Friday, April 4, 2014

Eastons 2!!

Two years ago our lives were forever changed. We walked in to that hospital at 10:00 not really sure of what to expect, how to feel, what to say or do. Scared out of our minds, but knowing that something BIG was happening. 2 hours and 40 minutes later, I heard the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard or will ever hear. That loud, full cry of my 8lb 15 oz, bright pink, big headed baby boy! I never forget that sound. SO much before and immediately after that is such a blur, but that sound is VERY clear and stamped in my brain and on my heart forever. Today he is an almost 30lbs, boisterous, rambunctious, loud, silly, funny, outgoing, sweet 2 year old. He makes life better. He is the physical proof to me that GOD IS SO GOOD, He answers prayers, He loves me, He cares about me, He wants me to Glorify Him. With Easton, we WILL Glorify Him. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for letting us have Easton as our child. What a blessing he is. All he has endured, his character is intact, he is happy and sweet and so much fun. He is the epitome of strength and bravery . He is everything I want to be and we should all strive to be. I could not be any more proud of him than I am, but I know that pride will continue to grow as he grows. I can’t believe its been 2 years since Luke and I, shaking, worried, nervous and excited all at once, walked through those doors in the hospital. Its been the most thrilling roller coaster ride, and I’d do it over and over and over again  HAPPY BIRTHDAY my Sweet Sweet Easton Landry! We love you more than you’ll ever comprehend!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Living my Testimony

A few weeks ago in church our Pastor was talking about our Spiritual gifts. Something that was given to us, by God, that makes us an individual. Sometimes its an obvious talent, the gift of song, artistry, speaking, teaching….sometimes it is not so obvious and we have to search for it. Wait for it. Ive spent the last couple of weeks wracking my brain. What is MY Spiritual talent?! What did God put here to do? Im not good at anything. The few things I have been “Good” at, playing the clarinet, writing research papers in college…those things I worked hard for, they didn’t come easily, they weren’t natural talents, they’re things I had to work for to be average. So I posted on facebook and everyone weighed in…that’s great but nothing really stuck. My whole life I have listened to people give their testimony, in Church, on tv, in seminars, wherever…that life changing moment when they turned to God and became a Christian. That life changing, heart opening moment when it all just MADE sense. I don’t have that moment. Im not a “rags to riches” story. Im just an average girl, who grew up in a good, loving, middle class family in a small town. Ive always believed in God, Ive always been nice to people, Ive always played by the rules. So I have no life altering testimonial….and I don’t know what my spiritual gifts are. Until now. Suddenly I have had one of those life changing moments. Im living my testimony NOW. My spiritual gifts are coming out NOW. 2 years ago I was pregnant, scared, worried, stressed out and beyond tired. I was a newly wed, no where near prepared for a new baby. Had NO idea what we were going to do or how we would afford this. And then I had Easton. It was a hard first few months. We had no money, no idea how to feed this baby who needed extra care, no idea why he was projectile vomiting and screaming all the time. But we got through it. When Easton was 1 year old we started going to church, we wanted to find a church we enjoyed, were comfortable in, and a few months later we were baptized in that church. Meanwhile I share Easton with the world. I will tell our story to anyone who will listen. I will show his pictures and talk about his reflux, his special needs bottles, his surgeries, the endless breathing treatments, the speech issues and feeding issues. I will share him with everyone. He is PURE Joy. THIS Is my testimony. THIS is my Spiritual gift. I was given the gift of gab…Im not joking. I was given the gift to speak, to tell, to share. I was Given Easton to change, to share and to love! Im closer to God now than Ive ever been, and I will continue to grow with Him. I have friends I Never would have met in a million years, all because of Easton. I can help people who are going through the same things, I can share our story and offer advice. Someday, when he understands, I will share it with Easton. I will tell him God gave him to us so that we could change people. So that we could help people. So that our hearts would soften and would open and hopefully others would as well. It might not be as interesting and earth shattering as a drug addict from the streets who comes to Jesus and changes his life. But it’s just as powerful. Because we all lead to the same prize, to JESUS. I hope we make HIM proud. I hope I can bring all the Glory to God and use this gift in the most powerful way possible. I pray that my heart is open to Gods words and guidance. “But when I hear You whisper, "Child lift up your head" I remember, oh God, You're not done with me yet I am redeemed, You set me free..”

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Love, family and growth

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

I'm trying every day to live by this Word.
In my life with my husband in romantic love; in my life with my friends; in my relationships with my family members, immediate and extended.

"It is not arrogant or is not irritable or resentful"

I think we struggle with this on a daily basis. Everyone does, I do.

How do we love, patiently, selflessly, when we are resentful and angry. When we have been hurt or betrayed?

Family is supposed to be there for always. Friends can come and go, romance comes and goes. But Family? They are ALWAYS there. How do you forgive them for years of selfish love, of resentment and anger?
How do you love selflessly, a family, who does not try to come to you?
I believe that in a marriage we give 100% all the time, there is no 50/50, its 200% or its nothing. Why should that standard be lessened for other family? It shouldn't. So why is it?

Luke and I are trying to tighten our family ties. We are trying to keep relationships good and strong and loving. We want Easton to grow up knowing that ALL family is important. That we are truthful, honest, loving, fair, accepting, and available to family. We want him to have strong bonds with any (potential) future siblings, we want him to love his cousins as his siblings. We want to have family bbq's, phone calls with those who live far away, send cards, face time, facebook, holidays, birthdays. We want him to know that no matter how far away family is, that they matter, they care, and we care about them.
We also want him to learn that even when people do not give their 100%, doesn't always mean that we shouldn't continue to give ours.
So as we might be setting him up to be hurt, and feel like he gives and gives and never gets anything in return. We want him to learn that it is OK. We are good, loving people and we may not always be treated the way we think we should be, but that is ok.
The Good Word says
Luke 6:31
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

So in our continuing efforts to grow in our walk with God and grow as a family, our goals are to teach Easton and continue to learn ourselves, to always love 100%, selflessly, patiently, kindly.
The point is we WILL be let down, we WILL be hurt, we WILL have disappointment, but we should never stop trying. When family is concerned, we WILL make them a priority.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stop it with the Mommy Wars!

Im so sick and tired of the Mommy wars!
I breast fed so Im better. I formula fed so I am smarter.
I cloth diaper Im more eco friendly. Cloth diapers are gross.
Home made baby food!
Store bought!
Similac!! Store Brand!!
No Pacifier! Pacifier till they'r 4!
Extended rear facing!!  Turn them at 12 months!!

When did it become ANYONE's business how I raise my child?
Is it NOT every mother's goal to raise healthy, thriving, happy children? What difference does it make if I used organic home made baby food or not to get there?

Since when do we have to judge everything that all other mothers do and try to make them look and feel bad about themselves?

Let me tell you something, and I don't think Im alone here.
As some people may have it ALL figured out, and know exactly what they're doing. I dont.
There have been many days where I am just trying to survive and get through the day. What difference does it make if I use Target brand scented baby wipes or cloth re-usable ones?
Breastfeeding. OK! I know "Breast is best" BUT it does not make me a bad mother because I didnt do it.
Honestly, I was lucky to get a bottle in his mouth those first few months. It was not easy. I had a really hard time. All I was concerned about was making sure he was gaining the weight he was supposed to be, able to eat and swallow on his own. Why does anyone care that it was Similac that got us there? Its great if you breast fed! Good for you! Now move on. I dont care if you do it in public. I dont care if you do it until your child has braces. Its your business, not mine! So why are we judging each other?
You are no better than I am and I am no better than you. We are all just trying to survive!

Can we just agree that as mothers, we ALL have different likes, tastes, styles but the ultimate goal is the same. To raise good, healthy, happy, thriving children, and STOP with the judgements, the forcing opinions on each other and bragging about how much better we are doing?
I want to brag that my son measured at 5 months ahead of where he is cognitively.
That, 2 weeks ago the Dr said he needed physical therapy because he wasnt walking, but last night he was walking in circles in the living room.
I want to brag that my child is saying "Dada" and "ni-ni" and he wasnt even born with the reflex to put his tongue to the roof of his mouth.
I want to brag that he's learning to chew crunchy things and not just melt them and try to swallow.

THATS what I want to brag about, not the fact that I was a better mother because I chose to imunize when you didnt. Who cares?!

We have got to stop trying to make other Mothers feel bad. We all feel like we don't do enough as it is!
I struggle daily with, does he play with the right toys? Did he eat enough fruits/veggies? Did he drink enough water? Should I have watered his juice down more? Is that the right kind fo cartoon? Should he be learning faster?
I do this to myself, I dont need other mothers doing it to me! None of us do!
When does it stop?!

Friday, May 17, 2013


Happiness is something that I've had the majority of my life. I have had moment and days of dispair or sadness or fear but for the most part, most of my life has been happy.
I define happiness as a peace within your soul.
No one can make you happy.
Its not a person, or a car, or a job, or a house or property or town that makes you truly happy.
Those things can ADD to your happiness, but to have true peace and happiness it comes from with in. And once you find that peace, those other contributions begin to fall in to place.
A few years ago, When I met Luke, things had just begun to fall in to place, I had come to a sense of peace in my soul and in my heart. I had an "awakening" moment with God. A moment where I felt a lot of anxiety and fear and anger and sadness with wher emy life was in that moment, I cried out to God and suddenly felt a sense of peace. He told me, what are you anxious about? Everything is fine! You are fine!
"Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)
And in the months after that, everything was fine and great and perfect. And though we have had an uphill climb to get to where we are now, at times, it has been beautiful.

I have learned that to have the innerpeace, the inner happiness, it has NOTHING to do with the house we live in, or whether or not we own or rent. It has nothing at all to do with the town we live in, or the traffic, it has nothing to do with what we have in the bank, whether or not we live near a forest or a lake or a river.
It has everything to do with being ok with what we DO have.
What do we have? Not much
We have medical bills and credicard debt from 100 trips to Fort Worth and hospital/hotel stays.
We have very little in the bank at certain times of the month.
We have a car payment

But we also have each other.
We have a small apartment that we rent but it is shelter from the elements, it is running water and an A/C. It is a home
We have a car that gets us anywhere we need to be
We have a healthy, beautiful, amazing son
We have a deep connecting love as a married couple.
We have a support system
We have jobs and we get a pay check
We have Sweet Alli
We have a sense of humor
We have a relationship with God that grows stronger in our hearts daily
We have laughter
We have quiet nights reading
We have dinners out with my parents
We have holidays and birthday celebrations
We have food in the pantry and freezer
We have intelligence
We have a mutual love for sports
We have beautiful memories.

Why are we happy when we have so little, we dont own a home, we dont even live in a HOUSE? How can we love where we live, its dried up and hot? How is it at ALL possible that we are content with what we have? Its not because we are complacent and fearful of change.
I do not fear change. HA!
The amount of change that has happened in my life in the last 4 years should be proof of that.
I enjoy an adventure as much as anyone, but I am content with my life because I am fullfilled, I enjoy a good routine and comfort. We can alway improve things, but we are happy with what we have now!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Choosing your words

Though I know that there is no malice behind these words, they still sting in a way that I never expected.
I see and hear these words a lot, and I need to explain why they sting.
"Easton has always been cute, but his mouth looks awesome"
"Oh Easton looks SOOO good now that he has healed"
"He is so handsome now"
These are the sort of things people say.
I know! I know that they come from a kind, compassionate place. I know what is meant by these words but, listen to my side.
Our Easton was the most beautiful creature I've ever laid my eyes on. I never saw his cleft. It doesnt define him. He was a gorgeous, incredible creation of God.
There was nothing about him that was flawed. Total perfection from his head to his little toes. He was wondefully and beautifully made!
Having to change his appearance to improve his quality of life was and still is the hardest thing that we have ever had to do. Knowing that we were changing the mouth that God made for him, still breaks my heart. Never getting to see that original smile again. That God given, beautiful, big smile.
We did these surgeries because we love him, and we want him to live a life with the highest quality as possible.
NEVER was he "fixed" or "repaired" just because the surgery is called a repair, he was never broken.
His mouth has always been exceptionally beautiful.
Yes, he has healed well, our surgeon does outstanding work, and we are very proud.
But he was every bit as handsome BEFORE his surgeries as he is now.
Am I beings sensitive? Sure. But I have every right to be, dont you think?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Easton is 1!

I can't believe Im writing this! Easton is 1 year old! WOW what a year it has been!

But we all know what has happened in the last 12 months, so I will just talk about his birthday!

We spent his actual birthday driving to Fort Worth. We stopped at Cracker Barrel, his favorite place, to eat supper, but he was cranky, so he didnt enjoy it! haha!

But When we got home we had a party at Kiwanis Park here in Midland.
Lots of people came, Easton got SO many presents and we had a great time!

 Easton and Emily swinging!

 We love our KK!

We are so very very blessed with so many friends and family who came to celebrate Eastons birthday with us. And we do have so much to celebrate.
A year ago, we didnt know what our future held, after a very stressful pregnancy, and a lot of unknowns, the first few months of Eastons life were not easy. We battled weight gain, and reflux, feeding, formula whoas etc....Then began the ear infection, sinus infection, flu, RSV, Strep throat, any other upper respiratory sickness you can imagine saga.
But through all of that, we learned SO much, and we gained so much, and learned just how incredibly blessed we are.
We have had two surgeries in the last 6 months of this first year, and because of those, as hard as it was, we are stronger for it. God has shown us how incredibly strong and resiliant Easton is, and how strong we are as parents.
I give all the glory to God! For without his grace, and our faith that things WOULD be ok, we migth not have made it through this first year.
The main thing I have learned, or gained since the day we brought Easton in to this world, is I think I truly understand the kind of Love God has for us. I thought i understood it, but until I held this precious, beautiful, perfect child in my arms for the first time and felt the love for my child, I didnt REALLY understand it. Now I do.

So Year one is behind us and year two is upon us! :) I can't wait to see what God has in store for us this year! :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Surgery #2

March 3, 2013 Luke, Easton and I travelled to Fort Worth. We had a heck of a time getting out of town, we got up and started getting ready, Easton had fruit cocktail for breakfast and was a MESS so we put him in the bathtub.
Meanwhile Luke took Alli to stay at my brothers house so she could play with her cousin Razz while we were gone ;)
I was packing and Luke was loading the car when he went in to check  on Easton (the bathroom is like 5 ft from our bedroom and I have a clear view of the tub from our room) he was playing, Luke went to rinse him off and, oops! He had pooped in the tub.
SO we got him out, luke cleaned out the mess while I took the toys to the sink in the kitchen to soak in bleach water then drained the tub and cleaned it. Once that was clean we put Easton BACK in and washed him really quickly.
He had a vague smell of vinegar after that (thats what I cleaned with lol)
Finally we got in the car, went to gas up and run through a car wash, when ALL the car washes near by were either closed or broken.
So, mud covered car and all we headed out of town.
We stopped in Abilene and had lunch at Cracker Barrel where Easton was a celebrity! People just love him, and he LOVES the attention.
He also had his first bites of apple dumplin & ice cream, not a bad day!
Once we got to the hotel we just ate at IHOP, right at the hotel and went to bed.
March 4, 2013
We had a Pre-op appointment with the ENT who would be placing Eastons tubes during the palate closure.
That appointment took all of 10 minutes, took us longer to find the place than it did to see the Dr.
He explained what wold happen and then we had the rest of the day to play. We went to Half priced books, (2 different ones actually lol) and Target and did some shopping.
Mom and Dad came in that afternoon and we all had dinner at applebees.

March 5, 2013
Luke and I didnt sleep much that night, probably 4 hours total between the two of us. We got up at 11:30 to try and get Easton to drink some formula before the cut off, but he refused it. at 3:00 I gave him some pedialyte and he sucked it down and went back to sleep. Luke and I got up and got ready arount 4:30 and at 5:40 we were heading to the hospital.
Easton was such a happy camper that morning.
There was a bad wreck on the Interstate on our way, a man was ejected and traffic was beginning to bvack up. Thankfully we got through and were not late.
At 6:00 AM we were the first to use the Valet parking at Cooks Childrens. We checked in, paid and went up to Surgery.
They took us back, Talked to the nurses and anesthesiologist. Easton sounded a little junky so we did a breathing treatment on him, which cleared it up and we were cleared for surgery. Dr. Hubli came in and explained what he would be doing, it all made sense, and before I knew it I was watching my baby be wheeled away, smiling and happy, on a gurney.

about 40 minutes later the nurse called and told me that he was happy, had gone to sleep well and that surgery had just begun, they expected about an hour and 1/2.

around 9:00 the ENT came out and told us tubes went in, there was a LOT of fluid in his ears and that everything looked good. About 20 min after that Dr Hubli came out, said he was the perfect case, everything went super smooth and he was extremely pleased.
So we waited

about 10:40 the Recovery nurse called and told me it woul dbe about another hour, that it would be a good time to go get some lunch.
So we did.
After we ate Mom and I went in to the Build a Bear workshop to make him a gift, while we were in there, the nurse called for us (15 minutes earlier than expected)
So Luke and I rushed back upstairs and they let us go back in to recovery.
We stayed in there with Easton until 7:00 PM.
Easton was a little swollen, his tongue was hanging out, he had a big black stitch in his tongue. He had a lot of dried blood in one ear, around his mouth and under his nose. He was on oxygen.
FInally they  moved us to the PICU.One night in that place and I pray that I never ever  have to experience it again, nor do any of you reading. Its a rough place.  We were in a corner, open bay, room with sheets on either side seperateing  us from two other PICU patients. One, a very teeny new born on a respiratory  isolation, and the other a VERY bratty 13 year old boy who was just finding out  he was diabetic and they were monitoring his blood sugar every hour.There  would be no sleep. Easton would not let us put him down, so we watched every  movie available to us, and took turns taking 20 minute cat naps. At one point a  nurse came and held him so we could both lay down, we got about an hour of sleep  then. Easton was hooked up to pulse monitors, heart monitors, stomach  monitors, breathing monitors, IV in his hand, had No-Nos on and for a was  receiving oxygen through a cannula.The nurses in the PICU are amazing, they  really are, but I do not envy them at all.Easton received Loratab every 4  hours and morphine in between. He was also getting breathing treatments every 4  hours. While in the PICU we consulted with a Pulmonary SPecialist (supposed  to be one of the best in the business) who we will see again in a few months.  She did not diagnose E with asthma but said he sounds like he could have it, we  will give steroid treatments as a preventative from  now on.Remember that  lunch we had at 10:40 on March 5? Thank goodness for that, because we wouldnt  eat again for 24 hours. No food is allowed in the PICU and only bottled  drinks. I refused to leave the "room" other than an occasional bathroom break. I  did send Luke to get us a drink and he ahd some crackers while he was  gone.around 10:00 AM we were transferred to a private room on the regular  floor. Ive never been so glad in my LIFE to be in a hospital room. In there we  had a shower and walls! :)Easton got to ride up to the 4th floor in a wagon,  which he thought was really cool.He did pretty good most of the day.  Luke  and I got some food and showered and we were doing better at that point too. He  still wouldnt let us put him down.Most of the monitors came off at this  point too and he was more awake.Easton would not drink anything. His sippy  cup freaked him out, and anytime youc ame near him with a syringe he would  thrash. Around 8PM the nurse suggested we try jello. SUCCESS!
he LOVED it! But that would be it for about 12 hours.
Around 10PM his IV came out, they came and I carried him down the hall where they attempted to put a new one in three times.
This was the single most painful experience of my life.
He was SCREAMING, I was trying to hold him, along with 2 other nurses, he would just look at me with this horrifying look.
They were not successful and we went back to the room. he fell asleep so hard he did let me put hiim down for a while this time. They decided that he didnt need the IV any longer, so we really had to push the fluids. after being off IV fluids about 8 hours he was thirsty and we got about 4 oz of formula in him (The surgeons PA was int he room when we were doing this, so this REALLY helped our case)
THe morning shift change brought in Fay, the new nurse, and boy was she a character. She was a contract nurse from New Orleans, and she was WILD. She had WILD  and big hair, she danced and sang and had a lot of opinions and Easton LOVED her.
It was March 7, and we got to go home.

We went back to the hotel and spent the night there, where we slept (only getting up once for about an hour with Easton) almost 10 hours.

Came home on Friday and here we are.

It is Sunday, march 10, 2013 and He is teething, has thrush and just had oral surgery. He is miserable and uncomfortable. He acts scared when he wakes up in his bed and wants to be held.
But he is eating well. The thrush seems to be the biggest problem tonight, you can hear it in his hoarse voice.

This has been a rough week. One that we will never forget, and that I am so glad is behind us.

Im writing this because I wanted to document it before I forget some of the details and I wanted to share with whoever is reading what the experience was like.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What can you do?

Eastons next surgery "The Big One", is on March 5, as long as he is healthy and well.
On March 3 we will drive to Ft Worth, the 4th we will have pre--op with the ENT who will place tubes during the procedure, then early on the 5th we will check in to the hospital.

This is a very stressful time for us. We have less than two weeks to get Easton used to a sipp cup, and off his bottle, we have less than 2 weeks to prepare ourselves to hand our baby boy over to someone else, we have less than two weeks until we put our child through major surgery.

Please respect us, and try to understand if we are not all that friendly or available for a while. We are dealing with a lot of emotions right now that are hard to understand, and I can't even find the right words to vocalize them.

What can you do? we get this a lot.
Pray for us, pray for Easton and his healing, pray for the medical staff at Cooks. Pray for our strength and mental stability through all of this.

This is not "just another surgery", this is major surgery, this is handing our child to virtual strangers and entrusting them with his life. This is a lifestyle change. This is changing the way he eats, swallows, drinks, talks.
This is potentially the end to chronic ear infections and pain. This is potentially the end to constant antibiotics, breathing treatments and sickness.

Say a lot of prayers for all of this.
When we do get home, if you still want to help, continue to pray, and we probably wouldnt decline a meal brought to us :) haha but we dont want or need a lot of visitors.

The hospital is exhausting, we will not sleep, we will hold our baby and watch him for complications, we will call nurses and ask for meds, we might have a minute to eat, we will not leave his side, we will work to get him eating well, and drinking, our focus is totally and completely on him. When he is well and back to himself, it will be time to plan a birthday party and we are going to to it up big time for him and for everyone.

Most importantly we want everything to be as familiar to him as possible. He doesnt understand why he feels weird, hurts, etc....We need everything to be as normal as possible so not to cause even more confusion. More people around than normal could cause more stress.
We want a peaceful, quiet envrionment for him to heal in so that he can come back to himself sooner so that everyone can enjoy him as his usual happy, silly self.

Birthday party, pre-planning will be happening April 6. It all depends on him, how he feels, how he has healed, if he can eat nothing is set in stone.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Well we got the date for the big surgery.

March 5

MUCH earlier than I was prepared for. We have TWO weeks to keep Eastons lungs clear and Ears infection free. TWO weeks for him to go to a sippy cup exclusively. TWO weeks to prepare to see my baby in pain and confused, again.

I was prepared for a date late in March. Late in March or early April was going to give us a chance to celebrate his birthday early, and in a big way, while he is happy and can enjoy it. Now I can't plan anything because its a wait and see game.

He could come through like a champ, and two weeks later be eating and feeling good. And thats what I pray for.

In the mean time the unknown scares me to death.

Dr told us that 12-24 hours in the ICU is not uncommon after this surgery, depending on his breathing plan for 48 hours in the hospital, although if all is perfect only one night.

God give me strength. Give me peace. Give me the ability to trust these strangers with my baby.