Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Buddy...the Elf

His favorite foods are candy, candy canes, candy corn...and syrup!

(And yes...Max's Mimi bought this outfit and Daddy hasn't seen it yet...I'm sure he's going to LOVE it...ha!)



We had a fabulous Thanksgiving in Texas even though I totally failed at getting good pictures! Ugh...I have to work on that at Christmas! Max had fun at his grandpa's house (Mike's dad), and then again with his Mimi and Grumps (my parents). My father insists that he wants to be Grumps, and since he has cancer we pretty much let him do what he wants...ha! Yes, we handle things with humor in our family.

Here's the only picture we did manage to get of our little turkey in his Thanksgiving gear:

Now on to Christmas...my favorite!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All Things Max

I went to the gift show in Memphis yesterday with my friend Kim, and I came back with some fun stuff! My favorite vendor from Canton First Mondays in Texas was there, so I was super excited. I have always wanted to get one of these:

And I just had to get Max an ornament.

As you can tell, he's pretty excited about it.

And yes, although I am no stranger to committing the cardinal sin of decorating before Thanksgiving, this year I pushed the envelope even more and started decorating last week. But I decided that between having to travel across three states and having a new baby, I had to take drastic measures to make sure it got done!


Friday, November 19, 2010

2 Months!

On November 11, Max turned 2 months old!

Here is what you have going on these days, Max:

-You weigh about 13 pounds!

-You started smiling consistently right before your 2-month birthday. It is too cute! You also like to copy whoever is playing with you. If we stick out our tongues at you, you do it right back and just smile and smile.

-On your 2-month birthday you flew in a plane for the first time! That night you slept through the night until around 5 a.m. We thought you were just exhausted, but it started a trend!

-For the past week, you have gone to bed between 8:30 and 9:30. You wake up between 4:00 and 6:00, eat, play in your crib, and then go back to sleep until about 8 or 8:30 (although yesterday morning you slept until 10!). Let's hope this lasts...although your mommy doesn't expect it to!

-You wear size 1 and 2 diapers depending on what we have.

-You like to make the "circuit" as you play during the day. When you aren't eating or just hanging out with us, you like your play gym, bouncer, and swing. You do really well playing by yourself, and a lot of the time you seem to prefer it.

-You are starting to really like your crib. This means if we are out and about and you get sleepy you are NOT happy about being in your carseat. You want to lay down. Let's hope you grow out of that one!

-You went to the nursery at church for the first time this week. You did really well!

-You are so much more alert every day, and we can't wait to see what this next month brings!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Day I Fell in the Mud

At the beginning of November, we took Max on his first trip to Texas to see our families. While we were there, we had family pictures made with my side of the family. My mom's friend, Jennifer, took them, and she did an amazing job! She's a fabulous photographer, and I love how she thinks outside the box. You can check out her website, facebook, and blog here. Her blog is really fun... it's a great resource if you are trying to figure out what to wear for pictures!

This is my favorite one of the whole family. Max decided to calm down a bit. Although I don't blame him for crying. It was so cold I felt like throwing a tantrum too!

Just the girls...

Proof that he actually is our child and we held him for a picture...

The men of the family. Max was thrilled.

My brother and dad... My brother doesn't make the blog very often, so I thought I'd share! He does exist!

All of us...

Love this one of my mom and dad...

This seemed like a really good idea at the time. I didn't pay attention to the fact that we were jumping onto a hill. Or the fact that I'm old. My sister landed fine. I stopped, dropped, and rolled.

And that's how I became covered in mud. Lots of it.

I may or may not still hobble a little bit...


My Dad

I have done a horrible job in the past year of updating the blog with any news about my dad and his cancer. Honestly, for awhile there wasn't anything to report, which was a good thing! His scans had been clear, and things were looking good.

Well, the day Max came home from the hospital we found out that the cancer was back, this time in his pelvic bone. Actually, it had been back for awhile, but they had missed it on previous scans. Once they knew what they were looking for, they could go back and see it on scans from a few months before.

So...once again my dad is in the process of going through radiation and chemo to prepare him for surgery on December 13. I don't always know exactly what's happening, so I have just copied a letter my mom sent out a few weeks ago below. Thank you for your prayers!

From my mom:

In September, when Greg and I found out that the cancer had spread to his pelvic bone, we were told that they wanted to try chemo first. Pre-surgery chemo was the only way to find out if this treatment would work after surgery. The doctor didn't want to throw the chemo at him afterwards if it wasn't going to do any good. We were also informed that this chemo was our best hope. So our prayer has been that it would shrink the tumor. Yesterday we were informed that the tumor has grown "significantly" and that the cancer had spread into the surrounding soft tissue.

The surgeon immediately called for the same STS protocol that Greg went through last summer. In the next four hours, he met with his radiation doc and was marked up in preparation for treatment and was sent to the heart center for an echocardiogram. Thursday we meet with the oncologist. Because the chemo that is used for this protocol is very toxic to the heart there is some concern that he won't be able to tolerate it...he just finished the last of that particular chemo back in February. If he can tolerate the meds, he will receive chemo Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and then will begin 10 days of radiation starting Monday. If he can't have the chemo, then he will receive five weeks of radiation. Either way this treatment will be followed by three weeks of rest. During this time he will be restaged and the doctor will prepare for surgery. The surgeon is hoping that the STS will cause a rind around the cancer which will make it easier for him to remove all bad cells during surgery.

The surgeon is excellent but a man of VERY few words. We tried to press him yesterday about what to expect. We were told that it is a very intense surgery with the possibility of many complications. He said that, because of the growth, he might have to do some reconstruction and would definitely have to move muscle around to replace what he removes.

Needless to say, Greg and I are very scared and covet your prayers more than ever. We have several specific things that we will be praying for and would like to share them with you.

1. Prayers for all the doctors involved that they might make wise decisions and that they feel the prayers being said over them.
2. Prayers for the two of us that we are always led by God's spirit in the direction we should go and not just by the surgeons who always want to cut.
3. Prayers for our children. I am praying that God puts specific people in their lives that will help them through these trying times as I don't feel like I am 100% capable of helping them cope.
4. Prayers that the STS protocol works and that the surgeon is able to remove ALL of the cancer.
5. Prayers for his recovery from surgery. God worked miracles last time and He is more than able to do the same this time!!!

My husband is an amazing man and has been an inspiration to me during this entire ordeal. He is a boy after all and, in the past, has had the typical "boy attitude". He could make a stubbed toe look like the loss of a limb and the sniffles would find him on the couch demanding attention and complete access to the remote control. But he has endured constant pain, intense and long chemo treatments, and ever increasing bad news with a strength of spirit that has amazed me, inspired me, and made me love him more than I ever thought possible. Cancer is a beast and I detest it, but it has taught us all so much about the love of our Father, the love of our family, and the love of our church and friends. We are so thankful for every single prayer, email, text, card, and facebook shout out.

We love you with the love of the Lord!!

Rhonda and Greg


Fall Fashion

Max's Mimi made sure he had plenty of cute clothes for his first Halloween. Here are just a few of his cute outfits. Yes...just a few. Mimi really likes to buy him clothes. That woman can find a sale I tell you!

You can really tell how much this kid grew just over the course of a few weeks...slow down Max!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Max's First Halloween

Max's first Halloween was fairly uneventful, and yet crazy at the same time! Actually, that pretty much sums up life these days!

Halloween night we headed up to church for Trunk or Treat. For reasons we won't get into (you're welcome Gap and FedEx), Max didn't have his costume in time for Halloween. But...since our Texas Rangers were in the World Series, we knew just what to wear!

Let's Go Rangers!

It's like he knew how it would all end...sigh

Fancy. Thanks, Kim. I owe you for this one.

Max's costume arrived the next morning (whoo hoo!), and I finally took some pictures of him in it today. That's why he looks so much bigger already! But seriously...how cute would this have been? Oh well... I think he's pretty cute all the time!

Be still my heart. I do love cute wildlife!


Baby Dedication

On October 24, along with our families and church family, we dedicated Max to the Lord. What a special time to pray for him and the other babies in our church, that they may grow in their knowledge of God, come to know Him, and serve Him with their lives.

Unfortunately, I have NO idea what was really said during the dedication because Max screamed the entire time! He was fine until the second we stood up to walk up on the stage. Oh well...I know God heard. As for Mike and I, we spent the entire time trying to figure out how to calm him down. Such is life. People are still coming up to me at church talking about it...at least it was memorable...ha!

Because he was so upset that morning, we forgot to take very many pictures. Thank you to everyone who was involved and to our families who came a long way to be here!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Little White Lies

We are having a fabulous fall with Mr. Max, but before I can tell you all about it I need to blog about something that's been eating at me for a long time.

If you know me, you know that I worry. A lot. About pretty much everything. Did that person I just talked to take what I said the wrong way? Do people think I'm doing enough at church? Does Mike think I'm a good wife...do other people? And on. And on. And on. Worry. Anxiety. Fear. Do I know that these things are wrong? Yes. The Bible clearly commands us not to fear. Not to be anxious about anything. And yet I continually let Satan lead me down that path.

And now that I'm a mom and responsible for a whole other person? Sheesh. Today in church we read this about Satan in John chapter 8, "...for he is a liar, and the father of lies." How true is that? And how often do I let Satan breath lies into my ears? Lies that I'm not good enough? Lies that if I'm not perfect as a mom then I have failed? I know I am not alone in these thoughts. I have read several blogs lately that affirm that other mothers are struggling in these areas.

But that brings me to my main point. Blogs. Facebook. How easy is it to browse and read through these social medias and become completely discouraged? Everyone seems to have it together. Everyone seems to be doing so much better than me. There's the girl that had a baby the same week as me who actually seems to be able to have time to brush her hair and teeth every day. There's the girl who's kids are always smiling and looking like something out of a Pottery Barn catalog. There were times after Max was first born that I was so discouraged, and I would get on Facebook and everyone else would look so together. And I would just cry. Why can't I have it all together like them?

And yet, I realize that they probably don't. After all, what do I put out there for people to see? Cute pictures of Max smiling...certainly not the ones where I am holding him and you can tell it's been at least two days since I washed my hair. So, I want everyone out there to know that I don't have it all together. And if you don't either, that's okay! I feel like I am getting the hang of this mom thing more and more everyday. I love this little guy, and I am so completely blown away that God has given him to us.

But the beginning was rough. Really rough. I let Satan tell me a lot of lies. I let him tell me that because everything didn't go exactly according to my plan, I was going to be a horrible mother. After all of the medication I was on, I had a really hard time breastfeeding. I spent 9 days crying almost every time Max ate and a lot of the time in between. After waiting 9 days for my milk to come in (sorry guys), we decided it would be best for everyone if we went with formula. And it really was the best decision for us. But I spent the next weeks feeling like a failure. Explaining to everyone who asked why I was giving my baby bottles. I still feel like crying sometimes when I look the the can of formula and it reminds me that breastfeeding is best. At three weeks, Max started screaming for good portions of the day. I was beside myself. What should I do? How can I fix it? When he was diagnosed with reflux, I became obsessed with researching and trying to find the best solution. And the examples of my worry and fear go on and on and on.

It is still something I struggle with every day, but I am working on it. I have to remind myself daily that Satan uses my worry and fear to take my eyes off of God. To make me think that I am alone and unworthy. But I am not alone. God is there, and He is continually reminding me that my plans are not what's important. It is His plans for my life and the way He uses me that I should be concerned about. And let me tell you...He REALLY likes to remind me of that fact! But I wouldn't have it any other way, because it reminds me of where I should keep my thoughts and eyes. On Him.


Monday, November 01, 2010

Photos Galore

I really need to get caught up on blogging. And I will. But for now...a few pictures from my iphone. Just because.