Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

It's been a bit since I last signed on to my blog.  I actually forgot how to log on!  That probably could be blamed more on my forgetful brain than on time, but nonetheless, I forgot.  I guess I just needed a good long break.  Life had gotten rather complicated and time wasn't as free, so I put it on hold.  I have to say, I missed this.  I really missed it.  I hate not being able to go back and see all of the things we did over the last year!  I have to admit that I haven't done any writing and I feel like that skill, if that's what you want to call it, has completely left me.  It may take me awhile to get back in the grove.  If I have any readers remaining on this little blog of mine, I hope you can bear with me.

We had a really nice Christmas!  It was our first Christmas, just the four of us.  This was exciting and fun and a little sad, all at the same time.  We loved just being us and not having to go anywhere, but not seeing our close family at this time is always a bummer.  Luckily, we had seen both of our families at Thanksgiving time, so we are still riding high from a nice extended visit then.

The weather here has been rather dreary.  Cloudy and rainy, but on the warmer side.  Not quite a white Christmas!  On Christmas Eve, we all headed to the gym for some pool and workout time.    That night we were all involved in the Christmas Eve program at our church.  I had to sing, Mark had to do a reading and the girls were in the children's choir.  It was a lovely way to get ourselves into the Christmas spirit.  It was pretty late when we got home, but we made sure that we had time for opening our one Christmas Eve gift, which was and always will be...PAJAMAS!  The girls were super excited when they opened up jammies, which was rather surprising.  Rosie actually yelled and jumped up and down.

On Christmas morning, the girls were up with the sun.  We got around, read the Christmas story, opened gifts and then had a late lazy breakfast.  Can I just say, the girls ages are so much fun at Christmas.  Everything is EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANTED!  I just loved every minute of the magic of present opening, they seemed to feel the same way.  After breakfast, we headed out on a family bike ride and finished the day with take out Chinese food, like all good Americans;).

The bike "she ALWAYS wanted"

The teepee "she ALWAYS wanted"

All the kids love the Shopkins these days.  I totally don't get it.  

Christmas Breakfast

I would really love to pack this post full of pictures, but I'm having some issues with the ole' cloud.  I know people joke about not understanding the cloud, but friends, it's no joke over here.  I do NOT understand where my pictures are.  I see them on my phone and on my computer, but when I go to upload them to my blogger, no such luck.  I'll get it all figured out soon, hopefully.  I'm gonna get off of here.  We are knee deep in the fifth season of Parenthood.  Guys, WATCH THIS SHOW, if you haven't already!  It's SO GOOD.  

Anyway, it's good to be back. :)  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Family of Five!

Last week was a full week, but true to form, I can't really remember everything we did!  Monday happened.  Well, I think I did Monday, but I can't tell you what it involved.  Tuesday, the girls went to Mother's Morning Out and then in the afternoon I met with one of my pastors to go over VBS stuff.  For some reason, it seemed like a hard day, so I went to the gym and then went to Strawberry Hill to have dinner with the girls.  Our friends, Tach & Jessica K and their kiddos joined us. SIDE NOTE: Have I mentioned that Strawberry Hill is closing?  Can I just say it feels like a piece of me is closing up along with it.  I'm sincerely distraught about it.  Where will I get my amazing grilled veggie chicken salad sandwich on sourdough?!  It's closing June 1, and every day Kiki says, "I hope it's not June."  I'm with you, sister! 

My pastor brought this card she wrote by to me.  Things have been hard lately, and I thought this was super sweet.  

That evening I met my other friend Jessica at the Academy and we walked the track while the kiddos played.  The weather has been pretty near perfect, so I hope we will start doing that more often.  Wednesday, we met Susie at the Ugly Mug to get coffee and then headed to an area park for the girls to play while we chatted. SIDE NOTE: I have discovered my all time favorite coffee drink.  It's an Orange Dark Chocolate Mocha.  It is SOOOOO good.  I get it a couple times a week.  I also bought the stuff to recreate it but it's just not as amazing at home.  After our park time, we headed over to Susie's house for the girls to see her doggy, Millie.  We also needed to pick up some outfits for the Gala.  They had some extras.  Wednesday evening was book club.  I hadn't been in sooo long, and even though I hadn't read the book, I decided to go.  It was a lovely evening and only one person had finished the book (obviously we are all very committed), so I didn't feel too bad.

On Wednesday, I did something terrible.  I dropped my phone and it cracked into a trillion pieces.  I was so sad, so Thursday I went to a local place to get it fixed.  Jessica's mom said she'd watch the girls for me so I took her up on it.  Jessica met me for lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant over her lunch break.  It all felt very grown-up and care-free, meeting for lunch without kids.  

That evening was the hospital gala.  The theme this year was Scotland.  We went as Scottish peasants, I think.  I'm not entirely sure.  I just wore what I was given.  The dress was about two sizes too small and took a lot of time and manpower to get me into.  It also really made enjoying all the good food really tough.  In fact, breathing was tough!  It was a fun evening, though!

The Scottish peasants 

Braveheartin' it 

My adorable and pregnant friend, Sarah!  So excited for her and Chris! 

Heather made her skirt!  She's one talented lady!

On Friday, my phone really started acting up.  The screen went plaid on me with lines running through it.  I took it back to the little place that fixed it and it ended up being quite an ordeal, but it's fixed.  The girls and I decided to make the best of the situation and we went to Rita's Italian Ice and Custard.  It was good and reminded me very much of Jeremiah's in Orlando that pretty much got me through my first pregnancy.  Oh, the memories!

Yummy gelati!  Its a mix of italian ice and custard.  It's a winner.  

On Friday afternoon/evening, we went to Fletcher Park.  We were supposed to meet a lady to possibly see her dog that she was rehoming, but she never showed up and didn't answer her calls or texts.  Luckily, I hadn't even told the girls it was happening.  I ran/walked while they rode their bikes and we had a nice little evening.  Later that night, the lady called and profusely apologized for completely forgetting! 

On Sabbath, we went to church.  We are trying out a new church lately and are really enjoying it.  After church and lunch, we came home and changed and headed back to Fletcher park to meet some friends to ride bikes and play in the water.  The lady had also agreed to meet us to introduce us to her dog.  She did end up coming, but was very late.  Well, let's just say we fell in love with him.  We told her we would take a day to think about it, but by Sunday morning, we knew.  Remi, already named, needed to join us at our house forever.  We gave him a full name Remington and we are working on a middle name.  There have been many interesting suggestions.  

Anyway, Sunday was a good day.  Besides getting Remi in the afternoon, we went on a hike around Bent Creek, ran by the new outlet mall, ate at Whichwich and washed both cars.  Good, good day.  

Now that we have Remi, reality has set in.  I forgot how hard puppies are.  He's ten months old, so he's still a puppy, but he's also very big and strong.  Patience and understanding for him are much easier for me to have when you see the immense joy he brings to the girls.  I had to keep reminding myself of that when he wiggled out of his collar this morning and had me running through our neighborhood for about twenty minutes.  Or just a few minutes ago when he got terrified of coming down the stairs after I put the girls down for nap.  He barked and growled and then peed on the carpet.  Totally worth it.  Serenity NOW!!!!  He's sleeping by my feet now, so we're cool:) 

Kiki seems to be a big fan of Sabbath School. 

Meeting Remi for the first time.  

Love at first sight.  

Making himself at home!

This morning Kiki said, "I love daddy 2nd, mommy 2nd, & Rosie 2nd.  Remi I LOVE THE FIRST!"

She really couldn't be happier.  This kid LOVES animals and now she has one of her very own. 

My view as I type this.  He's pretty great;)

Remington "Remi" Murrill
(possible middle name ideas from Rosie and Kiki: Sally, Remi, Rami, Toot, Poop)  
I think I probably will be the final vote on the middle name, just to be safe.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ten Days Not to Be Forgotten

As I mentioned before, life has been complicated lately.  One of the major complications happened when my sweet Rosie girl had a major health scare that put her in the hospital for ten days.  It was one of the most traumatic things I've been through, and I know it was the worst experience of her young little life.  

It started with a normal cold and continued to get worse.  I noticed during the night that her breathing was very labored and in the morning I took her to the pediatrician.  Well, we never went back home.  They took her by ambulance to Mission Hospital and admitted her.  She somehow had contracted strep pneumonia and her oxygen levels were dangerously low.  After a few days in the hospital, they found that Rosie was improving clinically (temps were more manageable, less lethargic) but her lungs weren't sounding better.  Fluid in the lungs is common with this form of pneumonia and after a second chest x-ray, they found that half of her right lung was full.  They had to perform a surgery that involved using a small camera to clean out the fluid.  They also had to place a chest tube in her to continue to drain the fluid which ended up staying in quite a few days and was really, really painful.  .  There were all kinds of other complications that you probably don't care to hear about.  Let's just say it truly was a devastating ordeal.

God kept me going because there were times when I thought I couldn't take anymore.  God also sent incredible friends and family to help.  There was a point during this situation, that I thought she wasn't going to make it, and my heart broke into a million pieces.  The Lord worked a miracle in her sweet little life and Rosie started to improve slowly.  Even the last day was hit or miss on whether or not she would go home.  She was very dependent on oxygen until the last few hours.  I've never been so happy to leave a place in my whole life.  We had many wonderful physicians and nurses, but there's no place like home.  

Rosie lost quite a bit of weight during the experience.  She also lost all muscle tone.  Her little legs were like sticks!  Seeing her walk again was like a foal learning to walk for the first time.  Coming home was hard, too.  She had residual effects from the hospital stay that her pediatrician warned us about like nightmares, bedwetting and a pretty bad attitude.  That kind of emotional and physical stress is just too much on a little five-year-old's psyche.  It was pretty hard on a 34-year-old's psyche for that matter!  

We are about three weeks out and she is truly as good as new.  She is doing great and you'd never know she had been sick.  I will never forgot God's mercy on our family and I don't think it's something Rosie will soon forget either.   

The day the whole thing started.  This was our first ambulance ride! 

She loved getting cards and balloons from family and friends.  

The Heinrich's sent this bouquet and ballon.  She would take a flower with her every time she had to go to something scary like a chest x-ray or an ultrasound.  

She also loved sweet visitors!  This girl's calls, visits and texts were a world of help! 

The Child Life Specialist had Rosie doing all sorts of art related things to get her moving and her lungs working.  

This was a hard day.  Mark was out of town, and this was in the pre-op area before Rosie went back for surgery.  We were both pretty scared.  I felt so alone, but luckily, my friend Susie came and spent the whole day with me.  I wouldn't have been able to do it without her support.  

This was the hardest thing to see.  The nurses taking my baby back for surgery. 

Kiki was a frequent visitor.  She was also a very eager visitor.  

Post-op Rosie.  She was so tiny and in so much pain.  

The morning after surgery called for popsicles for breakfast and unlimited ipad access:) 

Some evenings, I got to come home while Mark took over.  I would sneak in to see this little princess.  Ten days without your family can be pretty hard.  So thankful for the Stouts, the Wells, the Bunch's and the Mott's for taking such good care of her in our absence. 

In order to get the fluid to continue draining, we had to try and get her out of bed.  This was NO easy task, nor was she remotely interested.  It was DRAMA!  

Standing for a few seconds for the first time.  This was huge, and although it was short, it gave her the confidence to keep pushing for bigger things.   Alex is the nurse in the back and I love her.    Julien was Rosie's Childlife Specialist.  She's holding Rosie' and was completely awesome.  

Maybe a little spoiled.  People brought Rosie the most amazing things.  That was definitely her favorite part about hospital living.  Kiki was not at all happy about all of this attention Rosie got.  

A day of improvement.  Rosie went on a trip to the playroom for a science show in the wagon.  She ended up having a great time, although it was like pulling teeth to convince her to go! 

More sweet visitors!  I can't get over how many friends helped us by visiting, bringing food, texting, calling, etc.  I've never felt so loved.  

Kiki was never so happy to see Rosie.  During this visit, she stood behind her and rubbed her hair or kissed her the whole time!

More hair rubbing:) 

The amount of balloons Rosie had in her room was ridiculous.  Everyone who came in commented on it.  It took three van trips to get them all home.  

The amount of tangles in this kids hair was RIDICULOUS!  

Seeing this smile was worth it all.  I love this girl so much. 

Before she got her chest tube out, Julien came to show her how it was done on her doll they gave her.  Her doll had all of the things she did (a chest tube, an iv, an oxygen mask, etc)

This box full of fun things came from a mom who started a foundation in honor of her daughter who passed away.  It was so special. 

My doctor sent Rosie this HUGE teddy bear.  She LOVES this guy. 

This lady made the drive from Texas with her three-year-old to take care of Kiki for me.  What kind of a friend does that?!!  An amazing one, that's what!  It was so good to have her here.  I just love her! 

More visits from Kiki!  She became a fan of the playroom, too.  Lot's of "doctoring" going on.  

Avie liked visiting, too! 

Doctoring Mr. Bear

After her chest tube came out, she loved getting out on this thing.  It was hard to keep up with her as I pushed the oxygen tank that had to be connected to her at all times.  


There were some silver linings about the hospital.  


I came home one Sabbath and took Kiki to Sabbath School.  She was needing some mommy time and it was so special. 

This is her chest tube wound after a week.  Yikes!  The bandages were covering the hole where the camera went.  

This was the afternoon before we were discharged.  She had to be off of oxygen for 4 hours without d-sating before they would let her go.  We had to find ways to pass the time and she loved driving this tricycle around the peds ward.  

Free AT LAST!  Driving home was the best feeling!  

She even got some cards and gifts after she got home.  This was by far her favorite gift from her friends Bryn and Blythe.  She would hardly take it off!  

Thank you all for your support, prayers, food, cards, calls, texts and love!  We couldn't have done it without you.  This experience has changed me and I hope never to miss up an opportunity to help someone hurting.