Monday, March 2, 2015

Dylan Lee - 6 months

Happy 1/2 Birthday baby boy! image
It is truly amazing that you are already six months old.
Every month that goes by is just totally surreal and way too fast.
You have had a busy 6th month.
- You had your ear tube surgery which was very successful but not immediately successful. You still had some swelling and fluid in them even after your 2 week checkup but we have been putting some very strong antibiotic drops in them and they are bone dry now. Woohoo! Probably the first time in your 1/2 year of life. It is funny to hear you make new noises and LOUD noises now that you can fully hear yourself.
- Your sleeping got even worse for a period of time after the surgery...if you can believe it. I dictated on my phone one night every time you woke up and it was 7 times in from 8pm - 7am. And that was really a pretty normal night. Your dad and I thought we would be really tough on you for a few days and try to get you to cry it out a little and sleep in your crib all the time, but we failed. We just don't feel good about it until we know you are completely well and healed and healthy enough to sustain it.
- We started seeing a baby chiropractor for you, a sweet friend of mine who was also recommended by Dr. Scott. I am convinced this is going to do it for you. She is amazing. She has made a world of difference in just a few visits: less congestion, some sleep improvements, and overall just more peaceful. We are working hard to promote health in you and not just fix what's wrong. I am taking lots of supplements for you to get through breast feeding, we are essential-oiling up like crazy all the time and taking you in for pretty regular treatments and adjustments. She is so gentle with you and you LOVE her. You never even cry. I am trying to maintain some skepticism and reserve some judgment until I see more improvement but, so far I am loving it!  The best part is, since we have met your medical insurance deductible for the year with your surgery...all your chiro visits are FREE!
  - You are rolling over from back to front on the reg now. Sometimes I barely blink and you are flipped over.
- You still love your exersaucer. You prefer standing to sitting or laying on your play mat. I am convinced I need to bust out a walker for you already so you can get moving while you stand. You would love it.
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- You are still my smiley baby. You pretty much smile back at anyone who looks at you directly. Its so sweet.
- We are not quite ready to start baby food on you yet. We really want you well and healthy and getting all the benefits from breastmilk for a little while longer. We will probably start when I feel like you are starting to be hungrier than my milk can sustain you and when we start we will probably just go straight for avocados.
- You truly are just the happiest baby! I just love being with you every moment I can and so do Kinley and Ty. Even when they grab you and hold you and hug on you, you just take it and roll with it.
Here are a few more pics that Honey took of you and Kinley and Ty on your half birthday. image image image image
Happy 1/2 birthday Dylan Lee! 
You are an incredible blessing to us.  You make our family more fun and complete.  God has been so faithful to help provide us answers and help when we have needed it for you and we are reminded as these months go by so quickly that you are only little for a short season. 
I want time to slow down but also cannot wait to see the little person that you become.  You bring such joy to each day and I am beyond thankful for you!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snow Days

It has been a crazy couple of weeks with the weather lately.
We have had lots of snow and ice.
 Lots is relative for us Texans...but, it was enough to close work and school and keep us off the roads and housebound for a few days.
 Something about the snow covering every roof and tree branch and car and the roads is just magical.
I loved getting some additional time to slow down and just be with the kids.
We watched movies and turned our house upside down with toys and games and crafts and of course, played in the snow!
It was perfect timing for us to have a snow day because we had just borrowed some ski clothes from the Barstads for our upcoming ski trip.
My kids were pumped to put it all on and go outside...goggles and all!
There were snow angels on the deck
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And trying to catch snowflakes on your tongue
And this is how Dylan joined us.
He was warm and cozy in his wrap and zipped up in my jacket.
Thanks to Kinley for the pic.
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best group selfie I could get....I think we need a selfie stick
We also had a fun snow day with Olivia and Anson on Saturday while all our boys were at the Ranch. I could not get over these boys in their matching snow hats.
 Makes me so excited for our upcoming ski trip.
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Swinging in the snow..
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I am glad we still have a few more snow days ahead on our family ski trip soon!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Grandparent Medical Drama and God's Miracles

To say it has been a trying few months medically for my grandparents would be an understatement.
 It is not something unexpected.
  I am so blessed to have had all of my grandparents alive my entire life and all make it to 90 years old. But, 90 has proven to be rough so far.
 It started with Bull unexpectedly passing away around Thanksgiving. But, that was actually preceded by a rough car wreck that Inie had. She has recovered nicely but it was hard for a while for her.
Fast forward to January.
 Pepa had a bad case of gastritis and was hospitalized for several days while we were trying to diagnose it. He had some terrible stomach pain and had to go several days without food or anything to drink. But, after the diagnosis and a few days of draining what was in his stomach, he was ready to go back home.
 He is still weak though.
 We prayed and prayed that he would be able to make it and go to Bryan and Lauren's wedding and Praise the Lord he was there!
 He is walking around with a cane now (and not liking it much) but he is getting better and better everyday.
Fast forward a couple weeks later and we get another call at 5am that Momma Gay has had a stroke. Pepa heard her moaning beside the bed and he put a pillow under her head and called 911.
 They were transporting her to Plaza Medical Center.
  Well, I am so beyond thankful for my mother-in-law, Cheryl.
 She is the VP of Plaza immediately got Momma Gay the most excellent care. We had information quickly and she was there to assist Pepa and my mom and Aunt Jan to make the best decisions possible for Momma Gay's care. I can't speak truly intelligently about her exact condition when she got to the hospital but, all I know is that she was paralyzed completely on her right side.
 She couldn't speak clearly but totally knew what was happening and was extremely upset. The doctors did a CT scan and an MRI to confirm the stroke and the type and timing of it. Very quickly after the MRI they had to make a decision about whether Momma Gay should have a procedure to try to remove the blot clot that caused her stroke. This procedure has about a 80% chance of failure. Cheryl wisely advised to proceed with this procedure if Momma Gay was otherwise relatively healthy because of the possibility of life after the procedure being drastically better.
 I don't know how but, it was an amazing success.
 Cheryl said it was one of the highlights of her medical career. They might even write up journals about how successful this procedure was on Momma Gay.
 They were able to not have to put her under anesthesia and go through a blood vessel to remove almost a 1/2 in clot in an artery in her brainstem. If this artery had stayed in, she would have surely not improved and only continued to go downhill and eventually die from this clot.

This is a graphic pic but this is the clot.  
momma gay clot
Also, here are her brain scans before (top 2 pics) and after (bottom 2 pics) the procedure.
And by the end of the day and the next day Momma Gay could talk like normal and was not paralyzed anymore.
 We got this pic and all wanted to raise our arms and praise the Lord too!
It is truly a miracle.
 Totally and completely a miracle.
 That the EMT's took her to Plaza, that she was even in good enough health for this surgery, that it was successful and that she can speak and is not paralyzed.
Our God truly is a miracle worker and prayer is powerful.
 I have been texting my girlfriends for prayer for my grandparents a lot over the last few months and I am sure it gets redundant but, I remember texting them right when the doctors were about to do Momma Gay's procedure and said "please, stop and pray right now" and I know they and many more did.
 Prayer is powerful and effective!
 God deserves all the praise and glory at all times of every day but especially when he so clearly, directly and visibly answers prayers.
  We went to visit both Pepa and Momma Gay in the hospital and right now Momma Gay is staying at a rehab center close to the house that we have visited as well. Let's just say it is much livelier (nice way of putting it) when we got to visit.
Ty just moves her bed up and down and changes all the tv channels.
 But she always saves a little treat for my kids. This time she let them each have a cookie and some saltine crackers they bring her with every meal.
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I know the last few months have been a roller coaster and what I know to be true is that this is not the end yet. I still have 3 of 4 grandparents that are 90.
 Their health isn't what it was.
  The new responsibilities I see both my mom and dad taking on are a wake-up call.
It is uneasy and also, so peaceful at the same time.
 This world is not our home.
 These bodies are but a vessel.
  Our life a breath.
 I am thankful that all 4 of my grandparents are incredible Christ followers.
They will all walk with Jesus.
My prayer is that we don't take for granted a minute of their time here with us. We treasure the opportunity we have now to serve and visit them more often. We ask the questions we want to ask and listen to the stories we don't want to forget. We introduce our children to their great-grandparents and teach them about the love they shared with us. We have never been more aware that don't know what tomorrow brings.
We choose joy today!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hot Chocolate 15K and TeamKason 3K

We have taken part of a couple races lately and the weather has been great for it!
 Our church is in a 7 week series called Transformed and each week we are supposed to make a goal for a certain area of our lives.
 It was my post baby and Financial Health goal to run the Hot Chocolate 15K.
 I decided I was going to do it and started training way too late.
 Like 2 weeks before the race.
But, I did a couple weekend training runs with Stacee and Leslie who were training and running too and we got it done!
  It was perfect weather for a race day. It started cool and a little overcast but as the morning went on it was sunny and gorgeous. The race was really well put together and such a fun time. I was shocked by how crowded the race was though.
 Like nonstop people the entire time.
 I kept thinking we could find a clearing and have a little room to run but, nope we were weaving and dodging people the whole way.
  I was also surprised by the hills.
LOTS of hills.
 Like mile 9 up a hill, against the wind.
 Thankfully Stacee and I ran one training run with lots of hills otherwise I would have been dying I think.
 They handed out sweet treats every few miles with the gatorade and water like marshmallows, tootsie rolls, chocolate chips, etc. I wanted to embrace the spirit of the race and try some but the thought of some of those was just gross during the race.
The end however was so fun and the finishers mug had lots of yummy chocolate goodness. Hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, a banana, marshmallows, graham crackers, cookies, etc.
  It was a really fun race.
 I ended up with a 9:45 minute average pace which I was ok with considering how little I trained and how crowded it was.
Then a couple weeks later we participated in the 3K Walk for Kason Gabbard a precious boy of a sweet friend at our church with Cerebral Palsy.
 He is amazing and their family is inspiring and we try to take part in any event we can to support Kason. It was really a kids race that parents were allowed to run in too.
 Kinley took it to heart and truly did amazing.
 She ran almost the entire thing.
 3K is like 1.86 miles and I bet she really ran 1.7 miles of it.
She rarely walked.
 Ben pushed the stroller with Dylan and Ty most the time but for about .5 mile Ty jumped out and ran ahead with Kinley and I. He got tired quick and thankfully Rodney was to the rescue and let Ty switch with Ryland and jump on Payton's stroller.
Kinley and I ran the rest of the way with Ryland.
  I was so impressed with these kids who pushed themselves. I was trying to use it as a teachable moment for Kinley and tell her not to quit and to push herself past what she was comfortable doing because that's what Kason does everyday.
 He works so incredibly hard at multiple therapies and is just amazing.
  When we finished we looked over and saw Kason in his walker doing the path of the race too and I think that's when it really hit home for Kinley.
 She was moved, as we all were.
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Thank you Gabbards for hosting such an amazing race and for letting us learn from Kason and your family. If you want to know more about sweet Kason, check out their facebook page:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was pretty low key....we had a couple of valentine's parties.

I had lots of help prepping Ty's classroom for this party because it was the same morning as Dylan's ear tube surgery. I sent all the decor and food prep ahead with Leslie in case I couldn't make it at all but, I was able to make it to the party so Ty didn't have to be without a parent.
 My sweet valentine!
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I had some different valentines planned for Ty's class and realized last minute that my treat wasn't on the "approved safe snack list" so I looked around our house for what I had 12 of and made the last minute switch to oranges.
The next day was Kinley's party. She had to cover a shoebox for her friends to put her valentines in. We looked on pinterest together and she picked out this mailbox one that we worked on together. Untitled Untitled
How cute is her arrow heart shirt from aunt Minnie. I love it! Untitled
photo booth fun at her party
her friend Addison on her soccer team
I just can't help but post this pic of Kinley and her friend, Astin. It is her first real "crush" I think. All that Valentine's love in the air I guess.
Her besties Claire and Erika with their boxes
Valentine's morning we had a themey breakfast with my favorite valentines Untitled Untitled
That night Ben and I had a great date night at the Green Oaks School Auction.  This is our third year to go with the Tyler's and Lindsey's and it is always so fun to help support Mallory's school.  The group that went this year was awesome and we had such a great time.  It ended up being a fantastic Valentine's Date night!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dylan's Ear Tube Surgery

Just a few days after turning 5 months old sweet Dylan had a minor surgery to put in ear tubes.
 I say 'surgery' because that is truly what it is and that's what all the doctors call it.
 I was saying 'procedure' but they corrected me.
 We saw Dr. Natalie Roberge of Cook's Childrens. She was great. We had one consultation meeting with her where she confirmed Dylan in no way had healthy ears and definitely needed the surgery. There have legitimately been around 20 days of his life through that point that he didn't have an ear infection.
 It was a totally new phenomenon to me.
  The surgery was on a Thursday morning and we were first of the day because they typically do surgeries from youngest to oldest child at Cooks.
He was definitely the youngest.
 We were instructed not to feed him any breastmilk after 2am because we were to arrive at 6:30. This was a terrifying thing for us because Dylan wakes up every 1-2 hours and night and eats constantly. But, again, prayer is powerful and effective and he had a great night sleep the night before surgery. (Great is relative)
 He slept from about 9:30 until I woke him up at 2 and then woke up at 5am for the day pretty much. We prayed over him for his day and just kept him happy until we left for the surgery at 6am.
 He was smiley and pleasant and happy and the nurses just went on and on about how sweet and smiley and happy our blue-eyed hungry baby boy was.
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They admitted him and asked us a million questions, took his vitals and dressed him in his hospital gown. That is not a fun sight to see on your baby boy...even if it is just for ear tubes.
 But, he kept on smiling so it made it easier.
When they wheeled him off away from us in his little bed I shed a few quick tears. We both brought our devotionals to do in the waiting room and I was about 5 minutes into mine when Dr. Roberge came right out to say that the surgery went great!
 Dylan was sleeping off the anesthesia in Recovery room 1 and when he started to wake up they would come get us to meet him in Recovery room 2 to nurse and hold him. We waited about 20 more minutes and then we could go see him. They waited to make sure he was fully awake from the anesthesia and could keep down his milk and then they let us go.
 We were on our way home by 8:30!
Praise the Lord that our sweet boy had a successful day! We have a follow up appointment in about a week to make sure everything looks good and then we are just praying they tubes stay in and we have no more ear infections! I would love to say that Dylan magically came home and decided he would love to sleep all night but, that didn't happen.
 He is in a bad habit of waking up very often at night and we will be breaking him of that habit soon. Sleep training is no fun, but it is absolutely necessary for us right now. At least now we will know if he's crying that he is not crying because his ears are in pain! What a blessing.
 I am so thankful for the skillful hands of our doctors and all the people praying for Dylan during his surgery. We are glad to have it behind us now.