Cutest Blog on the Block

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Walking in a winter wonderland!!!

The south was blanketed in white once again. We thought we were actually going to get a few inches of snow, but we woke up to about 1" of mostly sleet. I woke up during the night and heard it hitting the window. Needless to say, there were no snowballs thrown and no snowmen built!

Zach has mastered the "cheesy grin", don't you think?












An unusual shot of Mommy on the other side of the camera! We are all smiles despite the bitter cold.










video

We don't have a great place to sled, but it was enough to get some smiles and squeals!

Hope you are enjoying your winter, too!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A new normal?

We have had a concern with Zach lately. When he is playing, he often seems like he is out of breath. His breathing just doesn't seem to match up to his level of activity anymore. He can just walk through the house and he is breathing more heavily than before. We visited the pediatrician to make sure he didn't have anything going on from when he was sick with walking pneumonia back in December --- his oxygen sats were right where they usually are in the mid 80's. Then I talked to his cardiologist. I described what is happening and asked if he was breaking out in a cold sweat or if he was panicky. I am not seeing either of those things. He said this may just be Zach's new "normal" until his next surgery. He said some children will self-limit and some will just push themselves. Zach has always played hard --- every moment of every day. He is a wild man. I guess he is just outgrowing his current capacity. Just a reminder that he is not normal. Anyone else seeing this trend with your cardiac kid?

Like the Energizer Bunny!


We go back to the cardiologist Feb. 5 for a checkup. I'm not sure if he will do another echo or not, but I do know he is interested in his weight.

So, MUSC finally called to schedule Zach's heart cath. It will be on Apr. 6. We will go down the night before. Last time he had a cath done (at 8 months old, before the Glenn), we stayed that night with some friends of ours in Charleston and I'm glad we did because Zach did not do well. He was crying and crying and crying, so I fed him a bottle, which he threw up later that evening. We were so afraid that he had aspirated. The friend that we were staying with actually works at MUSC. She listened to his lungs and reassured us that he was fine. I'm not sure if he was just in pain or what, but at least this time he will be able to talk to us and hopefully give us a clue about pain, hunger, etc... I still don't like the idea of taking off and driving home 4 hours with a freshly operated on cranky child. So, we might just have to find a way to stay over the night after the cath, too. Just to settle this mama's nerves. Sigh...

From the heart cath, they will be able to formulate a plan of action for the Fontan. We know it will be sometime this summer. It just depends on his weight. Last week at the pediatrician he was 31.2 lbs, so I figure he will hit the 33lb mark in 2-3 months. He has not been eating as well lately, so I am just waiting for his next growth spurt to kick in.

We appreciate your prayers for our little wild man and his heart!

Heart hugs,
Pam

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Zach's CHD journey

I have yet to officially document Zach's CHD journey. One day, he will be able to sit still long enough to contemplate all that he has been through, so I wanted to write out his story...

Just to catch you up, we began the process of adopting Zach about 2 months before he was born. We took his birth mother, Nora, to several doctors appointments, but never knew that there was a problem with his heart. Rewind to April 29, 2006...


Our family a few hours after Zach's birth --- before we knew there was a problem...

At the small county hospital where they took Nora and Zach after she delivered him at home (not on purpose! Read this post.), Nora signed the papers the night he was born surrendering her parental rights. The next morning, we talked to the doctor about circumcision. He said he would have to determine if they could even do it that day with only the weekend crew on hand. They decided to do it after all, so I decided to get my shower while they took him down the hall for the short procedure. Long after my hair was dried and my makeup on, they still had not brought him back to us.

After about 1.5 hours, the doctor returned with a grave look on his face. I remember the next few minutes as if they happened in slow motion. He sat down and said that they found a problem with Zach's heart. His blood oxygen levels were low (a testimony for the need for pulse oximetry on newborns!) and so they took him to their small NICU. They did an echo and said there appeared to be a problem with his aorta, but that they were not equipped to handle such issues. They had contacted doctors at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and were preparing him for transport there since it was only about an hour's drive from where we were.

Our daughter, Rebecca, 8 years old at the time, had spent the night with some friends that lived in town. When they arrived with her that morning, we had to tell her that she couldn't see Zach and that we needed to take him to another hospital. She cried so pitifully. I know she had to have been so scared. She had prayed for years for a baby brother or sister and I can only imagine how her little heart was breaking. Fortunately, Nana Cherryl and Papa DR had arrived and were there to take Rebecca home with them. They were a godsend during the next week as they did everything they could to help her have a "normal" week.

They allowed Bill and I to go back and see Zach in the NICU before they transported him. They had him on the respirator in case he should crash during the trip and he was so miserable. He was fully awake and fighting that tube for all he was worth. I imagine that they could not give him anything to calm him down without knowing if he could tolerate it. Poor Nana Cherryl had to see him for the first time that way! I remember standing there, feeling so helpless, not knowing what to do for our little boy.

Finally, they were ready to take him but we were not allowed to travel with him or even follow the ambulance. We jumped in our van for the hour-long trip to Augusta. We had no idea what we were driving into. Or even if our baby would be alive when we got there. We tried to talk but we didn't know what to say and neither of us wanted to discuss the possibilities. I remember leaning my head on the cool window watching the countryside go by and trying desperately to make sense of what was happening.

When we arrived at MCG, we checked in and dealt with the confusion of this Hispanic baby with no name except Baby ____ (Nora's last name, which I won't reveal here). I know that when our biological daughter, Rebecca, was born, we filled out the birth certificate not long afterward and signed it as her parents. Well, all that was complicated by the circumstances --- the adoption and the medical emergency --- I don't even know if a birth certificate existed at that point, and if it did, it surely did not have our names on it. We showed copies of the papers that Nora had signed and eventually got our lawyer to fax us some papers that provided proof that we were, in fact, in the process of adopting this little patient.

The next hours and days were filled with tests and enough medical terminology to make our heads spin. As we tried to ask the doctors and nurses questions, we found ourselves using words like "thingy" and "whatchamacallit". They would smile and give us the correct technical term before answering our questions. One question we had was if our little boy stood a chance of having a normal life. Our daughter, Rebecca, had just gotten a Slip 'n Slide, so that was her question --- would Zach be able Slip 'n Slide with her in the back yard? They assured us that it was their goal for Zach to be able to run and play like any other child --- and be able to Slip 'n Slide with his big sister. I think they hit the nail on the head...

They had to allow for Zach's newborn body to go through all the changes that newborns normally go through before they could get a definitive diagnosis. After several days and several echos, they determined that Zach has 3 defects. One of his defects is Transposition of the Great Arteries. The aorta and pulmonary artery are switched and enter the heart at opposite points from where they should; that is why the doctor at the small hospital thought there was a problem with the aorta. The problem they actually saw, Zach's second defect, was a partial blockage or stenosis of the pulmonary valve. This stenosis meant that Zach was not getting enough blood to his lungs to be reoxygenated. Zach's third and most serious defect is called single ventricle. Whereas the normal heart has 4 chambers, Zach essentially only has 3 chambers. His right ventricle is there but undeveloped and inoperative. His left ventricle is responsible for pumping blood to the lungs and the body, so it is doing double duty. There is a really good explanation of this type of defect here.


Eventually, they determined that Zach was stable enough and that his oxygen saturation levels were good enough, in the mid 80's, for him to go home and grow. He was eating, but boy was that hard work for his little body. I never realized how much of a workout it is for a baby to drink a bottle! All the sucking and swallowing and breathing... for a heart baby, it is just about too much! Nonetheless, we took him home, though we were scared to death.

I took him for his first followup appointment back in Augusta 2 weeks later. Bill was not able to go, so I took Nana Cherryl with me, thank goodness. Zach had been eating pretty well and he seemed to be doing well. The pulse oximeter told a different story. 65. Yikes. I guess because of Zach's dark skin, we couldn't tell that he was so cyanotic. The doctor said it was time to schedule his first surgery and sent us home. If we were scared to take him home with sats in the 80's you can imagine how I felt that day taking him home at 65. Oh, mercy!

We returned to Augusta early the next week for pre-op and the BT Shunt on May 23, 2006. It was so hard to hand him over to the nurse. Of course, he didn't know one set of arms from the other. He just slept on. It was even harder to see him after he came out of surgery. He was so swollen and with all the tubes and wires and IV's... It about broke my heart.

The doctor that did his surgery went in under Zach's right arm. I always thought was a good thing because the scar would be hidden. Then I realized that he would need 2 more surgeries through the chest. Oh, well. Battle scars.

Over the next few days, he improved and was eventually moved out onto the floor. He continued to have stridor, or wheezing when he breathed or sucked the bottle. They said his vocal cords were probably traumatized during in- and/or ex-tubation and that it should get better, but it continued. So, they did a swallow study and determined that he had reflux. He was not a spitter, but everything he ate was coming up and sitting there around his vocal cords, keeping them irritated. They prescribed Zantac for the reflux, lasix for fluid, and baby aspirin and sent us home.

We followed up at Augusta after surgery, but found that the long drive was impractical with such a little baby, so we arranged to see a local pediatric cardiologist. We fell in love with Dr. Raunikar! He is a wonderful Christian doctor. He was fully willing to work with the doctors from MCG to coordinate Zach's care, but we eventually felt led to check out MUSC in Charleston, SC. It is about twice as far to go, but their program is so much bigger and more specialized. They also network with Dr. Raunikar's group. Zach's surgeon, Dr. Bradley is tops in the field and we owe him so much.

We made the switch to MUSC and Zach had a heart cath in December 2006 and Glenn surgery there in January 2007. I have to say that it was even harder than the first time to hand Zach over to the nurse on the morning of his surgery. Unlike when he was only 3 weeks old, he had developed a personality and a smile that could light up a room. We knew what it felt like to have his little arms around our necks and feel his super-wet kisses on our cheeks. It didn't help that he clung to us and cried.

So now, we await the next surgery, the Fontan. Currently, Zach is right at 31 lbs. I am waiting for his next big growth spurt. Dr. Raunikar says he should be big enough by this summer. We expect to have a cath done in April that will help the doctors determine a good timeline.
Looking back, I marvel at the hand of God on Zach's life. God led Nora to put him up for adoption. If Nora had kept him, who knows what would have happened? She probably would not have had him circumcised, so I don't know if they would have found the problem before releasing them to go home. 45 minutes away from any hospital. Nora or her mother unable to drive. Swaddling his body in layer upon layer of thick blankets, as is their custom. If they had found the problem and sent him to Augusta, how would Nora have gotten there? How would she have navigated the language barrier? Where would she have stayed and who would have paid for it? Would she have lost her job as she stayed by her baby's side? How would she have gotten him the care that he needed? I know without a shadow of a doubt that God had a plan...

As I watch Zach play every day, I remember our little baby in the NICU, fighting for his life. As he does all the typical boy stuff --- wild and rough and tumble and sometimes violent --- I remember that we stood around that little bassinette wondering what type of life this little one would have. When I get irritated at his contant rambling (too often, I admit), I remember watching him struggle against a tube in his throat after surgery, unable to make a sound. I praise God for giving us the privilege of being Zach's parents. The hurdles that he has overcome are a testimony to God's strong and merciful hand on his life and we feel blessed to have experienced it with Zach. He is our little Superhero!


This is how we see Zach nowadays... as a blur!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Dental health and cardiac kids

Zach had his bi-annual visit to the dentist today. This is the second time we have visited this particular dentist. We started out at the pediatric dentist that Rebecca had always gone to, but he was not able to monitor Zach like our cardiologist wanted when using sedation or laughing gas, so we are going to one in Greenville --- close to the Hospital and the cardiologists. Plus, Dr. Jen will provide the monitoring if needed.

Dr. Jen and her staff are wonderful! Their office is a fun place to be (that is until they want to start doing stuff to you, right, Zach?). I documented today's visit in the hopes of helping Zach become more comfortable with the whole process.

Dental health is very important for our little cardiac kids. I found some information in and article on kidshealth.org:
If Your Child Has a Heart Defect: "... the riskiest thing to do is to ignore dental health, which may allow teeth to develop cavities and gums to become infected. Along with taking antibiotics correctly, it's important for children with heart defects to take good care of their teeth by brushing and flossing properly. Your child should begin visiting a dentist as early as possible, and those visits should be as frequent as the dentist recommends"

Furthermore, the American Heart Association provides the following recommendations about preventing endocarditis (an infection in the heart's inner lining or valves) in conjunction with dental work:
Congenital Cardiovascular Defects: "Endocarditis: The American Heart Association has recently changed its guidelines for prevention of endocarditis. Some children who used to take antibiotics before going to the dentist no longer have to do so.
The AHA now recommends these routine antibiotics before dental visits for patients who are at the highest risk for adverse outcomes if they develop endocarditis. This includes:
1. People with a prosthetic cardiac valve
2. People who have previously had endocarditis
3. People with certain types of congenital heart defects, including
a. Unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart defects, including palliative shunts and conduits
b. Completely repaired congenital heart defects with prosthetic material or device, whether placed by surgery or by catheter intervention, during the first six months after the procedure (prophylaxis is recommended for first six months because endothelialization of prosthetic material occurs within six months after the procedure)
c. Repaired congenital heart defect with residual defects at the site or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device (which inhibit endothelialization)
4. Cardiac transplantation recipients who develop heart valve dysfunction
Except for the conditions listed above, antibiotic prophylaxis is no longer recommended for any other form of congenital heart disease.
Good dental hygiene can help lower the risk of endocarditis. For more information about dental hygiene and preventing endocarditis, ask your pediatric cardiologist."




So, Zach happily ("Mmmmm --- bubblegum flavor!) took his dose of Amoxicillin one hour before his appointment time. The entire office is decorated like a jungle, with murals on the walls, animal footprints on the floor and even on the ceiling, and a neat play area off of the waiting room. There is a cave with a TV and an upstairs loft area with a huge chalkboard. Zach loved it!














At home, we still use training toothpaste, so Mrs. Kaye just put a tiny bit of real toothpaste on his new toothbrush. I brushed Zach's teeth and tried to get him to spit out the toothpaste. He is so funny! He has the action of spitting down pat, except nothing comes out. I'm not really sure I want him to learn how to spit!














They also have this really cool play area back in the examination area. As you can see, Zach enjoyed himself in there, too. You notice how willing he was so far to show off all his teeth?


So, we met Mrs. Karen for the first time and she and Zach had a great time playing with all of her tools. She showed him Mr. Thirsty, her vacuum. I was a little worried that Zach would freak out about that, because at home, he is scared of the vacuum cleaner. He was fine with Mr. Thirsty because he doesn't make near as much noise.















Mr. Thirsty eagerly sucked up the water that she squirted on the chair! Zach thought that was cool.















She had some "sungackes" for Zach to wear so her flashlight wouldn't shine in his eyes. He tried them on but decided that they were not his style.















Then, Mrs. Karen showed him Mr. Tickle. He got to squeeze it and feel how it spins around and around. Mr Tickle tickled his finger!
Mrs. Karen said that Zach could choose what flavor he wanted Mr. Tickle to tickle on his teeth: grape, chocolate, bubblegum, and raspberry. I thought for sure he would go for the bubblegum, but he chose chocolate. A boy after my own heart!















Zach even let Mr. Tickle polish up a few of his teeth! We were so proud! Then things started to go downhill...















"I want to go ova deh!!!" To the play area. Who could blame him?
Eventually, they moved him into the "quiet room" so he wouldn't disturb the other little boy who was laying bravely on the next chair, waiting to get his teeth cleaned.
















I chose to omit the pictures of us holding him down so she could clean the rest of his teeth. He let Mommy floss his teeth then. Dr. Jen came in to see him, but he was ready to go by that time. We held him down again so she could take a look, check a couple of teeth, and paint on this fluoride stuff.
Not the way I hoped it would happen, but it's all for his own good. We heart parents are used to watching (and forcing) our children to endure lots of stuff that we would rather they didn't have to go through. But we do it because we love them!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Zach's language

Zach is adopted. His birth mother is from Guatemala and speaks Spanish but very little English. Before Zach was born, we asked Rebecca, then 8 years old, what kinds of things she was going to teach her new baby brother. We talked about how she would have to teach him how to walk, ride a bike, play games. She piped up, eyes glistening, and said, "I'll have to teach him how to speak English!" As if Zach were going to come out of the womb speaking Spanish. Classic!

Zach still has his own little vocabulary that can sometimes be a little confusing and sometimes is downright cute... Rebecca helped me put this list together.

pooky = spooky
gank-ooo = thank you
dica-dica movers = Imagination Movers
peese = please
bihicle = bicycle
pahicle = popcicle
eng-a-lish = his answer when he is talking crazy talk and I ask him "what language are you speaking Zach?"
kitmas = Christmas
I want to tell you a kestion... = I want to ask you a question
backetball = basketball
cool = school
rit deh or ova deh = right there or over there
licken = listen as in "I want to licken to your iPod, Sissy"
Mikas Beekybak = Rebecca's teacher, Mrs. Breitenbach (sounds like-brightenbak)
Mika Joe = Mister Joe, our neighbor across the street
Take you gackes on, Mommy! = Put your glasses on, Mommy!
tay tordy = his favorite movie, Toy Story
I wanna see you Blueberry, Dada = I want to see your Blackberry, Daddy.
peeando = piano
Why you seepin, Mommy? = Why are you sleeping, Mommy? (MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE YOU WON'T LET MOMMY GET A FULL NIGHT'S SLEEP, ZACH!)
ry-kippy = Rice Krispies
I want some mundy! = I want some money!
I hungee, I hungee! = I am hungry, I am hungry! (What Mommy usually hears around 5:00pm)
Hambone = Zach's version of Sambo, the nickname for Rebecca's best friend Samantha
chikalay = Chick Fil A, Zach's favorite place to eat
choc-o-lit = chocolate (Zach pronounces all the syllables very distinctly)
I want to go to Coc-ki-co = I want to go to Costco (our Saturday ritual - to eat samples, of course!)
I wanna nack! = I want a snack!
You are a fweetie! = You are a sweetie!
You are a little cootie-fella = You are a little cutie-fella - who knows where he learned to say that one?


Of course, I have learned from experience that you don't want to correct all those cute little "mistakes" that they make. Time will pass and they will learn on their own and one day you'll realize that your little one is not so little any more and has a grown-up vocabulary.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Heart Baby to pray for

I feel priviliged to be a part of the CHD family. To know that I can send out a plea for prayer at any time and know that those prayers will be lifted up all over the country is such a comfort and blessing. I wanted to let you know about a new member of our CHD family...

Please lift up the Bentley family from our church. They are just beginning their CHD journey with their second child, newborn daughter, Anna Grace. She came through her first surgery like a trooper and is still in PCICU. You can follow their story and leave encouragement at http://www.baasheepbaa.blogspot.com/



Thanks!

Pam

Monday, January 11, 2010

Zach's adoption story - Part 3

If you haven't read Part 1 or Part 2, click on the links and read...

Oh, yes... the saying goes, "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." I don't think there is any theology intended in that statement, but the Bible does say in Is. 55:9, "For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Often we plan and plan and expect God to just bless our plans, but He has other plans...

We were making waffles for breakfast on Saturday, April 29 when Aunt Judy called to let us know that the baby had come already! Nora's water had broken early that morning at home and Angelina helped her deliver there in their living room. Later, Angelina told us through her tears that she was so scared because when he was born, he was not breathing. Her instinct and experience with delivering her own babies in Guatemala kicked in and she went to the kitchen and got a piece of onion to hold under Zach's nose. He sneezed and cried his first cries. Eventually, the paramedics came and took them to the small county hospital where we met them.

I will never forget the bittersweetness I felt when I entered that hospital room. To my right lay my newborn second child in a bassinette, still being cleaned up by a nurse. To my left lay the woman, the hero, who was giving us this precious gift. I felt pulled in two directions at once like never before. We went to Nora and hugged and cried quietly.

After a few minutes, Bill, Rebecca, and I walked to the other side of the room to meet Zachary William Owens, the name we had decided upon on the trip to the hospital. Zachary means "the Lord remembers" --- God remembered the promise he had made to us so many years before to fill our quiver. He was so tiny --- only 6 lbs., with a head full of black hair. The nurse wrapped him up and handed him to me. I remember wishing that Nora did not have to see me holding him because I did not want her to hurt any more than she already was. I can't imagine her pain. Remember, she told us that she didn't even want to see him --- that she had wanted us there for the delivery and for them to whisk him away. Well, those plans had changed.

A little while later, the nurse took our new family of four to another hospital room. We spent the afternoon getting to know Zach. He slept in our arms and we fed him. He just wouldn't ever eat more than a fraction of an ounce. Often newborns do not eat well, since they are so worn out from the delivery, so we really didn't think much about it at the time. Looking back now, I know that God's hand was moving to orchestrate every part of the situation. He made it possible, on that Saturday evening, to have the lawyer and a notary to come so Nora could sign the papers that relinquished her parental rights. What we didn't know at the time was that there were important medical decisions to be made and her signature on those papers gave us the right to take action.

Nora requested to first see her baby again, to say goodbye. Of course we were very scared that she might change her mind, which she still legally had every right to do. The few short minutes that she had him in her room were an eternity to Bill and I out in the hallway. Finally, Angelina came to the door to invite us in. Nora lay holding him and motioned for me to come over to the bedside. As Aunt Judy translated, Nora spoke words that I will never forget. "Here is your son --- take him." As I lifted him from her arms, I felt the weight of so many emotions. I ached for Nora, knowing that she had suffered for months carrying this baby and would live every day of her life thinking of him, wondering about him. At the same time, I felt joy and elation for our family because of this precious child that we would have the privilege of raising. It was a very emotional moment.

We left Nora's room, leaving her with Aunt Judy, the lawyer, and the notary to take care of the paperwork. That would be the last direct contact we would have with Nora and her mother to date. We have sent pictures to Nora via Aunt Judy in the past, but even she has not seen Nora for some time now. She did talk to Nora recently and found out that she is now married and expecting a baby! We cried tears of joy over that news, for that has always been our prayer for her, that she would find someone to love and have a family with.

Zach has been such a blessing to our family. He has taught us to laugh and to enjoy the moment and to trust God. I had always wondered if I would be able to love an adopted child as much as I love our biological child, Rebecca. My heart ached for so long to experience pregnancy and motherhood because it is such a special thing. Certainly with adoption, the physical bond that occurs between the mother and child during the pregnancy is not there, but somehow, God provides. He has provided well for our family.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Zach's adoption story - Part 2

If you haven't already read part 1 of Zach's adoption story, click here...

So, back to that day that I was toiling away at the computer... my husband, Bill, who directs the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in our area had been to a fundraising workshop in February of 2006 with other non-profits from our area. Before the meeting, he mentioned to Alexia Newman, the director of the Carolina Pregnancy Center, about how he and I often cry when we read her prayer requests that she sends out over email, asking prayer for clients who are dealing with unwanted pregnancies. He casually commented, "Maybe one day, God will have a baby for us to adopt."

Gary Lawhorne, with Word of Life Ministries, was at the same meeting and sought out Alexia to let her know about a Hispanic young woman in one of his church groups in a nearby county who wanted to give up her baby to a Christian family. In what I truly believe was a divine appointment, Alexia introduced Bill to Gary. A couple of phone conversations later, we had the details of the situation. This young woman, Nora, was 21 years old and from Guatemala. She only had a couple of months until she was to deliver a baby boy. She and her family could barely provide for their own needs, never mind dealing with such tragic and traumatic circumstances. An American friend from her church, who we affectionately call Aunt Judy, had been helping Nora by taking her to the doctor for her checkups and helping her with paperwork from a local adoption agency. Within a couple of weeks, Aunt Judy came to visit us at our home and arranged for us to meet Nora.

We sat in a restaurant with Nora and her mother, Angelina, and Aunt Judy there to translate, since neither Nora nor Angelina speak much English. Angelina cried openly as we talked about our family, our home , and our church. Nora, much more reserved, spoke quietly through Aunt Judy, and expressed her heart. She didn't want us to think bad of her for wanting to give her baby away, but she knew that it was what God wanted her to do. She assured us that she would not change her mind. We assured her that we would never think bad of her; on the contrary, we saw her as a hero, a mother full of love for the child she would never raise. We promised that we would raise her little boy in a Christian home with as much love as we had for our biological daughter, Rebecca.

A couple of weeks later, Nora, Angelina, and Aunt Judy visited our home and church. We enjoyed a sweet fellowship with them as we ate. As they helped clean up the dinner plates, they marveled at the modern conveniences in our home. We got tickled as Angelina stopped me from scraping food from the plates down the garbage disposal. She didn't understand that it was ok --- Aunt Judy told her that there was a little monster down the drain ready to chew up all that food. They had also never before seen a dishwasher. Though our home is modest by American standards, to them, we live like royalty. Later, it was beautifully sweet as we all sang hymns in English and then Spanish while Bill and Aunt Judy played on their guitars.
That was the beginning of the brief relationship we had with Nora and her family. We took her to a few more doctor's appointments before Zach made his appearance. We had it all planned out --- when it was time, Nora would contact Aunt Judy, Aunt Judy would contact us, and we would all meet at the hospital for the delivery. Nora said that she wanted us in the delivery room and that she did not want to see the baby. What is it they say about "the best laid plans?"

To be continued...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Disney Fun

One of the presents that Rebecca and Zach received from Santa was a trip to Disney World. They were allowed to take Mom and Dad and even Nana Cherryl along, too! We flew down on the afternoon of the 29th, spent 3 days in the parks, and returned early on Jan. 2. The kids had never flown before, so that was an exciting experience, too. We had a wonderful time at Disney, although it was very crowded at times, especially on the 31st. I was a bit worried about how Zach would act when he got worn out (he can sometimes be a pill), but he really did very well and had a great time. We were also worried about how he would be about meeting the characters, but he loved them! As you can see in the picture with Pooh and Tigger, he carried on whole conversations with them. We had a hard time getting him to stop talking long enough to take a picture!


Hello Mickey and Minnie!

Can you believe it? It's Buzz AND Woody!

We really do love each other a lot!

A really BIG smoked turkey leg for such a little boy!

A Kodak moment for sure!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Too new of a blogger to be this slack???

Too much holiday travel = no new blog entries


Sorry to be such a slacker. I really thought I could keep this blog thing going... Unfortunately, all our family is out of town, so I was rarely near my computer in the past two weeks. I have tons of pictures, so here are a few...

Rebecca had a Christmas party with 7 of her friends. Yes, we had 8 tween girls in our house for a sleepover. They finally quieted down after I growled at them at 3:45. I am too old for this!







This is Zach "holding court" with the girls in his room. He was loving all the attention! He sang them a song and then turned out the lights to tell them a "pooky" story. We shipped him off to stay the night at Nana's so the girls could be rowdy. They were!






Zach got a big boy bike from Nana and Papa! It's been too cold to get out and practice riding it much lately, but I think he loves it!

What do you think?













Telling the Christmas Story with the Nativity set on Christmas Eve. So sweet!









Making cookies and milk for Santa. Don't forget the carrots for the reindeer!








Santa and his reindeer must have been "hun-gee".











Oh, my favorites --- Buzz and Woody!










Santa knew I needed a new drum!









Could it really be???









We're going to Disney!










So, after a whirlwind trip to visit my family, we headed home, did lots of laundry, packed up and headed south to visit Mickey and his friends! Pictures from there later!

Pam