Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Star is Born!

**Make sure you scroll down & pause the music before you watch our young star!

So sitting around on Saturday night, Miss V decided to ham it up for the camera. The little microphone she's holding is actually Sissy's (goes with her Sharpay doll). As you can see in the background, Sissy is sleeping or else we would have had a fight on our hands (lol)! She was so stinking cute, dancing & acting like she was singing. I think it was a little showing off for Daddy. The girls have really enjoyed their time with him this week. It will be hard for all of us when he goes back to work:0( Hey, Kathy, maybe you could find Jon a job after you find one for Joe?!!

After taking the girls to the aquarium, we decided to get some things done around the house. We've lived in this house for nearly 3 years... the entire time with white walls. I NEED color! So, after picking out colors for the girls room, I decided we needed color in the living room. Of course Jon wasn't sure about it "until its done I won't know." So we started on Tuesday evening. Here's a before picture (its kind of in the background):

The "during phase" of the project:

And, the finished product:

So, this was our version of 'Extreme Home Makeover,' Walp style! Now I have the bug to do the rest of the house! Hope everyone is having a great looong weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here we are!!

I just realized that its been over a week since I've posted! Things have been a little busy, so I guess time just got away from me! We've been accomplishing so many different things around here.

Daddy is on vacation this week! This is the first time since Vaeh was born that we've been able to do something together as a family - other than make a trip to the hospital for Vaeh. So yesterday, we loaded up & headed to Cincinnati/ Newport, KY to the Newport Aquarium. Both the girls love fish, so they had a really good time. We went down with Jon's brother who was up from Savannah, GA for the week & his Mom. It was so fun just to get out & go somewhere like a "normal" family. Here's a couple of pictures from the day!

We're being eaten alive!

Ewee! Slimy!

Uh, Dad, this isn't funny!

We all really enjoyed our time out as a family. It was so nice just to get away. It almost seemed too easy, though. Vaeh has really taken off on the eating front! I was looking back through the blog, & on July 23rd she had taken enough by mouth to skip a tube feeding during the day. Its amazing the progress she's made, but as of August 23rd - just one month ago, drum roll please... Vaeh went without being tube fed at all! She is taking absolutely everything, including her meds, by mouth! At first I was apprehensive about not giving her anything at night. I reduced her volume slowly over a week, & after I stopped it, it really didn't seem to phase her any. She still isn't much of a breakfast eater, but neither is her sister! I spoke with the surgeon's office about having her button taken out, & they said that as long as her cardiologist was happy with her weight (maintenance or gain) over a three month period they will take it out! Once that's gone & her O2 (after her heart pressures level off) she will be tube free for the first time since she was 2 weeks old! My 'reflection of heaven' truly amazes me every day!

So, the rest of this week will be spent getting the house painted & some projects taken care of. Its so nice to have Daddy home for longer than 24 hours straight! The girls are both in heaven with having him around, & Mommy's just a little happy about it (lol)!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A weekend in pictures!

Well, we had a fun & relaxing weekend around here! Vaeh's roseola rash cleared up, as did the 'racoon eyes.' She's even becoming more normal in the eating category... like not wanting to eat anything! Oh well, as with all kids, its in her time not mine!

The girls really had a nice weekend, especially since Daddy didn't have to leave for work until late tonight. Vaeh is so funny & she always brings a smile to Daddy's face first thing in the morning. Right after she wakes up before she even sits up, the first thing out of her mouth is "Daddy!" This is usually followed by "Mawmaw," to which my answer is that they're both at work. After this morning ritual, we can procede with our day!

My girls are getting so big, too fast! Its so hard to believe that Vaeh will be 2 in a month, & that my first born is starting pre-K in another week! Where does the time go?!

Here again, I'm asking that you all continue to remember Elaina in your prayers. She was set for a discharge HOME on Monday, and today spiked a pretty high temp (104!). So, of course the discharge plans are again on hold for this poor little one. Hollie, just don't tell Elaina that you're taking her home & maybe she'll cooperate! Thanks again to all who check in on us & for keeping all these precious kiddos in your prayers!

Friday, August 15, 2008

"The smell of Rain"

Today I got an email from a friend about "the smell of rain." Janet is another fellow heart mom that I've come to know over the past few months. I love this story, because it is about a family that puts their faith in God & not what the doctors tell them is most likely to happen.

Interestingly enough, my mother-in-law gave me a copy of the very same story shortly after Nevaeh was born. I remember vividly reading the story through the buckets of tears as I progressed through the story. It really was a light in a very dark time for me. I had just found out that my precious baby was not "perfect" as I thought. This story was a strengthener for my own hope, & more importantly my faith that God was in control & that all would be fine.

The story is about the Blessing family (how coincidental!) & the birth of their 2nd child, a daughter, Dana Lu. She was born at 24 weeks gestation, back in 1991, she was 12 inches long & weighed only 1 lb, 9 oz. Even now, its rare that a baby born that early will survive. The doctors didn't give the Blessings much hope for little Dana, but they put their faith in God.

At 2 months old, they were able to hold her for the first time. At 4 months old she went home, against all doctors predictions. 5 years later, at her brother's baseball team practice, she & her mother had a conversation about a smell that Dana had noticed. "Did you smell that?," she asked her mom. Her Mom replied "yes, it smells like rain." Dana asked her Mom again, & disagreed with her Mom's reply when she said it smelled like rain. "No," Dana replied, "it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest!"

Okay, so now that I have everyone's hair on their arms standing on end, wasn't that a neat story! I think of it every time it smells like rain! If you'd like to read the actual story, just send me an email at & I'd be glad to send it to you! Thanks for the story, Janet!

On a side note, Miss V's rash is cleared up & the eyes are looking much better! I'll post pictures of it later! Hope you all have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Racoon eyes

I guess it was just too much to ask of Miss V to go an entire month without a doctor's appointment:0) At her last cardiology visit, we were given the two month spread, so I thought 'yeah, no docs for an entire month!' Guess I won't jinx it next time!

She's been doing so well here lately that we've been taking her so many places, just like a normal kid. So I didn't think anything of it when we let her take a pony ride at the fair. It was a couple of days later that her eyes started looking a little dark, inflammed like she has allergies. Figuring it would run its course, we just kept her in for a few days & decided to wait it out. Well, miss thing had other plans! Last week on Friday night when I put her to bed, I noticed that her heart rate was up a little, not to mention she was breathing quicker. All it took was one touch of her forhead & I knew why. A fever of 102.4 came out of no where. So needless to say, we didn't get a very good nights sleep. That went on over the weekend, with a high of 103.8! Thank goodness for tylenol & cool baths!

So, Monday I called to schedule a well check for Vaeh along with a visit for the eyes & Gabby's pre-school physical. I wasn't very happy when I was given an appointment date of Sept. 22nd! What?!?! Thanks to insurance, a physical won't be covered for Gabby until then. They also told me a 'well check' would only be a 20 month not a 2 year. Okay, no problem. Then the frustrating part... "call back tomorrow & we can schedule a visit for her other issues." How rediculous is that! So now I have to make another long distance call in the morning to schedule. Not a happy camper was I!

So we get up on Tuesday morning, & Vaeh is covered in a rash & her eyes look terrible! She didn't have a fever through the night or in the morning, but just looked like she felt miserable. Poor thing:0( Here's a couple of pictures to show her lovely 'racoon eyes.'

So the rash was a viral thing (ie roseola - which I kinda figured). But Dr. McNeal did agree that the eyes were probably an alergic reaction, which the virus compounded! The doc gave us cream for the eyes & said that the rash would just go away once the viral course was over. She looks sooo much better this morning. The cream seems to be helping already after just one dose. Bye bye racoon eyes! Some day we'll be able to go more than a month without seeing a doctor. Hopefully soon!

Friday, August 8, 2008

New Things

Whew! I've been slacking! Sorry I haven't posted in almost a week, but there really hasn't been much going on. Both the girls are enjoying summer, as is Mommy! Its so nice not to have to run to the hospital or the doctors! I think I can get used to this!

Gabby is asking more frequently now, "Mommy, is it school day yet?" She starts pre-K on September 2nd & is sooo excited to get back to school! She'll go three days a week this year, vs. the two days last year! My little girl is growing up!

Miss V is still eating like crazy!! I find myself feeding her & looking at her in absolute awe. Its so hard to believe that just 2 months ago, we were lucky to get her to eat a teaspoon by mouth, & now I'm not tube feeding her at all during the day! Just yesterday she had a half a fish sandwich, bread & all! I just love seeing those cheeks moving like crazy when she's chewing! Its something I never thought I'd see!

In addition to the eating, she's really getting quite daring about walking! She's been cruising around the furniture for weeks now, making laps around the coffee table & the couch. Now she's getting daring enough to go between the table & recliner. Granted, her armspan is long enough that she can go between them without letting go, but you know how little one's learning to walk are! Last night, she was busy playing with Sis & cruising around. She made her way over next to the chair where I was sitting. Next thing I know, she takes a step without her hands on anything!!! I was giddy! Of course she looked at me like I was nuts (oh, how right she is!). She hasn't done it since, but she's getting closer day by day.

Watch out, here I come!!

By far the biggest new thing was yesterday. The girls got to meet their Uncle Jim! They were both so excited, especially Gabby. All she talked about yesterday morning was meeting "Uncle Jimbo!" Jim (aka Jimbo) is my oldest half brother. We have the same father, & have never been really close, but none the less still brother & sister. The father that we share isn't involved in my life. Lets just say that he's not the nicest person & did some stupid things (the story is a mini novel & right now would take WAY to long to explain). Jim & I have kind of kept in touch over the years, meaning we talk every year or so. Earlier this week, Jim's mom passed away. Of course once I heard about it, the first thing I wanted to do was send flowers & go see him! The flowers were easy (my Mom & her sisters own a florist), so then we planned the funeral home visit.

When we arrived there, we found Jim right away, & he seemed pretty suprised & happy to see us. The girls were both pretty shy around him at first, but after a while they were both warming up to him. It was so nice to see my brother & for him to see the girls. I hope we can make it a habit of getting together more often!

On another note, our little heart friend Elaina remains entangled in a battle for her life. According to her blog, she is slowly declining & there is no further option surgically to fix her heart short of a transplant. But, with her lung complications, she isn't a candidate. Hollie (her Mommy)wrote that they are trying to have her considered for a heart-lung transplant, but that would be out at Stanford in California (they are in Utah, Salt Lake area). They are in need of much prayer support to make it through this journey. Please continue to keep them, as well as all our heart friends & their families, in your prayers!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I know, it seems like all I've been posting about is Miss V and her eating! But it was just a few short weeks ago that I thought we'd never make it to this point! I just can't help the excitement that I have every time she puts something edible in her mouth!

So, with that said, here's some more of her eating progress! She continues to accept more textures & larger amounts! Just this week she's had everything from Chinese to a hot dog (don't worry - I was right there with her & took the skin off)! Last night she even at half of a grilled cheese sandwich! Then a little later she wanted some of the other half that was left! Today, she was hungry... something that I wasn't sure she would ever understand or feel. So I got out a toddler meal (those folks at Gerber hit the goldmine!) of cheese ravioli & warmed it up. I put a piece on her plate & cut it into smaller pieces. She still tends to gag if she gets too big of a piece in her mouth. She started reaching for the fork that I was using, so I got the toddler fork I had & let her use it. She did WONDERFUL!!! Its like she's been eating with utensils all her life! I'm just so proud of my baby! She has come such a long way in such a short time! Here's a video of her eating prowess:0)

Isn't she the cutest?!?! Besides the eating, she has been drinking like a champ, too! We've graduated to the sippy cup & she usually drinks at least 2 full cups of water a day! She's just amazing me more & more every day!

On another note, please continue to keep Elaina & Brody in your prayers. Elaina continues to battle her way to life outside of the hospital, with an infection blocking her escape now! Little Brody just had his second (?) open heart this week, & is so far doing well. Please remember these kiddos & their families in your prayers as they continue on the congenital heart defect journey! Hope all are having a great weekend & summer!