Monday, August 24, 2009

Anniversary & fun!

Danielle has been a busy little girl these past few weeks. We have had some wonderful times with family, friends, and just the 4 of us!

Two weeks ago we hosted a Kinney Family Picnic at our house before Uncle Chase went back to college. We wanted to celebrate with him, one year behind him and starting his 2ND year at a new college. Point Park University is a Private Conservatory College in Pittsburgh, Chase is very excited to attend this year and our family wanted to Celebrate with him. The kids were very excited to spend the day with their aunt and uncle, many cousins and Grandpa as well. We had a little rain in the morning, but the afternoon turned beautiful and the sun was out to warm up our hearts and our spirits. It was such a wonderful gathering, we sure had quite the feast and the little ones had a lot of well deserved play time!!

Danielle got some snuggle time with Grandpa and Aunt Ellie both. Danielle loves snuggle time!

During the family picnic we had been looking to see if Danielle's teeth had finally fully poked thru. And not yet. She has been working on these two bottom teeth since February. Poor girl! The buds would get really swollen then the teeth would start to poke thru and go back down, they have done this probably 3 times now over the past 6 months. Well the next night, on Monday, mommy had a tank top on and Danielle was chewing on my shoulder when I felt a little something more than just gums on my skin. I looked and sure enough, just in 1 day BOTH of those little bottom teeth FINALLY poked thru! They are now 3/4 of the way thru, she looks just so grown up with teeth showing! Her top 2 teeth are ever so slightly starting to come thru as well. YAY!

Last weekend I had a talk with the kids and we decided to surprise Daddy with a fun weekend away for our 7 year Anniversary weekend. We decided to take Daddy to Chicago and to his first NFL game, the Bears vs. Giants! Daddy is a die hard Bears fan, our whole family is actually, and this was a perfect opportunity for our family to experience this 'first' together!

On Friday night after work I took Dylan into the bedroom to pretend to get him ready for his bath. He already had one of his Bears outfits on that he wore that day, I pinned a sign on him and send him out to show daddy. I followed close behind with the camera and got a couple of priceless shots. Daddy was shocked to say the least. At first he asked what the sign was, I told him to keep reading....he was SO stunned he then asked if it was a joke! When I told him it wasn't a joke, his eyes welled up with tears and he pulled us in for a family hug. He had never been surprised like this before and he was SO excited to attend his first NFL game and with his whole family.

We packed our bags, fed the kids, gave them baths, put them in their footed pj's and we were off for Chi-town! It was perfect because we left at the kids bedtime and they slept the whole way there. We arrived just before midnight, got snuggled into our beds and got a decent nights sleep before our very busy Saturday!

We had a fantastic breakfast before heading further down Michigan Ave for some fabulous shopping and fun tours! Our hotel was on Michigan Ave, but it was a bit of a walk to the shopping district where we wanted to be. Our hotel offered a shuttle that would take us there and it worked out perfect. It was a chilly day along the water and this shuttle saved our warmth for other things! We decided our first stop would be the John Hancock Observatory. Up 94 stories we went to 'Kiss The Sky'! We had the most fantastic view of the city of Chicago, the Lake, just about anything we could view for miles and was AMAZING!

Danielle was such a trooper. We had her bundled in her stroller and she was a happy camper. Mommy & Daddy did some great shopping and even made a stop in two of Dylan's favorite stores, the kids sure made out in Nike Town and The Disney Store! Michigan Ave also has some fabulous restaurants that can't be passed up, we had to make a pass by The Cheesecake Factory for sure! After dining and shopping the kids were fast asleep in the stroller. Just in time for an afternoon nap before the big game. We hopped on the shuttle and back to the hotel for some afternoon snuggle time, what a perfect opportunity for mom and dad to have a little cat nap also before a busy evening ahead.
Saturday evening we all dressed in our Bears gear, had an excellent supper and headed off for our walk to Soldier Field. Down Michigan Ave, up the stairs, thru Grant Park, under the tunnel, past the Field Museum and we arrived at Soldier Field. Daddy's eyes got bigger and bigger the closer we got. It was such a rush to be walking with all of the hundreds of Bears Fans that joined us in the walk. Everyone was decked out in Blue and Orange, it was a fantastic sight to see.

We checked out the stadium, tried out some yummy snacks and watched an excellent game. The starters sure made for an exciting first quarter with some points on the board. Our seats were great. Danielle was all bundled up with mommy in the Baby Bjorn and a blanket over top. It was pretty chilly again with the Lake front breeze. We had ear plugs for the little ones but the noise never bothered. It was a very fun, exciting environment and they kids were great. Dylan loved watching the game and eating Nachos. What a memorable experience for our family. Daddy says we will for sure take the kids back for a game next year! Danielle and Dylan can hardly wait :)

The walk back to the hotel was a little interesting. Danielle was fast asleep in the Baby Bjorn and Dylan was fast asleep in daddy's arms. We were pooped out, followed the crowd to what we thought was Michigan Ave but the crowed we followed went the Lake shore Dr...opps! So it was back thru the park, then the sprinklers went off and everyone got wet! We made it back to Michigan Ave and our hotel. We got a good nights sleep before our last day in Chicago.

Sunday we woke up and after breakfast we ventured to the Shedd Aquarium. The Aquarium is a very fun place for kids and adults. There is so much to see and so much to interact with and do. We had a great time. Danielle enjoyed all of the colors, especially the coral reef's and the blue water watching the Beluga Whale. It was a beautiful Sunday and the sun was warm. Perfect for a view out to the lake.

After the aquarium we had lunch with Dana and Ryan Hargraves before our drive home. It was our first time seeing the Hargraves' since they moved back from over seas. They are also expecting their first baby, believed to be a girl, in 8 short weeks. The kids were excellent and got their belly's full also while the adults had some good laughs and great conversations getting all caught up!

We sure had a fantastic 'Surprise' weekend in Chicago. We will for sure be venturing there again next year. There is so much to do for adults and kids, there are so many fun things to see. Danielle had a great time, she was a very very good baby. She got some snuggle time in and loved looking around at all of the different sights and hearing lots of interesting sounds. It was a family fun weekend for the memory books.
This week poor Danielle started getting some bumps on her face. Our sitter called on Wednesday and mommy called the doctor thinking they may be hives, she had just tried a new baby food on Monday. From the description it was determined to be hives. The doctor recommended Benadryl and if the hives didn't get better. On Friday I picked Danielle up from daycare shortly before 11 and noticed that her ear had a lot of drainage and the right side of her face had a lot of new small red bumps that were not there that morning either. I decided I best call and get her into the doctor. The doctor determined poor thing has ear infection, which is what the bumps on her face were telling us. I had never heard that before....ever. She also has an icky eye which is caused by the ear infection also. So she is on an antibiotic, ear drops and cream for her skin bumps to prevent itching etc. Well Danielle went back to daycare that afternoon at 2, our sitter gave her her first dose of antibiotic then. When I picked her up at 5 almost half of the bumps on her face were gone. It was amazing how fast the antibiotic kicked in. Wonderful news that she is on the way to feeling better!

Saturday was the 'Man Shower' for Brandon Hahn. Brandon and Monica are expecting their first baby girl in January. We are SO excited for her and Danielle to be great girl friends. It will be fun with Baby girl Hahn, Danielle and Lila Eddins to all be within 18 months of each other.

So daddy attended the Man Shower while mommy had a relaxing afternoon home with Danielle and Dylan. Then we ventured out for a great dinner at Vito's with Kirsten and Lila before meeting up with the daddy's. Danielle was a trooper thru dinner, hardly making a peep. It was relaxing and perfect to get our belly's full before a fun night ahead.

We met up at the pond in Center Point and met up with the daddy's and other mommy's and kids. It was a fun night. The weather was a little chilly but clear skies. It sure was a great idea for a man shower for Brandon. They got a HUGE and I mean HUGE stack of diapers that will come in real handy!

Our family has been blessed with a summer of fun. We have been able to take the kids on many new adventures, and our adventures for the year sure aren't over yet! We look for many many more fun, family memories to be made. Here are a few more pics of Danielle from this summer's fun times we shared. Thank you lord for blessing us with our beautiful daughter. We love her SO much. She is our miracle baby girl.~

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Adventures...

Little Danielle has had a busy past week or so! Last Friday we ventured to IC for a few follow-up apts, which included a routine MRI. It was a very LONG afternoon for mommy, daddy & Danielle, but well worth the trip and the wait. That is the price we are SO willing to pay for our baby girl to see the BEST doctors in the WORLD, and that is the truth!

Danielle did great during the MRI, it was only 5 short minutes and they took 2 sets of pics for the doctor to choose from. Then up to Neurosurgery we went. It was a very busy day for the clinic hence the long wait. But we made it back just in time to see the ARNP to have Danielle's shunt re-programed. We then saw her dr. he is the BEST, one of our favorites! So comforting and gentle and very genuine. He loves our baby girl and is very good at making sure he does not miss anything. He changed her shunt setting, which is totally routine, and asked us to come back in 5 days for a repeat MRI scan to make sure he was happy with the new setting. Mommy and daddy were totally fine with that, anything our baby girl needs.

After the long afternoon in IC we picked up Dylan and headed up to Madison, WI to meet our friends the LeConte's! We have such a wonderful connection with this family, as we met them approx. 3 years ago when our Dylan was neighbors with their little boy Drew in the UIHC NICU Bay 1 and Bay 2. These little miracles were neighbors for 3 months, fighting for each and every day with us. We talked to Tony and Emily on many occasions and we have talked many times thru each and every week since... Not only did we have so much in common with this family from the beginning, but since then Emily and I were on bedrest at the same time with our precious miracle little girls who were born just a month and a few days apart! Talk about people who know first hand, almost exactly what we have been thru! Our families have a life long connection and this weekend was a time to celebrate the miracle children the lord has given to us!

We met Friday late afternoon/evening in Madison at a wonderful hotel with a great water area/pool for the kids! We were a little worried on how the kids would act since it was getting close to bedtime. But after a fun time at the pool and then pizza by the pool, they were ready for more hours of fun! The parents did some catching up and of course chased these little ones all over! Danielle just relaxed in her stroller as she was pretty pooped out from a very long day. Allison and the boys were having a blast in the water!

Saturday we ventured to the Madison Zoo. This zoo was perfect for our little tykes! This zoo is purely run off donations only and they must have a huge fan base because this place was incredible! We saw many Lions....Tigers....& Bears...OH MY! The kids loved seeing the wide variety of animals. We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather, sunny, warm and a nice breeze from the was a perfect day!

After we saw all of the animals we stopped for a picnic lunch. The kids got all their bellys full and the parents did too! Then it was off to the Children's Play Area. This zoo offered a lot for little and big kids. The play area was SO neat. In the middle was a huge tree house that was open in the middle for the kids to climb up, little Drew made his way over 1/2 way up that ginormous tree! There were slides and climbing nets coming off all sides and bridges over to the small tree house play area for tots. The kids had a BLAST to say the least!

There was also a kids train ride and a beautiful carousel. The boys and daddy's took a fun train ride and Emily and her kids and Daddy & Dylan took a ride on the carousel. A fantastic finale to a fun day at the zoo!

Before we headed out the mommy's made a quick pitstop in the gift shop for a few souviners. The daddy's stayed back with the kids. Meanwhile a Press Photographer came over and asked Tony & Brad if he could take a few pics of the kids for a local publication. The daddy's agreed, here is a pic of the photographer taking Dylan's pic. And the LeConte kiddo's were fast asleep after a fun day at the zoo. Nap time was a must before our fun evening ahead. Dylan & Danielle napped with daddy back at the hotel!

That evening we dined at The Great Dane Pub & Brewery. We had a great dinner with some good food and great conversation! The kids were fully rested after their naps and the parents got some relaxing in also. After dinner we ventured back to the pool for some more water fun for the kids! Danielle and daddy had some fun swim time and mommy and Dylan bounced and swam in the pool! Dylan was a little leary of the water slide after a minor collision with daddy the night before. But it was a great time and everyone really enjoyed our weekend together!

It is just amazing looking back at what we share with the LeConte family. We now get together and celebrate the many trails and tribulations we have been thru with our little miracles. Many tears were shed and from that time we now share a unique friendship. We are excited to see them again very soon. We look forward to a lifetime of memories of our boys and girls spending fun times together! Thank you lord for blessing both of our families with our beautiful miracle babies!