Monday, December 29, 2008

Brenden, Landon, Peyton: Professional Unwrappers

Okay, well it's that time of the year. Time for wrapping and unwrapping and more unwrapping and even more unwrapping! Our first stop to unwrap presents was on Christmas Eve Day at Laurens House. She was so excited b/c she had made stockings for the boys (Thomas the Train stockings...) and as you know, we're huge Thomas Fans.
Brenden opening his present from Aunt Lauren. They were sure what to do at first and were confused but after the first present and no one yelled at them for ripping things open - it was like they had been unwrapping all their lives.

Peyton opened his present from Aunt Lauren but then became distracted by Natalie and her new toy. The boys all got her a new jumpy and dance toy that plays music and sings and blinks and makes alot of noise - Lauren was sure to thank us for this and vowed to get even until I told her that I got one for Peyton too. When Peyton and Natalie were playing with this, he would hold the bear on the top still for Natalie to eat. LOL.

Right before Natalie opened her present, Landon seemed to think that Natalie needed help.

Our second stop was at Ricks moms house ( even though we were going there on Christmas too...????) Below is Brenden and Landon opening their presents.

After a full day of opening presents on Christmas Eve, we went home for a nap in time for mommy to finish wrapping the presents and Daddy to go to a party (ugh). After a short nap, it was full blast toys again and bedtime couldnt come soon enough. Needless to say, the kiddos were in bed and eagerly awaiting Christmas - even though I'm pretty sure they're not sure what they were so excited for.

Christmas Morning as they came rushing down the hall in unison you hear: "Oh wow!" and it was non stop from then on.
Brenden and Landon opening a matchbox city - finally something to drive cars on other than mommy's legs and feet.

Peyton is definately a professional using only one hand to open presents. What a little trooper lol.

This was the Thomas the train sets that they boys got from Santa this year. We only had a pack of track and about 20 trains before this. Santa sure was good to these three Thomas Nuts. If you ask them what their favorite present was they'll tell you matter of factly: James (the red train from Thomas).

Well, i have more pictures to share but i'ts about time i go to bed...we're switching to toddler beds and it's like Nanny 911 Hell. Really. Check for more later!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Random stuff and Cleveland Update

LOL, okay - i was having fun with the camera snapping shots and.....I took this of Peyton.
My two crazies ??under the highchair?? What are they really thinking? This seems to be the cool place to hang out. They're total goobers (see picture below). I think that Brendens got the smiling thing


Today, in the midst of the icy rain, we had to venture to Cleveland. That's right. The boys (Brenden and Landon) had their doctors appointment with Dr. Singh.Brenden when he was brought out into recovery. He has never gotten this red before right after surgery. Anyways, the good news? Dr. Singh didnt find anything!!! He said that he couldnt beleive how big they were getting. Also, He said that he's sure that Brenden has 20/20 vision. Thank God, after all he's gone through, he didnt turn out needing to have his eye removed like I did and he's got awesome vision.
Landon when he came out into recovery. He had the tube in his mouth still to help him breath and keep his tongue down. We had to keep an eye on it though b/c last time we were there, he woke up and bit his lip b/c of it. That ruined the whole day. Anyways, Dr. Singh didnt find anything new with Landon either which is awesome news! It's been over a year now! He says that as far as Landons vision goes, he wants to wait and see what Dr. Traboulsi says about his eye turning in. In our opinion, it's because when the muscles were reattatched, they were swollen and didnt get attatched tight enough. That is causing the eye to turn in. But...just our opinion. So...that's about it for now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

In the Holiday spirit - taking a break from shopping and all....

I found this on a message board that I'm quite addicted to...When this season gets to be too much - just read this poem...

Twas the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode
Only one creature was stirring, & she was cleaning the commode.

The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
while visions of Nintendo 64 & Barbie, flipped through their heads.

The dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half-constructed bicycle propped on his knee.

So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, "Now what is the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, & saw the old man.

He was covered with ashes & soot, which fell with a shrug,
"Oh great," muttered the mom, "Now I have to clean the rug."

"Ho Ho Ho!" cried Santa, "I'm glad you're awake."
"your gift was especially difficult to make."

"Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone."
"Exactly!" he chuckled, "So, I've made you a clone."

"A clone?" she muttered, "What good is that?"
"Run along, Santa, I've no time for chit chat."

Then out walked the clone - The mother's twin,
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.

"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, watch The Young & The Restless."

"Fantastic!" the mom cheered. "My dream has come true!"
"I'll shop, I'll read, I'll sleep a night through!"

From the room above, the youngest did fret.
Mommy?! Come quickly, I'm scared & I'm wet."

The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."
"Hey," the mom smiled, "She sure knows her part."

The clone changed the small one & hummed her tune,
as she bundled the child in a blanket cocoon.

"You're the best mommy ever. I really love you."
The clone smiled & sighed, "And I love you, too."

The mom frowned & said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal."
That's my child's LOVE she is trying to steal."

Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear, Only one loving mother
is needed here."

The mom kissed her child & tucked her in bed.
"Thank You, Santa, for clearing my head.

I sometimes forget it won't be very long,
when they'll be too old for my cradle & song."

The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."

With the clone by his side Santa said "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, You will be all right."

Sometimes we need reminding of what life is all about.
Especially at times during the Holiday season, when all we seem to do
is clean and bake and shop and and and and and and and.... You get the picture, I'm sure.

So stop for a moment and hug that little one so special, whether he/she is
2 or 22, or even older than that. For they are the Gift that God gave us in
life... and what a gift to be treasured, far above any other!
May the real meaning of Christmas be with you all this year, is my prayer.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Late....but here it is!

So i just realized something, either it's way past my bedtime and I'm losing my mind or...I forgot to post Peytons Birthday Video. I think i tried to post it but it got lost lol. it is.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Walking on Sunshine!

Yeah! We're walking finally...unsteady but we've got the idea and in no time we'll be chasing our brothers and sending mommy up the wall.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm coming home!

Peyton doing his carseat challenge on the 5th. He passed it with flying colors. He had to keep his stats up and keep relatively calm over the two hours. LOL, they were worried about it - Peyton slept for the whole two hours. He kept his stats up and they were so proud of them. He was aloud to leave!

One year ago today, we brought Peyton home. Let me tell you what a fanclub he had waiting to tell him good bye. He had numerous doctors and nurses there to see him off. They called him "Peyton Manning" even though we did not name him after Peyton Manning. They would get him up and walk around at night with him getting him used to being moved around and all and they'd fight over who got to walk him around at night.
This is Dr. Zhacka and a med student. Dr. Zhacka came in alot to see Peyton, he was also his pediatric cardiologist. He seemed to think the world of Peyton. When we left the hospital and had to schedule for Peytons appointment, unfortunately, Dr. Zhacka was on vacation and we are now seeing a different doctor.
This is the night nurse that ended up walking Peyton around alot at night. He seemed to like her, and was fussy with most other nurses.

Brenden and Landon meet peyton for the first time. He was so bundled up i'm pretty sure they didnt know what he was. They both just said "baby". Soon after, it turned from "baby" to "baby PP" it's just "NO NO BABY P!"

What a happy family. Brenden and Landon werent the happiest baby or not. All in all, they love their little brother. I guess he's grown on them. LOL.

Anyways, happy one year coming home anniversary! Yeah for our beautiful little heart baby. He's come so far.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Black Friday shoppers and some chocolate pudding.

So, even though in 2 more days, Peyton will have the one year anniversary of him coming home (!!!) I'm going to take a second and let ya in on what we've been up to. A break from the sad stuff. We've been shopping, looking through sale papers and newspapers and .... well playing with the papers. LOL. Ya see, We (Lauren and I) hit the stores like crazy on black friday (yeap, we were definately the first ones in line at Target) , spent all our money and then took the kiddos out before naptime. All in a days work I guess. Anyways, the kids love shopping....for "gifts for Cameron "(Laurens son) although they cant figure out why cameron gets all of the thomas stuff and they dont. LOL - I so cant wait until Christmas! Anyways, they love shopping - and going through the papers....something like this -
Oh, yeah and I cut my hair if you didnt notice. It's about chin steps to short hair, baby steps. LOL. I tried to dye it too - though my hair isnt quite cooperative about that, the dark brown ended up black and I ended up looking quite EMO (
the Emo Romulan look - short, thick, greasy, dyed-black hair with bangs cut straight across the forehead, and cut high over the ears. Bangs in front and spikes in back is very emo too.) So I told Rick i was so depressed b/c of my life that i was going EMO and blaming it on him. I think he was confused by this.
Moving on, "Grandma" made chocolate pudding for a "snack" one night before bed. LOL, i mean before bath rather b/c that's what they ended up needing. Peyton can almost use a spoon - see?!

So ever since before I moved out of the apartment, Peyton has always watched his brothers with envy as they climed on their prized Bounce and Spin Zebra and ride and spin it. Well, finaly the day came, right after his birthday that he could do it himself, he crawled over to the Zebra, stood up to it and hiked a leg over, sliding the rest of the way on to it. Now, he's a pro at it. You can hardly keep him off of it, even though when he does ride on it, he can only touch the ground with one foot. He loves it though.

And, finally, along with my previous post, and the looking back - this picture was from 2 years ago today. So, this is the first year that I have not spent today in a hospital room for 2 years. Yeah! That's good news! This is Brenden and I at the Cleveland Clinic before their EUA. He looks a little loopy - because he is! They give them meds to calm them down so they get pretty loopy. Anyways, just wanted to share that. I've been going through pics on my laptop and desktop organizing them so i came across this! Have a great day...

Just a day of rest and relaxation

Just a day to relax and get better. Peyton was looking forward to his carseat challenge. They had moved rooms on us and though we were still in the PICU. They had decided not to move us to the other floor. Thank God b/c the PICU was right down the hall from my cubby hole or what they call, my room. Anyways, On the 5th he was going to do the carseat challenge. He had to keep his stats up while in a carseat for 2 hours. I also learned wtih the help of a nurse how to tell when he was having issies with his heart. When the machine would go off, I knew what to look for if it were bad or not. Knowing that, I could figure out why it was happening. Peytons heart would occasionally race and have too many beats. I figured out that this only happened when he was crying or upset. Good thing to know. Anyways, besides that, he just relaxed and recovered. They did some tests on his like the ECHO on his heart to make sure it looked good and it did!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My life through all of this...

So alots been going on in my life and I have alot on my mind. Not exactly anything that I can say on here at the moment. Doesnt exactly have to do with me but i've been brought into it. Something pretty serious that I never ever thought that I would have to deal with. So in typing all of these days about Peyton and thinking about what all else is going on, I don't think that anyone could sit here and not look back at their life and wonder why things happen like they do. I mean....I sit and look through the pictures - of my twins and Peyton. Everything that we have been though - and I mean everything up until now. I mean, I hoped and prayed with all I had when I got pregnant that the "baby" wouldn't have cancer. That "the baby" wouldn't have to go through all the teasing that I went through, the being different, not being like everyone else. Then came December 27th - TWINS. Yeap that was the day that we found out that we were having two. It all came crashing down. Twins, Identical twins and there was a 50% chance that they would both have cancer. Well depsite all the hoping, praying and wishing, we found out on August 25th, 2006 that they did have cancer. What a world. A world of double worrying if they were going to beat this cancer...a world of double eye exams, double waking up from anesthesia, double MRI's and quadruple trying to explain to the insurance companies why each visit gets billed twice. You think they'd understand the twins concept a little bit more. Anyways, we got through it. Life handed me lemons and I made the best of it b/c granted we weren't ready for kids....that's what we were dealt and that's what we dealt with. We made it work and they are my world and I would do it all over again - cancer and all if I had to. March comes and we find that we're pregnant again. Rought news for us and quite a surpise but again, it's what life dealt us and we decided that we had to deal with it - it' mst have been meant to be. There's a reason for everything in my eyes. That brings us to September of 2007 and the stupid dog tripped me. I ended up staying over night in the hospital and finding out news that no parent wants to hear. The doctor said "Yeap, that's definately it. Your baby has TGA - Transposition of the Great Arteries. He'll most likely require immediate open heart surgery." Great. Again, something else to worry about. And I will definately not lie and say that "why me? Why does this happen to me? why cant i have a normal child - just like everyone else...." did not cross my mind...because it did. Infact I think that I said it outloud a few times. Now, I dont know what my world would be like with a "normal" baby. Peyton and I are so close b/c of the time we spent in the hospital. I know that he was so young and probably doesnt remember much but, he's attatched to me so much... I spent every day beside him. I love my miracles and even though we werent "ready for them", it was the right thing - it was what was meant to be. Now with whats going on around here....i just want to say that your life is what you make of it. Eveything happens for a reason and sometimes, you may not be ready for something....or it may not be the right time in your opinon - but if it happens, then it's the right time. Not much more I can say. And....on the same topic, i wanted to share this poem I found. Thanks for reading if you made it through my rambling.

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger. "Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard."

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a child with cancer." The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy." "Exactly" smiles God, "Could I give a child with cancer a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel." "But, does she have patience?" asks the angel. "I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it."

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence
that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm
going to give her has it's own world. She has to make it live in her
world and that's not going to be easy."
"But, Lord, I don't think she believes in you." No matter, I can fix

This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps -"Selfishness? is that a virtue?" God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see...ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her to rise above them." She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side."

"And what about her patron Saint?" asks the angel. His pen poised in mid-air. God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."

December 3rd,... Last year

A day of pictures....and pretty much just that. On a year ago today, we were just waiting to take off the lines. Peyton was still on oxygen but as you can see in the pictures, he wasnt on the ventilator any more. What an accomplishment - from being on life support to about a week later, being on only oxygen.

He was such a tiny little man in such a big bed...he loved being cuddled up in his fleece blanket that the volunteers made for him. The nurses picked out two for Peyton. The first was the fleece blanket b/c they liked it and then there was a soft star blanket that i'm sure you've seen in some of the pics. They picked it out for him when they saw it b/c they said he was such a start. They called him "their Peyton Manning...a rough and tough little guy.

Around this time, we were trying to get Peyton to take a bottle. He would take maybe one ounce. Maybe. It was a struggle the whole way.
Rick and I both tried and we tried 3 or 4 different bottles. He would not suck from one and the next was too fast and then he couldnt get anything out from the next. In the end, we used the cheap walmart bottles....not avent, not playtex, not the drop ins...just the cheap bottles that leak when you use them. Ugh.