Sunday, October 4, 2015

Back to blogging with an overwhelming amount of updates!

After a 2-month blogging hiatus, I am happy to be back to the "Blogosphere" with an overwhelming amount of updates that are certainly overdue. I have said many times before that the reason I keep a blog is for my kids to read when they are older, so I owe it to them to keep up with all these stories as I am sure they will enjoy reminiscing about their childhood as they grow up!
Truth is, my absence from blogging wasn't voluntary, but rather the result of two VERY MISERABLE months, where my pregnancy ailments were so unbearable I was on bedrest and unwilling to even open up a computer... it sucked... it really sucked!

The kids ended the summer with a bang at the tennis/golf camp, which they enjoyed tremendously just like very year. They even got medals and special mention awards at the end of camp party.. it was fun!

In mid-August, I had a great baby shower hosted by my mom and sister. My closest friends got together to celebrate the impending arrival of our baby. It was an amazing afternoon and I will always cherish the memories!

At the end of August, the kids started school again; they are now in 1st and 3rd grade and I, of course, can't believe how fast time flies and how little I can do about it.  It's such a joy to see my two little girls turn into little ladies and discover the world through their own eyes. They were certainly excited to go back to school and see their friends.  It was quite the busy week! Here they are on their first day of school! :)

Now on to the pregnancy misery summary.  The Monday after my baby shower, my sciatica pain got unbearable and I started having mild contractions and pelvic pain. Just when I thought the pain couldn't get any worse, it just kept worsening by the day...I went to the hospital and was sent to L&D triage, where I was treated so poorly all I wanted to do was cry; somehow after I was sent home, my pain got even worse and it all went downhill from there.  I went on bedrest and spent the last 4-5 weeks basically crying every night with horrible leg cramps. My husband had to cancel every single business trip that came his way and I could barely stand. I was starting to get so depressed of how dysfunctional I was; I couldn't even shower alone, or go to the bathroom; it felt like my family was falling apart because I couldn't even leave my room to be a mother and a wife.  
The very few times I managed to leave the house I had to use a wheelchair and rely on anyone who was able to give me a little bit of help.  I started to resent the baby and fear my labor; I questioned if I could even love the baby after he had made me so miserable for so many weeks.  Everything bothered me; every time he kicked, every doctor's appointment, every phone call, every visitor.. I was in such a dark place and I am thankful for all the prayers that were lifted up in my name! I'm glad the worst part is over. 
Here's my last belly picture, taken on one of those rare "good" days I had towards the end of the pregnancy. 

..and here's a bonus picture, taken during one of my triage visits...the not so pretty side of the journey. 

My next post will be about Oliver's birth story and how I finally overcame all the darkness that surrounded the last few weeks of my pregnancy.  It's not always rainbows and butterflies and it's important to know that everyone has bad days even during the happiest of times!

Happy Blogging! ;)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

6 & 8

Even though I'm a little late with this post, I feel like I should write it just to keep up with my blog's tradition! :)
So, last week my girls turned 6 and 8 years old; even though time flies and I feel like they just grow up too fast, I no longer get sad about it because I know they are happy, healthy and thriving and just by seeing their personalities develop, I know I must be doing *something* right!
Let's start with the little princess, who turned 6 on the 16th...I cannot begin to tell you how fun she is! Gaby is such a sweet and sassy little girl with the most stubborn personality. Even though she's definitely someone you don't want to cross, she is such a joy to be around.  She loves the Ninja Turtles as much as she loves Barbies and that is what I love about her, the fact that she is such a versatile and open minded little person. Gaby enjoys going to the movies, dancing, traveling and playing with small toys (like Shopkins). She is the ultimate cat lover and really enjoys playing independently.  She will be starting 1st grade next month and she is so ready to go back to school and see all her friends again!
Happy Birthday, Gaby! We hope you had an amazing day!!

Then comes Olivia, who turned 8 on the 17th (have I mentioned how cool it is to have their birthdays so close!?!?).
Olivia is such a special little person, she is so in tune with everything that happens around her and she is definitely my best friend and my little accomplice.
She is funny, smart and has such a good sense of humor, always finds the joy in every little thing even when things aren't going as expected.  She particularly enjoys traveling and has such a long list of places she'd like to visit, including China and Australia.
Olivia will be starting 3rd grade in a month and even though she isn't as excited to go back to school as her sister, she sure is ready for the challenge.
Olivia is a little more social than Gaby, she enjoys playing with friends and is into group activities where tons of people get to participate.
Happy Birthday, Olivia! We hope you enjoyed your day!

For their birthday celebration, we took them to dinner at Benihana and they really enjoyed their Hibachi and all of the love from family members.
We are so blessed to have these two little girls in our lives and I am sure they will be the best big sisters our baby can ask for!  Happy Birthday girls!

As an added bonus to this blog post, here are two videos of the girls talking about their favorite stuff, only because videos are always more fun than pictures!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 29 weeks!

I haven't blogged in almost 3 weeks and last time I posted a pregnancy update, I was 20 weeks along, so it's fair to say that this one is long overdue!
Up until a few weeks ago, my pregnancy had been rather uneventful (thank God for that!) but in the past few weeks being pregnant hasn't been THAT much fun!
Here's the low down.... at around 23 weeks I started having terrible sciatica pain; it was so awful I couldn't walk and I was in tears every time I had to turn in bed or when I had to do whatever (minor) effort.  Following the insistence of my husband and a few friends, I started seeing a chiropractor 3x per week and he definitely helped a lot!  Then at around 25 weeks, when I though the pain was taken care of, my body decides to come up with a NEW kind of pain... this time it was "round ligament pain"; I swear I thought I was going to die. It was so bad that I ended up in the ER fearing appendicitis or who knows what issue from hell; it turns out (according to the ER nurse) I was "lucky" on my previous pregnancies for not getting this *very common* symptom, which apparently (and just like everything else in pregnancy) is NORMAL! Ugh!
Ok, so there I was, just trying to get by and dealing with sciatica pain and round ligament issues when nausea and vomiting decide to come back full make things a little more fun! So I basically puked every other night for about a week, which apparently is also NORMAL! But hey, at least I could be sure that baby was growing strong and healthy, right?!? :)
Fast forward to week 26 and it was time for the Glucose Tolerance Test, which I FAILED! ugh! Now I have to do another test, which lasts 3 hours just to make sure I don't have gestational diabetes. I really hope I pass this one because I don't want to finish my pregnancy with insulin and special diets (fingers crossed!)
So just when I was getting over the disappointment of having failed my sugar screening and enjoying the last day of vacation, I fell down the stairs at my brother in law's house in Ohio and almost broke my foot! Thankfully, I fell in such a way that I protected my belly and the baby was safe the whole time.  Too bad my foot wasn't as lucky! I ended up in the ER (again!), got a boot and every possible medical equipment to help me move around. I was completely confined to my bed for 5 days and even though I'm still in pain and it will take time for my foot to heal, at least I am mobile now and getting my independence back!
Here's a couple of belly pictures from the last two weeks!

With all of that said, I still feel very blessed that my baby is growing fast and healthy and my pregnancy has progressed without any major/real issues.  I have gained a total of 6 lbs and the baby is measuring right on track for his 09/30 due date.  Emotionally I still feel a little insecure at times and even fearful that this is all happening so fast, but I know God has a plan and He chose me to be the mother of this baby and that means the world to me!

Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Movie Review: "Inside Out"

It's no secret that I am a Disney/Pixar fan and to me all most of their movies are just great...but in trying to be objective in reviewing their latest one, I will go ahead and say that it was AWESOME!!!
It is so refreshing to see movies that aside from being incredibly entertaining, also carry a powerful message that will likely stay in our minds for years to come...this is exactly the case with Inside Out.. we just loved it...
The plot is based on a clever look of Riley's emotions that basically control all of her moods, personality traits, etc.
These emotions are also in charge of her memories, whether happy or sad and they guard them with their lives...literally...
The movie is very colorful and extremely creative; it takes the viewer on a journey through Riley's brain and it provides a kid friendly explanation as to why all feelings and emotions are necessary because they compliment each other. I love the message of "feelings are what make us human" and there are no "bad feelings" just emotions that work together to make us who we are, to develop our personality and empower our relationships. The characters are fun and unique and the plot is developed smoothly, which helps capture the attention of both children and adults the same.  The movie also features jokes intended for adults (i.e. facts vs. opinions- you have to see the movie to know what I'm talking about!) that make it even more appealing for all audiences.
I could go on and on about how amazing this movie was, but I will let you see it for yourself.  This one gets 4 out of 4 stars from me.. We can't wait for it to come out on DVD! :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

End of school year and summer kick-off!

Another school year down for the books! I feel so proud of my girls for having finished Kindergarten and 2nd grade; they are such champs!
This school year was intense to say the least.. I lost count of many crazy projects Olivia had and how many activities we were part of this year and I know they are probably as exhausted as I am!
And now here are some pictures for funsies.. it has become a tradition for us to do First/Last day pictures and the girls really love it. The pictures really show how much they really change in the course of a school year; it's so crazy to see!
I think Gaby is the most changed this time around; she looks like a baby on her first day.. I can't believe she is a First Grader!!!

And to kick off our summer break, Olivia got braces on Saturday! The process was surprisingly smooth and very fast and she is very excited about her new look. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bye Bye Kindergarten

This week marks the end of Kindergarten for our "baby"; she is officially a "grader" now and we couldn't be more excited about her accomplishments!
Gaby is such a special little girl with a strong personality and strange sense of humor.  She is so incredibly mature for her age and never ceases to surprise us with her negotiating abilities. 
Kindergarten was such a great experience for her; we started the year thinking that she would have to be held back at the end and maybe re-do the year; she could barely read and didn't seem to have what it took to match up to whatever academic requirements were set for kids her age. Her birthday also happens to be in the summer so she is among the youngest in her class, so for us it was always a "play it by ear" kind of thing.. so we did!
I am proud to say that Gaby is now a star reader who has exceeded all academic expectations for kindergarten; she loves school and she loves to learn.  We are so blessed to have had teachers who dedicated themselves fully and were able to teach her everything she needed to learn and then some! Thank you Mrs. H and Mrs. V.. you two were amazing!

Yesterday the school held a special "Kindergarten Prayer Service" to celebrate the end of such special year.  The kids sang songs and recited prayers and we had such an awesome time!
Here are some pictures:

Gaby's "graduation" pictures! :)

And now we enjoy the last two days of school and as we get ready for summer break I can only thank God for his abundant blessings and a wonderful school year! :)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 20 weeks

Here's another pregnancy update, long overdue since my last one was over 7 weeks ago! This pregnancy really is flying by although I'm sure now that I've reached the halfway mark time will magically slow down and it will drag on... LOL!
I am happy to report that the pregnancy has been rather uneventful; it is progressing as it should and with the exception of an evil stomach bug that I somehow caught from the girls and the occasional back pain, I feel great for the most part. 
I see my doctor for boring appointments every 4 weeks and have gained a total of 3 lbs in the first 20 weeks of this journey which is quite an accomplishment considering my past weight gain with the previous 2 pregnancies and the fact that I was grossly overweight when I surprisingly turned up pregnant!

We had our "big" anatomy scan this past Wednesday and it was the first time we saw boy parts on the screen; it was quite different from anything I have ever seen before.. really funny and very blatant, I will forever cherish this picture of our well endowed little boy! :) Aside from that, all organs look normal and baby is developing perfectly, right on track for his gestational age...

Here's my 20 week belly picture; I think my belly shrunk after the weight I probably lost with the stomach bug.. thankfully it lasted "only" 2 days, otherwise I probably would have ended up in the hospital getting IV fluids! Praise God for his healing hand!

We have made a few purchases for the baby, mostly clothes and a few other accessories and it is now getting more real that we are having another baby. I will admit I've had a hard time getting "attached" to the pregnancy and as much as I know I will love our son with all my heart, it has taken me some time to love the idea.  I know this is a very normal and valid feeling but sometimes I can't help but feel guilty about the fact that I'm not overjoyed at the premise of growing our family. 
My plan for the next twenty weeks is to continue to take advantage of this "smooth sailing" (God willing) and do as much as I can to get ready for baby, both physically and emotionally. 
I will update again in a few weeks!  Thanks to everyone who is constantly checking on the baby and I; we are so lucky to have such wonderful friend and family!

Happy blogging! :)