the moments that create my life

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Christmas is just around the corner.....

Even though I'm still basking in the beauty of fall, I'm already planning my Christmas cards. Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. I don't love it because of the gifts, but because I love the celebrate the birth of our Savior. I always search for a card that bypasses the commercialism of the Christmas. I like to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, even on our card. We strive to put less emphasis on gifts and getting things during Christmas and more on doing for others, enjoying our family, and celebrating Jesus and thanking God for sending His Son to this earth for us. Since we've been married, I've relied on Shutterfly to meet our needs for a card. 


Here are a few card examples that I'm eyeing for this year! 




  




Y'all, I just LOVE Shutterfly. They never erase your photos and have great quality products! I use them to make my photo books, which I give for gifts and use to document special occasions. I highly recommend Shutterfly!
Visit Shutterfly here to find the perfect card for you and yours!

Do you blog? If so and you're interested in getting 25 free Christmas cards, visit here to register! 

Savanna


{ A FULL HEART }

We had a wonderful day today celebrating fall at the Harvest Festival at preschool! I love how everyone puts so much effort and time into making sure that the kids have a great time and enjoy God's creation. Fall is probably my favorite season. I love the cooler weather, the changing of the colors and the overall feeling of beauty and change. God's creation and plan for how things work just amazes me. The change from sweaty, exhausting summer heat to cool, breezy relaxed fall is perfect, just in time every year! 
Today, I am thankful for fall and cooler weather and, most of all, these two little loves (and their daddy) that make my world go around. My heart is just full! ........  these photos are from earlier this week- i'm planning a full harvest post! 


                                                sweet baby helping mommy make muffins
notice his elephant blanket.... its like a lovie but a blanket. 
it goes everywhere with us and has become his 'baby'. 

don't know why this is sideways, but he's still cute in his daddy's helmet

                           sweet sister fell asleep before i could get brother in bed. she's had a busy, exhausting week! 


Off to watch the World Series..... pulling for the Texas Rangers : )


Next up, watch out for a Shutterfly post........ deals deals deals! 
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a little weekend wrap-up : )

even if it is already Wednesday night! 


This weekend was beautiful! We had such wonderful FALL weather.


Saturday, we got up and out early to run a few errands and ended up having a nice surprise breakfast date with my aunt at the Waffle House. The kids just love her and we had a great time catching up.
After we finished up our errands, we came home and changed Brother's crib into his big boy bed! The bed is pretty much complete except for a few decorative pillows. I've got a lot of work and creativity ahead of me as I change his room from red/black Georgia things to navy/gray race cars!



I am so excited that he is loving his big room, but I'm a little sad. I mean, hello! I don't have any baby cribs in my house anymore. My kiddos are getting way too big!


Saturday evening, we packed up and headed to meet our sweet friends, Zack & Ali, to take their sweet girl to the pumpkin patch. We had a good time with the wild kids there. Afterwards, we went out for some pizza and ended up kicking hiney at trivia... too bad we had to leave because it was bedtime for the babies and Brother wet his pants ; ) 








We enjoyed a nice morning at church on Sunday celebrating our Pastor. We have such a wonderful church family. Our pastor and his sweet wife are such a joy. They always have a smile on their faces and just exude the love of Christ. We love them and enjoy this time together with them. Sister spent the afternoon with Gramma & Pops, while Brother came home and snoozed in his big bed! The daddy and I did some much needed yard work. 
After all of the working and napping, we went and enjoyed pizza yes, pizza again : ) with G & II. We always enjoy getting to spend time all together with G & II since most of the time the daddy and II are working while we play with G. 


It was a nice, relaxing weekend. We got lots accomplished and spent some much needed time together as a family! 
Monday, October 17, 2011

Brother's Birth Story Part 2 and TEF repair



If you missed Part One of Brother's Birth Story, you can find it here.


After Brother's procedure was completed, they didn't bring him back to our room. My doctor had noticed a stridor after he did his job. After x-rays, the pediatrician decided to send Brother to the NICU so that they could closely monitor him. They assured us that he just had excess fluid from delivery. They also told us that he may be having a difficult time transitioning from the womb to breathing on his own, a condition called transient tachypnea to the newborn. 


Of course, we weren't prepared for this at all. I was so very upset. We were ready to get home to our sweet girl and bring her brother home to her. We wanted our family to be together, under one roof. 


My doctor allowed for me to spend another night in the hospital so we could be there with our baby boy. I began pumping and sending breast milk down to the NICU. When the nurses started giving him bottles of breast milk (rather than him nursing directly), he started choking, gagging and turning blue. His blood oxygen levels went decreased during these times. After a couple of failed attempts, the neonatologist ordered a nasal gastric feeding tube (NG tube) to be inserted and used for feedings. Brother would have the opportunity to feed from the bottle, but if he had an episode as before, he would receive the rest of the milk via the NG tube. 


This all began on Thursday after he was born on Wednesday. By the time the weekend came around, Brother was getting all of his nutrition through the NG tube. When he received the feedings via the tube, there were no problems- no choking, no gagging, no decelerations. The doctors were concerned that he had severe reflux. The doctors ordered antacids and planned to do an upper GI on the following Monday to check Brother's anatomy. 


On Monday morning, we arrived bright and early for the test. We weren't allowed to go back, but waited in the NICU waiting rom. 
After what seemed like forever, a nurse came to inform us that the neonatologist wanted to speak with us in the family room. Immediately my heart sunk. I just knew that something was terribly wrong. 


Dr. Leigh came into the room with a less than excited look on his face. He grabbed a piece of paper and began explaining to us that our baby boy had a tracheo-esophageal fistula. On the upper GI, there was a pathway evident connecting the trachea and esophagus of our boy. We were very blessed that Brother's TEF was an H-type. Apparently, this is the rarest type of TEF to have, but the easiest to repair. 
This explained why every time he fed with the bottle, he was gagging and choking. The milk was flowing rapidly into his lungs. The 'cloudy fluid' evident on his initial x-rays wasn't only amniotic fluid, it contained milk too. 


Surgery was absolutely necessary. There is no other option to repair a TEF. Without the surgery, he would have drowned. talk about complete FEAR  If we would have taken our sweet boy home on that Thursday morning, he would have died. 


Arrangements were made and our baby boy left the hospital for the first time with strangers, in a Children's Healthcare of Atlanta ambulance, heading to Scottish Rite. There wasn't room for either me or his daddy to ride with him. We could only meet them there. 


After many meetings with new neonatologists, nurses, surgeons and speech pathologists, surgery was scheduled for October 21st, his one week birthday. We arrived early that morning to the hospital with the intent of spending several nights there. Sending your teeny new baby into surgery is the most awful, strangest feelings I've every felt. I was completely out of control. My baby's life was in the hands of people I had only just met. 
We waited during surgery surrounded by our parents and pastors. 
After several hours, we got the call from the recovery room. He made it through surgery and we could meet him at the doors to the NICU. When he finally made it up to us, he was swollen and still sleeping. He was on many medications for pain. There were tubes, wires and drains all over his tiny body. 
After surgery
Post Op Day 2
The surgeon was confident in the repair. He felt certain that the TEF had been completely repaired. We were unable to hold him. He continued to receive IV nutrition. Another upper GI was performed to inspect the repair site. Unfortunately, there seemed like there was a leak in the repair site. I felt horrible. If this were so, there would have to be another surgery performed to correct the leak. 
Thankfully, another upper GI was done and there was no leak. Praise the Lord. 
Brother was a fighter. He continued to improve daily and began trying to feed within a week or so. He healed perfectly from the surgery. The drains were removed and he was well on his way home. 




 

sweet baby holding mommy's finger
First Halloween Spent in the NICU


         



We started trying to move to bottle feedings. They went fairly well but weren't consistent. We learned how to operate a feeding pump and insert the NG tube, ordered an apnea monitor and prepared to head home. 
Finally, on November 2, we surprised a sweet little girl and met her at the hospital with her grandmothers. Poor baby thought that getting to see her mommy and daddy was the big surprise for the day.  We finally got to bring our sweet baby boy home to be with his sister. Sure, we had lots of wires and contraptions. It wasn't easy but it sure was worth every minute, every false alarm on the apnea machine, every time the feed pump beeped. We love our sweet boy, his laid back disposition and his pure love for life! 
Some sweet little glimpses of our coming home day! 






Our favorite nurses, Caroline and Magda


The moment we had all been waiting for.... Sister finally got to hold her Brother. 


And they've been smitten ever since. 






Brother is doing just fine. If you didn't know that he had the TEF and repair surgery, you would never be able to tell. He has a small scar on his neck and a crazy sounding cough, but those are the only signs of anything 'different' about my boy! 
We praise the Lord that my doctor noticed something was wrong. We praise HIM for a successful surgery, for guiding the doctors' hands, for paving the way through recovery. We are so thankful for the sweet, healthy, energetic little boy that He has given to us! 


Savanna











Brother's Birth Story- Part 1

In celebration of Brother's 2nd Birthday, I want to finally write out his birth story (and a little pregnancy info) before I forget the details. I plan to get Sister's written out too!


We found out that we were expecting our second child mid-February 2009. Our baby was due to arrive on October 26!


At our 12 week appointment in April, the ultrasound tech said that she was able to guess the gender of our baby! She guessed boy! We were so ecstatic to be adding a little baby boy to our family.


In May, the tech confirmed that we would be welcoming a baby boy into our family. We immediately began thinking of what we would call him, as we already knew that he would Hugh Thomas IV. We love that Brother has such a strong heritage behind his name. He is preceded by three very strong, respected men who carry the same name.


My pregnancy with Brother was wonderful. I didn't experience any sickness or problems. It was perfect.
As much as I loved being pregnant, I was so ready to meet our boy. After his sister was born late, I was sure that Brother would be no different.


On Tuesday, October 13th, I had my 38 week appointment. My body was getting ready for labor, but I wasn't there yet. Of course, I questioned the doctor as to if he thought I would go into labor early. He didn't offer much encouragement, but said there was supposed to be storms coming in and that always seemed to correspond with deliveries. I left slightly discouraged and went back to work.


That evening was just a normal night at home for us. We had dinner and loved on our sweet girl. I cleaned after she went to sleep, then I followed her lead.


At 12:45am, I woke up to what I thought was leaking amniotic fluid and contractions. After some calls to the doctor and G (to come stay with Sister), we headed to the hospital to check things out. Sure enough, it was raining! (Apparently the doc knows his stuff!) We stopped at QT on our way and arrived at the hospital just before 4am. We made it back to triage shortly after arriving. The nurse confirmed that my water has broken. I was dilated to 4cm.
We were so ecstatic to be welcoming our sweet boy!


We made it to our room, got IVs, and signed all of the necessary paperwork. We had to sign saying that no one under age 18 was allowed in due to the H1N1 virus. This made for one very unhappy mama as I had so many plans to include Sister in welcoming her little brother.


We called everyone to let them know we were having our baby that day! Gramma went to stay with Sister so that G and II could come to hospital.  We had just the grandparents come to welcome Brother with us. The great-grandparents all came later that day.


I received my epidural and labor continued on in an uneventful fashion. After less than 8 hours of labor and very little pushing, we welcomed the sweetest, most precious little boy into this world. He arrived at 8:30am on October 14th, looking very much like his youngest uncle at 6lbs 4oz! He was tiny and perfect!


6lbs 4oz of sweet baby goodness


Mommy and Daddy with Brother


After a busy day of visiting and showing off our boy, we settled down for the night. The husband and I noticed cloudy liquid dripping out of baby's nose as he slept. We expressed our concerns and were reassured that he was perfectly fine! The following morning, I was more than anxious to get home and share our baby boy with his sister. We got up, dressed and packed to go home with permission from my doctor. They took our baby boy to do his procedure as we packed up our car.


Little did we know, we weren't really going home yet! Look for Part 2 of Brother's Birth Story to here the rest of his story! 





Giveaway and apologies : )

I wanted to let everyone know about a giveaway that Erica has going on over at her blog Heartmade Home! She is providing the opportunity to win the My Memories Digital Scrapbooking software for free! FREE y'all! Go visit her blog and follow the steps to enter the contest! 


I had planned on posting Brother's birth story on Friday for his 2nd birthday. Taking the time to write that out has brought back so many memories and feelings. Needless to say, I'm not quite finished with it yet. Hopefully, I will be posting at least a portion of it later today! 
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blessed

We were blessed today to have lunch and play time with our DeeDee! We always have good laughs and lots of fun when she gets to slip away and come over. The kids love their DeeDee so so much! And I think she loves them too! 


Sweet babies and DeeDee


Kisses! 

sliding : )

Laughs! Lots and lots of them! 


I'm feeling so blessed today! We were able to play hookie and just spend time together at home today. It is always wonderful to just be, with nothing to do and nowhere to go. We are busy getting ready for our sweet boy's birthday party. I can't believe that he is almost 2! 
I am very thankful that God has entrusted these sweet angels to us. I am often amazed at them. Words can't describe how perfect they are. I'm just speechless. Their snuggles, hugs and kisses make my day, every single one. 
Milestones and birthdays always cause me to be extra sentimental about my babies. I just can't believe how fast they are growing up! 


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Randoms : )

Is it just me or is time FLYING BY for everyone else too? I just can't believe that it is already October. Y'ALL!!! I'm ordering Christmas presents already! A very precious little boy is going to be turning 2 (GASP) at the end of this week. (Expect a post on that later this week.) I know this sounds so cheesy, but I just want time to slow down. I would love to freeze my babies just as they are now. They are so sweet, innocent, and precious. I'm just trying to treasure it and preserve their sweet spirits and not letting them get wrapped up in this world just yet. 


We've been really enjoying this cooler weather that we've had. There have been lots of 4-wheeler rides and drawing with chalk. I'm loving scarves, sweats and boots! Its been so fun seeing my little ones enjoying the weather. They would stay outside ALL the time. 


This past weekend, we got to spend some time with our sweet friends, Ali and Zack! We had dinner and watched the Dawgs over at their house. The little ladies got to have their first meeting while the little man ran around like mad! We just love this sweet family. I pray that our families will continue to grow closer and our little ones will be able to establish life-long friendships! Follow the link to Ali's blog. She and Zack are wonderful photographers!


I so hope that these sweet girls will grow to be great friends! 

The little ladies and their Lovies : )

We've been beyond blessed to have a Daddy that has a very busy work schedule! Thank the Lord!!! He truly has blessed us in our lives. Last night, our sweet guy spotted his Daddy before he made it in the door. I just love his expression. You can see how much he truly loves and adores his dad. I'm so thankful for the wonderful daddy that my kids have. He loves them so much, which is evident in how much they love him back! 




We've had some rain the past couple of days! It makes for some really curly hair on my sweet girl. I just had to take her picture this morning before dropping her off at school. She's just such a beautiful girl, both inside and out! 

Precious girl


I'm working on a post for my sweet boy's birthday this Friday! Be sure to check back! 








Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene

We've been out enjoying the nice Fall weather this morning!
And then Brother fell asleep inthe car. I just love a sweet baby sleeping in the car!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Photo Challenge

Fall is here finally! We've cleaned out our shorts and attempted to hide them from Sister, who is the summer clothes queen and brought out our jeans and corduroys! I personally love Fall and Winter and every little beautiful detail. We've had a busy couple of weeks and are looking forward to settling down and enjoying this beautiful, crisp weather. 

I'm linking up to The Paper Mama's blog for her    


 


The challenge this week is "favorite photo from September". 




I love this photo of my sweet boy! He is so curious and always on the go exploring new things. This particular picture was taken on a cloudy day over Labor Day weekend at our family's lake house! We love spending time and exploring there.