Monthly Archives: July 2010

Week 2 & 4 Update {No Extras Month}

I’ll be quick with these updates. Weeks 2 & 4 were definitely not as hard for me. Maybe because in Week 2 I started getting rid of/selling stuff, and it felt so good. 

Week 2

-once again we used 1/2 a tank of gas

-we did not go grocery shopping; we stretched our groceries from the week before

-I did however buy some sand toys (that were marked down 50%) from Target for the kids beach bags. It was a joint effort between me and my sister-in-law. I really must show you the bags.

-We treated some new friends to a local Cajun restaurant. I would have been more than happy to cook for them, but they are new to town and we really wanted to introduce them to this place- it’s really cheap and good!

Week 4

– we used a little over 1/4 tank of gas

– once again we did not go grocery shopping; we had a bunch of leftover food in Florida that we split with Mark’s brother so we made that work all week

– I continued selling/consigning/donating items.

Just a reminder, if it’s not obvious, that we did not participate in Week 3 because we were on vacation. Even then, we did not spend much extra. It’s hard to just “turn off” the No Extras mindset. I think that is a good thing. This month has been good. I can see how this is going to change our spending in future months. It made us more aware. More aware that even though we eat at home 90% of the time, the other 10% adds up. More aware that less is more. And more aware that when we have less, we have less to take care of meaning we have more time with each other and don’t need more toys/things to occupy the kids in order to “gain” more time to get things done. Make sense?

I think this will definitely become a once a year (at least) thing until we are satisfied with how we handle our money. And even then, think about how awesome it would be to grow up doing this as a family in order to give the money saved to some charity or foundation or a family in need or to save up for a family mission trip……oh the possibilities.

What do you think? Would you do it for a month? Would you consider making it a family tradition? Or did you grow up doing something similar?

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photo overview

It’s taking me a little longer to unpack and get the house back in order since I opted to make the kids beach bags instead of clean house before our trip. That, and I have one child with two ear infections and another with on/off fever. They’re really cute bags though. 

We really did have a good trip overall; many good memories were made. However, there were several things that had they not happened could have made our trip more of a vacation. More on that later (and I promise not to tell you in a complaining type of way).

So here’s a few pictures from our trip. I took over 800 photos and wish I took more. I almost always wish I would have taken more.

…..and my very favorite picture from the whole trip

I have a little series of pictures of her running and twirling in the sand that I would love to have printed as one large photo.

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On vacation

on a beach in Florida with Mark’s side of the family. See you next week!

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please pray

I know I’ve asked you before, but please, please, please pray for Ashley. She needs it. Her mommy needs it. Her daddy, brother, and sister need it. I don’t know how they do it.

I can’t give much background because that would take like billions of words to tell you all that this little girl has been through, but she is from my hometown of Longview, TX. Her 5th birthday is coming up. She is a transplant patient. Her mother is currently at a hospital in Nebraska with her. She is not doing well. Her dad, brother, and sister are still in Texas. Please pray on behalf of her and her family.

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So Beautiful

Last week I had the honor of photographing one of my new friends here in Louisville. She is due on Friday, and, as of Sunday, her newest little guy was still hanging out in her gorgeous pregnant belly. I thought you’d enjoy seeing some of the shots we got. I think they turned out beautifully due to the fact that she is so beautiful. Really y’all she is super photogenic and ALWAYS has the cutest pregnancy outfits- right down to the perfect accessories (namely great necklaces).  Her pregnancy wardrobe puts mine to shame, but then again, I don’t really have a pregnancy “wardrobe”.

Anyways, we had lots of fun. Here are a few of the images we got. Enjoy!

Isn’t she gorgeous? Now leave her some comment love telling her just how gorgeous she is because 1) it’s true and 2) every pregnant woman two days away from their due date wants to be told that because they definitely don’t feel it.

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CMV

Hello friends. It’s been a while since I’ve given you a health update on Kanon, and it’s about time. Especially now that we have some answers.

After our appointment in February with the neurologist, he ordered some blood work. If you remember from my post, it was A LOT of blood. They tested for lots of different “stuff.” Some of the things they were testing for were very scary things, and most of the things they were testing for I didn’t even know about. We finally received the results of his blood work the end of May. It was positive for CMV. That stands for cytomegalovirus. You can do a google search for congenital CMV to find information, but I will share what I have learned after researching and talking to our doctors.

CMV is a very common virus. Most children get it by the time they are 2 years. Another peak time to contract it is teenage to young adult, and by the age of 40 years, 80% of adults in the U.S. have it. If you do contract it you may never know because a lot of times it is “silent,” meaning you never show signs or symptoms. Even if you do show symptoms you may never know that it is CMV because the symptoms are common to other viruses as well and include: fever, sore throat, fatique, and swollen glands. Once you have CMV, it’s there for life. It is usually not a problem.

The time when it is a problem, is when you contract CMV for the first time while you are pregnant. It can cross the placenta and attack your baby. But, even then, it is not always a problem. The majority of the time the mother contracts CMV and passes it along to her baby, and no one would ever know because neither one of them show symptoms. However, some babies are born with symptoms.

Temporary Symptoms Include:

Liver problems

Spleen problems

Jaundice

Purple skin splotches/Rash

Lung problems

Low birth weight

Seizures

Permanent Symptoms/Disabilities:

Hearing Loss

Vision Loss

Mental Disability

Small head

Lack of coordination

Seizures

Death

Pretty serious stuff. Kanon had the purple splotches at birth, and he has hearing loss. Praise God this is all he has! Now CMV is progressive though. So of the babies that are born showing NO symptoms, 5-10% will develop symptoms months and years later. And of the babies that are born showing symptoms (which is Kanon), up to 90% have neurological abnormalities later in life. His hearing could continue to decline until it is gone. His vision could do the same thing.

BUT so far he still has full hearing in his right ear. We had a repeat MRI done in June to compare it to the one in November 2009, and it showed no changes! Which, besides the Lord completely healing him, this is the next best news. It gives us hope that what is done is done. It will not progress. And just today we had another appointment with the neurologist, who thought he looked great. He said Kanon had a very mild case of CMV and seems to be developing just fine. He also said we don’t need to go see him for 10 months!!! And we don’t need to have another MRI for another 2 years!!! We will be having his vision tested shortly and are trying to get hearing test scheduled for sooner than November (which is how long the wait is right now).

Again, if we had never had that x-ray that led to that CT scan that led to that MRI during his hospitalization with meningitis, we would NEVER had known anything was wrong. He has been completely “normal.” We haven’t noticed anything “off” developmentally. He is the happiest, most smiley baby ever. He has been such a joy. So content. Never really cried or screamed until now, when he runs out of food or wants a big boy cup. Really, we can’t get enough of this boy.

Here are a few more facts on congenital CMV:

-CMV is the most common congenital virus in the U.S.

-CMV is as common a cause of serious disability as Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and Neural Tube Defects

-every hour congenital CMV causes one child to become disabled

-about 1 in 150 children is born with congenital CMV

-about 1 in 750 children is born with or develops permanent disabilities due to congenital CMV

It is transmitted through bodily fluids, and hand washing is the only preventative measure. More on this later.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I’ll answer to the best of my ability.

We love The Manon, and praise God He gave him to us like he did. For our good, and for His glory!

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In lieu of

our weekend in photos, I present to you: Our Cow Family

(saying “moo”)

How cute is that baby tail?

Well we proved to Chick-fil-a that we were no chickens and got free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That’s right three full meals. We made a day of it and have so many good memories to look back on. Karston’s excitement kept him up pretty late Thursday night. Thursday day I let the kids paint spots on their shirts and told them I would finish their costumes after they went to sleep. Here are some quotes from Karston as he lay in bed in anticipation for Friday.

“We’re gonna be a family of cows!”

“I am so excited!”

“Mommy, can you make me horns?”

“And a nose and mouth. I want a cow nose and mouth.”

“Oh, and I want milk.”

Me: “Milk? You mean an udder?”

Karston: “Yeah! An udder! I want an udder.”

Me: “I’ll see. I’m not sure I’ll have time to make you an udder.”

Made me laugh. And no, I didn’t have time for an udder. I made shorts for Karston and a skirt for Kyrie out of an old white sheet I had. Spots on a onesie for The Manon. Spots on a white t-shirt and black construction paper spots taped onto long underwear pants for Mark. Spots on a drop waist dress with ruffles around the collar made out of two white t-shirts for me. I actually really liked the style of my dress and plan on making me some more (in non-cow print fabric of course). We all wore cow tails made out of braided black and white yarn. We also printed out the cow ears off of Chick-fil-a’s website and taped them to headbands we already had. SOOO much fun. I’m already thinking of costumes for next year!

I also DID NOT have to go into a gas station to prepay for gas dressed like a cow. And the guy behind me DID NOT ask me, “What is it dairy day at work?” And I totally DID NOT give the guy a look and say, “Umm, no it’s free food at Chick-fil-a, of course.”

I also DID NOT have to answer the door to the mailman dressed like a cow. And I DID NOT have to turn around and show him my cow tail as I was running to the kitchen to grab a bill I needed mailed…….

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