Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend!

We had a awesome long weekend with lots of food and excellent company.  Friday evening we celebrated Aunt Maggie's new promotion and their return to St. Louis (eventually...long story).  We will be so excited to have Uncle Kyle and Aunt Maggie closer to home.  Pray for their house to sell and for Uncle Kyle to find a new opportunity.  After a whole lot of yard work on Saturday, (Jeff and I are so lucky to have a sweet boy who naps for 3+ hours a time), we went to Grandma and Grandpa's (mom and dad's) for a family BBQ. 

There was a whole lot of family in attendance - so awesome!

My mom was feeling a bit overwhelmed with a crazy kitchen, but she is a trooper and loves to host these types of "events."

We were excited to find out that Aunt Maggie and Uncle Kyle had babysitting responsibilities for Kellen and Emily so they were able to join us.  I think Kellen and Tyler were having a milk chug off in this photo.   

Tyler fell in love with Emily and is shown here being a bit aggressive in giving Emily a kiss. 

PJs on.  Play time.  Kellen and Tyler were fast buddies.

Poor Kellen was so tired he started playing lying down. 

He found some extra energy when he figured out he could dump out the rest of the toys and sit in the toy bucket.  Too cute!

Sunday, we were invited to Aunt Maggie's parents house for another BBQ.  Tyler was excited to hop in the pool with Emily.  He laughed so much while splashing around. 

Jeff was happy to splash them with a bucket of water.  The squeals from the kids just fueled Jeff's fire.  He is truly a big kid. 

One happy boy and a beach beauty. 

Even after Tyler got out of the pool and put dry clothes on, he headed right for the water table and did not stay dry long. 

Today, we joined Grandma and Grandpa and headed to the riverfront for the Memorial Day service.  It was a great reminder of the reason for the long weekend.  It is more than an extra day off work, BBQs and the unofficial start to summer.  We stopped to say a special prayer and offer our gratitude for all those who have served, who are serving and especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so we are able to work, live, worship and play with the freedom we so often take for granted.  

Happy Memorial Day!   

Field trip Friday - Zoo

Tyler and I will be going on a Field trip every Friday.  We welcome anyone else to join us.  This week we were thrilled to have my Aunt Patty joined us. We enjoyed the beautiful weather with everyone else who owns a stroller in St. Louis.  No really, it was crowded but it was a great day!

We loved watching the penguins splash and play.

We think these were pelicans, but Tyler didn't care - they looked like ducks to him.  "Quack, quack."

Aunt Patty and Tyler posed for a photo after admiring the giraffes. 


It was getting toward the end of our trip, but we had to go see the elephants.  As you can see, Tyler really didn't care.  He was out of the stroller and he thought that meant he should be able to get down and run around.  Sorry, buddy - it was too crowded. 

One tired little boy ready to go home.

Other notes: Tyler's favorites of the day at the zoo included: the kangroo that went "hop, hop, hop;" the hippo that he could see swimming in the water; and, of course, the TIGER who goes "roar."

Monday, May 23, 2011

African Children's Choir

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of welcoming the African Children's Choir to our church.  They arrived around 3pm and I was one of the lucky ones to be able to greet them.  Each one of the kids hugged us and told us their name.  Talk about a "feel good" experience. 

Aren't they adorable? 

And I wish you could have heard them sing!  They are amazing. 

The kids took turns on the drums and they were fast!

This is Jeffrey singing in the photo above. 
He is one of the two boys staying with Mom and Dad this week. 

Not only were the children incredible vocalists, but they memorized a LOT of choreography.  

They were wonderful!

You really should check them out on YouTube:


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Everyday miracles...

Early this morning, Tyler and I ventured to Children's Hospital for his very thorough eye exam.  I was prepared [with snacks, books, DVD player, etc.] for a long morning with a 20 month old waiting for test results, seeing multiple doctors and getting Tyler's eyes dilated.  I am happy to report than even though Tyler's exams went into his usual nap-time, he was such a good boy and, more important, he passed all his tests with flying colors and we don't have to go back for an entire year!  This is a big deal as we were going every 3 months to have his vision and the hemangioma size checked.  I am so excited!  Most days, the hemangioma is barely noticeable and they said the hemangioma "should be gone entirely by age 4 or 5, if not before."  So, if I understand correctly, the hemangioma should be gone some time between now and 3 years from now - very accurate (insert sarcasm here). 

I do; however, want to praise the amazing staff at Children's Hospital.  They treat every child (and parent) with such respect and care.  Every time we visit Children's I sit in my car and say a prayer of thanks before we leave the parking garage for my healthy child.  I also say a prayer for the many, many kids we see who are sooooo sick.  Regardless of the reason you are visiting the hospital, the staff is remarkable.  Tyler was given "Miracle bubbles" today when we left the hospital and it was a great reminder to appreciate the everyday miracles...the smiles from our sweet baby boy...the new words he learns daily...and the amazing love he shares with us every single day. 

Thanks, Children's Hospital, for taking great care of kids, especially mine, and for the excellent reminder to appreciate everyday miracles! 

I hope this reminds you to stop and appreciate your everyday miracles!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

20 months old!

Happy 20 Month Birthday, Tyler!
He is such a happy kid! 

He was telling us that Thomas says "choo choo."  He cracks us up!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lots of Tears...

This post is so ironic after the pure excitement in finally letting everyone know our good news in the last post.   Unfortunately, we found out today that we lost "Baby #2".   Very tough day with a whole lot of tears.  In reality, this was baby #4.  We lost two kiddos before Tyler was born, making him that much more of a blessing.  Today, my thankfulness for our beautiful Tyler is that much more magnified.  It also makes the hurt so much more real for what could have been, and hopefully will be again someday.  The doctor has no idea what happened this time.  Our big stepping stone, the first ultrasound, was perfect.  Great heartbeat, lots of movement...all good signs.  Dr. Potts wants us to see a fertility expert to get some additional testing done.  We already had all kinds of tests done after we lost the second baby and everything came back normal so we chalked it up to bad luck.  Since this one was so sudden and past the usual miscarriage stage, we will be tested some more to see if we can find the cause for so much struggle and pain.  We obviously don't have any problem getting pregnant (wink, wink). 

I will have surgery on Friday since I am too far along (13 weeks today) to pass the fetus.  I think Mother's Day this year is going to be a tough one.  We just have to remind ourselves how blessed we are with Tyler and everyone else in our lives.  Dad always told me "life's not fair" and that has never rung more true that it does today.

This is a tough post to write and one of the reasons we waited so long to tell everyone the good news.  It hurts to deal with it on our own, but it is even tougher when everyone else is sad too.  Please don't feel pity for us.  We have an amazing life with a ton of love and so very much to be thankful for.  We don't plan on giving up on our dream for more kids either.   God is good and will get us through this rough patch.