Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vivien Thomas -- In Honor of Black History Month

Vivien Thomas

Where would my daughter be if it had not been for Vivien Thomas?

Here are some facts about Vivien Thomas:

  • He grew up in Nashville and had hopes of becoming a doctor, but unfortunately the Great Depression changed his plans. He had to put his education on hold and he became a carpenter. 
  • In 1930 he secured a job as a surgical research technician with Dr Alfred Blalock; however was classified and paid as a janitor. 
  • On his first day of work, Thomas assisted Blalock on a surgical experiment on a dog. Quickly after, Thomas was beginning surgeries on his own. 
  • By the mid 30's Thomas was doing the work of a postdoctoral researcher in the lab.
  • In 1940 Blalock was offered the position of Chief of Surgery at John Hopkins and he requested that Thomas follow him. Many heads were turned as Vivien Thomas wore his white lab coat and walked past them in the halls of Hopkins.
Blue Baby Syndrome, aka Tetralogy of Fallot (SN- for those that read my blog during CHD Awareness Week you may remember my daughter was born with this.. read more here):
  • In infants born with this defect, blood is shunted past the lungs, therefore creating oxygen deprivation and a blue appearance (hence blue baby).
  • Blalock was approached by another cardiologist to find a solution.
  • Thomas was assigned to create the same blue like condition in a dog and then correcting it. After around 200 dogs in two years, Thomas was able to replicate 2 of the 4 cardiac anomalies involved with Tetralogy of Fallot. 
  • Even though Thomas was not allowed to operate on patients he still followed Blalock's rules and assisted him during surgeries. 
  • Together as a team, Blalock and Thomas created a shunt, performed operations on more than 200 patients with the first year and had patients travel thousands of miles. 
There are so many interesting facts that surround the work and personal relationship with Vivien Thomas and Alfred Blalock; I could not possibly put them all on here. There is an HBO movie based on the life of Vivien Thomas called 'Something the Lord Made'. It is an amazing movies that details the life, the stresses and the successes of Vivien Thomas. Below is a clip of the movie:

I encourage each of you to take the time to watch this movie. This movie does an excellent job portraying an amazing human being and the miracle that he created with his two hands. Like I said above, where would my daughter be if it had not been for Vivien Thomas. 

Good news--- you can watch the full movie on Youtube.. click here!

Let me know what you think....

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Review of the Show 'Weeds'.. I'm a Netflix Junkie

What can I say, I am a Netflix Junkie and I am behind the times. I am currently playing catch up on a lot of great shows that no one bothered to tell me about throughout the years.

My first television show series review will be on the American, dark comedy 'Weeds' that stars the beautiful and talented Mary-Louise Parker. (SN- some say Mary Louise Parker and I resemble one another)

Let me start by saying I can be oblivious to things, some would call me slow, dingy, or even 'air headish'; I prefer clueless. When I first decided to watch 'Weeds' I had no idea what the show was going to be about, but it did not take long (just a few minutes into the first episode) to figure it out ... Marijuana (hence the weed symbol next to the show title). 

Without giving too much away, if anything, the show is based on a suburban soccer mom named Nancy Botwin (Mary- Louise Parker). Her husband passes away suddenly and she is left to raise her two sons by herself, while jobless and still feeling obligated to continue to pay her housekeeper. So instead of trying to find a 9 to 5 job she begins to deal marijuana to her soccer dads, friends and anyone else that will buy from her.

Of course when you are in the drug dealing business there has to be excitement, near death experiences, a lot of 'adult' hanky panky, and edge of your seat moments. In addition, in the drug dealing business you never know who you can trust; one minute your friend will be your enemy and they will try and kill you for narking on them.

This show has a lot of interesting characters. Some of my favorite include: Isabelle (played by Allie Grant)- the over weight daughter of over bearing mom Celia (played by Elizabeth Perkins). Helia James (played by Tonye Patano)- a marijuana wholesaler that sells to Nancy and is very serious about what she does. Andy Bowtin (played by Justin Kirk)- Nancy's brother in law that moves himself in to Nancy's home and begins to try and becoome part of the marijuana business while trying to hide his feelings for his sister in law. There are a lot of great characters in this show; many that appear and then disappear and then reappear in later seasons.

There are 8 seasons of 'Weeds' and the first season aired in 2005 and the last in 2012. The first 6 episodes had me hooked completely, however the last 2 episodes dragged. I could tell that the show needed to come to an end during season 6.

For the first few seasons and the last few seasons of 'Weeds', the opening of the television show was great. The show opened with a song called 'Little Boxes'; which was sung by a variety of different people throughout the seasons. Here is a sample of the song sung by Malvina Reynolds.

I have to say that I am very glad that I finally took the time (approx 3 weeks) to watch 'Weeds'. With all of the drama and craziness of this cast of characters, it was overall a great show. That probably explains why the show lasted so long.

My name is Aimee and this is my review of 'Weeds' and I am a Netflix Junkie!

Let me know if you have watched this and what your thoughts are. Also let me know if you decide to watch; I promise, you will enjoy it!

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Version of the Turkey Taco

We've not had hard shell tacos in the Fauci household in forever, so when a box of Old El Paso Taco Shells jumped in my cart at the grocery store I thought it was time to cook some up. Since the grown ups in our household have been in sort of a healthy kick lately I thought it was necessary to put my own 'healthy' spin on them.

1- Cook your turkey meat.. Season as you wish.. I use the Fiesta Taco Seasoning.

2- Dice your onion, bell pepper, and red pepper and saute. We love color in our foods! 

3- Open your beans- I prefer black beans- and rinse them. I learned from The Abs Diet Cookbook for Women that it is always good to rinse the 'gunk' off your beans to keep it healthy. (SN- Love this cookbook)

4- Once the turkey is cooked, mix the greens, onions and beans together. 

5- After you heat up your Old El Paso Taco Shells, load them up with your turkey meat mixture and add cheese. SN- don't forget to tear off the Box Top Label and send it to your child's school or your local school. 

What is your favorite way to change up your version of the taco?

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Food Review of Cantina Del Rio in Gruene, Texas (Who Knew... It Was National Margarita Day)

Saturday, February 22nd was National Margarita Day; I did not even know this until after the fact. Thankfully since my morning random weigh in made me delightfully happy I landed at a cantina that served food with melted cheese over refried beans and fajita meat. Oh thank you, Jesus, for my weight that morning!

That morning, my family piled in the car thinking that we were going to a neighborhood garage sale and then to Sonic for a drink. Little did we know that we were going to drive 30 minutes and end up in Gruene, Texas at Cantina Del Rio!

This was our first actual visit to Gruene and let's just say it was bustling with people; tourists and locals. At first we wanted to eat at one of the restaurants that overlooked the river but as we were trying to park we spotted a brightly colored building with oranges, blues, yellows and greens; it was beautiful! As we passed it I saw a sign that read 'tacos, burgers, and ritas'. Stop the car, pull on over, this is our kind of place; something for everyone!

As we were walking into Cantina Del Rio I saw another sign that read 'Voted Best Margarita 2012 & 2013'. So I had to give it a try: 

I have to tell you that this margarita was awesome, amazing, refreshing and so good! It only took three gulps and I could feel the 'happy'; now that is when you know a margarita is great. 

If I have not been to an eating establishment, I will admit that I panic when I get to the big board with all the food items that you can order. I am someone that has to study and think and then decide what my taste buds are hungry for. On this day, I knew my buds were wanting some type of Mexican food that consisted of refried beans and cheese, so I ordered the first thing I saw that fit that description; fajita nachos. My husband does not panic, quickly scans the menu and orders what  he knows will be good; on this day he ordered the fish tacos. My children are simple and ordered plain nachos and french fries. 

We sat on the patio and enjoyed a nice breeze, a bee or two and a view of the town. The girls really enjoyed the open air. 

Our food came out at the right amount of time; not to quick and not too long. That is a good sign of a restaurant. The food looked great, especially my husband's; he always picks the best meal to eat. 

The oldest child chose to eat plain cheese nachos; there was nothing special about them because they were plain but she enjoyed them. My other two split a side order of french fries and let me say that these french fries were amazing! They were hand cut french that were perfectly fresh with the right amount of seasoning. We all enjoyed them. 

My fajita nachos satisfied my taste buds, my tummy and gave me the Mexican food fix that I needed. They were piled with refried beans, tons of cheese, fajita meat, pico, guac, and strips of jalepenos. On a side note I gave the guac, pico and jalepenos to my husband, but ate the rest and only shared one nacho. The great thing about these nachos is that they did not skimp on the meat. The meat was falling off the nachos! 

My husband's Fish Tacos were breathtaking! Not only were they pretty on the plate but they were good. The freshness of the fish and the slaw was more than one's taste buds could handle. In addition, the slaw had a great taste to it and a wonderful crunch that made you wanting more. On a side note I was only allowed one bite, but I most likely will order this dish the next time we visit.

I am thankful that my husband took us on a mini road trip this morning and that the numbers on my scale made me happy during my random weigh in, because if these two things did not happen then we may not have landed in Gruene at the Cantina Del Rio! Thank goodness I got to drink a margarita that was voted the best margarita in 2012 & 2013 on National Margarita Day. 

If you visit the San Antonio, New Braunfels, or Austin area you should consider stopping at Gruene, it is a great place.

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Flashback Friday 2/21/14

The first song that pops into my head when someone mentions a wedding is 'Going to the Chapel'. I used to always sing this song as a child and it would actually make my mom mad. (I guess she was not married at the time or just not happy with her marriage at the time)

Today's Flashback Friday from October 13, 2001 is about my oldest sister, Kristi and her husband Jim. I'm posting a few pictures of their wedding. They did not go to a chapel but did have a really nice outside wedding at one of their friend's homes.  

It was a nice wedding not only because my sister finally took the plunge, but because our entire (or almost entire) family was there. Our family rarely ever is all together at one time. 

Jim & Kristi

Grandmother (the best ever), our mom, mom's husband, our father, and sisters

This day was a nice day, beautiful weather, good conversations, and a nice union of two people and an addition to our little family. 


Written by: Aimee Fauci

I Just Got My Big Fat Check From Ebates

Yesterday my husband got the mail and handed me an envelope that was from Ebates. This made me happy because I knew that there was a BIG FAT CHECK inside that envelope waiting for me! I ripped open the envelope and there it was, my BIG FAT CHECK for $5.68! Oh ya, lunch is on Ebates!

I love Ebates and I have been a member since.... forever. For those that do not know what Ebates is, it is an online cash back savings program. It is simple, if you are planning on shopping online go to before you type in the web address for the store you are wanting to shop at. Type in the store you are wanting to shop at and see if it is listed. If it is listed, choose the store and it will show you what percentage that you will receive back after you have shopped and finalized your order with that store. Percentages vary and they can change throughout the year, especially around the holidays.

Even though my Ebates check was small, I am okay with it because money is money and surprise checks in the mail are always fun.

If you are already connected with Ebates and have recently gotten your check, the Ebates Facebook page is having a $150 cash contest. Go check it out!

So what are you waiting on, sign up for Ebates so you can say 'I just got my big fat check from Ebates!'

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Out Of The Mouths of Babes and Their Mama

I love the moments when my kids surprise me with funny phrases. They always put me in a good mood and make for a funny story to tell. I sometimes pat myself on the back because their funnies make me proud that they inherited the 'funny gene'. Here are just a few of the funnies that I can remember off the top of my head.

Bella- 2 yrs old:
  • 'Mommy, I'm crying! Mommy do I have tears?'
  • I told Bella it was night night time and she says, 'It's not night night time, it's good morning time!'
  • Bella asks, 'Can I watch Family Guy?'.. yep she is 2.. great cartoon for the 2 year old. 
  • As I am changing my child's diaper, I say 'Ewww this is gross!' and she says, 'No, mommy, it isn't gross, it's funny!'
  • My child goes into animal mode. On this day she was a cat and she was on the trampoline and started to cry, 'MEOW!' w real tears. 
Gia- 7 yrs old:
  • After she put pantyhose on for the first time she said, 'Wow, Mommy, I have a tan!'
  • 'Mommy, Selena Gomez needs to dump Justin Bieber and go out with a cowboy!'
  • Gia to her sister Lexi, 'Alexis, it's okay to have some girly in you.'
  • Riding in the car w the kid's friends that are siblings, Gia says, 'Mommy, we have a problem, these kids voted for Obama!'
  • 'Mommy, we should put Lola (our dog) in the garage for 2 years until she grows up!' My response, 'Maybe we should put YOU in the garage until YOU grow up.'
  • When I would take my child to the OBGYN with me, one day she felt the need to point at a pregnant lady and said, 'Mommy, she is FAT!'.
Lexi- 8 yrs old:
  • 'Mommy, one day can we just go shopping and get whatever we want? I just want to go shopping and get stuff!'
  • Lexi is in a pissed off 8 year old mood, so I act stupid to make her laugh and she looks at me stone cold and says, 'Mommy, you are NOT funny!'
  • I was having a battle trying to get my child to help clean the house. I said, 'Alexis, do you really think that people wake up and say 'YIPEE, let's get up and clean?'. To my surprise she said, 'yes'. I asked who does that and she said that I did.
  • Eating out, after we were finished the waitress asked if we wanted a desert. I automatically said 'no thank you', but then my husband asked what they had. Again I quickly said, 'Oh no, really we are fine.' After the waitress left, my child said, 'Good try, dad'.
  • After dealing with her sister's constant tantrums, Lexi says, 'She thinks she is a princess, every time she wants something she wants it NOW and bratty princesses always demand stuff and get what they want!'
Me- a lot years old:
  • My finicky eater was complaining about not wanting to eat the rest of her nuggets and I said, 'Lexi there is a fat girl trying to get skinny that would kill for those nuggets.'
  • Back in the days, when we were in the car and when my older kids would complain of being thirsty I would always say, 'Drink your spit.'
  • My husband tells me that he refinanced his truck and he will save us $250 a month, so I (of course) say, 'So what you are telling me is that we have an extra $250 a month so.... let's go shopping!'
Like I said, these are just a few examples of the craziness that comes out of our kid's mouth. 

We are always trying to make each other laugh in the Fauci house; that's what makes us AWESOME!

What comes out of the mouth of your babes or their mama's mouth? 

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Monday, February 17, 2014

I've Been Eating So Much Special K Lately That I Do Indeed Believe I Have Become Special

I used to only eat- on occasion- Special K cereal (the one with chocolate pieces of course), but since I am on this 'only eat healthy or/and high fiber snacks' I am looking at snacks differently.

I am in love with the Special K Cracker Chips. They are so good and each flavor that I have tried are amazing. The crackers are light and crisp and flavorful, but I have to be careful because it is as if they melt in your mouth. This causes me to want to eat the entire box in one sitting; which would defeat the purpose.

When we were at Sam's Club the other day I found another snack I have never heard of; Special K Snack Bites.  I grabbed the bag, looked at the contents, and tossed it in the cart. On our way home my girls and I tested them out and loved them. Once again, you have to be careful with these because you can eat a few too many in one sitting. 

I will be honest, I have always avoided the Special K snacks because they seemed a bit pricey, but I was desperate for a new taste that day and I am glad I spent the extra money. I will, however, next time try and find some coupons to hopefully lower the cost. 

What's your favorite Special K snack?

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Sunday, February 16, 2014

42 Days Clean and I Cracked

February 15th of 2014 marked my 42nd day of being 'clean'. Clean of that 'must have' feeling, clean of the 40 grams of sugar per 12 oz serving, free of weight gain, and free of wasting my money on the 'poison'.  42 days is an all time record for me, but what can I say, I cracked! 

I was having such a horrid day. I was suffering from a 3 day sinus headache, credit card numbers for orders were not going through, I messed up an order, my house got dirty overnight after I spent all day Saturday cleaning it, my kid's were driving me insane in the membrane, and I was so sleepy from having taken a 'headache' pill that kept me up all night from its itchy side effects. 

I had to do it, I had to grab that bottle of high sugary poison drink and take a shot. The crazy thing is that the first drink was not even good but it called me back to it. It actually called my name! I went back and poured me a second and third and a fourth shot. (As I am typing this I may go take another shot before bed) The taste got better; it had a little kick to it. WOW, I was feeling good, I was happy, my kids were not so bad and my house didn't seem so messy. Life was freaking awesome! 

Sigh, I know I can't go back. I can't go back to the poison. The weight gain will destroy me and make me a grumpier mama bear than I already am. Tomorrow is a new day. So help me God, I will do this. 

What is your addiction?

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Birth of my Sweet Lexi- In Honor of CHD Awareness Week

Since my child decided to stop growing, my doctor decided that we might as well deliver her into this world a few weeks early so she would have a better opportunity to grow and get big.

When you are prepping to deliver a baby that has any type of 'special needs' or 'abnormal issues' the delivery room gets really crowded with extra nurses, specialists, and NICU staff. I was amazed at how many people came to see me have a baby! It was exciting.

Lexi was delivered by C-Section- an amazing and crazy experience. Soon after she was born she became the STAR of the room. She was swept away from the doctor and placed on an examination table where 4-5 doctors looked her over. She was small, 4 pounds and 12 ounces. She had 10 fingers and 10 toes, 2 arms and 2 legs but as the doctors were examining her they realized she was missing something.

As I was in the recovery room, high as a kite, family came in to inform me that our new baby girl was missing a butt. I was very confused at these words. How can someone be missing a butt. Then it was explained to me that she was missing her 'bottom hole'. Yes, my child not only was born with a congenital heart defect, she was born with an imperforated anus. In my mind I thought how crazy that sounded but after it sunk in I asked if it was fixable and I was told that it was. Since it was fixable, I chose not to stress out about it.
Day 2 of Lexi's life she went in for an operation to have a colostomy so she could poop. This was a new experience for us that required much training and practice on the removal, cleaning and replacement of one. It was amazing, however, not to have to change a dirty diaper for around the first 8 months of her life.

Lexi had to stay in the PICU/NICU for two weeks. They kept her in the hospital in hopes that she would gain weight. Since her heart was not as strong as a normal heart, she got really tired when she would eat, therefore not getting as many calories as she needed to gain weight. Finally after hanging out at the hospital waiting for her 'feed times' each day, the doctors decided to let her go home to try and gain weight. 

She was  unsuccessful at gaining weight so they finally inserted a feeding tube through her nose. Our Lexi was determined to stay a skinny bird, so even this did not help. 

Today, Lexi has had all the  necessary surgeries to make her 'normal'. She had her bottom fixed (SN- to fix a bottom like this, it's a total of 3 surgeries- after Lexi's last bottom surgery, there was a 'mess up' that landed her in the hospital for 2 weeks- malrotation) and her heart fixed. She is still the most finicky eater I've ever met, except if she is eating sweets. When you look at her you would never know the challenges that she went through her first year of life and the challenges she still goes through today. She is an amazing and awesome kid! 

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Teachers of CHD Students Beware.....

I have to say that I am overly paranoid, but prepared when my daughter starts a new school year. Before the school year starts the teacher will always call to introduce herself and I always push my husband out of the way so I can give her the 4-1-1 of the history of my child. I also make sure to send her and the nurse a detailed email regarding her medical history and I ask her teachers to also inform every teacher that comes in contact with her. Yep, call me paranoid and really overprotective, but can you blame me? I do my very best not to scare my daughter's teachers and so far I have been very lucky that she has had amazing and awesome teachers. (SN- Lexi was born with a CHD that has since been repaired but is still recovering from another medical issue she was born with)

Only 9 more school years and then I can breath a little better ;-)

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Monday, February 10, 2014

8/31/05 My Baby Turns From a Blue Baby to a Pink Baby

August 31, 2005 was one of the longest days in my lifetime. This was the day that our Lexi would be having her heart repaired. Knowing that it was going to be a long day and knowing that I would not remember any of this day, I decided to take a journal with me to the hospital and document every moment of Lexi's heart journey. (SN- If your child is having surgery, I recommend writing in a journal as the surgery is taking place) I am so thankful that I did.

Lexi's journey began at 5am when we had to wake her up and give her a bath with Betadine solution; thirty minutes later we all piled into the car and headed for the hospital. It was a quiet ride with no one on the road. The older kids were still half asleep and Rick and I were a bundle of nerves. We arrived at the hospital and checked in at 6am. For the next hour and 38 minutes (yes I have it down to the minutes) we waited, Lexi had her blood drawn, she was in and out of sleep, she had family visit her and she received gifts.

At 7:38am the nurse came into the room and told us that it was 'time'. Her sister and brothers told her good-bye and we all gave her kisses. I handed her over to the nurse and watched as they walked away with our little baby girl. Lexi was so brave, she did not shed one tear; Rick and I were a different story. We walked out of the double doors into the breezeway and broke down. What just happened? Our sweet baby was about to have her little chest cut open and put on machines and operated on and we had no control over what was about to happen to her. We couldn't hold her hand, we couldn't rub her forehead, we had to wait and wonder and worry.

After we arrived in the waiting room, we noticed a little monitor that kept us updated with almost everything that was going on with our Lexi. Our eyes were constantly on this screen. In addition, the 'heart' nurse would come down to the waiting room and update us every single hour; all was positive news. The most positive news was when they told us that she would only need one heart surgery (I'm still knocking on wood)

Almost 6 hours later, the heart doctor and nurse came to the waiting room and told us that her heart repair was complete. 15 minutes later we were able to finally see her roll by as they were taking her to the ICU. Lexi was wrapped up with tubes coming out of everywhere and she was sleeping so peacefully but the first thing I noticed was how incredibly PINK she was. Our child was PINK! We lived with her being a bluish color since her birth that this new PINK color did her well. She was beautiful!

This picture of Lexi was after a week of surgery. I chose this one so you could see how PINK she became! 

Lexi stayed in the hospital for around 2 weeks and a few days. Sadly, during her recovery she came down with an infection and had to stay much longer. SN- She had to stay in ICU in a sort of covered hallway breezeway the entire time during her stay (except on the last day) because this was in Aug of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina happened. The hospital did not have any beds/rooms because of this. After two weeks the doctors had Lexi on medication that they were giving her through a PICC Line. Finally after being done with being at the hospital and not being able to spend the night with our child and not having a room, I  had to speak up and ask the doctor if this procedure could be done at home. Thank goodness I spoke up because the next day, we were discharged!  I truly feel that recovery is sometimes best done at home. 

This picture is right before sweet Lexi gets to go home. Look at the first picture of her and her daddy and compare it to this one. What a difference a repaired heart can make ;-) 

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Pack For The Unexpected When Staying With Your Child At The Hospital

When my CHD Hero, Lexi, was born we knew that we would be having a few hospital stays; we ended up having more than we expected. We learned really quick during our first over night stay at the hospital what we needed to bring to our next overnight stay to make our time with our baby girl more comfortable and tolerable for us and her.

Here are some things that we brought on all of our hospital stays to make life a little bit more comfortable:

  • A lot of extra pacifiers: We learned that hospitals will provide as many pacifiers as your child needs, but they don't provide Wubbanubs and Wubbanubs are the cure for baby's every kind of emotion.
  • Personal DVD Player and a lot of movies: What can I say, hospital TV stinks. There is too much time waiting for test results, doctor check in's and etc for there not to be enjoyable TV to pass the time. When Lexi was in the hospital I swear we watched a few seasons of The Family Guy, Little House on the Prairie, Spongebob Squarepants and a ton of other mindless shows that got us through days in the hospital. Lexi actually enjoyed it also.                         

  • Blankets and pillows: After the first time we had to stay over night in the hospital we learned that hospital pillows and blankets are not only in short demand but they suck. We made sure to pack our favorite pillows and enough blankets to soften up the couch bed and the air mattress that we packed.

After each of our hospital stays we realized more and more things that we should bring the next time. Not only the daily essentials such as toiletries, fresh and comfortable clothes (SN- I wore my pj's the entire time), lots and lots of snacks, a journal, adult medicine, heating pad and anything and everything else that keeps your day moving. 

Feel free to share any essentials you think are important to possibly help other parents.

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Friday, February 7, 2014

Did Someone Just Punch Me In My Gut.. Oh No Wait.. They Just Told Me My Baby Will Have a CHD

On this day I was getting a sonogram; the best baby doctor visits are when you get to see your baby! As the sonographer rolled the little mouse like object on my tummy, my husband looked at our baby girl and were delighted with how darn cute she already was. The sonographer pointed out her little fingers and toes and told us her measurements and every little thing that was important. 

All of a sudden the sonographer stopped her little mouse like object and did not leave a certain spot on my tummy. I remember she became so focused on the screen and she stopped speaking but made little noises like 'hmmm' and 'hmmm' and 'hmmm' and then she said, 'Let me go get the doctor'. That was the moment our life would change forever.  

My husband and I looked at each other and were like 'hmmm'. The doctor came in and she looked at the little television screen and agreed with the sonographer with what she was looking at. She explained to us that it looked as if our baby had a heart defect and that she would immediately call the heart specialist and tell them that we needed to be seen tomorrow! 

Seriously, did someone just punch me in the gut? Everything was happening so fast and words were being said that I did not understand, but thankfully our doctor was awesome and got us into a specialist the next day. 

After our appointment with the heart specialist we were sent for more tests, one being an amniocentesis. This was the most emotional test that I have ever taken in my entire lifetime. Most people would think that this test was emotional because a huge needle enters into your abdomen, but it was actually emotional because not only was this a reality check that something was wrong with my child but I saw the entire procedure on a huge screen in front of me. Not to be too graphic but to be 'real', I saw the actual needle enter my abdomen and then I saw my child kicking at the needle, knowing that it did not belong in her 'house'. (I could go on a pro-life soap box right now, but I will spare you)

When you are pregnant and your baby is diagnosed with a heart defect you are told that there might be more 'problems' with the baby. After the test, I remember just laying in my bed for at least 2 days. I watched the snow outside and heard the older kids getting excited about it, but all I could do was lay and think, and cry and think some more. What else could be wrong with this kid? Wasn't a heart issue enough? 

I remember the phone call from my doctor. She called me immediately when she received the test results and her words were, 'The tests do not show any other signs of defects or issues.' I started crying and had to hand the phone to my husband. I was so happy because I honestly did not know how much more I could handle.

Finding out that your child, whether it be while your baby is still in your tummy or outside of your tummy, literally feels like someone punched you in the gut. It sucks! You don't know what to expect and you don't understand the medical terms that are being used. It turns into a waiting game, a very long waiting game! 

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Meet Lexi... My CHD Hero

Meet Lexi... She is my Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Hero!

She was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot when she was around 4-5 months old in my tummy. She was a tiny baby that did not want to grow so the doctor decided to bring her into the world a few weeks early. 

At 4 pounds and 12 ounces she was the cutest baby in the entire world. Sadly, she was born with more issues that were not related to her heart so she had to stay an extra 2 weeks in the NICU until she started to gain weight. 

When Lexi was almost 5 months old, she had an operation to repair her heart. She did not heal as quickly as most of the other heart patients so she had to stay 2 weeks in the hospital and go home with a pic line.

Since her operation, we've been lucky. We go every year for a heart check up and each time we've had a good report. (Knock on wood)

CHD Awareness is February 7-14th.. keep an eye on the blog for posts related to more of Lexi's story, the struggles and pain of finding out your child is sick, and some overall tips.

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don't Judge: I Rescued a Dog and Gave It Back

Yes, you read it right, my husband and I rescued a dog from a No Kill Shelter and four months later returned it. We knew we were moving to a home with three acres and wanted a dog that could hang out on the land and grow up with our girls. At first my husband was looking at a really expensive breed that did not shed. This breed was adorable and cute, but really really obnoxiously expensive! Thankfully he had a friend tell him about a No Kill Shelter located in the city we lived in.

On the following Saturday we headed out to look at dogs at the No Kill Shelter. Normally we go to pet stores just to look, get ideas on the breed we like and to let the girls get used to dogs. The shelter was awesome, clean, and organized. As we started to look, they explained that the puppies were on the left and the big dogs were on the right; we went left.

Having previously had a small size breed and knowing we were going to live on acreage, we knew that we wanted a dog that was a middle size breed and we definitely wanted a no shed dog. There were a lot of options at the shelter but of course every dog was a 'shedder', but we kept looking.

We found the cutest dog; it was white with black spots. They called her 'Dot'. We decided to see how she would act when we held her. She was so calm and relaxed.

Yep, we adopted her. She won us over in 15 minutes. I'll admit it, we are weak. 

We had good times and she had good qualities, unfortunately, over time, too many 'issues' started to arise. Our new house did not have a proper gate to hold an animal, so we would have Lola returned to us by neighbors. (SN- our neighbors are not in arm's reach) When the UPS man would drop off     packages, if I did not have time or an opportunity to restrain Lola, she would literally chase the UPS truck down the road. 

(WARNING-- THIS PART IS GROSS) Disgustingly, the straw that broke the camel's back was when Lola started to throw up huge piles of yuck all over the house and yard. At first we thought she got into something or ate too fast but it kept happening at least 2 times a day (that we knew of). One day my husband decided to 'examine' her yuck and almost made a yuck of his own. I will not say what he discovered but I will provide a link:

So with that said, we had to begin leaving her outside until bedtime and hope she did not run off. Then when she was inside we had to keep more eyes on her than we did on our own kids. After a few weeks of this we decided it was time to contact the shelter and ask if we could return her. 


I think I have come to the conclusion and acceptance that I am not a dog person. Even though I grew up with a lot of dogs, I think that motherhood changed me and made me not have patience for dogs. 

My husband, notice I did not say 'me', had a twinge of guilt for returning her, but it was quite a sight to see the deer, squirrels, birds, and country cats come out and celebrate when they realized that crazy dog was gone.


Written by: Aimee Fauci

CHD Awareness Week February 7- 14

CHD = Congenital Heart Defect

My oldest daughter, from the second set of kids, was born with a Congenital Heart Defect. She was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot and was lucky enough to only have to have one operation to repair her heart; where as other people/ kids are not so lucky.

I read a blog post that was shared by another 'Heart Mom' and all I could think of was 'THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA!'. So with that said, I am going to share the post with you and hope that you share it and I encourage you to participate.

If you participate not only will you spread CHD Awareness but you will also put a smile on someone's face.

Some ideas-

  • Bake cookies for the postman
  • Bake the school office staff some pink/ red cupcakes
  • Rake your neighbors leaves
  • Offer to babysit and give a mom/dad a night out
Simple ideas and thoughtful ideas, but make sure to attach a tag that explains why you are doing a good deed and encourage them to pay it forward in honor of CHD Awareness. 

Let me know if you decide to play, but if you don't play, please share this post so others can be aware. 

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Monday, February 3, 2014

They Say I'm 25% Espanol But Someone Forgot To Tell My Taste Buds

Okay, here is the deal, apparently I have some Spanish in my blood but I don't have any Spanish in my taste buds. I am not sure how this happened, but it is quite annoying especially when I get 'that look' from my husband when I ask the waitress if the food on the menu is spicy and if she says, 'it's not really spicy', I know to steer away from it.

Today I tried to venture out and try something new. The other day we bought some stuffed jalapeno peppers from HEB. As usual HEB has a way to make all food that they cook and prep look really good, so I grabbed some and promised my husband I would try them.

I got so excited as the peppers were cooking because they smelled amazing. As I pulled out the peppers they made a certain sizzle noise that told my taste buds that they were going to enjoy this. 

I placed four jalapeno peppers with a squirt of delicious ranch (my favorite) onto my plate. I sat down with my husband and cut a nice sized piece and excitedly placed it in my mouth. The flavor was great, the deliciousness of the bacon and the crunch was amazing... but wait... wait for it... here it comes... the SPICINESS HIT MY TASTE BUDS. I had to toss my plate and make a run for the spice cabinet.

I had to grab the sugar and relieve my taste buds of the heat. My husband swore I must have gotten a 'bad piece' and that I should try them again. He then told me that I just needed to 'toughen up' and get through the spice. I just don't find it enjoyable to have my poor taste buds burn while I am eating any type of food. Why do people put themselves through this pain? 

SN- I did try another pepper and it was not spicy at all, but the next one I tried was spicy. 

Let me know, do your taste buds enjoy the spiciness of food or do you prefer to keep your food enjoyable like I do?

Written by: Aimee Fauci

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oh Dear GOD What Did I Just Sit On

I am the type of person that is constantly rushing, moving and not always paying attention to my surroundings. It is a very bad habit that has caused me to step on puppies, run into 'short people' (aka toddlers), literally run into walls and a lot of other preventable accidents. Saturday afternoon was no different; actually it was a little different. Oh wait, who am I kidding, Saturday was A LOT different!

Saturday I was wrapping up orders from my Sassy Bratz business. I had ribbon, product, fluff, scissors, packing tape and plastic strewn out across the living room. As I work on wrapping orders, I have a tendency to move around from my favorite fluffy chair to the floor to the chair and back to the floor. I was in a rush because like everyday, I had a lot to get done so I was wanting to wrap this order up fast.

Below is my story of how this Saturday afternoon was different than all the rest. If you get squeamish you may want to cover your eyes and peak while you read the rest. (I know that does not make sense but it's what I do when I have to read or see something that gives me the heebie actually helps)

  • The picture on the left is a normal pair of kid scissors. I use these scissors to cut my packing tape. Often times when I am done with my scissors I simply toss them to the side and go to the next step in my project. 
  • The picture on the right is how my scissors landed after I tossed them. Oh yes, the story is about to get good!
After I tossed the pair of scissors onto my favorite fluffy chair, I sat on the ground to continue to wrap my products. Minutes later I was ready to cut more tape, so I plopped back onto the chair. (Yes, I PLOP, I don't sit, I actually jump up and PLOP) After I plop onto the chair I hear a POP and then out of nowhere I feel the pain. Oh my GOD, the pain! What just happened? I yell, I hop up, grab my butt cheek and I scream! My husband says, 'What is wrong?'. I yell as I am crying (yes, this was a crying offense), 'I SAT ON MY SCISSORS! OH MY GOD, I SAT ON MY SCISSORS! I'M BLEEDING! OH MY GOD, IT HURTS!'. 

Being a good husband, he ran over and freaked me out just a little bit more. He gave me clear instructions on what I needed to do while he went to grab a towel so I could use it to put pressure on my butt cheek to stop ALL THE BLOOD! 

Thankfully, my husband is awesome at tending to wounds. He made sure the blood stopped, put up with my crying , and bandaged me up. Through my tears, I made sure he took the time to snap a picture so I could see the wound and so I could share with the world the importance of being safe with your scissors.

Now it's your turn, what clumsy and unavoidable accident has happened to you?

Written by: Aimee Fauci