Monday, February 27, 2012

We have a NAME!

Who knew picking a name for this miracle baby would be so hard. It's funny how with each of our children we've had a name or two that we like at the beginning and then by the time we actually name the baby those first names are out the window! I guess that's a good thing. They only get one name. It definitely takes time and energy to pick our baby names and it's not something that happens overnight. We knew the middle name was going to be James and the last name was set, so all we had to do was pick a wonderful name with at great meaning that sounds good with Ryan and Ally---easy right?!!

I thought I'd ask all the nieces and nephews as well as a few other family members which names they like and here are the results---they are hilarious!!

Lila: Ryan Jesus Wood
Ally: William Wood
Wyatt: Stripe Wood or Pumpkin Wood
Stacey: Nathan Wood
Ryan: Monogram Wood or Grievous Wood--big jokester
Mark: Yorvit Wood (nice huh?)
Uncle Frank: Roger, Napoleon, Elvis, or Carlos Wood (jokes of course)
Aunt Cary: Wade Wood or Jude Wood
Nana: James Wood

And other names that were on my list for a while:
Peyton, Drew, Evan, and Zach

The name we finally went with is....DRUM ROLL Please....


Brady means "spirited one" and that fits him perfectly so far. He is constantly moving and kicking and very "spirited". We are thrilled with our decision and it has been so nice to start calling him Brady! The kids have been very helpful in working on the nursery so I decided to let them paint and decoupage his name for the wall. These kiddos of ours LOVE a project.
Ally painting the Big 'B'

Ryan working hard on the 'a,d,y'

And letting them dry. I forgot to take pictures of tracing the letters cutting them out and them gluing on the paper. They worked very hard on this and I love seeing their finished project hang in the nursery. :)
The big B
Here's the finished product...

We Cannot wait to meet this little guy. 6 more weeks to go!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Valentine's Day

This year we had a very low key Valentine's Day. The kids both had parties at school, we had a kids Zumba party---I'm still teaching kids Zumba on Tuesdays for a few more weeks, and then Mark brought home our favorite Carino's for dinner. It was a tiring day but FULL of LOVE. I am so blessed to be more in love with my husband now than 12 years ago and I couldn't even imagine how being a mother would expand my heart with LOVE. I always enjoy Valentines day and this year was no exception.

Grandma gave Ally this adorable super sparkly outfit, and she couldn't wait to wear it to school:)
Party time in Mrs. Dunlap's class. I was in charge of this party and had to sit in a chair most of the time because of these silly contractions I keep having. The next six weeks can't go fast enough!! The party was a big hit with this little girl and that's all that matters.

Such a fun, crazy class!
This was the only picture I got of Ryan's party but he had a blast as well, and I'm pretty sure he ate 5 or 6 meals that day!
Ryan brought home this Valentine Art project and I LOVE it, it's on our fridge and it reminds me of the Greatest Love!
{Oh and note who can write cursive's hilarious he gave all his cousins his autograph the other day. LOVE that kid}

Ryan's Bears Basketball

Ryan had another great season of basketball this year. Mark loves to coach his teams and they once again dominated the competition!! There is a big difference in 2nd grade basketball. The coaches can't run on the court with the players, they call fouls(sometimes:)), have free throws, etc. So it feels more like a real game.

I am so proud of my two super studs.
Mrs. Wallace, Ryan's teacher made it to a game again. She really is the absolute BEST!!

Before each game they say a prayer, gotta love the Woodway Family Center for that reason alone.
Jump Ball---it's blurry but you can see Ryan get it :()
Pep talk from Coach Weaver and Coach Wood
Action shots from the game. I hate to brag, but that#9 can play some basketball y'all!
The Bears Biggest cheerleaders
RW's fan club
Daddy and Ryan---look at how tall this kid has gotten--
Another great season Bears!! Way to go

WCS Happenings

We enjoyed our Spring PEP rally at WCS in January. I love that they have two of these a year. The kids look forward to the screaming and yelling and screaming :). This season we were introduced to the WCS basketball teams and the cheerleaders...which are SO cute I can hardly stand it.

Here's Ally and one of her besties McClaren
Landry, Wyatt and Ally--the three musketeers
Ryan and his silly friends Ethan and Austin. Ryan opted for no pom-pom yet again, but he loves it when others enjoy the fun!
And here they come...WHOO-HOO
Our school Mascot. The WILDCAT
WCS Cheerleaders led but the fabulous Erica Black
the preschool teachers leading a cheer :)
some crazy wildcats
My big Kindergarten nephew showing me his new smile.
The winners of the Spirit Stick. I can still feel my ears ringing from this group. WOW
Last 6 weeks our very own RYAN MARK WOOD was named the 2nd grade WOW cat. This is a huge honor since only 6 are chosen all year. We were very proud of our special 2nd grader. It's so nice for teachers to see your child the way you do!
At the beginning of February (actually right smack dab in the middle of this stuff with Ally) WCS hosted it's annual fundraiser, A Taste of the Wild. It used to be called A Taste of Honey but now that we're the wildcats the name changed. It was a HUGE success for the school and I had absolutely nothing to do with it this year! I took this year off all my school responsibilities except the hospitality committee and it has been a really nice break for me.

These two Wildcats were ready to go sing and bid on the auction items.
Of course the whole family came to support the school and Honey!
Every time I hear these kiddos sing worship music at school I tear up. It truly is the best school. Way to go Ryan, Stacey, Wyatt and Ally. Next year we'll see Lila joining them up on stage!
This school is a giant blessing to us and we are very fortunate to send our children there.
YAY Woodway Christian School!!

Forgotten Twin Tea Party

WAY back in December I had the JOY of watching these two little cuties so Caryn and Stacey could close on their new lot/house. My dad is building them an amazing home in Lake Forrest right now so go check it out. They have been framing up a storm and it's been really fun to see their plans become real.

Coyt and Crew are absolutely hilarious right now and they have grown SO much since these pictures. I had to post them because they are so CUTE!!

What 'cha doing? Oh nothing just sitting here in our awesome IKEA highchairs eating some treats. HA! Ally and Wyatt were having a play dough extravaganza in the background.
Ally really wanted to have a Tea party with her cousins so that's exactly what we did.
YUM, this tea totally rocks Ally!
Oh and I need a little cream in mine...
What's this awesome thing Aunt Angie? A Spoon! How cool!
Hi precious. They look JUST like baby Caryn to me.
Oh yeah, this creamer is the best...
This little princess had the time of her life. She's going to be a great big sister!
Umm...I think there's something missing from this spoon.
The big cousins showing them how it's done!
Would you like some baby shark with that whale you're eating. Oh yes it's delicious!
Love these babies so much!

Ally update

Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments, and prayers for our Ally girl! We are so thankful to be home this week and returning to our semi-normal schedule. Our insurance company did not approve or deny the claim for genetic testing so I guess it's pending...whatever that means. We decided not to do it out of pocket at this point since it's incredibly expensive and we'll have pricey lab fees, hospital bills and BABY bills coming our way very soon. Dr. Grayson said we could do this test at any point in the future so for now we're waiting.

I've had so many people ask me what this diagnosis means and honestly we don' t know too much about it. We were instructed that she will always have a low platelet count and that we shouldn't give her Advil or Motrin only Tylenol and that's pretty much it at this point. Her labs will always be funny and her platelets will forever be giant. The only thing I am still struggling with is her fatigue. It may be her low platelets, her schedule, or she may have something else going on entirely. She's had every thing checked: anemia, white blood cells, red blood cells, viral studies like mono, I have to believe that if this fatigue was indicating something the Doctors at Scott and White would have found something.

That's my prayer right now---that she would have her full energy back and that her fatigue is nothing. She is back at school half days right now and loves going to see her Honey during recess:). We are also trying to rest every afternoon, and work on her diet a little bit in hopes that she'll feel a better soon. The thing that is so puzzling to me about her tiredness is that it's not all the time or even every single day. She'll have two days a week where she seems completely fine and then for the next three days she'll be really, really tired. It's exactly like when kids go through growth spurts and they seem a little "off" for a few weeks. She has just been"off" since October. I would love for you to continue to pray for her. Thank you in advance for doing that. Mark and I talked at length this morning and worrying about this is doing us NO good!! It's not good for us to sit around and try to be Doctors, so I'm throwing this one up to the Ultimate Physician and moving on from my worries. {And all God's people said....AMEN, (that's just for you Vanessa!)}

I am going to get caught up on my posts today, so I hope you enjoy the overload of pics to come.

{Also Thank you to my two Supper Clubs groups. Ally wants to wear her Barbie nightgown every single night:) and the gift cards and meals this week have been a blessing! XOXO}

Monday, February 20, 2012


Where to begin?? Processing everything that has happened in the last two weeks has been a challenge. I wanted to document this for later in Ally's life when we can look back on this experience with thoughts of gratefulness!! I think the best way to remember this roller coaster is re-read the email updates.
I honestly cannot express to you how much your prayers have meant to us. We are blessed beyond measure by our family and friends. We have THE BEST support in the world, and it's been so encouraging to read emails and texts of support and prayer every thank you!
We are also incredibly blessed that Ally is going to be just fine and have a normal, happy, wonderful life. I know that is not always the case and I will forever have more compassion and empathy for children struggling with cancer and blood disorders. It's indescribable how it feels watching your child get a treatment that makes her so ill. And we only did it for a weekend. It's horrible and I hope we never have to do it again. I know more about platelets, plasma, and children's blood disorders than I ever dreamed, and our emotions have been all over the place. We are tired and frustrated and joyful and relieved all at the same time. Let's start at the beginning two weeks ago....

Update on Thursday, Feb. 9th
Hey friends,
I just wanted to give you a quick update on what's going on with our baby girl. So sorry for the email, I know I haven't had a chance to call everyone personally so please forgive me for that!
Ok, so basically Ally has been super duper tired lately- more than just her typical growing spurts -and so while we were at her well child check last Friday I mentioned that to Billy. He looked at her, and thought she looked rather pale and sent us for blood work. He thought she was possibly anemic. We got those results Tuesday and they showed she wasn't anemic but her platelet cell count was low (74). Since she hadn't been sick with a virus lately that we knew of he assumed this was a lab error and wanted us to re-do her blood work. We repeated the test Wednesday and her platelet level came back even lower this time(52, normal is 150ish for her). Her white and red blood cells were not where they should be either and so this was for sure not a lab error but something.
Last night, Dr. Nesmith called with the news and told us he thought she had ITP(an abbreviation for a really long platelet disorder). He couldn't be 100% sure it was this, but the alternative was very frightening and we were really hopeful that Ally has this ITP thing. We repeated blood work again this morning and were hoping that her levels stayed the same. We were scared and praying and just wanting a 52!!!

We got the results back at 11:30 am and her level was 62---which is a HUGE PRAISE!!! Hopefully this means she is on the way back up! There was also evidence of new bone marrow cells, and NO evidence if leukemia cells which is another HUGE PRAISE!!
Basically we repeat blood work again tomorrow morning and hope to see a 62 or higher and we're in the clear. If it's lower for some reason she may need treatment but should have a full recovery and be back to her pink-checked fun-lovin' self soon.
I know that the Lord was protecting our precious girl and believe me, we do not take that for granted at all. Last night was just plain awful getting uncertain news and not being able to do one thing about it.

We have had a pretty rough few months with my pregnancy, one year anniversary of Mark's dad, Ryan's bizarre migraine symptoms and now this. We are seeking prayer and continued protection and I know my Supper Club girls are my go-to prayer peeps!!! Thank you for being such sweet friends and please continue to pray for Ally's count to be back to normal!
Love y'all,

Update on Friday, Feb. 10th
Great news, her platelet count is holding at 64 :))) thanks so much for all your prayers and emails! We don't have to go back until Thursday next week. We are very relieved and hoping for a calm weekend.

Update on Feb. 17th 2:00 PM
Hi girls - I wanted to send an Ally update on Angie's behalf. They went in this morning for what they thought was a fairly routine follow up just to make sure Ally's platelet count was continuing to climb, but unfortunately it had dropped to 10. You may remember from her previous email that at 40 they need to be hospitalized. Needless to say this was unexpected and very alarming! They retested the count and got 8, 10 & 17. The good news is her white and red blood cells are still normal (this would not be the case with leukemia) so Billy is still confident that it is ITP. However, they will be going to Scott and White in Temple to be admitted there and come up with a treatment plan with Dr. Grayson. They will be staying on the children's cancer ward (we think). Please pray for Angie and Mark and for Ally that whatever this is she will be healed. They are getting packed and heading to the hospital as I type this, Mom and Dad will meet them there. As we know more I'll keep you posted.

On a completely selfish note, Kacey and I both have strep and while we want nothing more than to be in Angie's pocket right now we will have to keep our distance until tomorrow.

Thanks for your prayers and love and support for the woods.


Update on Friday, Feb 17th 8:00 PM
Just talked to Ang, the doctor at Scott and White also thinks it is ITP which is good news. It can be treated with plasma or steroids. He recommended plasma so that is what they are going with. They will start the first dose tonight (it is an eight hour treatment given via IV) and then do a second treatment in 24 hours. After the second treatment they will retest her platelet levels. They are in room 416. When I called Ally was dancing around the room in her new nightgown so thankfully she has been a trooper!! But, she is about to get hooked up and won't be able to move around quite as much. The plasma can have side effects, headache, nausea, hives etc. so pray for minimal issues from the plasma, and obviously to get her count UP UP UP!
Thank you!

Update Saturday, Feb. 18th 2:00 PM
Hey my prayer people!!
What a worldwind hour: Dr. Greyson now believes that Ally has a condition called macrothrombocytes --basically giant platelets, so her counts have been off since the very first blood draw two weeks ago. This is a condition she was born with and there are various things that this could mean. Basically this is great news and will not need another IVIG tonight. To confirm what this exactly means we'll come back Tues. and do more blood here and it'll be sent off for genetic testing. In other news, I left the hospital for two hours in which time Ally has been projectile vomiting and has a major headache, so pray she gets better from the treatment that she didn't need! She's now asleep in her bed but hearing her screams as I race down the hallway was pretty horrific...
We should be able to leave late tonight or in the morning as long as these horrible side effects get better.
Obviously this news is fantastic and we are hoping this is accurate. We've had a LOT thrown at us the last 15 days and there is still no answer to her fatigue. Please continue to pray for our sweet princess. I cannot begin to express to you how amazing your texts, gifts, emails and prayers have been to us. I truly do not know how people do this without the Lord, and YOU have been his hands and feet for us.
Much much love,

Angie & Mark

Update Monday, Feb. 20th
We're home!!
We got released around 12:00 yesterday and you've never seen anyone pack up as fast as we did and get out of there. We were all very relieved to be home, and slept for 5 hours strait { sleeping in the hospital while 33 weeks pregnant is ridiculous}. This morning we are all four home and planning on a fun family day here!!
If our insurance approves the genetic testing we will go back Tuesday, to Scott and White and then wait 4-6 weeks to see exactly which syndrome Ally has. Dr. Grayson is extremely certain the diagnosis of macrothrombocytes is correct (meaning Ally has giant platelets) and under that umbrella there are 5 possible syndroms that Ally could have. Dr. Grayson thinks he's narrowed it down to May-Hegglin and hopefully this genetic test will confirm this diagnosis. Since it's an inherited gene mutation we will probably get Ryan and this baby boy tested at some point. Ally's platelet count will always be low...somewhere in the 50-100 thousand instead of the normal 150-450 thousand. But the 5 we got at the hospital was incorrect and once the pathologist looked at her blood under the microscope he diagnoised her with Macrothrombocytes. Hopefully this would only be an issue if she were to need surgery later in life. She'd probably need a platelet transfusion but other than that the May-Hegglin shouldn't interfere with her life in any way. I have read that some children with this mutation/syndrome suffer from hypothyroidism which could explain her fatigue....but that is Dr. Angie Wood's research and not information from Dr. Grayson. I think until this diagnosis is confirmed through the testing we'll just wait and see and hope that her strange intermitten fatigue improves!
Again thank you ALL for being amazing friends. A special thank you to Honey who stayed with Ally last night so I could sleep...I did not want to leave but was "encouraged" by everyone to go lay down and I am grateful she was there to stay with her.

This verse is one I cling to: Psalm 27:1-3

"The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident."

Love, Angie

My baby!!!