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 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:


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:

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:

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 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?

Friday, November 9, 2012


The number 6 seems so harmless. 

We have been 6 Regusci's for 2 years now.

It is simply 1 more then 5.

It is half a dozen.

Harmless right?

Unless it is 6 kids.

That all belong to you.

The other day after church Matt and I decide to walk to downtown with our 6 kids and have lunch.  We quickly learned that we were the highlight of many people.  It started with us crossing the crosswalk and man walking towards us was verbally, as in out loud, counting "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6!"  As we passed Sam said "He just counted us!"  Yes yes he did.

Then as we were sitting eating our lunch, in which the kids were well behaved, every body in the store was literally staring at us.  And not the we are trying not to stare at you stare but blatantly staring.  As if having 6 kids gives other the right to watch you.  Matt even caught the eyes of a few people who smiled, "yeah were staring at you smiles" It seriously cracked me up to no end. 

Their kids people. 

Kids in stair step birth order.

Not sextuplets just bothers and sisters with parents.

Small Humans.

I guess it is official we are the family with ALL those kids. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What? You Adopted?

The phrase we have heard the most since adopting the boys is:

"I didn't know you were looking to adopted!"

To which I respond:

"Neither did I"

We were not looking to adopt.   But God had other plans and through a bunch of random coincidences in life we found ourselves once again heading down the road of adoption.

The short story of how this came to be: Three years ago we change churches.  I decided to take the nursery job at our church. Though the church and my job I become good friends with others who foster and adopt.  We decided to form an adoption/foster support group. (my eldest is adopted).  One day someone mentioned that they heard a set of twins in need of a home, just a passing comment in the middle of a conversation about foster care.

But that comment sat with me and sat with me.  And I prayed and talked with Matt and prayed and then....

I sent an e-mail the adoption agency and two weeks later we were chosen by the birth parents to adopt their babies.   

So in away I feel like adoption choose us.   Matt and I have always been open to growing our family in what ever way God presents and it is amazing what He will do.

It really was all so fast it is kind of a blur. 

The babies were born at 25wk and through a variety of unfortunate circumstances the birth parents who love the boys dearly made the best decision for the babies and that was adoption.  The rest of that story is for my boys. 

But by this point the boys were 2 months and the NICU was desperate to get a family in their holding the babies, loving on them and learning how to care for them before they were discharged.   And that's were we came in.

Matt holding Jonathan for the first time

Within days we went from no thought of adoption to daily visits to the NICU, filling out an incredible amount of paper work, scraping together the finances and preparing our house not only for bring home twins but also to be certified as a foster home for the in term between the babies being released and our adoption paperwork being filled out and filed (totally complicated since we didn't have a home study or anything).

Nana holding both boys for the first time (until now she had only held one at a time)
Aunt Karlee came along to hospital to help hold babies too!
Mama holding Jonathan with no tubes or oxygen for the first time.  Still had monitors but this was a big day!!!

There were so many sleepless nights I am surprised we survived, but we did get the house ready and the paper work done in time for David's release from the hospital.  Which then presented a whole new set of problems.  With one twin home and one twin at the NICU I was now having to leave one to go see the other.  And not just anyone could or wanted to watch my little 5lb baby that seemed more breakable then he was.   

Since the kids are not allowed in the NICU this was the first time they got to meet David.

But God is good and two weeks later we brought Jonathan home and with that started our "private" life as a family of 8.  Because we were under foster care laws we couldn't share the babies with the world yet. 
David and  Jonathan together at home!!

And that was the beginning of our 5 months on the roller coaster that is adoption.

The Birds, the Bees... and the Seeds?

Today I was running errands with Serafina and Matteo... The two of them got into a discussion about where babies come from.  Serafina, with all of the knowledge and authority of a seven-year-old, informed Matteo: “If you are a girl you have tiny seeds inside of you.  As you grow, the seeds grow.  Then one day the seed cracks open and a baby is born!  We were all seeds in Mommy’s tummy. I was the first one to crack open, then you, then AJ.”  “Oh, I see,” exclaimed Matteo.  Then he asked, “Are there any more seeds in Mommy?” Serafina responded, “Only God knows that,” then looked at me with an expression asking for affirmation.  What can a Nana do with that conversation? Just smile knowing that Serafina’s answer is perfect for their concrete minds – out of the mouths of babes!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

All Aboard! for Matteo's Birthday

Serafina was the first to point out, in a rather disgusted tone, that this was the 5th year in a row of celebrating Matteo's birthday riding trains. Smart cookie, that Matteo!

All the photos:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Our Secret Revealed

We've been keeping a secret.

(From the world-wide-web.)

Don't worry, it's a good secret.  (Are there good secrets?!?)

Some of you have all ready clued into it.

It's awesome news.

And we can share it today!

Them, not it. 

They're two little boys. 

Two sweet sweet little twin boys whom Matt and I started to visit in the NICU 7 months ago.  We fell in love and brought them home.   It's been a long, crazy, exciting, heart wrenching journey up to this point, which we will share with you over the next few months, but today we signed the official adoption papers in front of the judge so we can officially share the boys with you. Finally.

Without further ado, the newest members of the Regusci Clan:

Jonathan and David Regusci
1lb 12oz and 2lbs
12inch long
(pictured at age 6 months)
First trip to the pumpkin patch

Tracy with the boys in the NICU the boys are 3 months here.

Serafina holding David for the first time.
Jonathan tube free in the NICU for the first time! 
He came home a few weeks later.

All the kids on the 4th of July.

All the kids at the pumpkin patch.

Our happy "little" family.