Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Tough One

To be a mom you have to be tough. To be the mother of a special needs/medically fragile child you have to be really tough. Some days it is just hard. For me, the hardest of those days are when I have to go against everything inside of myself, everything at the core of who I am, to do what's right for my child. All I want to do is love her and protect her, make sure she doesn't have to feel any pain in this life. So it's the hardest of days when I have to submit her to pain and fear and stand back as she suffers. It's so hard!

Tuesday was one of these hardest of hard days. Riley had her testing for her kidneys and thyroid. That meant she had blood drawn-twice and a renal ultrasound. It. Was. Awful! No 4 year old is happy with getting poked by a needle, but when it has happened to you SO many times it is even worse. She starts crying when we enter the phlebotomists room. And a kidney ultrasound isn't painful at all, but it was terrifying for my traumatized by way too many doctors visits and tests little girl!

Not only did I have to stand by and watch but I had to physically pin Riley down as she struggled to get free, screaming and crying the whole time. During her ultrasound I laid next to her on the hospital bed and had to pin her with one leg over her legs and two arms wrapped around her tight! For 45 mins!! They were not even able to complete all the testing that the doctor ordered because I would only agree to the minimum of testing absolutely needed. My baby just couldn't do it. And her momma just couldn't either.

After several exhausting hours at the hospital, We both needed some cheering up. So we spent a great hour at the Houston zoo which is very close to TCH. We ended the day on the carousel, Riley's very favorite thing. As I relished her huge smile, I realized I would do anything to keep that smile there! I would gladly have taken all the pain and the fear of the day away from her and submitted myself instead. If I could, I would take all the bad in both of my girls lives and rest it happily on my own shoulders.

That thought made me once again grateful for a Savior who did just that. One who came to Earth to experience all of Riley's pain, all of my anguish and all the tough things that any of us face. Since I know He loves me, and my girls and all of us, I know he gladly took it upon himself. And for Him it was easier then watching us all struggle and suffer. I'm so grateful I have Him to help me through tough days!

Riley's blood results came back fairly normal but her ultrasound shows her kidneys are too small, just like her head and her brain. It could have been worse, but it is not the news I praying for. That means we will just have to pray for more strength, more answers, more peace. Im just grateful that neither of us will be doing it alone!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How We Do It!

Now that the girls have reached a ripe old age of 4 and a half, it's nice to know that they are pullin some of their own weight around here! Keagan earns her keep by being the cutest little towel folder I have ever seen! And she does a fantastic job! She's just a little proud of herself.

Riley was proud of herself for helping to raise money at the school Boosterathon a week ago. She completed 16 laps on the course and had an absolute blast dancing to the music and running with the other kids! The men who ran the event were so captured by her sincere smile that they took pictures to use in their campaign. And one of the cute moms at Keagans school was so impressed by her that she brought Riley a cute gift! Every girl needs a Boosterathon wrist and headband to go with the shirt she earned proudly!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Gus Gus

This week we had a little house guest. I didn't have to wash the sheets or put out the good towels though because our guest was covered in fur and came with his own cage. Ladies and gentleman I present to you, Gus...

Gus is Keagan's class guinea pig. He is hiding in his little house because he was obviously terrified. Who wouldn't be here? Some days I'm a little scared. My girls plus Kellie and Addie who were here Friday night and Saturday, just might have loved the poor thing to death! Riley squeezed him a couple of times and I can neither confirm or deny that poor Gus may or may not have been dropped. Twice.

But the girls absolutely loved their weekend visitor. Keagan called him Gussy Gussy and chatted to him all weekend. And Riley didn't have any hesitation with him at all. Keagan was even dreaming about Gus because she woke up in the middle of the night Saturday so worried that she had laid on top of him and smooshed the poor thing! Thankfully both girls were both big helpers in cleaning out his cage this morning. Not my favorite task for sure!

Funny story about Gus was at the beginning of the school year. Keagan was so excited about him and couldn't wait to tell her cousins all about him. When she told them he was black Addie looked at her with a serious look and with a warning tone said "ummmm he's African American!" Hilarious!

So we had a glorious 3 days with our African American guinea pig. He brought excitement without too much extra work. But for now I think we will just stick with the stuffed and cuddly type of animals at our house. Thanks for a great weekend Gus!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

True Angels

I swear my babies are even more sweet and darling when they are asleep! It must be the silence that just sky rockets their angel status. Sometimes when I see them snoozing, I just want to squeeze them and cover their face with kisses! But of course I hold back because then they would wake up. Plus I do that all the time when they are awake! At least when these angels will let me.
Saturday, February 23, 2013

Yew Haw!

It's Rodeo time in Houston! To kick off all the fun, yesterday was Go Texan day. This means we get to dress up in the stereotype of what people imagine the greatest state ever looks like. In our house it means the girls get to go to school dressed as the cutest little cowgirls you've ever seen!

Yes I realize they weren't matching. GASP! It was quite difficult for me, and Riley didn't like it either. I was a little off all day but I guess we all survived. The girls both loved all the fun. But being a cow girl is hard work!

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Really? Another One?

Riley had her 6 month Cardiology visit at TCH on Tuesday. Thankfully all of her test results show that her heart is functioning great. It has been for a while now, but I still hold my breath because I so clearly remember when her little heart was really not doin well. I'm so grateful that we have come so far, but....Man I wish there wasn't a but...

Her blood pressure is really high. On one hand Dr Jeewa is excited her heart can actually produce a pressure of 132/90. But that number is really not a good sign. We know its not due to heart function, so next they suspect a problem with the kidneys or the thyroid. This idea was a hard pill for me to swallow. Really? Does the girl really need another organ that isn't falling in line and just doing what it's supposed to?! And does the girl really need to see another specialist? Have all new kinds of tests, pokes and prods? Uggggg!

This all comes at a time when I was just feeling like I had a handle on everything! I was just noticing how things have been fairly calm, all Riley's doctors were happy with what they were seeing, and I felt like we were doing everything we can. But for some reason Riley's little body likes to keep things exciting. Oh how I long for boring! Boring would be grand!

That was on Tuesday. On Wednesday Miss Benanti mentioned that Rileys diapers have been really dry lately, and yesterday Riley gave me quite a scare! She woke up yesterday morning with a bone dry diaper. That was just a little alarming, but I brushed it off. By 10 when we were headed out the door and there was still no tinkle...this momma became alarmed. Then Riley didn't want much lunch which was another red flag so I got her to drink as much Gatorade and water as I possibly could and tried to push my worries away.

When I put an overly exhausted little girl to bed, she only had a tiny amount in her diaper, and the worrying kicked into high gear. Researching your worries on the Internet can be such a tricky thing, and the results of "low urine output" are extremely disheartening to say the last! After doing laundry to get ready for a hospital trip and packing an ER visit bag, I tried going to sleep at midnight but instead I laid and watched my babies sleep and prayed for tinkle! That's a new prayer!

This morning after initially waking up with a small amount in her diaper, the girl pulled open the flood gates just a little. I have never been so thankful to feel the warmth of tinkle through a diaper as I hold one of my babies before! We all did a little happy dance!

Thankfully, that means the ER is averted for today but we've still got some things to look at. Hopefully this week we will have a kidney ultrasound and a bunch of blood work done to see if we can find any answers. Until then there is a whole new meaning to the pee pee dance! And hopefully we will be doing that and having boring days alot more around here!
Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fill Er Up

Yesterday was a day to fill up my empty tank! You know the "trying so hard to be a fantastic mom, be everything to everyone, fulfill my calling, provide a good life, live the gospel, be a good friend, sister, daughter and aunt while checking off items on a mile long to do list" tank!

Kirk is in town so I had the very distinct pleasure of attending the Houston Temple with him, Lisa and our mom! It was wonderful!

And then we all had a fantastic and fancy dinner at Perry's Steakhouse which Todd joined us for.

That will definitely fill my tank for a while!

Cows & Goats & Elephants! Oh my!

Today was all about takin my animals to see real animals. The morning was spent at the Klein ISD FFA Livestock Show. Stinky, but fun. Who knew you could vacuum a cow?! Keags liked the goats the best and Riley was partial to the bunnies. But I was supper proud of both girls for petting the animals because they absolutely refused to last year.

This afternoon we spent a beautiful four hours at the zoo with the Frenchs and their cute out of town guests. You know it's a great Saturday when you have dip-n-dots and see fighting, bloody Rhinos! As always Keagan's highlight was playing the African drums and Riley's was the carrousel. Riley made a cute friend in 7 year old Harrison who took such pride in pushing her wheelchair and holding her hand at each stop. It all made for a fantastic day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Loves!

I am so blessed to have the two cutest valentines in the entire world!

Keagan was so excited to get her little gift from mom this morning and then give all her friends fun dips at school during their Valentines party. She came home with lots of cute treats, a tummy full of "chick a lay" and a big smile on her face!

Meanwhile I got to help the cutest little class ever with their Valentines party! We played games and decorated cookies with Riley and her friends! It's so fun to see Riley in her own little world and see how loved she is there!

We then got to go with Uncle Kirk who is in town (whom my girls absolutely adore) to cheer Sam on at her track meet. And the day ended with a low key pizza party at Sa's house celebrating the day of love!

Not your traditional Valentines day, but I'll take it!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog Worthy

Alot can happen in a week! It goes by so quickly before I realize I haven't documented anything, like I would like to. Last week Thursday was a blog worthy day. And I'm just now getting it on here.

Keagan didn't have school Thursday or Friday, and by the looks of my long to do list I was afraid she was just going to get lost in all the busyness. But mid afternoon on Thursday she stopped and gave me a huge hug to say "mom this is the best day ever!" Just what every mom loves to hear!

I actually had to go to the mall to the Apple store, a place I usually avoid. While waiting for our appointment Keags had a blast in the play area for over an hour. Yes I'm talking about the mall play area that is visibly crawling with germs and other nastiness. But she begged! And we normally bypass those places not just because of the germs but because they are so difficult for Riley to manage. So Keags ran and climbed, slide and jumped to her little hearts content. I actually got the chance to just sit and smile at my incredible and incredibly big little girl. The one on one time I have with my girls is just so special to me! I really get to see their distinct personalities and strengths in a clearer light. I really enjoy it so much!

Then at the Apple store she got to play on an iPad. I'm still amazed at how well she navigates technology and just figures things out so fast!

And finally as a reward for being such a good girl...

Meanwhile, Riley was at school, also having a fantastic day. Miss B sent me this darling picture of Riley and her best friend Jordan. Riley's in her little chair that I love and Jordan is taking care of Riley, which is a daily occurrence. Precious! Even at school Riley is a little princess!

This was definitely an improvement from the sad events of the morning. Riley was watching TV with her sister, while I cleaned the kitchen. And as a result of her excitement over Cinderella, she fell and scrapped her chin and bit her lip. Poor girl!

But then the day ended with the most exciting news of all! A video from Miss B from a couple days prior, of Riley girl pushing a shopping cart ALL BY HERSELF!! I literally cried and jumped on my bed with this exciting piece of footage! And the next day I hunted the same cart down to buy! It was way to expensive, but I would pay whatever I can to continue to see this little girl walk, persevere and be even more amazing then she already is!

Now that definitely blog worthy!

YouTube Video

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Bubble Treats

Note to self: when you decide to let the girls have a bubble bath on Sunday morning before church, don't use watermelon flavored bubbles! Even though they absolutely love it, your babies, especially Riley, just might swallow way too many bubbles!

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Lazy Saturday

Yesterday I started the day and ended the day with someone watching my kids! Having a babysitter for something other then taking Riley to therapy or the doctor is a huge treat and doesn't happen often! I am one tired momma so I somehow convinced Kellie to babysit the girls from 6:30am to 8:30am yesterday! That means I slept in!! It has been a seriously long time since I've slept past 7, and usually Miss Riley wakes me up before 6:30. But if you know me, you know I love to sleep in! In college I had a strict rule that I only woke up in the double digits.

Then last night after dinner with everyone, Nana took my girls and Addie home to bed while the rest of the Foster circus and I went to the Klein Oak musical, Sweeny Todd. It was an exceptional show and the first time I've been out in way too long! I really need to do that more often.

In between those two escapes from motherhood we had just a lazy Saturday. I jogged, the kids played, Kellie was here, Riley actually took a nap on the couch and I had the crazy idea of letting the girls do my make up! YIKES!

Beautiful weather outside, laziness and a little break. My kind of Saturday! And the very best part of the day....Ahhhh...

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