Search This Blog

Monday, March 31, 2008

Monkeying Around

There never ceases to be fun lingering when Papa is around. He is the king of monkey business and the kids just soak it up. I think their cheek muscles surely must be sore from all the smiling Papa makes them do.

Another sweet picture of my little girl who is growing up right before our eyes

I am once again so grateful that my Dad was able to take the time to accompany me to KU this past week for Dawson's helmet fitting appointment. They had told us to allow an hour. Well they were super busy and we ended up being there for well over two hours. Gabi was so incredibly well behaved that we rewarded her with yummy Mexican food at Mi Ranchito. She dove into the spinach cheese dip and chips and then went straight for dessert. I think she would live on sweets if we allowed it. She takes after her Mommy!

Here is picture numero uno of little D in his new fashion accessory.
He really is too cute in it!

He is very good about allowing us to put it on and take it off. He sweats profusely in it, but that was to be expected. I foresee a lot of onesies sporting chubby baby thighs this summer. Today is the 1st day that he will begin wearing it all day (23 out of 24 hours). Our nightly routine is to remove the helmet, one of us bathe Dawson while the other cleans the helmet, allow it time to dry thoroughly, then put it back on. I will post pictures of the new improved look of his helmet over the next couple of days. Thanks so much to Amy & Janie for shopping with me for stickers, etc. to decorate!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Celebrity Apprentice

Let me start this post by saying that I was not a die hard fan this season. In fact I only caught the last several episodes, but can I just say I am severely disappointed in the outcome. Is anyone with me on this one? How could the Donald have picked the harsh Britt over the soft Cowboy? Donald I think you need to revisit your choice or man up and give Trace's charity a chunk of your pocket change as well. It is not as if it will hurt your abundant bank account.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Update

Our little beauty. I simply love this picture of her. It shows her sweet genuine spirit. She was overjoyed that Mema came to share special time with her girl before heading out of town for the Easter weekend.

Mema came with special treats & a soft Hallmark bunny. I don't think it really matters what Mema has in her hands, whatever it is, it pleases Gabrielle. She is definitely 100% Mema's girl when she is in her presence.

Let the egg coloring begin

Jaw dropping color

Finished product
I found this fun coloring kit at CVS that had foam stickers to make silly animal characters. Gabrielle was placing the stickers in all the wrong places but having a ball doing it.

We had a fantastic quiet Easter Sunday. Gabi helped Daddy make cinnamon rolls for breakfast while Dawson and I slept in a little and then it was off to church. The kids looked so grown up in their Easter best. I "recycled" Gabrielle's princess dress from the father/daughter dance and found Dawson's outfit at a bargain basement price that was too good to be true. I hope the weather stays cool a little longer so he can wear it at least one more time. I love little boys in sweater vests. It gives them such a grown up look.

We hope everyone had a blessed Easter. Gabrielle really soaked in the message of the season and amazed us with many perplexing questions regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. She insists we take her to see the cross on which he died. That will be a fantasy trip that the two of us can look forward to for a long time to come.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Happy 37th Birthday Daddy-O. We couldn't ask for a better Daddy. Thank-you for all the time and attention you give us in loving us, teaching us and playing with us. Hugs and Kisses time ten!
Happy 42nd Birthday Aunt Linda. We love and miss you!
Happy 17th Birthday TJ. I talk about you all the time. I want Mommy to take me to see you. (If only a 3 year old understood the concept of 8+ hours in the car.) I hope your schedule allows you to join us on our summer venture.
Happy 41st Anniversary Papa and Mema. Thank-you so much for having a great supper with us last night and for sharing the yummy DQ ice cream cake.

Love, Gabrielle & Dawson

Friday, March 21, 2008

6 months old

The day is here. Dawson has been a part of our family now for 6 months. Where has the time gone? It simply doesn't seem possible that it was 6 months ago that we entered the hospital to give birth to our sweet baby boy.

Papa made a surprise visit on Thursday and he helped me hang and adjust the Johnny Jumpup for Dawson to give a test run. The picture shows ... he loved it.

He kept his face fixed on his Papa and Mommy as the Johnny Jumpup twirled in circles. He didn't want to lose focus of his audience.

We introduced him to "solids" this week. He has tasted the fine cuisine of rice cereal, sweet potatoes and squash. I can't say he has a favorite at this time. I forgot the funny faces that little ones make when you are introducing something new to their taste pallets.

Gabrielle has surprised us the past several days by napping in the afternoon. We thought it was great that she napped UNTIL bed time and she continues to get out of bed a dozen or more times. This is how I found her asleep Wednesday evening. Sprawled out on the end of her bed, head down.
We aren't doing a traditional Easter baskets for the kids this year so Gabi was excited to receive a Easter basket at both Ms. Kim's on Thursday and a fantastic goodie bag from Bree today.

Gabi sporting Bree's sunshades. What a goofball! Every time I get the camera out lately she wants her picture taken.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

What a God breathed day it was outside today! The weather was just beautiful & the sun was so warming to the soul. I am convinced that today was God's little pick me up that he had in store just for me. I had a day full of fulfillment (seems like a play on words). Gabi was off to school so it was just me and my little man today. My morning started out with Allyson taking some 6 month photos of baby D today and I am so excited to see how they turned out. She was a snot and said I needed to be patient and wait until she edited them before I could see them. Obviously she doesn't know I don't have a patient bone in my body. I am working on it, honestly. It has been numero uno on my prayer list as of lately. Patience in parenting, etc. After the photo shoot I ran a couple of errands and then decided to stop in at the Cancer Center to see my previous co-workers and friends. It was so great to reconnect with my old peeps. I got so many hugs and wonderful words about how handsome the baby is. I think I had 1/2 a dozen people ask me to come back to work. Totally worth the trip. One sad peace of information I found out today was that one of my fellow financial counselors, Cheryl, whom I shared an office with for a period of time was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) of the mammary glands or in lamens terms breast cancer. She was diagnosed very early so was able to undergo two surgeries and is now receiving radiation therapy followed by oral hormonal therapy. Please keep her and her response to treatment in your prayers.
I came home late this afternoon and was greeted by Ms. Grumpy pants herself when she arrived home from school. She was demanding sugar, sugar & more sugar. After cooling down I took her to meet up with Allyson, Chase, Gage and Gunnar at the neighborhood park. The girls ran their legs off and fed off each others energy. They are so cute together...both with larger than life creative imaginations. After supper I took the kids for a long walk in the wagon. It was a great feeling knowing their love tanks were full when they headed off to bed. I promise to catch up with posting photos from the week tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's a bird, It's a plane, It's Dawson

This is what Dawson most often looks like during tummy time ... back arched, feet in the air and arms out to the sides. As many of you know he spends a lot of time on his tummy so he is off the flat part of his head. We are always teasing saying that he is in flight. His little buddy in in front of him. I bought this soft blue teddy bear at Old Navy on clearance and I wish I had a backup because he really does love it.

Thinking about rolling over, but not quite there

Sissy wanted her picture taken too. Once again she is sporting the infamous "Mommy has the camera out so I am going to make the cheesiest grin possible."
We spent the majority of the day yesterday in jammies. I wasn't feeling 100% so I allowed Gabrielle to watch TV all morning so I could catch a little rest. I loved just snuggling with Dawson and knowing that Gabi was right next to us. Travis and I put in another restless night last night with baby D. I spent some time talking with the pediatrician this morning so I am hopeful that some steps we are moving to take with help to resolve his lack of sleep and irritability. Happy Hump Day!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

"Times are getting hard for you little girl" The infamous words to Great White's biggest hit are very fitting for a recent situation that we lived through. Travis was working a St. Patrick's Day promotional on Saturday evening so my parents invited the kids and I over for supper. They were dog sitting a friend of the families dog and you can about guess where this is leading. The dog decided that she was the designated watch down and when Gabrielle approached my Dad she lunged out and bit Gabi on the arm. Gabrielle screamed out in pain (most likely out of fear more than pain). No blood was shed and the dog's teeth didn't break the skin but Gabi's arm immediately welted up and became bruised. My mom rushed to apply an ice compress to the area. I called the nurse line at Children's Mercy to be sure no further action was necessary and they said that Mema had taking the proper steps. I know this may sound very harsh, but I am somewhat glad that she experienced this as we have been trying to tell her that our own little dog Quila has no other form of "telling" her that she (Gabi) is hurting her other than to snarl or bite. Quila fortunately hasn't ever bitten Gabrielle even though she has been more than deserving of it many times. The kiddos are up from nap. We are making shamrocks for craft today. Happy St. Patty's Day!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Put through the ringer and still bearing a smile

Poor baby D! He has been put the ringer the past several days. We saw Dr. Martin yesterday for his 6 month well-baby exam and he received 3 vaccinations in addition to the oral rotovirus vaccine then we were off to the lab where they drew 3 vials of blood as well as "bagged" his boy parts to catch a urine specimen which meant removing tape at a later hour to empty the urine into a specimen jar. He was such a good patient! The x-ray results from Wednesday came back normal. He weighed in at 16 lbs 10 oz which is the 40 percentile and was 26 1/4 inches which is the 50 percentile for height. Now it is a waiting game to receive the results of the blood work. We hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Caught in the act

I am just blown away! Travis and I always check in on the kids before we turn in for the night and both ours mouths dropped open when we entered G's bedroom. There she was with her plug aka thumb in propped on her lower lip with her mouth wide open. What??? She hasn't sucked her thumb for months now. I have to believe that she resorted to this form of comfort as she has been so miserable with this nasty cough for days now. I wanted to document this so I can look back and remember.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Trying Couple of Days

Where to start! Gabrielle attended preschool at Ms. Kim's Monday and Tuesday and wouldn't you know her cough is back with a vengeance!!! I was to have kept Bree yesterday which Gabi was really looking forward to but after a rough night of sleep disturbed by one cough after another I contacted Lisa and we both agreed it was best for Bree to keep her distance. I called the pediatrician and the nurse recommended I bring both kids in to be evaluated as Dawson woke up Tuesday and Wednesday morning with a nose full of green snot. The good news is both kids ears are clear, no signs of strep, RSV, the flu, etc. The doctor did put Gabi on an antibiotic as they had documented a phone call I made earlier in the month saying she had a bad cough for 3 days at the time of my call. We are dosing her with prescription strength cough medicine along with her antibiotic so I pray we are on the road to recovery. Dawson apparently just has the common cold however after evaluation and discussion we headed straight from SM Pediatrics to Children's Mercy South Radiology Department to have some x-rays done of his neck. We will return to see the pediatrician in the morning for test results and for Dawson's 6 month well-baby exam. We are scheduled to see the pediatric ophthalmologist on Monday the 24th and the pediatric orthopedist on Thursday the 27th. Last night was the night from the dark side. No lie! Dawson had another bout of extreme blood curdling crying/screaming that lasted off and on for 5 hours. No known cause and nothing, I repeat nothing, provided him any relief. It is in times like this that really surprise myself. I remained 100% calm and at peace. I just cradled him and did what I could to comfort him. My mom spent about an hour of this time with me and it upset her so much to see her grand baby in such distress. I will be so glad to get to the root of what is causing this. I plan to discuss this with Dr. Martin in the morning.
We saw Debbie, his physical therapist, this morning and she applied the tape (taping technique) to his back today in hopes of elongating the muscle on his left side. We can bathe him as usual and then remove the tape on Sunday evening. I will provide an update tomorrow.
I declared today a day off for myself and the kids. My house is screaming for some TLC as a result. It will just have to wait until another day. I did clean out the diaper bag, knock out 4 loads of laundry and did some purging of Gabrielle's summer wardrobe so I have a minimal sense of accomplishment. I am off to play with the kids. Here are a few pictures of Gabrielle enjoying the gorgeous day we had yesterday.

This is Gabi's most famous cheesy camera grin. She has been breaking out this infant hair bow that she wore as a newborn lately. Yesterday she wore it in this fashion (as photographed). Today she wore it as a necklace/neck accessory along with a 1/2 dozen other hair bands. Her imagination gets the best of her sometimes.

I have to give a big shout out to Rene' in celebration of her 32nd birthday today. I love ya girl!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Helmet Casting

This is our little man pre-measuring and casting...our usual happy, go lucky little fella

Travis captured a couple of good photos that show the deformity in Dawson's skull and the asymmetry in his facial features. You can see the bulge in his left forehead area and fullness of his cheek.

They placed a little poncho over his shoulders and then a "sock" over his head. As you can see this process did not make him a very happy little camper. Paulette kept saying "I promise I am not hurting him, he is just a little ticked off right now." She spoke words of truth.

The pacifier didn't provide much comfort but did buy us a second or two here and there

Dawson showed us his strength several times by overpowering his Mommy and throwing himself backwards

Almost done ...

It took all of 2 seconds for him to return to his normal calm natured self. All it took was a little sympathy hug and lots of kisses from Mommy.
We return in 3 weeks for his fitting and helmet education. The expectation is that Dawson will wear the helmet 23 out of 24 hours a day. We are to remove it to sanitize it and allow enough time for it to dry while bathing him. They prepared us by telling us to expect him to perspire pretty profusely while in the helmet. They gave us the analogy of the smell of a dirty, sweaty sock. Pleasing thought huh? I went prepared with several questions as any mother would do. I am at peace knowing we are doing what is best for his development.

Friday, March 7, 2008

God is Good

What a blessing!!! We received a very generous grant in support of Dawson's cranial remolding helmet AND to top that Hanger Orthotic agreed to match the grant (in the form of a write off) to a certain monetary amount which left our family responsible for $300 of the total cost of $2500 for the helmet.
!!!Praise God!!!
I will post pics and tell of our experience at KU today over the weekend.
Here are a few recent pictures of our sweet baby boy

Dawson will play for long stretches of time with the toys on his swing tray
Photo taken 02/27/08

Daddy giving baby D a little lovin'
Photo taken 02/28/08
My most recent fav photo. How can that smile not melt your heart?
Photo taken 03/04/08

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Deep Thinker

Gabrielle has taken me back with her perplexing thoughts and comments today. This morning as we were getting dressed to head out to Dawson's physical therapy appt (Gabrielle was being dropped off at Rene's to play with Tatum) she asked me "Mommy, did Jesus make baby Evan's heart so it won't pop and bleed anymore?" I said "Yes honey, Jesus fixed Evan's heart. He has a strong heart just like you and Dawson now." She then asked "Does Jesus live in Evan's heart?" I said "Yes." She then wanted to know if Evan lived in Jesus's heart too.
Several minutes later as she observed me nursing Dawson she said "Mommy, those are your boobies (argh, not the boob obsession again!). My boobies are very tiny, but when I get older they will be strong and big like yours." If only she knew my chest is pretty much non-existing. This afternoon as I was changing around laundry she came up behind me, threw her arms around my legs and said "Mommy, I love you. You're my friend. Jesus praises you for being nice to me." She often says "Bless my praises! or Praise Jesus!" I love that she has a toddler size relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been at church so much more often in the past several months that she now asks if she is going to class or going to play with her friends. I think she has established which are true church days and which are MOPS or Bible study "play dates." She always says with excitement in her voice"Here it is, here's my church" as we pull into the parking lot.
On to a different topic. We met with Debbie, Dawson's therapist this morning. She performed a thorough examination of Dawson. We received both good and bad news. The good is that Dawson is right on target developmentally. She is very pleased with his tracking, social skills & his ability to reach and grasp objects. The bad news is that his condition has not improved, rather worsened to the extent that he now has hip involvement. I was taught some stretching exercises that I will put into practice immediately. We will return in one week from today to try a taping technique. Dawson is scheduled for his follow-up consultation tomorrow afternoon at KU Medical Center downtown. I am anxious to receive his measurements to determine if there has been improvement in the shape of his skull in the past five weeks. We are prepared for him to be casted for a helmet if necessary. I will post more on this topic tomorrow when more information is made available to us. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as the past couple of days have been trying as Dawson hasn't been sleeping well and has been dealing with some unknown pain. He cries out in discomfort and is unable to settle himself easily. It breaks my heart to have him cry. He goes from my sweet baby boy one minute to raging baby the next.
This too will pass ...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


My good friend Lisa took some great shots on the exterior/interior of our home this past week so I wanted to take this opportunity to post some quick pics of Dawson's nursery.

I love the look and font of this UpperCase Living "I am a Child of God" wall rubon. The bubbles are stickers that were purchased from JCP that coordinate with his bedding set. Travis isn't so crazy about them, but once again I love them.
GG bought each of the kids something for their bedrooms for Christmas. I picked out this "D" at Hobby Lobby. It is made of metal and adds dimension to the wall.
This little book shelf holds the most value to me. It was my granny Mur's. It isn't of any monetary value, but each time I open it to take a book out to read to the kids I remember how special she was to me.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Finger Painting

Oh my! What fun! What a mess! What a creation!
So, I thought I was creating a controlled environment (notice the painting was done on the floor, on an el-cheapo plastic table cloth, wearing grunge clothes). That lastest all of two minutes! Paint was everywhere as was to be expected. Gabrielle and Bree had so much fun using their little minds to create masterpieces of art. Little did they know the greatest work of art was left on their clothing.

Notice the innocent bystander in the background? He is such a good natured baby!