Monday, December 20, 2010

The stockings were hung- all 13 of them!

The is a glimpse of Rick's family room in Columbia when he was growing up. WOW! I love this picture. Imagine the fun on Christmas morning! I think the white stocking was for Rick's mom and dad.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! The children are so excited and I am too. I LOVE holidays, but this is by far my favorite! Tis the week to bake and wrap!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

That's a lot of meds!

I picked up the BIG bottles at the pharmacy yesterday. As I took each bottle out, I felt like a magician- they kept coming!

That is only TWO of her meds, but boy it sure is a lot. Seems like too much but she must have them to live!

Also, I have been thinking a lot about what happened this weekend- FIVE years ago. This is when Reagan's old heart gave out (heart attack, weakened, when into shock, whatever you would like to call it). I have vivid memories of that day and night.

That next month was the hardest month she has ever had to endure and she fought every second of every day.

I am so glad to have her here now- every second of the day....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December, Really?

I CAN NOT believe how quickly November zoomed in and out. Tomorrow is December?? That is so hard to believe!

We have had a fun few weeks although Reagan did get her first stomach bug two weeks ago. It took her a long time to get over it, but she is such a trooper. I have never loved that g-tube more! Maybe we will just keep it forever. NOT! It was helpful with the tummy pains and keeping her hydrated as well.

Thanksgiving was fun and different. We decided to visit my family on Friday this year and on Wednesday joined some of Rick's sisters and their families- CAMPING! No tents involved, only campers. It was a lot of fun with the kids. We played in the hammock, rode bikes, and went on hikes. We even roasted a 22 pound turkey and had the normal Thanksgiving dinner- delicious!

Here are a few pictures of my little Diva. She decked out in this outfit when I told her to put clothes on so we could ride bikes. She cracks me up! The next two pictures are from parent observation day at dance class. She really loves Mrs. Stephanie and dancing!

I hope you all enjoy the special times that holidays bring and make lots of memories!

Remember why we celebrate this season! So thankful that God loves us all so much!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Fun

We have been enjoying ourselves! The first fall/Halloween activity was Reagan's fall party at school. She is the Hostess of the class, or so she thinks! She wants everyone to enjoy themselves, and even went around to some of her classmates asking if they enjoyed their snacks! Learning is not on her short list of important things to do. Having fun- number one! That is SO okay with me.

Here is a picture of Cameron and his buddy Walker on his Camp Out day. It was such a fun day. We made pet rocks, went on a hike (in the woods behind the school), brought sleeping bags, sang camp songs, They even had hot dogs in the bus loop and smores too! He really enjoyed the day.

Fun games at Nanna and Grandaddy's church- Reagan only wanted to lick the Krispy Kreme donut. What ever happened to apple bobbing? OK with me- much more sanitary and taste better too!

Halloween- this year they chose their own costumes, without coaxing from mom and dad. Cameron has been asking to have a scary costume since he was two. I put it off long enough. He was so excited and is already planning next year's costume. Reagan was not really into trick-or-treating this year. She was until she actually had to walk up and down stairs, and say the magic words. She was not a fan. She wanted her stroller and then wanted to go back home and play. I guess when you don't love candy, there isn't a lot in it for you!

And Tuesday, election day, was spent playing outside mostly. Reagan LOVES to swing, and can almost go as high as her brother. They really enjoyed jumping in the mini pile of leaves that they had gathered. It was nice to have all four of us at home, with no where to be! We even went bowling in the afternoon. Fun times!

Hope everyone is enjoying their fall fun too! Don't forget to be thankful for every little minute!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thesaurus reading and pondering life while swinging

We were visiting my parents in Spartanburg on Saturday. Cameron always asks his nanna to read to him at night. This time, he picks an old thesaurus. Nanna asks if he even knows what one is. Well of course he tells her exactly what it is. He thoroughly enjoys learning!

Another story:

While listening from inside the house, I overheard a deep conversation that my children were having. They were swinging, and Reagan asks Cameron a few questions about God. Here is how the conversation went:

R- Is God always with us Cameron?
C- Yes.
R- Why?
C- Because we are Christians.
R- No, we are Carolinas.
C- No, we are Christians!
R- What are Christians?
C- That means we believe in Jesus and love Him and God.
R- Ooh, I do love them. Especially Jesus, he died for us.
C- Yeah, me too.

Don't ya love it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Absolutely nothing to post!

God is good! When I can honestly say I have nothing to post, that really means life is as "regular" as it gets!

Labs- two good levels, two weeks in a row.

Meds- so far so good. Still praying that the azithromax will keep the sickness away for a while.

School- fun and great reports. Reagan will have her first kindergarten play date Friday and she is super excited. Cam stayed out Friday because there was a crazy stomach bug going around. NINE children in his classroom got it! We "skipped" school and had a fun day together. And no stomach bug to boot!

Rick- about to start working lots of hours for the next few weeks so we will be missing him.

Me- working a few hours, starting back with Family Connection of SC, and volunteering with Donate Life/LifePoint this week. And always busy making everyone's life easier. Isn't that what all moms do??

Everthing else is great too- speech, soccer, dance, CCD/church, life. I always know that anything can happen, especially with little Missy. But for today, we are "normal."

We couldn't be happier.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Who picks black????

At school, Reagan was asked to wear her favorite color today. Now, most every girl would pick pink. Usually a given. Even Reagan loves pink and purple but if you ask her what her favorite color is, hands down every time it will be black!

Who picks black??? I know she does not like it for its slimming feature! She even wanted to paint her walls black but settled for pink and purple.

She is so funny, you never know what she is thinking!

Happy Friday everyone!

A picture from my phone. My crackberry takes the fuzziest pictures- sorry!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A season to dread- but not for HER!

I really do dread Fall and Winter. While I love the crispness that fall brings (at some point), the fun fall activities, the awesome holidays that winter has, and even the occasional snow fall, I really dread the sickness that comes. I actually feel like I just hold my breath and wait for summer to come again.

But not my children, especially Reagan for some reason. Maybe they were talking about it in school? She has been asking every day if it is fall yet. Finally, we googled it because I knew that it was coming up but it was not on my calendar. I told her that it was the first official day of Fall on Tuesday. Yesterday we picked Cameron up from school and immediately started homework. We had opened the windows in the dining room and Reagan began to scoot a heavy chair across the floor. She pushed it all the way to the window, climbed up like she was on a mission, and propped her feet up on the window sill. Cameron and I looked at each other and laughed. When we asked her what she was doing, she leaned up and said

"Mom, it's fall. I am watching the leaves fall to the ground!"

No cares, especially that there were no leaves falling (okay one or two maybe)or that it was 98 degrees.

She sat there and watched for a long while, smiling the whole time.

Maybe Fall is not so bad after all, not yet. It sure made her happy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Only 14 hours of school and then...

SICK! I Really thought that she would make it further into the year, maybe even the whole week. I don't even think that anyone has been sick in her class yet, but who knows where she got it from.She spiked a fever on Thursday night so we went to our favorite pediatrician the next morning. I don't think that we have been into the office for a sick visit for two WHOLE months (maybe a record). Another reason I love summer.

She was mad because she could not go to school on Friday. She even asked if she could go to school and not touch anyone and wash her hands a lot. She is too smart! Dr. Todd could not find anything wrong, so we must have caught something in the early brewing stages. A few spikes later, and we started the antibiotic. We have started discussions about how to deal with sickness this winter. Hopefully we can come with something new that can keep her in school a little longer than 10 hours!

Saturday afternoon she was feeling much better. Needless to say our anniversary plans turned into a fun night at home. 9/11 was our TEN year anniversary! The children helped me find old pics of their mom and dad together while Rick worked all day. They made signs for the "restaurant" that was at our house. The restaurant was named TEN. They also made menus and were our waiter and waitress for the night. Still a night to remember, we all enjoyed it.

This past week Reagan started dance class again. She was so excited to see her same teacher and couldn't wait to go back again today.

Cameron is enjoying second grade and starts soccer with practice tomorrow. He is REALLY excited about it this year!

I will post pics later, when I have a little more time. We were at the beach house for Labor Day and took some family pictures.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten- Let the Tears Roll!

I really thought that I was nothing more than excited for Reagan to attend her sweet little kindergarten class. I have not shed a tear, okay until Monday.

Monday was Parent/Teacher night- no kiddos. Rick stayed home with the kids and I attended. The teacher was going over the handbook and we got to the "sick" section. You know, don't bring your kids to school with....

Then she looks at me and asks if I will share a few words. I started out by saying my name, my daughter's name, and then LOST IT! Yes, tears flowing! Embarrassing!!! I did manage to pull it together (a little) enough to finish a quick story. A few parents came up to me laughing, telling me they had been crying all afternoon about their child starting school, with no problems at all.

I guess that I had suppressed feelings about my baby starting school, to say the least. Not that I am sad about her growing up, well not totally. I think I always knew that she would get her new heart, I just never pictured anything else in the future. I never let myself plan for the future, not even buy clothes for next season. It felt like I was being presumptuous. We all just live happily in the moment. And look where we are- THE FUTURE! I am so proud of her and the things that she has accomplished. We are so happy that she is so happy.

Yesterday was open house. Rick and I attended with Reagan to officially meet the teachers. She was so excited during her scavenger hunt and playing in the new room. She saw pictures of herself everywhere and really liked it.

She is beginning to enjoy learning. She wants to sound out almost every word now and asks what letter it starts with. She gets it right most of the time!

Today is the first official day of school for her. She will only be there for 2 hours. I will download pictures later today.

Wish her luck today! I don't think that she will need it though! Me on the other hand...Ugh! I am crying now!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School Time and Wacky Labs

We have been super busy getting into the school groove and leaving summer behind. Of course, we can't have a typical week leading up to the first day!

Cameron, did have a normal start and is in the swing of things. He really likes his new teacher and classmates. He knew all of them and a few are his really good friends. He is excited about the math that she has planned for them!

Last week, Reagan had her yearly transplant visit. While everything looked great, her labs that measure the rejection meds that she takes were very low. I was nervous because the labs had not been checked in a month so there is no way to tell how long it was that low. When the levels are low, the body will start to notice the foreign heart and start attacking it. We bumped up her meds and rechecked on Friday, and they went even lower! Needless to say, I was a nervous nelly this weekend! The last time she was that low was right after transplant when she started to reject. Moms remember numbers, especially important ones even if it was four years ago! So we gave her a larger dose, and Monday the labs seemed to be much better. We will recheck again this Thursday to see if they stay in the range that we like.

Really, HLHS (syndrome with her old heart) has it's own problems, but transplant is an entirely different set of problems. It is nice for me that we have to keep a closer check than we did with the old heart. I got a little too comfortable after that second surgery when she was a baby. Transplant- no- never comfortable but totally okay where we are.

School was the last thing on our minds Monday, but it was time to register for kindergarten. Reagan went with me to get registered and we were able to see her new teacher. She seems like a sweet woman that will love my baby! Reagan was very comfortable there and I am sure she will love it. She started to play with a group of girls while I filled out paperwork. I looked up a few minutes later, and she had them following her leading a game of follow the leader. Then she started crawling and they copied! It was a funny sight. Yes, I think she will be just fine next week.

She started speech again today. We have not been since November. I guess after years of therapy, both mom and child were tired. She had an evaluation and did really well. In fact, we may focus on speech a little less and more on eating issues. It is time for her to get some tough love and hopefully they can help nudge her. She is scared to swallow most foods. She is tasting new foodsso much more now, and even knows when she is hungry.

I guess all in all it has been a good but busy week. I guess when soccer and dance start, it will be even busier! I am not complaining. I love that they are healthy enough to do the things that they do. Me, hum, I guess I can rest sometime!

Hope everyone enjoys the week!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ahh...the last days of summer break

It's a little sad to know this weekend is the last one before school begins.

Cameron registered for school on Friday and was excited about his teacher. He is in the second grade AGP class! I am very proud of that smart little boy!

Reagan will register next week. She will not go to Ballentine Elementary like her brother. There are was too many children for her immune system to handle. She will go to Union United Methodist this year in their 5 year old kindergarten class. It seems like it will be a sweet class of only 12 children. Can you believe it-kindergarten? Wow, who would have thought? It seems only yesterday.....

This morning, we woke up to a nice summer rain. I think that it rained hard for at least 30 minutes. For those of us in Ballentine, that is a really long time because it never rains here! I asked the children if they wanted to go out and play in the rain and they just stared at me! Really mom, in our pj's? Why not? So we all ran out at 8 o'clock in the morning and played tag, soccer, and just laughed. It was so much fun! Gotta love a summertime rain!

This week we will go back to Charleston for Reagan's yearly transplant cardiology visit and a follow up. I will update when we return.

Hope everyone enjoys the last few days of your summer break. Go out and do something fun!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Big the Pool!

Those of you that know Reagan well know that she is Perfectly happy playing on the stairs at the pool. She brings her barbie dolls and teacups and loves it. When I would try and take her in the water, she would have a tight grip with her legs and arms wrapped tightly around my body. She stopped crying when we would get in the water, but the death grip was there.

Last week, Cameron spent a few days at Nanna's and Grandadddy's. He loved it! He loves them and loves having his freedom there- candy too! Nanna taught him how to text so I received lots of fun text messages. I missed my little fella!

Anyway, back to the story. We went to Spartanburg on Friday to pick him up. It was Reagan's first day to swim since her last surgery, because she had to wait 10 days. She was SO ready to swim at Nanna's. Her cousin Katie was there too. Katie became a little fish this summer, and does not use her floats anymore. I decided to try Reagan in it- I could tell she was feeling a little brave that day. She not only got in the float, but also held only one of my fingers the whole time. She loved it! I was so proud because she was so proud.

She wanted to show off her skills to Rick yesterday so we took her to our community pool. Dad taught her that she was tall enough now to stand in the shallow end and she was so excited. She was showing all the kids at the pool her "cool trick." Of course, they just looked confused, but it was so big to her.

We are so lucky that God let her stay with us. We are so blessed to watch her grow up- Cameron too! I think every parent will agree it is so bittersweet!

If we go to the pool today, I will take the camera so you all can see her Cool Trick!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can't keep a strong girl down!

So we are home. The surgery was quick and successful. No cast this time, only bandages. The screw seemed to want to be out as well. It looked like it had back up into the top of her foot, and was protruding a little through the skin. It was a hardware-looking screw, about an 1-1/2 inches long. Yes- Yuck! They cleaned it up and let her take it home.

Because she seems to get pneumonia or lung infections of some sort after being intubated, and since the procedure was a quick one, it was decided that they would "mask her" and keep her airway open, instead of the long tube down the throat. I was elated to hear this. Her lungs are already not the best, but after surgeries they are terrible.

She woke up quicker, in a better mood, and it was great! She slept the whole way home and then rested an hour or two on the couch. She decided to scoot on the ground while wide awake, then hopped into her car-de-car (as she calls a little push car that she can't seem to part with). A few minutes later, she hops out of car-de-car and starts walking.

I am amazed.

Guess what she says?????

AHHHHHHHHH, that feels sooooooooo much better without the screw!

That girl! We could all take lessons about the little pains in our own life- just deal with it and keep on playing!

Thanks for the prayers!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Last surgery of the summer??

Reagan's last surgery on her feet (for a while) will be on Tuesday. The surgeon is ready to take the screw out of her right foot. It has only been in for 2 months, but he did not want it in any longer.

I know SHE knows that it is coming out this week and she is glad. She favors the foot as she walks and says she can feel it. Gotta be a yucky feeling. However, she does not know that she will have to be put on the ventilator again. She will not be happy. It should be a quick procedure and, if everything goes well, we will be home the same afternoon.

Luckily, she can easily adapt to situations that are unpleasant. I hate that she has had to endure so much. Let's don't even go there. It is not for us to question why God allows others to endure more than most. We just have to be glad that HE is there to help us through things. I know I am glad. And we sure are glad that she is here too. It helps that almost every minute of her life is pure happiness. She is happy to be here- you can feel it.

I hope everyone continues to enjoy what is left of the summer! It sure is going by fast!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Loving Summer

Reagan is finally walking again, with a little hesitation, so we are catching up on our summer fun.
I do catch Cameron on camera -not very often- helping his little sister. They were playing in the sprinkler, and she asked him to help her walk. He grabbed her hand and didn't say a thing.

We enjoyed the beach last week with my family. The children had a blast! My little girl is growing up. She talked about riding the small rides in Myrtle Beach at Broadway. She asked if she could get on the rides with Cameron and Katie (her cousin)- NO ADULTS! It makes me happy for her but sad for me! The years are flying by!

Cameron had a great time, not on the kiddie rides, but on the "gerbil" ball as he called it. I was scared but he had a blast. We had video of Cameron in the ball, and the only thing we heard was a quiet voice begging to do it too. You guessed it- Reagan! I guess she had gotten into her "no fear" mode and wanted to do it too. Of course, mom heeded the warnings regarding heart and lung conditions. No way will I send my tiny one out there. I didn't even want Cameron out there but Rick overruled me on that one. Okay, maybe I am a little TOO cautious. Is there really such a thing?!?!

The Fourth of July was fun too. The children loved the poppers and sparklers, and we enjoyed going out to the beach to shoot the bigger fireworks too. Rick made ribs and they were great!

Hope you all are enjoying the summer and spending special time with your children or loved ones as much as we are!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Catching up....

The past two weeks have been all about soccer. This week Cameron attended soccer camp. Soccer has been on the television a lot too. We are all in to the World Cup. It has been exciting. The children love to blow their vuvuzela's (soccer horns) during the games. We are sad that USA is now out of the finals, but we will continue to watch the games. I will continue to wash his Landon Donovan jersey because he wants to wear it daily!

Cameron and Reagan- enjoying watermelon!
Well, Reagan enjoyed making the watermelon balls, but did not like the taste.

We enjoyed the beach trip too! I remember the first day on the beach while we were playing in the ocean. Reagan said- I don't see how I can leave the ocean today mom. I am having too much fun!

Father's Day weekend was fun too. I took the children to my parent's house on Friday. I got to celebrate my brother's birthday that day. Saturday, my brother and sister and their families came over to my parent's house to swim. We had a cookout and started Father's Day a little early. I have the greatest dad. He is such a kind, gentle, giving person. I am lucky to have him!
We came back Saturday evening to make our plans for Rick's Father's Day. He truly is a wonderful father to my children and loves them so much. I love that he can not get enough of them, and they love to spend time with him too. We made breakfast for him, watched soccer, played games, went swimming, and grilled his favorite-cowboys. That is what his favorite steak is called (bone-in ribeye). It was yummy! What a fun day.

Last week, Reagan got another double lung infection. She sounds a little better this week, and is feeling completely normal. She is her happy self! She is walking a little more, but the right foot is still sore from surgery. The plan for her upcoming surgery in July is to take the screw out of her ankle. We hope that this won't effect her walking but only a few days. She does miss running and being so independent. As for me, my back really hurts! It's not too bad, I would do it forever if I needed too!