Max’s Baptism

On Sunday, August 5, we took our sweet boy over to St. Ignatius Church with our family and friends to have him baptized.

As it was a 90+ degree day with exceptionally high humidity, a few scattered rain showers and thunderstorms popped up, but never took away the humidity.

It was so wonderful for my family to drive in from New Jersey to celebrate with us!  It was also their first time to meet Max and to see Jack for the first time in a few months, so there was a lot of catching up to be had.

As Max was 6 weeks old, he had a growth spurt this past week and was eating more and a little bit more fussy than usual, but the day of the baptism, he woke up with a smile on his face and was happy all day long.

Our friend Father Kelly returned from his vacation to come down to his old parish to baptize Max.

Max wore the heirloom christening gown that my mother, uncles, cousins, sisters, Jack and I wore.  The beautiful Irish linen gown is close to 100 years old and is extremely delicate, so we opted to dress him at the church.

His Godmother, Colleen and I dressed him, which brought back many memories of my mother dressing Jack in the gown two and a half years prior.

As we were waiting for a few other people to arrive at the church, we decided to take all of the pictures with the family, etc… ahead of time.  Max’s Godfather, Jeff and Colleen posed for pictures and we also made sure to get the whole family together for one big family shot for the first time in a long time.

Jack loved playing and sitting with his cousins and we were all very glad to spend time together and laugh.

Max was very good during the baptism, and when it came time for Father Kelly to pour the water over his head, he literally moved his head side to side in delight as he poured the water.  Looks like we may have another water baby on our hands!

Following the baptism, we all headed back to my mother’s house for a little luncheon.  We enjoyed lunch and of course, the children were anxious to get to the cake.

Two friends of mine so graciously offered to spend the Friday of the baptism weekend to bake a cake from scratch and to make my Aunt’s famous icing for our celebration.  As I do not have one cooking or baking bone in my body, I was absolutely nervous, but we did a fabulous job!  My Aunt who makes the famous icing also had some of the cake and said that we hit the nail on the head and that it was delicious!  We were thrilled!

It was a lovely day and a wonderful little celebration for our Max!  May God bless him always.

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Crazy Two Weeks

From the fall, to giving birth, it was already a pretty momentous week when Max was born.

Of course my story doesn’t end there. Sunday morning, Max begins to fuss a bit around 6:00am, so I wake up and bring him downstairs as not to wake anyone else so I can feed him and hopefully get him back to sleep to get some more shut eye myself.

I came down and got Max situated on the changing table and began to unfasten his diaper. being that it is 6:00am and we had woken several times to nurse, I was a bit delerious, but I noticed that his entire diaper was dark and somewhat appeared to be a large bowel movement. Thankfully, I turned on the light to get a better look and to clean him up. Once the light turned on, I looked down and saw that the diaper was actually filled with blood and Max was bleeding from his penis. Immediately, I screamed for Chris to come down and help. He came running down and we both went into shock. He was still bleeding profusely from his penis and was now crying to boot.

I rushed him to the ER after we applied pressure to stop the bleeding and the physician’s assistant checked him over, said to continue to apply Vaseline until the would healed and to follow up with my pediatrician in a few days. They never sent a doctor down or anything. Turns out that the late bleed was due to an artery close to the skin. What a mess.

A few days later, I stopped by a friend’s house with both boys for a visit and she called to tell me that she was picking up steaks and we could all just have dinner together at her place. A excuse for not cooking? Count me in. Chris came over and we began preparing dinner. I washed all of the steaks and my friend prepared the sides to be cooked. Meanwhile, Max had a dirty diaper, so I went to change him and Jack went out in their backyard with the babysitter to play. Chris went to fire up the grill and realized that the tank was empty, so he was off to get a new tank.

In a split second, Jack was walking back in the house as I was finishing Max’s diaper change and all I hear is a dog growl and Jack scream a blood curdling scream. My heart absolutely stopped and I came running. My friend reached Jack first and when I looked at Jack’s face, he was covered in blood. I tried to remain as calm as possible, but was slowly losing it. We called Chris to come home and rushed Jack to the plastic surgeon for stitches. Chris in true Chris fashion remained calm, cool and collected. I passed Max off to someone in the house and jumped in the back seat of the car to apply pressure to the bleeding on our drive to the surgeon’s office.

Several stitches later and lots of screaming heard from the waiting room (they don’t allow the parents to go back to the OR), Jack came out bandaged and swollen, but happy to see us.

We found out afterwards that when Jack was coming into the house from the backyard, the dog had secretly grabbed one of the raw steaks from the counter that I had washed and was eating it in his cage when Jack stopped to scold him for eating the food on his way into the house. That is when the dog attacked him.

We finally had the stitches out, but it has been a long week of not going outside, not swimming, no bathing, and playing as many quiet games as possible to ensure that Jack’s face healed.

The plastic surgeon told us that it is too early to tell whether or not he will have scarring, but we have all of the lotions and potions to try and avoid scarring as much as possible.

When I brought him home from getting his stitches out (he was so brave!), he felt very hot and over the 2 days before that had developed a wet cough. I took his temp, which was 101.4. Off to the pediatrician again. He has a right ear infection and a cold and is now on Amoxicillin for 10 days with a follow up appointment to discuss tubes in his ears. The poor kid can not catch a break.

That has been my 2 weeks in a nutshell, but I am so thankful that both boys are ok and on the mend.

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Jack right after the bite

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With stitches and steri strips

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After the stitches came out

Christmas 2011

How can someone not love Christmastime?  The lights, the family get-togethers, Christmas trees, colorful wrapping paper, mass that brings tears to your eyes while singing Silent Night in a candlelit church, and the magic.  The magic is what makes me love Christmas most of all.  Every child has an extra bit of sparkle and amazement in their eyes when they see lights, Santa or anything else holiday related.  It makes my heart swell the day that the calendar turns to December.

As with the majority of families, mine carries its traditions while always welcoming new ones.

Last year, we welcomed the Elf on the Shelf tradition when we welcomed Max the Elf to our family.  We enjoy playing our Barbra Streisand Christmas CD and many other quirky traditions.  We also have a fire, roast marshmallows, and just enjoy spending time with each other.

Another new tradition this year with Jack was breakfast with Santa.  Although, Jack would only go near Mrs. Claus and wanted nothing to do with Santa.

This year was special because we still have my Mom with us.  Jack absolutely adores her and hangs on every word that she says.

This was also the first year that Jack baked cookies with us, although Mommy took over icing and decorating them while he napped.

Baking cookies with Mommy

He got many wonderful Cars toys from Santa and relatives and we spent all of Christmas day in our pajamas!  It was wonderful!

Jack opening presents

Now, with having this week off between Christmas and New Year’s, I plan on getting multiple projects completed, including bringing out my entire maternity wardrobe.  (Yes, it’s time)  I have over 5,000 Pampers Gifts to Grow points, so I plan on redeeming some and getting photos printed of Jack, decluttering the house and putting away the Christmas decorations.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

The family on Christmas Eve

Additional First Birthday Party Photos

Per several people’s requests, here are additional photos from Jack’s First Birthday Party and additional information for Announcing a Miracle.

The balloon wreath on the front door

I got the balloon wreath idea from PartylikeaKid.com with a complete tutorial listed.  Believe me, I am not a crafty person in the least, and all I needed was instructions, and off I went.  My progress was posted on Twitter @Mallaidh and while watching TV a few nights, it was completed.  I used approximately 220 balloons on the wreath.

Birthday party cookies

I made these cookies on and off the week of the party.  I made the icing from a container of icing and adding small teaspoons of water until it became a very smooth and “liquidy” texture.  Four squirt bottles and some food coloring later, we had some pretty cookies!  (Dough was from Sam’s Club economy sized Pillsbury sugar cookie dough)

Jack with his birthday balloons

 

I picked up two arrangements of balloons from Mainsource, a grocery store down the street.  The balloons were cheap, maybe $8 total for everything and were by far Jack’s favorite thing about the party.

Some of the decorations

Thrilled doesn’t describe how I feel about the party pack that Pam from Announcing a Miracle made for me!  Because of my crazy schedule and the lack of a fully functioning printer, I asked Pam if she could print and assemble the pack for me when she mailed it.  (Yes, I did pay extra)  For me, it was the best gift I could give myself for this party!  She thought of the little things like grosgrain ribbon to string between the birthday banner and the perfectly tied ribbons on the hanging tags.  Perfect all around!

The birthday boy!

Jack’s outfit for the day was simple.  The shirt was ordered from ALM Designs on Etsy.com.  She was great!  The shirt was custom made by her, sewn in and will (hopefully) last him until his second birthday.  Jeans from Baby Gap, shoes by Stride Rite.

I used Shutterfly.com to make a First Year Photo Book for the partygoers to look at while they talked and I also included a pen with the book so that they could each write a message for Jack to read when he is older.  It was easy, cheap and a big hit!

The whole family

We had a very fun celebration, and I was thrilled that my sisters and my Mom were all there to celebrate with Jack.  It was also my Mom’s birthday, so we sang to her and Jack.  And yes, that is icing in my hair and on my sweater.  Jack loved every minute!

The Little Prince- Jack’s First Birthday Party

It’s a little late, but its better than never.

When Jack woke up on his birthday, it was clear that I was about 10 times more excited than he was.  He celebrated on his actual birthday with friends of the family and his actual family, but the big celebration came on Saturday, December 11. (His birthday is December 9)

If you haven’t read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, please do yourself a favor and buy a copy.

Jack’s bedroom in Philly was themed after The Little Prince, and I have always loved the book for the simple story that it tells.  We do own the pop-up book, and Jack has always enjoyed reading it with us.

So, naturally, we decided to throw a first birthday/The Little Prince themed party.

My first place to go was to my friend Pam’s Etsy shop (AnnouncingAMiracle) to see if she would be willing to design custom invitations, etc… for the party.  As always, she did a beautiful job and made these for me:

She did beautiful cupcake toppers and hanging decorations to bring all of the rooms in.

Party Tags:

And Pam was creative enough to select printable (and edible ink) stickers to adhere to the paper plates that we used that were also part of the theme.

Jack also shares a birthday with my sister’s roommate Chris, aka Uncle Chris, so of course they had shirts made to commemorate the occasion.

Jack enjoyed opening his gifts and playing with the kids at the party.  It’s amazing how much more he is walking, especially when there are children around.  I guess that he is always trying to keep up with the big kids.

When it came time to sing and enjoy cupcakes, Jack was loving every second, especially the cupcake part!

Some extras that I made/added to the party were flood icing custom designed star cookies, a First Year Photo Book on shutterfly.com to show to guests and so that they could write a message to Jack.  I had a caterer bring food, because it was just easier and worth every penny in my opinion.  Cookies and cupcakes were made by me and with my Aunt’s famous icing recipe, they were all great!!

All of the children went home with cookies in a bag with a great favor tag on each bag:

We had a great time at the party and were so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family to celebrate with.

For more photos and information about the party, click here for a follow-up post.