Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Makayla!!!

One year ago today, I woke up at 6:50am to the sound of Kinsey calling me from the next room "Mommy! The sun is up! Get UP! Mommy!!!" Not unusual for the start of our day. What was unusual is that I had slept the entire night, no trips to the bathroom, no insomnia, no heartburn at 3 am....I was 39 weeks 1 day pregnant, and any woman who has ever been pregnant knows that sleeping all night is pretty much a thing of the past once you get a positive pregnancy test.

I felt happy and refreshed. I rolled from my left side to my back and placed my hands on my belly, asking the unnamed baby inside "when are you going to decide to come out, baby? We would love to meet you soon, but you come out whenever you are good and ready, okay?"

Then I pulled my pregnant self out of bed and started walking to the bathroom. And then my water broke....

When I entered Kinsey's room I excitedly told her that she was going to be a big sister really, really soon-the big day had arrived and sister was looking like she was ready to be born!

I called Roy to tell him what was going on and then called the Dr, who advised me to head to triage to be checked. I showered, got us both dressed, backed my hospital bags and drove Kinsey and I to the hospital. By this time it was about 9am, and I was having regular contractions about 1 minute long every 6-7 minutes. At triage they gave me the run-around about if my water had really broken, made me wait an eternity since my contractions weren't making me double over in pain, and called my Dr to do a quick ultrasound to check fluid levels. When she checked me at 11am I was only 3cm dilated. By noon Roy had arrived and they were finally going to admit me to Labor and Delivery!

I got into the bed in my room, and water broke again. That cleared up any lingering doubt in their minds...hehe.

I labored for another hour with Kinsey there, and then her Aunt Felisa took her to our house for a nap. I walked and walked, because that was the best way for me to work through contractions. Movement made it better. At 2pm my nurse came and told me she was having to go for an emergency c-section with her other patient, so I was getting a new nurse. I asked her to check me and was at 8cm. At 2:30 we pushed the call button because I wanted to push. The nurse came and said she would get my Dr. The next 20 minutes were the longest of my life....I was using every bit of my willpower to keep from pushing that baby out. Roy was scared to death he was going to have to deliver that baby since no one else was coming! At 2:50pm my Dr walked through the doors, nonchalantly...until she saw me. Let me tell you, she got her gown and gloves on real fast!

 10 minutes later, at 3:01pm we welcomed Makayla Ann into this world.

The nurses exclaimed "Oh My Gosh! She has highlights!!"
Kinsey holding Makayla for the first time

An hour later Kinsey got to meet her little sister for the first time. She was a bit shy, but totally in love.

Meeting the new family member

Makayla actually wasn't named until about 10pm that night. Right as they were taking her away to the NICU because bloodwork showed very high WBC. They asked us if she had a name, and Roy and I both looked at each other and agreed...Makayla. It just fit. 

The next 3 days were hard, as any parent with a baby in the NICU knows, it is very draining emotionally to not have your baby right there by your side 24-7. It's heartbreaking to see wires and tubes attached to their little bodies, and not knowing the future of that precious life is a very difficult idea to process. But, we made it through, and by July 31 she was ready to go home!

Life with two kiddos has been rough and times, but 100% worth it. The reward of seeing those two give kisses, dance or giggle with each makes every single moment of life worth living.
3 months

First Piggy Tails @ 4 months

6 months
9 months

11 months

I can't believe how fast this year has flown by! I know have a walking, talking, dancing little one-year-old!!!We have been through hearing tests, seeing Santa, swimming in the ocean, pools and rivers, having eye surgery, and today...capping off a great first year with a fun party! (more on that to come!)

In her 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' dress

Enjoying her smash cake...rainbow inside!!

Love you little lady! I'm so excited to see you grow and learn each day! xoxo, Mama

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


A year ago today it was a Monday, I was very pregnant (39weeks), and we were spending the evening time after dinner outside in the dusk, letting a then 2 year old Kinsey run, bike, and draw with chalk before bedtime. Her neighbor friend was over playing and they were having a blast.Our two cats were outside with us, running around here and there, leaving and returning for a rub down behind the ears, being chased by the girls. Life was good. I don't think I will ever forget that evening, it was almost like the calm before the storm.

Sleeping on his favorite toy
Before Roy and I decided to start a family we adopted 2 rescue cats. One when we were newlyweds, living in Washington State, back in 2005. This was Roy's first cat, a seal point snowshoe. We adopted him as a kitten and named him Macchiato, meaning marked or stained (in the sense of coffee, a dark espresso drink with marks of white cream). It suited him well and he became a beloved member of our little family.

Baby Mach
"What? There's a What on my back?!?"

 We taught him all the bad habits that first time parents do, eating peanut butter off our fingers, sleeping in our bed, getting all our attention. He was a great companion, traveling with us on our move back to Albuquerque, NM, and eventually becoming a 'big brother' to Mojo, a blue point snowshoe mix, in 2006. The two were instant buddies.
Mojo in November 2006...who knew he would get SO BIG!
Checking out the snowstorm of 2006


Best Buddies

In 2008 we brought home Kinsey, and the cats did very well with the new addition. We have a video of us bringing her inside for the first time and both of them coming up to sniff her in the carseat.  They grew accustomed to the fact that she took priority over them, and even started to feel comfortable enough to sit next to her when she was sleeping in our arms.  At this point in time we kept 'the boys' inside all the time. We live on a busy street and there are plenty of predators nearby including coyotes, owls and rattlesnakes. But once they started itching for more attention, we gave in an let them be outside, under close supervision, in our little fenced backyard. They stayed in....for a while. Then they jumped the fence to explore the neighborhood, and eventually we just let them be indoor/outdoor cats. We knew the risks, but at this point it was just too hard to keep the inside. 
"Love the new chair, thanks mom!"

caught breaking out of jail

Back to that July evening. I vividly remember sitting on the curb in our little cul-de-sac drive, watching the girls playing and seeing Mach run under our back gate. Little did I know this would be my very last memory of him. We called it a night and came in to put Kinsey to bed, called for the cats, and when they didn't come we thought nothing of it and went to bed ourselves. In the morning, Roy called for the cats to feed them breakfast, and only one showed up. Our fat cat, Mojo. Still no big deal. But then by evening we knew something was wrong. It had been too long. We proceeded to drive around that evening and the next day...calling for Mach and looking for signs of the worst outcome. We never had any clues as to what really happened to him. He was just...gone. 

The painting my mom painted for Makayla's Nursery...
it's a bittersweet daily reminder for me of the fact that he left us just before she was born.
Being very pregnant and very hormonal this was not an easy time for me. Three days after we last saw him I gave birth to Makayla, and in the hospital I continued to search the cities lost and found website daily, hoping and praying for him to turn up.

 I had dreams of him returning for weeks and months. 

It was, and still it, so hard to not have closure. 

Good bye, sweet boy. We miss you dearly. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A big day for a little girl

Our little Makayla had a very big day yesterday, not her birthday (that's still a few weeks away), but a very big day medically speaking. She had a bilateral medial rectus recession surgery. Huh? Okay, in common terms, she had surgery on both of her eyes to correct her strabismus (aka crossed eyes).

Sunday at lunch, hopefully
 one of he last strabismus pictures!
We started noticing her right eye turning in when she was about 3 months old. More than just the normal 'crazy newborn eyes' where they are still gaining control over those muscles. Then we started noticing the left eye doing the same. There were times when she looked normal, and then others where you couldn't tell which eye she was looking at you with it was so bad. 

At 6 months we talked to her Pediatrician about it. He referred us to a Pediatric Opthamologist, and if you have ever had a specialty referral you know how that can go. L-O-N-G wait time for an appointment. There are only two pediatric opthamologists in Albuquerque, so there was a 2 month wait to see either one. Eventually, at 8 months of age, we finally got in to the Dr. He dilated and checked her vision as best you can on a baby, said that the crossed eyes didn't appear to be based solely on being farsighted, and said it was most likely stabismus, a condition where the eye muscles are weak and the eyes either drift inward or outward. We began daily patch therapy to strengthen her eyes and see if that would resolve the problem. At her 6 week recheck we saw no improvement and surgery was suggested as the next option. We could choose to wait and see if the problem resolved, but at the risk of one of her eyes becoming dominant and the other becoming very weak. Based on the fact that her condition had only worsened in the last few months, we decided to move forward with surgery as soon as we were able. 

Ready for surgery in her little gown
So yesterday, July 16, we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am, hungry baby in hand, ready for a emotionally exhausting morning. Check-in, wait, pre-op, wait, talk to Dr, wait, talk to Anesthesiologist, take baby to OR, wait, wait, wait. Talk to Dr after surgery, wait to see baby (this was actually the hardest wait for me).  The whole process was really as smooth as we could have asked for- Makayla fell asleep in my arms while waiting for the surgery to begin, so we were able to carry her to the operating room entrance and transfer her into her nurses arms, kiss her goodbye and see her go without her waking up or being upset. The Dr said she  stayed asleep until the got the mask on her and she was under the first level of anesthesia, so she never even knew she left my arms. That made my heart so happy. 

My little 'kitten' after surgery
The surgery was about an hour long, and then we waited another 20 minutes before we were able to go see our baby girl. She was this sleepy little cuddlebug, with occasionally crying and opening of her very swollen goop covered eyes. She almost reminded me of a newborn kitten. She didn't really want to eat or drink, or even wake up for more than 30 seconds- but they still cleared her to go home, took out her IV's and monitors and sent us home after an hour. She slept the whole ride home, even through an pharmacy stop to fill her medications. When we got home she wanted to nurse a bit, woke up and crawled around her sister's room after the cat, and then threw up all over me and fell back asleep. I didn't mind. She slept on my chest/arms for several hours before she really woke up and became more of her normal and alert self. After a light lunch she started becoming more playful, took another nap and ate a nice full dinner. 
Playing in the afternoon

Close up of her post surgery eyes
Today we have a recheck on her eyes with the Dr. Hopefully he thinks everything looks good and still believes the surgery was 100% successful, although I doubt we will know that for a few days/weeks still. Roy feels like her eyes are more controlled already, but I am having trouble seeing anything clearly because of her swollen and red eyes. Right now we are just happy to have successful completed one of the most stressful days our family has experienced and looking forward to putting the eye problems behind us (hopefully).

For anyone who wants to see what the surgery looks like/what is done, here is a link to the a strabismus surgery via youtube. Just be careful not to watch if you are squeamish!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Eleanor @ 10 months

Thought I would share a recent photo session- this is my adorable niece Eleanor who is 10 months old in these pictures. My youngest daughter, Makayla, and her were born exactly two weeks apart! I always enjoy taking pictures of sweet Ellie, and even though her mom said she wasn't being very happy I think I got some good shots!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

'What We Did' Wednesday

Today we made last minute plans with a friend to beat the heat and check out the new waterpark inside the local amusement park. After reviewing the website and seeing that kids 3 and under were free, we armed ourselves with half off coupons for our $15 admission and met up at the park. 

Then the cashier told us that all of the kids were indeed 'free' to get into the park, but admission to the waterpark was $10 per child that was able to play (i.e. could sit, crawl or walk) and $15 per adult- no coupons allowed.

 Um...yeah... no thanks. 

I'll let you in on a little secret * I'm cheap *

I try not to be so cheap that my kids miss out on experiences, but...that is a rip off plain and simple. We aren't talking about a waterpark with slides, rivers and wave machines...we are talking about a glorified splash pad with a bridge and balcony. 

So plan B was the old stand-by on a hot summer day- the city splash pad for $1 a person. 
Love it. 

No guilt here either because the girls thoroughly enjoyed their water fun 
and we didn't break the bank doing it. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Belated Birthday America

My most recent sewing projects-patriotic dresses for my little American dolls! I didn't have the time to sew up bloomers for Makayla (mostly because I am AWFUL at sewing bloomers) so I paired her open backed top with some striped ones she already had. I think the combo turned out pretty cute.

We enjoyed our 4th with family members we had not seen in a few years, barbecue, brownies, and of course- fireworks! This was actually the first year that Kinsey had been able to see a fireworks display for the 4th! To say she loved it would be putting it lightly. She even made her own song while watching..."rainbow fireworks, rainbows, rainbows,,la laaaaaaaa!!!!" Or something like that. Makayla pointed and said "wha dat?" over and I think she approved of them as well!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What...It's been over a year?

Wow! March 2011. That's the last post I wrote. It's now July 2012. Time. Has. Flown.

Here are some things that have happened since my last post (In no particular order):

- I crafted a lot.
- I left a lot of those projects usual.

- We went on a family vacation to Padre Island, Texas and then didn't want to come home.

- I photographed my second wedding and did some portraits along the way.
- Oh! I had a baby... Makayla Ann,  aka. Boo, was born July 28, 2011- she is the cutest little thing and I cannot believe she is about to be ONE!

-  I went brunette...than back to blonde 2 weeks later. I didn't like looking so serious, it made me depressed 

-  Kinsey turned 3 and will be 4 soon.

- We got the house all fixed up to sell, then met with a Realtor who promptly squashed all our dreams of selling. 

So now that you are all caught up, lets get down to why I decided to come back to this blogging world after so long. I missed writing. I missed sharing even if no one was reading. But most of all I missed knowing that someday I can look back on all this for myself, or with my girls, and it will be like a journal of our lives as a family. Of all the crafty things I do, scrapbooking is not one of them. So this is my little scrapbook for myself..and hopefully an interesting, insightful or just plain funny take on a normal mama's life. 

“There are two kinds of perfect: The one you can never achieve, and the other, by just being yourself.” 
― Lauren King


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