Tyson Hugh Hooper

Tyson Hugh Hooper
Our son, Tyson Hugh Hooper, was born with coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic arch, and a transitional avsd. His first open heart surgery reconstructed his aorta and was on day 9 of life. His second open heart repair was not anticipated to be needed until two or three years of age. Ty had other plans. We spent the vast majority of his first 3 months of life at Vanderbilt as he went into heart failure and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. As a result, the medical team concluded that he needed the repair much sooner than usually recommended, and at just shy of 3 months old Ty underwent his second life saving open heart surgery. God has already worked so many miracles in Ty's life and the life of our family and we know he is using our story. Because of this, we are grateful for Ty's special heart and feel beyond blessed that God chose us to travel this road. We ask for prayers as Ty continues to heal. We are praying for a full recovery and life without restrictions for Ty. We are praying for God to use our family and Ty for His glory.

Thank you to each and every person who supports us through prayer, giving, or just by loving on our family! We are humbled and blessed by all of the ways the Lord is providing for us and know that he is using Ty and his story to do great things!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Monday

Stuffed Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

($3.99 night at Little Ceasars)

Breakfast for Dinner

BBQ Chicken and Potato Salad

Chicken Casserole

Pasta A La Betsy and Olive Bread
(Both Pioneer Woman recipes)


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A quick trip to C-town...

Ava Grace and I made a quick trip to Chattanooga to meet some VERY special people recently!  It was a quick trip... down on a Wednesday and back home Thursday, but we had fun!  My sister was in from Montana and Ava Grace hadn't met her aunts, uncles, and great-grandparents yet!

One of our first stops was at my grandparent's (her great grandparent's) house!  Great-ma couldn't wait to get her hands on Ava Grace!  She met us at the door with arms ready!  Ava Grace wore her cute Valentine's outfit that Great-ma got her and sent in the mail!  It was a perfect fit and just happened to match a red head band we hadn't had a chance to wear yet!
Great-pa got in some snuggles too!
We had a wonderful time visiting and catching up!  I really don't get to see my grand parents often enough, and it was so nice, long, un-rushed visit!  It made my heart smile to be able to introduce our baby girl to these two very special people!  We can't wait to go back and visit again soon!
It was also wonderful to introduce Ava Grace to her Aunt Sarah and Uncle Malcolm!  Sarah and Malcolm don't have any human babies of their own (just three furry ones), so they really enjoy the kind they can give back, lol!  They soaked up the snuggles with Ava Grace, because they'll only get to see her (and us) about once or twice a year!  Hopefully some time this summer or fall we'll get to see them again... I'm scheming a girls trip! ;-)
In order to meet her cousins and other Aunt and Uncle on my side, we had to go to Couch's, of course!  So we met for dinner and Ava Grace's first trip to Couch's.  This is a big thing in our family, as you can imagine!

It was fun having everyone together, but we sure missed Chris and Lily!  They both had school obviously, since it was in the middle of the week, and were not able to come!  Above are Kensley and Bentlee loving on Grandmommy.

And here we all are... minus Chris and Lily... they sure were missed by everyone!
And a picture of Ava Grace with Papaw and my brother, Ken.  We had to "officially" document her first Couch's trip by a trip behind the counter!  As you can see she was thrilled... she slept the entire time, lol!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Monday

This is a BUSY week coming up for us and it is certainly reflected in our meal plan!

Snacking around... Mama's going to the grocery!


Out to eat

Chicken Tenders and Tots

Grilled steak, baked potatoes, and salad

Dinner at Chris' parents in honor of his birthday

Pasta Primavera for lunch and whatever the birthday boy wants for dinner!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

For Grandmommy...

Grandmommy called this morning and requested a picture of Ava Grace smiling! 

 You know we aim to please!
Just in the last 2 or 3 days she has really "gotten good" at smiling!  Before she really had to work up a smile (if it was on purpose), but they are coming more often and easier now!  Especially for Mommy and Daddy and especially first thing in the morning!

Speaking of mornings...
 This morning it started snowing!

This is the view out of the kitchen/dining room... our "back yard."
I love looking out into the woods, it's beautiful!

In honor of the snow, when we changed out of our PJs (above), we decided to go for our snowman outfit!

 It was so cute, we decided to take some pictures with the snowy front yard in the background...
 ...and then we got tired of pictures...
 ...and settled back into staring at the living room light... it's beautiful you know, the light! ;-)

I hope you are all having as wonderful of a weekend as we are at the Hooper House!  Stay cozy!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Random weekend post...

I bathed Ava Grace this morning.  We are learning to love bath time!  Today she seemed to enjoy the whole thing... even the hair washing!  Afterward when I wrapped her sweet smelling self in a baby towel to dry her off and held her close to me and looked in her eyes she gave me a HUGE Mommy-I-love-you smile!  Then, I felt the warm pee pee soaking through her towel and dripping onto the floor.  I guess it was actually a Mommy-I'm-going-pee-pee-and-it's-warm-and-feels-so-good smile!  :-)  I laughed.

Our sweet little girl is one month old today.  Hard to believe.  I am going to do a post on our trip to Chattanooga for Ava Grace to meet the rest of my side of the family and a one month post this week when I have more time to load pictures.  In the mean time, some things I have learned in our first month...
Swaddlers are WONDERFUL!  We put Ava Grace in a swaddler every night and it really helps her sleep.  I think it keeps her from waking herself up with her hands for the most part... and keeps her warm.  Although she is a little escape artist and often gets her hands or an arm out at some point between feedings!

Today we learned that the battery powered nasal aspirator is awesome!  I am so buying this as a baby gift next time I got to a shower!  Last night Lily developed a fever and started feeling really bad, I started sneezing and getting a runny nose, and this morning Ava Grace woke up with a stuffy nose!  She HATES the bulb syringe we were using to help her little nose, so I broke out the battery powered one to give it a try.  It's loud, and vibrates, and I though it would scare her to death.  Wouldn't you know she didn't so much as squeak and it sure sucked everything right out of her little nose!  :-)  Loving it! 

We settled on Nuk pacifiers this week!  YAY, no more giant ugly hospital paci! lol.  And this baby girl LOVES her paci!  Haha

I have also learned, if you like your babies cute clothes, you can't have enough bibs! lol.  You also can't have enough baby blankets or enough burp clothes, lol.

And, after one month, I have to share (a little proudly) that I have shed 15 pounds (obviously mostly water and baby) and have 11 pounds to go to be back at my pre pregnancy weight!  I am ready to get back into some regular clothes... my maternity jeans won't stay up and my pre pregnancy jeans are just shy of buttoning! lol.  Hopefully by the end of the month I'll be getting back into my old wardrobe!  ;-)

Hope you are all having a great weekend!  We are enjoying ours, even with germs!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Menu Monday... just a little late!

We are finally settling into our old new routine!
Today Ava Grace and I got up, showered, ready, and out the door before 8:00!  We ran errands, stopped at Starbucks for a bottle for AG and a coffee for me and then finished out our errands and were back home in time for lunch!  I have paid bills, meal planned, and I am about to clean some!  I love days like this when everything just seems to click!  Part of our old routine we are finally bringing back is Menu Monday!  So here it is... on Tuesday, lol!

BBQ Pork Tenderloin
Twice Baked Potatoes

Chicken Club Ring

Leftovers for Chris... I'll be out of town with Ava Grace

Chicken Pot Pie Cups
(Pinterest recipe I never got around to trying from a previous menu plan)


Whole Chicken, dressing, green beans and sweet potatoes

Quiche and cinnamon rolls

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ava Grace Photos

Saturday, February 4, 2012

All I want for Christmas is a bath...

Last Sunday we had some visitors!

The Fletchers and the Hutchings came up to see our new home, to get some snuggles in with the newest addition to our family, and to exchange Christmas gifts!

It was wonderful to see each one of them, but I think we all agree the cutest part of the day was watching all the kids play together!
Vance and Jack didn't really seem that interested in Ava Grace, but were all about spending time with Lily!  Especially Jack, who wanted to sit in her lap, hold her hand, and follow her around.  It was the sweetest thing!

Dawson was a different story...
He enjoyed hanging out with Lily as well, but when it came to Ava Grace he was enthralled!  I had no idea, but Dawson absolutely LOVES babies!  He was so sweet with Ava Grace!  He even held her, but didn't want his picture taken.
We exchanged gifts and visited.  Megan and Lauren had prepared a wonderful dinner to leave with us of salad, bread, lasagna, and dessert!  YUM!

Ava Grace was due for her very first tub bath and we decided  to do it while we had extra helping hands!

She was not a fan, but she came out squeaky clean and smelling so good!

(She has since had a couple more tub baths and is warming up to the idea... she doesn't cry now until we get to the hair washing part of the bath! lol)

Here she is freshly scrubbed!

It was a wonderful time with friends that are like family to us!  We were so very excited to share time with them and to have them drive all the way out in the country to our new home!

Thanks sister!

I got a blog award!  Thanks to my sister at Between the Fenceposts for giving it to me!  :-)  Hopefully in a few days I'll be able to pass it on!

Friday, February 3, 2012

About Ava Grace...

3 Weeks...

She loves to stay awake.  I thought all newborns slept through anything and slept all day... not our girl!  She likes to be awake and she is a light sleeper!

She loves to eat!  Four ounces every time!

She is already growing like crazy.  Her toes now fit into the little footies of her newborn sized clothes!  I have a feeling we only have a couple more weeks in newborn size clothes and diapers.

She smiles more and more and seems to attempt to smile at us, but mostly it's still involuntary and often in her sleep!  So sweet!

She still eats every three hours, but has started to occasionally stretch to four, especially at night.

She gets man size hiccups at least 3 times a day - especially at night!  I expected this, as towards the end of my pregnancy she got the hiccups at least once every single night!

When she's swaddled, she knows it's bed time.

She is sweet as pie.

She smells so good.  A friend of mine was telling me that her friend had blogged about her newborn and said that newborn smell must be what the breath of Jesus smells like!  I thought that was beautiful and poetic and must be true!

She is such a GOOD baby!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Two weeks...

Ava Grace really started settling into a schedule this past week!  She usually stays awake between at least 2 daytime feedings and she sleeps great at night!  She eats every three hours like clockwork, and we really enjoy the reliability of that!  This week she still had to have sponge bath's, even though her umbilical stump finally fell off!  I was kind of freaking out aboutherittlestump before it fell off because it looked sore and was bleeding a little and I wanted it to fall off when her Daddy was here so I wouldn't have to deal with it by myself.  Her little belly button cooperated!  Early last Sunday morning Ava Grace woke up for her breakfast and I got her out of the bassinet and brought her to bed with us to feed her and snuggle!  We were piled in the bed watching TV and playing with AG!  She spit up a little on our sheets and then when I changed her diaper she peed on the sheets too (lol)!  Soo... we all got up and as we were climbing out of bed to strip the sheets we noticed her little cord was gone!  We looked and looked and couldn't find it anywhere!  Late Sunday night I stepped on it in the bedroom floor and said, "Ava Grace!  I found your belly button!!"  lol
The pediatrician cauterized the place where her little stump fell off on Monday... he said it'd make for a pretty belly button and help it heal up super fast, but no tub baths til the end of the week!  This resulted in a couple more sponge baths - NOT her favorite!  What do you think about those eyes.... blue? brown?  What will they be?

I have been waiting to have her newborn photos until her belly button heals up, 'cause I want some cute naked baby pictures!  ;-)  We'll get those taken this week, but I had to take some cute week 2 shots of our little angel!

She is the softest, sweetest thing EVER!

I love her tiny fingers...

...and tiny toes (my favorite)!