Sunday, November 27, 2011

I must admit!!!

How much I LOVE CRAIG.  It's true.  I can't keep it a secret any longer.

I LOVE CRAIGSLIST.  I check it every day.

So, here is how today rolled out.  We all got up.  We didn't go to church as we don't get to go anymore until after B's surgery.  I got some breakfast ready, put on DORA and had Birk plop down in his bean bag chair so we could do his morning breathing treatments.  We got the first one started which takes about 25 minutes or so.  I started to smell something funny, but didn't think anything of it.  I put the 2nd vile in the machine and started it up.  I did notice that the machine was VERY hot, but again didn't think anything of it.  Started the 2nd treatment which lasts about 15 minutes.  By this time I'm REALLY smelling something weird.  About 10 minutes into the treatment the machine just shuts off.  I put my hand on it and it is so hot I feel like I've burned my hand.  I try to unplug it and check it out.  I take it into the kitchen to try and cool it off (and save the carpet so it doesn't burn).  Long story short the NEBULIZER IS TOAST.  IT IS A GONER!

Well the issue is that it is a Sunday, we NEED a nebulizer for his evening treatment and I'm stuck.  I called our pediatrician and left him a voicemail on his personal cell phone.  When I hadn't heard back from him by about 3pm I started to panic.  I decided that I would take a look at Craigslist and see if anyone was selling one.  I found 2.  One in Bondurant for about $100 and one in Urbandale for $30.  Naturally being my mothers daughter I wrote to the Urbandale people.  Good news is she wrote back.  Her nebulizer was in perfect condition, only used a few times, and she sold it to us.

It worked great tonight for his treatment and I'm so thankful.  Plus, it was a great bargain.

So, CHEERS to great deals and to Craigslist.

Off to find more bargains!  :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011


It's funny how an afternoon away with your husband can make you feel very renewed again.  We have had a great weekend (although low key ...) so far.  Friday night we grabbed some Chicken Nuggets (at Birk's request) and drove to Jolly Holiday lights.  After living in the Des Moines area for many years Nick had never been.  The kids loved it and we're actually a little sad when it ended.  :-(

We then decided to drive past our old house.  It was a bit sad, but exciting at the same time that we are now living in a much larger more beautiful home.  It was fun to see the changes that the new owners have made.  In fact as we drove by we saw football on their TV through the window.  That made me smile as I know someone is really taking care of and loving that house like we did.  In fact the new owners have replaced the roof, and fenced in the LARGE yard.  It looked great.

Today my sister and my mom came to watch the twins so that Nick and I could go see Wicked at the Civic Center.  We grabbed some dinner, a few beers and then went to the show.  It was so much fun...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Today I'm feeling quite thankful for a lot of things.  (To be honest, I'm feeling NOT so thankful for a lot of things too).  However, during this time of year I want to remind myself of the good.  :-)  Some may seem silly....but HEY, it's what I'm thankful for this 2011.

1. My FAMILY!  I'm so beyond blessed.  We're crazy, we're weird, we're loud....but man we're awesome!  :-)
2. My treadmill.  I haven't been able to run outside since we got back from Ohio and I MISS it.  At least I'm getting a daily run in.
3. To be able to function on little to no sleep.  I don't even remember what a decent nights sleep feels like.
4. Brownies in a pan WITH A FORK!  Man, what a stress reliever.
5. DVR. What a wonderful saver of my time.
6.  Our Pediatrician.  Who else lets us call him on his cell phone at any time of day.  Has even asked we call him on Thanksgiving to report on how Birk is doing (he spiked a fever last night and we're doing everything we can to make sure he stays healthy).
7.  My beautiful new kitchen.  I'm so pumped to cook my first Thanksgiving dinner.
8.  Jeggings.  I know it sounds stupid, but man they are comfortable.  
9.  That I have the most supportive mother.  She has taught me everything I know about being a mother and I can't even begin how to say Thank You!
10. THE BIGGEST THING I'M THANKFUL FOR THIS YEAR IS GOD'S GRACE AND MERCY.  God has proven to me time and time again that he has a great plan for my life, and for Birk and Addy's life.  He is going to use us in grand ways and I have to remember to shine my light and not let it burn out when things get hard or challenging.  It is in the challenge of life that brings out the true beauty of who we are!

So there you have it.  My short list of THANKS!!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Manners...or something like it!

So we are the proud parents of two very polite little toddles.

For example, read on....

Birk:  (sounding very cruddy and needing a suction)
Nick:  "Birk, do you need a suction?"
Birk:  "NOPE.  Well, yeah."  "Daddy, suction please?
Me:  "Huh?  Who asks for a suction w/ a please?"


Addy: (singing her favorite song these days). "It all about me, myself and I.  I do, I do, I do do do do do do...."
Me:  "Addy, what are you singing?"
Addy: "My Aunt Whitney's song."
Me:  "Isn't that a Colbie Caillet song?"
Addy:  "I really don't think so Mommy.  Aunt Whitney was singing it."
Me:  "Makes sense."


Nick: "Come here, I'm gonna get you.  I'm gonna hug you."
Addy:  "Too tight Daddy."
Nick:  "What?"

Birk:  "That's a basketball over there, right Dad?"
Nick:  "Yes, son it is."

That is just a small example of what it is like on NE 51st street in Ankeny!  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Boy vs. Girl

There was a crash in our house last night.  The kids were running and in the heat of the excitement ran into each other and this is the result that Addy is faced with for a few days!!  :-(

7 years... Holy Crap!

It's hard to believe that it's been 7 years that I became a married woman.  :-)  I still remember that day like it was yesterday.  The day went lightning fast.  I was so happy and remember smiling a lot.  I was SO tired when we got to the hotel that I couldn't even stay awake for the pizza that we ordered (and paid for).  I had the most fun!! 

While the last 7 years have been nothing perfect.  I wouldn't change a thing.  I've been able to spend my life with my best friend.  Purchase 2 houses.  Find a fabulous job that I love.  Have two great kids.  Great in laws.  Watch hours of football.  Travel to Florida several times.  Spend hours talking and laughing with someone who still makes me laugh and warms my heart when I see him.  

I love you with all of my heart Nick.  I feel blessed beyond words today.  

My cup runneth over!  

Friday, November 18, 2011


This is mid haircut.  To avoid the salon I decided to do it myself.  :-)  He wasn't very happy with me. 

Nothing beats a good glass of red wine.  

The finished product!  

Helping Daddy in the garage on one of our last nice days of the year.  

Our pink princess helping in the garage.  

My little smarty pants!!

I thought for this post we could just use pictures to show you what we've been up to!  :-)  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Too many cooks...

I love doctors.  I love how they save lives.  I love that they have saved the lives of the two people who mean the most to me.  With that said however, I'm stuck in a spot where I'm dealing with too many.  We have the doctors in Cincinnati telling us to do one thing, but not seeing him daily like we do.  We have our pediatrician who is hands down the best doctor around, and then we've got the nurse practitioners, the nurses and anyone else telling us what we "should" be doing.

We started Birk on a 5 day stint with Steroids again to see if that can get rid of whatever inflammation is in there.  The trouble is we won't know if it is officially gone until we are back in Cincinnati.  Because of that we are watching other signs.  His level of secretions, his cough, his breaths per minute.  Man. This. is. Overwhelming.

My kids are doing great with it.  We are pretty much stuck in the house the majority of the time.  I avoid at all costs taking them anywhere that might expose them to germs.  We have to screen each person that comes to our house or wants to see us.  (THANKS to those that have been understanding and have shown us support during this).  In fact, Birk must be so starved to get out of the house he ran to the door screaming "Bye Bye" when we went to the doctor today.  :-)

2 more weeks.  2 MORE WEEKS!  We've got to keep him healthy, work to get rid of this inflammation and prepare him for surgery!!  Deep breath for me.  I just keep telling myself "We can do this. Short term loss, long term gain!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Who would have guessed it?!?!

I actually enjoy cooking....from scratch.  Since we've been stuck day in and day out in the house with little time to get out (notice my excitement level has dropped a bit) I've spent some time reading some cook books and actually cooking for my family.  And get isn't out of a box or ordered!?!  I'm actually having fun too.  I've prepared a whole chicken (and then some chicken salad w/ the left overs), homemade pizza (w/o the store bought crust), homemade cookies (monster cookies), breakfast casserole, grilled chicken stuffed burritos and a few others dishes.  I'm also really discovering the massive number of soups and things I can cook in my crock pot.  :-)   Yeah!

I'll also add I've found a new love for my treadmill with all my latest cooking adventures!  :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Conversation with a 2 year old

So today I decided to have a conversation with Addy and I thought to myself, I will document this.  Here is how it went.

Mom:  "Addy, want to visit?"
Addy: "Not really.  Want to color."
Mom:  "Um, sure.  Can we visit while we color?"
Addy:  "I guess.  Can we have strawberry milk?"
Mom:  "Not until Dinner.  Ok?"
Addy:  "ok."
Mom: "Addy, what's your favorite color?"
Addy. "Pink.  Birky loves yellow and green."
Mom: "Great, so you love pink.  What is your favorite food."
Addy:  "Pink meat."
Mom:  "Really?  You like pink meat?"  " Is that good for you?"
Addy:  "Um, yeah pink.  I like pink princesses, pink milk, pink crayons and pink jammies."
Mom:  "Oh, ok.  What else do you want to talk about?"
Addy:  "Mommy, I just want to color.  I don't want to talk."
Mom:  "Oh, ok.   Can I have the blue crayon?"

So, as you can see...Chatting was not her thing today.  :-)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Funny Stories

Today has been a good day.  Nick got some buddies together to put up our storage units in the garage. While it isn't complete, they made some good progress.  I'm so excited.  :-)  Strange how your life changes and you get excited about different things as you grow up.  I got to spend the day with a great friend and the kids.  What could be better.

A couple funny stories from today.  Enjoy.

Nick:  "Since Addy is a girl she is a SHE, not a HE."
Birk:  "He, pushed me."
Nick:  "No Birk, Addy is a SHE."
Addy:  "I'M NOT A SHEEP!"
Birk:  "Mommy, I need to play a game."
Me:  "You want one with Mommy's phone or the iPad?"
Birk:  "I need one to learn about Hexagons."
Me: (dumb-founded) "ok."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day

Thank you go all the Veterans of the United States Military.  Your bravery and courage is remarkable.  I am forever thankful for the freedom that you help to provide.

Update on Birk.  We met with Dr. Andersen today and came up with a game plan for the next month.  While it was refreshing to try and figure out what we're going to do, it is also still a game.  There is no way for us to tell he is 100% ready for surgery. GREAT!  :-)  (Note:  the sarcasm).  So, we will do our best to track him, his breathing, his 'wheeze, and get him as ready as we can.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pity party is over....

I woke up this morning and decided that I needed to stop worrying about things that are out of my control.  I need to be MORE THAN HAPPY that they are so cautious with my little man.  I need to respect God's ultimate plan and stop telling him what I think needs to happen.  So I decided I would try a fun blog post today.  I've read these before from other blogs I follow and I always enjoy reading them.  If you care to learn a little about our on!  :-)

50 Robertson Facts

50.   We are a house divided.  
49.  We've even recruited the kids to divide.
48. We love Florida.  Most specifically we love DISNEY!  
47.  We watch Dora EVERYDAY!  
46.  Birk is a master at baseball, football and Daddy Jungle Gym time!
45.  Addy writes a song about everything she does in a day.  My favorites are at meal time.
44.  Nick taught himself to play guitar at the age of 18.  How impressive in my book. 
43.  I love to sing.  I don't do it much, but it always makes me happy.
42.  There is something so exciting about spending a Fall Saturday in a parking lot with a burger and a beer.
41.  Our extended families are the most important people in our lives.  
40.  We love Diet Mountain Dew fountain pop.  We don't take road trips w/o it. 
39.  I never thought I could be a mother to a Trache child.  I didn't think I had it in me.
38.  Nick has been the rock of this family.  Keeping a level head and always stepping in to help.
37.  I love the color green.  Only fitting my kids were born on St. Patricks Day.
36.  Nick would say the scariest day of his life was 3-17-09.  The day the twins were born.
35.  I would say the scariest day was when I found Birk not breathing on 7-11-09.  
34.  I love being an Aunt.  Best job right behind Mommy.  
33.  Our Church family is so important to us.  We couldn't be more blessed.
32.  We LOVE the Biggest Loser.  Tuesday nights are very important to us in this house.  :-)
31.  Just Dance on the Wii is awesome.  
30.  We quote movies a lot.  
29.  Birk's favorite food is Chicken Nuggets, Mac -n-Cheese.
28.  Addy's favorite food is pizza w/ green beans.
27.  My favorite meal is Sushi and a beer.
26.  Nick's favorite meal would be the same. 
25.  I can't stand pickles.  
24.  I love to run.  I especially love to run in races.  
23.  We have fabulous neighbors.  We are so lucky. 
22.  We color a lot in our house.  We have a bucket of about 1000 crayons.  It is so much fun!  
21.  I'm addicted to Scentsy Wick-less candles.  
20.  I am a stress eater.  (so you can imagine how the last week of my life has been on my diet). 
19.  I love reading People magazine.  Nick loves reading his guitar magazines.  
18.  Sunday morning worship is one of our favorite places to be.
17.  I always overpack our family for any trips that we take.  :-)
16.  I love Christmas.  I would put our Christmas tree up after Halloween every year if my husband would let me. 
15.  In our house M&M's are helping us learn out colors!
16.  November 20th is the day my grandfather died many years ago.  That is also my anniversary.  My dad told me that "I turned a bad day into a good day."  I'll never forget that. 
15.  The best sound in the world is a child's laughter.
14.  Grilled Cheese and tomato soup on a cold day might be the meal.  
13.  French fries are a staple in our house.
12.  For my 30th birthday we went to Florida and met Kenny Rogers.  Great birthday!
11.  This list has taken me almost 3 hours to complete.  I never thought it would be this hard.
10.  I've lived close to a Dairy Queen my whole life, until now!  :-( 
9.  We love heading back up to North East Iowa.  It just feels like home when we are there. 
8.  Addy loves anything pink.  She needs to eat on pink plates, use pink silverware and if she could wants pink food. 
7.  Birk could care less as long as they are his favorites (see # 29).
6.  I check Craigslist everyday.  I'm not buying anything in particular.  Just love looking.  
5.  Nick is obsessed with Fantasy football and Fantasy baseball.  Me....not so much.
4.  Friends are so important to us.
3.  We were best friends before we got married.
2.  We pray before every meal in this house.
1.  We have a strong faith in God.  He has been with us through many MANY challenging times.  He has proven to us over and over again to keep the faith and live in Grace.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back to the Grind...

It is weird to say that we are back in Iowa and back to our regular routine.  Knowing that we could have been in Cincinnati and Birk would be undergoing a life changing operation/recovery.  We know its still around the corner and we pray and are working very hard to keep him as healthy as possible.  We are excited/overwhelmed/scared etc.  again.  The same emotions we've been feeling for quite some time.

What we are doing is enjoying this time.  The kids have been SO HAPPY since we got home.  They are playing together and loving every second of their time together.  This is a blessing to us.  Watching the two of them have fun and demonstrate that they truly are BEST FRIENDS is amazing to me!

Here is a brief video from our drive home on Tuesday.  We were singing and playing in our "band."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today blows

Excuse my language.

I'm just struggling with the fact that I packed up my life for one month and now all of a sudden we are turning around and heading home. Also, yesterday as a terribly hard day for Birk. He was poked, stuck and went through so much for nothing. Plus we geet to try this again in a month. He woke up from the mess in a way we had never seen before. He was aggresive and violent and I struggled in the worst way. Poor man. I was so sad we had to let him go through that. :-(.

I also feel terrible for those that made the trip and spent money and put miles on their cars only to return with us. What a let down.

So we are on or way home to unpack, and figure out where to go next.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Here are just a few shots from our LONG trip this week!

Where to even begin

The shock is over.  The tears are gone.  We've gotten to the point that we've accepted the fact that we are not going home this time with a trache free child.

The ENT was not happy with the way his airway looked today.  His exact words were something like "its red and angry."  However, later after talking to the Pulminologist they decided that it wasn't 'as bad' as we were originally told.  What my fear was that it would be the same issue w/ scheduling that we had in the beginning.  However, as we were getting settled in (for what we thought was an overnight visit) the scheduling office called and told us we would be returning for a surgery on December 8th.  So, at least its on he books.  :-)  Bad/not horrible news is that we will now be spending Christmas in Cincinnati.  We have been told how wonderful it is for the kids.  Just means we won't have our Christmas traditions like we normally do.  However, for the ultimate will be worth it!

So, I sign out. I'm exhausted.  I'm sad.  I'm happy Birk is happy.  I'm not looking forward to the ride.  I'm still faithful and strong.  I know God will do what is right for my boy.  God is good.

November 7th is here

What a surreal day!  We've waited this long for the day to come, and we've hoped and prayed he would be ready...and he is.

After our initial visit with the Anesthesiologist wasn't quite sure he was comfortable. He heard some minor weeze.  We did an albuterol treatment and then suctioned him again and he sounded better.  The final listen in the OR turned out that he sounded great and he felt a lot better!!!  :-)

We just said gave our mooches, did (what we hope to be) our final suction and left him with the team in the OR.  Birk fell asleep in my arms before we even got to the OR (so getting him ready for surgery was fairly easy).  My little man is now going through a procedure that will hopefully change his life for the better!  We were told we will be getting updates every few hours.

More updated to come!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Here we go

So, bags are packed, bills are paid, house is clean (as clean as it will get), rooms are reserved, plans are made....only thing left is to get in the car and go!  We're headed to NE Iowa today and then leave bright and early tomorrow morning.  We're hoping to get into Cincinnati at a decent hour tomorrow night so we can have some dinner and do some playing.

We've spent some time reflecting these past few days.  It seems strange, but I've felt sad at the last Trache change, the last bath with a Trache, the last night in his crib with a Trache and soon to be the last suction/last day etc.  (you get the idea).  These past 2 1/2 years have gone so quickly and have been wonderful and I don't think we'd ask for it to be any different.  I remember that day and the feelings we felt "can we do this?"  "our life will NEVER be the same."  And we were right.  Our life was changed.  Birk has proven to be stronger than we ever thought.  He has proven most people wrong by talking, walking and being totally normal...just with a Trache.

We've gotten to the moment we've waited for.  Our next journey begins today!  :-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Thankfulness

So while some may not agree....I do believe there are many good things about Facebook.  One being how people come together to celebrate certain things.  I love how birthdays are celebrated, Holidays and I absolutely love how so many people spend the month of November giving Thanks for things for the wonderful things in our lives. Its so fun for me to read what others have in their lives.

I've never participated until this year.  I feel like I have plenty to be thankful for this year!

So, if you're on facebook feel free to take a look at the 30 things I have to be thankful for.  :-)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

T minus 6 days...

Until a day will change our lives!  We are still working very hard at keeping the kids as healthy as possible.  For me, I'm honestly up most of the night listening to the monitor, checking on him and just saying prayer after prayer that our sweet boy will keep the germs away and be ready for that 9 hour drive and what lies in front of us on Monday.

I read some wonderful success stories on the Cincinnati Children's website.  One struck a chord with me.  A young little boy who was born early, had tissue built up in his airway....travels 9 hours to get to the hospital, had the same team of doctors...and had tremendous success with his reconstruction and now lives a normal life and is a very happy and active little guy. What a refreshing thing to hear as we head into Birk's surgery!  What a great God we serve that allows individuals to have the knowledge, wisdom and drive to do this for young children so that they can lead better lives!  :-)  I'm amazed and stand in awe.

So, the countdown will hopefully continue.  We pray for health!  We pray for strength and we pray for healing!

Welcome to November!