Sunday, August 26, 2012

HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE

 Happy 5th Birthday to my sweet SPECIAL, adorable Bray Bray. You have come SO far these few years. I can picture you achieving so much more in the future. I am extremely PROUD and honored to call you my Best friend! You are so beautiful, compassionate, smart, and funny! You have been blessed with an amazing ability to memorize. You are so good at speaking in other languages or with different accents, singing songs, and talking like a mini-adult. I can't wait to see where life leads you. I hope you stay just as cheerful and never give up!! :)

IN THE N.I.C.U. BED

THE DAY BRAY CAME HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL IN HER "BIG" PREEMIE CLOTHES
When I was 32 weeks along during my pregnancy with Brayden, my water broke. I will never forget the terrifying news of the doctors saying..., " IT'S TOO EARLY to have your baby! We need to give you steroids to stop the contractions."  It wasn't enough...Brays heart rate went up and it was seriously like an "ER episode" of them rushing in and taking me in to deliver my miracle child. I barely knew what was going on, but I heard the doctor yell, "EMERGENCY C-SECTION!" I was in complete shock. I saw and felt the entire delivery.(eeek) It was far from a beautiful child birth experience, that's for sure. I do remember my husband freaking out because he thought they sewed me up with my organs hanging out , but it was just the placenta previa. (ha ha) I never got to see or hold my baby when she was born. They put her in the NICU and I went to another floor to start recovering. I had a few problems myself, but the worst pain was worrying about my baby girl. The next morning Fred had to bring me a picture of her because I was not well enough to see her. It was the longest time of my life! And then...to even be near a 3 lb. baby was frightening. She was so fragile.  She had a big burn on her hand from the IV. Her tiny veins just made it so difficult to get an IV in. She had jaundice really bad for a few months. They put a biliruben blanket on her to help with that.


IN THE N.I.C.U. W/HER BILIRUBEN BLANKET & BURNED HAND
TINY "BABY DOLL" BOTTLE THAT LOOKS SO BIG NEXT TO HER


 She wasn't eating well, but I tried to pump regularly and bring her bottles of milk. Eating was a struggle because sucking was such a difficult task for a little one. Bray stayed in the NICU for one month. And on Easter Sunday she came home.


EVEN HER "BINKY" LOOKS SO BIG IN THIS PICTURE
 I would dress her about 60 times a day and take tons of pictures. (and years later--now looking back--I'm SO SORRY to those of you who I would send mass pictures to ;) She was so tiny that she wore preemie clothes for a while. When she started to gain weight I had all of these clothes, but she was growing much too fast to be able to wear them. And by that I mean, she was such a chubs with the cutest little glasses at just 4 months old.


MY PINKY WAS THE SIZE OF HER FOOT

NOT SCARED ABOUT WEIGHT ANYMORE! AND THANKFULLY HER  RED BEAUTY MARK HAS DISAPPEARED.

WEARING HER GLASSES AND BRACES
 We were learning so much and were overwhelmed with all of the therapy and nurses that came over since she got home from the hospital. We were worried about her health, and what struggles she may face in the future. I remember my friends laughing at me because I would wheel her bassinet into the bathroom while I took a shower. I was a new Mom who had already gone through a lot with my precious tiny baby. It's so funny to look back now. I think Brayden came early to took away my misery of being pregnant. It was an awful time, although I never had any life-threatening pregnancy experiences. I just had to take expensive anti-nausea pills and I produced extra saliva. If you ask my hubby he would tell you I was a rabid dog! ha ha! My mouth would fill up with spit in seconds so I would carry around a box of Kleenex just to dab my mouth. My hubby now admits how awful it smelled, so no wonder my acid reflux was terrible. He finally named those wadded up tissue balls, "muffins", and I think he was thankful that my pregnancy was over with too! I love my sweet Brayden Marie and know she blessed our lives for a reason.



She had a bleed to her brain when she was born. The MRI didn't show any major problems, but with an expert physical therapist, we knew something was wrong. Vision, early birth, the bleeding of the brain, delayed fine motor and gross motor skills were very common with premature birth. She was an extremely picky eater also. But her biggest challenge was learning to walk. It was obvious that she walked on her tippy toes, had flat feet, and her feet went inward when she walked. So, that's when we decided to go to Shriner's Hospital, an AMAZING hospital for children. We go to UT twice a year to get x-rays and to make sure her braces are working out well for her. It has been said that someday she may need surgery when she gets older. But it's better to wait while she's growing. Physical therapy and AFO braces are the best thing she can do right now. She has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsywhich is defined as: a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking.

She is currently in a mainstream Kindergarten classroom at a public school. She gets therapy during school and outside of school in 4 different areas. She goes to music class for fun, and loves to go see plays. She enjoys reading, making up/reciting stories, and playing on the kindle. She also enjoys the "villains" in fairy tale movies, especially Snow White.

And now...to celebrate this happy girls LIFE!!!! Oh my goodness! How are we going to top this next year! It was the first real birthday party year. We gave her a few options and she truly had an awesome birthday! It was perfect that it landed on Easter weekend too!



BIRTHDAY MICKEY PANCAKE BREAKFAST

KARAOKEE MACHINE FROM MOM AND DAD (WHICH BY THE WAY IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND IN STORES WHEN IT'S NOT CHRISTMAS! WHO KNEW??)
GOIN' TO GRANDMA'S ON HER REAL BIRTHDAY!
HER CAKE O' CANDY!!
DANCING PRINCESS!!
EASTER EGG HUNT

PINATA TIME!
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WE SHOULD HAVE STOPPED THERE....BUT WE DIDN'T ;) THIS GIRL WANTED TO HAVE A PARTY WITH HER FRIENDS, SO CHUCK E CHEESE IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GOIN' TO HER BIRTHDAY PARTY

LOOK AT THAT EXPRESSION! SOMEONE IS HAVIN' A BLAST!!


AIR HOCKEY, A FAVORITE , AS YOU CAN SEE!







OPENING PRESENTS

BIRTHDAY GIRL WITH CHUCK E 

















































                                     

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

BIRTHDAYS GALORE!! ;)

I don't know why it took me so long to realize this, but now I know why things get so crazy at the beginning of the year. Perhaps, it's because Christmas is over and BIRTHDAYS begin... There are 8 birthdays between Jan and April of close family members. Right when one ends another one is just around the corner. February and March are the craziest months of the year for me at work, so it gets really hectic!


Dad's Birthday always comes first :).  I'm so lucky to have a fun-loving, laid back husband. He is always cracking jokes and making "light" of things. I get the privilege of deciding what NOT to give him for Christmas, and what to stash away for his b-day. To me, birthdays are a BIG DEAL!! When I first met my husband I tried really hard to make his special day memorable. One year I hired a, "singing chicken" and sent him to serenade Fred at work. (Okay, so that was a tad  humiliating for the birthday boy) but it was TOTALLY Fred's personality. The next year I threw him a surprise party at his favorite Mexican Restaurant, Aunt Chiladas. These past few years he has not wanted me to do much, but that's not good enough for me, so at least I make a good dinner and hook him up with some good ol' presents! But, I've got somethin' up my sleeve for next year....don't you worry!! :)



HIS FAVOREET PRESENT.... any man's DREAM!!! A RECLINER!!!!!!!

                                           HOMEMADE MEXICAN FOOD - scrum!!


  
An old passion of Martial Arts mixed with a desire to work out for his last present. Note to self: Remind him that he has this....hee hee     

           

Sunday, April 29, 2012

WHAT BLOGS DO YOU READ?!!!

I started to follow a few wonderful blogs that I try to read on a weekly basis. They have changed my soul, touched me deeply, and helped me count my many BLESSINGS!!!!!

They all have a few things in common:

- No doubt you will shed a few tears

- You will become a stronger, more optimistic person by reading about these struggles and triumphs

- Life will seem more important..each moment, each memory

- You will learn something, and hopefully pass something along

- There are some really huge "fighters" out there, and some really caring people left in this world

 1) A burned victim who just gave birth to a new baby girl
      nieniedialogues.blogspot.com
 2) An Australian mother who lost her child and her husband within 3 months of each other
     lisajking.blogspot.com
 3)  A family involved in an auto accident due to a guy being under the influence. They lost their son and struggle with severe medical problems daily
     packoffixations.blogspot.com
 4) A personal friend of mine whose son swallowed a button battery
     emmettsfight.blogspot.com
5)  A mother who lost her 7 mo. old and is encouraging people to be organ donors
    aniandmatttaylor.blogspot.com
 6) A mother of 2 who is battling stage 4 cancer. I saw her video first and couldn't help but follow her




I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING.......
How depressing, right? Well, at first I started to think about these people daily; pray for them, worry about them, learn to love them - even though I have never met some of them. In actuality, these people all have God by their side. They are doing good by sharing their story. They are strong, beautiful children of God that are teaching me how to live a better life through strength and happiness. I appreciate their stories, and I hope you gain something by reading them as well.

Monday, April 23, 2012

UTAAAAAW











FINALLY ON THE PLANE



Can't wait to get on the plane and out of the airport!!



Our annual trip to Utah to go to Shriner's Hospital is always a blessing. We get to see family, enjoy the cooler weather, and check on Miss Bray to make sure her x-rays look good, orthotics are fitting properly, and most importantly..her progress continues.
Indeed it is...:) Every time I go to these appointments with Brayden it really does make all the crazy days worth while. I truly can say that I love being at all appointments and therapy with my baby girl! So many parents sit in the waiting room while their kids go in to therapy. I just can't. I like to be apart of it all so I can learn and grow right along with my superstar. It's getting tougher as she gets older though. She is starting to verbalize how "hard" it is to walk through the grocery store; how she doesn't like wearing braces on her legs; how she just gets "tired" a LOT after a very short period of time...and soooo... THE TOUGH LOVE BEGINS :)




UDALL COUSINS!!


Bray and cousin Jessica









Madalyn and Bray
Bray with the ONE AND ONLY, her Aunt Bev! I totally look up to this wonderful woman. The day before we were supposed to leave for Utah, my sisters house flooded...(as you can see the carpet was torn out in the picture). I'm sure she didn't want company but our flight had been arranged, appointment was made, and there was really no other way to change anything. Bev has 5 children of her own, is the Primary President of the kids at her church, and is the PTA president at her children's school. Oh, and I forgot to mention...she also had a flight booked to leave with her husband for part of the time while we were there, so she had to deal with cancelling that trip too. I love you, my amazing sister. Thanks for always being so optimistic and such a great example of working hard, enduring through so much, and making it look easy! I love being with you under any circumstances and appreciate you letting us come during a stressful time for you.
We do things like go on a treadmill (in therapy), play baseball, basketball, soccer, and hopefully bike riding lessons very soon. I look at other kids and just hug my sweet Bray more because it's such a hard task to physically "play".
She prefers reading books, watching movies, and singing about her "match cards" the most. I am so proud of her small achievements, and not giving up. Going to the park used to be a challenge. Now she takes more chances on her own, and I'm learning to back off. She's good about asking for help too. We are excited about the "little" things... like climbing up a slide. The difference between most kids and Brayden is they will literally trample on top of her to pass her up 3 or 4 times, and she will slowly but surely make it to the top and then make sure I cheer with her once she makes it down. I have noticed Bray likes to patiently wait until no one is behind her. Makes sense. She said to me, "Mom - this boy totally pushed me down the slide without even using his WORDS!" haha, ohh - it's bittersweet because most people have no patience for "slow" people. I just want my awesome girl to have CONFIDENCE regardless of how hard or fast. I see so much strength and growth. Go Bray Go!


Visiting my cousin. If you look closely you may see some deer behind us. Beautiful area


This year in school has been tough socially for Brayden.
Except when I help out in the classroom of course....;) For a brief period of time she would fuss about going into class every single morning, even though the school year is almost over. It's hard to know at her age when she's trying to get attention, or something is really going on at school that we need to focus on. After a lot of talking and emailing with our support group of therapists and teachers, we all agreed that Bray is extremely smart, but just needs to work on socializing more. Her life isn't typical with play dates and siblings to mingle with. It's mainly just her and one other person. I think she gets overwhelmed and over-worked with certain things. I am learning that she needs breaks, and I catch her saying, "mom, I'm not gonna give up even though this is hard for me!" That truly makes me ecstatic. She generally needs a lot of praise, so we are just trying to look at her strengths, and keep pluggin along. I worry about next year a whole bunch. But, just like everything else, she's been a trooper, and I expect nothing less. I wish I could be a secret spy and see what goes on when I'm not around. It's so hard to know...
I DO know that this summer we will keep working extra hard to prepare for KINDERGARTEN! And we always find ways to make it fun, so at least that will keep us motivated.
Like BOWLING
Or getting EXCITED while BOWLING ;)
Or going to the ultimate fun indoor trampoline place called, "Jump Street!" She rocked it that day! Below is a Valentine's song Bray learned in her music class. She loves to sing more than anything and has enjoyed this class so much. Hope everyone had a "LOVELY" day. Thanks for keeping up with our adventures with us.....love to all!!!


video

Saturday, January 21, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR


















I worked on New Years Eve but my memories as a child were : babysitting, sparklers, banging pots and pans, church dances, and lots of shrimp cocktail. I guess I was a pretty good kid. ha ha.



Brayden couldn't keep her eyes open, but she managed to have the biggest "rats nest" in the morning to start the New Year off...:)




















PETER PIPER PIZZA




The best ride ride here! Its the motion video one. We did it like 6 times!













This used to be her favorite ride until she experienced the bigger rides. So she tried to make it more exciting and would give me a hi-five every time the ride went around. We were cracking up ALL day being so silly!













OUR LAST FUN OUTING DURING CHRISTMAS BREAK....AT PETER PIPER PIZZA!










Daddy's favorite sport...Golf Lessons begin...


"HOLE IN ONE!"


"THIS IS WAY TOO MUCH WORK!" ;)




RACE CARS!!


CASTLES AND COASTERS!! THIS GIRL LOVES RIDES!

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CHRISTMAS CHEER!! WORKED ALL THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS, BUT WE SPENT THE NIGHT AT THE BECKSTEAD RESIDENCE AND HAD A WONDERFUL BREAKFAST IN THE MORNING. GIFTS ARE ALWAYS PLENTIFUL AND FAMILY TIME IS THE BEST! WE ALWAYS TRY TO CATCH A FLICK IF WE CAN. MY FAVORITE QUOTE FROM MS. BRAYDEN DURING CHRISTMAS TIME WAS, " MANY KIDS DON'T GET AS MANY PRESENTS AS ME, SOME KIDS GET NONE. BUT THEY CAN HAVE ONE OF MINE...HERE YOU GO!!!"


Happy hubby! He has already started working out with his new toy!

Uncle Bri:)



NEW BASKETBALL HOOP














Best mommy ever. She always makes holidays perfect!







Admiring her favorite new book.

















adorable cousin Evey