Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer 2012 Recap

With the first day of fall being this Saturday, I thought it would be a great time to do a summer recap. We had a very busy fun filled summer this year. In the Spring we thought Colin would be having surgery, but we found out beginning of June that it wouldn't be until next summer, so we LIVED it up since next summer might not get to be as exciting. We had so much family fun.. I just LOVE summer and all things summer related. Maybe because I am a summer baby :)

So here it goes.. Eyring Summer 2012 (well from May until now):
- 8 t-ball games.. Never again will we do summer t-ball.. too darn hot! But we had fun with our friends!
- 7 road trips.. that's right 7, our tour of Texas this year (Fredericksburg area, College Station, New Braunfels twice, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Cat Springs). We had lots of time bonding in the car and make a whole lot of great memories!!!
- 6 beach trips.. oh how we LOVE the beach.. except when there are dead fish everywhere. But we had fun learning how to catch the waves on our boogie boards!
- 6 splash days at the pool- Katherine is swimming so well this summer!
- 6 parties (birthday parties and dinner parties) including Katherine's luau for her 6th birthday.
- 4 slumber parties
- 3 trips to a waterpark – 2 with the kids.. once just for the adults :)
- 3 days playing on the Guadalupe river – the kids LOVED the river. Can't wait to take them every year. Already starting to think about our river trip for early next summer before Colin's surgery.
- 2 times fishing – Colin caught 9 fish the first time, no luck the second time.
- 2 Matt & Jennifer's Day O Fun -- where we take off work but take the kids to daycare and we go hang out and go have adult drinks (with umberallas)
- 1 fireworks display – lots of Ooohhhs and Awwweees
- 1 July 4th parade
- 1 cave exploring trip – Cave without a name.. it was beautiful
- 1 choo choo train ride
- 1 paddle boat ride
- 1 real boat ride on Lake Travis – rides first time on a boat, they have already been asking to go back!
- 1 Kindergarten graduation – Go Katherine, so proud of you
- 1 trip to the country to ride a tractor and drive a golf cart
- 1 heart catheterization (Colin's first and hopefully last for a long time)
- 1 echo (ultrasound of the heart)
- 1 meeting with the surgeon
- 1 A&M Baseball game – WHOOP! This was just a Matt & Jennifer trip.. thank off to our favourite bars
- 1 trip to the zoo
- 1 case of whiplash.. yes me on the rope swing into the river
- A very few lazy days.. as you can tell from above
- Lots of sno cones, ice cream, popsicles
It was a great summer. Loved every minute of it with my family and friends. Can't wait to see what the falls brings us.. soccer games, A&M football, holidays, and even a possible road trip.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Prayers needed

I am asking for prayers for one of Colin's heart friends, Addison.  She is just 6 months older than Colin, has had all 3 surgeries and has went into sudden heart failure and is now in need of a transplant and soon. They are in the fight of their lives for their little girl. It was sudden and without warning. But they are not giving up the fight, so please pray that they find a match to Addison soon before she takes an even more turn downward. That is the scary thing about HLHS, even after the kids complete the plan of surgeries, they are still just living off half a heart, and there are no guarantees about what that really means. Some are adults now and have not had any problems, but it's not always the case.

My heart aches for her mom, sitting over her child in the hospital bed praying to God not to take her child away. I cannot imagine the pain she is feeling right now.  As much hope as I have for Colin and all his heart warrior friends, I have fear that lives inside of me as well. Of course this has sparked my own fears about my own child's future and what it might hold. As I put Colin to bed last night, I cried and cried looking at him peacefully sleeping and thinking of Addison and her family.  I cried thinking that praying for her, meant praying that someone else dies in the process. That to save her life, another family must mourn. I cried thinking of this this almost 4 year old that has been through so much already and now has a long road ahead of her. I cried because I am a mom of a child with HLHS and no parent should every have to worry about will their child live or die. It's just not fair! I cried thinking of Addison's older sister who has to be strong for her younger sister and how hard it is for the older sibling to have to grow up faster (once again thinking of how Colin's condition has made Katherine have to deal with issues that a 6 year old should NEVER have to deal with)!

Sometimes being a parent of a child with a life threatening condition is hard. It's not an easy journey we must travel. For the most part, I try not to think of Colin's condition and live our lives to the fullest. But there are days, moments in time that I can't just push down the fear. There are times I am mad, sad, afraid, and just plain pissed off how hard my kid and others have to fight to stay alive. Anyone who know us our follows our blog and sees how happy Colin, Katherine, Matt and I are as a family, can see how unfair it is that Colin's body is not complete. That this is a struggle we will face for his ENTIRE life.

This week Colin had an appointment with his cardiologist; they did an EKG and looked at his vitals. Everything is good and still looking at next summer for surgery. BUT we have to work on weight. He has to gain about 3 more pounds; we are going to meet with a nutritionist to see about gaining more weight. I must admit, I have been stressed about this and his feeding issue. Every meal has turned into a battle of getting more and more calories in him. But last night in my fit of crying, I realized it could be so much worse. So it is going to be a little stressful about getting him to gain more weight, we just got to suck it up and take it strides. We are just BLESSED that right now his heart is strong enough to wait until he CAN gain more weight. I cannot be down and out because of feeding issues, when Addison and her family are fighting for her to stay alive.

So please, pray for Addison to get the chance to live the full life she is meant to! Please hold your children, grandchildren, family tight as life is so precious and at any moment any of us could need prayers of this magnitude.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Relaxation in the Hill Country & Boat Trip on Lake Travis, Austin TX

This past weekend, we were lucky to get to get away from town (yet again) and go to my sister-in-law's parents' house outside of Austin, TX on Lake Travis. Due to the drought, the arm of the lake they are on have dried up. The picture above shows the dried up section where just a few years ago 12 feet of water stood. At the beginning of the summer they had about 2-3 feet, now it's completely dry. 

On our way to Austin, we stopped in Bastrop to say a quick hello to Matt's friend Tim, they have been friends since they were kids. While driving through Austin, I told Katherine that this is where the Longhorns live.. her response.. "Booooo Longhorns!". Yep that's my Aggie in the making.. WHOOP!

We got to the property about 8pm, but that didn't stop the kids from playing until 11pm! We had to make them go to bed, as we had a big day planned ahead.. a day out on a boat on Lake Travis. My kids have only been on a boat inside a store or at a boat show, now on actual water, so they were super super excited! 

It started off being a little chilly as a cool front came into Texas on Friday night (it cooled off Austin from 103 degrees to about 89.. loved it). But the sun came out and the wind died down and it was a beautiful day! The kids BOTH got to learn how to drive the boat and got to "drive" (hold the steering wheel) by themselves of a few seconds, we went fishing (didn't catch anything this time), swam, had a picnic on the boat, and the kids even all took naps while we were riding around.

After the boat ride, we went back to the property to watch the A&M game and let the kids play outside. All of them were having so much fun. My nephew opened his birthday presents from us, he was celebrating his 2nd birthday, can't believe he is 2 already. Everyone was having a great day.. until about 6pm, when Katherine came down with a stomach ache and a low grade fever. So she was in bed most of the evening, only came out to sing Kannon happy birthday and watch him blow out his candles.

So Sunday morning we got up and came back home pretty early since Katherine was not feeling well. Ends up it was just a small viral infection and she was better by Tuesday. I am just so glad she got to have fun Friday and most of Saturday and she got to enjoy the boat ride! We had a great fun relaxing weekend with my brother and his family. I am glad we are able to share those memories with them!
Uncle Russell teaching Colin to drive the boat
Katherine driving the boat and having a BLAST doing it!
Colin driving the boat and mad at me for breaking his concentration for a picture!
She gave the boat ride a "thumbs up"!
They loved going fast and letting the wind hit their face!
Aunt Lara and Kannon fishing
Colin fishing
Throwing rocks in the lake is the best part for Colin & Kannon
Katherine LOVES to swim!
The boys cooling off in the lake
Kannon LOVES chips!!!
Katherine and I chillin on the back of the boat
Lake Travis
Beautiful views all day
Colin taking a little nap
Katherine passed out!
Kannon asleep at the wheel!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Labor Day Road Trip and a Bear with Half a Heart

We had a fun Labor Day weekend trip to the Dallas/Forth Worth area.. which is about a 4 hr drive from our house. We first met up with some of my college friends from Texas A&M. We met for lunch and got to meet each others kids (our future Aggies!) We all met in the dorms our freshman year.. which I am shocked was 15 years ago (I can't believe it 's been that long.. and somehow I got that OLD!) There was about 15 of us that hung out together, so we got about a 1/3 of the group together. It's been way too long and we need to make more of an effort to get up there. 
 Katherine liked the restaurant because the waitresses did line dancing. Katherine got right up there and was trying to learn with them to the song "Boot Scootin Boogie". After lunch we drove to go stay with our friends who lived in our neighborhood that just moved up there this summer. Katherine and Keira have been friends since Katherine was 2 years old. So it has been an adjustment to have Keira move 4 hours away.

They also have a son who is only 3 weeks older than Colin, so the boys have been hanging out since they were babies. Colin has missed his best friend Liam.. though they can fight like brothers.. but they do love each other! We had lots of fun swimming in the pool, going to Build-A-Bear, watching movies, going out to eat, and lots and lots of playing. I just wish that they didn't have to move so far, the whole family has missed them. But we had a great visit and will be back so we can do MORE things once the weather cools off some! We are not going to let a 4 hr drive keep us from seeing our friends!

We left their house Monday mid-morning and got back on the road, this time took 4.5 house due to a lot more bathroom breaks. Neither one of the kids took a nap in the car, so it was a long 4.5 hrs. I am glad we got to spend the weekend seeing all sorts of friends. But the drive does kind of suck :)

Keira (4.5yrs) and Katherine (almost 4)

Katherine (Age 6) and Keira (Age 7)

My bartender at the pool
Colin taking a little break from swimming and pouring my drinks
Colin and Liam having their slumber party
All the kids are excited about Build-A-Bear! We did not tell them to hold hands, they did that one their own
Colin's bear has a very special heart just like him. We gave the bear half a heart. I know the guy looked at me funny when I asked him to cut it, so then we had to explain Colin's heart.
Colin giving the bear his special heart.
Katherine heart of gold for her animals, just like hers!
All 4 of them watching tv in the tent. 
Someone is trying to turn Katherine into an OSU fan.. but we bleed Maroon!!