Monday, November 28, 2011

Week in Review

What a week!  Where do I even begin? 

I guess I’ll start with last Sunday when we got two messages that rocked our world.  The first was to inform us that a teacher at our high school who was about 19 weeks pregnant had lost her baby boy.  The second was that Phil’s sister, Kelly (24 weeks pregnant with twins), was on her way to the hospital one day before her scheduled appointment because “something didn’t feel right”.  

She and her husband TJ were scheduled to go to the hospital on Monday so that the twins could be tested for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  After a few complications in her pregnancy, the doctor had determined that this was the most probable case, and surgery would most likely be in order to try and correct the problem. 

But on Sunday, Kelly (we later found out) went in to premature labor and was fully dilated when she arrived at the hospital.  They told her the twins had zero chance of survival is she delivered naturally, and a small chance if she had a c-section.   Like any loving mother would, she chose the latter and was whisked away to an emergency c-section.  The babies were born…beautiful identical twin girls and passed away just as quickly in their father’s arms.  How devastating.  They named their beauties Josephine Angelina and Nadia Rose, and we celebrated their short lives at their funeral Mass on Saturday.   Our colleague's baby boy was buried on Friday, which we unfortunately had to miss. 

The funeral was in Maryland, where Phil’s family is from, and so we travelled down on Wednesday to be with Kelly and TJ and her family.  We were able to sit with them on Wednesday night and they told their whole story to us, and showed us professional pictures taken by a wonderful group called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, who offer their services for free when parents suffer an infant loss. 
Heartbreaking.  She and TJ are writing their story which I will publish later.

On Thursday, we celebrated Thanksgiving (and we really did try to be thankful despite the overwhelming grief). It's a sad reality that sometimes it takes a tragedy for us to realize how lucky and blessed we are.

Phil went out and started a pickup football game with some of the neighborhood kids:

I think Xander is a true Redskins fan since he already knows how hard he has to pray for a win!

Here he is with Aunt Erin

Phil's family starting from left:
His Mom, sister Diana, Phil, Uncle John, sister Erin, TJ, TJ's brother Brian, Kelly, and the back of Phil's Dad!

And the "Kid Table" (again from left): John-Paul, Maggie, Aunt Beth, cousins (and twins) Christina and Caitlin, Uncle Joe, Andrew, and Eamon:

I was thankful for:
and of course:

and definitely:

On Friday, we were able to spend time with the awesome Gale Family.  They came over for breakfast and brought us some homemade apple cider, my fave cookies, and pumpkin bread.  She sure knows how to win us over!!  Then we went outside to play:

Here's Elena with Maggie:

And Eamon with Leo:

And the bloggers - Lisa (how awesome is she rockin' baby #3???) and I:

Of course I just had to take this picture of Elena laying on the ground for about 15 minutes.  She's so content in any situation!

Sorry, Jason I have no pictures of you! But I assure you he was there, making us all laugh.

Later in the day, Phil's sister, Sister Denise, came over to visit.  Maggie was super excited to spend time with her godmother!  Then the much-loved cousins from PA came to visit and our kids played outside for hours together.  Luckily, Nana and Gramps live on nine acres and have lots of sticks...the perfect combination of fun.

Saturday was the Funeral Mass, and although I have no pictures, I will remember the beautiful and simple casket that held the twins for the rest of my life.  

So small. 

That afternoon we went to Mass for the First Sunday of Advent (how did that happen already?) and I laughed when at the first "May the Lord be with you" I responded "And also with you." D'oh! I was pretty good with the rest of the responses of the new translation.  The cheat sheet is a lifesaver.  And the righteous ones who yell loudly say the correct responses to mask those of us who can't quite get with the program. Of course, Phil pretty much has it all memorized already.  Catholic Nerd :)

Saturday evening we hung out with family and friends, and packed up and said our goodbyes.  We drove home early Sunday morning (left at 3:30 am) and spent the day decorating our home for Christmas.  We are exhausted but so glad we were able to spend time with family and friends and have true moments of joy amongst the sadness.  

See My New Header Photo?

That's all. 

A real post is coming soon, I promise!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Thanksgiving Through the Years








Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turkey Recipe

How To Cook A Turkey!

Step 1: Go buy a turkey

Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey, scotch, or JD

Step 3: Put turkey in the oven

Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey

Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens

Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink

Step 7:Turn oven the on

Step 8: Take 4 whisks of drinky

Step 9: Turk the bastey

Step 10: Whiskey another bottle of get

Step 11: Stick a turkey in the thermometer

Step 12: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey

Step 13: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours

Step 14: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 15: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 16: Floor the turkey up off the pick

Step 17: Turk the carvey

Step 18: Get yourself another scottle of botch

Step 19: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey

Step 20: Bless the saying, pass and eat out

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace
Our beautiful twin nieces, Josephine Angelina and Nadia Rose, who were taken up to our Lord much too early at only 24 weeks gestational age.
Please pray for Phil's sister, Kelly, and her husband, TJ during this tremendously difficult time.

Friday, November 18, 2011

7 quick Takes: Volume 15

1) Last night I was giving Xander a bath before bed when I realized it was only the second time I had ever given him a bath.  And he gets one every night.  It was because Phil had taken the older three boys to swimming lessons and he is the bath-giver in the house normally.  It's amazing how much I can take for granted until it's gone.

2) Xander is the sweetest most easy-going baby we've had.  He interchangeably takes the bottle or breast, pacifier or his hand/thumb, sleeps wherever, smiles all the time, goes to whomever wants to hold him, and only gets fussy when I eat something he doesn't like.  He's awesome.

3)  Are y'all doing Black Friday shopping this year?  Normally I am all over the Black Friday experience but this year the thought of getting out of bed at 3 am is just not appealing.  I am excited that a lot of stores are opening up on Thursday night, so I might try to go out then.  Yes, part of me is upset that stores are opening on a holiday, and then the other part of me is looking forward to saving moolah and getting to sleep in the next morning.

4)  Maggie the monster is back and in full swing.  She better get this out of her system before she turns four in a couple weeks.

5)  Speaking of Maggie....guess what she is going to get for her birthday??  This:
and she already named her Rosemary Margaret, which is her name backwards :)

6)  Please offer up a prayer for another sister of mine who is in the hospital having surgery.  The Sweeney sisters are becoming a little too familiar with hospitals for my liking.

7) And just for fun, a video of the two resident dancers in the house and 3 month old Xander doing his favorite thing:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's a Small World After All

After Alexander was born, Phil's parents came up to visit and attend the Baptism.  While they were hanging out at our house, they told us about some relatives that they had finally met a few months back at a funeral.  Those relatives lived somewhere in our state, and possibly even close by.  We thought that it was cool to have relatives from Phil's side of the family nearby even though we didn't know them.

What was even more interesting is that these relatives had just had their fourth baby, Sarah, on the same day that Alexander was born.  So now we had kids born on the same day!  It got more intriguing when Phil's parents found out that Baby Sarah was born in the same town as Alexander and also by a midwife.  We quickly realized that we must have given birth at the same hospital using the same midwife on the same night.

I also remembered that while I was in labor, I told the midwife to go check on her other patients since she had been with me for a while, and she told me that one of her patients was in early labor and the other patient was having her fourth baby and didn't want to be checked, since she might get discouraged if labor was moving slowly. 

When I gave birth to Alexander at 4:34am, the nurse began urging my midwife to go to the adjacent room because the woman about to have her fourth baby was ready to push.  My midwife stayed with me in order to finish up with all that post labor grossness, and the nurse was quite insistent that she better move quick.  As soon as she was done with me, she ran into the next room and caught that woman's fourth baby.  I remember feeling really bad for that poor lady who was waiting for my placenta to come out!

Fast forward three months to the weekend of the Baptism.  We were at Mass on Saturday night due to the Hurricane arriving the next morning, and Phil's mom looks over to see the relatives sitting in the next pew! 

At the end of Mass she introduces us all, and we find out they live in the same town we work in, and they attend the parish that we often frequent since it is so close to our house and has air conditioning!  I had seen them many, many times before and never realized that the husband was Phil's second cousin.  I was talking to the wife who told me that Sarah was born about 15 minutes after Alexander, and that she had heard me give birth.  Aaaahhh!  How embarrassing as I sort-of-kind-of lost it at the end of Alexander's labor! 

We also discovered that we both had a daughter named Maggie and a son named Andrew - how weird is that?  Now we see them all the time and stop to chat like we are old friends.  Sarah's mom just told me on Sunday that since Alexander and Sarah are third cousins, they could technically get married one day.  I love that she thinks just like me!  It's truly a small world after all :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Belated Veteran's Day

Our town had a parade, fired the canon and raised a HUGE flag: 

The cousins from PA were here visiting.  From Left to Right: (top row) Gavin, John-Paul, Maura, Liam, Andrew, (bottom row) Maggie, Rory, Eamon and Maeve.  Such cute kiddos, and they got along so well.

Thanks to all who have served our country, and especially those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.