slide show

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Falling in love with her new smile

For the first time a few days ago, I looked at a picture of Sunshine before her surgery (actually, the one in my blog header) and thought to myself, "Oh my, wow she really had a cleft!" It was the first time I actually *saw* it. Amazing, just amazing and miraculous what a difference it is. Her stitches are almost dissolved now, just a few left in her lip. And now that Sunshine is slowly starting to show us her new smile, I'm falling in love all over again. It's pretty cool to get to fall in love with your daughter's face twice :-) It's also awesome for other people to finally be able to see her the way we do ... without a cleft.

She is starting to turn back into the happy, joyful Sunshine we know. It's taken awhile and the past week and a half has been ... ummm ... shall we say, rough? Lots of temper tantrums and missed sleep ... Sunshine's smiles and laughter were definitely missed around here. Poor girl, she sure didn't ask for this surgery :-( It's wonderful to see her getting back to normal though. And it's even more wonderful to see that happy face that I adore so much. God is so good.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My 1st Grader

I'm not sure when ... but somehow it happened ... my baby is SIX years old and started first grade today. My BABY. My first baby. The baby I had the pleasure of experiencing all of those first "firsts" with. Oh how I love her so. I guess I will just chalk this one up to another "first" and try to enjoy it. But it is still sad ... she is so grown up now and one of the most amazing, sweetest, caring little people I have ever met. And she loves Jesus. Oh I am so blessed beyond measure to be her mama.

Funny enough, I didn't even really have time to soak in the day much while trying to make sure I remembered everything getting THREE kids out of the house today. It was actually quite a calm day though! I remembered every child, all of the school supplies, we weren't late, and there were no Earthquakes today. A pretty fantastic day if you ask me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Who me?

I am convinced there is one thing Sunshine likes more than paper ... and that would be messes. LOL. Our girl is like a tornado sometimes, quickly ripping through whatever may be in her path. It's cute, most of the time :-) I suppose you can tell a lot about a person by their recyclables?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

{Sunday Snapshot} Splash

No, I haven't forgotten I have two other kiddos, I promise! There has just been so much going on with Sunshine that needs to be documented recently :-) So now, a super-fun Sunshine break - Angel and Lovebug had SO much fun yesterday after the millionth crazy thunderstorm we've had ... it's been awhile since we've stomped in rain puddles! There was a beautiful rainbow (which I neglected to snap a picture of) and a wonderful cool front came through with no humidity! It was so awesome to be outside and the kids had a BLAST!

PS - Angel *is* wearing shorts despite what it may look like ... very short shorts :-)

Sunday Snapshot

Saturday, August 20, 2011

2nd day home

Well we are plugging along ... we are backing down on the pain meds slowly and are starting to ease up a bit with following Sunshine around every second. She is still super-duper active though, and is definitely keeping us on our toes! LOL. She really doesn't mind having her no-no's (braces to keep her hands from getting to her face) on and is sleeping like a champ. She took 5 hours worth of naps yesterday and had a 90-minute nap this morning. A lot of that is the oxycodone, so I expect that will start wearing off. She is starting to feel around with her tongue more and is definitely curious ... can't wait for these stitches to dissolve!

And I will admit, although Sunshine is beautiful now ... well, I'll just say it ... I miss her old smile. She struggles with smiling right now, but is definitely trying! She wants to smile but I'm sure is finding it quite difficult. She's doing this cute bottom lip smile to make up for the stitches. I'm assuming that once her skin stretches out, she will sport that beautiful smile that I long for.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sunshine's 1st surgery

We arrived at the hospital at about 9:45am (that was after it took us 30 minutes to figure out where to go from the parking garage - sheesh!). Once we got Sunshine checked in and changed into her pretty peach gown, we had some waiting to do before surgery. I am SO glad I brought the sling with me to walk the halls with her. By the time we were waiting for surgery, Sunshine was really starting to get uncomfortable and upset ... we couldn't explain to her why she couldn't eat or drink anything and she was getting mad. I felt so bad for her. Fortunately a long walk in the sling got her to sleep ... of course that was right before surgery. LOL. She got about 20 minutes before the anesthesiologist came in to help me get dressed in my awesome pre-surgery outfit. I think blue is a good color for me!

Only one of us was allowed to take her into the operating room while she was being sedated/put to sleep ... wow that was so, so, so difficult. She was so scared, tired and hungry already and was crying to the point that I couldn't calm her down ... and then I took her into the operating room and laid her on the bed where the anesthesiologist put a mask over her mouth for her to breath the gas in. She screamed that blood-curdling scream - the one that tells me she is so frightened ... it was awful ... it seemed like an eternity as my tears were falling on her. Ohhhh I am not looking forward to doing that 3 more times. I've always been good at keeping it together, even for those traumatic blood draws! But this ... this was a totally new experience for me and it was emotionally draining. The nurse, God Bless her, kept telling me it was going to be ok and that she was in good hands. I *KNEW* she was in good hands and wasn't worried about the surgery, but unfortunately that doesn't make it any easier.

When I made my way back to DH we went to the family waiting room for the ENT, who was looking at
Sunshine first. We heard from her after about 25 minutes - they cleaned her ears and did end up putting tubes in. At that point, it was about lunch time AND Chick-Fil-A was doing a free lunch for parents. Ummm, are you kidding?! God's grace shining down on us! They only come once a month and yesterday was the day! woohoo! THANK YOU CHICK-FIL-A!

When we finished eating, we headed back up to the family waiting area where Ryan from church was waiting for us. It was so great to see a familiar face and he totally took our minds off of the surgery while we stood and chatted and prayed in the hallway. After that, the surgeon came by to tell us that he was finished and that everything went perfectly and Sunshine was waiting for us in recovery! We walked back to find her sort-of-peacefully sleeping. The nurse told us she was "fussy" when she came out of the anesthesia, so they sedated her again. I had to laugh though - I know our girl and I think "irate" was probably a better adjective. LOL. I sat and held her while she came in and out of sleep, mostly angry. Poor thing ... I felt terrible - she had no idea what was going on and had all of these wires coming off of her. She was also wearing no-no's, which she HATED. The nurses let me take them off as long as we kept her hands away from her mouth, and she did really great with that. She was able to take a bottle here and there, and actually did really awesome considering what she had just been through!

The surgeon said that as long as she was taking her bottle ok, she could be discharged the same day! So excited! She slowly started to come around and be awake more than asleep, although she was soooo out of it. It's amazing what being put under general anesthesia will do for you! We waited around a bit longer until we were sure she was feeling good and then got her discharged! She was in and out of sleep the rest of the day ... she mostly just laid on my chest, which was fine with me! She was (and still is) being given pain meds around the clock - tylenol, motrin AND oxycodone all at the same time. I'm sure the oxycodone was helping to make her sleepy but toward the end of the night, she started to perk up a bit and was on the floor playing. She even wanted to walk with Daddy! AND, she tried to smile! Ohhhh, bestill my heart! My eyes teared up when I saw that!

She slept awesome last night - we woke her up at about 2:30am for more pain meds, but she went right back to sleep. She was still swollen when she woke up, but it's amazing what a good night's rest will do for you! Wish I could say the same for myself, but I am so glad that Sunshine got some sleep!

So now, when she isn't napping, I feel like all I do is chase her around. She has super-energy today and is EVERWHERE. I am so afraid she is going to hurt herself! She also has a fabulous houdini trick and can get her no-no's off. Oy. LOL. We take them off here and there so she can have a break though, and also because I don't feel like she has good control over her body when she has them on. But really, they don't fit ... someone, if you are out there reading, please come up with a better solution!!

So overall? Overall, God was really shining down on us yesterday and continues to do so. Sunshine is remarkable ... after everything we put her through yesterday, she still had a smile for us at the end of the day. Pure sunshine. I can't wait to see her really start to smile once those stitches dissolve!

Thank you, thank you, thank you EVERYONE for all of your prayers and kind comments. Seriously, we have received so much amazing support through this process, we feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

T minus 23 hours

Ok, one last shot of Sunshine before her surgery tomorrow! This isn't my best work, but I don't have a lot of options outdoors without getting in a car. This is in her room but the north-facing windows don't let in much light, so this image is grainy. Still adorable though :-)

I am at peace with her surgery ... I've done my share of praying and I know there are lots of people out there also praying for our special little lady. God has His hands on her and that's plenty good enough for me. Can't get any better than that. In fact, I think I'm kind of excited for
Sunshine ... although I don't mind being a spectacle when out in public, it's not fair for her to always go through that. I'm looking forward to her being seen as more "normal." I could do without the recovery process but nothing good in life is easy, right?

Thanks for praying along with us. I will update the blog just as soon as I can - her surgery is scheduled for 11:15am tomorrow morning :-)

"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

T minus 2 days

The pictures didn't go as planned. At all. LOL. So, here are a couple videos to share instead ... the first is Sunshine dancing to the Fresh Beat Band. I'm not sure what it is about that TV show, but she just loves it - always gets her bopping :-) This was right before bedtime, so she had her special boogaloo and nana blanket (which she likes to chew/suck - but only on one side). If you listen closely, you can hear her singing for a second in the 3rd part of the video ... oh that just melts my heart! She loves to dance and sing and it is the CUTEST thing ever!

The 2nd video was taken on my iphone (sorry) of her quickly scooting her little behind. She gets around all over the house this way ... and it still cracks me up every. single. time. Especially when she does the "I'm so excited and I can't get to you fast enough" scoot ... which I sorta captured in the video :-) 

PS - Youtube seems to be having some technical difficulties, I'm sorry if the videos aren't working right now. I wanted to do this post tonight anyway because it is a bit time sensitive with her surgery coming up. They are definitely uploaded and are showing on my iphone but not on my macbook. Who knows!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

T minus 3 days

I just couldn't pick a *few* favorites for this post ... so you have a barrage :-) I had actually attempted ladybug headband portraits awhile back but didn't have a ton of success. I'd say I had success today ... what a happy princess I have on my hands. Ohhhhh, I could just nibble her up. She is such a sweet little thing ... all sugar and spice (extra spice) and everything nice. So many different facial expressions captured today!

I was hoping to get outside to do these, but the weather has been so weird, that just wasn't in the cards. My kitchen wall worked well though :-) The red wall with the red in the ladybug against the black, coupled with the nice lighting ... yup, I like. Now I need to figure out something fun to do for tomorrow's pictures ... suggestions?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

T minus 4 days

Well, 3 1/2 days until Sunshine's surgery. I have mixed feelings. A lot of them. I know that ultimately we *have* to do this surgery and that it's the best thing for her, but it sure is tough. We are completely putting our faith in God ... he has gotten us this far and will continue to guide us through.

"fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand."
Isaiah 41:10, ESV

So in the meantime, we're taking as many pictures of her adorable, precious little face as possible. Gotta capture it as much as we can. I asked DH to be my photographer while the older 2 were napping, in between thunderstorms (CRAZY weather today!) - didn't he do a fantastic job?! We went in between the houses in our neighborhood to try to get a plain background (... it's amazing how little trees/natural backdrops there are in a newer community). I set the camera up and DH has been hanging out with me long enough that he pretty much "gets" what I'm looking for. Thanks babe! Sunshine was in such a terrific mood today ... up until it was time for some pictures. Oy. LOL. We still got some really awesome shots from her, but we had to work for it! At the end, one of our wonderful neighbors took pity on us and offered to snap a few of all 3 of us - Sunshine had gotten really annoyed at that point but at least all of us are looking at the camera!

Sunshine posts over the next few days still to come!

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, August 12, 2011

A morning OUTSIDE

Admittedly, I am not one of those outdoors kinds of moms. As soon as it gets the least bit uncomfortable, I am an air-conditioning junkie. So you can imagine, August is NOT a time that I take the kids outside. It's just not. I wish I enjoyed the hot, nasty, humid, gross summer weather ... but it's just not in me. LOL. That's what makes today so perfect. No humidity, low 80's and a nice breeze. Perfect take-the-kids-outside weather.

And especially because we are less than a week out from Sunshine's first surgery, I am trying to soak up every photo-op possible. I want to memorize every little detail of the face that God gave her ... the face that most likely brought her to us. I'm sure there are more blog posts to come between now and next Thursday of her gorgeous little smile :-)

So anywho, back to today ... I propped up my camera in the grass and pulled out my not-so-reliable remote. It worked ... enough. LOL. You may remember the last hysterical event when I attempted to use it. Oh well, it sorta works. We got a few cute snaps out of it today for sure! Sunshine wasn't thrilled about being in the grass though, no smiles for her. I do, however, just adore the mommy shots I got of Angel holding Sunshine. Seriously, I can just see the little mommy blooming inside her. And even though I totally missed the focus on the last image, I love it too much to throw it out. Angel is so proud to be holding her little sister, the happiness just exudes out of her little face. These are the amazing moments of life ... ahhh sigh.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A review {Easy Canvas Prints}

I was asked to review Easy Canvas Prints - they sent me this 8x10 canvas for free in return for the review. I am happy to say, overall I am very pleased! I have *many* different company's canvases hanging on the walls of my home. So far, Simply Canvas, White House, Buckeye, EZcanvas, Canvas Print Factory, Canvas on Demand, Canvas Press Pro and now Easy Canvas Prints. They are a mix of pro labs and consumer labs. Although this is not my favorite (hands down, that would be Simply Canvas), I think it's a good quality consumer canvas. The color and contrast were very close to my monitor - I had not calibrated recently when I took these pictures, so my screen looks a tad blue and the contrast is slightly off compared to the canvas.

One of the features I really LOVE about this canvas is the mirror wrap option ... normally, you need about 3 inches extra going all the way around the image to wrap the canvas onto the frame. With this image, it's impossible to do that because the crop is too close - part of my head would have been cut off. The option most companies have is a plain color wrap around the canvas (I would have chosen black in this case) ... this is not my favorite thing to do though. I really love seeing the image wrapped around the frame. In addition to the color wrap, Easy Canvas Prints has a mirror wrap option that solves this problem - it gives the same effect as wrapping the image around the frame but you don't lose any of the picture. You can refer to the 2nd image above to see what it looks like - I really love it!

I would definitely suggest Easy Canvas Prints for consumer canvases - especially for the price, you can't go wrong!

Check out these awesome canvases!