Friday, February 25, 2011

Colors and Dinosaur Steps

Lily is surprising me...she is doing great with colors. You should have seen her last night at Grandma's playing Nickelodeon Kid's Fit (Wii)...she was awesome! It just took a little showing what she needed to do and she was all over that game. Next time, I will take my camera and get a short video or at least some pictures.

Yesterday was Lily's last Mom and Tot class. Our local gym is canceling the class. Lily and I were the only ones showing up. I loved the class. Lily has learned to hop with 2 feet. I know, to some not a real feat...but for Lily, she rarely does this unless on a trampoline. She can walk the snake, do dinosaur steps bringing her knees up high, run super fast, and is a great help at clean up time. Oddly, clean up time is more fun at the gym than at home. :) I failed to take the camera with me to get some action shots of Lily.

The weekend is upon us...I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow. Hopefully, the kids will do the same.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Way Back When-esday: Chuck E Cheese 1st timers

Lately, I've been backing up my pictures..and I came across these. Pictures from when the kids went to Chuck E Cheese for the 1st time. Lily was so tiny back then and just a little peach fuzz for hair. And with our recent trip (Monday) to Chuck E's neat to see then and now.

Lu Bell...riding the horsy (April 2009)

Taking a ride with Chuck E.

Trying to figure out what that Big Mouse is doing

Dakota..riding the horsy (April 2009)

Lily and Dakota...February 2011

It's funny how Dakota still looks the same as almost 2 years has to be the haircut!

*Playing along with Cheryl from Twinfatuation for Way Back When-esday.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A few of my favorite things....


Discerning looks

Flowers from those you love ♥

Monday, February 21, 2011

Makes My Monday: Sleeping in

morning Lily

What makes a Monday sweeter?
Dakota has a school holiday...meaning: we ALL get to sleep in!

I so enjoyed sleeping in...even if I did forget to turn my phone alarm off the night before. But that's okay, it was nice to go back to sleep after hearing the alarm. And Thankfully, the kids slept in a little, too.

Today, we met up with some friends and used up the rest of our Chuck E. Cheese coins. Dakota loved playing all the games, and Lily is a little gamer, too. She enjoyed riding the horse. Dakota's favorite was playing air hockey.

Lily getting ready to ride the horse

Riding so well

Kota and Lily playing air hockey

*Linking up with Cheryl from Twinfatuation for Makes My Monday.

And for those wondering...My Mom was sent home on Saturday with strict orders of complete bedrest. She will have a followup with the neurologist in 2 weeks. I am hoping for positive results from all tests and evaluations.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mom update

Just wanted to pop in and offer an update to my readers.

My mom is doing better...she is still hooked up to monitors for numerous things. Right now, they are concerned with her low heart rate. Anything heart related always has me worried.
The MRI results showed no what we thought could have been fluid leaking from her spine is not a big concern anymore. She has been lying flat on her back for the last few days which isn't always fun. Especially for mom who enjoys getting up and outside.
I talked with my sister last night and she informed me that Mom may be discharged this weekend.

Hoping they can figure out what is causing this reoccurring headache and the dizziness.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Way Back When-esday: My Mom

Here is my mom with myself and my sisters
this was taken...way back when...I think January 1987...when were all in Florida to spend Christmas with Family.

When life becomes predictable, it's inevitable that change is in the air.

I have posted before about some upcoming changes...well, more have been added to the list.

Right now, My mom is part of a change. She is in the hospital having tests run trying to figure out why she is having a reoccurring headache. They are close to figuring it all out...but isn't it funny how change comes along when all is going well?
Keep my mom (and my family) in your thoughts and prayers...we are hoping that the next MRI will answer questions and give the neurologist a solution.

Linking up with Cheryl from Twinfatuation for Way Back When-esday

Monday, February 14, 2011

Makes My Monday: Kids' Fish Day

Saturday was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and It was Kids' Fish Day at the park. Dakota was so excited to go fishing with Daddy. Lily was excited to go, too...but she thought that we were all going in Daddy's boat. Her disappointment didn't last long, though. Once we got to the park and Daddy let her use a fishing pole, she was all about fishing from the pier.
We did get to see some with a crazy poop of feathers on it's head. We saw about 10 Canadian Geese..and they made quite an entrance...flying over and circling for the dramatic landing on the water. The kids fed most of the corn to the use kernel corn to fish for trout. We had a really good time.

Lily and Kota walking to the pier

Daddy, Kota, and Lily...on the pier

Our little fishing lady!

Mommy and Lily reeling it in


Hanging with his friends

Lu Bell and Daddy..with matching hats!

The Canadian Geese putting on a show for us

And there they are...taking in all the looks from spectators!

Linking up with Cheryl from Twinfatuation for Makes My Monday

Friday, February 11, 2011

Winner announced

And the winner is.......


Thanks to all those who played along for my 1st giveaway!

hopefully, we will have some more visit often.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ready for Spring

I think cabin fever is starting to set in here at the Smith household. The one thing that has my sanity hanging on is the weekend's forecast...sunny and in the 60s! Even better, it's supposed to be Fishing Day at a local park this weekend as well.
Dakota is eager to go fishing with Daddy...and I am just eager to be out in the sunshine.
I really do enjoy cold weather, but the ice, sleet, snow, and wintry mix tends to make it not as enjoyable for me. Having to keep the kids inside for the last few weeks makes the house close in on us all. I am thankful that we don't live further north...I don't know if I can handle the extreme snow for almost 3 months at a time.

Don't worry, she didn't cut her's just the way the picture looks

We worked on some Valentine's this week...which I forgot to mail...meaning Grandma and Grandpa in Florida will get theirs late. Thankfully, most everyone else lives in the area.
Lily loves to color and draw. This week, I let her try scissors and she was fascinated. She didn't quite get the hang of them...but she sure did try her best.
Dakota did more game playing than anything else this week. So, I thought I'd catch a shot of him doing what he loves to do...playing his DS.

Oh! and I made pinwheels this week..I think that is what they are called. I took crescents and rolled them out..added ham and cheese..rolled them up and then cut into sections and baked...Jed and I enjoyed them...for some reason, the kids didn't even want to try them. Weird

Don't forget to enter to win my very 1st can read about it here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My very 1st giveaway!

What an exciting post for our blog! This is my very first giveaway...and you, my lucky readers, get the opportunity to win! Thanks to CSN stores. This giveaway is eligible for readers in the US and Canada. Have you ever heard about CSN stores?? well, they have over 200 online stores where you can find anything from modern office furniture to cat bowls and duvet collections.

With all this cold weather here in East Texas, sometimes a little shopping does the spirit good. And you can win this $15 gift certificate.

How do you enter to win? well, thanks for asking. 1) leave a comment of something you have won on a giveaway. 2) become a follower of this blog or let me know that you are already a follower can enter twice!

So, help me to make this 1st giveaway a great giveaway! Winner will be announced on Feb. 11th.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Makes My Monday: Modern Technology Saves Lives

Lily..sporting the notorious NG tube...a few weeks before surgery

It's that time again....CHD Awareness Week....I am spreading awareness by sharing our story

What is a congenital heart defect?

Congenital means it is present at birth. Heart defects begin in the early stages of pregnancy when the baby's heart is forming.

Approximately 40,000 babies are born each year in the United States with a CHD. That equates to 1 out of 125 babies born with a heart defect. There are approximately 35 different types of congenital heart defects.


A Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is a hole in the ventricular septum - the muscular wall that separates the right and left ventricles, or main pumping chambers, of the heart.

This opening allows the movement, or "shunting," of blood between the ventricles. Most commonly, oxygenated blood from the left ventricle enters the right ventricle because there is greater pressure in the left ventricle and the resistance in the lungs is significantly lower than in the body tissues. This is known as a "left to right shunt."

Ventricular septal defects are the most common forms of congenital heart disease, accounting for 21% of all cases. They may be single or multiple and may occur in different parts of the ventricular septum.

Small holes usually close spontaneously in the first year or two of life. Large holes almost always require surgical closure in the first year of life. VSDs may be present with other heart defects.

My daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with a Ventricular Septal Defect at 7 weeks old. I was that parent...the one sitting with her mouth open listening to the daughter and thinking "no, not my daughter!" I was in shock that MY daughter had a hole in her heart which could result in open heart surgery. After Lily was first diagnosed, the days seemed to blend together. It seemed like every other day, we were off to see a doctor. We had weight checks at the very least once a week which later resulted in an NG tube being inserted in Lily's nose to "force feed" her the calories that she needed. It took everything in her little bottle to work at taking 1 oz from her bottle at each feeding. The NG tube fed her continuously helping her to gain 2 lbs before her open heart surgery. Lily had only gained 15 oz from birth to 7 weeks old. Her little body was burning calories faster than she could take them in.

The size of Lily's hole was considered medium to large (we found out later it was 11 mm...Large)

Larger holes may interfere with a child's feeding and growth and may cause rapid breathing, irritability, excessive sweating, and poor weight gain. The vessels which carry blood from the heart to the lungs and back again may become congested, or overloaded, with blood, resulting in congestive heart failure (CHF). This usually occurs when the child is 6 to 8 weeks old.

Lily was put on 2 to reduce the volume of the fluid in her lungs making it easier for her to breathe and eat...Lasix. And another to increase the squeeze (contraction) of the heart muscle and helps it function more effectively...Digoxin.

Due to Lily's slow growth, open heart surgery was required to patch the large hole. After surgery, the change was drastic! Lily had an appetite. She pulled her own feeding tube out and practically inhaled her 1st bottle. It was like seeing your child round the last corner in the big race...she was running under the finish line with arms raised "I DID IT!!!"

Seeing our little fighter for the 1st time on the way up to PICU surgery

I never knew anything about Congenital Heart Defects. I thought that heart conditions only affected adults...mainly women...because that is all the I would see on advertisements from the American Heart Association. I would see "wear Red for Women!" "Heart Month", etc.

Congenital Heart Defects not only effect the child but also the family around them. Your life is put on hold, everything changes. Washing hands becomes a MUST. Kids with CHDs have low immune system, and a simple cold and turn into something worse in the blink of an eye.

I know some of this may bore you...but spreading awareness is sharing facts and personal stories.

Help me spread awareness...not just for Lily...but all the kids out there (Addison, TJ, Lilyana, Max, Aurelia, Zoie, and Jacob)... and for the ones who didn't make it to see their 1st birthdays...Angel Sammy and Angel Andrew...I spread awareness for YOU! ♥

Lilyann...almost 3 years post surgery

*linking up with Cheryl from Twinfatuation for Makes My Monday...and spreading awareness for CHD Awareness Week 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Extending the olive branch

I feel like my olive branch is limp...That there isn't much life in it.

Today's Sunday School lesson was all about acknowledging those who helped your marriage. Meaning being thankful for the people who invested in their lives and made them who they are today. They didn't just magically appear as Prince Charming and sweep you off your feet. There was time, love, diligence, determination..all of that invested in them.
We were reminded today that when you marry your mate, you are marrying the entire family that comes with them. And getting along with the family goes hand in hand to a great marriage. Sometimes, I feel like the olive branch has been extended..and then used to smack me back with it...but I'm going to do my dead level best to keep the olive branch extended...even if it used as a weapon.

This statement was made by our Pastor today:
"When the law of Love rules in the heart, then the law of kindness is found in the tongue."
Profound yet convicting statement.

Friday, February 4, 2011


The view from the front door

Seriously!! I have seen more snow in the past 12 months than I have seen in my entire life. I used to think that snow was something that happened up north; but here in East happens.

Lu Bell!!
Jed woke up this morning to head out to work..and he was amazed with the snow. He told me to keep Kota home today...due to the icy road conditions. Well, at 6am, I get the automated call from the is cancelled. Dakota woke up when he heard the did Lily. So, they were both up super duper early on our snow day.

Lily outside in the snow with Dakota and Les (our neighbor)

Dakota...sliding down the hill on a trash bag..He had so much fun!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

400th post....Party pics

This is post #400!!
I started this blog in January 2008. The week before Lily's heart diagnosis.

I used our blog as a way to connect and share the news of Lily's condition and progress. It was easier to send people to one location for the different updates, good or bad. And it helped during the times I just didn't feel like talking.
Today is one of those days. I just wanna crawl back under the covers and stay there for a good while...but the duties of a mommy never end. I usually try to stay positive on the blog...because I would hate for one of my bad days to pull someone else down with it...You know how the saying goes, Misery loves company.

I haven't been feeling great...sinus junk again, in addition to whatever the kids decided to share with me. They were both treated for the flu last week. And we had a party over the weekend for Dakota...Thanks to my mother in law. She did the cake, put up all the decorations, she did pretty much everything and for that, I am very grateful. I don't know if it all would have turned out the way it did without her expertise.

This post already sounds running, I will just let you enjoy the some of the pictures from Dakota's 5th Birthday party.

The cake

Dakota wasn't too happy about the party. He had fallen asleep a few minutes before the guests started arriving...and was hard to wake up. Dakota is not much for one to singing to him, either.

Cheering up..slowly but surely

This was after everyone was gone...Finally happy!!
Happy 5th Birthday to Dakota Wyatt!