Sunday, May 22, 2011


While in Chicago last week, we tried to find things to pass the time and keep Sophie (and us) occupied.  On Sunday, we decided to go to a movie.  Sophie had never been to a movie before, and we weren't entirely sure how long she would sit for one, if at all.  I quickly searched online to find an age appropriate movie.  Rio was the only movie available at the time.  I watched the trailer for it, and it seemed cute enough, so we decided to go for it.

We arrived at the theater and made our way to the ticket counter and paid for the tickets.  As soon as we began to walk off, the ticket guy pushed 3 pair of 3-D glasses into Bo's hand.  I was shocked!  I had totally missed that this was a 3-D movie!  Bo and I looked at each other like "This won't last long because Sophie will never keep the 3-D glasses on for the movie...", but we had already paid for the tickets so we made our way to the theater.  We made it in just in time for the movie to begin.  We put on our glasses and helped Sophie with her's and settled into our seats, which were conveniently located near the back of the theater just in case we needed to make a quick exit. :)

Well, I am here to tell you that we were completely wrong!  Not only did Sophie watch the whole movie, she kept her glasses on the entire time! 

We will definitely be going to another movie very soon!

The Most Special Mother's Day Gifts

During the many Mother's Days that came and went while we waited for Sophie, I often imagined all of the sweet Mother's Day gifts that Sophie would make for me one day. On the Thursday before Mother's Day when I picked Sophie up from school, she was holding a little gift wrapped in tissue paper that had a tag on it that read, "To: Mom From: Sophie". I couldn't wait to open it, but knew that I had to wait until that very special day. The next two days passed very slowly, as I walked by the little gift numerous times. Finally the day arrived, and look what I found inside!

A sweet MOM magnet for the refrigerator

and a precious card that Sophie made for me

with the sweetest poem and Sophie's handprint inside.

The poem is a little difficult to read in the picture, so I will post it below.

Thank You, Mom

Thank you for reading me stories
And taking care of me.
Thank you for tying my shoes
And putting bandages on my knee.

Thank you for tucking me into bed
And kissing me goodnight.
Thank you so much for all your hugs
And holding my hand so tight.

Thank you for being my mommy
And that's not all I have to say.
Thank you so much for all you do
And have a Happy Mother's Day!!!

Thank you so much, Sophie, for the great Mother's Day gifts!!  I love them and you so very much!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meeting Members of Our Nevus Family

While in Chicago for Sophie's surgery, we had the opportunity to meet other Nevus families from various parts of the US.  On Thursday, we met the Nagel's for breakfast at our hotel.  Beth and I met on Nevus Outreach.  They are from South Dakota and their son, Sully, had had expander insertion surgery on Monday.  This was his second round of expanders.  He is such a cutie and a little trooper!

 Sophie and Sully

While at breakfast with the Nagel's, there was another Nevus family from Vermont having breakfast, as well.  Their 10 month old little girl has a scalp nevus and was having her first round of expanders removed and nevus excision on Thursday.  I pray everything went well for them. 

Today while at Dr. Bauer's office for Sophie's checkup, we met a family from Washington, D.C.  Their 6 month old daughter has a scalp nevus, and they were their for their first expansion.  Mom was very anxious, and understandably so.  I hope that she was encouraged to see how well Sophie has done and that they have a complication free expansion and surgery.

After Sophie's appointment, we met the Melton's, Adam, Christine, Katie, and Josh, from Phoenix, Arizona for lunch.  Christine and I met on Nevus Outreach.  Their little boy, Josh, has a nevus like Sophie's.  He had surgery to insert his second round of expanders on Monday.  He had many complications after his first round and never even got to have an expansion, but Dr. Bauer still managed to remove part of his nevus anyway.  I keep telling y'all how amazing Dr. Bauer is!  We are praying for great, problem free expansions and healthy skin for Josh and his family.  We are looking forward to meeting more nevus families!

Josh and Sophie at lunch

So sweet!

Nevus moms with our nevus babies

The Reveal.

We are so excited to share the first before and after pictures of Sophie with everyone!  Dr. Bauer is amazing.  Simply amazing!  Sophie is doing so well after her surgery and is just about completely back to normal.  This is great for her, but not so much for us, as she is supposed to have quiet play for the next 3 weeks while the skin flaps adhere to her body and the incisions heal.  We are going to have our hands full!  Sophie was jumping up and down in the doctor's office today.  Mim, one of Dr. Bauer's wonderful nurses, said that she was so glad that Dr. Bauer was not there to see it!

In the picture below you can see that Dr. Bauer was able to remove the nevus from Sophie's lower back and to a point below her waist.

Unfortunately, I did not get any side view pictures of Sophie before the surgery, but in the top picture in the collage below, you can tell how much the nevus came up on her sides.  Post-surgery, she has clear, nevus free skin on both sides. 

Once we are home and Sophie no longer has the drains, I will take some more pictures of her standing.  This will help to see her sides better.

Where do we go from here?  Sophie will have the drains at least until Friday, or until the incisions stop draining.  We will do dressing changes daily and she will be wrapped in an ace bandage for the next 2 1/2 - 3 weeks.  The ace bandages help hold the skin flaps in place so that they can heal properly.  Lastly will be the most challenging part of the healing process, keeping Sophie quiet for the next 2 1/2 - 3 weeks.  Like most 2 years olds, quiet and still is not a normal thing for her. 

We would like to thank you all again for your prayers.  They were certainly felt, and we could not have made it through this first round without them.  Please continue to remember us and all of other families (there are many) who are going through this with their children (some as young as 6 months old) and other family members.  They will be greatly appreciated!

I will close with a few pictures of Sophie before and after surgery.

Excited about the stickers, crayons, and coloring books from the hospital staff.

On the "Happy Juice"!

Sporting her "no-no's" and opening her cards after surgery.

That sweet smile is back 24 hours post-op!

Tip-Toe Through The Tulips

The day before Sophie's surgery, we decided to tour the Chicago Botanical Gardens.  We had heard how beautiful the tulips are this time of year, and we knew that this would be the last pretty, and warm, day that we would have, so we decided to take advantage of it.  It was hot, but beautiful.  If you are ever in the area, you have to check it out!

(click on the collage to enlarge it)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's Surgery Time!

This is it y'all!  Our last update before Sophie has surgery tomorrow.  I can't believe how fast the past 10 weeks have flown by, and we have been so blessed.  We have had no complications, the skin over Sophie's expanders is very healthy and looks great, and Sophie has done terrific!  We are both excited and anxious about tomorrow.  Excited about seeing the results of our own medical miracle, but anxious about Sophie having to be put to sleep and what lies ahead on the other side of her surgery.  Please continue to pray for us, and especially our sweet Sophie, tomorrow and in the days ahead.  We appreciate each one so very much!

725ccs in each expander

Stay tuned for the big reveal!!

Beach Time

The last weekend in April was the Smith family reunion. For many years, the reunion has been held at a nearby state park, but this year, we decided to hold it in Orange Beach.  This was a great decision, and everyone had such a great time that we are going to have it there again next year!

Sophie enjoyed swinging

and walking on the pier with Aunt "Brenna" (Brenda)
and her friend "Kebin" (Kevin).

The weather that weekend was perfect for the beach,

 so we couldn't pass up an opportunity to build some sand castles,
which is Sophie's new favorite thing to do.

We all had a great time,
and I'm sure there are many sand castles to be built in our near future.

Finger-licking good

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Easter Weekend

It has been a few weeks since my last post so it's time do some catching up.  Easter was quite a busy weekend, as most are these days.  On Friday, our newest cousin, Carter, and his mom and dad were home for the weekend, so we went to visit and get some new baby loving.  She thought Carter was so sweet and really liked holding his hand.

On Saturday, our niece, Amy, turned 16!  I still can't believe it!  Of course we had to have a celebration, so we started out by blowing bubbles.

After which we had the birthday girl don her Sweet 16 tiara for pictures before diving into the awesome cake and ice cream.

The Birthday Girl

Here she is with her big sis, Emily.

We had to have a picture with Nana and Pawpaw.

When Emily and Amy are around, Sophie thinks she is one of the big girls too.  She had to have her ice cream on the couch by Emily.  Can you say "Cheese!"?

On Sunday morning, the Easter Bunny made a stop by our house. 
Look at all of the goodies that he brought Sophie on her first Easter!
She made out like a bandit!

She went through every egg to see what was inside.

Needless to say, her breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs and jelly beans!

After church, lunch, and a nap, we hunted Easter eggs.

Sophie had a blast.

She ran then entire time.  There was no competition. 
She was just excited!

Our friend, Lauren, came down to hunt eggs with us. 
Look at all of the eggs they found!

We are still celebrating a lot of firsts with Sophie, and each one is so precious to us. 
Memories we will hold on to forever.

We love you, Sophie!