Wednesday, December 28, 2011

About Face!

It was an exciting day for Ava and Reese today...okay, for mommy and daddy too!  Our little girls are getting so big!  They took their first stroller ride without carseats.  Yes, facing forward!  There was so much to look at but Ava was fascinated by the wheels on Reese's stroller once we got going.  Hopefully she doesn't have a cramp in her neck! 





Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

 This Christmas was a different one...spent in Olathe, just the four of us, no Christmas Eve service, no big meal, not even tons of presents.  Since we aren't able to take the girls to church our Christmas Eve didn't seem quite the same.  We enjoyed a walk, had a chili dinner (mommy and daddy anyway), and drove around to see Christmas lights.  The girls are normally very content in their carseats on the way to and from doctors appointments but we can't say that about their car ride last night.  If Ava wasn't crying, Reese was.  And if Reese wasn't crying, Ava was! 
Getting packed up in the car to see Christmas lights! 

Rocky is getting more tolerant of Reese's hands!

Christmas Day Ava and Reese got socks and hair brushes in their stockings, along with cute outfits for next fall!  We kept it simple since they got such fun things for their birthday and for Christmas with Grammy, Nana, and Pappy.  Reese was pretty excited about the outfit as you can see from her face! Ha ha.







Here is a video to show you a glimpse of our Christmas.  Ava loves her elephant she got for her birthday but it can be tricky getting the balls out of his trunk!


video

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What a Year!

We can hardly believe that the girls are a year old!!!  (December 20th) We had a fun time celebrating with Grammy, Nana, and Pappy.  We had to have a small invite list this year but everyone is saying that two is the new one so next year we'll go all out!  Even though the crowd was thin, we made sure to have special outfits, delicious cupcakes, birthday hats, and decorations!  Believe it or not, the girls even got a few gifts....okay, more than a few but don't look at mommy and daddy.










video



video

We also celebrated Christmas a little early when Uncle Sean and Aunt Heidi joined us all yesterday.  And of course, guess who had the most gifts to open.  We are definitely going to adopt the "get one, give one" rule as holidays and birthdays continue! 




On a more serious note, this has been an unforgettable year.  When the girls were born a first birthday seemed so far away.  We've has ups and downs but we are so extremely blessed to have Ava and Reese in our lives.  We hope that others are inspired by their happy spirits and their strong wills.  Thank you to everyone who has ever thought of them, prayed for them, given gifts to them, and most of all sent your love to them.  It will never be forgotten and we can't wait for many more birthdays to come!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Knock, Knock. Who's There???

SANTA!!!!

Yes, Santa came to visit Ava and Reese!  We were so blessed to have Santa come to our house since we knew we couldn't take the girls to see him.  The girls got all dressed up in their Christmas dresses, complete with bows and glittery shoes.  Reese however wasn't too fond of him and Ava loved pulling his beard.  It was definitely an entertaining experience!





Tuesday, December 6, 2011

SO BIG!!

Over the last few weeks it has hit me just how big our girls are getting!  They are quickly approaching their year birthday (December 20th) and it is certainly showing.  They are also getting to the stage where we have to watch them every second of the day.  Zack and I never considered the fact that we would have to be strategic about going to the bathroom when we were home alone with the girls...Where do we put Reese so she doesn't pull Ava's tubes and cords?  How do we distract Ava so she doesn't pull on her own tubes and cords?  Where is Rocky?  What could Reese pull up on that she may fall against?  How quickly can I get into the bathroom and back out again to survey the scene?  Whew!  We did get an early Christmas gift to make things a little easier.  At first I felt a little guilty putting Reese in here to play but I'm getting over that!

Here are some other pictures to show just how big our girls are getting!


We are tolerating our hats and mittens for walks outside!


Reese is trying out a sippy cup!

Ava eats cheetos puffs...as recommended by her feeding specialist...they dissolve and she can control them.  Those darn Gerber puffs are too small and other people end up having to put it in her mouth.  Ava needs to be in control of her eating!


And we're getting TEETH!!!

Yep, Ava's got one too!

We are learning about Baby Jesus.

Reese loves crawling up in the chair but hasn't learned that you can't crawl up in the chair when sis is sitting in it!

Watching TV with Grammy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful

Our family has a lot to be thankful for this year.  As always, God has blessed our family in many ways and despite hard times, he has a plan for everything.  Today the girls got a little taste of Thanksgiving.  As Zack, Grammy, Nana, Pappy, and I gathered around the table, Ava and Reese got to join in.  They tried a little mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and turkey in their mesh feeders.  Boy did they make a mess!  As the day comes to an end we are so thankful for the family and friends in our lives and pray that everyone had a wonderful day with their loved ones. 



Also wanted to update everyone on our doctor's appointment on Monday.  Once again, Ava was doing so great they lowered her vent settings.  And the most exciting part...we are taking Ava off the vent for 5 minutes three times a day!!!  She is doing well when off the ventilator so we are excited to see how this continues.  However, the doctor says she needs the constant pressure of air to hold her lungs open so if she were off much longer than this she may begin to struggle and work harder to breathe.  We are patient though! 

As far as Reese, she is crawling everywhere, pulling up on things, and has started trying a sippy cup.  Of course she is always talking and wanting attention as usual. 

Here are some fun pictures from the last couple weeks!

Too much fun in the crib during nap time!

Ava loves to bury her head during nap time!
Not too many November days like this left....playtime out on the deck!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Watching Over

They say that sometimes life throws you curveballs.  Well, let's just say that we have experienced a curveball.  Last Wednesday, my dad, a.k.a. "Pepaw", was taken home to be with our Father above.  After having a brain aneurysm rupture, he could not survive the damage the bleeding did to his brain.  The pain in my heart is indescribable.  I am confident that the pain will lessen but never completely leave me.  It breaks my heart to think our girls won't remember their Pepaw but we are determined to teach them what a wonderful person he was.  The smile he could bring to another's face, his friendliness to complete strangers, and his love for his family will never be forgotten.  I can only hope and pray that Ava and Reese will someday touch as many lives as their grandfather did.  And in the meantime we will hold tight to the memories that we have of him, remembering the time he had with the girls and the love he showered upon them in the short time they had together.  We know he will be watching over us even though he isn't with us on Earth anymore.  And as I close this post I urge everyone reading this to cherish the time you have with your loved ones and don't take one minute together for granted.