Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm like a sale magnet

Went to Target today to buy ziploc baggies and while I did actually remember them (rare) I also found this

For this much

This, for Charlie, it's a dress...

For this

That says $2.25 if you can't see very well.

And this--trust me it's really cute with a wide brown belt and boots

The girl in their Fall ads had it on...anyway...for this

I'd say I succeeded, don't you think? It's crazy how much of a rush I get out of Target these days. And TJ Maxx, where I found my mom a Christmas gift that I can't talk about here because she reads my blog. I'll tell/show you after Christmas.

So, you ask, what were the kids doing while I played at Target? Well, here's a picture for you.

We have gotten hours of entertainment out of Charlie's new baby stroller. Some of us more than others.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh yeah I'm a momma now

You know you're a momma when you spot cute cupcakes on a blog and vow to make them for your kids' birthday...even when said kid doesn't care and doesn't even eat cupcakes. Said kid doesn't even like chocolate.

You make them anyway and she just picks the nilla wafers off and eats them.

You don't care that she leaves the rest of the cupcake and you also don't care that you had to search 50+ blogs to find the picture to copy.

You don't care because your kid is happy on her birthday.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

To Charlie, my Birthday girl

You light up our lives. You never meet a stranger but cry your heart out every time Mommy leaves your sight. You take care of your sister like she is your baby. You worship the ground your brother walks on. You give your Daddy "Am I cute or what?" eyes, and wait for him to agree. You surprised us with your entrance into our family and have made it sparkle ever since. We love you, monkey. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank You, Lord

Thank You, Lord for the many blessings You have given and for the forgiveness you have blessed us with.

For the noise that filled today and the quiet that fills this night.

For Your grace and love that never fail.

For bringing Joy through her surgery and healing her body. For protecting her from harm.

For food, a home, and family.

For the most beautiful gift of Your Son.

And as Ty said during our "What are you thankful for this year" tradition,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Leggo my Eggo!

It may be a small inconvenience for some of you, (the same "some of you" who think this is a lame excuse for a post.) But to other Eggo devotees, it's an outright crisis. There's a shortage of Eggo frozen products right now and it's hitting our family hard where it hurts...Down deep in our stomachs.

It's enough to make us crazy. Crazy like buying somewhere in the ballpark of ten boxes when I happened upon them today in the Denton Walmart.

And with that we can focus on true blessings this Thanksgiving instead of what may be lacking in our freezer. God bless you Denton Walmart.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday dress up

She wouldn't take the green necklace off. Thanks Aunt Rhonda! She LOVES it.

Joy put on a hat...isn't that enough? Party on.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Joy the peanut

Our first Thanksgiving celebration is today and I'm supposed to be packing the bag to take to Nattie and Popeye's and you know how that goes.

I put Ty's extra clothes in, get myself dressed, put Charlie's clothes in, go to grab diapers for her and get sidetracked folding laundry. Get Joy's clothes and then remember I never put Charlie's diapers in the bag so I go to retrieve those again and Max throws up on the floor. Clean up after Max, (loving him as usual,) Joy wakes up from her nap. Get Joy a bottle and then realize I haven't put her clothes in the bag yet. And it goes on and on...

It's all a mystery isn't it? How I always forget something we need when we're away from home. A mystery.

Joy's 6 month checkup was Friday and she checked out just fine. I'll take another moment to tell you how much I love our Dr. And I'll tell you again if you don't love your pediatrician call me and I'll give you her number. She's worth the drive. I know that's like the 14th time I've mentioned her but I'm a little bit obsessed with how much we like her.


Joy is smaller/lighter than Ty and Charlie were at this age. They are both big because of gestational diabetes, which I had with Joy it's been kind of a mystery, (this time an actual one unlike how I forget things,) and I learned that it might be because the thing they removed caused her heart to work harder than it should have been working. Now I didn't confirm with the Dr. but I'm thinking that's why she is smaller. It is like her heart was working so hard all the time that she was getting a little workout. No wonder she doesn't have her sisters' thunder thighs-which are getting smaller, by the way. It's freaking me out that Charlie looks like a little girl now instead of a baby. Back to Joy, she weighs 17 pounds--I know I said she's smaller than they were and I'm right--Ty weighed 23 pounds at 6 months and Charlie weighed 24--both of them were out of the infant car seat by now because they exceeded the weight limit. Right now I'm thankful we haven't had to buy another one! Joy is tall like the other two, above the 97th percentile, but she's in the 70th percentile in weight. She's a peanut! To us, being able to carry her around on your hip without your arm aching is a nice surprise. She's kind of like a monkey holding on with her legs, too. Except her sister is the real monkey you know that.

Speaking of monkey again, we're celebrating her birthday today as well as on Thursday with Sean's family. Do you think she'll mind having two parties? Ha! I'm going to make some cute monkey cupcakes that I found on a blog many months ago...I just have to find it again before I can make them. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just in time

This is what happened yesterday.

I woke up. Kids woke up. All three had pooped. You're welcome.Got everybody dressed. Got Ty's lunch packed. Plain wheat spaghetti, crackers, and vanilla wafers. Don't judge me. Loaded car with Ty's school stuff, leaving his nap mat out since my plan was to pick him up early to meet a delivery truck-delivering nothing too exciting-at home. Told Ty to go get in the car and then Charlie, (garage door still shut, so don't worry about their safety) and went to get Joy upstairs, who was crying because she was waiting for her turn to be nurtured. Third child. Bless her heart.

Walked out to the garage to find the big kids had-alas-OBEYED-and gotten in the car. Man I'm a good parent. As I got closer to the car, however, I saw what was really happening.

Charlie was sitting in her seat eating a day-old sucker. It was 8:30 am. Ty was shoving quarters into the CD player. Rapid-fire. Looking at me with one eye and watching his experiment with the other one.

We were right on time to leave for school after some disciplinary action on my part and we dropped Ty off. I was not sad to send him if you were wondering. Got home and put Joy down for a nap which never actually happened.

Called Best Buy. "Can you help me?" "No ma'am we can't fix that." Hmmm. Called the dealership. "Can you help me?" "Sure. We would have to totally replace it." "How much would that cost?" "Around a thousand."

Excuse me what?

I said that too by the way.

Said "No thank you," and hung up.

Fed Charlie. Fed Joy. Again. Third bottle for the day and it was, by this time, 11:00. What is her deal? Oh yeah, she did just have surgery and if a bottle calms her down then great. Phone rang. It was the delivery guys. They said they would now be there at noon instead of one.

Lumped plan A and left immediately to pick Ty up. Ran down all hallways at school and blurted out, "Happy Thanksgiving!" to his teacher. I think.

Drove home very fast, (by now it was 12:04 pm) and my phone rang. It was Sean--who was aware of the mornings' events. "Are you close? The guys are there." "I'm on it. Sitting at the last light," I said. Heard Ty choke on his lunch that I'd thrown to him in the back for the ride home.

"You know what would be perfect, (still talking to Sean,)"For Ty to throw up right now."

And then he did.

As I came to a stop in front of my house.

Wow. It really happened. What are the odds? No time to stop, the delivery guys were standing there on their phones with their boss making plans to leave so I jumped out and let them in. All three kids started crying. "MOOOMMMMMMYYY!"

Once the guys left and I had cleaned the car, Ty, and myself, I put them all to bed and went to get the mail.

Right on top was my Parenting magazine. Just in time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And now I'm sure it was a cold

Last week leading up to Joy's surgery I tried to keep everyone from getting sick. I failed. Charlie was on three breathing treatments a day all last week, (and still...) but seems to be over it. Ty's nose was runny yesterday so I tried giving him Claritin to see if it was allergies and it helped but didn't totally eliminate my need for a constant Kleenex supply in my pocket. And to confirm my suspicians that it was, in fact, a cold that Charlie had-I woke up during the night with a sore throat and ear ache.

It's all good being a parent. Since I've had dried snot on my shirts since last Monday it's really a mystery how I caught it.

Before you worry that Charlie was down and out last week, check out this picture Mom sent me.

Apparently she did this all by herself and came to Mom for the obligatory "cute" comment. She wasn't feeling too terrible.

Joy has a new trick if you can call it a trick.

She is proud of that tongue. I have to believe she is teething though my other kids have both gone through the drool phase for months before an actual tooth appears. I'm telling myself and anyone who will listen that she is teething because if she's not then she has totally abandoned her nap schedule for no reason.

We kept Phoebe for Emmy last weekend so to keep the gross factor high I thought I'd show you one days' worth of Phoebe hair. I'm not kidding.

Emmy, believe me it wasn't hard to keep her. So what if we swept about four times more than usual. Your babysitting has earned you lots of labor on our part.

The end. I need more Sudafed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prepare to be grossed out

Weak stomachs look out. Here are pictures of Joy's surgery. I'll do my best to explain things. Good luck.

Looking like them as you would read a book, starting with top left. First picture is of the inside of her chest cavity. There is her heart, her deflated left lung, and the Sequestration. The Sequestration is on the top on the right. PS I have no idea if sequestration should be capitalized. Anyway. The next three pictures the doctor is showing the vessels and where he will cut them. Now really, don't look at the next ones unless you are secretly wanting to join the cast of Grey's Anatomy.
Top left is starting to cut the vessels and stop the blood supply. When we first talked with the doctor about what he thought the surgery would entail, (right after the CT scan a few months ago,) he said he wasn't sure he could finish the surgery with the scope if there was a significant blood supply because opening her up would be safer. When he saw that there were two large blood vessels he decided he could do it without opening her up, (which I'm sure is why we are home and she is acting like nothing ever happened!) So the next few pictures are of the actual removal process. The last one, (bottom right,) you can see what looks like a Ziploc baggie and while I'm not sure about the brand, (thinking NOT Ziploc,) it is in fact a plastic bag.
He said that to pull something like the mass out of a smaller hole they use the bag to make it smoother, and I think he said once they pull the air out of the bag it can actually squeeze/compress the mass so it comes out easier. I'm very medical as you can tell.

"Get that bag thingy and push this and ew what the heck is that oh yeah that's her heart don't touch that!"

The picture on the top right is of the sequestration (you can call it a mass/tumor/nasty uninvited guest) once it was removed. The last picture is music to my ears: Nothing that doesn't belong there, her re-inflated (very medical term,) lung and her heart. Everything is as it should be again.

And we are very thankful. And very grossed out. And I'm sure now you are too.

You're welcome.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home in every sense of the word

Before my update from my computer instead of my phone, here are some pictures from the hospital.

And one of the kiddos with their Popeye watching a normal occurrence outside Nattie's house.

Words may not be able to describe the level of relief felt around here but since Joy is asleep and the big kids aren't here I have a little time to write.

First, thank you so much for taking time and energy out of what you do to pray for Joy throughout her life. It is overwhelming at times to know that she has been so covered in prayer and she's benefiting from it, (and so are we.) Emotions have been all over the place as you can imagine. Normally I'm an open processor, talking about things as they happen and keeping nothing to myself but God is being near and listening and has given me the clarity that I need. So if you have worried that I'm hanging by a thread and hiding, know that I am doing well. Sean and I both sobbed as we sat with Joy in the "holding" room before she went into surgery. I was doing okay listening to the nurse explain everything until I looked back at Sean, (who was holding Joy,) and tears were just running down his cheeks.

Well, that was it for me.

And it was just fine for that to be it.

By the time the surgeon came over to talk to us I was a blundering idiot asking him if he'd slept well last night, (which I know not to do because I know how stupid that sounds,) but he was so sweet to just say, "Yes I sure did and I will take care of her like she is my own."

Then I really cried.

But again, that was just fine.

Sometimes we work to keep it all together, don't we? For our kids, for our husbands, for our own selves. I found it so refreshing to see how no one really cared--not in a bad way, in a good way--if we needed to cry or ask stupid questions.

It's been almost as year since we found out about Joy's lung and now the chapter is almost closed. (Pending a post-op visit in two weeks and another scan in the future,) her lung is considered totally normal now. No high-risk pregnancy anymore, no high-risk for infection, no high-risk for anything. We asked her surgeon what the chance was for the thing to come back and he said extremely rare in research and in 20 years he has never heard of it coming back. No more high-risk fears. Nothing to fear.

Except the things that we will encounter as part of a fallen world. Things that will no doubt "pull the rug out from under us," as we say. Things that we will question and fight and wrestle with that God will walk through with us just as He has up until now. And He will always prove faithful.

Sometimes being so afraid that you mumble and sob and ask stupid questions is really good for you I guess. Sometimes giving up and resting on your daddy's shoulder, as she did when she was so hungry that morning, is what you need to do. So for the next few hours before the big kids come home, that's what we're doing. Thanking God that Joy is doing really well and her only issue has been resolved. I'll spare you the details but it had to do with the constipating effects of pain meds. I'd like to take this moment to kick a shout out to Jamie for her late-night help with Joy's issue and a huge shout out to Nattie and Popeye, who have been slaving away so that Ty and Charlie have not a care in the world.

In fact, I'm guessing they'll be a little depressed when they have to come home.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Joy has something she wants to tell you

I took this late yesterday and after looking at it again just now I'm crying. I'll post more later today!

Friday, November 13, 2009


We went from this yesterday morning

To this last night

To this this morning...walking around the halls in the wagon.

She is smiling a little today and recovering from the long night we had last night. Trying to wean her off Morphine last night wasn't pretty. She is back on it now and much more comfortable. Apparently weaning her from it gets us a huge step closer to going home so it's looking like at least another day here.

Thanks for praying for her! Keep it up!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First update

Update: In recovery with her. It was a pulmonary sequestration, and the surgeon said she did great. It was a little bigger than a golf ball-and he did get it out using the scope only. Three incisions. Well here, here she is.

They just called from the OR and said tumor is out and she is doing well...waiting for them to stitch her up then we will get to see her :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


She makes me want to be brave.

For her sake, I'm trying. For her sake, I'm gonna be.

Pray for a restful night if you would. We are up before the sun tomorrow and things should start around 8:00 am. It could last 2-5 hours so know that if you don't hear anything it doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong!

Thank you all so very much. I'll update when I can.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I think they're related

For some reason that's not clear I've started using Photoshop on my phone instead of doing what I need to be doing to prepare for the week. You know, things like putting together the stuff on my list that Jamie helped me with. Jamie has been down the "How to prepare for your daughter's surgery" road before us and her sweet Lizzie is thriving. Jamie, thank you for giving me such great invaluable advice ahead of time. Between now and Thursday morning when we leave the house at 6:00 am, much needs to happen. And once again, I focus on pictures instead of washing/shopping/organizing. I guess it's a method of avoidance.


If you have an iPhone, there's a free Photoshop application that I just found and I was so proud of what I did last night while semi-watching the football game, (do I have any idea who was playing? no,) and he said, "Mar I have that on my real computer and you can start using it, I'll teach you..." but I kind of like the simple steps you can use on the phone. The real Photoshop scares me. But this, this I can do.
Mini vase of purple Costco roses before...
and after.
Joy swinging before...
and after. You want to hire me for your family portraits? Ahem I'm sorry I don't really know how to take pictures let alone edit them.
Here's the original one again, not on purpose but apparently I uploaded it twice. I also wanted to show you pictures of Joy and Ty in comparison. We just found these of Ty on an old camera and I hadn't put them on my computer until now. I'm so relieved we didn't reformat the card or whatever it is Sean did to it until after I had these!
Joy 6 months
Joy 5 months
Ty 9 months
9 months...same day in case you missed the PJ's.
Ty 8 months
Ty 9 months
Ty 9 months...look how big he is/was! I was three months pregnant with Charlie. Just out of morning was a blessed vacation.
same trip--Ty at 9 months
Ty 7 1/2 months
Ty 6 months
Ty 6 months.

Isn't that wild? He has a bigger nose than she does but other than that they look so much alike! I think they're related.

This week is full of last-minute things before Joy's surgery. Things like getting the tires rotated, oil changes, filling cars up with gas, getting stockpiles of pancakes, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets and the big kids' current favorite snack, cheddar goldfish. I've been buying them the "original" flavor, which taste just like saltine crackers. They are so over them now. Now they will only eat the cheddar ones, (the ones most people buy anyway,) so apparently I need to make a Walmart run. They have the huge lifetime supply packages at the Kroger by my house but they charge 9 dollars for it! I like you, Kroger, but Walmart still beats your prices by a long shot. Even if there is the occasional shooting/purse snatching there. I usually go alone and I'm willing to put myself in danger to save a buck.

I have no idea what that has to do with anything in this post.

I think I need to eat lunch. Today's lunch is fresh from the Nutrisystem pantry: Red beans and rice with sausage. Want me to save you some? I didn't think so.

Have a beautiful day!