Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lainey's New Year Gift!

Lainey has a New Year gift...a little bit early! Nope, it isn't the baby....although she is too cute and looks a lot like Lainey!

It is her first, NEW tooth!! She didn't get it for Christmas, but she got it just in time for the New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in the life of a Smithson

The red and green paper countdown chain, shopping, wrapping, hiding presents, anticipation, excitement, family, friends, church, Santa, food, traveling, and LOVE..... are just a few of the things we Smithsons enjoy about Christmas. We got everything we wanted and MORE!! Sid and I are blessed to have the ability to provide traditions and memories for our children to remember and continue for many years to come. We are also blessed to be able to share the traditions we so fondly remember as children with our own children.

Our Christmas actually began on Monday the 21st by exchanging gifts with my birth mother and her husband, David. Although I have only known Carolyn since 1999, our bond is one of 29 years! She has always made me feel so welcomed into her life and into her family. This year she and David gave us numerous gifts, but the best and most anticipated gift of all is a Disney Cruise to the Bahamian Islands...in October 2009! I am not sure if Sid and I are more excited or if the kids are! Thanks a bunch Carolyn and David!

Carolyn and Lainey

Christmas eve we went to the 9:00 pm service to accommodate Sid's work schedule, and it was wonderful. Mom, dad, Dayna, Brad, and Lilly Anne joined us for church. Lainey was very well behaved and sang nicely throughout the Christmas hymns! We thought going to church would make the boys extremely tired....not so much! They were up until 11:45!

The Snug Bug at the Christmas Eve church service.

Christmas morning Logan came into our room around 9:00. It was still as quiet as a mouse around our house! Everyone was worn out from our late night Christmas Eve! When it finally dawned on Logan that it was Christmas morning, the morning he had been counting down to for 364 days, he was down the stairs in a flash! He came back upstairs to report that Santa left a lot of presents, but he only saw gifts for Liam, Lainey, and dad. After convincing him to wake up his brother and going back downstairs to look for his name on the presents, he finally found "more than I asked for!"

Our tree after Santa visited!

We all got what we asked for plus a few things we needed! It was so much fun to see the children open their gifts. Logan stacked all of his gifts in nice, orderly stacks. Liam opened the gifts as soon as they were passed out to him! Lainey did extremely well opening her gifts, then playing with the paper! Logan got the Handy Manny Transform Tool Truck he asked for as well as a Nintendo DS, Aqua Globes, Life Is Good shirts, a Georgia Bulldog jersey and hat, a digital camera, Nerf shooters, flat screen Lite Brite, and tons of movies. Liam got the Handy Manny talking tool box, Handy Manny TV repair, a Handy Manny shirt, shoes, Hot Wheels, Triple Tower race track, a Lite Saver, and movies. Lainey got a push toy, a baby doll, some clothes, some movies, and some toys to chew on! Sid got socks, undershirts, Life Is Good shirts and p.j. pants, movies, Crocs, New Balance shoes, flashlights, workout equipment, and more. I got perfume, an iPOD shuffle, electric scissors, a homemade peg board for all of my crafts, and more! Not only was our house full of children, poopy diapers, wrapping paper, and presents, but it was also full of LOVE! All of the times I had wished for a nap or the children to take a nap and all the times my husband was acting like the children, the mess in my clean house was a reminder of how short life really is and how much I truly enjoy being a mom and wife. It was the best Christmas I can recall.

Logan's organized stacks of presents. I wonder where he gets that from?

Logan with food for the kitchen set.

"Aqua Globes will water plants for two weeks and you don't even have to lift a finger!"
Logan has memorized many infomercials, but this is the one thing "we have to get!"

Liam also got food for the kitchen set.

Liam opening the Handy Manny TV repair.

Logan with the ONE toy he asked Santa to bring for Christmas, a Handy Manny Transform Tool Truck.

Lainey opening some clothes she got from Santa.

Logan with his surprise gift ~ Nintendo DS!

Lainey and daddy looking at her Newborn Cabbage Patch Doll.

Several hours after opening gifts from Santa, grandma Barbara (Sid's mom) dropped in for a little while with a lot of gifts. It also happened to be meltdown time for Liam and Lainey, also known as "I need a nap, NOW" time! Our visit with grandma Barbara was short lived, but the candy she left is being devoured as I type!

After the children took their nap and I finished cooking, we went to my parent's house. Our 4:30 meal turned into a 6:30 meal, but I was prepared! I made several snack dips to munch on while we finished preparing dinner. Dinner was awesome, with Honey Baked Ham, sweet potato souffle, German potato salad, green beans, rolls, and coconut cream pie and Dayna's triple chocolate cheesecake for dessert! Papa Dan(Sid's ex step-dad) and Rachel came to join us for dinner and the exchanging of gifts. It is always great to hang with Dan!

With full tummies, it was time to open presents! Logan helped Gigi pass out the gifts, and boy were there a lot of gifts! My parents always spoil us with wonderful gifts. Sid and I, as well as Dayna and Brad, scored a new laptop! This was awesome since the last laptops they gave us had quit working this summer. There were so many gifts given by all, I couldn't possibly list each one of them! It was an awesome evening and everyone was happy, well rested, and FULL! Dayna and I are so lucky to have been chosen by two wonderful people! We couldn't have picked better parents ~ maybe healthier, but not better!! :)

Gigi and Logan handing out presents.

Sid and Liam waiting for their presents.

Logan opening presents at Gigi and Papa's house.

The day after Christmas we got up early to begin our trip to South Georgia. First we went to my dad's parents house in Perry. Grandma D had tons of yummy food prepared as she always does. We opened gifts and lucked up with some money. It was great hanging out with Grandma D and Pop. Our visits are always so short.

Great Pop and Lainey hanging out.

The great grandchildren with Grandma D and Pop.

Lainey, Liam, Logan, and Lilly Anne

Warner Robins was our next stop. Grandma Lil and Grandpa Bob had a house full! This is the one time of year we get to see almost all of our family. With mom having 4 brothers, whom are all married, and almost all of them have 2 or more children, whom may also have a spouse, and many live in Florida ~ to get everyone together in one spot at the same time would be a miracle! Although everyone was not there, we still had a blast hanging out with the people we do not get to see very often. Opening gifts with the Rodenroths is always a production because there are so many of us. This year we said we were not exchanging gifts. Grandma said she was only doing gifts for the kids. YEAH RIGHT! Almost everyone left with a gift and the kids really racked up! Not only are the gifts a production, but the food is like going to a gourmet buffet. Everything tasted so good (when I finally got to eat...I was on Liam duty!) It was so much fun, but we had to leave due to Sid's work schedule requiring him to be at work by 6:30 the next morning. It was around 11:00 when we got home and we were beat! Today we are just hanging out in our p.j.s all day and not leaving the house...well unless we feel the need for some DQ ice cream!

Grandma Lil with Dayna's baby, Lilly Anne.

As always, we missed Sid's dad Noel, whom Lainey carries his name as her middle name. He sent us a very nice monetary gift, but to have him here would be better than anything we could dream of! Maybe soon it will be in our schedule and budget to take a trip to Texas to visit Sid's relatives!

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. Our Christmas was the best thanks to our friends and family. Thank you for all of the prayers that allowed us to be here together and have a safe and healthy holiday. If you did not get a Smithson Family Christmas card and would like a copy, please send us your address! We love you all!

At CHRISTmas with love,
The Smithson Family

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I want for Christmas is ANOTHER enzyme!

Yesterday Liz the dietitian from the Cystic Fibrosis Center called to give us a report on Lainey's stool sample from last week.....Results: Not Good! She has a lot of fat in her stool, thus the reason she is not gaining adequate weight...not to mention the reason for the stench that lingers in our house! I am going to begin working on an invention that successfully contains a CF baby diaper (meaning the diapers can't be smelled from our house to the neighbors)!! It is really important that Lainey absorbs as much fat as possible so that she gains weight. It is also assumed that if the amount of fat in the stool is elevated that she must also be losing important vitamins, minerals, and other things from her food. This news was a bummer, since last month's stool sample was very close to normal!
With this news, Liz recommend adding another enzyme to the three she already takes before each meal! Now Lainey is taking 4 Ultrase enzymes before she eats a meal! Although this is on the high end for a child of her age and weight, we are hoping this does the trick! If this is not the solution, we will try another brand of enzyme! In case you are unsure of what the enzymes are designed to do, if they are working properly they should help take the place of natural pancreatic enzymes. They help breakdown food and assist in absorption of fat, vitamins, minerals, and other important things found in food. Since the mucus within Lainey's body is very thick as a result of Cystic Fibrosis, her pancreas is plugged. As a result of a plugged pancreas, Lainey's natural pancreatic enzymes are not able to be released into the stomach to aid in breaking down her food. Now we are working on finding out exactly how many enzymes she needs to correctly and effectively breakdown her food! What a chore this has proven to be! We have been working on this since she first ate when she was in the NICU at Egleston! I am pretty sure it will be something we will always have to work on....until there is a cure for Cystic Fibrosis! BLAH....but we will do ANYTHING it takes to make sure Lainey is healthy, happy, comfortable, and everything else she needs to fulfill her dreams!
Thank you for keeping us in your prayers! We are blessed to have so many people keeping us in their thoughts and prayers! Have a Merry Christmas! Look back tomorrow for pictures of the Smithson Family Christmas morning!

God Bless,
The Smithsons

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures With Mr. Claus...aka: Santa

Logan and Liam waiting to see Santa.

Logan waiting for "a long time" to see Santa!

Liam actually sitting still while waiting to see Santa!

Logan riding the horse.

Liam riding another horse!

After an hour of waiting in line to see Santa, we finally got to tell him what we wanted for Christmas....

* Logan wants a Hanny Manny Transform Tool Truck.

* Liam wants "Apple Juice!"....Logan told Santa just to bring Liam a truck!

* Lainey wants a break from her brothers.

* Sid wants a day off of work, a day off of school, away from crazy children, and no "Honey Do list!

* DeAnn wants a day of Peace and Quiet!

Verdict: Santa says, "I will work on that!"

Santa and the kids....

Logan was too heavy for Santa's lap, Lainey would stare and cry (she isn't liking too many men right now), and Liam....Isn't he such a pleasant child?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We've Caught the Christmas Bug!

Lainey at the Cystic Fibrosis Center for an appointment.
Today my mom had an appointment at the Adult Cardiac Clinic at Emory and Lainey had her monthly check up at the Cystic Fibrosis Center. This was a long day, but not too much change ~ this is good for some areas of both mom's and Lainey's check up, but not so good for other areas!
Mom's numerous doctors think she doing well, but will be doing better when she gets over her cold. Last week she went to her local doctor only to find out she was about a day away from developing pneumonia! After a week of medications, she sounds and feels much better. Her doctors at Emory want her to begin her breathing treatments again when she is completely over her cold. The breathing treatments were working well for mom for a long time, but her body quit responding as well after several years. In July the doctors took her off of the treatments and put her on another medication given through a needle in the stomach! After a week in the hospital and a week at home, mom was in so much pain that she never left the house. Her quality of life was effected by the medication, not to mention the pain was horrible. When the doctors took her off the medication, they decided to wait on starting her treatments again. Since August, mom has been able to feel a huge difference in her energy level without the breathing treatments. Hopefully when she begins the treatments again in the next few weeks, she will feel better. The biggest downside to the treatments is the strict regimen it requires. Every three hours she must use a nebulizer to complete her 10 minute treatment. This is quite difficult when you try to go out shopping or when you are driving somewhere. Although it can be inconvenient, anything to keep mom happy and healthy is something we can deal with!
Lainey also had some good and some not so good reports at the doctor today! Her height was 26 .75 inches and her head was 17.5 inches ~ both of which were the same as when she went to her regular pediatrician two weeks ago. Her weight was 15 lbs. 3.8 oz. This is where the issue lies! She has only gained 4 oz since her appointment at the CF Center 1 month ago! She weighed less that she did at her pediatrician's office two weeks ago! Our new plan for weight gain is to begin feeding her every 3 hours, only formula. If she finishes 5 oz. of formula, she can have baby food. Her dietitian wants her to take at least 30 oz of formula per day. Currently she is only consuming about 20 oz. If she doesn't gain weight or drink the 30 oz. per day within the next couple of weeks, then we will need to make her formula higher in calories. Hopefully that will work or they may need to start a feeding tube! Blah!
Other than her very little weight gain, Lainey checked out well. Her lungs sound clear, she was at 100% oxygen level, and she is developing appropriately. We are so thankful for her good health. Please pray that she gains weight. We are sure she will be her goal weight by our next visit on January 16th.
Please continue to check back for more pictures during the holiday season. Below are pictures from Lainey's visit to the CF Center. Enjoy!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Love Always,
The Smithsons

Sleepy Bug ~ Her 2 to 3 hour visit at the CF Center always wears her out!

Night Night Buggy!

Lainey and "Yellow" ~ "Yellow" was a Christmas gift from the doctors, nurses, and staff at the CF Center.

Lainey and her new friend, "Yellow."

Now is a great time to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation! Any amount will help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis! Thank you. To donate directly in Lainey's honor, please click on the link http://www.cff.org/GiftReg/DeAnnSmithson .

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Family Pictures!

We finally got everyone in our family of 5 together at a time the portrait studio was open! Although we have a few good shots of each one of us, we would have liked to have had more. But as they say, beggars can't be choosers! If you see Liam in a picture, it is a Christmas miracle! He does not like to be bothered with sitting still or being in the tiny studio! Enjoy the pictures!

Lainey Bug

"Surely Not! Does this lady think she has to talk to me like that to get ME to smile?"


WOW! A decent picture of Liam!

Logan James ~ up close and personal!

Our handsome boy!

The Smithson Family

Look at all of the red-heads!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Christmas Bug

Here are a few pictures of Lainey, the Christmas Bug!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

6th Month Amazement

There aren't any HumBUGS here!

Today Lainey had her 6 month check up with Dr. Onal at Pediatric Associates. He is totally amazed with her health, feats, and accomplishments! His amazement made me feel as though I was receiving the highest honor anyone could ever get recognition for! I wish everyone could have been in the office with me, for it is with the aid of numerous people that Lainey has continued to do so well.

The Christmas Bug!

As of today, Lainey weighs 15 lbs. 7 oz. (45th percentile), 26 3/4 inches long (85th percentile), and her head circumference is 17 1/2 (95th percentile)! In looking at the growth chart, Lainey is moving in the right direction ~ UP! Her lungs sounded clear and everything looked wonderful. Dr. Onal is confident that she is physically developing fine, but may be a little behind due to her month-long hospitalization. Mentally, all seems perfect (Duh, look at the size of her head...it is holding a BIG brain!!) We are blessed to have such a "perfect" baby girl! Our Lainey Bug makes Cystic Fibrosis look Good!

Lainey and Mommy checking out the tree!

Friday I will be going back to the doctor. One only knows what tests or meds they will put me through this time, but hopefully something will help with finding the cause of my aliments.

With the Christmas season all around us, my camera is sure to use several dozen AA batteries! Keep checking back for pictures, as I will post pictures regularly.

Thank you with "enzymes on top" for all of your thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement, and generosity! We love you!
Love Always,

The Smithsons