Monday, April 22, 2013

share worthy

 Here's something I saw on Pinterest and made for Dakota. He really likes his new light cover.

Dakota's fashionable sign for his door. Hmmmm...the sibling rivalry continues

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Closer to the finished product.

 Leia is really going to miss Mr. John when he finishes Dakota's room. She loves when he comes over. Sometimes I think she is all up in his space but it doesn't seem to bother him. She was watching him clean out the paint rollers today.

This is what it looks like as of now. We are getting closer. Dakota is all smiles.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Heart Day for Lilyann!!

5 years already!!! Some days, it seems like just yesterday. But It's really been 5 years since Lilyann was taken back for her open heart surgery to fix her heart.
This time, 5 years ago, we were just waiting. The anesthesiologist was doing his work. Once she was out, they would start the tedious process of the incision on her chest, then cutting the sternum, and pulling open the rib cages to get to her heart. 
A cardiac surgeon has a special place in my book. Their job is tedious and life depends on a job well done. 
I had talked with a fellow heart mom in the months before Lily's surgery. She told me what to expect, she shared pictures. She had heart healthy and one with the same diagnosis as Lilyann. It was surreal to see the difference between both babies. I'm glad I met her. She did help prepare me for some of what was going to happen. But seeing someone else's child is one thing, seeing your own child in the same situation is overwhelming (to say the least). 
The surgeon's nurse, Dr. Kathy, would call back and forth and let us know how things were going in the operating room. She came back to let us know that things were finished and Lily was responding well. She then told us that if we stood just outside the door of the waiting room, we could see Lily being transported to the Cardiac ICU. I was eager to see my baby girl.  As she rounded that corner, the flood gates opened. I could barely see Lily amongst the machines, cords, and wires. She was covered in a thin film...I imagine it was to keep her body temperature up. There was security there to insure she was on the only patient on the elevator ride up accompanied with her nurses, anesthesiologist, etc. Almost felt like it was the security detail for the President at that exact moment. 

Then the surgeon came to talk to us. Surgery was a success!! Thank you, God. The hole in Lily's heart was considerably larger than the echo had suggested. It was the size of a nickel. No wonder, it took everything out of Lily just to finish a 1 oz bottle. She couldn't work faster than her metabolism. 

I don't know why this happened to us. But I know that "All things work together for good" ~Romans 8:28. For some, hearing about Lily and her heart can get repetitive. But I feel that sharing our story can help some mom, dad, grandma, individual dealing with a similar diagnosis. The support from fellow heart moms/parents and meeting others in the Cardiac ICU was inspiring. It helped us get out of the "mully grub thinking of poor us". We couldn't wait to get back up to the floor to see our daughter and our fellow heart friends. We could offer smiles to the new parents coming in with their heart babies. The staff at Medical City Children's Hospital ....AMAZING!! It takes special people to work with children ♥
 first time seeing Lily once she was stable & Lily's 1st smile after surgery

Lilyann now ♥ Heart Healthy with her baby sister, Leia ♥

Thursday, April 11, 2013

astute observations

I can't get "assigned seating" at the table to work. I don't understand why.  
Growing up, Dad always sat at the head of the table, Mom beside him, myself beside mom, Marg beside me, Phil beside Marg (because that's where the high chair usually was), and then John. I don't remember much of the seating arrangements when all 8 children were still at home. But I do know that everywhere had their spot and knew it. 
Even now when I go home, there's a spot for everyone. Given, we are overrun by nieces and nephews, so it's easier to just do "assembly line" eating.

Talking about assigning seating...My kids seem to fight about which chair they will sit in EACH.AND.EVERY. meal time. We finally set assigned seats for them. Leia in her highchair or she can sit in my seat (depending on what is for breakfast..all other meals are in the highchair). But it never fails, the older kids try to tweak the system....hmmmm...wonder who they get that from?!

This morning, Lily didn't get to sit in the seat she wanted and of course, she was behind schedule. Which is fine because she doesn't go to school til noon. As I'm getting the Kota and Leia in the vanon this chilly morning, I turn around to call for Lily and she is standing on the porch steps crying. WHY?? She thought since she didn't eat at the table, she could take her bowl of fruit loops in the van....she spilled them going down the steps. Fabulous!! And of course, the devastation of lost breakfast set in.  Dakota's mentioning that the cat was going to eat all her cereal didn't make things easier. She's not a big fan of someone stating the obvious.  Which leads us to Dakota.  
He woke up this morning and informed me that when he has his own kids, I will be a granny!! Yay *eye roll*  that's definitely something I want to

It's all inevitable. There's no stopping it. We just have to roll with the split milk and obvious statements. They'll share us with jovial memories for those times when we wish we had all the craziness back. Whew! the coffee and passion flower kicked in fast today :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


 We had some unbelievably nice weather the last few days. And then the clouds rolled in and brought rain, thunder, and COLD temps. It was 73 degrees this morning when I took the oldest to school. When I picked him up from school this afternoon, it had dropped into the high 40s....Brrrrr!

But the weather hasn't stopped the construction on Dakota's room. The rain makes it harder for the mud and texturing to dry but it seems to doing pretty good still. Leia followed Mr. John in and offered a helping hand on the sanding today. She had fun doing it, too.

Everything's has been going good here.
 Dakota is still doing GREAT in school. He has been learning about the solar system. He and another friend had to "research" a planet. They selected Mercury. They drew and colored a picture of Mercury. And completed the "research chart". Dakota told me one afternoon after school this week, "Mom, I'm learning something everyday."  <-- makes="" me="" p="" smile.="" that="">
Lily is doing good at school. Learning letters and numbers and having fun with her friends. Recently, I've noticed that Lily has a certain knack for playing golf....given it's virtual golf on the Wii. But she's actually doing pretty good with the golf game on the Wii Fit plus. 
Leia is currently 18 months old and into EVERYTHING. Life with her has super sweet moments and wanting-to-pull-your-hair-out moments. She is talking alot these days and I can understand most of what she says. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's ALL good!

Getting the kids up and ready for school is a task in itself.  Getting 1 to dress himself, while the other wants to dress herself making the biggest fashion statement. Lily has recently started dressing "all by myself". Her selections are a bit questionable and 3 out of 10 times, they usually match.
This morning, red and pink polka dot shirt, green skirt, cowgirl boots, hot pink jacket, purple sunglasses, purple tiara, and an Easter basket. I really tried to get a picture but she ran from me, taking off the accessories in the process. 

 Leia wearing Daddy's boots♥

I found that the youngest LOVES being "nekked". I took off her diaper last night to give her lady parts some time to air out (teething makes for some yucky diaper rashes...I'm sure you Mommies can testify). I let her do one run through the house and then I put on a pair of training pants. She had those training pants off in a hot minute! She wanted to be FREEEEE!!!

Another thought...Can the terrible two's really start at 18 months???? The smallest of things can get Leia going :/

But even with all the craziness of dressing children and terrible two's, when you get that "I love you" paired with a sweet hug n kiss...Yep! It's makes the craziness worth it. I don't find myself eating as much chocolate that night ;) with 'em is utter chaos. But life without them is too quiet for my liking.

Today, the youngest is 1 1/2 yrs old. I was telling the big kids that Leia is no longer just 1. She is halfway to 2. When Leia woke up, Dakota started singing ♪Happy Birthday♪ to her and she exclaims "CUPCAKES!!!" Yep! she's my child alright! 
And yes, cupcakes are made. I will frost them shortly and add some sprinkles. Wonder if we should add some candles to the cupcakes?
Life is never dull here at the Smiths!

Monday, April 1, 2013


Leia picking up eggs at the Easter pictures get together last week.

Happy April

Back to school after a sugary holiday weekend for the kids...needless to say, it was rather stressful.

I had to wake up the girls to take Dakota to school. And of course, Lily woke up in the pleasantest of moods *eye roll* I was reminding the kids that today was the 1st day of April. And they responded with "your birthday is in April, Mom."  I then proceeded with "wouldn't it be the craziest if you both suddenly had a happy face/good attitude and then yelled APRIL FOOLS!!!"  Dakota replied with "April Fool's?? that's for fools mom" 

Yep!! that's how exciting my morning was...hope yours was even more exciting!

The kids dyed eggs with their cousins this weekend. I decided to try the Koolaid method that has been plastered all over Pinterest lately. Well, it did what it said it would do. Colored the eggs. But I was a tad unimpressed. The colors on the eggs are starting to run now. So, while they make for a "not as messy" way to dye eggs, they aren't as fantastic as the regular dye packages. Just my opinion for ya!
 Dakota and Cash

 Lily, Sammy, and Leia


Leia showing her grumpy side when Sammy wouldn't let her hold the egg. Leia just wanted to cuddle each and every egg.