Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Snowy Day (We Were Prepared This Time!)

Last time it snowed, we were stuck without snowpants and a sled, but my parents had those things waiting for us when we got to New York for Christmas. So when it snowed (somewhat unexpectedly, the weather was calling for up to 2 inches...we got about 6) on Saturday, we were ready! We bundled Marino up in his gear and pulled him on the sled down to a small hill by our house. He loved the ride...he kept saying "Daddy? GO!!" He also really enjoyed eating the snow...I think it felt good on his teething gums... After our sledding experience, we came inside and had some hot apple cider to warm up:)

The only bad moment was me slipping and falling all the way down the hill on my butt. This would have been fairly hysterical, were it not for the fact that just 10 days prior, I inflammed some muscle between my neck and shoulder and was literally incapacitated and popping Valium for days. Let's just say, the fall didn't help. Luckily, I have a chiropractor appointment first thing Monday morning, so hopefully I can get some relief!

Here's some pictures of the fun.

Video of Marino and Evan sledding down the hill

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Favorite Things: 18 Months Edition

Since Marino's interests change so much month to month, I thought I'd write a post about some of his current favorite things at his current age. Of course, his primary interest is in Yo Gabba Gabba (sass) and all things related, but aside from that, here are some of his current favorites:

His play kitchen and all of the play food (he particularly likes dumping it all out on the ground, perhaps just to drive me insane?)

His stick horse

His current favorite book "Moo Baa Lalala"by Sandra Boynton...he recites 90% of this book from memory!

Melissa and Doug "Pets" Sound Puzzle

His Mega Bloks Activity Table, there are many cool things about this, including that you can fit all the pieces inside of the table, for easy clean up. There are also many many different Mega Bloks sets, and Marino has a Mega Bloks compatible dump truck (where we store the blocks). For Easter, he will be getting Yo Gabba Gabba Mega Bloks (it's surprise, so don't tell, k?)

Yookidoo Flow 'N' Fill Spout...Marino LOVES this toy...he doesn't like to get out of the bath because he loves it so much. I actually wanted to buy someone one as a gift, but they were sold out everywhere I looked online (maybe everyone loves them?).

I'm sure he'll have a whole new set of favorites in a month or so!

ETA: I just noticed the NUMEROUS spelling mistakes in this post...trying to fix the ones I saw...this is what I get for blogging when I should be in bed!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Heavy Heart

Tonight my heart is friend Leslie (who I met while planning my wedding...we got married on the same exact day!) lost her 2 month old baby girl, Kylie, last night. Please pray for the entire Trieu family: Leslie, Laurent, big sister Hayley(who's blog is over there on my blog roll ->) and twin brother, Kiptyn, that their hearts heal. I am so a mom, there is nothing I wouldn't do to take away Leslie's pain. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Visit to Pulminologist...Asthma Update

For those of you who read this blog or know anything about Marino, you know that Marino's asthma is a big source of frustration and stress for us. It is very difficult to watch your child struggle to breathe, and Marino's viral triggered asthma has meant a lot of minor viruses lately have turned into big illnesses, which in turn has meant lots of stress, money, time off of work for Evan and I, etc. In a nutshell, asthma sucks.

We took Marino to see a Pulminologist today, just to see if there was something different we should we doing to treat his asthma, or if he thought there was a larger issue we were missing.

Right now we are doing (if he is healthy):
Singulair once daily
Pulmicort nebulizer treatment (.25mg) once daily
*for those of you not familiar, both of those medications are medications intended to prevent asthma flare ups, not to control acute asthma attacks/flare ups.

if he gets any sort of cold or seems to be having more trouble, we add in:
an additional Pulmicort nebulizer treatment
Albuterol (2.5mg) every 4 hours (unlike Pulmicort, Albuterol is used to control asthma attacks/flare ups, its is not a maintence medication)

if that doesn't work, we've added in oral steroids (prednisone).

The Pulminologist listened to Marino's lungs and said he certainly thinks the asthma diagnosis is correct. In listening to his breathing for several minutes (for which Marino miraculously sat still and completely quiet), he could detect 1 wheeze per every 10 breaths and this is even with our current system of medicating the asthma (and he's not currently sick). He thinks that his asthma is probably less a result of his prematurity (given that he did not have breathing issues after leaving the NICU until he was 9 months old) and more a result of heredity (Marino's half-brother, Quintyn, had severe asthma as a toddler, too). He said we can hope he will outgrow it, but not to get our hopes up about that...he thinks we will likely be dealing with respiratory issues every winter and hopefully have easier summers (when there are less viruses to contend with).

I asked if he thought I should stop taking Marino to public places, since he ALWAYS seems to get sick within 72 hours after we take him to a place where he is exposed to many people. He said he didn't see any value in that, given that Marino is in daycare, and therefore already exposed to many people, who are exposed to many other people, etc. He made a wonderful point that the harm caused by the viruses he picks up in those places is balenced by the social benefit of being exposed to new people, places and experiences. I think this may be especially true for Marino, who is such a social boy.

He did recommend that we increase Marino's Pulmicort treatments, both the dosage (from .25 to .5mg)and increase to twice a day. We also got a fancy new mask for his nebulizer, that the doctor says he finds does a better job of getting the medicine directly to the lungs (especially with toddlers who are not all that compliant with a nebulizer...unless you bribe them with Yo Gabba Gabba). The new mask is called a Pari mask.

Here's a picture of what our old nebulizer mask looked like. As you can see, it has fairly large ventilation holes and is made out of a thick plastic.

This is our super cool new pari mask. It has smaller ventilation holes and is made of a softer plastic, so it conforms more to his face, for a tighter fit. AND it looks like a fish, which makes it about 12,000 times cooler, right?

Instead of unscrewing the top to put the medicine in, the pari mask is like a pitcher, so you pour the medicine inside. The other mask had actually become an issue in this regard lately, since Marino would sometimes pull the top off of the other mask, and meds would spew out. Not possible with Mr. Fish.
And here's what it looks like on. It also dispenses the medicine quicker and more effectively. The total time needed for this mask is 6 minutes. With our old mask, it could take up to 15 minutes to finish the meds.
We go back in 2 months (at the end of cold/flu season) to reassess where we are with our med dosages, and we may be able to cut back some in the spring/summer months.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Great Playdate

On Sunday, we had a playdate with some of my favorite people: my Aunt Kerry, cousin Sam, cousin Miranda and her daughter Pacey and our friend Patti and her daughter Madelyn. We had a great time and the babes sure tired each other out! I took lots of cute pictures.

Here's Miranda with Marino and Pacey (this was the end of the day...which explains the sleepiness). Miranda is so amazing with kids and is such a great mom...I'm really proud of her (does it seem weird to be proud of another grown woman? I've got a good 8 years on her). And Marino loves her to death...he thinks she is sooooooooooo funny!

Madelyn and Marino

My beautiful baby boy

It's soooo much easier to get good shots of babies before they become mobile!
Pacey riding the "neigh neigh"

Toddler tackling
Marino had to stop to make a call
Gorgeous Pacey...note the destruction of my living room in the background...bokeh can only blur so much....

These cousins have way too much fun together!

Can't wait to see everyone again next month!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valentine's Day Pictures

This was my last weekend of winter break before the spring school semester starts. This semester is going to be very tough for me...the last 2 semesters I've been in school since Marino was born I was able to avoid having to actually go to class 2 nights a week. This semester, I'll be gone Tuesday and Thursday nights, and school adds an extra hour commute to my day. The classes I'm taking (Land Use Planning and Environmental Planning) are also going to be more difficult and unfortunately not quite as interesting as the courses I've taken the last 2 semesters as well (my area of interest is affordable housing). It will be a challenge, to say the least. But I was able to soak in a lot of quality time with my boy this weekend, which was great. I just love Marino so much!

I had wanted a Valentine's Day themed shirt for Marino that wasn't too feminine. Luckily, my friend Jill over at Zingo Tots has lots of cute Valentine's stuff for boys and girls (including very affordable DIY iron-on appliques). Check it out:
Thanks, Jill, for the adorable shirt and for getting it to me at the perfect time!

It was actually nice enough to get outside for a few minutes AND Marino got a fresh new hair cut on Saturday thanks to Aunt Chelle's boyfriend, Kelvin. We were able to go outside and do a little Valentine's Day mini photo shoot with the boy. Here's some of the pictures we took....

This is this crazy face he makes when he's being silly...Evan thought he was having a seizure the first time he saw it, but he just does it, I guess, because he thinks it feels funny? Who knows what goes on in the mind of a toddler...
This one is my favorite (obviously, since I made it part of the blog's header)
Here he is saying "bye bye moon" (no moon was in sight)

Friday, January 22, 2010

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week!

5. Everyone at daycare thinks this is hysterical...the boy eats chicken drumsticks like a big boy...he just picks them up and starts gnawing! He eats down to the bone, too...there is no meat on that sucker when he's done!
4. On Monday, Marino and I went to the playground and brought Max, but we ended up needing to go back to the house to get towels to dry off the slides. We left Max at the house when we went back. After our playtime, Max could hear us laughing as we were walking back to the house and started barking inside the house. Marino heard him barking and he started yelling "Mashis? Mashis, where are you?!!"

3. The boy is developing excellent manners. He says "thank you" and "welcome" (although sometimes confuses when to say these). He also always says "sorry" (prounounced "sowwy") anytime he bumps into anything, including inanimate objects.

2. One of Marino's Christmas presents was a Thomas the Tank Engine train set. It came with a variety of pieces, one of which is a stop sign. We taught him what the sign meant, so now he will pick it up and hold it towards us and say, very seriously "STOP!!" and be very pleased with himself.

1. Marino loves to dance. He'll dance to anything...the ticking of the oven on his play kitchen, the alarms on our cell phones...anything! The adorable thing is that now when he does it he, he yells "DANCING!!"...just in case we were unaware of what he was doing, or something:)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dr. King!

"...only when its dark enough, can you see the stars."
that quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has meant so much to me and stuck with me through many a difficult time in my life. I wanted to share it all with you...its so simple yet there is so much meaning behind those words.

Marino carried on his love of all things "King" over the weekend and on Friday was saying "Happyday King" (this is how he says Happy Birthday):)

Evan went to Iowa over the weekend to visit his son, Quintyn, for his birthday (he turned 10). Luckily, my mom and stepfather were nice enough to save, er, help me with Marino over the weekend. He's cutting 2 teeth right now and he hadn't slept well at all the week before (of course he slept through the night and even until 8am when my mom was here!). It was great to see them and Marino had lots of fun.

Visiting with Grandma

Hanging with Grandpa Ray

Since Monday was MLK Day, we had an extra day to play this weekend! On Monday, Marino and I met up with our buddies Megan and Simon at the Playseum, a hybrid Children's Museum/indoor playroom in Bethesda. We had a lot of of the coolest things there is a room with different animals (bunnies, doves, etc) and the staff take the animals out do the kids can pet them and see them up close.

Here's Marino doing some serious reading at the Playseum

Hugging a "beyah"
Marino and Simon

Megan helping Marino slam dunk
This was Marino's favorite part...the ball room. He loved it!!
It was actually nice enough to go outside on Monday (it was in the high 50s and sunny). We went to the playground near our house and had lots of fun...its amazing how much better Marino is at climbing since the last time we were there!

Happy boy!!

And a few more pictures from Monday...Can anyone guess what Marino is saying in this picture? "SASS!!" (of course...)

This is one of his favorite Christmas presents (from Grandma)

Sometimes he pretends to vaccuum with it:)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yo Gabba Gabba

Is the boy's very favorite thing in the world. You know how some kids have "loveys?" Mine just has his "sass." There's really no use in trying to fight it anymore...thankfully I love it too!