Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What are you hiding behind???

I guess coming from me this post may be a shock to some. As my friend Yvonne says I am a "Fashionista". I guess this is true I love trendy clothes trinkets and anything else I can be the first to have. This is not a new habit like my Mom commented on my last post, kids made fun of me for dressing up for school but it never stopped me. I have a "fad " box at my Mom's filled with the plastic charm necklaces, those twisty strands of beads that you cliped together , swatches, Jelly bracelets ( only black) and who can forget the plastic bangles. That’s just the jewelry I am not even going to start on the shoes and clothes..HA!! Looking back now it was a good thing, I have become one of those people that can pull off almost anything and if I could get myself out of a 10-12, I bet anything. hehehe. Oh yeah another reason I can pull it off is because I do not care so much what people think. at least until recently...

I live in a area filled with beautiful trendy people with money... To bad that is not me. I am not a thin, I don't get to stay home, I have no time, and I do not have the money to even play ball with the Jones's let alone keep up with them. Don't get me wrong I did not just wake up this morning and decide that I was no longer trendy Lisa, slave to fashion, I think I just woke up thinking that there are more important things. Where it used to be Gucci it is now Gap ( except if sunglasses are involved) my purses no longer come from Nordstrom the are from knock off purse parties :) .
I guess this is a fact of life or just growing up.

People depend on me and putting myself in debt for a new hand bag and some Jimmy Choo shoes is no longer part of the game plan. I guess having a family that loves you, and real friends that you do not have to impress (they were most likely there all along) is a gate way to growing up. I have always know this but more recently it came to my attention, there is so much more to life then having every thing materialistic that you want. Wow who would have thunk it, I actually just said that.

So if you are wondering if I am never going to shop again, get real. I am who I am and I would imagine with my two little girls there is a ton of shopping for us to do and believe me I cannot wait to do it. I've just learned that Nordie Rack and TJ Maxx are places to go for high end things and me, well I am a Target, Old Navy, and Gap girl through and through . . . Unless I make to the Ralph Lauren outlet HA! You all know how I feel about POLO, and now Emma too . . . oops

I can dress my girls in whatever brand name I want but unless they have self confidence and are sure of themselves they are just going to be girls hiding behind a brand name. I am sad to say this happens way to much and at all ages. It is about who you are not what you carry on your shoulder.

This is Emma and I a few Christmas's ago in our matching outfits...Look out Chris soon enough we'll have Tatum on out side too!!! To think I wanted boys, I can not even imagine that now. Me and my girls...I love it :)

Back To School

With a new school year comes a new traffic pattern. Let me tell you the traffic over this week so far has be awful I really can not figure it out, what is wrong with people the gas pedal is still in the same place. Who knows I guess we just have to deal with it!!!

Also with school come my yearly dreams and anxieties. I have this reoccurring dream that I did not get through high school it is awful, then I wake up and remember that I graduated from College, whew! School starting also takes me back to when I was little. I went to private school a few years and then back to public. It was never fun I was made fun of for stupid thing like coming from a good family or not having a chest (yeah I was actually flat at one point). These issues would have me in tears on the way home from the bus stop and I am not over sensitive.

It breaks my heart to think about the trials that Tatum is going to face. Kids are so mean I know that much hasn't changed. I know there are good kids out there but for the most part they aren't. I know she is so little now and going to school is a ways off but I cannot help but worry about this. I wish she could just go to school with her new little friends, but I guess that is sheltering her.

Errrr.... I guess I am going to just have to add this to my list of worries, I bet I am not alone here. I can promise you one thing they'll never make fun of her because of her clothes, LOL!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Mommy, Mommy, Mommy...

I feel sometimes that this is what I hear all weekend long non stop. God bless you stay at home Mom's I certainly do not think I could do it. That may be the toughest job going, no joke!
I brought work home this weekend to try and get done and every time I started Emma was practical on top of me. I tried everything moving away from her finding a different work space and every place I went she was about a foot behind me. Finally I gave up and went downstairs to watch the F-1 race with Chris. Whiling watching the race Tatum finished her bottle and fell asleep laying on me. Not two seconds later Emma was also trying to lay all over me. It got so bad I had to give Chris the baby so I could lay with Emma. I spent most of the morning trying to convince her to go run errands with Chris. I even told her if she went with Daddy I would take her to the pool later... no dice she was not budging. We told her if she stayed she had to take a nap thinking that would defiantly get her out of the house but she simply said "ok". She is still sleeping now, and I finally got my work done. Tatum just hung out in her swing and watching me and smiling. Her new thing is tons of smiles, this has made the summer a bit easier to atlest see progress from her. Don't get me wrong we accomplished lots Emma is completely potty trained no pull ups ( not even at night) Tatum is moving right along, Chris started work at a new dealership and actually does not complain about it all the time and we completed our patio out back. I actually can not believe the summer is almost over. Gosh I can not wait for our vacation it is so close now. I am hopping next summer is going to be much better. Only one thing next summer "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy " may be coming from two peoples mouths...I hope anyway :) Most likely we'll end up taking the kids out when Emma wake's up she has been a really good girl all weekend long. Besides could you resist these two little charmers... NOT ME !LOL

Atleast I am going to work tomorrow a little ahead of the game. Ahh, now that I vented some I feel much better about being Mommy for the next thousand years. HA-HA

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cath Coaster...

No Cath this month Tatum, I was told this on Wed morning and spoke to the nurse yesterday to confirm the new coarse of action. The Dr. scheduled to do the procedure is going to be busy, his wife had a baby today.
The good thing is I am so busy at work that I am relieved that I do not have to spend two days in the hospital... end of the month work is always crazy...

I was really ready for this cath I figured it was going to be perfect for our vacation and she would be feeling good. Oh Well... She does seem to be doing very well right now but I do not want to jynx it :)

Tatum’s cardiologist has rescheduled the cath for October 4 and we have an appointment in the office scheduled for Sept 22. This was the soonest that we could get it done , September is a crazy month for us. We already have other appointments that were schdudled months out and our week at the beach. We are supposed to keep a close watch and bring her in immediately if we notice any changes. This is going a long stretch for us between cardiology apointments and that does make me nervous, but I have to remember that the Doctors know what they are doing, right. UGGGG it is still frustrating!!

Can you say emotional rollercoaster!!!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Wiggley Good Time

Yesterday we trucked down to the Verizon Center on the Metro to see the Wiggles live. The Wiggles are always such a good time; this was out third live show. I think this was the best so far, first Emma was older and I think she'll remember it. Also a friend of mine that does PR and marketing knows someone that works at the Verizon Center and got out seats bumped up to a suite. That rights our own wiggly suite. I am sure this thing could have easily accommodated 30 people but yesterday it was only six. Three crazy dancing toddlers and two Moms’ and a Dad.

Emma was a little sad that Tatum was not with us but I promised next year...I guess that mean I'll be back. No biggie I do not mind the Wiggles
They make Emma so happy; we finally got a feather sword. HAHA I think it is much safer then some of the other light swords we had gotten in previous years.

What a great day. The metro was filled with excited little kids including ours that were riding the "train" it was so cute. Emam with a passie not so cute...Monkey see monkey do...

AHHH good thing I only do this once a year I feel like I went to a Stones concert not a Juice box drinking toddler show..... Well the suite did have more then just juice but it was a 3pm show so nothing to crazy :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Any Advice???

Ok yesterday Tatum ate food at daycare twice, this is what we wanted her to do but she did cut out a bottle. Do you think I should cut a bottle out and keep the extra feeding or leave it how it is? I know the formula has more calories but the Doctor also told me at her 6m visit that she needed to eat more food because she needs the vitamins in it. Kind of a double edged sword if you ask me. Any suggestions?

Oh yeah and a correction to yesterday...She does 25oz a day not 30 I counted better, last night. :) She is also a very "Happy Spatter,” Emma was too. I think they just like to throw up on Chris and me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tatum's Menu

Lately Tatum has turned into quite the little eater. I am sure this is just a phase so I should try and pack on the lbs while opportunity presents itself...

Tatum does not like green beans and believe me she'll let you know. Tatum does like sweet potatoes and squash and so far that is it for veggies...She is our fruit girl.
Tate loves applesauce, any thing with the word custard, orange and banana medley and alone, yogurt, and the newest, watermelon...She sucks the juice out, pretty funny to watch.

During day care she eats baby food or rice cereal mixed with apple juice or grape juice around 1pm. We have decided today to start her on a mid morning feeding too. Along with this food she has 5, 4oz, bottles. That is what I pack anyway and we never get a full one back anymore.

I usually get home from Work and pick up around 6:15ish at that time I try to feed Tatum again that is when she gets baby food, yogurt, or applesauce. Lucky for Tatum, Emma likes to help her eat her food...LOL

Before bed she also puts down another 7-10 oz of formula this is cumulative from when we get home until she goes to bed. During the night she does about 5oz and another 5 when she wakes up before daycare.

I have mainly put this together for myself so on Monday I can have an intelligent answer for the Doctors when they ask what she is eating.

I think we are up to about 30oz of formula a day...What a leap!!!! We may be well on our way to a Tatum Chunk :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Extended Family

Sunday Tatum meet her Great Grandmother for the very first time. It was really nice to see her and all the family that went along with it. She also got to be with all of her cousins. So far Tatum is the youngest but I would imagine that this is not going to be forever. Chris' cousin Renee is not married yet so in time I think there is going to be additions to this group. Hopefully for Noah's sake we can add another boy, right now he is alone in that department. The kids all play so nice together but to get them to all pose in a picture together not so easy. All in all a very nice visit, we are so glad that Grandma is feeling much better. I wish this picture came out better so you could see how cute this little group truly is.

I learned this weekend that Tatum and Emma might have another cousin with WS alot older I think. I do not know details as this info was given to me so third hand. I am working to find out more and as soon as I do I can update, I am very curious. This relative is not someone we see often or even live in the same state with but if the case is truly WS hopefully we can all help each other. It could turn into a very positive situation for all of us. So my information journey begins...wish me luck......OK, journey over :) There is a little girl that is 5 and she has Downs... See where playing telephone gets you...LOL

Friday, August 18, 2006

How Did Daddy Do???

Chris was AWESOME!!!!! I only got one call and that was because her pediatrician office did not fax something. Lapcorp went well and the Cardiologist went GREAT!!! I think it is going to be Chris' new job.

He told me that the Dr. had never seen Tatum so calm; figures they are always better for Daddy. He also said that...are you all sitting down, Tatum, is 12.2. Can you believe it!!! I am keeping my scales separate and so this is a different on from her 11.8 well check up. This is the July 5 10lb mark so imagine our surprise, we though she was starting to fill out.

Another bit of good new today was her pulmonary arteries have grown. On June 1 they used 4mm balloons to stretch the arteries today her arteries measured 5mm from a previous 3mm during the July MRI. All good signs of growth for our little Tate, I hope the improvements continue.

I also wanted to share a few pictures today...My Dad stopped by our house last Saturday to see the girls and took some pictures, all very cute. I am so proud of him because he has finally figured out how to email them. Ok Dad no more new cameras we can work the one you have now :) This is Emma and her Poppy in the house he got Emma for her birthday. I know it looks like fun but I think my Dad learned why I play with Emma through the window. It is much easier to get in then to get out. LOL ...This other picure is Emma and Poppy in their new O's beach hat. To Cute...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Passing the baton

Tomorrow Tatum has an apt with the Cardio Dr. @9 then one to Lab Corp for blood work. Tatum has to have her electrolytes checked, no big deal there just one of those things, and blood work for her cath. We were waiting so it could be all done at the same time, less pricking for her. I am not so sure what the Dr. is going to tell us tomorrow, and for the first time I am not going to be there to hear the info. I usually do the non-major apts and we both go to the biggies. Tomorrow Chris is making a solo debut, pretty exciting, for me anyway. I guess I'll be updating everyone tomorrow with Chris' report, actually he is much better at remembering and understanding what is going on so it should be good.

I'll have to get a itinerary together for him today so he know exactly where he is going and what he needs to bring but that is way easier then missing a half day of work. Maybe this is the start of a beautiful relationship that includes sharing doctor appointments. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

On a lighter note.....MD Crabs...
Yum, last night a few girlfriends came over and we got our crab fix in. I love picking crabs it is by far one of the biggest perks of living on the Eastern shore. Crabs and Beer you just cannot go wrong. Thanks Carol (Kylie and Peyton too) and Michelle for coming over for such a nice evening and helping with the girls you guys are the best.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Starbucks, my new best friend...

I think that the lack of sleep over the past 6m is finally catching up with me. My morning Starbucks drink has just changed to a venti sugar free vanilla latte with an extra shot...yes I am really hurting.

I get home from work and picking girls up around 6:30 after that it is dinner, some play time, baths and bed. Chris and I only see each other in passing. Our conversation is usually “Hold the baby while I go change my shirt” and that is about three times a night. I take Tatum and he takes Emma. Chris usually falls asleep putting Emma to bed so I have to wake him up usually around 10:30 that seems to be the time where everyone is asleep. At that point we still have to clean up the kitchen make bottles for the middle of the night and have a min to ourselves for whatever still needs to be done.

Tatum wakes up like clockwork at 4:45 and so the day starts again...Feed the baby, she goes back to sleep, my turn to shower and get everything ready for the day. Wake up Emma get her ready, wake up Tatum get her ready, if I am lucky out the door by 7-715. Now we are off face the metro area traffic that could take 2 hours on a really bad day...It has to get better!!! I do not even get naps on weekends because there is laundry and cleaning to do and kids that want to play.
Sure they nap but it seem when one is asleep the other is awake and vice versa…

I just wonder how someone with more then two kids and a full time job does it. Props to those people you would have to pick me up from the hospital from breakdown recovery...LOL

For now all I can say is thank god for espresso my new best friend...Yawn it needs to kick in NOW!!!

Have a great day everyone.;)

Monday, August 14, 2006

What a big girl

I hope this is not premature...but our uneventful weekend had one BIG event.
Emma wore big girl pants all weekend accident free. It's about time right...
A few weeks ago Emma spotted a big pink dollhouse in the closet at home. Chris' dad bought this for her a couple of Christmas' ago. At that point she was to young for it then we moves and long story short it has become the potty present. All we heard all weekend was " I go pee and poop and the big potty and get my pink house" to funny...
Emma has been told that there are no houses until Friday at the earliest; we have to see how the week pans out. I think this is it, thank god...one in diapers is enough!!! I know great talk for a Monday morning but it was a happy day at our house. I think Tatum was even happy... or shocked LOL... You'll have to be the judge ;)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

1/2 Birthday

Today baby Tatum is 6m old, oh where has the time gone. I can honestly say its been a pretty quick, most likely because it has been non stop, one thing after another none of which easy. I wanted to put up a cute little picture of her up but Blogger is giving me a hard time so maybe tomorrow or this weekend.

I did not think that this was where we would be at 6m I just envisioned so much more. That was before I learned to not to compare Tate to Emma and every other kid I have learned that every child has a pace and right now Tatum's pace is a bit slow but eventually she'll catch up.

One of the biggest changes in the last 6m has been in Chris and I, hopefully all for the better. I think I have so much more to offer now just from different experiences then we did before. I have not only Tatum but new friends to thank for this as well.
As we face the next 6m bringing us to that 1 yr mark I just have to remember that this is a situation that I have no control over but more like a dark unfamiliar room and as I slowly turn on all the lights I am going to see that everything is going to be ok. Love can get you through anything and that is one think that I know I have. So incase I do not say it enough I love you all and thanks :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bring it On

I guess I asked for it, with a statement like that in my last entry...

This morning after PT I put the girls in the car and headed to work. I always stop for Starbucks after I drop off my kids. So I am in Safeway minding my own business and I hear a little girl talking, as she and her Mom walked by me I said, "Are you Jessica?"...

Back Story...

When Tatum first went back to daycare, a lady there gave me the phone number of her neighbor who has a little girl with WS. I spoke to Sallie a few times and she told me about her daughter Jessica we had planned to meet but with summer and both our busy schedules we have not been able to hook up

Back to Safeway
...The little girl stopped , said "Yes" and started talking to me like she had known me for years. I introduced myself to Sallie, her mother, so she did not think I was some crazy lady in the store, she was happy to meet me and that I was finally meeting Jess.
Jessica is the first child that I have meet with WS and actually with the exception of baby pictures she is the oldest WS child I have ever seen. I am not going to lie I could tell immediately when I saw her that this child had WS. Jessica was one of the sweetest 12 year olds I have ever meet, she has long beautiful hair terrific blue eyes and this great little body ( her fist consultation for braces is Wed).
I was not prepared for this encounter, it was early I had not gotten much sleep and my mind was really one track, coffee and work. To look into the eyes of a 12 year old that looks an older version of Tatum is not so easy but I knew it would happen eventually. My reaction once I left the store was not what I predicted, I called Chris to tell him and while talking to him I lost it. I cannot tell you for sure why I was crying but I could not stop. As the day went one and my support system comforted me it got much better.
I think had a been mentally prepared for this encounter it would have been a tad easier but I would bet my reaction would have been somewhat the same. I know that the spectrum for WS is huge and we have no way of telling where Tatum falls on this scale so maybe she and Jessica won't have much in common who knows. I am sure we are going to all meet Jess again soon but for now I am just going to enjoy my baby at the stage she is in.
I think we have one big milestone down for Mom on a road never traveled by us.

Next time I say “Bring it on” someone kick me... And God do you have to take me so literarily? Baby steps please...

Monday, August 07, 2006

6m Well Visit

Today Chris and I meet with the pediatrician to go over a "game-plan" for how we are going to handel Tatum’s medical care during these early stages.
When I speak to other WS Mom's I notice that their pediatrician is the primary doctor in their children’s life. I was not really feeling that this was the case in our situation. I decided to see only one doctor in our practice for the time being, when my other favorite comes back from maternity leave I'll then see both. Anyway we decided that Tatum would go to the Doctor once a month opposed to the every 2-3 month schedule a "normal" infant follows, this way we can monitor her electrolytes and her growth regularly. The doctor has also said it is time to see an eye doctor. It was really nice today to finally have a doctor look for the hernia and ask if we are in the infant and toddler program, she even mentioned speech ( that is still a while off for us). I saw this particular doctor at her 2m visit but was not ready to take on this situation on as of yet, she was awesome then and I figured I would be ready soon enough. Well the time has come and I can finally admit to myself that she has some problems I need to face it and not just brush it off, I am ready...Bring it on. I only want the best and I am willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish this. The one thing that I never want someone to think is that I did not make the best medical and physical help possible available to Tatum. I cried on the way back to work in the car, finally a Doctor on our team full time that is all I ever wanted.

Tatum weighed in at a whopping 11.8 she grew 2 inches and her head gained 2 inches also. This was a 2lb and inch an increase in everything from the 4 month visit.
The doctor told me that it was right on for a normal child growth and really good for her since she has WS and heart disease. We are actually on the regular growth chart for height and maybe the next time she can make it on the chart for the rest.
They never use the WS growth charts although I have given them copies... Oh well, I think it is more fun to compare with normal children.
Her well check up seemed to go good and the Doctor as well as Chris and I are very pleased.

Today we scheduled Tatum's next Cath for Monday Aug. 28 at 9am. I have a few weeks left to prepare for that one but by now we should be old-hat at this stuff right? :)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

What a whirlwind of a weekend. It was GREAT!!! Aspen and Autumn arrived Thursday after brief introductions that seemed so not needed you would have thought we all knew each other for years we all crashed. Friday was going to be the first day of a non stop weekend.
Friday after Tatum's OT we all jumped in the car and headed toward Miss D's. I drop my girls off at daycare about 5 miles from Autumn's new digs. I took Aspen and Autumn to Starbucks, one of my favorite places, (they do not have one in NM) then over to check out the place I had found for Autumn. I was so happy she liked it, I guess I did a good job fining a good place for her to live. After checking out the place we went downtown. I know I grew up not far away and now live in the area but this was actually my very first trip to the National Cathedral, what and amazing place. We lit candles for our little ones and said a prayer for everyone.

Saturday Emma and I helped Autumn and Aspen move Autumn in her place. This did not take a very long time probably because we had Emma helping us...LOL she actually did help out it was very cute. After this exhausting feat we all went home to shower and change so the ladies could go out to dinner. Chris kept the little ladies at home. We did not stay out very late because we had big plans for Sunday.

Although we are close, I think the last time I actually visited the monuments were some field trips in 5 or 6-grade. That is terrible, I mean I have been to some of the museums and the zoo just not the actual monuments. They are way more beautiful then I remember. As we walked around with the kids taking in the sites, Chris and I both decided that we would go with the girls at least once a yr. Emma seemed to really enjoy it
and Tatum was just the best little trooper around. As our day came to an end, we were all beat. We stopped to take a breather about three blocks away from the car. Then took in one last museums The natural history one. Emma is still talking about all the animals. I certainly hope Autumn and Aspen had as good of time as we did. There were spilled bottles, late starts, sticky popsicle hand, oh and I cannot forget Aspen's nice save of Emma on the escalator (I think we still need a bit more work on the moving stairs). All in all a typical Griswold I mean Ridgley family outing...LOL

It is so hard to believe that I had never actually meet Aspen before I already felt so close to her. The love I feel for not only her but the other WS Mom's that I have meet online is amazing. Nancy put it best by referring to it has a neighborhood. It is my virtual neighborhood with friends that I visit and catch up with a few times a week. I love it!!! I hope someday to meet everyone face to face I just know you are all going to be just as awesome as Aspen and her sister. I am so glad for her visit and the new friends I have made.

It is going to be nice having Autumn here all the time she is also a very incredible woman. What a brave lady to move across the country and set up shop. I love it!!!!! Emma took immediate liking to Autumn and her cat, I know she is also glad that they are now here. Emma was also loving Aspen so I know she wants her to come again just as much as me. GranZ sent the cutest bear for Emma that she has slept with every night so far. What a wonderful giving family these to girls come from. I am so thankful that Tatum brought them to me as well as the rest of you Mom's.

I am here in the DC area if anyone else wants to come. We always have the welcome sign up :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

In Memory Of

Today is the 1 year anniversary of Chris' Dad's death. What a crazy year it has been it seem like there has just been one tragedy after another for this family. Hopefully things are going to start looking up. All the time I get sad for my girls because they are not going to have the wonderful memories with there Granddad that there cousins share but someday they well get to meet him and until then we are just going to remember through pictures.

This picture is from our trip to Disney with Chris' Dad and Sisters family. The picture it Emma and Angie (Chris' Sister) Tori ( Emma's Cousin) and Grandad.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

This just in...

Wow, finally spoke to a Dr. today. Tatum is going back to the cath lab... She had her first cath and ballooning on 6/1 and she is having another one at the end of this month. They were originally thinking every six months and now it could be done every 6-8 weeks...Anyway just a quick update I think I have to give it time to all sink in... I feel so bad for my baby, I know I did nothing to cause this but I also can't do anything to fix it and feel like it is all my fault :(

New places and faces....

Aspen and Autumn are on the way expected arrival time is this evening, late. I am so excited about this visit. This is my first face to face visit with another Mom in my shoes...Kinda weird, I know it is just going to be fun. I also can not wait to meet Autumn, I have spoken to her a ton trying to help her find a place to live out here so it is going to be nice to put a face with the voice.
Aspen as well as the rest of you WS Mom's have been so supportive I would be lost without all of you.

I have never been so happy to be living outside DC, I sometimes forget/take advantage of the fact people actually want to come here, most likely because it has always been so close. Chris is even excited he is already planning his Saturday morning special breakfast...He makes the best French Toast. YUM YUM

I so wish all of you were visiting this weekend who knows maybe soon. I took the day off tomorrow so I could take the girls to Georgetown for a nice afternoon ( no kids) and then to there first Widespread Panic concert...I hope they love it.

Anyway...The plan is to do more site seeing on Sunday. If it remains this hot outside I think it is just going to be us girls and Emma. Chris said he would stay home with Tatum. But look out if the heat breaks Aspen and Autumn are going to experience a Ridgley family outing first hand...This should be fun. I bet the pictures from the weekend are going to be great :)

My love to all.....