Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Josephine Mae Fuccillo

We happily welcomed to our family our sweet Josephine on June 18, 2013!  She was born weighing in at 7 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches.  What a blessing she has been to us!  She had a tough start but is doing so well now!  She was stuck and born not breathing for a bit, which gave us a good scare, but quickly recovered.  She was bruised and broke her collar bone so she has proven to be a tough little girl already!

She loves to be held and snuggled all the time.  She smiles a lot, especially right before she falls asleep and if you're lucky she'll even giggle for you.  Her favorite thing to do is wake up at 6, along with her brother, and join us in our bed.  She hates to get dressed but loves getting a warm bath.  She would nurse all the time if she could.  She's got a set of pipes on her and she isn't afraid to use them.  If she's uncomfortable or wants to be held she will let you know!  She doesn't sleep more than 10-15 minutes at a time during the day (unless she's being held) but is a pretty good sleeper at night (whew!).  The longest she's slept so far is 5 hours... once.  She's gaining weight well and starting to get lots of rolls on her arms and legs.  She doesn't like being in her car seat and equally hates the pacifier.  She is super sweet and likes to sleep with her hands by her face.  She has pretty much taken ahold of all of our hearts and we are so in love with her.


Big brother is adjusting well.  He isn't jealous but doesn't exactly care about her every need ;).  When no one is looking you might catch him talking to her, singing a song to try to calm her, or rock her when she's in her car seat.  He doesn't care, however, for her crying.  He's never liked babies crying, it's a sensory issue he's had his whole life so that's been a struggle for us.  He gave us a good scare when she was two weeks old and spent a couple days in the hospital after another hour long seizure.  He is doing better now and so far no more seizures since they have put him on a new medication though we are keeping a very close eye on him.  He's about to start Pre K, LOVES to be funny, has quite the imagination, and won't make a nice smile for the camera for nothin!  

We are also happy to announce that we raised $1,472.00 for hydrocephalus research!!!  We participated this year in the Seattle Hydrocephalus Walk and plan to make this an annual tradition.  What an incredible cause to be a part of.  We hope and pray for a cure for hydrocephalus and are blessed to have the doctors that we do.  So much of the current research in hydrocephalus is being done right here in Seattle!  Here is our team for 2013!

My brother came into town for a visit and got to meet his niece for the first time.  We all attending one of Tommy's best friend's weddings.  We've known Brent since he was in elementary school- it's hard to believe they are all grown up.  During the wedding Josephine started crying so Andy had to step out.  Then Justus started crying so I had to step out.  None of us saw the wedding....

This last Sunday we also had a special day dedicating our Josie to the Lord.  We don't practice baby baptisms but rather, we publicly declare that we promise to raise her to know and love the Lord, being a Christ like example for her.  We had lots of friends and family join us, which made the day extra special!  She is wearing the dress her Nonni bought her and the headband that her Grandma made her.

Justus started tball and got to go to VBS this year for the first time!  We've really enjoyed the summer!!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

WARNING: This one is LONG! ;)

What happened to the Fuccillo's?  I know, I know.  Believe me, my mom has been getting on me to update the blog for several months now.  For a long time I thought, who even reads it anyway?!  But then I got to thinking- what is Josephine going to say since she's not even mentioned on the blog and she should be here soon!  Oh, who's Josephine?  Yeah, I better get started....

So it's almost been a year since I last posted!  Paws for Justus was a HUGE blessing to us, not even just the financial support to get, train, and care for a pup for a service dog for Justus, but the emotional support too!  At that time we were nearing the end of what ended up being 17 months apart from Andy who was stationed in North Carolina away from us.  SEVENTEEN months.  I still can't believe we lived through that.  And then to add a new puppy, 2 emergency brain surgeries, and countless skype hours on top of that... it was one of the most difficult things we have done as a family.  Nothing compared to all the heartache we've dealt with with Justus health, but a close second.  Let's just say it was a long year & a half.

So back to Paws for Justus.  We got our sweet little puppy memorial day weekend of 2012 and she looked like this....

They quickly became good friends.  Playing and napping together.  Justus named her himself... Phweebe.  Or as we call her today Phoebe :).  She is a goldendoodle.  We started Phoebe's training right away taking her to basic obedience classes and working her up each level.  She is now taking a rally class with Andy.  She is such a super sweet dog.  She LOVES her boy and family, so much so that her only "issue" is her excitement level.  She's a tough one to calm down when she gets all worked up- she's just so full of LOVE!  She's very protective, playful, and has to be around Justus (or us) at all times or she gets very concerned.  She now looks like this...

(yes we do things like attach her to a box and have her pull Justus around the house)
She has a service dog in training vest and has been known to attend MOPS meetings with me.  She is one now and we look forward to continuing her training and her energy level evening out ;).

  Then Daddy came back for good!  We spent a lot of time catching up!  Justus started swim lessons (which he hated!), t ball (which he learned to enjoy), and we got to visit Dr. Browd for something non emergency (which is always a good thing!).

In July we did our first Hydrocephalus Walk in Seattle.  What an amazing experience!  We had previously supported March of Dimes, but realized that our main goal is to bring awareness to those suffering from hydrocephalus.  There is barely any funding or awareness for a condition that doesn't have a cure and is so detrimental to those who suffer from it.  The only solution for hydrocephalus is to place a shunt.  Shunts barely work, have a horrible success rate, and more needs to be done!  We know that the money raised at the Seattle Hydrocephalus Walk goes straight to Seattle Children's Hospital & UW and the work they are doing there (Dr. Browd and many others) to help those who suffer from hydrocephalus and we feel really good about supporting that.  We plan on making this a annual thing and are so SUPER grateful to those who came out to support us or those who supported us financially this last year!

 Andy and I got to do things this summer like... go on dates!
 We picked berries with friends!

Played lots of tball...

 And got to go on a special trip to the beach with Grandmas.  This was the second year we did this and it was so much fun.  Lots of laughing and memories!

We got to enjoy the sun....

 And spend time up at the Haisch cabin with people we love a lot...

Then Justus started school!!!  I cried.  I admit.  He cried.  But he quickly got over it and had a great day!  He has learned so much since starting school.  He's such a smart boy and loves to be funny (so much so that sometimes it gets him in trouble!).  He still has a hard time with drop off, but loves his teachers and friends.  He says his friends are Olivia, Nolan, Koldyn, Ashlyn, and Ava.  We couldn't be happier with where he's going to preschool and are excited to have him back there again next year!  

We even took the kiddos out to a special first day of school lunch and Trackside Pizza.  They loved it!  Pie up!
 We of course did the Puyallup... and yes, we ate fried butter...

We turned Justus' room into a big boy bedroom.  We had to do something to get him to want to go back to his own room.  After the seizure I moved his bed into our room so I could hear ever breath he made, and know his every movement.  I was, and still am, terrified that I'd miss something through the night and we would lose him.  So we decided to get a REALLY NICE video camera monitor which is on him at all times when he's in his room, and I have it on all night on my nightstand so that we can hear if anything goes wrong.  We went with a "big boy cabin room" as Justus calls it.  Our friend, who's a hunter, gave us Pokey the pronged tip antelope above Justus' bed, we got the trees from our friends the Haisch's, and grandpa made the boat bookshelf.  Lots of love went into making a special room for Justus.  And of course Phoebe's tent.  She was in the crate for a while, but now that she is trustworthy to not potty at night, she sleeps in the tent so she has access to Justus through the night... just in case...
 Justus and Andy started AWANA at church.  Justus is a Cubbie and Andy is a Cubbie leader :).  They have a different theme each week, one week was mustache night.  Justus LOVES AWANA!  
 Then we got some exciting news as a family... we would be EXPANDING!  Andy was away at training for a few weeks and we were so excited for him to come home and let him know that Justus was going to be a big BROTHER!!!!
 This last halloween Justus was a Pilot... fun times with our neighbors!

He also went on his first school field trip ever!  Grandma got to come too!

They had a special Gentleman's Feast at Justus's school to honor the dads.  They sang songs and had a big lunch.  No mom's allowed ;).  

 We got to see Baby for the first time....
 Cougars beat the Huskies!!!!
 And we celebrated a very special boy turning 4.  My mom had bid on BAM (Balloon Animal Man) at the Paws auction and won!  So we decided to have him come to Justus' birthday party.  He is a local boy (I think he's 12) who started his own balloon business.  Such a sweet kid and family.  The kids all really loved it!

Then Justus even got to have a special birthday celebrate at school...
1st Special Forces Group had family shooting day :)

I started taking my belly pictures...
 And Sassio came out again for Christmas.  Justus LOVED finding Sassio this year.  His favorite was when Sassio wrapped up his toilet...

More belly...
 Children's Museum with Grandma and Grandpa...
This Christmas Eve we didn't have a lot going on so Andy said we should make a new tradition of going to the mountains to play in the snow!
 So we did!
And Christmas of course

 Uncle Tommy came home so it was great to see him.  This year he moved down to Palo Alto to attend Stanford to get this PhD in Genetics.  Yeah, he clearly got the brains in the family...

In January we took Justus to LA to the Children's Hospital for his eye appointment.  We had A LOT of fun!  The appt went well... not great news but not bad news.  Justus' vision is still the same.  If you put your hand up next to your left eye, that's what Justus sees.  He has no peripheral vision on his left side at all.  What does that mean?  Well it means that he can't see things to his left, people, cars on the street, his teacher if she's standing on the left.  What it means for the future... he'll have to learn to really be aware of it.  We will have to look out for him.  He will always have a difficult time playing any sport with a ball, it will be a real challenge.  But he's a miracle anyway.  After being poked through the brain 13 times, if this is what he walks alway with, we are truly blessed.  Though it is a struggle.  He continues to be in occupational therapy to work on his vision and eye hand coordination because tasks with his left hand are challenging for him.  But he's such a good sport.  I love that boy!  We took him to Disneyland and celebrated one year without a surgery!!!!  Praise be to God!   
We also got to visit Great Grandma Ward and eat her fried chicken too!

We got to see cousins!  And meet baby Laura for the first time!!!

 We also found out right before our trip that Baby was actually a Baby Girl!  We were all so very excited!!!!  And for this baby girl we have been praying like crazy!!!!

Grandpa planned and decorated his whole downstairs for him and Justus to go on a snake hunt jungle adventure.  This included nature sounds, rain water for their canteens, hidden snakes and bugs, jungle plants and decor, and jungle food.  Justus has a pretty cool grandpa!

I got started on the nursery!  Now that I knew it was a girl I was so anxious to get going!!!  I somehow talked my mom into helping too :).  I wanted to paint Justus' furniture so painting we did...

We were asked to speak at UW on what it's like to live with hydrocephalus.  Justus was the star of the show and hopefully we made an impact.  It was for the UW mini medical school they hold each year.  This year they were featuring Dr. Browd and hydrocephalus in children.

Andy and I celebrated our birthday's this year by taking Justus to Yo Gabba Gabba Live in Seattle.  It was worth every penny.  That boy had the time of his life and didn't want to leave!  Get the sillies out!

We got to see Baby girl in 4D.  And we decided, after much prayer, that it was time to announce her name... JOSEPHINE MAE FUCCILLO.  We prayed for a name with a strong biblical root and there are several Josephs in the Bible who are a great example of a true Christ follower and faith.  The kind of faith we pray for Josephine to have someday.  From Joseph who forgave his brothers after being sold to slavery, to the Joseph who took Mary's hand in marriage and followed what God called him to do-  Be the earthy father of the Christ, to the Joseph who asked for Jesus' body after the crucifixion so that he could lay it in a tomb because he loved him so much.  Mae is after my great grandmother Elsa Mae Finney.  
I surprised Justus with glow in the dark bath paint.  That was a huge hit! 

 We celebrated Easter and Phoebe's birthday!

 AWANA egg drop night!  Working hard with Grandpa...

 Daddy has been taking Justus to the Lowe's Build and Grow workshops.  It's been a great chance for them to spend time together and Justus loves to use tools!

Andy got me garden boxes for my birthday!!!!  So here is the start of my garden this year...
And here is the last picture I took before I was sent to the hospital for contractions and early labor signs.  29 weeks.  I thought to myself... "THIS SERIOUSLY CAN'T BE HAPPENING AGAIN!"  This whole pregnancy I've been being monitor so closely, I've been taking hormone shots to prevent early labor, and I've been going up to get cervical ultrasounds every other week since 16 weeks to keep an eye on things.  But sure enough, I started having contractions and now I'm on bed rest.  Which may sound nice to some people but it's been a real struggle for me.  Having a very active 4 year old and trying to "take it easy" is not an easy task at all!  And a dog in the mix and it's almost impossible.  Thankfully we are so blessed and so many people have come to our rescue.  From meals, to driving us places, to prayer, to sweet pick me up gifts- we've been covered for the last 2 weeks.  My mom has taken the last 2 weeks off of work to cook, clean, and care for us.  I couldn't have done it without her.  So here I am 31 weeks (almost 32) and praying that little Josie will remain cozy inside for at least a couple more weeks.  We really are so blessed.  
So I'll leave you with a little peek into Josephine's room.  It's exactly as I imagined it.  Perfectly girly, perfectly vintage.  I sit and pray in here for her.  I love her so much already!

Important ladies in her life: my mom, Andy's mom, Grandma Ward, and Great Grandma Finney
She is the daughter of the King
That pretty much brings you up to speed!  I will of course post again and introduce you to our little lady when she arrives, hoping it's not too soon!!!