Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Late night thoughts

Sleep eludes me tonight. 
Why?!??!?!?! I need sleep. 
Today is chock full of activity...mainly because I'm going with Dakota and his class on their field trip. He's absolutely excited that I am going with them. Even more so because he wants his class to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. He thinks it will be funny when they all sing "....dear Joy...."  But I told him they will probably sing "....dear Dakota's mom....." Haha! 

Yes, today is my birthday! I love birthdays. I'm not quite at the age where I dread them just yet. I enjoy the fun, the celebrating, the messages of cheer, the calls from family (usually my sister Lydia is the first one to call..but Cathie beat her this year). Growing up, birthdays were when we had dessert with our meal. It had to be a birthday, holiday, or special Sunday dinner to allow dessert to accompany dinner. And I looked forward to it. Dad, and later on a sibling would take over this job, would take streamers and crisscross them through the dining room. He would loop them over and under the chandelier. And almost always, there was a bouquet of balloons in at least one corner of the room. It wasn't much, but it was that person's special day. While I enjoy having the decorations up for myself, I think I enjoyed more when I was old enough to assist in decorating. ♥ Sweet Memories.

 "Joy Joy Joy, down in my heart" as my dad calls me .... Baby Joy

So...yes! I think my brain needs to shut down for a bit so I can rest up for the celebration that April 30th will bring. Sleep come quickly for this momma is getting older by the minute. :)


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Time flies.....when you're having fun

Recently overheard....
"Come on, Lily. Let's go outside, but we aren't going to have any fun." 
*I'm sure Lily was looking puzzled at this*  
"Because when you have fun, time flies." 

Hahahahaha! It definitely made for a good laugh...and how could we not give them a few minutes longer to play outside.

As the end of school draws near, life tends to get hectic. There's party days, field days, field trips...all times 2. Thankfully, most are on different days so I can attend all. It will be hectic, but it will be exciting to see all the things the kids have learned since the start of school. Lily surprised me last week. Her school celebrated "Texas Day". The kindergartners were taught all about Texas that day. They played games, learned about agriculture, milked a cow, saw real chickens, did a jean race (similar to a 3 legged race), and danced. Lily and her class have been practicing some country dances in P.E. the last few weeks. They did some square dancing for us. I was thoroughly surprised and proud. One of the things that Lily loves to do is dance ♥

 The jean race
 square dancing with her partner
My sweet Lily

Something I love more than seeing my children sleeping peacefully (haha! but I can't lie) is to see them Happy. Lily was so happy that day. Stopping for mom to take pictures :) She's usually my shy one when the camera is out. But for now, I'll bask in her happiness of the day.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Happy

I'm currently stalling...I really need to venture to the grocery store. There are certain items that we are in dire need of...but my independent 2 yr old is reminding me that this will truly be an adventure.

I love how she wants to do things "all by myself" but the part where I'm supposed to be patient with her is not as loveable. Yes, let's pitch a tantrum in the yard all because this mean mommy won't let you eat the bird seeds. Moving onto other things, a large shovel is not the best of toys for a certain 2 yr old. But......she thinks she should be able to carry it knocking over whomever she desires. Ahhhhhhhh!!!

Yes, it's Monday. A Monday after a sugar filled weekend. oh my!! I'll definitely be having a chat with the Easter bunny (my fault) about just putting some yummy biscuits in their baskets for next year. Haha!

It's not all craziness. There's some happiness and joy amongst the chaos. I've yet to find it all, but it's there. ;)

Oooooh, wait....a little happiness mixed with family time. My sister and I were able to get the kiddos together to take some pictures for my mom. YAY!! it was fun, but I've found that photographing grade-schoolers who just want to run and play is tedious. I got a few good ones. I know my mom will love them.

 This last pic is my favorite. My niece snapped this picture for me. ♥ Every once in a while, I have to get on the other side of the camera.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kids....cranky or not

Slow starting was crank after crank...
The children were snug in their beds and were not going to budge for anything!! I even promised a trip to the park after school if the kids were just get up and get moving.
All 3 woke up on the wrong side of the bed...funny how all 3 bed are up against a wall. Haaa!! Maybe that was the reason for the grumpy grumps. The whining and verbal disagreements started quickly "She's looking at me....well, he was looking at me....She's touching me. Why are you touching me every time mom walks out. Moooooooooooom! she pinched me! .... quit looking at me!"  And then the morning banter went silent. I peeked around the corner to investigate and they were having a tongue sticking out feud. Oh me, Oh my....I need something more than coffee this morning.

My friend and I got a pretty good workout in this morning. I know it was therapeutic for me...getting all that frustration out during my cardio session. 

I hope the children come home from school in pleasant moods. It truly makes a difference for them and those around them. I might beat them to the punch (not literally) and greet with a yummy snack and drink. 

It's almost Easter time...which means my birthday is getting closer. Yay!!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Heart Day to Lilyann

Happy almost Heart Day to Lilyann!!!

Tomorrow marks the day, 6 yrs ago, that Lilyann went in for open heart surgery to have her VSD fixed.

When we found out we were having a little girl, we never realized how our lives would change. I was so happy to have a little girl. Everything during my pregnancy was going great! I was keeping off the extra weight (pregnancy can really pack on those pounds), my blood pressure was great (nasty culprit during my last pregnancy), and life was grand!
Lilyann Jade was born a chubby 7 lbs 1 oz. She was adorable ♥ And the best part, she latched on quickly. I was overjoyed. She was gaining a few ounces within the first week. By week 3, due to some complications on my end, we switched to formula. Lily was still doing pretty good. She slept a lot...a little more than what you'd expect from a newborn. But I was so frazzled with a newborn and an active 2 yr old at the time, this didn't register with me. By week 6, she was crying all the time. I was kicking myself in the butt for not continuing to nurse thinking the formula was messing up her tummy. After a weekend of her crying non stop, we took her in...thinking she had a blockage in her tummy or something. Little did we expect to hear the words..... "she has a hole in her heart." I remember just sitting there thinking..okay, it's a hole..everyone has holes in their hearts. I actually asked "Is this serious?" Of course, it was. 
Lily's weigh in at that 7 week appointment was 8lbs. She had only gained 1 lb over her birth weight in 7 weeks. The dr sent us home with a promise to call us after she had appointments set up for us. Appointments for an echocardigram for Lily. We struggled through that. I think the same of that appointment, we were scheduled to see a pediatric heart specialist in Dallas. This is all happening within 48 hours from our initial doctor visit. It was a crazy whirlwind of events. 
After seeing the cardiologist, we had some hope. This condition (Ventricular Septal Defect) could correct itself. But the odds were against us since Lilyann was not thriving. Remedies were made to help boost her intake calories and she was put on heart meds to help strengthen her heart and reduce fluid around the heart. 
Finally after an unsuccessful attempt to get her weight up, she was hospitalized for Failure to Thrive. A feeding tube was inserted and she was in the hospital for 12 days to get her back up to where she needed to be. Talk about scary time for these parents. I'm not sure when it was, but Jed and I made the decision to just do the surgery. If anything, it would help her. Making a decision for heart surgery for your small newborn is by far one of the hardest decisions that we had to make. But it was the best decision.
I remember sitting in the holding area with Jed just holding her. It was that surreal feeling...I could see us sitting there questioning ourselves if this was the right decision. She's so small. But we were also as calm as we could be for each other. Handing her off to doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologist was hard. Tears came. But it was for the best.
5 hours later, we get the news. The surgeon is sewing her up. It was successful. The hole in her heart was a bit larger than they expected. 11mm. 
I can't begin to thank all the people who were influential in helping us that day. Their prayers, kind words, generous gifts, calls, texts, and hugs....definitely showed these parents that we had their support. And God was big enough to handle everything. 

As her 6 year Anniversary, or Heart Birthday (as she calls it), arrives, I'm remembering all the good things. I'd never wish this situation on anyone. But I look back and see all the good things, the things we learned from it all. Oh, we serve an Amazing God. We have a wonderful church family and fantastic friends and family who are rooting for us. 

 After surgery on her way to recovery

 The 1st time I got to hold Lily after surgery.

 On discharge day with her fabulous heart surgeon, Dr. Mendleoff

The lessons we learned during those 1st few months of Lilyann's life we will treasure and share with others. All in hopes of helping to ease just 1 mommy or daddy's mind that this is the right decision for their little one. My husband was my rock during that time. It was hard to hold in the emotions at times, but it helped to know that he was there. ♥ I know we all learned something during that last hospital stay. 

Happy Heart Day (almost, it's tomorrow) to Lilyann Jade. 6 yrs heart strong!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Going with the flow

Happy Thursday to you all!
Today's my day to just "go with the flow". There's no rush to do this or that...and tomorrow is always another day. Yep! I've hit that day in my week. 
It's been a fun tiring week. A close friend has started working out with me. We are accountable to each other for eating right and working out :) Tomorrow, I'm going participate in an Aqua-fit class at the gym. I'm excited and a teeny bit nervous. But I'll step out of my comfort zone for my friend, since she's endured Nazi Joy on the stair climber machines this week. ;) 

I'm going with the flow today...but laundry still must be done. I'm working on that in between potty sessions with Chickie and just usual toddler antics. More than anything, I'm looking forward to nap time. It's well earned today and we've only been up for 5.5 hours.

We've been playing outside this week. The torrential downpour on Sunday washed away most of the pollen. Outdoors is somewhat bearable now. Leia is loving picking all the flowers in the backyard. She'll be sad when we finally mow the backyard. I'm thinking it will help with our allergies even if we do have to lose the pretty flowers and awesome photo opportunities.

 yes, she's almost barefoot. My kids rarely wear shoes out in the backyard these days. :)

 Pretty Lily. She enjoying swinging with her sister after she picked some beautiful flowers for me.

 Dakota even ventured away from his electronics (YAY!!!) to enjoy some sunshine. He's growing up so fast, but I love that he still enjoys having a good time outdoors with his sisters. It's amazing what a few minutes outdoors will do for a grumpy child. 

And Leia once again...playing in a box. All these toys here and the box is the most entertaining. Not only has she worked her legs today, but also her (at least, I'm hoping). She did play a good bit in that box. I even let her take crayons into the box to "color it pretty."  This week, Chickie aka Leia has informed me that she is not Chickie "I Weia Arie"  (Leia Marie). 

Life is grand. Share a smile with someone today.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A recap of our week

 Here's a few pictures from our week.
I love my kiddos, but I do love when it's bedtime and those sweet little angels are sleeping. My youngest has been running circles around me lately. And with the girls having colds, it's not always the pleasant of times here. With pollen, weather changes, and all things spring...we are saying "bless you" a lot. :)

 Give Leia a blanket, and everything becomes a picnic. She's my crazy child. I'm not sure how she possesses a clingy but independent quality. But she does. I hear "I want my mommy. hold me. Sing Rockababy" rather often while she's dealing with this spring cold. I try to be happy with her each time; but sometimes, I do need my personal space.
 Leia and I ventured outdoors one day this week. We did some yard work and then soaked up the sun for a bit. It was a beautiful day for it...even if we paid for the next time. Silly pollen.

Sometimes, you just have to let go and be real. I try to be a fun mommy. I, myself, don't always enjoy being instructed at every turn. So instead of  "why aren't you in the bed?" I decided to snap some fun picture with my baby boy. He was giggling. I love my handsome little man. He's growing up so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was bringing him home from the hospital. 

The above was a quick glimpse into our lives.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Let me be Real with you

It's allergy season here in East Texas.
It's pollen pollen everywhere. I know that this time of season is needed. Without it, we wouldn't have the pretty flowers, beautiful shade trees, and yummy fruit.
The weather has recently turned beautiful...minus all the pollen. It's perfect weather for the kids to be outside playing. I let them out one afternoon and they headed straight for the trampoline. Within seconds, there was a cloud of yellow dust. :( I then thought that sweeping off the trampoline might make it easier...nope! that just made it worse for those around.
So, we are housebound til a good rain will wash everything off. The last 2 days have teased us with chances of us a sprinkle here and there along with overcast skies and quiet thunder rumble. But nothing to clear up the pollen problem as of yet.

so, enough about weather, they say it's the perfect conversation starter ;)

I'm still working out. YAY!! I'm actually proud of myself (is that allowed?). I've stuck with this for 6 weeks so far. I love the extra energy. Some days I do have to push myself, but I'm still making it happen. I've lost 4 lbs since I started!! YAY!! and my clothes aren't as snug. Wanna know something hilarious?? I was acting crazy with the girls today and I started running to put the cart up. I almost lost my skirt!!!! Whhhaaaaaaaaaaa!! yep, I might need to invest in a belt now. hahaha!

Anywho, life is going good minus the pollen and sneaky skirts, lol

I saw this today on a Facebook page I follow.... Joy of Mom

I'm far from perfect, so I'll just be real.