Saturday, January 30, 2010

a smile through a paci

Anniston pretty much only gets her paci while in bed, but every now and then, during her awake time, I let her have it...e.g. physical therapy :), church.  I used to abhor the thing, (and still have my issues with it at times), but I definitely see that it can have its place.  And, if I would have stood my ground and not succumbed to this prop, I never would have understood the beauty that is a smile through a paci.  

Or, a smile followed by many laughs through a paci in this case.  

We call this her chubby girl laugh :).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

weekend recap

Last weekend, our little fam packed up and headed to Louisiana for a playdate with some of Stan's cousins!  I've been anticipating getting together with these girls for a while, and the day did not disappoint!  

The only let-down of our rendezvous was that I, as I often do, forgot to pull out the camera until the very end :(, so of course, I do not have pictures of everyone.  *Slap on the hand.*  I even was able to meet my own cousin's little adorable baby, Dylan, and being so caught up in the moment of holding that sweet, tiny boy, I neglected to get a shot of him as well.  Sad times...

Well, here are a few of the few that I do have!  

This is Stan's precious second cousin, Elizabeth, and her oldest daughter, Eleanor.

Here's a close-up of beautiful Eleanor.  I just can't get over those curls.  And, those eyes.  Not to mention the lips and dimples.  Basically, I could eat her up, too...

Eleanor's, also beautiful, little sister Amelia is on the left, and we were able to meet her for the first time that day!!  Once again, could eat up the gorgeous blue eyes and dainty lips!  Amelia is the sweetest thing...she just smiles and smiles ALL the time. Wish I had a close-up of her!  We haven't had many playdates with Anniston, so I'm just now experiencing first-hand how nearly impossible it is to get a picture of more than one baby/toddler looking at the camera.  Much less facing it!  

Case in point.  How sweet is Amelia smiling at her toy?

This is Caroline (sister of Elizabeth and Baby Lynne), and Stan's grandmother, Glenda.  Elizabeth's husband, Scott, was there as well as her mother, Lynne, but I don't have pics!  I need to stop bringing that up.  Anyway, fun times were had by all!!  

Also, yesterday, we took Anniston to see her Cardiologist, and her heart looked PERFECT!!  Her Aorta is just as wide as it was the day it was ballooned, and the doctor and nurses were extremely pleased!  The best part about our visit is that they don't want to see us for a whole SIX months!!  Woohoo!!  

(And, just a note to myself, Anniston is almost 8 months, and she weighs nearly 16 lbs!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

could just eat it up

My most favorite little baby bum, that is...

This little girl's doing amazingly well, by the way :).

Friday, January 15, 2010

doing better

I just wanted to say thank you to you guys for your prayers/encouragement and for letting me know how I can lift you up in return.  Anniston has been improving...fewer episodes...a couple have been longer than before, but we're praying and claiming that they are getting better!  I have to constantly remind myself to look at Him and not at her for strength.  More of the whittling, I guess :).  We really do appreciate your prayers and look forward to more praises (on your behalf as well) in the days to come!

Monday, January 11, 2010

to be honest

We've had a rough couple of weeks.  Rough, but wonderful.  I guess that's how spiritual battles usually are...difficult because we're in the middle of a fight, but amazing knowing whose side we're on in this trial. 

The truth is that Anniston has been having some mild seizures lately, but she is doing great.  I almost hate to say seizure because I know the image that first comes to my mind when hearing that load-bearing word, but these spells look nothing like what we saw shortly after her stroke or how I have ever imagined one to appear.  It's really just a repetitive movement on her affected side because her brain is still healing.  We've been told that these episodes are not causing any damage, but her doctors want to get them under control as soon as possible for various reasons.  It appears that either her body is not accepting her seizure medicine like it had in the beginning or that she has just outgrown her previous dosage due to another major growth spurt.  (The latter is a very likely culprit seeing that she has gained half a pound in only a week!)  We've upped her dosage for the last week (per her neurologist's orders), and the episodes seem to be improving...the duration and frequency have been pretty constant, but they don't seem to be quite as strong as they were a week ago.

None of that sounds too bad, right?  It's really not, but can I just say that I think this has been the most difficult time Stan and I have had since she was born?  Crazy, right?  She's been through so much, and God has done an amazing work in her little body from the beginning, but we have been so very attacked.  Honestly, we're tired and ready to be past all of these trials with her health.  He's been chipping away at us a lot this year, and all for good reason, I know, but it's hard.  We just want to be normal, but I'm sure letting go of this selfishness is part of the lesson we're supposed to learn here.

Everything I've already written is true.  Yes, we've seen these things with Anniston's health lately, and yes, it's been tough for me and Stan, but if there's anything I've learned this year (thanks to the Lord and a couple of incredibly wise mentors in our town), it's that we are of a Higher truth.  Just as a sweet friend reminded me the other day :  "He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us."  (Ephesians 3:20)  He is more powerful than any diagnosis, sin, heartache, financial crisis, dispute, etc that any of us may be walking through right now.  

I don't want to be bound by my human thoughts and fears, and I don't want to limit God or hinder Him from doing the amazing work that He wants to do in our family.  Stan actually walked into the room the other day just was like the truth hit him hard (and me in that moment) that God's power is actually IN us.  I'm sure the Lord gets frustrated with us for not accepting that strength and peace that He suffered for and has made available to us...if we would just receive it.  Utilize it.  Make it our own.  This is where we are and what we're learning, and it's freeing.

It seems as though there are always so many praises to give our Lord when these struggles come.  Could it be that the enemy is trying to distract us from the "power that is at work within us"?  I whole-heartedly believe so.  My focus needs to be on these praises, so here they are!!:  Like I have mentioned many times lately, Anniston is growing fast!  If there is ever a doubt that a "cardiac-kid", as they call them, is doing well, the first question asked is:  "How are the feeds?"  Well, if you have ever seen her eat, you know that Anniston is a VERY good and eager eater.  Praise!!  We went back to the pediatrician last Wednesday, and he listened to her heart and said it was pumping nice and easy!  Praise!!  Also, since birth, Anniston has been on a calcium supplement, and her doctor wanted to test her levels to see if low calcium could be contributing to her having these episodes.  The nurse called Friday to tell me that her levels are within the normal range!!!  I cannot express how huge this is because she has definitely grown lots since that dosage was initially administered (meaning that she has been weaning herself from that dose just by gaining weight).  Also, when your body is under stress, calcium levels typically drop, but hers are obviously not too low!  Praise again!!

Do you have any praises or requests?  After talking so much about us and our circumstances, I am convicted that I'm not looking outside of myself as I should.  I'd love to pray for you and/or to rejoice with you in your walk.  Much love always...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

in no particular order...

here are the Christmas pics! 

Thanks to our families for making Anniston's first Christmas so special!  

I guess it's about time to take the Christmas music off of the blog...hmmm...