Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflecting another year!

We made it! Another year! 

As I read last years blog, summing up the year, I cried, there were HUGE milestones! Amazing and long lasting memories. 

This year, did NOT fall short! 

We rang in the New Year under one roof, just as we will tonight! 

All three kids have grown a few inches and Waylon continues to put on weight (which has always been a problem for him, thankfully his doctor prescribed an appetite boosting med!). 
The top picture was Waylon when he got really sick and was admitted, but the skinnyness was his normal!
Hooray for weight gain!!!!

We hiked so many times this year as a complete family, that I have lost count. Except this time, Waylon was to big to wear in the front (and I learned of better and more comfortable baby carriers!). 

Waylon underwent this 3rd Open Heart surgery, where he was extubated (breathing tube taken out) as soon as he got into the ICU. He had some pain/sedation issues because we weaned quickly from morphine to cut down his risk of becoming dependent on it again. He was in and out in NINE days!! Everyone was amazed!!! 

We celebrated with family this year, not just our little family, but all of them! People who had not yet met Waylon was finally able to.
Meeting his awesome runner Devon Dean for the first time!

Our first easter celebrating with ALL of our family!

For the first time we took a vacation. We took ALL of the kids to the aquarium and spent the day walking around the little shops near by.

We have also chosen to live a healthier lifestyle. We not only have more energy and feel better physically and mentally, but my husband and I have lost a combined 75+ pounds!!! 
Because of this, I was able to run my first 5k race this year, and daddy joined a gym to train for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has gained 3 stripes for his white belt in just 6 months. 

We have also had some upsetting times. Being apart, even for 9 days, was not easy. There were tears, heartache, and fuzzy skype feeds again. We learned that Waylon had many more complications after his first surgery than we were told, and we learned that he had a brain injury. The brain injury diagnosis was scary, its unknown territory, but it does give some kind of reason for many of Waylons developmental delays and muscle tone issues. We also learned that Waylons heart function not only decreased the normal amount post op (it is normal for decreased function to occur after open heart surgery because the heart had so much done to it), but his function decreased even more. His amazing cardiologist put him on a medication to help with this, and while it has helped, his function is still not the best. Also a week before Waylons 2nd birthday he became VERY sick and had to be admitted, because (as we found out) he had a common cold that caused dehydration. 

But we still truck on, we are still waking under the same roof every morning and tucking everyone into their own beds every evening. 

Waylon is still receiving quite a bit of therapy, but it has helped so much! He is now able to eat solids, including cereal, biscuits, hotdogs etc. You name it, he can probably eat it! He is now crawling like a normal baby. In the beginning we taught him army crawling until his body could build up enough reserve to do normal 4 point (both hands and both knees) crawling. 

Within a two week time period Waylon decided to not only start crawling, but sitting up on his own. For so long we worked on this, and helped him to build the necassary muscles for this simple task, and now he is DOING IT! He also received his second pair of orthotic braces for his ankles and lower legs to help with stability for walking. And walking he is, with assistance, but its WALKING!! 

We homeschooled again this year. McKayla knows how to spell her name, knows her alphabet, can count to 20 and has learned to add and subtract!!! Anthony has learned to read (smaller words,but he is reading!), count above 100, add and subtract double digits and knows the history of Thanksgiving. 

We have celebrated birthdays! Every birthday is special, but there is so much to be said about another birthday for Waylon. 20 years ago kids like him didnt survive long. A high percentage dont make it to kindergarten. 

I was blessed with another year of meeting amazing heart parents, some face to face when I was gifted another turn to go to the National Pediatric Cardiology Improvement Collaborative. It is always so informative, and humbling to be in a room full of well established/informed doctors and medical staff who sit directly beside parents. All working together to make sure these kids have longer lives and with more quality. 

This year has been amazing, yet again. But we have also experienced loss. We lost a wonderful woman who helped to raise my husband and his sister from a very young age. She welcomed me with open arms into their family. There is not a day goes by that we do not think of her, and this christmas was hard without her.
The amazing Roxene A.K.A Aunt Cocky!

We also lost parts of our heart family. One in particular that we had known not only through social media, but in our day to day lives. He spent time in the hospital while we were in Michigan, right down the hall from us. His mom and I speak weekly, and she has blessed us with amazing pictures of Waylon so many times. Unfortunately our sweet friend lost his battle with CHD while inpatient for Waylons recent open heart surgery. Out of the loss of him, was born a wonderful foundation to help raise funds to fight CHD. I am proud to say that I not only know the people who started the foundation, but had the amazing job of being his parents. 

The Legendary Heart Foundations FIRST heart walk!

                                           There is so much more!! Here are a few extra pics :)
The yearly Lil Heart sluggers Day out at the park!


Our buddy Justin visited again this year to bring my special blanket for surgery!
He has the same heart defect as Waylon!

The day he said Da-Da!!!

                                      HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!!!!
                                                          Thanks for being apart of it!!! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Today, I wont hide behind a computer screen with a mascara filled face and type how awesome everything is, how honky dory it is. I wont type that despite our journey with Waylons heart that all is well. 

 Today I take off my mask and show the raw emotion involved. Today I am honest and REAL. 

Honestly, I am struggling today. My heart hurts, my eyes hurt from the multiple spurts of crying for unknown durations. 

After yesterdays appointment I am broken down. I dont usually allow myself to get this low, actually there are very few times that I can remember ever being this low. The biggest recollection is when we were first diagnosed with Waylons heart defect. I stepped away from the outside world for a bit and shut off my notifications from facebook. I couldnt bare dealing with everyones "im sorry for your situations" or the "I will be praying for your family" statements. I just wanted to be alone. Alone to deal with what was really going on, that my child would be born with half of a heart. With a messed up heart, missing parts, holes, parts to small to function correctly. 

I through myself into research about this thing called Hypoplastic left heart syndrome. I reached out to support groups of parents for emotional well being and for more research since they would know first hand what I would be facing within the upcoming months. 

So much came with this defect, it wasnt just a bum heart, but feeding issues due to being intubated and never learning to suck, vocal chord paralysis from being intubated, developmental delays, infection, compromised immune system, eye problems from low oxygenation, heart failure, organ damage from medications or the hearts low oxygenation. Then add in muscle problems and risk of brain damage from low oxygenation and being on heart-lung bypass machine. If it was a possibility, I read about it.

Almost everything I researched became a reality for my boy. But there were things we weren't told about that occurred at our local hospital that I later found out about, through reading his records. 

Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain injury popped out at me from the middle of the page. I wrote it down to remember to research it after reading #3 of 6 packets. My heart sank when I typed it in and seen all of the things he will be at risk for in the future and what caused it. 

I knew of this injury now, but was never able to sit down with a professional and discuss just what it meant. Until yesterday. 

After two long years I was finally able to see the results from the MRI done one Waylon after he became very sick at our local hospital. He was lethargic, his liver was swelling and I didnt know if he would make it. She read off the findings and highlighted the brain injury, then went over the images. Each one showed something new, something worrisome. Empty parts of his brain that are dead, filled with spinal fluid and will never be re-gained. Parts of his brain that were enlarged and the brain bleed. My eyes filled with tears as she went over them, but it killed me just a little when she described the dead part of his brain. Who wants to hear that part of their childs brain, no matter how small, is DEAD? 

Even more upsetting is not knowing! Not knowing what this will mean for him in the future. He will certainly have delays (as he does right now) but we will not know how severe they are until we get there, and we don't know if it will make him "handicapped" in those areas that he doesn't progress in. 

It wasn't until yesterday that I was finally able to understand how severe this was, I knew from reading about it that it wasn't good but had not seen the images or been explained to how bad his was. I didn't know what it meant for him at the time. 

I feel like we were diagnosed all over again. Alone, and that no one else had experienced this. 

I feel guilt for not getting him to another hospital, even though we didn't have a choice at the time (or rather was told we didn't). I wonder how a hospital can withhold such information, information that can be critical for his progression in the future and in the technique used by therapists, myself and doctors. How can that not be seen as pertinent information?!? And why in the HELL did I have to argue with a nurse that he was having seizures when he was already diagnosed with this injury (which intensifies risk of seizures)? How can it be okay to leave a family in the dark over this situation and expect them to find their own way?

Its not! Withholding this information did not save me from stress, and it wouldn't have saved me during the times that he was so unstable. Rather, it has created more stress because we are just truly learning about it, and because we could have went about his therapies in a different manner that would have worked better for him at the time. There is no excuse for it. 

So today, I am truthful. I am putting my anger, frustration, fear and sadness out there. I am taking off my mask of "Im okay". I wont stay here forever, just as I didn't when we found out about his heart. We will pick up the pieces yet again and push forward as ALWAYS to ensure that he gets the best care that he can get. Ensure that we aren't missing making memories that we could never get back because we are sulking in the anger, frustration, fear and sadness. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

That scary F word!

That scary F word, for some its  a dirty word with a different meaning, but for heart families its that scary word. Its the one we have been gearing up for since we found out about our childs diagnosis (mainly HLHS and HRHS families). The one we have hoped our children made it to, but hated that they had to endure it. It makes us want to say that other F word, the vulgar, no-no word. 

  Its taken me a bit to be able to really sit down and put everything down on paper (so to speak). Partly because I just didnt want to relive it I guess, wanted it to be in the past (though it never really will, its apart of us) and partly because we have just been living LIFE to its fullest since it happened. 

  The Fontan is the third palliative (hate that word, but its true) open heart surgery in the three surgery series for HLHS and HRHS children. It doesn't give them a full heart, though some have that misconception. Its the one that rocked me to my core a few months back when I received the call for scheduling. We have prepared for this surgery for quite some time, emotionally, financially, physically. 

  I was so scared of the outcome. Would he struggle, would we lose him through the surgery, would it be another LONG stay? I cried for days, then cried some more. I felt my body being drained by the thought of handing my baby boy over again. After all he had been through, all of the complications, I was going to have to watch him be wheeled down a corridor again and know what was going to happen in the operating room. 

Everything had to be done strategically to prepare. Contact anyone who is in contact with Waylon (therapists, nurses etc) and tell them that we would stop all visits 2 weeks before we left for surgery. Make sure a rental car was held, a hotel room was booked and money for gas, food and necessaties were on hand. Then pack, and I mean PACK EVERYTHING! 

While packing half of my house I would stop and cry some more, always back to that same thought, "what if this is the last time he wears this, or the last time he plays with this". 

The night before we left for Michigan we took the kids to their grandparents, spending some much needed time together and taking tons of pictures. Before leaving for the evening I gave huge hugs to our older children, holding back tears because the last time I left them with their grandparents I didnt see them for 4 months. Our oldest knew the circumstances, and he understood all to well what could happen. He cried on my shoulder as I told him good night and see you soon buddy. My heart broke even more! I felt like a terrible mom, leaving them when they were needing me too. I knew it had to be done, and that they were safe, that all of it was for their baby brothers sake, to keep him ALIVE. 

The morning of departure was filled with me running around like a chicken with her head cut off trying to make sure NOTHING was forgotten. As we loaded into the rental car I snapped a quick picture of my little man smiling in the back seat, surrounded by all of his things. We headed out for our 6 hour drive. 

I cant lie and say that I wasnt just a little excited. I know that sounds terrible (when you live this life you have to find possitives in everything, otherwise you WILL be taken to a very dark place that you dont want to be!), the last time Waylon was stuck in the hospital. He didnt get to witness Michigan at its finest, and how beautiful it was. I was excited that his daddy and I would have some time to show him some of the things we loved while there the last time, what brought us comfort, and to say "we made it back!!". 

Days before surgery were filled with tests, tests, and more tests! He had his first sedated echo, in which they gave me the job to administer his "sleepy" medicine because of his oral aversions. I then rocked him for 5 minutes and his body across my lap, then went heavy and limp. He woke a few hours later, we redressed him and headed out for a day on the town! 

We walked around the wonderful Ann Arbors down town, hitting some of the shops that we enjoyed the last time. Our favorite was the homemade cupcake shop! 

One of the best visits we did while there was to meet Waylons runner, Devon. She came to us from a group I signed him up in. Runners are paired with buddies who have special needs, and they dedicate their motivation, love, workouts and miles to their buddies. We were so excited to meet this wonderful woman who had loved on our Waylon as if he were family, she had logged over 200 miles for him and sent him tons of special goodies (including buying him a star for christmas!)

The next morning was his heart cathetorization. Again I helped to give his "sleepy" meds. He started to giggle and look a bit dazed. They wheeled him away as he waved bye and laughed at any and everything. 

  He slept for quite a while after the heart cath, which was good because he had to lay flat for 6 HOURS. But when he woke he was MAD, he wanted me and no compression bandage, nurse or doctor telling him NO was going to stop him from sitting with his mommy. Sit with me he did, for a good few hours. My butt was numb, my back hurt, I needed to pee, but anything to keep him calm! 

 He was admitted after the cath as protocol and I spent the night by his bed, where I didnt sleep because I was too nervous. I just kept looking at him, in case it was the last time I seen him like that. 

  Morning came and we passed him around for snuggles between his dad and I, taking as many pictures as we could. They came in to tell us it was time, then proceeded to walk us down the hall to elevators to pre-op. Techs, nurses, doctors and anesthesiologist all came in one by one asking questions about his history, his delays etc. Then as I held him they pushed his first round of sedation through his IV (which luckily worked!). Again we snuggled a giggly boy and handed him off to the team as we met with his wonderful surgeon Dr.Ohye (no words can explain the admiration we have for that man!). I wanted to burst into tears as we left the pre-op area but I held it together. 

  Hours passed, we did the same old thing, get coffee, something to eat and post seat in the waiting room for updates! We watched people come and go, met another family who had transferred from another hospital and helped them to feel at ease. 

  Updates were going well, we updated our family and friends and kept up with updates from our good friends who were there  again and had just had surgery the day before. All seemed well with our friend until we got the news that he had to be put on life support (ECMO). My heart sank! I wanted to scream, I had been given those words from a team of doctors before about my own son. They were my friends, we had spent time in the same hospital many times before, and were friends from home. I knew how much they loved that boy, he was their life, and they his. And the thought quickly rushed over me that we could be in that boat again, we could get those same words told to us again. 

 Our updates slowed and the final one came through " he is DONE, he did beautifully. He is in recovery and you can go back and see him when he is settled in an hour or so." My heart still in my gut rose back into my ribcage for the moment. 

  Walking in to see him was a flood of emotions. There is was, alive, heart rate well, oxygen saturation was good and he was starting to wake. We tried to give a bottle of water and he just threw it up, his belly wasnt ready for it yet. I just wanted to hold him, kiss him, but I just held his hand and told him how proud I was of him. 

After visiting with him and asking for him to be placed in an actual room because the noise was to much for him, I went out for some food. I passed my good friend on the way out and the sick feeling overwhelmed me again. I hated what they were going through at that moment.

I found out the next morning that our good buddy wasnt doing well, that after many tests his parents had to make the heart breaking decision to take him off life support and let him be free. I wanted to run to her, squeeze her. She was the second GOOD friend I had made on this journey that I had ACTUALLY met and made a huge connection with that lost their child, while my child was in the hospital too. I felt survival guilt. While so happy about my own child I felt terrible that another family had lost theirs. To personally know the family made it even worst. 

 The next few days were the basic, pain management, administering medication, blood draws and hoping for POOP. Seems basic, but it can become dangerous. Waylon hadnt had a bowel movement for DAYS! He was bound up, his stomach was very bloated, he was in a lot of pain. We tried medication after medication, until he finally went! We were lucky that he didnt have a lot of fluid build up, which we were afraid would happen due to his past complications with it. He didnt want to drink, didnt want to take his meds. His stomach was very unsettled and anytime anything went in, it came right back out. 

 My husband couldnt stay long, but when he was there he was present and trying to help comfort him in any way he could. This even meant standing for an hour beside his bed rubbing his head and holding his hand so he would fall asleep. 

 He left and Waylon and I were there to get through it together, again. it really, quite frankly, SUCKED. I hated not having my husband there again, being seperated. But bills needed paid, we needed a home to come back to, and two children back home that needed their parents. I always say that just because you have a critically ill child doesnt mean your bills stop, trust me it is so true. You do what you have to, and we did it again. 

  I eventually got Waylon to drink more and take his medicine, though it was still hell sometimes because he was scared he would throw up the medicine (and sometimes he did, along with all of the milk or food I helped him  to eat). I started to work with him more, having him to reach for toys, helping him to sit up for small amounts of time to help with his chest tube drainage. Once those tubes were out he felt so much better!! I was able to get him to sit up for longer periods, and it was so much easier to transfer him into the chair with me from the bed (YES I am one of those moms who handle it myself, never knew it WASNT the norm until the nurses told me). 

 The team was so happy with his progress, and how his heart looked that we were discharged 9 DAYS post op! A record time for not only Waylon, but the hospital! We were ALL amazed! 
We made the travel back home the same day, it did not go without incident, trust me. Waylon cried so many times and was so uncomfortable (who wouldnt be 9 days post open heart surgery, and sternum shaving). We had to stop several times to get him out and help him. 

  Being home at first was hard! I hadnt had to care for a fresh chest wound like his the last time and I was so afraid he was going to get an infection. Almost EVERYTHING set him over the edge! My phone would ring and he would start this blood curdling scream! I would change his clothes or diaper, same thing. Giving him his medication was a NIGHTMARE! He screamed the whole time and would throw everything back up, which meant re-drawling all of the meds again and cleaning up puke. 
 Eventually he got the hang of things again and became more settled. Which meant him being his silly self again, and showing us just how awesome he is! At just a few days after being home he was rolling back over onto his stomach again and trying to army crawl. 

  Things have been quite steady at home so far. We have had some scary times with new heart meds because his heart had weakened, and him getting very dehydrated at one point (months later) and becoming lethargic. We found out he had a common cold and enterovirus. He handled them decently (though we believe he had them for at least 2 weeks, it takes him longer to over come sickness). We have traveled out of state since being home for a day long family vacation. We have went on our 3+ mile hikes again, numerous times. 

  Update on our buddies family: After the smoke somewhat cleared in their situation, they started a foundation in Liams name. The funding goes to the childrens heart foundation which contributes to funding for research for our kids! They are amazing people, and through their heartache they are doing great things in his memory, for ALL of our kids. They held their first annual walk and we attended. We are so grateful to know them, and to have known Liam. 

Waylons 2nd birthday!!!!! 
Any photos taken from our site without our permission WILL be found, and the person WILL be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All photos are owned by the Rainey family and are NOT to be used for personal use. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Truth is.....

Since the beginning of our journey with Waylon I have done well to hold in my feelings for the most part. 

I have been strong in the face of his struggles while in the hospital. I wasnt the mom you seen breaking down on the elevator, because I sucked those tears back in, took a deep breath and held my head high. 

Each time the doctors came in to tell me that my son was yet again struggling with something, a medication wasnt working, he had a failed attempt of coming off the ventilator, fluid build up, collapsed lung. I wore my mask of medical proffessional/warrior mom and said "This is what we can do next" "I seen him heading down that path". Doctors were in awe with my togetherness and were at ease with coming to me when something else was going on because I didn't break down. 

The few times I did break down I was in the arms of my loving husband, and it was some of the toughest times. Like the elevator doors closing as I seen my baby boy being walked down the hallway to the OR, seeing my son on life support and then weeks later being told that there was nothing else they could do for my son besides putting him back on it. 

I was stronger than I ever thought I could be, was it my mothering instincts, my preparedness? I couldn't tell you, but when I was in that hospital I was in an entire different mode.

Since being home, I am still very much in that mode, but I can let go, I can let tears flow (still mostly when no one is looking). Looking at my amazing little warrior gets to me everytime, there are so many things we never knew if he would even be able to do, or even be here to do. 

In light of the past few months and hearing the words "Fontan soon" I have been on edge. I cant look at him throughout the day without tears falling. Especially since we got the call yesterday with THE DATE, which is only a month away. I have been preparing on things since last November. Calling social workers in Michigan to ask about insurance, what will be covered, what we can get help with, what we need to pay out of pocket. How will things pan out the days before, will he have a cath the day before surgery, a month before? Traveling from states away I wanted us to have it as together as we could this time. Last time I had to gather necessities in a small bag to fly in a helicopter and forgot a TON. 

Nothing could prepare me for the rush of emotions when I looked at my phone and seen "Michigan". I knew it was any day that we would be receiving the call about paperwork received, or the surgery date. But when I answered that phone and the surgeons assistant asks if I "have time to discuss Waylons surgery date, and pick a date?" I wanted to break down, and I wanted to throw up. It became REAL! 

All of the "what-if's" run through my head like a race track. I kept reminding myself to breath, just breath. 

From my room I could hear Anthony and McKayla playing with their baby brother and his therapist, laughing, running. And it hit me again like it does everyday, we will be split up again. Our happy lil year home together has come to an end and we have to seperate ways again. I thought how all of this has affected them, and how strong they have had to be.

Truth is: I dont want to be strong sometimes. I want to break down, I want to scream, I want to be weak

Truth is: I cant be. I have no choice BUT to be strong because Waylon has to be, and I chose for him to have to fight, so... SO DO I. 

Truth is:I hate all of this, it isn't fair that our family has to go through this, that our kids have to go through this. 

Truth is: I shouldn't have to be worrying about any of this. I should be worrying about what my 19 month old baby is getting into, what new words he is saying, and cherishing the days he is at home instead of school. NOT cherishing the days because I dont know how long he will be here with us.

Truth is: I wonder how I will deal if something ever happens to him. And it breaks my heart to even think about it. 

Truth is: I think of him dying alot, especially here lately. I have nightmares of it. I see a picture of a grave with a lil boy sitting next to it "playing" with his lil brother, and INSTANTLY think of how that could be something I could do for Waylon and his siblings. Then my heart sinks and I think how sad that is. I see little suits and instead of thinking for an outfit for Easter or Christmas I think how handsome my baby boy would look in that and it would be a perfect suit for his burial. 

Truth is: I know how crazy ALOT of this sounds. But it is real, it is my true emotions, and what its like to be the mother of a critical child.

Truth is: Even though I have these morbid thoughts, I dont let them overshadow the happiness of today with him here with us. And I dont miss a chance to make a memory because I am taking to much time feeling sorry for our situation. We have a normal schedule we follow daily, with random moments of crazy living room dancing with ALL 3 of my babies. We go out and see the world, within limitations to keep Waylons health safe. 

Truth is: My relationship with my husband is 10x stronger than it was before all of this. 

Truth is: My faith is not the same, my christian belief is almost non-existant. But that doesnt mean I am disrespectful to those who believe, or that I am offended when someone says "I will be praying for you" because they are thinking of my family none the less and that is huge for us.

Truth is: I get jealous and ANGRY when mothers smoke, drink and do drugs during pregnancy have healthy kids, and I did everything possible to be healthy in all of my pregnancy. But I realize those moms would never be able to walk a mile in my shoes, and they wouldnt be able to deal with a child in Waylons condition. 

Truth is: I dont take nearly the amount of crap I used to take from people. I am much more "bitchy" as some would say. But its a defense mechanism to care for taking care of  my family and myself. 

Truth is I am NOT alone. I have an amazing husband, family, and awesome heart moms who have my back NO matter what. They are not afraid to come to my defense if its needed, or to fight for my childs best interest if a hospital isnt doing what it needs to (have seen it happen (:  )

Truth is: I am scared. And that is okay. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My princess, my hellraiser.

On this day 5 years ago I woke early to contractions. While my husband and baby boy slept I packed a bag for the hospital, breathing through contractions calmly. I waited a while to wake them up because I wanted them to get more rest, but went ahead and called my mother so she could meet us at the hospital and someone would be home to keep Anthony.

Arriving at the hospital we went to the labor and maternity ward where they told me they never received my paperwork and I would have to fill it out before receiving a room, go figure! So we sat in the waiting room while I filled out paper after paper, while breathing through full blown contractions. We were finally placed in a labor room!

A few hours passed and my excitement was getting unbearable. I was ready to see my lil princess for the first time and hoped her delivery went much smoother than my first child, and I wished that I would be able to hold her. Contractions got stronger, but I never made a peep, all while my hubby sat on the couch playing with the camera. My doctor came in and said they were going to set up so I could get ready to push, but they barely had enough time. This girl was making her grand entrance whether they were ready to not!! Two pushes and she was out, they hardly had time to pull the bed apart, and hubby almost didnt make it over in time to see lol.

I pulled her straight up to my chest and snuggled her, gooey mess and all. I was in awe of her beauty.

Hours later I finally got to hold her again while everyone flooded our room to get a glimpse of the sweet new baby in the family. In our family, babies are a huge deal and we take up an entire waiting room! We introduced our baby boy to our newest addition and he was just as excited as we were.

As a baby McKayla was very attached to me, and she seemed to have some problems eating. Each time she would feed she would projectile vomit the entire feed, like the girl from exorcist. It was frustrating, and scary at the same time, so we pushed for testing to make sure something wasnt wrong with our sweet baby. I didnt know what I would do if my child had something wrong (hindsight is 20/20, they say (:   ). Testing showed small reflux but nothing else, luckily she eventually out grew it and was able to tolerate.

Our growing girl hit most of her milestones on target, crawling at 6-7 months, walking at 12 months. But she never "really" talked until she was 3 years old. She has been a climber since BEFORE she could walk, and is STILL one today.

She is the beautiful blonde haired girl wearing her pink tutu, with rain boots, digging in the dirt with cars. She is the screaming, loud, jumping lil girl you see in the front yard that most of the neighborhood kids are intimidated by. She is loving, always thinking of her brothers and making sure the snack she steals from the pantry is also enough for her big brother. She is stronger than any lil girl her age should have to be, yet she does it with a smile and grace. She is simply AMAZING! I didnt expect to have a tomboy for a daughter, though the thought crossed my mind many times while pregnant since I always was growing up. And I secretly hoped she would be so she would be so strong and I wouldnt have to worry about certain things. She is more strong willed than I ever expected, and more times than not, thats a great thing!

Happy birthday beautiful girl!! We love you so much more than you would ever know!