Par & Jack Pics...(updated 11/26/11))

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fall 2011

 Life is very busy for us! Not so busy that it should take 5 months to properly update the blog—but honestly, priorities shift/change and well—the blog hasn’t been a priority. Blogging was a favorite hobby of mine for several years—but then life got super complicated when I decided to take on a super exciting civic chair position from June 2010 to June 2011. Things suffered. Life suffered. My boys (all three!) suffered. I had a great time doing it—I won’t lie. But my boys (husband included) have been use to me being there for them 100% of the time—on top of that, I always put them first. But with this opportunity, I had to sometimes “delay” putting them first. I had a small taste of what it may be/feel like to work outside the home. Lots of shuffling kids to and fro—lots of babysitters in the middle of the week for late nights “working”—and while it hurts my heart to think of how confused it must have been for Jack and Par at times—I have no regrets and I know my boys forgive me! I’m so thankful for how hard Rusty works so that I can stay home and care for our family—I know this experience was an eye opener to both of us—a special thank you to all who put up with me during that time!

So after my term was up, I just wanted to be a mom and wife and just enjoy my family. So that is what I have done—along the way we have gone to the beach, the lake and started school.
Jack and Par had a wonderful summer swimming at the pool. Par (our BRAVE little boy) decided on his own terms to swim sans lifevest—and then, to our amazement, one day he just decided to jump off the diving board! I am still shocked as I type this! He loved it so much—and on the last day that pool was open, Par took one last jump off the diving board in the pouring rain! Jack definitely wanted in on the diving board action, but they have a rule that you must be able to swim to the side unassisted—Jack’s not there yet maybe next year!

School started after Labor Day and Par absolutely loves his teacher! Unfortunately, for about 6 weeks we had tears going to school. Of course, they disappeared pretty quickly once he got in his room—but it was still hard to drop him off crying. Jack would whimper a bit as we waved goodbye—but I sort of think that was just for show—Jack doesn’t seem to miss Par very much.

I tried taking Jack to storytime at the library like I had taken Par at the same age—but Jack is just not interested. We’ve probably been 4 times now and each time we’ve had to leave in the middle because Jack doesn’t see the point in sitting in a circle listening to a story and singing songs. In fact, Jack absolutely despises it when I sing. He cries and slaps my mouth to shut me up. Other people singing fine, but me—CAN’T STAND IT! It is rather rude how he slaps me—but he doesn’t say much, so I guess this is how he communicates. I’ve enjoyed my together time with Jack while Par is in school—he is a completely different kid without Par. Not nearly as clingy or needy—quite independent actually.
October always brings a trip to the pumpkin patch—this year was fun because Par AND Jack were both into it—crazy fun!!!
Just as Par was able to get out of the car without tears, he got sick. Par missed an entire week of school—he had pneumonia and was a sick little boy! This was about mid-October. Unfortunately, the crying before school began again.
On top of school, Par started soccer! He has sort of a love/hate relationship with soccer. He loves that he is on a soccer team, loves the uniform and the soccer shoes! He loves dribbling the ball with his feet and kicks pretty well. But the actual walking from the car to the field is difficult. Once he is there and has been pep talked by his coaches—he’ll finally get in there and play. Par is great! He hustles the ENTIRE time! The kid runs—no one would ever call this kid lazy. He just doesn’t actually touch/kick the ball during the scrimmages. Baby steps. The final game of the season Par got a medal—he is very proud of it!
October 15th Rusty and I celebrated our 6th Anniversary at the wedding of my cousin Abi and Fisher—it was beautiful and very entertaining as Fisher was inducted into the family in a special way. At the same time I can’t believe it has only and already been 6 year—because I feel like I’ve just married this man I’ve always known. Confusing, huh!
Rusty’s 36th birthday was a fun little get together—but simply a tease for the real party—Par’s 4th Birthday!
But before that—Halloween! We had our big reveal the night before so that we could trick or treat with Par and Jack for the first time.
Drum Role please….
Introducing, Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee!
Par’s birthday was so much fun! Rusty and I installed a 4 hole putting green in the back yard—which morphed into Honeysuckle Country Club, where Rich people live. Photobucket
Complete with a golf shop and snack bar—Par was in heaven! We dressed the boys in classic golf attire—Par in a collared shirt and plaid knickers—Jack in same but a little more crazy looking. Photobucket
My cousin Barbara and her friend came to work the golf shop and snack bar. Best part of party was how embarrassed Par seemed as we sang Happy Birthday. So cute!Photobucket
And then, a crazy thing happened. I took Par to school the next day and no tears. He was a new kid—as if something magical happened when he turned four! It has just been a few weeks—but he is excited about it every morning—it sure does make life easier!
I did another 5K—Bunkers, Hills & Hazzards at the BCC—lots of fun and pretty hard! Par (and Rusty) did the 1 mile fun run---and guess what!?! PAR RAN THE ENTIRE MILE!!!! Pretty amazing this little 4 year old with limited lung capacity had the endurance to run a mile! I love how excited he is about running—I love that he loves being active!!!!

Jack with Sir on Annual Thanksgiving Hayride
 Thanksgiving was full of plans of family, friends and fun...but it was all tempered by a great loss. Thanksgiving was difficult for us. Our sweet Memommy (Rusty’s maternal grandmother) passed away sometime the night of/morning after Thanksgiving. While it wasn’t unexpected—it certainly has been hard losing someone that we loved so much. My boys thought Memommy was wonderful! Par and Jack each had a very special relationship with her—they were blessed to have been able to each spend 2 days a week with her for their first few years. When I told Par about Memommy his response was beautiful:
Par: “Oh Mama! My heart is so happy!”
Me: “Really? Why are you happy?”
Par: “Because now Memommy gets to run, dance, sing and play with Jesus!”
And now, my heart is happy. My prayer is that all of my children will long for the day to run, dance, sing and play with Jesus—and that their hearts will remain full and in Him.
And as of today—a mere 48 hours since Memommy has passed—Par has asked me no less than ten times “Do they got lots of toys in Heaven?” He is just four. It makes me smile.
We are headed to North Carolina in a few weeks to have a service for her there (where she was born and raised) with family.

(2010 picture of family with Memommy at 5th Anniversary celebration)

And while I thought this picture would be a sweet way to end the blog entry--life gets in the way. Just today, Par cut his hand open (we still don't really know how) and we spent the afternoon in the ER at Childrens...Par is the VERY PROUD owner of THREE stitches in his hand!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

it has been too long...

I know, I know. I have been far too neglectful of my loyal FoR followers. I will (I PRONISE!) have a good blog update sometime soon...before the Halloween reveal...but until then, please enjoy pictures from the past few months.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy May!

Our spring has been lots of fun! After Disney World--we thought that going to see Thomas may just be a hit--and it was!!! Calera isn't far from Birmingham--both the boys had a great time.

Easter was wonderful--we were thankful to have healthy boys (although, as I type this they both have ear infections again--seriously!). Par asks me to tell him the story about Jesus over and over--he asks specifically for me to describe the crown of thorns and how they nailed Jesus to the cross--and then about the spear going into His side. He asks me what happened to the men who were mean to Jesus. This may sound gruesome to some and a little too much for a three year old--but Par doesn't seem scared--and for a little boy who has a pretty big scar of his own in the same spot--he seems to find comfort in the fact that Jesus has a big "hurt" too! It is very innocent--and Par keeps saying we need to take Dr. Kays to Heaven to fix Jesus. How sweet!?! If only we could ALWAYS find comfort in knowing that Jesus bore ALL OF OUR HURTS on that cross...unfortunately I personally seem to forget this when I am wrapped up in my own self...oh! to have the pure heart of a child once again!
Today Par had a tantrum while I was driving in the car--he wanted a "surprise" when we got home. He never specifically said what "surprise" he wanted--I just assume he wanted some candy--so I responded, "We're eating dinner when we get home. Maybe you can have a surprise later."
To that--the screaming, crying and lots of tears. Yes, my three year old has absorbed some of what we are teaching about Jesus--he screamed at the top of his lungs "I want to go to Heaven. I want to go to Heaven right now. I want to go to Heaven so I can get surprises."
What has he learned?--clearly, Heaven is a very happy place--apparently with lots of surprises!
And Jack? He mumbles a lot--says Daddy, "night night", doggie, Hi!, and bye!--he walks without issue--he climbs--but not like Par--Par scaled things--things that gravity doesn't normally agree to...but not Jack, he is more calculated--he sees opportunity and takes it (ie-chair too close to counter, drink on low table)--he is very stubborn lately-but what else would you expect with that reddish hair...although with his little personality, you might think it should be bright red...just sayin....

Oh...and some bitter sweet news...
Violet is no longer with our family. She went to live with Aunt B. We are all very happy about this decision--Violet will be much happier with Aunt B. Of course, we miss her and we are sad that we had to make the decision--actually, there wasn't really a decision--she bit Par--so she had to go. We were hoping that Par would shape up seeing how you get shipped off if you don't behave in this family--it hasn't worked yet. And Tiffany? Let's just say she is glad things are back to normal. And if you were to ask her she'd say "Violet who?" :(

By the way...Rusty made the slide show. He failed to post a picture with me finding the GOLDEN EGG at my parents' REAL egg hunt. I believe this is my 32nd consecutive year finding the Golden Egg.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Life is good.

We might just be insane...
Or the best parents EVER! Par had his annual check up with Dr. Kays coming up and so we were making plans to visit Rusty's friend Steve and Steve's wife Kristin in Ponte Vedra. The more I thought about that long drive the more it seemed to make sense that we should stop over at Disney World... we the car for 11 hours all the way down to Ponte Vedra to stay with the Pirris family. We were well taken care of--from delicious fresh fish on the grill upon arrival, to picking oranges for a snack off the tree in their back yard, to a special tour of the famous 17th hole at The Players Club, a day on the beach--warm sun but COLD water-- multiple golf cart rides, playing at a great tot lot, and finally, a swim in their jacuzzi which will be the only thing Par remembers from the trip because it is the only thing he begged to do! We love the Pirris family--for many reasons--but mainly it is because of their knowledgable influence that we even considered going to see Dr Kays almost 4 years ago--so in a lot of ways, they are responsible for the Par we have today!
It was sad to leave--especially their precious lap dog Heinz...
We arrived at our hotel Sunday afternoon and headed straight for Downtown Disney! We walked around and then Par saw a train. He HAD to ride it...and so he did...and if you ask me, we could have called that Disney World and gone home!
We ate some yummy overpriced food and took in the enormous amount of people and tried to brace ourselves for what tomorrow would bring: Magic Kingdom from 9-6 with a 1 year old and a 3 year old. Did I mention that Jack has an ear infection?
My sweet aunt it a genius when it comes to doing Disney--her expertise comes from first hand experience--and recent experience, I might she had given me some good pointers on making the most of our little last minute trip. Boy was she good....
We really never waited. Of course we had to wait our turn for things--but we never stood in long lines...only at Dumbo which was our first and last thing to do. Look at these pictures. This is our first ride...Dumbo...around 9:30.

And this is the last ride of the day...Dumbo...around 6:30....

Can you believe we look just as happy--no bitter faces--we had the time of our life! We totally worked the fast pass system and seemed to be ahead of the crowds most of the day.
Around 6:15 we said Goodbye to Disney World and headed to Gainesville! Homewood Suites always seems like a home away from home, this time was no exception. Par felt comfortable to run up and down the halls screaming and Jack made no apologies for the blood dripping out of his ear while I was checking in. Did I mention that his ear infection, which we got medicine for in Ponte Vedra, now has his hear dripping blood?
We played a little, gave the boys a bath then all went to sleep.
We woke up all refreshed for our Dr. Kays appointment! We headed downstairs for the always delicious breakfast that is included in every Hilton Homewood Suites stay--waffles, eggs, fruit, fresh juice, coffee, pastries! After we were all fed and dressed wee packed up and headed for our first appointment.
Par's echo went great. He was very still and didnt complain a bit. The person doing it was very nice and seemed to only say nice positive things to him--like "just a little bit more" or "you are doing great, look that is your heart"..... I tell you this because when we met with Dr. Kays he said there was a note on the Echo which read "patient uncooperative".... WHAT?????? This is very confusing to me still and I am having a hard time letting it go....whatever....
After the Echo par had a chest X-ray....I was busy getting a prescription filled for Jack, so I wasnt in there--Rusty says he did great...there was no note to confirm or deny this!
We headed up to NICU III to say hey to the nurses.....unfortunately no one was there...but we did run into some friends...Jim Beau is a Kays Kid--his mom Mary Abigail contacted me when she decided on shands to ask about my experience about a year and a half ago...she is Senator Sessions' daughter-- more importantly Jim Beau's mom (most importantly paul's wife)...
It is always fun to talk to other families and we are glad to have met them in person!
We grabbed some lunch and had a picnic until our third and final appointment: Dr. Kays
As if we used a fast pass we were taken right to a room! We met Dr. kays' new NP (who just finished a semester visit at childrens in Birmingham last year) and then met with Dr. Kays himself! Unfortunately, our little day trip to the beach turned into a pretty bad sunburn--of all the times to have a sunburn!!! It was sort of funny to everyone.

In a nutshell....Par is doing great. Not just for a kid with CDH, but for a regular kid, Par is doing great! For those wanting CDH specific information....Growth is great--around 20% +/- for growth chart, spine shows no signs of scoliosis, X-ray shows intact diaphragm, heart is slightly off center due to the fact that his left lung is small. Heart continues to show slightly elevated pressures on the right side-- but are improved from the echo a year ago and should continue to improve. Par is still free of any and all medication since he was an infant. Par eats whatever and whenever he wants and has never had any oral aversions. He is 100% on target for motor skills, verbal skills, can run, walk, swim, twirl, flip, swing, dangle-- you name it and it's dangerous-- he can do it! basically, he is a 3 year old little boy. Completely healthy. Doing great. praise God.

Above is the last picture of our trip...Rusty is putting Jack in his carseat at a gas station on the way home. But look in the background--a woman is being handcuffed--I think this is so funny that this was part of our vacation!
I wrote all of the above in the car on the way home from Gainesville (at the end of Feb) with the intentions of immediately posting. Well...I just now got around to it. And what do you know...Jack has yet another ear infection--actually, he has 2. Frustrating--grrrr!!!!! My real question--what was the point of getting tubes?
As of today...Jack is rambling, but still not saying any words--but he follows instructions very well and loves to point and talk about things in his own language. As for walking...he does it sometimes. He can walk--but he'll sit down mid-way--as if he remembers that crawling is much faster or something.
Par and Jack love to play together--and lately they are usually outside in the backyard playing in the fort and covered in dirt. (They may or may not have clothes on). They love sharing a room--Jack sleeps in a big boy bed, just like his big brother--and we haven't had any problems.