Saturday, January 7, 2017

Flip Flops

I know it's been a while and I feel like every time I post I start with that! Whatever haha. Anyway, our life was very crazy starting in October through December. I started my own wedding and event company and we had 16 events between those few months. I wasn't fully prepared to be that busy but I loved every minute!! Shameless plug - you can check us out at facebook.com/chelsearaeweddingsandevents ! (We travel too ;) )

Anyway back to my kiddo! So he has grown up so much the last few months. Each time he gets up in the morning I look at him and think "how in the world did he get so big over night?!" He is a wonderful brother - for the most part - and loves helping his little brother and tries to help take care of him, sometimes too much and annoys him haha. He also loves to clean! How did I get a 3 year old who loves to clean? I don't know but I'm ok with it all! Our lucky fin loves to play outside and ride his little 4-wheeler and laugh as he goes on by, it's so funny to watch!

However, as we go I wake up, often, dreading, the fact that he will notice his fingers and toes more and more. He has brought up the fact that Cooper has bigger fingers and his fingers are still baby fingers. To that I just tell him that God made his special but he insists that his fingers are just babies haha.

But this morning was different. We were walking around Target and made it into the shoe section and saw some Paw Patrol flip flops and said "mommy! I want those flip flops." To which I proceeded to tell him that no, we were not getting him flip flops. Fast forward and he is telling me how Cooper can have flip flops but not him... This is where I died a little. I knew it was coming. I had to tell him that God made him special, that he couldn't wear flip flops because he doesn't have toes on one foot. I had to stop and explain to him, a 3 year old, why he couldn't have these flip flops. It was heartbreaking but it was the first step in what is to come as each day passes. He ended up crying, I think it had more to do with the fact that he couldn't have the flip flops rather than not having toes, but it still stayed with me the rest of the day. One day he will fully understand and that is the day I am not looking forward too.

As far as surgeries go, we have an appointment at the end of the month with Shriners to go over his next surgery on his hand. That should take place probably February or March I would assume. I will have a better update after we meet with the doctors in a few weeks.

On a brighter note! One of my very best friends got a camera for Christmas and so we decided to have her take some family photos and to say that turned out well is an understatement! Check them out below!








Like father like son! 






Have A Blessed Day!





Thursday, September 1, 2016

Inside the womb!

I found this amazing video! I may have posted it before but I don't think so... Anyway, It's a great video that shows ABS inside the womb! It's an awesome insight into what it looks like from the inside!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UurH8SsVoIM


And now for a short update on our awesome lucky fin!

We went to Shriners a few weeks ago for a check up since it's been over a year since his last surgery (crazy! I know!) Well let me back up. A few days before his appointment I noticed something rough on his foot - the one with ABS - and I thought it was just a calace and it turned out to be his toenail growing back. The one we had removed with the very first surgery! So needless to say, I was happy to have an appointment a few days later.

While we were there we saw our wonderful surgeon who has taken great care of my baby. He was very impressed with how everything was progressing but... more surgery to come. Yes yes, we knew there would be more but not this soon. The pinky finger tip that he saved, well he didn't release the band because he was focused on saving the tip like we asked him to do. This means that we need to go back in and release the band and potentially remove the toenail again. With that he will separate the 4th toe from the 3rd, this way if the toenail ever grows back, we won't have to worry about it!

Talk about shock! I was expecting a "good job, looks great, see you in a year!" and instead we got the news of surgery much sooner. On the bright side, they all were very impressed with our lucky fin! He would walk around showing people his hands and toes because we have asked him so often to do so; which they had never seen. He sat politely and used his manners; it made me proud :)

And as far as the littlest one goes, well he is doing fantastic! Growing and eating like a weed and is trying so hard to keep up and copy his older brother :) I couldn't ask for better boys!


We LOVE the zoo! 


Our amazing friend Jess came to visit us all the way from California! 


The day before he screamed because he got the red spoon... he loved it the next day.. Life of a toddler!


My sweet little one! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

My Miracle From Heaven

Have you heard of the new movie that is out called Miracles from Heaven? If you haven't, I highly suggest watching the trailer and then going to see the movie! Anyway, a little back story on the movie (no spoilers, I promise!) It's about a little girl who was diagnosed with a very rare digestive disorder that consumes her life and ultimately would lead to death. There is no cure for what she had but yet here she is, alive and well! How you might wonder? Well, after a routine hospital visit she went back home and although was told not to, she was climbing a tree with her sister and fell head down 30 ft and was knocked unconscious. Amazingly enough she came out of that (3 hours later) with only a minor concussion and some bruises and cuts. Over the next few days and weeks she starts getting better! They go back to visit the doctor and the results show that she is cured of the disease that had taken so many lives! Miraculous right??

What does this have to do with ABS or our lucky fin? Everything.

Throughout the entire story you sob and ball and cry and end up with make up all over your face by the end of the movie. For all the obvious reasons because it is a tear jerker. But for more, un-obvious reasons as well. 

I remember when our lucky fin was born being so angry that God had picked him because we had specifically prayed that our child would be healthy with "10 fingers and 10 toes." That may sound silly to some but we prayed it and our son came out missing fingers and toes. My husband and I had so many late night talks about being frustrated or mad at the situation. About possibly loosing faith because God had clearly ignored our prayers. Why would He do that? I still don't have the answer, so if that's what you're looking for; I'm sorry. But this movie was an eye opener. I realized that although I knew I wasn't alone, this reassured me that there are others out there going through things far worse than I and having the same questions I had/have. 

Not only did I cry because it was a sad movie, or because I am a mom and couldn't imagine going through what this mom endured. No. It was because all of her emotions were the same as that I had. All of her reactions were the same. Everything about it was so similar to me and my story with my son. 

Now please don't get me wrong, I know that our lucky fin's condition was and is not life and death like this mother had to endure. I can't even imagine. But the hospital scenes of a child hooked up to monitors, crying, wanting to go home. I've been there. To see your child like a limp noodle because of the surgery they have gone through.. I have been there. And although we are done with surgeries for now, there is no guarantee that we are done forever. 

I feel like this post is such a hot mess of stories and emotions that nothing is coming off clearly... 

Either way, I highly recommend all my fellow ABS family members to go watch this film, whether you are a Christian or not, I think you will be able to relate to all of the emotions that mom dealt with and all the questions she had during the time her child was sick.

It was an incredible movie! But be prepared to be emotionally drained after ;) Don't say I didn't warn ya! 




Have A Blessed Day!

*No, I am not getting paid to advertise this movie! But here is a link to the trailer!*


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Eat, Poop, Sleep, Repeat

As I was looking over the blog thinking "hmm maybe I should write a post, let me see the last time I wrote something.. Nov 8th?!!" My apologies for such a long gap in posts; I will try and be much better about it from here on out! Although I will say, I started this blog to help anyone out dealing with the same situations and now that surgeries are done we seem to be in limbo. I am however, preparing myself for the questions to come about his fingers and toes now that he is getting older as are his friends.

Speaking of which - There was a friend not too long ago that we play with almost every week, he is 3 and Jude is obviously 2. Anyway. He has never noticed my sons finger or toes until the other day and he pointed and said "what happened to his toes?" And my friend ever so sweetly just said, "God made him extra special." Why can't every parent respond this way?! Oh how I wish. Melted my heart as they moved right along to play like nothing was different.

Anyway back to how he is doing.

We started potty training and it's actually going very well!! I am impressed with how little accidents he has. Except... when he does have one, it's massive. I mean... pee is just everywhere. But! We started and that's all that matters. He is officially a big boy! We started with the three day method which seemed to work very well. And I know most parents do the full on naked day one, we decided to start with pants, this way he got used to it straight from the beginning and it worked perfectly! Needless to say I am happy to only have one in diapers now!

As for his little brother, well... not so little anymore. Out little chuck (my linebacker as I call him) is roughly only 10 pounds lighter than Jude and he continues to grow! He is trying to crawl and even though he can't get around by crawling, he is a huge mover.


Here are some updated pictures :) 



He was trying to copy mama :)


Our newest baby - Ellie Mae 



Cutest ever right??



These were their "matching" Christmas Eve jammies! 



Have A Blessed Day!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A birthday Never To Forget!

So our lucky fin turned two on October 19! It was totally awesome too because my husband has been working 6 nights week to help pay off some bills that we have and don't want to worry about anymore. Anyway, he is only off Sunday and half day Monday before he goes back to work on Monday nights. (I know, he's my hero too ;) )Well, Jude's birthday happened to fall on a Monday! Talk about awesome timing! Jude got to spend his birthday with both his parents and of course his little baby brother. And boy did he have a blast. Let's see... We went to his swim class that morning, he loves to swim and is just like Nemo when it comes to being like a fish. After that he had a celebratory breakfast where he got to eat whatever he wanted. Mostly ended up being bacon though; just like his father. After, we went back to swim so he could watch his little brother float around in the pool. Next we went to the store and he got to help pick his present! We had a few things in mind and as silly as it may sound (letting a two year old decide) we let him pick hi gift and he chose an awesome tool table! Daddy was able to set it up during his nap so when he woke up it was all there and ready to play with. His face was priceless. - I should mention he got to help dad build it and then threw a fit when it was nap time but was a brand new person coming down the stairs to play with his toy the rest of the day. -

After that we helped dad get ready for worked and gave him a big ole hug and kiss goodbye as he went off to be mommies hero <3 Soon after I took the boys to Sams to get some pizza for Jude's dinner. I think if I let him, he would eat pizza every meal and eventually turn into a pizza haha. So he of course loved that and got a celebratory Sprite so obviously he was in heaven over that! 

Then what came next melted my heart. 

So every Monday night we go to our friends house to have dinner and fellowship. Everyone there (sometimes 25 people) love my kids and let me take a break as a mom for just a few hours. Since it was Jude's birthday they were extra awesome to him. But here's where it gets super sweet. Some of our friends were going out to the store and while there made a phone call back to the house. My friend on the phone asked Jude if he wanted chocolate or vanilla. Jude immediately answered with "vanilla" and before I knew it they hung up the phone and were at the house with a vanilla cake for Jude. We all sang and he got to blow out the candles (many times I might add). He is so blessed and he doesn't even realize it. Needless to say he had a blast and ate way to much cake I'm sure.

So there was his actual birthday.

Throughout the week people kept stopping by with gifts for him and he just kept saying "happy to me" - meaning happy birthday to me! haha - 

The following Sunday we threw him a nice big spiderman birthday party (he's obsessed with spiderman) at the park near our house. Everyone came and Jude was in heaven! He got to eat more junk food, play on the park, eat more cake and get presents. What kid wouldn't like that? 

Needless to say he had a wonderful birthday party and has adjusted quite well since. He got his last 4 teeth we have been waiting on what seems to be forever and so now just for the molars. - Can I skip that process please? - 

He has also transitioned into a semi big boy bed. His crib turned into a toddler bed so we took the railing off and he is now officially a big boy! He only attempted to escape once, on the second night, and I was in there so fast I think it scared him to ever try it again! (No I didn't yell to scare him!) 

All in all I am blessed to have such an amazing little boy to share life with (two now!) and I can't wait to see what bithday's 3, 4, 5, 6.... you get the point, may bring for us! 

I love you my lucky little fin! Keep On Keepin On! 



Some Birthday Pictures for yall :)


Helping daddy build his new tool table! 



The cake our wonderful friends got him. 


Birthday party time! 


He is now Spiderman. For real. 


Of course he had to help mom cut the cake! 


His cupcake from mom and dad on his birthday. What a little ham :)


Thank you to our wonderful friends who helped make Jude's birthday special! 


First picture as a 2 year old! 


Last but not least, opening presents with daddy!




Have A Blessed Day! 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hello Two's

As we slowly approach my son's second birthday (insert tears here), I am finding that he is becoming more of a little human with an attitude. Now, this attitude of his can be quite hilarious or follow the standard of a terrible two year old. There are several days where I can't help but laugh when he does something that he shouldn't be doing. He's just too cute and his facial expressions are priceless to say the least! I will say though, he is great with his baby brother.

Before his brother was born I was terrified that he was not going to do well. I baby sat a friends kid once who was younger and a little bit more needy and Jude did not like that. He was not a fan that mommy was holding another baby. Needless to say, I was dead wrong and he is so in love with his little brother! It's such a wonderful thing to see them interact. There have been a few times where Cooper is crying and Jude will go talk to him or share his blankey with him and Coop will stop in an instant and many times smile at his older brother.

Our lucky little fin has come out to be an extraordinary child so far. Now I know, I am biased because I am his mother. Whatever. I know that the statement above is true because not one person leaves him and is in a bad mood, if anything, they're in a better mood! I was so worried about how he would be growing up missing fingers and toes and here he is, showing me that there is nothing to worry about! I know when he becomes school aged there may be a few issues but for now, he is the highlight of the party and lights up anywhere he goes. He is my amazingly special baby and I hate that he is growing up! Two came much too fast for my liking but I can't wait to see what the future holds for my lucky little fin.



Have A Blessed Day


Here are a few pictures to brighten your day :)







Raising him right and making him love football!


Loves his baby brother <3

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Graduating to Big Brother!

So as most of you know, our little lucky fin has been promoted to big brother! And as most do not know, here is the story of Cooper!

On June 20, 2015 I woke up at 6:30 am with what felt like a cramp. It was nothing intense so I went back to bed thinking nothing of it, knowing he wasn't due for another 2 weeks.

Around 8:00 I woke up again with some more cramping and decided I should probably get up. My husband had already left to go to his parents house because we were supposed to be killing chickens that morning. My lucky fin and I were going to be making our way over as soon as I got him up and ready.

Well around 8:15 I sent a text to my husband letting him know that I thought that I was having contractions but wasn't sure. I told him I would keep him updated.

Jumping forward to 8:30 or so, I called my husband to let him know contractions were varying from 2:30 to 7:00 minutes apart but that I was still planning on coming to my in-laws. In my mind even if I was having contractions, I wasn't very far along and could labor more at home. Plus if I went to my in-laws, Jude could stay there whenever I needed to head to the hospital. After calling my husband, he decided that he was going to come home and get me to take me to the hospital.

In the mean time I was packing up my car, making breakfast and getting my oldest ready because my sister in law was coming to get him. By the time I was all done they were at my house and we were getting ready to go to the hospital.

In my mind, because the contractions were so sporadic and I was able to still function that I would be maybe 2 or 3 cm by the time I got to the hospital. We arrived and headed to labor and delivery! As we were on our way to the hospital I called my parents to tell them but let them know that they probably had some time to kill before he would be born.

Once we were checked in they checked my progress and I was... wait for it... 7 cm and progressing quickly!! Holy cow! I made the nurse tell me 3 times that I was 7 cm because I didn't believe her. The next few parts went by so quickly.

After they realized how far along I was they decided I need to get unhooked from the machines and walk to the labor room to keep my body progressing. As they were unhooking me my water broke and I remember the nurse saying, "oh no, we need to get you into that room quickly! This baby will be here any minute since he is your second." I was shocked!

Once we got into the room where I would deliver things went even faster. The next check I was 9 cm and still no iv's so they were trying to do that as I'm contracting.

The midwife and nurses were amazing! Without my husband rubbing my shoulders telling me I could do it and them in my face telling me this baby needs to be born, I can say that I successfully gave birth all naturally. But only because of them!

As they were trying to get the iv in I noticed that I needed to push! Needless to say they got that iv in me real quick and I started to push! 4 or so pushes and baby Cooper had entered the world at 10:54 am. Almost 2.5 hours after active labor started; I have been blessed with easy labors!

Now, because of Jude one of the first things we did was check to make sure all fingers and toes were there and they were :)

The rest of the day is a blurr but it was beautiful and perfect and I could have asked for anything better! He is now almost 4 weeks old and doing wonderfully! Jude is absolutely in love with him and the best big brother ever! I love my boys to death and now that Cooper is here I can't imagine life before him!

Here are some pictures for you all :)



Jude meeting Cooper for the first time!


Jude on the left and Cooper on the right!


Snuggling his little brother :)


After his first bath!


Have a Blessed Day!