Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our Big Scare...5 years ago

I can not believe that it has already been 5 years. One of the scariest days of our lives seems like it was so recent. The images and day's happenings are still so vivid in my mind. On March 25, 2004, our 16 day old baby weighing about 6 1/2 lbs was airlifted to Spokane from Pullman. She had RSV and was a very sick little girl. I remember the pediatrician telling me in his office, as we waited for the ambulance to transport her to the hospital, "You have a very sick little girl. We're going to do everything we can to save her." Nothing a mother wants to hear.

Day 2 in ICU, getting a break from the tent for a routine "beating" (pounding on the back and sides to break up the goop in her lungs) as part of her respiratory therapy. Doesn't she look so small and helpless?!

I think one of the most difficult parts was that I was alone. Leonard was in the field and at the time, we had no cell service in the LaCrosse area. He had no idea his little girl was even in Pullman, I took her on a minute's notice as my motherly instinct just knew she needed to go. I had to have Tricia go and find him in the field to tell him we were headed to Spokane. By the time he got in the car and drove, he got stopped in construction just outside of Pullman and saw us fly out of town. It was so scary for him! I was so relieved to arrive in Spokane at Sacred Heart and find my sister-in-law in the hallway waiting for us to arrive. (If I remember accurately, I fell into her arms like a ton of bricks!)
The dr in Pullman was amazing, and to this day he adores Abree and the progress she has made. Just this last week he gave her the biggest hug and told her how happy it makes him to see her so healthy. He always just smiles when he sees her and shakes is head in amazement. He often says that he thinks of her and the scare she gave us. He was incredible throughout the entire ordeal. He was with us in the ambulance, he wouldn't leave the emergency room, he walked us to and helped us load in the helicopter, he called daily in Spokane to check on her! His dedication is admirable! (Don't want you to think I was a bad mom, but I had taken her into the dr 3 days prior and they told me she had a simple cold. Each day I would call the dr's office to check in and tell them what was going on and the nurse would tell me, "Keep doing what you're doing, she'll get better soon!")

After a very big fight from our little angel, an amazing God on our side answering many prayers, wonderful dr's, their knowledge, and skills who worked so hard to help her, and a great support system, after a few days Abree grew stronger and stronger and was finally able to return home after about 11 days. Those first few days were quite tough, but she pulled through!
I still cannot thank enough all who helped us through this challenging time. Our families who jumped in and took care of the Ashtyn and Gunnar, my sister-in-laws (AKA "The Aunties") who would spend days and evenings with me at the hospital making sure she got the best possible care and taking care of both of us so Leonard could continue to farm at such an important time (and relieve me so I could get a shower!), the community members who jumped in to help farm so Leonard could spend time with us in Spokane, too. And, everyone who prayed, visited, called, and just cared! We cannot thank you enough and will never forget! We are so blessed by those that surround us!

Out of ICU and getting stronger each day in hopes of going home.

And, look at her today! Spunky, healthy and full of life...we call her the firecracker! She has been so fortunate not to show any signs of asthma or other respiratory struggles, which are common in RSV babies. Research has shown that babies with RSV within their first month of life are less likely to have far that has held true. She is so lucky! But, what a scare she gave us! Hopefully that is the only scare she'll give us in her lifetime, as it was big enough to use up all her "scare" category at only 16 days old!

Thank you God for giving us a chance to raise our little girl as you wish us to!

God is good!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Want a special gift?

The first 5 people to respond to this post will receive something made by me for you. I get to pick what I make for you, but it will be especially for you.

**But here's the deal:

~1 I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!

~2 What I create will be just for you.

~3 It will be done sometime this year.

~4 You have no clue what it will be.

~5 I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

**The catch?The catch is that you must repost this on your own blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on their blog.The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did will win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!!

So come and play along!

Thought I'd include a fun picture with this blog...wish I could say they are admiring something "special" that I made, but they're not. :) Thought this was a great picture of Ashtyn and her dad, and Auntie Sharron, of course! Isn't it sweet?!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

8 months old!

Yes, Gage is now 8 1/2 months old...I'm a little late on the post! He is growing and changing so quickly. I wish I could use my freeze buttonmost days, but rejoice in the big boy things he is doing each day. He has become quite a big boy this last month holding his own bottle, scooting where he wants while sitting up, pushing himself backwards almost in the crawl position. He has even discovered a scream or holler to get our attention. I guess in family our size he's decided he must be loud to be heard and get his message across. He continues to bless our lives daily with is sweet smile, super silly stand-up hair and kissable cheeks. We thank God constantly for giving us this bundle of joy.

Playing with his Zebra friend Ryan. They have become quite good friends and spend lots of time together.

Gage was very upset on his sister's birthday when Mom took away the wrapping paper he wanted to eat!

Like Father, like son!

Gage was hollering the other day and I found him in the living room underneath Ryan. Obviously, they decided to have a wrestling match and Ryan won this match! As you can see he wasn't too upset about it.

Drinking his bottle like a big boy while the rest of the kids got ready for school!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Turning 5 in Princess Style!

Abree celebrated her 5th Birthday this past week in grand Princess style! The celebration covered 4 straight days of parties and fun. This year she chose a princess theme, which is quite fitting for our small statured, full personalitied little girl. It is so hard to believe that she is already a whole hand! Just seems like yesterday she surprised us with her early arrival and was so tiny! She has brought such joy to our lives.

We love her spunkiness, her bright cheery personality as she is the first person out of bed in our house each day, her love of wearing dresses, quick wittedness, that her boyfriend is her dad (and Taylor Rochestie which we know is impossible!), her desire to "go" everyday with anyone goineg any where and asking first thing each day "Where we are going today?", her need to cuddle and promising to cuddle even when she is big, her love of being a big sister finally, her excitement about finally showing a calf this year, her love of singing the clean up song but being sly enough to get out actually picking anything up, her desire to look good and wear numerous outfits everyday and thinking that since she wore everything it all must be dirty and goes right into the laundry. Oh, Abree you are special! We love you, our Peanut, Snippy, Missy, Rooty!

Proud to be 5!

Last weekend we found ourselves in Yakima cheering on our cousin and niece Lyndsey as her team, the Freeman Scotties, played in the State A Basketball Tournament. (Congratulations on your 3rd place finish, Lyns!) We were able to stay for two nights in a great hotel with a pool with Grandma and Grandpa Aune, aunts, uncles and many cousins. Swimming, playing, basketball, what more could a little girl want for her birthday. After the games on Saturday, we used a conference room at the hotel, ordered in pizza for about 25 of Abree's extended family members and then celebrated with a great cake! (It was so much better than standing in line with our crew at a restaurant for hours!) This was the first birthday Grandma and Grandpa Aune have gotten to share with Abree, they are usually in Palm Springs during March. But, they flew home for a few days to watch the basketball playoffs! YEAH!

The celebration at the hotel.

Grandma Lola and Gage enjoying some pizza! Mmmmm!

Her first birthday celebration with Grandpa Gene and Grandma Lola! We loved having them home and can't wait for them to return for the summer in April.

Sunday we found ourselves driving through Othello and stopped for another grand 5th Birthday celebration at Grandma Joleen and Grandpa Shannon's house. Once again Abree was surrounded by great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins (and a friend) who love her dearly. It was a wonderful day and we thank Grandma and Grandpa for sharing their house with us and hosting this special event.

This year, Abree was very embarrassed when we sang Happy Birthay to her, at all her parties she hid her eyes! Here with Gunnar, Rylee and Ashtyn.

Abree was thrilled with her new presents. All of it was so girly and "her"! She loves her new shades.

All dolled up with her new gifts and ready to do some yard work while looking good. She is practicing how she'll help mom this year by watering her flower balloon!
On her REAL birthday, Monday, March 9, Abree was awoken with the traditional birthday breakfast in bed. She was thrilled and could hardly stand it. When I woke her up, she looked at me with bright eyes and said, "Am I five?!!!" When I said yes, she thought for a minute, and replied, "I don't feel any different!" with a big smile on her face!

Mom had the privilege of teaching Abree's preschool class today. She chose to wear her new pink dress Auntie Sara gave her. At school she had a party with cupcakes, Italian sodas and, of course, a princess pinata! After school she just crashed from celebration overload, as you can see! Yes, she still sucks her thumb and sleeps with "Nanny," her special blanket. I'm personally fine with her continuing to use it, don't want her to grow up!

After her nap, Abree had dance class in Colfax. We went early and took a fancy cupcake to Great-Grandma Bell. We sang to Abree and even blew out a candle. Abree is 5 this year and Grandma Bell will be 95 next month, and they are very special friends!

That night Abree got to open her big present that had been wrapped for a week on the mantel. She could hardly wait, but was quite disappointed it wasn't the baby she had been wanting. It was a cupcake tree to go with her pink princess apron and pink princess spatula.

Once she woke the next morning and found her cupcake tree filled with cupcakes, she was thrilled with it. And, said, "Oh, Mom, I love it, thank you!!!" Abree loves to help mom bake.

And the FINAL princess celebration was on Tuesday, the 10th. Abree had her first party with friends! She chose to have a princess tea party. Each of the girls dressed in their princess attire of choice, and her friend Tanner, eventhough it was a princess tea party insisted he wanted to attend, dressed in his Sunday's best with a tie and all. They were just adorable! Abree chose to wear the precious white dress Grandma Lola and Grandpa Gene gave her for her birthday. The tea party was great! We had fancy cookies (which Abree helped me make), flower cupcakes, cheese, crackers, grapes, pink m&m's, mints and tea (lemondade and apple juice). We played some fun pincess games...pass the tiara, pink marshmallow race, and pin the crown on the princess.

Waiting for the guests to arrive!

Tanner, Sydney, the Birthday Girl, Grace and Lilly!

Happy 5th Birthday, Abree Ryanne! We love you! Thank you for the joy, love and excitement you bring to our lives each day. You are special, Aber Baber!

(Whew, what a busy week of parties! Unfortunately, Abree fell ill Wednesday, from exhaustion I'm sure, and has been down for the count since. But, she had a great 5th birthday!)