Friday, January 30, 2009

Ten Things

Ten things I'm loving right now:

1. The banana cream cheesecake I just ate for breakfast thanks to a family friend who is a Cheesecake Factory manager. My favorite is the Key Lime cheesecake but I'm not complaining about what I got! Their cheesecake, any flavor, makes me want to be a better person. 

2. Old Navy clearance where I got 5 shirts for $10 yesterday

3. Not being sick, my children not being sick

4. My mother, who now has the virus because she came to help when the kids were sick

5. The fact that my Bible study leader says to come anyway even when our lesson is not done

6. My first St. Jude baby that I'm praying for since I became a Partner in Hope

7. That my husband added the St. Jude $$ to the budget because I SOB every time I see the infomercial, especially after thinking for a few days that Charlie might be going there

8. Spring Creek barbeque coupons 

9. The new pictures that my man took of my kids--I'll post later today...I'll try

10. The fact that I'm nesting a little so many months in advance when I actually have energy to tackle projects like closets and my desk drawer. Come Lord Jesus come help with that one. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And Now...

We are back. Almost completely because thanks to God on High it is a short bug. I say that assuming you've all heard that term before but what in the world does that even mean? Not important...what IS important today is a source of joy the last few years and especially months for me. So many of you have been kind enough to say prayers for Joy as well as Charlie and I am so grateful. I know there are many of you who are hurting, facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles and I want to turn the tables (I guess there's just one and it's my blog) and encourage you.

I've been asked the question lately, "How is that you guys seem to function as normal?" Well for one, our normal is NOT normal. Actually, if there's one thing I am confident in saying after being a counselor, it is that no one is normal! Throw that idea out the window and you'll feel much better about things, friend! We function like we do because we have God on our side. End of story. He is not responsible for the chaos in our home but He loves us in spite of it, that is for sure. He brought us together, has held us together, and will walk with us together until we meet Him at home in Heaven, away from all this mess. That is the source of our joy. On to the sharing...

I can think of about 25 of you who need this encouragement today so read the words to a song that has given me much comfort over time.
Read the lyrics here. I so hope it brightens your day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And Then...

We got the vomiting virus. Yesterday was a nutty day. On our way to the pediatrician office I told Sean I was nauseous but that I thought it was just from lack of sleep tending to Charlie the last few nights--I think I mentioned she had been diarrhea-prone the last few days/nights...anyway, I thought it would pass. It didn't. Without warning I got sick out the car window, going about 70 on the highway. Nice. A new low point for me! I was in a coma all yesterday and last night and missed the drama unfolding when Ty also got it last night right before bed. I woke up this morning to find my parents here helping with Charlie. Sean and Ty have been together all night in Ty's room. 

Yesterday afternoon I had some weird cramping in my stomach, (like the size of my entire stomach,) so I called the perinatal Dr. and went in a day early to check on the baby. There is a possibility with CCAM that the mother develops a "mirror syndrome," so if the baby is in trouble the mother can develop nausea, high blood pressure, etc. so I was afraid that is what was happening. They squeezed us in, checked me for pre-term labor, then did the sonogram and all looked fine. My vitals were good, so at that point we figured out I had a virus or food poisoning. The tumor had not changed in size, so this is still good news. It seems to be growing in proportion to her body, which crazy as it sounds is not life-threatening. I won't be going in today for the earlier appt. since I was there yesterday so this is my update. If I am absent from here for a few days it is because I'm trying to take care of my family! 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Update on the Girls

I realized in the middle of the night I didn't let you know when our next appt. is. Sean will be able to go with me this week (he was already en route to work last week,) and it is on Tuesday at 1:30. While I don't have a bag packed anymore because I needed the stuff in it I am still mentally preparing myself for the possibility that we will head to Houston on short notice...I think I'm growing faith-wise that I unpacked the bag! 

Update on Charlie--bless her heart. She had been improving so much and then Saturday afternoon at about 2 she started having diarrhea and from then until now (Sunday morning,) she has had about 10 dirty diapers. We've called the on-call nurse and she said it's just a side effect from her antibiotic and to keep giving her Pedialite and try to get her to eat yogurt as well as the pro-biotic meds we have been giving her to minimize the dehydration. And so that's what we are doing. Praying she can stay hydrated...

A funny side-effect to this last month is that Sean has been forgetting things, little things that he NEVER forgets, and it's making me feel much better about myself :) God gives us just what we need sometimes, doesn't He? 

Saturday, January 24, 2009


My new blogging friend Brittney tagged me for a TRUTH post about myself and as much as I'd like to remain appearing cooler than I really am I thought I'd give it a try. I "met" Brittney because my friend Jodi shared our story at her Bible study to ask for prayer. Isn't it great to have friends that tell their friends to pray for you? People you might never even meet are coming together for your baby--it's overwhelming. Thank you, new friend. Technically I also met Brittney when she found my blog through Brooke, my new cousin, who also asked people to pray for Joy. Small world isn't it? 

The rules of the TRUTH post:
1. Tell 10 facts about yourself that are interesting or maybe just weird.
2. Tag 7 other bloggers that you think would have better stories than yours.
3. Tell the 7 others that you tagged them so they know in case they stopped reading your blog weeks ago because you have been forgetting to post.
4. Remember what is shared so you can use it in the future in large gatherings like weddings or kids' birthday parties.


1. I learned how to knit about three years ago. A sweet teen aged client taught me and it helped her feel comfortable while we talked in session and it helped pass the time once I was on bed rest while pregnant with Ty. Here are some of the scarves I've made over the years. The sad thing is I have NO IDEA how to make anything but a scarf. And not because there is a lack of books or magazines about knitting in my possession.
2. I have a little boy who looks JUST like my older brother. If I knew how to put two pictures side by side I would show you. There's a picture of Ty at the same age over in my profile. See what I mean? Weird. When we show Ty pictures of Graham as a kid and ask who it is he says, "Ty."
3. Ty and his Momma have a lot in common. Fear of strange men, (that's me, the youngest, wishing Santa would mind his own business.) We both love to sleep more than almost anything else. Ty has been excited to go to bed, for nap or bedtime for about 6 months. Like he never cries or fights it--When we say, "Let's go night-night," he runs to his room and jumps by his bed until someone puts him in. Mom says I did the same thing as a kid, often asking if it was ok to go to bed before bedtime. 
4. I put Cool Whip on everything. Everything that normal people put it on but also pretty much anything I eat. Except vegetables and meat. It makes a bowl of cereal taste like dessert. Try it. You'll love it. 

5. I worked for three + years to finish grad school and get licensed as a counselor. No less than two weeks after I finished my hours, I had to stop working because I got put on bed rest with Ty. I practiced as an LPC for two weeks. Long career. When I tell people that is all I practiced they give me a "Are you sure you didn't do something illegal?" look. Bed rest people. That's the real reason.

6. I was in a wreck on Highway 6 when I was in college that should have killed me. I was wrestling with God about my future and staying focused in school during that time and after seeing what could have happened I realized I needed to stop complaining and pay attention to what He was telling me. I kept a piece of the wooden fence that I flipped over as a reminder. How's that for a weird decoration?

7. If I don't eat first thing in the morning I am not a nice person. It doesn't matter who I run into I don't want to talk or really even focus on another person, my children included, without eating first. And for YEARS I have eaten the exact same thing for breakfast almost every day: Two whole wheat waffles, two eggs, and a Diet Dr. Pepper. Breakfast of champions. Yes, I put Cool Whip on the waffles. And peanut butter if I'm feeling frisky.

8. My husband and I dated for four months, got engaged, married four months later, then got pregnant four months after we got married. I don't do math but I think that's close to a year that we went from zero to family.  Then a little over a year after that we had another baby. Nine months after that we got pregnant again. And it's been glorious. Hard, but glorious. For the record, we were friends for about four years before we ever dated. 

9. I wanted to be many things when I was growing up. Among the list are an American Gladiator, a Broadway dancer--on A Chorus Line--, and a professional tennis player. Call me a dreamer. I am now a stay-at-home mom with high ambitions about being athletic again one day. 

10.  I am mortified at the thought of having three kids under three years old. I don't remember things, I lose things, and I am selfish. An example of why I'm afraid is from yesterday: I was taking Ty to Mom2Mom Bible study with me (Charlie and Daddy had bonding time since she's banned from the nursery and he was home!) so I loaded him in the car, loaded my stuff, drove to the church and parked. When I opened his door to get him out I found him sitting quietly in his car seat without ANY buckles buckled. I had opened his door so he could climb in and closed the door behind him so he wouldn't fall out when I was loading, which I do all the time. Usually, though, I actually remember to FINISH putting him in the car by buckling him into his car seat. Mother of the year, huh? 

I do love being a mom. I don't feel like I'm good at it or that I have conquered the never-ending needs that little kids have but I have enjoyed it more than I ever imagined. This picture is one of my favorites even though it gives me a complex about my rear-end. We are walking through life trying to protect the people we love. We do our best and rely on God to pick up our slack. And He always does.

There you have it. New dirt on me. Now it's time for other people to join in:


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Road to Recovery

Is paved and leads right into CVS. I picked this bag of goodies up yesterday afternoon and guess what. (WHAT!)
It is working! Thanks to everything in the picture below, (minus the candle and the glucometer that is mine not Charlie's thank God!) Charlie is improving. Sean's mom, "Mimi" came to stay with Ty so Sean and I could both go to the appt. in case the Dr. ordered bloodwork. She got another mega shot of antibiotics and we are giving her breathing treatments, more antibiotics, and motrin at home for the next 10 days. Her lungs sounded better today and she seems more like herself. Praise God for her improvements. Momma was worn out yesterday but after having Sean home, along with two very concerned and loving grandparents in the house overnight, today is a new day. 
See all of that stuff? Only two of the things above are long-term and the rest should be out of our house after 10 days. We were told that to help her heal and keep from getting this sick again it's best to keep her away from sick kids as much as possible and to avoid the church nursery...this is a toughie since it's one of the few places I was brave enough to take them both to regularly on my own but it's to keep her as well as possible. At least for the next month or so, Charlie will listen to Chuck on the radio and that will teach her what she needs to know.

Ha Ha. I'm hoping to enlist a few helpers to watch her so Ty and I can still go to Bible study on Fridays. Sean and I will take turns going to church (two services with 30 minutes in between gives us more than enough time to trade off at home.) We are so glad we moved closer so we can still go and not lose the precious progress Ty has made peeling himself off us to go to his teachers. It was ugly there for a while. Like for the first two years.  

I've been so self-focussed the last few days that I forgot to mention the progress that Kelly's little baby girl has made--What a true testament to the power of prayer! About baby Joy's news from yesterday--after sleeping and relaxing thanks to Nattie pulling the night shift with Charlie, I feel at peace about it again. Reading the updates from Kelly, (who, as a reminder, I do not know in real life,) I am reminded of how our kids are from Him and for Him. It is our job to be there, giving Him the reigns in their lives and then teaching them to do the same. Thank you all so much for praying for both of my girls this week. Our family is so grateful. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Update for today has two parts. First, the sonogram showed the tumor has grown again, which is bad news. It is pressing on her heart again, but there are still no hydrops which in English means her life is not in danger. If during a sonogram they find hydrops I will go straight to Houston to have the surgery. I know if it sounds like Chinese to me, it certainly does to you. It's hard to believe but this was not the worst news I got today.

Monday when we took Charlie in and heard her wheezing I found out she might have asthma. We've been giving her breathing treatments every 4-6 hours since then and this morning at 3 a.m. I went in to check on her because she was crying/coughing and she had 102.5 fever. The events that led up to the pediatrician's office visit are hilarious but I don't have the energy to type it all out right now--I will in coming days. I had the chance to think through the course of action with Sean before he left for his trip at 7:30 this morning. Got in to see Dr. Fowers at 9:15 and she ordered a chest x-ray and flu test because Charlie was really wheezing by then. We found out she has pneumonia and also had an asthma attack. She got worse and worse while we were in the office, (so glad I was already there!) and they gave her two shots of antibiotic, two breathing treatments with/of steroids, and took blood. We are back home now and she is trying to sleep. The office just called and her white blood count is normal. I take her back in tomorrow morning and if she is not better we will go to Children's again to do a full work-up of bloodwork and start monitoring her. The breathing treatments in the office did not help her wheezing, which bothered the Dr. but she said she knew I'd be back in a second if she got any worse. You bet your hiney I would be! 

My mom met me at the office with the kids so that I could go to my sonogram (kids aren't allowed in the perinatologist office ??) and she is here now. Sean is on a flight back home. Honestly I am hanging by a thread. This is certainly not any worse than anything you are going through in your own life but it is a lot in the last month for us to understand. We continue to be hopeful and thankful for our health so we can take care of the kids. We are just so tired!! Please continue to pray for Joy's tumor to shrink, as adding being away from the kids for 10 days-a few months if I have to do the surgery seems unbearable right now given that Charlie is sick again. God is still on the throne...and He is the same today as He was yesterday. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From Charlie

Hey y'all this was when I was about 5 months old, right before I got my first cold. Momma thinks that might be all that is wrong with me since I woke up with runny stuff coming out of my nose. That would be good news! I slept hard all night even though she thought I would wake up every 30 minutes with my cough. I know how to keep everybody happy with me :)

Tomorrow at 11:00 we will find out how my little sister is doing so please keep praying for her! Momma will tell you what she finds out as soon as she gets home and plays with me for a little while. Have a great day! Love Charlie

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Will Survive

Things had just gotten a little too boring. Kids were well, weather was nice, and the man had settled into a regular work schedule following lots of vacation time in Dec/January. Yesterday Charlie started coughing a little bit...nothing bad. We went to church and I had a day off that I spent with Carley and Jennie eating and seeing Bride Wars. Last night and then early this morning we could hear Charlie coughing but she wasn't acting sick while she was awake. Never one to shy away from the pediatricians' office, I took her in to make sure what she was doing wasn't carrying over from her last bout of...whatever it is she had. An hour and a half, one breathing treatment, one RSV test, lots of screaming, tears, sweat and vomit later, we are back home. On our way out of the office I was holding a sleeping Charlie when the fact that I'm pregnant couldn't be avoided and I had to go to the bathroom. Without oversharing let's just say while holding her I took care of business, washed both hands, pushed my stroller back out of the tiny bathroom while also holding the breathing machine that I had just been given that weighed about 12 pounds. All while chanting, "I will survive" in my head.

So far RSV test was negative, we survived our first breathing treatment, (just barely!) and the doctor mentioned that this might be the beginning of asthma. Nice. I'm off to my other doctor's office to get all set up with insulin for this pregnancy. Stick around people. Never a dull moment around here. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Too Much Sleep=Boring Post

Sean got home early yesterday from his trip so while I was at the park by our house with the kids he walked down to meet us and I had another, "Am I tearing up because I'm pregnant or because this is just really sweet" moment. Ty ran the length of a football field to greet him--Hallmark card material, even if I'm the only one who would buy it. And maybe our moms. Then once Charlie saw him she crawled over to him and cried every time he tried to put her down until bedtime. Glorious. She couldn't care less when I leave the room once he's home :)

Maybe I was just so relieved he was safe and home with us again. My mom, aka volunteer ABC news correspondent-not really-called me to tell me a plane had gone down in NYC and that it was a US Airways flight (she checks facts before calling me!) the day it I can't recall what day but anyway, the day it happened. I knew it wasn't his flight because A)He works for Delta and B) He left NYC earlier that morning and was on his way to Florida that afternoon. I was still reminded of what could possibly happen to him at work and was glad to talk to him that night. He spent the next two nights in New York on his trip and I couldn't resist the, "Watch out for the geese," comment every time I talked to him. He said most of the passengers were saying the same thing...that and buying them coffee and snacks to thank them for safe travel. I know it makes them feel good to be appreciated! I have hugged more than one pilot in my day, not counting Sean, after a scary flight. Sean, of course, thinks that's hilarious.

Charlie fell while crawling last night and I think there's a good chance she'll have a black eye this morning when I go get her. It was a bad fall--from almost straight up on her knees onto a hard plastic toy, and she hit right under her eye. Ouch. If any of you get a call from CPS, that is what happened. Back me up, will you?

Yesterday my niece had her 8th Birthday party at her house in Flower Mound. It was exactly four years ago that day that I met Sean's entire family--there are A LOT of them (us)--I remember him saying, "My family wants to meet WHOLE family and I understand if you'd rather break it up into parts so it's not overwhelming..." I loved meeting them that day, and there's not a downside at all to how many people there are when we all get together. Unless you're his mom and you're in charge of cooking for holidays. And trying to find enough places for sleeping babies/toddlers. There are a lot of those. When Joy arrives, there will be 22 of us. Immediate family. 

Today after church I've got lunch/movie plans with Jennie and Carley. Fun Fun! Tomorrow I have an appt with my endocrinologist and I think I'll start insulin soon. Fun Fun! That one is not quite as enthusiastic but after the last month's events, diabetes doesn't seem like a big deal to me anymore! You can pray for Wednesday, when I have my next sonogram to look at Joy. We continue to pray that her tumor shrinks and we'd love for you to continue praying with us! 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Never Thought I'd Say It

But where has the time gone? Thinking of her as a newborn as I read Kelly's update. I'm thankful she is here even when I'm tired and the weight of responsibility is heavy. Thank You, Lord. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Kelly's Big Day

Tomorrow morning Kelly is checking into the hospital to have her 1st baby. This little girl coming is going to have the funnest momma ever. Say a prayer for her, would you? I don't know her in real life but she is a faithful prayer warrior for other women and it's the least we can do! Yes, I know funnest isn't a real word. It should be. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Glimpse Into Our Day

Hey guys! 
Ty's post-nap hair
And another angle
Oh yeah it was a good nap
Monumental day in our family--Charlie fed herself something for the first time today! She's 13 months old so she's just a hair behind. Like all of the 6-8 month olds in her Sunday School class, she's so proud of herself. FYI, she is in their class because she's pretty much functioning on their level and she has the sweetest teachers in the whole world. I'll keep her there until she starts making more progress and they kick her out.
This stuff takes a little practice...
But I DID IT BY MYSELF! It's the little things about being a mom that are delighting me ever since finding out about Joy's condition. When I saw Charlie in the rear-view mirror putting an animal cracker in her mouth, I nearly started  crying. Now, this may or may not have to do with the fact that I'm a little sleep-deprived because my little cherub here has been keeping me up for a few hours every night. Want to know why? She learned how to pull up a few days ago and does so in her crib during the night...but she is terrified to let go once she pulls up so she just stands there screaming. Her brother did this exact same thing and it took him two weeks to figure it out. By figure it out I mean learn how to sit himself back down. Two weeks people. I don't have it in me. I'm welcoming any advice--My book that I believe in second to the Bible says I should just leave her there but I'm telling you I've tried. It's a whole new scream that I can't ignore no matter how tired I am. 

P.S. This was BEFORE Charlie's nap. There was no excuse for her hair.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Starting the day off feeling at peace but let's be honest--a little antsy I told Sean I wanted to go to the mall with the kids to make the morning pass quickly and he agreed. We walked into the mall and right before we hit the playground I spotted Emily a.k.a. Mama Em with her hubby and daughter. Oh happy day! What a great surprise since A) I needed a pick-me-up and B) she lives in Scotland now so the fact that we round the corner in a Plano mall and she's standing there was well, God working it all out. Emily, it was such fun to see you and laugh about how hard being a mom is. :) After seeing--actually meeting R come to think of it--it is confirmed that she is, in fact, a brain surgeon. Or will be one day soon. 

Carley got to our house right on time, (not surprising at all) at noon and we booked it to the appt. Sean dropped me off and I got completely lost on the second floor of the hospital looking for Dr. Brown-Elliot's office. I've been there before-that really doesn't matter at all when we're talking about my sense of direction. It's simply not there. Like wisdom teeth, I was born without it. Yes it's true. Ask my dentist.

Immediately when she started the sonogram Sean made the comment, "I think her heart doesn't look compressed like it did last time." The Dr. agreed, saying that was what she was just about to say. Long long story short, this is great news. Baby is growing obviously and within a week's time it's hard to tell if it looks better because the tumor is actually shrinking or because her body is growing but either way, her heart is not compromised at all right now. We believe that our prayers/your prayers were answered by what we found out today. We believe they will continue to be answered!! We asked a million more questions, got a million more answers. The Dr. said that she talked to the fancy surgeon (my word not hers!) in Houston last week and mentioned our situation to him because she thought after last week we'd be heading his way. She made the comment today that because the tumor had not appeared larger/more intrusive she feels much better about it. In other words, it could have been much worse today and instead everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Oh happy day again!

Thank you more than I can say well or eloquently for praying. We felt great peace today and only felt more peace after the appointment. Our God is truly caring to give us so many friends and family members who love Him and pray for each other's struggles. 

Things are looking up...


Praise God!

The tumor hasn't grown! I'll post details later but for now, THIS IS GOOD NEWS!! Thanks for praying :):):):)

Ain't That The Truth!

"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they were all written, The days fashioned for me
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You."
Psalm 139:13-18

Yesterday sitting in church after tearing up during almost every song, I heard these words that gave me great peace about today and any appointment coming up about Joy. Our pastor said that Truth (the Bible) releases us from fears and superstitions, allows us to live with confidence, gives us strength when we are tested, and stabilizes our faith. He said much more that I couldn't write down fast enough but overall it was hugely encouraging to me. Instead of staying up late last night trying to find more information about Joy's issues, (which is what I've done almost every day for a week,) I looked at this part of my favorite Psalm and thought, Yeah, I believe that. What am I worried about? That God isn't paying attention? That He messed up while He was making her? Maybe that He forgot about her? None of that is the Truth.

And I know that. I know that God is real and alive and well. That will not change over time or our circumstances. Forgive the sloppy quote but as C.S. Lewis said, "Because of what I have seen, I will trust the Creator for what I have not yet seen."

Our appt. is at 12:30 and I will update as soon as I can to share what we learned. Thank you so much for praying for our little girl! Emmy, sorry about the "Ain't." 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Last Week Start to Finish

Charlie in the hospital with her Daddy. Every time he tried to hand her off to one of us she lost it--they've been close before but he's become her favorite...fine by me. He's mine too.
Ty finds letters everywhere we go and yells them at me until I say, "Yay Ty." If I don't say it, he says, "Ya Ty," for me. He finally learned X, G, and J this week so he knows the whole alphabet. Thank you, Leap Frog. 
Oh do you love that chunky girl or what? I do. Her legs are so big I'm surprised she can crawl.
But oh look! She can!
And this is how the week pretty much ended--back to her old self at Nattie's house. Praise God she is almost 100 % better. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

You Spoke Too Soon Friend

For the person who commented on my mothering abilities earlier today: Here is an example of why what you said is sweet but not at all true. I do not have it all together at all--not now, not ever. It's a miracle my kids are as normal as they are. 

I've commented before about my hardest parenting moment, though I don't think I've written about it. I'm changing it to my second hardest parenting moment because I'm reserving the "worst" title for what I'm sure lies ahead somewhere in my future that I can only imagine now. This one was painful at the time but laughable now...if you've heard the story you can remember how I completely fell apart for about two whole days afterward. 

Setting the scene: I was at home with the kids. There are only two of them, though at times it seems like there has to be at least five hiding somewhere under furniture causing trouble. Sean was on a trip for work and I was just beginning to feel like I was going to survive on my own. Feeling just a hair confident, competent, capable, choose your word. Charlie was I think three months old, making Ty 17 months old. Both sleeping soundly in their cribs when I went to bed, Max in his pen, and it was going to be, I told myself as I went to sleep, a good night. 

All was well until 1:14 a.m. I know the time because when I first heard the sound I looked at the clock hoping it was the next day at 6:30p.m., about the time Sean was expected home. It wasn't the next day--well it just barely was--but 1:14 a.m. and my smoke detector was going off. In my room. In about four seconds the one in the hallway was also going off, followed by the one downstairs, the ones in the kids' rooms (how many do we have, you ask--I think 7. And two carbon monoxide alarms.) My husband is very thorough, especially about things like fires and leaving his wife and small children alone. By the time the ones starting going off in the kids' rooms, the house alarm was also going off. So were both of the carbon monoxide ones, one upstairs one downstairs. A perk to this house, Sean thought, was that the system is wired so that all of the alarms set each other off so no one sleeps through a fire. I do not, after this incident, look at it as a perk. The house sounded like a nightmare. A bad bad nightmare that you pray is just that.

The kids have fans in their rooms so while I was sure they were awake and terrified like I was, they weren't crying. Not that I would have heard them if they were for all the ringing in my ears. I was trying to wake up to figure out what was happening when the phone rang. The alarm company asked if our house was on fire. I think I said, "Well how should I know? I can't concentrate with all this racket..." Without laughing at me the woman told me to call 911. 

Now, looking back, it should have occured to me to do that first, before someone told me to do it. At the time, sleep was so precious and a stretch of sleep was so rare that I didn't care if the house was on fire as long as I could go back to sleep. I was delusional people. Sleep deprivation is, in my opinion, the cause of all things bad in the world.

I called 911, Sean, my parents, my neighbor Jan (love you for coming that night), and the alarm company all within the next minute and a half. It hit me while talking to Jan that I had to figure out what to do once I got off the phone asking all of those people what to do. I didn't respond well under pressure. What I did do is hang up the phone, let Max into the back yard because he's a dog and he has to be resourceful during times like that, make a bottle for Charlie and a cup of milk for Ty, grabbed my cell phone, put all said items on the front porch and put a coat on. I don't even remember if it was cold outside I just know I thought a coat would be a good thing to have during a house fire. During this whole process while running around like a mad woman around my house, I never smelled smoke, which I found odd. Surely with all of this alarm mayhem there was a fire somewhere.

Now would be a good time to throw in that when I talked to the fire department I told them to turn their sirens off because as much as I hoped my house wasn't burning down I really didn't want to scare my kids with a loud noise. That was of utmost importance, I told them. To their credit, they did turn them off as they approached and they were there within 3 minutes. Frisco Fire Department, well done. I was crying hysterically by the time that 3 minutes got there, wishing I had 1)my husband, and 2) my momma. Wanted to let the husband take over the house fire issue and my mother take over whatever my kids were needing. I just wanted to sleep.

During the confusion, Jan arrived and helped me calm down. I had one crying kid on each hip when she got there, and during times of stress who do kids want? Yep. They were both glued to me. If Ty had been about two years older, he'd have thought this was the coolest night of his life! Except he wasn't two years older, he was afraid of the lights, and any time one of the firemen or Jan got remotely close to us he cried louder. Then I cried louder.

To draw an end to this only-funny-now story, there was no fire in our house. There was no carbon monoxide. The firemen scattered in the house with their gear on, then with a carbon monoxide detector gadget. There was absolutely nothing wrong, just a faulty smoke detector that didn't do its job. Its job was to beep when it needed a new battery instead of going off. That one single blasted alarm caused the whole mess. That same blasted alarm went off again the next morning at 8:30 a.m., causing me to do the only thing that I could do after that night: grab it off the ceiling and disconnect the little wires. It left me no choice.

Did you know that if you do that it makes them all go off until you fix it? I didn't either. Once every hour, the whole house full of alarms went off. I got to where I would just take the kids outside into the yard until they turned off, usually it took about 10 minutes. I called the fire department about 4 more times during the day and they came every time. God love them. That last time I think the chief came too, and I told him that I needed one of his nice men to unplug all of the smoke detectors in my house and I didn't care what risk that put me in. He declined my request. "M'am, that goes against everything we do." Like my file at my OB's office, I'm sure our house has a red flag beside the address reading, "CRAZY LADY: USE CAUTION."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Joy Update

After hearing back from a few people that I e-mailed asking for prayer I realized I didn't mention when we will know more. I have an appt. this Monday with the perinatal specialist again. Until then, I won't know anything new. Thank you so much for praying!! We both (all) feel supported and encouraged thanks to you. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Matchy Matchy and Noah

I took this picture at Nattie and Popeye's house the night before the storm hit. I call the last week and half the storm because it has sure felt like one! Can you tell the kids were watching a video? This is one of the only times they have been close enough to each other to snap a picture. Ty has gotten pretty quick about exiting her presence now that she can move. He looks at us like, "Are you OK with this? She is taking my stuff."
Her hair looks really straight in this picture. See below where she gets the crazy hair...
And this is a matchy matchy picture because we're friends and have very similar taste in maternity clothes. To be honest one day we were together scanning the clearance rack in Mimi maternity and Carley found this shirt in her size. I was so jealous they didn't have mine--That night I found it on their website so I was very happy to report to her that I was copying. She is a good enough friend that she doesn't care :) Can you tell who wears a small and who wears a large? And that, my friend, has nothing to do with us carrying children. 
Did I give a history of who Noah is? Oops. When I worked at Stonebriar (our church,) with the Jr. High girls, I worked with Casey. She has since moved to Oklahoma. Okay it's not exactly Oklahoma but it is pretty darn close--She lives in Denison and we have been wanting to go on a road trip to visit Mr. Noah since he is already 5 weeks old and we had never met him. Yesterday, even though our trusted meteorologists warned against all driving, we took off in the Honda and went for it. The roads were perfectly fine--wet but not icy--so we're glad we went. Noah is just a precious perfect little baby boy. Of the 50 pictures I took, these were the only ones in focus. Can you tell I've thrown in the towel on photography in my family? Too bad Sean and the kids didn't make the trek with us so he could take the pictures. Yeah that'd been really relaxing. It was a girls' day and it was fabulous to focus on something other than myself and the last week for almost a whole day. 
I mean look at him. Precious. He looks like he's praying holding Carley's cross. Cute Cute Cute.
This will be Carley pretty soon! She is so excited about welcoming her little "Bun" in May and she'll be a fantastic Momma. Love you, friend. Thanks for keeping me company yesterday! Casey, I hope you got better pictures than I did! You have a beautiful boy and are doing a great job adjusting to the crazy world of motherhood. 

Monday, January 5, 2009


It pays to make friends with the nurse at your doctors office. Last week I told Justine I'm likely to name someone after her one day I like her so much. She is so comforting and kind, not to mention helpful. This morning when I called her to ask if she could try to get me in to see the perinatal specialist quicker than two weeks, (the appt. I scored on my own,) she got me one for today at 3:00. Yeah that's a little better. 

And so, following a trip to see Casey and new baby Noah (I'll post pictures tomorrow!) Carley and I booked it back from Sherman to make it to the doctor. I dropped Carley off at her house and managed to pick up Ty's antibiotics on the way to get Sean. While I was with Casey, Noah, and Carley, Sean took both kids to the doctor (noticing a pattern?) because Ty has run a fever the last few days. One healthy bill of health for Charlie, one nasty ear infection for Ty. We are our insurance company's worst nightmare.

On to the appt. We learned some news about baby Joy's condition. The good news is that it is possible to have intrauterine surgery to remove the cyst. My doctor (OB) didn't know if it would be an option for me but the specialist today said it was. It is not an elective surgery though--they would only do it if the baby's life is in danger. If the cyst (I'm calling it ONE now since after seeing it today, it appears that three small ones have grown into one fair sized one, which is the bad news) impairs a major organ, they will try to remove it by doing surgery. It would be like a c-section as far as my recovery but it would save her life. The surgeon she sends people to is in Houston and he has a fantastic reputation for doing complicated surgeries on still-growing babies. Can you imagine the brains this guy has? He should be paid a million dollars every time! Maybe he is...hmmmm. Right now this is what I ask:

Please pray that the cyst will shrink from its current size so that it doesn't put unwelcome pressure on her heart. It is currently touching her heart but the blood flow is not compromised. Next Monday I will have another sonogram with this doctor to compare the size of the cyst to see if it has changed. The specialist today said that if it stays the same size she can make it to term and have surgery only if she has breathing issues. If it shrinks, this little baby will be totally fine. All other organs/systems are perfect. I will update after my appt. Monday, or as soon as I can after it pending repeat trips with my other kids to the hospital, dr. office, or park.

Until then, let's keep it lighter around here, don't you think? We took about 50 pictures today and I'll upload them in the morning. Right now I'm gonna watch some mindless TV and rest. Truly resting is, of course, trusting fully in what God has done and will do in my life and the lives I'm involved with. How great is He that he has given me the two kids that He has to take care of. How blessed am I that I get to see them grow and heal and learn more about how to function in this world. No matter how scary the future may be, He can provide us rest right now. Night night. 

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come unto Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's A Girl!

We picked a name and it couldn't be more fitting after today--Joy.

It's been a long day. Long couple of days really. This morning Charlie's fever went back up and we took her into the hospital. While Sean and my Mom started the process of checking her in I went to my appt. and Emmy met me there. We immediately found out it was a girl and then while checking everything Patsy said she needed to tell me something that she was seeing that wasn't quite right. Baby Joy has some cysts in/on her lungs. The severity is unknown and the long-term prognosis is unknown. I meet with a specialist in two weeks to learn more. Until then, we wait and enjoy the fact that while the day started off checking Charlie into the hospital it will end with her home. She got more shots of mega antibiotics and her white blood cell count has gone down to normal. No more worry that it is something bigger than an infection. No more concern that we might have to take her in. She is going to be fine. And baby Joy, we believe, will be too. My doctor explained that it is possible that she will have no ill effects from the cysts or she could need surgery once born to remove them if they grow. To not know and to relinquish control in this situation is not nearly as impossible a task after the last few days with Charlie. The timing was as only God could illustrate. We are thankful for the prayers and will now continue to ask for prayer for Joy. 

She Pulled Through

Dr. called last night at 8:45. She is lucky I was still awake! She had not seen the results of blood work--we will hear today when she gets to work. She told us she thinks Charlie has a UTI based on the in-office test they took Wednesday and her guess is that it's also a bacterial blood infection. We are anxious to hear what the blood test found but feel much better than we did after talking to the doctor again. Sonogram is at 10...stay tuned!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Still waiting to hear something. Understandably frustrated, impatient, and wondering why on earth it is taking so long. I love my doctor--told you all about her before--and trust her. She is a good pediatrician, very thorough and on top of things. Thankfully during a tense time I feel completely comfortable talking to her. I do appreciate the prayers for Charlie to feel better. I think she is in fact getting better, which is very encouraging. At this point I'm hoping to hear first thing in the morning, when Dr. Fowers gets to work. Thinking maybe she caught the vomiting virus or something like that, which would explain why she never called. No I don't mean that. No one wishes the vomiting virus on someone they LIKE. In all of the confusion and concern about Charlie it just hit me that our sonogram is in the morning. Have total peace about it now. Strange how God gives you a roundabout answer to something--but He always answers. :) 

Pray for Charlie

**Update: We don't know anything new--the Doctor hasn't called, so we're frustrated but we're hoping no news is good news. The on-call Dr. said to give her the antibiotics we were given yesterday and keep Motrin in her. Her fever has only been up once today and she seems more like herself...minus sleep. She hasn't slept more than an hour all day. I'll update when we hear. Thanks for praying!

Can I ask you to pray for my little girl? After battling a cold for a month I took her back to the doctor yesterday. She had a high fever the day before and in an attempt to get an antibiotic (finally!) we went in. Her doctor listened to her, looked at her, and then decided that since she was clearly very sick but we couldn't tell why, to do some more tests. She drew blood, did a flu test, and a chest x-ray. Her first thought was that it was pneumonia. The x-ray was clear. Flu test was negative. Ears and throat were fine. She wrote me an antibiotic and sent us home. Two hours later the doctor called me. She said to come back to the office right away to do more blood work. Charlie's white blood cell count was through the roof. Dr. Fowers said normal infection counts range between 8,000 and 16,000 and Charlie's was 37,000. You can imagine how scary it was and is. Please pray that whatever it is we know soon so we can help her. I called a babysitter first, hoping to be able to leave Ty to finish his nap instead of taking on what it would be like if that couldn't happen. Thankfully she got there in ten minutes so I could leave. While we were at the office, they drew more blood, got a urine sample, and gave Charlie two mega antibiotic shots. She started feeling better yesterday and then did better last night. My parents and sister turned around from their trip to see my brother to come help us. Sean got home from his trip last night. Mom, Dad, and Emmy met me at the doctor's office and Mom slept in Charlie's room last night to watch her. In the midst of something unknown and scary, once again my "village" has helped more than I can say. Dr. Fowers said she would call me with the new results today. If the numbers show something that an at-home antibiotic won't help, she will admit Charlie to Children's. Thankfully there is a branch in Plano, just ten minutes from our house. Of  course we're hoping we won't have to do that but if that's what it takes we'll happily do it. God has always been good and we're certainly not expecting Him to change so we have great peace that He is watching over Charlie and loves her more than we do. But we do love her and it's hard to watch her poked, prodded, and scared. An IV? Lord help us. Thanks for praying! I'll update or have someone else do it as soon as we know anything.