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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas and Mia Update!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  We had a very Merry Christmas in the Ringley household. I haven't been this excited about Christmas in years.  It is so fun to experience the holiday as a parent for the first time!

On Christmas Eve night, we dressed the babies in their Christmas pajamas and Chad read them The Night Before Christmas.  Nana and Doodah gave us a neat fabric book version of the classic story, and it was a lot of fun to read to the babies.

After we tucked them into bed, I got busy wrapping a bunch of presents.  We received a lot of packages from family and friends who live far away.  I wrapped the boxes so the babies would have a bunch of paper to rip up.  It turns out they weren't even very interested in unwrapping the presents this year!

But they did have fun checking it all out.

They did rip into a few presents...

They loved playing with their new toys!

Brady and Daddy got matching Sam Bradford jerseys!

One of the most surprising and coolest presents came from my brother Charlie, his wife Beth, and their children Mia, Max, and Lexie.  They sent us a mini OU helmet, OU cheerleader bear, and OU mini nerf football all signed by Bob Stoops!  Chad was blown away and so excited!

Bob Stoops makes a habit of visiting the children at the OU Children's Hospital.  He has come to visit my niece Mia a couple of times while she has been there getting treatment for Neuroblastoma.  We could not believe that Charlie and Beth would even think to get anything signed for Chad, Chloe, and Brady during this time, but they are amazing people.

Mia had surgery to remove her tumor just a few days before Christmas.  We were absolutely THRILLED to hear that Mia's surgery to remove all of her tumor was a complete success, and she was able to keep ALL of her surrounding organs, which initially the doctors believed they might have to take her kidney, spleen, and possibly her pancreas.  What a blessing and such wonderful news!  Mia was doing so well that she was released from the hospital after just 4 days, initially the recovery time in the hospital was expected to be a week at the least.  We were able to Skype with her after Christmas and she looked awesome!

Mia still has one last round of chemo, followed by one or possibly two stem cell transplants, radiation, and maintenance therapy before we can all celebrate her being officially cancer free, so please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  She is such a brave little girl and we all love her so much.

McDowell family, if you are reading this, know that we will continue to keep Mia in our thoughts as always and we are so happy for you all and so thankful for the great news, and for Mia's excellent recovery from surgery.  We love you and thank you for the gifts as well.

Here are some pictures of the Bob Stoops memorabilia:

Another very special Christmas present came from the babies' Great Grams and Grandfoder.  They handmade us these adorable Snowmen that we will cherish and put out every Christmas!

We were also lucky to have Doodah (my Dad) come and visit us on Christmas night in time for dinner.  He was covering the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, LA the next day.  We loved having him visit with us and getting to smooch and love on his grandchildren a little bit.  He came back and spent the day after the Independence Bowl with us as well.  Brady showed his first sign of being afraid of someone other than us, which I think is just something normal that all babies go through.  Hopefully this is a phase they will grow out of soon.

Overall we had an amazing Christmas.  We hope that you all did the same and that you treasured the time with your families.  Happy Holidays to you all!


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