Saturday, September 29, 2012

Goodbye Young Friend

Everyone who met Oliver loved him.  Even when he barked at people walking by and woke your baby or peed on your furniture you couldn't help but forgive him.  Casey & Rob drew smiles and attention from strangers everywhere they took him - everyone loved him.  In his three short years of life, Oliver melted everyone's hearts.  The biggest temper tantrums from Holden, Everett and Lillian could easily be solved at the mention of his name. Even Lillian at 15 months old could easily say "Allilar".  When I couldn't get her shoes on or she'd fuss about getting in the car, all I had to say was, "Do you want to go see Oliver?".  She'd jump up, nod yes and say "Allilar".
Oliver had a liver condition that was diagnosed last week.  Casey and Rob had brought him to the vet countless times, had dozens of blood tests and finally had a diagnosis.  Oliver had Liver Shunts, curable by surgery.  Despite their best efforts to save him and allow him to live a healthy (but short) life, Oliver didn't come out of the anesthesia well.  He was suffering multiple seizures and had to be put down today.
He will be missed, he had an impact on people much bigger than his little size.  We love you buddy....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thank God For Family!

My parents just left after a two week stay!  Grandma Kerschen went home on Wednesday, August 22nd and Gramma & Opa Hanou came in on Sunday, August 26th.  Most of our friends felt sorry for us, believing the old adage "Fish & Company start to stink after 5 days".  But they don't know just how sick I was!  I truly needed the help!  Lillian is an active little girl and she demands lots of love and attention right now.  I know it's hard to imagine a Courtney without energy but trust me - I could only keep up with Lillian for short periods of time these last few weeks!  Having my parents here for my 3rd and 4th week of recovery was a blessing!  For some reason, my pain was severe and intense that 3rd week.  I returned to the doctor thinking something must be wrong, I shouldn't feel this bad still.  But they explained that my delivery was not a typical cesarean - I'd been through a lot and I needed to give my body 8 - 10 weeks to recover.  Well, hearing 8 - 10 weeks of recovery snapped me right out of my funk!  There was no way I was going to be sick my whole maternity leave!  My pain was cut in half that very afternoon....mind over matter right???
Lillian is old enough now that she really was able to form a bond with her grandparents.  It is so much fun to watch her interact with them.  When I talk to my mom on the phone now, Lillian wants to "talk" too.  Today after I hung up, Lillian walked over and pointed to a picture of Gramma.  So smart!
Gramma with her 2 youngest grandkids (doesn't Jak look like a doll?)

On top of trying to keep up with a 16 month old Lillian, Mike and I are adjusting to being up several times a night again.  Jak is a remarkably good baby, he gives us 3 - 4 hour stretches of sleep every night (his sister was up every hour or two!). He rarely cries, he makes little snort and snuff sounds to let us know he's hungry. 
Lillian still thinks Jak is the best toy we ever got her (it's a close tie with the Ipad though!)
While Gramma and Opa were out visiting, Uncle Severin and Aunt Colleen came for a long weekend too.  They were able to share their good news that they are expecting a baby mid-April of next year!  Casey and Rob are expecting end of February so the "Hanou" Clan is ecstatic!  We have baby fever!
After our picnic in the mountains the big cousins ran and played for a while.  Lillian loves to keep up with Holden and Everett (with help from Opa and Uncle Severin!)

Best picture of the big cousins we could get!

Practicing their rock climbing moves

Opa and Uncle Severin always have to work on a project when they're on vacation!  They installed a new light above the sink in the guest bathroom - no more showering downstairs and coming upstairs to apply makeup ladies!

Speaking of makeup - Holden is applying lipstick to Lillian in this picture!

Everett LOVES his cousin Lillian so much.  But he rarely gets any time with her when Holden is around!
Gramma & Opa Hanou with their 8 children, 4 grandchildren and two grandkids on the way!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jak at 1 Month

The NICU nurses were right....Jak is not a normal "weak white boy".  The NICU staff is used to caring for white baby boys who are born early and weak.  However, since Jak was born early to benefit me not him, he is thriving just as they predicted.  He has gained over a pound and a half and grown two and a half inches in his first month of life.  Last week at a check up, he weighed in at 5 pounds 14.5 ounces and measured 19.5 inches.  By now he's well over 6 pounds! 
The Kangaroo sitting beside Jak is a gift from Grandpa Kerschen.  Since Jak is named after Grandpa Joe (Joseph Allan Kerschen), Grandpa thought it would be clever for him to have his monthly picture taken with a kangaroo, since we call their young "Joey's"...get it, Jak's a little Joey too!  Hopefully Jak will be able to sit up better in his 2 month picture and the Kangaroo and baby will be more visible!  Thanks Grandpa, it arrived just in time!
Here's a picture of Lillian at 1 Month for comparison....
She was equally tiny and look at her now!