We're holding our breath for spring and warmer weather here. I think winter's felt extra long because we've had no snow (or snow days off from school!) all year. It's a long haul between Christmas break and Spring break when you get no breaks in between!
The big news this month is that Dan had surgery to remove skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) on his cheek. He's had a scar below his eye that's been growing for a couple of years now. He visited the dermatologist over Christmas break and after they confirmed it was cancer, they scheduled his surgery in early February. He had a quarter-sized area removed from his cheek the first day, then they sent him home for the night. That part wasn't so bad. The next day was his facial reconstruction surgery where they cut and stretched his skin to cover the hole. It was a pretty traumatic 2-hour procedure (Dan was awake the whole time!), and he walked out hardly recognizable on that side of his face because of the scar, bruising, and extreme swelling. He was very uncomfortable for three days and spent a lot of time resting, trying not to make any painful facial expressions, and icing his swollen cheek and eye. But thankfully, the swelling went down quickly after that, and he felt much more like himself.
The before picture.
After the cancer removal, bandaged and waiting a day for reconstruction
Two days post-reconstruction surgery. He was uncomfortably swollen and still had stitches.
And after three weeks of healing, it's looking good!
We think that eventually the scar will be hardly noticeable. Especially since Dan's skin care regiment is putting mine to shame. He's taking such good care of it every day.
In the midst of Dan's recovery, we celebrated Valentine's Day. The girls got small gifts from Dan and I, and special cards and spending money from their Grandma, Grandpa, Papa, and Nana. They were so excited. My parents babysat the girls that weekend so Dan and I could have a date, too!
Our Hallie girl is growing by leaps and bounds! She just turned two and a half and wants to do everything she sees her big sister doing. She's also getting sick every month. Nothing too bad recently - just nasty colds with fevers, but they seem to hit every few weeks. She stays pretty cheerful most of the time anyway.
Our little princess, reading a story to me.
Telling us how cold it is outside. Haha!
And finally tackling a handstand in her gymnastics class! She's also brave enough to do a somersault at home, although she still refuses to do one in class.
Emma's school celebrated Liberty Day on President's Day, where they recognized the military members of the students' families. My dad (Papa) was in the Army during Vietnam, and he and Emma walked down the aisle together during the ceremony.
Speaking of school, Emma is impressing us with how she's progressing in her handwriting and sentence writing skills. She wrote this in class and it was the sweetest thing!
Emma got Fifth Disease (also called "Slapped Cheek Syndrome") one weekend, which causes a temperature and rash on the cheeks and body. She's showing off her rashy cheeks and forearm, which were pretty itchy. It's just a virus that needs to run its course, but we kept her home from school a day in case she was still contagious.
The virus didn't take the spunk out of her, though!
Emma and I tagged along with our friends Cynthia and her daughters, Olivia and Kailey, to pick out some baby chicks! They plan to raise them so they'll have laying hens and fresh eggs.
Emma absolutely loved holding and petting the chicks!
We've got fun events scheduled soon, so we're praying for better health for our family this month!