Sunday, November 29, 2009
Marino seems to be sick again. He has a runny nose and is wheezing (no fever or other symptoms). He is on Singulair and I started doing breathing treatments again, so hopefully we can keep up with that without needing anymore medical intervention.
Here are some pictures I took at Brookside Gardens. The shirt is from Zingo Tots (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ZingoTots) and the hat is from Lorilooms on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/lorilooms)...its very stretchy and I think it should fit him another couple of years, so it was a really great deal.
Friday, November 27, 2009
1. Miranda and Pacey came over to play today. Marino and Pacey play so well together and I just love it! They love to kiss, hug, wrestle on the floor, pretend to go "night night," share snacks, etc. So fun to see them together...they are really two peas in a pod! Marino also adores Miranda. He kept coming and putting his head in her lap and tackling her when she was on the floor. He was very sad when they left:(
Thursday, November 26, 2009
We had a lot of fun this Thanksgiving. It was fun to have Marino able to partake in the actual feast on Thanksgiving this year, since this was him last year:
Can you believe how tiny he was? He was 4 months actual age but only 2 months adjusted. I remember wondering what he would be like this year and of course, he's even better than I could have imagined!
Here's another fun comparison picture...Miranda & Pacey and Marino & I last Thanksgiving (she was nearly twice his size!):And this year (all caught up in size)...
He was really interested in her hair today.
Monday, November 23, 2009
On Saturday, Marino and I were finally healthy enough to take a drive to New Jersey to meet Baby Siena (my best friend Sonia's newest addition). I can't say the same for Evan, who was deathly ill with a stomach virus all day. Luckily, Marino did great on the ride up and back with me. He also learned a new phrase "yee haw," which he finds hysterically funny.
Siena is adorable and she has been blessed with the ability to sleep through anything, even 2 screaming toddlers in her house. She is beautiful and delicate and I can't wait to see who she will become.
Marino and Cat had a great time playing together, as usual (when they were not arguing over who got to hold "Melmo" - that's Elmo for those of you who don't speak toddler...Elmo has a strange effect on toddlers). The last time we visited with Cat, Marino was just learning to walk, so this time he was able to keep up a little better.
We also got to see Rachel and Wrenford, who just got engaged! So happy for them both!
Here's Cat and Momo at the playground...aren't they adorable?
Friday, November 20, 2009
5. Conversation with Marino this morning:
Me: (strapping him in the car seat) Are you ready to go to daycare and see all your friends?
Marino: Bye Mama!
Me: Well, don't say bye to me, I have to drive you there. You can't drive, you're still too small.
4. He learned "turkey" this week, just in time for Thanksgiving.
3. Sunday I was deathly ill. I mean, I was SICK!! My aunt (who he has only been around a handful of times in recent memory) came to take Marino out to eat with my cousin and her friends (tweens). Marino happily left with them, waving bye. They reported he was "an angel" and said "please" and "thank you" to the waiter! And he came back a couple hours later, happy as a clam. Pretty easy going guy, my boy.
2. Marino is getting good with knowing people's names. Here are some of the names he knows so far: Mama, Daddy, Annie, Kai Kai, Wy Wy, Laney, Dodo (all daycare friends), Aunt Chelle ("eshell") and RiRi (Aunt Rianne).
1. He really loves the Redskins. He points out the Redskins emblem everytime he spots it (pretty often around here), raises his hands and says "YAY!"
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I moved to Atlanta after I graduated college in 2000. My first job was with an advertising agency. I liked my job...we were always busy and there was always something going on. But working for corporate America didn't exactly leave me feeling all warm and fussy inside. I always thought I would work for the government, in politics, or with some liberal non-profit. I started searching to see what feminist non-profits existed in Atlanta and I found GARAL, the Georgia chapter of NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, know referred to as NARAL, Pro-Choice America). When I called to see if there were volunteer opportunities available, I spoke with the Deputy Director, Errin Vuley. Errin invited me to a meeting and that was how I got to know this amazing person.
You know how there are certain people you meet and within 2 seconds, you know you will love them? Errin was that kind of person. She was so warm and friendly. She could connect with anyone. After that first meeting, I stayed after and we talked for hours. That conversation we had on the first night we met was one of the most meaningful conversations I've had in my life. Errin was that special. Errin welcomed me to GARAL, where I ended up on the Board of Directors. Through Errin, I met so many of the other amazing women in the feminist community in Georgia. Looking at Facebook today, I was reminded how many amazing people I've had the pleasure of knowing through Errin. She brought so many people together for her causes (and for fun). Errin motivated me to get a job in politics. Yes, believe it or not, folks, I used to be passionate about something other than Marino.
After leaving GARAL, Errin went on to work for Georgians for Choice and later as the CEO of GOAL, a Girl's Journey of Growth, which is an organization that helps young women gain self-esteem and self-awareness (for more information, please go to http://www.goalonline.org/). She was also involved in many other events and organizations, like this final event she was working on, that will take place tomorrow:
Errin wanted to change the world and her passion was strong enough to motivate you to want to do the same.
My friend Ebony, who was one of my closest friends in Atlanta (who I met through Errin, of course), sent me a Facebook message today telling me to call her. She told me Errin was killed in a head-on collision yesterday morning. Unbelievable. Errin was 35. She moved so many people, she brought together a community, she was loved by countless people, she changed the lives of young women. Imagine what else she could done in her lifetime.
Today, I mourn for Errin, her family and all the people who loved her. I mourn for the loss of a beautiful spirit and all the other lives she could have touched if her life had not been cut short. Errin, you will be missed but certainly not forgotten.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I was lucky enough to have a healthy pregnancy until the day Marino was born. I loved being pregnant - I felt better pregnant than I normally do. I loved it! I wasn't lactose intolerant for the first time in a decade...oh, the milkshakes I drank! The cheese I ate! I was having the time of my life...blissfully ignorant of what was in store for us.
I knew nothing about prematurity before Marino came into the world...the thought of having a premature baby never occurred to me. I swore he was going to be born late. I didn't know of anyone who had given birth to a baby before 34 weeks (34 weeks is the point at which antibodies are passed from mother to baby, so 34 weekers generally have stronger immune systems than younger preemies). I imagine I thought, as many people do, that having the issues of prematurity end once the baby leaves the NICU.
Marino was born very suddenly. My HELLP Syndrome progressed quickly. I got to the hospital maybe 2 hours after my first symptom, Marino was born about an hour later by emergency c-section. I wish I could tell you about everything Marino went through his first few weeks of life, but the truth is, I didn't now know most of what was going on. While I can recite all the explicit details of Marino's medical history over the past 15 months, that first month I was in a morphine and illness induced haze. But I do know that he could not breathe on his own at birth and was placed on a ventilator. He had jaundice and a low white blood cell count (this was because of my condition). He could not maintain his body temperature. He could not consume formula orally. He could not defecate on his own without the help of suppositories (initially at least). He was small, even for his gestational age. His skin wrinkled on his body because he had almost no body fat. He was covered in lanugo (fine hair all of his body). In short, he was not ready to be born.
In the NICU...he looks like he's saying a prayer here.
The silver lining of this cloud has been the wonderful friends we've made, in the hospital, online and in real life. I don't know what I would have done without their support sometimes. When Marino was in the hospital last month, I could say to my preemie friends "Marino's desat machine is making me want to rip all my hair out...its giving me flashbacks" and no one had to ask what I meant by that. They all get it. And my IRL friends: Audra (who is the kindest person I know and only had 1 month of preemie mom life experience on me but was like a mentor to me), Laura, Katie, Megan, Karen, Martha and Carol (who just sent Marino an adorable holiday outfit, thank you) - I have a special place in my heart for you guys, as I do for the other preemie moms in my life I haven't met in person yet: Kelly, Tricia, Shana and Ivory and all my other kind hearted friends. I'm not sure what I would have done without you all sometimes.
For information how you can help, please visit the March of Dimes at: http://www.marchofdimes.com/howtohelp/howtohelp.asp
or call your local NICU to see what you can donate or provide to families struggling to care for their premature infant.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Toddler photography bloopers...the boy is clearly too skinny still for 18 month size pants...
Full moon (aka embarassing shot to show future girlfriend)
There's ducks in this lake, mama!
Jazzy barn scene.
BAWWWL pit...he went nuts for this! There's a little video below of him in the ball pit...he didn't want to get out!