Friday, December 30, 2011

Dear Alexis

age one
 I didn't know how much love my heart was capable of until I had you.  You are the one that blessed your father and I with the journey called parenthood.  You spent your first year as a "challenging" baby with lots to "say" and little sleep to be had but gave us so much more joy and gracing us with the only life I could ever imagine.
age 2
The growth and maturity you have done in 7 years is astounding.  What you have gone through and learned in 7 years took me 20.  When you were 2 and we had your brother, you immediately took to the mother role, changing his diaper helping me burp him and sitting next to me nursing your doll while I nursed him. 
age 3

age 4
 When you were 4 I had a hysterectomy and took awhile to recover.  In the meantime you stepped in and made your brother peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pouring him drinks, and helping him go potty.  I don't know too many 4 year olds capable of doing what you did.  You are quite the superhero.
age 5
When you were 5 I got sick.  You got it.  You understood I couldn't do what I used to be able to do.  So you stepped up again.  You comforted your brother when he didn't get it, you got him whatever he needed, you started helping me do my laundry and you sat and read to me.
age 6
You also started to worry.  A child should not have to worry about anything but you did.  You wouldn't and still don't talk about what upsets you.  You bottle it all up and then something very small will set you off and you finally cry and let it all out.  It breaks my heart that you have fear inside of you.  I want you to know that if you can't turn to me or your dad you can always turn to God.  He will lift you up, He will always be there for you.
age 7
There is something extra special about you.  There is something very deep and magical about you.  God has made you this way to fit into our puzzle perfectly.

You have shown me so much happiness and laughter.  You have taught me how to be carefree and full of life.  I want to be a better person because of you.  I want to fill your memory with happy times, silliness and most of all love.

My birthday wish for you Alexis Grace is that you live your life full of joy and love.  That you have faith and keep God in your heart.  That you always have hope.  That you follow your dreams.  That you live a life that makes you happy.  Make everyday the best day of your life Alexis!

Happy Birthday

I love you more than words could ever express.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


 Make the best of everyday.  Challenge yourself to smile at 3 people today, whether it be someone at the grocery store, gas station, work, or just out on the road.  It will make you feel better and I guarantee you will have brightened their day. {you don't have to stop at just 3}

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blessed at Christmas

At Christmastime we count our blessings.  We were extra blessed with Anthony being home with us Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  He did a shift trade that made it possible for him to be home with us and we are very thankful for who worked in his place.


We go to Anthony's parents house every year for Christmas Eve.  His grandma has had 2 large falls resulting in 2 broken hips and she no longer lives at their house.  She has recovered from her most recent fall and was able to come be with us.  It was so wonderful for her to be there.  My kids, who haven't seen her in several months, were elated.

 Uncle James & Aunt Michelle (suffocating under my kids), Aunt Julie & Uncle Dominic (Nana's back)

We had a great time eating, exchanging gifts and enjoying each others company.
We are blessed


Christmas morning started at sunrise with two very excited kids.

 Two very excited and spoiled dogs.

After a leisure morning, we headed up to my sisters house where we met up with my brother, his family and my mom.

 This is my niece.  Keeping the princess name while keeping up with the boys.

 The 6 cousins get along so well!

I am not ready for Christmas to be over yet.  Usually I would have all decorations down and cleaned up by the 26th but this year I am hanging on.  I am still singing Christmas carols and wishing for more of the holiday spirit.  I don't want life to go back to the busy rush.  I don't want people to loose the holiday gratitude and extra feelings of love and joy.  So, in my house, Christmas will still be here.  We had such a wonderful holiday celebrating, loving, being together, and appreciating all that we have.

We are blessed

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Still searching for answers

*If you are new here, you can read more about my health here or here.

As usual, the nerves set in the night before wondering if we will get any answers.  My last appointment was back in July and a lot has happened since then.  When I get nervous, I notice I talk a lot.  About very random things, just keeping my mind occupied.  My apologies to my husband... thank you for your patience!  Time for a deep breath to let the worry out and the calm in.  

Driving to the appointment
The day before my appointment at UCSD I received an e-mail that read, "We still don't have your results but you can come see the doctor anyway."  These are results from a muscle biopsy that we have been waiting on for months.  I already had appointments canceled and rescheduled because we have been waiting for these results.  All of our hope for answers lies in these results.  We decided to go to the appointment anyway...

We headed out for the appointment bright and early, unsure of what the day would hold.  We took in all the beauty around us and enjoyed just driving down together.  Watching the sunrise kept me calm.

We met with the doctor and witnessed a miracle... in walked the test results!  (they were dated last week so I'm not sure why they thought they weren't in yet)  I guess it was more dramatic this way :)  The doctor looked over the papers and was quite confused.  He handed them to us and we looked.  I searched very hard for a single word that I might understand... I couldn't find one.  Anthony asked for an interpretation and that's when our bubble burst.  The doctor said that the results are difficult to interpret and it is still not clear what is going on.  The genetic abnormalities I have still don't make sense.  We know that my mitochondria are malfunctioning but we can't figure out why.  We did more blood work and will have further testing done but we left the office visit so confused.  Not a waste of time like we originally thought because those infamous results did come in but we felt deflated.  Now what?

The very next day I had my appointment at Children's Hospital with the muscle clinic and MDA.  We held on to the hope that this neurologist would be able to figure it all out.  First we met with Jessica.  She is beyond awesome.  She is the go to gal that gets it all done.  Next came Rick who delivered my motorized chair.  He wanted to make sure everything was working out well.  After Rick, we met KC, the physical therapist and then a social worker came in followed by the geneticist.  I wanted answers.  I know I am sick, they know I am sick but I really need to know why.  My reasons for needing to know are 5 years old and 7 years old.  I need to know if I passed this genetic disease on.  Unfortunately, the geneticist could not give us any answers.  It is still unknown if I spontaneously acquired this or if it was passed down from family members that carry the gene but don't have any symptoms.  Because my test results always come back funny, we can't get a definitive answer.  I almost started crying at that point but I held it in.  Jessica came back in and told us more of what the MDA has to offer.  She asked what kind of activities we enjoyed and I told her I like sitting at home because that is all I am comfortable doing.  So she asked what we did before I got sick.  We told her about our boating, waterskiing, camping, hiking beach going days.  I got a little teary eyed thinking about what we used to.  She told us that there are many places we can go and activities we can do that are adaptive.  I don't have to give up my lifestyle because of my muscles.  Then, she asked how the kids and my husband were handling all of this.  That is when I lost it.  They are handling it great, they really are but they have had to give up so much and I didn't realize it until we talked about what we used to do.  We were so active and personally, I am still ok with the fact that I can't do what I used to be able to do.  But realizing the kids aren't getting to do what we used to do hit hard.  So hard that I kept crying, wiping my tears away with my shirt sleeve just for another flood to come down.  I calmed down, took a deep breath and the doctor came in.  Come on doc, give us some answers.  Nope!  He said that my other neurologist that I saw yesterday is an internationally renowned mitochondrial specialist and if anyone could interpret and understand my results it would be him.  He did however give me a lot of hope.  Whether he filled me with hope because Christmas is in a few days or because he honestly believed it, I listened.  He feels there is a possibility at arresting this if we can find the right cocktail.  He would like another biopsy done to see if we can get a clearer picture.  So for now, we wait.  We wait to see if things get better with all the medication and therapy.  Or we wait to see if the disease progresses and gives us a clearer picture.  You may just see me on Mystery Diagnosis.

I have more love than I could ever have imagined having.  I have so many prayers that I am so grateful for.  I have a beautiful, blessed life that I am lucky enough to share with amazing people.  I am grateful for the good health that I do have.  I don't have answers but it just means it is not time for me to know.  I went into these appointments this week looking for a Christmas Miracle and I arrived home realizing my miracles were right there in front of me.

I wish you all a very blessed Christmas with your loved ones.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Twice the celebrations, twice the excitement

In our home, December is quite busy.  Between Christmas and all the celebrations that go along with that, we also have two kids born in December!  Neither one was planned for this month but they both showed up eager for the holidays :)  Alexis was due January 20th but gave us a tax break and was born December 30th and Wyatt... well, I'm still not sure how I got pregnant with him.  I had a miscarriage in March 06 and my husband and I decided we would wait two months before trying again just so we could have a baby after the holidays.  Somehow ;) we found ourselves expecting a baby with a due date of DECEMBER 24th.  Our doctor actually laughed when he told me the due date.  Luckily my kids arrive early and Wyatt is at the beginning of the month with his sister at the end of the month.  

Onto the celebrations:

 The birthday boy was karate chopping the balloons his sister dropped on him from upstairs.

 Check out the excitement when he opened his present.  Are you wondering what it was??

 New socks!!!  Just wait... he's getting new underwear for Christmas :)

We have double birthday parties for the kids because, {1} there is no way I can throw two parties in Dec. {2} I would feel bad asking the same people to come party in an already busy month and {3} the kids LOVE having their parties together.  It works out that most of their friends have siblings the same age and all play together anyway.  It's also the closest I can get to having twins by letting them have that sharing experience.

 I had a little "help" getting ready for the party

We split the girls and the boys this time.  The girls all got their nails painted by my husbands cousin and her friends.

 The boys went with Anthony to the fire station!  They got to take an engine ride, check out the ambulance, take a tour and best of all, spray water from the hose.

The day was perfect.
The weather couldn't have been any better than it was.  Beautiful warm sunshine on a Saturday in December is what makes Southern California living the best.
The smiles and excitement on these two made it all worth it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Spirit

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout 
I'm telling you why....
As soon as the words are sung by me, the kids behavior immediately improves.

Starting new ones, remembering the old ones
This time of year is full of them 

While most people are running around doing the hustle and bustle
Rushing until they can't take it anymore
We are sitting back and soaking in all of the Christmas spirit  
We take drives at night to look at all the Christmas lights
We eat our dinner next to the Christmas tree with a fire in the fire place
We keep the Christmas music on all day
We are making new traditions and reliving the old ones
And to avoid the hustle and bustle, I shop online and wait for the UPS man to deliver the packages.

The halls are decked
The season is jolly
The puppy only ate one ornament off the tree
Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Project Share and Care

Katie from Minivan Diva and I got together last Friday to put the packages together for the Project Share and Care.  We gathered our supplies {all purchased from the dollar store} and had the kids put them together.  When my kids and I were shopping they asked for some items for themselves and I only had to explain once that we were buying things for homeless people.  They really seemed to understand what we were doing which made me quite proud.

Katie made sugar cookies for the kids to decorate and add to the bags.

Next up were home made cards by the kids.  The boys quickly turned this activity into making paper airplanes.

The day ended with a spectacular sunset that we all stayed to enjoy.  For a while the sky looked like it was on fire.

A special thank you to Katie for suggesting this selfless activity.  We had such a great time and are so grateful for your friendship!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's your day, buddy

5 short years ago, you entered our life in a dramatic and quick fashion and have since filled our hearts with more laughter, joy and happiness than we could have ever imagined.

Driving home from our vacation in Lake Havasu at 4 months pregnant, we were trying to come up with baby boy names.  We passed the very small town of Earp, CA and as we looked at each other we knew right then, "Wyatt" would be the name of our son.

This kid fills our home with so much laughter and love.

A true super hero, full of energy and full of joy.

Thank you for your amazing smile.  Thank you for your kind heart.  Thank you for caring about others.

Thank you for loving us as much as we love you.

Thank you for allowing us to show you around this world.  For allowing us to guide you and help you figure life out.  Thank you for playing with us.

Thank you for your patience as we learn together.

I want to protect you from hurt but I know you must experience it to grow.
I want to keep you little and in my arms but I know you have big plans here and I can't hold you back.
I want to love you forever and ever, and I will.  I promise you that.  

Happy 5th Birthday, buddy!  I love you!!
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