Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dirty Hands = Happy Boys





We've officially started our first Gasperini-Ville greenhouse! The boys had a great time using medicine droppers to add water to peat pads (good for challenging fledgling dexterity!) :) After the pads puffed up, M and I opened the netting and planted hundreds of Petunia seeds in the hope that we can grow our own for a planter near our front door. So far, no sprouts, but we're waiting...

And in the meantime, I've raised my white flag and called in my parents for reinforcement! They are heading out tomorrow and I am so relieved. Mono: 10, B-mama: 0. I'm losing this battle, for sure! Thanks for your prayers!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cherub Update

This is B-mama, reporting to you live from the Gasperini-Ville family room, where this little fella:
has gone and taken the carpet by storm!! J is officially crawling! He started out with little rear scoots, going after a train puzzle piece and the rest is history!! Woo hoo! We have video to prove it (which I wish I could share but it won't sync--bummer!) Today he is 6 days shy of 9 months. Yahoo Baby J! We love you and are so proud of you, boy #3!

On other Gasperini-Ville cherubic fronts, two days ago the boys were keeping rather quiet while chalking on the driveway and garage. I walked over and saw this written everywhere! M and I had worked with writing his name awhile ago but haven't approached it since... And then here were these beautiful "Matt"s written on the concrete! I was so surprised and impressed!
He then asked how to make an "F" for (how he pronounces) the "phew" portion of his name. So adorable! We talked about how it is really "th" and proceeded to write out the rest of his name. He did a fantastic job!! M, we are so proud of you!!
How we love all three of our boys!
God bless you and yours,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prayer for Parents

I have been meaning to post this since gathering with a neighbor to pray the Stations of the Cross together on Good Friday. It was so special! Her Episcopalian church encouraged its parishioners to pray ecumenically with neighbors to honor our Lord's Crucifixion. While we prayed and walked around to various "stations" in our backyard, this passage especially spoke to me...

We pray for parents of this neighborhood and the world. Holy God, grant to all parents humility, wisdom, and love. Protect them from trying to make their children into what they want them to be; but give them the grace to help their children become what you intend them to be. Remind them to laugh more, and not to take themselves too seriously. Remind them that all children really want from their parents is to know that they love them. As the time comes, help mothers and fathers release their children from childhood; and through your grace, grant that child and parent may always remain connected, one to another...

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Morning Ditty

Good Morning to you
Good Morning to you
We're all in our places
with bright shiny faces.
And this is the way,
to start a new day.

We sing this song occasionally when going in to wake the boys in the morning. I can recall singing it often to our oldest M when he was a baby. It is definitely the type of song I plan to continue to sing to my kids well into their teen years, just to embarrass them to no end. Ha! :) It is a shiny, happy song and tends to bring a smile to any face as it is sung.

Today is one of those days when I am actively "putting on a happy face." Mono is kicking my rear, for sure!! In addition to the overwhelming fatigue has been the onset of a really sore and swollen throat. I could feel my sleep interrupted last night whenever I would swallow and feel the excruciating pain. Lord, help me! Toughest yet has been watching my fitness go from uber-half-marathon status to atrophy city. Ugh!! :) Since I have always been a fitness guru, it has been maddening not heading to the gym or jumping on the elliptical here.

Talking this morning with my sister, we searched for how God is going to use this time of illness for good. No doubt I am learning greater patience. I'm also learning my limits and He's reminding me to avoid overdoing it! In my down moments, I am getting to see and breathe and take in life around the house, rather than passing through the days so quickly that times are often blurry from activity!

Today, T and I snuggled together to read some books and then played a game of Candyland. Life at the moment seems a little simpler. And that, of course, is wonderfully blessed.

I hope you awoke this morning to the start of a brilliant week.
Hum a merry tune and think of me; I'm singing right along with you.

God bless,

Friday, April 24, 2009

T antics

Yesterday during quiet time and mom's new rest time,
I was approached by a visitor, bearing a gift.

T entered the room with a sheepish smile, a small item gripped in his paws.

T: Mommy, what is this? Mommy, what it this?...
B-mama: (rather groggily) I don't know, T, what do you have?

I peered over the side of the bed to see none other than a small piece of poop cupped in his tiny little hands. Even worse, he then accidentally dropped it under our bed, smiled, and ran out of the room. Gross!

How much I love that little boy! lol. TGIF!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Liberating Diagnosis

First things first, hello and we are WELL! Thank you for so many nice well wishes, thoughts and prayers. We are really doing just fine. I think Gasperini-Ville breathed a big SIGH of relief on Monday night after hearing the news of my diagnosis. Don't get me wrong, we weren't all rejoicing in me being sick. But we were breathing easier that there was a legitimate reason for me feeling so off lately. When a mama doesn't feel *right*, the whole family and home suffers.

The last two weeks had been, in all honesty, some of the most trying in my vocation as a mother. I've had the usual highs mixed in with a lot of lows. We had good times mixed in with a lot of impatience and irritability. It had not been easy. While Easter was a beautiful respite during it all, I then plummeted back into feeling completely off and not knowing what to do about it! I would find myself in tears in the middle of the day with no obvious explanation.

Which is why mono (and crazy postpartum hormones) is a wonderful, liberating diagnosis. I'm not just "off". I'm "sick", which means I have hope to feel *better* very soon. The doc gave me 2 weeks in the acute phase, followed by a month or so of reading my body and not pushing myself too hard. I've definitely been feeling a bit more fatigued, but nothing short of first trimester woes. Note: I am NOT PREGNANT. I just wanted to make the comparison so all my female readers out there might know how I'm feeling!!! ;) Thankfully my case of mono seems to be on the mild side--Praise God!! And I may have been dealing with this for a little while because I've felt very little change in fatigue from days ago--it's just all been low!!

And the beautiful outcome to all of this??? I have the excuse to sit and enjoy time with my children. Not to mention our Mimi has been showering me with love and help... and my GG has been very sympathetic. ;)

Maybe I need to contract mono more often. lol j/k
:)

Thanks so much for journeying this crazy life with us. We are so blessed by you.
Hope you are all enjoying a beautiful Thursday.
God bless,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mono Girl

Well gang, it's official.
According the Patient First Clinic here in town tonight, I have mono!!!!!

Can you believe it? I'm still in disbelief.
Yet the nagging fatigue is already after me...
I promise to check in tomorrow with the skinny on all of this, but in the meantime would *love* your prayers.

Keep shining,

Boo Bear at 8.5mos

We ventured out to have our littlest man's 8-mos photos done this weekend. It's so unfortunate we don't live closer to have this gal snap a few of our shots. Instead, we headed for a quick deal to Portrait Innovations. After being with Sears Photo for years and never really being satisfied with the creativity or skill of our photographers there, I think we were happily pleased with the results. The one caveat, make sure your little man will flash his smiliest self amidst the noise, bright lights, and unfamiliar faces! Poor Boo Bear! :) GG did an awesome job--I stayed back with the older two boys to nurse a fever. More on that later...




Enjoy my squish. Isn't he the sweetest?
Happy Monday and blessings,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Feeling Springy

Blessed morning to you, dear friends!
Here are a few of the Friday springtime views from Gasperini-Ville's breakfast nook, overlooking the "gardens" (lol)...
These beautiful flowers stem from an absolute joy of mine--the fledgling dogwood!! It has returned this year (after its predecessor did not fair so well last spring) and rewarded my additional love and care by flowering all over and promising great hope for the future. Last summer it limped along, but I was not going to let this baby pass!! Ahh... so good to see it return in such glory!

New shoots like these are poking through the earth almost daily. These belong to one of our hastas, which M used as a golf tee in their earlier stages just a week ago. I, of course, re-directed his efforts upon finding a few of the buds chipped off. All seem to be doing well despite!

This ground creeper was one of the first plants to bloom in the yard. It is a beautiful purple and reminds me of the sweet little girl for whom the color was chosen. The former owner took such care in choosing the plants to highlight many of her children's favorites... So sweet. Such thoughts remind me to be more thoughtful toward my children every day.

And speaking of such children, here are two of my three favorites, hanging out around the breakfast table. What sweet, little dears! They watched their crazy mommy romp around the yard taking photos, only to shower me with smiles and a loud "surprise" when I returned.
I hope your Friday is a beautiful one as well, inside and out.
God bless, :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

At Breakfast This Morning

A fly zooms around the breakfast table, terrorizing my children. Supermom kills it using the kids' Highlights magazine, smacking it against the window.

M: Mommy! Why did you hurt the fly? You hurt one of God's creatures!
B-mama: When one of God's creatures threatens my babies, Mommy has to protect you.
M: Mommy, God is very sad you hurt the fly. You need to pray right now for him to love you.
We proceed to pray; Mommy asks forgiveness... :)

M: Mommy, you can't hurt that fly. He needed to fly to find his mommy.
T: I like to sleep with bugs.
M: I like to sleep with worms. Real ones.

L.O.L.
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

He is risen and we are very glad!
It was a full and awesome day of Easter celebrating. Can't wait to share a little more...

tomorrow.

I'm bushed!
Hope you all had a blessed weekend,

Friday, April 10, 2009

In Remembrance

False accusations,
scourging and spitting,
flogging,
thorns into skull,
limping toward death,
hung and harassed,
a broken heart for the world.


We send our love and solemn prayers to you today for a blessed Good Friday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Success!

Quick report:
Whether or not it was related to the Nasonex, T slept without interruption last night. We are ALL better for it this morning. Signs of things to come? Let's hope! :) Thanks for tracking with us and hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Okay Nasonex

Thank you to all who offered advice yesterday as to how we should proceed with our little Tonsil T. As parents, we all want to make the best choices for our little ones, which means trying to educate ourselves on the facts and variables and make sound, reasonable decisions! Not an easy task, by any means.

We made the choice yesterday to move forward with the Nasonex for one month and see how things go. T will only have one spray/day in each nostril. A good friend found that only trace amounts are absorbed into the bloodstream from the nostrils, which means very few behavioral side effects can actually be attributed to the drug. Gotta be wary of anecdotal stories via the www!!! Isn't that the truth?! Our doc also confirmed that patients of hers have never reported having any behavioral side effects, only immediate problems like nosebleeds, etc.

Relatively speaking, the tonsils have really just started giving T problems, but are perhaps an indicator of a greater underlying problem. We are definitely going to be scheduling an appt. with a pediatric allergist (also at the advice of the aforementioned friend--thanks Alicia!) to find the root of this problem. Why the tonsils and why now? In one month's time, we'll have a few more answers and will have endured the tonsil issue for a bit longer and can evaluate from there.

Day one of Nasonex down and we had a horrible night of sleep last night, though, we had little expectation the drug would have any miraculous effect after only a few hours. Our T was so uncomfortable, congested (due to a cold), snore-y, and labored with his breathing . Poor thing. We'd appreciate your prayers as our family wades through all of this... Might I remind myself that both in the good times and the tough times, we are always blessed. God is good all the time.

As you peruse through, here are a few shots from our weekend venture to the Children's Museum here in town. They had an anniversary celebration and we finally joined as members... You should be seeing many more shots like these in the coming year! :) The boys had a great time and we'll be returning, for sure!




Happy Tuesday and God bless,

Monday, April 6, 2009

ENT Report

We just returned from the ENT, Nasonex in hand, ready to see if we can offer our T some relief before plunging into surgery. The doc says T's a classic case of allergies causing enlarged adenoids and tonsils to the point of preventing breathing while sleeping. This can manifest as groggy morning waking, moody day spells, and general breathing discomfort due to the blocked airways preventing quality night sleep. I am in awe that so many pieces of this puzzle are falling into place... While I hate for him to suffer, it's so nice to have an explanation of why we've been struggling with so many of these variables over the past months and even years. It's awesome to have answers!!!

We will try the Nasonex for the next 4-6 weeks to see if it will help offer T some "breathing room" in his airways. If it doesn't work, we will proceed to having his tonsils and adenoids out!! Whew!!

So that's the scoop! Blessings to you this Monday!

*I've just done some preliminary research online as to the effect of Nasonex on children. I read about some scary side effects reported by parents such as aggression, hyperactivity, and dopiness in kids. Alarming!! I am really hesitant to give this to my little boy! Does anyone out there have any experience with children and allergies? Nasonex is a corticosteroid designed to relieve inflammation in the airway... Part of me wants to buck the doc's orders and refuse to administer it. We'll see. Any advice?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Agenda

A glimpse of our TGIF To-Do's includes 1) managing "kissing tonsil" T:
(Poor guy has come down with a severe case of tonsillitis with tonsils so swollen they're touching at the back of his throat! We'll update after our visit to the ENT on Monday!)

2) Tackling this maniacal mountain of you-know-what (Help!)

And 3) hoping to snag one of these! (No guarantees!)
The sunshine pouring through our windows, though, reminds me that we are still showered with ample blessings amidst laundry and the like. ;)

Hope this finds you well. God bless!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Finally, the highlights!

What? When did it become Thursday already?
Are Holy week and Easter really next week?? Craziness!!

The week is obviously getting away from me, so before losing all memories of our Florida trip, here are a few highlights:

*waking the first day to Gramz and M perched on the balcony, awaiting the sunrise
*watching 5 grandsons descend on their grandparents in bed that first morning... and seeing them welcomed with smiles and cheer!
*reveling in my 5-year-old nephews and their maturity and sweetness--what good boys they are! I'm so proud of them.
*seeing cousins enjoy one another and play so happily together; hearing their laughter and silliness
*our Baby J bringing joy to all; acquiring the title "SBJ" for "Sweet Baby J" from his uncle
*hashing out the latest and greatest re: my children and their development with people who love them as much as I do and encourage me on this road of parenting!
*dinner out by the harbor; S'mores around the fire pit
*talking music greats with my sister and dad in the kitchen; we all have a passion for good 80's and workout music; welcoming my parents into the world of the iPod!
*being around people who love fitness, burgers, french fries, chocolate cake, coffee/hot cocoa, light beer, and Riesling as much as I do!! :) (note the large blue bottle of wine on our dinner table!)
*meeting a mother on the beach with three grown boys; she loved watching my kiddos and offered such hope for our future. You could tell she loved her kids so much--she was so inspiring!
*our rental van--it was a white Dodge Caravan ("Great White") with all the bells and whistles, including satellite radio and a turn signal that when tapped, turned off by itself after a set # of clicks. I truly took lots of joy in the little things of this car. It was the secret to my 13-hour solo driving success!! ;)
*coming back to Virginia to my wonderful GG...