Friday, March 20, 2015

letter to my birthday baby. one

one week.
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one year.
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Sweet Rushy, you are my joy…my sunshine…my baby. The first time I saw you was such an unusual moment. I wasn't surprised about what you looked like. I wasn't curious about your personality. And as crazy as it sounds, I wasn't even overly excited to meet you…because I felt like I have always known you…like you've always been a part of me, and in some weird way, like you've always been a part of our family - even before you were born. I guess the word I would use to describe that moment would be relief - relief that you were out…relief that you finally started breathing…and relief that I could now hold in my arms the little boy that I had dreamed about for so long. 

It sounds so cliche, but this past year has flown by. It seems as if time goes by faster with each one of my babies…and I'm having a really tough time with you turning one. But although I will miss your teeny tiny baby toes, wrinkle-y forehead, and scrunchy nose, I am loving the silly, smart, happy little boy that you're growing into. And I am absolutely head over heels in love with you! You are the cherry on top of our family, Rush, and your vibrant personality makes our days brighter. 

Currently, my favorite thing about you is how you give kisses. Every morning when you wake up, you'll nurse for a little while and then you'll lean up on my chest, look right in my face, and give me the sweetest open mouth kiss on the lips. Sometimes when I'm holding you, you'll just kiss me out of nowhere. You'll make a smooching noise and then plant one on me…and it seriously melts my heart.   You love Reid and LilliAnn. And they're just as crazy about you. You're the happiest when they're chasing you around the living room, or when you're wrestling with Reid. You've started saying "bubba," and for LilliAnn you say "LaLa." 
Your smiles and silly giggles are contagious. Everyone that's around you can't help but fall in love with you. After seeing some of your one year old pictures the other night, Papa Kelbo texted me and said that he wanted to just take you and adopt you because you are so cute! You have made us all better…and happier, Rushton. And I cannot imagine life without you. You truly are a gift from God, and I thank Jesus every day for allowing me to be your mommy. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6
As you continue to grow and learn, this is the verse that I want instilled in your heart. I pray that you are always brave and strong…that you know without a doubt that the Lord will ALWAYS be by your side and will never leave you. You are strong because of Him. 

Everything that I want to say to you on your first birthday is written beautifully in a book. As I was reading "I Love You More Each Day" by Suzanne Chiew and Tina Macnaghton, tears were streaming down my face as highlights from the past year flooded my mind. One year ago was the beginning of our complete family. The past year has been filled with more joy than I ever knew my heart could hold…and it has been the best year of my life. I'm going to end this letter with the words from the book I mentioned above. Rush Rollins, I love you more each day.
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You're my sunshine, little one. You are the world to me.
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You find such joy and wonder in everything you see.
I love each happy thing you do, each funny thing you say.
From spring to summer, all year through, I love you more each day.
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Each day is bright and beautiful, each day holds something new…
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When summer comes we splash and splash in oceans deep and blue.
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You show me hidden treasures, but none so sweet as you.
Each kind and gentle thing you do, each thoughtful thing you say,
makes me so very proud of you.
I love you more each day.
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Whether we're still and quiet, watching rainbows paint the sky…
or whether we're loud and playful, tossing fallen leaves up high…
Each day is an adventure and filled with so much fun.
New journeys and new friendships wait for you, my little one.
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You love to stomp through snowdrifts as our world turns sparkly white…
And find each pretty, frosted leaf that twinkles in the light.
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Although the seasons turn and change, our love will always stay
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From springtime through to winter,
 I love you more each day.
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When sparkling stars shine brightly, we snuggle up together.
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I love you more and more each day,
And more and more for ever!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tornado Basketball. 2015



Reid just finished up an awesome season of basketball! The past two years he's played through the YMCA, but since he was ready for a little more competition this year, we decided to put him on a NCAA team. Even though he's in Kindergarten, he was able to play on the first grade team with all of his baseball teammates...the Shawnee Tornadoes. It was a great experience! There was only one team in their league that could beat them, so they ended the season with a second place trophy. 
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Reid has some mad basketball skills!
I was so impressed with how much his ball handling and shooting has improved from last year.



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Proud of these boys!

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Basketball is currently his favorite sport. He goes out in the driveway to shoot every single day, and if the weather is bad, he shoots in the garage. He has an over-the-door goal in this bedroom, and even one in the hallway right outside of his room. Not a day goes by that I don't hear shooting or dribbling in the house! He absolutely LOVES the game. He came into the living room the other day and looked up at me very seriously and said, "Mom, I really want to be in the NBA." It was the sweetest thing. I asked him what he thought it would take and he replied, "A lot of hard work." We've been reading a book about Michael Jordan and hard work is the main theme. I'm not sure if he'll make the NBA, but I already know that Reid is going to be a hard worker. I'm so proud of my first-born! Dream big, little one.


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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

11 months.


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11 months! I can't believe in just one more month we will have had you for an entire year! You have added so much joy to our family, and I cannot imagine life without you. This was a bit of a crazy month for us! You got really sick with the flu and had to be hospitalized for several days! More on that a little bit later…first, let's talk 11 month stats.
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-19 pounds, 28 inches tall
-says bite, bye bye, mama, dada, bubba, and hot
-loves to play chase with Reid
-eating mostly table foods now: favorites are green beans, oranges, spaghetti, and blueberries\
-loves to be outside
-still sleeping with mommy (has yet to sleep through the night!)
-wearing 12-18 month clothes and size 3 diapers
-loves water and likes carrying around a sippy cup at all times
-favorite toys are balls and cars
-about two naps a day and have become less scheduled
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You absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to take baths - probably because I take at least three baths a day, so you've been taking lots of baths since you started growing in my belly! You've learned to splash water and you think it's super funny!
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We had to unscrew the handles from the water facet knobs because while we're taking a bath you always turn it to all hot or all cold! You're really into cause and effect lately - turning things off and on, throwing balls, and taking lids off and on.
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One of my very favorites pictures! You look like such a big boy!
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The hospital stay…
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You are a really baby, and haven't ever been sick - except for the one time you had to take antibiotics at six months old because Reid, Lil, and I all had strep and you happened to end up with it too - so when the flu hit. I wasn't expecting any of us to get it, much less you since you were breastfeeding. This flu season has been the worst one in several years. They missed the strain this year and the flu shot wasn't covering much of this year's flu (we don't do the flu vaccine). Tons of kids were missing school, and more people were being hospitalized from respiratory complications. I got type-A flu in early November, but thankfully no one else in the house got it. I started giving us all extra vitamin C and D, and made sure that we were diligent with hand washing and using our Thieves essential oil, as well as taking our multivitamin, omegas, and probiotics. 
But at the end of February, just about a week and a half after you turned eleven months old, you got very sick. You had been fussy with a low-grade temp on Thursday and Friday morning. I was thinking it was just sinuses and maybe your teeth, but by Friday evening, I could see in your eyes that you were really sick. You starting running a 104 temp and developed a mild cough. Tricia (the nurse practitioner that I used to work for and our family health care provider) was on vacation to Hawaii, so on Saturday morning I took you to the AM/PM clinic to get you swabbed for strep and flu. You started throwing up in the waiting room, so I just knew that you were going to have strep since Reid had it the week before. But unfortunately it wasn't strep. You had a double ear infection and type-B influenza. Ugh. You continued to run high fever for the next couple of days, and a couple of times it even got up to 105. The vomiting continued, as well as a little diarrhea, and you weren't keeping anything down. You would even throw up after you would nurse. Your cough wasn't too bad and your breathing wasn't labored, however, I was starting to worry about dehydration. When you weren't improving and your wet diapers began to decrease, I decided to take you over to the clinic in Seminole and check your labs. You oxygen was 94-96%, and you labs all looked pretty good, but you breath sounds were a little raspy and wheezing which kind of worried me. I had Dr. Kemp examine you, and he thought we would probably be ok without fluids, unless the vomiting continued for another day or two. 
The next day we thought you may be getting a little better. You took a couple of bites of food and the vomiting had slowed down, but after waking up from your nap with 105.5 temp and vomiting two more times, I decided that you needed to go to Children's for fluids. You had only had one wet diaper in almost two days and I knew it was getting serious. 
Daddy and I drove you up to Children's early Tuesday evening, and thankfully we didn't have to wait long. I figured that we'd be there for a few hours getting fluids and then they'd let us go home, but when the pulse ox. read 80%, I knew we weren't going home for a while. A chest x-ray and labs showed that you were dehydrated and had a possible pneumonia, so they put you on oxygen, IV antibiotics, and sent us up to the floor to a regular room. The radiologist and pediatrician on call decided that you did not have a pneumonia, but more likely atelectasis (the collapse of the tiny air sacs in the lungs) from the flu/inflammation in the lungs. Your diagnoses were influenza type-B, bilateral otitis media (ear infections), hypoxia (low oxygen), and dehydration. 
We stayed three nights and four days in the hospital. I slept with you every night in the hospital crib, and daddy slept beside us in the recliner chair. The first morning in the hospital you were doing worse. Your breathing was laboring, you were completely exhausted and lethargic, you weren't eating, and you were still running fever. Daddy and I were worried sick. We've never had a child this sick or hospitalized, so these terrible feelings were all new to us. Even as a health care provider, I felt helpless and scared to death that my baby wasn't going to be ok. Although I know that kids are very resilient and can bounce back quickly, I also know that kids (especially babies) can worsen very quickly, especially when it comes to respiratory illness/distress. I rarely put you down those first two days in the hospital. I held you, cuddled you, kissed you, and prayed for you. 
After two rounds of Rocephin and two bags of IV fluids, you started improving. Your energy came back and you started eating a little. I could tell you were getting better because you started getting fussy and kept trying to take off your oxygen. You wore oxygen for the first two nights, and by the third night we were able to take off the oxygen because your oxygen levels were staying up. On the fourth day, you started laughing and playing again and we were able to go home. We drove home just as a big snow storm was moving into Oklahoma. I remember bundling you up and walking out to the car in the snow. You loved looking at the big snowflakes! It was the scariest time of my life so far, and I thank Jesus for making you better. 
Through all of this, I learned just how many people love and care for us! We got tons of texts, calls, Facebook messages checking on you and telling us they were praying for you. It was a stressful month (the evening we got home from the hospital, we found out both of the other kids had fever and Reid had strep again!), but we are so thankful for God's healing powers and the blessings of our wonderful family and friends. 
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At the urgent care clinic when we found out it was the flu
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104 temp. Poor baby only wanted his mommy
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lots of resting
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very lethargic and dark circles under your eyes
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Daddy and I tried multiple times to get you to drink Pedialyte with no success…however, you loved the plain, unflavored Pedialyte at the hospital!
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the start of IV fluids in the ER
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cuddles from daddy at Children's ER
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2 liters of oxygen
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in your hospital room - this is so not like you - awake, but not moving or smiling at all
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snuggling with mommy - such a sick baby boy!
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the worst day. no smiles and lots of work to breathe
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finally getting some energy and trying to eat the pulse ox on your toe!
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starting to see some smiles!
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no more oxygen!
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Getting ready to head home - so many get well gifts from the most amazing family and friends! 
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He loved his balloon bouquet from one of our photographers, Jessie Newell - Bird Nest Baby!
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Happy boy! Going home!!
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fast asleep with your favorite get well gift - a yellow golf ball from Papa's friend, Neil Wingo