Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Party Season!!

It's party season here at our house. These next few months are busy ones for us. We have one birthday in Aug. Two in Sept., and three in October. Not to mention fiveother extended family birthdays in Sept. and Oct.

This year is Ava's 1st birthday. I decided to do a cupcake theme. Partly because a friend let me use her adorable, giant cupcake pan. But also because cupcakes are just so darn cute and fun. I mean at what other time do you get to eat a whole cake all by yourself. Today I realized that her birthday is sneaking up on me quicker than I thought( that always happens to me). So I stopped the garage sale preparation to do her invitations. It was pouring outside and I did not feel like leaving the house with 4 babies so I was determined to make them from what I had here at the house. Plus, it was a good excuse to play in my newly organized scrapbooking materials. Here is what I came up with. They're very cute if I do say so myself.

Loving your Home

Before this summer, I was ready to sell our house and get a bigger one, one with more room. After all, Ava, the baby is in our used-to-be office, which makes quite a cute bedroom once we get a door. I thought we could not raise 4 kids in a three bedroom house, especially when they get older and are wanting their own space. I worried that there was not enough room for all of our stuff.

But over this summer, while I wasn't working, I have really worked hard here at home, decluttering and getting rid of unecessary things that are really just taking up space. I don't know about you but when I look around and see clutter, it literally sucks energy and joy right out of me. What I have been trying to do is streamline our household. To make sure that everything has a designated place. To try to get things to run more smoothly. There is now room for all of our "stuff"--quite comfortably actually. I tried to use this motto when I was making my way through the house: If you don't love it or use it, get it out--a tip from Flylady (more on her later-love her)

I have also acquired a few new decorative items. Thanks to my sister-in-law who gave me a beautiful antique console table, which may just be my favorite piece of furniture in the whole house--and it was Free!

Now that I have gotten rid of things that I don't love and added a few things I do--I am loving my home. I don't feel like I need some new, big, fancy house to be happy and organized-A sinful outlook I often had in the past. I love the home we have been blessed with. And this goes a long way in trying to create a peaceful, loving environment for your family to come home to. Now I don't really want to move-this is the home where our children are growing up, our first home. It's so much more than just a house. And it's no longer a burden, it's a blessing.

Reading this, it would seem that the change in the way I see my home is purely materialistic...getting rid of things, adding things. But that is not the whole truth. I have spent time in prayer about this very issue. Because to be honest, by the end of the school year last year, this house seemed like it was falling apart. I seemed like I was falling apart.

I am determined not to let that happen again. But I needed a different attitude. Not just a change in mental attitude but a change in my heart. I needed to realize that all the chores, duties, and necessary tasks that I do around here are blessings to my family. At times, I still remind myself of this. But it helps to think of tasks as blessings rather than chores. Everytime I clean the toilet, my family will be blessed by that. Everytime Cecil doesn't have to rummage through the dryer or baskets of unfolded clothes to find what he needs, he is blessed by that. Now, they may not see it that way, the kids certainly won't. And that's okay. Although, Alyssa did tell me the other day, "Mom, I appreciate all of your hard work". That was nice to hear, not so much for the fact that I was thanked and appreciated, but because one day, she will be a wife and mom running a household and she is learning and observing at a young age that it often takes hard work. And that, too, is part of my job.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just Too Young

Everyday this week I have been bringing my older girls to horse camp at a local ranch. On the way there everyday I have passed a Knights of Columbus building that is holding a "Teen Dance" in the near future. On the sign the ages are 8-16. Eight years old!! That absolutely breaks my heart. My Alyssa is 8 years old and I cannot imagine her being at a dance where there are also 15-16 years olds. I wouldn't let her go to a dance at this age even if it were only 8 year olds, but the fact that 16 year olds are also included is crazy.
I mean, 8 years and 16 years is only an 8 year difference. But these kids are worlds apart! I know the KC charges for the kids to get in, so allowing such young kids to go is just another way to make a buck (I am not condoning their part in this, at all). But why would a parent allow their 3rd grader to attend such a function. The younger they are exposed to boy/girl interaction (dancing, flirting, touching), the younger it progresses into something more. Then their innocence slips away before they even know the value of it. And it is our responsibility as parents to protect them and prevent that from happening to the best of our ability. It very much saddens me. I know I am not going to do everything right, I just pray that I can make enough right decisions with my children to protect them from that sort of heartbreak.
What do you guys think about this?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Nervous Energy....It's Addictive!

Ever since I was younger, when I get nervous, angry or upset, I clean or organize. My parents say that if they wanted the house clean they would just make me mad or ground me. Cecil can tell now when I am stressed or upset about something because I go through the house purging, cleaning and organizing like a mad woman. I have to say that, while I don't like the stessed out feeling, I like the effects of it.

So, in the days leading up to the surgery I had a lot of nervous energy. I had a long list of thing that I had to get done before we left. Good thing Cecil stepped in and helped me prioritize or we still would not have left for the hospital. But I did get a few things accomplished that really needed to be done. And now that they are done, its a huge relief. Here are some before and after pictures that show the benefit of nervous energy.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We Are Home!

Updating on the blog didn't work very well, because for some reason, I couldn't use my phone to blog. So I tried to use facebook a little.
We are home now. David did amazingly well. We are so proud of him. He had a couple rough days fighting fluid in his lungs. But other than that the surgery went absolutely as planned. He checked in on Friday, had his surgery, stayed in the PICU until Wed. when he moved to a regular room and then went home on Thurs. He is such a trooper and a good little patient.
We couldn't have asked for better doctors, nurses and staff at Ochsner. They were all wonderful, as they have been every time we have gone. By the time we were leaving, David was saying that the nurses were the "bad people". We, of course, told him they weren't and that they were people who love him and want to help him. It is so evident that the PICU staff love what they do. And I am so thankful for that.
I know that we had so many people praying for us and for David. Thank you all so much for that. Thank you to those who came to the hospital with us during the surgery. That meant so much to us and we know that you didn't have to come spend hours out of your day to sit in a waiting room with us, but you did. And we love you for that. It's funny how such trying and stressful times can also make you feel tremendously blessed at the same time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

David's day started out really good yesterday. but around 9:30 his oxygen levels dropped to the 70s. He had a lot of fluid in his lungs. He was in too much pain to cough like he normally would so it just built up in there. An x-ray showed he also had a huge air pocket in his abdomen that was keeping his lungs from filling up all the way. They put him on a medication to loosen the stuff in his chest and put him on a good bit of oxygen. He was on breathing treatments pretty often.
By the time we left last night, they were trying to ween him off the oxygen slowly and he was starting to keep his oxygen level up where it should be. Hopefully he will be completely off by the time today is over.
Other than that little hiccup, he is doing really well. They told us that what happened yesterday has nothing to do with his heart or his heart functioning. It was strictly respiratory, which is not uncommon. He woke up a lot yesterday and was able to have a little juice and water. He is still on morphine for pain.
Throughout all this he still has his manners: I asked him if he wanted something yesterday and his response was "no 'tank' you". It was the cutest thing! He is also still saying yes ma'am and no ma'am. So Sweet!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Update on David

Thank you all for your prayers yesterday and in the days leading up to David's surgery. The surgery lasted right at 6 and a half hours. At 1:40 the nurse came out to tell us that he was all done and that everything went wonderfully. She said that there wasn't even the tinyiest bump along the way. We then got to go into the conference room to see the surgeon and he told us the same things and that they were trying to get him off the vent before he left the Operating Room(which is awesome for David's situation).
When we got to see him in the PICU he was, in fact, off the vent. He looked great. Doctors were coming in saying, in amazement, that he didn't even look like he had anything done to him. He is on morphine and another medication for pain. He didn't wake up much yesterday except, to mumble for his orange juice, bubbles, and his Daddy. We are hoping he gets to go to a regular room in the next couple of days.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

David's Journey Part III

When David was about 8 months, they decided it was time to do the second surgery, called a Bi-directional Glenn operation. They would take the Superior Vena Cava-the vein that runs from the top of you body to your heart-and attach it to his pulmonary artery. This time we would have to go the Houston to Texas Children's Hospital since there was no surgeon to perform the surgery at Ochsner.
His surgery was scheduled for July 3, 2007. We checked into the hospital at 2:00 on July 2 for pre-op stuff and stayed at the hospital that night. His surgery was at 7:00 am the next morning. My family came to Houston to be with us. We also had church family who drove all the way to Houston for the 6-hour long surgery.

After a long, exhausting wait, the doctor finally came to tell us that David did wonderfully, and that we could go see him. He looked really good and stayed sedated most of the day. By the next day, he was eating and drinking and even smiling a little. He moved to a regular room on July 5, and then just 4 days after his surgery, he was ready to go home! We could not have planned for things to go any better than they did.

We stayed in Houston for another week until his follow-up appointment, which was also great. Then we were able to go home.

Now, today, we are preparing to leave to go to the hospital for his 3rd and final surgery. Today we do pre-op, tomorrow is the surgery. We just pray that everything will go as well as the first two operations did. This surgery will be at Ochsner, so we get to stay closer to home. But David is older and I think it is going to be harder for him and for us. He doesn't really understand what is going to happen, but we do tell him that the doctor is going to fix his heart. And he's ok with that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dishes, Dishes, and no More Dishes

I used to feel like I was always in the kitchen. Cooking and cleaning...I don't mind the cooking part, but I spent so much time cleaning in the kitchen, several times a day. Well, a few weeks ago, I decided to make a new house rule. Are you ready? Here it is:

No one is allowed to put anything in the kitchen sink. If you do put anything in the sink, you have to wash it by hand.

So simple, but yet so effective.
Of course, this requires some cooperation on my part as well. I make sure that I run the dishwasher everynight. And unload it before breakfast in the morning, so everybody can put their breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. After dinner, all I do is put my plate, fork and glass in the dishwasher along with the pots I cooked with. Everything else is done for me!

Would you believe that for about three weeks now my kitchen has been CLEAN! At first, Lylah Grace thought it was cool to have to wash dishes by hand but that got old quick. Now, to conquer their bedroom!