Monday, March 8, 2010

Too Much Partying

This past Saturday, we celebrated Andrea's first birthday and Ken's 50th. (He probably would have preferred I didn't mention that, but it's my blog, and I proudly announced my 40th last year, so too bad!) We had a small, family-only party, since it's still not a good idea for Andrea to be around crowds of people. I have to say, the whole event went better than we could have hoped for. We opted for a catered meal, held in the parish hall of the church where Ken and I got married.

I have to mention the two vendors who provided the food. Our meal was catered by “A Family Affair” catering in Fair Lawn, NJ. ( The storefront is misleading, as it’s the tiniest little place. However, the food was AWESOME, and we could have fed an army on what was left over. We sent leftovers home with everyone, and we still got three or four more meals for ourselves. The people we dealt with could not have been nicer, even going back to the deli to get us extra plates and utensils for our hors d'oeuvres. If you’re in need of a caterer in Bergen County, at least check them out. The prices were incredibly reasonable, and as I said, the food was awesome. (And no, I am not getting paid for the endorsement, LOL!)

Many of you know that one of my claims to fame it making the cakes for all the kids’ birthdays. I’ve been doing this since my niece was born almost 13 years ago, and the kids have learned to count on Mom (or Aunt Tori) to come across with the goods. Well, for the first time ever, I BOUGHT a cake for a party. I had my heart set on a giraffe (for Andrea, of course) wearing a Yankees baseball cap (for Ken). This is way beyond my abilities, so I hired Kimmy, of Kimmy’s Kakes ( who gave me what I was looking for. The cake is actually on her web site in the kids’ cakes section, but I posted my own picture here. Kimmy made a delicious cake, and even delivered for me, so I didn’t have to try to transport a 3-d giraffe along with 50 helium balloons and two kids. Like the meal, we could have fed another hundred people on the leftovers, but it was too cute for words and worth the cost.

Ken didn’t know that he was one of the guests of honor at the party, so we had an interesting theme. I went with an animal/princess theme for Andrea and a 50th/Baseball theme for Ken. I had a baseball piƱata, to the delight of the bigger kids. Andrea happily spent the day being passed from one relative to another. We’d brought her exer-saucer to give her some down time, but she mostly preferred to be carried around like a princess. Her dress was an Easter gift last year, while she was still in the hospital. I promised the givers that she would wear it as soon as it fit, and so she did!

Even though Andrea is officially one, she’s developmentally a nine month old baby. She’s been eating some solid foods, (Cheerios are still a favorite) and she’s thinking about crawling, but hasn’t worked out the logistics yet. As when she was in the NICU, she does everything in her own time. We’ve learned that she can’t be rushed, and that she’ll get there when she’s ready. Still, a year ago we couldn’t imagine this day would ever come.

“Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of 'you' to the world.”

Friday, March 5, 2010

The End of an Era

Andrea had an appointment with her pulmonologist today - her first "well"visit there in months. She's been seen there with a variety of illnesses, but hasn't been healthy for a visit since early fall. It was also her first visit since the doctor took her off oxygen over night. I have to say, it was a wonderful appointment! Andrea now weighs 15 pounds, 11 ounces, and is 25.8 inches long. She is rapidly approaching "normal" size for a full term baby. The best news of the day was that her lungs sounded clear, and the doctor told us we can stop using the PulseOx monitor over night!!! This thing has been a trial - every time Andrea turned over in the night, the monitor would alarm, and we would have to get up and check on Andrea. Tonight, for the first time in her life, Andrea is sleeping with nothing attached to her body. We will probably be more anxious over night for a while, but we are excited about this next phase.

In other news, Andrea's first tooth broke through yesterday. You can't see it yet, but we can feel it, and the doctor saw it when he looked in her mouth with a light and a tongue depressor.

"Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Martin Luther King, Jr.