Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Bye 2010!

It's been the hardest year of my life, but there have been points of brightness too. We knew James was going to need corrective surgery this year, but we weren't expecting all the side-effects (breathing issues mostly) caused by his irregular anatomy. But God has carried us through it all and we continue to be hopeful that the worst is behind us. Andrew joined our little family in October. He has brought new challenges and renewed joy to our lives. We are sending up unending prayers that 2011 will be healthy and hospital free for all of us. Happy New Year!

Cute outfits from Grandma Iverson
Playing on Christmas morning
Andrew is very strong and growing fast
James still loves to read (watching TV is his other favorite past time)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Worrying from Home

James was released yesterday. They more or less kicked us out. I know that James isn't all better yet, but all of his tests have been normal and his vitals have been good. For these reasons, the doctors didn't see any reason to keep him. We got home at about 5 last night and James has been grumpy and irritable ever since. I think he got a little spoiled over the last couple of weeks in the hospital having his every whim given to him. Plus, he's still a bit under the weather.

James is on several medicines now. He's still on the Prevacid to help control his reflux. He's now also on another medicine that speeds up his digestive system that should help reduce reflux as well. James is taking oral steriods for another week to help reduce the inflammation in his airways. He also has 3 different nebulizer meds that he can take to help with his breathing.

It's nice to be home, but with it comes a whole new set of worries. As I mentioned before, he's grumpy and I have to worry about why. We tried tylenol, so I think he's just irritable. I worry every second that his breathing will worsen and we'll have to take him back to the hospital again. I'm scared something will happen to him on my watch and that petrifies me. Being down a similar road before, I know that these worries will lessen with each passing day, but that doesn't make me less worried now. I'm trying hard to let God shoulder these worries for me, but it's not easy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Please Keep Praying

Although James' surgery went well, he's still in the hospital and not all better. His issues at this point appear to be mainly respiratory. His airways are probably still swollen and he's retracting (his ribs cave in when he breathes). His breathing is also a little fast, all indicating that he's working harder to breathe than he should be. The doctors can't give me any definite answers which tells me they don't know what's causing his problems and so aren't sure how to treat them effectively.

I feel like I'm screaming my prayers at God these days. I have been praying for a miraculous healing for James' health issues since before he was born, but for some reason (unknown to me) our family, especially James, is being put through trials that we can not shoulder on our own. I will continue to pray for a miracle, but would be happy just to have answers on how to make him feel better. I mostly just pray for James' suffering to be over. Please pray that God will bring strength and healing to our family.

On a happy note, Andrew is growing well and full of smiles for us. If not for him, I'm not sure how I would get out of bed some days. I guess I know why God surprised us with our second little bundle of joy so close to our first :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

James' Surgery (#9)

James has surgery yesterday and is doing good. He was scheduled for 9:40 am, but as we all know these things never run on time. They took him back to the OR at 11.

The pulmonologist went first. They did a scope of his upper and lower airways. They found that the majority of James' airways are swollen and some are even flattened as opposed to being round. His vocal chords are swollen too. There was also some really thick mucus blocking a few smaller airways that they were able to get cleaned out (he hasn't sounded so clear in weeks). At this point it's hard to tell the cause and it's possible that there are multiple things going on. They took a culture from the inside of his lungs and this should confirm that his reflux has been causing him to aspirate food into his lungs, but we won't know for a few days. Finally the pulmonologist did a pulmonary function test to test his lung strength. We should have the results of this test today. This all took about an hour or so.

Next the surgeon was up. They have a lot of technical terms for what they did and why. I will take a stab at an explanation. At the base of everyone's stomach is the pyloric valve that opens and closes to allow food to pass from your stomach to your intestines. Because of James' gastric pull-up to connect his esophagus to his stomach, his pyloric valve is higher than normal and in an unusual orientation. This abnormal anatomy sometimes requires the pyloric valve to be disabled (about 20% of kids that have gastric pull-ups). They put a small scope though his belly button and another one down his esophagus to see what they were doing. They were then able to then do the procedure with only 4 small incisions (as opposed to cutting open his belly) which reduces recovery time and the chance of infection post-op. This will hopefully allow his stomach to empty more efficiently and prevent him from refluxing food into his airway, but only time will tell. The surgeons feel that this will help, but don't necessarily expect it to totally fix the problem because he will always have an unusual anatomy. This procedure took a little over 2 hours.

James made it back to recovery around 3 and we were able to see him at 4. He is on pain meds for now to keep him comfortable. They are going to put a PIC line in today so they can get him some calories via IV. The poor kid has gotten so skinny in the last couple weeks. He won't be allowed to eat until later in the week and it will be slow process getting him back to full feeds. We are hoping that we will get to go home by Monday. The doctors are confident that we will be home by Christmas.

My mother-in-law is town this week helping out with the baby. My dad and brother are planning to help out next week. Dave is hoping that once James comes home from the hospital, he will be able to work from home until the New Year. God, our family and your prayers have kept us going and continue to give us strength. Please keep praying for James' healing and our sanity!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

James...sigh...

I don't really know where to start. Life with James has always been an emotional ride, but it's been an absolute roller coaster lately. Let's recap...

When I was about 28 weeks pregnant with James when he was diagnosed with some type of Esophageal Atresia (missing part of his esophagus). We knew that his situation would be able to be corrected surgically. Before we could even meet the surgeons and have a consultation with them, James was born at 33 weeks and had his first surgery when he was 3 days old, weighing right about 4 pounds. The surgeons were fairly confident that he would be fixed and ready to go home as a "normal" baby within a matter of weeks. 10 weeks (and 4 more operations) later he did get to go home, but not fixed. James didn't have corrective surgery until April of this year (postponed from January). I suppose I thought, probably naively, that he would be all better in a few weeks and his crazy start to life would be all behind us... not so much. In the 2 months that followed James' corrective surgery, we made 5 trips to the ER for various things and dealt with constant reflux and spit-up. By the end of July, we were all home again and thought we fixed our problems with high dose reflux medicines. We had a fairly quiet August and James had tubes put in his ears in September. Then came October...

James came down with a couple of colds that turned nasty...pneumonia. He spent 9 days at Peyton Manning Children Hospital in Indy and then 2 more days once we got back to Pittsburgh in the hospital for dehydration. He finally got all better around the second week in November. Then the day before Thanksgiving (maybe 2 weeks later) James got sick again. We took him to the hospital that night, he got discharged the next day. Still sick and back to the hospital the Monday following Thanksgiving, discharged 2 days later. Still sick and back to the hospital on Friday. By this point he's pretty sick and admitted to the ICU, where they diagnose him with a bacterial pneumonia (the bacteria that normally causes ear infections moved into his lungs). At this point, we consult pulmonology and the surgical team that has been following him since birth because the doctors are finally convinced that something else is probably going on. Their first instinct was Cystic Fibrosis (because he's so sick from "minor" virus/bacteria and his mucus is really thick), but James had full genetic testing when he was a newborn and we know he doesn't have this. There are a lot of theories floating around, but they finally feel they know what's going on and have a plan.

Due to James' gastric pull-up to connect his esophagus to his stomach he has an unusual anatomy, his stomach is in the right side of his chest cavity and he doesn't have a valve in between his esophagus and his stomach. The doctors have noticed by looking back at all the tests James has had done over the past 6 weeks that his stomach is not emptying as fast as it should be. Apparently this is due to his unusual anatomy...the pyloric valve can't work properly and so his stomach is not emptying into his intestines fast enough. This has been causing his severe reflux. They can "fix" the problem by disabling the pyloric valve (it's called a pyloric-plasty). The hope is that this will eliminate his reflux. ...The surgery is scheduled for Monday.

The doctors think that for the past 6 months James has been refluxing so badly that sometimes he gets stomach acid and food into his lungs. They believe that this has been aggravating his airway and making his colds more severe. The pulmonologist will run a couple of tests and check the integrity of James' airways when he has surgery to make sure permanent damage hasn't been done and to eliminate other potential problems.

Once he has the surgery (his 9th), the main risk is called "dumping." This is when the stomach empties too fast into the intestines and nutrients aren't absorbed properly. The doctors feel that the risks of not doing the surgery (aspiration and permanent lung damage from stomach acid) are greater than the possibility of "dumping," which can be addressed with medication.

So again, I hope (possibly naively) that this surgery will fix all of James' problems and turn him into a "normal" kid. Time will tell...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Andrew is 2 Months Old

Andrew is doing great these days. He has his 2 month check-up tomorrow. Andrew has rolled over from his tummy to his back several times now, although he only does it when he's angry. He is quite strong for such a little guy. We still haven't got him on a regular schedule, but he is keeping food down now that he is all fixed. He is very interested in the world around him and he loves to talk and smile. A few pictures...

holding his head up high :)
Relaxing after surgery...happy to be keeping his food down
Playing happily on the quilt Oma made him


James is still sick and in the PICU at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is off oxygen now. He had a bacterial infection in his lungs this time on top of his cold. He is getting a combination of antibiotics and steroids to hopefully get him feeling better soon. Please pray that God heals him fast (as mommy really can't take much more of this). Here is a picture of him happliy playing a few weeks ago.





Friday, December 3, 2010

Is Cold Season Over Yet?

It's barely December and James has already made 5 ER trips this cold season and been admitted each time. First thing this morning was our most recent trip to the ER. After a couple of different ambulance rides and one helicopter (his 3rd helicopter trip of the year), James is now in the PICU at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh once again. James has been fighting a cold now for over a week.

Last Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), we took James to the ER because he was retracting and working hard to breathe. They kept him overnight for observation, but was able to come home on Thanksgiving. He seemed to be doing better and was coughing up a lot of mucus but keeping food down. Then early Monday morning his breathing became really labored again, he was unable to work up any mucus, and James turned dusky, so we took him back to the local ER. He was transferred to Children's where they monitored him for a couple days, but there wasn't much they could do for him since it was a virus and sent us home on Wednesday. We slept well that night but woke up rough Thursday and clung to me all day. He slept well again last night though so I was hopeful that he was healing in his sleep. However, this morning he awoke struggling to breathe again and ended up getting mucus caught in his airway so the ambulance was called and they brought him in.

The whole situation is very frustrating. Dave, Andrew, and I don't even have the sniffles so we are nervous that there is something else going on besides a common cold. The doctors have run all kinds of tests and seem to think it's just a virus (but not RSV). Today there are more tests and still no new ideas. However, we probably will be taking James to see a few more specialists in the next month to make sure there's not more going on (allergies?, asthma?, ???)

Please pray for James' health, for God to give Dave and I the strength to keep going, and for Andrew to stay healthy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Andrew's Trials

Andrew will be 8 weeks old on Monday...and it's been quite a ride. When Andrew was 2.5 weeks old James was admitted to the hospital for Rhinovirus. James was in the hospital for 9 days, discharged, and then readmitted for 2 more days for dehydration. During that time Andrew stayed with my mom or Abby (my sister-in-law). While he was staying with them, his appetite was growing normally and so was he. He also had his first projectile vomit during this time. It happened about twice that week. The projectile vomiting increased in volume and frequency until it was happening at least 2 times every day (talk about dirty laundry). At his 1 month check-up, the pediatrician started him on Zantac hoping that it was just reflex. She warned us though that it could be something more and to call her if the medicine didn't make a difference after 5 days. So after 5 days and no improvement, we called. Andrew was switched to Prevacid, a stronger medicine. 5 more days passed and still no improvements (and still a TON of laundry). The pediatrician then put him on a combination of the 2 medicines and ordered an upper GI to make sure that his anatomy was not causing the problem. Andrew seemed to be doing better with the double meds and we were hopeful that the problem was fixed, but I took Andrew in this morning for his test anyway. They did the upper GI and an ultrasound which both indicated that he has Pyloric Stenosis. This is when the muscle in between the stomach and the small intestine doesn't work properly and the stomach can't empty, eventually causing the projectile vomiting. We were sent straight to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh where they could do corrective surgery. It's important to have this problem fixed as soon as possible because babies can become extremely malnourished if left untreated. So the surgeon worked Andrew it at the end of the day and now he is all fixed. He will be able to eat again in about 4 hours. They will slowly increase his feeds until he is up to 2 ounces every 3 hours and then we get to take him home. This could be as early as tomorrow evening, but probably Sunday morning.

It has been an absolute crazy 2 months with the birth of our second child, a couple of ER trips, a few hospital stays, a couple surgeries, some birthdays (I can't believe Dave and I are 30!) and a holiday or two. God may put all of these things in my life, but He also pulls me through them. I get angry and frustrated with God for putting my children (and other children) through so much, but I know that someday we will live on an Earth with no pain and suffering. ...and someday I'll understand...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Photos

Looking good in their church clothes
Live long and prosper :)

Hello camera

It's okay, little brother.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Check-Ups

James is 15 months old...
  • weighed in at 22 pounds 8 ounces and 30.5 inches (25%)
  • can feed himself pieces of soft food now, like bananas and avocado
  • stable at sitting (finally!) and working on building his arm strength with his therapists so that he can learn to crawl
  • has 14 teeth (only 2 canines and 2-year molars to go)
  • had his second hair cut...no more mullet!
  • loves being outside

Andrew will be 6 weeks on Monday...

  • weighed in at 9 pounds 3 ounces and 21 inches
  • got put on Zantac for reflux
  • eats, spits ups, sleeps, spits up...
  • already very strong and can hold his head up for a few seconds during tummy time
  • prefers being held

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life Goes On...

We may have spent many nights in the hospital over the last several weeks, but that didn't stop Andrew (and James) from growing. Andrew is 1 month old today and James will be 15 months next week. They are quite the handful, especially when they both want to be held at the same time. But we're making it (with lots of help) and we are thankful that James is on the mend and that Andrew is healthy! Here are a few pictures...




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Too Shall Pass

October 22, 2010 marked the 1 year anniversary of when James came home from his long stay in the NICU. Unfortunately, it was celebrated in the PICU. James came down with a cold last week. On Thursday afternoon he seemed to be having a hard time so my mom (I was still in Indiana) and I took him to a Med Express clinic and they send us to the E.R. James was having difficulty breathing so he was intibated and choppered to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. He was eventually diagnosed with Rhino virus (the cause of the common cold), which spread to his lungs causing a viral pneumonia. He was able to come off the vent Monday late afternoon and is now on a high-flow nasal canula. The doctors hope to get him down to a regular nasal by tomorrow. At that point he would be able to go to a regular room and start regular feeds (his feeds are through an NJ tube right now). We are hoping that we will all be able to go home together this weekend. Dave is with us for now but will have to get back to work next week no matter what.

On the plus side, little Andrew is doing fabulously. Family members are all pitching in to help watch him this week, so we don't have to bring him to the hospital. Andrew is eating like a little piggie and porking up as a result. He is quite adorable...I will get pictures posted again someday.

We just keep praying for a speedy recovery and for no more hospital stays...

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Cup Runneth Over

Brothers
Cousins

And Great a husband!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Past Few Days...

...have been crazy, wonderful, exciting, and exhausting among other things. We have become a family of 4 and we are enjoying it all...even the sleepless nights. It's such a wonderful feeling to have a healthy baby that nothing can bring us down right now. In the past few days we have...

...welcomed Andrew Michael Iverson into our lives...

...played together...

...and just hung out together.
James has become quite the big brother too. He has become quite proficient at playing on his knees and can sit on his own for a half an hour if he decides to.
We even got an edible arrangements gift basket from Dave's work. I've always wanted to get one of these and was so excited when it got delivered today!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Andrew Micheal is Here!

First: Congratulations to Denise and Chris!!!! ~Married October 2, 2010~ Such a beautiful bride!

And then 2 short days later, Andrew Michael Iverson was born. Andrew weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces and is 20.5 inches long. A few things...he has a small head, long fingers, dark grey eyes for now, blond peach fuzz for hair, and is perfect.
I reported to the hospital at 6am Monday morning as instructed to start the process of welcoming Andrew into our little world. I was taken back to the OR at about 8:30 where I was given a spinal and started the c-section. Unfortunately, the spinal ended up being splotchy (apprently this happens about 10% of the time) and I could feel entirely too much, so I was put to sleep for the delivery. Andrew came out healthy at 9:06 am, but he was breathing a little too rapidly and was having some mild retractions. After spending most of Monday in an isolette on room air, he was allowed to come see me and he has been perfect ever since. I am doing well also. We are up and moving together and enjoying getting to know each other. He hasn't quite figured out the eating thing yet, but we're working on it. He definitely likes to sleep...hopefully he'll keep that up.
Enjoy the photos!












Monday, September 27, 2010

7 More Days...

I went in this morning for an amnio to make sure the baby was ready to come out and join us tomorrow. Unfortunately, he's not quite ready. So my c-section has been rescheduled for next Monday, 10/4. Hopefully, the extra week will make him nice and strong!

Unfortunately, James and I are going to miss Denise (Dave's sister) and Chris' wedding. It's this Saturday in St Louis. We wish so much that we were going to be there to celebrate with them. Baby Boy Iverson wanted me to tell you that he's sorry and he loves his Aunt Denise and Uncle Chris and can't wait to meet you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

8 More Days!

I am feeling very large and uncomfortable these days. I am looking forward to having this baby next Tuesday (9/28)! I have a check up this Thursday and then an amnio on Monday to make sure the baby's ready for Tuesday. I am anxiously awaiting having my body back to myself!

James got his ear tubes in last Tuesday and got his fraenulem under his tongue snipped. The actual procedure took less than 20 minutes, but we were at the hospital for 6 hours. James did a good job...he just thought that after surgery was a perfect time for a nap. They wouldn't let us go until he was awake and had drank a cup full of apple juice. He's doing well now. I haven't really noticed a huge difference in his behaviors or eating, but at least there isn't a bunch of fluid in his ears anymore.

I think that's all for now. James' therapy is keeping us busy during the week and we are outside as much as we can on the weekends enjoying the fall weather. James loves being outside! You can tell he wants to get down and play with the other kids at the park...hopefully in the spring.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Fun Sunday

We enjoyed another nice weekend as a family. It was great to have Dave around after a very busy week at work. He didn't make it home before James went to bed at all this week so James enjoyed some much needed "Daddy time." We went to a festival in Sewickley on Saturday and found a couple of great bargains at a HUGE church yard sale. My big find was a nice oak glider for me and the baby! Sunday we relaxed and took in some football games. Enjoy a couple photos (ignore the fat, pregnant lady...15 days left!)...I have a video to post too as soon as it lets me :)


Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Dave, James, and I had spent a nice weekend together around Pittsburgh.

Saturday we went to the Big Knob Grange Fair. It's a county fair just north of where we live. It was small as far as fairs go, but had enough stuff to give me my fair fix. There was a small commercial exhibit tent, a small building with 4-H exhibits, some rides, good food, animals, and a tractor pull. I enjoyed a Taco Boat and we shared an elephant ear...yum! It was the first time any of us had been to a tractor pull (it was free and provided great seating while we ate). James thought it was highly entertaining. One tractor even blew fire out of its exhaust! The weather was wonderful. It was 65 and for once I wasn't hot. This is the one picture I got that day before my camera died...oops.

Sunday we went to church and made a trip to Babies r Us to get a monitor for the baby. I had to go this weekend because I had a Labor Day weekend coupon and I got some money off towards the double stroller we're planning on getting in the next few weeks. It was another beautiful day with a high right around 70, so we decided to get some much needed yard work done. Mowed, hedge-trimmed, weed-whacked, and weed pulled until the yard was looking much better.

Monday was a little warmer, but the high was still only in the upper 70s. We decided to go to a Rib Fest that happens every year down at Heinz Field. Dave enjoyed some ribs while I had a great pulled-pork sandwich with Carolina BBQ sauce. We also had a fresh squeezed lemonade and a rootbeer float. All was yummy! There was also an old WW2 boat docked on the Ohio for the weekend. Dave wanted to check it out, but the line was really, really long so we just took pictures. This boat was used in the invasion on D-Day and was made in Evansville, IN.
Dave enjoying ribs :)
The ship from WW2...notice PPG in the background?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This & That

It's officially September, which means James will be a big brother this month! I am anxious to no longer be pregnant. It feels like I've been pregnant for 2 years. Even though I'm ready to no longer be pregnant, I'm not so sure I'm ready for 2 super-dependent kids at home. It really will be like having twins, considering how demanding James is these days. He's going to have to learn some patience! My mom is going to come stay with me for a couple weeks to help out and then I'm going to go stay with her for a few weeks where Mom, Dad, Julie, & Abby can all help out. Then Abby & Annie are going to bring us home and stay until the end of October. Dave can take some more time off at that point if I need him too. We shall see!

My c-section is scheduled for September 28th. I will have a test the day before to make sure the baby's lungs are ready. There's approximately a 10% chance that the baby won't be ready. If that's the case, the doctor will postpone the c-section by a week, making him an October baby.

This month also brings another surgery for James, but a minor one this time. His ears have been full of fluid since he was about 6 months old. Due to his other surgeries and the fact they never got infected, his pediatrician put off sending him to an ENT. But it was time when the fluid was still there at his 12 month check-up. The ENT wants to put tubes in, which we are having done on the 14th. It is a very minor operation and should only take about 20 minutes. James is also going to have his fraenulem (the piece of tissue that connects your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) cut at the same time. His goes right to the tip of his tongue. Right now it is preventing him from being able to move food around his mouth with his tongue and the ENT said that it will also effect his speech development if not corrected. Recovery for both is minimal and there is no restrictions on diet or anything like that.

James is no longer on the bottle! He takes milk from his sippy cup with each meal. He can even hold it on his own, as long as there are handles on the sippy cup. He also can eat puffs off his high chair tray now. His therapist says he's still not ready for pieces, unless they're very soft and mushy. This month we've added eggs and ground meat to his diet. The small pieces are a great way to start transitioning to food you have to chew more, according to his therapist.

A few weeks ago Dave, James, and I took a small road trip to Johnstown, PA. It's about an hour and a half southeast of here. Dave read a book about the flood that happened there in 1889 and wanted to tour the town before the baby comes (since we're still hoping to move back to the midwest before year end). It was a neat little town that was built upon the steel industry. We went to the incline that was built in the years following the flood as a way to help people escape in the event of other floods (which did happen). We also went to the flood museum and walked around town to see some of the buildings that survived or were rebuilt following the flood. We had lunch at a fun little sub shop in town. James did a good job until the car ride home. He was tired and decided his carseat was not where he wanted to nap. It was a good day though!

Below are a few pictures from Johnstown and a few random ones too.

A view of Johnstown from the top of overlook by the incline.
Dave and James overlooking Johnstown.

The incline; much bigger than the ones in Pittsburgh. You can even take your car on the incline for $6 if you like :)

A church that survived the flood, but then burnt down in the fire that followed. It was rebuilt, obviously.

James enjoying downtown Johnstown.

James and Dave playing with James' new Alphabet Train. He bought it with his birthday money.

Dave and James after church last Sunday. I got James dressed while Dave was getting dress. I thought it was too cute that they happened to match...couldn't pass up the photo op!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Food & Drink!

Enjoying some puffs and milk. He's not perfect yet, but it's a start. He just needs to chew a little bit more before he can have pieces for meals :)


video


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1 Year Old!

Today James is officially 1!!! It has been a crazy year. After 7 surgeries, 98 days in hospital, and 5 ER trips, James seems to be on the right path now. He has been tube-free for just over a month and is eating well. James takes 24 ounces of formula and 3 meals (consisting of mashed foods right now) a day. Developmentally, James is a little behind because of all his hospital stays and surgeries, but he has 3 therapists that work with him 3-4 times a week. He is making progress every week and is so, so close to sitting all on his own. Right now he can sit for about a minute before he throws himself backward. His PT is confident that once he starts, he won't stop. James has his official one-year check-up next week.

Dave and I took James to the park across the street from our house and had a little photo session. The pictures below are from that and from his first birthday party. Enjoy!

A side view of the mullet before it got cut off!

One of our favorites. He can really ham it up when he wants to.

The finger rarely leaves the mouth these days. I think he might be teething his molars.
A look of annoyance after having his pictures taken about 100 times.

Loving the shade after all the pictures in the sun.

James' 1st cake...an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. Yum!

James was more interested in the candles...I was afraid to light them!

Enjoy some cake!
James and Miriam...what a cute couple!
The balloons were the biggest hit at the party.

Liv wanted to see how many she could hold at once.

I thought the hat was cute, but James is going to need some convincing.

He LOVES to read...or should I say, he loves to turn pages.

Friends and cousins enjoying the party.

James' cousins attempting to pose for someones camera.

All of my siblings and a few nieces/nephews that didn't want to miss the photo op.