Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

Ice Bucket Challenge

Since I am not much for Facebook I thought I would share our family Ice Bucket Challenge Video here. Before the girls were born Brian's grandmother, Grandma Betty, was diagnosed with ALS. It moved quickly and she dies in a very short period of time. What many people do not realize about ALS is it is a painful and debilitating disease. One minute Grandma Betty was enjoying her golden years with friends, taking trips and living life and the next minute she could no longer speak or walk. She was forced into a nursing home and was never able to come home.

So when Brian's parents nominated us for the challenge we decided to accept it as a family. I'm guessing this video will bring a huge smile to Grandma Betty's face!

video

For more information on ALS or to donate to the cause please go to www.als.org

Where has the summer gone?

Just a little under two weeks left and our summer will come to an end. It still feels like it was a couple of weeks ago that school let out. Hard to believe it's already winding down. It's been a good summer. The cool weather didn't allow us the amount of beach and pool time we are accustomed to, but we made the best of it.

There were trips to the library,
 

the beach,

 

soccer camp,



some fishing,



the pool,

 

local museums,



some play dates with friends,



Outdoor festivals,

 

and lots of time at the park.

   

When the summer comes to a close I always get this melancholic feeling. First of all because I LOVE summer and I hate the idea of cold and snow coming my way. But also because the end of summer means the end of having my kids with me all day every day. I know, I know... it sounds crazy. How can I WANT them home all day? It's not that they don't drive me insane, because trust me they do. But I love knowing what they are doing. I love the slow schedule and lazy mornings. I love getting to hear all the funny things they say during the course of a day. I just love having them with me.

It also makes me sad that we never cross enough off of our Summer To Do list. We get to some but not all of the fun and exciting things we have planned. I try to take a step back from that and realize that what kids need more than anything in this busy, over-scheduled life we have, is undirected play time. Time to read and play and run around outside. They need to use their imaginations and forget about homework and practice and clubs. And we parents need that too.

So our summer is winding down and we hope to suck the marrow for these next two weeks. The last trips to the ice cream stand and the park for a while. It will be bittersweet but we'll try to focus on the sweet!














Seeing myself through their eyes

I read a great article today. (It's short so go read it) http://living.msn.com/family-parenting/me-through-my-childrens-eyes

It talked about a Mom seeing a picture her son took of her and how her immediate reaction was disgust. She saw her flaws, her imperfections and what she doesn't like. And in that moment of self-hatred her children showed her how amazingly beautiful they see her.

Sometimes we get caught up worrying about how we see ourselves or the world sees us that we forget what is most important. The most important opinion is my families. They know who I am inside and out. They judge me on me and not my outfit or messy hair or a few extra pounds.

Anytime I dress up a little bit Abby tells me I look beautiful. Sometimes she even throws in "like a princess." Shouldn't I see myself through her eyes. She finds every beautiful thing about me and chooses to focus on that.

We all need to take a step back from that extra ten pounds, a day without makeup, having to wear a bathing suit in front of our friends and just enjoy the skin we were born into.


New Jersey GFAF Expo

I was lucky enough to be chosen as an official expo blogger for the New Jersey Gluten and Allergen Free Expo. This is a meeting place for companies to display the many wonderful options available for people living with different food allergies.


As most of you know this is a topic near and dear to my heart. When Abby was first introduced to dairy milk and eggs as an infant she had an immediate and frightening response. As it turned out she has an anaphylactic allergy to ingestion or touch of eggs, cow's milk, tree nuts, agave and blueberries. We spent years strictly avoiding these foods and being very cautious about what we fed her. Since that time she has food challenged a few tree nuts and blueberries so these are all on her safe list. 



In addition to Abby's allergies, my niece Genna had a severe allergy to peanuts and my nephew Jordan (who linked me us with GFAF) has a severe intolerance to dairy and gluten. Life with food allergies and intolerances are no fun at all!


So, I ask you to join us at the NJ GFAF expo in Secaucus, NJ on September 6 & 7th. The expo is at the Meadowlands Expo Center and there will be a wide variety of sponsors and presenters in attendance. We are all very excited to be a part of it and I can't wait to share with you!

If you are able to attend, please leave me a comment below and I will be choosing one lucky winner of four free tickets (using a random number generator) on August 1st!


If you click the banner below you will be taken to the link for discounted tickets.



We hope to see you there!!


Another Day at the Hospital

No matter how many times you do it, days at the hospital are completely draining. Today Abby had her oral surgery. It doesn't sound like much... oral surgery. But when you combine a 6:30 call time, a dose of versed, general anesthesia, six fillings, three crowns, TWO tooth extractions (they pulled a wiggly one), stitches and a drained abscess it makes for a lot of work.

As usual she was a trooper. She never complained about getting up early this morning or being hungry. She was a trooper waiting for her surgery to start.


She was a complete ham when they gave her the versed.


Then off she went. That's the part I hate the most. I HATE saying goodbye.

I hate watching her get wheeled away for what feels like the millionth time. You can't explain to people who have never been there the utter helplessness that comes with watching your child get wheeled into an operating or testing room (over and over). It sucks!

The surgery took longer than expected, almost two hours.

She took a while to wake up but was much less weepy than normal.

We stayed in recovery for almost three hours before she was ready to go.


Now she is home and doing great. Soft foods and no walking for 24 hours. She is a fall risk without anesthesia so you can imagine what the does to her system.


Wisdom the Dog




I realized that I had not yet posted a follow up on how things are going with the addition of Wisdom. So far things have been wonderful. He is very sweet and calm and adores the kids. He listens very well, although he is a dog. Abby has had some issues with adjusting. Over time it gets easier but her sensory system struggles with things like licking and the feel of his fur. She is slowly bonding but he adores her.

 Jack and Wisdom are best buddies. 
When the girls go to school it is the Jack and Wisdom show. 

The biggest change we have seen so far is in Grace. She is a different child now that she has a dog. When she is hyper, he calms her. When she starts to have a meltdown, many times going to her room and laying with the dog negates it. 

She is so in love with the dog and he with her. He really is the perfect addition to our family.








Fifteen Years Later

Last Friday Brian and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. I am only 35 years old and I have been married fifteen years. It almost seems surreal. I am lucky to have married someone that was fun to "grow up" with and complements everything about me and who I am.

He's goofy. 
 He's weird. 
 He's kinda funny, 
 And WAY more adventurous than I am. 
 He forces me out of my comfort zone. 
 And teaches our kids lessons I am not equipped to teach. 
 He has always been there. 
 He's loyal. 
 He's fun. 
 He's willing to carry around a kid...
 When you need him to. 
 Did I day he was goofy. 
 And fun. 
 He's a dependable, loving, caring person who would give you the shirt off of his back. 

That's why I love him. Here's to many, many more!

Us

Us

About this blog

Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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