29 December 2009

surgery day

Sweet Libby was feeling a little silly in this picture. The medicine was kicking in and she was having trouble sitting up or talking. She kept staring at Bryan and asking him why he had 3 eyes! - "How did you get that other eye, Daddy?", "Who put your 3 eyes on?" Not long after this picture was taken they wheeled her away and we didn't see her for a couple hours. She was still pretty out of it when we did get to see her, but she wasn't crying.

The only time she cried today was when I told her I'd have to put her headband bandage back on after she ripped it off. She almost cried again when I made her take some pain meds. She claims her ear doesn't hurt at all. In fact, she told a nurse her ear felt "good".

Our baby girl's on the mend! We are so relieved that today is over. Many prayers were said on behalf of Libby and we are so thankful for each of them!


26 December 2009

photo 60

Much to Bryan's dismay, this is bound to happen when you're a little boy who adores your 2 older sisters. My parents brought over some hand-me-downs from their sweet neighbors who have 2 daughters a little older than our girls. In the bag, was a "real pair of high heels" that fit Libby...her Christmas wish was granted a little early. :) However, her little brother also fell in love with the shoes, or, at least the challenge of walking in them. He was obsessed with them all that day and hasn't touched them since. That you just heard was a big sigh of relief from Bryan. :)


24 December 2009

There is a Savior

I overheard Libby while she was on the potty a few days ago.

(think B-I-N-G-O)

There is a Savior
We all know
And Jesus is His name-O!


And Jesus is His name-O!


22 December 2009

For the last 4 years, 4 months and 4 days our sweet Reagan Elizabeth has had a tumor growing in her left ear.

I obscurely referred to the congenital cholesteatoma here and have been meaning to explain that post, but have had trouble putting this whole thing into words. I called a few people (grandparents, of course, and some prayer warriors) on the day we found out. Just a few days ago, I finally told other friends that I hadn't talked to in way too long. Emailing them to say, "Hey, it doesn't seem like I care much about you since I haven't emailed in way too long, but here's what's going on with me..." was hard and a good reminder to take the time to stay in touch better.

The surgery is scheduled for December 29th. Our doctor is pretty certain it will be an "easy" removal since the tumor has remained encapsulated and, even though it is congenital, it was caught early. We are thankful she'll have a nice Christmas before her surgery.

Are you wondering how it was discovered? I'll tell you. On the morning of Reagan's preschool Christmas program she started complaining that her ear hurt. After her nap, she mentioned it again, so I called our pediatrician (who is a wonderful, smart doctor) to make an appointment for the next morning. She wasn't complaining that much, so I wasn't sure she had an ear infection and knew I didn't want to pay for a sick visit just to hear she was perfectly well. So, I figured I'd put her to bed without any Tylenol and see how she slept. She slept well, never waking in pain. The next morning, I called and canceled her appointment. Soon after, I talked to Bryan, who was in Houston and knew about the appointment, and told him she was fine and I'd canceled the appointment. He wisely reminded me Libby doesn't complain unless something is really wrong. Even after his advice and knowing she has a high pain-tolerance, I decided I would wait and take her in the next day, if she complained any more.

We got ready and headed for the door. The van needed an inspection. As I grabbed Levi's bag and watched my kids open the shared door between the laundry room and garage, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I knew I could not leave the house without calling the pediatrician's office again and making another appointment. It wasn't a nagging feeling or a questioning feeling. It was without a doubt a hit-me-over-the-head-so-I-would-stop-thinking-about-what-I-wanted-to-do feeling sent from God. You see, I had a hair appointment that morning and by that time there was no way I would have time to get my car inspected (and that was way over due), take Libs to the doctor and get my hair cut. Without really understanding why I was doing it, I stopped the kids from leaving the house and called the doctor. Then I called and canceled my hair appointment.

While we waited for my car to be inspected, I repeatedly asked Libby if her ear hurt. She would always answer yes, but not very convincingly. Still, I knew I must take her to the doctor.

I knew something was up after the doctor continued to look in her "hurt" ear for more than 30 seconds without saying a word. My first thought was, "Great, she has a tiny Polly Pocket shoe stuck in her ear and he's trying to decide how he'll remove it!" He looked in her other ear, instantly proclaiming it "just fine" and then he went back to the first one, saying he'd like to blow some air into it. After that, Dr. Schwartz told us the nurse would be in to give Reagan a hearing test and he left the room. That was the first inclination I had that something more serious than a toy was causing a problem in my daughter's ear.

Even after Dr. Schwartz told me Reagan failed her hearing test and he was pretty sure she had a cholesteatoma, I remained optimistic. I had never heard the word cholesteatoma and, honestly, I forgot what he termed her condition a few minutes after he'd uttered it. He told us we'd need to see an ENT and gave us a recommendation. When he mentioned what she had was a tumor, assuring me it was not cancer, my anxiety began to rise. By the time we were in the car, I was on the phone with Bryan trying to pronounce "cholesteatoma" and crying. And, by naptime that day, I was a wreck. Beyond all reason, I looked online. After reading all about other peoples' nightmares with, what I later found out where acquired (not congenital, which is what Libby has) cholesteatomas, I was a mess. I called Bryan to tell him not to look online. I was too late. He spent three days in Houston working during the day and searching the internet at night. I spent three days the way I normally do with the addition of doctors appointments each of those days.

We met Dr. Ehmer the next day and almost immediately he put me at ease. After two seconds of looking in Libby's ear, he confirmed she had a congenital cholesteatoma and that it looked as if Dr. Schwartz had caught it very early. He gave me a million reasons why a congenital cholesteatoma is the better one to have, if you have to have one.
Bryan caught an early flight home on Friday afternoon and was so relieved to see his sweet girl. He still hasn't met Dr. Ehmer, trusting my judgement and our Lord completely.

We'll have a nice Christmas and a few days after, we'll take our precious child in to have the tumor removed. She'll have frequent check-ups for a while and you better believe I'm turning into one of those moms who drives her pediatrician nuts! This type of cholesteatoma is extremely rare. We have no reason to believe she will face any other problems from them or that either of our other children have them. Of course, I will, at some point, let everyone know how the surgery goes and how Libby does. If I'm not around much it's because I'm soaking up every second of this week with the kids before we have a more subdued week next.
Merry Christmas! May the Lord bless you abunduntly with His peace, love and joy!

13 December 2009

photo 58

What's missing?

Our microwave quit working on Friday night. I didn't realize how much I relied on it until I didn't have it as an option. What a pain!


12 December 2009

photos 54, 55, 56, & 57

Okay, so I'm cheating, a little. You and I both know it, so I'll just be upfront and admit it. We've had a crazy week. Crazy doesn't really do our week justice, but I don't think I have the words to elaborate at the moment. The crazy isn't over and most of you already know what's going on (the rest of you will as soon I as can find a way to record my thoughts) and there are still some people I'd like to tell "in person" via the phone before they read it on our blog. I'll just say, Wednesday was Crazy-Horrible, Thursday was Crazy-Better, and Friday was Crazy-a-Little-Better-Still. We're praying for everything to end up Crazy-Great and for peace about all the Craziness.

On to the pictures...

My Little Angel at her Christmas Program

Showing off her moves

Grammy and Grandpa came bearing gifts

Not feeling so angelic :)


08 December 2009

photo 53

A few days ago I was fiddlin' with my camera trying to position it to take a self-timer picture of all 5 of us. Levi saw me and naturally thought I wanted him to sit and say, "Cheese!" When I reviewed the pictures I almost deleted it and then I noticed he looked so old. He'll be two in 3 months. My Little Man is certainly not a baby anymore. At 21 months, he wears 18-24 month sized clothes and weighs about 27 pounds. He says Momma, DaDa, Addi, Bibby, ZoZo, Nooo-ah (no), 'mumm (yes mam), YEE Haw (everytime he sees a horse/donkey/mule), outside, moow (more), milll (milk), eat, amen, nigh-nigh (night-night), and bike. That's all I can think of right now, but there's more. He loves to sing, "The Itsy, Bitsy Spider", "Jesus Loves Me", and "If You're Happy and You Know It". Levi no longer likes being buckled into his carseat. I have to bribe him with getting to see ZoZo as soon as we get home. If we are leaving the house, I just have to force him in. It's not pretty, some days. :) Zoe is his best friend. I don't know that he's necessarily her best friend, but he talks more about ZoZo than anyone else in his life. He's an active, outdoors-y kind of boy loving the trampoline, sandbox, playground, riding in his bike seat, dancing, throwing anything, and running. I have to steal kisses now because begging no longer works. Cars and balls are his favorite toys with small animals (especially "scary" ones...ones he thinks and, therefore, makes growl) coming in after them. As of Saturday, Levi no longer takes a morning nap. He still wants to and he's usually down for his afternoon nap by noon, but he was taking a long morning nap and then refusing to take an afternoon nap and then he'd progress to full meltdown mode by 4 pm. We're still working out the kinks in his new schedule. He likes to eat oatmeal, Cheerios, peanut butter sandwiches, mac and cheese, any fruit, especially berries and "appies", grilled cheese sandwiches, most casseroles, a lot of soups, yogurt, string cheese, Kashi cereal bars, beans, "pop pops" (lollipops), and really anything sweet. Meat is still his least favorite food. I'm hoping it's because he doesn't have the teeth to chew it. Those should be here soon since it looks like he has small grapes hidden beneath his gums. Of course, we've learned soon when it comes to Levi's teething is a relative term. The poor kid might turn 2 and still only have 4 teeth on top and 4 teeth on bottom. Surely not! Right?! My life was forever changed by this precious boy and I thank God for the honor of being his mother each day.


07 December 2009


{libby and her cousin, ethan coloring at the kitchen table}

libby: We need to be careful with these markers and not get them on the table. I think it's a very special table.
ethan: No, it's a very old table.
libby: No, it's not! It is not old!
ethan: Yes, it is! Look at that big crack down the middle of it!

FYI, there are actually 2 "big cracks" where the leaf meets the table. :) And, the table is far from special. Bryan and I bought it for very little money a few years ago off Craigslist!


05 December 2009

Well, I'm nothing if not consistent about skipping a day every once in a while. (aka photo 51)

I'm lookin' for the positives here, People!

I took this picture knowing I would post it yesterday. I even uploaded to my computer. But, I fell asleep on the couch snuggling with my best snuggler (REP, if you're not sure...she's always warm, still has enough baby-fat left to be squishy, and is amazingly still when she wants to snuggle.) after our Family Night movie.

Yesterday afternoon, the 3 were especially wired. Like running through the house, jumping off the stairs, using their "outside" voices, making messes, and unintentionally hurting one another wired! I sat down on the floor with Levi and Libby (trying to make a presence of authority known!) to throw/roll a ball in between us. Addi decided to join in because, clearly, we needed some instructing. :) And, then, an amazing thing happened. I told them I needed to start supper, but they could keep playing and they did! They played nicely for about 20 minutes until Bryan came home and hyped them all back up. I know, I know, don't bet on that game ever working again!


03 December 2009

photo 50

You can see Addison's wearing her nightgown. Actually, they're all still in their pajamas. As soon as I saw it was snowing I ran upstairs and yelled, "Wake up! It's snowing! Get your shoes and jackets on! I have no idea how long it will last!" A few minutes later, the kids were delightfully cold. I'm glad I'm a tried and true Texan who suspected the snow would be long gone by 9 am, but, rumor has it we may see some more flurries tomorrow, so I may get another chance at pictures in the snow. Maybe the 3 will be properly attired this time. :)


02 December 2009

photo 49

Addi with sweet Baby Beckham. She would've sat still for hours holding him and couldn't describe him in enough detail to Bryan. Libby, on the other hand, couldn't wait to hold him and then could only stay still for a few minutes. But, she came home and insisted on re-naming Levi. "His first name is Beckham and his middle name is Levi, but we will call him Beckham!" Levi said, "Bee-bee" a few times and then could have cared less that I was holding someone else. I guess that rule only applies when I'm holding one of his sisters. We were so excited to finally meet Little Beckham and see how Big Brother Court was holding up (very well, it seems to me!) and can't wait to hang out with them again soon.

Posted by Picasa