Wednesday, June 29, 2011

6.29.11 - Where does time go?

I was meaning to finally get the rest of our MAY vacation blogged by the end of June, but that looks like it's not happening!  Where does the time go anyways??  We have SO many pictures that I haven't had a good chunk of time to sit and select all my faves for the blog post.  Plus, then I have to shrink them all down (which I think the hubby figured out how to do on Photoshop for me all at once!  Yes...that means I have been doing them one at a time on my own in's all I know.)  But, I am thinking what a wonderful 4th of July post our pictures from D.C. will make, so I'm planning on my deadline being then....So stayed tuned for a 4th full of pictures!!

To say I've been keeping busy is an understatement as I have been working hard on getting some designs done for my art shop I am opening online soon.  It has always been a passion of mine to create crafty things, so I am going for it.  Plus, things have been pretty tight the past few months, with me only working 1 day a week.  Hubby and I had a good long chat about where we are and where we need to be financially, so we decided I should try to make some extra income if possible while still staying home.  We both agree that me being home with Liam is the best for him right now.  I also feel like the Lord is really leading me to trust Him in the area of finances.  I believe this is what He has called me to do at this point in my life, both staying at home and creatively with my artwork, and that He is going to provide for us.  It's a VERY big faith step, to rely on supernatural means for provision, but who else better to trust. 

On another note, Liam's feeding and weight gain still tops the list of worries for me =)  Heart mommas, does it ever get OFF the list??  Ugh....I need to let it go...some days are much better for me to do this than others.  He is now weighing closer to 23 lbs. than his previous high of 24 lbs.  He is liking the Pediasure, but I feel like now he is eating less...I just think maybe it fills him up too much.  And I try not to offer it too close to mealtimes...definitely a challenge, our little man.  He is very active now, too though.  We are having ECI do another evaluation of him next week with the Speech Therapist to see what they recommend.  I am probably going to go back to the feeding clinic at Baylor to have him re-evaluated also.  The last time we did this was last November, and obviously, things are much different now.  To the point where I am not sure really if he has issues or not, other than the swallowing issue.   So, I am guessing later this summer, we are in for a swallow study and a feeding clinic eval. The excitement is already starting to settle in.

Our summer, beyond feeding and finances, is really going great.  We have ventured to the water park a few times now and Liam loves it!  We go for about an hour and he just splashes around in the kiddie areas and I get to work on my tan =)  It's been so nice to have a summer off and to be able to spend it watching Liam grow and learn and blossom into an amazing little boy.  I truly am so blessed.  Liam's speech has just taken off too, as he is saying two word phrases more and more now.  One of his favorites lately is "Momma do it"'s really cute.  And I now have a daily "schedule" for us, that involves 3 or 4 hands on activities each day.  I have been referred to some wonderful online resources for toddler activities (special thanks to Neysa!) and am loving the responses I am getting from Liam when he tries new's priceless!  And since we have stopped doing the PT and OT, I feel like this will help fill in the gaps and provide more structure.  Let's just say the TV time was beginning to take on more and more of the day, and I needed the structure as much as he did.  I feel much more organized during the day, and now I have scheduled times to do things I need to get done, but also enjoy time to spend with him...I don't know why I waited so long to do this! 

We have some fun plans for the 4th, so I'm excited for the weekend!!  Hopefully my 4th post will get done =)

*** Prayer request:  Please pray for our heart friend Gracie - She had her Fontan yesterday and overall is doing great, but experiencing the normal restlessness and ickiness of post-surgery...pray for a speedy recovery and for peace and rest for her parents, Jennifer and Craig ***

Sunday, June 26, 2011

6.26.11 - Lazy Sunday Afternoon...

So how are we spending our "lazy Sunday afternoon"?  Old school style, with matchbox cars and homemade track! 

P.S. Thank you to all who sent sweet words of encouragement and advice from my last post.  Things are looking brighter (well, at least emotionally for me!) =)  I ended up spending some much needed time in prayer and in devotional during that nap time and received some much needed peace and restoration.  And the wonderful friends who offered up their encouraging comments and suggestions, I truly can't thank you enough.  Just one of those days were I definitely needed a lot of "you can do this" thinking to be shared my way =)

Friday, June 24, 2011

6.24.11 - Confession

I feel like a terrible mom.  I am very frustrated today.  I know I haven't posted anything personal or emotion-filled in quite a long time, but today I am feeling the need to share, or vent rather.  I am so grateful for my blog. 

Liam's eating has been not so great lately and I am getting very frustrated with him.  And I know I shouldn't.  When I get frustrated it sets the tone for the day, and I start getting very short with him.  I HATE when I am like this!  I seem like I am not the fun-loving, patient, kind, teaching mom I strive to be each day when this type of feeling hits, rather I am the MEAN mom.  And it really bothers me.  It's like this funk that I can't shake.  I think it stems from my own fear that Liam will not be able to thrive in his eating or progress as he should.  I fear the "doctors" will be telling us soon he needs to go back on the tube.  And I am so determined not to let that happen, that it makes eating time very stressful...And today it's really bothering me. 

The scale is starting to tip downward, and I guess I'm getting anxious.  I started him on Pediasure instead of milk this week, to try to up the calories.  Maybe that is why he hasn't been eating very well?  It's like his body will max out at a certain "calorie" count and I feel like it's never enough. 

I just put Liam down for nap a little early, just because it was really bothering me and I needed a break.  I feel bad that I rushed through a book he didn't even want to read, just so I could put him down to have a minute to chill....I don't have many moments like this, but boy today is one of those days.

I know this is a trust issue with me and God too.  I just need to trust His plan for Liam's life and sometimes that gets hard to do.  Thanks for taking time to listen (or I guess read rather). 

Monday, June 20, 2011

6.20.11 - A Happy Father's Day!

We had a great Father's Day yesterday spent with my parents.  We went to church in the morning and then headed to their house for lunch. 
Liam and daddy
Liam and Baba

Liam had a great time painting with his Mimi and we enjoyed relaxing and watching the U.S. Open golf tournament.  All in all it was a very relaxing and fun day!

I also wanted to add a few updates of Liam and where he is at right now, mainly because this will probably serve more as his baby book than anything else in the future, so here we go!

Liam is currently 24 lbs and is 33" tall.  I think he has grown 2 inches in just the past two months!  He is taking after his dad at being tall and thin!  I am getting a little concerned he has not gained any weight, but eating is going pretty good.  Now that it is summer time, he is loving to eat quite a bit of fruit and veggies, so it's harder to get the heavy calories in him.  We also still use his tube about 4-5 times per week to put juice or water in for extra hydration.  Our plan is that he will hopefully gain SOME weight before his next pedi appointment at 2 years (which is a little over 3 months away, can't believe it!) and then wait until his cardio follow up in November before we consider taking his tube out.  We definitely don't want to take it out prematurely at this point.

Liam is now saying two and some three word phrases.  Some of his favorites include, Baba's House, Daddy's truck, trash truck (I am inclined to think my dad taught him this one as they both watch the trash truck pick up every Tuesday when I am at work!), Night Moon (his favorite book right now is Goodnight Moon), Mama sit, new shirt, down please and show.  Some of his words for things are as follows:

TV Remote = Mote (yes, he watches too much TV, I know, I know!)
Outside = oot-sigh
Waterpark = pa-park
Dora and Boots = Da and Boots (his favorite show right now)
I love you = Wuv you
Kitty = Key

He has a mouth full of teeth, I think he is only missing about 6 from having a full set!  They all seemed to sprout up at once starting the beginning of this year.  He no longer takes a pacifier and is really good when he sees his baby cousins using them, as he will help them put it back in their mouths!

Some of Liam's favorite activities include crawling in and out of his wagon (or furniture, or anything for that matter), play with his cars and trucks, going outside, chasing the cats, watching tv (ugh), brushing his teeth, and reading books.  He is a little shy when it comes to meeting new people and does not like to visit houses he is not used to or new places very much, but thankfully doctor's visits still go fairly smooth.

Liam has a new buddy, his stuffed kitty, that he takes to bed with him each nap and bedtime.  He loves her and will wave hi to her every morning.  It is the cutest thing ever.  Right now, as I am typing he is trying to take a picture of her with my iPhone...silly boy!

Liam loves to do the Hokey Pokey and Ring around the Rosie!  He is so cute when he does it, and I need to get a video of it!  He loves being silly with mommy and daddy, and I love that he has started stopping his feet when he gets frustrated or upset at something.  He also is now asking for "help" if he cannot do something himself.

That's pretty much the rundown around here!  Not much new news in the Johnson family for now.  I did want to mention that we will be doing TEAM LIAM again this year and participating again in the White Rock Marathon in Dallas on December 4!  Dustin is going to be running his first FULL MARATHON, so I am excited to get started raising money and getting a team together!  I have our FirstGiving site up and running but need a few tweaks of things here and there, but the roll out should be happening soon!  I know the marathon and 1/2 marathon fill up pretty quickly, so if you know you want to run with us, head on over to to sign up!  It is also cheaper if you sign up in advance =) 

I am also having trouble with editing pictures on my laptop...hence this post alone took me over 1.5 frustrating.  So my second part of our vacation pics will hopefully be coming soon!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

6.13.11 - Finally! Vacation Series #1

I am finally posting about our big trip last month...only about a month since we've been home!  Summer has just been flying by! 
Liam and Gigi

Gigi and all the gg-kids!
My dad, Liam and I flew to New Jersey for the first part of our trip.  My grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins I haven't seen in awhile were all in town and we had a great family "mini-reunion".  Dustin and my mom flew up that weekend to join us for the "reunion" also.  I was so glad we got to see everyone in NJ!  When I was younger, we would go at least twice a year to visit, so it felt good to be back, since we hadn't been up there in quite some time.  And I know Gigi was so happy to have her great grandkids (and grandkids too!) all together. 
Liam on the farm!

While we were in NJ, we had the chance to visit a small local farm, which I thought was very cool!  We just don't have too many of those where we live, so it was neat to see an actual farmer's market per say.  I took some pictures of Liam as he wondered the petting zoo they had for kids up on the hill.  Although Liam was a little timid and never wanted to get close to the animals, he still had fun running around and seeing the sights!
The goat.

Hello sheep!

He was carefully watching the animals from a distance.

Liam was preoccupied with the airplane flying above!  He would start saying "Apane!" whenever he heard them....and it was quite often, soon his #2 word, after his #1 word being "truck"...I'm sure no one could tell we where from Texas.

His head was a little too small for the frame...I'm not quite sure whose child's head they used to measure that cut-out...

This was the only pen he would even get close too...I was hoping he wasn't taking notes here on how to eat...but since they eat anything and everything, maybe he should have...

The below picture was an interesting sight my aunt drove me to see.  The yard is completely covered in azalea bushes...they call it the Azalea House!  It was so beautiful though...Literally, there was not a single patch of grass, as azaleas grew in every square inch...incredible!   
The Azalea House

As for the actual traveling, Liam did great, even on the 3 hour airplane ride.  Boy, was I NERVOUS about that one....Thankfully, we did decide to buy him a seat on the plane a couple weeks before the trip, as previously I thought we could handle him as a "lap child".  That was probably the best decision I made for planning the trip.  We took his car seat on board and being that I scheduled the flight during nap time, he slept for the first good half of the flight and was fairly easy to keep entertained for the remainder.   Now actually getting ON our flight, well that's another story.  But, after a flight cancellation forced us to be re-routed on another flight to a different arrival airport we finally arrived, minus my father's piece of luggage, but with everyone all together nonetheless!

More coming soon of our adventures!  Stay tuned!

Friday, June 3, 2011

6.3.11 - Surgiversary #2

Every time a surgiversary creeps up on me, I notice that I get a little "off" the week and days preceding.  I get a little more weepy, a little more tender-hearted and a LOT more reflective.  That is exactly what has been going on this past week.  There are so many things I want to express, and I just can't find words that truly entail everything I'm feeling.  Blessed, grateful, moved, awed, humbled, honored....just to name a few, but no one word does justice.  So many have walked a similar path and have struggles we have not faced.  Yet, there are still paths we have not yet walked.  It is comforting to know I am celebrating a surgiversary, but also humbling to realize that yes, we have something even called that.  Our journey is real, it is everyday and it will always be a part of us.  Define us, no, but shape us, most definitely.

Repair surgery - June 3, 2010
Last year, we spent the night in the hospital after the heart cath the day before surgery.  Surgery day was rough and the waiting was LONG.  In stark contrast to last year, yesterday Liam and I spent the day shopping with Mimi, eating lunch with daddy, playing with the water table outside and rolling trains and trucks around til we giggled ourselves tired.  Today, we have a play date this morning and possible water park excursion in the afternoon.  Amazing.  To say "What a difference a year makes" would be an understatement.  The Lord's work is always perfect, always beautiful and always right on time.  I believe our journey is proof of just that.