Missing words

The March for Babies banner hangs outside our house along the fence every year during this time. I decorate it and always write our family team name so everyone can donate to Gio and Isa’s Miracles. It’s been raining on and off here so the decorations and my writing washed away. The banner is still holding up along with the March for Babies logo but not what I wrote.

Now Gio saw it the other day and in a voice of panic turned to me and said, mommy it doesn’t say donate and help Gio and Isa’s Miracles. Our team information is gone. They won’t know to help us. You need to write it again. This kid has a heart of gold. He is so truly concerned that no one will know about their walk and team. I just hugged him, smiled and said, don’t you worry they know. Mommy makes sure to let everyone know as much as possible. He then hugged Isannah and said mommy is helping us. We are ok.

 My heart just smiles.



Bathroom talk

It was a beautiful evening in BK so the kids and I decided to walk around. Asher joined so we could all go out to eat. When dinner was about over I took Giovanni to the bathroom. In the bathroom hung a 20×24 (around that size) photo of a naked boy. All you could see was his back side. He was standing as if he was peeing. You couldn’t see his face at all just the back side. Giovanni flushes and looks up to see this photo. He did a double take and with the most serious face asked me if that was him. Looked at it again and then back at me and questioned me one more time while adding, you know that’s me. Why did you give them my picture. I just about peed myself. I had to look at it again and then understood how he could think that. As I reassured him it was not him and mommy would never do that to him. He hugged me and said that’s ok mommy, I’m not mad. I couldn’t hold it any more. I had to chuckle a bit out loud.

naked boy

Big boy morning

Every morning since we switched from cribs to toddler beds Gio comes into my room and looks at me from my side of the bed to make sure I am up and tell me that he is WIDE awake. It’s been the same routine since the very first day. I give him a smile and a hug and ask if he’s gone to the bathroom. He says no and then quietly runs to the bathroom while I get ready. We then meet and both walk downstairs together.

Something was different this morning. I was up in bed waiting to see his smile at my bedside but it didn’t happen, instead I hard movement and the sounds of tiny baby steps moving about. I got ready and slowly stood by my door and just watched Giovanni. His curtains were pulled back and his chin was resting on his hands while looking out his bedroom window. It was the sweetest most big boy thing I’ve seen. I watched him with tears filling my eyes. I tried not to cry as I walked over to him and gave him the biggest hug. He turned and looked at me and said he did everything by himself. I asked him what he did and he took my hand and showed me. He walked me to the bathroom to let me see the tissue filled with blood from his nose that he had thrown out in the garbage. He gets bloody noses sometimes but we always help him take care of them. This time he did it all by himself. With the sweetest kindest smile he told me that he didn’t want to wake me up. He knew I was tired and was being quiet. Although, I knew something was going on by the dry blood on his face and dry blood on his bed board I didn’t want to worry him and I knew he had something to say. I picked him up in my arms and held him so tight while telling him what a big boy I had and how so very proud of him I was. As I cleaned his face and bed, he continued to tell me how he thought it was too early and that is why he wanted to take care of everything without waking me up. He also said that he wasn’t scared and everything was ok. He was growing up right before my eyes. My eyes started to fill with tears again so I had to keep moving.

He walked downstairs in front of me rather than behind me and led the way to the kitchen. Once I got everything ready for him and he began eating his breakfast, I had a feeling to walk over to the window. It was there when I tried to see all that his eyes were seeing. I smiled so big and finally let the forming tears fall from my eyes.

It was my moment of life. My time to just breathe, take it all in and simply say thank you. And that I did!

All it takes is a moment

Making my way to the car through the frigid layer that was burning my cheeks as I walked was making it pretty hard to keep my spirits up. I was feeling run down and a bit weak from a cold I’ve been fighting and this piercing chill was making me feel even worse. I finally made it to my car and quickly jumped in. Unable to move and get things started I just sat there and collected my thoughts. I took a deep breath and finally started the car. As I was driving I was making a mental note of all the things that needed to get done today. Feeling a little heavy, mind and body, I decided to turn on the radio. It was then that I heard a song that just cleared me. It wasn’t a meaningful song to me or one that related to memories it was just a song I knew, a song that I needed and wanted to hear at that time. I turned up the radio louder than it’s been in a long time and it lifted everything off my shoulders. At that moment all I could think of were the words and singing them as loud as I could. For a moment it was just me, not my thoughts, not my worries, not what I had to do or who I had to please. Just me. I was the only one in that car, in that moment, in MY life. It was strange how just being there cleared my mind of everything. I was weightless. I was fearless. I was unconditionally detached. If that even makes sense.

In that moment I wasn’t afraid and for me that is truly hard to do. I felt as though I was floating and a pure soft white light was shining around me like a silhouette. I wanted to stay here forever. I didn’t want to lose me again.

At that moment my phone rang, I didn’t want to look down at the number. I fought myself to look because I was afraid to leave this moment behind. It was too soon. But I did, it was a number of a long ago friend that sadly only calls when she is in trouble. I knew that if I picked up that call this moment would be lost for good. It took everything in me to try to hold on but that tiny space in my heart won over everything else. I answered that phone call and was taken back to a place that was all too familiar. As I listened to the voice on the other end of the phone I could feel the moment fade away. My shoulders began to slowly tense up again and my body felt heavy. After we said our good byes, I realized I experienced all of that wonder to better prepare me for this.

We experience things in the order we do because that is where we are supposed to be at that moment. No matter good or bad, light and love. It’s part of a bigger picture. It’s a path along the way. We just need to trust that we are right where we need to be and things will come again as they should.

Tonight’s joy

There’s nothing better than hearing your daughter singing at the top of her lungs with excitement during a performance of Frozen on Ice but to turn to your left to see your husband holding your son who is nestled in his arms with tears in his eyes looking over at his daughter. That was the best moment of the entire night for me. When he caught my eyes staring the smile on his face said it all. I knew that he was taking quickly back to the time in the NICU where it all started and then back to how amazingly beautiful, healthy and happy she was right at that moment. At least that was the look I received. That was how I felt and his smile confirmed this miraculous moment was even possible.

Frozen on Ice will mean different things for different people but for me it will be a constant reminder of the joy and pure excitement on my children’s face. It will remind me of the appreciation we felt watching a show that can lift a persons spirits and bring hope in the eyes of so many.

The memory of this evening and that moment is etched in my heart permanently. I have another happiness that I can turn to when a day just isn’t going right.

May you always have a saved happiness you can remember.

We rocked Flu Shots!

It’s finally here. The day we go to the pediatrician to get our flu shots. I’ve been prepping Giovanni and Isannah for a couple of days now. Going over which doctor we will see and explaining the shot process. I made sure to play flu shot/shots episodes from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (best one for shots) and Dora the Explorer. Then I would talk to both kids about the reactions that each made on the show and how they described the feeling. Gio and Isa knew they were ready and it would only pinch and then it would be done.

We began our day with another discussion to make sure we were comfortable and understood the process. Once we were dressed and ready to conquer the day we headed for some live kid jams while enjoying some lunch. By that time, the rain let up and the sun and breeze filled the air. It was the perfect opportunity to head to the park to laugh, skip and play. I knew the park was a block away from the pediatrician so I hoped the transition would be an easy one.

I announced the “10 minute” countdown and just sat and watched every move they made.

They were both in their own little world filled with laughter and creativity. It was the sweetest thing to observe.

Finally, 10 minutes was up and I called them each over. They listened and immediately took my hands. They continued talking and throwing in a question now and then about the doctor and who would be going first. They were in good spirits. It was the first time in a while that they didn’t cry as soon as they walked in the office.

Gio and Isa greeted everyone and took their seats while I completed some paperwork. As we were called in they rushed by me to their usual room, sat down and began playing. No less than five minutes our pediatrician came in. The kids paused for a moment. I was worried the flow of tears would suddenly begin but instead the greetings and smiles continued. Wow, these two were prepared and getting so big right before my eyes.

The pediatrician asked who was going first. Gio immediately said Isa and Isa immediately said mommy so I popped up and took the first round. Isannah kept her eyes on me the entire time. It was less than a minute before he was putting a band-aid on my arm. Isannah popped up and was ready. Dr talked to her sweetly and before you knew it she was done. Her face was serious for about a second and then she giggled and said it pinched just like Daniel Tiger said. She popped up and started dancing. Now it was Giovanni’s turn. He bravely walked over sat on the bench and tried so hard not to look but kept turning to look at his doctor. At that moment Isannah stopped playing looked at Giovanni and said remember to think of someone you really love and it will only pinch.

Giovanni looked straight at me and that’s when the doctor gave him his shot. It was over but not before Giovanni’s lips began to quiver and he let out the saddest cry. He jumped right into my arms and softly cried some more. I let them both know how proud I was and what a great job they both did. At that moment, Giovanni stopped crying and Isannah looked straight at him and said, why didn’t you think of daddy? You were supposed to think of someone you love so much and I thought of daddy and that’s why I didn’t cry. My heart just melted.

They were both bouncing around again with excitement once the doctor told them to ask for the special lollipops behind the counter on the way out. Of course, they did and all was good in the world.

We rocked Flu Shots!

Last day of school

Big day for Giovanni and Isannah today. Who am I kidding, mommy too;-) Last day of school. Time to say goodbye to teachers and friends they met during this school year before starting a new school in September. As I began packing things in my bags from their school during drop off I felt my stomach turn. I stopped and said I would continue the rest during pick up. Isannah’s face said it all and I had to walk out. 

Fast forward to final pick up at school. It was almost time to walk in but for some reason my feet were cemented to the sidewalk a few feet away. My body felt heavy and so did my heart. I finally pushed myself to walk in. More like mad dash to the bathroom because the nerves got to me. As I opened the door I saw kids hugging each other and that’s when my eyes found Giovanni and Isannah all smiles and asking for hugs. They were all so adorable. Asking for hugs and giving group hugs as well. My eyes started to fill with tears but I was still controlling. I gathered the rest of the kids things together while saying good-bye to the teachers. As I turned back Giovanni was back in the classroom trying to get his last good-bye hugs from his friends. It was over. The emotions were taking over and I was thankful to have my mirrored sunglasses to hide the rapidly flowing tears from my eyes so the kids wouldn’t see.

Sadly, the sunglasses couldn’t hide my cracking voice as I was trying to get the kids out of school. The final good-byes were said and my two beautifully kind, loving, empathetic kids were leading me to the door. What an emotionally joy filled day.

Next was ice-cream which we all enjoyed to celebrate another milestone. Here’s to new beginnings!

She changed her mind

Night time routine was a bit delayed today and with Giovanni skipping his nap (jack hammer breaking concrete outside his bedroom window, thanks neighbors), he was overstimulated and pretty much bouncing off the walls. Finally got them bathed, dressed and ready for bed. I took Giovanni in his room and Asher took Isannah. Then we switch to say our goodnights to each blessing. When I walk in Isannah’s room she is standing up out of the cover and up against the corner of her crib. I try to cover her up and say good-night but she loudly tells me that she changed her mind and she’s no longer tired. I wanted to burst out laughing but carefully said to her in the sweetest voice that that’s not how it works it’s late and it’s bedtime. She fell into her crib allowed me to cover her and then she was out. It’s been an interesting day.

Daddy you suck?

I’m still giggling about a moment I witnessed with my husband and our daughter Isannah. She grabbed a hold of his arm and kept saying, daddy you suck, daddy you suck. The expression on his face was priceless. We both looked at each other as we tried to understand what she was saying. We asked her to say it again and with a big smile on her face she said very loudly, DADDY YOU SUCK. We tried to break her speech down as they have difficulties with pronunciation. She demonstrated what she was saying. She said, daddy then lifted his arm which she had locked in her hands and said Daddy you suck. I finally asked her, is daddy  STUCK because you are holding him. She said yes, SUCK. At that moment I realized that a little extra attention to her wording may help going forward. Hope you smiled and maybe chuckled a bit too.

Never make big decisions during fireworks

I will never forget this 4th of July. It was the day we separated the kids room. Rain was falling on and off throughout the morning and early afternoon keeping us home bound to celebrate the 4th. The kids singing the songs from Frozen over and over with excitement in their eyes and laughter in their hearts. I just sat and watched them in amazement. Their little voices trying to hold the notes while smiling just hearing the song. No matter how many times it repeated the kids smiled as it was the very first time each time. At that moment my husband decided it was the perfect time to separate the kids rooms. They slept together in the same room since the day we brought them home. My initial reaction was fear then calmed into hope and joy for a new milestone that would take place. As my husband spoke my mind drifted away to the times we brought the babies home. Each on different days…NICU days. I couldn’t believe how they started and where they are today.

I started to get nervous but didn’t want it to show. We began moving and rearranging things asking the kids what toys they would like to keep in their own new rooms. This seemed to help them move forward with our plan. I noticed the closer we got to completing all that we could do at the moment my fear came back. It was another phase in their amazing young life but I wasn’t ready. It was me that was afraid. Maybe I just needed more planning, mentally and emotionally. I didn’t have any of the necessities like room decals, themes and accessories laid out. It was all spur of the moment which is not really something I do but I went with it. We finally finished and the kids each enjoyed a little time in one another’s room before it was time to nap.

Isannah still in a familiar room was sound asleep while Giovanni paced back and forth in his crib. He would stand up, sit down, lean forward and then back down. He did this a number of times before I went in his room to calm him and try to relax him. Nothing worked and he was not going down for a nap so I brought him with me and we talked about all the wonderful things he would do in his room. The colors he could select. The paint we could change and the wall decals that he could choose. Once again he was excited but no nap took place today.

Now let’s forward a few hours to our night time routine. All was going seemingly well up until the kids were tucked in their beds. They had only a moment to relax before firecrackers began beautifully playing outside. The screams and fears in their voices caused my husband and I to rush in each room to make them feel secure and comforted. Each time we thought it was over the cries began again. Finally exhausted they each fell to sleep. This time no nap for Giovanni worked for him and us. He was able to knock out immediately. Isannah slowly made her way into a comfortable sleep.

Let’s just say a night of known fireworks may not be the best day to separate rooms. In the future we will not make big decisions like this when fireworks are involved.

Keeping my fingers crossed that they sleep through the night as normal and wake up feeling well rested, secured in their room and happy for being a big boy and big girl now. As for me, now when I look at the monitors in each room and see them labeled as Gio and Isa rather than the nursery room, my chest just hurts a little. I guess we all need to get used to it.