Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Update on the Boys


Wow, how time flies when you are having fun! I apologize for the length of time between blogs; we have two boys that are keeping us busy. Things have been great at our house. Nicholas is doing really well at "school" after crying each time we dropped him off this summer. It took 8 weeks, he went 2x/week, for him to stop crying when we dropped him off. It broke our hearts and we are super happy he has gotten over that. His school is on 8 acres and includes a nature bus, live animals and gardens. So, a lot of outdoor activities. Nicholas would live outdoors if we let him. He's talking more and more everyday. It's pretty fun to carry on a conversation with him. We had his speech evaluated recently and he's on par with other 3 year olds. So, almost caught up with where he should be. He got new glasses last month. We decided to forgo the "Harry Potter" glasses.

James is our happy boy. It's amazing how fast 7 months has gone. James is close to crawling and is a smiley baby. He loves when Nicholas gives him attention. Nicholas likes to crawl into James crib in the mornings and just lay with him, to which James seems to love. We've had such a different experience with James from Nicholas on many fronts. We're thankful for the experiences we have had with both boys, while different, just as meaningful.

We have our first big trip with the boys this December. We decided to take them to Cancun for a 4 night vacation at a Westin resort. The rooms are condo like, so, will make traveling with kids much easier. We're excited to spend time together and play in the sand and pools. They are great fliers overall, so, hoping a little further than Cleveland and Nashville will be just as successful.

May you be blessed with family, friends and happy memories during this holiday season.


Denise, Denise, Nicholas and James

Monday, June 4, 2012

Welcome James Donald

Nicholas is a big brother! We welcomed James Donald (named after his grandfathers) into the world on April 17th. He weighted 8 lbs 10 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Quite the opposite of Nicholas. Nicholas has been great with him. He loves to give him kisses on the head (something we had to teach him versus on the lips) and makes us aware when he is crying  and promptly wants us to do something about it. Chelsea, our nanny, is here daily. She has basically kept Nicholas on his normal schedule, which has helped out a lot. Doesn't leave a lot of time for jealousy or acting out, which is appreciated all around.

Nicholas is winding down with his spring activities and getting ready for a pre-school/day care program he will start in July. We feel he is ready for more interaction with kids his own age. He will attend that twice a week this summer and three times a week in the fall. It will also give Chelsea a little time to adjust to taking care of two kids during the day. We'll keep you updated on how Nicholas does.

Speech wise, Nicholas continues to improve. We saw another speech therapist and she basically said the same thing as the others. He understand what you are saying and even comprehends at a 3.5 age level and the speech will come. We just want to make sure we are doing everything we can for him given his early start to life.

We've had a great summer so far. Traveled to visit cousins and aunts/uncles and even a long weekend up at the lake house where Nicholas loved being outside 24/7. One favorite, his first boat ride of the season where uncle Jay let him take the helm.

Enjoy your summer. Sorry for the delayed update, it's been pretty busy around here.


Denise, Denise, Nicholas and James

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nicholas is going to be a big brother

I realize we haven't updated the blog in a couple of months. Overall, things are going well. Nicholas continues to display his independence in almost everything he does. He has become a real climber and has bruises on his legs to show for it. The weather has been beautiful in WI, so, Nicholas has been outside every chance he gets. He's learning how much fun it is to release things at the top of our driveway and let them fly down (we have a steep driveway for those of you that are not aware). He is getting better about stopping and waiting for someone to help him retrieve the toys if they go beyond the drive and into the street. We have ordered a net to stop things from going too far.

Nicholas really hasn't progressed much on his speech and we have Birth to Three coming back to do another speech evaluation. We're not overly concerned but because we have these services available, we also want to take advantage of them. He loves to read and be read to as you can see in the pictures. So, just a matter of time until he will start talking back to us. We can't wait to see what he has to say! Nicholas is in a variety of activities these days including Little Gym, swimming lessons and KinderMusic. He really seems to enjoy the time away from the house and the interaction with the other kids. His best pick up is to go up to the little girls and tickle them :). What's a boy to do; he'll learn soon enough.

We also realized we haven't shared our baby news on Nicholas's blog. We're excited to welcome our second child into the world the middle of April. Nicholas isn't quite sure what make of my growing belly but he does like to "kiss the baby." We've moved him into another room just down the hall and he's adapting well. He is really into Curious George these days, so, we bought some decals for his walls which makes his room even more special. We think he'll have a little adjusting to do, but overall, will be great with the baby. He loves to help. We are also going to put him into a part time pre-school starting the second half of the summer. We really think he's ready for more structure and interaction with kids his age.

We enjoyed a visit from Aunt Darlene and Cousin Andrew last weekend. Nicholas loved playing with them and very much enjoyed their visit.

We'll keep you updated on the new baby. I'm sure we'll have some pictures to post.

Denise, Denise and Nicholas

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nicholas is 2

We got our first of two snow falls in November. Nicholas got all bundled up but isn't a fan of the snow. As soon as his hand got some snow on it, he was done and wanted to go back inside. 
 Thanksgiving was spent with his Rasmussen cousins. He loved playing with them and just being in the mix. His favorite past time is playing with light switches which he could easily reach on the stairs at Uncle Erik and Aunt Heather's house. Nicholas is saying some words but still relies on the sign language we taught him when he was smaller. He sat at the table with the kids and was signing all done. None of them knew what that meant, so, he sat there until one of us finally walked in and saw his hands waving like a mad man. Finally, someone to help him get down.
 Nicholas loved the Christmas tree. We quickly learned we had to place all our breakable ornaments up high. He seemed to get the hang of opening presents towards the end of the season, but is still into the paper and playing versus the gifts.
 We celebrated Nicholas's 2nd birthday a couple of times; with the Mancuso's during Christmas and with our friends in Madison on January 1st. Nicholas loved the frosting and eating the cake, especially Aunt Dianna's chocolate cake. He seems to have a bit of a sweet tooth!
 Nicholas and Papa Mancuso outside playing with his new 4 wheeler. We couldn't believe how nice of a day Christmas was. Nicholas also had his Steelers coat on, a gift from Uncle Tony. That tends to wear better in Cleveland than Madison.
 With his Mancuso cousins. By this time, Nicholas had had enough partying.
 Nicholas is getting better about wearing his glasses, but it is still a work in progress. We think he looks like a mini Harry Potter. Maybe we could capitalize on that.
 This is the most recent picture of Nicholas taken this past weekend after a new haircut. He sat completely still for his haircut. We weren't sure who he was. It was very cute and a moment we wish we had captured on video.

Overall, Nicholas has had a great couple of months. We were able to see some of the nurses and doctors that took such great care of him at Rainbow when we were in Cleveland over the holidays. He was also seen at their preemie follow-up clinic. Everything is on track for him. They still compare him to his corrected versus actual age until his due date, April 11th. Birth to Three, an agency that sees Nicholas to monitor his progress here in Madison, compares him to other 2 year olds. They too think he is on track and would expect him to start talking more in the next couple of months. That is the only concern we've had is that he isn't using a lot of words just yet. Some research shows that kids that start by signing are a little slower to actually speak because they can get their point across without needing to use the words. So, we're working on it and expect his language to flourish in the next few months.

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are thankful for each and everyone of you who have touched our lives in one way or another especially during the last two years. Nicholas is our little miracle and we wouldn't be where we are today with your prayers and support.

Denise, Denise and Nicholas

Friday, November 4, 2011

No Glaucoma

The procedure on Wednesday morning went great. It was a quick procedure and Nicholas did great all around. He wasn't able to drink or eat prior to the 0730 procedure time and he didn't seem to mind too much. He loved checking out the preop area and playing with the beeper as well as all the other gadgets in the room. Right before they were going to take him back, we met with the anesthesiologist. She didn't know he had pneumonia a week prior, even though I called the surgery center on Monday to let them know, and said we should reconsider the procedure. We pushed back a little bit talking through the risks of another pneumonia versus loosing his eye site. She went and talked with the peds ophthalmologist and figured out what she was going to do was different than what she had anticipated. She thought she had to intubate him versus just giving him gas via a mask. How does that happen? In looking back, I'm glad he had pneumonia, otherwise, he may have been intubated by the time his ophthalmologist got into the room. That would have been a bad mistake. Another reason why it's always good to know what is going to happen and reiterate that with the staff. Unfortunately, mistakes happen and the more we can be an advocate for ourselves and loved ones the less likely those mistakes should happen. Anyhow, in the end, we were extremely thankful that Nicholas does not have glaucoma, just different looking optic nerves. We thank you for your prayer and thoughts. They paid off! Now, we just need to continue to work with Nicholas to wear his glasses.

Denise, Denise and Nicholas

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I apologize for the delayed blog entry. The site kept crashing on us on our home computer for some reason. Anyhow, things are going well overall at the Rasmussen-Mancuso household. Here are the top 10 things (random order) that have happened since our last blog entry:
10. Nicholas flushed a bottle of vanilla down the toilet, who knew he could flush it :). Mommy M. fished it out after some Internet research. Thank goodness it got stuck before ending up in a pipe.
9. Nicholas saw Peds ENT and was put on some nasal sprays for his snoring. The physician thinks it might be more allergy related versus his adenoids. I'm hopeful he's right and so far things seem to be better.
8. Nicholas saw Peds Opthamology and does need glasses. You basically have a choice of color in glasses for kids that young. The frames are plastic to prevent any mishaps. We originally considered buying him a couple of pairs to match his outfits (a total woman thing to do) until we saw the price. One pair will be just fine. :) We got them last Friday, now we have to figure out how to get him to keep them on. I think our record thus far is 2 minutes, not great. Peds opthamology is also concerned that Nicholas's optic nerve has changed quite a bit since his last exam a year ago. They question if he has pediatric glaucoma. With no family history of it, the chances are low, but, he has a procedure on Wednesday, November 2nd, to measure the pressure in his eyes. They have to put him under with gas in order to get the pressure read, so, it has to be done in a surgery center and he can't eat or drink before it. That will not be a pleasant morning in our house. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers that Nicholas doesn't have glaucoma. We're trying to decrease the number of specialists we see.
7. Nicholas will be seen at the preemie clinic at Rainbow when we are in the Cleveland area around Christmas time. They like to keep up to date on how the kiddos taken care there fair. It's always a fun time for us to get back and see some of the nurses and doctors who took such great care of him.
6. Nicholas still loves to dance, he's started to do a full circle in his routine. He's such a riot to watch.
5. He still loves going outside and is getting more adventurous. I had him outside with me when I was doing some stuff in the yard and looked over and he had climbed to the top of our neighbors slide on his own. The top has 2 wide openings. You can bet I got over to the swing set in a split second.
4. He got the first cut on his face. He was playing at the park and fell and hit his chin. It was a decent gash, but seems to be healing nicely.
3. Nicholas got a bad cold last week. Due to the procedure he has on Wednesday, we wanted to be sure his lungs were in tip top shape, so, we took him in to see the physician. Turns out, the chest x-ray looked a bit like pneumonia, so, he was put on antibiotics and was getting consistent albuterol neb treatments at home.
2. As you can see above, Nicholas was Superman for Halloween. He won't keep a hat on, so, we had to search for a costume that didn't have a hat or hood and Superman won out.
1. The other picture of Nicholas attached is of him and his nanny, Chelsea. He really loves spending time with her and we realized we had never shared a picture of the two of them even though Chelsea's been around for over a year.

We hope you are all doing well. We look forward to seeing many of you on our holiday travels.

Denise, Denise and Nicholas

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Busy Days



 Nicholas is very busy these days. His main mode of transportation is walking/running. He started walking about 3-4 weeks ago consistently and hasn't looked back. His physical therapist from Birth to 3 almost started crying when she saw him walking and has decided because he is doing so well, she no longer needs to come on a monthly basis. So, Nicholas won't be seen until after his second birthday for an evaluation to ensure all is going well.

Nicholas favorite place to be is anywhere outside, as is evident from the pictures. He has a few words he signs and outside is one of them. He wakes up signing that he wants to go out side and it continues until he goes to bed at night. His favorite word is "yah," especially when the Moms' are saying no. It's turned into a game, of which we try not to play, but is hard at times when you continue to say no and you have this little person behind you saying yah almost 2x the amount you say no. He wants to be sure we mean no, I guess.

Nicholas had a hearing test earlier this month. Due to having dull tympanic membranes and being on so many antibiotics early on, his pediatrician wanted to be sure his hearing was good and it is. He passed with flying colors. He sees an ENT Dr. in October for snoring; we're thinking he may have big adenoids. Hopefully not, but we want to be sure. He also sees the pediatric opthamologist again in October. That is a day none of us are looking forward to. Other than that, Nicholas is getting longer and is still about 23 pounds. He's doing great and for that we are blessed.

We hope you had a wonderful summer and are getting into the swing of things that fall brings.

Love, Denise, Denise, and Nicholas