Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December Update

It's been so long since I have written that I don't even know where to start! Sorry about that. We are just busy living life here.

I will start with Cohen, since he's the baby and all! Hard to believe he will be 2 YEARS OLD this month. Time has really flown. He is doing great, we have had some trouble with his G tube this fall. It had been infected for over 60 days, and we were worried the surgeon would have to move it. Thankfully, its really improved in the last 2 weeks. Since then, he has had croup pretty bad. He can't sleep and coughs so much. It's a cough that hurts your heart. I feel like today he is some better. Hoping he can feel 100% better soon.
Cohen will have a swallow study at Vandy December 19th. We are already hoping and praying for improvement and some good news. We also are taking him to Cincinnati Children's Hospital in January for some 2nd opinions. This has been a long process to get approved and actually an appointment, but we hope to hear some different views and options for his swallowing and overall health care needs. I am super excited and dread this visit at the same time. They will repeat his MRI, broncoscopy, do a sleep study, and lots and lots of other poking and prodding. In the end, I think it's worth knowing we are doing everything we can for him.

Ames is now 3 1/2. He is a busy little boy and talks non-stop. He even talks in his sleep. He loves Cohen so and they really play and have fun together. Watching the bond of brothers grow stronger daily warms my heart. He is SO excited for Santa to come visit and is asking for a garbage truck. Everywhere we go people mention his red hair. He is really funny about it. In the grocery store yesterday a lady said "look at that hair." Ames told her "ya, ya, I know, it's red." I couldn't help but laugh.

Calee is doing great, she is the busiest of all of us between dance and school. Her Christmas recital was last weekend. She was beautiful and it was fun to watch her. This week she visits nursing homes 3 days with her dance group. I am thankful for her big heart and her love of her little brothers. I think she is more excited about Christmas for them than for herself!

Here is a few pictures from the dance recital and around the house. Enjoy!  Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!!!!
Calee singing and dancing!


Calee in her performance group

Love Cohen's face here

Ames and Cal

If I could only get all 3 to look!

Cohen winking!

Friday, November 4, 2011

My little Monster, Dragon and Cutesy Witch=)

I could not get the dragon to look!

Witch w her kitty

Cohen and Ames like to push the wagon instead of ride in it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Home from Paradise

We just got home from a little trip to Paradise! It was so beautiful and relaxing. Exactly what we needed. Hope all of you are having a wonderful fall! I will update soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Family Randoms and Happenings!

While I was typing this post, Cohen crawled up and pushed the power button and turned it off!!! No wonder I never get an blogging done anymore!!!!

My favorite time of year has finally weather, beautiful leaves, college and high school football. How much better can it get?

Fall so far has been as busy as ever. Calee just finished up her first Middle School Volleyball season, first Middle School Homecoming, and the boys and I are well into 2-day a week Mother's day out (MDO). Justin has also been super busy with fall food plots. You can check out his website here.

Calee loved volleyball and learned alot. I will post some pictures below. Ames and Cohen had fun going to watch her and playing with little brothers and sisters of other volleyball players.

 Calee is excited to get back into her dance class routine this week. We have waited to start her fall classes until the season was over.  She has missed it!

Cohen has been doing wonderful. The MDO has been a big adjustment to him. After crying most of the day the first couple of weeks, he is finally starting to play and enjoy it. I am SO thankful his teachers are friends of mine and super patient with him. I would have been nuts if I had been them!!!! He was definitely "that" kid!!!!! As far as my class goes, I have the younger 2 year olds. They are seriously precious. I had no idea it would be this enjoyable.

We are heading to the beach again for fall break with some friends. The kids and I are super excited about that.

Here are some recent pics. Enjoy and I promise y'all will hear from me soon!!!
Working on her serve

Ames and his little buddy Drake waiting for the homecoming parade

Boys loved the parade!
Ames and his little friend Kade playing at the VB game

Calee on the 6th grade float
Cohen being a BIG boy at school!
Volleyball diva=)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ready or we go!

Cohen is having a great few weeks! I am so happy with the progress he is making. This is our last official week of summer. Next week I will start working at a Tuesday/Thursday school and Ames and Cohen will go with me. I am so excited and still so nervous about this! Ames has attended the school for the last 2 years, and it has been such a blessing for us. I know Cohen will love all the interaction and benefit from the structure, I just pray he can stay healthy and well!

Cohen has made some major strides in his PT recently! He is standing up and really close to cruising! The new braces make it so much easier for him. Our PT is absolutely wonderful and such an encouragement to me. Feeding therapy is also going great. He is eating about anything he can get his little hands on, with alot less choking and gagging. Still a long way to go but I can tell a major difference.

Calee has started middle school this week! She is loving it so far. I am looking forward to fall weather and fun! Here is a little snapshot from my phone of Cohen during PT today.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bad Blogger!

Sorry I have been such a bad blogger. I actually had to look back and read the last post to even see what it was about! Ha!

We have just been busy living life the last few weeks. Cohen is doing great, he is getting his casts off tomorrow (Friday) and get his leg orthopedic braces. We are so excited about this. He will be able to take them off to bathe and swim and sleep! This will be a HUGE improvement from the cast.

Cohen has come along way with his eating lately as well. He is now able to eat crackers, bread, puffs, etc. Still no liquids by mouth, but still making major headway. He loves to eat, and its fun all being at the table and everyone being able to participate in dinner.

Calee got her braces off, so that is another big development we have had. Ames turned 3 on July 24th. He is as funny and wild as ever!

We are going on a vacation next week and are super excited about some fun in the sun.

I promise to do a more detailed post when we get back. Thank you all so much for your love and concern for us. We love you all=)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4th!!!!!

Even though Cohen is still under the weather a little, we managed to get the kids dressed and take some pictures. We even got all 3  almost looking at the camera and smiling! It was nothing short of a miracle!

On this July 4th, Calee is 11 years old, Ames 2, and Cohen 18 months!!! People look so funny when I say I have an 18 month old and a 2 year old! My sweet Ames will be 3 July 24th=)

Almost all looking!!!!

C and C

Sweet kiss!

The boys saw something shiny! haha!

Cohen Update

So many things have come up in the last couple of weeks since my last post....I am not sure where to start!

I mentioned he was running a mysterious, low grade fever. Basically, the fever just continued on and he ended up with a bunch of congestion and a terrible cough. No matter what we did the fever would not go away. About 10 days ago we noticed he had a spot on the back of his neck, it looked like a tape burn or possibly a bib that rubbed.

It went from a tiny spot to a huge half dollar size by the next day. Then spread to 4 more spots on his back and neck. Turns out, he has a staph infection! Also double ear infections and a unbelievably terrible diaper rash from all the side effects from the antibiotic shots!

We have had a standing appointment at the doctors office everyday for 6 days, with a few more to go. He is getting injections for the staph and cream 3x a day. It looks SO much better. I would post some pictures, but I don't want to risk that someone might be trying to eat while reading this. It is really just to darn gross to post.

The funny part is I have over 100 pictures of it! The doctors wanted us to document the changes but taking pics and drawing around the spots in sharpie. Poor Cohen looked so pitiful with all those marks, plus the casts!

I do feel like we are finally on the up side of this. He has slept way better the last 2 nights and is somewhat happier. I know the poor guy has been so miserable. He has gone days without even a smile. So unlike him.

We go to Vandy tomorrow for a cast change. I will be so glad to see what his feet look like post surgery and have new clean casts!

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

7 days later.....

7 days after surgery I feel like we are starting to see glimpses of our boy again. During the day he has several happy hours of play, on and off. Then at night it seems to turn all "off". He is miserable to say the least. I can only imagine how hard it is to get comfortable with those big heavy casts on.

We are trying to keep him cool and dry, so he will itch as little as possible. He continues to run some low grade temps every day or two, which is still a mystery. The surgeon's office said unless the really high it may just be a coincidence. I do feel like he has a little cold to go along with this.

All that said, our sweet church family sent a balloon bouquet to Cohen. It has provided Cohen and Ames hours upon hours of laughing and playing. It's like their own little mini carnival. It has been the perfect distraction!!!

I snapped a few pics of them playing....BTW, I never leave them unattended with the balloons, I know they could easily get tangled up=)

Please ignore the sea of toy clutter...this is an everyday occurrence at our house!

Ames loves the balloons too!

Sweet baby

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cohen is home!

Sorry for the delayed post! Seems like once you bring them home there is much less computer time=)

He is doing so much better. Still having a little pain (we think) and getting used to these monster cast. He also spiked a fever in the night last night and freaked us out some. We will probably have the doctor look at him to make sure we aren't having a start of infection or anything else.

I will post some pics soon! Thank you all for the support and love! We are so grateful to you all. Now, if we can all just get some sleep=)

BTW-----Calee left at 7 am this morning for 4-H camp. I will miss her so much this week and so will the boys. Say an extra prayer for her safety and that she has a blessed and wonderful experience! Thanks again.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 2

Cohen is looking so much better this morning. His color is better and he has only had Tylenol since 6 a.m. His oxygen sats are still struggling a bit but he is definitely improving.

We even got a little smile and kiss from him this morning. Looks like we will be staying at least another night but hope that home is in our Saturday "forecast".

I will update later in the day with any changes. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers=)

Surgery Report

All I can say is how in the world did we handle 120 + days of the hospital before and when Cohen was born????? We are only halfway through 1 night and I am exhausted!

Cohen had his surgery this afternoon (Thursday). He had his heel cords clipped, adenoids removed and a broncoscopy. I know I have said before but we have been putting off this surgery for over a year. I just didnt think his little lungs were strong enough. After having a relatively healthy winter we scheduled it.

I know hindsight is always 20/20, but this is crazy. Here I sit in the PICU watching him struggle and work so hard to breathe after surgery. I can't believe he is here again. Helpless is such a mild word for how hard this is to watch.

I know he really needed this surgery to be able to walk. Everyone keeps saying in the long run we will be glad. I hope that is all true. The orthopedic surgeon also had to clip the cords on his big toe once he go into the surgery. Other than that is was exactly as planned.

The ENT surgeon came to see us after and said Cohen did great. He also told us Cohen's airway has gown tremendously in a year since the G tube surgery. GREAT NEWS. We were on cloud nine! That lasted about until they called us to recovery!

About an hour after he talked to us they let us come back to recovery. A nurse was holding him when we got there and she told us he had been a "handful". I was not pleased with the comment, but it turns out, she wasnt really our nurse, and ours came back from her lunch then. I held him and his oxygen saturations kept dropping. He just could not get comfortable but was not awake. The nurse called the Anesestologist and he came to check. He did a chest x-ray and gave meds. Cohen rapidly got worse. They ended up bagging him about 3 times. It was scary but thankfully they let us stay in the room.

This doctor and about 4 others, along with several nurses worked on him for about 2 hours. They never left his side. I have to say it was absolutley amazing care. When they finally got him stable they decided we would spend the night in ICU. It took until 11 pm to get him moved. Then more doctors and nurses checking and looking at him.

They think his lungs are just more scarred and weaker than we thought. That he has "reactive airway disease" and this caused his airway to swell up from being intubated. These are all just theories and guesses for now.

I am leaving out many details, but I am tired and cant think clearly. He is stable now but still requring alot of oxygen and is getting pain meds to help him rest. He is still really fussy and crying alot even with them.

Thank you all for your texts, calls, and prayers! Love you all! I left my cell phone charger at home, and my phone is completely dead. We really hope this is just a quick, temporary thing and we will go home in a day or so. I will update tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

48 hours!

48 hours until Cohen's surgery. I can't believe it is already here. I am nervous and ready to have it behind us all in the same thought.

They will clip both heel cords, do a broncoscopy scope and remove his adenoids. Sounds like a lot but I think it is all very needed. Please say a little prayer for him=)

We have been busy with fun summertime activities since school ended. Cohen is more fun everyday and is such a little ham. Everyone says I never put a pic of myself so here is a recent one of me and my sweet Cohen.

Thank you for all you love and support. I will update you asap after surgery.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Finally got Cohen's surgery scheduled. Coordinating a time for both the ENT and the Ortho doctor proved to be a real chore!

 June 16th is the day at VCH. He will have both heel cords clipped and possibly his adenoids removed (depending on what they see).

The estimate after is cast(s) for 6 weeks followed by braces.

I a hoping the weather here warms up for ALOT of swimming before the surgery. For some reason, I have bought Cohen and Ames way to may pairs of swim trunks. It will be hard to swim with 2 casts!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Love to you all!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pretty as a......Dump Truck!

My sweet almost 3 year old Ames came home from Mother's Day Out yesterday with lots of handmade gifts and cards for me for Mother's Day. I was teary eyed looking through all of it. Then I came across this.........
P.S. I know the picture bleeds over into the sidebars but I wanted to make sure you could read it!!!!!

Only from Ames would looking like a Dump Truck be a compliment!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Way Back Wednesday!

One of my all time faves of Calee and Ames. I took this pic on the beach on the very day I realized I was pregnant with Cohen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

10 years ago....

10 years ago today I graduated from college. That same day, I loaded up my baby girl, left Texas and moved back to Tennessee to start my first "real" job.

This picture was taken on the trip home. ( I had to scan it so its crooked) It is truly amazing how fast 10 years goes by! I hope the next 10 go by a little slower=)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cohen the Pest.....

I realized yesterday that Cohen has become the "pesky" little brother. Ames has held the title for quite some time, but now Cohen has definitely taken over.

He can scoot on his bottom and army crawl pretty fast now, so he makes a quick beeline to whatever or whoever he wants. He has Doppler radar on Ames' sippy cups. Every time I look up he has one in hand turning it up! Poor little guy wants to drink so badly. Hopefully that will happen soon, but that is a while other subject!

He also loves his walker and can really, really, move fast with it. He loves to pull up beside the kitchen drawers and pull out all the dish towels. Don't let him near a laundry basket! It will be scattered all over the house.

Last night, Calee and Ames were in her bed watching the movie Tangled. Cohen kept rolling into her room and blocking the T.V. He was doing his "attention yell" at them and disrupting the movie. Calee told me "Cohen is such a nuisance tonight!" So then Ames would copycat and say "Cohen is a nunsun". It was so funny.

I have a feeling this "pesky" little man is just going to be more and more into things! I LOVE it!
He stands up on one foot and pulls up on furniture

Eating some puffs! YAY!

His favorite dish towel drawer. He also opens the bottom freezer!

He's so cute you can hardly tell him NO!

In his rolling ride!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Calee and her book club!

For the last few weeks, Ames has insisted that Calee be the one to read his bedtime books. She gets really into it doing all the voices and sounds of the characters. Ames and Cohen both gather around her and it is the sweetest thing.

I finally thought to take a few pictures last night. They started out in the living room and then she reads to just Ames in his bed.
They start out pretty attentive.

They love hearing her and get so excited.

About 3 minutes in they decide Elmo needs to listen too

It ends up getting a little wild

Calee looked up after a few minutes last night and realized the boys were gone and she was reading to herself. I wish I had gotten a pic of her expression! So funny!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Calee in D.C.

 Calee and LuLu had a great time in D.C. They have a big time everywhere they go!

She enjoyed the White House Egg Roll, but I think she was even more excited about the Smithsonian and Spy Museum! I am so thankful she was able to to and have this experience and make memories for life! Thanks LuLu!

Here are a few of my favorite pics.

Waiting to do the Easter Egg Roll

Easter Sunday. They went to St. Johns Episcopal Church.

LOVE this one! She looks right at home!

A little yoga on the White House lawn.
Calee's favorite pic=)