Monday, April 27, 2009

Splash, Sprinkle, and "Pretties"

It's the little things in life...that make it all worthwhile. The sunny days, the green grass, the cool water, an inflatable pool, and a garden hose. These all make it the perfect picture to look back on. Dakota splashing away and having fun. Saturday afternoon was spent running, jumping, chasing Lily Lu, trying to get Lily Lu wet, and bouncing balls into the pool.

Miss Lily Lu had her first sprinkler day ever!! Friday was so nice and warm...Jed mowed our front yard and backyard (thank you, Jed!) we pulled out last year's sprinkler...hoping it would still was cracked..but you can't get rid of a great sprinkler. I remembering buying this after Dakota turned a year was just after Christmas..and I only paid $1.90 for it at Toys 'r Us. Dakota is 3 now..he still loves this sprinkler...and the best part is that it spins (when Lily's not holding the star in the
And finally...Lily's new obsession..."pretties" Lily likes to have me brush her hair--yes! I can finally brush it now. And put little barrettes in her hair. She always walks off so proud looking for someone to show off her "pretties" to. She kinda holds her hands on her head to make sure it doesn't fall off..and then she usually takes it off..and it ends up in her mouth...But she loves her "pretties"
She looks kinda sad here...she was having a bad day...she is cutting her canines/eye teeth and she's not too happy about it.

"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
Antonio Smith

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rodeo night

Lilyann...happy to be at the rodeo

Dakota with Grandma..watching the show

Saturday night we went to the Longview Rodeo. It was my first as well as the kids' first rodeo. It was lots of fun. It had rained for the last few days, so the ring (is that the word?) was very muddy!!! Nothing says fun like muddy shoes and (Grandma, if you're reading this, I had a wonderful time!! Thanks for letting us all go with you.)
We saw barrel racing, bucking horse contests, bull riding (that was spectacular--> I wouldn't ever do it, but it is neat to watch)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Smells of Spring

Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day. ~W. Earl Hall


Dakota swinging at the park

Dakota holding up one of the fish that Daddy caught

Lily..playing with the lilies
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~Margaret Atwood
Green grass, blooming flowers, cool breezes, and fantastic weather---> Springtime!

Nothing is more invigorating than stepping outside and breathing in a breath of fresh spring air. It feels your lungs and clears your mind...until your child follows you outside in only his undies....then you both rush back inside and find some shorts and step back outside to hear the wind chime blow in the breeze.
Aww...Spring. I hope it is here to stay....Spring has cried wolf a few times already; but I truly think it is here to stay.
With each rain we have (April showers), it seems it washes the earth once more and makes it all greener. I guess it is as the saying goes...April showers bring May flowers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15th isn't just Tax Day

It is April 15Th. This date doesn't hold significance for just tax day is the day 1 year ago that Lilyann had her open heart surgery. It is truly amazing to see the progress that Lilyann has made since her open heart surgery. She was wearing a feeding tube and considered failure to thrive...and now she is a healthy 20 lbs 13 oz and eating like a big girl. She is walking, jabbering, pointing, trying to get Dakota's monkey and milk, and so much more.

All I can say is that we are all truly blessed.

Enjoy the slide show...there were so many pictures that I wanted to share, but I chose a select few of Miss Lilyann.

Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.-- Seneca

You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one; each day brings a miracle of it own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracles.-- Paulo Coelho

Adding this to today's post:

It is from a journal post that I made on my mommy group

I was up last night making a slide show of Lilyann over the last year...and all the memories starting coming back. Lilyann was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect. It was repairable by surgery or on it's was just a wait and watch situation. But after about a month of her diagnosis, Jed and I decided that surgery was the best thing for Miss Lilyann. It is a hard decision to make as parents, but we feel it was the right decision. Lilyann wasn't growing and she wasn't eating. It was as if time stood still for her since progress whatsoever. We set up the surgery date...and as the date draws closer (March 6, 2008), Lilyann is hospitalized for Failure to Thrive...and while there, she tests positive for RSV...So, Lily is now sporting a feeding tube, on a continual feeding pump...and coughing up everything we are feeding her. So her Surgery date is cancelled. She needs to be stronger to have her surgery. It is rescheduled for April 15Th. Lilyann is sent home from the hospital and we have a long 6 weeks ahead of us to keep her healthy and eating so that she can still have her surgery in April.

April 15Th comes...we are in Dallas, TX...waiting to be checked in...Lilyann is not happy because she is hungry...we meet the nurses, they check her vitals, give us a gown for her to change into...and go over different things with us. Then on to the holding room...we meet the anesthesiologist...and he goes over everything that he will do and how long it will take, etc. (alot to take in at almost 7 in the morning). And then we hand out little Lilyann over to the nurse...Nothing prepares you for that moment.We sat and waited for almost 5 hours and finally the surgeon comes out to see us...tells us what he did and then he tells us when we can see Lilyann...and then we turn around and there is Miss Lilyann--cords, IVs, plastic covering her body, and nurses and the anesthesiologist all around her..taking her up to the PICU. It was sight that I wasn't prepared for..but the good news was that Lilyann was breathing..and she was doing great!!This was the first step to Lilyann's recovery...and she truly had a miraculous recovery...thanks to all those who prayed for her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Putting a face to a name

Dakota riding the horse
Lilyann riding with "Chuck"

From left to right-->Lee, Sharon, Ashlyn, Me, and Lilyann (Kota was there, but he was throwing a fit because Daddy wouldn't get him the prize he wanted)

Since Dakota was born and was going through colic and teething and all the fun things that newborns go through, I joined a forum for mommies. It was on the Huggies website. Well, I met a lot of mommies through this forum and we have bonded in the last 3 yrs. I know, how can you bond over the Internet? I proceeded with caution when the mommies wanted to move our forum to a private board..but was pleased with the extra privacy. Only those who we knew could join. We are ourselves Huggies Mommas....these mommas have been such a support and blessing to me with all the goings on last year. They were always eager to hear the updates about Lilyann and sent heart felt messages of comfort and support while Lilyann was in the hospital last March and April.

Now, the reason for the post...I finally met, in person, one of the Huggies Mommas. She was passing through Longview here on her way to visit her mother and family in Northwest TX. So, last night, we all went to Chuck E. Cheese and had a blast. It was nice meeting with someone with whom you have corresponded with for a put a face to a screen name.

(for those reading this...I did proceed with you never know who can trust out there in this crazy world of ours)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fullness of life

You know how you have those weeks where you want everything to go smooth and you try your hardest...but to no avail, bumps still happen. Life goes on no matter what happens...whether good or bad. My sister, Marg, sprained her foot...which we thought was broken or fractured, but thankfully, it was just a bad sprain. So on Wednesday, I had all four!! we went to the park, stopped by McDonald's for happy meals, and then played in our backyard before we finally met up with Marg. Busy day. Thursday was Lilyann's WIC re certification appointment. So, we head off to the WIC office. It was a pretty good appointment...Lily now weighs 20 lbs 13 oz and is 29 1/4 inches tall. Lilyann is still on the low side for her iron count, but it is better than the last time. Overall the nutritionist is happy with the improvements. Thursday night we had tornado warnings with the tornado sirens going...almost an hour of listening and waiting for the all clear. Thankfully, no tornadoes touched down near us. Friday was a pretty good day...long...but good...due to the weather we have been having, I have been experiencing more headaches than normal. So, any day with a headache is a long day for me. I took the kids to the park by the lake..and they played. Well, Dakota thought he could master the monkey bars all by he reaches out and then realizes he cant. I'm sitting on the park bench watching the kids and as I head over to Kota's cry for help, he falls. Gets a mouthful of mulch and scratches up his face. There was blood and mulch all in his mouth. He wasn't happy. So, I get all cleaned up..nothing major, just some scratches.
Saturday was the day we decided to have our Easter that the word?? While the kids were outside playing, I stuffed the eggs and prepared their Easter baskets. Then when they came inside, I went out and hid the eggs in the backyard for Lilyann and Dakota to find. Dakota had a blast and Lilyann found her egg and was content. She enjoyed the jelly beans the best.
Then we were off to Grandma's to do an Egg hunt in her backyard with their cousin, Alexis. Dakota then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with Grandma and Alexis.
Sunday started out rainy and continued on through out the day. Dakota was excited to wear his rain jacket to Sunday school that day. That day, his Sunday School teacher said that Dakota was such a good boy...and he even got to help with the offering in Sunday School.

And here is Lilyann...Easter Morning...she kept her bow on for all of maybe 3 minutes combined all day. She is wearing her new dress from her Boo.
After Church, we all headed out to Boo's house for Easter Dinner. Spent some time with family...and came home for afternoon naps (at least, I got one...thanks to Jed for watching the kids)

That was our week with Easter to close it out.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."--- Melody Beattie

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Spring!! really??

After Church on Sunday
Spring was in the air...or I guess it was just the pollen and wonderful weather and the calendar saying that the first day of Spring was March 20Th. But if you step outside this morning, you would think Winter made a 180 and is back for a bit. We had freeze warnings last night...and this morning woke up to 30 degree weather. Fun!!

and then later that afternoon...the windy was picking up

Kota and Daddy mowing the backyard
I had to share this photo...nothing like a father and son moment.
This picture is priceless..As soon as Jed started mowing the backyard, Dakota pulled out his lawnmower and started helping daddy. He even "bagged his clippins". This was probably video worthy, but it didn't cross my mind until now. Jed and I just hope that as Dakota gets older he will have the same determination to mow the grass.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tigers, Best Friends, and Guacamole

Friday was Jed's "scheduled day off"......since the pay/hour cuts that everyone at Jed's job received, they were told that they needed to take off 5 unpaid days before Friday was Jed's day off. Since Jed was off and the weather was supposed to be spectacular, we made plans to go to the Zoo with the kids. We asked Brittiany (Jed's sister) and Alexis (her daughter) to come along. Dakota was so excited when he found out that his "best friend" was going to the zoo with him. On the same day that Dakota found out we were going to the zoo, Dakota stayed dry all he took the news as it was his treat for staying dry all day. And we have had excellent potty days since then--I think, Wednesday. Dakota wears big boy underwear all day and pull ups at night! He is so proud of himself...just as mommy and daddy are.

Well, on to the Zoo post!!
We went to Caldwell Zoo...And it was breezy and cool, but still wonderful animal-seeing weather. The kids were off we go to see all the animals...flamingos, ducks, coy fish, turkeys, eagles, otters, bobcats, and the White Tiger...sitting right up by the glass for us to see.
Lilyann was intrigued...just as much as Dakota and Alexis were. They were seeing the "big kitty" up close. And she (I think) just sat there and stared...and even posed for a picture before she decided to walk off.
The Zoo was fun...we saw alligators, meerkats, elephants, lions, zebras, longhorns, and more...I can remember some names, but I'm not sure if I can spell all of them right. The Macaws were amazing...the colors so vibrant. Oh! and I can't leave out the Rhinos...what a smelly cage!!

After our adventure around the zoo, we stopped at the gift shop and Brittiany got the kids sunglasses...Lilyann wouldn't keep hers on, but Dakota and Alexis were "stylin" in their shades.

The Zoo was an exciting adventure...seeing all the animals...and smelling all the smells...enjoying being outside with family. It was awesome. And it wore the kids out. Lilyann was asleep before we hit the highway home...which was great. Mommy and Lilyann had a girls night out at Boo's house that night..and everyone needed their rest for that.
All the girls in the family got together...Boo (Jed's grandmother), Pam (Jed's mom), Aunt Samantha, Jerilyn, Katie, Brooke, Brittiany and Alexis, and myself and Lilyann. It was a Mexican food theme...and the food was delicious...Lilyann loved the guacamole. I was standing by the counter having some chips and salsa while holding Lily, and she saw the opportune moment and reached for a handful of guacamole...she loved it!!! So we put some on her plate with chips and she dug in!! So much, that she was covered in green!! But she enjoyed it. After Lily's bath, and with all our tummies full, we headed out for a "walk" that turned into a walk to town...I didn't think that I would make it, but we all did...a 1.9 mile walk after all that wonderful food. At the house, we relaxed, had some cheesecake (yummy) and watched a movie.

Long day, but definitely an enjoyable day.
Dakota had a great time spending one on one time with Daddy..they went out for pizza and then to an arcade (Dakota loves playing those arcade games...and with his big boy successes, he deserved it) Fun times!!

Families are like fudge... mostly sweet with a few nuts.

No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?-- Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Big Girl and Boy Episodes

Aww!! My little girl is growing up. Every time we go outside and get near the swing set, Lilyann is playing with the swings. So, yesterday, I put her up on the big girl swing--only because I didn't feel like getting the baby swing out of the shed. (we keep the baby swing there since Kota's friend/neighbor comes over and likes to swing with him) Well, Lilyann held on tight and swung like a Big girl. She was absolutely loving it...and she even started swinging her legs like Dakota was doing. It was so see her mimic her brother...and she was so proud of herself.

Lilyann is now 16 months old. We are 2 weeks away from Lilyann's 1 yr anniversary of her open heart surgery. I can't believe the major turnaround. You can't even tell that Lilyann even had any problems. When we dropped the kids off at "Stomptime" (gym daycare) one day, Lilyann was fussy; I told Connie that she could make Lily a bottle if she didn't calm down....and I told her there was formula in the bag. She looked puzzled and old is Lilyann? 16 months. And She is still on Formula? yes. So, I start explaining and she was in shock. She would have never known that Lilyann had any difficulties in the beginning. I told her...yes...Lily had open heart surgery..and look at her now!! It is amazing to see all the progress Miss Lilyann has made...and it excites me to think of the new things she will start doing.

I think potty training is clicking with Dakota...earlier last week, I was for sure that Dakota would still be in diapers when Lilyann was potty training...yes!! oh me of little faith. Well, Kota has surprised us all. Each day we are going longer and longer staying dry....and the best part of all....Since last Thursday, Dakota has gone poopy 7 times in the potty!!! YAY!!! Believe me, when he pooped in the potty for me the first time...I was doing the little potty dance with him. And don't ask...I didn't record myself doing the potty dance....I couldn't put that kind of blackmail out there for everyone to We are getting closer to getting rid of pull ups. Dakota doesn't like wearing "baby diapers" he is in pull ups and underwear. Dakota's grand prize is a visit to Chuck E. Cheese...almost every time he goes to the bathroom, he tells me he is going to go to Chuck E. Cheese with his best friend, Lexi.

Here's a fun-fact-to-know-and-tell: "hm tastes like candy." Dakota is playing with blue playdoh since Lily is napping...and yes! Dakota is tasting the playdoh. I remember those days.