House of Costellos

Family living in Iowa's fields of opportunities

Tough girl July 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jscostello56 @ 2:39 am
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Lucy Marie Rose is and always has been a tough little girl, even from the beginning.  Don’t get me wrong, she has her times of whininess and prancing around in her little princess outfits and heels, but she is a tough cookie. And I like it.

When I was pregnant with Lucy, I had a hemorrhage at 13 weeks gestation.  A small sac between some of the layers of the amniotic sack burst and I lost a lot of blood.  I was on bedrest for a few days and was told that the baby may or may not make it. And that was that. I was devastated. But each week improved and she finished the pregnancy strong!

If that were not enough, when I was 37 weeks pregnant I became alarmed that the baby had not moved. All. Day.  A trip to Labor and Delivery told us that I had a life-threatening infection and baby needed to be born. 2 1/2 short hours after my water was artificially broke and Lucy Lou was here.  She had problems breathing and was on oxygen for 6 hours. It was thought that she had a collapsed lung.  She underwent all sorts of tests at just a few minutes old, including chest xrays.  Again, I was devastated that I could not hold my baby for 6 hours!!! I had to have dose after dose of IV gentamicin and vancomycin for 2 days after her birth.  But she came out just fine. A tough cookie.

Fast forward 3 years.  Lucy has endured her fair share of bumps, bruises, and scrapes just like most active kids.  She has also had several eye exams, and now we can add orthopedic xrays and a CT scan to the list….

2 weeks ago, Nana Sandy, myself, and Lucy and Amelia were shopping. We decided to stop and get ice cream on the way home.  We sat outside the ice cream shop and enjoyed our treats and the nice day.  Lucy was sitting next to me and suddenly fell backwards off of the backless bench we were sitting on, right onto the concrete.  She landed on her side and of course immediately started crying.  We were just getting ready to leave so I consoled her and buckled her in her carseat, thinking she was just overly tired and now had a bruised arm.

12 hours later Lucy was still whining. She had not slept well that night, was not using her left arm AT ALL, and cried whenever we touched it or tried to move it. I convinced J that this was more than just whininess and took her to Express Care.  There they examined her and did an xray which confirmed my suspicions that it was fractured. I inquired about another area on the xray that was shadowed and the nurse practitioner stated she was unsure what that was.  Lucy was given a sling and referred to an orthopedist, and the nurse practitioner urged parents to attend that appointment.


Playing at a birthday party the same day, like it's no big deal!

Playing at a birthday party the same day, like it’s no big deal!

The next day was Monday and J, Lucy and I went to ORA first thing.  I was getting somewhat alarmed as they seemed adamant that she needed to be seen right away.  The orthopedist explained that Lucy’s humerus was indeed cracked, and there was a shadow on her bone. This may be something that created a weak spot in her bone and allowed it to fracture when she fell.  I deal with orthopedics a lot with my job and was quite confused and didn’t quite know what they were referring to. “Like what? What was on her bone?’ I asked.  I had never heard of this before.  He answered possibly a cyst, quite common in kids, but better that we get it checked out. He ordered a CT scan to look further into the issue, and left.  I believe the doctor’s exact words were, “I don’t want to alarm you, but we just want to be sure what it is.”

Enter ‘Mama Worry’, my alias.

I lay awake that night after being woken by Amelia, then Lucy, then Amelia again, worrying about ‘what if?’.  What if it is a cyst? Why does she have it? Are there more? Did I do something wrong that caused this? And the worst—-‘What if it’s not a cyst?’

Lucy had her CT scan 2 days later.  I explained the whole procedure to her and she was confident walking in.  She watched the scan table move and I lifted her up on there. I was allowed to stay in the room with a lead gown on.  The table started to move and Lucy yelled for me. She could see me and I started to tell her stories about a princess named Lucy who had multi-color hair and she was content after that. I held her hand as she slid through the machine a few times to get the pictures. She did so well!!!! They had told me ahead of time that if she could not lay still they would have to sedate her. Glad that didn’t have to happen!

Lucy’s followup at ORA was 1 week later.  I had a decent feeling that she would be ok.  Everyone seemed to assure me that if it was not ok, they would have contacted me by now. So we waited.  At the followup visit the doctor came in kind of chuckling.  The radiologist’s report for the CT scan was somewhat inconclusive, meaning they were unsure what it was. But after 2 orthopedists l0oked at the images, they both agreed it was a bone cyst; a type of ‘bubble’ in the bone.  Lucy was to wear the sling for 2 more weeks, and return for a followup xray.  The hope is that the cyst will be filled in and showing good healing in 2 weeks.  We will go from there.

Come one, come all to ORA

Come one, come all to ORA

So Lucy is still sporting her sling.  We’ve never had anyone in our family break a bone before. And I’ve never realized how quickly a sling can become completely disgusting!! We are washing it about every other day!

So for now, we wait. We feed Lucy lot’s of calcium-rich foods and hope that this cyst will fill in and no further surgery or injections are needed, as were briefly mentioned at our visits.  We are confident our tough girl will come through this as she has her other hiccups in life thus far.

-The {healing} Costellos



Project House: Holy header!! June 23, 2014

The ‘new’ house is coming along! J and his crew (read: brothers, dad, dad-in-law) have already spent many hours putting some sweat equity into our house.  We have really appreciated any and all help people have given us! With 3 small children there is no way at this point that we can both work over there without some outside help or babysitting.  So far, I think I’ve done a decent job at my new position as ‘food-deliverer’ and ‘morale-keeper’.

The crew eats well

The crew eats well. Always.

So this week a big feat was accomplished.  In order for the house to have the open  floorplan that we desire, we had to install a header down the middle of the home about 2/3 of the way across to carry the weight of the 2nd story.  Seems a bit daunting to me, but they all figured it out. I’m not sure why it’s blue, but I can tell you that that house isn’t going anywhere–it’s beefy and 20 feet long! They also removed the temporary supporting walls that were in place while the header was positioned.

It's up!

It’s up!

Open floor plan! Black plastic is the open stair case. Picture is taken from living room looking into the kitchen at center.

Open floor plan! Black plastic is covering the open stair case. Picture is taken from living room looking into the kitchen at center. Dining room is to the left (not pictured) and bathroom is to the right (not pictured either!) 

The house is looking quite spacious with all the walls down. Now onto framing the outside walls and the bathroom and kitchen.  The kitchen is going to be HHHUUUUGGGEEE and I am not exaggerating! J keeps tweaking with the floorplan and now the kitchen keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I’m not going to complain…..the kitchen is where I spend a lot of time and what we have now is the tiniest ever and I have all of 6 cabinets. I’m not joking.

Cute stuff

Cute stuff

Since I haven’t blogged in awhile here’s what else we have been up to:

G turned 5! On his birthday we opened presents, went swimming, and watched the LEGO movie, again. It was just as awesome the 2nd time! (and 3rd and 4th….)We all got to hang out all day together! That just doesn’t happen a lot.  It was nice to spend some good family time.



Today we had his party, just small with immediate family at Happy Joes. I made the most ugly imitation of a LEGO cake and I’m not even sure I should be admitting to making it. It should really go on one of those ‘’ websites.  However, G loved it.  He placed the LEGO guys in the cupcakes and requests a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in the center. He also added another layer of cupcakes to the LEGO blocks. Whatevs.  What matters is that he loved it and loved help making it!

Blowing out his FIVE candles!

Blowing out his FIVE candles!

After all that we did the Jungle Bungle for several hours. There were 3 actual ‘kids’ in the bunch, but even a lot of us bigger ‘kids’ took a try!

Papa Bart conquers the 2 story slide of the Jungle Bungle

Papa Bart conquers the 2 story slide of the Jungle Bungle

Last weekend we helped raise money for the American Cancer Society with the Relay for Life. We have a family member currently battling cancer and participated on his team.  It was hot, sunny, and a good time! Great way to raise money is with family and friends!

G and one of his fav cousins

G and one of his fav cousins





We’ve also attended a baby shower, birthdays, VBS, kid’s triathlon, had a few house showings, attended library programs, had water balloon fights, and eaten a lot of grilled food ;)

Have a great week!

-The {summer-loving} Costellos




G’s first blog June 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jscostello56 @ 10:58 am

Gabriel turns 5 today, June 18.  I don’t have a virtual copy of his birth story, and I could go on for days about how much he has impacted our lives and how much I love him and how crazy he makes me sometimes and what an awesome person he is………….

So instead, I decided to let him write his own blog for his 5th birthday.  Below is what he wanted to tell you all about himself. Enjoy!

Cute little G!

Cute little G!

Gabriel is a really cool super robot guy.  My favorite color is blue.

When I’m five, I will climb trees all the way up to the top, because I am really brave.  When I am five, I will help my  Nana plant plants in the summer.  When I am five, I will ride my bike with no training wheels, and make stuff out of boxes, like robots, with electricity and stuff.  I will be bigger than any sisters. When I am five I will have a treehouse and it will be in California, where treehouses are. Matthew and me will build treehouses, and those trees don’t come down in storms. Matthew and us are really fast kind of friends!

When I grow up I will be: fast Green Lantern, really fast, faster than a cheetah

Favorite food: hot dogs and macaroni

Favorite game: tag

Favorite dream: I can be a superhero!

What I would like to do tomorrow on my birthday: carry the whole house and move it to California on the plane–then you guys can come to California!

What I will actually do tomorrow on my birthday: go to a waterpark and play in the water

Favorite friends: Matthew, Ian, Jayden, Justin, Jarrett. They are all superheros

Favorite insect: walking sticks because they can camoflauge, ants because they can carry so much stuff, heavy stuff just like us. But they cannot move a chair because it is so heavy!

Favorite animal: frogs

Favorite TV show: cowboys. And I like robot movies. Chicago Fire!

Favorite movie: Ninja turtles

Favorite clothes: Ninja shirts

Favorite person to hang out with: Dad, because I like playing with you! And doing piggyback rides, work on the house, sing songs, read comic books

Favorite book: Lego superheros, Magic Treehouse, Where’s Waldo

Favorite seasons: winter and summer

Someday I will have 21 brothers……..and 2 sisters. All my brothers will be in California. And some of them will be in the Navy treehouse.

I can make stuff out of boards. I can make robots out of boards and electricity. I am excited to be really bigger than my dad! When I grow up I will be huger than my Dad.

Today I: saw chickens, went to Nana’s, played with Ian, cutted the tree down, helped Papa carry tools, handed him tools, ate pizza, played with a bunch of toys–transformer toys and a bunch of toys.




-The {growing up too fast} Costellos



Proud June 11, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jscostello56 @ 2:52 am

Today, I am proud.

Tomorrow, June 11, 2014, my younger brother by 3 1/2 years will become a member of the United States Navy.  This is something Mitch has thought about doing for years, and has now decided to go for it.




He’s ready (I think). He had to quit his job.  He has sold or packed away all of his wordly possessions. We purchased his house. He found a new home for his dachshund.  His ’66 Mustang has been carefully stowed in my Mom and Dad’s storage sheds.  My Dad’s ’67 Mustang motor is running (a goal they had wanted to complete before Mitch left). We threw him a surprise going away party 2 weeks ago that he almost didn’t make it to.

Tomorrow Mitch will board a bus in Davenport which will take him to Des Moines.  He will then do whatever the Navy does with him, and then will board another bus to go to Chicago for his basic training.  After 8 weeks he will go to Pensacola, FL for his schooling.

My grandfather on my Dad’s side (now passed away) would be proud. He served in WWII in the Army and was an active member of the Legion in his town.

I am very excited for Mitch. I think he is setting a great example for our kids and young people everywhere, who one day may want to pursue a career with the military. I find it humbling that he wants to serve his country.

Today, I am proud.

Good luck Uncle Mitch!!!

Good luck Uncle Mitch!!!



Sleepless in Iowa May 31, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jscostello56 @ 1:00 pm
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I sit outside on my porch at 6:30am this lovely late spring Saturday morning, watching my 3 year old rollerskate in her pajamas.  Why? That’s a great question.



Most people are sleeping at 6:30am on a Saturday morning. But, most people also sleep at night. I am not one of those privledged people  some nights, and last night was one of them.

Here’s how we arrived at current situation:

Friday 8:30pm: G, L and  A are all in their own respective beds, asleep I presume. I shower and pick up around the house a little bit, then decide to go to bed.

9:30pm: I go to bed, poke my head in kids’ rooms just to hear their little breathing. In G and L’s room, a small voice says ‘Mom? I scared. There’s monsters on the wall.’  I go in and reassure Lucy that nothing is on the wall, and her big brother is in the same room so she will definitely be ok. I go to bed, thinking maybe I’ll only have to be up once, as we had a very active day outside and Amelia would for sure sleep well…..




11:20pm: I hear Amelia crying from her crib. I get up and fetch her in the dark, and lay down and feed her in our bed. I doze off.

1:15am:  I have to use the bathroom very badly so I rouse J enough to make sure Amelia doesn’t roll of the bed then run all the way downstairs and across the house to the bathroom. J sleeps like a rock and rarely wakes up at night unless I wake him. But since I’m nursing it’s usually me who has to do the work anyways.  I come back to bed and take about 10 mins to fall asleep.

2:20am: Amelia is awake again, in our bed. She is hungry, again. I’m so tired. I feed her again.  I’m halfway awake now so I put her into her rock’n’play bassinett next to the bed. I take about 15 more minutes to fall asleep.

3:30am: ‘Mom. Moooom. Mommmy!!!!!’ Now what!?  I hear a little voice coming from across the hall. I drag my tired bones out of bed and go to see. It’s Lucy. ‘Mommy! I have to go potty!’ I tell her let’s go and she practically launches out of bed. I hold her hand as we walk down the stairs and across the house again as I know she will surely trip in the dark and without her glasses on. In the bathroom she wants to change her pajamas to put on ‘the pink ones’. No. We go back to bed and I re-start their music in their room and reassure her that  there are no monsters anywhere. I climb back into bed.

4:20am: Amelia is up AGAIN. I feed her AGAIN. She is just hungry!!!!  I am feeling very drained, literally and figuratively. I’m hoping this means she will sleep for another 2 hours.

5:40am: Amelia is crying from the bassinett. I lift her up and she has wet through the back of her diaper, onesie and into the bassinett. Awesome. I guess that’s what happens when you eat that many times overnight…..a diaper can only hold so much. I go and get a new diaper from her room and leave her laying in our bed and she screams for the 30 seconds I am gone. I return and put the new diaper on her and will her to fall back asleep. I’m spent. She lays there and grabs/scratches at me, kicks me like my legs are a trampoline and plays with my tank top strap. She’s so happy and I’m glad, but just tired. Mental note to clip her finger and toenails at a later time.

6:15am: I realize she’s not falling back asleep anytime soon. I grab Amelia, my phone and water bottle and tiptoe out of our room and down the stairs, hoping no one else wakes up. 3 steps from the bottle I hear Lucy talking about who knows what. I get down to the living room and change Amelia’s wet onesie–I put her in a super cute new outfit I picked up at my favorite consignment store yesterday, just because cuteness at least makes my exhaustion a bit more tolerable. As I’m dressing her I hear Lucy singing ‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’ from Frozen at the top of the stairs.



I now know it’s all over.  No more sleeping for me. Lucy comes down and immediately finds her roller skates I also just bought her yesterday at my favorite consignment store. She is ADAMANT about wanting to try them out. I agree, partially because I don’t want to hear her whine, partially because I don’t want her to wake anyone else up, and partially because I’m too tired to care.

We venture outside and I help her put on  her shoes, skates, and helmet. Gabriel comes down, steps outside and announces that he is going to change his clothes and then will be out to play too.  I step in and now J is up too, completely unaware of the night that went on next to him all night, bless his heart.

So I sit here, at 6:30am on a beautiful Saturday in late May, watching my 3 year old rollerskate in her pajamas.

-The {sleepless} Costello(s)




Project House: D-Day May 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jscostello56 @ 3:02 pm

So we bought a house!

My brother is joining the Navy, leaving June 11.  He owned a house just across town from us, substantially bigger than ours. He of course wants to sell it before he leaves.  He had remodeled the entire 2nd floor and did a beautiful job, including 3 large bedrooms, master bath, 3 walk-in closets and a potential 2nd floor laundry/closet. All that we have to do is flooring. The first floor remained……in need of work.  But the house has many perks; the yard is much bigger, there is a 3+ stall garage, a perfect tree for Gabriel’s treehouse that he has been asking for for a year, open staircase, 10-foot ceilings, 3 large bedrooms, it’s across the street from the city park, TWO bathrooms (we have only ever had ONE), an easy-sitting massive front porch, and the potential for a very, very large kitchen.  Hooray!

So we bought a house!

We are not newbies to house remodeling. As a kid, my family bought an acreage and remodeled a lot of the house along with cleaning up much of the land and buildings surrounding it.  Jeremiah and I’s current (first) house was an ongoing project for about 2 years, including new roof, windows, flooring, A/C, removal of walls, painting every room, tiling, tree removal, landscaping. The ‘new’ house will also be a project of new windows, completely new walls and 1st floor layout, re-routing the plumbing,new wiring, a new 1st floor bath and kitchen, a very large family room with attached dining room.  We also will be repairing the stucco exterior and painting the house and garage.  Treehouse, landscaping and painting the exterior will probably have to wait until next summer. :)  Jeremiah is done with school in 5 days. Guess what his summer ‘job’ is this year?! ;)  He’s quite the handyman and is looking forward to days of hanging drywall and mudding and coordinating contractors….I think ;)

G and L standing in their new walk-in closet

G and L standing in their new walk-in closet

One of the bedrooms

One of the bedrooms

So last Thursday Jeremiah bought a plethora of sledge hammers, pry bars, claw hammers and dust masks to add to our ever-growing tool collection.

Friday we closed on the new house. I love how banks give you a travel coffee mug in exchange for a mortgage. Seems like a pretty expensive mug to me!

Saturday was D-Day, as in Demolition Day with 3 great helpers.  Gabriel got to help on this day as the majority of the work included removing doors and some vintage trim that we are hoping to find a new home for.   The girls and I delivered lunch and dinner and ran errands.

Sunday was bust-up-the-plaster-day, with 5 great helpers. {Read: a dusty mess}  Sledge hammers and plaster dust is no place for kiddos, so all 3 of the kids and I delivered lunch and stayed out of the way. I did snap a shot when the dust had settled.

Plaster down in the old living room

Plaster down in the old living room

Monday was lathe-removal-day, with 5 great helpers. {Read: a dusty mess, and watch your step….}  Nana Sandy graciously offered to watch the kids so I could get a hand in on the demolition.  Got some pent-up aggression? Grab a hammer and come our way….  I was amused with the ‘tools’ being used. At one point they included a foot, a metal garden rake and long handled garden hoe (both worked great for ceilings), a 2×6, a sludge, a claw, a pry bar.

Ceilings are a b*tch...

Ceilings are a b*tch…

Lathe and plaster down and hauled away. Now to remove some walls!

Lathe and plaster down and hauled away. Now to remove some walls!

We filled 4 large dump trailers full of plaster, lathe, old ceiling fixtures, toilet, sink, countertops and whatever else. The house itself is solid as a rock and is going to be great for our family.  Stay tuned for more Project House updates!!!

-The {remodeling} Costellos




Glamorous life of a mother May 15, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jscostello56 @ 12:23 am

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Today I……


Watched Gabriel put holes in his jeans on the merry-go-round; 1 of the 2 pairs he has left this year

Attempted to teach Lucy to write her name, she instead wrote on the the library book cover

Did dishes in 4 shifts; and they are still not done

Put Amelia to sleep on her belly and checked on her every 15 minutes because I was nervous

Loved how Gabriel found it his mission to entertain Amelia in the car so she would not cry

Prayed for a mama friend giving birth to a baby girl today

Let Gabriel play a Lego game on my phone so I could blog!

Let Lucy lick the beater from cookies

Left the house 3 times; twice to go to preschool

Talked to Lucy about what things belong in the toilet (don’t ask)

Fed kids mac ‘n cheese and hot dogs for lunch and felt guilty about its lack of nutrients

Made a savory vegetable and sausage soup for dinner with homemade bread to make up for it, hopefully

Washed 7 loads of laundry, folded some

Had a deep conversation with Uncle Cam about mustaches

Read books about robots, Batman, princesses, Pinkalicious, Strawberry Shortcake, Transformers

Listened to Lucy sing the alphabet song all by herself

Accepted a dandelion as a gift picked by Lucy

Put Amelia to sleep at least 6 times

Got spit up on by Amelia at least 6 times

Loved how Lucy called it ‘cookie sauce’ instead of ‘cookie dough’

Got all 3 kids to nap at the same time! (fist pump!)

Dreamed about all the books I would like to read, while doing dishes

Marveled at how grown up G and L are becoming

Made a grocery list

Dreamed about what absolute cuteness Amelia should wear for 6 month pictures, while doing dishes

Changed Amelia’s clothes 3 times

Dreamed about my future family closet, while doing laundry

Thought about how Lucy’s sheets need washed….but never actually did it

Dreamed about planting my garden this weekend, while doing laundry

Did not shower until 7pm

Watched Lucy have several tantrums over cookies

Wiped a lot of bottoms

Wished my father in law a happy birthday

Tried to teach G and L that yelling is not how to treat your mom!

Went to bed early, because, well, I was tired

Loved this day with my kiddos!


-The {growing} Costellos




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