Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School Countdown!

When I stopped to think this morning (after my cup of coffee, of course), I realized that Tyler starts school in eleven days. In eleven days, I will have a kindergartner. I can't believe it. Not only is this summer over, but my oldest baby will be in school. I then realized that with all the chaos in our house over the last few weeks, he may be a little anxious and I wanted to spend some time preparing him for his big day. After all it will be here before we know it!

I saw in a magazine ideas for how to countdown the days. I adjusted one of the ideas and came up with a paper chain-- each link marking a day. The idea was to rip a link off as each day passed. As Tyler was working on the project, he said that he did not want to take it apart but instead leave it like it is, which was fine by me!

We cut the links, decorated them with stickers and markers, and then glued them together. Tyler was so excited to be working on something! Here is Tyler with the finished product (ignore the fact that he is still in his jammies!):
On each link I wrote the date. Here is the "last" day, aka., first day of school:

Our finished product on display:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Big Brother's Perspective

One of the things I packed in my bag was an old camera fro Tyler to use. As soon as he heard that he was going to be able to take his own pictures, he went to work-- to the tune of nearly 100 pictures! Unfortunately, shortly after bringing Colby home the camera stopped working :(. I am sure that the Birthday Fairy is listening for ideas right about now.

Here are some of the shots Tyler took:
Mom shortly after Colby's birth.

Some of the bracelets we had to wear.
Tyler's favorite part of our room-- the television. You can see by the picture that Tyler had assumed responsibility for what we watched.
Colby shortly after his birth.
Colby awake and alert, awaiting his first bath.
Colby getting ready for his bath.
Having his heart rate checked.
Being bathed and not liking it one bit!
All clean and swaddled once again.
Grandpa Perry watching television.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Baby's First Bath

Colby had his first bath at home today. It was a family affair, as Tyler could not wait to see his little brother in the same tub that we once used to clean him!

After gathering all of the necessary supplies, it was time for the big scrub down:
Tyler was a huge help. Not only did he make sure that the water temperature was good, but he also helped wash and rinse. What an awesome big brother!

As you can see by the pictures, Colby loved his bath! The only time he fussed what when we undressed him. Otherwise, he was awake and alert the entire time. When Tyler was this age, he loved bath time as well. He used to sit in the tub, wide awake, and enter into full relax mode. Of course, with boys you have to watch out when they are in "relax" mode!

All done, dressed, and ready for the day!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Baby's First Outing

Frank's hockey team had one of their fundraisers this past weekend. After being cooped up in the hospital for five days and then at home for the next few, we decided to all head out (Colby included) to enjoy lunch, visit with people and try and win some great prizes.

After lunch, Frank and I realized something. Our son's first outing was to a Sport's Bar. Seriously, what were we thinking? Oh well, a memory for the baby book!

Colby was excellent, slept the entire time, allowing all of us to eat and enjoy a nice meal. Tyler had a blast hanging out by the pool table with the players and placing his tickets into the raffle. What did he want to win? It was a toss-up between the Dunkin Donuts basket with the gift card that would buy "lots of doughnuts!" or the movie basket. What did he win? The Dunkin Donuts basket! Frank and I were excited because it included coffee-- a must in our lives right now!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


After five long days in the hospital Thursday was the day that we most looked forward to. It meant that Colby was coming home!

We told everyone to stay at home in the morning, that we would see them when we arrived. It was a good thing, too. There were doctors, nurses, midwives, and other hospital staff coming to see us, check in, and do other discharge business. Colby was checked by the pediatrician and given a clean bill of health. I was given all the things I was going to need to be comfortable at home for the next few days. Frank was not left out, he was able to ask all the questions that were weighing on our minds now that we would be able to leave the building. After all, it has been almost six long years since we had a little guy at home!

In the 36 hours since his birth, Colby has already changed. Most noticeable is his head and face. His head no longer sports the "point" and he appears to be growing into his face, especially his cheeks. His right eye and face have some bruising/burst blood vessels. We were told that this was due to the rapid speed in which he was born and that it will clear up and go away. He has been more alert and showing us his eyes, especially this morning. Frank was holding him and when we spoke to him and called him by name, he would turn his head and seek us out.

I remember clearly when I was pregnant with Tyler and Frank and I went in for my first prenatal appointment. When I had told him that I had a midwife I saw, he kept asking why I didn't have a doctor. When we got to the appointment, he asked Tina what qualifications she had that made her better than a doctor. She said to him "Many years delivering babies." That was answer enough for Frank and he decided to give her a shot (which was good since I wasn't changing!) . After many months of prenatal appointments and then Tyler's delivery, he was sold. Despite the fact that she did not actually deliver Colby, she will still be the midwife who saw me through both pregnancies. On Tuesday, she attempted to come in on her day off for the delivery, but who knew I would go from 5 to 10 centimeters dilated and deliver within minutes! Tina also stopped in on Thursday morning before we left to say goodbye. I wanted to get a picture of her with both boys, but we managed at least one:
In the room there was a dry erase board where the nurses on duty wrote their names and hours. Tyler discovered the board during his first visit. He drew a monster and then signed his name. After Colby was born, he added his name as well:
Finally it was time to get Colby dressed and strap him into his car seat. Because we did not know if Tyler was going to be a boy or a girl, I did not have any "boy" outfits. This outfit was one of my favorites that I bought earlier in the summer.
Colby was great for the short ride home. And who could blame him? I would be well behaved if I knew this is what I had to greet me when I arrived!
Tyler could not wait to hold him. As soon as we walked in the door, Tyler was giving gentle kisses and very excited to have this big day finally here. I was also able to get a picture of all my men during the day:
How lucky our family is!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Little One

Little did I know that this past weekend would be the last of my pregnancy. After checking in with my midwife, Tina, on Friday, the decision to induce was placed on the back burner unless my blood pressure continued to rise over the weekend. So when Frank and I left her office on Friday morning with the anticipation that I would be back next week. After all, my due date is August 4th. However, things never go according to plan and after a check of my blood pressure on Sunday at Walgreens, it was elevated, and I called my midwife who directed me back to the triage unit at Mercy Hospital. This time, I knew I would not be coming home the same night.

And I was right.

By 5:30P.M., we were checking into the Morning Glory room at the Family Life Center at Mercy Hospital. Carolyn, my midwife Tina's sister (in spirit only), made the decision for us, and the plan was made to start inducing labor that night. I was not hopeful that our newest Genovese would be there by the morning. After all, Tyler took two rounds of inducing before he made his way into the world. After the Cervadil was given, Tyler came for a short visit with all four of his grandparents. By 9P.M., Frank and I were enjoying dinner for the night.
The next day, everyone came to hang out with us for the day. There was not much going on in the labor department, I remained 2 centimeters dilated and our newest addition proved that he was more comfortable in the safe confines of my belly than in the real world. We took the opportunity to take some last pictures of our family as we knew it. Little did we know that things would change in the next 24 hours!

After going through 2 rounds of Cervadil with little progress, my midwife, who was on duty, decided it was time to start a Pitocin drip. However, the doctor on duty was not in agreement with her. Too bad that was not discussed prior to the nurse starting the I.V.! But after being presented with my options and discussing them with Frank, we decided to remain on the Pitocin drip overnight and see where that would take us. Tina, in the meantime, pulled up a chair, said "Have the kid by 8A.M. ", otherwise he would be delivered by Carolyn. She then proceeded to watch the Bacherlorette finale with Frank and I.
Needless to say, Tina's shift came and went with little progress. I remained at 2 centimeters dilated but was having mild contractions every few minutes. When Carolyn came on in the morning, she instructed the nurses to raise the Pitocin every 30 minutes until it was at its maximum dose which would be at lunch time. Dawn, the nurse on duty, also came in and sprinkled her "magic baby powder" on me. It did the trick!
By lunch time, I was feeling the contractions, they were coming at regular intervals but were not so intense that I needed the epidural yet. Tyler came with all of his grandparents in the early afternoon and I was not feeling very hospitable. By 3P.M. I asked for the epidural only to be told that the anesthesiologist was down the hall administering someone elses and that he would be with me soon. Carolyn's suggestion while I wait for him? Sit on the birthing ball and have Frank hold a hot compress on my back. Being the good patient I am, I did as I was told and boy did that speed things up!
The anesthesiologist finally made his way into my room at 3:45P.M. As I was moving into position for him to start his magic, my water broke! Needless to say the pain was intense! When he finished hooking me up, it was time to wait for the epidural to make its way through my body before it could be adjusted. But there wasn't anytime! My right side went immediately numb which left my left side to feel every contraction. Dawn, the nurse, was able to get me into position and call for Carolyn just in time. After a handful of pushes our new family member was here!
Colby James Genovese was born at 4:22P.M. Despite Tina's prediction that he would be bigger than Tyler (who was 7lbs 4ozs and 20 inches at birth), Colby weighed in at 7lbs 13.4 ozs and was 20 inches long. He has light hair and a great set of lungs (seen hard at work below)!
After Frank cut the cord, Colby was wheeled into the entry way in our room, behind the curtain. I only wish that I could have been there to see Tyler because I heard how sweet he was. He kept referring to Colby as "the Little One" and was so sweet and loving. Tyler had been asking for weeks when his brother was going to come and the day was finally here! After Colby was checked out, he was passed around to everyone waiting. I can't help but think that when Tyler and each of his grandparents arrived earlier in the day it was to "hang out" and visit-- now they are able to visit with our new addition!
Colby with the Genovese's and the Perry's. Not to mention the big brother who could not have been more proud or have a bigger smile!
Our new family photo. The consensus is that Colby looks a lot like his older brother with the only difference being that Tyler was born with a head full of hair.
Proud mom with her little miracle and below, a shot of the little guys big feet!
After some family bonding time, Dawn, the nurse, came back to give Colby his first bath. When Tyler was born, baths were given in the nursery and Frank was the only one allowed to participate. Colby's bath was given right in the room and everyone was able to watch. Tyler pulled a chair up and was right there the entire time. Colby loved having his hair washed but cried through the rest of bath time.

The last one to hold him for the night? Tyler. I had not seen him smile so big in such a long time. When I think about the past few days, weeks, months, and what we have been through, it is all worth it when I look at this picture. Tyler was gentle, kind, and immediately took to being a big brother. All night he "oohed" and "ahhed" over "the Little One".
After all was said and done for the evening, we ordered dinner and had a mini party at the hospital. The grandparents enjoyed a glass of wine and I just enjoyed a good meal for the first time in days. All I could think of was how lucky I was to have everyone with me and despite the fact that things did not work as natural as we had hoped, it happened this way for a reason.
Now to remember how to do this baby thing!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


While Frank and I were settling into the hospital for the night, our phone rang. Immediately, we panicked, thinking Tyler was having a hard time and thus giving his grandparents a hard time for the night.

Boy were we wrong!

Tyler had been sent upstairs to brush his teeth for the night. In the middle of brushing his teeth, he complained that he had something hard in his mouth... After checking it out, a tooth was found! Tyler lost his first tooth!

Although Frank and I were a bit sad that we were not there to see it for ourselves or to play Tooth Fairy for the night, we were super excited for him! We also could not think of a more appropriate time for something like this to happen. After all, what better sign of growing up is there?

The Tooth Fairy did find her way to our house and left Tyler with TEN DOLLARS! He was so happy to show off his new gap to everyone at the hospital when he came for a visit the next day. I, of course, remember him as the little guy who just started getting teeth!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baby Watch Update...

For many weeks now, I have been going to the doctor for my weekly appointments. For the most part, they are pretty routine. I meet Frank and Tyler there, the nurse (Terry) calls us into the room, she weighs me (I try and hide the number), she takes my blood pressure (I try and relax), I pee into the cup (we try and quiet Tyler's laughter), and she shows me to the examination room.

Like clockwork, after a few minutes, Terry comes back to the examination room and tells me to lay on my left side because, like clockwork, my pressure is elevated. As someone who is very pregnant, this is not comfortable for many reasons. First, I am huge. Second, I am tall and the examination table is not very long. Third, it means having my back to Frank and Tyler. After a few minutes of this position, my pressure is back to a normal level and I am ready to see my midwife, Tina.

This week was not the usual clockwork like the previous few. Tina put the kibosh on work (UGH), hooked me the the non stress test machine, and then sent me to the triage unit at the hospital for tests, and threatened to induce me if any of the signs pointed to Preeclampsia. Of course, while all this is going on, Tyler is watching and listening. So what do I do? Freak out, because that will help calm his nerves.

A few things did go accordingly, though. We found someone to take Tyler, for the night if necessary (really, what were we thinking not having a real plan other than to wait for my parents to get to town tomorrow!), and Tina told us that her sister, Carolyn, was the midwife on duty at the hospital.

Shortly after leaving Tina's office, we made our way home, packed a bag for Tyler, waited for Elaine to pick him up along with her two and her nephew (Saint Mommy is her title for the day) and threw my bags into the car. I called my boss, Linda, and informed her that there was no fighting Tina anymore, I was done at work, and we made our way to Mercy Hospital.

The irony of the situation was that from day one after I found out I was pregnant, I told Tina I did not want to be induced. However, after hearing her say that it may be necessary and taking into consideration how uncomfortable I felt, I did not argue with her despite the fact that the previous 39 weeks I refused to consider another induction a possibility.

However, after all this craziness, we ended up leaving the triage unit after only a few hours of blood work, monitoring, more peeing in a cup (really, isn't there an easier way? I am not a contortionist!), and talking with the midwife, Carolyn. Tests are normal, baby is healthy, and we continue to wait. At least until the next appointment on Friday!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Block Party, 2010!

We recently decided that this summer was flying by without too many road trips. Our summers are usually spent traveling from one place to the next each weekend. Our lack of traveling is not without good reason, of course. Some days, the thought of just driving to work is just too much!

This weekend the Fagan's Block Party was scheduled to take place. The plan was for Frank to drive Tyler to Long Island for the Block Party on Saturday, stay the night, and come back to me, or for Frank to drive Tyler to Long Island for Sunday and then come back. Tyler was going to stay the week with his cousins. In between all these decisions, Tyler also had a pool party to attend. What to do, what to do? Well.... it ended up being very easy to decide when it started pouring out around lunch time on Saturday and the pool party was cancelled. What did we all decide? (Notice I said we!) We decided to hop in the car and surprise everyone on Long Island!!!!

After grabbing some lunch and heading south, we had to stop for the first bathroom break. Ironically enough, it was not at the request of the pregnant lady! Frank pulled off the road in a business area (aka no McDonalds's/fast food/gas stations visible) and found an empty parking lot.

By the time we arrived to the Block Party, the rain had stopped on Long Island as well. Tyler made no waste of time joining his cousin and their friends on the amazing slide that was there. Of course there were a few adults that gave it a whirl too, but their pictures shall remain hidden ;)!

Everyone had a fantastic time and they were all definitely surprised that we all showed up and so early in the weekend. Frank and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful Sunday the next day and we stayed the day, swam, watched baseball, ate dinner, and then hit the road... the kids also took advantage of grandma's wallet and the ice cream man:
After dinner, Frank and I hit the road... without my first born! I know that he has a great time with his cousins, but the thought of coming home each night and not being greeted by him, well, that's hard! However, Frank and I have a long list of "to-do's" to complete, including finishing the nursery. Until next weekend, Tyler!

Friday, July 9, 2010

End of an Era

Today was Tyler's last day at Katie and Ellie's.

In January, 2005, I dropped him off there for the first time and he has spent the better part of each week, month, and year there until today.

I still can recall the day that I went and interviewed them. I was pregnant and very worried about finding a home that I would feel comfortable leaving my son with. I knew they were the ones after visiting for a short period of time just by hearing them talk, watching them with the kids, and seeing all that they had to offer in such a small space. I knew that Tyler would be well taken care of, have lots of fun, and possibly learn something while he was there.

Of course, this ease that I found while I was pregnant was replaced with anxiety as my return to work became imminent. In the week before I returned to work, I visited to drop off Tyler's paperwork. I cried the whole way home. After all, was I making the right decision?

Needless to say, we were right on all accounts. Tyler went in each morning with a smile, left each day with a smile, and played his little heart out. I truly feel like Katie and Ellie loved having Tyler around, even when we were having one of "those mornings" and he was in one of "those moods". They took care of him, no questions asked!

I had no idea what gift to give someone who has done so much for your child. I really wanted to show them how much we appreciated the last five plus years. After some thought, I came up with a stepping stone and Tyler helped decorate:
The inside of the card read "Thank you for having a hand in making our son who he is today." I also gave them a gift card to spend on themselves. Tyler's request that morning was to take a picture with Katie and Ellie. I, of course, was happy to oblige and very surprised to learn that they, as well, had packed their cameras!

The only good part of Tyler's leaving Katie and Ellie's? It open a spot for his brother to start in the fall! Until then, much thanks to them!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: Playing Catch-Up

1. A shot of me at 34 weeks:

2. After being put to bed one night, Tyler made his way back downstairs. As he got closer to Frank and I, we realized he was holding his belly. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he had a stomach ache. I, of course, thought that we had a sick kid on our hands. But nooooo, Tyler announced that his stomach hurt because “He was preganant and he had a baby is his belly”. And yes, pregnant was pronounced just like that!

3. After weeks and months of Tyler rubbing and talking to my belly, he was finally rewarded on June 1 with a faint kick by his Baby Brother. He was ecstatic and now tries to feel the kicks all the time. I have told him that his brother loves to kick in the wee hours of the morning (thanks, little one!). I have not had the heart to tell him that I am sure this will be the first of many brotherly kicks shared between siblings!

4. As my dad has become a connoisseur of Belgian beer, I decided to make it my mission to try as many nonalcoholic varieties of beer as possible during this 40 week stint I have going on. To count, I have tried approximately 7 different types and I must say that beer makers have come a long way in this department!

One night I was enjoying my drink by the fire outside and Tyler said “I want to be pregnant when I grow up so I can drink fake beer!”

5. In May we had a multi-family tag sale with our friends. After it ended and while cleaning up, Tyler and Olivia had snuck off to play. Or so we thought! I guess five is not too early to have your first love, because they made sure to seal the deal with a kiss behind the minivan! When questioned about their encounter, the two love birds ran off. A few days later in the car, I asked Tyler about it and he said that he and Livie were married because they kissed! I am cool with that; we will love my son’s in-laws!

6. At preschool for Father’s Day, the teachers asked the kids what they like to do with their dad’s. They then wrote each answer on a poster board next to the child’s name and hung it in the entry way for everyone to read. The day of this project, Frank picked Tyler up from school and called me on the way home to share his son’s answer with me. Frank told me to guess what Tyler said and I figured it was playing hockey, watching some kind of sport on television, or playing the Wii.

I was wrong.

Tyler told his teacher’s that he liked it when he and his dad “Watched the horse races together.”

7. A few weeks back, I was thrown a “Baby Sprinkle”. Frank and I explained to Tyler that when I was pregnant with him, I had a Baby Shower. He thought for a minute and said “Is that when the mommies get in the shower with their bellies and get all wet?”

8. Tyler and I recently took a Sibling Class at the hospital where I will be giving birth. Tyler was able to take a tour of the maternity ward, learn how to hold a newborn, and heard the rules about how to care for a small baby. During the tour, the nurses showed the kids in the class a newborn. Tyler was ecstatic. The facilitator of the class showed the kids the card attached to her bed and told them that the girls get pink cards and the boys get blue cards. This particular child was a girl and Tyler said “I’m not having one of them.”!

9. Frank and I have been talking about what Tyler’s next move will be in the world of hockey. He has been in Learn to Skate for the past two years and he could continue with it, but he already is in the advanced group. We finally decided that he is ready to play on a Mini Mite team and emailed the director for sign up information. After we heard back from him, we knew that Ty would be a go next year for practices and games (!).

One night during quite time, I told Tyler the good news, figuring he would be very excited. I told him that he will play on team in the Fall. He hung his head and looked at me with a sheepish look on his face. His response? “Really? I think I am going to cry, I am so happy.”

10. Over the past few weeks, out house has turned into the money pit.

The basement flooded when the water heater broke. Thanks to our neighbor and a friend, it was all repaired in a weekend.

Then a heavy downpour of rain seeped water back into the basement the next weekend and even sent it dripping in from the ceiling in the front of the house (still a mystery to us!).

Our AC Unit also decided that it needed a turn to leave a mark on the basement and it flooded as well. In order to stop the leak, we had to turn off the unit. The irony of it was that we had spent the morning taking the window screens out in preparation for the house to be painted the next day. So now we really had no air!

I will leave out the part about the plumber coming to fix the faucets that refused to be fully shut off and continue to drip, or the lawn tractor guy who came to repair the blades, or the fact that the dishwasher did not drain properly for a few days, or the fact that our crib has been recalled.

I am happy to announce that after these rough few weeks we are putting out lives back together and the money is flowing back into our bank accounts and not out!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Life is a Beach

There are so many things that I love about the summer. Barbecues, bonfires, spending time family and friends, traveling, and going to the beach or pool. I decided early on in the summer that a little pregnancy was not going to keep me from doing everything that I love during the summer.

After seeing the weather report for this past weekend, I decided that it was going to be a beach day. So exited! We packed lunch and snacks, plenty of water, toys, chairs, and off we went!

Despite the fact that it was a Saturday, we found a spot right off the water, and settled in. After looking around, there was one thing that we did not see-- clouds!
Tyler immediately took off for the water and Frank followed. After awhile, Tyler was on his own in the water and he did a great job, swimming, diving, and played.

Just to prove that I was on the beach, in a bathing suit.
We had a wonderful day. Came home with a bit of summer color, took time to eat ice cream from the snack shack on the beach, played in the sand, and swam in the ocean. The only problem? The hour plus drive to get there!