Our First Video!

pic from Pixabay

Hi! Dawn and I recorded our first video on Sunday and are happy to share it. As mentioned previously, this is our first video and we’re not experts, so hang with us. 🙂

We figured what better topic for our first chat than… Coronavirus/COVID-19. We are not medical experts and aren’t talking about the virus itself, but rather living in a world where all of this is new! Somehow we end up talking about cooking at home too, haha!

We hope you enjoy!

PS – I’m Stephanie, on the left, and Dawn is on the right.

Sharing My Older Posts from Charleston Moms

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

Today I was reading a post on the Charleston Mom’s site and the post linked to one of my old posts about working mom guilt, so I figured I’d share it here.

Then I thought, I might as well post a link to all of my posts on the Charleston Moms site! I wrote for them for a few years and wrote about everything from preeclampsia to preemies to not Googling for medical advice to general life! Check it out if you’d like.

The post I linked to for general life above has one of my favorite pictures (my very own Pinterest fail):

my Pinterest fail. For what it’s worth, I’ve since perfected these. 🙂

Charleston Moms has a lot of really great stories everyday, so follow them on Facebook or visit their site.

Cabin Fever Kids

Wintry, rainy, January, now February days can make for some serious cabin fever.  I am thankful that I have found some great activities to keep my busy boys occupied this winter aside from climbing the walls and jumping on their beds, smh, so I thought that I would share! 

The first activity that I take them to is a kid’s yoga class, called, “Kidding Around with Yoga with Miss Jennie”. I found out about this class through a flier that I picked up from a downtown Irwin store, Feathers, and I have attended two classes since with both of my boys, ages 4 and 6. 

I love that my kids are doing Yoga, because it doesn’t feel like a committed activity, like baseball, soccer, etc., and they both can participate at the same time.  Plus, all the kids are learning great techniques in relaxing, mediation, and exercise along with coping skills when they are having, a bad day to just relax and take a deep breath. I highly recommend it! 

My next activity that I practically auto-enroll them in are swimming classes at the Wilmerding Community Center, because both kids can take their class on the same night.  This place recently changed from YMCA to Wilmerding Community Center, so it is an older facility but still has a great pool!  Classes are reasonably priced and taught by excellent instructors who take their time with the kids when they need additional help or are scared of jumping in the pool.  They also have a family changing room for parents, like me, who don’t always have their spouse around to help change kids out of wet clothes. 

And finally, my last share on a winter activity is taking the kids out to the bowling alley.  My kids love this place, because they get to throw bowling balls, get to knockdown bowling pins, and play in the arcade. One other honorable mention of my kids’ love for this place are the vending machines that my kids hit me up for pop, bubble-gum, and useless toys.  The bowling alley is just a great way to get in some good quality time together while playing a very low-maintenance sport. 

Hopefully some of these ideas help to inspire you to get out of your hibernation mode.

Kennedy’s the CHS March for Babies Ambassador!

Kennedy’s the 2017 Charleston March for Babies ambassador, and today was the kickoff lunch! It was such a great time to be in the room with the other teams, each full of people ready to help support the March of Dimes mission.

Check out the cool video about her story!

If you’re compelled, we invite you to donate to her team here!

We are soooo thankful that we get to share our lives with our precious girl! She’s a warrior disguised as a sweet, perfect human. 🙂

 

Kennedy’s My Fave!

What is it about babies that makes them so darn adorable and addictive??? Yesterday at work, one lady brought her 6-month old baby (because her baby got a fever and had to be picked up from daycare). The baby was so quiet – she didn’t make a peep all day! Somehow just seeing this sweet little peanut at the office made me want to literally go running home to my baby!!!

I ended up working longer than normal yesterday, and by the time I left I really couldn’t wait to get home! When I got through the door, Kennedy was waiting with a smile. That girl is too much! I just want to hug her all day, everyday! She’s really into high-fiving and making funny faces right now, which makes it even more fun when she greets you.

As it turns out, I did get to spend a ton of time with her yesterday, because that little night owl didn’t go to sleep until 1:30am! She has more energy than anyone I know. Foolishly, I thought putting the cool projector on would mesmerize her enough to fall asleep. That backfired. She did find the projector to be mesmerizing, but it just wound her up more!! She stood up in her bed, started pointing and oohing and ahhhing at the stars on the ceiling. Finally I just caved and held her til she fell asleep. Oops. I completely realize that I ended up wasting my time because ultimately picking her up just encourages her to do that again to avoid going to sleep, but 2 hours of that was enough for one night. 😀

She’s my only baby, and as mentioned in other posts, will always be the only baby. So, to be honest, I don’t really care if I “spoil” her or if she likes to be held all the time. She’s so special and with everything she went through when she was born, I want to snuggle her and don’t feel guilty about that at all! It’s really crazy to look at her now and imagine that she had a rough start. You would seriously never know. She’s my little Power Preemie who’s capable of anything! I’m ready for this girl to start talking and share all of her thoughts with us! She’s only one, but she’s had such an interesting life already and I’m sure she has tons of cool things to say!

Me and Miss Munchkin

Me and Miss Munchkin

 

The NICU is hard – Even 9 Months After Discharge!

Holy cow, guys, the NICU is hard! My daughter is doing amazingly well, and turns 1 soon. She is also going to be the March of Dimes ambassador for the Charleston March for Babies in 2017. To help promote the event, there will be a video to share Kennedy’s story.

A few days ago, we shot an interview with one of her doctors in. the. same. room. where she was. That was completely unplanned. We knew we were shooting in one of the NICU nurseries, but had no idea it’d be in her module. We walked in and I just started crying!!! I was staring at the spot where I spent weeks and weeks of my life.

My emotional response caught me totally off guard. As I said, my daughter is doing amazingly well, and I was there for a HAPPY reason! Before we got there I was so excited to see everyone, but once we got there I was a mess (but I was still super excited to see everyone!). That’s the thing about the NICU, you really just don’t know what’s next – even after you’re gone, apparently! If we would’ve been in the location where she was when she had the lung condition, I probably would’ve lost my mind! It’s just so crazy how you don’t think that things will effect you one year later, and particularly when they’re positive things. I guess when things are happening you’re just taking everything one day at a time, and when you’re on the other side of it, it can be overwhelming.

I’m thrilled to be one of the NICU success stories! Kennedy’s story is amazing, and to look back at everything that’s happened over the last year, it’s mind blowing. This little girl went from being 12 weeks early and on a ventilator for a long period of time, to leaving the hospital on her due date and breathing on her own, to being almost one year old and on track with her birth age  – and has been for several months (which her Early Interventionist has said is statistically pretty unheard of). Kennedy’s the strongest person I know – quite literally now, I’ve never seen another baby with actual muscles. I am pretty sure that I need to get in shape before she forms thoughts that she’ll remember because otherwise she’s going to be putting me through some kind of 5am bootcamp to keep up with her!

Back to the NICU to celebrate Kennedy’s birthday, my husband and I made 5 care packages for NICU babies who will be born on her birthday this year. It’s nothing big and it’s nothing super exciting, just a few helpful things and a birthday card for the new baby from our family. But, 1 of the 5 packages had a more significant gift in it – it’ll hopefully go to a baby who is born in her birth hour! I’m hoping to find her closest birthday twin. 🙂 I’d love to chat with her birthday twin’s family and be there to lend an ear when the NICU gets tough or scary. Something about being in that environment changes you forever. For real.

The NICU that she was in is really interesting. There are two main sections, and each section has 2 rows that face each other. On each row, you’ll have about 8 babies (I’m happy that I’m far enough removed that it’s no longer a vivid picture burned into my mind). So you have at least 16 babies in very close quarters. It can be loud. It can be scary. It can be amazing. It can be touching. Because of HIPAA, obviously no one from the hospital can tell you anything about anyone other than your own baby (and let’s face it, you’re so wrapped up in your own concern for your baby that the stress of the rest of the babies would set you over the edge!), but because you’re in super close proximity to the other babies, you sometimes hear words or treatments or can see their isolette and it’s really challenging to not compare.

For example, in our case, there was a baby who was older than Kennedy, born earlier than her, and who was already in the hospital for quite some time when we arrived. This baby was a warrior. She had a tough road, but she was kicking butt, until one day when she suddenly got sick (or had some kind of emergency – again, because of HIPAA, we have no idea what went on.), and went back on a ventilator, had all kinds of other interventions, and from what I gather, didn’t make it (although I don’t know for sure because we were transferred to a different floor). When we were next to that baby (as in, an IV pole and a rocking chair away, literally), it was tough to not worry. We were like, oh my gosh, she was fine, and now she’s back on the ventilator and now she has this and that! What if that happens to our baby???? But, we had to constantly remind ourselves that we didn’t know the story. We had no idea what that baby’s medical concerns were, and that we couldn’t compare. It can definitely be a mind game with yourself.

The NICU is the sweetest and saddest place in the whole world. Miracles happen every single day because of amazing doctors and nurses who dedicate their lives to these newborns, babies who are beyond strong and are doing amazing things well before they should be living in the real world, and of course with the help of some technology. But really, it’s the people – the medical team and the babies who are all special people who do extraordinary things everyday. I think it’s impossible to be in that environment and not leave with at least some positive memory… I guess maybe it does make sense to be emotional. After this last visit, I know that those feelings will be with me forever. I am so thankful that we met everyone we did, and that they all played a part in making sure Kennedy was healthy, happy and got home with us where she belonged. I am also thankful that Kennedy will never remember her days in the hospital, but that she will never know a time when those people (who have now become friends) weren’t in her life.