Sunday, May 31, 2009

Great Weekend: Philly & Preemie Picnic

We had another busy (but fun) weekend. Saturday Marino and I went to Waterbabies and then the 3 of us drove to Philadelphia (2.5 hours) to visit Mom D, Evan's grandmother. This was the first time Marino got to meet his great grandmother.

We also got to visit with PopPop (Marino's great grandfather) and Donna (the youngest great grandmom in the world!)

Today Marino and I had a picnic with some former preemies and preemie mamas we know from our message board for preemie parents. It was really great to meet everyone IRL (in real life). Since we all have a fairly unique shared experience, we all chatted like old pals. Even the babies warmed up to everyone. Marino was super comfortable with Katie, maybe because they share a birthday? In typical Marino fashion, he was a wild man and refused to nap (all of the other babies napped, my guy refuses to miss a moment).

We met at Wheaton Regional Park, which is really a great place. They have a carousel, a train for the kids to ride, a large garden, picnic tables, pavillions, playgrounds, horses! Who knew? The preemie mamas are planning to try to get together once a month from now on.

Here are Megan and Simon, Marino and I.

At the top is Cameron (29 weeker) and from left to right: Evan (29 weeker), Simon (32 weeker), Brendan (29 weeker) and Marino (32 weeker). I love Brendan's pose he's laying out at the pool!
Laura with her twins, Cameron (in her arms) and Evan

Marino pulling up to chat with Brendan.

Laura with the twins, Marino crawling all over everyone and Simon relaxing.

Marino and I rode the carousel with Megan and Simon. The boys loved it. Marino was standing and yelling. Megan and I were very dizzy...carousels are not for adults!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sleep Training, Picnics and Dinner Dates

I have resolved to get Marino to start sleeping in his crib at night. Unfortunately, he has regressed to the point of refusing to sleep anywhere other than in our arms or in the bed with Evan and I. ::sigh:: At 11 months old, its time to get him to start sleeping by himself. After speaking with our pediatrician, she convinced me the best approach would be to let him "cry it out" but with us in a chair next to his crib, so he knows he is safe and not alone. Last night it took 1 hour and 15 minutes of him SCREAMING before he fell asleep. He woke at 1am to eat and then at 3am Evan brought him to bed with us because he was crying, and, well, we are pretty lazy at 3am. Tonight, we had company and he stayed up until they left at 9:30 (!) and then passed out.

A quick AW for myself...I got my grades for the semester and I got an A in both of my classes this semester (::ahem:: my first semester back at school since Marino was born). I've actually never gotten an A in both classes in one semester, so I was pretty pleased with myself. It helps, of course, that they were both classes in Affordable Housing Policy, which is my primary area of interest in my Masters program. But, I've now brought my overall graduate GPA up to a 3.6 so I am pretty pleased with myself. 30 credits down, 18 to go! ::AW over, back to Marino stories::

Today, Marino's daycare had a family picnic and all three of us attended. Unfortunately, we had a monsoon right as it was time for the picnic to start, so the picnic ended up in the gym. Marino attends a daycare for medically fragile children, which has been a blessing for us. We can leave him there without reservations...they totally "get it." They have nurses on staff at all times and the nurses can administer medicine and other medical treatments (such as the nebulizer he needed last month). They also take serious precautions to prevent the spread of infection, which was really critical for us this 1st RSV season. Marino was there 5 months before he had any illness at all (not many daycare mamas can say that!). But more importantly, he is loved there and he loves all of his "teachers" and friends. He has never been upset when I leave him in the morning, he is always excited for the day. They also have monthly and weekly "lesson plans" so the babies are exposed to a number of new concepts. They do arts and crafts, listen to music, read lots of books, do stretches, go for many walks...its awesome. Its been amazing for us and I can only imagine the relief it provides for families of children with greater medical needs.

Here is a picture of Marino with Sharon, the Director of the daycare program. She and Marino are partners in laughter...they both love to laugh (especially with each other).
And here he is with his afternoon teacher, Sherry, who all of us (Marino, Evan and I) all adore.

After the picnic, Marino and I met up with Patti, Miranda and Pacey for dinner (Aunt Kerry was supposed to join us be she had to work:( ). Patti's baby will be here sometime in the next few weeks, I can't believe it! I was just saying at dinner how strange it is that a year ago, none of the 3 of us were moms and now we all are! Here is a picture of everyone...isn't Patti's bump adorable! Can't wait to meet her baby girl!
After dinner Miranda and Pacey came over to play. Pacey is just the happiest baby in the world and completely adaptable to every situation. She and Marino played pretty well together this evening (except when she made her happy noises, which still terrify Marino).

Wish us luck with the sleeping tonight!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend 2009 aka The Longest Post Ever

The 3 of us had a busy and eventful weekend. We took Marino to New York (Hudson Valley) to visit my friends and family. Evan and I usually drive up there every few months but since we had Marino and he was quarantined through the end of RSV season, this was our first trip and the first chance for a lot of my family to meet Marino.

Can I just say that travelling with a 10 month old is a lot of work?! My mom had 85% of the things we needed for Marino at her house but I still feel like we had to pack up everything we own. The good news is I remembered all of Marino's things. The bad news is I forgot to pack myself underwear:(

We drove up on Friday night and Marino slept the entire time. Of course, when he woke up at Grandma's house, he thought it was morning/play time so we didn't get to bed until after 2am (Mama's brain stops functioning at 11pm, so this was a problem). Luckily, Grandma loves to hang out with Marino in the early morning so when he woke up at 6:30am, I brought him upstairs to her and Evan and I slept until 11:30am!

Saturday we went to lunch with my very best friends in the whole world: Sonia, Bernadette and Rachel. We've all been friends for over 15 years and we have been through everything together. These girls know me better than I know myself and I love them to death. It was wonderful to see them!

Here's Marino with Bernadette. He was being a big time ham for the camera at lunch.

Marino and Rachel getting some cuddle time
Sonia has a daughter, Catalina, who is just 5 months older than Marino! She is also expecting her second baby in October!! Doesn't Cat look just like her? They both have beautiful blue eyes.
Here's all the girls together: Sonia, Cat, Rachel, Sara L (Bernadette's wonderful sister who was visiting from Las Vegas), Bernadette, Sabrina and Marino and I. Notice Cat is pulling Sara L's hair in this picture, which makes it even more adorable!
After lunch, we went to visit my Dad and Stepmom (Pap and Grammy Barb).
The 3 of us stayed for dinner and got to see my brother, Brendan and my wonderful sister-in-law, Holly. Brendan and Holly live in Dallas so this was the first time Marino got to meet Uncle and Aunt Holly. Right now Brendan is Marino's only uncle (until my sister-in-laws Richelle and Rianne get married - NO RUSH girls!!).

On Sunday my mom and stepfather, Ray, had a bbq for us to welcome Marino to the family at Chadwick Lake. Marino got a chance to meet lots of new family members. I was a little worried about him getting overstimulated but he did great the whole day (we were there from 11:30 until 4:30pm so it was a long day for him).

Here are me and the girls again at the bbq: Bernadette, me, Sonia, Rachel and Sabrina.

Marino taking a nap in his favorite spot: Grandma's lap.

Marino with Sabrina. I haven't explained who Sabrina is yet, for those of you who don't know her. Sabrina is my friend Bernadette's daughter. She is 13 (and a half!)...I know, pick your jaw up off the floor - she looks like she's 19. Is she gorgeous or what? Bernadette had her when we were in our senior year of high school so if we ever want to pretend we are young its better she is no where nearby! Anyway, she is and has always been an amazing young lady. She is funny, smart and a talented athlete and dancer. Yup, she's pretty much perfect...her mom did an amazing job of raising her. I can't wait to see who she becomes and I feel lucky to have known her for her whole life.

Marino getting snuggle time with Sabrina and Rachel.

Cat and Marino!

Lots of family here, not a well organized picture.

Cat showing what every toddler wants: a playground and a sippy with juice!
Marino with his Great Uncle Dan
Marino with his Great Aunt Carol, who gave him his first piece of watermelon (he LOVED it)

Marino with his wonderful Great Aunt Eileen

Marino hanging with Uncle.

Marino got a chance to meet his other great grandfather (my mother's father) for the first time at the picnic. Here he is with my Papa.

Aunt Holly holding Marino.

Rare family photo.
I found out at the picnic that I actually have lots of blog readers. Who knew? Please feel free to comment or "follow" me in google reader. I sort of thought I was talking to myself most of the time until everyone told me they read the blog!

Back at Grandma's house, Marino discovered a wonderful new toy - the laundry basket (it doubles as a teether)!

On Sunday night my mom watched Marino for us (ie: he slept peacefully on her lap for 3 hours) while Evan and I went to go see Star Trek. I only went to humor Evan but I ended up really liking the movie. BUT, half way through the movie I started feeling like something was crawling on my leg. I kept scratching but nothing made it go away. Finally, I went into the bathroom and there were 2 TICKS ON MY LEG (well, one was in my jeans and one was on my leg). Ummm....this is sort of my worst nightmare! Luckily, they hadn't embedded themselves yet. I have no idea where they came from, since I changed clothes before we went to the movie...maybe they were in the theater? Ugh, all I wanted to do was shower after that and it sort of ruined the end of the movie for me.

Here's Marino with Grandma and Grandpa Ray

We drove home on Monday morning. Marino was great (sleeping) the first half of the trip. He then cried for about an hour. Nothing would make him stop. I even tried playing a DVD (I never let him watch tv, so I though this would be really effective) but nothing made him stop crying except Daddy singing "The Song That Never Ends" (seriously, that is his favorite song). Eventually he calmed down and we took a nap "together" (my head was in his carseat) until we arrived home.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Our friend, Dave King, came over last week to take some new pictures of Marino. Dave is awesome and I highly recommend him if you want "lifestyle" photography. His website is Of course, I love ALL of the pictures, but here are some of my favorites. He's coming over next week to do some more pictures with Evan and Marino and the 3 of us, so I'll have more to share soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


As a newly mobile guy, Marino was bound to have an injury sooner or later (sooner being the more likely scenario). Yesterday at daycare, he received his first "real" visible injury. He lost his balence while standing and bumped his face. He has a bump/bruise on his forehead and a nasty little bruise on his eyelid. I tried to get a picture but it was hard to do.
We also got some pictures of him tonight making some of his funny faces. His favorite face now involves his wrinkling up his nose and breathing hard. I'm not sure what it means, but it's pretty hysterical.

And here Evan was trying to get a picture of how long his hair is (although it grows up and not down, so no hair cuts needed yet).

He still seems to be not feeling like himself (daycare reported he was very cranky and pulling on his ear today). I am also sick, so I think we have the same cold. Hopefully we will be feeling better before our road trip on Friday!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Long Week

You know it is a busy week when I don't update the blog for 7 days! Last week was very busy. It was my last week of school for the semester and I had a final paper, presentation and a take home test to finish. Marino was also sick again this week.

On Wednesday, daycare called to tell me something must be wrong with him because he wasn't smiling;) We had an audiology exam scheduled at Georgetown for the next day (a formality, since hearing loss is common with bacterial meningitis, but I think Marino has excellent hearing). Thursday morning he woke up with a fever so I rescheduled the test and took him to see Dr. Rahman. She said he had (another) ear infection and put him on a stronger antibiotic than the one he took last month. Thursday night was tough. Marino's fever wasn't going down even with Tylenol and he kept moaning and letting out little cries (moaning was the only symptom he had with the Group B Strep/sepsis/meningitis). Evan and I were pretty freaked out but we alternated Tylenol and Motrin and by Friday morning he was back to his old self.

Yesterday we had Waterbabies and then I went to my friend Sandra's baby shower. I learned my lesson after the last shower and left Marino with Evan. Sandra is the wife of Ishmael, one of Evan's closest friends. Their baby is due July 9th, so he may share a birthday with one of the 3 of us (Marino, Evan and I all have birthdays between July 3rd and July 8th). We're excited to meet their little one, Baby A.J. After the shower, I finished my take home exam, so I am now done with school until September 1st!!

Today our photographer friend Dave came over and took pictures of baby Raiden and my friend Robyn's baby, Ryan. It was great to see the 3 boys playing together. Dave did pictures of Marino earlier in the week, so I am really looking forward to seeing how they turn out and I will post a ton on the blog, of course.

Later this afternoon, we went over to my Aunt Kerry's house for a cookout. My grandfather was there and he got a chance to meet Marino for the first time. We also got a chance to see some of my uncles and cousins. Pacey was there, too...she and Marino love each other and the two of them together is double trouble!

Here is Marino with his Great Grandpap

Here is my grandfather with all of his great grandkids: Kiera, Jamia, Marino, Pacey and Erica

Pacey and Marino getting into trouble...chewing on remotes

I love Marino's face in this picture, like he is just too cool...

Playing with plastic bags

Unfortunately, Marino seems to be coming down with another little cold but no fever has appeared yet, thankfully. We are really looking forward to going to NY next weekend for Memorial Day.