Friday, May 12, 2017

Five months with Mia!

Mia has been with us for FIVE whole months now! Thinking back to the day we picked her up in China blows my mind. She's come SO far in five short months! I was looking through our gotcha day pictures and video the other day and it's crazy what a difference there is. Even her little cry is different. It was like a baby cry the day we got her and now she doesn't cry like that at all! (Yes, I will share the video soon!)

We moved Mia to sleeping in her room this month! It has gone SO well! She cries a little when we put her to bed but soon falls asleep and sleeps all night!

Food is still her all time favorite thing in the history of ever. Give the kid all the food and she's happy! haha! Here she is eating a quesamia! That's what she calls a quesadilla!

Her English is making huge strides! We were just shopping for groceries earlier today and we were in the fruit section...every time I would put something in the cart she would say what it was! Apple, banana, grapes, strawberries, etc!

Not sure if I have mentioned it on here but Mia goes with me to work everyday! :) She pretty much runs the office. Bossy little lady!

She's really spoiled. Oops. Like, to the point that when we pull up to get a coffee at the Heritage House drive through she starts yelling, "Tookie" because she knows she'll get a cookie! haha!

She's also SUPER smart. I know everyone thinks that about their kids but um, she's gifted. Case in point, we had a little incident in my car last weekend and there is some significant damage. I had to meet an insurance adjuster this morning to get things started and had Josh meet us there. Because he knows all the things about cars. We pulled up to the place we were meeting and she saw Josh's truck and started saying, "Dadley truck!" We had to meet up with the adjuster later in the day to pick up a check. We pulled up and she said, "Dadley truck not here." We went there ONE TIME and she stayed in my car the whole time and remembered where we were. She's TWO. :)

Mia is doing pretty well health wise. She's still going every three weeks for blood but it is what it is. It's not fun. It's a long day. She needs it.

We went to the beach this past weekend and it was finally warm enough for some beach time! I kept thinking to myself about this time last year. I was hoping and praying that this year we would be sitting in this exact same spot that we love so much with our brand new little girl and well, here she is!

I was finally brave enough to get a friend who is a photographer to try and get some pictures of Mia! She still can be a little standoffish and shy and moody so I wanted to just see how it would go! At first she wasn't sure, but then she warmed up and we had fun!

That sums our Mia up for this month!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Happy Birthday Brooks!

On Saturday Brooks turned 4! I like it when my kids have a weekend birthday because I get to be with them the whole day BUT then I feel obligated to do their party on that day and end up having to share! haha! None the less, we had his party on his birthday at Monkey Joe's! He had a blast with family and friends! After the party we went home and played with all his new toys and then went to eat. We always let the birthday child choose where they want to eat for their birthday and B chose Mexican! He's totally my child! He wanted his fav guacamole so that's just where we went!

 How cute are our PRECIOUS grandmothers???? SO VERY!

I could  kiss his face OFF!

He was fake sleeping but I really think he would have gone to sleep! He was so tired!!

I can tell you right now just by looking at this picture that those two were up to something and Reece was like, "Um NO!" hahaha!

 Time for guac! Yeehaw!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Day in the Life of a Thal Kid!

I decided that instead of the normal monthly post for Mia this month I would do a "Day in the Life" post for her! When we started this Thalassemia journey we didn't really know much about it at all. I wish I could see a post like this to ease my nerves and in the long run make things easier for me as a mom and Josh as a dad to understand. Most days Mia is just like any other kiddo, but then there's days like today, blood day, that are HARD.

Before blood day or "refill day" as we have named it can even begin, we have to have labs drawn. Usually the Saturday before blood day we drive up to Children's Hospital, which is an  hour from our home, and have her labs done. They usually draw 8-10 vials of blood. Lots of different tests have to be run in order to keep her healthy and to be sure they have the exact blood they need to give her the following Tuesday.

This brings us to today! We aren't allowed to take pictures so there aren't many to post! That means, I only broke the rules one time today!

We need to be at Children's by 8 am so we left our house at 6:30. We wanted to get to the hospital a few minutes early so we could stop by the café for a muffin! :) We ended up getting caught in rain and then lots of stop and go traffic on the interstate so we didn't arrive until about 7:50. Just enough time to get our muffin! Right at 8 we checked in to our clinic. We soon were called back for a weight, height, temp and blood pressure check. We also filled out what she wanted to eat for breakfast and lunch. We made our way to the room where we will spend the day! We were the first to arrive today so Mia had her pick of what seat she wanted!

About 8:30 the nurse accessed her port. This is not fun but it's a sure fire stick every time.

At 9:00 our nurse practitioner came to see us! We LOVE Ms. Kristen! She talked with Mia about the zoo and listened to her heart. We talked about Mia's ferritin levels coming down from 1600 to 1200 in just the few short weeks she has been on Jadenu! HUGE PRAISE! She told me Mia's blood levels were lower than last time so she will need a 5 hour transfusion(250ml, I believe) today. Boo.

9:30- BREAKFAST TIME! Today Mia is having grits with NOTHING on them, scrambled eggs, a banana(her jam) and yogurt.

Right now it's 10:10 am and we are waiting on the blood bank to call and say they have her blood ready!

10:15-Blood bank just called and blood is almost done so Mia just had a dose of Tylenol and Benadryl to help her not have a reaction to the blood! Let's get this party started!

10:30-Dr. B just came by for a visit. She is Mia's hematologist! We LOVE her also! She is wonderful! She told me not to get excited about the Jadenu doing such a wonderful job just yet! :)

10:40-Our first bag of blood has arrived and we just got it started! Mia will be closely monitored throughout the day by several people to be sure she's ok!

Some people have asked what we do all day while the blood is going in. Mia has a tv with on demand movies and also cable. She watches tv, we have coloring books and crayons that we bring and of course LOTS of snacks! There's also a closet full of stuff she can play doh, Mr.  Potato Head, etc.

11:40- We're an hour into our five hour transfusion! Things are good so far! Other than the blood bank measured her blood wrong and she's almost fished with her first bag already...I'm not sure what this is going to mean yet...

11:50-Lunch is here and my girl is happy! Grilled cheese, French fries, fresh fruit cup and a veggie cup! The blood bank split the blood twice(should have been once), so we are waiting on the next bag.

1:00-We are on our final bag of blood! It will take a few hours for it so go in. Currently Mia is mad at me because I won't let her play in her leftover lunch. Trying to bribe her with snacks to get her to stop screaming. Cookies for the win! It's whatever it takes on these days, whatever makes her happy pretty much goes. Except for playing in food.

1:15- Just kidding, NOW we are on our final bag of blood. Should be about 2 more hours!

2:45- Can it take ANY longer? We are both bored to tears. Need coffee.

3:00- Our clinic room has 5 chairs. All of our friends have come and gone for the day. First to get here, last to leave. Poor Mia!

3:12-now she falls asleep. When we are almost done. haha!

4:00-FINALLY done and headed home!

We got home a little after 5, then it was dinner, baths and bed! :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Piggie Probs

A few months ago our Tucker passed away. It was sudden. We didn't know anything was wrong. We still don't know what happened. I debated on whether or not I wanted another pig for a while. Then a friend posted some babies for sale on FB and well, I couldn't resist!

I put the deposit down and told her I wanted a female. No reason, just to be different I guess. The piggie was ready just before we left for Disney but they said they would keep her for me until we returned. The day after we got home I worked it out so that we could pick up the piggie! We were going to name her Minnie Pearl! :) Well, piggie was pretty upset when we got it so it rode in my lap all the way home. When we got there I put it down in the living room so we could pet it and immediately noticed that IT WAS A BOY! haha! SO, meet Romeo! :)

He's cute, right?! Yea, well, he's BUCK WILD. Like, I haven't touched him since putting him in the pen WEEKS ago. He will NOT come near any of us. :( 

In the effort to not miss Tucker, this made it worse. I miss him wanting a scratch on the back and him scratching his booty on the fence post. :(

I guess I'll just keep trying with little Romeo. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Zoo Atlanta

A few weekends ago I turned 35! (eekk!!) I wanted to do something fun so we drove up to Atlanta to visit the zoo! Really, I just wanted to see the Panda Bears. We went all the way to China and didn't get to see any and as it turns out, there's a mama bear, daddy bear and twin baby bears a few hours away! :)

I'm fully aware that we never stay home for more than five minutes. China, Disney, Atlanta and the beach several times in between. It's go, go, go all the time for us! That's how we like it! :)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lost in Disney

I think I'm finally brave enough to talk about Brooks getting lost while we were in Disney World. If you know me in real life then you know what a Mama Bear I am. You don't mess with my babies, my world revolves around them and Josh. I'm sweet as can be until something happens with one of them, then you better watch out. Even my kids will say, "Here comes Mama Bear, you better watch out!" haha! I'm constantly counting them when we are in public for fear of losing one of them. ALL that to say, please no negative comments. They won't be published and I've beat myself up PLENTY for this already.

The Sunday we were in Disney we went to Hollywood Studios. We stayed at the park for a while and then went to our resort to rest and planned to go back later in the day. We stayed at the Art of Animation resort. There are several buildings that make up the resort. Our room was in the Lion King area. We decided to take Brooks over to the Cars area because they had all the cars from the movie there and knew he would love to see them! After staying in the area for a while Josh ran back to our room for something and I took the kids to the playground.

This is not my picture but I wanted you to be able to see what I am talking about. Notice how the area is round, the benches are around the outside. You see how you would not be able to see your kids playing on it? We walked up and I told the kids to play and that I would be sitting right there on a certain bench watching.

Reece came to me a few minutes later with huge eyes saying, "I can't find Brooks!" At first I didn't panic, you can't see every spot at once so he could have been playing. I walked around a few times and didn't see him. My heart started beating fast and I saw some other parents and asked for their help. All the little kids playing stopped and asked his name and they ALL started looking for him. I had taken a picture of him that morning so everyone knew exactly what he looked like and what he had on! VERY important to ALWAYS do this!! One of the other moms left to get security as we all screamed his name over and over.

He was no where to be found.

About that time Josh returned from the room. I explained that we couldn't find him so he started to look. I was losing my marbles. I felt like the world was spinning around me and I was just there. AWFUL FEELING. I was shaking and crying and the other moms just put their arms around me, a stranger, and told me it was going to be ok, we were going to find him. I closed my eyes and just prayed.

About 30 minutes went by before security came to me. I feel like this was WAY WAY WAY too long. Maybe they were looking for him the whole time? I don't know but there should have been contact made with me or my husband IMMEDIATELY! They didn't know what he looked like so how did they even know who they were looking for?

Finally, a lady with security came riding up on a bike. She asked to see his picture. As she was looking at it I heard over her radio, "WE FOUND THE CHILD!!" As much as it was music to my ears I didn't believe them. So I asked her where he was. She told me to go to the front of the pool, so the other mom's walked me up there.(Seriously, us women stick together. They didn't even know me but were in this until we found him! I would have done the same!) As we were walking, my sister met up with us(she had been looking for him too). We rounded the corner of the pool and I saw Brooks with the sweetest lady! I basically threw Mia at Allison and RAN to Brooks! I cried and cried and cried, the lady that found him cried and cried and cried!

The lady that found him said she saw him walking by himself and knew something wasn't right. She had her little girl with her, it was her 5th birthday! She knelt down and asked Brooks where his mommy was. He told her he didn't know and he was looking for me! She told him she was going to stay with him until they found me. I'm SO THANKFUL for her! (We are now friends on FB!)

Brooks came off of a slide on the opposite side of the playground I was sitting. He looked up and saw an empty bench and thought I left. :( So, he went looking for me.

Oh, my heart. I've never been so relieved in my life.

This was shortly after we got back to our room after the whole ordeal was over. I held onto him all night. And the rest of the time we were there. And, who am I kidding, I'm still holding him! haha!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Break Disney Style!

We just spent our Spring Break in Disney World! We had the best time and if I'm being honest I thought I would be miserable from stress but I really had lots of fun!!

We flew down really early on Saturday. So early that we were in Orlando at 8am! The kids DID NOT want to fly after the long trip to China we were just on! haha! Once we told them it was only about an hour long flight they were good! We spent most of the day at Disney Springs shopping, eating at the Dinosaur Cafe and just checking things out!

Sunday we spent most of the day at Hollywood Studios! The Tower of Terror never disappoints! That afternoon we went back to our resort for a break and planned to go back that night. Well, Brooks was lost that afternoon...COMPLETELY AN ENTIRE BLOG POST IN ITSELF COMING ON THAT we ended up not going back.

Monday we spent the day at Magic Kingdom! It started raining about halfway through the day so back to the resort we went! We weren't too disappointed because we had another day planned at Magic Kingdom. 

Tuesday was Epcot day! My fav place!! We were at the park from open to close! Fun, fun, fun!!

Wednesday we went to Animal Kingdom where we discovered the best, most fun roller coaster OF ALL TIME,  Expedition Everest! We rode it several times! Of course we did the Safari which was lots of fun too!!

Thursday it was back to Magic Kingdom! We pretty much rode everything we wanted to ride and ate a dole whip! :) 

Friday it was time to fly back early fight again and we were at home by 9am! :)

Now, a few tricks that worked well for us. We were at each park when it opened. The crowds are low at that point and you can quickly ride things that you don't have a fast pass for! The later it got in the day, the more crowded everything was. Another trick if you have kids...drink the alcohol. It makes it easier. Don't judge until you've been in that position! haha! Also, don't ride Mission: Space at Epcot on the orange level, which is the more intense level. Sweet baby Jesus, SICK AS A DOG. When we finally got to Mars I wanted to cry because I thought we had to fly back to Earth! 😂😂😂 Another thing, Brooks was able to ride WAY more than I thought he would. He was on anything and everything that he was tall enough for, including Splash Mountain, 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, Soarin'...seriously he LOVED them all!