February 7, 2014


Rachel girl is going through an explosion in her communication abilities. Here is a sample of something she did at school the other day. She was to trace the yellow lines. Her attempts are in green.

How amazing to me that she is doing this!

I was also told she "argued" with her teacher through her GoTalk app on the ipad. Apparently her teacher wanted her to work (go figure) but Rachel insisted that "work finished" and that they "go play" instead. My funny girl.

January 17, 2014

Good Bye to My Buddy.

I don't like when it's quiet and the thoughts in my head gravitate to him.  When I've sat down to eat at the table and I can't help but look over to his bed to see if he's there and of course he isn't. I miss my buddy. I miss his wagging tail and big ole grin when I come home. I miss the soft fur on his neck that I used to rub when he sat in the car next to me. I miss the constant presence of him in almost 14 years of my life. There is a big hole in my heart and a huge feeling of emptiness in the house.

Jack, do you remember going hiking in West Virginia? Do you remember running along the beach in Florida? Or, just chasing balls in our back yard in North Carolina? Do you remember how you used to sleep next to me in the bed or the many, many miles of walks we've been on? I hope you remember all those things, because I do. And I hope you remember those things and not yesterday when I had to make the decision to put you to sleep.

I'm so sorry buddy. I miss you so much. I loved you so much, my Jackie boy.

December 19, 2013

The Day Yoga Almost Killed Me

I don't write much about myself on here. Most of the time I stick to the kids when I do manage to find some time to write. However, I figured most people out there could use a laugh and why not at my expense.

I have a new friend. She's really in to fitness as I used to be before the kids. I don't remember who's idea it was, but we got a Groupon to 10 classes of Bikram Yoga. I had an idea of what it was before we started - yoga in a hot room. HA! I had no idea. I will preface this by saying that I haven't done any class type/gym type exercise in over 2 years. I walked religiously every day during the spring/summer/fall but once winter hit any activity has been at a standstill - literly. I don't know why I thought breaking back in to exercise with this type of Yoga was a good idea. I am a moron.

We get to class and the woman who greats us is nice. She shows us where the locker room is and then she takes us in to the "room". I think it's more accurate to say the torture room. The place where all sanity goes to die. It's like walking out in to the hottest day of the year in Florida and then saying to yourself, hum, maybe I'll do some jogging while I'm out here.

I brought along a bottle of water. It was a small bottle of water and that was mistake number one. Mistake number two was not eating ANYTHING before class. As most moms know, you sometimes forget to eat when taking care of small needy beings. Disaster was ready to strike.

Class was tough. I had more sweat dripping down than I ever had in my whole life I think. We were nearing the end of class when all of a sudden my fingers started to tingle. And then my arms. And then my upper lip. My eyes began to swim in their sockets and my hands started to curl in to themselves all on their own. I could not open them! I actually started to panic and then quickly realized that panicking was making me start to hyperventilate. I was so embarrassed. The instructor had to escort me out of class to sit the last 10 minutes of class in the A/C in the lobby area with a big bottle of water she brought me. She never said that I wasn't the only one to have that happen to them. I can't be the only one, right?!

I still have 9 more classes left. Tonight is class number two. Please, for the love of God, send some prayers my way that I make it through the torture without needing to be rescued!

December 18, 2013

An ER Visit for Rachel

A couple weeks ago, right before Thanksgiving break, Rachel got sick... it started as a normal cold but by the Saturday after Thanksgiving she sprouted a fever and some breathing troubles. This isn't anything new for her. She usually gets fevers with infections. By Sunday she seemed better and on Monday she acted fine and even ate all of her lunch before going down for her nap. About 30 minutes in to her nap, she woke up crying. The kind of cry she gets when she has a bowel movement. Sure enough, she had one. I cleaned her up and she had another one. I cleaned her up and she just kept crying. After about 15 minutes she started to shiver and then I knew something serious was going on.

I ended up taking her to the ER. On the drive there she was scary looking, very pale and breathing shallow. I was afraid she was going to pass out in the car. As soon as we walked in to the ER and sat down, she vomited all over me about 3 times. We were rushed back in to the triage room. Her fever was 104.8 and her O2 Sat was in the 80's. She just looked BAD. The doctor in the ER had her chest X-rayed and we were told she had pneumonia. Rachel was admitted and spent the next two nights in the hospital.

After we were sent home with antibiotics and albuteral treatments, her breathing never really got better. I took her to the doctor twice more and we ended up being referred to a pediatric pulmonologist. Because of Rachel's history of needing oral steroids and antibiotics several times last year and so far three times this year, the pulmonologist decided that we needed to try a daily nebulized cortico steroid. This is to help Rachel ward off the inflammation that her lungs seem to have whenever she gets a virus. I guess we shouldn't be too surprised since Stephen and I both deal with asthma.We hope that the inhaled steroid will keep Rachel from getting as sick as she did over Thanksgiving. We just started treatment yesterday. I will update and let everyone know how it is helping her.

December 7, 2013

30 Blankets in 30 Days Total

You guys did it AGAIN. Not only was the 30 blanket goal blown out of the water, so was last years record of 70. This year we were able to send 95 blankets to the NICU where Rachel was born. I am so excited knowing that some parents in the NICU over Christmas and beyond will benefit from the generosity of all of you!! Thank you so much and I can't wait until next year!

November 25, 2013

5 Days Left!

Hey you out there in bloggerville! There's only 5 more days in this month which means there is only 5 more days in the 30 Blankets in 30 Days blanket drive.  Please, if you have a blanket and have been meaning to send it, now is the time! I will be shipping all the blankets to the Women's Hospital the end of the first week in December to make sure they are there for the families who will be spending Christmas in the NICU. Please clink on this LINK for more information about the drive and where to ship them. We are SO close to topping the blanket amount from last year and I'd really love to see it happen. Thank you again to all of you who have already donated!!!

November 11, 2013

The Cheese

Picture taking just became a lot more fun.

I love this girl.

Add caption

November 2, 2013

Halloween Happiness!

This year the kids got it. I mean, really got it. Charlie even managed to overcome his shyness to say "tri tre" a couple times. The weather did not cooperate and it rained on us and it was windy, but it didn't matter. We had fun and so did the kids. Makes me even more excited for next year. Now, here are some pictures of our giraffe and boxer.

Rachel girl is finally about stopping to "cheese" for the camera. It's awesome.

November 1, 2013

30 Blankets in 30 Days Kick Off!

It's time for the 30 Blankets in 30 Days blanket drive! Just click on the link for address information. These blankets will be delivered to the Women's Hospital NICU in Greensboro, NC - the hospital where Rachel was born and saved. Last year we blew the goal of 30 blankets out of the water with a grand total of 70 blankets. While the goal is again 30 blankets in the 30 days of November, I would love to beat last years record. I've already received a handful of blankets from some great people. So, please keep this drive in the back of your mind while you are out shopping, cleaning out your baby rooms or even if you make blankets! You can even help by sharing this link on your FB page. Thank you so much to everyone who helped out last year and, if it's possible, I hope you will again this year. I know the families in the NICU appreciate the comfort of knowing their babies are thought of during the holiday season.
Rachel Burrito Baby

October 21, 2013

MSPI No More!

This little guy right here is no longer dealing with Milk and Soy Protein Intolerance!

We started slow with one piece of cheese a day, then we moved to yogurt and finally milk. Booger passed with flying colors and after 26 months, we are super excited to put that part of his life behind us. Bring on the ice cream!

October 17, 2013


While Rachel was in Early Intervention, I had a couple therapists comment to me about how much "I knew" Rachel. Meaning, how well I knew what her reactions to things would be or what she would do. I took that as a compliment. I was with her 24/7, shouldn't I know her that well?

As she went off to pre-k I kept that mentality. That I knew her so well. That I knew what her limits were and were not. But now, I'm starting to realize that I have no idea what her limits are. I have no idea what she can and cannot do. How can I expect her to do her best when I have these ideas in my head about what she is capable of?

We went to a local pumpkin farm this past weekend. They had many physical things for kids to do. Plenty of climbing and slides and stairs and ladders. Rachel charged ahead and up some stairs and bee lined it to the large curly slide. Oh no, I thought, she can't do that. She flip all over and hurt herself. But she went and I ran around to see her coming out of the bottom smiling from ear to ear. Wow.

She climbed up the stairs and went down again and again. Finally she realized she could take the stairs up one more flight to even larger and faster slides. Oh no, I thought, she is really going to hurt herself! I managed to grab her and went down with her. She loved it. We went up again with Stephen and Charlie. She wanted to go down alone. I waited at the bottom expecting her to be terrified as she shot down alone. But she came out of the slide, again, with a smile as wide as her face.

She climbed a mountain of tractor tires over and over loving her view at the top. She climbed up a play tractor made of wood easily scaling the 4 step ladder and then, face forward, climbing back down again.

That day I was left dumbstruck, just grasping at this new reality of who Rachel was this whole time and yet I had no idea because I had set limits in my head. I thought I knew her like the back of my hand but I don't and it's time for me to let her show me who she is.

October 3, 2013

Introducing... My New Neice!

Awhile back I posted about waiting for my brother and sister in law's first baby.... I'm proud to announce it's a GIRL!

Carolyn Gray - I can't wait to meet you!

September 23, 2013

Rachel's Colonoscopy and Endoscopy Results

Rachel's awesome GI doctor called us tonight, Sunday, with the results from Rachel's colonoscopy and endoscopy.

He said that her biopsies were normal but because of the patches of irritation in her intestines and stomach that she could be developing Crohn's Disease. While he said it is too early to tell if that is in fact what is going on, he's going to go ahead and have her start taking an anti-inflammatory medication for the intestines to see if it helps.

I can only hope that this medication not only helps, but that she does not have Crohn's. I guess only time will tell on this one. I am happy that we finally have a path to try.

September 20, 2013

Our Preemie Turns FOUR

I don't know how we ever got from this...

to this...

Where has the time gone? We love you sweet girl. We know this year holds many great things for you! Happy Fourth Birthday!

September 18, 2013

Endoscopy and Colonoscopy

Rachel had her endoscopy and colonoscopy done on Monday. This is another attempt at finding out why she has been having these constant liquidy/mucusy poops for over a year now. The doctor took 16 biopsies - 8 from her colon and 8 from her esophagus and stomach. Most everything was normal "looking" to him except her bile duct was "unusually" close to her stomach. He explained that her bile could be refluxing in to her stomach causing her issues. He said the closeness of the bile duct is usually a congenital condition, but she had her appendix removed along with her duodenal atresia surgery and that could have caused it as well. We won't know for sure if this is the reason for her problems though until he gets her lab results back next Monday.

Rachel was a champ about everything as usual. She had a full day of no solid food before the procedures and handled it pretty well. She was back to her happy self just hours after the procedures as too.

I am hoping that these biopsies bring us to an answer but at the same time I'm afraid of an answer, especially if it has to do with the bile duct and stomach. I am not sure, since it hasn't been discussed, but I am thinking she would probably need surgery to try and correct it. I will update again when we know more.

September 12, 2013

30 Blankets in 30 Days Countdown!

It's almost that time of year again! In about a month and a half I'll be kicking off the third annual 30 Blankets in 30 Days blanket drive to donate to the Women's Hospital NICU in Greensboro, NC - the hospital where Rachel was born and saved. Last year we blew the goal of 30 blankets out of the water with a grand total of 70 blankets. While the goal is again 30 blankets in the 30 days of November, I would love to beat last years record. So, please keep this drive in the back of your mind while you are out shopping, cleaning out your baby rooms or even if you make blankets! You can even help by sharing this link on your FB page. Thank you so much to everyone who helped out last year and, if it's possible, I hope you will again this year. I know the families in the NICU appreciate the comfort of knowing their babies are thought of during the holiday season.

- Maggie

September 11, 2013

When Grandma Visits....

the rules go out the door!

My mom came to visit for a week following my sister-in-law's baby shower. The kids had a blast with grandma all week but I think the most fun the had was our visit to the local park. There is a  dog park attached to it which has a dog "washing" station. Charlie figured out how to turn it on in two seconds flat. Both kids were soaked to the bone but they loved it.