Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas with MawMaw & PawPaw

The day after Christmas, we met my parents at Betty's house and had a nice lunch there with family. (I forgot my camera! argh!) Then my parents came back to our house that evening and we had our Christmas with them.

A miniature animal:

This little desk is really neat. It's like a magna doodle, but it teaches you letters and numbers by having you trace over the lights.


Her first doctor kit:

Thank you's to MawMaw & PawPaw:

Her first patient is PawPaw:

MawMaw spent quite a bit of time reading books that evening too:


Are you ready for some pictures?? :)
I will start by saying we had a wonderful Christmas, and were so lucky Mike didn't have to go into work (even though it snowed quite a bit)
This was taken before Mike and I went to bed on Christmas Eve. Her school desk is her "big gift," as she really needed a place to do her workbooks.

Christmas morning:

Finding all the books inside her desk:

Remember that necklace I told you all about? The one I wouldn't buy her? Guess what she found in her stocking!

Yes, she's hugging it:

Her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ornament:

Putting Jesus on her countdown calendar:

Mike surprised me!

My stocking loot included my favorite candy as well! :)

Mike's stocking is all from Hickory Farms:

Another favorite for Natalie. She has been upset lately when Daddy wears his cardinals sweatshirt and she doesn't have any (warm) cards stuff to wear as well:

Hugging her cards sweatshirt:

Disney movies galore!! We had bought all of these movies gently used, so we were able to get all of them for what it would cost for one new Disney movie in stores.

Opening a gift from Mike and Natalie:

Natalie got a bounce back racer...and LOVES it!

Modeling her necklace:

She was so tickled that she matched Daddy:

Playing with her race car while I packed up to go to Nani & Pop's house:

We had (a late) breakfast with Mike's family, and then opened presents. This is Natalie opening her stocking:

Nani, you did good! Jewelry is ALWAYS appreciated by our girl:

I love this picture of Cole next to Mike! He looks so good after such a rough week!

Dollhouse furniture!

Our flip from Grandy:

Dorie and her mom plotted together and got me the last 2 pieces of my china pattern. (the sugar and creamer) This is the creamer from Grandma. Thank you Grandma!! :)

Our big gift from Mike's parents (thank you!!)

Natalie is done opening her gifts, so she is "helping" Nani and Pop open theirs:

This is a vase we bought Nani...and we were holding our breath watching Natalie get near it!!

Elmo hands!

Natalie was so tired once the afternoon rolled around. She took a nap in Nani and Pop's bed (and apparently shares Pop's sleep number) I had to go in and wake her after a couple hours!

Our girl snuggled up:

She was having a hard time waking up, so I held her while we finished up a board game.


Picture of us before Brad and Abbey had to leave...I think this is the first picture EVER that Cole is cooperating:

Natalie's new chair:

We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus before we left.

Once we were back home, Daddy read to Natalie while I attempted to organize our new things:

4 Days before Christmas

Last year, 4 days before Christmas I had our 3rd miscarriage. This year, 4 days before Christmas I had our 5th. It was another very early loss, which (in a way) makes it easier b/c I don't need medical care. My specialist and I have been in touch and she is studying my case in depth to find a cause...or something we've overlooked. I'm grateful for her time and attention to this.

Mike and I want nothing more than a big family, but we know it's possible we might not have any more children. When I desire nothing more than to have another baby, you can imagine these losses run deep. I have started to pray that God takes my desire for more children away.

If I can't have what I want so badly, then I don't want to have it. It hurts too much.

Cole's health saga continues...

First of all, we are well aware how ridiculous all of Cole's health issues are. We lovingly refer to him as our "defective dog", our "investment", and nicknamed him "Murphy" after Murphy's Law. Is he worth it? Simply put, yes. He is our loyal friend, constant companion, and devoted protector. We will do as much for him as we can to ensure he has a good quality of life...he is only 5 years old. The fact we have dog insurance for him helps with unexpected vet bills.

Early last week, Cole was put on a very low dose of a steroid to help him get some relief from allergies while we waited for the testing results. We requested this low dose b/c a regular dose for him causes him to lose bladder control, and with a dog his size, that's a LOT of potty on our carpet!! So, after being on this a couple days, one evening I noticed his hair was ruffled and funny looking. I called him over and started to stroke his hair and realized he had lumps under his skin! ALL OVER! He had hives. Later that night, he started having tremors...at times they were so bad, I could feel them through the floor from across the room. I called the emergency vet office and they disregarded my theory that it was related to the steroid, and told me it was probably neurological and would have to wait and see what happens.

Over the next 24 hours, we watched him deteriorate (as we anxiously waited for our apt with the vet) His eyes were bloodshot, more tremors, hives, and now vomiting and diarrhea. He couldn't even keep very small amounts of water down. He avoided us and laid in the dark bathroom, and sometimes in the tub behind the shower curtain. When his breathing became labored, I realized this is probably "it" and spent much of the day sitting with him.

Mike took him to the vet that afternoon, and called me as soon as he knew what was going on. I was ready to come over to say "goodbye" and wondered how we should handle it with Natalie. Mike told me that Cole had an allergic reaction to the prednisone (steroid) and the vet had never seen such a reaction (b/c it's practically unheard of...steroids are what you use to control allergic reactions!) but that Cole would recover!

Then Mike said the blood test results for the allergies were back, and I would NEVER guess what Cole is so allergic to. Ready for this??

Seasonal allergies--practically none
Dust mites (a common animal allergy)--somewhat allergic
Food allergies--Cole is HIGHLY allergic to EVERY single food tested, except milk. He is allergic to beef, chicken, pork, lamb, rice, corn, and almost every other filler in dog food.

Good news? No allergy shots needed. Bad news? He is now on expensive hypoallergenic dog food. It's about $100 a bag, and that will last a little less than a month. The past 4 days, we have been so happy to watch our dog return to normal, no, BETTER than normal!! His is now weaned off the steroids, and transitioned onto his hypoallergenic dog food. We have noticed a HUGE improvement in his health. He has been an attention HOG lately, b/c he now wants us to pet him constantly (something that he didn't like before b/c it would send him into an itching fit) and we are happy to oblige.

Our happy dog:

Cookie Fun!

Last Tuesday afternoon, we headed over to Nani and Pop's so Natalie could make sugar cookies with Nani. I had fun watching and taking pictures!

She had as much fun playing with the flour as anything else:

Flour face:

Sprinkling Dumping sprinkles on the cookies:

Natalie was tired (due to no nap that afternoon) and wanted to go play with Nani. I offered to finish up and then realized I was wearing a black shirt...which doesn't mix well with lots of flour! I asked Dorie for an apron, and this is what she came up with! LOL

Mike is working the sprinkle station:

These are the cookies that Natalie made. Do you like cookie with your sprinkles? ;) Me too!