Sunday, July 31, 2011

David's special Day

We had a rather tough day inside as there was torrential downpour out. After braving the weather this morning for soy milk (I wish I was kidding), we retreated to the kitchen to make ooey gooey eggplant parmesan with the remaining motley crew of eggplant we harvested from our little veggie garden.

Mary Louise and David were less than pleased with the timing of my cooking efforts.

So, David's special day was a little rough. But nonetheless, I snuggled with him, and just loved loved loved the fact that 2 years later, he is a happy, healthy, SWEET baby boy.

Can you even believe this is David a few days before he got to come home (on his 99th day in the NICU!)??

On his homecoming day. It would have been Dad's 59th birthday...

Happy baby...HAPPY Momma...

Our family at home for the first time!!!

Our life for 27 months and counting...

We are so so SO lucky...

David is feeling much much better since his horrid hives and we have treated the yard and house for biting critters as well as retreated the pets with Advantage. So, the biting and hatching from the rain post drought should be down to a minimum now.

Nap time has been bucked again all week making for some very interesting (read as trying, loud, whiny, tantrum filled) afternoons. I am doing my best to hang in there, but in truth, it's weighing on me as well as their nap time was my only down time during the day. In short, I'm missing those snoozes! Honestly, I've never known another human being (excepting Uncle Damon...which brings about a genetic discussion in my head) to need as little sleep as these guys do. So please pardon my repetition, that glazed look in my eyes, the haggard appearance, and my audible sighs. I'm just tired. (Now, show me a momma who isn't!)

Despite the daily showers outside, we've made the best of things inside. Playdoh time has become a favorite. I get all my mixing bowls out and the babies "cook", smash, stir, and tear until their little precious hearts are content. They are very very well-behaved with their concoctions and have only been caught vigorously stomping things into the throw rugs once or twice.

A couple of cute play time videos to follow. The second is David in Brent's shirt while I was folding laundry. Props to these sweet babies. They are interested in all things Momma does - and I have fun working with their fascinations. They help me fold clothes, make beds, garden and you've already seen their enthusiasm for mopping and vacuuming floors! Yep, I might not be able to sit back and eat bon bons just yet - but that day is coming!! (ha)

Hoping everyone has had a great weekend. We've LOVED having Nannie Pan and Uncle Mike over here. The boys have been fishing and Amanda has helped IMMENSELY with Mary Louise and David. From the splash park to loads of outside time, we've been enjoying our little break from the rain as well.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Merry Maids

So, I've never been accused of being a GREAT housekeeper. I try (many times in vain) to keep my head above water (and dust and dirt)...but apparently, I do clean enough to make it look like fun! Not only do Mary Louise and David love to push a broom and duster around, but they have also been known to request wipes to clean messes off of tables and the floor. They love to hold squirt bottles and pretend to clean things with them by making, "tsst tsst" sounds.

This would be David using a Swifter and Mary Louise "vacuuming" by shoving the hose around and making the vacuum sound... Ha!

Upon occasion, they have even been known to share very nicely to boot!


P.S. Just today, Mary Louise has verbally requested to have her "shoes" put on, and patted her bottom saying, "poo poo, blegh!" (and she was being totally honest and letting me know her diaper was dirty!). If only I could get her to tell me the poop is coming rather than telling me it's already here! Again, baby steps...

Speech progress

Well, normally they are a bit easier to understand, BUT - this is funny anyhow (if I do say so myself). If nothing else, it's funny to see Mary Louise and David try to walk in Brent's flip flops - a very favorite game at the moment...

Mary Louise is really doing well this week with her speech. She is stringing 2 words together regularly and is trying harder words like "guacamole" or "mo-nay" - one of her favorite foods (this week). She also points to EVERYTHING asking,"what dis?" and many times tries to repeat the answer.

In addition, they are both regularly following (or appropriately attempting to follow) more complex commands.

Progress is progress - and we celebrate every step!!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Very special days indeed

2 years ago yesterday, we FINALLY brought our sweet Mary Louise home from the hospital after 92 days of waiting, praying, hoping, begging and pleading. A couple of refreshers:

Just getting home

Ready for her first pedi appointment:

After one of her first baths at home:

To celebrate, we had a mash-em-up day! To start, we made banana bread as we had a few over ripe nanners just begging to be mashed. David worked the mixer (with MUCH supervision of course) and Mary Louise rubbed butter over the pan. The each got a bowl with 2 bananas, washed their hands, and went to mashing. After their initial shock and looks of, "I'm sorry Mom, you want me to do WHAT?!", they really had a ton of fun.

Nap time lasted the typical 45 minutes or so for Mary Louise while David took an extra specially long snoozer (try 3.5 hours of hard sleep...more on that in a moment.) So, Mary Louise got some much needed "only-child" time. We had an absolute ball with Play-doh. She smashed it, mashed it, squashed it, rubbed it around in her hands. We made things with it, laughed over it, broke it apart and made more things with it. It was way too much fun! We snuggled with snacks on the couch, went outside and watered the plants, and in between, we played "check on the Dae-Dae" in which we snuck up the stairs in an over exaggerated manner to peak our heads round the corner at the slumbering David. We made phone calls to Mommom and Uncle Collin - Mary Louise proudly said, "HI!!!" to each. She even said Hi to Papa! We had a really good time. Then David woke up...

I should preface this with a short bit about Saturday (last Saturday). We played outside - Mary Louise and David sans any shred of clothing - and ended up getting chomped on by seemingly invisible bugs - chiggers, red bugs, whatever you want to call them...mean little suckers...David even got bitten on his eye lid and looked like a prize fighter the next day...

Mary Louise's leg: (2 days post initial bite)

over the next couple of days, the bites seemed to get better on Mary Louise. But David kept getting more. We didn't go outside but for a few minutes in the afternoon one day and came right back in when David started to scratch -but it was too late, he'd already been bitten again...or so it seemed. The marks looked so angry and inflamed - as if he was also having a reaction to the bite. They would swell, I gave Benedryl, they would go down and look much better the next day. We sprayed them both with natural bug spray and began to wonder if that was part of the problem - though I'd used it many times before and not had this happen. We didn't go outside for the past 2 days other than to just let Lizzie and Chester run a bit. David's bites were pretty much gone - until yesterday post nap time. He woke up like this:

and this:

He played happily inside with little itching while I fretted over taking him to an Urgent Care (because of course it was 5pm by that time). He wasn't having trouble breathing and ate a great dinner and wasn't really all that grumpy until bath time. Then he went to bed with little fuss - especially considering the wildly long nap during the day. I had given him a low dose of Benedryl but otherwise kept everything else the same. He finished day 10 of his bronchitis antibiotics yesterday as well...and woke looking like this:

Want to know what a Penicillin allergy looks like?? See above. We rushed out to the doctor this morning - I brought Mary Louise too just to make sure. They both had bug bites...on top of which David had (and has) pretty severe, migrating hives from head to toe. He now has them behind his ears, over his scalp, under his arms, on his palms, around his ankles and knees. Sweet baby is miserable...and we have to carry an epi pen for him just in case. He has started a 4 to 5 day round of prednisone to keep the hives in check and help them to improve. Though I am not at all a fan of the rampant over-use of steriods, this is the reason those bad boys were made...and who knows, maybe my slim little guy will pack on a pound or 2 through this??? At any rate, though I'm pretty upset about this, at the very least we've caught the issue BEFORE having an all out devastating emergency.

As we were leaving the doctor, I said, "ok guys, let's go" and sassy pants Mary Louise turned toward David calling in a very authoritative tone," guys! GUYS!!" then clapped her hands in his face, but them on her hips and waited for his attention so she could let him know we were leaving. In that moment, I began to formulate plans in my head for building an apartment over the garage. This apartment would eventually be occupied by myself and Brent from approximately 2022 to 2027. Mary Louise and David can have the house through their teenage years. I'm already admitting defeat!

This afternoon, Brent had the most wonderful, fabulous, amazing surprise in store for 80 minute massage followed by a pedicure at a wonderful full service spa. My very good friend, a massage therapist there, helped him to plan the day. To say that I am thankful is such an understatement. I relaxed, I was pampered, my every whim was fulfilled. It was just lovely. At the end of it all, after I showered, a second time (because I could), after I'd shaved my legs, even though I didn't need to - I just wanted to remember what it felt like to do so without having the cold water turned off in the middle, or my pajamas from the night before thrown in behind me, or a whole roll of toilet paper fly through the air and land at my wet foot while having one leg perched between toys and baby shampoo bottles - after that, after the massage, after the pedicure, after I dried my hair, and took an extra long time brushing it, I looked in the mirror, and there she was - me - I haven't seen me in so very long...I didn't even know if I (or me) existed anymore. It was me, alive, refreshed and so ready to get back to my sweet babies and husband. I smiled, called Brent and he came to get me. I can't thank him enough for the little and the large happies he gives me - just when I need them the very very most.

Unfortunately, David the Grump came for a visit this if he didn't look beat up enough with his awesomeness of hives, he got angry at me when I closed the door to use the bathroom (umm- he was IN there with me and this happened to be the one. the ONLY time he has ever wanted out). In the literally 15.5 seconds it took me to pee, he opted to beat his head on the door to push it heart broke a little...he hasn't hit his head since the very end of June at a family reunion...but today, he did it twice - once at the doctor but it was just on my leg so no injuries, and then this...

whomever would like to tell me now (pediatrician) that "he won't hurt himself" and to "just ignore him" feel free, but don't take it personally if I kindly disregard the advice with the answer, "I'm sorry, that simply doesn't fit our situation"...a work in progress (sigh).

I have a speech therapist friend of a friend scheduled to evaluate Mary Louise and David on Thursday. I'll see what her feelings are on their expressive speech and go from there.

If you have time and feel so called, please send happy thoughts to sweet David. He has a rather itchy weekend ahead...


P.S. Pops is doing very well recovering at home and has even made it out of the house a time or 2. MANY MANY thanks for the continued thoughts and prayers during his recovery.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things I love

When going to sleep at night, Mary Louise loves to sleep snuggled in with her head on my chest. David loves to hold my feeling, ever.

Pajamas + fountain= good clean fun.

This face:

This face:

Running down hills and walking barefoot in the grass...

Superman swimmies and Mardi Gras beads...

That these kiddos hang in there with me even when I'm tired and flustered because we went outside to play and they ran full speed in 2 different directions (laughing hysterically because I couldn't do the same!)...

and I LOVE the fact that when Mary Louise and David are distraught, tired and grumpy, a good old tooth brushing while walking hand in hand turns their frowns upside down every time...

We had a good family reunion / vacation time - way too busy - but very very fun. Pops is doing very well post operatively, and was even sitting up with his feet dangling today when Brent stopped by to see him. Mere is also hanging in there and Brent reports she is eating well and though very tired, she seems calm and in good spirits - especially seeing her main man in such good shape after such a major surgery. She continues to update her blog often.

Mary Louise gave us quite a scare with a fever on Sunday night. Though it wasn't very very high (102.2 temporal), it bounced back and forth and never really broke. She appeared flushed in the face and just couldn't get comfortable when trying to rest during the night. I brought her to the Urgent Care clinic (we are camped out with Mommom for a few days with her not feeling well, Brent is working this area and Pops is a convenient one hour drive from here). After a couple of hours, the doctor advised that I take her to the ER as he couldn't find a source for her fever and suspected a urinary tract infection for which they didn't stock proper diagnostic equipment. 3 hours in the ER later, (which all things considered wasn't too bad - we were in our own room for 2 of them), her urinalysis was negative, but on a whim the doctor requested a chest xray and found sweet Mary Louise had the beginnings of bronchitis - no cough, no stridor or adventitious breath sounds of any kind - just a cloudiness in her bronchioles on xray. So, we got to go home on antibiotics. I called for round 2 from the pedi the next day when David woke with a temperature as well. Currently, Mary Louise and David seem to be on the mend - playing like mad, running, jumping, and doing Zumba with Mommom.

Many thanks for the continued thoughts and prayers for our dear Pops (and Mere) as he recovers and pathology reports are posted.


Monday, July 11, 2011


Below is a link for our friends and family which Mrs. Cindy will do her best to maintain with short updates about Mr. Charles' condition...

Our dear sweet Pops has a lung tumor to be removed on Tuesday (tomorrow) in the morning.

We stopped by their house on our way back from Florida. Mere and Pops both seem to be doing well with such stressing news. This absolutely beautiful couple will, no doubt continue to be a stunning example of support and love for one another. They are such amazing compliments to each other - and fabulous grandparents...

We will be anxiously awaiting news tomorrow of a successful lumpectomy and praying with all of our might for guidance, patience, and careful precision for the surgical team as well as peace and strength for Mere and especially Pops.

Mary Louise and David can't wait for you to feel better and are honing in their water gun squirting skills for a future face-off!!

We are thinking of you - Much love...