Saturday, November 25, 2017

Holiday Letter 2017

Happy holidays from the sweet b family.  I haven't posted since last February as life has apparently moved so quickly ahead of me.  Blogging has been one of my favorite things to do for the last 11 years and I am hoping to take this opportunity to get back at it with a holiday letter updating everyone on life in the B household.  Things have been anything but dull since we were last in touch.  I could do the typical holiday letter and fill you in on all of the things that you already know about every one's children….you know, they are all getting a 4.0, excelling in every area of their lives, volunteering 30 hours a week on top of school and cooking all of the meals;)

Let's talk about what did set our family apart from others this past year…..ER visits.  Cece was admitted the hospital a few days before Christmas last year and was discharged on Christmas eve.  This  was the beginning of many trips to the ER for our ladies.   On New Year's Eve Tess had an accident playing hockey and took a skate to her thigh.  She ended up making a trip to the ER and many stitches later was on her way home.  The winter and spring was full of several hypoxic events for Cece and made several trips to the ER when her inhaler and nebulizer weren't doing the trick.  She quickly learned that the ER had cable, Doc McStuffins and preferred her time there over the clinic…hmmm.
In June Tess had an accident in the kitchen and sustained grease burns to her face, neck and chest.  She started out with a trip to Children's ER, transferred to HCMC by ambulance and then was followed by HCMC burn clinic.  This was by far one of the most difficult things I have ever witnessed as a Mother to see her in so much pain on that day and the weeks to follow.  I am quite certain I probably cried more than Tess as she is tough as nails.  I took a short leave from work while she was recovering and her recovery was nothing short of a miracle.  She was left with minimal scarring and we will forever be thankful for the care she received and all of the support we were given from friends and family during that difficult time.  In October on the day of our scheduled family photos Gabby took her turn in the ER.  The competitive side of her took freeze tag just a little too seriously on the playground and she caught herself with her face.  Her face landed on the metal platform of the playground equipment.   She made the ER trip worthwhile with 5 stitches in her lip, a hematoma, a fractured bone in her mouth and oral surgery 2 weeks later.  This was all really rough and she did great with it all.  She has also healed really well.  Sydney is proud to say she is the only one that hasn't made a trip to the ER.  Never say never in this house.

Aside from our little accidents it has been a good year.  Everyone is doing really well.  Sydney is enjoying her last year of middle school, lacrosse, swimming and time with her friends.  She still is the other Mom and caretaker of the family.   Tess is on the go at all times and likes this best, she is so much like her Dad.  Hockey, jazz band, drums and friends keep her busy.  Gabby has fun with running club, zumba and has neighbor friends over every chance she can.  Cece continues to make us laugh, controls us and will forever be my baby that we spoil.  Meako is getting better and settling down.  The family is crazy about him.  Meako and I are working on our relationship but not through puppy massage as the trainer recommended more by being stuck with each other when I am the last person left to take care of him.

Steve has had a good year.  He made the difficult decision of leaving RSP to work for Gensler again.  He really enjoyed RSP but knew he needed to take this opportunity to go back to a company that meant so much to him in Boston.  His new position has been busy and challenging but a good fit for him.  I am proud of him for making this move and am happy to see him so proud of his work.  He enjoys being on the go and never complains about running all over for the girls.  As for me….how can I not sound as lame as I am? Steve and I ran the Twin Cities 10 mile again this year and this makes me very happy.   I have an incredible love for my family, friends, sunshine, coffee and pj pants.  I try hard to be the best wife and Mom I can and even when I am not they still seem to love me and for this I am thankful.    Being a Mom of 4 daughters and an OB nurse are and will always be my badge of honor, go ahead and ask me about these things next time you see me, I love to talk about them.

So this is a very windy version of 2017 for the sweet b family.  Thank you for listening.  I am so thankful for the lives that we have been given.

Enjoy the holiday season!
Love, Steve, Gina, Sydney, Tess, Gabby & Cece

Monday, February 06, 2017

The Hockey Mom that accidentally happened

I really can't explain how this happened.  I grew up in small town Minnesota, we didn't have a hockey team anywhere close to us.  I went to my first hockey game in my 30's, only to watch my daughter play.  The first time I dressed her in her goalie gear when her Dad was traveling, I proudly sent him a photo and he texted me back that her leg pads were on the wrong legs and she was missing her jersey.  Yes, I am that Mom.  When she started playing I thought it was like every other kids activity that we enlisted our girls in and she would play for a season and then try something new the following year.  Wrong….she loved it and here we are, years later.  She still loves it.  I am still the clueless Mom at times but I embrace this and do my best to support her.  I am now that goalie Mom in the stands that as Sydney describes, "They could do a meme for the noises you make when the puck is coming at Tess."  I am not a crazy sports fan, I never will be but I love our little goalie so much and along with her Dad am her biggest fan in the stands.  She works hard and plays hard.  She makes us so proud.  

We recently hosted a pasta party for the team during a home tournament weekend.  

They placed 2nd and she had some cute fans in the stands cheering them on.

Becoming a hockey Mom happened by accident and I claim to not be one of the "crazy ones," I just love our girl so much and love watching her have so much fun with her friends and that is what it is all about.

Love, Gina

Saturday, February 04, 2017

And then it was February

2016 ended so perfectly for me.  I worked 12 hours and I was at a wonderful delivery of a wonderful family so deserving of happiness after a very difficult 2015.  I still daydream of the sacred awe I was so blessed to be present for.  2017 is already flying and I managed to get 2 months behind on the blog when I was just busy living life.  Things have been a little crazy around here with 7 people and a dog.  My home manager position definitely deserves a raise but I don't see it coming.  I will keep on keeping on because that is what Mom's do.  To list a few of the things we have been up to besides work and school and a little sleep.  Everyone has had a cold except Dave.  I currently am the last one to get it.  I did enjoy this video sent to me by my SIL.

In random order:

Tess was in the read-a-thon kickoff performance.  Very cute.  Cece also enjoyed watching it from her Sister's lap.

This girl asks me to bake almost everyday.
Cece stripped down in the Walgreens while I picked up a script for Dave.  This is why errands can be so fun with her.
Gabby enjoys Zumba class after school every week.  She is the one with the foxy knee socks.
Sometimes we feel like Meako has came so far and then we are reminded that he is still a dog.
January also brought 6:30am coffee with my sissy and amazing pastries.

Adult dinner with dear friends was a nice break and a late celebration of Steve's birthday. 

Hockey brunch between tournament games.
Friend time playing Legos, one of Tess's favorite past times.
Cece is getting older and enjoying friend time with her friends when we can break away from life's Mom duties.  Below she is pictured with her friend Caden.  She also loves to play with her friends Scarlett and Rafe,
Miss Gabby and I snuck away alone for some sweets and good company.
These 2 love playing in the snow, even though we haven't had enough yet this winter.

I also had one on one time with my oldest.  Funny how she won't pose for me but I catch her doing selfies every change she gets.  #tween.

February is already moving too quickly but we have some ladies in our house that love February and can't wait for their birthdays.  I soon will be the mother of a teenager.  I deserve gifts not her right?!  I kid.  Kind of.

Love, Gina

Evening fun with Dad

Last night Steve took Syd and Tess for some Friday evening skiing and they had so much fun.  It is so lucky that they have him for a Dad because I couldn't muster up the energy on a cold Friday night to bundle up and go skiing.  What a great Dad.
I was a great Mom at home and put on my pi's by 6pm, warmed up my lavender shoulder wrap and played some cards with Gabby and Dave.  Nice of me to take one for the team and stay home with the littles.  Normally I just love a wild and crazy Friday night.  So looking forward to the weekend with my family.  Love, Gina

Friday, February 03, 2017

When family comes to town

My parents came to town to go to a concert for Kate and we were able to enjoy some time with them.  They brought along Miss Lydia and this made one little girl so happy.  They played for hours together and had a ball.  I love how much they enjoy their time together even though they don' t live close to each other.  So very sweet.
Love, Gina

Thursday, February 02, 2017

History Day with Sydney

Sydney did a presentation in school with her good friends Martha and Lola about the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention.  They have been working on this project for a majority of the school year and made us very proud.

Love, Gina

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A little overreaction by the nurse in the house.

As the saying goes, "Trust your gut."  Sometimes we do and sometimes we are wrong.  Cece fell off the piano bench and split her lip open quite deep.  She was crying and bleeding like crazy.  I may be a nurse but apparently blood pouring from my daughter's face causes me to overreact.  We took a little trip to the ER and they were able to give her a very special ER popsicle to treat it.  Oops.  I guess I need to calm down.  They were very nice to me and I maybe was a little embarrassed by my Mom assessment skills.  Oh well, better safe then bleeding out!
I appropriately took her for her well child visit this week and she did great.  No shots, passed her hearing and vision screen and weighed in at 29 pounds and 36.5 inches tall.  All is well and I can stop bringing her to the ER;)

Love, Gina

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve Hockey Accident

We like to end the year with a bang and 1 week after Cece was discharged from Childrens Hospital Tess made a visit the Childrens ER.  She had a accident at hockey practice and took a skate to the thigh.  15 stitches later our tough girl was put back together.  Above she is pictured with her friend that road with her Dad who is her coach.  Of course neither of her parents were at that practice!  Missing a week of hockey while her wound healed was tough but it was an even bigger bummer for her to miss her class ski trip.  Instead her and I took some time together, went to a movie and out to lunch.  I enjoyed the time with her.  She is such a good egg.  Love her.
Love, Gina

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

And our baby is 3

This little girl turned 3 and she might not have the best time of year for a birthday but she is still pretty lucky because the whole family is off for her birthday, including her Daddy.

After family breakfast she opened presents and we went to one of our favorite places,
Crayola Experience.  

I have told you before, I love this place.  When you have the broad ages that we do in our family, if you  find something that everyone enjoys, you love it.  I love it!

We enjoyed lunch and ski ball at Pat's Tap (thought of you Danica.)
Some of us play by our own rules.

We finished the day off with company and cupcakes.
I love this photo because it just shows how everyone dotes on this little lady.
Her 3rd birthday was a very special day together.  I love our girls so much and am so thankful for each one of them.  Cece was our little bonus baby that I prayed for forever and God knew if I waited I would have more time to appreciate all of the sweet things that a little one brings back into your life.  3 years have been so fleeting but a true gift to our family.  Cecelia completes this family and my life.

Thank you God.
Love, Gina

Happy Birthday Miss Cece

Happy, happy birthday Miss Cecelia.  I really can't believe that 3 years have came and gone so quickly.     I am so very blessed that almost 13 years into my parenting career I still have a little one to cuddle with and carry on my hip.  Just last week she forced me out of the "hamster wheel" of holiday prep when she was admitted to Childrens Hospital very sick with RSV.  For 3 nights I slept (or didn't sleep) holding her in the hospital bed, loving her, thinking about her, thinking about how precious our girls are and this life I have been given.  Today and always I am so very thankful for this birthday girl.  She has fit in so well to this chaotic, happy family.  Since the day she was born she has let us know that she is our sassy 4th born.  She doesn't have a passive bone in her body and has always held her own as our baby of the family.  This little girl makes us laugh every day and has brought so much joy to our family.  I love you so much Cecelia and our whole family is so excited to spend your birthday with you today.  It is your first day out of "RSV quarantine" and we are going to make it so much fun for you.  An after Christmas birthday can be a bit of a bummer but having your family off and together is pretty special.

Love you to the moon and back.

Photo by Stacey Montgomery photography

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, we were all so happy to be back under one roof again.

I took the mandatory awkward individual photos by the tree after Christmas Eve service.
Some more awkward then others.
Everyone looked so pretty.

One very contagious girl couldn't attend Christmas eve service and this was sad for me but so happy to not be in the hospital.
Impossible to get a photo with everyone smiling, looking and behaving.

But we do try.
After our family dinner we opened a few presents and everyone was happy.

After present opening and the littles were in bed I was feeling so thankful for our family under one roof again and on the mend.  We made a little run to this place with some goodies.  People that work holidays deserve treats;)
We slept our first night back in our beds with this little girl between us.  I wouldn't have had it any other way after sleeping with her every night in the hospital.
This is the face Children make on Christmas morn when one little sister is sleeping and 2 parents won't let them wake her.
Eventually everyone was awake and the fun began.

The day continued to be full of pj's and relaxing for everyone.

In the afternoon we decorated gingerbread houses, one of our favorite activities.

Syd insisted that each girl has their own and I maybe thought that was unnecessary but in the end it was so much fun and she was right.  They all need their own.  (Less fighting as well.)

Leading up to the week of Christmas I was so stressed out trying to have everything perfect for Christmas for everyone.  I was trying to do everything "right" when I was really only focusing on the wrong things.  When Cece got so sick so quickly I was forced out the hamster wheel of holiday prep and reminded of what is truly important in my life, my family, our health and the gifts I have been given.  I had hours and hours in the hospital to think about my life, hold my baby, hug my other babies when they visited and realize was matters most.  I will never forget the Christmas quarantine 2016 when Cece was too contagious to be around everyone.  We relaxed, we played, we hung out and we mostly just enjoyed each others company.  Sadly sometimes we just need a wake up call, I got it and I am thankful.
Love, Gina