Monday, April 22, 2013

March For Babies 2013- Leaping Liam

This past weekend was the 2013 March of Babies event for the New Orleans area.  Last year we had a great time at the walk and we were very excited to do it again.  I'm so happy that Team Leaping Liam raised $2,875 for the March for Babies this year!  I couldn't do it without my incredible family and fantastic friends so THANK YOU!  We raised over $1,000 more than last year which I didn't think was possible.  I'm overwhelmed with the generosity of those who donated.

The morning of the walk was actually chilly.  The weather in New Orleans is so unpredictable so we layered up and I actually had a cute purple beanie that Liam sported to keep his little head warm.  Our adorable "Leaping Liam" shirts were worn to show everyone who we were walking for.

I was so happy to see many of my preemie friends at the walk.  I've met some fabulous women through our preemie bond and I just love catching up with them and seeing their adorable babies.  A lot of EJ nurses were there as well and I adore seeing the ladies who assisted in turning a 15oz micropreemie into a now 18 month toddler.  Seeing the nurses will never get old as they hold a special place in my heart.

Till next year!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

New Orleans Moms Blog

I was so excited to share Liam's story with the New Orleans Moms Blog. The post actually went up today, what an awesome way to celebrate a Friday!

Head on over and check out my post about Liam's journey and about the March of Dimes.  I'm so excited to be able to share our story with more people in hopes to provide a resource for other preemie families.  Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Goodbye RSV and flu season!

It's the first day of Spring and you know what that means, yahoo!

Cabbages and Lucky Charms

This past weekend was St. Patrick's Day and in typical NOLA fashion we had multiple parades.  It's hard to say living in New Orleans but I'm not that into parades like I used to be.  However, my husband Clint and Noah just love it.  We celebrated and wore green all weekend and had a blast (for the most part) while doing it.

On Saturday we went to the Irish Channel Parade and our krewe camped out on Magazine Street.  We tried out the new restaurant La Fin Du Monde, which is in the location where Cafe Rani was for years.  We have mixed reviews between our party of 15.  I personally loved my shrimp and grits but our crew overall wasn't impressed and I don't think we will be returning. Boo.

The parade took FOREVER to get there and thankfully we were able to enjoy some CC's Coffee and Sucre' ice cream while we waited.  The kids went a bit stir crazy waiting but once the parade got to us they had a blast.  Noah and his cousins had a lot of fun trying to catch cabbages.  The most treasured catch?  A mini box of Lucky Charms, Noah was so excited about it.

On Sunday we headed to the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Metairie Road.  This is one of my favorite parades and Clint and I actually rode in this parade before we had kiddos and had a blast!  Our friend invited us to a party with her family and we had a really fun time.  They had some yummy "Leprechaun Lemonade" that Noah enjoyed and she has a daughter the same age as Liam so they were able to hang out in their strollers together and enjoy some cheerios while we caught the parade.

There is another parade this coming weekend but this mom has had enough of parades for 2013!

Liam and Clint were decked out in green, how cute is Liam here?

At only 17 months, Liam knows how to throw his hands up at the parade!

"Throw me something, MISTER!"-Noah

Can't pinch this little guy, he is decked out in his green!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Beach bound for Mardi Gras break

I know those that do not live in the New Orleans area are thinking, why would one ever leave New Orleans during Mardi Gras? Well not to burst your bubble but after 30 years it gets very redundant.  Do I love moon pies, fun costumes and pretty floats?  Of course!  However, taking a 4 year old and a 1 year old out to a parade isn't as fun as it was in my teens. 

Along with the majority of the metro New Orleans area we decided last minute to leave town and go on a vacation for Mardi Gras.  No, we didn't go to Disney World like 90% of those traveling did but instead went to Gulf Shores.  Our crew of 15 was excited to spend a few days on the beach and my boys were so excited to spend time with their cousins.

On our way we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Mississippi and as I went to check out from the Old Country Store there I went to find my wallet and it wasn't in my diaper bag.  I immediately freaked out and went to the car to search for it when it hit me that I didn't put my wallet back in my diaper bag when I went to Noah's mardi gras parade at school the day before! Ugh!  My personality is a strict rule follower so I start to panic realizing I can't even drive without my license.  Ahh!

Thankfully this wasn't any indication of how the rest of our vacation would be.  The whole experience was nearly perfect!  The house exceeded our expectations and it was beautiful.  We had so much room and it was on the beach and we had our own private pool.  The weather was still chilly so we couldn't take full advantage of the pool but it was heated so the kids swam a few times.  The kiddos even saw dolphins swimming, how neat is that? 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Parents of Preemies Day 2013

 Today is the 2nd annual Parents of Preemies Day

Knowing that I would be delivering Liam much earlier than 40 weeks made me go into a complete panic mode.  I've only heard people talk about preemies and had never met a preemie or a parent of a preemie.  Then when I found out I would be having a micropreemie I went into a freak out mode.  What's a micropreemie?  What's the difference? 

Becoming a preemie and micropreemie parent has been the toughest job I've ever had.  When Liam was born I was already a mom for 3 years and had a full time job.  I thought being a full time working mom was hard but I had no idea what life had in store for me. 

Most people think that once you are home from the NICU that your life is normal as a newborn baby but it's definitely not that easy.  The difference between my 2 sons are like night in day in the way that their first year has played out and that's besides the obvious early arrival and NICU stay.  With Noah we didn't have early intervention, feeding team clinics, ophthalmologist appointments, dietitian appointments, etc. the list could go on and on!

I get asked frequently when will Liam be caught up and we won't have a busy schedule full of doctors appointments and therapy sessions and quite honestly, I have no idea when that will be.  All that I do know is that he is doing better than anyone could have ever imagined!  Is he delayed in some areas? Sure.  Is he caught up in size yet? Not even close.  However, he is walking and advancing every single day.  He has showed my family that miracles come in teeny tiny packages and we are so happy we are able to see him flourish daily.

I'm a proud preemie parent and I'm so happy to be able to celebrate today with my special micropreemie Liam!

On the left is Liam the night he was born weighing 15oz in October 2011.  The picture on the right is of Liam this past January.

Liam and I are famous!  This is us at the Graham's Foundation event for Parents of Preemies Day.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Noah and the sparkler

My best friend Angela  sent Noah a present for his birthday which included this sparkler candle.  I brought it to the Children's Museum with every intention to put it on the cake but I totally forgot to add it at the last second so we decided to do it at home.  Angela was so excited for this candle and we couldn't wait to try it out.  She insisted I take a video of it...and good thing I did.

Let me just say, Clint and I haven't laughed this hard in a long long time!  I can't stop watching it and seeing Noah's face as he falls out the chair.  Hilarious! I hope it gives you a good chuckle.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Noah is 5!

Noah is five and I just can't believe it!  This fall he will be in kindergarten and I'm rather bummed that I won't have him home with me during the day after he gets out of school at 12.  Noah is such a big help and the funniest guy around.  He is becoming so big! 

This past weekend we celebrated Noah's birthday at the Louisiana Children's Museum.  I have to give credit when it's due and I can't rave more about the services we received at the Children's Museum.  The assistant was awesome and everything was super easy.  Two thumbs way up.  I'm sure I will do another party there between my boys.

Noah had a blast celebrating with his family and friends.  The batman cake was a huge success and it was really sweet to see Noah playing around with his cousins and friends from school.  It was such a nice day. 

Five cool things about Noah since he turned the big 5!
-He is adores Batman and Jake and The Neverland Pirates.
-He could eat a grilled cheese or chicken strips daily.
-He is obsessed with washing his hands.  I think that goes along with having a brother as a preemie.
-His favorite song is Gangham Style.
-His favorite color is blue.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Liam's First Birthday Pictures

I know, I know...Liam turned 1 in October and we took his pictures in January.  Oops! I guess this is the life of a second child.  I am a third child and my friends would laugh and make jokes that there are barely any pictures of me before the age of 5.  It's true! Ahh, I vow to take just as many pictures of Liam as I did for Noah from now on.

My friend Karen at Mrs. Mommy Product Blogger  posted some adorable pictures of her son that a local photographer took.  I immediately was interested because the photos were exactly what I was looking for.  Come to find out that not only is this photographer very good but she is offering her services FREE of charge while she learns photography.  How awesome is that?  I was super excited to book a session with her.

For Noah's first birthday pictures I opted for a smash cake but even at 15 months Liam still isn't interested in eating that much and I didn't think he would even attempt to try to eat it.  So, I opted for balloons instead and they were perfect.  Christie got some great shots of Liam.  Here are some of my favorites.

If you are in the New Orleans metro area please check out Christie Froom Photography, you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Walk This Way!

Liam is slowly but surely starting to walk on his own.  He is very cautious and is slow BUT he is making so much progress.  He can walk unassisted the whole length of his play gym and does awesome with his walking wings.  I finally got him walking in his room, check it out!

Monday, January 28, 2013

15 Months!

Ahh! Liam is now 15 months actual and 12 months adjusted.  Time seems to be flying by and we can't wait until Spring.  This past week we had Liam's 15 month appointment, here are some highlights!

Weight: 15lbs and 13oz
Height: 28 inches
Head: 18 inches

Size clothes: He is still in some 0-3/3-6 months but is slowly creeping towards 6 months! We have some 6 month outfits and they fit but the sleepers are still a bit too long.

Diaper size:  Size 2

Eating habits:  Liam is taking 2 oz of Neosure and 4oz of Pediasure at each bottle.  He takes between 5-6 bottles a day probably.  We are working towards 3 spoon feeds a day and 2 snacks.  His favorite foods are yogurt, puffs and this Gerber spoon able smoothie that's vanilla custard and bananas.

Sleeping habits:  Oh sleeping.  Lately sleeping is not Liam's strong suit.  He will fall asleep in his car seat and take decent naps but sleeping at night time is really tough.  He will not sleep in his crib or play pen for more than an hour.  So he sleeps by either being held by Clint or's terrible.  We've tried twice to break this habit and it's a daily struggle!

Milestones:  Liam is doing GREAT with taking steps! He can actually walk across his playard on his own.  It's amazing!  He is also speaking much more.  We are currently teaching him how to sign.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Liam went to his first speech therapy appointment this morning.  Liam's therapists have been telling me that he needed speech for quite a while but I was waiting on doctors orders at his 15 month appointment and we finally got the green light to go ahead and start speech.  I called Children's Hospital and it's a 5-6 month wait list JUST for an evaluation!  I couldn't believe it! I put my name on the list but started to look for other options.  Thankfully we were able to get an appointment with a speech therapist that his OT recommended in a weeks time which was awesome. 

Today was mostly an observation evaluation along with a Q&A.  Liam is actually not far behind at all for his adjusted age (12 months) and is much better on paper than I thought.  This is a good thing!  The therapist suggested to start signing with Liam and suggested the Signing Time DVDs.  I actually saw that on Amazon you can do a 7 day rental that I can watch on my ipad and I'm excited to start that soon!

We also worked on eating because some days Liam just won't even open his mouth to eat.  I was told to bring something he really liked for her to try to feed him.  He took a few bites and she slowly started breaking puffs apart to add texture to his puree.  He was fine with the texture but just stopped wanting to eat off of the spoon.  I have tried many finger foods at home and she highly suggested that I keep on doing that because she said that he gets bored eating off the spoon.

I left feeling hopeful and with many good tips!  I'm anxious to see him start signing, speaking more and eating foods with less problems.  I'm excited to start a new therapy in hopes to help Liam flourish even more.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

No Bake Granola Bars!

Noah is obsessed with granola bars.  He asks to eat one about one a day and most recently had the Fiber One kids which were very yummy.  I decided to be adventerous and make a batch of granola bars myself.

I looked online for recipes and I found this one that caught my eye from Two Peas and Their Pod.  The recipe is no bake and had 2 of Noah's favorite things: peanut butter and chocolate chips!  I didn't have chocolate chips on hand so I opted to use valentine M&Ms.

The recipe was very simple and the bars are delicious!  I didn't add the pretzels but I will give that a try next time.  I'm happy to find a good basic recipe that I can add things to maybe some diced fruit? Marshmellows?

In a day half of the 8x8 dish is already gone!  Yummy. These are officially Noah approved!

Noah approved!

Throwback Thursday: Helicopter Ride

I can't believe a year ago today was when Liam took his helicopter ride over to Children's Hospital New Orleans for surgery.  It feels so long ago but yet the memory is clear as day.  I can now look back and laugh because of my crazy sobbing but it still makes me anxious.

Check it out here:

Liam's Helicopter Ride!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Physical Therapy and Walking Wings

We have recently started up with a new physical therapist with Early Steps.  She thinks Liam may be walking soon and this is very exciting and scary all at the same time.  Ahh!

Liam can stand up from the sitting position on his own (pretty awesome) and will take 2-3 steps on his own and then fall down.  He is cautious in his falling and does it in like slow motion.  His new PT suggested trying Walking Wings with Liam last week and we were able to try them out today.

Liam had a tough time relaxing and putting weight on his feet.  He would do it at times and take a few steps but we aren't sure he is 100% ready to do this with him on a daily basis.  We will try it again next week.

My PT suggested putting a sturdy structure in the middle of his play yard that we could place toys on.  Right now all of his toys are on the ground so he just falls to his toys to get them but if we move his toys to his level he will walk to them.  So that is what we are working on this week, stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

12 Favorite Pictures of 2012

In honor of the start of 2013, I have chosen 12 of my favorite pictures of 2012.

This was shortly after Liam came home from the NICU.  I think it captures exactly what big brothers are torture their little brother!

This was the picture used for NOLA Baby and Family Magazine for their Dad of the Year article.  Photo credit: Jenn Amato Photography

Doctor Noah to the rescue!

Brothers.  I just melt.

Oh to be 4 and throw temper tantrums on the beach!

Liam AKA Charlie Brown.  Halloween 2012.

Clint and I on his birthday. 

Election Day 2012.

Gobble Gobble Day!  Liam couldn't be any more serious in this picture.

Liam's first birthday.  This was such a huge milestone.  He is such a miracle.

The cousins (minus Graham and Liam) in Destin.  Photo credit: Jessica Aten Photography

Team Leaping Liam at the March for Babies walk! We raised almost $1,800! How awesome! I can't wait to get started on this years walk which is April 20th!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

15oz to 15lbs!

Weight gain has been Liam's biggest hurdle.  He was severe IUGR being born at 15oz.  Even in the NICU it took him forever to gain weight so it's no surprise that at almost 15 months he is still in 3 month clothes.  He is tiny but strong!

At our last dietitian appointment we had very low weight gain from the prior 6 weeks but I did mention that he was sick multiple times during those 6 weeks with colds and ear infections. The dietitian suggested and Liam's pediatrician agreed that we will do half 24 calorie Neosure and half Pediasure.  So far he has only had the vanilla and he seems to really like the Pediasure.

This past week we went for his Synagis shot and he gained almost 10.5 ounces in the past month! I know this doesn't sound like a big gain to some but for Liam it's HUGE.  I'm hoping for an even bigger gain when we go to the dietitian in 2 weeks!

We are also working on introducing Liam to more table food.  This is another hurdle as Liam has some feeding issues especially with texture.  Liam is still mostly on purees and will still gag on thicker purees like peas.  We work weekly with his OT on his feeding and he is making some improvements.  This past weekend we gave Liam some grilled chicken in the smallest pieces of course and he really liked it! Baby steps, baby steps.

Friday, January 4, 2013

NICU Memory Shadow Box

While Liam was in the NICU I saved little things along the way.  Like all the sizes of diapers he had, his little billirubin glasses, ID bracelet, etc.  I have had them saved in a memory box in his nursery (along with his big brothers baby stuff) and realized I wish I had it on display.  I decided to make a shadow box.

The weekend I went to Michaels they had them 50% off! Score!  I then gathered all my stuff and started arranging it in the shadow box.  I think the finished product came out pretty good, check it out!

I'm actually now inspired to search through Noah's baby stuff and make him his own shadow box. I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't finished Noah's baby book...he is four. Oops!