Thursday, March 19, 2009

Baptized on St. Patty's Day

My in-laws came to visit this week- ALL of my in-laws. ;) It was a crowded house, but we had a blast. For the first time since coming home, the week felt normal. Almost no doctor's appointments! Grace loved her grandparents and uncles and aunts- she got held by everyone. We came up with names for the grandparents: Grandmommy & Nanu.

The family flew into Mesa- what a trip! That airport is so FAR away from our home. We had hoped to be able to fit in the Renaissance Festival that same day, but the plane was late, we were late picking them up, and before we realized, it was 2pm and we still all hadn't eaten lunch. We decided on Cheesecake Factory, eating outdoors.

The next day we attempted the Renaissance Festival again. The NICU nurses didn't think going was the best idea with all of the dust, but we threw caution to the wind, and went for it. What a blast! Grace couldn't attend the final joust b/c of the dust, but we had a great time shopping around. She even won a dragon at one of the performances.

We also decided to try and do the zoo. Instead of going to the Phoenix Zoo, we went local. It was a VERY windy day, and at one point, the stroller blew over- with Grace in it! No harm was done, thank God! We had a beer at the aquarium and called it a day. Then we joined my mom and Pam for dinner at Macayo's.

Since Tony and Christina were in town with their spouses, we decided to try to have Grace baptized. I could not believe how difficult this was! The Catholic Church was completely unwilling to help us, despite Grace's fragility. They would only consider if Felix & I had been married in the church, Tony & Kimmy and Christina & Sam. Since we all had outdoor weddings, that wasn't happening.... I found a beautiful older church in Litchfield Park, and they agreed to perform a non-denominational ceremony for us. The whole event was pulled together in less than 4 hours. We were lucky to have some friends join us for the celebration. Grace even wore my Christening Gown- so beautiful!

After, we did an Irish/Italian feast back at our house. Since she was baptized on St. Patty's Day, it only seemed right. I bought several dozens of cookies and pastries from My Daddy's Italian Bakery and then we did Corned Beef and potatoes.

Since we didn't get a true dinner out, we treated Felix's family and my mom and Pam to Roy's Hawaiian @ the JW Marriot resort.

The dinner was phenomenal! We had a few hiccups on the way home, though. First, we ran out of oxygen (sorta), as the back-up tank was in the car. After Felix ran (literally, ran) to get the oxygen, I was in such a panic to get her back on, that I didn't put on the concentrator and the oxygen tank literally blew in my hands- I had pieces of metal and cuts all over my hands. We finally got the other back-up tank and were set for the drive home. 15 minutes in, my mother-in-law and I heard a spitting noise and realized the tank was leaking, and possibly this one was going to blow too! We had no other back-ups- so we pulled over and called 911. The fire department brought us an additional concentrator- the tank was fine. Apparently the 'O' ring had torn, and since it was a pretty common occurence, they were ready to help us.

The rest of the trip went on without a hitch. We had a great visit and lots of good memories!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Sleepless Nights & Chinese Food

I cannot believe that we have been home almost 1 full month!! Time flies- and sleep too!! :)

Grace came home on February 21st, 2009 weighing 5 lbs 5 oz. Today she weighs 6 lbs 8 oz!! Can you believe how much she has grown? I can hardly stand it, it is going WAY TOO FAST!

She does the most adorable things now that she's really coming into her own. She has this weird reflex, we call it the "puppy leg", where when startled, she'll wiggle her leg like a puppy getting itched- too cute! She's started to smile, especially when she's sleeping. She's imitating us now, sticking her tongue out at us, when we do it to her. She loves to play games- we kiss her and move away, kiss her and move away and she'll anticipate our next move.
Of course, our good times have been filled with other not so good or fun times too.... We spend usually at least 2-3 days per week at various doctor's visits: pediatrician, gastroenterologist, cardiologist, pulmonologist, nutritionist, speech therapist, etc.
Grace has been diagnosed with a milk protein allergy too, so we've switched foods, we've had an ear infection, and even have been admitted to the hospital overnight for a collapsed lung! Whew! She keeps me on my toes, that's for sure. To keep all my dates, times, diagnosis' straight, I've started a Grace binder, keeping all of her records in one place. It's her bible- I really don't leave home without it.

The 1st two nights having her home were a dream- she slept through the night! Felix and I got so overconfident, saying we could totally be parents, and then reality sunk in... she slept maybe 2 hours the next four nights- ICK! She's back to sleeping mostly through the night, with a diaper change or two in the midst.

I am asked by friends and family how I continue to do this- and I must say, it literally is the TOUGHEST job I have ever done- it's not a one person job, if it wasn't for my mom being here to help whenever I need her, I would fail miserably. Between Felix, myself, my mom and Pam, we've eaten, cleaned house, replaced feeding tubes, changed oxygen tanks, changed millions of dirty diapers, bottle fed, visited doctors, laughed, cried and yelled- it's a crazy life, but one I would never give up in a million years.
Stay tuned for new photos and videos- I'm finally getting my routine down. Showers, unfortunately, haven't been included. It's impossible to shower when you have a million and one alarms going off, either because Grace puked, pooped, peed or is bored, tired or hungry.... that's where again my mom comes in- she's my shower relief! Thank God for mothers!!
We managed to sneak in our first family outing- a simple dinner @ the local Chinese restaurant- Big Buddha. It was great to have a beer with one another and celebrate our homecoming.

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