Sunday, April 29, 2012

Henry is 9 Months!


Well it's official. You have been an outside baby longer than you've been an inside baby on account of you being born at 39 weeks, so a week shy of nine months. Let me tell you, the past nine months have certainly been better than the previous nine! As always you're a joy and a complete and utter blessing.

Every month I say I can't imagine life without you. Well unfortunately in the last month I got a tiny taste, even if it was only for a minute or two, of what that life would be, and let me tell you - it was hell. You and your brother are absolutely everything to me. You're my entire world and I cannot and do not want to imagine a world without you in it. The silver lining of our horrible incident is that I know you are already saving lives. One of my online mom friends the other day told me that two of her friends got certified in CPR the other day "all because of Baby Henry." This is a couple who lives in a different part of the country, and we'll likely never meet, but you have potentially saved lives of people around them. I'd say 20-30 people at least have told me that they are going to take CPR because of you. I know my boys are destined for great things, and you're already making an impact on the world.

Ok, on a lighter note let's get to some of your details. I don't have height/weight stats yet, but will edit with those as soon as you have your appt. Outside of that you have had some amazing physical changes. In honor of your 9 month birthday you finally did some real live crawling! You've been working on it and oh so close for weeks, but today it happened! You also learned to say Dada in the proper context. You know that Daddy is Dada. I know he's thrilled that that was your first word, especially since you may be the world's biggest Mama's boy (which btw I love!). You can wave, clap, and your latest trick - get ready for it Grandpa Pete - you've been whistling!!! Another recent development is quite the temper. You are still sweet as can be, but you want your own way and are not happy when you don't get it. I'm afraid that between your new temper and newfound ability to move (and therefore get to toys) we are in for some rough days ahead between you and your brother! lol. You're eating a lot of real food these days, although you've yet to get any teeth. I'm pretty sure a few bottom ones are on their way and should be in in the next few months.

You're beautiful and a complete joy. I love you more than words can say and this month even more so than the others I am beyond grateful to have you in my life. Only 3 more months until the big bday! I better start planning the party! (who am I kidding? I've been planning for months! lol)


Friday, April 27, 2012

Grandma's Party Photo Book

I've made several books on Shutterfly before (here, here, & here) and decided that I would make one with all of the gorgeous photos from my Grandma's 90th Birthday Party. I love the way it turned out so I thought I would share. I know a lot of my followers are fellow moms who would love to see how you can create custom photo books for their kiddos. I was able to choose all of the photos and customize each page, easy peasy! Feel free to take a look. It turned out great. I can't wait to receive the finished product! (oh, and I know a lot of my family follow the blog. Don't show Grandma! I want her to be surprised when her photo book arrives!)

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

This is a story of how Tim & I are complete and utter pushovers.... Or how our kid is adorable.... Maybe a little bit of both!

Last night our beloved Cardinals were in town to play the Cubs. Tim & a few of his buddies were going to the game so the boys and I decided to walk with Tim up to Wrigley. We only live a mile away so walking is the easiest way to get there, and Mama could use the exercise since we're going to Maui two weeks from tomorrow! We put on our cards gear and headed up the street. Well as soon as we get to the stadium Timmy hops out of the stroller and is so excited to go in and watch baseball with Daddy!! Oh crap.... we weren't expecting that. The sheer joy on his face was adorable and I don't think Tim or I really wanted to break his heart. Enter the pushovers....

Actually let's take a detour for a minute. We're actually pretty good about enforcing rules and not letting the boys have everything they want. Timmy gets lots of "choices" these days. The choices are usually 1) you can do what I told you/want you to do or 2) you can have a timeout. lol. Although as a detour to our detour Timmy has been telling me lately that "my choices are gone. I threw them out of this house. They're on a truck and they went away." I die. Hilarious. Anyway this was just to show you that we aren't ALWAYS pushovers.... but last night we were. So, back to that....

Timmy was so excited to go watch the game with Daddy. I even bribed him with a trip to Subway, which is his usual go to. He just looked at me and said "oh, mom, we can go there some other time." Tim and I didn't even have to discuss it. It was clear just by looking at each other that we couldn't let him down. And let's be honest, we've finally convinced him to be a Cards fan and we're not going to jeopardize that! haha! We weren't sure if he needed a ticket or not, but a guy next to us (wearing a KMOX shirt...) had an extra ticket he said he'd give us for $20. Done and done. They could use the extra ticket to get in and then Timmy could sit on Tim's lap. Sold.

I wish I had videotaped (wait... those don't exist anymore. iphonetaped?) the excitement the boy displayed when we told him he could go. He jumped around outside the stadium waving his ticket around. Sheer and utter joy. Well worth $20. So the boys went off to watch some baseball (and some of the worst Ump calls ever), eat hotdogs and peanuts, and have some bonding time with the big guys. I promised to come pick Timmy up whenever so Tim didn't have to leave early. It was a great success.

So yeah... sometimes we're total pushovers, but we also have boundaries most of the time. This was an instance where Timmy just thought he was going and was so freaking excited that we didn't want to let him down. Luckily it worked out. And Cardinal Nation keeps on growing!

"I've got a golden ticket...." or baseball ticket. I can still sing it! lol

My guys ready for the game!

watching the game with Daddy, Ben, Ross, & Big Jim

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Granny Franny's 90th Birthday!!

Back in March I posted about my Granny Franny's 90th birthday party. I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but we hired the lovely Joanna Kleine to photograph the event. I just received the final edits and wanted to post some of the pictures from the party. I'm so happy that we were able to get some good family shots with the amazing matriarch of our family. We love you Grandma!

Oh, and just for total disclosure, I'm probably posting more pictures of my branch of the family, but hey, it's my blog!! ;)

My gorgeous Grandma, Fran Gallagher.

Granny Great & the great grandkids, Timmy, Henry, Rory, & Charlie.

The whole clan. (note to self... never stand on the end of a group when a wide angle lens is present. tim and I are looking WIDE!)

The Grandkids - from L to R: Jack, Will, Quinn, Kate, Grandma, Molly, Hannah, Sam, Jake, Caroline, & Brian

Franny & her kids - Holly, Mark, Paddy, Grandma, Pete, & Maggie

Our little fam.

Sweet face Henry.

And my love Timmy.

Grandma and her sister Reggie looking at old photos.

Franny & Reggie with many of their children/nieces/nephews

The most delicious cake!

Old photos of Grandma.

My love.

Hannah giving Grandma a birthday blessing.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Well hello there Mr. Curly Hair! Someone is taking after their Mommy!

(pardon the cell pics, I just thought this was too cute and wanted to share quickly!)

Saturday, April 21, 2012


A friend of mine pinned this amazing phone case today and I HAD to have one. Maybe you've noticed the cute little camera icon on the right side of my blog (if not, notice it now!), well that is a link to my Instagram account. If you haven't heard of Instagram my guess is you will soon since Facebook just purchased it for ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!! Basically it's an awesome little phone app that lets you take cool pictures, add fun filters, and share them with friends. It's super popular. Now other companies are recognizing what a crazy success it is and trying to jump on the product bandwagon. Enter Casetagram.

Casetagram is an amazing phone case you can personalize with photos from your Instagram account. I ordered one today and I can't wait for it to arrive. I took a screenshot of my finished template to share with you all. Seriously folks, this is adorable! Order yours today!

(oh - and PS - I was NOT paid in any way, shape, or form for this. I just am that pumped!)

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Choo Choo

I know I've posted before about our love of trains, as well as some posts where we visited the All Aboard Diner (like this one), which is a traintastic little restaurant. Well I recently found out that there are other train restaurants in Chicagoland, so I figured we needed to check them all out! Grandpa Pete came to town last night, and he might love trains even more than anyone, so I decided that there was no better person to take with us! Timmy had school until 11:15 this morning, then we picked him up and headed out to The Choo Choo diner in Des Plaines.

The Choo Choo is a small, adorable little train restaurant. It has a much older feel and decor, but there is a quaintness to it that is just lovely. And of course they still have trains that deliver your food, which is the real highlight. Everyone had a fantastic time, and I've already promised Timmy we'd take him back for his birthday. Oh, and I'm sure I just reversed any weight loss that I've achieved in the last few weeks. There were onion rings! I couldn't help myself!!! It was a perfect activity for Grandpa and his boys!

Grandpa & Timmy ready for some train fun!

Hen having a little snack

pickle face

it wasn't anyone's birthday, but we still got a special train cupcake!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thank You!!

It's been one week since The Incident occurred. Time has flown by, and while it still feels incredibly fresh in our memories, we're also beginning to experience some healing. One thing I told myself when this happened was that this was a blessing that I wasn't going to simply let go. This is a gift that I won't soon forget, and will make sure that I repay in any way I can. We decided to start by expressing our thankfulness by visiting our local fire fighters.

We're fortunate to live incredibly close to our local fire station, CFD Engine 55. So close that we could honestly hear the sirens the moment they turned them on at the station. They were the first responders to Henry's trauma, and arrived very quickly. While Tim & I were the ones who performed CPR the firemen were incredibly important in saving our boy. They got him on oxygen, helped stabilize him, tended to Timmy, and helped calm me down. Who knows how this would have turned out without them. These are men and women who spend their lives putting themselves on the line for others. They are true heroes and I appreciate everything they do for us. We wanted to thank them properly and show our appreciation for their assistance last week, so we headed over to Molly's Cupcakes to pick up some treats to show our gratitude. It was just a small gesture, but it was something I felt we needed to do.

If you're ever in Chicago or NYC you MUST visit Molly's. The cupcakes are divine. The peanut butter cupcakes with Nutella filling and Nutella buttercream are my favorite. (yep, you heard that right. peanut butter nutella. swoon!) These pics are straight from their website, I take no credit.

These pics I do take credit for, but I warn you they are straight out of the camera. They could use some editing, but alas I'm posting them anyway! Here are my boys at the station. Timmy was so excited to be there. The minute we walked in he yelled "we brought you cupcakes for helping my baby!"

Timmy was excited to have a chance to ride in the engines.

Then for a special treat they let him pump water and spray it at people on the sidewalk. He loved it. The kid is really into firemen so this was a real treat!

Thanks again to the Chicago Fire Department! You guys are real life superheroes, and we'll be eternally grateful for all you do. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Maggie!

This past weekend Tim had to go out of town for a bachelor party. Knowing this in advance my cousin Maggie and I planned for her to come spend the weekend with the boys & me. Maggie is one of my favorite people. With our strange sense of humor, weird voices, love of cupcakes and more, we are kindred spirits. While the trip was planned weeks ago I was so incredibly grateful that it fell when it did, as I was in no condition to be alone this weekend. I know I wasn't my usual cheery self this weekend, but I still had a great time with her and hope she had fun as well! Timmy is crazy about her and is already planning a trip on an airplane to go see Maggie in KC. The boy loves to travel!!

Saturday night one of my friends turned 30 so Maggie & I hit the town to party!!!!

Sunday I wanted to squeeze in a little photo shoot with Maggie & the boys! Timmy was having none of it and cried his way through the majority of the pictures. Three year olds are SO much fun!

Next weekend is Maggie's 26th birthday, so Sunday night we had an impromptu birthday party for her! After a mexican fiesta for dinner we surprised her with party decorations, gifts, and CAKE! My mom and our Uncle Randy & Aunt Heather were there as well to celebrate.


We love you Maggie. Come visit us again soon!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Incident

I feel like there's no way to avoid this post. Tim posted info on Facebook, forcing me to confront that this happened, instead of running and hiding like I instinctually feel the need to do. Part of me thinks this is some embarrassing incident that you want to sweep under the rug, but I guess that isn't healthy. I know that the incident is out there in the online world.... I might as well embrace and explain it. Perhaps writing this out will be cathartic and healing for me. In any case, here I go.

Warning - this may not be easy to read. I will try and spare you the worst details, but I figured in order for this to be affectively healing I might as well tell the entire story as best as I remember, which honestly is a bit of a blur. If this is too hard for you to read turn away now. Or just scroll to the bottom, look at the pics, and then close up shop!

Wednesday was a normal, happy day. It was a beautiful day and I had some errands to run so I loaded up the boys so we could get going. We sang songs in the car, stopped and had lunch with Tim, took a trip to Target, ran around town, then back home for naps. Tim got home from work and we all played a bit. I had decided that I wanted salad for dinner, so I fed Timmy and Henry first since there's no way my child is going to eat salad! After they were done eating I ran downstairs (that's where our bathtub is) and turned on the bath.

Sidenote - Tim starts a new job on Monday. Earlier in the day he needed Henry's social security number for insurance info. I keep all of our important documents in a firebox in a storage room in the basement. When I went to get it the box was wet for some reason, so I took it into the bathroom and set it on the vanity to dry. A decision I'll live to regret for quite some time.

Anyway back to baths. I loaded the boys into the tub. Timmy said Henry was splashing him too much. At some point I turned around and looked at the box on the vanity. I grabbed the birth certificates and flipped through them. Not reading them, just seeing whose was whose. I turned back around, it wasn't long, seconds... 2? 5? 10? 30? I can't say for sure how long it was because in retrospect time seems to be elongated and shortened at the same time. I turned around and saw the most horrific thing I've ever seen or ever hope to see. Henry had slipped under the water. I grabbed him out. He wasn't breathing. He was purple and was limp. He lost consciousness. I grabbed him out and started screaming for Tim. Screaming for him to call 911. I started hitting Henry on the back, trying to force something to happen He ran downstairs and took Henry from me. I ran upstairs and called 911. By some miracle they answered immediately, I don't even remember the phone ringing. Tim started chest compressions on Henry while I was on the phone, and said he threw up some water downstairs and pooped a bit, but he still wasn't breathing. Our phone doesn't work in the basement so I screamed for him to bring him up while I was on the phone with the 911 operator. At some point I dropped the phone and started mouth to mouth on Henry while Tim continued the chest compressions. I'm not sure how many breaths I did. On one of the first breaths he threw up a lot of water. Was it the first breath? The second? It's hard to say. The next breath he threw up all of his dinner. I might have given him another breath, I'm not sure. He started breathing on his own. I ran out to open the gate for the firemen. I was waving my arms and screaming like a crazy person so they didn't miss the house. Thank God we live literally around the corner from the fire station. I could hear the moment they turned their sirens on and they were here within 30 seconds of leaving the station. They ran in and put oxygen on Henry. He was whimpering at this point, but still unconscious. The next few moments are all a bit foggy. I remember running around. I remember that they said his blood oxygen level was 100% which meant his brain wasn't deprived of oxygen. I remember the firemen went downstairs to get Timmy and then took him up to get his jammies on. I remember someone telling me to try and stay calm. I remember throwing my jeans, a sweatshirt, and shoes on. Finally the ambulance arrived. They'd wrapped Henry in the towel that Timmy was wearing. He was screaming. The most beautiful scream I've ever heard. Tim carried him out to the ambulance and I hopped in as well. We sat there for what felt like forever, but Henry was screaming and I knew he was alive. I was praying he wasn't brain damaged, but figured we'd cross that bridge when we got to it. They told me they were taking us to Children's Hospital which relieved me. We live literally half a mile away, on the same street (they're moving downtown in June so I'm thrilled they were still so close). Some jerk who was irritated that the ambulance was blocking the street came and looked in the back window all pissy. His face changed when he saw how little the patient was. I'm sure he thought it was a drunk homeless person or something, but still.... I wanted to kill him. Eventually we left. We were on our way.

When we got to Children's they were waiting for him. They wheeled him in and immediately a team of doctors and nurses were working on him. There were probably a dozen people in the room. A doctor came to ask me what happened, then a social worker came to try and calm me down. At some point a chaplain came to relieve the social worker which freaked me out. I thought she was there to give him his last rites or something. Turns out she was just there for support until Tim arrived, but I about lost it on her. I'm not sure how long they worked on him. I remember them saying that because he was screaming that his airways were intact. They did a chest x-ray to see if he had water in his lungs. It was clear. They put a diaper on him as he peed on someone. They had him under heat lamps since he had been naked since this happened. I don't think they had to work on him as a team very long as his vitals were all good. Tim arrived. The doctors left for the most part, leaving him with just a nurse. He was ok. He was going to be ok. Henry stopped crying and gave me a big smile. I lost it. The tears that wouldn't come before then came flooding out.

They moved us to a room and kept him overnight. He was cheery and showing off, despite being exhausted, which made me feel so much better, knowing that his little brain hadn't been affected.  He was hooked up to monitors and his vitals were checked hourly. I had to do a mandatory interview with DCFS. It was surreal, but protocol, and one that I'm actually happy is in place. I know that my boys are in a good environment, but I also know there are cases where the kids need someone to intervene, so it's wonderful that the hospital checks every single trauma case for children under 1. Obviously we were cleared, though I did invite them to move in with me until the boys left for college! They did another chest x-ray in the morning to make sure he was ok. Needless to say I didn't sleep that night. I kept flashing back to that first horrific moment. An image I'm that I'm afraid will haunt me for the rest of my life. By the morning Henry was his usual cheery self. Charming the nurses and doctors, playing with toys. Nurses were literally getting other staff members to come and see him because he was so cheery and cute. The x-ray was fine, and by about 10:30 am we were released. We were told throughout this that it only takes one breath in for a baby's lungs to fill up with water. Basically if they fill up they stop breathing. It all happens so quickly. It's terrifying. We were also told many times that accidents happen all of the time and that we saved him by knowing CPR.

Henry is fine. He's perfect. You would never know that this happened by looking at him. I'm not quite so fine. People have been so amazingly supportive and kind, congratulating us for knowing CPR and bringing him back. I don't feel like I deserve any accolades. I should have never turned around, even if it was only for a few seconds. This never should have happened at all. I'm so grateful that we did know CPR, but I hate that we had to use it. I know this will take time for me to get over. I expect that some therapy is in my future. I'm trying to replace that horrifying image with the ones of him smiling at me like he's doing right now. I truly thought we'd lost him... and I'm not sure how to get over that. It's a feeling I hope no one I know ever has to experience, and a feeling that breaks my heart for anyone that I know who has felt it. Other parents who have heard about this have been so honest with me about things that have happened to their kids that they wish they could have prevented. I appreciate the honesty so much as it tells me that accidents do happen. I just try so hard to be a good mom. Super mom. I never thought this would happen to me. Not on my watch. The guilt I'm feeling is tremendous. But I'll get through this, I have to for my boys' sakes. They're both here and healthy, and I'm the luckiest person in the entire world. I truly think someone was looking out for us Wednesday night. I have no doubt that Henry has some angels on his side. He's one lucky baby, and I'm a lucky mom. I'm not sure what I ever did to deserve such a reprieve, but I'll spend the rest of my life trying to make up for it. This is a gift that I won't soon forget.

Ok, so that's it. I apologize if it was tough to read... it was tough to write, and horrific to go through. Just as an aside Timmy has handled the entire situation really well. He was in the bath with Henry, but playing with toys so he didn't notice what happened. He also thought the firemen coming was really fun, he was just bummed they didn't have their hats on! Tim was very matter of fact with him about what happened. Timmy told my mom (who rushed over to stay with Timmy) that Henry fell and swallowed water in the bath and got sick, but that the firemen came and he went in an ambulance to the doctor and is all better now. I'm so happy he isn't traumatized. Both my boys are happy and healthy, and that is all that matters. I have a new perspective. I have my boys and that is all I need.

The happy, but exhausted boy after being moved to his room.

The patient yesterday morning. He looks sick doesn't he?!? ;)

and just to reassure that he's fine I took this pic seriously 1 minute ago - this is Henry here and now!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Easter, part two

I bet you thought part two of this post would be the morning after part one didn't you? Just trying to keep you all on your toes, and visiting the blog! lol. Ok honestly I usually blog in the morning and yesterday was my day to help out at Timmy's preschool (it's a coop so the parents take turns assisting), then I went to yoga, so by the time I got home and was able to write this post it was so late in the day that I figured I'd just wait. It will just be a nice Wednesday morning treat! So without any further ado, onto Easter Sunday.

Living in the city can complicate the good old Easter egg hunts I'm used to from growing up. Last year we hid the eggs in our courtyard which was fine because Timmy was only two, but since he is now older and wiser (not to mention more energetic!) we needed to hide the eggs a bit better, and frankly we just don't have the room at our house. My mom however has a lovely courtyard at her condo, so we decided that we would hide the eggs there. Sunday morning I told Timmy that the Easter Bunny called me and told me that he left his eggs and Easter baskets at Grandma's house. We immediately piled in the car, jammies and all, and drove over to Grandma D's. It was great. Her courtyard was the perfect size and Timmy had a blast hunting for eggs. And the best part, she made my favorite breakfast for everyone after we were done with the hunt! Hooray! It was a lovely day, although we missed all of our family in St. Louis. Holidays that fall on Sundays are tough since Tim generally has to be at work the next morning. But we were thinking of them and sending some Easter love! Ok, ok. I know. You're here for the pictures!

I ordered the boys Easter Baskets (or buckets, whatevs) from Bin There Designs on Etsy. They were great to work with and turned out SO cute. I just adore them.

and the baskets on my Mom's deck waiting for the boys to find them!

Timmy had a great time hunting for eggs! Only one issue... I filled his basket up so full that he couldn't use it to collect the eggs! Oh well, a Lululemon bag will suffice!

I made the boys take a few pics after all of the eggs were found. Timmy then proceeded to bust some eggs open and spill the contents everywhere. But don't worry, the ones he spilled were miraculously all filled with puffs for Henry!

It just doesn't get any cuter than this.

Checking out the Easter basket contents.

For some reason Timmy has been insisting that the Easter Bunny was going to bring him Hungry Hungry Hippos. I don't know... maybe he thinks he's related to Santa or something. I didn't want to disappoint him though, so the good old Easter Bunny came through. He was so excited and played several times throughout the day.

Mom's cute Bunny Brunch table setting.

Happy baby. 

So that's it. Happy Easter everyone! Or Happy Wednesday After Easter... that's a pretty exciting day too! ;)