Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Aren't they just too cute?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

March For Babies

This morning was the St. Louis Chapter of March of Dimes, March for Babies at Forest Park. We were just THREE of the 10,000+ walkers that showed up to support such a wonderful cause.

Again, a HUGE THANK YOU, from Jack, Mason, & Me to those of you who generously donated to our fund. The ticker on the right hand side of my Blog shows that we actually surpassed our goal by $95! It's not a ton, but heck, we raised more than we originally set out to a month ago!!!

We were joined by a few other of the Mom's from my online Mom's group, as well as their husbands and children and we all walked the entire 3.2 mile walk! Boy was that a workout!! Especially pushing a double stroller filled with 50+ lbs of Riley boys! It was good for me though!

We wore special TShirts that were designed by another Mom from my Mom's group and I was actually the one who was responsible for finding the vendor, having the shirts made, collecting all the money and distributing the 113 shirts to the other Team Julia's Grace members who are walking in their respective cities around the country.

Getting faces painted in preparation to walk

Mason got a snake!

Jack had a butterfly and a snake!

The crowd in front of us waiting to go

The crowd behind us just as eager to get started

A giant American Flag suspended above the starting line - Pretty Cool!

Mommy's friend Lisa with her husband Dave and their children Lucas and Addison (she's not in the picture somehow) - sorry Lisa!

Mommy's other friend Amber's Team for her girls Perry & Ella

That's all my pictures, when you're flying solo with two children, it's kind of hard to push a stroller and take pictures at the same time so I did the best I could.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We're Walking For Aunt Tricia - 5/17/08

It's that time of year wonderful sister in-law, Tricia has started to gather her team again for the Sarcoma Alliance, 10th Annual Cancer Survivorship Walk. As you may or many not know, 4 1/2 years ago, Tricia was diagnosed with Leimyosarcoma of the broad ligament. There are many different types of sarcomas but the most important fact to understand is that less than 1% of those diagnosed with cancer will be diagnosed with a type of sarcoma.

Tricia is the 12th, yes 12th, person to have ever been diagnosed with Broad Ligament Leimyosarcoma and her doctors consider her a miracle. Another fact, 75% of people diagnosed with sarcoma, have a recurrence in two years - this year Tricia was 4 years cancer free! She says that she was able to win her battle because of the help of family and friends and that she also made a promise to herself that she would do whatever she could do to help others who are living with cancer - this is just ONE of the ways that she does that! She is truly OUR HERO!

On Saturday, May 17th, Tim, the boys and I, will be a part of TEAM SARCOMA, walking for Tricia, at Creve Couer Lake. Last year, we were a team of over 30 people strong and raised over $1500 for The Wellness Community, so that they can continue to help the cancer community of St. Louis as well as family and friends of those living with or who have lost their life to the monster. This year we are hoping for a team of 50 and to raise $3,000.

If you would like to help us raise money for our fund for The Sarcoma Alliance, you can click the DONATE button to the right of this post OR if you'd like to register to join the walk and join Team Sarcoma, you can visit The Wellness Community online at for a printable version of their pledge form.

Either way, Thank you from Tim, the boys and Me AND a big thank you from Tricia and my brother, Hank!

Here are a few pics from our awesome walk last year:

Hank & Tricia with their dog, Spicy

Jack and his buddy, Uncle Hank!

Even Mason walked, well....kind of!

2007 Team Sarcoma!

Our decked out stroller - we walked proudly for Aunt Tricia!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Here are Mason's stats from his 18 month checkup in Nov 2007 -
Height - 33 1/2" (80th %)
Weight - 24 lbs 12.5 oz (35th %)

Here were his stats yesterday -
Height - 36" (85th %)
Weight - 27 lbs (40th %)

He's tall and skinny! And to put it into perspective a bit more....he is 3/4" SHORTER than Jack was at 3yrs! They are going to be sharing ALL their clothes pretty soon! They are in the same size shorts right now!

Other than that............nothing too earth shattering. We'll be keeping an eye/ear on his speach because of his tight frenulum. Tim and I think that his speach is not nearly as clear as Jack's was at 2yo but it's hard to tell. We'll be watching that for about 6 months and reevaluate with the Ped this fall to see if we need to do anything about it. His ears were clear, his lungs sounded wonderful so his asthma has been downgraded to mild/intermitent (which was nice to hear).

The pediatrician did also note the huge difference in the boys personalities too. She nailed it on the head that Jack is more laid back, reserved and emotional and Mason is more outgoing, active and physical.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It Was A Beautiful Day For A Birthday Party

Sunny and in the 70's was the weather that was delivered on Sunday for Mason's birthday and birthday party! Tim and I had been wishing for good weather and we got it. We had a great time with our family and friends who helped us celebrate our 2nd year with Mason! We missed Bear & Belle, Moots & Big Top, and Aunt Diehneee and crew but know that they were with us in spirit!

Here's a few shots of our afternoon........

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday, Mason!

It's hard to believe that my BABY is TWO! Where has the time gone? He's supposed to still be little and instead he's turned into a little boy. A VERY BUSY AND ACTIVE little boy! Sometimes I want to beat my head up against the wall because he's so strong willed and wants to do EVERYTHING himself and gets into EVERYTHING that he can - but then isn't that what little boys do? I have to remind myself that frequently.

It was two years ago today at 11:08pm, Tim and I brought Mason into this world and completed our family. I remember a post that I made on an Online Mom's board shortly after Mason was born about my experience with his birth and the emotions that came over me - I thought I'd share just the last bit of it with you today but it is in full in Mason's scrapbook so that he can have it when he's older. (I have something similar for Jack too.)

10:45 pm, Dr. Houck made it back to the hospital and walked back into my room looking somewhat surprised and said “Well, I was wrong! Looks like he wants out now.” And the pushing began. I can’t explain the feelings that I was experiencing but everyone is correct in saying that pushing through the pain helps. That was the only thing that made it go away and helped me focus so much on “where” to push. First push………they can see hair! Second push……..Mary is standing down at my feet cheering me on saying “come on Libby, push….push….that’s right!” as Tim is next to me counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Third push………Mason starts to crown. Fourth push………..his head is out and Dr. Houck starts to suction his mouth and nose and Mary tells us that “he’s a big baby!”. Then they tell me to give them one little push and the next thing I know……….Mason is born………11:08pm! They lay him on my chest and I just can’t believe it. Our long, 23 hours of induction is over. The little 9 month miracle that has been growing and living inside of me is here! Our family is complete. Tim and I are both crying and Mary, my nurse, is asking for the camera to start taking pictures – she said she couldn’t help it. Mason looks at me with his dark eyes and my heart just melts. “Hi, I’m your Mommy!” I say to him and start crying more. “We’ve been waiting to meet you!”

All I can say is that Yes, every labor and delivery is different just as every pregnancy is different. What I experienced in delivering Mason was so different and than delivering Jack. But both of them are experiences that I will NEVER EVER forget. Having children is a miracle and something that none of us should ever take for granted. Babies are angels sent from heaven to enrich our lives. Tim and I have been fortunate to have been blessed twice with two beautiful, healthy boys. The baby we lost will always be watching over us from above. But we look at what we have and cant’ help but smile. Once we thought about not having children but now…………..we can’t imagine our life without them. Not to sound corny or anything but……….Jack and Mason complete us.

To my little boy,
You are very special
and you deserve the best.
I wish you a wonderful life
filled with love and happiness.
I hope others bring you joy,
just as you've brought joy to me,
then you can weather any storm
and be all you want to be.

~ Reatha Crow

Happy Birthday, Mason, we love you very much!
- Mommy, Daddy & Jack

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Price Of Children

In honor of all of you who have your taxes in by the 4/15 deadline (ours are never done until 10/15), this is just too good not to pass on. Something absolutely positive for a change. I have repeatedly seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle-income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.

But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into: $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "rich". Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140? Naming rights. First, middle, and last! Glimpses of God every day. Giggles under the covers every night. More love than your heart can hold. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs. Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies. A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate. A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites. Someone to laugh yourself silly with; no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140 you never have to grow up. You get to: finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to: keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars. You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay or Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for: retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off a bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the: first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, So one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"Open Wide Like An Alligator!"

Today was Jack's first visit to the Dentist. Dr. Kevin Postol, is the most wonderful Dentist. He's got a great personality and is very genuine about what he says and does. The entire staff at his office is wonderful so Tim and I were looking forward to today for a number of reasons. #1, this is another one of those "milestone" moments that BOTH of us wanted to be there for - the FIRST visit to the Dentist. And #2, Dr. Postol and his staff have known Jack since before he was even born so we were anxious to have them meet him in person.

I met Tim and Jack at the office and when I got there, they were looking at the "Wall Of Fame" that Dr. Postol has of all of his young NEW patients. They take their picture with a Polaroid camera and post it on a wall with their name on it as well as sending the child home with a picture too. I told Jack that I bet he'd get his picture on the wall today as well.

We looked at the big fish tank that Dr. Postol has and then we headed back to the exam room. Daddy needed to have some impressions done for some tooth whitening that he's going to have done, so Jack and I watched them do that before it was his turn to sit in the chair.

We had to overcome a bit of apprehension when it was Jack's turn, but as soon as he saw that Dr. Postol has TVs in the ceilings of the rooms, Jack was in the chair and ready to go. Misti, the Dental Hygienist put the seat back and headphones on Jack and he was set.

He very willingly opened his mouth, let her check his teeth and then it was time for the cleaning. Jack nixed the "bubble gum" flavored toothpaste immediately because we had just gotten finished with a round of medicine that was bubblegum flavored that he DID NOT LIKE so he opted for "grape" toothpaste instead - ICK!

Top row of teeth, NO PROBLEM! Tim and I were amazed and how well he was doing. Being the Mom that I am, I was sitting on a stool next to Jack snapping away with my camera (after I got a new set of batteries from Dr. Postol because my freakin batteries in my camera died RIGHT as I started to take my first picture!!!), Misti rinsed Jack's mouth and was ready to start the bottom row of teeth when all of a sudden, he just decided he was done and shut his mouth so tight and refused to open it again. Then the arms came reaching for me like he was saying "Mommy save me from this..... it's horrible". When in fact, he had been doing wonderfully.

Misti, Tim, and I all tried to coax Jack into letting Misti do the bottom row of teeth to no avail. Not even a sweet, pleading "Open wide like an alligator, Jack!" would work. Eventually we gave up. But......Jack did let Dr. Postol take a look at his teeth to count them. Turns out that his bite is off due to his high pitched palate, which later could be a problem, but for now, it's just something that will be watched and corrected if needed.

All in all.....not a TERRIBLE trip to the Dentist. We didn't have major meltdown, left with a smile and a bag of goodies from Dr. Postol. Here's hoping that next time we can get ALL of those pearly whites polished without any issues.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Day For The Ducks

Ducks Unlimited is a national, not-for-profit organization focusing on waterfowl and wetlands conservation. Every year, in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Conservation, they hold Wetlands For Kids Day at the August A Busch Wildlife Center in St. Charles, MO. It's my Dad's "baby" per say as he's responsible for the coordination of efforts to pull it all together.

Since it's always held the first weekend of April, we hope and pray for nice, warm weather and we're never sure what we're going to get. This past week we had rain and cold weather up until Friday - we were holding our breath that the meteorologists on all of the local TV stations were going to be right with their forecasts of SUNNY and 60s for Saturday. Thankfully, they were right! We had a fantastic day on Saturday! From what we could tell…..the BIGGEST crowd that they’ve EVER had – but that’s what happens when every parent in St. Louis and St. Charles County decides that they are going to conquer the cabin fever and get their kids out of the house for the day and enjoy the weather.

They boys, despite having started our day at the Pediatrician’s office for a tumble out of bed by Jack and Mason being under the weather from a stomach bug, still had a great time. Temporary tattoos, geese in the lake, seeing snakes, turtles, big giant catfish and birds of prey were just a few of the activities that we enjoyed while we were there.

Thanks, Bear for another great Wetlands For Kids Day! We had fun at your party!
~ Jack & Mason

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

1,2,3,4.....25 Times!!! Ah ha ha ha ha!

Okay, so as many of you know, we have been in the process of potty training Jack since the end of January. Well....I think that we've tamed the beast and can call ourselves successful at this challenge of parenthood. But's kind of become funny.

Jack is now keeping track of how many times that he's pooped in the potty. Last night.....25 times!!! I could hear Tim from the bathroom last night with Jack saying "25 Times! Way to go buddy!" and was just picturing The Count from Sesame Street saying "25 Times! Ah ha ha ha ha!" and the thunder rolling! He's shooting for 100 times - we'll see how long it takes him to get there but since he's really only been counting for about 2 1/2 weeks and is already up to 25, it may not take him too long to get there! Oh well....what ever works for for Tim and I too!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Aunt Tricia!

Aunt Tricia turns (gasp!) 30 years old today!
Happy Birthday, Aunt Tricia!
We all love you!!!

Lib, Tim, Jack & Mason