"The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched-they must be felt with the heart." Hellen Keller

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Well it is all over...kinda sad really. There is always so much anticipation leading up to Christmas....so much excitement and then BAM! It's all over. I miss it already! We had a really good Christmas. The kids had a great time! Bryson loved it all! I have decided that I am a terrible person because I literally took three pictures at Christmas and they were on my iPhone and no good! Don't get me wrong I love to see those pictures later posted online or Facebook or in a drawer (hee hee) but if I take pictures I feel like I lose the moment, like I'm not living in it. I just am not a picture taker but I plan on seriously working on it this year. It's even one of my resolutions! Oh, and we had a white Christmas!!! It snowed all day for almost two days before Christmas. It was a seriously "Norman Rockwell" Christmas. I loved it!!!! As I said, I miss it already! :). Now on to cleaning up the endless mess!!! Ugh!!! And then the new year shall begin!!!! I don't care for the actual "celebration" of new years per say but I like the feeling of a new beginning. I think we all do! Normally I am so against new years resolutions but this year I have decided I am going for it!! Go big or go home, right??? So here is my "rough draft" of resolutions
1) go to church every single Sunday
2) go on weight watchers and commit to losing weight
3) commit to taking more pictures
4) curse less (remember my spouse works in the oil field and it rubs off on me!)
5) pray more, maybe even commit to writing down a prayer list to put beside my bed
6) spend more time playing with my kids
7) work on cleaning up finances

Ok, that is all for now. Dang, I sure need some fixin' lol. I look forward to it!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I pray that your new year is the best one yet!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Perspective

Said funk has now morphed into deliberate sadness......and a little fear as well. I don't want to go into it fully but my husband is having some medical issues. It is funny, with my kids I want to share it with everyone but for this situation it is "different". I think because I know that he wouldn't really appreciate me telling everyone his business and for some reason I feel like if I share it out loud and tell everyone.....well, it makes it more real. Silly, I know! I almost wonder if the "funk" was not intuition. Female intuition is an amazing thing and I KNOW for a FACT it exists. We are amazing creatures, us lady folk! Anyway, with that being said, please say a prayer for our family. It would be much appreciated! All this medical stuff and my blog obsession just has me thinking. This time of year is so hard for some people, myself included, and the truth is I never lost anyone this time of year....it is just the memories of trauma. Like an anchor they drag the time with them and every year at that same time you see the terrible things that happened years ago. I can't imagine actually losing a loved one during the holidays and yet for so many it is a reality....the cold, hard truth. I find myself asking God why there is so much sadness, why so many children suffer? I find myself feeling guilty for being happy because so many people are heartbroken. I know because I used to be that person. I remember going to Babies R Us to try to find clothes for Bryson when he was in the hospital and they finally gave me the ok to dress him. Everyone was shopping happily and anticipating the arrival of their baby and I wasn't allowed to hold mine or even dress him. When we got back with his clothes they said he had an "episode" and was very sick. He would go several more weeks without wearing clothes after that. I remember seeing the Christmas tree at Children's and my mom commented how beautiful it was....I HATED that Christmas tree. I hated the decorations. I hated all of it! And even now, even though he is WELL, I just don't see Christmas as I used to. So many, many people are hurting and I know Christmas goes on and I know it is not about the trees and the gifts but the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. But still, so many are hurting. Do you know how many kids spend their Christmas in the hospital? How many families spend those days waiting for test results that could change their lives forever? It is just hard these days to see the happiness and joy because life doesn't stop and become magical that day like it does in the movies. I want to go back to the days when I didn't realize how many sick kids were in the world, how many, many people are dying of cancer and other diseases. I want to be foolish and full of cheer again! I want to not worry all the time about someone or something. I want to be able to just thank God for all the good, and not pray that someone gets well or that he help a family who has lost a loved one. Just one day!!!!!!!!!!!! I know what I need....I need go back to church. To surround myself with the love of God through my brothers and sisters in Christ. We haven't been back to church since Bryson got sick. I was told not to take him to the nursery because of sickness. And honestly we had some things happen with the church that were terrible. I won't repeat them because they don't bear repeating but to say that I was bitter and angry would be an understatement. That has since passed and I have let it go. And now Bryson is showing that he loves to play with other children and his immune system is stronger. And most of all, my heart needs PEACE....the kind of peace that only God can give. I know I rambled a lot in this, it was more of a "therapy" write for me. But please, this Christmas season, remember those who are hurting and pray for their peace. AND, as always, THANKS for listening (reading) ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

FUNK!

The title of the blog best describes me right now. I'm in.....a funk! I am not sure why. I have some suspicions but not sure exactly which one it is. Is it because it is the Christmas season and as of late I have heard so many "sad stories" from people? I am sure my obsession with blogs of sick kids doesn't help in this department. Is it money? We all lack in this department during the holiday season as well. Is it hormonal? Sorry, that may be too much information but it does seem that my PMS is RAGING! I had my tubes tied after Bryson and it seems my moods have gotten crazy as of late. For those of you who have not take care of the "baby factory" I would not recommend tying your tubes. Many problems follow after....there is even a syndrome for it. I forget the acronym but I do have MANY of the symptoms. Is it my job??? I do miss my other job like crazy! And honestly I am soooooo bored at this new job! Sometimes there is work to do but oftentimes, there is NOTHING and it drives me INSANE! I have too much time to think! Think about all I could be doing at home that is! Needless to say my life has changed considerably in the last few years. And we seem to have lost touch with a lot of friends as well. I find myself inviting friends over, planning parties and such but I am also starting to see that is never reciprocated. That never use to bother me before but now I am starting to see it more and more and frankly I am tired of that as well. I think my days of trying to keep friendships together and being the active part of the relationship are over. My time is so limited as it is so I need to spend any time left over with my family....who by the way, are all doing great. Another reason I can't figure out this funk. Everyone is great and happy but my usual optimistic attitude is dampered. I feel like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh and that if you looked at me from a certain angle you would be able to see the little black rain cloud over my head. I find myself worrying about really stupid, illogical things. If I have a strange pain, I wonder if I have cancer. If Bryson has a weird rash, I wonder if he has the flesh-eating bacteria. I wonder too much.....too loud! I am really hoping this week goes by extra fast because then I am off of work for a couple of weeks and will be smack-dab in the middle of the distraction of Christmas and company and I think that is what I need. Distractions! Sweet toddler kisses! late morning coffee in my pajamas! Hopefully it will be just what the doctor ordered! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Here is Riley, the "great, white hunter" He didn't get a deer at the lease so he settled for a bird in our alley. Sorry I haven't been around lately. I really enjoyed my week home and I kept fairly busy but at least we slept late and had some down time. Now that we are back to work and school......GEEZ! So busy! Riley is back in the select football full force. Truth is though, as much as he kind of dreaded it, he loves it. This weekend we have yet another tournament and it is going to be sooooooo cold! UGH! Oh well, should be fun anyhow. I love the cold weather when I don't have to sit out in it and I sure hope it is cold like this for Christmas. I can't stand it when it is all bright and sunny and warm for Christmas.....it just makes it so much more UN-Christmas-like. Speaking of Christmas, I am glad to say that Bryson has finally gotten over the "magic" of the tree and its ornaments and is beginning to leave it all alone. I swear he has hoarded 25% of my ornaments somewhere in his room. Stinker! We are getting into the swing of the holidays with Christmas parties galore. MAN! Last year I worked in an office with 6 people and we did very little. Now I work in the big central office and just in our department we look over like 5 different areas and so I think I have 5 or 6 parties to go to, in 2 weeks! WOW! I love it though and Riley is having a great chili frito pie and cookie party at his school too. We are expecting lots of family and friends this year so I am excited for that. Thanksgiving was so quiet but Christmas will not be. I really look forward to it all! I have to brag about my children while I am on here. You know it is the main reason I still have my blog! Tee, hee! So Kory is in AP classes already and is so smart. However high school is proving to be much more challenging than junior high was. He has always made great grades without even putting forth an effort but now he has to work and I think it is a shock to his system! Anyway, in addition to his World History AP class, he was invited into some special secret, uber smart history class. So proud of him! He has also been approached by the Decathlon and the Debate team. He says he isn't quite ready for those but I wish he would. Anyway, I am so proud of him! Riley is kicking butt too! He has made great grades at school and even though this is his first year in public school he is the social butterfly and loves it. And in football, well, they love him. It doesn't hurt that he is the second biggest kid on the team. Remember the reference, "tank 2". My kids are so huge! Bryson has gotten so tall. I don't remember either of my other boys being so tall as he is now. And he is adorable as always and talking up a storm! For about two weeks we went from "momma" to "mommy" and my goodness I swear he said it every two seconds. SUPER cute but I have to admit I got kinda sick of hearing it! :) And....big news.....remember Lloyd (the green, satiny blanket that is constantly in his mouth)well, he had surgery. Don't worry, it was minor. Well, I suppose being CUT IN HALF isn't too minor, is it????? Yes, my mom cut Lloyd in half. He is soooooo attached that he won't even let us wash it so we figured that if we "halfed" it then we could wash one, etc... In reality he carries them both around but he thinks it is hilarious that she cut Lloyd in half. Silly boy!
Here he is in his "mommy" phase. Kory is the one at the end of the video. Such a dork!
video

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankful

I know, I know....it is late but that doesn't mean I am any less thankful!:)
I am thankful......that I have a job that allowed me to enjoy this entire week off with my kids. Of course, I never saw Riley really. He was hunting all week and loving it. He is a mountain man!
I am thankful.......that I have a great husband whom I truly consider my best friend. We were high school sweethearts and we have had ups and downs but I can truly say that we have something special and I treasure that.
I am thankful......that my mom is such a big part of my life. She is the "extra" parent that we so often have to call on for help and she has always been there. I am glad she gets to be such a huge part of Bryson's childhood. She is a true blessing.
I am thankful......for Mark's parents. We are close with them and enjoy our times together when I hear so many say that isn't the case in their families.
I am thankful....for my brothers and their families. We may not spend a lot of time together but when we are together it is like we were never apart.
I am thankful.......for Kory. He is such a good person. He has a heart the size of Dallas but sometimes he really pretends that he doesn't. He is going to be a phenomenal father someday (way down the road!)
I am thankful.......for Riley. He is so much a man's man and he is changing so rapidly before my eyes. He is fiesty one minute and loving the next. He ALWAYS keeps me on my toes.
I am thankful.......for my little pickle, Bryson. When I got pregnant with him we were so distraught honestly.....not ready for a third baby with a HUGE space in age. I didn't know how I was going to do it. Little did I know what was in store for us! He is truly so much fun and he is the glue that holds this family together. We all laugh and enjoy him so much. I am not sure how we lived without him.
I am thankful.......for the hard times......I know it sounds crazy and I would never,ever have my child (or our family) suffer like that again. BUT, it opened my eyes in so many ways. I live my life differently and I know that is because of what we, as a family, went through. We survived, HE SURVIVED and for that I thank God every day!
And lastly I am thankful......for my Savior and Lord. He has never left my side and never forsaken me. We, too, have been through rough times but it only made my faith stronger. Thank you dear Lord for the many sweet blessings in our lives. I pray that we, and others, remain blessed this Christmas season!

Friday, November 11, 2011

We have a great weekend planned and I can't wait! We finally purchased a travel trailer and so Mark and Riley are headed to the deer lease. FUN! They can't go until Saturday because Riley has football practice tonight. You know that down in Texas we are SERIOUS about our football. Let me explain the seriousness of it all. Riley is ten years old, fourth grade. He was selected to be on a special, traveling team. They practice EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, except Wednesday. I am talking Saturday, Sunday, all of it and they practice for TWO HOURS, 6-8pm. They actually have lights brought out every day to light up the field so they can practice. We don't play around with our football here! He had his football banquet last night and it was fun. He got a plaque and a medal and a dvd that was so great! Someone put a lot of work into it and it had tons of pictures of the team and all these cool graphics and cool music and in one part they put the speech from the movie "Friday Night Lights". I loved it! When they gave him his award they lovingly referred to him as TANK 2. The reason being there is another kid on the team that is bigger. It was fun! I love football and I really hope that Riley continues to love it too!
On Saturday me and Bryson and my mom are heading to a bake sale/adoption give away at a vet clinic. They are supposed to have zebras and monkeys and a giant tortise. I know Bryson will love it! I ask him every day if he wants to go see zebras and he throws his hands up in the air and says, "YAH!" He is so goofy! Then we have lots of errands and a carpet cleaning appointment and then we are taking Bryson to see Puss in Boots. Honestly he hasn't been to the movies in a really long time, months at least....So I am curious as to how he will do. The kid loves him some popcorn so popcorn there will be! I am such a movie-goer and Bryson has really stifled that as of lately so we are going to prime him up to be a movie buff as well!
And of course we will see very little of Kory as he has now become Mr. Popularity (helps when you are the only one of your friends who has a car!) Somedays I forget what he looks like! Not really, just kidding. I do miss him but I am happy that he is having such a good time. I so enjoyed my high school years and I want the same for him as well.
I have a feeling it is going to be a great weekend! Hope you all have a great one too!!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

HELLO!

Enough with the depressing post! Am I right people!?!?! I really wanted to post some cute pictures but my computer is STUPID (yea, I called you stupid computer!) and won't let me open them. UGH! Anyway, Halloween night was so much fun! At first Bryson was kind of miffed at the entire thing and thought we were just going for a walk but then he realized that we were getting CANDY AT PEOPLE'S DOORS! Well, then he was soooooo in! I pushed him in his little car and he after the first few houses he refused to get in the car, instead deciding to run from house to house which made me super nervous. So I finally get him back in the car and he sits but he doesn't even give the chance to pull up to the next house before he bails out of the little car head-first and takes off in a mad dash to the door. The kid literally walked for two hours (ran a lot of it too). So cute! And the kids got sooooo much candy! It was our best year yet! I was sure he would come home and pass out....but no....he came home and played and played, and when trick-or-treaters came up to our door he would run over and if they were even remotely small he would say, "babies!" He also decided that he likes to eat Starburst with the package on it. I guess it is better that way! Anyway, really great Halloween! Kory worked and got paid and had a good time too.
Lately a lot of my time has been taken up with band practice. Yea, me and Bryson and Kory and Riley are in a band. Bryson is in charge of the instruments. My old neighbor Elizabeth gave him a bunch of instruments for his birthday and he LOVES them. He comes in (with great authority I might add) hands everyone an instrument and we begin to play. He favors the metal cymbal-like disks that you bang together (like the scary monkey toy in Toy Story) and he bangs them SO HARD and SO CLOSE TO HIS FACE! I cannot believe he hasn't taken off his own nose! It is soooo hilarious because he takes band practice so seriously. ADORABLE!
Riley and Mark went hunting this weekend and Riley shot a raccoon. He was so stinking proud! I have heard about that raccoons insides for two full days now. YUCK! Oh, and Kory is teaching Bryson some really great things....like how to say the word "EEEWWW" and how to put his finger in his nose. I knew I should have hidden the baby and never told the other children about him! There is no hope! :)
Anyway, getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I am getting soooo excited. So my favorite time of year! I have all my presents bought and wrapped already. Yes, I do.....don't make fun! Love you all!!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The decisions we make

I probably shouldn't even talk about this....but I have to. You see, right now, is probably one of the most peaceful and happy times in my life. I just feel like everything is good. My "worry-meter" is at an all time low. I'm just so stinking happy. HOWEVER (there is always that however) there is one thing that looms in my mind. At night, when it is dark and I am laying in bed and it is quiet...it crosses my mind....no....it consumes my mind and I feel like the only way that I can get it to leave, is to write about it. I mean, no holds barred, truthful, balls to the wall writing! So I'm gonna write about it in hopes that I can finally LET IT GO!
For those of you who do or don't know...here is the backstory, short version. September 17th Bryson is born and rushed to hospital and seriously sick. For almost two weeks before his birth I was stuck in antepartum because of low fluid and I HATED IT. I missed my boys and Mark so much! So here I am thinking I am going to spend a few days at the hospital and instead I get a c-section and leave the next day to go to Dallas for God knows how long. Needless to say I was sick about leaving my other two boys at home. We wait for surgery, have surgery, wait for his chest to be closed, chest is closed and we are told, "he will be up on the 8th floor and headed home in a couple of weeks!" Ok, I can do that! WHEW! Fast forward to the week before Thanksgiving. We are nowhere near going home and Bryson is declining rapidly, and suffering terribly. I am told over the phone by a doctor that, "he will not survive this....he is just too sick....perhaps you should think about turning off the machines and letting him pass." I talk to nurses (at least two) who agree. They say even if he lives his life will be terrible. He will have a trach, feeding tube, and we don't even know if his brain is ok after all the trauma. His life will be hospital stays and horrors that no child deserves. We have a care conference with the team to discuss what to do. We meet Dr. Koch.....we don't know him from Adam but he knows my son's medical history and he says to me, "give us some time, let us try some things". Mark and I have a lot of discussions about Bryson's life, our life, our other son's lives, fears of Bryson being a guinea pig, but mostly his pain and suffering. Then, we made a decision that I think shocked everyone involved. We decided to go home for a while. This was not a decision that was easily made and many people had problems with us leaving and comments were made and scars were created that will never be healed. Let me start off by saying this.....sometimes, now, I regret it. I feel like I abandoned my sick baby. I understand why people questioned our decision because if I were looking in from the outside I would say, "I would never leave my baby!" Sometimes....I regret it. I think part of the reason why is because people judged us so and I think about what they said and I question my decisions. But then, I remember, I WAS THE ONE WHO WAS ON THE INSIDE! Do you know what it is like to spend every waking moment of your day watching your own child slowly die????? When you question me and my decisions I want you to put that in the forefront of your mind. This was our reality, EVERY SINGLE DAY! Come in first thing in the morning.....Bryson is asleep not because of fatigue but because he was on enough pain meds to kill a horse. He is on the ventilator and his mouth is hanging open and his neck is turned to the side. Bright, colorful toys prop up the breathing tube. The machines beep constantly ALL DAY. There is a sticker with writing on it that covers his entire forehead. His legs splay open because he is so snowed he can't hold them up in any fashion. He has two pigtails tubes coming out of the side of his chest. There are two bigger chest tubes underneath them, which by the way, are barbaric-looking. He has a dialysis drain coming out near his belly button. He has a picc line coming out of his arm, various IV's in other sites. EVERY inch of his body has something coming out of it. He is swollen beyond belief, beyond belief. So swollen in fact that his face is speckled with broken blood vessels. He can't even open his eyes if he wanted to because they are swollen shut. As soon as we get there we hear morning rounds where they again discuss that we can't do anything much today because of the extra fluid. "We will change his diuretic dose and see if we can get some of that fluid off", "Oh and he has an infection somewhere so we have to culture every single tube coming out of his body and every orphus so we can find the infection and until then everyone coming in has to wear masks and gowns". There were many days I couldn't even touch his skin! THIS was our reality (or worse) every, single day and so yea, I wanted to leave. I couldn't take it anymore! I couldn't watch him die anymore! I needed to hug my other kids and love on them. No one knows this but before I finally made the decision to go home for a while...I thought about running off, leaving and disappearing where no one could find me. I had never felt so crazy and out of control in my entire life. I missed my kids so much and the thought of Bryson dying was more than I could bear and I felt so guilty for even wanting to leave but I had to!!! And so I did! it isn't like we LEFT him at the hospital forever but we took a break. We were gone Monday-Wednesday and came back on Thursday or Friday and stayed all weekend. And the doctors and nurses strongly encouraged us to leave. And the nurses there LOVED Bryson. He was in CICU and had medical care 24/7 but it was more than that. Those nurses touched and talked to him constantly. I had NO doubt that he wasn't getting the love he deserved for those few days a week I was gone. They sent pictures to me and I called constantly! And so we left. It was the hardest decision I ever made and yes.....sometimes I do regret it. BUT, sometimes I think it was the right thing to do. For one, honestly, mentally, I am afraid of what would have happened...of what I would have done. It was that bad! Secondly, my other boys needed me just as much as I needed them. They were going through hell too and all without their mom and dad near. I feel like my coming home saved them too. I truly do! And, the more I think about it the more I realize.....his medical care changed. Before I left I had a promise from Dr. Koch that he would send me an email each day with all of Bryson's medical changes....and he did. I was more informed of Bryson's medical care during that time than ANY other time. The medical staff respected us more and shared more with us. I called all day and each time I was given updates. It was almost as if we stepped out of the way and let the medical staff and doctors (and God) do what was needed for Bryson and THEN s - l -o -w - l - y he began to get better. And as he got better and got off of the ventilator we spent more and more time going to Dallas to be with him. And, mentally, I got better too. Once I stepped out of the situation and looked at the "big picture" and refocused.....I was rejuvenated and I felt like I could do this....and so could Bryson. I am not defending my decision....because it was ultimately MY decision but there was something else that people do not realize. If it were today, and Bryson had to do it all over again. I would NEVER leave his side, not even at night. The difference is this....Bryson was born and he was my son.....and then he was in the hospital for so long and I could not hold him or provide any of his care...and then, he essentially belonged to the hospital, not to me anymore. At least that was the way it felt. People may not understand this feeling but we never got to bond....not at all. The power of touch is so important and there were NO opportunities for bonding, there was only fear and horror and it takes a toll on a person. I began to push away my feelings for him and become numb because I was soooo afraid to truly, truly LOVE him. What if I let go and felt that attachment and love and he died? It may sound silly but it was a coping mechanism that I cannot explain. I used to worry back in those days that he and I would never be as close as I wanted because we missed all that bonding when he was born but that was a foolish thought. We are bonded like I had NEVER imagined in my wildest dreams.
I needed to say these things....I needed to validate my feelings....to let go of guilt and move on. I know that some people judged me very strongly for my decisions but I also know that most people understood, truly understood. AND, I learned a very important lesson through these feelings....I will NEVER judge anyone on decisions they have to make. Decisions that I know were hard to make. We all have it in our minds what we will do in the face of a crisis but that isn't how it works. We can have grand visions just like in the movies of us kneeling by our children's beds, never eating, never sleeping, fighting for their rights and NEVER giving up no matter what but you know what......this isn't the movies, it's real life and that isn't how it works. We are human, we make mistakes, sometimes we get it right.....we all have to make decisions.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Heart Walk, Halloween and cleaning it all up

As you can see the Heart Walk went very well this weekend! It was quite cold but not too bad. Bryson was great but he couldn't have cared less about a walk....he just wanted to throw rocks. Here is a video of him doing so!

video

Silly boy! Anyway, so far we have raised about 2100, I think and we have more coming. So proud of our team!

And then we did some Halloween carnivals and Bryson enjoyed that, as did Riley. Riley won a cake in his first try on the cake walk, he was so pleased!
Anyway, I will let the pictures do the talking!



Oh, and when the weekend was over we had to do some cleaning up. Bryson said he would do the bulk of the work, as you can see below. He is free on Tuesdays and Thursdays if anyone needs a cleaning boy! LOL

Friday, October 28, 2011

15 Things You May Not Know

I borrowed this from another blog because I think it is fun, so here goes....

15 things you may not know about me

1. I have really terrible night terrors, the ones where you jump out of bed screaming in the middle of the night. I have found that if I take melatonin I don't have them. I had to find something or my family was gonna make me move out!

2. I am a published author, my book is called "Bryson's Journey" and chronicles his days in the hospital and after. I LOVE to write

3. I have a double bachelor degree in English and Mass Communications. I wanted to be a journalist on tv but I couldn't be that aggressive.

4. I had my very own tv show. I worked at a local educational channel in my hometown and hosted a show called "Chalkdust" where I interviewed people about upcoming events or educational things they had done in the classrooms or communities. I used to think it was kind of silly but now I miss it.

5. I color! Any time I have any freetime at all, I color. It has to be markers and I order these fancy, geometric or mandala-like coloring books. It is soooooo therapeutic!!

6. I have four half-brothers and one half-sister. Two of my brothers and I share the same mom but have different dads. Two of my brothers and my sister share the same dad but have different moms. I know, we should be on Jerry Springer!

7. I buy all my Christmas in September/October. I get so excited that I can't stand the suspense. Everyone makes fun of me for it but guess who is home sipping hot chocolate on Black Friday! That would be ME!

8. If I could go back to school and start my career over, I would be a nurse.

9. I traveled to Paris and London when I was 18 years old. I had JUST found out I was pregnant and so did my parents who went on the trip with me. Can anyone say AWKWARD!

10. I have to take a bath or shower EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I refuse to get in my bed with the filth of the day on me.

11. When I wake up in the morning my hair is matted like a dog....and I mean a rabid dog. My kids all have the same problem.

12. I have four tattoos. A "tramp stamp" that is a huge red cross (still freaks my skin doctor out every single time he looks at it, you would think it was a jumping spider!). Stars on my foot with my kids names in them (and my personal favorite tattoo). A heart with wings and an M in it on my wrist (might stand for Mark...maybe marshmallows....hmmmmm), a butterfly on my hip that I got when I was about 16 or 17.

13. Practically every piece of clothing I own is black!

14. My initials spell my name. Amy Marie Young A.M.Y.

15. I write all of my letters backwards. I start from the bottom and go up. I do it with letters to. I write them the complete opposite of how everyone else does. My kids do it too and man, oh man do teachers HATE it but it sure is a conversation starter when you get older. LOL!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beads of Courage


This picture is a blast from the past! I just wanted to post it because I love it! I know Bryson isn't happy but I sure am! This is when he was on the road to recovery and we had so much new hope and excitement and I was getting to hold him every day. It was Heaven as you can see from the expression on my face! :)

Such an exciting time for Bryson! My bestest friend Kelley made and delivered his "Heartbeats for Bryson" shirts for the walk! YAH! They turned out great! Riley actually helped in making the shirts. When we first talked about a heart walk he drew a heart walking down a road...so cute! Kelley used that idea to make our walking heart! We are so excited about the walk. We have had a lot of donations and people wanting to walk with us! It should be fun!
And.....let's see....Bryson peed in the potty this morning. From what my mom says she was far more excited about it than Bryson was. That kid IS NOT a morning person. He is like me, he gets all fired up at night and has trouble going to sleep but he can sleep until 11 everyday if we let him. I love that about him! :)
He got his teeth checked and cleaned
AND Bryson got his beads of courage. I am so excited about that and so was Riley. He spent the rest of the night stringing beads together to make necklaces. He received over 750 beads. Each bead represents something different. Some examples of what he received beads are...
nights spent in the hospital
days intubated
needle pokes
surgery
blood taken for labs
cath lab
special bead for the day he was released from hospital
etc....
And this kid earned EVERY SINGLE BEAD!
Anyway, these beads are so very special to us and I hope one day when he is older he will feel the same way. Right now I just think that he thinks they look delicious. LOL!








Oh and Kory is taking his driving test today so WE WILL SEE! He is so nervous but he is a great kid and he will do fine! I will be back to post lots of pictures of the heart walk, Halloween, Kory driving (or not driving!) Oh and Riley was invited to be on a "specialty team" for football....kind of like All Stars for football so that ought to be fun!
Be Good, love you all! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shingles, and allergies and head colds....OH MY







Well we have been super busy! Let's see....and allergies and sickness and shingles is trying to take us down. Yes, Kory got shingles...on his face! UGH! Awful stuff! It was painful and he was soooooo tired. I didn't think he was gonna make it! And, he is working at the haunted house as a chainsaw-wielding clown so he needed his energy but he is officially MUCH better and got all his hair cut off and he looks so cute. He looks like such a man! He shaved his beard too! I like the beard but oh well.
This week I got a head cold...or sinus infection....anyway, my head was infected. After a shot and antibiotics I feel.....better. Being sick sucks! Especially when you have a full-time job, three kids and MORE!
Riley is still playing football and he is doing great. He plays defense and offense...he actually plays the entire game and he loves it.
Bryson is silly as always, busy stealing everyone's attention. The kid loves to be chased and wrestle. I swear one night I am going to video him. We lay down to go to bed and we put him in between us with the green, satiny blanket. He stuffs the entire blanket in his mouth it seems. I swear one day he going to be a clown and do an at where he pulls an entire blanket of cloth out of his mouth. Cracks me up! Anyway, he is so tired but tries SO hard to stay awake as long as we are awake so as we read he does what I call the "crocodile roll". He rolls and rolls and kicks and moves and tucks his butt up in the air over and over. We have learned that if we ignore him instead of telling him to be still he soon wears himself out and falls asleep with his butt in the air. Silly boy!!!!!!!!!
We are gearing up for the Heart Walk and we are so proud that Bryson is the Grand Marshall of the event. I love to share his story for so many reasons. He is a superhero, a miracle, an inspiration, a testament....and more!
The boys are getting their pictures made on Sunday (except Kory has to work so he may not be taking his picture) BOO :( and I will post those as soon as I can.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Big News

Guess who is going to be the GRAND MARSHALL for the Odessa Heart Walk!!!!!!!!
You guessed it! Bryson! AND.....he is the "poster child" for a private school in Midland and they want him to come and make an appearance. Next thing you know he will need a P.R. person and a calendar and an Iphone! LOL! Anyway, I am so proud of him! Below is the text part of the email that was sent out to everyone. I couldn't get the pictures in there but there was one from when he was sick and one from now.


Bryson Young was born on September 17, 2009 to Mark
and Amy Young of Odessa. Bryson has two older brothers,
Riley and Kory. Many of you may know Amy, she has
been an employed with ECISD for over seventeen years.
Bryson was born with Transposition of the Great
Arteries (TGA), coarctation of the aorta, ventricular septal
defect (VSD) and Taussing Bing (DORV VSD). Shortly
after Bryson was born, he was life flighted to Dallas
Children’s Hospital, where he would spend the next four
months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Bryson’s Mom, Amy started a Journal for Bryson, so that
when he was old enough she could read him the
day-to-day challenges he had overcome. Then he would
know what a miracle he truly was. I read Amy’s book
Bryson’s Journey and from the forward I was hooked.
Amy wrote in the forward “ I had so many; many
pictures in my head of what our future would be like.
But then one day I quit writing in Bryson’s journal.
I felt stupid writing in it because there was a chance
that he would never read it. Instead I carried around
a piece of paper in my wallet for a funeral home, so that when he passed I wouldn't have to scramble to find someone to cremate his body. There is nothing quite as painful in the world as losing hope, especially when it involves your child.”
Bryson was fourteen days old when he underwent open heart surgery to repair his heart defects. His recovery was long and each day was met with challenges. Bryson was dependent on a ventilator for his every breath. Over the weeks, Bryson slowly grew stronger. Today you would never know what he has been through if it weren’t for the numerous scars that cover his body. Bryson visits his pediatric cardiologist twice
a year and could need more surgeries and procedures as his heart grows, but for now he is a thriving, adorable two-year-old boy who is full of
energy and life.
The American Heart Association is proud to have Bryson Young as
The Grand Marshall of the 2011 Odessa Heart Walk.

Please join Bryson, the Young Family and ECISD at the 2011 Odessa Heart Walk on October 29th at Mission Fitness. Join Bryson’s Team “Heartbeats for Bryson” or start your own campus team today! Help us make a difference in the future of children like Bryson.

Bryson’s Journey, is a book written by Amy Young and details the roller coaster ride of her
son’s harrowing fight for life. This book is available by contacting Amy.young@ectorcountyisd.org. All proceeds from the book go directly to the American Heart Association. Please contact
Sharon Rhea, AHA Youth Market Director at 325-829-9302 for any questions, fundraising ideas
or supplies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weekend Fun and two big announcements

Well, sadly, we weren't able to go to Granny's 85th birthday this weekend due to LOADS of rain. So if you are reading HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANNY! We love and miss you!
However we did have a nice weekend anyway. And Monday the kids were off because of Columbus Day and so me and Riley and B went to the park. At first Bryson wasn't sure what to do. He has been to the park before but not a lot because he just can't do the heat. I'm not sure if that is a heart thing (I think it is a little)but Monday the weather was so great! Anyway, he ran around haphazardly and pointed and laughed and talked and tried to steal some kid's remote control car. (he is toddler and EVERYTHING belongs to HIM!)










The funny part is that there are slides and toys and gadgets and swings but that is not what Bryson truly loved. The park was right in front of the hospital (the one he was born in!) and there was a handicap ramp that lead to a locked door for hospital staff and patients and ALL Bryson wanted to do was run up the ramp and back down the ramp, over and over and over! Riley just did not get why the kid would want to run up and down the ramp. Goofy!




So afterwards we went to get something to drink. Bryson wore us OUT! I thought this kid with heart defects was supposed to tire out easily! Could of fooled me!
Got smoothie????

And this one is just because I want you to see how goofy this kid is!

LOL!
Anyway we had a nice, relaxing weekend where we played and had lots of fun being silly. It was a nice break from our crazy schedule!
I have some exciting news, actually TWO bits of exciting news.
First, drum roll please......................I passed my Generalist exam! YEEEEEHAW! (yes I just yeehawed!) SOOOOO glad for this! Such a HUGE weight off of my shoulders and now I am certified to be a teacher! There is only one campus I want to work at so I have let that principal know and I am waiting patiently. It will more than likely be next year but that is ok with me. I am just so glad to be in this position and so blessed in my career.
And number two.........Bryson has been picked to be the Grand Marshall for our local heart walk! Yea, so exciting! I just found out today so I really have NO idea what this entails but I know it is going to be great! I really want people to hear his story for the simple fact that HE IS A MIRACLE! And I want others to have awareness of the #1 birth defect. So many children go undiagnosed and pass away without anyone ever knowing there was a heart defect. There have been some with Bryson's very same defect that went home and passed because no one knew. The facts about congenital heart defects are staggering and this is a way for people to be educated......and to hear his amazing.......truly amazing story! I can't wait. As I said I don't yet know what a Grand Marshall does but I picture us hoisting him up on our shoulders (don't tell my mom about that, she will freak) and shouting BRYSON, BRYSON as we walk in a parade. I know, hilarious right! I know that isn't really how it works but I think it is funny that I can't get that image out of my head. :) Anyway, I meet with the woman from the American Heart Association this afternoon and I will have more information then. SO EXCITED!
Love to you all!!!!