Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Time at the Wilson's!

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Christmas? I am THAT person... you know, the one that busts out every last decoration the day after Thanksgiving is over. By December 3rd it looks like Santa and his reindeer threw up all over my living room. This year, we get to take the decorations to a whole new level because we are living in a house instead of an apartment. That means we have trees, a yard, and a roof to slather in Christmas joy :-)
I'm sure Nolan is thrilled by the prospect of spending all day on the roof hanging lights for his crazy pregnant wife. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year ;)

Two things to know about us:
In this house we celebrate "Christmas Adam (a date also know as December 23rd, which I invented as a child. My question was, if Eve get's her own day, why doesn't Adam? And right then and there Christmas Adam was born.)."

We believe in Christmas miracles. Actually, we believe in these year round... we even call them Christmas miracles if they happen to pop up in July.

And speaking of miracles-
25 (yes only 25) week belly. Pay no attention to the mess behind the belly... still unpacking.

Digging for ornaornaments

This is the first year they have had the attention span to decorate the whole tree!

We only suffered one ornament casualty.

"We love you this much mommy!"

"And we miss you this much!" - via email while I was at an infusion over the weekend.

And finally, I just have to share something I'm sure you have all seen... but just in case you haven't watch this (show your kiddos, they'll LOVE it!):

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Back from the dead

It's been a long time since I have posted... Here's why:

You see all of those "possible side effects" listed? Imagine you have all of those, at the same time, while being pregnant and responsible for a four year old and two year old little boy. Imagine you're also in the middle of moving. And while you're at it, throw in a sick two year old, and a compromised immune system. Now imagine that rather than getting a little better each day, you're getting a little worse, every week getting two fresh doses of the meds that are producing this misery to begin with. That was me, for a month.

It's been a rough month, there's just no sugar coating it. IVIG felt like it was very near killing me, and left my immune system completely depleted. After six infusions my body was beginning to shut down and quite honestly I had given up fighting it. Everything hurt. My skin, my eyes, every muscle in my body. I couldn't regulate my body temperature and was taking several baths a day to keep warm. I couldn't hold my head up, couldn't keep my eyes open, my breathing was irregular, I was constantly sick to my stomach, head pounding, and running a fever. There were several days when I almost drug my entire family to the ER convinced something more then just side effects from my meds was to blame. The final straw was when the flu hit out house... it took down Maddox first, then me (which wasn't tough considering my immune system was pretty much toast to begin with), then Jax, then Nolan. By the time I showed up for my fourth week of infusions it was pretty tough to hide how much pain I was in. The nurses called my doctor, and my wonderful doctor sent me packing back home. Thankfully I was still so early in my pregnancy that the chances of a bleed in the baby because of skipping one weekend of treatments were pretty tiny. My body needed to regain strength, and another two days of IVIG would have just made things worse.
After a bit of research I discovered that the hospital had switched their default IVIG brand since the time that I was pregnant with Maddox. I had previously received Previgin, and had never had a single side effect from the dosage. Now I was on Gammunex, at double the dosage from my last pregnancy. The question was, is the brand causing my body to react this way, or is it the dosage? Being that we can't help the dosage amount, the logical thing to me seemed to be to try switching back to Previgin.

I am now four weeks into treatments with Previgen, and aside from an occasional headache I feel FINE. Better than fine in comparison! It feels so good to feel relatively normal again!!! Now it's time to focus on getting through the next three months :-)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, as I hope you all did. We were even able to squeeze in a date night, and some family photos!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Poison "Milk"

So the boy's and I are having daddy day while Tracy is at the doctor. We went to ACE Hardware and bought some ammonia for our fish tank. I picked up the bottle and there was a "Danger-Poison" label with the skull and cross bones stuck to it. I thought this would be a good time to teach the boy's about poison.

As soon as I said the word "poison," Jax interrupts me and says "like camping and poison milk!"
"I think you mean Poison Oak."
"NO Daddy, Poison Milk!"
 Around and around we went until Jax got fed up and said,
"NO! I will take the poison oak out of your voice and you will say poison milk"

I really hope I don't get poison MILK!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I'm sitting at Stanford Hospital, watching what seems like an endless drip of medication flow through my IV. This is day two, hour ten. There is a rather large man in the recliner across from mine snoring louder than I thought possible.
I. Am. Bored.

What better time to update the blog, right?

Earlier in the week we received some amazing and unexpected help from some great friends. They offered their truck, SUV, and trailer (not to mention their time and energy), and moved the majority of our home to the new house in a matter of hours. Anyone that has been paying attention knows how stressed we were trying to figure out how we were going to move with me in the hospital every weekend unable to help out. Thanks to Vanessa and Joey, we don't even need to rent a truck :-) Thanks guys!!!

So, even though we are still technically managing the apartments until the end of the month, a huge amount of our stresses have been lifted. It is so peaceful to be able to just focus on our own family. The boys are in love with all the space that they have. They fight less, and spend way more time outside. When we leave to run errands they no longer beg to go to the park, they beg to go to "the new house." It makes our hearts happy, although at the same time a little sad that they were deprived of this for so long.

That is just about all of our news for now. I will post pictures of our amazing camping trip soon. It was truly epic :-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Calm Before the Storm

After meeting with our doctor on Thursday, and establishing that I am indeed 14 weeks pregnant (no my due date isn't wrong kind ultrasound tech, I just grow big babies, let it go!), we officially scheduled the beginning if my IVIG treatments. In two weeks I will begin the first of 42 IV infusions, each of which lasts between 4-6 hours. For the time being my treatments will be every Saturday and Sunday, but because we don't know how well my body will tolerate this dosage this may change. The best case scenerio is that I will have zero side effects, and be able to combine the two day treatments into one incredibly looooong day.

In the mean time, we are trying to enjoy the calm before the storm. We're taking a much needed trip camping as a family next weekend, which I couldn't be more excited for. This will be the first time we have taken the boys camping, and they're stoked!

We're planning our move into the new house for the third weekend in October. It seems so far away, but I'm realizing that really I only have a few weeks available to me for packing before our schedule goes haywire. I'm not entirely sure how Nolan plans to move our entire household, and keep the boys out of trouble, while I'm stuck at the hospital with an IV in my arm. Talk about feeling useless!!
Can we just skip to February now?

Here are a few pics of the new house:
This is our awesome teal front door :-)

And half of our amazing back yard

Our front patio (And the sweet ladies rerenting to us)

Architecturally awesome fireplace

Vintage chandelier 

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Movin on up!"

Sometimes I think things change on a dime around our house. Probably because they do... For once we couldn't be more excited to roll with the punches!

I'll back up. About a month ago we decided as a family that it made sense for us to end our jobs as resident apartment managers. Believe me, the job has its definite perks- free rent on a rather nice two bedroom apartment, plus a small salary. These are things that allowed me to go to college, and gave us the ability to pay down a lot of debt, all while staying at home with the kids. We're thankful for the blessing, but it's time for us to move on. Apartment living only lasts so long when you have two very active little boys. Let's face it, they need space to run, and I need to regain some sanity. These along with many other reasons led us to begin our search for a new home.

Let me explain something about the rental market to those of you living outside the bay area. Just because we're ready to move on doesn't mean we can just pick a place and move there. We live in a two income society, and we are a one income family (I stay at home with the boy). Now, most of the world right now is a two income society, however the norm in the bay area is for BOTH of those two incomes to be six figures. This is what we're up against. Rentals are no longer given on a first come first serve basis (assuming the first applicant is qualified). The rule of thumb that the applicant must make 2-3 times the monthly rent no longer applies. At any given open house in a decent safe neighborhood with good schools, there will be 7-10 applicants within the first FIVE MINUTES. This is NOT an exaggeration. Not only are rental prices at an all time high, but the competition is too, and I really have no explanation as to why. We have good credit, are financially stable, don't even have a car payment, and we were turned down for FIVE separate properties. One landlord actually rented a three bedroom house (the golden unicorn here in the bay) to a single man, rather than a family of four. We turned our applications in at the exact same time, and yet he was chosen because he works for a local .com and makes more money than he knows what to do with.
Because renting to families with kids is frowned upon (no matter how illegal it may be), we were doing our best to find something before I really started to show. A young couple with two kids is taboo enough around here, factor in a baby and we would have been doomed.

Finally this week we were approved to rent an adorable little house on a double lot (hello HUGE yard!), directly across the street from out favorite park. The very best part is that it is less than a mile from Nolan's office. No more twelve mile bicycle commutes. No more leaving before the rest of the house is awake, and coming home an hour before the kids' bedtime. We can have breakfast together, dinner at a decent hour, he can even come home on lunch. As far as I'm concerned that makes everything worth it. We're stoked!
I'm hoping to be able to take some pictures of the house tomorrow, if I'm able to I'll post them :-)

Pregnancy update:
I had my first ultrasound to check the baby's brain on Thursday. Baby is super active, measuring two weeks bigger than he/she should be (no shock there, I grow them big!), and best of all- no bleeds!! His/her little brain looks perfect :-)
So, for now we hold our breath for a few more weeks until we go in for the next ultrasound. These will continue, most likely monthly, until 36 weeks when, as my doctor puts it, "we bail." This Thursday we will also meet with our him to schedule the first week of treatments. Can I just say how fast that crept up on me? Barely 13 weeks, but so much has already happened, and is about to happen.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Things are a'changin!

Jax started his first day of Kinder Prep today. I have seen him grow and change so much since a year ago when he began preschool. I will never forget having to say goodbye and walk away from him while his teacher literally held him back as he screamed and cried. It was all I could do to not look back at him, and the second I rounded the corner I burst into tears myself. Flashforward to Kinder Prep, where he bolted into the classroom before I could say goodbye. I actually had to call him back for a hug! He's growing so fast...

Speaking of fast growing things... let me introduce you to the twelve week belly of a third time mom.

Twelve weeks. Not six months, TWELVE WEEKS. What the what?! I mean come on, my belly button is already sticking out! All kidding aside, this kid is putting me through the ringer. Until this pregnancy I had never experience morning sickness, extreme tiredness, crazy mood swings, or any of the other lovely unmentionable first trimester side effects. I must say, I don't appreciate the way I have been feeling these last three months, and I'm pretty sure no one else appreciates the fallout from my general misery. If I'm being totally honest, one of my biggest fears at this moment is that just as the first trimester side effects fade away, I will potentially gain a whole new set of side effects from the grueling treatments headed my way in about four weeks.

For any of you that may not know Nolan and I's history, we are genetically mismatched (to put it very simply). Our children suffer from a condition called Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT). From the time of conception until several months after their birth, our babies are at war with my body, which spends nine months forming antibodies against their platelets. A healthy human being has a blood platelet count of between 150,000-300,000. Jax was born with 62,000 (because there is no screening for NAIT we did not know he was suffering until after his birth), Maddox was born with 107,000 (after six months of weekly IVIG infusions, mass daily doses of prednisone, and an early c-section). To hopefully get baby #3 out safely, I will be beginning twice weekly IVIG infusions at 16 weeks pregnant (because this condition worsens with each pregnancy I will be receiving twice the dosage prescribed while pregnant with Maddox). Each IV infusion takes between 4-8 hours depending on how well my body handles the medication. This is going to be a long bumpy road, but it's a road I have traveled once before... and the reward at the end is so worth bruises.

Because this is something I am passionate about, I tend to ramble quite a bit when it comes to NAIT. Believe it or not, what I have explained above is the much abbreviated version of this cruel disorder. If you happen to be fascinated (and wish to learn more... *wink wink Annie), check out this amazing website my friends and fellow NAIT mamma's have set up-
Our family's (as well as many others) story is posted here, along with an amazing video made by our support group, and lots of fantastic info. I'm proud to say that our NAIT group is now on the sounding board for a major pharmaceutical company that is developing a potential "cure" for NAIT. Once upon a time RH disorder was just as unknown and lethal as NAIT, and after the persistence of people effected by it's outcome there is now a simple shot to cure it. My hope is that by the time my children are having my grandbabies the cure for NAIT will be as simple.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Catch up in Pictures

It has been several months since I've posted anything to the blog. Mainly because Nolan is the one who set up this account, and up until now signing in took hacking into his email account with it's ever changing passwords and weird security features. Honestly, you would think the man worked for the CIA or something.

So, rather than rambling on and on to catch you all up on our lives, I thought I would bombard you with pictures.

Jax started preschool (he is now about to enter pre-k!)

Maddox celebrated his 2nd birthday at "Nanny and Papa's"

"Nanny" went a little overboard and bought a bounce house. That's right. Bought. Not rented.

After endless soul searching we were all set to make the big move to Monterey!

Hmmm.... just kidding! I guess we're staying where we are for the next eight months or so.

I think my scary face just about sums it up. 
There, you're all caught up! I promise to be better about updating as these next few months fly by :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How high

Here's a quick one.
So today Jax and I were on the couch and I was trying to see if he could count to twenty. He starts going 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and stops. I know he can count to twenty, but he is just not wanting to. I keep asking him to count then finally I ask how high can you count to? He then raises his hands as high as he could reach and starts trying to count on his fingers :-)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Maddox!!

Today is Maddox's second birthday. It's hard to believe how quickly the last two years have flown by! Two years ago today I was barely holding it together, trying to maintain a level of strength and "cool" after eight months of  intense treatments, ultrasounds, and fear. Fear is a scary thing in itself, because if you let it consume you it will destroy your life, your perspectives, and your ability fight for what's important. Trying to keep that fear at bay is exhausting work! I'm convinced that the only way I was able to stay rational throughout Maddox's pregnancy was through a lot of prayer, and an amazing family that was my rock and my source of never ending positivity. Most of you know Maddox's birth story, but if you would like to read it you can find it here.

Two years later the memories and emotions are still raw, maybe they will never really go away. But in return for for those memories I get to enjoy an amazing little person every single day for the rest of my life. At two Maddox is the happiest, snuggliest little guy I have ever known. I love to watch the relationship that is growing between he and Jax, and listen to the conversations they have when they think I'm not around. He makes me smile every single day, and never fails me make me laugh with his hysterical laughter. Quite simply, we are blessed beyond belief.




Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whirlwind Weekend

A friend of ours and her husband run a local non-profit (2nd Mile) in our area which does "Extreme Makeover" style renovations on schools, churches, and other facilities in need. A few months ago they asked if I wouldn't mind volunteering to design two offices within the Family Services building of a middle school they were planning to renovate. Months and months of planning all came down to one "Compassion Weekend" in which over 1000 volunteers contributed their time and energy to completely remodel the campus- in two days.

"Compassion Weekend" was last weekend. I can't say enough good things about the people running 2nd Mile and their crew. Keeping 1000 volunteers on motivated and productive is no simple task... neither is completely renovating a middle school in two days! I am exhausted and sunburned, but also completely inspired and moved by what took place in those two days. I was so blessed to play a small role in this renovation! My favorite part was watching all of the little ones, mine especially, jumping at the chance to help strangers.

Now it's time to get back to every day life, and catch up on the to-do list that has been so badly neglected in the last few weeks!

Thousands of volunteers working like crazy!


Hallway of the Family Center leading to the offices I was responsible for.

Family Center Reception Area

Volunteers putting together furniture and building benches around the trees in the playground.

DIY Station

My little man helping any way he could, and SO excited to do it!


One of two offices I created for the school's AmeriCorp Employees

 One of two custom painted file cabinets I created

 Second of two offices created for the AmeriCorp girls.


My pride and joy... a custom chevron file cabinet :)