Bennett David Kahl

Bennett David Kahl
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers Ephesians 1:16

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You know you are sick when…

You find yourself at the grocery store buying ingredients to make soup two days in a row and it is 99 degrees outside!

The smell of lysol masks the four new Hawaiian breeze plug-ins you just replaced through the house.

You wash your hands 10 times a day and follow it up with germ-x. 

Your couch has turned into a mini bed in order to not spread germs to hubby and daughter

Your AC is set on 70, but you still sweat b/c your fever broke…again.

There is a laundry back-up of towels and linens due to the vomit and number of showers you have taken to “wash the germs away”.

You forget about the calories in OJ and gatorade and drink them anyway…praying that they flush the toxins out of your system.

You are too weak to pick up your child’s infant carrier.

You pray in the elevator of the pediatrician’s office to please not vomit while you are in public.

Your usual hearty appetite is replaced with the appetite of a 2 year old.

There are Kleenex boxes, thermometers, bottles of lysol and hand sanitizer randomly placed throughout your house.

It truly looks like a tornado went through each and every room of your house b/c you don’t have the energy to pick one single item up.


That’s right folks…momma is sick!  Very, very sick!  Not only am I sick, but Ellie and Cullen are as well.  Thankfully, Cullen hasn’t had a super high fever, but he has been vomiting every day and refuses to be put down or to sleep alone.  Sweet Ellie woke up again this morning violently ill.   So, off to the doctor we went…again!

Diagnosis: Virus

However, because of her other symptoms and the fear that this bug will get into her lungs they also prescribed an antibiotic for her.  I started one last night too and it seemed to dry up my head, but did nothing for the achy body and weakness.  It is truly impossible to be sick with two kiddos.   Praise God, Brandon came home when I called him this morning and helped get the kids to the pedi and was able to help out with them at home.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this sick and I know I couldn’t have done it alone today. 

The bottom line is that I have terrible anxiety about Cullen and Ellie getting sick.  I have been so worried about Cullen getting sick because he is still so small.  UGH…it’s times like this that my demons come back to haunt me. 

I have so many commitments that I have fallen behind on already and I am stressing hard about this weekend.  I am PRAYING that I feel better tomorrow and that my babies are on the mend as well. 




Saturday, August 21, 2010

CF clinic report

Well, we survived CF clinic!  The trip was long, but the report was good. 


After our weigh in, B and I came to the conclusion we will NOT have petit children!  Ellie is 38 lbs and 39 inches tall.  She is in the 75% for both weight and height!!!  Cullen is now 13 lbs and…I forgot to ask how long…boo!  She did say that he is in the 75% for weight and 50% for height!  Short and chubby…just like Ellie was as a baby!  We DO grow ‘em big!

I was under the impression they were going to start PFT’s this time, but her doctor said that she wanted to wait until after Ellie’s 4th birthday.  Ears and lungs were clear despite the sniffle Ellie came down with Thursday evening.  We talked about daily routine with the social worker, met with the nurse, doc and clinic coordinator and then it was off to the lab to have blood drawn from both of our babies.


After a quick trip to the gift shop to buy one of every single type of candy, we were off to the lab.  Ellie was fantastic last time and didn’t even realize they were drawing her blood.  This time was different!  However, because the nurse applied emla cream to her arm she really didn’t feel any pain, it was just a little scary to be held down by mommy and a nurse for the actual procedure.  I am pretty sure the Skittles and blow pop helped too.  I would have had B take pics, but he was busy trying not to pass out!  Cullen is ALWAYS very dramatic when it comes to his body and needles, so he was MUCH worse than Ellie!  He recovered quickly though and before we knew it (4 hrs after arriving!) we were on our way home. 

I decided that it was time for some alone time (after a super long week), so I went to have a mani/pedi with good friends and then we went to dinner!  Fun times!! 


Ellie still sounded a little congested, but since her CF doctor wasn’t worried I decided I would relax too. 

This morning we woke up and attended a birthday party and this afternoon we hung out with friends while daddy went to play golf.  About half way through our fun day I put my hand on Ellie’s head and discovered she had a fever!  YUCK!  So, we packed up our goodies and headed home where she is now napping on the couch. 


So, here we are.  EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR in August Ellie gets sick and this trend will continue until February.  It stinks, but truly this has been her trend for the last two years.  She usually ends up at the doctor about every 4 weeks and has made four trips to TCH the last two winters as well.  Not fun at all, but it comes with the territory as a CF’er I guess.  I finally got to the point where I was able to relax when Ellie got sick, but now I have my little man to worry about.  I am super stressed that he will end up sick too and I know  if he were to get a fever I would probably have a nervous breakdown!  Please pray for a quick recovery for our little princess and minimal spreading of the yucky germs!!!


I am just going to think of this situation with my cup half full attitude: At least this means we get to stay in all day tomorrow and relax! 

Now, I’m off to Lysol my entire house!!!



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our busy life…

Just keeps getting busier!!!


I remember thinking after Ellie and Bennett were born that all of the frantic rushing around back and forth from the hospital was going to wear me down.  I wished (a few times!) that I was still on bed rest, relaxing and growing those precious little ones. 

After 7 months on bed rest with Cullen I didn’t think I would EVER wish to still be stuck in that bed…however, I am wishing just that right now!


I’m REALLY not complaining.  I am VERY blessed to be as busy as I am with orders and I wouldn’t trade the busy life as a stay at home mommy for ANYTHING in the entire world.  It’s just a fact that there are so many hours in one day and I have too many things to accomplish in one day to get it all done. 

HOMESCHOOLING: I am starting to stress about being Ellie’s teacher and praying that I am able to teach her appropriately.  Although the plans I started writing were for five days of instruction we are going to modify that for three days of instruction (still getting it all in though).  With Cullen still so small I was on the hunt to hire someone to come in those three days to keep him.  I mentioned that to Biddy and she jumped at the idea of taking care of him while Ellie is “at school”.  God Bless her!  I am hoping it works out to have her here Tuesday and Thursday (I’ll do it alone on Wednesdays)  b/c I really do feel most comfortable having her watch Cullen.  So, just as soon as the trapezoid table is delivered, I pick up the easel I ordered from Lake.shore, and we get the room organized, we will be starting school!  Say some prayers for us!!!


WORK:  We have come a long way since the twins were born.  Knowing both of our personalities I can’t believe B and I took the risks we did by leaving education at the same time!  To be fair, the district TOLD me I had to either retire or come back to work only two weeks after the twins were born b/c I had already had to much time off being on bed rest.  I hated having my back up against the wall like that, but I was not going back to work with my babies laying in hospital beds and undergoing surgeries.  B left education to give our family a better shot at me being a stay at home mom and in the last three and a half years he has done just that (and he more than doubled the amount of time he gets to spend with his babies by not coaching!!!).  After Bennett died, I decided to start my business because back then I absolutely had to work.  Now, I have three great clients (stores in the Houston area) and that keeps me busier than I can even keep up with.  Now, my priorities have changed and teaching Ellie (and raising Cullen) must be the number one priority.  So, currently I am working on balancing how to teach Ellie and keep up with my commitments to the stores all at the same time.  It’s just life and it will all work out.  It’s just stressful FIGURING it out!


Then we have the house.  My type A personality needs to have our house orderly and clean at all times.  When it gets out of control I start to lose control!  I find myself getting up earlier and staying up later to try and get it organized, but usually I just end up spinning my wheels!

Never mind the cooking, dieting, working out, party planning and shower attending I have scheduled.

DOCTOR: Then there are the doctor visits…planned and spontaneous alike!  Two weeks ago for Cullen’s shots, this week b/c I thought Ellie had a UTI and then yesterday, Ellie woke up vomiting!  I checked my schedule and low and behold I didn’t have time for a vomiting child!  Alas, I quarantined her to the guest bathroom with her TV, movies, water color book and brush, chalk board and chalk, popsicles, juice, pedialite, and soup.  B and I took turns checking on her with me being Cullen’s primary caretaker.  FUN times!  Thank goodness that by 11 am she seemed like nothing had ever happened.  I instructed her to stay in her bedroom or the bathroom just in case it was going to strike again.  I finished a big order and took off across town to deliver.  By the time I got home that evening she was walking out of her bedroom with her bathing suit on backwards telling me she was ready to go swimming!  Then, last night, Cullen had an exorcism episode which I am thinking was reflux related and not stomach bug, but who really knows!  So, now tomorrow we are off to Texas Children’s to spend ALL DAY at the CF clinic for both of of babies.  Ellie will be performing her first PFT’s along with clinic and Cullen will be seen in clinic and then off to have blood drawn…ugh!  And, because we have so much free time I consented to Ellie participating in a denufosal medical trial in two weeks!  That will mean frequent clinic visits and treatments 3 times a day for at least a week.  Nope, that wasn’t on the schedule either, but if it means approval for the use of a drug that will help kiddos with CF in Ellie’s age group then sign us up!  


Well, this post didn’t go in the direction I originally planned, but purging my stresses has actually made me feel a little better!  Now I’m off to do what I really had planned for the day: kiddos, laundry, orders, ballet and then HAPPY HOUR! 


Look for a picture post to come soon.  Cullen has tripled in size (not really) and Ellie is growing up so fast it brings tears to my eyes!  My baby girl can actually WRITE her own name!!!  (it doesn’t always end up in a linear order, but hey, she’s got the letters down at least!) 


As busy at it is, our life is great!  I wake up daily thanking my God for the path he has chosen for our lives.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.

Psalm 32:8




Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A HUGE honor…

As all of you know, Brandon and I are HUGE supporters of the March of Dimes and we are blessed with friends and family that have become just as dedicated.


My relationship with the march of dimes actually began as a young girl.  My dad was a partner at the time with a large corporation that supported the march of dimes each year.  I have vivid memories of wearing his team shirt and struggling sailing though the very long walk year after year.  I always loved the snacks along the walk path and the lunch his company provided at the end of the walk…if you know me you know how I LOVE food!!!


Now, some 20 years later, (as fate would have it) this organization has become more than a yearly walk, a cool shirt and good food…it has become a part of my family and my life.  It has become a representation of the child we lost, the beautiful little girl that has blessed our lives for the last three years and the son that now sleeps in a crib in our bedroom.  It is forever a part of us.


You can imagine how honored I was to receive an invitation to be the spokesperson for the NICU Family Support Program at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas.  The March of Dimes has teamed up with the same hospital that we turned our tragedy into triumph to create a support program for all of the families that will ever face the NICU rollercoaster again. 


I am thrilled (and a little nervous) to announce that I will be speaking at the Women’s Hospital of Texas’ annual Labor of Love luncheon.    Coincidentally, my mother and I have participated in this show for the last three years together as vendors at their boutique bazaar!  It is an amazing ladies day out with fantastic shopping, a great lunch and amazing style show!


B keeps asking me if I have started preparing my speech and if I am nervous about speaking in front of so many people.  The answers: ummm NO and kind of!  (I hope this doesn’t make the girls at the MOD nervous!!!)


I remember when Bennett died, our good friend and youth pastor, Donny, asked me to please have a back up just in case I couldn’t get through my speech at the funeral.  He was shocked when it was over that I 1.) made it through and 2.) Didn’t bawl the entire way through it! 


I think this is because I really wanted everyone in that room to hear what Bennett meant to Brandon and me.  I imagined I was just talking to each person in that room one on one and I was telling them from my heart what he meant to me.

I can imagine doing something similar at the luncheon.  Speaking from the heart about what the March of Dimes has meant to our family over the past three and a half years.  Don’t get me wrong…I know I need to prepare an outline and I will write out most of my thoughts just to have them organized!  Who am I kidding…my type A personality will rear its ugly head for sure!!!


I am excited to have this opportunity and I owe it all to the girls at the March of Dimes for making it possible!  Over the past few years they have gone from acquaintances to friends.  So, thank you!  I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I pray that I don’t make a complete fool out of myself that day!!!! 


The fact that the March of Dimes was such an important part of my life as a child and has become so important to our family now is no coincidence in my eyes…and this scripture sums it all up:


All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:16

The reason we support the MOD:  our 3 miracles




Thursday, August 5, 2010

8 weeks old…

Really, how does two months fly by that fast?  I mean, when I was pregnant I couldn’t get two months to go by half that fast…and now that Cullen is here the time is just passing me by.

Our trip to the doctor was LONG!  2 1/2 hours to be exact.  Cullen hated the shots and screamed the entire 35 minutes home…poor baby.

Happy 2 month birthday little man!!!


Cullen, my sweet little fat man…you are a true blessing that makes my heart smile.  The last two months have been a dream come true.  You are the most wonderful baby in the world.  (Yes, Bennett and Ellie, I did say HE was the most wonderful because…he actually sleeps at night and takes naps during the day and he hasn’t caused me 30 heart attacks in his first two months of life!)

At 6 weeks old you were 10.4 pounds! Cullen, at 8 weeks you now weigh 12.1 pounds (59%)!!!  You are 23 inches long which puts you in the 53% for length.  You are growing so fast I think you actually change from the time you wake up in the morning to the time we put you to bed at night.

You have outgrown your infant sling that fit inside of your bath tub and now you just sit in the tub like a little old man!  It is hilarious to see your big belly resting on your legs every night in the bath.  I told you yesterday that you should be ashamed of the amount of food you request daily due to your current size…you didn’t care!  You still aren’t crazy about having your hair washed, but you have so much of it that we wash it daily.  We are even drying it with a hairdryer now!  It’s hilarious!!!

cullen bath

You are now wearing 0-3 months clothes and I am really afraid that you will soon outgrow them.  I LOVE playing dress up with you.  It is fun to experiment with your clothes to see what will fit from day to day.  I have struggled with how to accessorize your wardrobe, but fear not, I have found that looking for really cool socks makes any little boy outfit a little cuter!  Your daddy put you in your brothers surf doggie sleeper last night and it looked adorable on you! 

You are in size 1-2 diapers.  I think they only sell them at Sam.s and I like them b/c you are WAY too small for size 1 diapers, but I’m pretty sure the size 2’s would still be a little large.  Then again…maybe not!

You put yourself on your very own schedule!!!  You like to sleep six hours at night, wake up to eat, get a clean diaper and then you are out for another 4-5 hours.  It’s awesome!  Then you go down for a morning, afternoon and sometimes an early evening nap.  You LOVE your sound machine.  We even have a portable one that is attached to your car seat. 

You have horrible reflux, but so did your brother and sister.  We tried preva.cid, but daddy and I don’t think it really helped you out.  We tried giving you organic gripe water and it is like a miracle drug!  You still reflux, but not as often…

You like tummy time which is fun because Ellie hated it!  Ellie loves to get on the floor of your room with you and play.

cullen tummy

At 6 weeks and a few days you really started smiling.  Now, you smile almost every time I speak to you.  You LOVE morning time and I usually get you to talk to me every 4am feed.  I love it!!!  You giggle and coo and it just melts my heart every single time.  You are so amazing!!

first smile              And look at you now!

cullen smile cullen happy

You are currently working very hard to learn how to suck your thumb.  Your brother did the exact same thing and he was eventually successful.  I will continue to shove gently place the ugly pastel green paci in your mouth because I know you will thank me in the long run from saving you from becoming a thumb sucker!  Although, I do think it is absolutely adorable to watch you work SO VERY HARD to get that fat little thumb in that tiny mouth!!! 

We have done so much with you and you seem to be a pretty laid back little man.  You only really cry if your pants are dirty or if you need to eat…which seems to be very often!  And there have been a few times that you have demanded to be held in the sling while I cook dinner…let’s not make that a habit!

You have been shopping and you slept in your seat while I pushed you and sister in the BOB. 

You have been to Mimi’s a million times and on our last visit I actually put your feet in the pool and you loved it!

You went on your first family vacation to Moody Gardens in Galveston.  We stayed close to home since you were only 7 weeks old, but you did great!  You were a little angel at the Palm Beach.  We rented a private cabana for the day and you just slept, ate and slept again!  You got a little grouchy when you realized they didn’t have a rocking chair, but we improvised and it all worked out.

Cullen, the last two months have been a dream come true.  I literally thank God out loud 10 times a day for you. 

I love the way you hold onto my necklace when I hold you.

I love the way your hair smells in the morning.

I love the way you talk back to me when I make noises at you.

I love how you grin from ear to ear when I tell you I love you.

I love how I can scoop you up when you are crying and you instantly stop.

I love how you look right into my eyes and I know you know how much I love you.

I love you…every single little part of you. 

You are our wonderful and perfect little miracle man.  You are what makes us complete.

All my love forever and ever,

Mommycullen ellie 

I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts He has given you...

I Corinthians 1:4

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What have we been up to…

What haven’t we been up to is a question with a much shorter answer!

Raising kiddos…check!

Busy filling orders…check!

Family vacation…check!

Dieting and working out…well, 1/2 check.  Dieting is a yes.  Working out is a no, as I recently broke my toe.  OUCH!

Setting up Ellie’s homeschooling room…check!

Planning a shower for the little brother and his fiancĂ©…check!

Writing a speech to be delivered at the march of dimes Labor of Love luncheon…check!

Keeping up with the blog…ummmm NO!


So, there you have it.  My plate is so full right now and unfortunately, when that happens the blog suffers. 

As you can see we are busy little people around here.  Ellie is on a two week break from ballet right now, so that gives us free time on Thursdays which I can’t decide is a good or bad thing!  I never thought I would be the parent that LOVED having that 45 minutes of “free” time, but I am and I do!  Although, it’s not really free time b/c we sit right there watching and I still have the little fatty with me.

Speaking of the little fatty…he is HUGE!  I am waiting on his 8 week post b/c we are going to the doctor tomorrow and I plan on updating at that time.  I am going to put it out there that I think he is in the neighborhood of 13 pounds at least.  He is such an awesome little guy and I can’t tell you how many times a day I thank God for this precious little man.  He hasn’t lost a single hair on his head and I am pretty sure it has just grown since birth. 


I have a lot of updating to do, but I have decided to dedicate a blog for each exciting event rather than one ultra long post.  So, tomorrow will be the first in my series of updates and it will be about Cullen and his first 8 weeks of life…hard to believe he is already 2 months old.  Heartbreaking…