A Sunbeam to Warm you, A Moonbeam to Charm You, A Sheltering Angel, That Nothing May Harm You

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finally a Family Day in DC

It has been a rough few months, with illness after illness, we have been canceling play dates and outings every time some one comes up with a fever. Finally on Saturday no one had a fever so we headed off to DC.

We didn't tell Johnny we where headed to the Smithsonian to see dinosaurs, we told him it was a Mystery Ride on the train. That made the train ride itself an exciting event. Every time we stopped he would ask why and get excited whenever we went into a tunnel!

Lily handed it just fine, no fussing or yelling, though it wasn't as entertaining for her.

Once we walked toward the building Johnny remembered where we were and got really excited! I regret that we waited so long to bring him back. Here he is teaching Daddy about the Triceratops.

Again Lily Bean was just a great little girl, hanging out in her stroller and smiling at everyone who passed her! Here she is faking a smile for the Momma with the camera.
It was like Johnny had been coming to the museum everyday! He wanted to climb the stairs just so he could see EVERYTHING at once!

Moving on from the dinosaurs, we headed into the Ocean Hall. Real tropical fish could have kept his attention for hours.

There she is, she is eventually released from the stroller, but not yet.

Johnny started to get a little tired, so he was given the keys to the Daddymobile (hehehe) He would point to where he wanted to go and then tell Daddy when to stop. I am not surprised that he went right for the giant tortoise shell. It also didn't take long for him to start asking "What's that?" and telling us when he knew what something was!

This was a great surprise that Mommy loved! Seven cases of crocheted sea coral! Over 4000 pieces all donated by crafty people from all over the nation! It was breath taking and very beautiful!

They even had one woman who had done some of the work there with pieces for the kids to touch.

Johnny was excited too!
It was in the Hall of Mammals that Johnny discovered the information boards and the buttons that made the noises that the animals made, he was amazed and ran to each one.

Yes it looks like he is learning about our history and cave paintings, but really he was playing shadow animals with some other kids :) he does a great shadow duck...qwak qwak. That is my creative boy!

Johnny is having some stomach problems again, so after these things, he started to get really tired and ask about going home, so we thought it was time for his first IMAX....3D Dinosaurs! Daddy went in with him, while Lily took a nap with Mommy. Daddy says that Johnny talked through all of it, explaining what was going on. He got a little scared when the dinosaurs attached, but it was 3D who can blame him!

I had Lily wrapped to me while she slept so we went to see the National Collection of Gems. I love seeing the many different gem stones in all the different states. Here is the Hope Diamond. It is in a new setting since the last time I saw it, and I like the old one better, when there where diamonds in a circle around it. But it is still very beautiful!

Lily woke up and finally got a chance to see a few things herself. Shee was very interested by the amethyst, right at her level! But mostly she was nearly part of the display, since while she was sitting there everyone stopped and ooooed and awwwed at how adorable she was!

While the boys saw their movie, Mommy got a special souvenir for Johnny. His very own fossil! A Trilobite, more then 520 million years old.

He was excited, though he can't really understand this yet he knew it was a dinosaur. He really is a very appreciative kid, even gets excited for new cloths! For now it goes on his dresser and one day it will be the greatest gift ever.

He stayed as long as we could, then got back on the train to head home. Some how Lily lost 3 binkies in the museum and train station, so she had to chew on her sippy cup on the way home. It was all less dramatic then I expected.

All in all another great day with our wonderful little family. Knock on wood everyone stays fever free!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vesicoureteral Reflux

Lily Bean has fully recovered from her urinary track infection, but it is not normal for a 7 month old baby to have a UTI. Her provider at KIRK thought we needed to do some tests to make sure there wasn't a reason for the infection, so she put in for a renal ultrasound and a VCUG (voiding cystourethrogram.) It was very scary taking my tiny baby to have invasive tests and the thought that something could be wrong with her was a little over whelming. As we walked through the hospital every person who saw her smiled at her and stopped to talk to her tell me how beautiful she was. She was such a big girl!

We did the ultrasound first, but the technician couldn't tell me anything about what it looked like. I took that as a good sign, if her kidneys looked bad wouldn't the tech freak out and get a doctor? The VCUG was the test we where scared of, she would need to be catheterized and have some contrasting liquid put into her bladder and then have X-rays taken as the liquid flows through her bladder and the tubes that connect everything. It went as smoothly as it could have, she cried a while, then fell asleep, then fussed a while.

The big news came when the technician saw something on her pictures and got a doctor. After he looked at them and took a few more he came back to tell me Lily had reflux. It took me back a minute, reflux? she stopped spitting up months ago. But that was just me breathing out after the stress of the tests.
Lily has grade 0 vesicoureteral reflux on one side. Basically a small amount of urine is flowing back up the tube from her bladder to her kidneys. It is not happening all the time or when she pees, but every once in a while and low pressure, so it is not flowing hard or far, but some urine is refluxing. If we don't treat this, or had not caught it she could keep getting infections and/or cause damage to her kidneys. The good news is, now we can go see a urologist and she will most likely out grow the problem when her urethra grows and fixes whatever defect she has, which she was born with. The most common way to treat this is to give her a low level of antibiotics every day and do another VCUG until the reflux problem is gone. Giving her antibiotics everyday comes along with it's own set or risks for Lily Bean, but constant UTIs can cause permanent kidney damage, and well she can't live without those.

So this is where we stand. Monday we will get the official report from the hospital and get our referral for the
urologist to set up Lily's treatment plan and get more information. I am trying to gather information on our own, on her new situation, and start the praying for this to be simple and not cause any further problems for my precious little Lily Bean.

Interestingly when I was a toddler I had similar problems. My mother said I was always damp, leaking even I didn't need to pee. This is a congenital defect (more common in red heads for some strange reason) giving siblings a 37% to also have it. I had an outpatient procedure done when I was 3 and I never had any problems outside of that. So smooth I don't even remember the problem, except that I got a candy bar after the procedure.

Hey there big brother! Just got this cute picture of Johnny today and wanted to share it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Sharks Eat

Johnny in the back seat of the car with his huge toy shark.
The shark bites Johnny's finger
Johnny tells the shark "Don't eat my finger"
Johnny speaking as the shark "But I hungry"
The Johnny asks the shark "What do you eat"
The shark says "Fingers, Dragons, and Lilys!"

When we tried to explain to "the shark" that he couldn't eat Lilys becuase she wasn't food we just got a long "WHHHYYYYY?"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

Growing up I was never left out of Valentines day. Just because I was too young to be in romantic love didn't mean I wasn't loved. My father always had something special for me, a new pair of earrings or candy and even one year my first cell phone, and it always made me feel wonderful. (This year my parents got me some decorative pink pearl jewelry and some cupcake kitchen things, they got Shawn a very nice new sweater and Johnny a Hot Wheels carrying case and some new cars and Lily some puffs and framed picture of them with her.) I always want Lily and Johnny to know they are loved and feel as special on Valentines Day as I do.

We took some special pictures in out special outfits for our Valentines.

Reaching out for Love.

Standing like a big girl! Mommy made the skirt and bow and ordered the special cupcake Valentine's Day shirt.

That smiles continue to take my breath away.

For this picture I asked Johnny to give me a hug! He gives the BEST hugs EVER! Johnny's shirt says "Johnnysauris!"

Yesterday we made some red heart cookies to take to Daddy's work and give to all our friends, Johnny LOVED IT!

When we started decorating he was so careful, making sure that the sprinkles and icing went right where he wanted it too.

But by the time we where done he was having so much fun that the sprinkles went everywhere!

After we finished the sugar cookies Johnny went to bed and Mommy couldn't seem to stop baking, I had fun baking like I hadn't in so many years! I made huge heart shaped cookies for Grams and Pops, and Shawn. With as much fun as I had baking them, Johnny had decorating them this morning.

I also had the kids special Valentines gifts all ready for them to wake up to. I had really wanted to get the dragon and unicorn pillow pets for them since before Christmas, it was perfect for Valentine's Day. Johnny had his first chocolate on his first Valentines Day, but he was 11 months old, Lily is just 8 so she didn't get any chocolate, but she did get a singing book that tells her that we love her more then anything.

Johnny was shocked and very excited! He scarfed down a large chuck of his candy and carried around his dragon all morning.

Lily was similarly shocked and happy :)

Mommy woke up to some of her favorite chocolate GODIVA! and some new perfume :) yeah me

After getting dressed and taking Shawn to work we drove to Grams and Pops house to take them their special cookie heart and some valentines cards. Of course Samantha is with Grams and Pops all day so we took her some special Elmo bows that I made and she showed Johnny where all the treats where.

At Grams and Pops house my camera became too full of pictures and I couldn't bare to erase anything so we have no more pictures.

In the afternoon we took lunch to Daddy at work and shared some cookies and Valentines with his co workers. Everyone loved seeing the kids in their special cloths, smiling and being sweet! It was a wonderful visit.

For Dinner...HEART SHAPED MEAT LOAF!!! Daddy and Johnny's favorite!

Johnny had three serving of meatloaf and two servings of potatoes and green beans!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


There is a new Katy Perry song out, called Firework,
It is a simple and yet inspiring self esteem building pop song, I avoided it for a long time since it seems to me that it must be every teenagers anthem(I don't think there is a teenager out there that never thought down on themselves or that the world was ending at some point,) and well I am not a teenager. But there is something about this song that gives me energy and some sort of boost, it is really great for workouts.

This evening I was listening to the song and flipping through some recent pictures of the kids and I realized....my kids will be teenagers one day....oh crap! (Thankfully I have 10 years to learn how to deal with teens! )

But for now I can remember what it was like to be that age and know that the day will come when my kids will relate to this song as well, and now I can't listen to Firework without crying and thinking of 14 year old Lily and 16 year old Johnny...so I want them to always know that those beautiful colors are in them, I CAN SEE THEM! Those fireworks blind me everyday and I can't wait to see them light up the sky of this world! They will do amazying things one day and they will blind the world with their brilliance.

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep?
Six feet under screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you
'Cause there's a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby, you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through

'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby, you're a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make 'em go, oh
You're gonna leave 'em falling down

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

Okay so after I posted this and went back and watched the entire music video I started sobbing when they showed the woman giving birth and sparkling. I realized that that woman was me! (It might be really late and I must be emotional) I realized that my kids and becoming a mother was my ignition and that Lily and Johnny make me bright and sparkle! I am amazyed, I have tried to think what I can do for them and give to them, and all this time they have done something amazying for me. They have brought out the best in me and shown me that I more then I ever thought I could be, becuase I am their mother.

I kept trying to think that I was too old to find personal meaning in a pop song, but I no longer care :) and wow how sappy and self satisfying is this post, sorry!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Definitely Strep Throat, Maybe New Teeth

Yep that is right, our home is officially infested with strep! Johnny had a cough for the past few days, but yesterday he seemed to loose his voice and when asked, he would tell you that his throat hurt. So after a very bad coughing fit, Johnny not being able to eat a crescent dog (one of this favorite foods,) and Grams suggested it might be strep so Momma took him to Patient First.

One quick swab and a look down his throat and strep confirmed, antibiotics given. We got orange juice and cough drops and antiseptic spray and he seems to be doing okay. His energy comes in spurts, where he will be running and crazy for 15 minutes and then crash. He is being so polite, always saying thank you and please, even though it must hurt to speak. Last night while waiting to see the doctor, Johnny sneezed and said "Bless Me." He is just so sweet and strong with this entire thing, I love him so much. This morning he even went poop on the potty all by himself, then he wiped himself! We where all excited and proud.

The Bransons are quarantined, as we try to not spread this to Sammi and Ella or our friends, Johnny had to miss gymnastics today :( But he is entertaining himself just fine with some Hot Wheels that Papa brought to him yesterday, he carries them around in anything he can find.

Lily is working on some teeth! Her two bottom front teeth are starting to pop up, you can just see and feel the top of them!! I noticed them in the check out line at the craft store this week end, I had everyone in line excited! So she has been a little fussy, but still a happy smile when ever you look at her!

She is fully recovered from her infection last week, however the clinic wants to test her kidneys and bladder to see why a 7 month old got a UTI, it is not normal. Last Friday when she went in for her follow up they wanted to take another urine sample to make sure the UTI was gone. They catheterized her...it was a horrible experience and that paired with the fact that the only pediatrician the clinic had retired, has us seeking approval to find a pratice off post. One of the tests has her being catheterized again, but this time by a professional else where. We are hoping to get approved and get another pediatrician quickly so we can get a second opinion, but from what I have read the test are standard for a baby who gets a UTI.

YUM YUM Teething ring and some beautiful eyes!

On the go again, she still hasn't gotten up on all fours to crawl, but she gets around just fine and very fast anyways. Check out the rainbow legwarmers!!! I finally found an outfit to match them :)

We cannot win, I don't know where all this sickness is coming from...we don't go anywhere and this all makes me want to leave the house even less!