Friday, May 30, 2008

Alfalfa

Here is Ryan sporting his Alfalfa hair. He actually has enough hair for it to get messy and stay messy without some severe intervention. :)
Now that I really look at this picture...doesn't he look like such a big boy? When did that baby-look disappear and this new big boy look arrive? My little baby isn't a baby anymore.
He's a big boy!
Oh...and...he would definitely fit in just fine with all those "Little Rascals"!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pictures and More

Today has been a pretty good day. Actually it's been a monumental day. Ryan has not drank out of a bottle all day long. He has only used sippy cups today. This isn't especially exciting for him, but it sure is for me. I don't have to wash bottles any more. Hooray!

I found this ridiculous thing lounging comfortably on the beanbag this morning. Isn't he so ridiculous!
We did a little bit of everything today. We played inside for a while. In fact, we dumped the toy box out today. Sometimes it's fun just to empty the toy box and watch Ryan pick and choose different toys to play with.
We also went for a bike ride. We have a cart that hooks onto the bicycle for Ryan to ride in. He really enjoys it. I'm sure it won't be too long before he's yelling, "go faster!" As I was cleaning it and emptying the water (this Oklahoma weather!) Ryan came running. He even tried to climb in it. I guess he was ready to go. I'll have to remember to take a picture of our bicycle set-up sometime soon. We played outside some.
I even got to do some yard work this evening while Ryan played with his daddy. Now our backyard is mowed and somewhat manicured. Now if I can just convince my husband that all of the stacks of wood and other miscellaneous junk ought to have a better home than my backyard.... One thing I really enjoy is having nice yards. I enjoy mowing and trimming. I love the feeling of freshing tilled dirt on my bare feet. I love the coolness of walking barefoot through the plush, green grass. I enjoy watching things grow, watching the birds. I enjoy the sounds and smells outside. I just love God's great creation. What better canvas of his love could there be?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Trust Me

This day, Memorial Day, is a day that many spend on the lake, having backyard barbeques, or just laying around the house enjoying a vacation day. For others Memorial Day has become a day for remembering, reminiscing, mourning, rejoicing. This Memorial Day I remember my brother, a hero. He is currently serving in the military overseas. This Memorial Day I remember my precious baby girl, my princess. She left my arms on just 3 years ago. I miss her dearly.
The following poem ministered to me greatly some time ago, and today I thought it was a most appropriate day to share it. It is by Beth Moore and it is found in her book Whispers of Hope. (Genesis 22:1-19)
Trust Me With Your Isaac

For every Abraham who dares
to kiss the foreign field
where glory for a moment grasped
is for a lifetime tilled…

The voice of God
Speaks not but once
But ‘til the traveler hears
“Abraham! Abraham! Bring your
Isaac here!”

“I hear the tearing of your heart
torn between two loves,
the one your vision can behold
the Other hid above.”

“Do you trust me, Abraham
with your gravest fear?
Will you pry your fingers loose
and bring your Isaac here?”

“Have I not made you promises?
Hold them tight instead!
I am the Lover of your soul—
the Lifter of your head.”

“Believe me, O my Abraham
when blinded by the cost.
Arrange the wooded altar
And count your gains but loss.”

“Let the tears wash clean your blinded eyes
until unveiled you see—
the ram caught in the thicket there
to set your Isaac free.”

“Perhaps I’ll send him down the mount
to walk right by your side.
No longer in your iron grasp
But safer still in mine.”

“Or I may wrap him in the wind
and sweep him from your sight
to better things beyond your reach—
believe with all your might!”

“Look up, beloved Abraham.
Can you count the stars?
Multitudes will stand to reap
From one dear friend of God.”

“Pass the test, my faithful one;
bow to me as Lord.
Trust me with your Isaac—
see,
I am your great Reward.”

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Beautiful Lilly


This beauty bloomed today!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yeah...Yeah...We know...





We know that Ryan is already one. His birthday was actually in February, but since we were in the middle of flu and RSV season we had to postpone his birthday party. Interestingly enough we've decided to have his 1st birthday party when he should have been born...his due date (a year ago). We're excited about the party and we hope you will join us. We will be having hotdogs, potato salad, chips and more. Oh! and cake and ice cream of course! Please let me know if you can come. You can either call me, e-mail me, or leave a comment on this blog..................see comment area below \/

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Party Invitation

STOP what you're doing
Just WAIT 'till you know
We're having a party and
We hope you will GO!


It's been a whole year of learning and fun
It's hard to believe that RYAN is ONE!


The fun begins at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday June 7th at the Crescent City Park. Everyone is invited, but please RSVP so we will be sure to have enough food. My number is 969-3949.
Your presence in this celebration is the greatest present we could receive.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Animals


We went to the zoo this weekend. We had a GREAT time!

Friday, May 16, 2008

And The Word of the Day Is...

video

I know there is a bit of noise in the background during some of this. I apologize. I was making dinner and picking the house up a little, completely unaware of the camera. I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into what I am blessed to hear and see a good part of each day.

God has truly blessed me. I just love being a mom! Ryan is such an amazing little boy. He brings a smile to my face each day. I love every sound he makes, every step he takes, every smile he shares, and definitely every giggle, too.

Update:

Ryan is doing great. He is feeling much better. He has a little bit of a cough from time to time that I believe is related to this recent virus. I finally got a call from the doctor's office..."no strep". The nurse said she should have called me yesterday, but that she had a meeting. I was a little irritated, but why let something I can't change get me all upset. Anyway...he's doing much better. Today he has been playing and running around the house like a crazy man!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Horton Takes a Nap

This picture was taken yesterday when Ryan really wasn't feeling well at all. He and Horton curled up for a mid-morning nap.

Ryan seems to be doing much better this afternoon. He hasn't had a fever for a few hours now, and his most recent dose of Tylenol was at 9 this morning. He has been sleeping A LOT! I'm hoping this is just his way of recovering from this virus. He woke up at 6 this morning and promptly went back to sleep in my arms. I laid him down on his blankie and he slept until 9. He woke up for a bottle and then slept until 11. He woke up and ate a little bit...squash, watermelon, chicken, milk. He played for a few minutes and we took a short walk to see Daddy. He went back to sleep at about 1:30 and he's been sleeping since then. It's now almost 3.

Here is a picture of our new friend...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No News

Well...I haven't heard back from the doctor, so I'm assuming that no news means no strep. I'm quite sure the doctor would have called me so he could call in a prescription had strep shown up on the rapid strep test. Part of the test was sent for culturing, so it's possible that something may show up later. For now it's safe to assume that Ryan has another virus. Oh blah....

Blah. :(

Ryan is sick again. Blah. :(

He has a fever of 102. I took him to the doctor this morning. It's either strep throat or another virus. We're waiting on the strep test results.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You Don't Need To Check Your E-Mail!

If I've never mentioned it before I must say that my sweet little boy is a very ornery little boy, and I LOVE IT! Ryan is starting to learn that some things are his and some things are not. For a while he has known what drawer in the kitchen is his and what cabinet doors he can open.

It was actually pretty amazing. I set aside a drawer just for him and one day I showed it to him. He has always gone back to that drawer since. Of course now he is enjoying "pushing the limits", if you will. He has found other drawers that he can open, and he mostly enjoys the squeak they make when opened and closed in a quick, jerky fashion. He has also learned that the doors of the cabinet that is allowed can be hit hard against the refrigerator or the stove which makes another *lovely* sound.

He is stong enough that he could probably do some damage, so we've introduced a new word, "no". This isn't the only, nor even the first, time he's been introduced to the word. We try not to use it much, though. We don't want him to think his first name is "NoNo". In most situations we just remove him from the temptation and distract with something else. However, there are times when his cute little persistence warrants the use of the word no. He is beginning to understand it's meaning, and he is also beginning to challenge it's worth. Today was the first day in which I had to actually apply a little discipline. I'm really sold on the "Love and Logic" form of discipline and I intend to use it to the best of my ability and in the areas it works best for our family. (Grandparents beware: there is a book about grandparenting with love and logic. It could possibly show up on your doorstep someday!) Today he continued to bang the cabinet doors despite the "no", so off to his crib he went to "think about it". Yes...he screamed. No...he wasn't hurt. Yes...I was able to finish warming his bottle. No...he didn't stay there more than a minute or so, but I'm sure he thought it was next to eternity.

I must confess I just got off a bit from my original thought. So on to the picture. One of the objects in our house that does not belong to Ryan is my computer. He knows this, but he likes to make sure he still isn't allowed to check his e-mail from time to time. He casually walks up to the computer and begins to look around as his tiny little hand begins making its way toward the forbidden machine. He waits until he's been caught. That's when the game begins. I say, "Hey! You don't need to check your e-mail." A great big sheepish grin crosses his face and sometimes a little giggle bursts forth. His curious little hand begins to move in a haphazard furry closer towards the computer until he is snatched up into the air and smothered with kisses. It's our game!

Today we actually let him "check his e-mail" on a broken machine. He thought it was great!


A Side Note:
I put Ryan on the scale today. We have a digital scale that I ought to frequent more often, but I usually dislike it's opinion of what I weigh. Anyway...I put Ryan on the scale. He weighed 18 pounds 0 ounces. And...no...there is no way I'm sharing what it said about me!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Empty

"Hey Mom, I think the bird feeder is empty."
"Yep! It's empty."


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Today is a day I wondered if I would ever see. You may be wondering what exactly I’m talking about. Today, this May 11th, has so many meanings and memories. It’s Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, my wonderful 2 mothers-in-law, and all the other women who’ve been as close to a mother as anyone else. Happy Mother’s Day to those who are new mothers, to those who are expecting, to those who are still dreaming. Happy Mother’s Day to the moms who may not feel like a mother because they no longer get to hold their children any longer. Happy Mother’s Day to those who have loved and cared for another’s child so much that they will always be like Mom to that precious little one.

My very first mother’s day, as a mom, I was expecting our very first child. I was glowing with anticipation of the baby growing inside me. My next Mother’s Day I spent holding my precious baby girl who once was a vibrant little girl, but who had recently suffered a severe brain injury and was suffering with severe seizures. It was a difficult mother’s day. A mother’s heart breaks for her children when they suffer, and that day my heart was breaking. My next mother’s day I spent with empty arms. My precious baby girl had passed away just 3 short months ago. I cried and curled up in the arms of my Great Comforter that Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day the following year was difficult in another sort of way. It was still a day to remind me of the pain of empty arms. We had started trying to have another baby almost a year prior with no success. This Mother’s Day I wondered if I would ever hold a child of my own once again. The following Mother’s Day was simply amazing. I was holding my little boy at home!

God is so Good. I’ve been so blessed…more than I deserve. Even in times when I’ve hurt the worst I’ve been blessed. I feel honored that He has chosen me to be a Mother. Being a Mother is the most challenging and rewarding and honored job in the entire world! I love you MOM. You’re the greatest!!!

This day, May 11th, is incredibly special in one other way, and let me tell you the story….

On January 29, 2007 we went to the doctor to have some things checked out because I had become nervous about the health of my little Peanut. Unfortunately, to our surprise, the doctor found that my body was not holding our baby inside well at all, so he immediately admitted us to the hospital. That evening I had a emergency "rescue cerclage" procedure to help hold Peanut inside. We were absolutely blessed with the success of this procedure. The plan was to stay in the hospital from that point forward until our little Peanut was born. Our hopes were to remain for 10 weeks so our baby could reach 32 weeks gestation. Everything had been going well overall. We had some ups and downs physically, but emotionally we were doing quite well.
Late in the evening on February 10th I began to have some contractions and bleeding. The nurses gave me Brethine to stop the contractions and it worked. The contractions and bleeding came back the following day. I was given Brethine several times, and the contractions stopped for a while then started again. Finally early in the afternoon it was decided to move me to the labor and delivery floor and start Magnesium to put a stop to labor. Labor continued despite all efforts. At about 5:00 p.m. it was decided that our little baby was going to be born and a C-section was going to be the safest for him because an ultrasound revealed that he was breech. At 5:31 p.m. our little Peanut came into the world. He weighed 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 1/2 inches long. He was only 23 weeks 5 days gestation, a little less than 6 months in the safety of his mommy's womb.

Ryan Andrew was born way too early. Would he make it? Could he survive? I was scared, numb, confused. I had days I rejoiced at his life and cried out to God to please heal my baby and bring him home to me whole, but I also had days where I tried to mentally prepare for the worst. Some days I was riddled with fear and other days I experienced that unexplainable peace only God supplies.

Ryan had his fair share of struggles, but God blessed us immensely more than we could have ever imagined. Ryan’s lungs were his biggest concern. He was on the ventilator for 2 months and 1 day. He never had to be on CPAP and for that we are grateful. He continued to breathe fast, and to this day he breathes faster than most kids his age. 10 days after he was released from the ventilator he was offered his first bottle. He did very well! He was also moved from the Critical Care nursery to the Intermediate Care Nursery. From there it was just a flash of eating and growing, baths, hearing tests, minor procedures, ROP exams, brain scans, MRI, discharge teaching, and precious moments.

ON MAY 11th 2007, WE TOOK OUR LITTLE BOY HOME!

He was exactly 90 days old, 3 months from his birthday. He weighed 4 pounds 2 ounces. He came home on oxygen and an apnea monitor. We were scared and excited all at the same time. We were home!!!
Happy Mother’s Day! I just love this day....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chasing Ducks



Yesterday we spent half of the day in Lawton. Ryan's Aunt Lizzy graduated from the university, and we spent the day with her and then watched her receive her diploma that evening. It was a good day! Before the graduation we ate pizza at Pizza Hut after which we headed over to the park. We saw lots of baby prarie dogs this time. We tried to feed the ducks but the park was pretty busy, so we figured they must have been full from everyone else's bread. That didn't stop Ryan from chasing them though. Of course he's still so little and unsteady on his feet that he wasn't able to spook the birds, but it sure was cute to watch him chasing the birds with his squeals of delight. His other favorite was the water. That's where he constantly ran. I finally let him stick his hand in the water and splash around a little. He loves water. I think it's going to be so much fun this summer when we put up our pool. After our visit to the park we went to the graduation. It was an outdoor graduation, and it was one of the best graduations I've been to. After all the graduates received their diplomas and the Alma Mater was performed there was a fireworks show. This was the first time for Ryan to see fireworks. He was mesmerized!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Singing In The Rain

It's flooding around here. Oh geez. In case you don't know I'm a very, very laid back person. Not much gets my blood boiling unless it involves my kids. I don't want the house to flood. I really like my home. However, there isn't anything I can do about the rising water, so what better thing to do than to enjoy it a little! That's what Ryan and I decided to do....

This is Ryan and I wading in our front yard (if you want to call it that). It looks more like a pond. You should see our street. It looks like a river!

No worries...right?!

Start talking about a tornado, and that's a different story. :)

Answer

Well...someone guessed it right! Ryan's firsts from yesterday's pictures: his first major boo-boo on his head and the first time he fell asleep while eating. Ryan was walking around the other day and he fell hard against a metal door jam. He was walking around with someone else (name withheld to protect the broken-hearted) trying to get to me. I was in another room visiting with someone. It was really bad. I almost decided it was worthy of visiting the ER. It immediately became a HUGE goose-egg knot on his head that turned black, purple, and red. I was a little scared. I watched him carefully for the rest of the evening, and he never acted any different than normal. He sure is a tough little guy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Firsts



These two pictures show a couple of firsts that happened yesterday. Can you guess what the 2 different firsts are?

Monday, May 5, 2008

For The Birds...

...and the cats and the zebra and the donkey and the horses and the dogs. We had a great day yesterday. Our family went to see Ryan's Mimi, Grampie and the rest of the family.


He played with Grampie's kitty...
and petted Grampie's pigeon.
He even petted the baby pigeon...
and Grampie's pretty white pigeon.
We played with a zebra.
We visited the Express Ranch and visited the big Clydesdale Horses.
Ryan liked the miniature ponies.
This Clydesdale was just his size!
After a long and fun day we went back to the house...
"Mimi, pleeease let me in!"

Saturday, May 3, 2008

March for Babies, Part 3: More Pictures

Make sure you look at the previous 2 posts to read about our March for Babies day and see some more pictures. It was awesome!
Ryan and The Hat....





March for Babies, Part 2: Pictures







March for Babies!

Today was the day! It was fantastic! If you missed it...you really missed something great. Today was the March for Babies Walk. It started out cold this morning. I tell you what...this Oklahoma weather. You got love it! 90 one day 60 the next. How crazy is that? So the morning started out quite chilly, but it was good for one thing...motivation. Motivation to get moving!

We arrived at the OKC Myriad gardens at about 8:30 this morning and registered. We ate a couple of donuts, reconnected with great friends, and waited for the words "lets go". Around 9 we were formally welcomed to the March for Babies, met the Oklahoma Ambassador family, and commenced with a light warming-up session. Hey, it was cold...why not warm up!

There were 2 options for walkers. One was the long walk, and the other was the short one. Part of our team decided to brave the long walk...5 miles. They later confessed to taking a shortcut. Part of our team took the short walk. Now for those of you that chickened out on us because you thought you couldn't walk that far here is some information for you so you can't use the same excuse next year. The short walk was merely around the city block on which the Myriad Gardens sits. It's beautiful all the way around.

We walked on the sidewalk at very leisurely pace. It was great to stroll around the block visiting with other families of miracle preemies. I met a lady, Jennifer, and her team who have a little girl named Mackenzie who was born 10 weeks early. Mackenzie is now 3 and very cute. It was great to meet the family and visit while we walked. Before we knew it we were being directed back into the street so we could cross the "finish line" and receive our prize...a sticker. I was left wanting to walk a little more! It was short. So next year I expect our team to be HUGE!! No excuses. If you think you can't walk the short walk just bring yourself a wheelchair. Maybe somebody will push you.

After the walk we spent the rest of the morning lounging on the grass in the warm sun, visiting with friends, watching the kids play, eating free food, and dreaming about next year. Next year we are hoping to design t-shirts for our team, have fundraisers, and make it BIG! It was such a fun day, and to spend a day with hundreds of people so closely affected by prematurity was awesome. Until you've walked the road of prematurity you never fully understand how amazing (and challenging, and heartbreaking) it can be. Please consider joining us next year.

Pictures coming later.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Late Update

I meant to update earlier. For those of you waiting on it, I apologize for the delay.

I took Ryan to the doctor this morning. The doctor said he is actually doing fine...he's still well hydrated, and seems to be on the mend. Ryan hasn't been eating much of anything all week...2-4 ounces of Pediasure (won't drink milk) every 4 hours, no solids. Dr. Schrader explained that the sores in his mouth are painful and that when those are gone he will probably start eating again without problem. He gave us a prescription for "Magic Mouthwash". It's a mixture of lidocaine (sp?), benadryl, mylanta, and a few other things. It helps to numb, cool, and soothe his mouth. So far I like it. This afternoon he has been running around like a crazy little monkey...I love it. I haven't seen him play most of the week. The doctor said he isn't contagious anymore with the exception of his poop, so I told the doctor that I wouldn't let anyone play with his poop this weekend. I'm still planning on bringing him to the Walk tomorrow unless he is still blowing-and-going in the morning.

Ohhhhh....

Yesterday I mentioned on another blog that Ryan was doing much better. I guess I spoke too soon. His diarrhea has returned with a vengeance. He has already been in the bath twice this morning...it would have taken a bucket of wipes to clean that much, so to the bath he went. Poor little guy. He doesn't have a fever. He is very lethargic. He has almost completely quit eating. He has only been taking about 2-3 ounces 4 times a day. He will only eat a couple of bites of whatever I offer for a meal. Sometimes he won't eat anything. The main thing I'm most concerned with right now is dehydration. I may call the doctor....

Thursday, May 1, 2008