Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Random Post, Quotes & Pictures

The girls are doing great.

My sister & her family are coming this weekend & my girls are super excited to celebrate cousin Julia's birthday with her.

Hannah's stomach bug has definitely calmed down. Her temperature is back to normal & she only complains about once a day that her tummy doesn't feel great (compared to about 25-50 times a day).

Hannah has an appointment at NIH for a follow-up bone marrow biopsy on July 19th.

Here are some recent pictures:

Lily reading to her dolls & babies.
Here she is reading her "Lily book" of when we went to China to get her.

Hannah wanted to do a "professional" photo shoot ... so I did her make-up and took the pictures.

It was hilarious because she kept wanting me to add more & more & more make-up.

And so I did.

Pretty soon we were headed towards the "Toddlers & Tiaras" look.

Just as funny was Lily trying to get in on all the action. She wanted to have make-up & pose for pictures in the same locations as Hannah.

I took the girls to the zoo this week & they LOVED it! Very fun!

And yes, in case you were wondering ... Kentucky Girls Rule!!!

Recent Quotes from the girls:

I had just gotten my Kentucky driver's license & when Hannah saw it, she said: "wow, Mom, your make-up looks really nice".

Since I barely had on any make-up in the picture, that should tell you what I have been looking like this first month in KY.

No make-up. Check.

Hair in pony-tail. Check.

Dark circles under eyes. Check

And a quote from Miss Lily:

When I picked her up from camp one day, the first thing she said, as a question, was:

"You brush your hair, Mommy?"

Yes, Lily. For the first time in days, my hair is not in a pony.

Your mom is pulling it together.

Well, sort of. :-)

All God's best from home in KY ...


"Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:31

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Wreck

I've been a bit of a wreck.

Everything here in my own house is just fine but my heart feels so heavy for the children of 2 friends that I know from the Aplastic Anemia community.

One friend's daughter is having a Bone Marrow Transplant in Philadelphia -- her adorable 7 year old is Kailey.

The other is a little boy, Noah, from close to where I used to live in California (LaVerne). He is having his BMT in Los Angeles at the Children's Hospital this week.

I guess it is just too close to home for my heart to not feel heavy at the weight of these procedures.

Too close to our reality if Hannah's Aplastic Anemia should re-lapse.

Also, beyond heart breaking is that my dear friend & neighbor of 10 years in California, Shay, is fighting hard against aggressive cancer.

I just about sobbed my way through Kroger tonight trying to buy groceries & not be completely shattered by what she is going through. When I got up to the pay at the register there were things in my cart I had no memory of placing in my cart.

Apparently, I needed cheese.

And lots of it.

One night I was crying & Lily came over & rested her head on my leg & just patted me.

She said, "you sad, mommy?"

I said, "yes, I am sad. Mommy's friend, Miss Shay, is very sick"

Lily said, "it's OK, Mommy, I make you happy."

Yes, Lily: You make me so happy & I can't imagine life without you!.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of my tender-precious-China-born daughter. She is so intuitive, sensitive & caring ... and I needed her to "make my heart happy" because I have been feeling down right so sad these past few days.

My girls are my joy, my delight, my fun .... and even sometimes, my insanity.

Any mother will understand.


Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

P.S. -- Shay, when you are checking in on life for us in KY: I LOVE YOU, MY FRIEND & I AM THINKING OF YOU ALL THE TIME!!!! I might be a lot further "down the street" but my heart is still right there with you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Miss Lily ....

This week Hannah is up at my sister's place in Indiana going to VBS with the cousins.

She is having a great time & even called today to tell me she wants to live there forever ... hello?!

I guess I will soon be moving to Indiana to follow Hannah. :-)

Lily is attending a "pre-school camp" for 3 mornings this week.

Here she is walking into Camp on Monday morning.

The night before I told her about the water play they'd do at camp & she insisted on wearing her bathing suit to bed Sunday night. Yes, this is what she slept in & wore on Monday: her bikini & dress (minus the hat, lunch & crocs).

The camp is at the same place where Lily will be attending pre-school this Fall. I love this school ... the staff is so caring, super sweet, kind & completely loving towards "Miss Lily".

After Camp she was all hot & wet from being outside for the water play. When we got home she announced she needed a popcicle.

Of course, she did!

Here she is making her "oh no you didn't" face. She was cracking me up & wanted to see the camera after each click to "review" the picture for herself!

Happy Lily! What a pumpkin she is!
I love these big, big smiles ..... Such a joy to my heart!!!!!

I am enjoying a few hours to myself this week to get things done around our new place.

The house still does not feel organized but I am so happy to just be home without any schedule. Just doing laundry, cooking meals (yes, ME!), hanging out & getting the house together.

I keep thinking back to last summer & how hard it was. Hannah was SO sick. Just unbelievable to me, still, how far she has come! Truly a walking miracle ... and I am forever grateful!!!

Right now, it is just a fantastic summer being home & being out of the hospital.

I am just enjoying each day, the gift of my girls & their wonderful daddy ... and our new start in Kentucky!

"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven, With the saving strength of His right hand. Some boast in chariots, and some in horses; But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God." Psalm 20:6-7

PS .... Proof that I am serious about getting organized.

I did this today while Lil was at camp.

Well, not the entire time she was at camp.

The rest of the time I surfed the web & ate Peanut M&M's.

Bagged up sheet sets. Now ready to use. Waiting for the "Changing of the Sheets".

King. Queen. Twins.

If only life the rest of life worked this way.

Bag it up & throw in a label.

Gosh, it could all be so simple.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pictures from "Tuckey"

We are settling in to life in Kentucky & having a good ol' time!

Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of Hannah's ATG Horse treatment that worked to get her into remission ... thank you, Lord for your healing hand on her life!!!

Here are pictures from the past week or so ...

Playing in the basement with Hannah's American Girl dolls from her Make-A-Wish trip ...

Lily, the hairdresser
Hannah & I have been riding our bikes together in the evening. This night Lily was already in bed (it doesn't get dark until about 9:30 pm!)
We rode our bikes to check out Hannah's new school ...
And Joy enjoyed riding along in Lily's seat ...
I rode with Joy in Lily's seat for about an hour. Lily would have been so upset if she knew Joy was riding in her seat!
And of course, we had our "trip to the ER" last weekend. Here is Hannah eagerly waiting for someone to get an IV started.
Finally the Nurse Practitioner that was able to get an IV going!!
Just hanging out watching Food Network ... this was before the CAT Scan & I still thought Hannah had appendicitis.
Day after the trip to the ER & Lily wanted to see how an entire box of band-aids would look all over her ..
and cousin, Julia
Especially like the hair stuck in the band-aid.
Today the girls & I took our first trip to downtown Louisville. Went to see the Science Center. Lily got inside the bubble!
We hung out in the Kid's Zone for a long time ...

Went across the street to see the 120 foot Louisville Slugger bat
And went inside for some batting practice
The girl can really hit and she hits the ground with the bat before doing "batter up". We don't even watch Sports in this house .. no clue how she knows this stuff!!
Goodbye Downtown Louisville! We headed home for a nap for Lily (and of course, for me!)!

What a privilege to enjoy fun times of summer living with my two precious treasures!
Life is good.
Psalm 71: 5-6
"For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

First Field Trip in Kentucky

Last week -- all week, Hannah wasn't feeling well -- so of course our first field trip in Kentucky was to the Children's hospital.

Par for the course for our family.

Go to ER before anything else in KY.

Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

She was complaining of feeling like she was going to throw up plus she had a low grade temperature all week. I knew something wasn't right but just kept hoping it was her tummy adjusting to the new water in KY ... or something like that.

By Wednesday I got her into a local doctor to check her blood counts -- understandably, I was concerned about her blood counts.

OK, concerned is an understatement.

I had a hard time sleeping all week & was worried we were about to be shipped off for a bone marrow transplant if her counts had plummeted.

We spent all morning Wednesday getting an appointment set up & then we spent the rest of the day going to her appointment somewhere that only my navigation system could ever find again on the South side of Louisville.

Well, her blood counts were just fine.

Actually, her white blood count was up to 9.7 (from 8.0 on 5/12).

We came home & Hannah continued to complain of "not feeling good" & that her tummy didn't feel right.

Something wasn't right .......

By Friday afternoon Hannah & I looked up "appendicitis" we figured that must be it! At that point it was too late to get in with a doctor ... so Jim came home & Hannah & I headed off to the ER at the Children's Hospital in downtown Louisville. A babysitter came later to relieve Jim so he could come to the hospital & be with us. (Yes, I have already found some nice babysitters in KY!!)

Well, we got checked in. Everyone was very nice. It was a big change for us to be in a Children's Hopsital where everything is kid-oriented. The doctor introduced himself to Hannah as "Keith" & gave her a high five as he was leaving the room. Very nice.

Xray showed nothing.

Next was check blood levels & get a CT Scan with contrast.

Hannah's veins are shot so it took some time getting a nurse that could get a line going in her. Hannah was SO BRAVE & just rolled with all the punches. No complaining & acted like the champ that she is always is when presented with hospital procedures.

By about midnight we were finally headed to CT Scan. Jim stood by Hannah & I went back with the tech to watch the CT images come up on the screen. I was looking for an enlarged appendix -- which the tech told me wasn't visible. So right away, without her telling me, I knew we had just ruled out appendicitis. So what the heck was going on?

It would take an hour for the CT results to come back.

For that hour waiting for the test results felt like FOREVER. We sat in Hannah's ER room .. her laying on the bed watching Food Network & hooked up to an IV pole (again!?!?!?). I watched Food Network but it was like having picture with no sound because I was lost in my thoughts of "what is going on???".

At some point in that hour we learned that her white blood count was now up to 12.0 ...for Hannah, that is a big jump in 2 days! So, I started thinking we were going to be fighting cancer. Really, that is what I thought.

CT Scan results came in & turns out Hannah has something that any of us can get: basically a virus in her intestines that has caused her lymph nodes in her intestines to be swollen.

Nothing serious.

Nothing that has anything to do with Aplastic Anemia.

Officially it is called "mesenteric adenitis".

We got discharged & were back home by about 2am.

Thank you, Lord!!!! Total relief!!!!!

I kept just trying to tell myself "do not worry about tomorrow ... ". God knows. This is not a surprise to God.

My worry wasn't going to help anything so I just kept giving it to the Lord despite my mind racing down the road of Hannah possibly having something critical.

Yes, my mind was racing with all the worst case scenarios -- I guess that's my spiritual gift.

My sister & cousin had come down from Indy to relieve Lily's babysitter around 10pm on Friday night. Can I just say that my sis & cousin are the best? Thank you, Blair & Miriam!!!. Not only did they come down to watch Lily but they got busy re-arranging & decorating my house. I love them!!! They stayed until Sunday & helped me recover from the emotional roller coaster of thinking Hannah was going to be diagnosed with something serious.

Boy, will that play on a Mom's psyche .... what a week.

Here it is Monday morning.

Hannah still isn't feeling 100% but at least we know what is going on.

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers on Friday night as I was posting to Facebook about what was going on. We are so thankful for the wonderful community of people that love us & carry us through ...even from 2,000 miles away!

We are off this morning to tour Lily's future pre-school.

I will post pictures of life around here when I get a chance ....

All God's best from our new HOME in Kentucky,

Monday, June 7, 2010

2 Years ...

and never ever forgotten.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We're Here!!

We are in our new place & life is grand in the great state of Kentucky!

Jim started work on Tuesday & hit the ground running at full speed for the University of Louisville.  Go, Jim, go!

Our backyard is incredible.

I feel like we live in a park & we are all loving it.

There are birds all over the place. We've seen rabbits & frogs & heard an owl. There is a small creek at end of our property with a little bridge that leads to the neighbors yard. In our neighborhood no one has a fences so kids just walk through all the backyards to get around.

It feels so safe & I feel so comfortable with the girls being outside.

The neighbors have come out to greet us & have been so kind telling us things to do in KY & who are the other kids in the neighborhood that our kids might like to meet.

People have been so incredibly sweet & kind. I have just been blown away by the wonderful Southern Hospitality that we have experienced.

I love our house! It feels like home & I've been sleeping like a baby.

Blair came this weekend & unpacked a ton of boxes & also set up my entire kitchen.

Yes, I know, I have the world's greatest cousin ever .... THANK YOU, Blair~!!!

My sister's kids (from Indianapolis) stayed with us this weekend so that my sister & her husband could enjoy some alone time after having our kids while we were getting out here. It was really great to have the cousins together & see them enjoy being together.

Most of the time, that is.

There were moments, of course :-)

Here are some pictures from our weekend with the cousins ...

Checking out the bridge / creek

We went to the Nature Preserve near our house .. they have a great park area for the kids.
Here is Justin, 10 months, hanging out with us :-)
Here is Joshua .. so glad I got his cute smile in this picture!!!!
Lily loves the slide!!

Cousin Julia ... soaking wet from fun with water in our backyard
Bath time.
Kentucky Style :-)

I guess, that would make this "shower time"

Look at these girls! Such great times for these cousins!

All God's best to ya'll from our NEW HOME in KENTUCKY --