Thursday, February 28, 2013

Picture of the Week - 2/28/2013

So long February!  I am ready for spring!!!
This past week has been WAY outside our normal routine!  This time last week we were on our way to board a cruise ship with a bunch of fellow Buckeye's and a couple of good friends.  (Hi Bigs!)  I admit that I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was pretty excited to be on the proverbial doorstep of a rare adventure. 
We really had a great time!  There were parts of the Buckeye Cruise that seemed surreal.  There was an alumni band and alumni cheerleaders.  Brutus was there.  And a couple dozen former football players who I was unexpectedly star struck to see walking around.  All of this in the middle of the Caribbean.  Odd...  but a really good time. 
And even though we have only been home for a couple of days, it seems like it was SO long ago!  Welcome back to reality. 
It was awesome to see the boys and my parents again.  We definitely aren't used to be away for so long.  Even my work-related trips aren't usually more than a couple of days.  They all did great!  Thanks Berber and Pappy!!!  Now we know you can handle them all for a few days.  Bawhahahaha  :) 
Easily the worst part of the return to reality (aside from having to be somewhat coherent at work) is lacrosse practice.  It's COLD.  Luckily my dad has stepped in so we don't have to drag the little guys out of the house too much.  I am definitely ready for some warmer weather.  The trees have started blooming, it's light on my way to work in the morning, and the daffodils are out of the ground.  Won't be long now!!
I will just have to stare at this picture and remember drinking CocoLocos on Coco Cay until we can get the last of the winter weather behind us!  Have a great weekend everyone.  We only have 2 more practices and 3 games before we get a day off from lacrosse.  Phew!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Picture of the Week - 2/21/2013

Greetings from Florida!

Bob and I are ready to board the Jewel of the Seas with the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer!

We had an awesome trip down here yesterday. It's pretty awesome to be reminded how much fun traveling can be without all the effort required to travel with kids.  (It's also pretty awesome to be reminded why I married that crazy guy to begin with!)

Hope you all have a great weekend. We will be busy having fun with 2200 new Buckeye friends.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Picture of the Week - 2/14/2013

Happy Valentine's Day!
I have to admit that I'm not big on Valentine's Day.  I'm not anxiously awaiting the florist with a delivery of roses.  I don't expect chocolates when I get home.  And while I would love a nice quiet dinner with my love, it's just not in the cards mid-week during an active sports season when you have 4 kids.  So I will wish you all (and those I see in person) a Happy Valentine's Day (and I will mean it), but I certainly don't need the calendar to tell the people I love that they are special to me!
One nice thing about a holiday that celebrates the heart is that it creates the perfect backdrop for bringing attention to Congenital Heart Defects.  Each year I try, in smallish ways, to spread the word about CHDs.  They are more common than you think and I can nearly guarantee that you know someone who has been touched in some way by a child (not counting my Quinn) with a heart defect.  So today, as I do every year, I ask that you read the following and learn a little bit about CHDs.  Take just a minute to think about those who have been impacted and say a prayer for all the precious little souls lost to a heart defect. 
Here's a new picture of Beckett.  He's in that awesome phase where he really hams it up every time he sees the camera.  That child is so very entertaining!!!  I took this prior to trying to extract him from the new end table he had crawled into.  (I'll share pictures of our new furniture as soon as we get a new rug for in there!  I think I have one picked out but we haven't had a chance to go buy it yet.)
Have a great weekend!
February 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week
Congenital Heart Disease is considered to be the most common birth defect, and is a leading cause of birth-defect related deaths worldwide.
Despite the fact that CHD affects approximately 1.8 million families in the U.S., a relatively small amount of funding is currently available for parent/patient educational services, research, and support.
By sharing our experiences and providing information, we hope to raise public awareness about conditions that affect approximately 40,000 babies each year in the United States alone.
It is our sincere hope that efforts to educate the public will result in improved early diagnosis, additional funding for support and educational services, scientific research, and access to quality of care for our children and adults
Congenital Heart Defect Fact Sheet
  • Sometime during early pregnancy, a baby's heart may not form properly, resulting in structural abnormalities known as Congenital Heart Defects. In many cases the cause is unknown.
  • It is estimated that 40,000 babies with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are born in the United States each year.
  • Although some babies will be diagnosed at birth, newborns are not routinely screened for CHD. The consequences of a late diagnosis can have serious, lifelong implications.**
  • CHD is the most frequently occurring birth defect, and is the leading cause of birth-defect related deaths. Nearly 1,800 infants with CHD die each year as a result of congenital heart defects
  • Some CHDs may require visits to a Pediatric Cardiologist. Others can be treated with medications or repaired with surgery and/or procedures. Complex defects may require several surgeries and are never really "cured".
  • The majority of patients born with congenital heart defects are now adults****, yet many adults with CHD are not receiving adequate ongoing care from trained specialists.**
**Report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Working Group on Research in Adult Congenital Heart Disease, 2006
***Congenital Heart Surgeons Society
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Defects
Parents should be alert to the following symptoms in infancy:
  • Tires easily during feeding (i.e. falls asleep before feeding finishes
  • Sweating around the head, especially during feeding
  • Fast breathing when at rest or sleeping
  • Pale or bluish skin color
  • Poor weight gain
  • Sleeps a lot - not playful or curious for any length of time
  • Puffy face, hands, and/or feet
  • Often irritable, difficult to console

Some children with CHDs may not have any symptoms until later in childhood. Things to look for include:
  • Gets out of breath during play
  • Difficulty "keeping up" with playmates
  • Tires easily/sleeps a lot
  • Change in color during active play or sports (looks pale or has a bluish tint around mouth and nose)
  • Frequent colds and respiratory illnesses
  • Slow growth and weight gain/poor appetite
  • Complains of chest pain and/or heart pounding
If your child has two or more of these symptoms, talk to your pediatrician about a referral to a Pediatric Cardiologist.
For more information, visit the Congenital Heart Information Network.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Picture of the Week - 2/7/2013

Wanna Dance?
After a very nice, restful, relaxing couple of months, we are now officially dancing again!  Lacrosse practice started this week.  And because this is the way things tend to go, we have 6 practices to get through each week.  For some reason we do not have the benefit of weekend practices this year (at least not during the warm-up/pre-game part of the season) so we are cramming 6 practices into 4 days.  And to make things just a wee bit more interesting, Spencer practices on a different field, at a different park, than Quinn.  If you are doing your math, you have figured out that Bob and I are doing that divide and conquer thing twice a week.  And the icing on the cake?  Practices start at 5:30.  (It's a very big challenge to get out of work in time to get everyone home and fed and back out the door by 5:15 4 nights a week.)
But I'm honestly not complaining.  Yes, our practice schedule could be a bit less stressful.  It could be a bit more conducive to family life.  It could have waited until the temps were a little warmer and the sun stayed in the sky a little longer.  But we've done this dance before and we can (and will) do it again.  Plus, it's only for a few weeks until games start and we can move some of this activity to the weekends! 
It does, I admit, take a week or so to get into a rhythm.  Yesterday was anything but smooth.  One little step out of place and the ripple effect is impressive.  A conference call that ran long had me running 20 minutes late.  That meant that Bob had to pick up the little guys and they wouldn't have time for dinner before we all had to head out again.  So Bob threw some food into some containers, packed up all the stuff to keep everyone happy and when I got in, I had just enough time to change my pants and shoes before piling everyone back into the cars and going our separate ways.  It was a fast dance yesterday - with the benefit of a picnic dinner!  We'll get into our groove.  And the weather will get better!  It's all downhill from here.
The other part of starting a new season is the parent dance.  If I were an anthropologist or someone who studied human behavior, I am positive that this dance would be thesis worthy.  It's complex! 
The dance starts with the recognition of people you know.  In many cases these are people met through some other sports team in some other season.  Having 2 boys as close in age as Spence and Quinn is pretty interesting because we mingle parents between the older group and the younger group depending on the sport's specific cut off age.  There are several boys who have played on both a Spencer team and a Quinn team.  This is my favorite kind of dance.  It's fun and relaxed and comfortable.  In many cases these people are considered friends.  This is our social circle and, honestly, we miss these interactions during our "down times".
Then there's the group of people that you recognize, but don't know.  You've seen these folks around, but not had direct contact with.  Or if you are like me, you may have had some small direct contact in a kindergarten open house years ago and have no memory of the encounter.  This is a challenge for me because I am TERRIBLE with names.  I don't like that freestyle dance at all!
If you are lucky, the group of parents are all in the same boat and all trying to learn the steps together.  If you aren't so lucky (which is the situation we find ourselves in with Spencer's new team), the majority of the team (and the parents) are already established.  They have already danced this dance and they have gotten past the stepping-on-each-other's-toes phase.  In these tricky dances, you have to wait and watch and figure out when it's time to cut in.  That first dance is always the most painful!  I find this remarkably similar to middle school dances!
The most interesting part of all of this is how quickly things fall into place.  In no time we will be doing a well-coordinated and perfectly in-sync line dance both at home and with the new teams.  It's amazing how things tend to work out when you have so many different people singing their own tunes.  And the combination is always more fun than dancing alone at home!
So dance on!  We've strapped on our sneakers and we're ready for the new jig!
Here's a picture from Quinn's team on his first practice and one of Beck bundled up and trying to stay warm!