Ava Update:
It's been 3 days since we've had to give her the aweful saline-up-the-nose trick and she's doing great! She slept 5 solid hours last night, along with 3 hours prior to eating. that gave me nearly 7 hours of sleep :) I'm thankful.

Other things I'm thankful for:

my loyal husband and my mostly-healthy daughter
sam's job, my job, my 2nd job, and my small group
knowing I will have lunch, dinner, and snacks in between to eat without fret
knowing I have a vehicle to drive to safely get me & Ava to and from work
knowing that I have clean water to drink, bathe my daughter in, and shower myself in
money to pay our bills
a warm house to go home to
and most of all, Jesus, to give us hope in life and forever after.

and, what's a post without a picture of Ava...and her ability to sleep like an angel in just about any position she falls asleep in...


Valentine's Day

this was our Valentine's dinner that my sweet husband planned and made. it consisted of steaks (mine were filet because they're my favorite), rice, and homemade biscuits - they're just like Red Lobster's cheesy biscuits and are SO good! and you can't tell in the picture, but it's by candel light :) what a perfect valentine's dinner!
and then of course Ava had to get her daddy something for the special day...so it's the adorable outfit she's sporting...it says "daddy's little princess". and she is just that.

I love my family.



so as to not leave you with such an oh-so-sad picture of my baby girl, she's feeling a bit better this morning than she was yesterday:
and she got a bath last night so it helped out her hair issue that she had going on in the last picture at the hospital...


here is the really sad photo that just breaks my heart. 10 weeks old, she shouldn't have to feel so crappy quite yet in life.

Ava has been sick for a few days with a bad cold - runny nose, cough, etc. Plenty of eating and diapers though so we'd just been watching her. I took her to the dr Wednesday and they listened to her lungs and thought she just had a cold. Dr said we can give her tylenol (for infants) but that's about it because she's too young {10 1/2 weeks} to have any other kind of medication. So we'd been trying all the other tricks of the trade that we'd heard...vicks baby vapor rub on her feet; humidifier with cool mist in the room; saline solution in the nose & sucking it out with a bulb syringe.

Then yesterday she threw up after eating {and even struggled with that because she kept choking because she couldn't breath real well thru her nose to constantly eat with her mouth}. So I called the Dr office AGAIN and asked what to do. {Side Note: I work with a friend who has 3 kids - one of which has had retractions before -- where the ribs go in and belly comes out a lot when breathing -- having to work extra hard to catch breaths} I told the dr all her symptoms including the retractions and the nurse on the line says "Call 911". I said "What?". She said "Call 911. In case your baby gets too tired of breathing, you want them there with the oxygen". So we did that, Fire truck came, they gave her oxygen which definitely helped her, even though she still had been breathing okay, just not great. Fireman said by the way she was still able to put forth a pretty good cry, he expected that we'd be fine driving her to the dr or to the hospital, whichever we chose. So we called the Dr again and they said just go straight to Children's Mercy - they can do more for her there than the dr office could, especially since I had just seen them the day before.

So Megan drove, I rode in the back with my little angel and we got her to the ER. she was a little trooper. They couldn't give her breathing treatments {again, because she is too young for the medicine} so they stuck a long tube down her nose and suctioned her out--which, I've now learned is WAY worse to sit thru than her just getting shots. She cried so hard that I cried. I can't help it. I'm my mother's daughter and am a leaky faucet. I felt so bad for her. BUT -- when it was all done she snuggled right in my arms and drifted fast asleep and could breathe so easily. Sam was able to leave work and be with us too until we waited on the test results to come back to find out if she has RSV or not. and :( she does. RSV is a lot like a bad cold in adults. But in children under 2, it takes a much worse toll on their little bodies. You can read about it at the WebMD link. Pretty much the Dr said "it's bad. and she'll have it all winter."

We go back to the Dr today for her to get looked at again -- and possibly suctioned out again. The only way that will be easier to sit thru this time is because I'll know how much easier it will be for her to breathe.

I was nervous going to sleep last night, but the Dr said that Ava should sleep at an angle. So -- what better sleeping position than me just holding my baby sitting up :) so we did just that. We snuggled on the couch with pillows propping me up and her in my arms in a sitting-up position. This way I could feel her breathing and could feel when she'd cough or spit up and would wake-up instantly (hopefully!). We had no problems last night and she slept like the angel that she is. I love her.

dr appt (last Friday 2.6)

Last Friday Ava had her first shots at 2 months...

but she was tough and we got the kids tylenol going right away {thanks to some much appreciated advice from experienced moms!}

Ava weighed in at 11lb 6oz and they said she was 24 inches. how she's only grown 1/2 inch from when she was born, I don't know. {maybe someone mismeasured one of the times?} But I do know she's in the 95% for her height and I think they said 65% for her weight. yay for Ava :)



and THIS is why we love summer {especially summer in february} -- because we can dress our daughter in these ridiculously cute tank top / skirt outfits!!


I realize that these pictures I keep posting of my daughter aren't very active photos. but hang in there with us, she's growing and growing and I just know one of these days I'll be looking back thru these and won't believe my eyes when she's crawling and walking and talking and reading.
Glenn Beck wrote this and I think it speaks volumes that we just need to take in every thing all the time and do the best we can so we don't miss a thing as we love on our kiddos.

Sometimes we lose perspective. Sometimes we can be looking at the wrong things, just like I think grandma was looking at yesterday. Gee. You know, I've had -- the last 12 months as a dad has been difficult for me, the last really 18 months, been really difficult as a dad. And someday I... someday. Oh, yeah, kids, I'm writing a book. Someday I'll share some of the stuff with you that I've learned, but I tell you it's -- the biggest, the hardest part about being a dad I think, and maybe I'm the only one, the hardest thing about being a dad is every time I walk away from my kids -- because I have other things to do. I mean, you know, I'm still in the house or whatever, but I can be down flat on my belly playing with the trains, I can be with my youngest daughter playing with her dollhouse and, "Oh, look, the baby is... oh, look, she's now in the kitchen." (Laughing). I can play this for hours. We can all be sitting around playing Candyland or Skip-Bo or whatever it is we're playing or I could just be sitting last night like I was in between my eldest daughter and my wife watching The Office. But at some point whether it's just time to go to bed because it's 11:00 and I've got to get up early, or I have to go to work or I just have to go into the other room and finish something that I'm working on there, every time I get up, I think to myself, "What is more important? Where are you going?"

Sometimes we're there, however, and we still miss what we're supposed to see. You don't necessarily have to be away from whatever it is to miss it. Sometimes we're there in the room and we don't say, "I love you." We don't say the words that need to be said because we just don't even think about it until it's time to think about it. But even though I've personally been struggling with being a dad, even though probably every other time I would have walked away and as I closed the door and said to my son like I did last night as he was sitting there in the warm glow of his fire truck nightlight and I say, "See you tomorrow, Raphe. How much do I love you?" And he whispers from his bed, "From here to the sun and back again." I usually close the door and think to myself, "Where are you going? Why didn't you spend two more minutes." But this week, it was on Tuesday, my wife said, "I went into Raphe's room and woke him up, got him dressed. He was putting on pants and they were just way too short. He's in another growth sport." She said, "I wanted to write you just to tell you that I said we have to get rid of these pants, Raphe, you're growing out of them. And he said, yep, I'm grown up; I'm going to be big. And when I'm big, I'm going to be a really good dad just like my daddy." While I missed that moment myself, had my lovely wife share it with me, truth is I've been in the room the whole time that he's been thinking that. Sometimes we don't see what we're supposed to see because we're busy just thinking other things, even though we're laying down, playing with the trains, reading a story or kneeling by his bedside as he tells you about, "In the big city the firemen have boats."
though Ava hasn't TECHNICALLY inherited these cool shades from her cousin yet...she did accidentally leave them at our house after the Superbowl party. so we had some fun and took pictures {well, I had fun anyway...}


the rave of 25 random things...

I saw that Katie posted her list of 25 things on her blog the other day and thought to myself, how creative--what a great idea! so here's my list of 25 random things that you might not know about me :) I think each small group should be assigned this task. and though some of the items are of little importance, it just sheds some light into each person's real self and I really like reading them. so -- small group, I think we should do this.

1. We hosted a superbowl party & I don't care a cent about football, but I love my friends. And food.
2. I wouldn't trade my life for anybody elses' on the planet -- for reasons:
a) my husband
b) my daughter
c) the rest of my family, close & distand and including my dog and cat
d) Lakeland
3. I love hot bubble baths with lots and lots of obnoxious bubbles...to the extent that it's bad for my tub motor...
4. I wish we were on ARMY time ALL the time.
5. I feel a little guilty that while watching the Biggest Loser I am compelled to eat a bowl of Edy's Loaded Butterfinger ice cream WITH magic hardshell. And I give in. ( I said I only feel a little guilty.)
6. I've learned that Dave Ramsey actually does know what he's talking about.
7. I think that it's possible to never forget the pain of labor & delivery, no matter what people say.
8. If I could play a professional sport, I would be a swimmer. Actually, while we're playing make believe, I'd be the female version of Michael Phelps. Why settle, right? (Except I wouldn't have pictures taken of me and released to the news like he did this past week)
9. After being a christian all my life, I'm now learning that I don't know nearly as much as I thought I did -- that God really isn't in this little box that I always unintentionally put him in.
10. I think by the time we're done painting all the rooms in our house we may end up with atleast 3 rooms painted Home Depot college team colors: Texas orange, Oklahoma red, and Mizzou black and gold (different rooms, obviously).
11. I love being in bed by 9:30pm.
12. I love the smell of our coffee coming on at 6am.
13. I am constantly trying to break the habit instilled in me by my mom and my grandpa of saving everything and being a pack-rat. I'm a work in progress.
14. I learned from my sister-in-law that blogging really is a great thing. Now I have memories saved from during my pregnancy that my terrible memory never would have remembered otherwise. Thank you Katie!!
15. I think that all of us people in general pretty much suck due to our imperfections of being human, so we all just need to cut each other a whole lot more slack and just say 'it is what it is' and move on with life.
16. I knew I wanted to name our baby girl Ava before I ever knew we were pregnant.
17. I don't like scarey movies at all. AT ALL.
18. I love listening to music pretty much all the time. Especially the score to Twilight. It is so peaceful.
19. I could watch Fox News 24/7. Wait -- almost. Minus 30 minutes for Wheel of Fortune and 30 minutes for Jeopardy.
20. I realize now that I took for granted all those years playing the piano and how relaxing it was. I miss it.
21. My favorite job was probably being a coffee barista in college town columbia at Lakota Coffee.
22. I hope my daughter gets her father's running capabilities and NOT mine. It's not pretty.
23. I wish I could pull off Posh Spice/Victoria Beckham's hair cut. I learned about 5 years ago that short hair is not my calling in life however and never again want to be mistaken as a boy.
24. I loathe driving over bridges.
25. I am so thankful that my husband agreed to us taking pictures together while I was pregnant with our daughter. And though I was big, VERY big, I love those pictures.


superbowl party

have you ever seen a better pouty face than this? I think not...