Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday to my baby!

This morning at 1:46 am my sweet, first born son turned 6. He was born 1 month early and spent 15 days in the NICU and 4 months on a heart monitor at home. He had a rocky start, but I couldn't be any more proud of him now if I tried.

This was the 1st time we saw him, and he was 4 hours old. He was struggling to breathe so much under the vent hood that his chest was caving in. His IVs were also failing so within 12 hours of being born he was transferred to a higher level NICU and put on a CPAP and his IV was moved to his umbilical cord. This is the only picture of him with hair, because by the next time we saw him at 10am they had shaved his head to move his IV there. All 5 pounds 8 ounces of pure sweetness!

6 Wonderful things about Brandt:

1: He has such a sweet caring side, and has a huge desire to learn about our Lord, Jesus Christ. This summer he was in my room and another teacher stopped by. She asked him what his favorite thing about BCS was, and he told her learning about Jesus. Affirmation that we are making the right choice for our family by sending our kids there and the huge sacrifice it is.

2: He is such a great sharer, and has been since he was a little kid. He is always making sure that his brothers have the same thing he does, and will ask for 3 of whatever so he can share (even last summer when he was in the hospital for his concussion he was asking for stickers for his brothers).

3: He has such a strong desire to learn. He picks up things very quickly, and just amazes me at what all he remembers. In fact his music teacher is teaching the whole grammar school the school fight song. She told me that out of all the students (Pre-K through 6th grade) he was the 1st person to know it. He has been reading for almost a year already, and just started Kindergarten 2 weeks ago. He wants to know all the ins and outs and how things work, but he processes it all and just stores it. All of his teachers are floored by him, and one always tells him he is "smarter than a 5th grader". He has never seen the show so he thinks she means it literally. lol

4: He has such a tender heart. He wants to do good and please you. He does not want to disappoint you, and works really hard to make right choices. He does not always make the right choice, but he is very quick to apologize if he messes up.

5: He loves his brothers. Each and everyone of them. They are all so close with each other. He asks constantly to hold the baby and is so gentle and sweet with him. He will get the pacifier or come get me if he can't get him to stop crying. He'll bring me a diaper without me asking if he thinks it will help. He knows how to encourage them and does so on his own accord. Most of the time he builds them up, and it is amazing when you stop to think he is just now 6. When Brayden's teacher has a hard time understanding him, she'll get Brandt to help. Brandt does so in a manner that doesn't embarrass Brayden at all, and is such a big help to both of them.

6: He has such a funny sense of humor. Even as a baby he would laugh at the punch line of jokes. He is such a ham and loves telling jokes. He loves making his friends and family laugh. He can have the baby rolling on the floor laughing with his silly faces and moves.


We celebrated his birthday yesterday. Brandt wanted to have a swim party again this year, but he decided he wanted it at a different swimming pool in town that has a few neat slides, and things to climb on.
They have a really large slide, and he has not been big enough to ride it before. However, he is now tall enough to ride, and he rode it over and over and over again. This was his 1st time down it.
Brandt, his daddy, and my nephew Hunter
Bryson riding on Hunter's shoulders

Brayden is a water baby! This is the 1st summer that he has really enjoyed it, but he would spend all day everyday in the water if he could. He loves flipping under water and seeing how long he can hold his breathe.
They also have neat slide that isn't as huge and anyone can ride it. Bryson rode it over and over again as well. It goes into the big pool and is pretty steep with a life guard at the bottom and he felt so big riding it.
This is my grandmother holding Brennan. Poor baby was so hot, but he slept really well on her shoulder.
Daddy took him in the water to cool off. It was his 1st time in the water and he liked it. He soon relaxed and started sucking his thumb, and was almost asleep before his brother splashed him. He did not enjoy that though. lol
Brandt wanted a Star Wars party, and I thought his cookie cake turned out really cute. We let Brandt decide what he wanted on the cake, and he decided "May the force be with you" was perfect. lol

We are very proud of you, and love you very much!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Doctor appointments and shots x2

Even with 4 kids today was the first time we have ever had 2 doctor appointments fall at the same time. Brandt had his 6 year old appointment and Brennan had his 4 month appointment. Thankfully, it was at the end of the day and Dustin was able to get off a little early and meet us there. At Brandt's 4 year appointment he was told he wouldn't need shots again until he was a teenager. When we went to his 5 year old appointment he was so scared of shots I assured him wouldn't have to have any. However, when we got there they said they were starting to give a 2nd chicken pox shot, but since I had promised no shots it could wait until he was 6. Brandt has a very sharp memory and for the last 2 months has been so concerned about his 1 shot he has to get. (For the record, the last time they did a finger poke to get blood we had to hold him down screaming, and he didn't even know they had done it and was still carrying on...lol) He just gets so worried about it and will just stress over it. So I was concerned about today, but we talked to him about being brave, that he didn't want to scare any of the little kids at the doctor's office, and bribed him with going to Maggie Moo's if he did good. He told me he was going to be brave, and boy was he ever. He climbed on the table and asked the nurse (along with every other adult that worked at UPA) if he could please get his shot in his arm instead of his leg. She said yes, and he was excited. lol He grabbed Dustin's hand and turned his head and looked the other way and she was done before he even realized she started. Not a tear, not a wimper, nothing. What a big boy! We were so proud of him. He was 43 inches tall (15th% up from the 10th% at 5 years) and 41.3 pounds (25th%), so staying on his growth chart pretty well, and even making up a little ground on his height.

Brennan had to get 5 shots and 1 oral. I don't understand why they do so much on such little guys. Poor thing! He was fast a sleep when she came in to give him his shots. She said she can't wake babies up that way so she picked him up and woke him up. The boys didn't want to see Brennan get shots so Dustin took them all out to get their sticker and sucker. The oral vaccine is evidently real sweet and he slurped it down. He, however, was much less impressed with the 5 shots. I have been giving him tylenol every 4 hours, and he has been doing great...smiling and cooing like normal. He was 25 inches (up from 23 inches at 2 months) and 14 pounds (up from 11.6 at 2 months). That puts him at just over the 50th% for both, up from the 25th% at 2 months. Brennan has to go back in another 2 months for another huge round of shots, but then it should start tapering off she said.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update on my Granny

Thank you all so much for your prayers. I still have not gone to Arkansas, as I am waiting on some of her strength to return before I go. She has been really struggling since May, but since leaving the hospital they finally are getting her on medicine that is helping. As a result, she is improving daily. Her weight is now up from 87 pounds to 100, not too shabby. They have her on an appetite increaser, and they will take her off of that when she hits 125 (the way she is going that could be in another few weeks). She still is mostly in bed all the time, with a quick trip to the kitchen for a meal, and then back to bed. She has refused hospice for the time being, and her doctor ok'd that. He said when it becomes too much, they can start it then. They are able to control the pain much better, and she is regaining a quality of life that has been missing all summer, and even before. The truth is that it is still pancreatic cancer, it is still terminal, but I praise God that it appears it won't be immediate and that she is finally in some relief. Please keep the prayers coming.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Brennan

Brennan just turned 4 months old.  He is such a good baby, we are so lucky.  He sleeps through the night almost every night, and has since he was 2 weeks old.  He pacifies himself very well, and a lot of times you have to watch the clock to know he is hungry.  He sleeps in his own bed with no problems, and is just an overall happy baby.  He goes to the babysitter's house 5 days a week and switches easily between bottles and nursing and between formula and breast milk.  This video is very typical of him full of laughs and smiles, but teething like crazy and trying to get his hands and anything he can in his mouth.  

Here is a video of Brennan from last week.

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Funny Bryson

Bryson will be 3 in a few months, and he is getting such a fun personality. He is a clown for sure, and when he sees a camera out he really hams it up. He talks extremely well, and comes up with some of the funniest sayings.

Bryson: "Mommy, you are making me cold. You are making me grumpy"!

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Bryson singing the Veggie Tales "Where is my Hairbrush" song
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Bryson loves Transformers! He is saying "Bumblebee says Robots in the skies...roll-out"

He is then telling his Daddy to tickle Mommy

Then he is fussing at his brothers for talking to me while "Mommy is taking pictures of ME"!

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Brennan's 1st laugh

This video is back from when Brennan was 7 weeks old and just starting to smile and laugh.


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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Crazy boys!

We went to a birthday party today at the Bounce, a local place with all kinds of inflatables. The boys started jumping down the slide instead of sliding. They were getting some height on them and a few times never touched the slide until they reached the bottom. I can definitely tell I have relaxed some since I have had boys, because a few years ago this would have given me a heart attack. lol

At least Bry is still cautious, and slid down this way EVERY time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First day of Kindergarten (and Pre-Kindergarten)

Today we went back to school. Where did the summer go? The boys were both very ready and very excited to go. How in the world do I have a child old enough for Kindergarten? Wasn't he just the little baby in the NICU? I am amazed at how far he has come, and what a special boy he is. Brayden thinks he is just as big as Brandt. He did wonderfully, and surpassed my expectations for him. I think he is going to do well, and his teacher is doing really well with understanding him. We are so proud of both of them.
Brayden picked out his clothes last night, and Brandt decided he wanted to match Brayden. They looked so cute today.
While we were taking Brayden to his class, Brandt just walked himself on into his class. lol His teacher is a family friend, and we are so excited he got her this year. She had zoo books out on their desk, and after Brandt saw that he didn't want to be bothered with having his picture taken. lol
I asked Brandt what his favorite part of today was, and he said it was the centers where he got to play with Legos.
What a sweet boy!
At this point, Brayden just wanted to go play with puzzles and had no interest in taking pictures. lol
He was so excited and so proud. Can you believe how big he is?
School can wear a kid out. lol When I asked Brayden what his favorite part of today was he told me it was playing outside for recess. Their classes eat lunch and play on the playground at the same times. When I was leaving for lunch I saw Brayden outside so I walked over to tell him hi, and I saw Brandt was there playing with his brother. They were so excited to get to play together. Although, they were both so HOT and sweaty.
Last year my very 1st class was Brandt's class. This year I had Brayden's class 1st and then immediately following had Brandt's. Total coincidence, but what a great way to start off the year.

Monday, August 11, 2008

1st day of daycare

I have never left a baby in daycare before. Before last year I have been a stay at home mom since we moved to BCS when Brandt was 3 1/2 months old, and before that I only worked 8-12. Now, I have worked at church in the nursery, Mother's Day Out, and Preschool programs and I was in a different room than my kids, but they were still there with me. Last year I ventured back into the working world, but my youngest was 2 when I started. This year my baby is only 3 1/2 months old. I started back to in-service last week, but my mom came to town and stayed with us for the week, so she had him. I wasn't worried about him, plus I live 3 minutes away so I went home at lunch, etc. Today I had to take him to daycare for the 1st time. We are so lucky and found an awesome christian mom who is going to watch our youngest 2 and her son in her house. I love her, and I am so happy God worked all of that out. I 100% trust her, and know she will take very good care of my baby. She lives right by Dustin's work so he will take the boys most mornings, and bring them home in the evenings. She lives far enough away that I won't be able to go over lunch, so I won't see him from when they leave at 7 until they get home around 5. Fridays are my short days, so I will get them on Fridays and will get to pick them up around 2. I did a pretty good job when I dropped him off, I just wish he wouldn't have started crying (of course he was just hungry and she was making him a bottle so I know he was fine). I am doing pretty good so far, although it is only 8:45. haha I am just so thankful to God for giving me the summer with my sweet babies, and allowing the older 2 to go to school with me, and providing a God loving, safe house for my younger 2.

UPDATE: I am just now starting to get antsy to go get him and it is almost 3 pm. I think I did very well for my 1st day. lol Thankfully, I am done in just over 30 minutes and will be on my way to get him.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Brenham Fun


A few weeks ago we decided to have one last family fun weekend of the summer. We started out by going to the Blue Bell factory tour in Brenham. The kids enjoyed it, but their highlight was the free ice cream at the end for sure. After that, we headed over to the Blue Bell pool. The baby slept through the entire swim time, which was great. They have huge umbrellas with lots of shade, so that kept him from getting too hot. The pool is neat, because they have a slide shaped like a banana split, and they have popsicles to walk across. Afterwards we drove back to BCS and took the kids to see Wall-E. We were able to use the free tickets we won at church and one I won online, so it turned out really cheap. It was a cute movie, and the boys all really liked it (even Brennan watched most of it). The kids have been walking around since then saying "Eee-va" and "Wallllll-eeeee" (you know what I mean if you have seen it).

Fun summer pictures





Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friends in low places

We went to the Coach G Charity Bash tonight at the A&M soccer field. While we were there we saw Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks. Garth's oldest daughter is coming to A&M. They were signing autographs and taking pictures. I was really surprised how personable they were, but especially Garth. He acted like he genuinely cared for each person.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Please pray for my Granny


My Granny lives in Arkansas. She is my dad's mom. She has had her share of health problems, thyroid cancer before I was born, and then since Brandt was born breast cancer and lung cancer. She has always been pretty frail, and seemed so much older than her real age. She was 79 in May. She normally weighs around 125 and to me seems so thin. For the past several months, she has been in severe pain with severe nasuea. When my parents saw her in May she was down to 94 pounds. They couldn't figure out what the problem was and put her through tons of tests, still nothing. This past week she was finally admitted to the hospital, and only weighed 87 pounds (she is 5'6"). They asked her on a pain scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most excruciating pain, where was she. She said 13. That completely breaks my heart. They finally discovered the cause today, she has pancreatic cancer, hiding behind her liver. They sent her home from the hospital, and have set her up on hospice. I have a million thoughts running through my head: do I go see her, do I take the kids, do I stay here? What do I do? I am suppose to start school again tomorrow and the boys go next Wednesday. Do I get a sub, what? Very long time family friends wanted to go see her this month, and she asked them not to come. She said she just wasn't up to it. So selfishly I want to go, but I want to do the best thing for her. Plus I don't know how well I'll handle seeing my Granny weighing only 87 pounds. Please pray for Granny, that she would not be in anymore pain. Please pray for my dad and his sister, Helen, whom my Granny lives with. They lost their dad in the late 80's, and Helen has also lost her husband to cancer in 2002. When granny is gone, it will be the 1st time since March 2002 that Aunt Helen hasn't had someone needing her to take care of them. Please just pray for our entire family, as we say goodbye to our Granny.