October Birthday Fest!

Princess Lydia! 8 years old!
October officially begins our cluster of birthdays! Starting with October 6, we celebrated Lydia's 8th birthday.  She got to be princess for the day. She enjoyed homemade cinnamon rolls and a new dress and journal! Next up was October 17 with Ezekiel's 4th birthday! Hard to believe he is no longer a baby!!! He was thrilled with muffins for breakfast and a Daisy Red Rider BB rifle! It has been a tradition in our home to give each boy his first "real" gun on their 4th birthday. Each of the older boys brought theirs down to show him. He was very excited. October 18th was a very special birthday. Julia became an official double digit! Julia is now 10 years old and quite grown up! Since we were out of town at a conference, we celebrated the night before at a Mexican restaurant with Zeke. They enjoyed the sombreros and fried ice cream, though I still owe Julia a birthday breakfast! She is hoping for chocolate chip pancakes. She enjoyed getting a new dress and journal just like Lydia. Unfortunately, we will have to go find a new dress as she has grown so much and I misjudged her size!!! Last, but definitely not least, October 24 brought Craig's 38th birthday. We all enjoyed celebrating our favorite man's special day!!! We made omelets and German pancakes for brunch and he was showered with gifts. This concludes our OCTOBER birthday fest.......stay tuned for the NOVEMBER birthdays!!!!!

Zeke....4 years and proud owner of a real gun!

Julia, 10....yes 10!!!

Daddy with a homemade card from the younger Houstons

Day 160.....and Sporting a Ponytail!!!

Yes, folks, you read that correctly! Anna is able to show off that she can now wear a ponytail with her own real hair!!! And here is a fun picture to show you all!!

There it is! Look closely!

So, how is our Anna doing? Anna  has been battling bugs over the last few weeks. She has had a slight cold that just seems to not want to go away. Currently she is dealing with another tummy bug. She will go back to see her doctor next week instead of in two weeks so they can monitor the situation. They don't believe it to be GVHD, but at the same time, they don't want to wait too long to test for it if necessary.  Other than the viruses, Anna is doing quite well. Her energy level is still low but increasing slowly. She has good days and days where she requires long naps. We try not to push her too hard as we know her body is still working very hard to get back to healthy. We are scheduled for a November 13th bone marrow aspirate to find out if there is any remaining cancer cells left. We are hopeful that her numbers will show 0.0000000%!!!!

As you can see, her hair is coming in!

It has seemed so weird as I distribute Anna's meds into her containers and they are still relatively empty. Her med list has decreased significantly. She is currently on her Tacrolimus taper. (This is her immune suppressant drug) She should be completely done with it the middle of January. With the taper she should also be able to slim down on the amount of magnesium she is on as well as some of her other meds. Anna's spirit and attitude are still amazing to me. She appreciates life. She is thankful for little things as she is alive to enjoy them! She is looking forward to the month of November as many exciting things will be happening, including her aspirate, getting to be a bride's maid in a wedding, and the opportunity to be at the birth of her baby sister or brother.

Yesterday, we brought Selah Joy in to our family physician as she had a fever and her face and neck were bright red. Craig wondered if it might be scarlet fever. (I remembered she had been exposed to strep on Sunday so I thought daddy's diagnosis would be correct) The dr. at first thought it was just a virus but then he looked at her throat. After the swab, we waited for the results which popped up fairly fast. Sure enough, daddy was correct! Selah has strep throat and scarlet fever......which is highly contagious. Ugh. We called Anna's oncologist to find out what they may want to do to protect Anna and they agreed with our doc she should be put on antibiotics just to be safe. While were there, I started coughing (as I have been for a week now). Dr. C didn't like the sound of my cough and after listening to my lungs said I have bronchitis. He also said no flying to North Carolina next week! This was a sad thing as I have (nervously) looked forward to a week with just Craig and I relaxing, reading, and then going to a conference that he is speaking at. But I know he is right. I do need to get well and try not to wear myself out before having this baby. This is just another thing on top of the sickness I have been having with pregnancy. I have been keeping food down however my weight has continued to decrease. I lost 3 pounds this last week. The baby is supposed to be gaining 1/2 lb each week now. I still don't mind the numbers lowering, but I don't want it to affect the baby's health in any way. I am on antibiotics now and am hopeful that I will be able to get energy back so that I can get much done before the baby arrives. Baby's heart rate continues to sound perfect! No more arrhythmia! We praise the Lord for this! This evening at dinner, we asked Selah if she was feeling better. Her spirit is back to normal and she was being super silly. She responded with, "yes, the docker (doctor) did it!"

Asleep after her doctor appointment

quarantined in Daddy and Mommy's room

A sweet smile even though she wasn't feeling well

Praising the Lord Today!

I had my OB appointment today. Just a normal check up. The baby's heart rate was......NORMAL!!! We are rejoicing that the arrhythmia seems to have cleared up! Zeke and Selah came with us and really got a kick out of hearing the baby's heart. They giggled through the entire time. It was fun to bring them as they are super excited about this little one and it was fun to introduce them to the doctor that delivered them. It's also fun to have time with just the littlest of the littles. Our doctor was very pleased to see the echo report....perfectly formed heart and to have a clear answer to what the arrhythmia was. Anyway, just wanted to let you all know about our great news and to say thank you for your prayers and your words of encouragement. I have indeed felt the prayers on our behalf, and the Lord has graciously allowed me to be able to keep food down and not feel quite as sick as I have been. Thank you once again and God bless you all!