Great Site

Monday, July 30, 2007

My cousin Amy had a great idea! She made something that protects a full outfit during eating, cooking, or crafts, not just part of it like a bib or apron. Check out her website: One Big Cool Bib. They are really cute and - fyi - are all handmade, reversible and machine-washable. I think these would also be great for children with special needs.

Bryce's 27th B-day

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bryce turned 27 yesterday. He can tell you for certain, but I think he had a great day:)! I surprised him with a barbeque grill for his b-day; he's been wanting one for awhile. I also made him a chocolate cake with chocolate-caramel frosting (it was supposed to be a 3-layer cake but, tragically, the cake cracked while I was frosting it - thus, this birthday will be remembered as the birthday that I cried over a cake:).

For dinner, we went to Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, an EXCELLENT Spanish restaurant. We got tapas and paella - it was all so good that my mouth is watering right now just thinking about them. We then walked around the mall and, for Bryce's final birthday wish, got Slurpees on the way home. A couple in our ward, the Glicks, were generous enough to watch Caroline so we could go out.

He put it together himself!

The flank steak (pictured with skillet-roasted new potatoes and salad) was the first thing Bryce cooked on his grill and was supurb! We marinated it in a garlic-rosemary-shallot wet paste - see below:

Recipe: blend together 6T. olive oil, 2 T. minced fresh rosemary, 6 cloves pressed garlic, and 1 minced shallot 'til it makes a wet paste - prick 1.5-2lb. flank steak about 20x with a fork, rub with kosher salt on both sides then with the paste - marinate covered in fridge for at least 1 hour and up to overnight - wipe paste off with paper towels, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper on both sides - cook on grill on high heat (about 5 minutes on both sides), then let meat rest for 5-10 minutes tented with tin foil - cut 1/4" bias cut slices - so good!!!

Jack's Wedding

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jack and Melissa got married last Friday. It was such a special day, and they are an adorable couple. Caroline did very well throughout all of the festivities (she slept the whole time because she was up the whole day and night before). She loved meeting so many relatives (she, yet again, did NOT like the car ride on the way to LA - basically cried the whole time - fun for Mommy and Daddy). Enjoy the pics!

Caroline was nice enough to hold my bridesmaid's bouquet:).

6 months old today!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Caroline is 6 months old today. Here's the birthday girl in a new outfit (well, new to her - had it for awhile but now it fits) - enjoy!:

I'm a big girl today.

This bores me.

I suck on my thumb on my own too, but this time mommy is helping me.

See, I'm trying on my own now.

No more pictures please!

Packing away clothes :(

As I said in the post above, Caro is getting some "new clothes" because she's finally able to fit into some 3-6 month clothes that have been waiting for her in her closet. That means her newborn clothes are starting to get too small. So, for the first time ever, I packed away Caroline's clothes. I got very sentimental. Below is the picture of the packed away clothes - see if you recognize any of your favorites:

Summary of Recent Appt. News

Monday, July 16, 2007

Caroline had several appointments this last week, and a few even yielded new information:) (many appointments we go to end with the doctor basically saying "Let's wait and see what happens in the next few weeks...the front desk will set up your next appointment").

Pulmonologist (Lung Specialist): We have been waiting for so long to get more answers about what's going on with Caroline's lungs, and we finally got them last Friday. Based on Caroline's sleep study, the doctor believes that, contrary to the tech's analysis, Caroline did not have an abnormal amount of central breathing problems (brain not telling her to breath properly). This is great news because there's not a lot that can be done if her brain isn't telling her to get enough oxygen. Instead, it seems that she had a lot of obstructive apnea. The doctor believes that something in her upper airway (probably her tongue - Caro holds it back in her mouth a lot) is blocking her breathing and that is way she isn't able to get all of the oxygen she needs. The doctor believes this is something that can be corrected and referred us to a good ENT doc. This shows that she most likely won't have to be on oxygen permanently.

Cranial Plastic Surgeon: Some of Caro's skull plates (the ones under her forehead) are fused; that is why she has that ridge on her forehead. These plates aren't supposed to be fully fused until age two, so unfortunately Caro has to have surgery to fix this. This surgery will be performed by both this surgeon and a neurosurgeon, and it will last for five hours and involve four days of recovery in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). We're very scared for her especially because she will have to go on a ventilator for the surgery, but this is the best thing to make sure her brain can grow properly. In this appointment, the surgeon decided that the surgery will take place in September - closer than we thought. Also, to perform the surgery, they have to shave her whole head:(.

Therapies - Caroline is showing a lot of progress because of them. She sticks her thumb in her mouth on her own now, she can control her head much more easily, and she is laughing and cooing more and more. Our girl is growing up!

Trisomy 13 and 18 Article

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bryce's dad found this for us (click here for the article).

Caroline's original diagnosis was Trisomy 18; she has many of the same physical issues. These children are fighting against sobering odds, but they and their parents keep going each day and appreciate simple victories. Very inspiring.

R & R

Sunday, July 8, 2007

We're back home after our trip to LA and had an amazing time. I already posted a little bit about Wednesday and Thursday, but the fun kept going Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

On Friday, my mom kindly watched Caroline while Bryce and I went to Zuma Beach, by way of lunch at Malibu Seafood (so good - link here).

We really enjoyed just hanging out together at the beach. It was a bit of a windy, overcast day, but that didn't stop Bryce from boogieboarding in the heavy surf (he did a great job!). While he was in the ocean (too cold for me), I read a mystery book, then we both layed out together and worked on our non-existent tans.

After that long, hard day, I pampered myself with a pedicure:). Later that night, we helped Jack and Melissa set up for a garage sale they put on the next day (they ended up making a good amount of money and estimate that 200-300 people showed up - we think they should start a business putting on garage sales for other people).

After the garage sale on Saturday, we went down to Hollywood, saw Wicked (see post below), then walked around Universal CityWalk, and ate way too much yummy food at Buca Di Beppo. Of course, my parents watched little Caro the whole time.

Bryce and I really appreciate their help. We haven't had so much time alone together since before the baby; it's hard with any newborn to keep "dating" but especially hard with Caro because most people don't seem to feel comfortable watching her for very long (long enough to feed her via g-tube, deal with O2 tank, her fussing episodes [she fusses like a typical baby, but, because of her medical history, it's more stressful to deal with], etc.) .

We drove home Sunday morning; C did a little better this time - she still cried a lot but slept more too.

Can't wait to go back in a couple weeks for Jack and Mel's wedding!

After Wicked, at CityWalk

Wicked: The Musical

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Have you ever experienced something that is so surprising, exciting, and new it just kind of wakes you up? Days after enjoying it - whether it's a great movie, new vacation spot, innovative meal, or dramatic piece of art - you're still talking about it and replaying it in your mind.

The musical Wicked woke me up! Its music and lyrics, libretto, sets, and costume were all stellar. I know this information is old news to many of you - the musical has been out since late 2003 - but I finally get to jump on the bandwagon. We got a chance to see it on Saturday thanks to my parents (got us the tickets for Jack and me as b-day presents) and to my uncle Jeff. The show has been sold out for months in LA, but he had a connection who got tickets for Jack, Melissa, Bryce, and I (VIP tix - usually reserved for guests of the cast and crew) on the 5th row - amazing!

It's playing in Hollywood's Pantages Theatre, an art deco theatre with an old Hollywood feel. As soon as we sat in our exceptional seats, we knew we were in for a treat. The proscenium area (arch around the stage) was covered in set pieces that were both mechanical and exotic, including the front-half of a metallic dragon looming over us at the top of the arch. In place of a curtain, a map of the Land of Oz hung over the stage.

Took a few pics before getting caught by the usher - here's one right before the play started

Once the play started, it sucked us in for the full two and a half hours (which went by too fast). Edin Espinosa, the actress who played Elphaba (the Wicked Witch), gave me goosebumps everytime she sang - especially during"The Wizard and I" and "Defy Gravity" - perhaps the best voice I have ever heard live. The music and lyrics were witty, beautiful, and thoughtful, and, unlike many stage musicals, there weren't too many filler songs. Almost every song enhanced the plot and/or characters.

I was concerned because, prior to seeing Wicked, I hadn't listened to much of the music or read the book the play is based on. No need to worry though- I followed the plot and understood each song clearly, and there were a few plot twists at the end of the play that weren't spoiled for me.

I know I've been gushing, but this musical deserves that kind of praise. Even if a musical is not your typical form of entertainment, you will love this play - all four of us did.

Caroline hopes you had a Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Lots of Firsts

On the morning of the 4th, we began a trip to Grandma's house (Gma and Gpa S). This trip has included a lot of firsts already. See below for details:

First Fourth of July, First Road Trip, First Trip to Grandma's

We are so grateful that we made it to CA without any serious incident - but we had a list prepared of all hospitals on the way just in case. Also, Caro didn't sleep that much, and she pretty much hates being in her carseat when awake, so that was fun for us...

First Time Seeing a Dog!

Caroline and Abbey get along very well - even though they can only see each other through a window.

First Sushi Restaurant (Sushi Raku = excellent sushi. If you're in Agoura and you like sushi, don't miss it [on Kanan, just east of the 101] .)

"Cold Edamame feels good on my teething gums!"

"I'm going to like salmon sushi in the future!"

"No Mommy, I'm not old enough to try a spicy tuna roll"

After all these firsts, Caroline needed a good nap (Bryce did too after trying to keep up with her).

New Stats

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

We saw the gastroenterologist today (he tracks Caro's weight, food intake amounts, etc.); his office takes Caro's most accurate weight. They weighed her in at 10 lbs. 1.5 oz! That is the first time she has accurately weighed in over 10 lbs. Her length measured at 23 1/2" - the doctor said she's growing at a good pace.

Also saw the private speech therapist and the endocrinologist today. Not much new in those areas.

Caro's Baby Blessing

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Caroline was blessed in church today. She received a great blessing from her father. A lot of family and friends came for the occasion. We appreciated seeing them all.

Afterwards, we had people over to our home. We had a good time together and had a ton of food (always makes things fun). My mom's Chinese Chicken Salad was especially yummy.

You'll find that recipe and more pictures below.

Pics From Baby Blessing Day

Gpa S, Gma S, Dad, C, Mom, Jack, and Melissa (Jack's Bride-to-be)

Haley, Gma L, Mom, Dad, C, GGpa Perazzo, Jacob, Shelly, Amanda, and Gpa L

Four Generations (GGma C, Gma S, Mom, & C)

Bryce, Aunt Shelly, and Caro

GGpa C, GGma C, and Caro

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