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.  
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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.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Daddy- Daughter Dance & Mommy-Son Rodeo

It is not even an exaggeration when I say Kinley's favorite day of the year is Daddy-Daugher dance. She asks about it year around and we count down for months.
 She loves getting a new dress and flowers from her daddy and being getting a dinner date and a dance with her friends.
 She feels truly like a princess and loves that one-on-one time with Ben.
  They were precious and I just love this tradition for them.
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Those pics are so cute...but, this is real life...Ty was right next to them only in backwards underwear.
Since Kinley and Ben had their date night, I took Ty and Dylan on a date myself with a couple other friends and their boys. Cheryl got is amazing tickets through her hospital to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. The tickets were in the middle of the week during the day.
 It wasn't crowded and it was a great day and all the boys LOVED it.
We ate lunch at the coliseum and walked through all the livestock barns. Ty promptly stepped in a full pile of poop right after I told him to watch where he stepped and then proceeded to walk through hay that was from then on attached to him throughout the day.
Why not!?
 We decided since we didn't have to pay for tickets to the rodeo or parking we would splurge on the baby goat pics.
  Its a total rip off.
 $10 to take your own iphone pic...but, these boys LOVED it and the pics are pretty cute.
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From baby goats to big tractors...
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Dylan was fantastic walking around all wrapped up and was happy during the rodeo. The sweet old ladies in the box next to us couldn't get enough of those blue eyes.
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Our rodeo seats were fantastic, front row and right by the bulls. We definitely had mud flung on us from the wagon races and a bull ran right into our fence.
 We were full on in the action and it was fantastic.
 The boys were in heaven.
  Ty said his favorite part was when the bull hit the dummy in the air and his head flew off.
 Such a boy.
 I think the corn dogs, cotton candy and funnel cakes helped too.
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I already can't wait for next year's Daddy-Daughter Dance and Mommy-Son night!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

100th Day of Kindergarten

Kinley had her 100th day of Kindergarten in early February and they were supposed to dress like they are 100. Fortunately, we have friends like Allison and Ella who can just let us borrow all their awesome senior citizen day outfits and props because Kinley was a hit with her shirt, walker, and grey hair.
Untitled Dylan and I went to eat lunch with her that day and it was so fun seeing all the kids dressed up like old people.
The Kindergarten teachers were so cute all dressed like they were 100 too Untitled This is Kinley's class with their 100th day hats. Untitled I can't believe she has already been in Kindergarten 100 days! It is flying by.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Dylan - 5 months old

A few things about five months:

- You are 14 pounds and I continue to be surprised how you eat and grow even with your ears hurting like you do.

- You are still eating only breastmilk and I am still keeping up with you which surprises me a little but, I am thankful!

- You are scheduled now for ear tubes. I am a bit of a wreck thinking about you having surgery at 5 months old but, it's happening and I am praying this means the end of ear infections and for some good night's rest for us both. You have seen the inside of more doctors offices than I ever wanted. Untitled

- No improvements to report on sleeping. Realistically, we still wake up every 1-2 hours. You sometimes go a 3-4 hour stretch right at the beginning of the night...maybe 8-midnight but after that you are up every 2 hours without fail. 3 or 4 times a night still. I am tired. I live a little exhausted but, I feel like after you ear surgery and confirmation that you are healthy, we can start a stricter sleep-training routine. You always sleep a little better during naps if you have a hand on you. This one is Honey's. Untitled

- You have rolled over a few more times but, do not do it often.

  - You much prefer to stand all.the.time. Either being held in a lap standing up or in your excersaucer.
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- You are getting so good with your grip and can pretty much grab and chew on any toy.

- I am SHOCKED you don't have any teeth yet. You are my slowest teether by far and with the most drool. It surprises me every day that goes by and you don't have a tooth.

- You have the bluest eyes and we don't go anywhere without someone commenting on your baby blues. Kinley has deemed your nickname to be "Blue Eyes" and tells everyone she knows.
- Speaking of Kinley, she has gotten very good at holding you now and you love it. She constantly wants pictures taken of her holding you.
- You were dedicated at church this month and have gone to the church nursery a total of once so far. But, you do so well at the gym that I think I am ready to put you in at church a little more.
  - You are still super chatty when you feel good but, when you don't you are pretty quiet. It's like the vibration of talking hurts your little ears.
-  Baby, you never stop smiling. You are so happy and smiley all the time no matter how you feel. You have no stranger-danger and go to anyone with a smile. It is so sweet. You are patient and let your brother and sister climb all over you and get in your face to make you smile and you love it. You still laugh all the time too and are ticklish pretty much everywhere.
Dylan - Angel boy, you are a treasure. You are absolutely the sweetest and most precious baby. You have been my hardest baby so far with your ears and doctor visits and lack of sleep but, I would go to the ends of the earth if I could to help you be healthy and feel good. You make every sleepless night so worth it. If I just look at you, you smile at me and it melts me. You are an absolute joy. I cannot believe only a few more weeks until you are 1/2 a year old. It is flying by and I want it to just slow down! I love you so much.
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