Monday, January 31, 2011


Outside my window... Today was sunshiny and "warm"...I think it hit 40 degrees out! I think we are expecting some snow and icy stuff tonight though.

I am thinking...about whether there will be enough weather tonight/tomorrow that I will have to cancel an allergist appt for Benjamin. I am thinking a lot about slowing down. Claudio always says I have "high urgency". And he is so right. Trying to just let things unfold and take their course. More on this later I think.

I am thankful for...a dry day for Benjamin (meaning pottywise LOL), happy children, my faith, good books, Bryers black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream.

From the learning rooms... Ben has been playing a little game app on my ipod. It is a game using the Bob Books, which Ben has and reads. It is a free app and is great for beginner phonics. Now if I could just get him not to sort of wander off from the BOB app into various other areas of my ipod and wreaking havoc!

From the kitchen...Had delicious chicken marsala for dinner! And Anna actually ate a few pieces of pasta and a little bit of chicken (proving that it WAS delicious!)

I am wearing... a white shirt, a green shirt, and black sweat pants.

I am going... to get some of that Breyers ice cream!

I am reading... Confessions of a Prairie Bitch (a memoir by the actress that played Nellie Oleson). It is fairly diverting, but not really what I expected. Not really sure what I expected but it wasn't this LOL

I am hoping... it doesn't snow this weekend when my family is supposed to be here for Ben's birthday! I am hoping we figure out why Ben is getting hives on his stomach. I am hoping for a Carribean vacation...just thought I would throw that out there!

I am hearing...PBS on the TV. And Ben coughing over the monitor. Coughing in his sleep :( I am hoping it is just the remnants of the cold he had last week.

Around the house...just the usual. Laundry, crumbs, dishes, toys, books

One of my favorite things... my laptop. I love it for relaxation, for diversion, for information, for fellowship, for keeping in touch.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Tomorrow I am off to the allergist with Ben to hopefully figure out the hive situation. Then the rest of teh week will be cleaning and last minute purchases and prep for Benjamin's 3rd birthday party this weekend with my family!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing:

check here for more daybooks

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Odds and Ends

This is totally an odds and ends post. I had a bunch of random pictures with just a little note I wanted to say about them. So here they all are in no particular order:

This sweater was mine when I was Anna's age! I always loved the floral buttons!
Ben did this cute craft the other day. He did the glue stick and stuck on all of the cottonballs by himself and then used some chalk to draw the snow on the ground (I used a white crayon to make some snowflakes for him).

I am not even sure how this came about LOL....but that is one of my socks and one of Daddy's socks. Thought it looked adorable.

Benjamin went to his very first non-family birthday party on Saturday. It was for our neighbor who is almost exactly two years older than Ben. The party's theme was "How To Tame a Dragon". We had never heard of this movie, but of course since receiving the invitation I have been seeing it everywhere. So, Ben came home with an inflatable sword (which sadly got a leak almost immediately and so was tossed) and this goblet. He has been insisting on drinking from it. Totally cute as far as I am concerned :)

The kids were watching Pinocchio last night (that is what you hear in the background). I started the video because Anna was sitting there rubbing Ben's back, but as soon as I turned the camera on this is what erupted LOL

Friday, January 28, 2011

Now I See It!

I never thought Ben and Anna looked anything alike. I saw no resemblence! But several people would say how they looked exactly alike. And even STRANGER lately a handful of strangers have asked me if they are twins (???!!!??).

Cla took Anna out in the snow this morning and snapped this picture:

And I saw visions of Ben at around 10M old!!! I just quickly dug up these two pictures of Ben:

Is it just me??
Just to continue on on this topic. I think Ben more and more looks like Claudio and his family. Anna I think looks a lot like me when I was her age. Sometimes I am shocked by faces she makes or pictures of her because I can recall pictures of myself looking exactly the same.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It Had To Be Done

Sometimes....when you have all been cooped up and are getting cranky, and you just got another foot of snow, and you are all sorta bored and wanting a just have to make (egg free) chocolate frosted donuts.
That's all...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The snow has begun in the gloaming
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.
Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

The First Snow-fall

James Russell Lowell

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Little Girl Needs Some Product!

So my long time baldy is having a growth spurt of hair. The nutritionist thinks it is her improved nutrition.

Her bangs are getting to the point where they are tickling her I try to put a barrette in her hair to remedy that. But there is so much new hair growing in underneath that she looks a little goofy...

But my REAL concern is the back of her hair! It SEEMS (although we are still not positive) that she will have curly hair. Her hair is so fine and still rather brittle feeling that it is hard to tell if all the twists and turns are going to be curls or just an effect of brittle/malnourished hair. But when she is just out of the bath the back of her hair is beautiful with ringlets. And I have started putting in a little conditioner because it does get knotty!

See her halo of hair fluff?? So after her bath it is beautiful curls, but as soon as she goes to bed it becomes this fluffy, fly away, ugly, frizzy, mullet.

So what do I do?? I have tried spray in leaving in conditioner..just made it sort of crunchy.

Look at that fuzzy mullet!! So how do you take care of and style a little girl's potentially curly hair??

Monday, January 24, 2011


Outside my window... It is SOOOOOO single digits cold. But it is sunny and blue skies today!

I am thinking...about how this day started out with so much promise. But everything seems to be going off for some reason.

I am thankful local library. We have an excellent library here.

From the learning rooms... I took out some books about Australia for Benjamin. He has been into kangaroos and as an added bonus my dear friend Sharyn is coming to visit us from Australia! She will be here at the end of February. So I thought it would be fun to look at some books about Australia and maybe do some coloring pages. Also I have plans to make cotton ball snowmen together, but I might use it as a potty bribe at this point.

From the kitchen...Hmmm, unsure. Need to take out something for dinner, but not sure what to make yet.

I am wearing... red shirt and black skirt and lavender suede shearling lines slippers.

I am going... NO WHERE....too cold!!

I am reading... Shutting Out The Sky about turn of the century tenaments in NYC and Confessions of a Prairie Bitch which is a memoir of the actress that played Nellie Olesen on Little House on the Prairie.

I am hoping... I figure out the key to getting Ben to go on the potty, the day goes a little better in the second half, we get a day soon where it is warm enough to play outside (just one day then we can go back to our regularly scheduled winter)

I am hearing...Ben playing with construction vehicles in the bathroom where he is supposed to be sitting on the potty.

Around the house...I have a heap and a half of laundry to get done and decluttering, and cleaning, and all the usual stuff.

One of my favorite things... chicken marsala. I have been DYING for some, but we have no chicken in the freezer (other than nuggets) and I don't have much grocery money left till February, but you can be assured that come February we will be having chicken marsala!!! Yum!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week: We really don't have anything planned I don't think! I love it! It is a good week to just STAY home and get the boy to love the potty! LOL.....ohhh man we MUST buckle down and figure this out!!!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing:

check here for more daybooks

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Colds, Pottys, And Pounds

Well the kiddies have colds....and such is life in the winter with kids I suppose. I just keep telling myself that every cold they get is one less cold they will ever have again LOL....cold comfort at times.

A simple cold is complicated at the Salvucci house in part because I have all sorts of sinus/immune issues that can turn a cold into months of infectious torture. But now little Anna with her tube is a whole new complication. First she is gaggy on the best of days so when you add extra mucous and post nasal drip....we have had some projectile vomitting spells the last few days. And it also means reduced feedings for her, which means she is not getting the calories she needs and is not gaining at the rate she needs. Missed and lost feedings are a big deal for Anna right now. Thankfully she is starting to come out of it.

We finally got in to see the Nutritionist this week (after a cancelled appt a few weeks ago) and got an overall good report for Anna!! She gained a pound! She weighed in at 18lbs6oz!! And the nutritionist felt she looked healthier (even with the cold)...her hair is growing like crazy and she said her skin looked healthier etc.

Because Anna has been having trouble with gagging and spitting up towards the end of her feeds she is being put back on an antacid. Prevacid this time. And she is being put back on the erythromycin to help her motility problems. In addition she is also now getting 9 extra ounces of formula through her tube (via syringe, not he pump) to ensure she is getting the calories she needs. So she shold get 3oz three times a day after meals. This sounded like a simple enough thing but so far it has been a big messy hassle that I dread! I have a 2oz syringe, but it requires so much resistance that I can't push the formula through it into the narrow tube. So I am using a 10ml syringe and there are 30ml in an that is 9 syringes worth with a wiggling 18M old. To complicate things further the clamp on the tube where you attach the pump or the syringe has become very loose and leaky so the clamp will burst open spraying the formula all over us, it drips a lot of formula while I am pushing it in, and twice it has opened on is own at random times and then leaked the contents of Anna's stomach all over her clothes (gross!). We hate the thought of removing and replacing her tube JUST because of the clamp when the rest of the tube is sort of catch 22 here. But we push on! The important thing is that despite all of the issues she is still having with the feeds she is gaining weight!!

So we are on try #3 with potty training Benjamin. Yesterday was day 1 and considering he is sick I was impressed he stayed dry all day, but we did have a poopy accident....which may be worse than 8 peepee accidents! Today was a nightmare. He wet his underwear/pants two or three times, but he also peed on the floor once when he was wearing NOO underpants?!?!?!?!? WHAT IS THAT?!??? He hasn't done something like that for E.V.E.R. I assume at some point he will just GET it. In fairness to Ben he has had so many distractions from potty training between illnesses of his own and Anna being in CHOP etc etc. Cla wonders if at this point he figures if he makes enough messes we will give up. So again....we push on! (and do lots of laundry!)

The video above is Ben dancing. It has been so bitterly cold that we have all been so cooped up. He has a lot of energy to burn and is getting stir crazy. I think once he is over his cold I will bundle him up and regardless of weather or temp just let him OUT! If you can understand his congested 3yr old language you can hear he is talking about Annabella who was napping at the time. He says she dances and likes to spin. When Anna is napping he can barely wait to have her back and as soon as he hears her peep he begs me to go get her! LOVE IT!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For My Anonymous Commenter

I assume it is Marie Siobhan or the Bean that requested a picture of the mushroom? Here he is.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Outside my window... It is pretty cold and gray out. Just typical winter weather I guess. We still have a good amount of snow on the ground. It is nice since we had several winters where the weather never really got wintery. The last two winters have been nice real winters.

I am thinking...about another cup of coffee, a shower, Ben and whether his underwear is dry, about my mom who is in the hospital with pneumonia, St. Valentine and what a Catholic celebration of Valentines Day would look like, about my to do list, that I need a haircut, that maybe is nearly THREE, that I have at least 4 loads of laundry to get to today.

I am thankful for...a wonderful, though belated, Christmas celebration with my dad, stepmom and brother.

From the learning rooms... There are no learning tables currently LOL..I have come to the sad realization that my plans to start Little Saints in February are best put off for September when hopefully things will be more settled. We have doc appts all the time and I am not sure when Anna will be starting her therapy (which will be every day, all day, for 4 weeks straight) which will be a major schedule upheaver. So we are working on puzzles, trying out some scissors, reading books, trying new things, learning to help out, learning manners etc.

From the kitchen...Leftovers from this weekend for dinner.

I am wearing... green velour pants and a college sweatshirt. I have yet to showered or dressed.

I am going... to call Anna's GI to tell him she is waking at the end of every feeding gagging and sometimes puking. This has been going on for at least a week.

I am reading... One of Suse Lloyd's books. I think it is "Please Don't Drink the Holy Water". Nice light pre bed reading. Also reading St. Francis de Sales..but can't remember the title.

I am hoping... to get the house in order!

I am hearing...The Peasall Sisters

Around the house...Taking down the last of the Christmas stuff. Took down the big nativity scene and the stockings. Lots of new toys around the house since the kids got their Christmas stuff from Grandma and Grandpa yesterday and they also brought some handmedown toys for the kids too.

One of my favorite things... my stuffed mushroom and my Claudio

A few plans for the rest of the week: I know we have an appt with the Nutritionist for Anna at some point this week. Not sure what day. And then just the typical stuff around here. Nice and boring, how we like it!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing: She may not like to eat, but she loves feeding people!

check here for more daybooks

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dump Trucks, Clean Plates, and Failure to Thrive..

What do these three things have in common?? Benjamin got a chocolate dump truck (or bump truck as he calls it) in his stocking this year. For several nights he was told if he ate a certain amount he could have the dump truck. Night after night he refused to eat the majority of food on his plate and night after night he got no dump truck.

Finally on the third day and at least a half hour of coaxing, begging, game playing, and disciplining he ate the few pieces of meat required of him to get the dump truck. And in typical Benjamin fashion once he ate one piece of meat he realized that he did indeed like pork roast and ate the rest with no problem.

So what in his head had him insisting that he "can't" eat and that he didn't like it?? He had had it before and enjoyed it. So what is my little 3yr old thinking when he tells us he "CAN'T" with such sincere conviction that I begin to believe him??

Ben's pediatrician has been worried about his weight as well. Ben has always been small. Hovering around the 5th percentile for weight. But now he has seemed to stall....and go backwards a bit. He has been having weigh-ins, the most recent of which was Thursday. He has basically not gained any weight since spring. At a few weeks short of being 3 he weighed in today at 24lbs14oz. This is probably the size of an average 1yr old.

I knew this was coming and it wasn't what I wanted to hear from the doctor. Ben is now also labeled "failure to thrive". Which technically means nothing other than your kid is scrawny! But it is a label that signals possible other issues. The pediatrician's feeling was that it seems Ben's issues are behavioral...simply a matter of getting enough calories into him...but that we would be negligent if we didn't make sure that was the case. So his first GI appt has been made.

I am praying praying praying that the doctor (which is the same GI as Anna sees) doesn't order a whole battery of tests, but instead recommends some behavioral therapy and some visits with a nutritionist. But I have a feeling an Upper GI (at minimum) is in his future.

And I have to start wondering what in the world am I doing wrong??! Why am I unable to feed my children so that they grow?? It is so frustrating to me and anxiety enducing. We are at a total loss.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Day

We just had our third snow of significance (meaning at least a few inches and cold enough to stick and know the kind of stuff that requires a shovel!). But this was the first time I got the kids out to play in the snow. The other times the kids were sick.

This was Anna's first REAL time out in the snow! Last winter she was still a little baby! She quickly picked up on the words "snow" and "cold" LOL

Ben was an old pro this time......I mean this was nothing compared to the two foot blizzard he got to play in last winter!

I have to wonder though...for kids the age of my kids (almost 3 and almost 18M) is it really worth the time and effort required to get them bundled up enough to go out in the snow?? I would say for Anna almost definitely NOT! THe snow was too deep for her to be able to walk...especially having so much bulky clothes on. So she could take a few steps and then would fall over and she was unable to stand herself back up. So she quickly just wanted to be carried. Normally carrying around a 17lber is not that big of a deal but it felt like she had on an extra 15lbs of gear LOL. She got heavy fast!

Bu gosh she is cute!!! You can see the tape on her cheek, but no tube. She somehow pulled it again the night before. So she got to spend the day tube free. We replaced it after dinner. Ughhhh!

Ben loves to kick the snow. Nice action shot

I sat Anna here....just so I wouldn't have to hold her. But eventually......

She slid down!

And got stuck!

And she was displeased.....especially to see Ben was coming up the ladder to slide into her!

You can hear my neighbor asking me if I had my camera...that is why I turn around

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Budding Buddies

It is amazing to watch the budding friendship between Ben and Anna. The constant rivalry and jealousy seems to melt away more and more each day.

Now they seek each other out for play and even for comfort. They share hearty belly laughs all day long.

Ben will lovingly share snacks and try to feed Annabella. He rejoices when she wakes from her nap. And they act silly together (fear not. No Annabellas were injured in the making of this blog post):

It occurred to me yesterday that Anna is just about the exact age Ben was when she was born! It is funny I felt like he was such a little boy, not a baby anymore. But I look at Anna as such a baby. Not sure if it is because she is so small or because Ben really had a weird sense of understanding and maturity (still does) for his age. He was born with wisdom I think.
So meanwhile Anna is 17.5M old and I think of her as such a baby that when she started stamping her feet and throwing herself on the floor it took me awhile to realize she was entering the "Two Phase" (I don't like to call them terrible because by and large they are amazing...just those moments of temper I could do without) and having her first tantrums!!
Her feedings have been going pretty well. Last night was the first night we had any trouble. She was up to 40ml/hr and she woke at around 5:30 (a half hour before the end of her feed) gagging. She threw up just a tiny bit. So we are going to call the GI team today to let them know and we are going to dial her back a bit tonight....probably to about 30ml/hr. Each can of formula is a staggering 375 calories. So she is getting almost two full cans at this point! And both Claudio and I agreed she FEELS heavier!! We are so used to picking up this little feather of a baby and now it feels like she must havea brick in her pants LOL! So good news!
And dear Benjamin is going to be 3 in one month!! I can hardly believe that my first little miracle baby is 3yrs old already!! He is so smart, so charming, so silly, with an extraordinary sense of humor! Now if I can just get him to use the potty he would be perfect! ;) Our latest potty efforts were derailed by Anna's latest hospital stay followed quickly by a terrible bout with a stomach bug. Poor guy needs a little consistency!
The new concepts he picks up amaze me. Cla mentioned to him left and right almost in passing the other night and he immediatley got and has been showing me which of his hands is left and which is right. He is counting to at least 20 now (maybe higher but that is as far as I have counted). He is working on sounding out simple words. And he sings ALL the time. I will try to catch it on video but he usually won't sing on queue.

Wordless Wednesday