Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One MOnth

Our little guy is one month old now!!!

He isn't wasting anytime growing up.
He weighs 11 lb and 6.6 oz.
I'm not sure how long he is, but I know that 0-3 month outfits work well and some 3 month outfits do too!

I can honestly say that this little baby is pure delight. He's so loveable and I'm soaking him up as much as I can. Since Addie was colicky, it seems like I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve and I don't have to use them much at all--- not complaining though. He's completely consolable and generally content.

Even with Eliza, we had fussiness in the evenings. But...not so much with Grady.

Now, before I have you thinking that everything is just dreamy over here, I must admit that he still prefers to be held. He doesn't sleep long when he's on his back and doesn't prefer the swing.

Other than that, no complaints.

He nurses like a champ, snuggles with his mama, and even throws in a few smiles (and totally makes you believe he's being intentional about it). :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Addie Sue!

Addie Sue turned 6 last Friday. She celebrated at school, then later that night at home, and finally on Saturday with her friends. We had her party at Build a Bear Workshop.
 Brody, Eliza, Sydney, Addie, Cadence, Abby, and Kaden

Each of the kids got to pick an animal...

 Put in their hearts...

Stuff them....

Fluff them...
and finally, dress them.

Afterward, we went to the food court for cake and ice cream. My mom made a fantastic Jasmine cake. Addie really wanted to have a Jasmine party, but with a newborn, I had NO energy to plan a themed party, clean my house and have company. Luckily, Addie didn't seem to mind.

Our girl had a speaking part in the K program this month!

This is the cake that I made her...not fancy, but good. Must have been the LOVE I put in there.

I am really proud of my girl. She is a beautiful kid, inside and out.

Here are some little tidbits you might not know about her:
  • She's gracious to her siblings, patient with them most of the time. 
  • She's reading so well in school and writing sentences with capitols and periods (I couldn't even get my 2nd and 3rd graders to do that back when I taught school)! 
  • She's expressive and often good about telling you how she feels...although pouting rears its head quite often.
 I found this in her backpack one day when she had been moved for talking during instruction:

  • She loves to play JUST DANCE on the Wii.
  • She's started tap and ballet on Tuesday nights and seems to enjoy it.
  • LOVES to watch Wild Krauts on PBS (right after getting off bus she asks if she can watch it)
  • She strategically states that she's hungry right when she crawls in bed and the light has just been turned off.
  • She loves to listen to Adventures in Odyssey at night when she falls asleep.
  • She surprises us with phrases like, "Three is my favorite prime number." or "Grady must be nocturnal." 
When we brought this kid home from the hospital, I remember thinking she cried a lot. I worried that she was always going to be fussy and difficult to manage. If only I could have fast-forwarded to the future , I would have been able to relax and see that she is a pleasant, intelligent and beautiful human being...and our family wouldn't be the same without her!

Happy Birthday Addie Sue! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kaylee Louise...

I'm dreading this post...I knew it would come.

Kaylee passed away on Saturday morning, February 11th, 2012. It was a decision Micah and I made after seeing her suffer a stroke.

The night before I took her outside to brush her hair and I noticed that she was cowering and sticking her tail between her legs. She usually loves to have her hair brushed and I thought this was strange, so I let her go. She limped around the corner on the front porch, turned around and came back in distress. I let her in and watched her almost fall on the wood floor. Something was obviously wrong with her; a pinched nerve perhaps. I immediately wondered if I had pushed on her hips too hard or done something to hurt her. She stumbled around and finally landed on the corner of the living room carpet. She then lost control of her bowels. At this point, I was panicked. I furiously thumbed through my phone to find my vet's number. It was already 5 pm...I doubted they'd be open much longer. When I got off the phone, I noticed her left eye was twitching...and that's when a possibility of a stroke crossed my mind.

The vet confirmed my suspicions and frankly said it didn't look promising, but she understood that we wanted to give her a night to see if she'd improve. She gave her a steroid shot and said that she was hoping to hear that K was trying to walk & could at least stumble around by morning. She emphasized that this would end up occurring again...that this was the beginning of a long line of strokes to come because of her age.

We took her home...carried her up to our room where it was dark and set up a warm and comfy spot for her. Her eyes were constantly moving back and forth and she was very dizzy. I checked on her several times during the night (it helps that I was up with Grady a lot) and she was never asleep when I saw her. Micah wondered if she was unable to sleep because she was so confused and dizzy. In the morning, we were unable to get her to walk. She looked like she wanted to, but just couldn't make it happen.

When we got to the vet on Saturday morning, they sent us to a back room that I'd never been. I knew it was the room where they euthanized pets. Two separate vets confirmed that this was the right thing to do. I'm still not convinced. Dr. Wingert said we'd basically be running an "old folks home" for her. She'd demand round the clock attention...something I can't do with a newborn. How do you carry an 80 pound dog outside to go the bathroom? It makes me wonder if  I would have hung in there with her longer if I weren't at this place in life...swamped with three little kids under the age of five. I keep asking Micah to convince me we did the right thing. 

It was over too quickly. They gave her an injection in her back leg and the life had left her eyes before I could have counted to three. She just laid on the table with her eyes open...it was the most difficult decision I've ever made. 

Every day since has gotten a bit easier to accept that she's gone...but there are reminders of her around every corner. I'm going about daily duties and then I see her dog dish and tears just start rolling. We played out in the snow and I think of how she loved to eat it...tears. I'm rocking Eliza and notice my shadow is missing on her floor...and I can hardly finish reading her book to her. There are dozens of these reminders throughout the day. 

I can't believe it if you're still reading this...I've probably bored you to death with details. But, it's healing to write about them. So now, instead of focusing on the last few hours of her life, I'm going to choose to relish in the reasons why I loved her.

Kaylee Louise:
  • We set out to purchase a puppy on the day we got you, but the breeder had no litter...just a chocolate lab whose owner had gone to jail for have a meth lab. We took one look at you and I said you were really cute. I will never forget Micah's response: you weren't cute, you were "precious". It was love from the get go. 
  • You followed me everywhere . Probably wanted to make sure I wasn't going to leave you too, like your previous owner. You were probably scared. Eventually, I think you became confident that your home was with us...that we'd never harm you or leave you. 
  • You were our first baby. 
  • You were loyal 100%. I had no doubt that you loved me more genuinely than any human ever could. You didn't seem to notice my faults and you loved me even when I was impatient with you. 
  • You stayed up with me the entire night I was in labor with Addie.  
  • You welcomed every one of our children home from the hospital and were gentle with them always;  allowing them to climb and sit on you as if you were just another piece of furniture. 
  • You loved your walks...even when it got to be painful for you to keep up. You were hard to walk because you would zigzag all over the sidewalk and cut off Lucas. You stopped to pee a lot too.
  • You laid on the floor in our children's bedrooms while I put them to sleep. Sometimes you would snore and they would tell you to leave...but you always waited for me. 
  • Micah couldn't stand your snoring at night. He'd throw shirts and pillows at you to quiet you. He says he DOESN'T miss it, even now. But, I do.
  • You were the alpha dog up until the end. Lucas always submitted to you. I think he misses you a lot right now. I think he wonders where you are.
  • You had the best, healthiest teeth.
  • You had a habit of greeting everyone with a toy (or sock, or shoe, whatever was close by) when we came home. You taught Lucas to do the same thing. 
  • You loved to have your hair brushed."Just like a girl." my grandpa would say about you.
  • You hated to have your nails trimmed, but you let us trim them anyway.
  • You had a tender, gentle spirit about you. I took you to visit Grandpa Tilbury at his nursing home and you really lifted his spirits. 
  • You were a loner at the dog park. I compared you to Ferdinand the Bull...always sniffing the flowers and wanting nothing to do with the other dogs. 
  • You were under my feet all the time in the kitchen and though it annoyed me, I grew to appreciate it because there was a time (when you were sick) that you weren't there...and I missed you.
  • You've changed my life forever...and I can't express my sorrow in words. 

I can't imagine that God isn't enjoying you in His presence at this very moment. Please forgive me for letting you go so soon. I pray that we did what was best for you and that you are free.

I'll always love you Kaylee Louise.