Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday, Ava!

Happy 6th Birthday to you, dear Ava!!!!IMG_2165

My precious baby girl! I cannot believe you are SIX. I think it every year, but the each year just go by faster and faster! There’s so much about you at this age that I just love! I want you to know some things about you at age 6:

  • You are in kindergarten. And you are THRIVING! I’m so proud of you.
  • You have lost 4 teeth.
  • You still things that make us laugh and you still have words you say wrong: remote = camote; humans = humets (this is your daddy’s favorite); knife = ife
  • You weigh 56 lbs and I only know this because you went to the doctor this past Sunday and were weighed.
  • You have the sweetest heart and you are very protective of your family.
  • One of your favorite things is laying in my bed with me on Friday nights.

I’m so proud of the little lady you have become Ava. You are so sweet and so fun! I’m grateful for you and for all you bring to our family! You’ve taught me so much more about life and myself the past six years and I am just so thankful God has blessed us with you as our daughter!

I asked you some questions to see what things you love this year and here is what you said:

1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world? Cassidy

2. What is your favorite color? Pink

3. What’s your favorite television show? Jessie

4. What song do you love? Roar

5. What’s your favorite food? Brownies

6. Who is your best friend? Paulina

7. What do you want to be when you grow up? A rockstar

8. What are you really good at? Math

9. Where do you wish you could go on vacation? Disney World

10. What is your best memory? Going to the beach

11. What would you buy if you had $1,000? Another American Girl

12. What vegetable do you hate the most? Green beans

13. If you could have a wish, what would it be? Losing all my teeth in one day

14. Who is your biggest hero? Uncle Nick

15. What makes you laugh? Seeing something funny on a movie

16. What are you afraid of? Earthquakes

17. What is your favorite toy? Barbie

18. What is your favorite snack?

19. What is your favorite drink? Pretzels with peanut butter and chocolate chips

20. What is your favorite movie? The Rugrats Movie

21. What makes you sad? Not seeing my parents anymore

22. What is your favorite place to go? To the American Girl Store

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Happy Birthday, sweet Ava! Keep on being you!

Love, Mama

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A visit to ACH

At the end of August, we had a check up for Reed at the NWA branch of ACH. The day of his check up was exactly ONE YEAR after his first surgery. I remember that day so vividly.

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This follow up was eight months after his last surgery. Reed definitely knew what we were doing and he was a little skeptical.IMG_1653

When his doctor came in, he perked right up and then asked him if he flew in a helicopter there. He’s all about helicopters these days. The doctor laughed and told him no. He looked at him and examined his throat/neck and his scar.

He said that at this time, there is no evidence of his cyst having returned. MOST of the time, these cysts return within the first couple of months after surgery. The safe zone is usually around a year, so we are getting close to that. However, his doctor reminded me that with Reed’s complicated history of being a “problem child”, the statistics probably don’t apply in our case. He said Reed’s case has been anything but typical or textbook, so that he was hesitant to say we were in the clear. He also told me that since he last saw us, he had a case come up where someone came back to him with the cyst returning after TEN years. Crazy!!!

Our next step is to continue to monitor him and call them immediately if we find any lumps, bumps, redness or swelling. We’re very hopeful and optimistic that we won’t have any of that. If we don’t, then we will return to see them in a year. At that time, we will need to discuss the next surgery he needs. Because he had two surgeries so close together, and because they weren’t 100% sure, they weren’t going back in, there are three areas on his scar that didn’t heal nicely. At the ends of the scar, his skin comes together in what look like pointy dog ears. These have bothered me since he had his surgery so I was glad to hear his doctor address them. The skin was very thin and he said when they were in there, their main concern was getting as much cleaned out as they could. There is also a spot where the skin is very skin and has stayed pinkish in color. In probably two years, once we’ve more than likely reached a safe point, he’ll go back and have one more surgery to correct these scar issues. It will be an outpatient procedure but it will clean up the area, which I’m thankful for. Of course scars are just cosmetic, but with it being in an area so prominent on his face, I would rather get it corrected than to have him have to deal with it. The points are very noticeable and I don’t want that to ever be a source of embarrassment or give way to teasing for him.  IMG_1656

So, here we are. Now we wait (again). We are truthfully so thankful that he is healthy right now. I was actually looking back at some photos from around the times he had his surgeries, and I can’t believe I’d forgotten how BAD things got for him. There are a lot of photos I took to send to the nurses and doctor that I never shared publicly and it was so crazy to see those again. I know his situation wasn’t life threatening, but it pretty serious. It’s certainly not normal for a 2 year old to walk around with a hole in his chin! I’m just so grateful we’ve come so far and that we have a healthy little boy! I’m so very grateful to his team at ACH for their amazing care and support. We’re so blessed to have such phenomenal healthcare here in our little state!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A little girl’s dream – a trip to the American Girl store!

Ava has been talking about wanting an American Girl doll for well over a year. I wasn’t quite sure she was old enough when she first started asking. Over the last year, she has played with my sister’s old dolls and has played with them a lot, as well as taken very good care of them. So, after talking about it, we decided that this year, instead of having a friend birthday party, we would take her to the American Girl store in Dallas to pick out a doll and eat at the bistro! We also decided to leave her brother behind so the day was all about her. We waited and surprised her the morning we were going!

She was very excited about her adventure!!! IMG_1688IMG_1690   

We had one EXCITED little girl when we arrived!!!!IMG_1694 

We spent a lot of time just wandering around the store, looking at the various dolls and all the stuff that goes with them! :) Talk about little girl heaven! IMG_1696 IMG_1697 

After wandering around for a while and debating the possibilities, Ava finally chose, Isabelle, the girl of the year!IMG_1699

As she has waited for a doll, one thing Ava has seen in the stores and in the catalogs, are the colored hair extensions the dolls can have in their hair. After she had chosen Isabelle, I saw on a display that Isabelle came with PINK hair and this was Ava’s reaction when I told her! IMG_1700

She was so anxious yet so patient while she watched the clerk put Isabelle’s hair extensions in for us! IMG_1702 IMG_1703

And finally! She has her doll!IMG_1704 

Another thing Ava has wanted was to get her doll’s ears pierced. I’d told her a while back that if she wanted that, then she needed to use some of her piggy bank money to pay for it and she was all on board. So we headed upstairs to the “salon” so Isabelle’s ears could get pierced before our lunch reservation.IMG_1706 

While we were waiting to get the ears pierced, Ava just kept saying thank you, over and over again. It was so sweet! IMG_1708 IMG_1709 

After waiting thirty minutes in line to get her ears pierced, we almost missed our lunch reservation. We got to the desk just in time! Ava was excited about getting to sit with her doll!IMG_1712

I have to brag on her daddy for just a minute. He drove with us the three hours and back on the first Saturday of college football, when the Hogs were playing Auburn. He never complained and was such a good sport about it! IMG_1713IMG_1714IMG_1720 

We had such a great time with our girl. She was just excited to be the center of attention and to do something so fun that she had really wanted to do! She was excited for lunch, though the lunch experience left some to be desired!   IMG_1724IMG_1726

While i knew we weren’t dining at a five start restaurant the food was quite awful. ha! And to make it worse, I had about two bites of my sandwich before i found two hairs in it. No, thank you! The manager came out to apologize and did offer us a free dessert which was the best thing we ate! ;) IMG_1727

It was seriously such a joy to see Ava so excited and so happy during during this day!!!! IMG_1728IMG_1736 IMG_1737IMG_1740

I’m so thankful we were able to make this special dream come true for her!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

An overdue catch up!

Well. A bit of time has passed since I last posted! We got wrapped up in back to school, work has been BUSY, and life has gone on! I have a few things to share this week to get us caught up. Do y’all know what happens this week? My baby turns SIX. That’s what. More on that later.

So when we left off, school had just started. Both kids have adjusted very well and easily to their new routines, new classes and new teacher. We are busy during the weeks, and  on some weekends, so the times we all get to be home together, we enjoy as much as possible! IMG_1505 IMG_1539 IMG_1542

One weekend in particular, after watching a million ice bucket challenges, Ava asked if she could do it. She was very serious about it and went through her list of nominations.  IMG_1549 

August 25th was my 31st birthday and it was a very nice day. Lots of birthday wishes from so many friends and family and my sweet family going out of their way to make it special for me. Zach invited my mom to have dinner with us and she showed up with yummy cupcakes. Because of the stage of life we’re in (or that Reed is in), we typically don’t eat out much, and if we do, it’s somewhere like his favorite pizza buffet or Mexican where the food comes immediately and we can get in and out fast. On my birthday, they called me when I was about to get off work and Reed told me we were going to a “fancy restaurant”. :) IMG_1628

Reed also went for a follow up at ACH at the end of August. We got a good report and I will share more about his visit in a later post. IMG_1657

Ava’s top front teeth have been loose for quite some time, and one of them was literally hanging on for weeks. She was terrified to let us pull out. One Friday afternoon, I got a text from her teacher in the middle of the day and saw this! IMG_1679

Her teacher told me that she’d bit into a carrot stick and the tooth was hanging on for dear life. She told Ava that if she would pull it, she would buy her ice cream after school. Ava was apparently a little scared and apprehensive so her teacher told her not to worry about it. But Ava loves some after school ice cream, and when she went to touch it the tooth came out!

And about a week later, I got to after school care to pick her up, and she had just pulled the other one! She has a big hole in her mouth right now! IMG_1859

She is also having to have some dental work. At her last routine cleaning, x-rays showed she had some cavities. Apparently cavities in molars can spread to the teeth next to them if they are on the side of the tooth like hers were. So, instead of needing 4 fillings – she needs 8. She is also getting caps on some of her teeth. Yuck. She was really brave at her first appointment and did great. She has her 2nd round of 4 this week and we’re anxious to put another one behind us.IMG_1840

Reed is doing well, too. He had a few calm weeks but it seems his Dennis the Menace persona has returned with a vengeance. He is so funny and it’s hard not to laugh at all his antics. When he’s like this though, it reminds me what a precious sweetie he is.IMG_1813IMG_2147

The only other thing that’s been going on here is sickness! Almost two weeks ago, Zach came down with a really bad cough. He finally went to the doctor that Thursday and was diagnosed with bronchitis. While he was fighting this, I had a pretty horrific cold come on. By Sunday, I was coughing just like him. I improved some but never got fully better and then Ava started coughing. Yesterday after church, Zach went to school to work on some homework in quiet (it’s his last class for this session on top of a BUSY BUSY week), and I took the kids to the walk in clinic. Fortunately they opened at 9:00 and we were the first ones there and out in 40 minutes. Ava had a throat and sinus infection and mine was upper respiratory. I’m hoping we both feel better in just a couple days! IMG_2150 IMG_2156

So in a nutshell, that’s what’s been going on with us!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Catching up and the best picture ever!

Well, the first days of school are under our belt and everyone has adjusted well, for the most part. Ava loves a little bit of the independence she has, like walking to her classroom alone. Since I don’t have to sign her in anymore, I could drop Ava off in the car line and let her walk in alone. However, since I still have to take Reed in, she hasn’t gotten to do that yet. She’s asked me several times if I could just drop her off and then park to take Reed in! ;) IMG_1301

She also has to sit outsider her classroom until 7:40 until her teacher open the door for them. She told me on Friday that some days I can walk down to tell her goodbye and that on other days, I can’t. Thanks, kid. :)

Friday evening we celebrated the end of the first week by making brownies!IMG_1314IMG_1312

Saturday we didn’t do much of anything. In fact, I didn’t even leave the house and it was wonderful! We did have a movie night to watch Despicable Me 2 and made homemade pizzas!  IMG_1337

Sunday morning we went to church early and then after that, I sent Zach to his school to work on his homework in the peace and quiet. The kids and I stopped to get donuts and then went to wash my car. Reed sat with his fingers in his ears the whole time! IMG_1344 IMG_1346

After the carwash we stopped at Target to pick up something and we spent some time looking at toys since birthdays are coming up. Talk about over-stimulated children!! IMG_1355

Reed found an Olaf doll and he will definitely be getting one for his birthday. He LOVES Olaf. He likes to listen to the song In Summer from the soundtrack and he sings it in the Olaf voice. Too cute, that kid.IMG_1356

Okay, I’m going to end with probably one of my favorite pictures of Reed, ever! He wasn’t too happy to be going to his seat at school. And I happened to just click my camera at the most perfect second ever. What makes it even better is the caption on the bulletin board behind him!!!! So, if you’re not looking forward to your Monday, just look at this and you’ll HAVE to laugh.IMG_1300

Happy Monday!

The Edwards Family

The Edwards Family

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