five on friday (05/05)

ONE. What do you do when it’s almost bedtime, everyone is getting cranky, and Daddy is out mowing the lawn? Take everyone outside for some fresh air and bubble fun! Besides all the pollen (thankfully I’m the only one in the family with allergies, let’s hope it stays that way), it was an absolutely perfect evening to spend outside.Kaya was trying to catch bubbles on her tongue…

I love cuddling up with this snugly little baby and watching my big kids play together.

TWO. We had our last session of Kangaroo Kids this week! I spent extra time bouncing around with the girls, and I let them take turns sitting on my lap to go down the giant inflatable slide (and all three of us even went together for a few runs)! They think it’s the best thing ever when I play with them. I love it.

Kaya really loves this giant bubble machine…

THREE. We brought the princess tent back out for the first time since we moved to our house. Apparently, Kaya and Kaelyn were doing their “visiting teaching” in there this morning! I told them to say, “Olaf!” for this picture, and I love the expression I got out of Kaelyn!

FOUR. I had my first-ever visit to the chiropractor this week. I’ve had pain and soreness in my hips ever since Nella was born, and unlike after my previous pregnancies, it just wasn’t going away on its own. I’d be hurting after a run, when sitting in certain positions, and even turning over at night when sleeping. I decided to go see what could be done about it, and I’m so glad I did, because after a few adjustments, I feel almost brand new.

As a mom, I enjoy any “me time” I can get, even if it’s just going to a doctor appointment. I might have indulged in some frozen yogurt afterward, just because I knew I wouldn’t have to share with anyone. 😉

FIVE. Someone loves it when Daddy “eats” her tummy… and I love how much they love each other.Happy Friday!

Linking up here, here, and here today!

the dog bite: one year later

The end of June marked one year since Kaya was bitten by our dog, Jax.

I try not to dwell on unfortunate events, but this was our first major emergency with one of our children, and it wasn’t just an accident- it was a traumatic, vicious situation. Naturally, as we approached the anniversary of the day, I’ve been silently evaluating how we’re all doing one year later.

My biggest concerns afterward were Kaya’s physical and emotional healing.

Honestly, for a time, I feared that her face would never look the same. We were originally most concerned that she would develop an infection behind her eye, which would have had permanent implications. The plastic surgeon also warned us that because the muscle in her forehead was split open, it could leave a large gap there as she grows.

 (2.5 months after the bite)_MG_9010

The gap was evident for a few months, but now it appears to be almost completely healed. Her plastic surgeon was the best we could have hoped for, and we were diligent about following his care instructions. We kept silicone sheeting on the scar for months afterward, per his recommendation. We also used some frankincense essential oil that Michael’s cousin, Nicole, sent to us, for almost the entire year.

The scar on her head has now faded to a whitish-gray, and if you didn’t know what happened, you might not even notice it. She has healed better than I could have ever imagined.

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Kaya’s emotional healing has also been nothing short of miraculous.

She loves animals of all sorts- especially dogs. That’s not to say that she doesn’t remember what happened to her- in fact, she still frequently mentions how we don’t have Jax anymore because “he bit Peeky”.

For a few months after her bite, she would describe to me in detail how there was a lot of “red” (blood) on her face afterward, and she sometimes would inspect her scar in the mirror. I know she’s young and most likely will forget the specifics of the situation, but she has overcome what could have been a lifelong fear. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for that, and take pride in my baby for being so resilient._MG_7820

Following the incident, fear gripped me.

I had some intense thoughts. These were things I never would have imagined thinking before.

Why would anyone allow an animal, with a mouth full of what could be considered weapons, live in their home? How crazy is all of mankind to think that sharing our habitations with dogs is a good idea?_MG_4618 But people do allow dogs into their lives and their living spaces, because they are so much more than fur and teeth and bones.

They are a soft place to lay your head when you’re tired.Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Velvety ears to listen to your worries and sorrows when no one else is there.

A comforting furry body to bury your face into when you need just need a hug.

Instant and pure happiness over the simplest things.

Forever loyalty and devoted love.
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I miss all of those things. I crave all of those things, and when I’m around other good dogs, my heart gets a bout of puppy-fever. When I see how much my children love dogs, I want to give them that special relationship that can only form with a furry four-legged friend.

It’s been an emotional, tearful year when reflecting on this event, but I’m a little less afraid now. I’m grateful for all the positive interactions my children have had with friends’ and family members’ dogs recently. I will forever be extra vigilant and cautious when exposing my children to animals, but I still feel like the benefits of having a dog outweigh the potential risks.

I’m sure that one day, we will try again. We’ll be the safest and most educated we can be before we welcome another dog into our family, but the reality is, any dog could do what Jax did in any instant. No animal should be blindly trusted.

I’m grateful for all the tender mercies and blessings we received during the incident and in the months following. Kaya surely had some angels looking out for her.

five on friday (12/4)

ONE. I finished up my first-ever set of quiet book pages this week, loosely based on this one. They weren’t anything fancy and definitely didn’t turn out perfect, but I certainly learned a few things along the way. And miniature felt food is pretty adorable.

TWO. Mia had Kaya over for a little princess tea party last week. Katherine sent me this photo below. Two adorable girls, dressed up as princesses, sipping from their tin cups… Be careful looking at this, it might just make your heart explode from a cuteness overload.

THREE. Kaelyn had an unexpected trip to the doctor last week for what I thought would be her first stitches/skin glue, and for the craziest reason… she had a piece of hair wrapped around her toe, and when I took it off (not realizing how deeply it had cut her), it looked like it had gone through half the width of her tiny toe! The doctor ended up leaving it open so that we could clean it (instead of gluing it shut and worrying about infection), and prescribed us a strong antibiotic ointment. I feel like this photo doesn’t even show how deep the cut truly was.

So really, check your baby’s toes/diaper area for hair tourniquets. I’m just glad we seemed to find it pretty quickly and it’s healed up nicely.

FOUR. With the rain and colder temperatures lately, we’ve been staying inside more and getting a whole lot of preschool work done. Kaelyn loves to be included, so I sit her up at the table with Kaya and give her any extra worksheets to color. She loves it!

FIVE. We finally busted out our hardcore winter gear this week. The weather is suddenly feeling more like it should for December! One of my goals this winter is to get my kids outside and playing, even when it is on the colder side… so I got them some awesome-heavy-duty-warm coats (and you know, if you’re buying new coats, you might as well make them match 🙂 )._MG_0156

Barring extreme wind/snow/ice, I think we’re set to still have some fun on the playground this winter! 🙂

Happy weekend! 🙂

Linking up here!

the dog bite story

I wish I didn’t even have to share a blog post with that title.

But this blog is my family’s history, so here it is. Kaya is healing nicely, but my emotions are still raw from what happened last Tuesday. Looking at these pictures still completely breaks my heart.

I am including a picture of the open wound and details about the injury, so if you don’t handle that kind of thing very well, you might want to skip this post.

It was a pretty normal day. Both kids seemed a little extra tired and cranky, so instead of heading out for a walk or going to the pool like we do on most mornings, we stayed at home.

Kaya asked to eat lunch early that day. She sat up in the high chair, happily singing and eating while I did some dishes and the baby played with Tupperware containers at my feet. She finished her meal pretty quickly, so I helped her down and she kept singing and dancing in the kitchen while I continued to clean up.

She left my side for what had to have been less than a minute. I heard her singing in the living room, and then I heard it.

It wasn’t even a full growl. Just a soft noise that was definitely from the dog.

And then Kaya was screaming.

“MOMMY!!!”

We ran to each other as blood started pouring down her face and onto the kitchen floor.

I couldn’t believe it. Jax bit Kaya.

I scooped her up and ran into the bathroom.

Do I call 911? There’s blood everywhere. My baby is bleeding. 911? No, it’s her head, she’ll be okay. We can drive her to the hospital ourselves. Call Michael.

I sat her up on the sink counter and attempted to call Daddy. My hands couldn’t do it. What were the right buttons? Blood was splattering everywhere… Her clothes. My shirt. The phone. The counter. The floor… We were covered.

I moved her to the tub and stripped her down. I think it was at this moment that I realized Jax was still loose, so I yelled at him to get in his kennel. I slammed the cage door and screamed louder than I ever have in my life.

Kaelyn was screaming and scooting herself down the hallway to get to us. She definitely sensed our fright.

I was washing the blood off her face and trying to get the laceration on her forehead to stop bleeding. I should have applied more pressure to it from the start, but in my panic I feel like my brain wasn’t really working. I put pressure on it then, cleaned it with some hydrogen peroxide, and somehow managed to get Michael on the phone. We couldn’t even hear each other because of all the screaming and crying, but I somehow managed to text him and he headed home right away. This happened right around noon, so he was able to get a ride with someone who was going out for lunch. He normally takes the bus, so it was a big tender mercy that he was able to get home quickly.

I wrapped her up in just a towel and held her in my arms until Michael came through the door. Every time she cried, more blood would rush out.

She was so relieved when Daddy was there to snuggle her.
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Our friend Alayna was able to come over and stay with Kaelyn while we took care of Kaya. We called the urgent care clinic covered by our insurance, and they told us to bring her down to see if they could take care of it without us having to go to the emergency room. They cleaned her up a bit, but the verdict was that she would need to go to the hospital to get her stitches.

While we were there, I noticed a text message from a friend at church- her husband was working up in the ER that day, and she suggested that we ask to see him. He has a background with plastics and stitches, so we headed over there and did just that.

It was another tender mercy- our church friend was getting on his shift right as we were arriving at the hospital.

He took great care of Kaya, as if she were his own daughter, and referred us to the plastic surgeon. I am so grateful. We were put in the very best place we could be in the very bad situation we were in.

We packed our little girl up in the car one more time and headed over to the plastic surgeon to finally get those stitches. She was so utterly exhausted by this point.

The plastic surgeon took us in the back as soon as we walked in. He strongly suggested that we leave the room so that Kaya might not resist as much while they were trying to stitch her up. We did, and we heard her fighting tooth and nail the entire time she was gone. They wrapped her up like she was in a cocoon and one nurse held her in her lap for the stitches. All we could hear was screaming and crying and “Daddddddy” and “Mommmmmmmy”. My poor baby was such a trooper.

The doctor told us that the laceration on her forehead was down to the bone, and he was worried that the punctures around her eye could cause an internal infection. He prescribed an eye ointment and an antibiotic._MG_8114

We camped out in her room for a couple of nights so she wouldn’t have to be alone. Anything for this little girl.

I feel like I love her 100 times more than I already did since all this happened. I’m so grateful for all the tender mercies we received that day and in the days after. We have definitely seen the hand of God through all this.

She has been healing so well, with no sign of infection.dogbitehealingkaya

On Monday, she had her stitches removed. We celebrated with ice cream, and she was the happiest girl in the world. We do have to keep steri-strips, followed by tape, on it for another 5 weeks or so. I’m so happy to see both of her bright, beautiful eyes open again!Thank you to everyone who has offered prayers, love, and support. It’s meant the world to our little family.

my dog bit my baby

Yesterday afternoon, my dog bit my baby.

It happened in an instant, with a dog everyone trusted.

I’m still in shock that this really occurred.

She has a bone-deep laceration on her forehead and multiple puncture wounds on her eyelid. He just barely missed her eye.

It could have been so much worse._MG_8124 My heart is broken for my sweet girl…and the dog. I think I’ve felt just about the whole spectrum of emotions this past day and a half, from guilt to sadness to anger… and I’m certain the emotional roller coaster isn’t over yet.
However, we’ve seen so many tender mercies and blessings from the Lord through this. We know He loves us. We’ve been surrounded by family and friends who truly love our family, too.

She is going to heal. She didn’t lose her eye. She is still here with us.

I am so grateful.

We are so blessed.

five on friday (6/5)

ONE. I had my first-ever skin biopsy this week. I know it’s pretty routine, but I was still nervous to hear the results. I practically held my breath for two days while I waited for the phone call… but it was benign! I am so grateful. Now I just wait for the big hole in my back to heal up! Haha.

TWO. Going down the slide on your tummy is apparently the most fun (and obviously the cutest) way to do it…_MG_7809THREE. We visited Daddy at work this week! Kaya’s favorite thing to do at his office is to draw on the whiteboard. She was insistent on telling us “no go home yet!”

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Kaelyn’s favorite part of the visit was scooting across the whiteboard and erasing everything with her bum. She was actually pretty good at it!

FOUR. Michael took us to lunch. I can never pass up a gyro if it’s on the menu! And yes, that’s a little baby finger trying to get a French fry!FIVE. My littlest princess has her birthday coming up… 3 weeks from today to be exact, and I can’t believe it! I’m all excited and a little bit anxious knowing that I have hardly bought/accomplished anything in regard to her party. Hopefully it all comes together easily. Regardless, I’m sure we’ll enjoy the time with family and friends 🙂giraffeboard2015SIX. Yeah I know, there technically isn’t supposed to be a #6, but… I finally got my phone back, fixed and working, after spending most of two months without it! It’s a relief to know I can make a call from anywhere. I won’t take that for granted again!

Happy weekend!! 🙂

Linking up with April today!