Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cardiology Check up, Christmas Party, and the Magic of Christmas!

What a great early Christmas present , yesterday Colin had a wonderful check up from his cardiologist. Everything looks great, chest x-ray was clear, no change to meds (only on 1 baby aspirin a day), gained 4 pounds since surgery, pulse oxygen saturations at 100% (never has been that high, was down to 80% before surgery), and we don't have to go back for 6 months!!! Yeah! She also said that she was very pleased to hear his developmental evaluation went so well, she said that the doctor that evaluated Colin was bragging about how smart and full of life he was! Our cardiologist also cleared Colin to play tee ball this spring; he is so so so excited about that. He has been practicing hitting, catching, and throwing the ball for months now in hopes that he could play this spring! She noted how PINK he was and not blue around the mouth, nose, lips, and fingers. I told her one of the biggest changes is his love of eating now where before it was a struggle. Colin picked his treat for a great check-up – going to the hospital cafeteria for brownies! I finally NOW feel like we are past his surgery from this summer! We are truly blessed that he is doing so well.
This weekend was my company's annual Christmas party. Matt's parent had the kids for the night, they went and looked at Christmas lights and did some Christmas crafts while Matt and I had a very nice date night. The party was so much fun and we even made it to the after party club. I think we got home at 2:00am.. didn't even know that time still existed. Had to read my facebook posts to know what exactly went on.. new rule.. no Facebook when drinking.. though there was a cute shout out to Matt and how much I love him for taking me to Whataburger at 1:30am!  Lots of fun and good times and LOTS and LOTS of wine! Sunday was a pretty rough day but well worth it. In our hangoverness (yes it's a word) we wrapped presents, so if you get a present from us and it's not wrapped to the 9's.. sorry, best we could do recovering from a very fun party!

Other than that, we are just getting ready for Christmas and some much needed time off! I work half a day tomorrow then I am off until January 2nd! The kids have Christmas parties at school the next two days and Friday Katherine has half a day of school and it's Polar Express Day where she gets to wear her pj's. We are hosting Christmas at our house this year, so lots to get ready for that! OH AND MOST IMPORTANT, this Saturday we are baking TONS of cookies to take up to Texas Children's Hospital for those families spending the holidays in the hospital. Our elf has been up to some silly things so far this year! The kids love waking up to see what Herald got into,  I am sadden to think one year that they won't have all the "magic" of Santa and the elves... but we are trying to instill into them now the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of our saviour, helping others, family time, and the seasoning of giving in all sense.

Hope everyone who is reading has a VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy New Year!
Photo: We found Herald attempting to make the kids some toys for Christmas
Herald making the kids' toys
Photo: Someone got into the brownies, made a mess, and had a shot of milk ;)
Someone got into the brownies and had a shot of milk!
Roasting marshmallows by the fire with Rudolph

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A wonderful Thanksgiving break and a trip to the North Pole!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. The kids were off school for the whole week and I only had to work on Monday. Poor Matt had to work until half day Wednesday. My parents were in town for the week. Monday they took all 3 grand kids to the Natural Science Museum, the kids had so much fun, they spent 6 hrs there! 

Tuesday we took the kids down to Moody Gardens and went to the Rainforest, Aquarium, and a real funny 4D Ice Age Movie. I think everyone favorite part was the butterfly exhibit. 

Thursday we spent Thanksgiving at my brother's house. We had a full house of family, good food, wonderful deserts, and lots of laughter. Our family has so much to be thankful for this year. 

Katherine wasn't into taking a serious picture with me, so this is what I had to settle for
Come on guys, act like you love each other
My beautiful girl
Katherine, Kannon, and Colin making a wish on the wishbone. They were all so serious.
Friday we went and got our beautiful and fat Christmas tree and decorated it. One of my favorite things about Christmas, decorating the tree. The kids loved putting on the ornaments, of Matt and I had to go behind them and move them up since they were all on the bottom of the tree. Sunday we put up all the Christmas lights outside. It was hard for everyone on Monday to go back to school and work. But the week flew by pretty fast. This weekend we took a trip and ended up at the North Pole.. and look who we ran into! Today we went and saw Frozen, such a cute movie, the kids loved it! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A year of many thanks

With Thanksgiving just ONE week away I thought I would take the time to list all I am thankful for.  It has been one of the hardest yet rewarding years. November is a time to be thankful, so here is a reason that I am thankful for everyday of this month.

1.  My two beautiful, loving, crazy, energetic, passionate kids who are my heart
2.  My amazing partner and best friend, who still makes me laugh and who is my soul
3.  Matt's parents and my parents for taking rotating shifts to help out with Colin and Katherine before, during, and after Colin's surgery
4. My brother and sister in law for all their help this summer watching Katherine and visiting Colin in the hospital
5. A house full of laughter, love, and silliness
6. For many many family fun trips this year (New Braunfuls (twice), Port Aransas, Lake Travis, Galveston, College Station for Aggie Baseball, and Fort Worth)
7. 10 years of marriage and loving each other more and more every year
8.  All our friends who came to visit in the hospital, sent care packages, cookies, games, and of course their prayers
9. Colin's new found energy – It is amazing to see him run and play and for the first time in his life, not get winded!
10. Katherine's heart of gold – she is more thoughtful and loving than anyone I know
11. Beach, pool, tubing, and water-slide days
12. Matt and Jennifer fun trips to reconnect (Charleston, Gruene, and College Station for the Aggie Football Game)
13. Two great schools that offer a wonderful learning environment for both kids
14. Girl scouts – though it's hard work being the troop leader, it is very rewarding and something that Katherine and I will always share
15. Family - we have family all over that supports us
16. Hide and seek, craft time, story time, family movies cuddled up in our bed, hiking, Wii battles, swing sets.. basically our everyday family life with each other
17. Friends that are there not just in the fun times (tubing down the river with you) but also in the darkest of times when you need it the most, and that bring wine with them J
18. Colin's new found love of food – we struggled with eating and weight gain for 4 years, hopefully we now have it behind us!
19. Karaoke machine – Love hearing the kids belt out all the teeny bopper songs (Katherine – we are never ever getting back together… Colin – this girl is on fire)
20. My job that has allowed me to grow in my career but is also so support of the need for family/life balance
21. Girl time with Katherine and a 7 year old who is not too old to fall asleep in my lap
22. Colin's loving and cuddly nature, his love of life and excitement
23. My children are thoughtful and think of others – when mentioning Christmas the other week, they got excited about making cookies and taking them up to the hospital like we have done the last 3 years in a row. Their first thought was not about toys but other people.
24. Texas Children's hospital – this place has given Colin life, I am so thankful for all the doctors, nurses, child life advocates, and staff
25. That Colin got to come back home – some kids don't have the chance to ever come back home after major surgery. I am so thankful he is still here with us.
26. Aggie Football – yes, you read that correctly. It has been a great fun season and we love having friends over to watch the games. The kids are big Aggie fans and love to sport their Aggie gear.
27. God's love and support and our amazing guardian angels watching us from heaven.
28. Support from my heart family network
29. Bucees – Okay here me out on this one.. the kids love to go there after school for a treat, we always make a stop on road trips when the kids need to get out a stretch their legs. The smile on their face when we are at the register getting an Icee is priceless.

And last by definitely not least:

30. My life. I am thankful to have the life I have. It is not always easy, it has its ups and downs, but it is an amazing life with the people I love. It may not be perfect but it is perfect for me. I have two wonderful children and a husband I adore. We have a great support system of family and friends. We are active and cherish what life has to offer. We cherish each other and the time we spend together. This year has been a very emotional one but it has made us stronger as a family. And for that I am truly thankful! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Where to EVEN Start???

Where to even start??? Guess that's what happens when I only update the blog once a month and we have BEEN busy!

Colin's Developmental Assessment
Colin had an appointment with the Heart Center to see where he is developmentally (both physically and academically). They have started tracking kids with a heart condition a little closer on this level. Colin tested on par for physically for a kid his age and a little above academically. He will go see them in a year to be tested again. What I loved about this appointment is he had breakfast before we left (4 white powdered donuts) and then when we got to the hospital early, he had a breakfast taco while we waited. He has been eating so good, after fighting and crying about food for 4 years, it is a blessing to have him WANT to eat. He has gained 5 pounds since he left the hospital and is 2 pounds more than what he was before surgery.

Matt and Jennifer's Day Of FUN, FOOTBALL, FOOD, and well Shots at 8:30am!
Matt and I went to the A&M vs Vanderbilt game at A&M the last weekend of October. It was an early game (11:30am) so we got up to College Station at 8:00am and well hit the bars for a little bit for "tailgating" before heading over to the game. It was a nice day for football, sunny and high of 70. The Aggies won and Matt and I went back to tailgate some more and ran into some old friends of his. It was a great day. We are looking forward to taking the kids next year to their first game, we think they will be old enough to sit for 3 hrs for football!

The kids of course had fun trick or treating with their friends. Katherine was a black cat and I was touched she asked me to dress up like her. I know one day, she will be "too embarrassed" for her mom to dress like her, so I really do treasure it now while she is young. Colin was a boxer which is so fitting because he is really a TRUE FIGHTER! Matt was his trainer.

Our pumpkins

Trip to Forth Worth

The first weekend of November we drove up to Fort Worth to spend the weekend with our friends. The kids loved seeing Keira and Liam again, the kids last saw them at the river for Katherine's birthday weekend. We had a great time visiting and going to the Natural Science Museum where the kids got to dig for dinosaur bones, lay on a bed of nails, create paper airplanes, and learn a lot about science. Before we left we got to visit with my aunt who recently moved to the area, it was a short visit but we get to see her again for Thanksgiving.

Other random things
- Katherine's troop earned their first badge. It is a lot of work being their troop leader, but to see Katherine's face when she puts on her vest and when she earned her badge, it is all work it.
- I am so blessed with having such sweet children. We were talking about Christmas coming up and Katherine said she liked Christmas because we make cookies and take them up to the hospital. They both got so excited that they wanted to make them right now to take to the people at the hospital. It was so touching that when they thought about Christmas, it wasn't about toys, it was about other people.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Girl Scouts, no fat diet party, and a box of something sweet

Just a quick catch up on what's going on around here. We stayed home this weekend, it rained ALOT, which our yard and plants needed. And we needed the rest and relaxation.

Friday we had our first girl scouts meeting. I had a lot of fun leading the girls. I think I did a good job as Katherine has already asked me to be her troop leader again next year, I will take that as a good sign. We will see if by the end of the year, she wants me to be her troop leader again.  I am excited about the quality girl time with her this year doing this together.

She is doing well in school (she still LOVES math and science) and is trying out for the UIL academic team on storytelling. She has made it past the first 2 rounds of tryouts, hopefully she gets pretty far and I think it is a great thing for her, but the final team is gong to be pretty small, so she might not make it. We are already so proud of her for trying something new.
Being silly with the halloween decoartions
Saturday night we had friends over for a joint party (A&M game AND Colin being off his diet). The kids had a blast running around the house with their friends and it was nice for Matt and I to get to hang out with the adults and watch a GREAT game (A&M won in the last seconds with a field goal).  Our friend Robin was so sweet and brought over a cookie cake to celebrate that said "We love Colin". They were going to get the cake for him in the hospital but then he was put on the diet. The kids played until almost 11:00pm, then as soon as the last person left, they were passed out. We also decorated the house this weekend for Halloween, the kids are SO excited.. we already have our costumes.
Passed out from too much fun and cookie cake!!!
Colin has been doing well after surgery and being off his diet. He has SO MUCH energy (his o2 levels went from 82% to 97%) which basically means there was not enough oxygen running through his body before and that is why he was winded, turning blue, and just plain out of energy! His appetite has EXPLODED, he is ALWAYS hungry. Thank you GOD! We have fought and fought over food for 4 years.. begging, pleading, and fighting over food. He now wakes up and the first thing he says "I'm hungry!" the last thing at night is "I'm hungry". I feel so blessed after fighting about food, counting calories, trying so hard to make weight for a very important surgery. Colin now weighs almost a pound more than what we went in for surgery, even with a no fat and low fat diet for 10 weeks!
enjoying his treat
Perfect "party hangover" donut on Sunday morning
Matt was so sweet this week, he ordered us some wine from the winery we liked in Gruene last week. But his order got doubled, so we now have 12 bottles of wines.. whoo hoo WINE PARTY! When I opened the box, Colin saw the wine bottles and say "darn, just beer".. ha ha ha, close but mommy is NOT a beer drinker!