Monday, December 28, 2009

This Christmas we decided to remain home in Philadelphia instead of spending it in Idaho with family. We did miss our family, however, we did not miss the following unexpected layovers due to weather, security screenings, over tired kids, jet lag, and all other unpleasantness that come from traveling over the holidays. We really enjoyed creating our own family traditions as this is the first time in our 9 year marriage that we have not been at parents houses. Here is what we did. Monday night we made a gingerbread house and watched Disney Prep and Landing. Tuesday we let the girls play in the snow and they had a fabulous time. Wednesday we made cookies. Thursday we had a special FHE and talked all about the birth of Jesus and what his birth and life meant for us.
We then let them open one gift (the ones Grama and Grampa Norby sent) they of course were pj's. They dressed in jammies and we went out to look at the wonderful light displays, a lot of neighborhoods have contests and nothing is spared. Kenna who was concerned about "no creatures stirring" wanted to hurry home and go to bed. Before we had left we had checked on line and saw that Santa was in England so she was sure he would be to NY soon and then on to PA. After lights we had hot chocolate and doughnuts and the girls went to bed.
I was expecting early risers but they slept in until 8:15.We lined the girls up at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning, and then got into place with the video camcorder and the camera. We gave them the go-ahead to come down the stairs. Kenna came barreling down the stairs and squealed with delight at what she saw for Christmas. No Brynlee. We called to her at the top of the stairs and she informed us that she was “scaried of San-tuh”; she thought that he was actually downstairs waiting for her and wasn’t interested at all in seeing him. We had to go up the stairs and carry her down. Once she did get downstairs she was excited. Santa actually showed up a few moments later (something the borough does here) When he walked in I thought for sure she would be right back upstairs and we would never get her back down. But I guess she was impressed with her tricycle and let him right in took him by the hand and led him to the couch for a photo. Both of the girls had a good time and have enjoyed playing and riding on the things that they got. Lauren just took it all in with wonder. The tree lights were intriguing and the crackle of the wrapping paper was magnificent. I really liked this picture of her checking out her toy. She has such a cute little profile.
P.S. The dog in some of the photos is not a Christmas present. It is just Gracie who we are watching for some friends who are out of town.

How to make a gingerbread house

Step 1) Ice the base Step 2) Place gingerbread house walls on base Step 3) Attach roof (or if you are Bryn start eating icing) Step 4) Wait ever so patiently while dad who is a perfectionist ices the house. Step 5) Add candy

Step 6) Tah-duh

Thursday, December 24, 2009

With all of your excitement this evening please remember to make time to reflect on the Savior so that you may feel the "magic" of the season. Because He lives the earth has Joy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A much needed update

So the last week of October and first few days of November we spent time in Idaho with family. It was nice (at least for me) Brad took the two older girls on Tuesday and I flew out on Friday with Lauren. A little tricky but hey when you are working with free tickets you take what you can get.
While there the girls soaked up cousin time with sleep overs, parks trips, an early birthday party for Kenna, and an early Thanksgiving, and
some much needed family photos.
We Also blessed Lauren. It is much easier and cheaper for five to go to Idaho than for 30 people to fly to Pennsylvania.
in the future when you are questioning a dose
don't call the pharmacy (we called 3 times and they said we had the right instructions) call your MD. So here is a photo of her new self at a whopping 12 lbs (finally).

Friday, October 2, 2009


I took the girls to get some pictures taken today. Lauren hit her 2 month mark, and I hadn't had Kenna or Bryn's pictures done professionally for over a year. I was nervous about taking all 3 by myself but it turned out really well. Bryn was uncharacteristically good about following her instructions, Kenna was a great helper, and Lauren graced us with waking up so we could get some shots with her eyes open. My mom got them these adorable matching leopard print dresses and pink sweaters. I have decided that the best part of having girls is dressing them, and it gets even better when they can match. Here is what we got.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

anyone see the resemblance

In Greek Mythology, Medusa was a gorgon, a female monster; gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. At the Murray house Bryn is an adorable monster; gazing directly upon her turns her onlookers to mush. Even if she has just done something "wrong". Medusa is said to have 2 sisters as does Bryn. The parallels here are outstanding. We will just have to teach Bryn to watch out for her form of Perseus. Although Bryn would look very cute on a goddesses shield.

Another Visit with the Cardiologist

We had another appointment with our pediatric cardiologist today. It was a much less emotional visit than we had last time, mostly because he didn't use words like: surgery, cut her open, crack open her ribcage, scar, or complications. Instead, this time there was a lot more optimism. We are still by no means out of the woods yet, but at least we have something to hope for. Since she has been on the diuretic to relieve her pulmonary edema, we haven't had to deal with the constant reminder of her coughing and difficulty breathing. Nevertheless, it's always something as her parents that we have had in the back of our minds. She had gained weight, and although she is still hugging the lower end of the growth curves, at least she is making gains. The doctor examined her and listened to her heart for several minutes. Then the doctor said, "Okay, well please make an appointment to come back and see us in two months". We kind of just looked at him confused, after all we were bracing for him saying that we needed to make surgery plans. We asked if she was doing better. He said that she seems to be doing well, gaining weight, and it would be something we would continue to monitor. We asked him what the chances are of this thing resolving itself without surgery. He said that according to the literature, and with her progress, there was about a 40% chance that it would resolve, or at least resolve to the point of not needing to do surgery. We just wanted to thank everyone for your concern and prayers. Although we know that this chapter is far from over, we have felt the influence of loving friends, family, and the Spirit of Our Father in Heaven.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just because I feel like I have been repeating myself a lot lately here is the deal with her heart (up to this point we go to the cardiologist again on Friday). She has a moderate to large hole in her heart between her two ventricles. This condition is called a VSD (ventricular septal defect). This following link explains it quite well and has a nice little illustration. Hers being moderate to large, it may not close on its own, but that is what we are going to find out more about on Friday. She has been on a diuretic for the past 2 1/2 weeks because she was in heart failure (just meaning that her heart wasnt doing what it was supposed to) and had some pulmonary edema (water around the lungs). I anticipate that they will start her on some digoxin (a heart medicine) this Friday. Due to the diuretics, she has had a slow weight gain. This is normal with the medicine, as well as the condition. She was 6 lbs 5.5 oz at birth at her 4 week check up she was only 6lbs 8 oz, she is now finally 6lbs 13oz so we are slowly making progress. Other than this, she is a normal happy 5-week old. She is starting to smile a little and is trying to hold her head up. She loves to snuggle. This works out great as we love to snuggle her. My mom went home today and so far, so good. Nothing horrible has happened, other than my house looks like a war zone as I have been to busy with McKenna's school, Bryn, and a new baby to do much cleaning.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Week three at our house

Dressing up in Kenna's cowboy hat and flip flops has been fun for Bryn. As well as talking to Aunt Jessica and Ryan on the phone. What she is saying here to Aunt Jessica is that she would like some dorky boy socks to go with her outfit and would like to borrow some of hers. Actually she was asking if Ryan could come and play next Sunday. Cuddling and snuggling with Lauren has been fun for all. Kenna is looking forward to starting Kindergarten on Tuesday. She will be participating in an on-line charter school available to PA residents as an alternative to public schools (we live in a crappy school district) and you had to be 4 1/2 by September 1st to start this year. She is beyond ready. Brad and I have looked at the lessons, she will be done with Kindergarten Math in 2 weeks. This has its advantages where ever we move she can test out of Kindergarten and go 1st grade. Lauren has enjoyed her bath time. The wash clothes that we have are as big as she is, and she loves to have a warm one wrapped around her. As you can see from the photos it produced a smile. Summer wouldn't be complete without a trip (or two or three) to Linvilla Orchards. We went and picked some peaches, pears and two of the biggest tomatoes Kenna had ever seen. Bryn had a good time even though she was a tidge on the short side. She stood on her toes and got this one. She was very proud of it. She carried her peach around in a little box. Here is Bryn and her Giant Peach!

Kenna and her load of peaches.

Jessica was right (feel free to gloat Jess)

Photo #1 is Lauren
Photo #2 is Brynlee
Photo #3 is McKenna

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Poor Lauren

and poor us too. I took Lauren to the Dr. yesterday, we had a weight check scheduled but she has been coughing and having a hard time catching her breath after a coughing fit so they we going to follow up with us as the coughing fits had landed us in the ER over the weekend. We called her pediatrician and told him what was going on. He said that with her heart he didn't want to wait until Monday to have her evaluated and instructed us to take her to CHOP.While in the ER they did another chest x-ray showing in fact that her heart does still have the VSD and it is not getting smaller on its own, the echo showed the same. Lungs were clear however. So at the Dr Lauren showed him her stuff and had a very good coughing fit for the Dr. After looking her over he looked at me and asked "has she had a fever?" Nope I said he then said "she has an ear infection in her left ear". My kids and their EARS!!! Normally they don't get an infection until 6 months but hey she has thrown us lots of curve balls so far so why not have an infection at 17 days old. After another really good looking over to make sure nothing else was going on he put her on Antibiotics. She takes it really well. Hopefully we won't need to sleep upright with her after tonight.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Name the Murray Girl

Photo #1

Photo #2
So we were looking at baby pictures of our girls. Before we looked we made a comment that they all look a little different. Then again maybe not. Can you tell who is who? Leave your guesses in the comments.
Photo #3

To me this photo sums up Bryn's personality.

Past two weeks

This is for the most part what has been going on. The first week home both of us got sleepy really easy. Week two I can actually stay awake for 10 hours, Lauren still just likes to sleep but is giving us some more awake time. She is a really good baby. She sleeps well, eats well, and is very fun to snuggle. She doesn't cry if she needs something she just squawks it sounds like this Aaak. When she does this Bryn will inform us that "baby Lauren is making noises"
Her big sisters have loved having her. Bryn has gotten better about being soft. She says sweet things to her like "my baby" and "I am here Lauren". Kenna always asks if she can "watch on her".
Bryn really enjoys using the bobby pillow to hold her. I think Lauren appreciates it as well. I am sure she feels a lot more secure laying on the bobby then being in a two year olds arms. She also loves to snuggle with her dad.
Back in May I started working on this quilt for the baby and we got it done this week. I am proud of it and will most likely make another.