Monday, January 31, 2011

Mommy Guilt

For about a week now, I've been feeling pretty crappy.  We had a birthday party for the twins and I think 8 or 9 total people have gotten some form of flu like symptoms.  The worst part is that over the weekend, not only was I sick, but so was my husband.  So here we were 3 kids, healthy no symptoms of anything like anyone else had, and 2 miserable parents.  I am trying so hard not to have tv on so much, but with being sick, I feel like that's what we've had to use for somewhat of babysitting.  I am hoping that what ever illness I have left is leaving my  body very quickly.  I want to have energy to play with my kids.  I don't want to be afraid that they'll get sick too and we'll just keep passing it back and forth.  I want the nice weather to come so that I can open the windows and breath fresh air, take the kids to the park, go for walks, etc.  But for now, we have another snow storm coming that seems to be planning on dumping about another foot at least in our area.  I really need to feel better soon, so that this mommy guilt of not spending enough time with my kids goes away and I can plan for some fun times with the kids even if we are snow bound!  And I want the energy to cook good healthy food.  I don't want to feed them sandwiches all the time.

Spring please come soon!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


We had the twin's birthday party last Sunday and since then, found out that at least 8 maybe 9 people have had flu like symptoms.  My sister in law called Monday to say that she and her husband were sick and that she hoped that the little ones didn't get sick.  Wouldn't you know,  just a couple of days later, I ended up with 100 degree fever and cold symptoms.  Then I found out 3 other people were sick.  Things seemed to be just a 24 hour illness for me, that is until Friday night when I basically came home from work, put the kids to bed and went to bed myself.  I spent pretty much all day yesterday sleeping and resting with a fever again.  I should have gone to bed earlier than I did, but I think I have finally kicked the fever.  Now I just need to get over the cough and the congestion.  The worst is now my husband has it.  I never realized how tough it would be to have kids and be sick.  Thankfully, my body seems to know when I have help and seems to only get really sick on the weekend.

I can't wait for winter to be over.  I am tired of the illness, tired of the snow, tired of the cold.  I just want to be able to open the windows and enjoy the nice fresh air!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Yes, I know, not another posting about sleep!  As usual, we are having horrible sleeping in this house!  Michael, who will be 3 in March and who has never slept well, is getting better with going to sleep, but continues to be horrible with staying asleep.  We put him to bed, and soon after he gets out and plays in his room.  There are very few toys in there, but he definitely finds things to play with.  We've been letting him play for a short time, and then we go in and put him back in his bed.  For the last couple of days, this has really worked out.  The biggest problem is him sleeping through the night.  We decided, ok I accepted that I need to do CIO (cry it out).  This morning, I can't remember the time, we started CIO at my husband's prompting.  He finally fell asleep and slept on the floor.  I am hoping that with consistency, he will start to go to bed easily and sleep through the night.

The twins, who just turned 2 this past Sunday, have been great sleepers pretty much from the beginning.  Now, Thomas fight going to sleep, but letting him CIO for a short time usually works.  Eva Rose, usually falls asleep quickly, but then has been waking in the middle of the night screaming!  I have been bad with getting her up for a short time, but then I put her back in her crib and let her CIO.  It's not as short as for thomas, but shorter than  for Michael.  I think this is why I have an easier time doing CIO with the twins.  they seem to respond quicker.  Michael can cry for what seems like forever and it kills me.  I have hearing him cry to the point of almost making himself sick. I know I need to do it and i know that i need to be consistent with it.  He's almost 3 and he needs to start sleeping.  I need to start sleeping.

If anyone has suggestions for dealing with CIO in toddlers, I would very much appreciate it.   I know that consistency is key, and that is my goal.  We started CIO this morning and I need to continue it with all 3 kids!  Any other sleep suggestions are very much welcome!

A sleep deprived Amy

Monday, January 24, 2011

Makes My Monday: Play Date and Mommy's Crafting

Even though it was absolutely frigid, I took the kids on a planned play date with another friend who has twins.  The kids got to play together and the mom's got to be a little creative for the girls!  Next time we get together, we are going to try a craft for the boys!  I love the little tutu that we made!  Quick and easy and no sew and the kids were around playing with each other!

Getting out of the house on a frigid winter day, getting the kids to play with other kids, and getting so,me crafting with another twin mom totally makes my Monday!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Eva Rose and Thomas

I can't believe that 2 years ago, I gave birth to two little babies who were only about 4 1/2 pounds each.  Look at you now!  Your still my tiny little toddlers, but you have grown so much!  We had a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends!  In just the past few months you have changed and grown so much.  I can't believe how much more you are talking!  I love to hear any words that you say.  I love when I am changing your diaper or just carrying you, you out of the blue start pointing to body parts and start naming them.  Just 4 months ago you had no idea what each body part was.  I love how cute you sound when you name animals and start making their sounds.  I love when you ask for more and you use word and sign.  You each have your own special personality and I love how different you are!

Happy birthday my twinnies (as my cousin said her grandmother used to call her twins)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

way Back When-esday: 2 years ago

My twins will be turning 2 on Sunday.  I can't believe I've been the mom of 3 kids for 2 years now.  It seems like just yesterday that I was praying that they would not be born too early.  The first few weeks of their life were tough with the RSV.  I was looking at pictures the other night and was so amazed at how much they have changed!  They were so young and so sick back then, but here we are 2 years later and they are healthy active 2 year olds.  Happy Birthday Babies!

Eva Rose Reid Fratto born 1/23/2009 at 11:44pm 4 pounds 7 ounces 17 3/4 inches

Thomas Orlando Fratto born 1/23/2009 at 11:45 pm 4 pounds 8.9 ounces 17 inches

Cuddling with each other the day after they were born

2 days old double swaddled and 2 hats on just to keep warm!

On Sunday, for a month and a half, I will have 3 two year olds!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Children Teach Us

I think my children are here to teach me to slow down and not to expect things to happen on certain time frames.  They are here to teach me patience and I'm sure much more.

One of my recent posts was about starting to potty train Michael.  This has not gone well at all and I was starting to feel like I was doing something wrong because I couldn't get him to pee on the potty.  I posted a question to my twins group and so did another mom.  Most people responded that kids will train when they are ready not on your time line.  That made me stop and think about my life.  I need to stop and slow down and not expect that everything happens when I want it to happen, but when it's meant to happen.  My kids walked when they were ready, they are talking on their time frame, they will be out of diapers when they are ready.  Life takes time and I need to be patient and let it  happen

I can't wait to see what else my kids will teach me as life goes on!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Wonderland

Here is MA, we got a ton of snow.  I think there was about 24" according to the news.  Yesterday, daddy spent most of the day snow blowing our yard and about 4 of our neighbors.  Since we've had our dog, about 7 years, he has snow blowed a path for the dog.  This year, it is also for the kids.  This was our second storm of the season.  The first time, none of the kids would keep their mittens on, so we had to go back inside within just minutes.  This time, Eva Rose had new mittens and I made some make shift mittens for the boys.  All three kids kept their mittens on the whole time we were out and that was about 35-40 minutes (it took about that long to get them dressed to go outside).  Here are some pictures from our outing!

My new favorite picture of Eva Rose

Thomas walking the path that daddy made

Eva Rose and Michael is the path

Eva Rose and Thomas is the path

Three kids walking together in the path in the backyard

Michael and Eva Rose heading out back while Thomas hangs back by the back door

In the sled last year

Last year snow suits

Keep warm,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ENT Update

I've written that we are bringing both Michael and Eva Rose for an ENT appointment in one week.  Eva Rose has an issue with fluid in her ears and we think Michael is having an issue with enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids.  My first thought, when I heard about these issues, was what ever is recommended by the ENT is what we will do.  There are so many things that this may be effecting, such as: sleep, hearing, breathing, speech and others.  Tom on the other hand wanted to take a moer wait and see approach.

Tom had an appointment today with one of his specialists that he really thinks highly of and he mentioned the issues that we are dealing with in regards to the kids.  This doctor said not to do anything right away.  He thinks that there could be an issue with dairy and/or gluten.  I find this interesting since I had a blood test this past summer that showed that I have an issue with gluten and dairy.  This doctor recommended removing these food items from their diet for at least 2 weeks before we do anything.  So, as of now, we are a gluten free dairy free house.

We will not be doing anything til we evaluate removing gluten and dairy from their diet.  We are thinking that this may help with their diaper rashes also.  I have been wanting to change my eating habits for some time now, but always find myself falling back on old eating patterns.  Now that there may be a more serious issue than just my upset stomach, I am thinking that we will be more motivated to do teh right thing!

Anyone do a gluten free dairy free diet for kids?


Monday, January 10, 2011

Potty Training

So my oldest, Michael, with be three in March.  My twins are going to to be two in two weeks.  I have decided that it is time to work on one of the things I am most dreading, potty training.  Today was our first day sans diapers.  My goal is for diapers to only be on for night time.  How did today go?  Total fail.  Not one time did he do anything on the potty other than sit.  I suppose that it is a positive thing that he at least wanted to sit on the toilet, but he was more interested in flushing the toilet than anything else.  Every pair of under pants that I put on him, he soaked through.  I have been cloth diapering for the last year and a half.  I thought that it would make potty training easier, but I don't think it's made a difference in that regard.  I am not ready to give up on potty training yet.  It's only been one day, and I am hoping that he will start to get it sooner than later.  The other thing that is spurring this on, is that he is going to be evaluated for public school pre-school and I don't know if they require him to be potty trained to go or not.  I am hoping that he will qualify for pre-school and not just speech services.  I think that he will benefit from pre-school and that it will really help his speech.  But I digress.  Back to the potty training issue.  I am basically attempting to go sans diapers furing the day with offering him the potty often and even just bringing him and sitting him on it.  I know that there are more formal ways to potty train, but for now, it's how I am going about it.  If anyone has any other resources, please, please let me know.  I have the info on the 3 day potty training guide and may do that if my way doesn't work out.  It's just so hard with 2 others.  I am not looking forward to doing this two more times!


Friday, January 7, 2011


On the medical front, we will be spending our morning of the 18th of this month at Children's Hospital Peabody.  Our first appointment is for Eva Rose to evaluate the fluid in her ears.  She has had fluid in her ears for the last 3 months that hasn't changed, if anything, it's gotten worse.  Thankfully, we have not had any resulting ear infections.  I am almost hoping that the doctor recommends tubes because, all the feedback that I have gotten about tubes has been very positive.  I have heard so many people say that their child's speech has improved immensely after having tubes.  I don't know if it will be our case, but the fact that it has made a huge difference in everyone that I have talked to makes me feel really positive about the outcome. 

The next appointment is for Michael.  I have had some concerns about his breathing at night and I have inally done something about it.  For a little while, I thought that maybe I was hearing things, but now my mom and my husband have heard issues with Michaels's breathing.  So, I contacted his doctor and he was seen.  The doctor felt that it would be appropriate to have hime seen by an pediatric ENT. Given that he snores, he sleeps horrible and always has, is a mouth breather and breathes loudly, and I think may even have some issues with apnea, he is being evaluated for enlarged tonsils and adenoids.  The doctor that examined him did notice that, even though it was in the middle of a gag, there was a lot of soft tissue around his tonsils and uvula with little airway.  Michael was not cooperative with the exam at all.  Again, I am almost hoping that there is an issue that can be fixed with surgery.  I am hoping that for his sake and our family, that we can fix his sleep problem.  I'm sure that some of it is behavioral, but until I get him medically cleared, I do not feel comfortable with doing CIO or another form of sleep training.  If there is nothing wrong with his tonsils or adenoids, I will most likely ask for a sleep eval at Children's because Michael has not ever really slept through the night.  We have had short periods where he has, but it has never lasted more than at the most a week.  Also, if he has issues with his tonsils or adenoids and breathing, it may also contribute to his speech delay.

It is so amazing to me that 2 out of our 3 children may have an ENT issue.  I have really only ever had swimmer's ear when it comes to ear infections and ENT issues and I don't think my husband was ever really prone to ear infections or other ENT issues.  My dad did have major issues with his ears and 2 of my sisters have had tubes and one of them has had pretty severe ENT issues.  My niece has also had enlarged tonsils and adenoids and had them removed when she was 5.  I am just waiting for the shoe to drop and to find out that Thomas has some issue.  I really shouldn't complain.  These issues are not all that significant, although Michael's breathing could be.  I really don't have sick kids.  As horrible and scary as the RSV was, and I will probably always be traumatized from having my son rushed to Children's because he was declining so fast as well as watching my daughter on a vent for 6 days, we have been really lucky.  I wouldn't wish RSV on anyone especially when they are so  little, but I have, overall, really healthy kids.  I just want to get to the bottom of these issues and have them finalized and hope that after all is said and done, my kids speech will explode, Michael's sleep will improve as well as his overall breathing, and we will all be healthy again!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Doctor Visits

In the almost three years that I have had children, except for a yeast issue with Michael right after the twins were born and RSV with the twins and then one related ER trip months later, we have only needed to see the doctor for well baby visits.  I have felt extremely lucky that we have not had more illness requiring doctor visits.  Now I feel that we are having pretty significant issues, though not serious, may be impacting my kids more than I ever realized.

Since all three kids have had a significant speech delay, we have had them evaluated by early intervention.  EI recommended that they all have a hearing test to rule out that hearing loss is an issue for the speech delay.  All three kids speech delay is unrelated to hearing loss.  I've already written about having Eva Rose evaluated for fluid in her ears.  Now, I am thinking that Michael may need to see an ENT.  Michael has never been a good sleeper.  He snores louder than an adult at times.  My husband, my mother, and I have all heard what we think is apnea.  I mentioned this to his EI worker, who is a speech therapist, and she said that if he is having sleep apnea issues, which could be related to his adenoids or his tonsils or both, that could be affecting his speech.  She said that if she knew about this issue early, she would have recommended an ENT eval months ago.  I had no idea that this could be related to his speech.  We are seeing the doctor tomorrow and I hope that she agrees that we should see an ENT.  I absolutely want to rule out that Michael's sleep issues and speech issues aren't related to adenoids or tonsils or both! 

I new that his breathing could be having an impact on his sleeping, but I never even thought about it being related to his speech and it make so much sense that it could.  His EI worker said that every time we talk, we need to stop breathing.  She said in kids with breathing issues, as a means of survival, they don't talk as much.  Where he is so young, he probably isn't able to verbalize the issue.  He certainly also seems congested at times, even during the day, but there is no other evidence of a cold.  Michael is certainly improving with his single words, but has not really put two words together.  If breathing is an issue, then I can certainly see why he is speaking in only one word sentences.  If anyone has any information about sleep apnea in kids or enlarged adenoids and tonsils and how it relates to sleep and speech, I would appreciate it being passed on.


Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Family/Me Goals

In the spirit of the new year, I am going to set some goals for myself that I hope will make life a little more sane for me and my family.  I have come to realilze that without a schedule, albeit a flexible schedule, I tend to feel a little out of control.  If mom's feeling a little out of control, imagine how the kiddos feel? 

My Goals to Help Me Be A Better Mom
  • Make sure that there is something scheduled for the kids to do every day (story time, library, park on nice days, indoor play areas if possible)
  • Have a plan in place for the day
  • Make sure that nap/quiet time happens
  • Make time to clean and organize the house
  • Make a weekly, if not monthly dinner plan
  • Schedule some creative time for me
  • Try to schedule playdates for the kids (and for me too)
These are just a few of my goals that I hope will help me be less crazy and more fun.  The last 5 years have been a whirlwind: grandmother'sdeath, grad school, engagement, moving, grad school graduation, wedding, husabnd miserable due to his job, selling a house, pregnancy and mother in law's death in the same month, bed rest for 6 weeks, twins pregnancy 3 months after giving birth to my older son, husband finally gets a new job and is so much happier, bed rest 3 months, 5 weeks premature twins, both twins in NICU with RSV, leaving my job after 10 years, buying a house, going back to work part time, and life as a family of 5.

I have very slowly realized that I need to have a plan in place for me to feel comfortable and not overwhelmed.  After looking over all that has happened in the last 5 years, I am amazed that I am actually as sane as I am (not that it's saying much).  I like order.  I don't like to be completely rigid, but I do like to feel someehat organized, and when I'm not, I get totally overwhelmed and I can't get back there easily.  So, my goal is to slowly start getting things back in order so that there is a plan to my day.  I figure if I do things slowly, I won't get overwhelmed and give up like I usually do.  My goal is to make changes that will last, not changes that happen for a short time and end up getting forgotten about because it is just all too much.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Review in Pictures

It's amazing how much the kids changed over the last year.  One year ago, the twins weren't walking, now they are running everywhere!  I love going through the picture and reminiscing about the things that have happened, the changes that have happened, and how we have all changed physically over the past year!

Eva Rose 1st Birthday

Thomas 1st Birthday

Michael enjoying the frosting from the twins birthday cake


Enjoying a winter day at the park


Happy 2nd Birthday Michael

Eva Rose enjoying Michael's cake

Mommy and Thomas


Crazy hot day in April!


All 3 in one picture and all smiling!


Father's day picture


Running at the park


Rockport with Daddy


Patriot's Opening Day Family Picture


Halloween 2010


Sitting together nicely instead of fighting!

Crazy sleeping positions!



First outing in the snow for 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!