Tuesday, December 30, 2014

1st Day of School

Everyone had a different back to school date.  That was nice because I didn't feel like I had to get everyone ready by the same date.  I was able to pace myself and it was nice.  Enjoy our BTS festivities!

Scarlett's 1st Day of School (8/12/14)
I took the girls to get haircuts the day before the first day.  I took Savannah so that I wouldn't have to make a second trip to Great Clips.  They did great and wanted to model for me when they got home.  Later that night, Jeremiah gave them a father's blessing and Scarlett was fast asleep.

The next morning came and Scarlett was SO excited to start her first day of kindergarten!  She woke up with all smiles and was ready to go!  Eventually, Scarlett was able to wake Savannah and we got things rolling!  We had breakfast, got dressed, and took our annual first day photo's.  We were off to a great start.  Side note: two hours later, Sophia stood up!  Assisted of course but she was weight bearing!  That's her physical therapist,

We piled in the mommymobile and were off to school.  I walked Scarlett in and she was so confident and cool as a cucumber.  So many things were going through my head.  I couldn't believe that she was going to be at school all day everyday.  I couldn't believe that I was leaving her in a place that she knew nothing about.  She didn't know anyone except her teacher that we met the day before for a few minutes.  She was all smiles and ready to do this school thing.  Me?  I was trying to breathe through it all and keep a brave face for her.  While we were waiting for the bell, our conversation went like this:

Me: Are you nervous?
S: No
Me: Do you want mommy to stay?
S: If you want to.
Me: Do you want mommy to go?
S: If you want to.
Me: Are you okay?
S: Yes.

Then it was time for the parents to go.  I gave her one last hug, kiss, and an I love you.  She replied so sweetly "I love you, too, mommy."  I told her I would pick her up after school and I walked out of that classroom feeling fantastic!  I started making my way to the cafeteria for the Boo Hoo breakfast for the kindergartner parents.  I was fine until I saw two things. #1, there was kid that had to be a 2nd grader crying her eyes out.  Begging her mother not to leave her. It was so sad.  #2, I saw another mom crying her eyes out.  For the love of mankind, cut that umbilical cord!  I finally made it to the cafeteria, met some wonderful parents and then we started to be sad together.  By the end of the breakfast, we left feeling much better and happier.  We were glad our kids didn't see us that way.  Ha!

We get back home and Savannah started feeling sad without Scarlett.  I had this bright idea to take her to the park.  We were taking selfies and I sensed she wasn't smiling anymore.  I asked her what was wrong and she said she missed Scarlett.  Truthfully, I did, too.  She asked me if we could go get Scarlett and I told her no and explained to her that things are different now.  Five minutes later she asked "Now, is it time to get Scarlett?"  Five minutes after that it was "Can we go get Scarlett now?"  I gave her hugs and kisses and another pep talk and she was finally able to enjoy the park.  

After the park we ran a few errands.  Everywhere we went, I kept feeling a phantom Scarlett.  It bothered me that I kept hearing one child's footsteps and not two.  It felt like I was moving too fast and was too far ahead of her.  Or, I accidentally left her because she was lagging behind.  The reality was that she was in school and this is my new normal.  It went from the three of us during the day to the two of us.  It was SO hard for me!

3PM finally arrived and Savannah and I couldn't wait to pick up our precious, Scarlett!  We were the first ones in the carpool lane.  The principal walked the kiddo's out for the first week.  I made this video for Jeremiah so that he could see her reaction at the end of her first day.  Her first day went great!  I was/am so proud of her!!!

 This was the morning of the second day of school.  When I picked her up on the first day, I asked if she wanted to go back and she said "Yes!"  I took so much comfort in that.  The unknown didn't scare her.  She embraced it and owned it.  I prayed so much for her and I have no doubt that the good Lord answered my prayers :o)

I thought this one was cute.  On day three, Scarlett came home with homework.  Savannah was tired of waiting for her to get finished and got bored.

Hallelujah!  Friday came and all of us survived the first week of school!  Scarlett liked school and wanted to go back.  Savannah got use to not having Scarlett around during the day.  As for me?  I had to embrace the fact that my little girl was growing up.  One down, three to go. 

Elizabeth's 1st Day of School (8/25/14)
Surprisingly, there wasn't too much to document.  She's a freshman this year and has early morning seminary.  For her it was just another day of school.  Jeremiah took it harder than any of us.  Bless his heart.  Two down and two to go.

Savannah's 1st Day of School (9/2/14)
 Savannah has been waiting to go to pre-school all summer.  Her 1st AND last words were "you don't have to walk me to the door. I can do it myself." And she did! I had to run and catch up with her. She walked in that school like she owned it! It was great.  She was excited, fearless, and had nerves of steel!  I picked her up and she told me that she wanted to go back.  Love this little sweetheart!  Her first day didn't sting so much for me because she only goes to school Tuesday and Thursday from 9-noon.  Three down and one to go...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sophia Said Mama

On July 30, 2014, Sophia said "mama"!  It was fantastic!  She kept repeating it and as soon as I brought out the camera, she wouldn't say it any more.  Eventually, she said it again and again and I got a video of it.  I LOVED it!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Summer Summation

Here's a recap of our summer!

On July 4th we headed out to see fireworks!  This was Sophia's first fireworks show and she loved it.  It's interesting how things work out.  Sophia wasn't suppose to be there.  The nurse was late and we promised to take the girls.  Time was ticking away and we needed to decide whether to take Sophia or let everyone stay home.  At the last minute we decided to go.  We hustled and got Sophia packed to travel.  I was nervous about what kind of crud would be in the air but she did great!  She loved the boom that the fireworks made and had such a great time.  She was SO excited.  Scarlett started dancing in her chair because she had such a great time, too.  It was a great night :o)

On July 17, 2014, Sophia Lynette went to church for the first time!  YAY!!!  Because she was doing better and after she got weaned off the vent, our nursing hours were cut big time.  We decided that we would get rid of her Sunday day shift, along with her Monday through Friday night shifts, and take her to church with us.  The thought of taking her to church made me nervous for many reasons.  The temperature and humidity is different at church than at home.  What if that set her lungs off?  Then, I was concerned about people touching her and breathing on her.  Then, what if there was an emergency?!  Being away from home and the hospital put us, mostly me, out of my comfort zone.  THEN, there was the noise from her equipment to considered.  I was concerned whether or not we would be a huge distraction for others.  With all of that being said, the bishop and I came up with a plan.  Let me tell you, after many prayers and careful preparation, we executed our plan perfectly!  Heck, even I was impressed with us!  I am exceedingly grateful that the Lord has placed so many caring and loving people in our lives.  Having a special needs child would be more difficult if we didn't have the support that we have.  So, thanks everyone!  Love ya!!!

Two days later, missy was crawling all over the place.  She can't crawl on all fours so she commando crawls.  One day I was cooking and I heard this slapping on the floor.  I turned around and there she was all proud of herself.  She crawled from the living room to the kitchen.  I think she heard me and wanted to be where I was.  It was awesome!

Oh yes.  Then there was this.  Jeremiah decided to build a shed for his tools and lawn equipment.  At one point, the girls came running in and said "daddy ran into the door!"  I should've known something was up.  Moments later, here comes Jeremiah with several cuts on his face.  Apparently, he put that tool, above in the picture, on the door while trying to install the door.  He squatted to do check on something.  When he stood up, he forgot it was there and it cut his face.  Sigh.  Here we go again.  Eventually, we got him all cleaned up and Savannah kept a close eye on him.  Geez, Jeremiah.  Until next time.  

One day it was too hot to go outside.  That's when the girls decided to play dress up.  They got dressed up all by themselves and I couldn't resist taking pictures of them.  At that moment, I just wanted to capture their youth, their innocence, and them being sisters.  I love my munchkins!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Swim Lessons

Last month I asked a friend of mind to teach Scarlett and Savannah how to swim.  Shauna completely exceeded my expectations!  Her thing is pool safety and her objective was to teach the girls to find the wall.  Kids at this age are likely to fall in a pool or get pushed into one.  If the girls ended up in the pool on accident, they need to know that they should open their eyes and swim towards the wall to safety.  

This is probably the most fun they've had all summer.  Both of them are comfortable in the water and I love that!  Scarlett is the stronger swimmer while Savannah loves to float.  We pretty much swam at Shauna's house the rest of the summer :o)

First lesson!  The girls learned how to kick by using a kickboard.

They also had to get use to having water in their faces.  They practiced by putting their faces in the  middle of a ring and blowing bubbles into the pool.  Later on, they had to go to the bottom of the pool to find the ring they were practicing with.  Then, there was more kicking practice.  To my delight, Shauna had the girls jumping into the pool at the end of the first lesson!  Finally, there were hugs all around :o)

Both girls had to swim to and from me on the last day of swim lessons.  While Scarlett likes to swim and glide, Savannah likes to float and glide.  So proud of my munchkins!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Father's Day

Since Father's Day was two months, and I don't remember what I did for Jeremiah, let's move on!  But before we do, let the record show that I wanted to take family pics with Jeremiah.  Jeremiah was the one that was "indifferent".  I took it as a no and because it was Father's Day, I granted him that wish.  No pictures.

Moving on.  Immediately after church we headed over to my parents house to wish my dad happy father's day.  They start church at 1PM and we arrived at 12:25.  He opened the door and was in a t-shirt and shorts.  Then we had the following exchange:

Me: Hey!!! Happy Father's Day!  And why are you not dressed for church?!
Dad:  Don't worry.  I have time to get dressed.
Me: You have to get dressed AND drive there in the next 35 minutes!!  Listen, go get a shirt and a tie and I'll get my pictures why you get dressed.
Dad: Oh, okay, then.  Hold on.

My dad cracks me up! So that's the reason why my dad is trying to tie his tie while we took pictures.

Getting spiffy for church.

 Happy father's day, daddy!

One last pic before we left.  We were in and out in under ten minutes.  He never did get that tie tied.  But we sure put a big smile on his face :o)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Year End Activities

May is always a busy time of year because of class parties, award ceremonies, exhausted children that have checked out mentally, and etc. This year was no different.  One of these days I hope to be finish blogging about May festivities.

I have to admit that this years awards ceremony was SO much fun.  We love Elizabeth.  But we can only hoot and holler for so long.  She received so many awards and eventually we were just graciously clapping for her.  That's when Jeremiah came up with an idea.  As she kept receiving awards, he started to dance...in his seat!  Then we had the following conversation:

Me (in a very loud whisper):  What are you doing?! Knock it off!
J: No way, man.  Dancing is way better than clapping!
Me: WHAT?! 
J: Absolutely!  Just like Shawn and Gus on Psych.  They dance when something cool happens so I'm dancing, too!  Come on...dance with me!
Me: Well hold on!  Who's Gus and who's Shawn? 
J: Good point. It doesn't matter.  Just start dancing!

He had me laughing so hard that I had to bury my face in my hands.  I never did dance because if Jeremiah got thrown out, Liz still needed a cheerleader to be present.  By the way, Jeremiah danced through our entire conversation and until the ceremony was over.

One more thing, the bottom right picture is before her choir banquet.  My mom did her hair and makeup and Jeremiah's mom took her shopping for the dress.  She received awards at the banquet, too.  Thanks goodness it was for students only.  

This was Scarlett's last year as a preschooler and she had a great year!  She was the first one in her class to receive a star.  As the kiddo's progress all year long, they moved up the rungs on a ladder.  When they reached the top rung, they got a star that hung from the ceiling.  On the last day of school, her teacher "cut" them loose because they are now ready for kindergarten!  As an incentive for the kids to become a star, Mrs. Talley promised the kids that they could throw water balloons at her on the last day of school.  I love how she made the kids clean up the pieces.  I'm so excited that Savannah starts with her in the fall!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Goodbye Ventilator

Jeremiah and I celebrated our wedding anniversary on May 12th.  By celebrate I mean that I spent the entire day loving on Sophia.  See, way back in April I had to choose a mid May date to admit her to the hospital to wean her off the vent.  I chose May 13th.  I didn't want to do it on our anniversary so I chose the next day.  Unfortunately, our anniversary was less than stellar this year.  Oh well.  There'll be more.

So here we are.  The moment we have been waiting for was upon us.  It was time to see if Sophia can breathe on her own without a vent.  Upon admission, she was off the vent for two hours during the day and three hours at night.  The plan was to have her off the vent for twelve hours during the day and put her back on the vent at night.  By May 16th she was off six hours during the day and six hours off at night.  I thought the doctors were moving WAY too fast.  My biggest fear was that Sophia would crash and burn AND she would have a massive setback.  But she just laughed and clapped her way through the entire process.  

  By May 23rd, she was breathing on her own without ANY respiratory support.  WHAT?!?! She did it!  No code blues.  No setbacks.  No nothing.  Just like that.  Done!  All the months of keeping her isolated and protecting those lungs had paid off!  May 29th was discharge day and we were out of there!  Below are a couple of pics of her journey.

On day two she's just hangin' out watching it all happen.  I love that she loves her race car.

THIS was such a fun day!  I was giving her a bath and for some crazy reason I burst in Tina Turner's Proud Mary.  The moves and everything.  The more she loved it the more I got into character.  It was wild and man we had fun!

I love the way she gets so excited whenever we come visit her.  On this day, we snuck up on her and I finally remembered to record her reaction to our entrance.

We brought the girls up for a visit one day.  They were happy to see Sophia and Sophia was happy to see them.   

 Don't know why I have this one but here you go.  That's the problem with blogging an event from six weeks ago.  You can't remember a single thing and why you took a photo.  Geez!

This here is Debbie and I will forever be grateful for this lady.  She was Sophia's nurse practitioner and I loved her.  She has seen Sophia at her best, worst, and everywhere in between.  And, she held my hand through it all.  We were discharging and walking out the door and she told me that she was resigning.  I felt like she knocked the wind out of me!  After I was happy for her and was smiling again, we took pictures.

On May 29th, 17 days after admission, Sophia Lynette was breathing on her own without a vent.  Yay!  Also, Sophia no longer has pulmonary hypertension.  Double yay!  While we were there, her doctor and I agreed to try to wean her off of a couple of medications.  She was weaned off lasix and sildenafil.  We were hoping to get her off of her clonidine but Sophia wasn't having that.    

After many prayers and support from friends and family, this little girl has made a tremendous amount of improvement.  She's been doing great and hasn't had any serious setbacks.  God bless her for that!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mother's Day

Not to be cheesy but most days around here feel like Mother's Day.  I get random "I love you mommy" in teeny tiny voices, hugs, kisses, colorful homemade pictures, treats, etc.  I am so grateful that I get to love this family of mine.  I'm more grateful that they love me in return.  I am also grateful for my mother and for the example that she was/is for me.  Happy belated Mother's Day!

My objective was to take individual pictures of the girls.  That plan failed.  Savannah is taking after her father and loves to make faces when taking pictures.  Thanks Mr. Man.  Then he photo bombed Sophia's picture.  Thanks again.  Even though Jeremiah's smile and blue eyes don't get him out of trouble any more, they are still fun to look at :o)

Jeremiah's first order of business was to make sure that I had a Sunday afternoon nap.  I haven't had one in months.  The next order of business was to make sure that I didn't lift a finger to prepare dinner.  He and the girls did well.  We partook of BBQ ribs, cornbread, cheesy potatoes, and cole slaw.  It was wonderful!

Jeremiah and Scarlett were quite proud of the cole slaw that they made together.  He loves to make it from scratch along with the homemade dressing.  It really is some good stuff!  Thank you for blessing me with another great Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Because Easter was well over a month ago, the only thing I remember is that church was good.  Afterwards, we came home for pictures and a nice Easter dinner.  Wished I'd blogged about it sooner because I would've had better details.  Oh well.  Enjoy!


Savannah was SO tired and just wanted a nap.  Poor thing was miserable.  I asked her for a "really, really, really big smile for mommy???"  This is what she gave me and I was grateful.

Scarlett being Scarlett :o)

 Surprisingly, Liz did well.  I only got three pics that look just like this.  Then she was ready to go.

As usual, Jeremiah gave me a run for my money in order to get a nice picture.  After all of the pain and suffering, I got a picture I was FINALLY happy with!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Scarlett's 5th Birthday

WHAT?!  I can't believe my baby girl turned five on April 14th!  She opted for a family dinner at TGIFridays.  Her first choice was to go to China?!?!  One of her classmates is from China and I think that's where that idea came from.  Anyway, Miss. Scarlett had a heck of a birthday!  

The night before and after the girls went to bed, Jeremiah and I used our ninja skills to hang balloons and streamers from her bedroom ceiling.  When she woke up, she loved it and was so happy.  The day took off from there.  Here's a peek at her festivities!

First, she had a class party at school.  Jeremiah even made a cameo appearance.

Then, we had dinner at TGI Friday's!  The staff sang to her and she had the biggest bowl of ice cream ever!

Finally, we had her after party at home with more cake and presents!  Savannah was feeling left out by not opening any presents.  Realizing what was going on, Scarlett voluntarily told her that she could open one of her birthday gifts.  How sweet was that?!  I love this kid!  Anyway, Scarlett made out like a bandit this year.

I love Scarlett for so many reasons!  She loves to bring me flowers...from the backyard...or a rose from the rose bush...or a dandelion when we're at the park.  She loves going to school, story time at the library, the park, and church.  She and Savannah still fight over who will say the prayer for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before going to bed.  She loves to pose when I take her picture.  I love her hair, giggle, smile and just everything about her.  I love that she is so lovable and so giving.  Well, most of the time.  I also love that she loves her sisters dearly.  I love when she says to me "oh, may I help?!"  Or, "I want to help!"  One of my favorite things?  When she says "I love you" or "thank you" emphatically.  Anyway, we sure love this little girl of ours.  Happy 5th birthday, sweetheart!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sophia's Stander

On April 4th Sophia was fitted for a stander.  Now that she is stronger and can (somewhat) bear weight on her joints, she is ready for a stander!  Ideally, the stander should provide support for her while she is standing.  Thus, making her stronger.  Our hope is that she will be strong enough to stand and eventually walk...by herself one day.  It was a long morning but here is a snapshot of the process. 

Stander #3 didn't provide nearly the support that she needed.  Plus, this one allowed her to bounce way more than she needed.  In short, she played more than she worked.  

 Stander #2 didn't have an adjustable tray.  Plus, it didn't have many positions. 

And the winner is?  Stander #1! It can do several positions and can adjust as she grows.  The bonus? It comes in pink :o)

 She'll need to stand in it several times a day for a certain amount time.  We'll work out those details later.  The stander should be here sometime during the summer.  I can't wait!!!

 She started to find her groove in it.  After all, it is important that she feels comfortable.  We thought she liked it, too. 

 I love...

...this baby!