We closed on the farm January 27th and we are moving in March 1st.  Ivan’s kicked it into high gear to get everything done in time.  We did demo the first week.  We took down the wall separating the dining room and living room.  Made an entry into the garage from the living room.  We are closing in the garage and turning it into a play room/movie room.  Took down the wall between the dining and kitchen to open up the space.  We’ve also raised up the ceiling throughout the whole house.  All the cabinets, flooring, showers, toilets, mirrors and light are gone.

This week we’ve started smoothing out the walls, no more orange peel!  Installing can lights in all the rooms.  I met with the cabinet guy and went over all my ideas, he’s drawing up the plans and I should get them back soon.  We are raising the floor up in the garage to make it even with the rest of the house, that will be done by the end of the week.  Then we have to brick the outside wall to close the room in.  When we raised the ceiling we took out the air ducts, new ones were installed yesterday.  The landscapers are coming this week to trim up some of the neglected tree’s.  Once we get all that done its on to the fun stuff, flooring,cabinets and fixtures.  I can’t wait.  That’s the stuff I love!

I feel like we are in fast forward.  Everyone Ive talked to has said their remodel took 6 or more months.  We are moving right along.  Here’s to hoping it stays that way.

^^^Soon to be playroom
^^^Ceiling is raised up in the hall
^^^Hall bathroom

Farm livin’

Ive dreamt of living in a little bungalow, surrounded by big trees and the sound of nature.  The middle of nowhere, just me and my little family.  Away from all the noise of the big city, the ballet classes and soccer practice, the tumbling and after school activities.  Chickens in the yard.  A pot of stew on the stove.  A garden and a tree house.  A big yard for the kids and their imagination.  A swing hanging from the big tree that we carved our names in the night we got the house.  Today we got that house, the house my kids will grow up in and call home and I couldn’t be more excited.

The house is still in the city, but feels like our own little small town.  Its going to be an adventure.  There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to call this little and I mean little (think 1800 sq ft after we close in the 1 car garage) bungalow home.  For now it will be taking down walls and opening up rooms, new floors, cabinets, lights, windows and adding a pool.  Eventually we will add on, but for now we are going to be bring this old beauty back to life.

She was built in 1975 and hasn’t changed much since.  We will be raising the ceiling and painting the brick.  Wood floors throughout.  All new bathrooms.  White cabinets and some all around updating.  Ill post progress as we go.


I met 30 with tears.  I laid in bed watching the clock tick closer and tears started flowing.  Mostly happy tears but some sad.  Another decade gone.  My twenties were good to me.  I got married, had my four babies.  I don’t know why I feel sadness.  I don’t want to be 20 again, Ive grown so much.  I know so much more.  I’m happy with the person Ive become.  I’m calmer, patient, content, more satisfied in life.  I don’t live with the “what does the future hold?”  I’m happy in this moment right here, right now.  But there’s a sadness with that too,  I’m not daydreaming about what the future holds.  I’m weighing every decision thinking about the kids and what the changes I make mean for them.  I used to dream about living in California, just my little family laying on the beach, not a care in the world.  Now its but will the kids make friends?  Will they get into trouble?  Will they really love it?  Maybe my naivety is gone.  Maybe that’s a good thing.  For now I’m going to stop crying, enjoy the day with my family and be thankful for another healthy, happy year.  I told Ivan all I want for my birthday is for him to take the day off and spend it with me and I think I might just get that.  Its gonna be a good year, I can feel it.



What to ask at your ultrasound, other than the gender


Congenital Heart Defects are the most common types of birth defects.  There are approximately 35 different kinds.  1 in 100 babies are born with a heart defect each year in the U.S.  CHD is the leading cause of infant deaths in the United States.  In the United States, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood caner combined, yet funding of pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD.  There is no known reason to why babies are born with CHD some are genetic many aren’t.  My sons TAPVR is not genetic.  Although you may not be able to  prevent your baby from being born with a heart defect here are a few questions you should ask at your ultrasound.

Do you see four chambers in the baby’s heart?

Are there two upper chambers (left and right atria), each with a valve controlling blood flow out of them?

Are there two lower chambers (left and right ventricles), each with a valve controlling blood flow out of them?

Are the heart and stomach in correct positions?

Is the heart rate normal, between 120-180 beats per minute?

Do the two vessels leaving the heart (aorta and pulmonary artery) cross each other as they exit?

Is the wall between the two lower chambers intact, without any holes?

Does everything else in the heart look normal?

Some heart defects cannot be seen on an ultrasound.  Like my Jack’s.  TAPVR has to deal with the veins and how they attach to the heart.  Veins are so tiny and we are born with more than we actually use therefor they cant see the blood flow on an ultrasound.  Most states (unfortunately not all) require a pulse oximetry test to be given right after birth.  Ask what your babys pulse ox came back at, it should be 100, or close to it.  It will tell you if your baby is getting enough oxygen.  This test is life saving.  My son failed and they sent him home anyways.  If I had known he failed, his strange breathing would have been even more alarming and when the nurse told me babies breathe weird I would have asked for the doctor to look at him again.  Here is a list of thing to ask and watch for after birth.

What is my child’s pulse ox?

Does my baby have a heart murmur?
-A heart murmur can mean nothing or can be a sign of something more serious.  Jack was born with a heart murmur, which I didn’t know about until after surgery.  All babies born with TAPVR have a heart murmur (hole between the left and right chamber) this is the only thing that keeps them alive and blood trickling to both sides of the heart.

How is your babys coloring?  Do they appear blue? (called cyanosis)

How is your babys breathing?  Jack did not look labored, his chest wasn’t tugging.  He seemed to snort while eating and when I burped him his body moved up and down.

Is your baby lethargic?

Has your baby had a change in eating or bowel movements?
– This was the biggest thing I noticed in Jack.  His bowels slowed way down and he started vomiting. Not projectile vomiting so I wasn’t alarmed immediately, it changed to bile and I knew something was wrong.  His internal organs were shutting down and he was no longer able to digest.

Did you know you’re child could be born with a form of CHD and you could not know until they were a teenager or even adult?  People are able to live years with some forms of TAPVR and have no symptoms (Jack has Infracardiac and could not live without his life saving open heart surgery).  You are your childs advocate.  If something doesn’t seem right or is worrying you, have them checked out.  Everyone told me they thought Jack was fine and that lots of babies threw up but I knew something wasn’t right.

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