Saturday, February 27, 2010

One of the best gifts ever!

When Chase was born one of my oldest friends, Leandra(of Goose and Bugs Photography), was in the room with me. She is a fantastic photographer and offered to take pics of the birth. I never thought I would have anyone in the room with me other than Dan but I knew she was good and I had known her since Kindergarten so I thought why not. For my birthday last year, she gave me one of the best gifts ever....a slideshow of all the pics of Chase's birth that she took and put them to music.

I've been wanting to post this for a long time because I love love love the video. Then I thought, I look fat, puffy and bloated(I was...I lost 26lbs with-in the first week of giving birth), I have no make-up on, I don't look my best etc. I mean I certainly don't look like I did in high school or college. I've gained weight, I have stretch marks and even wrinkles(NOOOOO!!!!) Yet, I've grown up a lot! I've been pregnant for about 27 months of my life and given birth to 3 kids including one child with special needs. I've sat through numerous hours of surgeries and therapy for my daughter, I've laughed A LOT, and I've cried some as well. I am in the midst of doing the hardest job on earth....being a mom. I'm far better then I was in high school or college! I have learned so much in life and have had amazing life experiences. So then I finally thought this is a video of one of the most amazing and most miraculous experiences in life. Who cares how I look! I certainly am not perfect but then again who is? But this experience, well it was completely PERFECT!!! I hope you can all view the video and enjoy it(I know Dan couldn't on his work laptop which is a PC but others with PCs could)'s an iMovie and I think you are going to have to cut and paste the link in order to watch it but please do because it's wonderful(of course I am completely biased!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Be Mine

My Valentine's!

And my true Valentine....because what is better than having a husband who is not afraid to have a dance party with the kids :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The blonde one

I looked at Brady just now and said I'm sick and don't feel good(after taking care of him all week). I then asked him "Are you going to take care of mommy?". His reply was "YESSSSS!". Then he followed that up by giving me a big hug and asking, "Do you like hugs?". Ahhhhh this little blonde boy I sure do love him.......SO SWEET!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


This is the link to video that Tim, my brother in law, put together for LG's memorial(my mother in law). It's done in 2 parts.....

Part 2

Sunday, February 7, 2010

3 years ago

3 years ago, almost to this day, Kendall had her infamous stomach surgery. She had a partial blockage of her duodenum...which is basically the beginning of your intestines. For Kendall, this meant that she felt full really easily because it took food a long time to pass through that area and digest. Other kids who have this either don't have an appetite at all or throw up everything they eat. Kendall only threw up occasionally when she ate too much but it wasn't often enough to make us think anything was off. By age 2 her weight gain had slowed down and by age 3 we were trying an NG tube to help her gain weight. Before the NG tube was given to us we had to have an endoscopy done on her to make sure a tube could go down her throat and into her chest etc. That's when the GI doc found this blockage. Anyway, in order to make a long story short the surgery took about 5 hours and we were suppose to be in the hospital for 4-5 days. In order to get out of the hospital, the drainage from her stomach needed to be clear and then she needed to eat, drink and keep food down. In the end, we were in the hospital for 14 days and Kendall not only recovered from surgery but she endured pnuemonia, a collapsed lung, got down to 18lbs(at 3 years old) and she wasn't able to eat or drink anything for about 10-12 days. Needless to say, I was a wreck during this time and I was also about 27 weeks pregnant with Brady. I just found something I posted to my mommy's board during this time. Here it is, I wrote it on day 8 at the hospital:

"You all, I can't do this anymore. Today Kendall was doing better. They decided to start her on a tiny dose of lipids(fat) through her IV. As I said earlier the nurse told me that the lipids could blow the IV and they did. With-in an hour after starting her lipids her arm and hand swelled up and the IV was shot. So the took her to try and do another IV. After 3 nurses tried and tried in her other hand and ankles(Feet) her nurse saw a horribly sad look in Kendalls eyes and brought her back and said I am so sorry we couldn't get an IV in her. The nurse had tears in her eyes because Kendall just looked at her like why is this all happening to me. I have never seen Kendall so beaten down.

I gave her a quick bath since she was unattached from everything and she hated her bath. She is skin and bones and still hasn't been allowed to eat or drink anything(day 8). The nurse called both her surgeon and GI dr and decided to do a Central Line which is a good thing because they can get blood from it as well. But I got scared since they had to put her under again and anesthesia makes your breathing worse and she already has pnuemonia but she did fine. The surgeon was the same sugeon that did her tummy surgery and he said he blew some air in her intestines to make sure the bypass they did was working and it was. I don't know why the drainage isn't getting lighter in the past 2 days. They think it's pnuemonia related but aren't sure. Surgeon said we just have to wait it out. She threw up after the Central Line and anesthesia tonight but otherwise is ok. The nurse told me today that if they don't start getting nutrients in her she will become at risk that is why they are doing lipids(2ccs an hour so very small amount).

I have now gone to the I should have never done this surgery place and what if she doesn't pull through this. I am sick to my stomach and can't stop crying. I just got home from the hospital as it's my night to sleep at home but all I want to do is be there and hold her and make her better. Why isn't her stomach drainage getting better. She has to eat soon. It's killing me and she signed milk to me for 2 hours tonight. I hate this I am miserable. Now I am going to try to go to bed. Please let her get better."

After all was said and done we got home and the surgery was one of the best things we have ever done for Kendall. She has never thrown up again from eating too much and she is now 31ish pounds and her growth(especially her height) has just been great. I mean she is always going to be petite that is just her but she looks so much healthier. She even has a very very tiny belly on her :) At the time, this was one of the hardest things I had ever done in my life, I mean no one ever imagines not being able to give their kid food or water for days on end as their kids signs repeatedly for them....that was the worst part for me. Now, you may all be wondering why I am bringing this all up. Last week when I picked Kendall up from school the teacher said to me, "Kendall is the biggest and best eater in this class!". Those words could not make me happier!!!!!!!

I don't have any pictures from that hospital stay because it was just too depressing and to top it off we were there over Valentine's Day. So a few days after we got home we celebrated Valentine's with Kendall. Here are a couple pictures from the day we celebrated with her, her smile and spirit were finally back :)

About Me

My photo
Married mom of 3 not so little ones anymore but they still keep me grinning and giggling(most of the time). Kendall, age 12, Brady age 8 almost 9 and "baby" Chase who is 7. I have been married for 14.5 years to Dan Graff, who I think is the best dad ever to our kids. He certainly makes me grin and giggle to this very day. I have spent my non mom career working in recruiting on and off over the years recruiting Software Engineers. Other than my kids my most favorite thing to do in the entire word is ride horses followed by Kung Fu, where I earned my purple belt last year. I have been riding since I was 8 years old, with some time off here and there but I always go back to it. As Winston Churchill said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man"(or woman in this case)!