Monday, December 31, 2012

Santa Barbara Zoo by Train

Our big New Year's Eve day event was a trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo! The three older kids and the three adult fathers rode the train. The remainder slept in a little longer, drove to the SB Zoo, and were home long before the train riders. Here are the only two pics I got as I left the charger and battery on the train (never to be seen again, most likely).

Matteo ALWAYS takes time to study the train materials.

It was an electronics kind of Christmas, and everyone was fully engaged with their electrons...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Children's Museum to Closing McKeon-Phillips

It was an interesting day... Great fun at the San Luis Obispo Children's Museum, fabulous lunch with Trevor and Jen at the new Far Western Tavern in Orcutt, and a strangely melancholy visit to McKeon-Phillips Winery upon the recent news of their closing for good this Monday.


Photos: http://JF2.com/121228/


The picture above is from Trevor and Jen's wedding rehearsal dinner held at McKeon-Phillips Winery in December of 2008. We bought that table today. Photos from that weekend: http://JF2.com/081205/

Thursday, December 27, 2012

God is Good

When we first heard about our boys we were told a bunch of medical jargen:  born at 25wk, 1lb, 12oz, stage 2 ROP, laser eye surgery, grade 2 bilateral brain bleeds, ventilators, chronic lung disease and the list went on.  That night I google every word.  I found words like blindness, cerebral palsy, learn disabilities, respiratory problems, sensory issues. 

We prayed, we talked with good friends, we moved forwarded.

At the hospital we sat with the doctors and nurses and held their tiny bodies hooked to all the alarms and tubes.  They told us then that we were not looking at babies who would be blind, sigh of relief, but they couldn't rule out cerebral palsy or learning and respiratory issue.  

We learned to care for them, how to feed them and bath them and still when we brought them home their overall health outcome was unknown.  With all Jonathan had been through, 3 months on a ventilator, lack of weight gain, brain bleeds and the fact that he was behind in his gestational age, cerebral palsy was brought up. 

So we started early intervention and gave him love and hugs, and slowly Jonathan began to meet his milestones but I was reserved in my excitement because statics said we shouldn't be so lucky.  But God is good and works in such amazing ways.

On Christmas day at 10.5 months (7 months adjusted) Jonathan beat all the odds and crawled

Never in my life have I been more happy to pull wrapping paper out of my babies mouth!

God is good.

God will heal.


video

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Who Did This?!

You've seen the movie, "Elf", right! Well, have you ever had your very own Elf breakfast? Ya gotta give it a try!... Check out all the pics: http://JF2.com/121224/

Sam got the prize for the best Elf plate!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It's in Her DNA

Papa Bill shared some pictures this evening with Serafina of he and Francie (dearly departed wife) doing theatre during their college days. Serafina comes by it legitimately! A few more photos from this evening: http://JF2.com/121222/

The Bar Line is Closed

Papa Bill (and all the rest of us, too) got too see our little starlet at the Melodrama last night! Her new job is to man the CLOSED sign at the end of the bar line. Papa Bill also got in on a little of the back stage action as the Melodrama does last minute preparations for a show. "5 minutes to places!"

 
 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

While Shepherds Watched...

Here are a few pics of the kids choirs singing at GraceSLO last Sunday. See if you can spot the two Regusci cherubs...


 



 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Remember Christmas = Forgiveness and Love

With all the chaos around, we want to make sure you fully understand this post will be about Love and Forgiveness.

Sadly, and tragically, last Friday a suicidal egomaniac killed innocent victims and rocked the foundations of our lives.  Even in the midst of this tragedy, our sensationalized media has utilized this event, and our fragile emotions, to discuss disgusting political issues and split our nation further apart.

We at the Compound are heartbroken and saddened that this event has not brought our nation closer together through love, charity, and forgiveness.

We Americans are amazing, charitable, spiritual people that love and care for neighbors, we may not even know, locally and all across the world.  We should not be known by these few unfortunate events that stream cross the media 24/7.  We should be known by the countless acts of love and charity that goes unnoticed every day.  Like giving food, blankets, shelter, and coats to the needy.  Toys, money, and love to good families struggling to make ends meet.  Countless children loved and cared for by foster and adoptive parents, and thankless gifts equaling over $6,000 to help a downsy baby, Yani, across the world be adopted by an amazing selfless family here in the States.

This is the America we love.  Merry Christmas and God Bless America

After many discussions at the compound about this horrific event, I wrote the following poem to highlight the compounds beliefs and what we will be focusing on this Christmas.
Remember Christmas = Forgiveness and Love 
Tragedy has struck
Our minute safe worlds are torn apart.
Is it bad luck?
Has the country, our people, lost their hearts?

So self-absorbed, so struck with fear, 
We forget the season of our Lord is near.
What do we do, where do we go?
Have we lost sight of the manger below?

This life changing event has caused us much grief,
And turned the most verbose around us mute;
Has rocked the core of our beliefs,
And provoked senseless political dispute.

Many philosophical questions are being asked,
Our intellectual and fragile minds are being racked.
The age old question - how can God exist?
With such death, hated, and evil in our midst.

When sensational brutal crimes are all we in the on TV
We miss the goodness, greatness, Godliness that surrounds.
Media bombards us with ugliness, not beautiful generosity, 
So we forget the vast majority of amazing people all around.

More guns! Less Guns! MORE! OR! LESS!
Don’t get wrapped up in this political mess.
For praise the Lord - A child is to be born
And he will help us constructively morn.

Please remove the rose colored glasses from your eyes,
And see your family, friends, and community clear.
We are Godly people, who will never die;
And cherish our life with no fear.

My family will pray for all victims of crimes,
And whose souls will miss the heavenly chimes.
My family will enter the season happily with love,
Praying, caroling, and celebrating our God above.

Remember it is Christmas and our Savior is alive,
Joyfully we realize Satan's war is lost, forever goodness has won.
Jesus spirit and words survive; though his body, crucified, will die,
Jesus cries out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they have done.”

Amen

Sunday, December 16, 2012

All Things Baby

 
Who doesn't love a good baby update!  (If you follow me on instagram or face book you have probably seen a lot of these picture.)
 
 
About a month ago I asked our PT if she thought the babies might be sitting by Christmas.  She wasn't convinced they we would be independently sitting and would not say yes or no......well....
 
 


There is Jonathan, in what looks like a sitting position.   Now I do have to clarify and little.  He is not exactly sitting, but rather strategically balanced in a sitting position and the picture taken moments before he face planted...but we are so close...so close.....

 


The boys are modeling their outfits that Noni and Nono bought them in China town.  Are they not absolutely adorable? The red on the coats are dragons.  Appropriate since they were born in the year of the dragon.    But my absolute favorite of the entire outfits:


 
 The ponytails.  OMG...does it get better then that?  I think not.



The other new active we discovered and L.O.V.E  is swinging.



When you have twins (or two infants relatively the same age) you can smash them both in the park's baby swing and they act as natural backrest/cushion.  And well Jonathan thought this rocked.  The child never stopped laughing. 

 
This is what David thought about swinging. 

 
 And lastly both the boys giggling.  Hilarious. My sensory seeking boys, loving the swing!

In other news the babies haven't been sick since before Thanksgiving yeah!!  They are now 10 months (6months adjusted age).  We still don't like to sleep through the night, boo.  Solid foods are a no go right now.  They pretty much hate it with a passion but will chew on an empty spoon for hours.  And finally...drum roll....David has 2 front teeth!!  That was all he wanted for Christmas...haha.


Lastly, since we are on the subject of All Things Baby, have you donated to Yana's adoption fund yet?  Did you spread the word for the awesome giveway?  And after my last blog Jeanette came up with a new giveway for bloggers, check it out.  Did you see the new news on Life RearrangedYana has a family.  A family stepped forward to adopt her.  So now is the time to bless this family with your donations because soon she will be home with them, being pushed in swings, and dressed up in pretty dresses.  There will be so many joyous moments for them and their will be the stress of doctor appointments and possibly surgeries.  You can help by donating, large or small, lowing their financial burden making their journey just a little less stressful.

Merry Christmas all!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Advent Candles Lit Without Incident

The entire Regusci clan with AJ at the forefront lit the two Advent candles at Grace SLO church this morning without incident, reported the SLO Fire Department who were on high alert through the scheduled candle lighting time. The service was allowed to continue without further concern.

 
All the photos: http://JF2.com/121209/
 
 

Lynn and Jamie's Christmas Letter

OK, see we do one, too. You're under no obligation to read it, but there will be an oral exam when next we meet. Click here to get the 2-page PDF.

Touching Youtube Holiday Event

This video is so moving, impressive, and truly beautiful. May this bring holiday joy to everyone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDBSpuPhdE4

God Bless!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Make Christmas Count

My dear sweet friend Jeannett with a heart bigger then anyone can imagine has four kids and blog.  But not just any kids and not just any blog.  One child had heart issues and another child has CP and seizure disorder, all of which is a full time job in itself.  Her blog, Life Rearrange, she uses to do good, lots of good.  To help others in need, to encourage all of us to help even if it is just a little, and all to the glory of God, another full-time job.  She is amazing, and I don't know how she manages to get it all done.  
 
So why a I mention it here? Well she is a talented writer, hilarious and real but mainly because every year at Christmas time she holds a fundraiser for one very special little child. 
 
 A little guy in another country. 
 
 A little guy with Downs Syndrome. 
 
A little guy who will be spending the holidays not in his/her moms arms but in an orphanage.  Alone in their crib, who's cries will go unheard.  This year it's Yana: 

 
 
life rearranged
 

Is she not the cutest thing in world.  The money raised goes into her adoption fund, so that when a family steps up to adopt her their cost will be that much lower.   This means a lot.  This could mean the difference between a family saying yes to Yana or no. 

Adoption is expensive and adopting a child with special needs is just that much more expensive.

We know.  When we said yes to our boys we needed to have $13,000 to our adoption agency with-in months, in all honesty they needed the money right then and there but were willing to work with us.  We wiped out savings, we sold a car and through the generous adoption fund at our Church manage to get the money.

But with a special needs child the financial drain doesn't end there.  Insurance premiums went through the roof, the sheer amount of doctor visits and co-pay after co-pay has nickled and dimed there way to a whole lot.  Oh and a helicopter ride and 3 day stay in the PICU,  yeah financial drain.  We don't know what the future holds for our boys.   Right now it looks like the worst is behind us and we won't be looking at an huge medical expenses but they are still young and the odds are stacked against them so we will see.  This is the truth with any special needs..you don't know.

So I write this as an adopted parent of special needs children, please this Christmas think about donating to Yana's account.  She needs it and her forever family needs it.  They will be eternally grateful for it. 

We are all called to care for the orphan. That can be adoption or it can be helping and supporting those who do adopt.

Will you help support this Christmas? 

If anything please click over to Life Rearranged and read Jeannett's words about Yana and her fundraiser.  And if that is not enough Jeannett is also doing a.m.a.z.i.n.g giveaway

Make Christmas Count this year. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Always a Handful Here

A handful of pure, unadulterated, yummy goodness, that is. Here's the image for Nana and Papa's Christmas card...

 
Sometimes nutty, always sweet...
 
L-R: Sam, David, Hannah, AJ (orange), William (yellow), Serafina, Jonathan, Matteo.
 
Here's our Christmas Letter.
 
 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Parenting in a Fish Bowl

Part of compound living is the feeling of living in a fish bowl or as I see it parenting in a fish bowl.
 

You know that statement that goes something like no one knows what happens behind closed doors.  Well here at the compound we don't have doors that close:

We have revolving ones.

And as much as I love it, and I do love it, I wouldn't change it for the world because those week that Matt is gone all week long on business it means having conversation with an adult and well just seeing someone over four feet.  Priceless.  But it also means that someone is always watching.

And because I am neurotic and want to be perfect..all the time...it makes for an interesting conversation in my head.

Take this week for example, at the beginning of the week I was under the weather and Matt was out of town all I wanted to do was crawl in my bed and watch Christmas movies. All day long with or with out my children their choice.  Forget about dishes, clutter, laundry, they will wait.   But then I realize if I choose this everyone will come in the house and see me being lazy (weather they think that or not my brain goes there).  Plus my parents will come home and ask what I did all day, especially when I offer up toaster waffles for dinner.  And I feel like I have to do something productive.

Then there are the moments that your kids leave you totally dumbfounded and you have no idea how to parent them or you want to implement a new house policy. So you read up on the latest techniques, internet search until your eyes bug out, pin ideas, and come up with a new plan.  You executed said plan and it fails miserably and if you didn't feel like a major fail you then realize that everyone and their brother was watching you and have a suggestion on how to do better next time. Fish bowl

Enter in self imposed need to be perfect, and I can totally stress myself out.  But then I think:  Do fish have these types of debate is their head. "I don't think I am swimming right perhaps that human would prefer if I swam my circles 3/4 of an inch from the top of the water instead of 1 inch.  Do they think my fins look fat when I eat that extra food they put in my water?" 

So I have had to adjust my need to show the world how perfect I am and embrace my life in the fish bowl.  Realize that the world is going to see me parent well and parent horribly not-so-well.  And everyone is going to give me ideas and critic but no one is judging,  just helping.

 And my kids, no mater what will always be loud, crazy and wild, constantly splashing water out of the bowl. 

In the end even though their are lots of opinions that go around, I love our life in the fish bowl because my kids get so many people support them, so many new and different ideas, and so so so much love it is crazy!!! 

And lastly with so many people watching we might just cut down on ER trips.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Great Pumpkin Roll of 2012

The tradition continues...


All the photos: http://JF2.com/121124/


Funny

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I saw this and died.
 
Seriously died, I was laughing so hard.
 
Do you know how many times we are asked, when out and about with our brood, if we know how babies are made.
 
I seriously want to print out a few of these bad boys and hand them to people!! LOL
 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Two Thanksgivings

One in the morning with Trevor, Jen, William, and Hannah.


And one in the afternoon with the Regusci clan.


All the photos: http://JF2.com/121122/

Sunday, November 18, 2012

More to it than Singing and Limping

Serafina is quickly learning that there's more to being Tiny Tim than singing and limping and delivering a couple lines. That's just the beginning. There's make-up (thanks Mom!). There's ushering the patrons to their seats. How do you  see the table numbers when you're only 4 feet tall? And bussing ("busting," as she says) tables during the intermission following your show. Have you seen how big those tubs are?! What a super experience she's getting at the Great American Melodrama! Here are some photos: http://jf2.com/121117/


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Energy Issues at the Compound

There are two diametrically opposed energy effects of rainy day weather at the Compound... The kids have too much of it, and the solar panels get too little of it. But, never fear...

Here's how to burn off kid energy:

As for lack of solar energy, switch to pumpkin power:

It's just as well that the first weekend the solar panels are in place there's no sun. The system isn't hooked up yet anyway. But, they look good, eh:

And yes, that vertical-looking driveway to the right is the location of the annual Great Pumpkin Roll, coming up soon!...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Little Girl

Serafina, my little girl, had her opening night for the Melodrama.

All day long I was giddy, I was nervous, I was sentimentally, I was excited. What was she feeling?

My Serafina, who made me a mother for the first time.


 
 My one and only girl.

How I prayed that she be a boy because in my young 22yr old mind I thought all little girls needed a big brother so my first had to be a boy.



 
But oh how I rejoiced when she was a girl. Little did I know that God would provide her with a big brother and that she would be the only girl.



 
She has always been independent, strong willed and sweet.

And tonight at 7years old, she step out on stage in front of a huge audience, with no fear in sight, and played Tiny Tim. From a little solo song to the final line of the play.

She didn't need me by her side. She didn't want me by her side.

My mommy heart swelled with pride and cried with tears.

Where did my baby go?


 
She is amazing, she is strong, she is unstoppable.


I thank God for her everyday.

She will always be my little girl. My one little girl. My baby who made me a mom.



Serafina: Fiery Angel
 
 
I am so proud of you.







Opening Night

Can we be any more proud?! Serafina did very well tonight, Wassail solo and all! The best part was how well the adult actors spoke of working with her. You can see from the pics that she helped usher people in at the beginning and the Melodrama had her picture in one of the marquis windows outside!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tiny Tim

Presenting Tiny Tim
 
 
Tomorrow is opening night!!!  I am so excited to go see the our Tiny Tim.  All the rehersals are closed which means no parents allowed.  So after weeks of rehersal I get to see my baby on stage for the first time!!!  So so so excited.
 
If you want to go see her click here for a list of her perfromance dates!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

First Family Vaction with the Twins.

A few weeks after Jonathan came home from the hospital we set off to Tahoe with all the kids in tow to celebrate the 4th of July and Noni's birthday with Matt's family.  The vacation had been planed long before the twins made their surprise appearance.  So after getting the go ahead from all our doctors we loaded down the 12 passenger van for our 6hr + drive with 6 kids and headed off. 

Never in a thousand years did we think our week would include this -


 
 An evening helicopter ride (thanks Cal star, seriously amazing people) for young Jonathan because he decided to turn blue.

 It was our third day up in Tahoe and he seemed a little off to me. I called our doctor at home and explained what was going on we adjusted a few of his meds and he told me what to watch for. 

Everything was going along fine until just before dinner both Matt and I noticed his color go from pink to blue. 

Matt and I rushed him to the local hospital. (which I all ready had mapped out, the joys of preemie parenting you know where the closest medical personnel is at all times)

We pulled up to the ER and I ran in with Jonathan and from there it was all so surreal.  I walked through the ER doors and never stopped.  There wasn't any paperwork filling out, or waiting for your name to be called.  We walked by all those sitting in the waiting room, for once in my life I wanted to be one of those people waiting, not urgent, not life threatening just a stitch or two. 

But no my baby wasn't getting oxygen and was 5lbs which meant they took us straight back, were my little boy was surround by 5+ doctors and nurse working on him, they were throwing out questions to me and I was calling back answers.  Answers I didn't know I had in me, words I didn't know I knew.  They were trying hard as they could to get an IV line in but couldn't because all his veins were shot from the days he spent in the NICU.  They were trying everything they could to get his oxygen stats up but didn't have any of the right equipment for such a little guy.

Matt came through the doors and stood at the edge of the room clinging to David.  Trying to sort out paperwork and insurances. Shocked by what was going on.

 And that is when the doctor told us they had to transfer him to Renown Childerns Hospital to their PICU...fast... by helicopter.

They also had to get an IV and the only way was to put an Intraosseous Cannulation, basicly they put a huge needle into is tibia to put meds into his marrow since they couldn't get an IV line.  (yes he has a scar)

 I was a mess. 

Nurses who were suppose to get off their shifts stay on to be by our sides.  Doctors flew in and out of the room.  And then in came the flight crew.

They talked me through what would happen and how long the flight would take and that the helicopter was to small for me to go with him.  Once again we would have to leave him in the skilled hands of the medical professionals.  They let us walk him to the helicopter and stay with him until the helicopter door closed then we stood just off the pad and watch him take off.

Rip my heart out, throw it on the floor and stomp on it.  I cried.

I told him later there are less dramatic ways to go about asking for a helicopter ride. 


The hospital we were flown to in Reno, Nevada.  What an awesome hospital.  The nurses and doctors were awesome and totally accommodating to the new parents of twins in a different state with their other four kids in Tahoe.  The PICU doctor called us after the flight crew deliveried Jonathan and told us he was stable and doing fine.  I can't explain how great they all were.



The amazing home the hospital put us up in for the 3 days we spent there. (The first night we all slept in the hospital me in the room with Jonathan and Matt in a special room with David just outside the PICU doors but we couldn't keep that up).  Seriously if there was ever a charity to donate to this is one of them.  This house was right next to the hospital we could walk back and forth in minutes.  They provided us home cooked meals at night and just all around support anything we needed was basically at our finger tips from hot showers and toiletry items to cribs, swings, and toys for David.  It gave us comfort being so far from and yet we were just steps from Jonathan.


Thanks to Nana, for driving to Reno to stay with Jonathan, David, and me so Matt could get back to our other four kids in Tahoe.  (And of course a shout out all of Matt's family who not only packed our bags, load the car (including peanut m&m) while we were at the ER, but didn't even bat an eye to keeping our 4 bigs in Tahoe for an unknown amount of time) 


Not just any Starbucks but one in the hospital, steps away from the peds unit.  Bigger then any of the Starbucks here at home.  Seriously life saver after being up for over 36hr and not wanting to leave your babies bedside.  Bank.


 The 'copper that flew my baby parked outside the hospital the next day.


And lastly the little guy that caused all the this drama!  Jonathan all wrapped up in the PICU.  A heart ultrasound, chest x-ray, multiple blood test, and oxygen support they decide the high altitude and a small cold made the perfect storm for his lungs to just not absorb enough oxygen.  After a day we were transferred to the regular peds floor and 2 days later after consulting with doctors there and our pediatrician at home the choice was made to send us home with Jonathan on oxygen and wean him off slowly at home.  Otherwise we were looking at a week or so in Reno until they could wean him off there in the hospital. We learned how to work the oxygen tanks and all the tubes and they sent us home ending our first family vacation with the babies!!
 


 
How was your last family vacation?