Monday, June 29, 2009

Celebrating Papa

We didn't get to see my dad, a.k.a. Papa on Father's Day so we celebrated him this past Sunday. It was a beautiful day and thankfully not too hot. We ate good food and had great conversation. We were sad that Mingie was sick and unable to attend. We hope she is feeling better soon.

Grandma Alex and Papa

Papa with his grandsons and sons-in-law

I joined the picture looking a bit tired and big as ever :-0

Papa getting his very special gift from the boys

The boys just LOVE their Cousin Eddie so much!

We also celebrated our nephew Brent's birthday. Somehow this sweet little boy turned into a handsome and wonderful young man overnight.

HAPPY 17th Birthday Brent - we love you with all our hearts!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Slipping and Sliding in the Sun

Daddy's little helper

Benjamin really enjoyed helping his dad with the kitchen cabinet project today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Gift of Babysitting!!

Is there any better gift? I don't think so!

My sister, a.k.a. Auntie Mingie came over today to help out with the boys. This was her first time watching our boys (crazy - I know) and I was so glad it went SO well! As you can see everyone had a GREAT time and I was able to go grocery shopping WITHOUT children. What a SUPER gift!

Thank you and I hope you will come back again soon :-)



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Inspiring story

Abigail Branson NOT limited by Spina Bifida

Monday, June 22, 2009

How to turn a bad day good................


Today was a tough day! Benjamin didn't nap and the boys were really at each other. By three o'clock I was DONE! We needed a change of scenery and we all needed better attitudes. So we packed up and headed down to the LB Towne Center. It was exactly what we needed. The boys had a blast and I actually got to sit down and watch them play. It was a nice end to our day.

A moment of relaxing in the sun.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day



Jack and Branden were having a blast swinging super high at Liberty Park!

Nothing says Father's Day like a little dress up

So glad no one turned the camera on me to capture my dress up outfit.
Ahh, the benefits of being the photographer :-)

The Best Dad around with his two special boys!

Father's Day song 2009: written, produced and performed by Jack Summers

"The Benjamin Summers" performing his version of the 2009 Father's Day Song!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Update on today's appointment

Today we met with my OB and had a full measurement ultrasound. Somehow I didn't gain any weight since my last appointment 3 weeks ago. That is just SO hard to believe because I eat all the time, but oh well, it's not something I can stress about. I think I will just hit up Baskin Robbins a bit more over the next few weeks (ha ha). So here's the latest from today's appointment:

There was only a very slight increase in her ventricles (less than 2mm) - nothing the Dr. seemed concerned about at all. We were pleased.

All of her organs continue to look good. Her arms, legs and feet were moving all around. She was also doing a what we all referred to as a crazy yoga pose where one leg was up by her head and the other was down kicking my bladder.

She is still in a breech position, just like her brothers were. Siting with her bottom down LOW.

She (her body) is measuring quite small and her head (circumference, not ventricles) is still measuring 2 weeks behind schedule. They told us this last time, but I didn't mention it as the Dr. wanted to wait and see how this week went. She still isn't overly concerned about it (right now). The concern is that small head growth could indicate a delay in brain development. Obviously, this would be devastating if there ended up being an issues with her brain development. At this point we have only be dealing with concerns that could mostly be fixed or developed upon through surgery or various therapies. We were saddened and worried by this finding but also know there is nothing we can do about it. So enough about that. All we can do is wait and see how she continues to grow. As a side note we discussed how little our boys were when they were born and she said who's to say that if they had been scanned this many times my Dr.'s may have commented on how small they measured as well.

They also encouraged me to stay off my feet as much as possible to help alleviate the soreness and cramping in my legs. I just sort of laughed at that as I see that as almost impossible with with 2 little boys to take care of all day. I will just keep eating my bananas and drinking my water :-)

Since I am moving into my 30th week (on Saturday) the appointments will be more often going forward. Also, I will start fetal monitoring (at the hospital) twice a week until she is born and then my OB appointments will be every 2 weeks until she is born which hopefully will be late August.

Fetal monitoring starts: Thursday, July 2nd

Next OB appointment is: Tuesday, July 14th

I think that is pretty much everything from today. I was very grateful to have Branden, my love by my side to hold my hand and to comfort me in my moments of stress today. It was also great for us to see her kicking, opening up her hands and wiggling her fingers and toes. She also did a couple of big yawns which were adorable. Aside from everything that were are so afraid of we are so very excited for the arrival of our baby girl.

Thank you all once again for your continued love and support. We truly believe in the power of prayer and ask that you PLEASE do not stop praying for our daughters health and safety as she comes into this world and has her surgeries.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Crazy Hair Day at Preschool

Tuesday was CRAZY HAIR DAY at Jack's preschool. He wanted his hair to look like worms so this is what he and his dad came up with. Unfortunately, not a lot of kids participated so Jack felt a bit self conscious at first but then as the kids started telling him how "cool" he looked his excitement level went back up. We thought he looked adorable!

29 week picture

I haven't been so good this time around about taking pictures each week as my belly grows. But here is a picture of me with Benjamin from this past Saturday. It's hard to believe that I am already 29 weeks along. I am doing EVERYTHING I can to keep my stress down (this isn't really working) and trying to stay off my feet as much as possible (this is really working either) as to keep this baby in as long as possible. For those of you that know my history of delivering early - Jack at 35 weeks and Benjamin at 37 weeks I am feeling a bit nervous!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ben and his silly sleeping arrangements

I came across these photo's today and couldn't resist. They are so cute I had to post them. The top two pictures are from January when Benjamin decided he didn't want to sleep in his crib anymore so he started climbing out and sleeping behind the rocking chair.

The bottom two are from March after we moved him into a big boy bed and he decided that he didn't want to sleep in that either and that sleeping in the rocking chair was the best option.

It's funny to think about it now, but I must admit those were some stressful nights when he just wouldn't stay in bed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Han Solo and Luke Skywalker

The boys got their first light Sabors or light savors as they call them for being super good boys. They wanted to show off their new found skills and did quite a bit of posing for the camera.

Jack discovered that it can even be used as a telescope - too cute!

A fun day at the Children's Museum

We spent a fun day at the Children's Museum at La Habra on Friday (6/5/09) with friends from our Friday Playgroup. It was extra fun because it had been several months since we had been there. The boys had fun in the new exhibit "Ring of Fire" where they sat in a rickshaw, pretended to ride a Lama and endured an earthquake simulation.

The boys enjoyed "banging - a - Gong" (Daddy did that caption)

Benjamin the Bus Driver

Jack the Grocery Store Cashier

Jack the twirling Minnie and Benjamin the singing Pirate

Okay, so I debated if I was going to mention this because it's SOOOOOOOOOO cheesy, but oh well. Living here in So. Cal we get the benefit (if you can call it that) of running into the occasional celebrity and lots of pseudo celebrities. So today we had a pseudo celebrity sighting at the museum. The "Octomom" was there with her two preschool age children. So silly, but you could see all of the mom's whispering "is that her?", etc. What I noticed was how skinny she was - wow!! She seemed totally normal except she had a photographer with a huge lense taking pictures of her with her kids. At one point her son got into a little "scuffle" with Benjamin over a truck. It was pretty funny to see Benjamin, another child and the "Octomom" negotiating with her son to give the truck back to Ben. I wanted to snap a picture or secretly hoped that her photog would and Benny could be in the paper - ha ha! Of course the kids heard me telling my mom later that day so their new "funny" word is Octomom!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Update on today's appointments

Thanks everyone for all the positive thoughts, calls and e-mails for a good day today. It was a good day (I can see that now), although I just couldn't snap out of my funk. I was sad and cried most of the day. I'm guessing it's just typical preggo hormones coupled with the stress of today's appointments/topic.

The Dr. was really great. He had a wonderful bedside manner, was very down to earth and easy to talk to. Has he done as many back closure surgeries as we would have liked? No. Is that going to be the deal breaker? Honestly, probably not. My heart felt good about him. I think Branden felt the same as well. We are still deciding if we want to meet with the Dr. at CHOC
but truly are not sure that anything he says will actually make us not want to go with the local Dr. Hope that make sense.

Spina Bifida Clinic - well that was a bit overwhelming. Lots of kids, Dr.'s, therapists everywhere! They said we were lucky we came on a calm day (what, we thought??) We were a bit surprised since we thought it was a bit crazy. Everyone was very nice and informative though. We were pleased to find out that we will most likely only need to bring her there once every three months. We had thought it was an every month thing. Considering you are there for several hours, doing
it less frequently was great to hear.

It was a long day filled with lots of information. Some was good tohear - some not so good. They reminded us of the importance of takingit one day at a time and only trying to deal with the issues/challenges that our daughter is born with verses all the different scenarios that could play out. Good advice, a bit tough to follow, but I am trying.

Thanks again friends for your continued love and support - it means the world to me. I look forward to seeing you all soon!!


PS - I am feeling much better now :-)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New E-mail Address!

Just wanted to let everyone know that effective tomorrow we will have a new e-mail address and no home telephone number. Seemed like only solicitors called us on it so we decided to get rid of it. You can still reach us on our cell #'s.

Our new e-mail address is:

Hope everyone has a GREAT week!

Nicole, Branden, Jack, Benjamin and Baby Girl coming soon

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our newest challenge - Latex!

So we have just been informed that we will need to make our home Latex FREE. We had read about the high incidence of latex allergies with children who have Spina Bifida but didn't really comprehend what that meant for us. We are still not really sure exactly how you go about doing this - start in one room and "test" everything in it and then move on. We don't even think there is a test. That would be too easy. I'm guessing we will need to call manufactures and just get rid of a bunch of stuff to be safe. We were told we would get more info. and a handout next week when we go for our tour of the Spina Bifida Clinic at Millers.

If anyone out there reading this has had experience with creating a latex free environment and has advice for us PLEASE pass it along. We certainly want to do everything we can to make our home safe for baby girl.

Cute side story: Jack over heard Branden and I discussing this last night and asked what latex was and why we needed to remove it from our house. We did our best to explain it in 4 year old terms and he seemed satisfied with our answer and appeared to move on. Next thing we know we hear him in his room saying "latex, oh latex where are you? You need to come out and leave our house." It was so cute. We approached him and asked him what he was doing and he said "making his room safe for his baby sister and that he knew he had some latex hiding in his room". What a good big brother!!

Appointment updates:

Tuesday, June 9th: Meet with Dr. Javahery, Neurosurgeon (fyi - $330 non-covered office visit - YIKES!)

Tuesday, June 9th: Tour the Spina Bifida Clinic at Millers Children's hospital - FREE yeah!

Wednesday, June 17th: OB appointment

We will keep everyone informed on how those appointments go. As always, thank you for your continued love and support. I will try and post a preggo picture of me soon because I am getting BIG. Baby girl is also sitting pretty low. Today it felt as if she was going to fall out! Obviously she didn't :-)

Here's a few links I found on latex allergies:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Family Photo's


These photo's were taken at Disneyland for my birthday a few weeks back. It was a SUPER fun day, but I just wish I could have gotten everyone in my family to smile for a nice photo. Can't wait for this phase to be over!!

This is a fun picture but unfortunately you can't see our faces very well. This picture was taken BEFORE Honey I shrunk the audience. The boys weren't smiling much after - they were SO scared. Oops, mom forgot about some of the potentially scary parts.

Thank you Uncle Michael and Auntie Frances for signing us in. It was a GREAT way to spend my birthday. Mom - so glad you were to celebrate with us.

Here's the boys riding and LOVING the roller coaster in Toon Town! Ben rode with Daddy in the front car and Jack and Grammy were in the car right behind. It was a no pregnant mommy ride (oh, too bad!)

Wow - I'm 36 now. That's pretty hard to believe.