding on what he wants for Christmas.
We tried to delicately explain that Santa only brings one special gift per child so he better narrow down his list.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Where Oh Where??

Where did the month go?? My little Princess is already 1 month old!! How did that happen? It seems like maybe a week or 2 ago I was still pregnant! The first 20 weeks of the pregnancy seemed to drag along slowly. I was very nauseous and anxious. I wanted some kind of guarantee that all would turn out ok so I could relax and enjoy being pregnant! And after a nightmare pregnancy with the boys, this pregnancy was a very healing experience. I did get to enjoy it and relax once I got to 24 weeks. Greg was home all summer and took care of the boys and we put the nursery together so everything was set. But, once September came it all went into fast forward. Greg went back to work, the boys started preschool, I was going to the OB twice a week (sometimes more) and before I knew it October arrived. The swelling started, my blood pressure went up, I was in and out of the hospital and on bedrest at home. And then the Princess arrived, we celebrated Halloween, and the rest is a blur...

-Cenzo and Luccio LOVE their baby sister! And they are having a great time at preschool! They went on a field trip to a local farm and walked through a Corn Maze, it was so much fun!!

-Isabella is healthy and growing! She had lost some weight after the birth and now she regained it plus some. She is already over 9 pounds. She is eating every 3-4 hours and sleeping nicely. Although she sleeps best in the her swing in the middle of the chaos in our living room OR if she is being held. At night when its too quiet its nearly impossible to put her to sleep in her bassinet and so I hold her as much as possible. I feel like she is only this little once and its flying!! So at night I have been sleeping in the couch and holding her. I know its a bad habit to get her into but she is just so little!!! And she is such a cuddle bug. I figure there is plenty of time to break her of the bait and get her sleeping alone in her little bed. It took a while with the boys too but they are fantastic sleepers so I am not too worried.

-Yesterday my mom took Isabella and Grandma and Papa came here to watch the boys for us. Hubby and I went to the movies to see New Moon! It was great, i really enjoyed it. And it was true to the story of the book. I still LOVE Edward, but Jacob certainly gave him some competition!! We went out to dinner after and I nearly fell asleep at the table. Ughhh!! The exhausted just set in around 7:30 and I couldn't;t keep my eyes open. I am still recovering today! LOL! But, it was nice to go out on our own. I did miss the kids though and since I am nursing I felt the pressure to beat the clock and get home in time for the next feeding because I knew I had only left enough milk for 2 bottles. I still have to work on coordinating that part of it;

All in all everything is going so well!! We are settling into life again. And as Thanksgiving approaches I am counting my blessings! And in the exhaustion I keep reminding myself it will get easier and i will eventually get to sleep again, it just may be a couple of years...LOL

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mama's Helpers

Vincenzo and Luccio are very excited about being Big Brothers. They are really enjoying their new roles as caretakers.

Luccio is very nurturing and concerned. He doesn't like "Baby Sister" to cry. He will run and her pacifier aka "Wubba" and bring it to her and he tells her "It's okay Baby Sister, it's okay." Or he will demand that I "pick her up!" "She hungry, she want her milk! Hurry!" And he is always telling her, "I yuv you Baby Sister." The other day he helped Cousin Nikko feed the baby a bottle, he was so proud!

Cenzo is very gentle with "Baby Bean." He talks to her in a soft, loving voice. And enjoys helping to feed or change her when possible. The other day he helped me give Isabella her first bath. He got all the supplies set up and filled the tub with soap and water. Then he carefully sponged her hair and body. It was so cute!! He kept telling her, "Don't worry Daddy is here." LOL!! I had to remind him he is her brother. But, the difference didn't quite sink in.

It is so interesting to watch my baby boys become big kids. I am seeing how old they really are and how much they understand. Its is a unique experience and so much fun to be a part of as they grow into their new roles and next phase of life.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Family of 5

Now that we have our beautiful boys and our little princess our family is complete! It was such a blessing to take our baby girl home to join her brothers in the chaos that is our household now!! I sat here the other day just taking it all in. The boys were running around, Luccio was playing with his fire engine with real sounding sirens and Cenzo was playing guitar and singing at the top of his lungs. And in the midst of it all, Isabella was screaming full force because she didn't want her diaper changed. And I had to take a moment to Thank God for all the craziness!

I remember one day in November of 2005 Greg and I visited my Grandfather in his nursing home and we left in tears. We had just been through a miscarriage and the holidays were upon us. Visiting with Gramp reminded us that in the end all you have is your family. Kids, grandchildren, even great-grandchildren surrounded Gramps in his last few months. Greg and I left the nursing home wondered, would we ever have a family of our own??

Here we are 4 years and 3 kids later!! I went to the cemetery yesterday with the boys to visit Gramps and remember him on Veteran's Day. And I thought about what a long journey it was to get here and how grateful I am for all of the blessings in my life!

I am really enjoying watching the boys become big brothers and adjust to life with Isabella. they are so proud of her and love showing her off to everyone. And they are always telling her how much they love her. I know there will be ups and downs and days where I will question my sanity with 3 young children running about. But, I do know that in the end this time with my family is priceless.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Welcome to the World Isabella Angelina

On October 22, 2009 at 10:15 am our Princess made her entrance into the world!!! She came out squawking like a little bird!! She weighed 7.13 pounds and was 20 inches long! A good size for a baby born at 36 weeks and 4 days!

Unfortunately, she was having respiratory distress and had to be taken to the NICU and put on CPAP (a breathing mask) and IV fluids. I had an amnio the day before I delivered her and my doc said her lungs were mature. But, apparently she swallowed some amniotic fluid so she needed her airway cleared. I thought they would take her to the NICU for a few hours or maybe a day, but she stayed for 6 days and it was incredibly stressful. I had been through the NICU experience with the boys, but this time I was blindsided. I made it an entire month farther and thought she was so close to term that she would be fine. I wasn't prepared for the ups and downs of the 6 days in the NICU, but that is a story for another post.

Our Princess is just beautiful! We have been so blessed, Thank You God!!!

We debated names right up until the last minute. We had a few that were "unique," but in the end we went with my all time favorite name, Isabella. I had been wanting that name all along, but Hubby thought we should go with something different because of the recent popularity of the name. But, when Hubby saw her he felt she was an Isabella and we figured if were going Italian might as well go all the way and add the Angelina. My dad had been calling her Angelina since he found out I was pregnant, so it really fit nicely!!

Taking our baby girl home was such a fantastic moment. Big brothers and Stregga had a surprise welcome home party for us complete with cake and balloons!! It was so much fun!!!

I can't believe she is already going to be 2 weeks old tomorrow. Time is flying by!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tomorrow Will Be Bean's BIRTH Day!!!!

My blood pressure has been high again so I have been in the hospital since yesterday. The docs did all kinds of tests including an Amnio and Bean's lungs are mature enough for delivery, so tomorrow is the day!!! I am scheduled for an 8 am c-section!! And I cannot wait to meet my little Princess!! We are still playing the Name Game so it will be exciting to actually see and hold her and I am hoping that will help us decide!

I will post pics and updates as soon as I can!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bedrest Baby

It has been an eventful week. I went to an OB appointment last Tuesday and my blood pressure was high. Over the 2 hours I was there it didn't come down so my doctor said he needed to admit me for a 24 hour observation. He said that I would also do a 24 hour urine test, which basically means you pee into a jug over the course of 24 hours and then it gives you a result of how much protein is being spilled into the urine. My doctor said if the BP came down and the protein is low enough I could go home. However, if the BP stayed up and the protein was too high it would be an official pre-eeclamnpsia diagnosis and I would have to stay in the hospital until Bean could be delivered. SO of course, I panicked for a minute. I was remembering my last pregnancy and several weeks of hospital bedrest. I told the doc I needed to go home and get the boys situated and get a bag. He agreed I coudldleave since I didn't have a headache or blurry vision but I need to be back after dinner to be admitted.

My mom was at the house with the boys. When I got home and walked in, Cenzo said. "Mama what's wrong?" I said "Nothing , why?" He insisted soemthing was wrong with me. It was so strange how he picked up a vibe that I didn't mean for him to get. I sat down with the boys and explained that I was going to sleep over at the hospital so that my docotr could check out me and Baby Bean to make sure everything is ok.

Cenzo had a million questions. He wanted to know, could he go with me? What was I going to wear to sleep? Was there a bed there? Was the doctor going to take the baby out of my belly? How was he going to get the baby out? What is the name of the tool the doctor would use to get her out?

After I explained that Stregga was going to sleep overnight with them at our house, Luccio had a few questions too. He wanted to know, could he watch a movie? And could he have chocolate milk? Once I agreed to both of those he said "Ok, bye Mama."

I ended just being in the hospital for the 24 hours. My BP came down a bit, still elevated but better. And there wasn't a very high level of protein in my urine. SO they let me come home on bedrest.

I have been resting since Tuesday and I was a bit bored of it yesterday but Hubby reminded me that in just 8 more days our Bean will be here and I will have 3 little ones to care for and will not rest again until they go to college, so that out it in perspective, LOL!!!

On Friday I had an ultrasound to check on Bean's growth and she weighs an estimated 8 pounds!!! WOW!! I reached the 36 week milestone yesterday too. SO next Tuesday the 27th is the BIG DAY-the scheduled c-section. I cannot wait to see this baby girl!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Can you hear me??

A few months ago I was cleaning out bins of baby clothes and items from the boys to see if there was anything I could reuse for the new baby. I found a "listening device" that lets you listen to the womb noises of your unborn baby. It also has a microphone so you can talk ot the baby! Well, needless to say it was a big hit with the boys!! They really enjoy wearing the headset to listen to their sister. And they love it even more that they can talk to her with the microphone! They are pretty loud to begin with so they really don't need to be amplified for her to hear them, so I have to tunr the volume way down. But, they get so much enjoyment out of it and its a great way to bond. So we put the womb sound device on my belly and they chat away to the baby. Luccio asks her over and over, "Can you hear me?? Baby Bean, can you hear me??" Cenzo sings songs like, "I see the Moon" and "Rock A Bye Baby."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Belly Painting 33.3 Weeks

Well, I am officially more pregnant now than I have ever been before. I made it to 32.5 weeks with the boys and I have now surpassed that milestone, WOO HOO!! And my belly is GI-Normous!!!!!! Last week my ultrasound showed that the Bean is estimated to weight 6.8 pounds already, that is bigger than her brothers were when they came home from the hospital at 4 weeks old!!!

The size of my belly brings children flocking to me, children who do not belong to me, shy children even come up to me and want to touch the belly! It even inspires artistic tendencies in small children!! LOL!!

The other night at dinner, Cenzo says out of the blue, "Mama, I want to paint your belly." What??? He said, "It's so big! I want to paint it." I thought that was hilarious, I mean I have seen pictures of people who paint and decorate their pregnant bellies, but have never considered such a thing for myself. I don't know what made him think of it, but he was pretty insistent. I told him I had to get special paints to do that. So he asked every day this week if I had bought the paints yet. I did end up finding bubble bath paint and thought that would be good.

So last night before their bath I took out the paints and let Cenzo and Luccio get their brushes and go to town decorating the biggest belly they have ever seen!

It was a lot of fun and I think the Bean liked it too because she was moving around like crazy!!
Of course, painting my belly turned into the boys painting their own bellies and each others bellies and their backs, and hair, etc. So a bath was much needed when they were done!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pumpkin Picking

Hubby had the day off today so we decided to go pumpkin picking at a local farm. It is the first week that the farm is open for pumpkins, but I wanted to get started early this season because I wasn't sure how long I will be able to move around and do fun activities with the boys. I am so glad we went when we did! It was a nice day for it! And I quickly realized I wouldn't be making it to the pumpkin patch much farther into the fall. We were only there for an hour and I could barely walk. I started having contractions every 3 minutes, ughh! I was able to look at pumpkins and take a hayride with the boys. Then I just sat on a bench while Hubby and the boys picked out their pumpkins. they had a blast, running all around and going from pumpkin to pumpkin!! It was so cute to watch and so much fun being outdoors with them. We finally called it a day and headed home when Cenzo wet his pants! I came home and got right into bed. Resting, drinking water and having a yummy dinner cooked by Hubby has helped the contractions ease up. Now they are less frequent, maybe 20 minutes apart and much more tolerable. I think I will be postponing any further activities that include walking until after Bean is born, LOL!! In the meantime I am glad I spent the day with all my guys and we got some fabulous pictures!!!

A Visit With Kellie

For the first 2 years of the boys' lives, Kellie was their nurse. She began coming to our house the day after the boys came home from the hospital because they were premature and because of Luccio's medical conditions. As the boys grew strong and healthy, Kellie was there for support to our family. She was a nurse, a nutritionalist, an organizer, a confidant and a good friend. Sadly, when the boys turned 2 we had to say goodbye to Kellie because our insurance company no longer felt it was necessary for Luccio to have weekly nursing visits. It was quite a shock to me to be left to my own device making medical decisions and judgement calls regarding Luccio's health. But, I quickly found, that Kellie had been a fantastic teacher as well as nurse. Going into that winter without her assistance I felt confident that I was able to diagnose an earache or allergies versus a flu or something more serious. They boys and I missed our weekly visits with Kellie, but luckily we have kept in touch and get to update her on a regular basis. Today we were fortunate to have a visit with Kellie. The boys haven't seen her in months, but remembered their friend and were so excited to see her!! Some people come into our lives for just a moment not really making an impression, but others stay long enough to have profound impact that lasts. We are fortunate enough as a family to have had Kellie in our lives and continue to benefit from all that she taught us along the way! I will always be grateful to her for helping our boys get the best possible start in life.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Celebrating Baby Bean

Yesterday Stregga hosted a Baby Shower for me! Our family and friends helped us celebrate the upcoming arrival of The Bean!! My Dad spent 2 days cleaning and decorating the yard and it looked incredible!!! Dozens of pink and white roses (24 dozen to be exact!!) decorated the tables. And it was a perfect Fall day to have an outdoor party!!! Stregga really outdid herself making yummy stuffed shells, mmmm!!! And my Aunt Grace brought my favorite berries and cream cake from a local bakery that I love!!

I could not believe how generous everyone was in showering me with baby gifts. I opened presents for an hour!!! At one point I stopped to ask if anyone needed refreshments because I felt guilty having them all sit there watching me dig into gift and after gift!! LOL! I got TONS of outfits for Bean, lots and lots of pink clothes!! Everything from onesies to party dresses in all sizes from 0-3 months all the way up to 24 months! I won't have to buy her clothes or shoes for the first 2 years!! We are also all stocked up on diapers, wipes and bath supplies!

Stregga bought us a beautiful pink and brown carseat and an organic cotton mattress! And Grandma crocheted the most adorable hats, sweaters and blankets!!! Also, each grandmother filled big baskets and boxes with so many clothes, blankets, and burp cloths and headbands!

One of my aunts gave me a gorgeous Moses Basket and my Goddaughter gave the baby a tiny pink cowgirl hat and boots that will be so cute on her!!!

We loaded all of our goodies into my Mom Mobile and pile them into Bean's room. Stregga promised to come over to help me organize it all. It is probably going to take all week!!

It was soooooo much fun!! I had such a perfect day and each and every person there made it so special!!

The Big Brothers made their appearance as the present opening was winding down and they really enjoyed looking through all the special gifts people brought for their sister. I was shocked I must admit that they didn't; once ask if anything was for them. And this morning when they got up and saw all the new stuff again, they commented on all of "Baby Bean's packages" without a hint of jealousy. Cenzo told me he can't wait to dress her in all her new clothes, LOL!!!

I can't wait either!!!!!!! 5 weeks to go!!!

Thank you to everyone who has offered support throughout my pregnancy, it means so much to us. We have been so blessed to be surrounded with such loving family and friends!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

First Day of School

My babies started preschool this week!! they are actually attending the same nursery school that I went to as a child. But, they are having a much better experience so far!! I used to cry EVERY day for 2 years when my mom would drop me off!! Poor Stregga!!! Luckily karma has not been cruel to me and the boys run right in without so much as a glance back at me!!

Cenzo started last Thursday all by himself. Luccio was sick and couldn't go, but Cenzo insisted he was going ALONE!! And so off he went. I drove him to the school and told him I would walk him into the building. He said, "No, just drop me off!" I said well, Mommy is going to bring you and walk you in and he said, "No, your belly is too big wait in the car!" Cute kid, isn't he?? When we got there and the door to the school wasn't opened yet, he had a fit and wanted to know if I had the key! I told him we had to wait. Thankfully it was for only 5 minutes, he was so anxious to get in the building!! While we waited, he wanted to know where I was going while he was at school. So I told him I was going to get coffee and then I would be back. He said, "Oh you need your iced coffee?" Then he told me I should go shopping and buy some shirts because my belly is getting big and my shirts are too short!!!! UGHHHH! He is too much sometimes.

Finally the door opened and he ran right in. I lingered a bit where he couldn't see me, but he was so engrossed in playing with the toys he wouldn't have noticed even if I was right in front of him!

This week, Luccio went to school too, since he was feeling better. He didn't seem to mind me walking in the building with them as much as Cenzo did. But, he complained that his backpack was "too heavy." And then he refused to take off his backpack once he got into the classroom, Go figure! He ran right to the classroom too. But, at least he did look back. As I was walking out, he caught my eye and I waved to him. He ran back for "kisses!!" And then took off again.

They were both thrilled to show me their artwork when I picked them up! And they couldn't wait to go back again in a couple days.

Luckily the next drop off went just as smoothly. The first and second day some of the other kids were crying and one was even screaming. I pitied the moms and remembered being that kid.

Some moms were teary eyed too, but I just kept thinking "2 whole hours alone!!!" And I raced home to enjoy my free time.

I got so much accomplished! I cleaned the bathroom, organized the linen closet, did 2 loads f laundry and wrote out thank you notes! It was fantastic!!!! Too bad preschool is only twice a week, LOL!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Belly Pics- 31 Weeks

Well, I finally got around to taking pictures of my belly. It took 31 weeks to get to it, but here they are. And let me warn you they are not for the faint of heart, it is a BIG belly, LOL!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big Bean

Yesterday I had my routine (now bi-weekly) OB visit. I saw a new doc, he is actually doing his Fellowship with my Maternal Fetal Specialists group. So I had talked to him on the phone for on-call questions, but never met him in person. He was such a sweetie. The first of all the docs to ask me what we planned to name the baby. He even offered some opinions and suggestions when I explained we are still undecided. Too funny! He also asked when I wanted my c-section scheduled for. I have been wanting to get the date set for weeks now but kept being told I had to wait until it got closer, but he said he would call around and see what can be done.

Within 5 minutes I had a date booked, October 27th!!! WOO HOO!! It is a Tuesday which is great. If all goes according to plan (which it rarely does, but I am hoping) then I will have an amnio on Monday the 26th to make sure Bean's lungs are developed, since I will be 37 weeks. There is a 99 percent chance that her lungs will be fine. If so, the c-section will be the next day. Some people are wondering why I would deliver at 37 weeks. Well, last time I had developed pre-eclampsia with the boys and my c-section had to be done as an emergency. In subsequent pregnancies the pre-eclampsia tends to come on later, but faster. So to avoid such complications that I had last time we are going to try to deliver at 37 weeks. Considering the boys were born at 32 weeks, it seems like I will be VERY pregnant by 37 weeks, LOL! I guess it's all perspective!

Anyway, the rest of the visit went well. So far I have gained 11 pounds and in the last 2 weeks haven't gained at all. I was happy about that. My blood pressure is good and my sugar levels have been great.

BUT... my belly is now measuring 8 weeks ahead!!!!! So instead of 30 weeks as it should, I measured 38 weeks. I had an NST done and the baby's hear rate was great. They also did a, ultrasound to check the fluid level and the fluid hasn't changed. Still higher than it should be, but not higher than it was last week.

SO- the next guess is that this is a big baby!! I have a "growth scan" scheduled for Friday to find out an estimate of her size. But, the nurse that did the quick scan yesterday said that if she were to "guess" based on her years of experience, she thought Bean looked like a baby who is about 34-35 weeks gestationally and weighing close to 5 pounds already!! Oh my!!! I can't wait to find out this week how accurate that guess it. And the nurse did explain that the extra fluid can make the baby appear bigger, but you should have seen how big her belly and legs are!! And she has hair already, it was all sticking up, so cute!!!!

So it seems my "Bean" may actually be closer in size to a small watermelon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

They're Three!!!

Labor Day weekend, three years ago, my beautiful boys made their entrance into the world and changed my life forever!! Until I became a mother I couldn't fully comprehend unconditional love. These boys have taught me what love truly is. I cannot get over how handsome and smart and amazing they are. Each day they surprise me with the knowledge they have attained, they are like sponges and pick up on everything going on around them!!

They have grown so much over these 3 years! At birth Vincenzo was 3 pounds 14 oz. and 17 1/2 inches long. At his doctor visit last week he weighed 39. 4 pounds and measured 38 1/2 inches!!!
Luccio, birth 2 minutes alter, weighed 4 pounds 14 oz and was also 17 1/2 inches long. At his 3 year visit he weighed 35 pounds and measured 34 inches tall.

We spent just about the whole week celebrating the birthday, LOL!! We talked about it pretty much all summer. We were planning a Mickey Mouse themed birthday party to be held at Stregga and Papa's house. They have big back yard which was perfect for inviting family and friends and having a bounce house!! We ordered paper goods and stuffed Mickey dolls to give to their friends. We had pizza and cake ordered, it was going to be a great day! Well...2 days before the big party a hurricane started moving up the coast and brought LOTS of rain and wind to our area. SO, we quickly went with a back plan that included an indoor location. We couldn't really fit 50 people (20 children between the ages of 2-12) into Stregga's house.

We moved the party to a local "bounce barn." It's basically a giant warehouse filled with inflatable bounce houses, slides, and mazes!! They have a party room and a coordinator so all we had to do was show up. It was fantastic!! They kids (and parents) had so much fun!!!!!!

On their actual birthday we celebrated by going to Chuck E Cheese with Stregga and Nonni. As the day went on we added more people to our group. Zhaz ended up coming with her 2 girls and my friend Sheri came with her toddler twins. and cousin Alice stopped by for a little while. It was great, we had pizza and I brought individual size cakes for the boys that we all shared!!

And then, the next day we visited Auntie Grace. She wasn't able to come to either of the other parties because she had to work, but she wanted to help the boys celebrate so she invited us to a Birthday Breakfast at her house. She made yummy quiches and carrot muffins and the boys had cupcakes!!

So much celebrating!!! It was fabulous!! The boys really enjoyed it and so did I. It reminded me of how exciting it was when they were born. All the anticipation and then their arrival!! I remember being overwhelmed with emotion, not knowing who to look at or hold first! They are so different and yet have that bond of brotherhood!

We have been so blessed!!! Happy Birthday babies!! May all your wishes come true!