Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun Weekend

Stephen had a big weekend this past weekend full of fun things! It started off on Friday with a pajama day which both Stephen and I loved! Well, probably more me than Stephen :) I can't remember the last time we were actually home all morning to sit at the table, enjoy breakfast and a cup of coffee (for me!), and then just take it easy. I felt a twinge of guilt but quickly got over it!

Saturday was Granddad Steve's 70th birthday so Stephen spent some quality time with Granddad and then we all went out for a special birthday dinner. Despite staying up way past his bedtime, Stephen did an awesome job of occupying himself in his stroller. It's tough right now because he's in such a transition stage between his infant seat and sitting up in a high chair. He's not quite sitting up fully on his own, so those restaurant high chairs don't really work, so he's either in his stroller or on someone's lap. It also makes grocery shopping and Target virtually impossible right now. Big ugh. But he's getting really close to being strong enough to sit completely on his own.

Then on Sunday, we took Stephen to the circus! We got three free tickets from our nephrologist's office (someone donated tickets to the kids), so we figured why not?! It was more of a small performing arts group rather than a circus (no lions or tigers or elephants) but it was fun to take him nonetheless. And thankfully the tickets were free because he only lasted about 30 minutes once the circus started. Oh well!

Here are some pictures from Steve's birthday and one from the circus. Hope you all a good weekend too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


In last night's post I talked all about Stephen's and my favorite things right now, but totally forgot to mention Mabel's favorite thing! How silly of me to forget! :). Here's a's round, woven, and holds all of Stephen's stinky things.

It's Stephen's laundry basket! Her favorite place to be is curled up in that basket. Doesn't matter if it's full of dirty clothes, clean ones, or totally empty, she'll curl right up in it and take a nap.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

All About Stephen

I feel kind of guilty lately because 1) I haven't been posting much, and 2) I don't think I've been sharing much of what's going on with Stephen. I feel like not much has been going on in the past couple of weeks because they've flown by and we've been so busy, but I think the reality is, a lot has probably happened. Stephen's seen nephrology (of course) and had labs, we spent a day in the hospital for an albumin infusion (a slow IV drip of medication), had a cardiology appointment with an EKG and ECHO, and both speech and physical therapy. And we "joined the real baby/kid world" and had our first music class last Friday! A BIG step for me (I was very nervous about all the germy kiddos). I won't bore you with all of the details so the bottom line after all of those appointments is that.....drum roll please.....Stephen is kickin' ass!!!!!!!!!!!! He's growing, not just out but up; his dialysis numbers are fantastic; his blood pressure is right where it should be; he's rolling over (huge milestone!!); drinking out of a water bottle, cup, and straw (a little); and sleeping!! I don't want to say too much because I don't want to jinx it, but he's actually "healthy" right now! We're even talking seriously about transplant right now. Which I can't even begin to describe how amazing that feels so I'm just going to leave it at that for the time being.

One of the many reasons why I'm still writing the blog is so that Stephen can read this later when he wants to truely understand everything that's happened to him, but I wish I would have better documented some of his milestones. So since we seem to have hit some pretty big ones in the past week or two and he's doing new things and discovering new things every day, I wanted to share some of his favorite things right now.

1. Jumperoo! You've all seen the video; this kid will jump for hours if I let him!

2. Monkey blanket - it's from Angel Dear and so incredibly soft. Stephen falls sleep with him between his arm as he's laying on his side (it's so damn cute!) and then as the night goes on, monkey ends up across his face. The first time he did this, it scared the crap out of us that he was suffocating, but he loves it when the blanket is over his face. Here's a great picture of Stephen with his blankie

3. Fishy aquarium - it's one of those mobiles that you attach to
the side of the crib. The last time we were in the PICU, Stephen had one of these and would fall asleep to it every night. So of course we had to get one for home too! He now falls asleep to the water sound every night. Sometimes I think he wakes up just as it shuts off and I have to go in and play it again. We seriously should have stock in Energizer or Duracell!

4. Any toys with lights and music but especially his Fisher Price bongos and rolling ball. Plus they've been so great at helping him to reach up and out when he's on his tummy and to start to learn how to crawl.

5. And I think he's really diggin' his new car seat (the Britax Boulevard 70) and jungle animal mirror for the car. It's got a little monkey, alligator and lion that hang down at the top of the mirror and I can sometimes hear him talking away to them. It's so cute!!

6. Oh and he's definitely found his voice!! He loves chatting, screaming, and screeching and especially loves the "n" sound. Tonight I could have sworn that I heard him use the "m" sound too. We've been working really really hard on saying mama!!!!

There's so many more little things he loves like his pacifies, his blueberry teethter and rattle, but I could probably go on and on. And my favorite thing right now is shopping for him! Gone are the days when I leave him in snap-front onesies to make it easier to access his g-tube and such. He's a big boy, so he should be wearing big boy clothes! So I've been on the hunt for shirts, pants, sweaters and jacket. It's not easy finding cute little boy clothes that fit him, but I really enjoy the challenge! He's such a joy and I love spending every minute with him. And just to show off a little more, here's a video I took last week of the first time Stephen rolled completely over all by himself. Now he's just a rolling machine!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cookies for PKD

I've got something really exciting to share and it can benefit both you and Stephen!!!  (if you're on Facebook, you've already seen this on my wall)  It's cookies to benefit the PKD Foundation!!  And not just any cookies, but amazingly delicous, have-to-have cookies...Christie Cookies!!!

Each month Christie Cookies chooses a children's charity and makes a special tin of cookies with the charity's logo on the front and 20% of the price of the tin is donated to the charity.  Each tin of 18 cookies is $29.99, so for each tin sold, $5.99 will be donated to the PKD Foundation.  Obviously, the PKD Foundation is not a widely-known charity, but Billy's Aunt Mary Ellen, who works for Christie Cookies, got them to choose the PKD Foundation in honor of Stephen!  We're so honored that they chose something so near and dear to our hearts!!! So....we need to buy, buy, buy cookies!!  The more tins they sell, the more money they'll donate, and if they sell enough tins in September, we'll have a good chance of Christie Cookies choosing the PKD Foundation again next year.

And trust me when I say that theses cookies are amazing!!  We actually gave the cookies as favors at our wedding and they make awesome housewarming, Christmas, and thank you gifts.  Click on the picture below to read more about Christie Cookie's Charity of the Month, the PKD Foundation, and to purchase a tin:

Thanks in advance to everyone who supports the PKD Foundation through Christie Cookies!!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

We are Penn State bound sans Superman (and Mabel). Aside from one night in May, it's our first weekend away from Stephen and Nana and Grandpa Schwartz's first weekend babysitting. We did a lot of training and Tish passed the test, so all is good!! We are SO looking forward to hanging out and pretending we're 21 year old college students again (well sort of) and hopefully watching the Nittany Lions take down the Crimson Tide!

In honor of our little man and little lady back in VA:

Mommy and Daddy will see you on Sunday!! xoxo

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Here's a little peak at Stephen's favorite thing right now; his jumper. I took this on Monday night after we got back from the beach. He must have really missed it because he jumped like crazy for over an hour! Unfortunately my little man knows when he's on camera and gets shy, so it's hard to accurately capture all his cute and funny mannerisms right now.

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 5, 2011


Our first vacation with Stephen went off without one glitch! We actually just got home less than an hour ago, but I couldn't wait to get some pictures posted of Stephen enjoying the pool and the sunshine. He did so great on our trip that we're already working on planning the next. Not only did he do great at Nana and Grandpa Schwartz's in North Carolina, but he did fantstic in his new car seat on the drive down and back (and it's a 6.5 hour trip each way), slept great in a new environment (including 3 sleepovers with his buddy Patrick in the same room while a party raged outside his room), was happy pretty much the whole time, and LOVED the pool. We couldn't have asked for a better trip! And Billy and I were able to get a little R&R, ejoy some "adult" beverages, and more importantly for me; some sun! I'm definitely not super tan, but at least I'm now not totally pasty white! :)

Now it's back to business as usual until Friday when Billy and I take off for the weekend. We're heading up to State College for the PSU/Alabama game and couldn't be more excited. And Stephen will be spending the weekend with Billy's parents here in Virginia having a grand time.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!