About our NICU story and why we are so passionate about MOD :
When my husband and I walked out of the maternity ward after DJ was born, we didn’t look like new parents. Other couples carefully carried swaddled bundles to their cars and nervously strapped them into their safety seats, while we held only our overnight bags — and a breast pump. My perfect pregnancy had ended early, and our 5-day-old son was in a neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU). He was breathing through a tube, surrounded by other premature or sick newborns and the beeps of the highly calibrated machines that kept them all alive. It would be a few weeks before we’d be able to bring little David Jr home from the hospital.
He was born with extremely weak and underdeveloped lungs, a ‘ special ‘ chest as we refer to his pectus excavatum and a heart defect that he inherited from me, his mother. We was unclear from lack of oxygen to his brain what kind of delay he would have – mentally and physical so he had to undergo testing.
We were completely unprepared for the weeks that followed his birth: getting used to the sight of his tiny body hooked up to IV lines; watching nurses weigh each soiled diaper; finding terms like “oxygen sats” (the saturation level of oxygen in the blood) and “RDS” (respiratory-distress syndrome) lodged in our conversation; scrubbing our hands and forearms for a full three minutes, five or so times a day, before being allowed to touch our new baby.
Today DJ is perfectly happy and healthy – for the exception of his heart defect and breathing issues. Asthma and allergies.
And though the traumas of the NICU are long behind him, we, his parents, still remember them well. And we’re not alone: Each year, nearly 13 percent of newborns in the U.S. some half a million babies are premature (born at less than 37 weeks), and most will spend some time in an NICU due to complications. That’s why we are passionate about being involved with the March Of Dimes.
To join our team for the June 1, 2014 Walk at the WV State Capitol Complex or to donate to our March of dimes team please go to http://www.marchforbabies.org/s_team_page.asp?seid=2111721&bt=15
PHE PTO voted unanimously for Dr. Seuss Spirit in honor of our favorite author’s birthday at our last meeting.
- Tuesday is Favorite Color Day
- Wednesday is Crazy Hat Day
- Thursday is Favorite Character Day
- Friday is our Panther Pride Day.
This is my craftiness for Brooklyn and DJ. Brooklyn will be Thing 1 and DJ will be Thing 2.
Now that winter sports are officially over a good friend of mine told us about a program called ” Igirl”.
The iGirl program is Girl Scouting custom-made for girls that can not or do not wish to commit to the troop experience. It’s a great way to mix and match a girls’ unique intere…sts with Girl Scout participation – special events, weekend workshops, leadership projects, or travel opportunities that improve your skills and meet your interests and needs.
iGirls are busy, independent, self-confident girls and young women who want to be a part of something larger – Girl Scouts! Meeting in troops is one way to be a part of the Girl Scout experience, but when there aren’t available troops in your area, your troop no longer meets, or you become too busy with extra-curricular activities or sports, becoming an iGirl will allow you to continue your Girl Scout experience on an individual basis.
The iGirl program is available to all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade.
iGirls, may participate in everything that is open to girls of that grade level. They may attend all council sponsored programs such as events, series opportunities, year-round camp experiences, and travel opportunities. And can also take part in council sponsored money earning activities to help pay for Girl Scout events and activities.
iGirls do not attend troop meetings; instead, they will work on Girl Scout programs with a parent or another adult mentor. Girls choose which activities to participate in and which earned recognitions/awards they wish to complete. iGirls can earn the Journey awards and badges as well as the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.
I signed myself and Brooklyn up this afternoon to start this wonderful program together. I never participated in Girls Scouts when I was younger however my god-mother was a troop leader for may years. She enjoyed her troops through out the years and also gave me a recommendation . How many of you mothers local to Hurricane , Wv would love to join this program? I would love to start a group of individuals together to possibly go on field trips and camping trips with.
Being a sports mom, I have worn many different hats. All I can not account for, but several come to mind from being the money collector and holder, to being the responsible one to stock and run the concessions stand at the games, to making sure stranded teammates get home safe and sound from a practice or game, to updating schedules and rosters, to being the keeper of contact information. Many times doing double duties in the name of volunteering and helping the team out.
Although many challenges come with being a parent of an athlete, there are rewards too. Nothing like the expression on your children’s faces when he or she receives the big trophy for being most improved or valuable during the season. Maybe it wasn’t a trophy. Maybe it was just a small medal for participation. Nevertheless it was an achievement. An accomplishment they were proud of. These moments were also rewarding for me watching them grow and develop into a sport increasing opportunities for college scholarships and other recognitions.
Today, Brooklyn and DJ attended their end of the season celebration with Upward Sports. I could not be any happier <3
For those who are not familiar with Upward Sports :
Upward is the world’s largest Christian sports program – offered through churches and open to all faiths – and it provides a sports experience that emphasizes healthy competition, sportsmanship, skills building and fun versus the “win-at-all-costs” mentality found in many children’s sports leagues. This is a league where every child plays and every child wins so when I signed up to coach my daughter’s squad this season I thought agreeing to coach youth cheerleading involves only teaching a few cheers, a slew of chants and attending games. There is so much more to it. These little ones will look up to you from the moment you introduce yourself to them on the first day of practice until the end of the season. And it is definitely not a one-woman show. Volunteers are needed to set up chairs every Friday night, hook up sound for the Saturday games, coach teams, be team parents, referee, keep time, keep score and the list goes on. As a former cheer leader to cheer mom, I never took the time to notice just how much time and effort each volunteer gives for each game. As I am writing this , we are preparing for our final game this Saturday then awards ceremony the following day. Within the second week of practice they had the choreography to routine down pat. After watching the girls perform it finally hit me. Words can not describe how much I am proud of these girls. I am saddened to see the season end but it’s taught me more about myself than they will ever know
After becoming this year’s Upward Sports cheer coach I decided to take the courses offered by The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) and NFHS and Coach Education. The concept of the certification(s) is to create stronger, safer athletes , as well as coaches. The certifications will also allow me to become a West Virginia certified cheer judge by WVSSAC. After attending one clinic and one day course class. What was disturbing to learn that there is no certification to volunteer to be a youth cheer coach , even at a competition level. Secondly, people wishing to become cheerleader coach for a high school level may need at least a four-year education at a college or university. And West Virginia only recognizes the 14 1/2 hour course taken with a WVSSAC instructor. Attendance is required for the entire 14 hours of the course. And you must complete a coaching Principles and First Aid Class prior to taking the course. This is inexcusable, something needs to be done with higher requirements. Your children’s safety is TOP priority.
That’s right! Basketball season is here! DJ and Brooklyn attended basketball and winter cheer try-outs and evaluation yesterday morning. He made small forward or ‘three’ . Watching him on the court made me so incredibly proud. For those who do not know the struggles DJ has over came in the past five years, let me further explain. My son was born full term but needed the NICU due to breathing issues from being wrapped up in the the umbilical cord.
When infants in that type of situation can suffer hypoxia -lack of oxygen to the brain. If it is so tight, or so compressed, it will cause decelerations in the heart. They observed DJ in the NICU for fetal heart rate decelerations. They also ran tests for brain development or lack of activity. The doctors were unsure if he would have any neurological disorders due to lack of oxygen to the brain. That’s when they discovered DJ’s lungs wasn’t fully developed properly. The NICU doctors put him on a ventilator. Like most babies that receive oxygen through a ventilator, he looked so helpless. I was in total shock and so scared for my 7 pd 15 oz baby I had just delivered via c-section. A team of doctors came into my hospital room later on in the evening to tell me IF he made it he would most likely have all sorts of issues from respiratory distress syndrome, reflux , pneumonia , bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), bradycardia or “bradys” – where the heart slows down. They also found a similar congenital heart murmur that I have, that I was born with. That may be due to abnormalities in the valves, septae or arteries, and veins that carry blood to and from the heart. In some complicated heart disease conditions there may be a combination of all three ( myself and DJ both get yearly screenings) DJ had a long road ahead of him and had to stay in the NICU for several weeks. When he came home, he kept this rash and his eye kept madding shut. No matter what I did. So at nine months, he had eye surgery. He had block tear ducts.
Tears normally drain from the eye through small tubes called tear ducts that stretch from the eye into the nose. A blocked tear duct occurs when the duct that normally allows tears to drain from the eyes is obstructed or fails to open properly. If a tear duct remains blocked, the tear duct sac fills with fluid and may become swollen and inflamed, and sometimes infected.
After the surgery we was refereed to a local allergy specialist. He began painful tests and discovered DJ was and still is allergic to ten out of the forty five most common allergen tiggers, including eggs. He also has chronic asthma at the age of five, has to be on two different medications and two different breathing devices – one nebulizer and one inhaler. He has over came a lot of his behavioral issues and is doing so well in school – straight ” S’s ” satisfactory for Kindergarten. And now he is a small forward for a basketball team! He is truly an inspiration and I am so blessed to call him my son
This year, I wanted to do something different for our up and coming winter cheer and basketball season, that’s fast approaching. Now that I am put into a coaching position, I am seeing a whole different side to being a cheer mom. To do something special for not just my daughter but her entire squad. I found a really neat idea, cheerleading survival kits. Cheerleader survival kits are unique novelty gifts that will keep them smiling through the game, even if their team is losing.
Get a container, it can be either a bag or box. I am planning on using Ziploc baggies since I am making one for each individual girl on the squad.
Smiley face stickers
Paper bags or plastic baggies
Glue or stapler
Markers, crayons, colored pencils ect for decorating.
1.Copy and print the following in Microsoft Word or any other programs you have available :
Glitter – To remind you to keep positive thoughts, and always sparkle.
Throat Lozenge – To soothe your throat after yelling for the team
Rubber band- To remind you, in order to get along with each other, we must all stay flexible.
Smiley Face -To help you out when you think you can’t smile even for one more minute.
Gum – To remind you to “stick” together as a team.
Fireball -To replace the energy you’ll use up each game.
Starburst – To remind you, that you’ll always be a star in my book.
Milky Way – To remind you to reach for the stars, and follow your dreams.
Candle – To remind you to always “shine”.
Puzzle Piece – Because without you the squad wouldn’t be complete.
Cotton Balls – To cushion any rough roads.
Peanut- to remind you that it’s OK to be nutty sometimes
2. Glue or staple the print out onto the front of the baggie. Be creative. I love using scrap book paper especially with any cheer related patterns. Just make sure your printer has the capitally to print onto patterned paper.
3. Decorate the box or bag. Reminder, be creative.
4.Once the bag is dry, fill the bag with the content of items.
It is always shocking to hear that another young person has taken his or her life as a result of bullying. It is so senseless. Every day thousands of children wake up afraid to go to school. It is long over due that bullying is finally under the spotlight. Until recently, bullying was a problem that was warded off as “kids being kids”. It is a problem that affects millions of students, and its effects have a long lasting impact on many lives for a lifetime. No matter how successful a person that has been bullied becomes, the hidden and sometimes visible scars are ever-lasting.
Take our family for example, for years Brooklyn has dealt with constant bullying and being teased. Often times it’s her height – that girl doesn’t stand a chance, genetically speaking. I am 5’0 on a good day. Like most parents who enroll their children in sports hoping their child will build character and self-esteem. The interactions kids have with teammates, coaches, officials and parents shape how kids feel about themselves. However, Brooklyn became subject to teasing from other cheer moms her first year of midget league. I am not too sure if it was because Brooklyn is very out going and loves to please or if it was she could do certain things children on her squad could not. That’s because her mommy was a cheerleader growing up and taught her before she could walk about the sport . When something positive , an outlet , became something she feared that’s when this mother became a very loud voice on the field and off the field. I became aware that children learn from example and seeing these cheer moms from Poca, really opened my eyes to the ‘ new norm ‘ . It’s our responsibility as parents to ensure our children, especially minor children, treat others with respect and show compassion for people. When parents neglect , you have today’s society. We opted to move for a fresh start and enrolled both of older children into a no tolerance for bullying elementary school. I have came along way teaching my three children at home and those children I care for at work, the importance of self respect, respect for others, and how to stand up for yourself when put into a bullying situation.
This month, groups across the country committed to anti-bullying will release new resources, campaigns, and efforts aimed at bringing awareness to this important issue facing our youth. This month serves as a reminder that bullying prevention must be addressed, and one way to accomplish this is through educating ourselves, our communities and the youth in our lives.
I find StopBullying.gov on Facebook provides information from various government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying. I urge you as both parent and child to log onto that website together. While many parent-child conversations can lead to misunderstandings, becoming an effective communicator is not only possible – it can even be fun. Parents need to become more involved and more aware of what bullying can do , to your child. I am fortunate enough to have such a wonderful relationship with my children that if something is bothering them, they are not afraid to tell me. I know that may change during those wonderful teenage years I will be dreading but getting through to them now, may be a way of preventing something tragic later on down the road.
I got this idea after sitting in the away section of a one of Brooklyn’s football games. A girl in front of me was wearing these and she was having way too much fun with them!
I don’t know about other teams, but our team, we are always doing stuff. Whether it’s lifting up your shoe for the kickoff, waiving your arms back and forth for a field goal, chanting, that sort of thing!
The pom poms are small round balls made out of yarn, string, ribbon or fabric. Add the pom poms to the tip of each finger to create the spirit gloves for the perfect touch to those cold stadium nights.
Items Required For Finger Poms
3.a yarn needle
5. a toilet paper roll for wrapping,
You will need to make 10 poms.
1.Snip the toilet paper tube into sections. You’ll be using this to make the pom pom, so the length of each strand of yarn in the final pom will be half the width of the tube.
If you want larger or smaller poms, you can cut cardboard to whatever size you like. Toilet paper tubes just happen to be very plentiful in our house.
2. Wrap yarn around the tube several times to make the base of your pom pom. The kids wrapped each color around the tube six times. Wrapping more times will make a fuller, stiffer pom if you prefer that.
3.This is the tricky part of pom pom making: slide the yarn off the cardboard and tie it off in the middle. It’s much easier if you enlist the help of a buddy, even if her four-year-old fingers are a little wiggly! Tie your yarn as tightly as you can so the pom won’t slip.
4. Repeat this process until you have ten pom poms – five for each hand.
5. Thread the needle with yarn that matches the gloves and/or the pom poms. Slide it in and out of a finger tip, right up at the seam at the top. Try to leave only a tiny space between where you go in and where you come back out, as you’re really just tying a knot there.
Lay the pom pom across this yarn right at the finger tip, and tie the yarn tightly across the center of the pom pom to attach it to the glove.
Repeat this process until you have all ten pom poms, one on each finger.
6. Once the pom poms are on, to make sure they’re secure and to let them fluff up a little.
Now you’re ready to show your school spirit!!
* Photo shown is of our Upward Sport colors and Nitro Wildcats -Brooklyn’s midget league team.