Thursday, February 17, 2011

Continuing to Pray for Scarlette

   I am writing tonight to ask everyone to say a prayer for a friend of mines baby. Kayla and I attended high school together, and though we were never close in school, I follow her blog daily. She is an amazing and strong woman with a lot of motivation and faith behind her. She is happily married with a baby that she delivered over 100 days ago. If I have not yet told you about Kayla and Jeff’s baby, you may find it funny that I mention the days. See, Scarlette was born as a micro-preemie. She was over 100 days early. During this week, Kayla will pass by her actual due date. The only problem…. Scarlette is still in NICU. She was born weighing a little over one pound. As of right now, this precious baby weighs over 4.2 lbs! Can we say absolutely amazing! She has the strength of her mother and surprises us daily. Though none of us have had the privilege of meeting this miracle, she has stolen and captured the hearts of many. When Kayla posts daily, whether it be on her progress or days of hardships, I cry. I cry for the good news and I shed many tears over the worrisome news. I pray daily and frequently. This fighter that Kayla has had the pleasure of bringing into the world and knowing deserves so much more in life and I have no doubts, she will get it. Scarlette is here for a reason. Kayla has been by her side throughout it all and loving her with every passing moment. When Kayla hurts, we all hurt. When she is overfilled with joy, we are on the outside rejoicing with her. Scarlette is currently having more issues within the intestinal area. She is up for another GI appointment and a possible transfer to a Children’s Hospital in Atlanta for another surgery. Please everyone, pray! This little girl and her family need it. To hear more of Scarlett’s adventures and Kayla’s thoughts, please check out her blog. On the right hand side of my blog, you will find a list of the blogs we follow. Click on the link that is titled Kayla Aimee: Only Slightly Neurotic. On her main page you will be able to read her thoughts, fears, and joys throughout this experience. In the upper left hand area you will see a link that reads Daily Scarlette. If you click on that, it will lead you to her daily updates. Read this and you will be able to take it all in from her point of view.

I know as a mother to two preemies, I cannot even begin to fathom what she is going through. My heart aches for her to see her baby going through this. Breanna was our preemie that went through so much, which we are blessed to have. After all, she is our little miracle. Not everyone knows the story on Breanna. Long story short, we had to fight to get Bre here, and even after my emergency c-section, it was a roller coaster with her. I went into labor at 20 weeks and for almost 15 weeks I spent more time admitted in the hospital than I did at home. The hospital had become my new, temporary home during this time. I was on full bed rest and pumped full of medication to stop and control the labor. It was so rough. At 22 weeks I was told the goal was to make it to 27 weeks in order for my daughter to survive. At 34 weeks I was rushed to L&D because my daughter’s heart had stopped beating. They pushed sugar cubes and juice through me trying to make her move and start pumping again. An amniocentesis was performed the following morning so that NICU could be on standby and better prepared for her. The doctors had already informed us that within 24 hours our baby would be here. None of us knew what to expect. I was overcome with worry and fear unlike any other time in my life. They tried to induce me, but my body went into full blown labor too quickly. This and everything else forced Breanna’s heart to stop again as it has multiple times over a 24 hour period. This time around we had no choice other than the c-section be performed immediately. When Bre was born it took more time than usual for her to breathe and start crying on her own. Kevin held her briefly, and then she was taken from us and placed in NICU. Luckily, the next day she was able to be in my room for short intervals at a time before they took her again. She had problems maintaining her body temperature.  Breanna was born at 5 lbs even and we took her home at 4.7 lbs. It took my daughter about two months before she even looked like a newborn. Preemie clothes and diapers swallowed her tiny little body! At a couple months old, the trouble began. She quit breathing and we spent over a week at Egleston. It is a children’s hospital outside of Atlanta. She had to undergo more testing than a child should ever face. They had IV’s coming out of her feet and head. I could barely pick her up when she cried because of the wires, IV’s and everything that was wrapped around her. My daughter was diagnosed with acid reflux and apnea. The reflux would burn so bad that as a baby, she didn’t know what to do. So, she would just quit breathing. In return this led to apnea. She was placed on an apnea monitor for months. I can’t even begin to recall the countless nights the machine would go off and I would sit on pillows and blankets, on top of this machine, trying to just make it stop. I would cry nonstop and I would question “why me?” “Why my baby?” I was 18 at this time and terrified. The first few years, and even moments today, have been critical with close calls for Breanna. After being told my daughter would never make it, she is an honor roll student (straight A’s as of today’s date), active child, who suffers with Severe/Chronic asthma. I always carry inhalers, when we travel her nebulizer goes with us, she is on medications to help maintain and stabilize her lungs and breathing. But, she is here and more than the doctors expected her to be. The reason I am sharing is not because I know what Kayla is going through. Because I don’t. My story is different from hers. I am sharing because there is a reason to never lose hope and faith. There is a reason to always pray and to pray with your whole heart.

To the moms and dads that are blessed and lucky enough to have healthy pregnancies, babies, and kids; quit taking advantage of that. Cherish every moment. We never know what is in store for tomorrow. I don’t think I have had a peaceful night’s sleep since I became pregnant with Breanna and had so many life threatening issues. When she coughs wrong, I worry. Hold your kids tight and let them know you love them. Reach out to someone that may just need that shoulder or the simple “I am praying…”  As the days go by, please keep Kayla, Jeff, and baby Scarlette in your thoughts and prayers. I know I do and I will continue to everyday. I look forward to the day when I hear they are bringing that sweet baby home! It will come. Kayla’s attitude towards everything can really open your eyes. She isn’t worried about a date or even an idea of when as long as eventually she can bring her baby home. Hold on to your faith Kayla! I know I am!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Things Come in 3's

They say things come in three’s….Well, we hit our mark of three over the weekend… Our house flooding and everything that comes along with that is of course taking “bad” issue number one. I am so ready for our house to be back to normal! Soon! I would rather them take their time and do it right the first go around other than any mold issues or anything else arising because it was a half done job. I just happen to have a family that has limited patience! More to update on this later. Now, for number two; on Thursday morning the girls ran inside to tell me that my truck had a flat tire. Really? Could this not have waited just a little while? So, Thursday evening Kevin and his dad (yep, his dad was in town for the night and as always we had a great time full of wonderful conversations! We even celebrated his birthday….a little early!) ran out to Pep Boys to have them put a new tire on my truck. At this point, Kevin made the comment that things come in 3’s….as we all know, they often do. Well, thank you Kevin! Lol, we hit our number three over the weekend and ended up having to yet again, buy another new tire!!!! Can we not catch a break on tires? The amount we have had to buy over the past year is just unreal! His car blew another tire. Sunday was spent with Servpro in our house drilling holes, going through their mold protection thing, and Kevin out replacing his tire. Now that we have had our luck of the 3’s… can we please catch a break? We really need some good news to come our way! Lol.

Once Kevin returned home with his new tire, the kids and him all changed it together!  I loved watching them and taking pictures of my four crazies! The kids thought this was one of the most awesome things!

A Typical Biddle Weekend

You know when you have one of those days that you just HAVE to get out of the house? Well, that was our day on Saturday. After a week of miserable, cold, stay inside the house, weather that we were hit with for a week; then a week of “repairs” from the broken pipe flood, we needed to break from it all. We ended up spending the day out and about in El Paso. We went by Saddleblanket (a pretty cool store out here) and walked around. We didn’t get to check everything out. Maybe next weekend. The store is pretty big! It has everything from things you need for horses and farms to the way neat Mexican looking items/d├ęcor; and so much more!  I was amazed with it all. While we were looking around, one of the employees asked the kids if they wanted to get on his horse. Of course, I had to take pictures of this. The kids thought the saddled up horse statue was the coolest thing ever! Bre climbed up like she knew what she was doing. Hmmm…. Maybe the time has come to take her riding! She’s been asking. She seemed natural climbing up in the saddle. Yes, I do realize that this saddle was on a statue. Caitlin and Nic on the other hand…. I will just leave it at neither were steady or graceful. Nic is still too young. Caitlin had a fear of it. This is just another one of the differences with her and Breanna. Caitlin is very girly and enjoys the things that fall within that. Bre isn’t. Overall, the kids had a blast around this store and even they want to go back!

Over the course of the weekend, Nicholas decided he wanted to be mean to Caitlin and of course that led to a war. Nic isn’t a small three year old by any means. He is solid and pretty tall. However, he is still smaller than the girls. Whenever he and Caitlin go head to head, one of them always ends up hurt! This time just happened to be Caitlin’s turn for the pain. Of course, we made him walk over and apologize to Caitlin before we punished him. I happened to take a picture of Kevin handling the situation.

I know I mentioned to some of you before that we have had to convert my parking area in the garage into Nic’s play area. I thought I would share with you all what his little area looks like…. Needless to say, he really likes playing out there. Luckily, the garage door is in the living room area, so Nic is always close by….

As we were driving, there was something about the clouds that I thought looked pretty cool. I love the fact that my iphone takes such amazing pictures! I never have my camera on me when I need it. This picture was taken very close to our house.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A House of Water

This past week could definitely pass for one of the most chaotic and unexpected weeks we have had the “privilege” to experience. What a week! Last week El Paso was hit by a very unusual winter storm. With that being said, it only snowed a couple inches and the snow wasn’t even that big of an issue. It was the freezing, record breaking, temperatures that we experienced! We hit below zero degrees a few times, which left us feeling like it was -10 to -17 degrees outside when you factor in the wind chill. Past that, we did not see temperatures above 15 degrees for a few days, which of course, left us feeling it as below zero still! I know that to some of you this may not seem like a big deal at all. But, you have to remember we are in El Paso people! El Paso is not equipped to handle this type of weather. We are supposed to have mild winters and hot summers. Mild winters do not at all equal freezing temps! It got so bad that the electrical company was unable to keep up with the demand of what the consumers were trying to use. Needless to say, the houses out here are not built for that type of drastic change in the temperature either; leaving it very hard to keep the houses warm. The heaters all over town stayed on continuously; even they were kept at 65 on the thermostat. So, with the demand for electricity being used nonstop, we all had to endure Rolling Blackouts. The electric company had different areas on the grid taking turns through the blackout. It left us without electricity anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. It was crazy! But, as I told Kevin, I would rather go that length of time without electricity over days without! Some areas of El Paso were out of Gas for a few days due to the demand of natural gas that was being used. All throughout El Paso, we thought that was the worst of it…. Of course that was said too soon! On Friday water lines started breaking in homes. Leaving a lot of people waking up to flooded houses. We left around lunch time that day to pick up groceries and whatever else we needed and come home to a few inches of water throughout the downstairs in our house. Yes, our water line in the backyard busted and our house had flooded. It made it up through about a quarter of our living room and out through the door and into our garage. In other words, the only safe area in our house was upstairs, the master bedroom and bathroom. The kids’ bedrooms, hallway, hall bathroom, kitchen and dining room were completely flooded. Of course Nic found excitement in his huge puddles of water that he splashed through. It is always great to hear his goofy laugh. We were without water for over 24 hours, which isn’t too bad compared to others. It was something we could work through. We managed to save all of our furniture and most everything else. Some books and small items like that were trashed. Breanna lost her phone charger from leaving it out on the floor. If that so far the worst of our personal damage, I will take it! As far as the house goes… we will know more next week on what is being done. The adjuster and General Contractor came out yesterday to access everything. Right now they are debating on ripping out the entire bathroom and how far up to go on the walls. Kevin and I did have to pull the carpet out of the house, which ended up being a good thing once we found puddles of water still under the mat. We vacuumed the carpet for hours nonstop and still could not get it all up. So, that too has to be replaced. We are hoping that the GC will have his guys out next week to start the repairs and what not.

Below you can get an idea of what we went through.... (Picture our house now a mess with no carpet... We are living on the concrete floor for the time. )

 This is where is all started...

 This is the area that water shot straight up a few feet and filled up the walls, leaving the house to be flooded when it seeped out everywhere.

 Now you see what popped and actually caused the flood.

 Living room view from Dining room

 Dining room walking into kitchen

 Just to show where the water was against the steps.

 Nic's room and the bathroom where hit the hardest.

 Nic's room

 Girls' room

 LR from DR

 Dining room

 Nic's room again


 This is from the following morning... The carpet of course was no longer flooded, but the wood still soaked up way too much water within a few hours.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Little Miss Turns 8......

I know I say this every time one of our kids steps in age, but seriously, where has the time gone? It just seems surreal to me how old my kids are! I cannot believe that we just celebrated Caitlin’s 8th birthday…

We had a small party for her at our house the day before her actual birthday, 22 January 2011. Kids took over our house that day (and a group of girls that night). They had so much fun! Luckily, the weather was awesome! Warm enough for the windows and doors to be open and everyone to be in and out. She ended up with so many toys, outfits, makeup, and so much more. “Papa” Tom surprisingly ordered her a jumping balloon for over 24 hours. That was his gift to her. I do have to say, probably the best one! The kids stayed on it until it was time to stay inside and get ready for bed, but were back out the following morning… where they stayed until the guys showed up to pick the balloon up.

Thank you to everyone that came out for her special day! We all truly appreciate everything! She had a fabulous time! And to the ones that are just too far away, thank you so much for the warm wishes, gifts, and cards! You all made her day incredibly special!

Now, onto planning Nicholas’ big 4th birthday! Now really, where did the time go?