Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to Liz

I truly think the best thing about birthdays now is watching it through my kids eyes! I can't believe I've just turned 44, doesn't seem possible, I don't have time to feel 44 chasing after 2 young children!

Here is Kaitlyn singing me happy birthday. Her voice continues to get louder, but still is clearly quiet due to her left paralyzed vocal cord. This just brings joy to my heart and makes birthdays all that more special!

Here are some other recent pictures:

We just returned from a wonderful 5 day camping trip in the Sierras at Gold Lake. You have to 4wheel drive into this lake, but it was the first time I felt I was at a serene, private, back-packing like lake since I had children. It was soo amazingly beautiful. But camping with 2 young children isn't the easiest thing to do, but it was 100% worth it! Thanks for "dragging" me out kicking and screaming about taking care of 2 kids with no running water or bathrooms, Brian - I loved every minute of it and would do it again in a heartbeat! :)

The kids at a recent local air show. I knew they would be so excited, because every time a plane flies overhead they both go crazy!

Kaitlyn flying the CHP plane!

And trying out a Navy helmet.

Quinn REALLY loving to imitate his dad mowing the lawn! Too cute!

Quinn's 2nd haircut! He did great and got a "big-boy" haircut, which was sort of sad for mom.

Quinn eating lunch in the back of my car, LOVING having a tail-gate camping, great for diaper changes too!

Mom and Quinn out on a little stroll in the Sierras!

Mom, Kaitlyn and Quinn at our private lake-side camp site. (Kaitlyn has blue face paint on her nose)

So beautiful and peaceful!

At our friends campsite next campsite where we did all the cooking and hanging out at night.

so beautiful! I haven't been at a private, serene lake like this since I've had children (lots of memories of Brian and I back-packing trips)

The McCarthy's camping A bit too cold for me (and for the kids, as they went 5 days without a bath, I at least did jump in)

Dad and Kaitlyn!

Kaitlyn and Jordyn in the "buggy". Brian and I took his friend's Sean's Buggy to go way up 4wheeling, a nice little break from the kids. My heart was racing the whole time!
Don't think I have the "nerves" for 4-wheeling some of the terrain we went on!

My Land-cruiser (thankfully made it to the campsite) parked near the 4-wheel buggy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How lame am I?

OK, does this make me lame or just a mom?

Kaitlyn is going to camp this summer and I can't tell you how many time's I've just watched in sweet awe as I dropped her off at camp feeling how lucky I am to live within walking distance to this wonderful camp and community and how lucky I felt to be a mom.

On Friday they had an all camp Talent Show. Each of the age groups did a little number. I was able to go and watch (yeah, a break from work) and as soon as I sat down in the back of the room, I started tearing up. Then I really broke down and the poor mom next to me asked if I was ok.

The emotions sometimes of everything are right there under the surface. I'm always so surprised by it. This time I just felt joyous for being a mom and for being able to experience this. I was brought back to wanting a child so badly after years of trying and not having any luck (for what ever reason). Then of course the emotion was for how elated I was that Kaitlyn was here, experiencing this camp and how much love I felt for her.

And then lastly, it was sadness, for feeling the loss that her sister should be here experiencing it at the same time.

I literally almost cried through the whole "bumble bee" song (Kaitlyn is in the Bumble bee camp for 4 year olds) and as they acted out being lions from the Lion King. It was soo cute!

Anyway, maybe I am lame, but I think I'm just a mom and so eternally grateful to be a mom that has been able to experience so much through the miracle of my little wonderful amazing daughter (and son!).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

summer 2010 - Pictures

Loads and loads of pictures!

Neighborhood Camping trip in June wow that's a lot of small kids!

Kaitlyn on camping trip

Kaitlyn drawing up a storm

Dad and Kaitlyn eating ice cream on the "Shore" in Ocean City NJ.

Liz, Quinn and Kaitlyn at wedding Rehearsal Dinner.

Liz and Kaitlyn at ceremony (you'll see that in almost any picture Kaitlyn is ALWAYS holding something)

Liz, Brian, Quinn and Kaitlyn (in a rare all family members present and looking at the camera picture)

Quinn on the Shore (amazing picture)

Cousin Charlotte (flower girl) and Kaitlyn at wedding

Kaitlyn and Quinn on the shore

Cousins DJ, Charlotte and Kaitlyn

Last weekend, all of our kids eating! Normally a picture of kids eating, no big deal! But the moms (not shown in picture) met because of our kids feeding tubes!) (well, 3 of our kids in picture). We got together for a sleep over and had a blast!

Kaitlyn throwing down tacos (she ate the entire one she's holding the other one on the plate and another 1/2!) No kidding! I was so amazed I had to take pictures, others thought I was crazy for being so amazed my child was eating. This was at our neighbors "tack truck" birthday party.

Kaitlyn in one of her "moods" at our neighborhood community party in the park

Quinn in LA last weekend playing at the park.

Kaitlyn and Quinn playing in the park in LA

Summer 2010

When you haven't posted in AGES it's hard to know where to start and is probably why my lack of posting has gone even longer!

Basically life is good, busy and time is just flying by, where has the summer gone??

Well, Here are a few updates.


Quinn turned 2 a few weeks ago. He was a whopping 21.5 pounds (which was 1% of the charts). The little guy is still very small! He is a picky eater and let's you know when he doesn't want to eat something that you've given him.

I have to say that our recent work with Boutaina Rosen (Svetlana Masgatova Method) worked. For the first time since he was born, Quinn is honestly a really happy little guy. After almost 19 months of crying 80% of the time, I'd say he now cries only 20% of the time (like tonight). He has gotten so much easier to be around. My heart now sings so much more for my cute little guy. It's amazing how much a screaming child can get to your soul and when they honestly are happy and giggly how much my love for him has grown.

His language and words have taken off the last few weeks too. It's so fun to see him make full sentences and trying to get across what he wants rather than screaming about it. Here are some examples" "I don't want that." "What are you doing?" Where is Kaitlyn?" "Where did Daddy go?" "I want a balloon".

He takes his chewable vitamins so easily, he can drink out of cup (with help), he can't seem to get the "tipping" of bottle or sippy cups very easily, he'll complain that his water bottle (with a sports top) is "empty" when it's not just because he doesn't tilt it to drink.

He loves babies and his sister. He loves to torment Kaitlyn. He'll steal her glasses or kick her on the couch and get an "evil" glance in his eye when he does something to bug his sister. He also loves to "help" mom but tearing things apart, but also is quite good at really helping to put things back together.

He is completely addicted to his "ba-ba" his pacifier (which is still a newborn baby style) that is ruining his baby teeth in front. IT is giving him a horrible gab in his front teeth, at least he is weaned to only use it at night (or on long road trips). I've tried to get him to use an orthodontic type, but no way is that going to happen.

He loves to giggle and laugh and has the sweetest giggle you'll ever hear. Everyone comments how blond and cute he is. he LOVES to snuggle with me before going to bed at night, once he has his blanket and ba-ba, he snuggles in close and makes little sing-song voices. I never go that with Kaitlyn and I cherish it every night. Even tonight (after an hour of screaming) when I held him in my arms and he quieted down because he had his ba-ba, my heart just melts with love.


Kaitlyn will be 5 in October.
At her IEP earlier this summer I went in prepared to fight, as the school district had told me that once she turns 5, her special education classes would need to be continued in Kindergarten. I told them in no uncertain terms that Kaitlyn would NOT be going to Kindergarten in the fall even thought she will technically be 5 on October 4th. Gestationally she wouldn't be 5 until January 4th. and All other children who are 4 in January won't be in Kindergarten this year. I had print out of neurological issues that Micro Preemies have and more, and low and behold,t he school district actually agreed with me, that Kaitlyn wasn't ready and they agreed to continue giving her special education courses!

I was so ecstatic. Maybe some of my readers think it's strange that I "want" this special ed for her. If I were the quiet type and just let thing be she'd be just mainstreamed. When people first meet her they think she's so amazing and articulate (which she is), but it's hard to see the "flip" side of Kaitlyn at first glance.

I'm so happy our School District sees it and agreed that she's not ready for K this upcoming year.

Kaitlyn is obsessed with picking things up off the grounrd and always have to have some randong thing in her hands at all times. She also picks incesentantly her nails, arms and more. She is always covered with scrathes and bruises from falling all the time.

What is her "flip" side? It's like a switch goes of in her head and she goes a bit hay-wire and gets out of her mind (that seems to be the best way to explain it). It's really exasperating to try to parent her when she's out of her mind. It's like she has full blown ADHD, and cant' control her actions. She throws, she rolls her self on the ground, she bounces off the walls, She trips, falls with out looking where she's going.

She clearly has SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). When she's like this it is absolutely exhausting to parent her. If I'm in public (which is usually when it happens, I get embarrassed as I feel like a horrible parent as I can't control her), I start sweating and yelling, and it seems that Quinn's crying often sets her off, so when he's screaming, she starts to loose it and I loose it too.

Then all of a sudden she'll sit down at a table and draw (for HOURS at a time) and be as calm as a bird that I don't even know she's in the room. I've posted some of her drawings. I have LOADS of drawings like his. Most of them all have stories behind them, like a "Gymnastic Show" everyone happy doing handstands on a wire; a Hospital (the hospital picture has folks with bandages on their heads and ambulances and sad/crying faces), a circus, a scary story with lightning (every one was sad and crying), and more. I love asking her what she's drawn and hearing her detailed explanations.

Kaitlyn is VERY verbal and articulate and can say the most amazing, intelligent things that always keeps me on my toes. Sometimes when she's "in mind" she is so amazing to talk to and she can be very perceptive. She clearly shows how much she pays attention to things. She always says please and thank you (well most of the time) and others comment how polite she is. Her sweet quiet voice is still very quiet, but it draws everyone to her. Strangers always comment on how sweet she is (they aren't seeing her when she's in her "mood, although it's not really a mood.

She tends to hold going the bathroom all the time and I think it's part of her sensory thing. When she really needs to go it adds to her getting in a crazy mode, so that' doesn't help things at all.

Eating: Well, Kaitlyn no longer has any feeding issues WHAT-SO-EVER! It's hard to believe that I can type that. It's true. Yes she's small, but she loves to eat most types of foods and is always willing to try new foods. If she doesn't like something, I don't make a big deal out of it and she'll typically try it again another time.

Sometimes she still "gags" and coughs. Normally she just swallows it down. Others when they hear her, say things like, OMG, is she ok? I don't even respond and hardly realize she's doing it. Funny how things change. Sometimes Brian and I look over at each other and stifle a giggle, as she sounds like an old man clearing her throat some times and we think with a glance to each other of how far she's come.

When we were in Tahoe she actually vomited a few times (wow Did I forget how much I hate cleaning up vomit)? Poor thing, this was the first vomits she's done in years and she clearly didn't like it. She can't really pronounce a "V" very well, so she'd say, Mommmy, I don't like Womit" I was able to give her a "keg cup" like we used to catch her vomit in but this time she could do it on purpose in the cup. If figured it was the high-altitude. I had a few more upon coming home, but that was it. Maybe she had a bug or something.


We travelled to New Jersey in May to attend Brad and Erin's wedding. The trip on the plane went amazingly ok (as compared to trips in the past). It was a very quick trip but we had a lovely time. We had the wonderful experience of meeting a fellow Micro Preemie mom (Hi Jennifer) that wonderfully baby sat for the kids so we could go to the adult wedding. Amazing how I've gotten to meet other moms from across the world and we instantly can "bond" over the shared experience of what we've gone through. As her daughter is about Kaitlyn's age, it was fun to see them interact, with their glasses on and their similiar SPD issues.

We've been camping 1 time so far this summer with our Neighbors (have I mentioned how much I love our street as so many of us have children the same ages). We went to Lake Tahoe for the 4th of July and had a wonderful time, (remembering that we used to always go to Tahoe for the 4th pre kids).

We had a huge party at our house for Quinn's 2nd birthday and Brian's 37th birthday. We have been working on our back yard and it is sooo nice to have grass and a place to entertain as our tiny house is just too small.

We have 2 more wedding this year (3 weddings this year and another I can't go to). My cousin is getting married in my homes state of Michigan (which I'll be going solo to) and then my brother is getting married in October, in which Kaitlyn will be the flower girl and I'll be my Brother's only "attendant" or best woman I guess? The kids and I just returned from a road-trip to LA, where I helped my mom throw a bridal shower for my future Sister-in-Law. and again, the road trip was ok! Compared to the last time I drove to LA and Quinn screamed the entire time. It wasn't bad and I would do it again! (Is this how things are supposed to be? I wouldn't know.) Driving at night helped a lot (for example I got home Sunday night at 1:30am)

We just ordered passports for the kids and are maybe going to consider a real family vacation...stay tuned on that front!


Whoever says that working in Real estate is "easy" has never worked in Real Estate. I find that I work 7 days a week. Often very late into the night to try to catch up. The year has been good so far, which is certainly great in this economy, but it's been very trying in terms of my free time. My children and my job take priority in my life and everything else (husband, blogging, free time, support groups, charity involvement, exercise, health) has taken a back seat. it's been hard.

I've taken on some listings this year that have been big time drains: (I tried to help an elderly & senile woman sell her home that was in a very bad financial situation, which ended up not selling and took an extra ordinary large amount of my time as one example).

I am the President of the Marin Women's Council of Realtors this year. It has kept me VERY busy with 5 trips (2 still to come), a monthly Board Meeting, a monthly meeting, committee meetings, fund raisers and more. As much as I've had a great time doing it and I think I've done a really good job, I will be every so happy when my year has come to an end. I think it's just been a lot of "extra" time that I just don't have. I'd like to start going to bed earlier at night. I'd love to send my nanny home early and spend time with my children.


I'll be turning 44 in a few weeks. Wow. How is it possible that I'm going to be 44? I graduated high school in 1984! How is that I have reached the status of middle age? What is middle age anyways? Isn't 40's the new 30's? I don't want to be 44.

Lots of Pictures, but I'll put them in another post!