Sunday, August 28, 2011

What we've been up to...

Well, it's been a usual! Here are some photos to catch you up on what we've been up to. These first few David took but the rest are from my phone. They aren't the best quality...

Here we are at our friend, Bonnie's birthday party. Emery had a lot of fun playing with Bonnie's niece and nephew's toys.

Here's Emery with our friend, Carla. Carla was trying to get her to make her funny face...

This is Emery's newest trick! David has taught her to do this face. We will count to three and then she'll do it. It is adorable because she tries to do 1-2-3 with her fingers like her daddy.

This is probably our only family picture of the summer!
The birthday girl! Happy birthday Bonnie #1 - she's #1 and I'm #2 - we both work at Amarillo High together.
Here are a bunch of pictures from my phone...
Emery standing up in her highchair. She does what she wants...I give up!

We watched Maddie a few times this summer. Here they are playing dress up! I can't believe how big they are getting!
Emery loves apples now - and she only wants to eat them like a big girl. She insisted on wearing this hat and shoes. She looks like a cute, little old lady, huh?!

Feeding the ducks at the park! We did this several times this summer. She loves to try to quack like a duck. She has added that animal sound to her collection!

Her hair is long enough for piggies now! It took a while but she will actually let me put them in now and will leave them alone!

We bought her a big girl potty and will start potty training soon. For now, she is teaching all of her babies!

This summer we loved sitting on the front porch after dinner and enjoying a yummy popsicle!

Who needs a pool when Grandma and Papa have ginormous dog bowls?! Emery loves running around naked and playing in the water.

A couple of weeks ago, Emery had to be sedated for her hearing and vision tests. These are just part of her protocol. She has had her hearing tested twice before in Houston while she was undergoing treatment. The audiologist said everything looks great and she has no hearing loss! She will have her vision tested again when she has scans in January. This first vision test just serves as a base line because everyone has their own "normal" response time. It's called a VER - can't remember what it stands for but basically it records how long it takes for her brain to receive the message that her eyes detected light from these super cool goggles. Emery did great with the sedation as always, but it took 6 people to hold her down for her IV. She is not a fan.

Here's our last picture for today! I watched our friends' little girl Saylor not too long ago and Niki and Maddie came over to play too. Here are the girls having fun in the bath! Nothing better than cute little girls playing in the bath!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Weekend with Friends

A couple of weekends ago, we took a little road trip to Santa Fe with two other couples. The girls took one car and the boys were in another. It was really nice to have some girl time. We talked about our kids - we all have girls close in age. We talked, we cried, and of course did lots of laughing. I'm sure the guys were pretty happy they were in their own vehicle.

We rented a great house close to the square. We did some shopping and lots of eating. I forgot how great it is to eat out! We don't do it much because our daughter is awesome in restaurants. Here are a few photos of our weekend.

Here we are with Blake and Jennifer and Matt and Niki.

The boys.
Us girls.
David and I - we never have pictures of ourselves these days!

Well, this was our first time to go away on a little trip without Emery. I never would have agreed to it during the school year when I feel like I don't see her enough, but after having her to myself all summer, I was okay with it. Actually, it was really nice! We had a great time with great friends! I look forward to doing it again!

Mommy and Me Dance Class

This summer I decided to enroll Emery in a mommy and me dance class. My friend from work teaches the class and told me I should enroll Emery. The class is for 2-3 year olds so I didn't know how she would do since she was only 18 months when the class started. She did pretty well considering how busy she is! She had a lot of fun dancing to the music and stretching. I loved watching her stretch...little kids are so limber! Her favorite things we did in class were the itsy-bitsy spider, the choo-choo train, and running and leaping over mommy's legs. These photos are from our last class where the daddies were invited to watch.

Here are some of Emery stretching, doing knee bounces, and leaping (or stepping on) my legs.

In the left photo, we're supposed to be doing knee bounces and Emery decides to do jumps! She caught quite a bit of air! In the right photo we're doing toe rises, but Emery was doing her own usual!

The daddies were asked to do the last dance with the girls. Here's David swinging Emery in the air. Notice none of the other dads are doing this. Daddy likes to do his own thing as well...wonder where Emery gets it? At the end of each class, the girls always do a choo-choo train and Emery decided to lead it this time. I can't believe the teacher let wasn't good! I love the one of them tooting their horns! Oh, and notice all of the little girls are wearing cute little ballet outfits...when I signed Emery up online, it said dress comfortably, ballet shoes not required. So, in the first few classes, all of the kids were dressed in regular clothes. By the end of the summer, they were all decked out - except for our child. Oh well!

At the end of the class, all of the girls were presented with certificates. Emery loved hers and crumpled it up pretty quickly. Then we took some pictures at the barre. The left picture is what she would have liked to have been doing the whole class, I'm afraid.

So proud of herself! We were proud of her too, especially since she was the youngest in the class. It was lots of fun and I look forward to doing it again.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quick trip to Dallas

A few weeks ago, we headed to Dallas to pick up a few things at Ikea and also do a couple of photo shoots with some friends who live there. It was a super quick trip but we got to visit a little bit with Sarah, Miles, Elle, and Beck. Here are some fun pictures of Elle and Emery rinsing off after playing in the sand box. They were having so much fun!

We blew up an air mattress for David and I and Emery just loved playing on it. Here are some fun pictures of us trying to make the bed! I love her face and crazy hair!

More photos coming soon...I have a ton to post from our 12 days in New Jersey!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Relay for Life

Thank you to everyone who supported our team! We had a wonderful time out at the pretty dirty but we're used to it here in Amarillo. The event started out with a few people giving speeches...Emery was bored with that so she started handing out water to everyone around us. It was pretty adorable and resulted in Emery being completely soaked!

After all of the speeches were over and Emery had emptied the water trough, they asked all of the cancer survivors to take the first lap. We walked it with Emery.

The second lap was for survivors and caregivers and then the third lap was for all of the team members. Here are a few of our teammates, Kathy, James and Brad.

Here is the Drozell family. They had already formed the team "Papa and Jude" and we joined up with them. I have really enjoyed getting to know Stephanie and look forward to our families getting together again soon. I know Emery and James would have so much fun together.

After the opening ceremonies, we ate some dinner and hung out for a little bit. Here's Emery enjoying one of Stephanie's delicious cupcakes. Emery loved the can't tell one bit though.
Then we had our little drawing for the photo session with David. Emery grabbed several names out at once and dropped them on the ground. So then she had to pick one of those!

And the winners are....
Gene and Glenda! I hope you enjoy your photo session with David! Emery decided that pulling names out of the cup was quite entertaining and she ended up drawing their name a few more times! It was meant to be! ;)

It was a lot of fun being out there with other people who have been affected by cancer in one way or another. I loved chatting with my team members and hearing their stories. I hope one of these days in my life time they will find a cure for this awful disease. I hope none of my grandchildren have to worry about hearing the words, "you have cancer." I was happy to be a part of the Relay for Life and supporting everything they do. They do so much for families going through treatment and of course the research that they fund. We will definitely start participating in the Relay every year from now on! And I forgot to mention that we got second place and our team captain, Stephanie raised the most money as an individual! We also got an award for being the best rookie team! Being as competitive as I am, I was pretty pumped!

Thanks again to all of you who supported our team!

Monday, May 23, 2011


I emailed Dr. Thompson this weekend with a couple of minor questions we forgot to ask at our doctor's visit with him.

1) One more year of scans? Every six months?
2) Do we still have to do urine and blood checks every month here?

I can't believe we forgot to ask these things...we just get too busy talking and joking around with Dr. T to discuss the important things! ;)

Anyway, he emailed me back today and in the subject line he put, "EMERY IS PERFECT!" He's absolutley right! She is perfect in every way! Her scans still show no sign of cancer. We weren't a bit worried but it's still so nice to hear those words.

Dr. Thompson is going to email us our new schedule of scans so hopefully we'll know all of that info soon.

Thanks for all of the continued support and prayers for Emery. We are so thankful she continues to do so well!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Special Treatment

We headed out Tuesday on our very own flight to Houston...this is definitely the way to travel. No security checks, no baggage claim, no lines! We just loaded up the plane and headed out!

Craig Brian is the father of one of David's students, Lissa, who graduated last year. She headed up the Emery's Army fundraiser last year, deigning and selling T-shirts for us. She is such a special girl with an incredible heart. Lissa is a Pre-Med student at UT and will be an amazing doctor one of these days. Anyway, we had dinner with the Brians over Christmas break while Lissa was in town and he offered to fly us to Houston. They are an amazing family!

The plane we got to fly on!

Loading up!

It's all for this special girl!

Our wonderful pilot!

Emery buckled in and ready to go!

Me and Vicky, Craig's wife. We had a great time riding together. We wore headsets the whole ride so we could talk to each other and listen to all of the pilot talk on the radio. It was really neat! Emery didn't have any headphones but the noise didn't seem to bother her one bit! She watched her DVD's, read magazines, and looked out the window. She even laughed when the flight got a little bit bumpy...mama got a little bit nauseous! I kept wondering when Emery was going to fall asleep since we left around her nap time. She didn't get tired until the last five minutes of the trip...seriously. I was a little worried about the landing but it was the smoothest landing I've ever experienced. Needless to say, Emery slept right through it.

Lauren picked us up and we ran some errands in Houston while Emery caught a little nap. One of our stops was at the Houston Polo Club where Lauren's company does some work. Emery got right up to see those horses! She loved the horses! She got in lots of 'neighs' and 'byes' while we were there. She would neigh at the horses and then if we got too close, she would wave and say 'bye' to them. It was very cute.

So, we don't have any pictures from our hospital visits, but those are boring anyway! We went in Wednesday morning for our appointment with Dr. Thompson. He was hilarious as always - I'm not sure how many times we've heard the same stories from this guy! He loves giving David a hard time and will tell stories about him to anyone who will listen. There was a young resident working with him so the poor guy had to listen to Dr. Thompson harass David a little. David's always a good sport though. Dr. Thompson is a little concerned about Emery's development...he said she's a little too lethargic, is lacking in the energy department, and is socially introverted. Obviously he's kidding. Emery is completely the opposite of all of those things! She did keep telling him 'bye' though! I think she hurt his feelings a little bit!

After our visit with him, we had to run down to diagnostic imaging to check in for her MRI. Luckily, they weren't running too behind so they got to us pretty quickly. Getting the IV is always the worst part of the day...thank goodness the nurses got it in place on the first try. Emery cheered up pretty quickly after that and pretty soon they sedated her and she was off to dreamland. David and I headed to Chipolte to get some lunch and relax for a little bit. Emery's MRI went great and we headed down to Nuclear Medicine for her MIBG injection. They gave Emery the injection and took her IV out. She was very happy about that.

We started a new tradition last time we were here for Emery's scans - stopping at McDonald's to get Emery a chocolate shake and french fries! We don't give her junk like that on a regular basis so don't worry! After not getting to eat all day, who wouldn't want some fries and a shake?! Mom and I would always reward ourselves with one after a long day at the clinic...Emery was too little then and didn't get to enjoy the tasty treat herself. Now she can! Anyway, she loved it but only ate about 1/4 of the fries and shake...therefore mommy had to finish it for her. I hate for food to go to waste.

Thursday, Emery was scheduled to be at the hospital at 10:00 for her CT scan and then her MIBG scan. She gets an hour to drink her apple juice with contrast before her scan. This used to be such an ordeal. I think the first couple of times she had her CT scan, we had to use a dropper to get her to drink it all. That took FOREVER! We've also used a straw - dip the straw into the juice, plug one end with your finger and then drop it into her mouth - yeah, I'm sure the nurses thought we were ridiculous. Anyway, thankfully, she will drink it now! Yay!

Emery did great with the CT scan. Luckily, it's super quick and she doesn't have to be sedated. Then we had to run down to Nuclear Medicine for her MIBG scan. They were about to give away our spot even though we were held up by her CT scan. I was not happy about that. We got there with time to spare and they quickly got her sedated and on the scanner. We met another family in the waiting room whose son is about to go through surgery and possibly chemo over the next few weeks. They live in Clovis, NM and the father is actually from Dumas! Small world. We exchanged stories for a few minutes and we got their Caringbridge page so that we can follow along with their son's progress. His name is Jack Sullivan if you want to keep him in your prayers. He was diagnosed with Ganglioneuroblastoma when he was 3 and now, two years later, it has come back. So sad. I hate to hear that.

After Emery woke up from her MIBG scan we headed to the park to play! Emery had a great time chasing birds and playing on the playground. We even found a splash park! Emery thought it was pretty fantastic.

LOVES birds!

So, I wasn't very smart. I thought, sure she can get wet, and then we'll just strip her down afterward...should have stripped and then put on the dry clothes afterward. Now I know.

Emery didn't mind the cold water one bit! She looks a little shocked here but she kept going back for more!


We didn't realize just how far we had walked through the park from our car to the actual playground. It was about a 10 minute walk with our fully naked little girl. We got a few looks. Oh well...not the first time! :)

We left the park just in time for 5:00 traffic. Awesome. It's so nice living in a small town. We drove back to Katy - actually a little past Katy - to meet up with Dan and Lauren. One of their friends is a Polo player and he was playing in a championship game at a ranch nearby. We had so much fun watching him play! The ranch was beautiful and the game was really exciting!

Emery wanting to check out the water.

LOVED the horses! I think everyone could hear her neighing as loud as she could at them!

The players in action! Pretty cool!

So they say everyone has a twin somewhere out Uma, Emery's long lost twin. Uma is two weeks older than Emery and is Marco's daughter. They had a lot of fun running around with each other and sharing Emery's sippy cup.

The Champions!

Visiting the tired horses after the big game. Emery made sure to tell them all 'bye-bye' and 'night-night.'

It was a fun night! Emery fell asleep on the way home and enjoyed getting to sleep did I! Waking up to feed her at 5:00 am and 6:00 am the past two mornings was not fun! We had a great morning. Emery ate a big bowl of oatmeal and had part of a banana! She woke up with quite an appetite after two days of not eating much. We walked to the neighborhood park and played for a was already really hot and sticky outside. Not used to that! David looked up some splash parks in town but couldn't find any public ones nearby. We called the YMCA and went there instead. David was a good daddy and got in the baby pool with Emery. They played and swam for a long time! They were both a little worn out afterward! I didn't get to swim because I didn't pack a swim suit...I didn't mind though because the water felt too cold for me anyway. I'm a wimp. I had lots of fun watching though!

So, now we're back at the house. Emery's napping and David is working on dinner. Fish Tacos! For some reason he likes to cook when we come to Houston...

We talked to our pilot, Craig and it looks like we'll head home tomorrow afternoon if the weather looks okay. If not, Sunday morning. We have had a great time so far and hate to leave our friends. It's always so good to spend time with them. I hope you all had a great week! I'll update more when we get the rest of Emery's results!