Monday, August 29, 2011

Kid Update!

Things are great here! But this blog is seriously lacking in trivial details of my children and our life as it is right now, so I’m going to do something about that. I haven’t written about Eli and Landon much over the last few months and they have grown and changed so much!

Landon is still my tender-hearted little man, but he can be so very stubborn at times. He can be the life of the party, but he also likes to just go off by himself and play too. He’ll dig in the dirt for hours all by himself.

Eli is still pretty mischievous and he’s quite the smart-alec at times, but he has turned into one of the most affectionate kids I’ve ever known. He comes up to me several times a day and says, “mom-mom (that’s what he calls me now), I love you so much.” If that doesn’t almost bring a mom to tears, I don’t know what would. While I’m sure that Eli is totally genuine in his love, he has learned how to use that line at just the right moment to avoid getting in trouble. He’s no dummy!

Eli and Landon have recently learned all of their letters. Dustin works with them every night before bed and they have picked up the alphabet SO quickly with him. They also can count to 10 and know all of their shapes and colors. I know these aren’t earth-shattering accomplishments, but I’m happy that they enjoy learning. We started back to story-time this morning at the library. It’s nice to get back to a routine and get out of the house for activities.
Both boys are great eaters, LOVE to read, adore Harper, can play by themselves just as well as they can play together, and are finally doing better with potty training. We took a couple huge steps backwards when Harper was born. They would come home and we’d get back on track, only to have to have to be away from home again. I could certainly write a book on what NOT to do. Oh well…not much about their life has been normal lately, so I can’t really blame them.

Harper continues to be the sweetest baby I’ve ever known. She smiles and laughs and “talks” all day long. She is doing great with her feedings and is taking even more than the doctor wants her to. She’s gaining weight and at her last checkup she weighed right at 10 pounds. That has been almost a month ago, so I’m sure she’s much more than that now. Trying not to think about the surgery looming in our future has been a failed mission for me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. There isn’t a time that I see her scars that I don’t wish we didn’t have to do it again. I think I’m anxious mostly because I have SO many questions that I didn’t have the composure to ask last time and I’m really ready to go back and get some details now. This has been the longest period of time that we’ve gone without seeing Dr. Robinson. He warned me that I would go into withdrawals and it’s true. My world doesn’t quite feel balanced without weekly trips to the cardiologist.

If Harper's head looks crooked, it's because it is (she's getting help from our friends at ECI to correct it with some therapy. They are also monitoring her development.) If one eye looks bigger than the other, it's because it is (She had some possible nerve damage during heart surgery).

So that's what these kids are up to. As for me...well, I have three children under three. I stay pretty busy (and crazy)! There are days that I feel really on top of things around here, but there are many more days that I feel totally out of control. The time is flying by and I know it won't be like this for long. I better enjoy the chaos while I have it!

Thanks for checking in on us. I hope your life is not nearly as crazy as mine...but just as blessed :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Too Much Fun and Too Many Pictures

Dustin now gets one Friday off every month (isn't that fabulous?), so his first long weekend, we took our first family trip to Dallas to see my family. We haven't all been there since Thanksgiving and it was great to all be together again! There are so many pictures, so I'll just keep the commentary to a minimum.

Friday night we went to watch the Frisco Rough Riders play baseball. This was Eli, Landon, and Harper's first big baseball game and they all did great!

Harper hung out with Grammy most of the time.

The boys had to eat a ballpark hot dog, of course!

 Nathan, I told you I would exploit you on my blog! Kristin and Nathan had way too much fun.
 Unfortunately, Madison did not.

 Harper slept most of the night. Don't ask me was 105 degrees out there. She's a sweetheart.

The boys got their first taste of cotton candy. They liked it :)

Kristin and Nathan were asked to be in the Human Dot Race. It's basically a three legged race. They tripped the team behind them and came in for the win. All's fair in love and the Human Dot Race I guess.

The boys swam all day Saturday while the girls all went shopping. I forgot how good shopping is for the soul. It has been way too long.

Saturday night, the whole family came over for a big dinner to celebrate the June/July birthdays. AJ and Dani were in town and the boys had a great time playing with them.

As if things couldn't get any better, Eva (who happens to be an honorary member of the family) came for the weekend.

Grandpa helped the boys out with their swing.

And they practiced it on Uncle Andrew.

Dustin made the boys a tent out of the pool table, so they slept in there.

We worshipped with the sweet congregation at Stonebrook church of Christ in Frisco. It was so good to be with them and introduce Harper to so many who have prayed for her.

Then we headed home to swim a little more before we got on the road. I just can't take Landon seriously in these goggles.

The boys are in no way scared of the water. They love to jump in the pool and spend most of their time under water. The way they jump in is pretty much amounts to a belly flop.
 Harper and Kristin were content to watch from the sidelines.

It was so nice to get away and go somewhere for the weekend. And it doesn't hurt that Mom and Mike have a pool and live five minutes from the outlet mall! Most of all, it was so good to see all of our family and catch up with everyone. We have kind of been consumed with our own little world these last few months and it felt so good just have a good time together.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Broken Hearts

I haven't updated you all on Harper lately...mostly because there wasn't much to say. Things were going well, we were loving our new, normal life, and Harper's appointments had shown no changes to her heart.

Until two Thursdays ago.

We saw Dr. Robinson on the 4th and while doing an echo cardiogram, he found some less than desirable things going on with Harper's heart.

We knew at the time of Harper's surgery, that considering how complicated things ended up being, the surgery went extremely well. But it didn't go perfectly. Harper still had a hole in her heart, the exact size unknown at the time.

At her appointment several weeks ago, the hole measured 2.2 mm and Dr. Robinson still mentioned the possibility of it closing up on its own.

Unfortunately, at her appointment on Thursday, we discovered that the hole now measures 3 mm and there is increased blood flow and pressure through it. The possibility of this hole fixing itself is....well it's gone.

Her heart is still broken and is mine.

What this means for Harper is that she will most likely need to have the exact same surgery again. I was so optimistic, so hopeful, so sure that we were past all of this. We knew this was a possibility, but I hadn't even entertained the thought of it actually happening and I'm having an extremely hard time coming to terms with this.

The first few days after finding out,  I felt frustrated, sad, angry, and scared. We could have lost Harper the first time and I'm terrified of facing that again. Most of all, I don't want Harper to have to do this again. It just doesn't seem fair.

I don't know any specifics. I couldn't even muster up the courage to ask any questions on Thursday. Dr. Robinson in his gentle, compassionate, but straight-forward way told me to go home and love my baby, enjoy her, and let him worry about her heart for now. And while that seems like a ridiculous request and I won't be able to follow those instructions completely, I intend to try.

I feel like I've been cheated out of so much time with Harper already. I can't let myself be consumed with worry or stress about this because it's just allowing the situation to control me and it's not fair. It's not fair to Eli and Landon, to Dustin, to Harper, or to myself.

I really hesitated to even tell anyone because I don't want this to define us like it has for so long. I want so badly for things to be okay...for Harper to be well, that sometimes I just have to pretend that it is (yes, I realize that this is called denial and I'm okay with that.)

There is a small chance that she won't have to have surgery, but I can't even let myself hope for that. The disappointment just hurts too badly and to protect myself, I just have to prepare to face this surgery again.

My poor, sweet Harper. She's the most precious little thing in the world. I don't understand why this is happening to her, but one day, she's going to be amazed at how strong and brave she was, even as a tiny baby.

We pray that the conditions for surgery are perfect, that when the time comes, they will be able to close this hole up once and for all, for peace and understanding as we face this situation again, for Harper's continued strength and ability to fight, and for God to be glorified as He has certainly accomplished great things on such a little body. May He continue to bless us and watch over Harper in the coming months.

We will see Dr. Robinson again mid-September and I already have a lengthy list of questions for him. I am anxious to get answers and clarification as well as see what changes there have been to her heart.

We have gotten through this once and we will get through it again, but not without the help and prayers of our friends and family. This past year has been a huge lesson in dependence (among other things), but with that dependence on others has come the assurance that I am never alone in my struggles and for that I am so very grateful.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Family Visit

Harper had still not met many of Dustin's family members, so we had a little cookout a few weeks ago and invited a few people over to meet this sweet girl. Here are some pictures from that night as well as a few random pictures of Eli, Landon, and Harper. I don't have a lot of time for blogging, so I'll try to at least get pictures up every now and then.

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