Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pancakes Anyone?




Lucy cooked for us this morning.  Did I tell you she wants to be a Chef one day?

Reeves is 6!



Yesterday was Reeves' 6th birthday, and we had an AWESOME day!  We had some friends over for lunch.  We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, played in the sprinklers, and ate ice cream sundaes.  The kids had a blast, and the moms had fun visiting.  After a hard nap in our bed, we headed out to the Barons game for his Baseball Birthday Party!  Even though the weather was quite muggy, the boys had a ball.  As the sun went down, and the weather cooled off, it was even better.  The Barons won 3-0 and one guy even hit a home run.  Reeves thought he did it just for him.  After the game, we watched the fireworks and then it was home and to bed.  We were justifiably exhausted, and amazingly, Reeves slept till 10 this morning.  I think he would say it was his best birthday ever!  I love you big boy!!  Check out the picture slideshow over on the right.  

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer Fun 2008, Chuck E Cheese, The Mall, and Recreation Station


So I promised frequent Summer Fun updates, and I haven't done a great job. You may find them clumped together like this from time to time. Sorry if that bothers you, but frankly I am doing this mostly for my benefit (just kidding....sorta)! The playgroup has been sweet to accommodate Greer's latest laser treatment (we don't like to be in the sun for several days following treatment). We have done some fun "indoor" activities this week. Tuesday we went to Chuck E Cheese and had a ball (even though that place always freaked me out pre-children). They seem to love it, but we couldn't bear to eat the mediocre pizza so we headed to Chick-fil-a for lunch (that will be a regular for the lunch bunch). After that, Reeves and Lucy had a blast swimming with Robin and Holly Turner while I took Greer for her treatment. We were all justifiably exhausted on Tuesday night!

Yesterday, we spent the day at the mall (while my sweet Ann made my house all clean and shiny!). I must say, the highlight of the day was picking out Reeves' new Nike tennis shoes. I have to say Nike because it was "Nike or Die!" Don't ask me why, but "big school" has brought on an obsession with Labels (current label obsessions include Nike & Underarmour). My boy's little world is expanding at a rapid pace! Anyway, Reeves is now OBSESSED with his new shoes. He even got up this morning and "cleaned" them with a wipe....this from my very "unclean" child. We'll see how long it takes for the new to wear off! We also visited the toy store to spend some birthday money, and bought Lucy some new Red Crocs.....it was an expensive day!
Today we spent the morning at Recreation Station (a jumping place for toddlers/pre schoolers). Reeves was a little bored, but Lucy and Maddie had a blast. This picture of Ben was taken there. The babies had fun "playing" together on the floor, and Angela and I had a good visit.
After that little adventure, I decided to take on another one. I HAD to go to Costco and Publix, and against my better judgment, I did it with all 3 kiddos. All in all, it went pretty well.
UNTIL....
I kinda had a lot of stuff, and I kinda didn't close my back hatch too well. This error in judgement resulted in a major disaster! As I attempted to cross the very busy HWY 150 in Hoover, the back hatch released, and out went half my groceries. In the middle of a 4 lane HWY! Yikes!
Sweet little old man to my rescue! He loaded all my stuff in his truck and pulled over to help me reload it all. Luckily, there were no wrecks, and the only fatalities were the diet cokes! Thank Heaven for that !!!
Stay tuned....this weekend Reeves turns 6!

Lily has Cancer

My vet just called a little while ago to tell me that the biopsy of Lily's liver shows that she has cancer.  Even though she is improved since the surgery, she is definitely not 100%.  Now I'm trying to decide what to do.  Any advice appreciated!  In the meantime, we will be keeping her comfortable with some meds and deciding what to do next.  

Happily Healing!


Greer is doing so much better following this treatment (better than she did the 2nd time).  The swelling was still pretty bad (she woke up yesterday with her right eye swollen shut), but after she woke up from her nap following treatment she has pretty much been herself.  Last night was even a record for her in the sleep department....she went down for a "nap" at 5 p.m., and didn't get up till 7 this morning (minus a couple quick wake ups).   This girl is a sleepin fool!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Treatment #3 in the Books!



Well, it has been quite an exhausting day!  I really appreciate the prayers from all of you.  I have to say though, I was still quite a mess today.  I can't tell you how glad I am that this was Greer's last treatment without General Anesthesia.  I just don't think I could go through this again without it.  It just absolutely breaks my heart to see her in such pain! 

Even though it was awful to see her so upset and obviously hurting, it wasn't "quite" as bad as last time.  I don't think the swelling was quite as bad, but I do think she got some good bruising (that is one of the signs that the treatment was a good one....more bruising should result in more fading).  
Thanks for all your love and support....I don't know what I'd do without it.  

Monday, May 26, 2008

Prayers for Greer on the Eve of Treatment #3




Tomorrow, Greer will have her 3rd laser treatment for her Port Wine Stain.  I am experiencing so many emotions, it is hard to even know where to start.  First of all, I am asking for prayers of comfort.  My primary emotion is concern and sadness for the pain that my baby will have to go through tomorrow and the 24-48 hours that follow.  That is about how long it takes for the swelling to ease up and for her to feel like herself following a treatment.  

My second prayer is for strength.  I have made the decision to be with Greer during her treatment tomorrow.  I haven't been able to do it for the other 2.  I was simply too emotional and overwhelmed the first time....I just couldn't do it.  The second time, I had grand plans to be there, but at the last minute I had to take Lucy with me.  I couldn't leave her alone, and I knew Greer was in good hands.  Lucy and I sat in the waiting room together and colored....honestly, it was a good distraction for me.  
Third, is a prayer of praise.  Praise for so many things.  Praise for the insurance approval, praise for the Amazing fading we have seen with only 2 treatments (see the "Bye, Bye Birthmark slideshow over on the right), and praise for my wonderful support group.  I have an amazing network of friends (and family of course) that my precious God has given me.  These friends (including church friends, neighborhood friends, college friends, camp friends, work friends, childhood friends, and last but not least my birthmark buddy friends) have held me up, given me hugs and prayed for us, and they have most importantly LOVED my baby!  What would I do without you all....you know who you are!
Stay tuned....there will be an update tomorrow!  

Friday, May 23, 2008

Aldridge Gardens






So, I want to welcome you to a new regular feature here on our blog. In our little world, today is the official first day of Summer (i.e. the first day out of school for Summer!). I am blessed to have some VERY organized friends (Angela and Shelly) who have a Summer full of fun activities planned for us. When I say organized, I mean organized! They have planned an activity for every day from now through August (complete with a full out excel calender spread sheet!)!

We are never gonna get bored around here! While we are in town, we are going to try to join the group for most of the fun. I am going to try to document each of those days and post about them on that evening. Each entry will be entitled Summer Fun 2008, followed by the day's activity. Maybe it will give you some ideas for Summer fun of your own!
Today we started the morning with a swim at the Hoover Rec indoor pool. The kiddos and I met up with Angela, Maddie, Ben, Shelly, Caden, and Caris for a little swim before lunch. It was my kids first time to swim this season, and Greer's first swim EVER! They had a blast! I am sad I didn't capture any pictures of it. Greer LOVED the water (even though it was quite cold at first)! She cooed and laughed...it was priceless. Of course Reeves and Lucy had fun, and showering off in the women's locker room was actually almost as much fun as the pool. My children are easily entertained!
After swimming, we went to Aldridge Gardens in Hoover. If you are ever in our town, I highly recommend a visit. It is AMAZING! The lake and flowers are breathtaking! We had a picnic in the boathouse and the kids fed the turtles and fish millions of saltine crackers. I hope fish don't count carbs! The babies loved the shade and all 3 of them took a nice nap. We did a little exploring around the gardens and even got a little muddy. It was a wonderful day!
If you wanna see more pics from today, go to my Picasa account!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

For Aunt Becca!


Does this make you proud, or what!!?

Home Sweet Home!


Well, I made it!!! Yay!  

I can't tell you how happy I am to be home.  It was quite a stressful morning, but I think it went really well.  This Expert Witness thing isn't a bad gig, but I don't really want to do another trial again anytime soon.  I was lucky to be working with a great group of lawyers, so that made it much easier.  I've gotten quite an education in the past few days, that's for sure.  
My kids were elated to see me.....which is so very wonderful!  I was covered with hugs and kisses for about 5 minutes and then I heard "What did you bring me?" followed by, "Can I go out and play?".  I love my life!
Greer is asleep now (rocking her was bliss), and Lucy is glued to my side.  Apparently we are going out to the "Place where they cook in front of you with that BIG fire!"  in a little bit.  For now I'm gonna cuddle with Lucy and watch Little Bear.  

I miss my Babies!


Oh, and I forgot to mention that!


If you get a chance....

Sometime before 9 am CST today, please say a little prayer for me.  I am going on the stand to testify for the first time as an expert witness (no, I'm not in trouble....I'm the Nurse Expert.  Are you impressed! :) ). I feel prepared, and pretty confident....but a prayer wouldn't hurt.  

Also, pray that I get back home on time today.  We'll be cutting it kinda close with my testimomy and scheduled departure time.  I was supposed to testify yesterday, but due to unforeseen circumstances, they had to push me till today.  So, I have been waiting in this (lovely) hotel room since Tuesday afternoon (it is really nice).  Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been bad at all.  I have gotten a chance to sit in some silence (a rare occurance at my house), catch up on some sleep (my first 2 solid nights sleep since baby Greer arrived), and I've been wined and dined a bit (can't beat that).  I've also learned a lot and feel like I have entered a new chapter in my career....but I may change my mind about that after I testify!  I'll keep you posted.   
 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Morning Thoughts

I'm sitting here drinking my coffee in the quiet of the house.  Chris just left to take Reeves and Lucy to school, and Greer is still sleeping (although it took some convincing after her wake up at 4 when she was ready to party like a rock star!).  I'm all packed for my trip to Louisville (I'm going to testify in a trial as a nurse expert.....I know you're impressed :) ), and having more emotions run through me than I thought possible.  I am sad that I am away from Reeves today for field day and his end of the year party.  I can't believe it is the last week of school and that Summer is just days away...actually, Summer starts at the exact moment my plane lands on Thursday.  At that moment, my baby will be a 1st grader!  Unbelievable! 

I am looking forward to the next 2 nights though.  I will get to sleep in a bed all by myself, I will have total control of the remote, I will not be woken up to feed baby Greer (or by another child who happens to end up next to me every morning despite my best efforts at the super nanny techniques), and I will get to travel alone.  I can't remember the last time I didn't have to worry about packing anyone but myself!  Man, it makes traveling immensely easier!  
So pray for us all.  My mom is coming tonight to help with the kids, and I think Chris' mom is going to help some, too.  I will miss them so much, but I've packed the camera for my mac (if I can figure out how it works).  Pray for me as I testify on Wednesday....I'm more than nervous!  Pray for safe travels, too!   

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lucy's Cooking Birthday Party!






We had Lucy's birthday party on Saturday at a really cool place called "Viva the Chef".  It is a cooking school for kids and adults (and they also have a restaurant in the front).  It was an absolute blast for all of us and Lucy was delighted!  She has fallen in love with cooking, and this was the perfect way to celebrate her 4th birthday.  A yummy time was had by all!  Check out the slideshow for more pictures, and check out the Viva the Chef website......you might want to see how much fun it really is!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Prayers Answered!

I got great news today!  The insurance company (maybe they are trying to redeem themselves) has approved laser treatments for Greer through August.  Hooooooraaaaaay! 

Greer's Baptism Video

I wanted to share the sweet video that Chris produced for Greer's baptism on Sunday.  It was kind of a Mother's day surprise for me, and it is very sweet (made us all cry a little bit if we're honest).  The significance of it is that the Minister who baptized me also baptized Greer this past Sunday.  Pretty Awesome how God works! Oh, don't forget to turn the volume down on the right side!

video

Belly Laughs!

This is just too adorable not to share.  Crazy how waving a burp cloth in front of a baby can make her laugh from her toes!  Before you hit play, go down and pause the music (on the right side of the page) so you can hear her laughter.  Hope something makes you this happy today!



video

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Making up for lost time....

So I guess it's been a few days since I've posted any pictures or life happenings....this post should take care of that!  I can't figure out how to put a slideshow in to the post, so there's a little slideshow over on the right side.  If you click on it you can see the pictures a little bigger.  Still figuring all this blogging stuff out....thanks for caring enough about us to check it out!  I must say that I'm doing all of this (mostly) for Erin (you know it's true) and for my journaling purposes, so pardon the exhaustive details.  But, just in case you're interested in what's been happening.....

This Mother's day weekend was so jam packed with events, it's hard to know where to even begin!!  I'll start with Friday, and the arrival of Charcey (my mom), Bubba (mom's mom), and Big Pop (mom's dad).  Bubba and Big Pop traveled from Fayette, AL in their motor home to Tannehill State Park for a weekend of camping.  Since Lucy was the birthday girl this weekend, she got to go for a special overnight adventure in the camper.  It was quite a treat for Little Lucy.  She got to be queen of everything for a bit.  Don't you know she was eating all that attention up!!!  Reeves had his buddy Jake over to spend the night, and they had quite a good time, too.  We went to the Deer Valley Talent show to cheer on some friends and filled up on junk food....it was quite a treat for all the kiddos that night!
Saturday was Lucy's big day.  It's so hard to believe that my baby is 4!  Where does the time go?  My mom keeps telling me how fast it goes by, and most of the time I have a hard time believing it!  This weekend it was very real to me.  Then I realized that I am about to be the mom of a 6 year old in a couple of weeks....now that is REALLY hard to believe.  So anyway, we weren't sure when Reeves would have his baseball game that day, so I decided to schedule Lucy's party for next Saturday just to be on the safe side.  Well, mommy guilt kicked in a little, and I couldn't let my little 4 year old girl not have some sort of birthday celebration on her ACTUAL birthday!  So, late into Friday night, I baked cupcakes and planned a mini street party.  We had the neighbors over for cupcakes and lemonade and Lucy got to blow out some candles.  Fun was had by all (even though Chris made fun of my cupcakes!).  
After cupcakes, it was off to the ball park for the quarter finals of the tournament.  The Raptors won in a nail-biter and were off to the semi-finals on Monday.  They played an AWESOME game....one of the best of the season!  Sadly, they lost the semi-final game on Monday night, but they did a great job and we were so proud of how hard they played, how much they've improved, and most importantly that they played with honor and dignity in some "not so honorable" circumstances.  We had the best team of kids, parents, and coach dads.  WAY TO GO Raptors!  It was a great season!
(Are you tired yet?  I am)  Next, it was off to a piece of "little girl heaven"....Club Libby Lu!  Lucy's sweet friend LauraBeth had her birthday party at this fabulous place on Saturday night.  Lucy felt like a diva and had an absolutely fantastic time.....I don't know that I've ever seen her so happy!  Since it was her birthday, too, we picked out a few treats that made the night even more special.  Hannah Montana had a lot to do with it!
Then...no I'm kidding.  We went home and crashed after that crazy (but unbelievably fun) day!
Sunday, was a little less crazy, but it was just as special!  Our sweet baby Greer was baptized, and we enjoyed a blessed day with friends and family.  Greer was such an angel, and it couldn't have been more beautiful and holy.  I praise God for the blessing of this precious soul, and know that we are so amazingly blessed to call her ours.  She is truly a gift from God.  One thing that made her baptism even more special was that the minister who baptized her, also baptized me when I was a baby.  Thank you Mickey, we love you! 
We celebrated our Mothers, we celebrated God's love, and we celebrated our many blessings!  It was a wonderful day.  Oh, and we had a GREAT meal!  Lucy even got to blow out some more candles! 
Our afternoon led us back to Tannehill for lots and lots of fun in one of the most beautiful places around.  The kids could have stayed there for a week, and Chris and I decided that we would be back very soon.  You can see from the pictures how much fun we had!
It was a perfect weekend, and when I look back at all that we did, I have a hard time figuring out how we fit it all in.  At least the horrible stomach virus waited till Sunday night (yes, it was quite a way to end the weekend).  Chris had a little touch of it, but I wasn't quite so lucky.  I've finally recovered, and thanks to my Mom (thank you, thank you, thank you) my kids and house were taken care of.  What would we do without our moms?  I love you mom, and I'm praying that you don't get sick!  Honey and Bubba weren't so lucky.... I'm soooo sorry!  

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lily's Home

After a week in the hospital, our sweet Lily is home.  She has had a rough time of it, and we are happy that she is pulling through this.  She lost a little weight in the hospital and we are hoping that she gains it back soon...she looks a bit like Skelator.  Her discharge weight was a pathetic 5.5 pounds!  

I forgot to tell you how Lily entered our life.  It's a pretty cool story actually.  When Chris and I were engaged, Lily started hanging out around our church (Discovery UMC).  Our church has big open windows just behind the stage area that are just above ground level.  At the time, there were no blinds or shutters on the windows.  One Sunday, just a few months before we got married, our district superintendent at the time, Jerry Sisson, was preaching at the church.  During his sermon, a cat was trying to scratch her way in through the window just behind the Altar.  I mean this cat was relentless.  Her scratching and pawing went on and on.  It was so distracting to both the minister and the congregation that the minister had to address it.  Jerry stopped in the middle of his sermon to say "Isn't it amazing how most people are just dying to get out of church, and this cat can't wait to get in?!"  Everyone thought it was hysterical.  
That afternoon, Chris and I had to go up to the church for some reason or another, and when I opened the car door, I saw the cat.  I said "here kitty, kitty" and in 5 seconds flat that cat had hopped into my lap.  
From that moment, Lily was mine!  I took her home to my townhouse, and let me say, my roommates were NOT enthused.  Luckily, they knew they only had to put up with her for a couple of months, and then Chris would get to deal with her.
One final note of interest....her name.  I have had several friends ask me why I would name such a dark cat "Lily".  The answer is simple.  I have always loved the name Lily, and when I found out that my last name would be Mileski, I had to put it to rest.  Too many L's!  You try to say Lily Mileski 5 times fast and see what you think!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Insurance Woes


Quite frankly, I have a love/hate relationship with insurance.  On the one hand, I am grateful that we have it (there was a point last year when I thought I'd never be able to get coverage outside of a company), and that it pays for at least some of our expenses (emphasis on the word SOME).  We do, however, have an extremely high premium and our coverage is an 80/20 plan.....which means a lot of out of pocket expense.  I'm trying to be positive here....

So, yesterday, I called Greer's dermatologist to change the time for her next scheduled treatment on May 20th (#3 for those of you keeping up with them) and they told me that even though our insurance had approved 3 treatments, they had put an "expiration" on the approval.  It expired on April 28th!!!  Greer didn't have her first treatment until March 11th, and we don't have them but every 4-6 weeks.  Their deadline/requirement was completely unreasonable.  UGH!!!
So we are back to the drawing board....
I soooo want her to get all of these treatments out of the way early in her life when they will be most effective and she won't remember anything.  Why in the world can they not just trust that the doctor knows best and keep their noses out of it?  If it was their baby they would approve it in an instant!!!!!  Can you tell I'm a little frustrated?  I'm now praying for patience!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lily Update

Lily came out of surgery well!  She doesn't appear to have liver cancer, but a biopsy has been sent to make sure.  It could be fatty liver or hepatitis.  We will know more by the end of the week.  She is still on IV antibiotics and fluids.  She is eating and drinking a little bit more, too.  I'll keep you updated!  Thanks for the prayers (the kids are really worried about her).

Lily Update

So, Lily is having surgery this afternoon.  Please be in prayer for her (and me and the doctors and nurses), as things don't look very good.  Her lab work yesterday was not good (more like it was on the day we took her in), and Dr. Wentworth thinks it is probably liver cancer.  I will know more this evening and let you know.  

May Madness

When we found out that Reeves was going to be born in early June or possibly the month of May, we thought that it would be perfect (he arrived May 30, 2002).  A mid year birthday meant warm days for birthday parties, and just enough time after Christmas to be ready for some new toys.  What could be better, right?  Then the very next May, my niece Caroline arrived.  And, then, the next May, Lucy arrived (sorry mom!).  All of a sudden, we had 3 kid birthdays, mother's day, and a few more family birthdays in May (Happy Birthday, Honey!).  Then, we started school and I began to realize that May is a month of absolute CRAZINESS!  There are end of the year parties, recitals, baseball tournaments, teacher's gifts, end of the year programs, field days, awards days, and countless other end of the year celebrations. 

 I was frantically emailing the parents in Reeves' class the other night and Chris walked by.  I was typing rather furiously, and he took notice.  He said, "What in the world are you typing so fast?".  I said, "Oh my goodness, this end of the year stuff is madness!!".  He said, "The end of the year?".  I just sighed and laughed a little and said, "never mind."  Only a mom understands that the actual "end of the year" is May....it's not December.  Nothing against my sweet Chris (who has really stepped up to the plate lately to help me out), but to all the moms who are feeling the stress and the strain like I am, just remember that the lazy days of Summer are only a few weeks away. 
 I can't WAIT!  
I miss my kids.  I miss really getting to talk to them, and lay around with them.  I miss playing outside till dusk and not having to worry about getting to bed at a decent hour.  By the time May gets here, I don't feel like we even have much time to breathe.  At the end of the day, we are so exhausted that we don't have the energy to read together every night or talk about what fun things we did that day.  Most sadly, we don't always take the time to pray together.  Without that, everything seems even more chaotic and unmanageable.  So, this May, I am making a promise to myself and to my kids.  We are going to make time to pray more....maybe that will make the May madness not such mayhem!  We'll pray that for all of you, too!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lily Update


So, I promised a Lily update today.  I called the Vet this morning, and Lily is on the up and up....but not completely well yet.  Her WBC count is down some and her liver enzymes are trending towards normal, but they want to keep on with the antibiotics and fluids till at least Monday.  They said she ate a little bit today, and that she is looking better.  I'll let you know what things look like on Monday!  

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Look

I wanted to have a custom template from the beginning, but I never could figure out how.  I am slowly but surely figuring this blogging stuff out.  My next goal is to be able to figure out how to stream in music.  Any help is appreciated.  A downer about changing templates is that I lost some of my widgets (never even knew what a widget was before now!).  I lost the links to the blogs of some friends and family.  If you have a blog, and you wouldn't mind me linking it on ours, please let me know what it is.  Thanks!  

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lily is sick!

Please say a prayer for Lily tonight!  Lily is our 10 year old kitty, and she has not been well.  We went to the Vet today, and she has something wrong with her liver.  We are hoping that it is just an infection and dehydration.  Hopefully some IV fluids and antibiotics will fix her up!  If that doesn't work, it could be hepatitis or even cancer.  Please pray that it isn't cancer.  We'll know more on Saturday, and we'll give you updates then!