Friday, October 28, 2011

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too


So far this has been a pretty busy Fall season for us. It's so fun this year because Aidan is old enough to enjoy dressing up in a costume and loves pumpkins, while Connor just goes with the flow- which is wonderful! 


I was lucky enough to buy some super cute costumes about 6 months ago at a consignment sale. I crossed my fingers and hoped they would fit the kids when Halloween finally rolled around.

Let me introduce you to....

Winnie the Pooh


and Tigger, too!


Last week the kids put on their costumes and we headed to the Houston Zoo for their annual Zoo Boo event. They have kid-friendly decorations, trick-or-treat stations, a pumpkin patch and lots of great places for cute photo ops. We decided to head on down for a day of fun with our Moms group.

As soon as we entered the pumpkin patch, Aidan zeroed in on his pumpkin of choice.



Then he sat down and decorated it himself.



We posed Connor for a little pumpkin photo shoot, which he was NOT too happy about!



Aidan had a great time with all of his little friends.




But, he had the most fun with his best friend, J. They were inseparable for the entire day.



They walked around holding hands and actually wanted to pose for pictures together... which is unheard of for toddlers!



It was a wonderful day! I'm so glad to be able to get out of the house now that Connor has his shots. It's so fun to take my little guys on day trips into the city.


We still have more Halloween fun ahead of us, too! This weekend we are going to a Halloween party and on  Monday we are spending the day at a local farm and I'll take Aidan out trick-or-treating as well.


 
I am one lucky Mama. :)

~Emily

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Welcome

At only 5 weeks old, Connor is all ready a big cousin! Two weeks ago today my sister, Elizabeth, and her husband Aaron welcomed their first child, Brady Garrett, into the world.


He is a beautiful baby.... (and looks very similar to his cousin!)


Every baby is a miracle, and baby Brady is no exception. I am so incredibly happy that  my sister is finally a mother. There is no joy like the joy you receive from your children.... the first coo, smile, finger grasp and giggle are enough to melt anyone's heart... but especially a  mother's.

Congratulations to you all. We love you! :)

~Emily

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A rough road ahead

Isn't it funny how quickly life happens? The days just fly by, rolling one into the other and in the blink of an eye weeks have passed. It's amazing.

These past few weeks happened so quickly that I haven't even had time to write about them.... but tonight I'm making a point to share with you all what has been happening in our little corner of the world.

This post is dedicated to the saddest part of the last few weeks.

Our sweet, beautiful, loving boxer boy, Charlie Brown, has been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer.



It all began in August. We detected a slight limp in his gait, seeming to fall on his right front leg. A trip to the vet confirmed a sprained toe and pain medication was prescribed.

A month later, the limp was back, but much worse. Another trip to the vet. This time radiographs were taken, although nothing abnormal appeared. It was determined that his shoulder area was extremely tender and painful to the touch, so a diagnosis of tendonitis was made. He received a cortisone shot, instructions to rest as much as possible and a two-week regimen of pain pills to begin two weeks after the appointment.



His limp never went away. We noticed that even though he was on medication, he still seemed to be in quite a bit of pain. Back to the vet we went last week. More radiographs were taken. Only this time they were different. Now a tumor is on his scapula. A 1" by 2" tumor appeared in 6 weeks. It is eating away at his bone. The vet suspects bone cancer.

A referral to an Oncologist is made and we are able to get in within a few days time. The Oncologist suspects one of two types of cancer. They took an ultrasound of his shoulder and a biopsy of the tumor.

Over the weekend we asked for prayers, well wishes, and special thoughts for our sweet boy. We discussed all of the options. We spent extra time rubbing his head, receiving his handshakes, slipping his extra treats and showering him with love.



Today I received the dreaded phone call. I held my breath, willing for the doctor to tell me that it wasn't terminal.  That he would be fine. That he would recover. That we would have years left with our baby. It didn't happen.

Life is cruel, fickle and not always fair. And for some reason, it seems to be most unfair when it comes to our pets. You may remember that we had another boxer whom we also lost to cancer. We only had one year before our sweet Diego succumbed to lymphoma. It really makes you wonder why these things happen...

So here we are with big decisions ahead. Charlie needs to have his leg amputated. If not, it will shatter. The tumor has all ready eaten away a significant part of his bone and it's only a matter of time before he cannot support his own weight and his bone is crushed in the process. We are meeting with a surgeon on Friday to discuss the procedure.



After that, he will need chemotherapy. Even with the chemo and the amputation, Charlie has only been given a 5% chance of beating the cancer. The oncologist has given him 12 months to live.

We are heartbroken.



I was holding Connor as I spoke to the doctor. Aidan was running around playing with a ball, oblivious to the dreadful news I was receiving. Once I hung up the phone, I sat on the floor, leaned up against our refrigerator and just cried, holding Connor close. Charlie, being the wonderful dog that he is, immediately came over, sat in my lap and began licking my face. He sensed my sadness and wanted to make me feel better. That only made my tears fall faster and harder.



This is the most difficult part about being a pet owner. We will always outlive them. We are the ones who will cradle their dying heads in our laps, our tears dampening their soft fur, whispering sweet memories and words of comfort into their ears. And they will be happy in that moment. Even though they are dying.

Happy because they are with their owners. With the people they love unconditionally. It's the only way they know how to love.



So now, we have to be strong for Charlie Brown. He has a rough road ahead of him.

Learning how to live on three legs will be hard, but we know he'll do well. His best friend, our little dog Flippy, will be his biggest support and cheerleader. He'll give Charlie that extra nudge and encouragement he needs to get off his feet.






I am sad that he will lose his leg. Sad to never receive a welcome, loving "paw" or a "high five" from him again. Sad that he will never be able to let out a big, long, lean stretch after a good nap in the sun. Sad that he won't be able to go on long walks or to hop in the car with such ease. We'll never see that excited kidney bean wiggle when we walk in the door- something that would be too hard to attempt on three legs....



Please say a prayer, if you are the praying type, for our sweet boy. Or just keep him in your thoughts.

Losing a pet is the equivalent of losing a child in our eyes. It's especially hard when your child is only five years old. But, we're not giving up. We will be strong for Charlie.



If you have a pet, especially a dog, give them an extra hug and kiss tonight. And remember that they will always love you, even in your darkest hours. In fact, they may be the only true comfort you have at those times. Just love them. Love them and cherish them. We never know what tomorrow may bring.



"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." ~Author Unknown

We love you Mr. Brown.

~Emily

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sleepover!

Last week we had Aidan's best friend, J, spent the night. Aidan absolutely loves her and his face lights up whenever she is around! They always greet each other with a hug and a kiss. :)


Unfortunately, they've been having a few "issues" while playing together lately. She is four months older than him and they are both in the "idontwanttosharewithyouandwhateveryouhaveiwantNOW" stage... It's been a little rough. Aidan is also starting to push, while J is pulling hair and pinching.

You probably now think that I am officially insane for dealing with two squabbling toddlers and a newborn. I was actually starting to question my sanity as well when I agreed to take her for the evening.

Luckily, they got along beautifully. We literally had no issues whatsoever. They played great together and had a wonderful time!

We watched nursery rhymes, danced the hokey pokey and played ring around the rosey.


Then they had a delicious dinner of macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets and yogurt. They both insisted on sitting in "big chairs" to eat. It was better for me to oblige than deal with the crankiness that would've ensued.


Soon after that Jason came home and he played with them for a bit while I tended to Connor. Then, it was time for Baby Einstein and bed.

We all had a great time together. The next morning, J came with us while I dropped Aidan off at playschool. She wanted to stay and play with him! I convinced her that it was time to go see her Mommy, so she gave Aidan a kiss and off we went.

I can't wait until they are older and we can have more sleepovers! I know that they both really enjoyed themselves. Whoever said that children at this age are incapable of forming friendships has obviously never met these two kids!

~Emily
P.S. Sorry for the terrible pictures. It's impossible to get decent photos of two squirmy toddlers!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Connor {Five Weeks Old}


 
Well, believe it or not, our little dude is all ready FIVE weeks old! He is starting to lose that newborn look and is turning into a chubby baby. Thankfully, he still has that new baby smell! Don't you wish they could just bottle that up?


He is starting to have more and more periods of alert awakeness and loves to watch Aidan. He is truly fascinated by his goofy, big brother.



Aidan also really likes to spend time with Connor. He loves to help whenever he can and is always giving his little brother kisses.


This past week, we've also been blessed by the presence of Connor's smile. It's heartmelting and officially adorable.

Right now he seems to equally love Mommy and Daddy. He enjoys staring, lying and cooing with both of us. And he even took his first bottle with Daddy last night!


It's amazing how he will immediately calm down when I pick him up. It's as if he is instantly calm and secure in my arms.


I absolutely love all of his facial expressions! He is going to be one silly kid!



 Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers with Connor's reflux. His doctor prescribed him two medications which he is taking seven times a day. So far, they seem to be helping a great deal! He is not screaming in pain anymore and is sleeping better. Now he's able to just be one of the boys and not have to worry about feeling awful. :)



Tomorrow Connor gets to meet is Nana and Papa (Jason's parents) who are flying in from Ohio for a few days. I know he will love them as much as Aidan does! We just need to be sure that Nana doesn't get her "baby hog" on like she did with Aidan.... Ha ha! :)

Happy Tuesday!

~Emily

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