Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

Our life is SUPER busy lately. 
  • Autumn just finished two weeks of swim lessons everyday (Mon-Fri).  That really messed with our evening routine (not that we really have an evening routine, but it did make the evenings rough).
  • We have swim lessons once a week (for O, and soon for A too) and gymnastics once a week, so our weekday evenings are getting very busy.
  • Andrew has been working CRAZY hours lately, AND he's NOT in busy season anymore.  He doesn't get home until after 10pm most nights (Mon-Thurs), many nights not until after 12am.  He is usually home on the weekends and Friday evenings, although he does often work from home on the weekends.  We've been joking that I am a single Mom Monday - Friday.  I think we've both handled the crazy hours pretty well this year, but it really does wear on you after a while.  I haven't had any major breakdowns about him not being around (like I did when I was prego with O).  I think we're mostly surviving because my Mom is around ALL the time to help.  It also helps that Andrew is very aware of how much I am doing and he is appreciative of my efforts with the girls and around the house.
  • We have plans every weekend from now until after July 4th.  Most of these plans are out of town.  We're going to POC 3 times (Memorial Day Weekend, the weekend of June 8th, and again on the 4th of July), DFW once to visit Nana and CA to visit Aunt Alli and go to DISNEYLAND.
I don't say all this to complain, ok maybe a little complaining, but just to say that I am exhausted.  I love our crazy busy life and all of the fun that it brings, but sometimes Mommy needs a break.  I feel like I need a week at home, ALONE, to clean the house and organize.  Our "guest room" (I use that term VERY loosely) is officially a junk room full of Easter decorations, clothes the girls have outgrown, Christmas presents that have never been played with, a bike and trainer, 40+ bottles of wine/beer, beer brewing supplies, and lots of other junk.  You can hardly even walk in there.  I REALLY want to tackle this room, but I don't have the time.  By the time the girls are in bed (9PM if I'm lucky) I am exhausted and the thought of going in there to clean is the last thing on my mind.  The first thing on my mind is typically dinner and a glass of wine/beer to relax.

Ok, I'm done venting.  Someday, when my kids are grown my house will be clean and organized and minimized.  For now it is a mess of princesses, shopping carts, strollers, castles, and everything else girly.  I feel sorry for Autumn and Olivia's little brother if he ever comes along.

In other news, I just bought these matching PJ's (the starts/stripes ones) for the 4th of July weekend in POC.  All of the grand kids will be wearing them.  So freakin cute!!

I am also working on planning for our Disneyland trip.  I keep going back and forth on a few things, like which stroller to bring (do I borrow a double BOB or bring the sit and stand) and do we take Autumn's car seat on the plane or not.  I am trying to be super organized about the trip.  I think I will have to be or things could get kind of crazy.  Any suggestions on flying with an infant and a toddler or on doing Disney would be greatly appreciated.

Speaking of BUSY, Autumn is super busy.  That child has so much energy.  I don't know what to do with her.  At night she stays up for 30 minutes to 2 hours after I put her down.  I've tried taking away baby dolls, threatening all sorts of bad things, but nothing can make this child go to sleep until she is ready.  Autumn is a handful, but she is also the cutest thing EVER.  She is really developing quite a personality, and it is a big one.  She seems to be extroverted, which is funny, because Andrew was convinced about a year ago that she was an introvert because she played by herself at school.  I think it was just the age/stage she was in and the fact that she doesn't have any older siblings.  Now she plays all the time with other kids and she usually initiates the play too.  She is pretty vocal and we can usually carry on a pretty decent conversation.  The one thing she hasn't started yet is asking "why?"  I am pretty sure that is coming very soon, and then things will get CRAZY.  Autumn is so much fun; she makes me smile everyday.

Olivia is also getting busy.  She is talking a lot.  No "mama's" or "dada's" yet, but I think her first "word" will be "bubba".  She LOVES her bubba.  Whenever she sees Cooper she just smiles and reaches for him.  She puts her lips together and tries to make a sound when I call him Bubba, as if she is trying to say it too.  Olivia is such a happy baby.  She is all smiles most of the time.  I'm hoping she is crawling by 4th of July.  That would be fun for all the little cousins to be crawling all over the place.

Friday, May 17, 2013

6 Months and 2.5 years

Olivia is 6 months old (well, actually 6.5 months now).  I cannot believe how fast time is flying by.  Here's an update on my little princess:

  • Height - 25 inches (25th percentile)
  • Weight - 15 lbs 1 oz (25-50th percentile)
  • Head - I don't remember
  • Clothes - easily wears 6-9 months with some 3-6 months and 9-12 months mixed in.  I am able to find more matching clothes for her and Autumn if I buy 12 months, so I've been buying some of those, although they're a little big.
  • Sleeping - Olivia generally sleeps through the night every night, but lately we've been having to put her down in her rock n play sleeper rather than her crib.  She will turn herself onto her tummy while she's trying to go to sleep and then she gets so mad and fussy that I have to go in and calm her down.  After doing that about five times in a row I figured it was just easier to put her to sleep in her rock n play.  Some nights I try to put her down in her crib and she does fine.  Other nights we have to opt for the rock n play.
  • Eating - Olivia still eats very well, 3 meals a day plus 5-6 bottles/nursing sessions.  She doesn't seem to like green beans too much (who does?), but other than that she loves every food she has tried.  She has slowed down a bit in her demands for food, but she still eats very well.
  • Development - Olivia can easily roll from her back to front and occasionally rolls from front to back.  She dislikes tummy time less and less, but still gets mad about it sometimes.  She can sit very well on her own, but I always like to be within an arm's reach when she is sitting, because she can fall over fairly easily.  She reaches for toys more and more and she is very observant of the world around her.  This girl still loves to watch TV!  If there is a TV around she will find it and stare.  Olivia is also starting to mimic sounds that we make.  I've heard her make the "da" sound when she's mad and screaming and she likes to put her lips together and blow to make a farting type noise.  Very cute.
  • Happenings - Olivia started swim lessons this month.  She is in the same class with her cousins (Lilah and Liliana) and she loves it.  She makes the cutest smile with her mouth in this very thin line, that is still somehow a smile.  They go to Houston Swim Club in Sugar Land and I have been very pleased with the infant class.  (I've had a few complaints about Autumn's class, but nothing major)  Olivia was also dedicated at the church last weekend (on Mother's Day).  It was a nice ceremony and we enjoyed a family brunch afterwards at our house.  Olivia also went to San Antonio for the first time and Sea World!  She did great.  She seems to travel pretty well.  She slept the entire car ride to SA and the car ride home too!
  • Things I want to remember - Olivia likes to "talk" while I'm nursing her before bed.  It's kind of like humming while she's nursing.  I don't recall Autumn doing that.  It's very cute and I want to remember those sweet moments years from now.  One other thing I want to remember about Olivia at this stage is that she cries when Autumn does.  If she sees Autumn upset and crying (throwing a tantrum really) then she gets all pouty and starts to cry too.  This little baby already has empathy, so sweet!  Olivia also loves to be tickled and she has the cutest giggles.  She also LOVES her "bubba".  If she sees Cooper she just smiles and reaches for him.  He seems to like her a lot too.  He will lay down on her rug by the door to her room as if he is guarding us.

Olivia, you are the sweetest, happiest baby to ever come along (at least since you're sister, who was also a very sweet and happy baby).  People always comment on how big and beautiful your blue eyes are and how happy you seem to be.  I always tell them that you are in fact a happy baby.  We love you very much and are loving watching you grow.

Autumn is officially  2.5 years old going on 5.  Sometimes when I ask her how old she is she says "five" very matter of factly.  We had Autumn's 2.5 year check up at the same time as Olivia's 6 month check up.  Here is an update on Autumn's stats:

  • Height - 36.75 inches (75th percentile)
  • Weight - 27 lbs 7 oz. (25th percentile)
  • Head - not a clue
  • Clothes - fits easily in 2T and 3T, although I randomly put her in a 9 month pair of shorts last night.  I guess they were Olivia's and they somehow got put up in Autumn's room.  I grabbed them for her to wear after swim lessons and then when I went to put them on her I thought "these look small".  I looked at the size and sure enough they were a 9 months.  They still fit though.  I guess this is proof that I don't really need to buy her new clothes all the time, but I do it because they're just too cute.
  • Sleeping - Autumn has pretty much always slept through the night.  Lately she has been so hard to get to go to sleep.  It usually takes about an hour to get her down between bath, books, brushing teeth, multiple potty trips, songs, crying, threatening to take away baby dolls, etc.  I'm always exhausted after I get her down, but somehow she's not.  She usually talk to herself and her baby dolls for 30 minutes to an hour after I get her in bed.  Most days she is still happy in the mornings, but occasionally her late nights catch up with her and she is just plain grumpy.  The other morning she did not want to wake up.  Andrew gave her a bath and she fell asleep IN THE BATH.  Good thing we don't let her bathe by herself yet.  That could have been very bad!
  • Eating - Autumn eats pretty well, but she snacks a lot and sometimes will eat less at dinner because she had too much at snack time.  Her favorite foods include chicken nuggets (preferably from Chick-fil-a), french fries (also from Chick-fil-a), fruit snacks, "yellow medicine" (yogurt melts, not sure why she calls them that), goldfish, macaroni and cheese, rice, fruit of any kind and "fruit lips" (fruit loops).
  • Development - Autumn's vocabulary continues to blossom and she is very vocal.  I try to repeat back to her what she says (often with corrected grammar).  She says some of the funniest things.  She is also really listening to everything we say and repeating a lot of what we say.  This has caused us to have to watch what we say much more closely.  Neither of us cuss very much (unless you're talking to Andrew at work and then that is a whole other story), but we do occasionally let out a properly placed expletive.  Autumn has copied this language at least once, so we're trying to really watch our words around her.  Autumn's gross motor skills seem to be well developed.  We probably need to work with her on riding her bike this summer, but she does love to run and jump and climb.  She's come home this week from school with multiple "boo-boo's" from playing too rough on the playground.
  • Happenings - Autumn started swim lessons this month too.  She started a 2 week every day class and then when that is over (tonight) she will go into a maintenance class once a week.  She seems to be doing very well and enjoying the class.  Autumn loves playing with her friends (Gracie from school, and Lilly and Ryan).
  • Things I want to remember - Autumn likes to pretend our front entryway (which is elevated one step above the living room) is her stage.  She will  dress up like princesses and sing songs to anyone who is paying attention.  Autumn also has some definite ideas about her birthday (which is 5 months away).  She wants a Minnie Mouse party with Minnie cookies and Minnie cake pops and Minnie cups.  Autumn loves to say "Best Day EVER!" from the Rapunzel movie "Tangled".  Autumn also loves to play doctor with her baby dolls (or with me and Baby O).  She checks them all out with her doctor kit and then diagnoses them as sick or ok.  She says she is "Dr. Autumn", not Dr. Walker by the way.
Asleep in the bath tub.

Autumn, we love you so much and the person that you are becoming.  I can't help but smile when I am around you.  You are the prettiest little girl and you have the best personality, so much energy and sweetness.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


It's been a while since I've blogged.  We've been very busy the last few weeks. 

For starters, Cooper, our beloved "Bubba" had a ruptured spleen and had to have emergency surgery.  It was a tough call for Andrew and I because we knew going into the surgery that he might not have a good prognosis coming out of it, but Cooper was too young and healthy to just give up on him so quickly. 

It all started last Monday night when I got home from work.  My Mom and the girls had arrived home just a few minutes before me and my Mom said when I walked in that Cooper was acting funny.  He was just standing still, not moving much, and staring off into space.  I checked him out and didn't see anything wrong.  While Autumn was eating her Chick-fil-A nuggets I gave one to Coop.  He refused to touch it.  That was when I knew there was something really wrong.  I got Cooper to lie down on his bed and then I rushed Autumn off to swim lessons.  Before heading out the door I called the vet to get an appointment for the next day.  When we got home I took Cooper out to go to the bathroom.  He went potty and then he laid down on the grass.  I couldn't get him to move.  I had to carry him inside the house.  Cooper weighs 65 lbs, so dead lifting him was no easy feat.  He was able to walk some when Andrew got home, but not much.  Andrew and I assumed he had a slipped disc in his back or maybe hip dysplasia.  We made him comfortable and made plans to take him to the vet in the morning.

In the morning the vet looked at him and said that things just didn't seem to add up.  Cooper was acting like he had a slipped disc or something of that nature, since he wouldn't walk, but he was also showing some signs of being anemic.  His ears and gums were very white (as opposed to their normal pink) and he seemed very weak.  We left him at the vet to run some blood work, x-rays, etc.  Within about an hour Andrew got a call from the vet that Cooper had a ruptured spleen and would need surgery immediately.  We were very upfront with the vet when we went into the appointment that although we love Cooper dearly, there is a definite limit on the funds we can spend on him.  Andrew and I had actually had conversations on this in the past.  We have known people who had spent thousands of dollars on their pets and we both agreed that we were not those people.  We had a range that we would be comfortable spending if the time ever came.  When the vet told us the cost of the surgery it was within our range and we agreed to go ahead with the surgery.  Within a few minutes the vet called Andrew back to tell him that he did not believe that Cooper's lameness was related to his ruptured spleen and that there was a possibility Cooper would not walk again even if we did the surgery.  Andrew put calls into his Dad and Luke to discuss the vet's opinion and after discussing it with Luke we believed that the lameness was related to the ruptured spleen and that the sooner we could have the surgery done the more likely Cooper would be to recover fully.  We decided to "roll the dice" in Cooper's favor.

Cooper came through the surgery just fine.  He had to have a blood transfusion.  Aislynn kept asking where the doggy blood comes from, so I asked the vet.  He said that there are blood banks, but in this case, and in many others, they just have one of their employees go home and get their dog to donate the blood.  Cooper now has Rottweiler blood from one of the receptionist's (Wanda's) dogs.  Cooper stayed two nights at the vet to recover from the surgery.  Andrew and I went to visit him before and after work.  He still wouldn't walk, but his coloring was so much better.  Finally he walked a little and was able to go potty outside, so they discharged him home to us.  The hopes were that he would eat more (he hadn't really eaten much of anything yet) and have higher spirits at home. 

Once we got home Cooper was still a little timid, but he began to walk more and more, although he favored his right back leg and often turned his left back paw under.  He also started to eat more and more.  It's been a week and a half since his surgery and Cooper is doing much better.  His spirits are back to normal.  He wags his tail, kisses our faces, and barks, but he has started not walking with his back left leg.  He just lifts it up and hobbles around on the other three legs.  We think he hurt his paw by licking it too much and he is on an antibiotic/steroid spray to hopefully heal his paw.  I'm hoping that we can get him back to walking on all four legs soon.

We went to the vet on Monday for a follow up visit and the lab results were back from the parts of his spleen that were sent off to pathology.  Cooper was diagnosed with hemangiscarcoma, cancer.  This is not a good form of cancer either (not that any kind of cancer is really ever good).  From what Andrew and I have read on-line he probably has weeks or months left to live and will probably bleed out again (like he was doing when his spleen ruptured).  The good news is that the vet did not see any masses in his lungs, liver or kidneys.  We are hopeful that Cooper will live longer than we expect, but we are also very aware that his days are numbered.  Right now we're trying to spend lots of time with him, make him comfortable, and watch for signs that he is in pain.  We have several trips to the beach planned in the next month and a half.  The beach is one of Cooper's favorite places.  I have also asked Tio Luke to take some family pictures of us with Cooper soon.

I won't go on and on about how great of a dog Cooper is.  I'll save that for the post that I am not looking forward to writing when he is gone.  For now I'll just share a few favorite pics of my biggest baby.

When Cooper wouldn't eat chicken nuggets
there was obviously something wrong.

Mommy came to visit him right after surgery.

At the vet recovering.

First night home.

With his paw bandaged up to keep him from turning it under.

At the vet for his post surgery check up.

Wearing the "collar of shame" to prevent him from licking his paw. 
Autumn says he is her Lion - "Roar" when he wears this.

Mommy dressed him up very silly for St. Patrick's Day one year.

Recovering from his first camping trip.

With Mommy at Lake Ouachita in Arkansas.

He loves to pose.

Sitting in our fishing guides lap.  He makes friends with everyone.

Chilling with mommy by the fire.

Ok, way too many pictures, but before Autumn and Olivia came along we only took pictures of Coop.  There's lots more where those came from too.

Please continue be in pray for Cooper and for us as we enjoy our last days with him.  Thanks everyone who has been praying for him and sending their well wishes and love through Facebook.  It means a lot to me.

I have a lot more updates to do soon: Olivia's 6 month update, swim lessons, etc.  We also have A LOT going on in the next month or two: multiple trips to POC, Dewberry Festival, trip to DFW, Disneyland, etc.  Hopefully I won't be too busy to actually document some of these happenings.