Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Holidays

As many of you know - Tom has been suffering. He started with some radiation to hopefully rid himself of three small brain tumors and then he got hydrocephalus which has turned into a bigger nightmare then the tumors in the first place. In the last few months he has had 3 surgeries to fix it, but he is still not fixed. He is in a lot of pain (headaches) and suffers from lack of his ability to be his normal self. Hence it has been a rough Holiday and end of the year. However, we still try to count our blessings and we still have many.

We are very grateful to our family and friends who have been so supportive and kind. That is truly the silver lining. Tom has been able to be home and that has allowed extra time with the kids and he has enjoyed that. Here is one of the many towers he and Gabe have built.My mom moved closer to us in the last year, just one town over - and we are so lucky. She has been able to spend lots of time with the kids as we have gone back and forth to the docs and spend long hours away. She can also come last minute most of the time when things have run long. It has been good for her and given her joy and has been a lifesaver to us. Here the girls are - we went with the Daisies to the Nutcracker and it was great.
It was sort of a rough Christmas as Tom had his 3rd surgery a couple days before hand. We were lucky to have his Dad and ACey come out to help us make it happen and to bring some happy Holiday spirit into the house. I think the kids enjoyed themselves. We did all get matching family pajamas this year - the kids are in theirs below.

Here is the clan getting our tree. We were able to pull off both sides of our families together in a very nice and fantastic way. Another silver lining. Oh yes, you might see my boot - fracture. Not fun. But not a big deal with what Tom is dealing with. Really pisses me off that he steals all my sympathy.
Hope you are having a wonderful Holiday season. This year, we didn't do cards and we didn't get to host our friends over here like we like - but we did enjoy all of your cards and loved to see the friends that we did. Many of whom have been so kind as to stop by with kind words or food.

We are hanging in there and are trying to count our many blessings while we continue to hope that soon Tom will be back to his old self.

Friday, November 11, 2011

October - Happy Halloween!!!

Due to popular demand (ok a couple people) who have requested Halloween photos - here you! I thought I was also throw in some big events shots as well to keep you up to date and remind me of what we did! Our family rode a 10 mile bike ride to raise money and awareness for brain tumors in honor of Tom. Fi had no problem and we all had a nice time!
I had wanted to get us T shirts to show our Team Fenster spirit - what better way then Eagles shirts??!! So we wore them proud and now we can still keep on wearing them for years (ugh) to come :-)
For Halloween we had a rabbit and a carrot... They had a lot of fun, we did a pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, went to a party, a school parade, and of course trick or treating. Gabe was beyond adorable, I had forgotten how much fun it is to take a two year old house to house for candy. "Mo house! mo house! Tick o teeeet!!! tank eeewwwe!"
Holding a chicken! We also went will all our buddies from Fi's moms group to a great park - we brought the wee ones too - too many photos and so here is one!
Baby G and Baby C after trick or treats!
The big kids, here Andrew is thinking of his true love... :-)
Our trick or treating group!
Tom and I decided to take advantage of two things: 1. his recent surgery and 2. our good friend who is a doctor (my costume was delivered that evening :-) We were patient and doctor and of course we had the bunny and carrot thing going. - we all needed explanations!

Happy happy Halloween!!! Hope you are all doing well. xoxox C

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gabriel, the Live Doll

The girls first put on a fashion show - P mermaid and fairy, Fi was Ocean, and Maya was Hawaiian. Next thing you know, everything is on Gabe. He loved it. I can definitely see these pictures being used in his future.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Shots - Philly Vaca and 4th of July

Just a few pics of our wonderful trips to LBI and the Poconos! We got to hang out with a couple of Tom's long time best buddies and also I got some bonding time with the Mrs. - and of course the kids all got to play - wonderful!

E and L with baby A - a bit younger then Gabe but much bigger - nicknamed, the beast!
Stocky got his "fun" in with with kids playing in the ocean and also - getting ice water thrown on him over and over again.
The elegant bath tub at the shore house!
Family Pocono's house and 2011 guests! We miss you all - so fun!
Youngest body boarder ever...
Tackled by "auntie Liz"
They're BAAAAAAACK!!!!!! And we are so happy. During the bike parade at our 4th of July block party! D take baby C out while Daddy Fence took Baby G.
Driving the Fire truck!
Together again!
Guys shot, with a mysterious head sneaking in....

Great summer memories and fun so far - and we are only 1/2 way done!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Loss of teeth and hair...Milestones

As we have now finished Kindergarten we are also changing so quickly - things are just falling out or being asked to be removed!

For those of you who haven't seen Fi in a while, she has lost both the top front teeth and looks adorable with it. After a heated debate the tooth fairy left $3/per tooth, but the Costa Rican fairy threw in a couple bucks and then of course the Colombian Rat Fairy left a gift (via the mail). Too cute. Fi also asked that we cut her hair. She had wanted it for a while, and so as painful as it was for mommy, we did it. We actually decided to follow many people's leads, and we are donating the hair to Locks of Love - the longest hair when wet was 10"!. I will miss seeing those long blond curls, but she still looks cute and this new do is certainly much easier to care for. See the photographic evidence below:


After: It turned out very cute and she really loves it! In other news, Fiona (fortunately or unfortunately) started to potty train baby G. He is not really ready - he is not leading the charge - but she found that if you put him on, then we can get a result. But, I am a bit worried that this play might delay the whole process. We will see. For now, we celebrate any success! And it was very cute to see the team in action.
Grandpa Alan came for a visit and enjoyed the kids - we did Fi's play and the beach, and a couple of birthday parties - the weather was not cooperating nearly as much as we would have liked - but he did get some California sun.
Big sister can still hold and carry Gabriel, when he is willing.
More soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


After many years of following me post my two surgeries, the doctors have seen some growth again. This time the benign tumors (remnants from the prior surgeries that they couldn't remove) will be removed via a wonderful procedure that doesn't involve a scalpel or screws in my head (the way the used to do it in the good ole days). This radiation surgery involves many rays of low-grade radiation intersecting at the bad spots (tumor) and hopefully not at the good spots (other grey material). They said that the procedure was a success, but bad signs would be "really bad headaches or vomiting in the next 48 hours" or "brain swelling in in the next 3 months". Unfortunately, Fiona has come down with a stomach flu and has vomited multiple times today - very exciting considering we have a flight back to Philly on Saturday morning. So here is to hoping that my head won't be swelling and Fiona's tummy won't be evacuating, and we actually make it to the plane for vacation. In case anyone has every wondered what it is like to be spiderman or Hannibal Lector, here is a pic that my lovely wife took in the surgery room.

The only thing funnier than the picture was the fact that the doctor must have taken lessons from Dentistry school, as he insisted on asking me questions when I was not able to move my lips, so I attempted to answer with muffled mmm-hmm and hmm-hmm to differentiate yes's and no's.
- Daddy Fence

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A sprinkling of happy moments to share!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Luckily it was the cheap lipstick,

because there is nothing left worth using.

Monday, May 16, 2011

April in a nutshell!

Fiona's back to school night - highlights: Abuela was here to share it. We saw so many new and old friends and got to catch up that we are really starting to feel a part of the community at this school - pretty great after only 1 year. and getting to know all the kids/and other older neighborhood kids. Fi was thrilled. She wanted to wear matching clothes with mama - so under our sweaters we each had on light blue dresses. I was so happy that she wanted to do that... I liked to do that with my mom too.
Gabe using the computer in class...
Abuela getting help blowing our her candles - Gabe learned very quickly and tries to blow out anything that even slightly looks like a candle now.
Fiona's first science / food creation - of which there have now been a few. You see dates, carrots, sugar, and chocolate etc. Yes, I made her Dad try it.
Gabe with some big shoes to fill.
Love the swing. Love the fun new things I find on the swing. Love all the laughter that has come from that swing.
Oh yeah, baby - big planes - too cool to visit and play with.

Daddy pitching to his little girl ball player. Go Team YF! Lucky they have me to yell "bad pitch" whenever Fi misses - I do my part to contribute.
One day the wee one will be ready.
Easter outfit - belly full of candy.
The cousins on Easter!
Crammed into the plane - ready to go!
Some of Fi's homework - where she said mom works at home and dad on his computer. I like how I am as big as the house. I am sure that psychologically that means something, I am going to hope that it is good and not worry about it. :-) Don't tell me if you know otherwise. Or do, but only if her mental state is in danger.
Cuties! Part of the Daisies and new friends piled on the rocking chair.
April is a wrap! Whoot, whoot! Caught up to May! PS: Tom and I saw Bridesmaids and couldn't stop laughing - it is humor a bit vulgar but .... if you like that (like we do) - go see it. In a second side note - Reading the book Free Range Kids - love it. Anyone else a free ranger out there? or one in training?