Friday, April 29, 2011

Pardon My Absence.....


We are going out of town for the weekend and we will not have internet access where we are headed. I hope you will forgive me for a few days without a post. We are really looking forward to a weekend away from everything. Just us, good friends, and nature. Ahhh.... That sound just right.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Open Skies

"Praise Him under open skies, everything breathing praising God!"
--David Crowder Band

I took this pic on my phone today while I was coming home from running a bunch of errands. Sometimes I look up at the big, beautiful sky and can't help but feel a sense of peace. A sense that God is so big and I am so small. But yet, He still cares for me and knows my name. I love when God reveals Himself through nature.

I think He knew I needed some reassurance that "He's got the whole world in His hands." Today there was good news and bad news about about my mom's condition. The good news is that she will likely go home on Saturday! This is huge. She has wanted to be at home now for weeks and is just craving the comforts of her own bed, her comfortable chair, and the familiar sights and smells of her own home. It will be so nice for us to visit her there instead of the hospital room. We've learned that cramming three busy children into a small hospital room is not the best idea. Also, she is breathing better. Her oxygen saturation today stayed at 100% and she is down to using three liters of oxygen as opposed to six last week. Tomorrow they will try two liters and hopefully she can even wean herself down to 1.5 before she goes home. Also, she is having a minor surgery tomorrow to insert a permanent drain tube into her lungs so that she can empty the fluid off as needed. This will be good because now she won't have to struggle to breathe as much as the fluid builds up. She was being "tapped" (and by that we mean a needle inserted into her back) to drain off fluid every 7-10 days. And her infectious disease doctor has changed her to a more powerful antibiotic to try to completely get rid of any trace of infection from her incision site. All of this is good news and I completely celebrate it!

On the other hand, my mom's incision has begun to open up again. So today they took the remaining stitches out and are using the wound vacuum again. More than anything else, we need for her incision to heal completely. If not, she will be constantly open to infection and we don't want that! We are praying that the wound vacuum will work this time. Please join with me in that specific request. It is our top priority in restoring my mom's health. Her surgeon said he is not going to open her up again, so if the wound vacuum doesn't work, he is simply out of options. In the mean time, she will wear it indefinitely and continue to pray for healing.

This whole thing has been such a test of my faith. My friend shared with me tonight about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel chapters 1-3). She mentioned how God could have spared them from the firey furnace if he had chosen to. But instead he chose to walk through the fire with them so that they would have an even greater testimony of what God did. We are walking through a "fire" right now, and I am so grateful that in the end (no matter the outcome) we will have a testimony of how God walked right next to us the whole way through.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No Oven, No Bake

Our oven is broken. We didn't realize just how often we use our oven until we can't use it at all. No muffins. No cookies. No dinner rolls. Each time I walk over to turn it on I reminded of this fact. Thankfully, we have wonderful neighbors who have been letting us use their ovens until ours is fixed (repair guy comes tomorrow!). I baked a cake at our next door neighbor's house yesterday and I took a casserole to my across-the-street neighbor's house tonight.

TANGENT: I have a great story about my across-the-street neighbor, Kristine. You see, we've been neighbors for ten years, but we've only lived our current neighborhood for four years. Huh? How is that possible? Well, shortly after Mike and I moved into our cute little 1950's house back in 2001, Kristine moved into the house next door. We were next door neighbors (and friends!) for the next six years until we both decided to build houses across the street from each other in our current neighborhood. We liked being neighbors so much that we've lived by each other in two different neighborhoods! Kristine says she stalked us, but really it was a mutual decision.

Continuing on....So tonight I was really craving something chocolate-y and sweet, but I had resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't have anything because I couldn't bake. But then! An epiphany! No Bake Cookies! Yes, that would work. I found my recipe and discovered that I had all the ingredients on hand. And before you knew it, I had these little guys dropped onto some wax paper ready to cool.

I've had three so far. Some nights just need to end in chocolate.

Oh and here's the recipe if you "need" to make these too:

No Bake Cookies
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, margarine, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, and cook for
1.5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonful onto wax paper. Let cool until hardened.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No! Mine!

Lucas enjoying his breakfast

Take a look at my precious 21 month old son's face. So sweet. So wonderful. I bet you think he behaves like a perfect angel all of the time, right? As much as I'd like to say yes, the answer is a resounding no. As my boy nears his second birthday, he is starting to display some defiant behavior that is once again reminding me that being a parent is tough. It is wonderful and rewarding beyond measure, but it is a challenge sometimes!

You might recall a few months ago, I mentioned that Lucas was taking his time in developing his vocabulary. He only spoke a handful of words and relied mostly on grunting and pointing. But over these last few months, I am happy to say his vocabulary has exploded! He is saying so many new words, and I love hearing his little voice and personality shine through. But two words have made it into that new vocabulary, and they are being said both often and with much enthusiasm. What are those words, you ask? They are none other than NO! and MINE!

Lucas loves to use both of those words all throughout the day. He has also discovered that if he purses his lips and makes a mean scowl, it makes saying them more fun. Last night he was even calling out Nooooo! and Mine! in his sleep. If anyone is not sure whether we, as humans, are born with a selfish sin nature, you need not look further than a nearly two year old to see that those characteristics come ingrained into our souls.

Thankfully, though, it is my job as a parent to try to teach my son (and my daughters) how to deal with those selfish, human emotions. And most importantly help him learn that these emotions only point out our great need for a Savior. We simply can't make it without Him. I hope he learns to let God invade his heart, and that his life will be known for his good fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Because you know what is worse than a two year old saying No and Mine? A grown up who still says NO! and MINE!

So as wonderful as Lucas is (and I do think he is simply the most amazing little boy in the world, but I am biased), I know that he is not perfect. He needs discipline. He needs teaching. He needs for Mike and me to set a good example for him. He needs parents who pray for him and love him unconditionally. And I think with those things, the kid just might turn out okay. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Might Be My Favorite Ever


Galloway Family
Easter 2011
This just might be my favorite family photo ever. It has been a long time since we've managed to get all five of us in a photo. Love my little crew!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead. He's Alive! He's Alive!

Lyrics from the song "Christ is Risen" by Matt Maher

He is Risen!
Happy Easter!


Go here to listen to the full song. Believe me, it's good! :)



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coffee and Fried Chicken


Today started and ended with a meal shared with special people. This morning I got to go have breakfast with my sweet friend/ former college roomie Jennifer. She and her husband and three cute little boys live in Milwaukee, and it has been six years since we last saw each other! I was so excited to get to spend time with her this morning. We headed over to Panera Bread and chatted for nearly three hours while sipping coffee (actually I had a chai tea latte to be specific). We picked up right where we left off six years ago, and it reminded me just how much I miss all my friends that live out of state. The four of us girls who shared an apartment together are all living all over the country now, and I am thinking it is time to start planning a reunion! (LeAnn? Heather? You all in?)

Later in the day, we met up with my cousin Steve and his wife Sadie and their little boy Edward. Eddie was born just four months before Lucas, and it was fun to go through that pregnancy with Sadie. My cousin chose well when he married! Sadie has such a kind heart and is a wonderful mom to her little guy. Steve is a pilot in the Air Force and they are stationed at Vance Air Force Base just a little over an hour away. We had been wanting to meet in the middle at Eischen's, the oldest bar in the state of Oklahoma, and tonight we finally got to do it!

Eischen's specializes in one thing: fried chicken. You order it by the whole bird, and it is served with a loaf of white bread, pickles, onions and a stack of wax paper. I don't eat fried chicken that often, so it is a once or twice a year treat for us.
Eddie and Lucas post-meal. Lucas was in meltdown mode.
He calmed right down when his sisters got into the photo.
By the way, isn't Eddie adorable?
I told the girls to strike their best model pose.
The sky on the drive home was pretty spectacular. Skies like this reminds me that God is one amazing artist. :)

We got home in time to put Lucas out of his misery (poor little guy was so tired). While Mike was tucking him in, I ran up to the hospital to tuck my mom in. I was so glad to see her and chat with her for awhile. Then I ran back home in time to dye Easter eggs with the girls. My dad joined us for the egg dyeing and ended up staying to watch game three of the NBA playoffs between the OKC Thunder and the Denver Nuggets. Thunder won! Wa-hoo! I like watching games with my dad; he is pretty animated!

Looking forward to Easter Sunday tomorrow!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Okie Pokie

Today my little Leah turned into a Cowgirl and performed the "Okie Pokie" (get it-- "Okie" as in "from Oklahoma"). Her kindergarten class has been working hard practicing this song as well as a song about the life cycle of a butterfly (in which Miss Leah had a speaking part) to perform in front of the whole school in an assembly this morning. I was your typical over-excited parent on the front row with camera in hand, big smile on my face and waving excitedly at her from the bleachers. I love watching my kids get to do something special.
Cowgirl Leah before school this morning
Lucas patiently waiting and watching for his sisters. Notice the glimmer of snot under his nose. Just keeping it real.
On stage! Leah is the fifth from the left.
"You do the Okie Pokie and you swing your lasso 'round. That's what it's all about.
Hee-Haw!!"
Proud Mama.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

30 Days of Scripture

Sometimes when a person is going through a difficult time, they simply switch to survival mode. Perhaps it is human nature to do so. I've been doing this lately. My life's focus has narrowed down to hospital and home and little else. Thankfully, as my mom is doing a little better this week, I've been able to let go of "survival mode Emily" and get back to "normal Emily" (like yesterday's unexpected lunch date!). My sweet friend, Savanah, knew I had been in survival mode lately, and she thoughtfully brought me a little gift Tuesday night. Savanah has been fasting every Tuesday for my mom, and then we meet up at the hospital with a few other friends to all pray over my mom. It has been a really sweet time that I look forward to every week. Savanah put together a "30 Days of Scripture" book for me. Actually, she made three books: one for me, one for my mom and one for my aunt so we could all be reading the verses together. She wrote out thirty different verses pertaining specifically to perseverance, faith, and healing, then hand wrote them and tied them together. I was really touched by her sweet gesture, and I've been encouraged each day as I read and meditate on the verse she wrote!

She started with the verse in Genesis that I mentioned in my post here.
She labeled each card with a day of the month.
Today's verse!
Amen!

MOM UPDATE: This afternoon my mom was moved out of intensive care and into a regular hospital room. Her incision is looking good, but she is still feeling like it is hard to breathe well. Overall, though, I can't complain and she is doing well considering where she has been over the last month!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Unexpected Lunch Date

Today Mike and I found ourselves kid-free for a few hours. Usually we are all scattered on Wednesdays: the girls are at school, Lucas attends Mother's Day Out, Mike works from home, and I spend the day working at Sunset Elementary. However, this week is state testing week at my school, so my students were not able to attend their normal tutoring sessions with me. An unexpected day off! What to do?

Well, I started off by getting an extra work-out in this morning. After I came home and cleaned up, Mike and I decided that we should take advantage of this kid-free time and have a lunch date together. My parents are our usual babysitters for such outings, but since my mom has been hospitalized, we haven't had many chances to hang out just the two of us.

We jumped in the car and headed down to a local German restaurant called Ingrid's (it was recently featured on the show Diners, Drive-in's and Dives). All the food is very yummy there, but especially the freshly baked bread and oh the desserts....don't even get me started. So many to choose from! We ordered our food, found a nice table by the window and spent an hour and half just talking and enjoying a meal together. I didn't have to order a kid's meal, wrangle a toddler into a high chair, or make multiple trips to the bathroom with my six year olds who have bladders the size of peas. I'm so glad after all these years, Mike and I still enjoy hanging out together.

Later, I dropped Mike off at home to work, and I headed out to do a little shopping. I picked up a few things for the kids' Easter baskets and then came home to start dinner and hang out with my little people crew. After all three of my babes were tucked into bed, my Dad came over to watch a movie with us. We've been dying to see The King's Speech, and we finally had time to rent it; it did not disappoint! And I think my dad enjoyed a break from the hospital for awhile too.

I love days filled with unexpected quality time with my family!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Double Dental Day

Leah: numb and waiting for the dentist to fill her cavity.
She kept asking, "Do I look funny, Mom?"

You all like my alliteration in the title of this post? Nice! Well as the title suggests, both Hannah and Leah had dental appointments this morning. Hannah had a tooth pulled and Leah had a cavity filled. It was the first time either of them has had any dental work done other than the regular six month cleaning. We talked to them beforehand so they would know what to expect. We explained that they would both breathe in some "laughing gas" which would make them feel relaxed, and that they would use a gel to numb their gums before giving them a shot. My dad came with me to help me out. He ended up sitting with Hannah and I sat with Leah. And guess what? Both girls did great! No crying, clinging or whining! Both were both brave and compliant. Hannah got to keep her tooth which had a super long root still attached. She wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy tonight asking if she could perhaps keep her tooth so she could take it to show-and-tell tomorrow at school. I think the Tooth Fairy will be okay with that request. :)

MOM UPDATE: Mom had a rough day yesterday, and a little better day today. She does not have the vent in (yay!), but she is still having difficulty breathing. Her chest is tight and she is feeling anxious. They moved her oxygen flow up to six units and she can maintain her O2 levels. Obviously, our goal is to wean her down on the oxygen, but as long as she is not on the vent, I will be happy. Tomorrow her doctor may drain some more fluid off her lungs which should help. Top two priorities: to breathe easily and for her wound to heal completely. Thanks for continuing to pray with us!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie Quotes

The other night we were sitting at the dinner table and Mike suggested that we play a game called "Movie Quotes." He explained that we would each say a quote from a movie character and then try to guess who said it. The girls were enthusiastic and we started to play.

Mike, "To infinity and beyond!"
Hannah, "Buzz Lightyear!!"

Emily, "Just keep swimming...."
Leah, "Dory from Finding Nemo!"

Then it was Hannah's turn. She thought for a few moments, wrinkling her brow in concentration. Then her face lit up and she exclaimed, "Prick!!!!!"

Mike and I exchanged Where did she hear that? glances. We asked her to repeat it. "Prick!" None of us had any idea what she was talking about, so we gave up and asked for her to reveal the answer.

Sleeping Beauty. Because she "pricked" her finger on the spinning wheel.

Thank goodness. I was starting to wonder what that girl was watching when we weren't around!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Remembering


Dad and Mom on the Riverwalk
2008

I found this photo from a family vacation to San Antonio three years ago. This is the Mom I remember. Vibrant. Smiling. Healthy. I know that the road ahead is long, but I look forward to sitting across from her at our favorite spot for lunch, chatting about anything and everything.
We will get there!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Fun

Today was a great Saturday. It was busy, but it was fun. I took the kids to a birthday party early this afternoon and then spent the rest of the day at our friends' house. My kids played with her kids while we sat on the patio and sipped coffee, enjoying the gorgeous 70 degree weather outside (no wind today, hallelujah!). We chatted and watched our kids run around in the yard playing and laughing (Mike was off filming again). Glorious, I tell you. It is during days like this that I look at my three little munchkins and think I AM SO THANKFUL! I get to be their mom! I mean just look at these faces!
My little guy is going through a phase of not wanting to smile for the camera. Even still, I think he's still pretty sweet. I mean...look at those cheeks! :)
My independent, creative, left-handed girl.
My Hannah.
My tenderhearted, kind, free-spirited girl.
My Leah.

MOM UPDATE: Mom is still doing well. In fact, my dad says her surgeon is considering moving her out of ICU next week! Her incision still looks good, she is still breathing fine on her own (she did have another liter drained off her left lung yesterday), and she walked twice today! Slowly, her strength is returning. Continue to pray for the incision to heal completely and for her to breathe easily.

Friday, April 15, 2011

WINDY!!!!!

video
Today was so incredibly windy. And in Oklahoma we get a lot of windy days, but today was one of the worst I can remember. Power lines, fences and smaller trees all toppled to the ground today. Leah said the lights kept flickering in her classroom, and when I was driving around running errands this afternoon I had to keep a tight grip on the steering wheel. I even saw an empty shopping cart flying across the parking lot at Staples! Ca-ray-zay!

I took the video when I was up at The Heart Hospital visiting my mom late this afternoon. The kids were with me and I wanted to show my mom just how windy it really was. One of the nurses standing nearby as I was filming said this poor tree looked like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree. Poor thing. Enjoy the video! :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hovering

Early yesterday morning (4:00 to be exact), my eyes flew open, and I was instantly awake. I wasn't afraid. I didn't have to go to the bathroom. I was just simply awake. And just as soon as I recognized that I was awake a random verse from Genesis chapter 1, verse 2 popped into my head as clear as if a person was speaking the verse out loud to me. The verse reads, "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." As soon as this verse ran through my brain, I felt a deep sense of peace. I feel like in this difficult time with my mom, God is here with us, hovering over us, just like he did when he created the earth. This kind of peace is different than just feeling calm on the outside. Instead it is like an anchor dropped deep into the ocean. Even when there is a storm on the surface of the water, a deep anchor doesn't move. And even though the ride may be bumpy, a deep anchor does its job and holds the boat in place. In spite of this tumultous storm we've been going through lately, I still have an anchor of peace deep within me. No matter the outcome, I know God is in control. And I can trust Him with both my future and my mom's future as well.

With all that in mind, my mom had a much better day today. The doctor took the vent out yesterday afternoon and she has tolerated it just fine! Her O2 levels are good and she is still not struggling. Her team of physicians is still trying to find the right combination of antibiotics to continue to treat the staph infection as well as the infection in her lungs. Her incision continues to look good, and she was able to get up and walk a little bit today. We're hoping her catheter comes out tomorrow so she can be even more mobile. Today I sat with her and it was so nice to get to talk to her. Her voice was weak, but we could still chat. And she could smile! Oh what a welcome sight! My girls came and waved from the doorway (they still can't come in) and she blew them kisses. Hannah reached up and "grabbed" Grandma's kisses and put them in her heart. Man they miss her! My dad took them on a walk while I sat with my mom. I am not taking any time with her for granted.

So I'm headed off to bed tonight with a sense of peace deep in my core and a sense of gratefulness overflowing in my heart.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Aluminum Show

My friend Nikki and I went to see The Aluminum Show tonight at The Civic Center. My parents are season ticket holders, but have not been able to use their tickets much this season. So they have graciously offered them to me to use. If you are not familiar with The Aluminum Show show, click here. It is a strange, futuristic dance performance using all types of aluminum salvaged from industrial work sites. It felt a little like being at a rave with all the super loud techno music blaring and strobe lights flashing. The story line was that of a baby machine who gets separated from its parents and goes on this crazy journey to be reunited. Along the way are several dance numbers which include giant robots, a band of futuristic warrior princesses, and a man on stilts wearing an aluminum dress singing opera and waving his Edward Scissorhands around. At one point about a hundred large, shiny aluminum pillows were thrown into the audience to be tossed around like a giant space-age pillow fight. So bizarre, but so fun!

Nikki and I after the show
The cast was in the lobby afterwards for photos. Sorry for the blurry camera phone shots. They were moving pretty fast!
There is a person dancing around in there!

It felt so great to go out to dinner and do something fun. I am glad I got to take my mind off of everything for awhile and just enjoy a night out!

MOM UPDATE: We finally had a good day! First off, the vent came out at 12:30 this afternoon!!! Her O2 levels are good and she is not struggling to breathe. This is such a big deal! I am praying she will never need to be intubated again. Also, some results from a recent lung culture came back showing that she has an infection that is resistant to the current antibiotics she is taking. So her infectious disease doctor switched her antibiotics and we are hoping this also helps her breathe better. And her surgeon examined her incision and stated that although it is still early, it looks better than he expected just a little over a week out from surgery. All positive things and I am so grateful to hear them! Now we just need Mom to continue to breathe well, her incision to COMPLETELY heal, and for her so regain some strength. I think we see a little light at the end of the tunnel today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What You Get When....

....... you let your six year old take photos with your camera phone. You will have some real gems like:

A photo of yourself driving the kids home from school
A lovely photo of the back of your children's school
A photo of your 20 month old son thoughtfully holding a sucker
A photo of your cat, Ellie, snuggling with your daughter's pillow pet

And a few surprise photos too! I was flipping through the ones Leah took and found a photo of her big toe, the toilet, and then one that I couldn't identify. It was a close-up of something, but I just wasn't sure what. So I asked Leah, "What is this?" Her response, "Ellie's bottom." I looked again, and it sure was. I'll spare you from having that image burned into your memory! Oh these girls keep me on my toes!

MOM UPDATE: Saw my mom both this morning and this evening. Overall, I think she had a better day than yesterday, but still about the same. They switched the type of food she is receiving through her peg tube, and that (so far) has helped with the nausea. They drained more fluid off her left lung, and were hopeful about the vent coming out, but her CO2 levels are still borderline too high. She is going to be on c-pap tonight which means the vent is still in, but she is doing all the work of breathing. When I saw her tonight, she felt like she was struggling a little bit. The respiratory therapist taking care of her tonight is one of our favorites, and I know he will take good care of her. If she has to have some assist from the vent, he'll let her rest awhile. One other development is that her urine output went way down today. The doctor is not too concerned yet, and her blood work showed that her kidney function is still fine. The new food she is receiving is better for her kidneys just in case. I am hoping this will be a non-issue. Mom wrote tonight, "Baby steps!" As long as those baby steps are in the right direction, I will be okay with that.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mom Art

I am showing up in a lot of the girls' artwork lately. And frankly, I am quite honored to be the subject of their drawings. I hope it means that they think about me when they are at school and can't wait to see me and give me a hug. Or maybe they are just buttering me up for something? Either way, I love to find drawings like the ones below.

I found this one a few days ago when I was going through Hannah's backpack.
Hannah drew this picture one Saturday morning and then presented it to me. She was very proud of it. She said it is a picture of herself and me walking in a field together on a nice, sunny day. She was pleased that she remembered to color my eyes blue and her own eyes brown.
Leah created this one tonight and it made me giggle. She has written my age next to my face so we will always remember that this is what I looked like at 34. :)

I find myself wanting to keep every single picture they give me, so I am trying really hard to pick only a handful each year to put away in a folder. These three have definitely made the cut. And in the midst of a difficult season for me, these little drawings are like rays of sunshine.

MOM UPDATE: I saw my mom this evening, and she was a bit discouraged. Apparently she had another rough morning earlier today. She felt nauseated and threw up quite a bit. She threw up so hard it even came out of her mouth despite the vent that is still in. She probably aspirated a little bit, but thankfully her O2 levels still look good. Because of this trauma her doctor didn't want to take the vent out just yet. Tonight it will be on full assist to help her get some rest and we will try again tomorrow. Tonight Mom looked very tired, and the morphine she received just made her even more sleepy. I just sat next to her and rubbed her feet and talked to her. I seem to tear up just about every time I go up there lately. I want to see big changes. I want to see her really turn a corner, but instead it just seems like we are going no where. I am trying so, so hard to be optimistic, but my soul was just heavy as I walked out to the parking lot tonight. I had a decent cry about it on the way home from the hospital. I prayed and wrestled with God for a while, and I feel better. Tomorrow is always a new day, bright with possibility and hope.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Patio Dining

We have had a long stretch of marvelous weather. A little windy, but sunny and warm. Warm enough to bring out the sandals and dresses and short sleeved shirts. Tonight was such a glorious end to the day that we took our little family to Irma's Burger Shack to take advantage of some outdoor patio dining. We parked ourselves at a wooden picnic table and had a nice time together (Mike didn't have to film today). The girls colored their kids' menus and Lucas yelled, "Car! Car!" every time one drove by while I kept singing the lyrics to the songs on the radio. We had a great selection with favorites like "Sweet Child O'Mine" by Guns N' Roses and "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul. Ahhh...Jr. High memories.

Me and my boy
Love this pic. I told them to smile like I had just told a funny joke. Hannah went for the overkill while Leah just pulled her drink in front of her face and stared at me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fashion Show

The girls got to do something new this afternoon. After watching Project Runway with me a few times, they finally got to live out one of their dreams to stroll down a catwalk in a fashion show. Last week I found out that a local department store was hosting a free children's spring fashion show, so I signed the girls up. They were thrilled! Thursday night we went to pick out their outfits, and of course they both made a beeline to the Easter dress section. Leah picked out an ultra fancy ice blue dress with a lace overlay of cream colored flowers. Hannah went for a fun aqua spaghetti-strap dress with a shiny purse to match. Lucas came with us that night and while the girls tried on their dresses, he ran around hugging all the mannequins in the store.

Today we arrived an hour early to get dressed, do their hair, and apply a little make-up (just a hint of blush, eye-shadow and lip gloss). We got in line and waited for their turn to strut their stuff. They had been practicing their "walk" and different poses to strike at the end. I was so excited to see them have a moment to shine. Even if it was only in front of a handful of parents and grandparents crowded into the corner of a department store at the mall.
All ready to go!
Hannah practicing her smile
Thank you, Jacquelyn for the fun hot pink lip gloss!
Leah looking like a beautiful china doll
Here comes Hannah. She loved the way her dress "swished" as she walked.
Striking a pose. What a beauty.

Waiting while I snapped about a dozen photos
Leah couldn't stop smiling. She loved every minute of feeling "fancy".
Her whole face lights up when she smiles.
Love this girl's grin.

I loved watching them feel special today. And they are special. Unique. Beautiful on the inside and out. I am so blessed to be their mom.

Mom update: After the fashion show, we stopped by the hospital so the girls could show my mom their fancy dresses. We couldn't let the them go into the room (we still have to put on gowns/gloves even though the MRSA is under control). But they stood at the doorway and waved. Mom was in her recliner, vent still in, so she wrote a note and had Dad bring it over. "VERY PRETTY!" it read. My dad took the kids on a walk around the hospital so I could chat with my mom for a half hour. Mainly I rambled on and she nodded and listened and wrote a few notes. I hope I can keep her company and help the time go by a little faster. Tomorrow morning they are going to try to take the vent out again. Hopefully for the LAST time. She was mostly breathing on her own tonight, so she should be okay. Pray that she is able to breathe easily and keep her O2 levels up without any assistance from the ventilator.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Carnival

Tonight we attempted to do something "normal" as a family. Well, most of our family went. For the next several weekends, Mike is involved in filming an independent movie called Wolfhead. He's the assistant director and is pretty excited about being involved in the project. Since he couldn't be there, my dad came in his place. It was probably good for him to get out of the hospital and spend time with these three grandkids of his. Where did we go, you ask? Well, the girls' school had a spring carnival complete with popcorn, cotton candy and games such as a cake walk, putt putt, and a bean bag toss. The weather was warm and the winds finally calmed down, so we walked most of the way. (Please excuse the camera phone photos. One day I'll actually charge my other camera's battery.)

Lucas and Papa walking to school

There were all kinds of things to do and see at the school tonight. Including lots of artwork up on the walls! The kindergarten classes had each drawn something "The Wind Could Blow."

Hannah's art: "I did a skarf"
"A dres" Leah was quick to tell us, "It has pockets too!"
Getting a first hand look inside a fire truck
Cake Walk!! After four attempts, they finally won. Did they choose a cake? No, they opted for a bag of donuts.
Lucas stuffing his face with one of those donuts
What carnival is complete without some face painting?
Leah's butterfly
Hannah's rainbow

In addition to all of that, we went to the Book Fair in the library, I worked a shift at the bean bag toss, and they played with lots of their friends out on the playground until it was too dark to play anymore. We walked home and all three of them went straight to sleep. It was a perfectly wonderful night. I love that in the middle of life's storms, we can still manage to live life to the fullest.

Mom Update: Mom had a pretty uneventful day, which is good. No more drama necessary! She slept, we wrote notes back and forth, she did a little physical therapy, dad and I straightened up her room as she directed where to move things via her notebook. We are hoping the vent will come out over the weekend sometime, but we also don't want it to come out too early because it is too traumatizing for it to go in and out. In addition, we are praying that the incision continues to heal. It looked good this morning!