Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December!!

I know I have been super lazy with the posts lately, but we've been busy girls!!

First, a Happy, happy (belated) Thanksgiving to all of our family and friends in the US! We REALLY missed you guys.... I was thinking of cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner here, but the holiday crept up on me, I was thinking I had one more week... So when it came and went, I lost the energy to do the meal..

Valentina has had three vaccines this month, and as of last week, she weighed a whopping 5.5 kilos!! That's 12 lbs 2 oz!! Mama's big baby!! She survived her shots like a champ, only a few minutes of blood-curling screams... Nothing an afternoon of snuggles and sugar water on a pacifier couldn't cure. Baby is now suffering through her first serious cough/ cold. She is only fussier at night, when she is stuffed up and hungry and sleepy and can't figure out which is her biggest complaint, as she won't/ can't eat/ nurse because she is stuffed up. We made a relatively quick trip to the Pediatric ER at Hospital de Santa Maria (where baby was born/ where we were advised to go) and pretty much as I expected... Nothing to really do, just wait and see. We had a little barfy incident the other night, from what I think was too much baby nasal saline solution... It was pretty gross, especially when she did it again the next day (or 2 days later?) all over me/ my 2nd clean bathrobe/ my bedspread just as I was waking Victor up... "Here is your regurgitated breast milk covered child- good morning!!" Other than that, we are just waiting until the cough goes away.. Hopefully as soon as possible!! It is nerve- wracking to see her cough.. Especially when she is eating...

But!! Last week, Valentina rolled over!! First big milestone!!! She was on her belly, between my legs on my bed. I had just changed a diaper, and her pajamas had the snaps on the back butt flap. And ploop! Rolled onto her back!! Clearly it was an accident, but I was thrilled nonetheless.

Bianca and I set up our Christmas tree last night, and after filming for 24 hours straight, Vic came home to a cheery, decorated living room! Now I just need to remember where I put those stocking I got for Vic & Bia last year... the house is in semi- chaos.... Sick baby means extra snuggle time, even less productivity on my part... My goal is to have the house "set up" by new years. All those house things I still need to do, like hang photos, install bathroom cabinets, reorganize the garage do I can have a proper laundry room... I am just too nervous about drilling through concrete walls... No dry wall in Portugal.. It makes hanging photos waaaay more difficult.

And my Tank is in the shop.. On my way to roller derby practice Thursday night, the driver side window dropped, when I was paying the toll for the bridge. I had to drive all the way to practice with my window fully opened, leave it open for the 2 hour practice, and of course, it rained the whole way home. Of course! Of course! Only me!!

Today's agenda: pancakes, omelets, and banana bread (special for hubby), then bath for the three Castro girls, supermarket, butcher, laundry, laundry, maybe make my stuffed cannelloni with a Cobb salad? Mmmmmm. So by the way, a few weeks ago I made Cobb salad. Bianca thought I was a genius. What kid asks for more salad??! Poor, poor deprived child, there are no "meal" salads here... Huge hindrance to Dieting in Portugal. Speaking I'd which... I have been super- slacking on the post- baby pork-off. Skating is great, but I need to up the workouts at home more and watch what I out in my trap.. :D stuffed cannelloni for dinner, what? Haha my fitness goal for 2013 is to run a full marathon, and to look better at 30 than I did at 20. Not that I am anywhere NEAR turning Dirty Thirty. I will be turning 25 again in May, and I plan to be 115 lbs of cut steel. With boobs. Ha!!! Ok. More thoughts on fitness/ running/ skating/ turning 25 again in future posts... But for now... Photos!!!

Oh!! Be sure to checkout my roller derby team! LIKE us on Facebook!!

And follow us on Instagram!! #7HCRLISBON

Mama Jax. Aka 'Edna Gutter.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Back to the grind!

It's Monday afternoon and baby and I are home from the hospital. She is sorta fussing in her bouncy chair, I am pumping.. We had a checkup with a doctor who I am not entirely sure who she was, and I can't remember how to spell her department, do I can't translate it into English... BUT she asked a bunch of questions and did a little exam on our baby girl, and concluded everything was just "óptimo!" Valentina has amazing head control and neck strength, she pushes herself up like a champ, she is getting closer to sitting every day! Baby has great eye coordination, her grip with those pudgy little paws is great, and even when you hold her so that she can "stand," it's perfect. The doctor was explaining to her intern that THIS is what you want to see! Our perfect little girl!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy 6 months, Boom- Boom!

Thursday, November 8th was our sweet little baby's 6 month birthday! It's hard to believe that half a year ago, I had already been hospitalized for a week before having an emergency cesarian section. Baby Valentina would spend the next 87 days in the NICU of Hospital de Santa Maria in Lisbon, Portugal. At just 726 grams (1lb 9 oz), Valentina's weight dropped to just 586 grams (1 lb 4 oz). After three blood transfusions, many rounds of antibiotics to fight several different kinds of infections, steroids, ventilators, oxygen, and more, our little baby is perfect! Nearly 3.5 months after our due date, Valentina is almost 5 kilos (11 lbs!!) and is a happy, bubbly, babbly baby who seems to be right on target with all her developmental milestones! I get chills and my stomach flips, thinking about those first few weeks, how tiny, frail and skinny she was, my sweet naked little baby bird... All pink and wrinkled... But Valentina grew. And she survived each day, stronger than the day before. I cannot begin to thank you all, for the endless love and support and prayers during this struggle, but Valentina is loving proof of the miracles that happen when love, science and prayers work together.

A very special thank you is in order, though words will never be able to properly express our gratitude to the doctors, nurses, auxiliary nurses and support staff of Hospital de Santa Maria, Unidade de Cuidados Intensivos Neonatais. The care and attention you gave to our sweet baby, while caring for me and my roller coaster of emotions... You are truly heroes to us. I know that at times baby Valentina was a better patient than I was... And my endless apologies for my less-than- stellar Portuguese, my tears, chasing you around with the same 200 questions, "what's that beeping, why is that happening, is she ok, can I have a milk kit?" and on and on and on... Your patience with me and my hysteria... I cannot thank you enough. You saved our baby. From the day that she was born until the day we took her home (plus several late night phone calls), you have been there for me, my husband and our daughter. You SAVED our baby... How can we ever begin to say thank you?
Ok! No more tears!
Now the fun stuff... PHOTOS!!!

Valentina's smile cracks me up!

her mama's costume, 28 years later.

big sister Bianca

not sure what to make of my finger puppets

roller derby baby!

helping with laundry

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


a real update this afternoon... but (a very fussy) valentina and i had to share how we are enjoying this chilly morning...

reading suri's burn book.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Morning, sunshine!

Mama: hi my little frog! good morning! what does a frog say? ribbit ribbit!!

Vivi: (huge mansized burp)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Morning

I'm about to start my pumpkin cheesecake from scratch... But as I was creeping out of my room, I snuck this quick photo... We officially have a Thumb Sucker!! I am so happy about this because just 5 months ago, the lovely NICU nurses were helping me teach Valentina to self-soothe and "reorient" herself by teaching her to suck her thumb. I've seen her do it before from time to time, but twice in two days... I feel like this is a milestone in the neurological development department.. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like it is a sign that our little miracle baby is doing beautifully (I mean, I already KNEW she was PERFECT but you know.) :D

Friday, October 26, 2012

Little Monsters

Scroll through the photos of this Blog... I think you will recognize one of these little monsters...

Halloween 1987.
"I'm a GIRL. Not a BOY!"

Friday, October 19, 2012


I just thought I'd share the 53258744 photos I took in attempts to capture Valentina's future passport photo... Hahahaha