Anecdotes

Things to Do Before 32: The Final Update

Things to Do Before 32: The Final Update

So today is my birthday!!! On April 11 of 2016 I turned 31 and around that time I created a post about the things I’d like to do before my next birthday. This list consisted of a wide range of goals including trips with the family, school goals, and friends goals. You can find that post here.  Back in July, I posted my first update at a quarter of the way through the year and in October I posted my progress at the halfway point.  January marked the 3 quarters point. Now here we are a full year later.  

Prepping for the New York Baby Show

Prepping for the New York Baby Show

The New York Baby Show is coming up in May and I am super excited! It is the biggest show for new and expectant parents in the country.  Last year I was able to snag free tickets, however, Hailey was born just over a week before the show and we just couldn't get it together to go.  This year, nothing is standing in our way!! Check what we are getting excited about and then learn how you can win some free tickets for yourself!!  

Snow Day Sidetrack

Snow Day Sidetrack

Due to my crazy schedule/life, I generally write my blog posts the day before they are published. I have long wanted to have a collection of blog posts at the ready for when life happens, but of course life keeps happening, so it hasn't happened. So when a snow day occurred on my usual writing day, my whole schedule got shot in the foot. In a good way. Like I got to spend quality time with the family.  

Things to do Before 32: Update 3

Things to do Before 32: Update 3

So on April 11 of 2016 I turned 31 and around that time I created a post about the things I'd like to do before my next birthday. This list consisted of a wide range of goals including trips with the family, school goals, and friends goals. You can find that post here.  Back in July I posted my first update at a quarter of the way through the year and in October I posted my progress at the halfway point.  Now here we are closing in on the last 3 months before 32.

Christmas 2016: A Tale Two Christmases

Christmas 2016: A Tale Two Christmases

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. On Sunday we celebrated Hailey's first Christmas. It was so fun to see the joy on her face eating wrapping paper and playing with her brother. It was the first time we had all 4 cousins together. It was also the day my grandma went to be with her husband in heaven.

5 Years of Marriage: How We Got Here

5 Years of Marriage: How We Got Here

Guess what! Tomorrow my husband and I celebrate 5 wonderful years of marriage.  Yup, 5 years ago today I was anxiously anticipating marrying my soulmate.  So much has changed in the last 5 years, mostly to do with the arrival of our two wonderful kids.  Since we're all friends here, I thought I would share a little story about how me and the hubs got together all those years ago in honor of this momentous occasion.

Things to do Before 32: Update 2

So on April 11 of this year I turned 31 and around that time I created a post about the things I'd like to do before my next birthday. This list consisted of a wide range of goals including trips with the family, school goals, and friends goals. You can find that post here.  Back in July I posted my first update at a quarter of the way through the year.  It's hard to believe that I am now 31.5 and 6 months have gone by!

Now that it's been about 3 months since my last update, I thought I'd update you on the progress through my list.

1.Make 5 recipes from Pinterest - OK, so I haven't started this one yet. My excuse is still the baby, lol. I get home from work at 5:15 and my hubby leave for work around 5:30-5:40.  This doesn't leave much time for experimentation especially when the baby wants to be fed.  I hope to try some new things for the holidays or maybe a weekend brunch recipe!

2. Go to the zoo at least 3 times - We have gone to the zoo twice so far since I made my list. I don't think this one will be an issue. Since we will be attending their Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo, on the 22nd of this month. Our membership makes this a lot easier. you can read my tips for zoo trips. here.

3. Go on a real vacation - This one is still up in the air. We had wanted to take a family vacation in the fall. However, with all of the medical expenses from Hailey's diagnosis not to mention her constant doctor's appointments I don't think it's in the cards. We can revisit that in the spring and see if things have changed.

4. Read 2 inspiring books - So far I read Eat That Frog which I talked about in this earlier post. I recently attend the online Mom Conference and was utterly inspired.  So many good presentations.  My favorite was the presentation by Ramona Zabriskie.  Based on this I picked up her book Wife for Life and am devouring it.  The Mom Conference was free, but can now be purchased for $97.  Not only do you get access to all of the presentations of the conference, but you also get a ton of freebies.  Ramona included one of her courses in the package which alone is worth $50.  Definitely go check it out!! I will be writing a review of the conference later this month!!

5. Rent or sell my house - The house is currently on the market and we have had several showings.  My mom also may be moving which would change things.  If that happened we would move into her house and rent our house.  At this point it's not definite though, so that house remains on the market.

6. Move to new home - We #5 above.

7. Get back in shape after baby - I am doing really well with this.  I am not yet back to my pre-pregnancy weight/size but I am definitely getting there and starting to feel good about where I'm at.

8. Perform in 2 dance productions - It's funny how our priorities change.  After T I was so gung ho about getting back to performing.  This time, not so much.  I am still dancing and teaching, but I'm in no rush.

9. Finish writing my book - In all honesty, I still haven't worked on this in a while. There's just so much to do and other priorities.  Maybe over winter break from school

10. Start creating vertical images for blog - Only 19 imaged left!!

11. Do 3 DIY projects from Pinterest - This one is actually going well.  Our Patriotic Wreath project was inspired by this craft on Pinterest.  T and I also made lollipop ghosts and spiders based on a Pinterest post.  This project will be up on the blog next week!

12. Declutter - We are doing really well with this one. We organized Tyler's room, the living room, the downstairs closet, and have made progress with the basement. The next major room will be our bedroom!

13. Plan a T and mommy date at least once a month after Hailey is born - Having a newborn that breastfeeds has made this difficult. The boys had one on one time out of the house, but Tyler and I didn't. I'm looking to have a lunch date with him soon.  We have had some one on one time at home but I really want to take him out without Hails.

14. Complete 27 credits of grad school - I have now completed 21 credits. I am currently taking 2 courses which will bring me to the 27 credits before Christmas. Then just a few more classes and requirements and I will be a Math Master!!

15. Have consistent date nights with the hubs - As I said, this is super hard for us because I work days and my husband works nights. We fell off the wagon in August but we were back on track for September.  This month we had an at home date last week and on the 29th we will be seeing a Broadway show for our 5 year anniversary.

16. Complete cookbook for my nonprofit - Before I had Hailey, I presented the idea of doing a cookbook to my board. I had explained that with a newborn I would not be able to take the lead on this project. However, a cookbook would be a lot easier than organizing and holding photo shoots for the calendar. My board however has not gotten this project going....

17. Have a couples game night - We had a Cards Against Humanity Game Night with some of my in laws!! So fun! I can't wait to do it again

18. Plan and have a girls brunch - This still hasn't happened yet... Everyone has super busy schedules and everyone is popping out babies... Hopefully, soon!

19. Participate in 2-3 charity walks - We just completed the diabetes walk on October 9. That one is close to my heart. I'm looking into other walks and hope to find one that falls on a Sunday, so it doesn't conflict with T's dance class.

20. Run a donation drive - I'm looking to do this closer to the holidays. I will possibly be doing a book and pajama drive again.

So that's my progress so far on my list on things to do my 32nd birthday. I've made pretty good progress on most of the items, there are just a few more to start working on. Mainly the ones involving Pinterest. Hopefully I can make some headway there for next time!

Do you have big birthday goals? Tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great weekend!!

Cheers,

Emily

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Things  My Toddler Said Part 2

Today I thought I'd bring back a style of post that I published all the way back in February 2016. This past Tuesday's post got very real and necessarily so. But today is not that kind of day. So, we are are back for round 2 of things my toddler said. If you want to see the original post, click here.  At 3.5, these things just get better and better. I really love this age!

The Sun

So, as you all know it's back to school time. For me back to school means back to dance school.  Yesterday evening was the teacher's meeting for the start of the dance year. I brought Hails with me, but T stayed with his Uncle Tom. After the meeting I went to pick up T. The following is an excerpt from our conversation on the drive home. On our way home, T commented that it was dark. I said "yeah, because it's almost bedtime." He said for me to turn the light back on. I told him I can't, that the sun went to sleep. He said he likes it better when the sun is out. So I said me too, but if he goes to sleep soon the sun will be back when he wakes up. He seemed satisfied by this and responded, oh, OK.... I really do love this age!!

Preschool

This past weekend, my aunt came to visit and hang out with the kiddos. Whilst playing she brought up to Tyler that he would be starting school soon. She asked if he was excited. Eh. Then she explained that he was going to have such a good time. That he was going to make new friends and play with toys. He responds oh, like Pop Vinyls? I say well not exactly, seeing as how I assume most early childhood centers don't carry toys that are labeled for ages 14 and up. So then my aunt says that he is going to get to sing songs too. So T says, oh, like Joanna? As in the song from Sweeney Todd when all the murders occur. He of course has never seen Sweeney Todd, but he has memorized this song from the soundtrack. Again, I have to explain that this song and many of his other favorites (Send Me Someone - Young Frankenstein, Puttin on the Ritz - Young Frankenstein, Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles, Back in Time - Back to the Future, What's This - Nightmare Before Christmas, etc..) would probably not be in the preschool repertoire.

New Toys

Much like his father, my son is an avid toy collector. He loves to watch YouTube unboxing videos and has even recorded a few of his own. You can find his videos at Tyler's Toy Time.  Once he starts collecting a set of toys, he will continually talk about the ones he is missing from the set. One day I had enough of hearing how he needed Mr. Krabs, and Gary, and the barnacle boys (this is what he calls Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy) and Plankton and the Chum Bucket to complete his collection. I informed him of this and excused myself to use the restroom. He was left in the living room with Baby Hailey in the bouncer. Upon my return, I find T sitting on the floor in front of Hails showing her the SpongeBob toys he has so far and telling her which ones he still needed. She seemed delighted by this conversation.

 Hailey and tyler

Hailey and tyler

Mashems

Just this morning, T was opening his collection of Mashems and lining them up on the table. He picked one up and I asked him who they were. He said he didn't know. I told him I didn't know either. So he told me to leave it in the comments below. Then when he was done lining them up he said thanks for watching, please subscribe, give me thumbs up if you like it, bye bye. Then he waved. This is only funny if you have ever watched a toy unboxing video....

I hope you enjoyed these little anecdotes. There are so many things that T says that cause me to giggle, snicker, or sometimes downright laugh out loud. Do you have any silly anecdotes of your kids from the past week or so? Share them in the comments. Let's laugh our way into the weekend!

Next week we will be back with some more reviews and tips!

Have a great weekend!

Cheers,

Emily

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Diabetes: Why I Walk

I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend and if you don't celebrate, I hope you had a nice weekend anyway!!  We had a nice time. I had a 4 day weekend and the hubs was actually off 2 days so we had a lot of family time. We went to church, to the park, watched movies, and just played together. It was glorious.

Speaking of family, today I wanted to talk about the upcoming Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes. If you have been reading a while, you may know that my brother is diabetic. To be specific he has type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed during the week of my birth back in April of 1985. He was not yet 2 years old. Growing up he would often blame me for the diabetes seeing as how we both arrived around the same time. I knew he was kidding, sort of.

Growing up, my brother wasn't always the best patient. As a child mom took care of all the finger pricks and needles, but as he got older he definitely resented the diagnosis. Especially in his teen years when he was able to administer the insulin to himself he would not always be conscientious about it. He had several episodes where he neglected to take his insulin and ended up in the emergency room with ridiculously high blood sugar levels.

Since then however, he has been good at monitoring and caring for himself. A year or two ago he was in a good place. He was living upstate, pursuing education, and enjoying a social life. Recently, however, the side effects of this disease and other complications have hit him hard.

It started out with more minor ailments, Crohn's disease, a bout of Bell's palsy, loosing the arch in his foot. Then he started going blind. He suffered kidney failure and currently has dialysis 3 days a week.  He lost feeling in several fingertips, which then became gangrenous, and eventually had to be amputated. More recently he began to loose toes and has now had his foot amputated.

At this point, he is in an assisted living home because his leg has yet to heal so he cannot yet use a prosthetic. Since he is wheelchair bound and our family's homes cannot accommodate the chair, he is there until he heals.

At only 33 years old, my brother is in a hard place. He is super smart and well spoken. He is a lover of the outdoors and enjoyed camping and other outdoor pursuits.  I can only imagine his mental state at this point. I know he looks forward to seeing my kiddos and he is motivated to heal to spend more time with them.

This is why I walk.  Because a vibrant 33 year old shouldn't have this laundry list of ailments.  Because we need to find a cure and I will do what I can to help that happen.

If you would like to contribute to the cause and donate, you can follow this link to my page on the American Diabetes Association Website.  Any support whether it be monetary, kind words, or prayers is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Emily

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Being Thankful

Today marks the end of my first week back at work. As expected, it was a rough week.  I could be ending this week upset that I had to return to work, sad that I didn't get to spend as much time with my little girl. Instead, I choose to end my week being thankful for the many blessings which I experienced this week.

This week I am thankful for the for the love and humor I experienced from my son.  On Monday morning I told him that I had to go to work again that day.  He offered to go with me.  When I told him that he could stay home and play, he insisted on coming.  He then told my daughter that he was going to work, but it was OK because he was going to come back.  He always comes back.

On Tuesday, he told Hailey girl that she was silly for pooping in her pamper.  That she should use the potty so she can be a big girl.  This is the same kid who had two accidents the week before.  In fact, he had another accident later that evening.  Apparently, he believes that she should start young in order to prevent future accidents.  There are countless other moments this week that melted my heart.  His love for his sister is immense and she is enamored by him in return.  Watching them have tummy time together lights up my life.

I am thankful for my husband who knowing that this would be a hard week, regularly sent me pictures of my little girl throughout the day.  Nothing brightens my day like seeing that little face.  I am also thankful for my son who seeing that dad was sending pictures of Hailey, requested that dad take and send pictures of him as well.  At an age where he regularly refuses to take nice pictures, I will be saving these.

I am thankful that the little girls is doing so well that there were no doctor's visits this week.  In fact, her next appointment is not until August 12th.  I love that she gets a break from giving blood every two weeks.  She is also propping herself up on her forearms and holding up her head well.  She smiles and can talk for hours!! Her explosive poops while not quite as pleasant, at least tell me that she is eating well and digesting.

I am thankful that I work so close to home so that my commute is about 10-15 minutes and I can come home at lunch.  It's awesome to be able to hang out with my kids and hubby midday.  I also like that I can feed my little girl so that I only have to pump once a day when I'm at work. I am thankful for summer Fridays so that my weekend starts at 1 pm today.

I am thankful that my husband happens to have the whole weekend off this week so we can spend time together as a family all weekend.  I am thankful that my brother's leg is healing, albeit slowly and that his insurance is allowing him to stay at the care facility until his leg is fully healed and he can be fitted with a prosthetic. I am thankful that I actually got to watch TV in the evenings this week.  I hadn't watched TV since like January, so I'm finally catching up on shows. I am thankful for all of you who take the time to read my blog; the people who reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There are so many things to be thankful for that I will not go on listing them here.  This is enough to remind me that while getting back into the swing of work and being away from my family is rough, there are so many great things happening in my life as well.  What are you thankful for this week?

Cheers,

Emily

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Things to do Before 32: Update 1

So on April 11 of this year I turned 31 and around that time I created a post about the things I'd like to do before my next birthday. This list consisted of a wide range of goals including trips with the family, school goals, and friends goals. You can find that post here.

Now that it's been about 3 months since that initial post, I thought I'd update you on the progress through my list.

1.Make 5 recipes from Pinterest - OK, so I haven't started this one yet. My excuse is that I have a newborn. At this point I feel accomplished if I remember to defrost the meat for dinner at all.  Hopefully, we can try something soon!

2. Go to the zoo at least 3 times - We have gone to the zoo once so far since I made my list. I don't think this one will be an issue. We plan to go at least once more over the summer and we always go in the fall for their Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo. Our membership makes this a lot easier. you can read my tips for zoo trips. here.

3. Go on a real vacation - This one might have to take a back seat for a while. We had wanted to take a family vacation in the fall. However, with all of the medical expenses from Hailey's diagnosis not to mention her constant doctor's appointments I don't think it's in the cards. We can revisit that in the spring and see if things have changed.

4. Read 2 inspiring books - So far I read Eat That Frog which I talked about in this earlier post. So that leaves one book left!

5. Rent or sell my house - Well we had to put this on hold what with the baby being born and all.  Therefore, we had taken it off the market for a while. However, last week we signed with a new realtor and we hope to get things back on track.

6. Move to new home - We're currently looking at houses to move into. Since we can't float 2 mortgage payments, moving will likely have to wait until this home is sold.

7. Get back in shape after baby - I am officially in training mode. I relaxed initially and let my body heal, but I recently started to get the itch to get my sweat on, so I did. I haven't officially weighed myself yet but next week we will have a weight and progress picture update.

8. Perform in 2 dance productions - Well I'm still working on the get back in shape part, so we'll see about the performing part...

9. Finish writing my book - In all honesty, I haven't worked on this in a while. I haven't had a break from grad school since Christmas time. The summer semester began immediately after the spring semester ended. I hope to work on this during my month off of school between the summer and fall semesters.

10. Start creating vertical images for blog This is one of the first things that I started working on. I haven't changed every image, but I have changed most of them.

11. Do 3 DIY projects from Pinterest - This is just as stagnant as the recipes one. My problem is not lack of time per se but instead not knowing when I will have time or how much, so I don't pick out projects or have the right supplies. I will work on this.

12. Declutter - We are doing really well with this one. We organized Tyler's room, the living room, the downstairs closet, and have made progress with the basement. The next major room will be our bedroom!

13. Plan a T and mommy date at least once a month after Hailey is born -Having a newborn that breastfeed a made this difficult the first 2 months. The boys had one on one time out of the house, but Tyler and I didn't. I'm looking to have a lunch date with him next week, which is my last week off before I go back to work.

14. Complete 27 credits of grad school - I have now completed 18 credits. Next week I will finish my second summer class and if all goes well, I will be up to 21 credits. Then 2 courses in the fall will bring me to the 27 credits. Then just a few more classes and requirements and I will be a Math Master!!

15. Have consistent date nights with the hubs - As I said, this is super hard for us because I work days and my husband works nights. We set a goal of 2 dates a month. So far, we are doing well for July. This past Sunday we went to a concert together and we will be seeing Guns N Roses on the 24th. Next month I don't think the dates will be so fancy, but we definitely intend for them to happen.

16. Complete cookbook for my nonprofit - Before I had Hailey, I presented the idea of doing a cookbook to my board. I had explained that with a newborn I would not be able to take the lead on this project. However, a cookbook would be a lot easier than organizing and holding photo shoots for the calendar. We have done nothing to gets his project going.

17. Have a couples game night - Well my husband got me cards against humanity. Now we just have to invite people over to play....

18. Plan and have a girls brunch - With baby being born almost exactly a month after my birthday, I haven't had time to plan this one yet. Plus one of my friends had their baby about a month after me. Hopefully soon we can all get together.

19. Participate in 2-3 charity walks - I am already registered and started fundraising for the diabetes walk. That one is close to my heart. I'm looking into the Autism Speaks and St Jude, and Lupus Walks in the fall. These all, however are on Saturdays which conflicts with T's dance class.

20. Run a donation drive - I'm looking to do this closer to the holidays. I will possibly be doing a book and pajama drive again.

So that's my progress so far on my list on things to do my 32nd birthday. I've made pretty good progress on most of the items, there are just a few more to start working on. Mainly the ones involving Pinterest. Hopefully I can make some headway there for next time!

Do you have big birthday goals? Tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great weekend!!

Cheers,

Emily

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Update on Life With a Newborn 

If you read the last post, you know that Hailey was diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism. Since then, Hailey has had several more appointments and blood draws.  Based on the adjusted dosage, her thyroid hormones went from being too low to too high. Having too much of the hormones can also be an issue. Thus we had to adjust her dose again. As of her last appointment on June 15, her hormone levels are officially in the normal range. Yay!!!

Because Hails is so small and growth at this age is so quick, we will be at the endocrinologist regularly to make sure that her hormone levels stay normal and adjustments in dosage can be made.

On June 16, we had Hailey's one month checkup with her pediatrician. In most respects, she is doing well. She had grown half an inch from her birth length and has good muscle tone. The pediatrician was however concerned about her weight. At 5 weeks old, she still wasn't even a full pound above her birth weight. While this can be because of the instability of her hormone levels, the pediatrician wants to make sure that she is now growing on track. Therefore, on the 29th she will be weighed again to make sure she is now growing at the correct rate.

Thus, our goal at the moment is to help her put on weight and keep up with her endocrinologist appointments. As far as milestones, she had been picking up her head for a while and even rolled over from belly to back. The fact that the surface she was on isn't 100% flat may have helped.  She loves hearing T talk and playing with her toy monkey.  Here she is at 6 weeks!

 Hailey at 6 weeks

Hailey at 6 weeks

In other news, T is adapting well to having a baby in the house. Some days he is vying for attention, but in general he has been a good boy and is super affectionate with Hails. He loves to help with pamper changes and doing tummy time with the baby. Whenever he sees that she is awake he will constantly talk to her and show her his toys. He also makes sure everyone else talks to her as well. He loves copying all the sounds that she makes. When she cries, he repeats what we have said to her to try to calm her down. Hearing my 3 year old say, " it's ok baby girl, I know I know, mama, just calm down and it'll be ok" is priceless. All in all he is being a helpful big brother.

As far as mommy care, things are progressing slightly. We have a specific sleep schedule that helps us parents try to maximize our sleep.  If my husband is home, after Hailey's 9pm feeding, I change her, put her in her pjs and pass her to him to get her to sleep. If he's at work I try to get her to sleep myself. Once he gets home however, he's on duty if she wakes up. Then after her midnight feeding, it's his job to get her back to sleep. I immediately put myself back to sleep after I feed her. For her 3am feeding I'm on duty again and hubs can stay asleep. Then I have her from 6 am on. My assistant, the T monster is usually up between 7-8 am to help. The hubs is able to stay asleep usually until around 9:30-10ish unless we have somewhere to be earlier. This works for us since a) the hubs is a night person and I'm a morning person (he is generally up late anyway catching up on shows), and b) his work schedule generally has him going in later in the day except possibly on weekends. I am also sometimes able to take a nap during the day if the boys entertain themselves and Hailey is napping. We are super lucky to be able to switch off like this.

Other than some weightless arm and leg exercises and some walking, I haven't really been exercising. I just had my 6 weeks checkup however and I am now cleared for everything!! Yay!!

In the past few weeks, we have been able to take the kids to the zoo and the park and a local fair. They have also attended a baby shower, gender reveal party, and a baptism. We'll be attending another baptism tomorrow. We have had two bbqs at the house including one for Father's Day. We also had Tyler's dance recital. This was an absolute blast.  While Tyler did little to none of the choreography, he never stopped moving.  He definitely doesn't have stage fright.  He also loved watching the other classes.   Thus, at only 6 weeks, Hails has had a pretty busy social calendar. Here are some shots of the past few weeks.

 Memorial Day

Memorial Day

 bath time

bath time

 T at the local fair

T at the local fair

 T sharing his prize with hailey

T sharing his prize with hailey

 gender reveal party

gender reveal party

 A day at the zoo

A day at the zoo

 1 month old

1 month old

 Father's day

Father's day

 father's day

father's day

Check out the Multitasking Mom Facebook page for a clip of T from dress rehearsal for the recital. He definitely has spirit!!

I think that brings us up to date! Check out the blog next week for a 4th of July craft and tips on getting things done with a newborn/baby around.

Have a great weekend!!

Cheers,

Emily

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

When Perfect Isn't Perfect

On May 12, 2016 my daughter was born. She was perfect. The doctors said she was perfect each time they checked her out. I saw her and all I saw was perfection. Then 5 days later we got a call from her pediatrician.  

Her doctor told us that the hospital had contacted him with the results of her last blood test. Her TSH levels were very high. He had made an appointment for us for the next morning with an endocrinologist to check her out and let us know how to proceed. I am always a researcher. I have to know all the facts about a situation.  So I fired up my fingertips and did some searching. Based on the limited information we were given, I.e. Elevated TSH levels, I determined that their concern was that Hailey had congenital hypothyroidism. There are a variety of ways that this can manifest. The thyroid can be deformed or in the wrong place or underdeveloped causing it to produce less hormones or no hormones at all. The hormones produced in the thyroid are essential for proper growth and brain development. This is especially important in the first three years of life.

On the bright side, if caught in the first few weeks of life, and properly treated, the child's hormone levels should return to normal and they should develop properly.

So, on Hailey's 6th day of life she saw an endocrinologist, had blood taken, and began taking a pill that she will likely have to take to rest of her life. The endocrinologist stated that based on her levels, it appeared that her thyroid was not producing the T3 and T4 hormones at all. A week later her blood was retested and her hormone levels were already on the rise. Her hormone replacement dosage was modified and another appointment was scheduled for two weeks later.

perfect

Tomorrow is her next appointment where they will check her growth and determine if her hormone levels have returned to normal. She feels bigger and stronger, but having the confirmation from the doctor will do amazing things for my peace of mind.

Finding out my perfect baby wasn't perfect was heartbreaking. After being told she was perfect multiple times in the hospital, we felt almost cheated. If we were told immediately we wouldn't have been lulled into this false sense of security. Not knowing if the condition has already had an affect on your baby is also scary. The odds that she will develop normally are good, which is reassuring to the math major in me, but nothing is certain.

On the other hand, treatment is pretty simple. You just take a small pill each day much like a vitamin. Giving the pill to an infant is a bit of a process since you have to crush it, dissolve it in water, and then get her to swallow it. I am well aware that there are much worse conditions. Having seen the affects that diabetes has had on my brother (blindness, amputations, kidney failure, etc.) I know that there are far worse conditions. But as a mom, any health issue with your baby can be overwhelming. Watching her give blood breaks my heart every time. Especially since it involves pricking her heel, then squeezing it multiple times to get the blood out drop by drop.

The conclusion is, at least at this point, is that when perfect isn't perfect, you just get stronger. It doesn't mean you don't feel the concern or worry or fear for your baby, you just learn to look on the bright side and try not to assume the worst. Sometimes I fear I will over analyze her development, but I try to take everything day by day. No matter what happens, she's still perfect in my eyes and in the eyes of her family. She is loved.

Cheers,

Emily

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Welcome Baby Hailey 

She finally arrived!! At 3:30 in the morning on Thursday, May 12, my water broke. At 2:40 that afternoon, Hailey was born. She was born weighing 6 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long.  Hailey came out loud and proud letting everyone know of her arrival.

Tyler was able to meet his new sister later that evening. He was definitely happy to meet baby Hailey and curious about her. He even got to hold her for the first time. On the the other hand, he is definitely not at all clear on how Hailey got here. I don't mean the details of course. However, he has commented several times that now we have 2 Hailey's, one in my belly and one in person. I'm sure as my belly goes down and with repetition he'll come to understand that there's no Hailey in my belly anymore.

Tyler's confusion about the process didn't start there.  When my water broke Thursday night, I rushed to the bathroom so as to minimize the mess. Shortly thereafter, Tyler emerges from his room with his blue bunny sippy cup. He wants water. He reaches over to hand it to me and I fill it in the sink. As he steps a little closer he steps in the fluid on the floor. He starts crying thinking he peed himself just as I am handing him the water. The water drops only adding to his distress. I try to explain that it's not his fault and he didn't do anything wrong, but he remained upset for a while.

On Saturday when we all arrived back home, Tyler went looking for his toy phone. I asked him who he wanted to call. He said the hospital. So we find his phone and he makes his call. He states into the phone that his bunny water broke and he needs them to fix it. Apparently, this is his interpretation of the events on Thursday night. I love three year olds!!

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for, introducing Hailey Jean!!

We are so excited about Hailey's arrival. Being 6 days late, she did slightly disrupt my school schedule as I missed taking a final exam. However, the professor agreed to allow me to take the exam this week so I am still able to complete the class. Also, summer classes began Monday, so no rest for the weary on that front, but breastfeeding does give me a lot of time to read!!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming on Friday!!

Cheers,

Emily

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Things to do Before 32

Yesterday was my 31st birthday.  We spent it quietly at home since the day before was Hailey's baby shower.  I was inspired by this post over on my friend ShannEva's Blog to create a list of things to accomplish in the coming year.  I decided to name my list: Things to do Before 32, because it rhymes and its catchy.  The plan is to regularly update you guys on my progress through the list as the year goes by and hopefully you guys can help keep me accountable!

1.Make 5 recipes from Pinterest - How many times have you pinned a recipe that looks super healthy or delicious only to never look at it again? I want to make at least 5 of those recipes this year.

2. Go to the zoo at least 3 times - T loves the zoo and we have our annual membership so we want to make the most of it.  Plus, we will have to introduce Hailey to the zoo as well.

3. Go on a real vacation - Our family hasn't been on a vacation where you fly somewhere and stay for a week and then come back since our honeymoon.  It has all been road trips and often times for another purpose, like pageantry.  This year I want to take a vacation where we just relax and enjoy being away with each other.

4. Read 2 inspiring books - With work, grad school, and now 2 kids, reading time is at a premium.  I hope to make time to read 2 inspiring books this year.

5. Rent or sell my house - We have really outgrown our current home.  It is a small 2 bedroom and with Hailey coming, along with my husbands abundant collections of toys and movies, we have just run out of space.  It is time we move on.

6. Move to new home - Well, the clear consequence of selling our home means we have to move to a new one.  I hate moving but if it means more space for my family, then I am all for it.  This is a top priority for the coming year.

7. Get back in shape after baby - If you have been following along, then you know that I am a dancer.  It is important to me to get back to dancing and performing once Hailey is born.  That means getting back my dancer's body.  This is also something that I plan to document on the blog as I make progress towards my goal.

8. Perform in 2 dance productions - So in order to have motivation to get back to working out, I want to perform in at least 2 productions before I turn 32.  That means I have to be in dancer shape with enough time to perform twice.  I have every confidence that this can happen.

9. Finish writing my book - I have been making super slow progress in writing a book on the best apps for busy moms.  These apps cover all aspects of mom life from health, food, money, shopping, travel, and more.  I want to finally get this done, so it can actually start helping people and I can move on to a new project.

10. Start creating vertical images for blog - I know how important this is for Pinterest and I know the websites to use to make this happen.  What I haven't done is actually sat down to do it. It is high time this got done.

11. Do 3 DIY projects from Pinterest - Along the same lines as the Pinterest recipes, I want to actually make more of the awesome DIY projects that I pin.

12. Declutter - I think this is self explanatory.  We just really need to go through our stuff and get rid of what we don't want and don't need.  Our plan is to go room by room and just purge.

13. Plan a T and mommy date at least once a month after Hailey is born - Now that I am going to be a mommy of 2, I want to make a point of having alone time with T. Whether it's a simple pizza date or a trip to the park, I want to make sure that we still have some one on one time.

14. Complete 27 credits of grad school - I am well on my way to this goal.  By the end of this semester, I will have completed 15 credits.  I am signed up for 2 summer courses and 2 in the fall which would bring me to the 27 credits.  Then just a few more classes and requirements and I will be a Math Master!!

15. Have consistent date nights with the hubs - This is super hard for us because I work days and he works nights. On top of that he has plays to perform in and I have dance performances, or I will after Hailey is born.  But in order to keep our relationship on course this is super important, so we are making this a priority.

16. Complete cookbook for my nonprofit - As you may know, I founded a non-profit to support youth dance called, I Hope You Dance, Inc..  Last year we created a calendar as our major fundraiser which is still currently on sale.  This year with the new baby, I will not be able to run photo shoots over the summer. Thus, we are looking to do a dancer's cookbook as this year's fundraiser.  The plan is to compile the recipes from various dancers and then print and create the book.

17. Have a couples game night - This has been a goal of mine for forever, but it just never seems to come to fruition.  It WILL happen this year!

18. Plan and have a girls brunch - I have been feeling the need to reconnect with my girl friends for a while.   We see each other at events, but we haven't just hung out as a group in forever.   This needs to change! ASAP.

19. Participate in 2-3 charity walks - My brother is a diabetic and in recent years he has had serious complications as a result.  Currently, he is legally blind, has had several fingers amputated, and is in kidney failure along with numerous other ailments.  He will be turning 33 this year.  So I will definitely be participating in the diabetes walk again this year.  I also plan to do the March for Babies and possibly the Autism Speaks walk.

20. Run a donation drive - In the past I have organized a Coups for Troops drive where we collected coupons for military families and a pajama party where we collected pajamas and books for children.  I hope to run another drive along these lines this year.

So that's my list. Some of these are major, and some not so much.  Many are things that should be done all the time, but we never seem to make time for because we always think it so simple, we can do it any time.  Then any time never comes.  Other than performing a few times, these goals are mainly oriented around family and friends.  I have decided to make that my priority this year.

Do you set goals for the year at your birthday?  Have you been able to follow through?  Let me know in the comments.  Feel free to write some of your goals in the comments and we can keep each other accountable!

Cheers,

Emily

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Pregnancy Update and What I'm Missing

For those of you following along, on Friday, April 1, 2016 I reached 35 weeks of pregnancy.  I am super excited to be heading towards the home stretch!  We have been continuing to take our weekly belly pictures and Tyler continues to make an appearance in them.  You can see all the pictures from each week on my Instagram page.

Here are the pictures from the last few weeks:

All in all, I have been feeling really good.  I continue to work out 5-6 days a week including light cardio and weights.  I try to eat healthy with a few splurges here and there.  Hailey has been pretty active in there but not nearly as violent as Tyler was.  With Tyler I felt a lot more sharp kicks and jabs.  With Hailey it feels more like shes just rolling around in there.  Although I feel 100 times bigger that I was with Tyler, size wise we are right on track.

As far as weight gain at our last appointment we had gained a little over 30 lbs over the course of the pregnancy.  I expect that we will be slightly over the desired 25-15 lbs weight gain that is recommended, but I'm pretty comfortable with that.  Once we have recovered from delivery, I will be tracking my weight loss progress here on the blog as I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape.  I plan to include everything from diet to exercise as I work off the baby weight.

If you are following on Facebook or Instagram, you know that this past weekend was our maternity photo shoot with my super talented sister in law, Katie.  Not only does she take fabulous photos, but she is great with kids, even when they are being recalcitrant...

Here are just a handful of the amazing pictures:

You would never know that Tyler was refusing to take pictures, hiding his face, and just wanted to run around.  Katie was so kind and patient and worked both with and around him to get some pretty amazing shots.  Definitely go check out more of her work at Katie Joy Photography.

On a separate note, the more I look at my maternity pictures, the more I think it looks like I just put a basketball under my dress...  I guess that's a good thing; only one area to work on post baby.  Everyone keeps telling me I don't look pregnant from behind.  I guess that's why.

What I'm Missing

For this second part of the post I decided to create a list of  the things I can't wait for when Hailey is born.  I finally feel comfortable allowing myself to dream about these things since delivery day is coming soon.  Meeting and loving on Hailey is a given, so I have not included that on my list.  Here is everything else that I can't wait to do/have.

  1. Wine: I'm not even a huge drinker, but every once in a while a nice glass of wine can really save the day.  It has been a long while since I got to enjoy that.
  2. Lying on my front: As a front sleeper, I really miss this one.  I hate the pressure that side sleeping puts on my hips.  I can't wait to be able to knock out lying on my belly.
  3. Sushi: I truly miss this part of my diet.  Sushi is my favorite way to consume fish.  It's also one of my favorite meals to order in.  I can't wait til that's back on the menu.
  4. A good deli sandwich: I grew up in the Bronx, NY.  I know what a good Italian deli sandwich tastes like.  I miss it more than I care to admit.
  5. Comfortably having Tyler sit on my lap: Tyler regularly wants to sit on my lap, but with this basketball sized belly it has become increasingly difficult.  It now involves a lot of sliding and squirming to reach a comfortable position.  I can't wait til that is no longer an issue.
  6. Comfortably sitting in general: We are getting to the point where sitting means discomfort no matter how you sit.  You have to stand up to feel like you have room to breathe.  I'm over that.

Other than that, I have really enjoyed my pregnancy.  I haven't really had any issues.  Little to no swelling, little to no heartburn, and minimal aches and pains.  Actually, the biggest pain is rolling from side to side in bed.  I get a pain in my pelvis that is pretty awakening, making it more difficult to get back to sleep.  Other than that, I have been very fortunate.  This coming Sunday is our baby shower/my birthday party.  I turn 31 on Monday the 11th.  I can't wait to celebrate with friends and family.

This Friday's post will include some really useful time management tips for Spring cleaning.

See you then

Cheers,

Emily

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Pez Factory Easter Egg Hunt

It seems that the Pez Factory Easter Egg Hunt this weekend made National News. We were there and we had a fabulous time.  We did not experience the melee although it was very crowded.  What apparently did ensue is a result of overzealous parents who do not follow directions and feel overly entitled.

Here is the setup.  In the field outside the factory, three section were cordoned off.  One with a sign for kids from 9-12, one for kids 5-8 and one for 4 and under.  The website had indicated that there would be a staggered start time for the 3 hunts.  The youngest group would start at 10:30 and then each age group was staggered by half an hour.  They had the Easter bunny at the Visitor's Center with whom you could take a photo and get a free candy dispenser.  You had to pay regular admission to enter the center which was only $5 for adults and $4 for kids 3 and up.

We arrived at the location at about 10:15 and found a spot along the edge of our assigned field, the 4 and under area.  Prior to the start, a Pez employee informed us that the turn out was far greater than expected and so if anyone didn't get an egg, they would have candy in front of the lobby that they could get.  At 10:30 the hunt started.  T had his eyes set on a green egg, his favorite color.  Once he got it he totally stopped searching for eggs.  Even with that he was able to get 4 eggs for himself.  We then took a few pics of T with his eggs and then headed to the Visitor's Center.  As we were well aware that the other fields were for older kids based on the signs and the website we didn't see any reason to stick around.  Apparently, this is when the melee ensued on the field.  We missed it, happily.

My son was perfectly content with his 4 eggs.  He picked them all himself.  We didn't experience any pushing or shoving by kids or parents.  We actually had a good time.  Upon heading to the Visitor's Center there was a healthy line.  This was a combination of people looking to get the candy if they didn't get eggs or if they didn't feel like they got enough and those wishing to enter the Visitor's Center.

We got on line which moved pretty well and entered the center.  It was definitely crowded, but not overwhelming.  We browsed all the old dispensers on display, we did the Pez Scavenger hunt and we got to take pictures with our head as a Pez dispenser.  Once we were satisfied, we headed to the second level and got on a shot line for a photo opp with the Easter bunny.

The line moved well, and yet no one was rushed to take a picture and move on.  T got to hug the bunny which was actually pretty cute and got a few photos as well as a free Easter bunny dispenser.  We then headed to the checkout line with a few dispensers from the gift shop.  This line was probably the longest and slowest, but not terrible.  The staff was kind and courteous and all in all we had a great time.  We didn't experience any of the unpleasantness.

While we have every intention of returning when there is less of a crowd, we had a great time and were very appreciative of Pez for putting on this event for the community.  I was not even aware of the melee that occurred until someone commented on pictures I posted from the event and mentioned it.  I feel bad for Pez for having to deal with some of the parents that apparently took matters into their own hands and did not follow directions.  I especially feel bad for any older kids who came at their assigned time only to find all the eggs had been taken.  It truly was a situation of a few bad eggs (pun intended) ruining it for the bunch.

Hope you had a fun Easter Weekend!!

Cheers,

Emily

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