Bennett David Kahl

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hall Pass

B and I rarely (pretty much never) leave our kiddos to go out of town.

Recently an event was planned through Brandon’s office which would give us a short get away to host a client on an overnight trip. 

It was terrible timing because Cullen was SO so sick, but having Blakely with us for over 4 years and my mom here on Saturday I knew that he would be in capable hands.  I laid out the list of meds, times and breathing treatments for our little man, packed our bags and we were officially out on Hall Pass for the night!

I am SO disappointed that I didn’t take many pictures at all.  We rode a limo bus with 20 people and it made the 2 1/2 hour ride seem closer to 30 minutes because we had so much fun.

We arrived at the resort/casino right at noon, which was just perfect for some Pool time. 

It was so nice to relax in a real Adult pool with no kiddos splashing and screaming!  However, our adult time was short lived when hurricane force winds blew in and the torrential down pours began.  It has literally been raining in Houston for over a week and I thought maybe we would escape it by visiting a different state, but no such luck.  There really aren’t many options when you are at a casino and you can’t go outside, so off to the casino we went.  I’m not a big gambler, but Brandon does love to play craps.  I gave him some cash and disappeared with the girls.  I would check on him periodically and it seemed like every time I did the news was worse than it was the time before.  Soon, B was out of money and it was off to the room to get ready for dinner. 

This is when the fun really began:

~ One hamburger eating contest…with my hubby declared a WINNER

~ A successful run at the craps table…with ME declared a WINNER

~ A 6am bedtime…with NO ONE considered a WINNER

~ An exiting game of craps for B that made him a WINNER

Before we knew it we were back on the limo bus and headed home.  After 4 hours of sleep it was a very long trip back and an even longer recovery on Monday, but by Tuesday it was business as usual around here. 

Unfortunately, this virus (or whatever it has now become) made it’s way to Ellie and back to me…AGAIN.  This weekend I actually thought that I may be the one going to the ER.  This junk that we picked up has been awful for a month now! 


I missed my babies, but it was a total blast to get away for a one night hall pass on our adults only get away! 



You work harder than anyone I know.  I am beyond thankful that we are partners in crime on this journey called Life!  We are awesome parents to our little miracles when we are at home, but we sure do know how to have fun together still!!!  I love you babe!


Total downpour!  The lights actually went out for a minute which forced us to walk down the fire escape for 7 floors!


burger done

This thing was HUGE!  I am amazed that he actually finished it! 


So excited to cash those chips in! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CF clinic–July 2012

We had our quarterly clinic for the kiddos two weeks ago. 

Ironically, both kids have been super healthy since February and since clinic BOTH have been sick!


At exactly 5 1/2 years old

weight- 46 lbs (68.7%)

height- 3’8.92” (73.79%)

sputum culture- MFSA

The most exciting news for Ellie is that she will start big girl PFT’s at our next clinic!!  I am so excited to have a baseline for her!

Our doctor actually co-wrote a workbook for kiddos about CF and I will be using it next year as the health portion of our homeschool curriculum.  We also got a very cool picture book at this clinic.  Ellie knows a little about CF.  She knows how important it is to be conscious about germs, but this book was very cool because it went more in depth about the importance of treatments and our lungs, etc. 


at exactly 2 years old

weight- 27lbs (32.23%)

height- 2’10.02” (31.55%)

sputum culture- para influenza and achromobacter

(for my own personal info I like to compare clinic visits)

No new info from clinic.  Our little man is super sick right now and we are just trying to get him some relief from this cough and congestion.  A sick baby makes a tired baby ~ and one tired momma!


So sad that our baby knows how to take his own temperature.  It’s also sad that I let him play with the thermometer the other morning to avoid hearing him scream and now it is lost! (like really and truly lost ~ we have searched the entire house and it has just disappeared) Nothing like a sick baby and no way to take a temp.  On my next trip to CVS I will be investing in a new one.

Ellie and Cullen,

You are both very blessed to have such a wonderful CF clinic right down the street.  I love how it is just a routine part of our life now.  Cullen is actually wearing his mask without argument and Ellie actually got through her throat swab without anyone holding her down to the table!  We consider that a successful visit! (and we may or may not have bribed both of our children with a trip to the toy store if they had a great visit…)  Daddy and I are so proud of both of you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh, Ellie…

Ellie is 5 1/2 going on 13. 

Before we had kids I remember saying:

“My kids will never act like that!”

Eating my words!!

It’s funny because it truly took having my own kiddos to realize that they just come the way they are meant to be. 

Ellie is dramatic, compassionate, very type A, sensitive, maternal, dramatic (Oh, did I say that twice??), shy, inquisitive, and very funny!

Here are a couple of conversations we had recently that I want to remember.

E: (screaming at me from the classroom) MOM ~ hurry Cullen has markers.

Me: (Cleaning out the 6,845 outfits that don’t fit her anymore from her closet so I can the 9, 594 new ones in it!) I’m coming Ellie…just take it from him.

E: (letting out a very dramatic exhale) UHHHHH ~ OOOOOKKKAAY, but he won’t let me.

Me: (arriving on the scene) Thank you for the marker Cullen.  Mommy said no markers, only crayons.  Okay?

E: See, this is why mothers and fathers are supposed to watch their own children!

Me: speechless!


E: I’m just growing older every day

Me: yep, you sure are

E: I know.  Sad isn’t it



Sitting at the table having lunch

E: Mommy, why can’t I see Bennett anymore?

Me: Because he died Ellie

E: Well, what happens when you die

Me: (cringing that we are even having this convo at her age) Well, everyone has a spirit that lives inside of their bodies.  So, when Bennett died his spirit flew up to Heaven to live with God.

E: Then where is Bennett?

Me: His body is in the cemetery.

E: what is a cemetery?

Me: It’s the place that we leave flowers.

E: oh…huh. 

And that was it.  She was done and got up and went upstairs to play. 

I REALLY need to read a few books on explaining all of this to her.  She is smart and inquisitive and I am starting to realize that I need to have accurate answers for all of this stuff so I don’t sound like a bumbling idiot when she asks these deep questions.

My posing princess.  I have no clue where she picks this kind of stuff up.  If I had to guess I’d say her Barbie movies!

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Oh, my sweet Ellie,

You are simply amazing!  Your personality is all YOUR own and I love that about you.  These pictures sum you up pretty well.  D.R.A.M.A.

You pick out your jammies and do your hair and chapstick every single night before bed because you want to look beautiful.  Typically, you walk out of the bathroom with a strut and wait for the boys (daddy and brother) to tell you that you look beautiful!  It is hilarious.  I want you to know that you are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.  And beauty on the inside is what counts the most.  I love you sweet girl.

(The watermark is a new thing and I have a separate blog post about why we are doing it…for now)

Friday, July 13, 2012

What Cullen can do at 2!

I spent the morning trying to look back at old posts and compare what Ellie could do at 2 vs. what Cullen can do.  Shocker…I didn’t even keep a record of her milestones. I am bummed, but dedicated to keeping track of Cullen’s so at least one of my kids has a semi-complete record of their childhood!!

At 2 Cullen can:

-count to 12: it’s funny b/c he skips 11 usually, but somehow he always manages to make it to 12. 

-count down from 3 and then say blast off!

-“reads” his favorite books, “Pete the cat” several times a day.  He will actually turn the page and paraphrase what that page says (only b/c we have read them to him 1,345,698,000 times)

-knows opposites (I’ll usually say a word and he will tell me the opposite.  Happy and sad make him laugh and I think it is because of the facial expressions we make)

-will not eat food with his hands

-can sing his ABC’s  to the letter H by himself and then he will copy you the rest of the way

-identify all of his shapes

-knows all of his colors (and as unusual as it is he sometimes confuses red and blue.  Ellie did this exact same thing forever)

-can swing on the bar at gym and almost flip backward holding onto the bar by tucking his feet through the bar.

-can swim under the water in the pool and will actually jump off of the side and swim underwater to us if we stand back far enough.

-can jump up and down with both feet repeatedly

-carries on FULL conversations.  His receptive language skills are amazing for his age I think, but more impressive to me are his conversational skills. (at home and usually only around us.  He tries to act shy in public and when we have people at our house)

-plays independently just like Ellie did when she was younger.

-can color in his coloring book (not inside the lines!)

-easily does front rolls and seat drops at gym

-can kick a soccer ball

-can name every single type of transportation vehicle

-will name his friends when asked who they are

-can take his clothes off and put his crocs on all by himself

-washes his hands and will scrub his body with a washcloth in the tub

-can brush his own teeth (although we still help him)

-has crazy upper body strength

-doesn’t like ice cream, but LOVES popsicles

-favorite candy is M and M’s (he calls them mena mena’s and Ellie also loved them when she was young)

-naps once a day usually from 11-1 unless we are on the go (if at home he actually asks to go to bed)

-asks to go to bed in the evenings too! 

-H.A.T.E.S to shop.  As soon as I step inside of a clothing store he starts screaming “outside…I want to go outside”  It’s awful and embarrassing

-wears a size 4 diaper (although I think we may be out of diapers pretty soon), size 6-7 shoe, 18-24 month pants and 2T shirts

-Loves to play with cars/trucks and LOVES dinosaurs!

12341101ellies room 006

Cullen you are so lucky to have Ellie as a big sister!!  She has taught you so much and she loves being a role model to you.  You amaze all of us every single day.  From your witty personality to your athletic skills you are pure joy!  We love you little bud bud!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Right before our eyes

Our precious little miracle girl is growing up right before our very eyes.

It’s bittersweet, but if I’m being honest more bitter than sweet.

I love my babies.  More than anything in this entire world I truly love my children.  I have loved every single stage from being pregnant to being a mommy.  They are my entire world. 

Some may think that is too much.  But walk a day in our shoes and then judge us.  We know first hand how miraculous, short and unexpected life is and we don’t take any of our time with our kiddos for granted. 

So, on Tuesday night when Ellie told us she was going to sleep upstairs in her own room we were shocked.  TOTALLY taken by surprise. 

We have been planning a new big girl room for her and she has had a major hand in the redecorating process.  I gave her several magazines and together we created an Ellie dream room.  One that fits her needs and personality.  I half expected her to want to sleep there when it was all done, but definitely not before.

With a heavy heart we bathed, brushed teeth, got water and without any hesitation she wished us a good night and that was it.  B went up and tucked her in and then I went up on my own.  There she was in her own bed with her leapster and all of her stuffed “friends”.  Happy as she could be. 

I came back down and B said, “Well that is sad”…and I totally broke down crying!  I knew that day would come and I knew I would be sad, but I didn’t realize how sad until that moment.

Thank goodness thirty minutes later she decided WE needed to be snuggled!!  Our baby was back in our bed and my heart was at peace! 

I’ve got to work on transitioning my heart to be excited about our babies growing up.  This job of being a parent is tough stuff!

Here is our Ellie’s little girl room…and here are pics from the idea board we put together. 

ellies room 035ellies room 028ellies room 031

ellies room 034

Anyway, this was the inspiration for the room.  We have built-ins set to be put in around her daybed and the rest of the furniture will come after I see how much space we will have left.  I am leaning toward a desk area for my little artist.





yellow rug-


aqua rug and kaleidoscope quilt-

rugby stripe duvet-



I am so excited for your new big girl room to come together!!  You have done a fantastic job choosing pieces that you just love and that fit your personality.  I have had so much fun with you on this project.  The other day at gymnastics you were chatting up another mom telling her all about how you were redecorating your room and it was going to have a carousel in it!  The girls at the counter were giggling because you sounded so grown up talking about it.  We love you sweet baby girl and we can’t wait for you to create beautiful memories in your new space!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It was one of “those”days…

Ellie has been sick lately.  Not your typical runny nose, sore throat kind of sick, but a crying, gagging, multiple times in the bathroom, tummy hurts kind of sick.

We brought this up in CF clinic last Friday and her complaints coupled with a weight loss got the attention of her pulmonologist.  We decided to start out with a few minor tests and go from there.

Until this past weekend happened.  Ellie’s appetite is a very small fraction of what it typically is.  I can tell she is so hungry, but then she just gets this fearful look on her face and tells me that she just can’t eat because her tummy is hurting her so bad. 

On Saturday, she started crying in a restaurant because she was so afraid to eat.  That was enough for me.  No small tests and waiting around for this mommy.  Our pedi was out of town until today, but she is worth the wait so we decided to just go in at her first open spot at 11am. 

I’m not going to lie.  I had that “mom” feeling about this.  I know my Ellie and she is not one to complain just for the sake of complaining.  She was in true pain and I was honestly scared to death.

The day started with weather like this ~ and didn’t get better from there!badday1

We got in right away and our doctor was not thrilled with Ellie’s symptoms.  She decided not to waste any time and sent us straight to the hospital across the street(a very busy, main street in the Houston medical center) for x-rays. 

This little guy was OVER it from the beginning, so he got a little box of pringles to enhance his mood.badday2

After we were registered and admitted we waited…and waited…and waited to be called back.  This little beauty was just as excited as she could be to take x-rays because, “They are SO fun!”


She did look at me while we were in the waiting room and said, “Mommy, why did we leave the doctor.  You said she was going to fix me and my tummy is still hurting ~ it’s not fixed!”

After the x-rays we had to dodge traffic back across the main street in pouring rain.  Oh, and my umbrella was in my car that was valet parked!  So, with one in a stroller and one with a death grip on my hand we bolted…and my white pants will never be the same again after the dirty streets of Houston were splashed all over them!

Here is my little guy in his soaking wet stroller!  He looks thrilled!!!


As soon as I heard the words “no known obstruction” I took a HUGE deep breath and relaxed for the first time in 24 hours. 


It seems that for MONTHS (yes, our pedi was shocked) our baby has not been clearing her intestines.  She has never been blocked up so much so that she stopped stooling, so how this happened is beyond me.  However, it is nothing that we can’t fix and that is a huge blessing to us!  She will be on miralax twice daily for a few months and we will watch her bowels closely.  I have to put this in here because it is just plain funny.  Our pedi is great and has a fantastic sense of humor!  She looked at me when she came back in the room and said, “Well, Ellie is just FOS”  it took me a quick second to figure out what she meant.  As soon as I did I just laughed hysterically!  Thank goodness she knows how to lighten the mood!

We were off and this was our first stop:


Momma needed a vanilla cone for 4 weight watchers points after all that drama!  Just because I thought I’d end the day on an exciting note I decided to give Cullen the BBQ sauce with his nuggets for the first time and he had a high time bathing in it the entire 45 minutes it took me to get to the grocery store!  Just an ordinary Tuesday in our world folks.


You were such a big girl today.  I am so proud of you and the way you are able to express yourself to adults.  You have grown to accept your medical issues with such grace and I am amazed by your strength daily.  Daddy and I love you sweet girl.

Monday, July 9, 2012

i-phone picture dump

It is just easier to capture moments quickly with the i-phone it seems…it’s just a shame the quality isn’t great.

Boy time at “homemade depot” as Ellie calls it!



First fishing trip Father’s Day morning 2012

fishing Cullen is serious about his naps!  He is a very scheduled child (his own doing) and when he is tired he will find a way to sleep!

Napping with Uncle DavenapwithdaveWORN OUT             napsleeping

We came home from a date night and found him snuggled up to her!


Cullen’s first trip to the movies Madagascar 3 and my little beauty enjoying her popcorn!


Dinner by the pool…and a little ice cream face


Out on the town:  We got stuck in a B.A.D. storm a few weeks ago.  We were in Target and all the power went out while we were rushing to check out.  It’s a blessing we got trapped b/c there were tornados all over our area, so we were safer inside vs. me trying to rush home.

*On the way home from the Target trip Ellie asked me if the store ran out of batteries since the lights went out.  I explained that it was the storm and that something had to have happened to the transformer that powered that store. 

Ellie: Oh yes, I know all about transformers

Me: you do?

Ellie: Yes mommy.  They can turn into people or animals or anything.

Me: Um…yes, Ellie toy transformers can you are exactly right.  However, that is something totally different.  Hilarious conversation


On our way out for some adult time