Sunday, August 30, 2009


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Pop!

For Pop's birthday, we went to the Cardinal's game last night. We didn't know what the weather would do, but once we were in the stadium, it didn't rain a drop! It turned out to be an exciting game! Here is a view from our seats:

Pretty girls:

I have to concur with Natalie, the first half of the game was boring. She entertained herself by taking frequent potty breaks, crushing peanut shells with her shoes, snacking, and playing with the amazing fold up chairs:

The three of us:

The birthday boy! (Natalie actually took this picture):

Natalie with her Nani and Pop:

When Pujols hit a home run to win the game, we got to see fireworks! Natalie loved that! She talked about it all the way home last night, and quite a bit today.

Mike, U.B. (Uncle Brad), and Pop:

Our family:

Botanical Gardens

Last weekend we got to have a short visit with MawMaw and PawPaw. While they guys napped at home, the girls visited the botanical gardens. The weather was perfect! I had never been, and was really in awe of how beautiful it was. I was even more surprised with how wonderful everything smelled! I had fun taking pictures with my new *amazing* camera, although the pictures don't look as great on here because they've been re-sized. Any type of compression takes the "wow" factor away from pictures.

Entrance into the rose garden:

I believe Natalie was begging for snacks at this point and wouldn't cooperate for a picture. Ha!

This is one of my favorite pictures I took that day:

We were able to feed the koi fish, those monsters! They are huge! Natalie had fun tossing the food over to them and watching them gulp it down.

Here I was, keeping her from going over:

another favorite:

Natalie and I had fun walking back and forth across this little creek...we had to stop and play in the water of course:

beautiful hydrangea!

Posing dragonfly:

MawMaw's turn to keep Natalie out of the water! Natalie had fun getting her hand wet and then making "hand prints" on the concrete:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Good News!

Background: For two weeks, Natalie had severe urinary frequency. We took her in to the pediatrician, and when they tested her urine, some of the labs were very concerning. She was diagnosed with "nephrogenic diabetes insipidus" After her pediatrician spoke more with us and a nephrologist, withdrew that diagnosis. We were referred to a specialist. That apt was yesterday.

The nephrologist confirmed my suspicions that a medicine caused her symptoms, which is why she improved so much after I stopped it. Although it would not have altered her labs, so she also thinks Natalie was probably recovering from a UTI two weeks ago when we got the abnormal labs. Because as of yesterday, her labs are back within normal range!!! Thank God!! These two things put together (symptoms and labs) were cause for concern, but were, thankfully, unrelated. When the doctor told us she was fine yesterday and left the room, I cried very happy tears of relief.

We did go ahead and have an ultrasound done of her kidneys and bladder to check everything because she's had a few UTI's in the past. Everything there looked perfectly normal as well. Natalie was so well behaved and cooperative yesterday. To her, it was just a fun outing with Monnie and Daddy; she even got stickers, a sucker, and McD's afterward. It was funny to watch her skip in the hallway between us, happy as can be, talking non-stop about all the animals painted on the wall. I'm glad she was feeling good--Mike and I on the other hand, were anxious and stressed over her health. We weren't feeling nearly as great as she was!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pediatric Nephrology

That's where we'll be tomorrow afternoon. Her pediatrician referred us there after some concern about the function of her kidneys. There are so many details from the past 2+ weeks, but I don't feel comfortable posting everything until we get some answers. The bottom line is that it could be something minor or something serious-we don't know. I am hopeful it's on the minor side, her symptoms (that prompted us to take action) have improved. I am anxious to find out if her labs are improving as well.

Please send up prayers for Natalie tomorrow. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Due Date

Today was our due date for the baby we lost days before Christmas. It hurts. Time keeps marching, unaware of what we've been through.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Natalie wanted to play hide-n-seek this afternoon. I was laughing so hard at some of the ways I'd "find" her. See for yourself:

This is a tower of stuffed animals she's hiding behind. I actually thought this was pretty good...if only she would stand still!

Then she wanted Daddy to come find her. She hid under her bed, and before Daddy could "find" her, she started yelling, "oh no! Help! Daddy I stuck! Get me out Daddy!" LOL. Daddy found her pretty quickly after hearing her muffled distress.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This has been a tough week for Natalie. She has some symptoms that her pediatrician is concerned about, and we have been referred to a specialist. She will more than likely be going through some uncomfortable testing in the next week or two. Would you please keep her in your prayers? (I will update in more detail as we get more answers) Thanks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Mom and Dad!!

My nails

are unbelievably strong! I started to trim them last night with nail clippers and had to give up and file instead. These vitamins I take are amazing. I can only hope they are nourishing the inside of my body just as well. While it's sad that I even have to take these horse pills *ahem* vitamins, I'll rejoice in the little things. Like the fact that I can open soda cans like nobody's business.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Week in pictures

Natalie has started eating very well for us at dinner. How? We bribe her with chocolate ice cream. *no shame* It works, and she's finally gaining weight! This is a picture I took of her enjoying her reward:

This is what Mike walks upstairs to every morning when he comes home. (Notice she's in Christmas August)

Natalie latest interest is helping me with the laundry:

This had me in fits of laughter:

...and it kept getting better!

She was also happy that she got to have "mickey mouse" bread with dinner tonight.

Monday, August 3, 2009

10 Year Reunion

Friday night we went to a BBQ at Eileen's house. This is Mike's group of high school friends. (we were trying to recreate a photo they took before they all went off to college, 10 years ago) If I get a copy of it, I'll post the before/after.

Look how this group has grown!

Saturday night was the reunion. It was interesting to me to meet all these people I've heard about over the years. Dorie took this picture of us before we left:


Our trip to KC!

Our trip there was a little longer than expected, but Natalie did wonderfully, and we didn't even need any entertainment until after hour 4 on the road.

We got to Emily and Scott's late Friday afternoon. (Emily and I have been friends since 7th grade...that's 15 years now) Scott and Mike went to get charcoal for the grill, so Natalie and I went swimming with Emily. It was so warm outside, and the pool water was perfect! I think Natalie swam for at least an hour. We got out and dried off, just for me to realize I hadn't taken a single picture! Argh! I wanted to be documenting all the things on this long-awaited trip!

Erin, Roger, and Aiden joined us for dinner. (Erin and I have known each other since our freshman year of college. We lived on the same floor for 2 years, and have kept in close contact ever since) Aiden is only 6.5 months older than Natalie. They got along very well and kept each other entertained throughout the evening. In fact, we often caught them hugging or holding hands. It was precious.

This is Erin with Natalie and Aiden:

Erin, Emily, and I sat outside most of the night talking. The kiddos played with bubble blowers and sidewalk chalk (a gift from Emily) the entire time. I was shocked at how long they were entertained. After we ate, the guys came outside and joined us. We were all attacked by bubbles. Great night!

Roger and Mike:

Natalie and Emily playing in the mirror:

Aiden and Natalie:


We got to our hotel late Friday night. Considering Natalie traveled with us all day, swam for an hour, no nap, and played late, she was sound asleep very quickly! We were proud of how well behaved she was-and always is!

Saturday afternoon, Mike and Scott played golf. Emily, Natalie, and I ran errands together and did a little bit of shopping. That evening, we found a babysitter for Natalie (someone we know well and trust) and met up at the ballpark for a fun grown up evening!

Here are the guys (Mike, Roger, and Scott):

The girls (Emily, Erin, Me, and Mindy):

Picture of us at the game (which I didn't really watch--but that's why we bought the cheap-seats!):

Here comes my favorite part of the weekend: After the game, we met up at a bar and grill with more friends. This is another pic of Erin, myself, and Emily:

Then, Dave and Shalea came out to meet us. It had been FOUR years since we had seen them! I met Dave and Shalea the summer before my senior year of college (I stayed there to take classes) We all worked together, and after Mike graduated and moved away, they became like family to me. I don't know what I would have done without them!!

We played a lot of shuffleboard back then, and were excited to put our skills back to use that weekend.

I really wish we didn't live so far away from each other. I consider them both two of my closest friends, even if we don't see each other often.

Shalea and I. We lovingly call her our "Tower Power" (She's over 6') :

We visted Jen on Sunday. Jen was my roommate several times throughout college. She is also one of my dear friends. We drove out to Kansas to see her new home. Mike and Natalie napped there, and Jen and I drove to grab a late lunch and visit. I didn't get a single picture of us there either--even though I had my camera. *forehead slap*

We left Kansas and stopped 1/2 way home at my parents house. I'm so glad we did-none of us wanted to be in the car for another 5 hours straight! Natalie enjoyed the fun there, as always.
Playing ball on the steps:

Secretly pushing buttons on MawMaw's phone:

Playing cars with PawPaw:

We had a great trip! We are so thankful for our wonderful friends.