Jake and me, week of October 14

 

 

Crazy enough this was week 3 of my sinus cold. Thanks to Dr. Falkner I didn’t have the sinus pain but still very congested. I haven’t been to yoga because the thought of down dog is painful with so much pressure in my nose. Although I really want to go and may help to get some energy moving around. We were out and about more then last week but still more low key. We headed back to Linvilla! Jake and I had fun on a hayride, playing on the playground, riding a train, riding a pony and picked some more apples. I was a little surprised with the crowd during the week, lots of field trips! But we had lots of fun! As we pick apples Jake pulls the wagon and picks the apples himself. I would say, Jake I can help you and he says, ” no, no. I do it, it’s fine mama”. It reminded me of a little old man just wanting to help. I love, love, love our days together!!! I feel so happy!!!

On Saturday we went with Jamie to the Philadelphia Zoo- Boo at the Zoo. Jake was dressed up in his Halloween costume which is Captain Hook. He came up with the idea himself from watching Jake and the never land pirates. There are lots of trick or treat stations around the zoo, a Fisher Price concert, a costume parade which Jake loved being apart of and of course all of our regular fun zoo activities decorated for Halloween!

Sunday we went back to Linvilla but this time with my parents and Jamie. It’s a family tradition to go every year. I went when I was little and it’s so much fun to now bring Jake. We got there early and started off with the hayride. We went to the playground and Jake was so happy that his daddy and pop pop were there to do the maze with him because it’s not my favorite. We found a couple of great pumpkins to bring home and a couple of pies too, which are amazing! We love fall fun!! The best part is seeing Jakes excitement. Every year he notices something new and is more aware of what is happening. It’s so fun to hear what he has to say about Halloween and what he thinks about all the activities. He’s also learning fall and Halloween songs at school that he is so proud to sing to us. Jake amazes me everyday, he just knows so much and I have so much fun with our conversations! The best part is being together and Halloween and the holidays are perfect opportunities to find fun family activities.

More Halloween fun this week too!!! As the seasons change it’s a great opportunity to try new adventures or even normal activities have a new look! Like the zoo or your local farm, at Gymboree Art class they are creating fall fun art. Art projects at home are great too, painting pumpkins, carving pumpkins, creating decorations for the home. Let us know what fun activities you guys are doing at home with your children!

 

 

 

Jake and me, week of October 7

 

 

This cold of mine has been hanging around so we took it easy once again. We always have our routine of swim lessons, preschool and speech therapy. This week when I was dropping Jake off at school he got upset for the first time. I know I chose the right school because I didn’t feel pressured to leave, I was able to take time with Jake and walk him to his class. The teacher said he had science that day and he got excited and ran into the classroom. I felt so grateful for the teacher and the school for their patience and understanding. Jake did great because of that, he just needed a little extra time that day. I came to realize later he was sad because he wasn’t line that day. But as I sit and write today it is his day to lead the line and he was very excited!

Our week got busy on the weekend. Saturday was my grandmothers birthday so Jake and I went to lunch with her, my aunt Virginia, my mom and dad. In the evening my patents watched Jake and Jamie and I went out to dinner. Jake loves when my parents come and play, he loves playing with his pop pop! Jamie and I always try to go out once a month together but that doesn’t usually happen. The last time we had a date was in August. We love being with Jake and are busy on weekends so we usually just hang out as a family. I still wasn’t feeling great Saturday and even called my homeopath Dr.  Falkner for help. He suggested a homeopathic remedy and by Sunday I wasn’t feeling sinus pain anymore. Jamie and I had a great dinner, it’s always amazing to just reconnect with each other.

Sunday was Sesame day! We went to sesame place for their Halloween Spooktacular. They decorate so well for the holidays. It was crowded but we had lots of fun, Jake loved the decorations, the rides, shows and his favorite is the parade. One of his favorite parts is being chosen to dance in the parade. Unfortunately they didn’t choose anyone because of the large crowds so he was disappointed. We loved being there with Jamie. Jake always loves spending time with his daddy and our adventures are even more fun as a family!

We have more fall fun planned for next week so we will keep you updated! Please update us on your activities! We love to share ideas for other families!

Jake and Me, week of September 30th

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have been circulating a cold in our home like I hear many of you are so we kept things low key for much of the week. I called my homeopath, Dr. Falkner since my cough was awful and he suggested a homeopathic remedy that worked really well. Jake goes to swim Monday,  preschool Tuesday and Thursday,  speech therapy Wednesday and we also got Jacobs fall shopping done. Our trips to the mall are teamwork, mommy shops then it’s Jakes turn to play usually at the play area or the Lego store. What could have been a hour trip usually turns into a all day adventure but I try to make it fun for Jake too because it’s his day just as much as it is mine. We had trips to the playground and the little airport by us called Wings to watch the planes and helicopters land and take off. Always bringing our bag of planes and helicopters, we set them up by the runway and play. Whole Foods is almost a daily trip for us too and there we always shop first and then play, as we say: pay then play!

The weekend arrived looking beautiful! Friday evening Jake and I went to see fire trucks and fireworks with our neighbors that have become great friends. It was a event by our home with lots of fire trucks , Jake got to spray a hose, use a fire extinguisher and watch a helicopter take off in the dark. The fun evening ended with fireworks and of course we took home a glow sword they were selling. It was the first time Jake sat outside to watch the fireworks, usually we run to the car after we hear the first boom and watch them from there. This time he sat on my lap next to his girls waving his glow sword having lots of fun!  We had very warm weather for October, it was in the 80′s so on Saturday our family took a trip to the beach! The jersey shore isn’t far and the shore point we go to is less then a hour and a half away. So much fun to go to the beach in October! Jake loves the beach, just like Jamie and I. We invested in a wonder wheeler which gets filled with a rainbow colored umbrella, 2 chairs, one of the chairs is a zero gravity chair, lots of trucks, buckets, shovels, towels and more trucks! Jamie drags it as close to the water as we can get and starts setting up, chairs and umbrella and then a huge hole for Jake. One of Jakes favorite parts of the beach day is that huge hole, Jamie and Jake work together digging and digging until Jake says it looks good and then Jamie can finally relax as I’m clicking away with the camera.  We ordered lunch on the beach, played in the sand and even the ocean. I was so surprised how warm the water was so Jake and I went in and jumped the waves!   The only part that was missing was the fuggy wudgy man (the ice cream man) that walks up and down the beach. Just Jamie, Jake and I, a perfect family day!

On Sunday it was still very hot and humid, we decided to head to a local farm, the farm that we went to see the reading of the Great Pumpkin. We went on a hayride, Jake went on a tractor wagon train ride, Jamie and Jake went through a maze and we ran around the pumpkin patch bringing a couple pumpkins home. They make homemade ice cream which is amazing so of course on the way out Jake enjoyed a chocolate cone.  Im sure we will head back at least once more this season, its a great local farm with lots of fall fun. After the farm we headed to soccer.  I can’t get over how adorable Jake looks in his jersey, shin guards and cleats.  Jake is such a amazing spirit and doesn’t always love following the crowd, he loves kicking the ball on the dirt of the baseball field but we eventually can show him how much fun the grass can be so we can participate with the group in learning the new skills.  They learn new soccer skills for the first 30 minutes and a little game the second 30 minutes.  Jake is still getting used to the games, he scored another goal and loves that part but doesn’t love when the ball is taken away or someone else scores a goal.  Jake is very athletic, he runs so fast, has a strong kick and is very competitive.  He is my strong willed little man and if he wants that ball on the field he will do anything to get it. Jamie and I have to keep reminding him we don’t push and tackle in soccer and reinforce the meaning of TEAM.  Its a tough concept at 4, all a new learning experience and that is what we are always trying to do, just providing new experiences and adventures for Jake always following his smile. What I mean by that is that if Jake is happy that is all that matters, we will try new things and see what he enjoys the best.

My cough turned into a bad cold at the end of our fun weekend so of course I put another call into Dr Falkner and now its moving through pretty quickly.  I always love my days with Jake and feel so grateful to spend everyday with my little love. What I love most of all is our conversations we have together, the laughs we share through the day, the cuddles, hugs and kisses. I feel like I’m hanging out with my best friend everyday, nothing can be better then that. And those conversations- just priceless!! I feel so happy!! Our weekends though are always so much fun because Jamie is around to enjoy everything with us and nothing makes me happier then being with my family! We have lots more fall fun planned this month, let us know what adventures all of you are taking with your families! We would love to hear from you!

Preschool: Round 2!

Those of you that have been following our story know that we tried preschool last year but it didn’t really work out. Jake last year had just turned 3 and had never been left except  with our loving nanny, my parents or with my sister and only at our home. We started at a preschool  3 days a week for 3 hours where many of our friends went, Jake and I toured the school and it seemed very happy and sweet so we signed up. I didn’t feel Jake was really ready but I wasn’t sure if that was more my emotion or Jakes and Jamie wanted him to start preschool so I decided to try it. I didn’t feel the need to send him since I was home with him and loved being home with him everyday.  Jamie and I dropped him off that first day, camera in hand to take many pictures and Jake seemed to be ok when we left. I felt so relieved. As I left school it felt so strange not to have Jake with me. I ran a couple of errands because that’s what I thought I should do but I really couldn’t wait to go pick him up and see how his first day was. I don’t mind shopping and playing with Jake all day, in fact I love it so I felt such a absence not having my little partner with me even if it was just a few hours. I got to school early and saw them in a play room with Jake hysterical crying. The teacher brought him to me and explained he was happy until the last 20 minutes of class. I started crying too, Jake and I were sitting in the preschool hallway both crying and hugging each other. The days after were mixed, Jake didn’t want to go but always fine at drop off and then was crying when I picked him up. But then he started not wanting me to leave him at home with my husband or mom, he started saying he was scared of different things, many new fears and then started getting upset when I would drop him off at school. All of this happened within a week or two, but I would never leave Jake crying at school or at home. This particular school wanted me to leave Jake crying but I was never comfortable with that and wouldn’t do it. I remember one day the teacher took Jake out of my arms crying and I quickly took him back and just left. We went to the zoo that day and played. I’ve learned through our journey that I have to be Jakes advocate, you have to always follow your gut and intuition that way you can never be wrong, never have regrets. There were moments in the NICU I wish I stood up for Jake more. I remember one afternoon my mom and I walked in to see Jake and the nurse was putting a IV into Jakes head. It was a procedure we were warned about might happen but nothing can really prepare you. As I walked in the nurse told us to wait outside, she said she does these procedures alone.  I wanted to stay with Jake but listened to the nurse. As I was leaving I just could hear him crying and the nurse wasn’t even talking to him, saying it will be ok. She was having trouble, and I was crying feeling so sad and wanting to be with Jake to support him and hold him. I felt so upset with the nurse and just so sad for my little baby having to go through that alone. Finally the doctor went to help her and they came to get me so I could see Jake. I couldn’t hold him that day because of the procedure he just had, but I laid my hands on his little body and just sat with him wanting to hold him and just take him home. I should have stayed with Jake, I should have said something more and I regret that to this day so much. Im crying right now as I write this, there is nothing more upsetting then seeing your little baby in so much pain, so little and you can’t do anything. Maybe the nurse still wouldnt have let me stay but at least i would know I had tried more then I did.  I don’t ever want to feel that sadness again so I make sure I follow my gut always and stand up for Jacob. That’s what a mommy is for, to be a voice for your baby. This preschool experience brought up lots of emotion but I made sure I followed my intuition. The school finally worked with me and let me stay in the class with Jake to try and get him comfortable but I didn’t see that Jake was going to be ok with me leaving and it wasn’t working great for his teachers so we decided to leave preschool. Jamie and I talked to Jake and said we are a family, a team. We are are going to listen to you now and we hear you don’t want to go to school. We are listening and you don’t have to, there will be a day you do have to go to school and we will find one that you love and talk about it at another time but for now we listen to you.

I started Jake at Gymboree School skills. Its a transition preschool program where parents can stay if your child needs or you can drop your child off for a hour and a half one day a week. At first Jake needed me to stay even though he’s been at Gymboree many times. Then I would sit in the lobby and he would walk out to see I was there and then go back to class and eventually he was running into class and staying the whole time himself. I saw such a big change in Jake! He was so proud of himself when he walked out to meet me at the end holding up his artwork. Its such a great program to help with the transition to school and learning how to be in a group. They also would create the best art projects and he learned so much as they would work on a letter a week. I was very impressed and felt so happy that Jake was happy and then he was able to learn because he was comfortable.

Jake and I started touring preschools getting ready for the following school year. We must have looked at 10 schools in the area. What they didn’t know was whoever said I didn’t have to leave Jake crying had our money. They were all pretty good,  I was looking to Jake to see how he felt, to see where he was going to find his happy place. The last school we looked it was the closest to our home and the one we chose. It’s small and simple.  They offered a mommy and me program in the spring for children going into the 3′s class. I loved that, so Jake could get used to the school with me. Then there was a gradual transition where we would go meet his teacher in his classroom , then the first day is a shorter day and parents go with the kids and when you and your child is comfortable you wait in the lobby. He is in a 2 day afternoon program which is perfect because Jake is not a morning person. He is doing great! I’ve seen such a big change in him from last year to this year. He was a late speaker, works with a speech therapist and now saying so much more which I think helps because he is more confident. I think the Gymboree school skills program was such a big help to gradually get Jake used to being in class alone and I love the gradual transition program at his school. It was great and I never feel Im being rushed to leave. I actually sit in a cafe area at the school which has comfortable chairs and write. Jake knows I sit there, I showed him where I would be and he is happy in class. He comes out at the end happy and looking so proud. I feel so happy Jake is happy and comfortable so he can just focus on learning and playing!

Jake, Jamie and I listened to each other. We worked as a family and together we found a place that best fits us, that was best for Jake. I do miss the PTO from the other school, they had a great family community but it’s about what is best for Jake and who knows maybe I can start a PTO. For now we are happy, Jake comes home singing songs he learned that day and excited to pick out something to bring for show in tell. This is good for Jake and I. I still get lots of time with my little guy since he just goes for a couple hours, 2 days and I get to hang out and hear his giggles in school as I write. Always follow what is best for your child and your family, always follow your intuition because even if it doesn’t work out you will never have regrets if you follow your heart. It’s always what we don’t say or don’t do that I regret the most. Everyday Jake and I talk about being a team, we listen to each other and work together always to have a happy day!

 

A decision made

I have mentioned before that before Jake I was a pharmaceutical rep.  I loved my job and was very good at my job if I may say. When I was pregnant I was planning to take my 3 month maternity leave and return back to work. Just thinking about that now makes me sad because it’s so far from how I now feel. I can’t imagine even feeling that way but it was before I had Jacob, before our world changed. In many ways I’m the same person but now in many ways I’m very different. As I say all the time when I talk about the choices I make as a mom, there is no right or wrong. I strongly believe you need to do what works for you and your family. No judgement!

After Jake was born I knew I was going to take more time since he was in the NICU. I wasn’t sure how everything was going to work out but I knew I didn’t want to go back and especially not so quickly. A month later landing myself in the ICU was a game changer, in more ways then one. After coming home with Jake I ended up on long term disability. I have to say, my company was so supportive. I was so lucky that way to have such great people behind me, routing for me. It shows the magnitude of our relationship. At that time I was with them almost 10 years and had done very well for them and the company always supported me very well. The disability gave me the time to concentrate on being a mommy and healing. I was doing homeopathy, getting chemo infusions once a month, iron infusions weekly, lots of doctors appointments between Jake and I. My parents took me to New York City and Baltimore to see specialists and through that I was trying to settle into being a new mommy. Going to Gymboree play, Gymboree music and play dates. In total I would have 15 months off. I was due to go back to work November 8, after Jakes first birthday in August. I wasn’t happy about it, even having the 15 months I wanted more time. I just wanted to stay home with my baby and not miss another moment. I also wasn’t sure if I was ready to go back to work. I was coming off steroids, still on chemo. I just switched rheumatologists, I was wearing a scarf on my head because my hair was gone on the top of my head from the chemo. It stayed in the back and on the sides so I could fake a pony tail with a scarf. I knew in my heart I shouldn’t go back and my doctors didn’t want me to go back.  If I didn’t I would now loose my job which carried our health insurance and other perks. Looking back I should have been more firm on my decision to not go back. That’s what I really wanted and what I felt was right for me and Jacob. It’s a scary decision because it’s a big income, it’s all I ever knew. Many moms go through this, it’s one of the most difficult situations because I was helping to support our family financially. But, what I’ve learned is to follow your heart and happiness and you can never be wrong, no regrets. I made my decision out of fear, which is the worst way to make a decision. I was so worried about not knowing what would happen, again what I’ve learned is not to worry but to trust that everything will work out since it always had before.

So, I went back to work. My company was letting me take things easy. My mom would watch Jake at first everyday and then we found the most amazing person to come be our nanny 3 days a week and my mom would do 2, more like 1 1/2 because I didn’t work every Friday or just a half day. I would leave around 9 sometimes later if my personal trainer was coming in the morning as I was still trying to gain my strength back and my mom would get jake everyday at 3 and I would meet them at Gymboree  by 3:30. Jake was sleeping at this point from around 12-3 sometimes so I felt better knowing he was sleeping a lot of the time when I was gone. As his naps got shorter, I guess I had been back about a year and I started feeling more upset about work and feeling like I wanted to stay home again. Be careful what you put out there because it may just come true. Instead of just stopping on my own will I ended up in the hospital again with pericarditis.

A couple posts ago I wrote about how the pericarditis will change my world, this is how… Going to the hospital this time was very scary. At first the doctors weren’t sure what was going on. Dr. Falkner, my homeopath said he thought I had pericarditis from the beginning but my doctors weren’t seeing it at first until I ended up in the ER and had at scan. It was scary not knowing what was wrong, I had a toddler at home to take of and be there for. All I want is to be here, heathy for Jake. It was a huge slap in the face because I had been physically feeling so good right before this happened.  Now, Im forced to sleep away from Jake because I was in the hospital. They had mentioned bringing me into the OR to drain the fluid around my heart, but thankfully when they preformed a echo it showed very little fluid, such a relief. It’s so so scary being so sick as mommy. It was almost like I was being spiritually told something all over again, I guess didn’t listen very well the first time. I always put jake first as I went back to work but I really should never have gone, it just wasn’t part of my path anymore.

Once again I was on disability. Now, my world really changed emotionally and spiritually. I knew too well how it feels to almost loose everything that is important in life and I wasn’t going to make the mistake again. It wasn’t a easy decision even though I knew my decision. I knew my job was a lot for our family to give up and wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I kept talking to Dr. Falkner and he said I just had to make a decision, stick with it and tell Jamie. He said there is no right or wrong, there are consequences for either decision but once it’s made everything else will fall into place. He gave me a homeopathic remedy for making a decision because it was such  a struggle. About a week after taking the remedy  I made my decision. I didnt just make it, I felt it and knew it was right. I knew I needed more time to just completely heal and I knew I just wanted to be Jakes mommy. I know why my doctors never wanted me to go back, they just want me to take time to heal without extra pressures.  I finally listened to myself and my doctors and told Jamie I wasn’t going back.  Jamie was very supportive, he was surprised it took so long to make my decision but I feel so lucky to have his support and the support of my family. Once I made the decision everything fell into place. Everything worked out, continues to work out and I couldn’t be happier. Everyday I feel so filled with so much happiness, I feel I’m doing exactly what I am supposed to do.  I don’t know why I spent so much time worrying. I realized I never should have or had to have gone back to work in the first place, but that was one other tough lesson. I think for now I will stop the worrying because it doesn’t serve me and trust in what I know because things do work out and I feel I’ve learned enough lessons for a while.  For now I am enjoying every moment with my my beautiful little boy, dancing, playing and enjoying life everyday!