Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

From the cutest Ladybug, Butterfly and Tiger...I ever did see!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


This month our big girl turned FOUR!  It is hard to believe that she growing up so fast.  At age four Ella, you are still FULL OF LIFE!!  You are our hot or cold girl/ our sweet or spicy. You are full of drama, fun and joy! 

Right now you love playing school.  You even have acquired quite a "teacher voice." You crack us up when we hear you saying to Eliza, "Honey, I have asked you to sit down."  You are actually a very good little teacher and will take any opportunity to mother/teacher your little sister or cousins.  You recently have started loving to color.  You will sit at your table and color picture after picture.  Your coloring has improved a ton recently, as you are staying in the lines and paying more attention to detail.  Your favorite thing to draw is still a rainbow.  You love to write your name the wrong way (like an E with four lines or add in a random T ) even though you know the right way (because you know this drives your teacher mommy batty!) 

You love all things pink, sparkly and adventurous!  You never meet a stranger and will try to make a friend wherever you are!   You are a great big sister.  Eliza loves you so much and I am sure Eli will too.  You love to help and have quite a knack for organization (when you want too).   You have grown to be a great eater.  Your favorite veggies are broccoli, carrots and you love salads.  You love chocolate like your mommy and can talk me into a milkshake way too often! 

We have been talking lots about sin, our behavior and living for Jesus.  The other day you confessed to taking a toy in your backpack that you were told to leave at home.   You told me as soon as I pick you up from your class. When we got in the van your heart was broken over your disobedience and you asked if we could pray.  You prayed and mommy cried as it was the first time I really feel like you felt the conviction of sin.  Mommy and Daddy want nothing more than for you to know and live for  Jesus.

Ella, I have no doubt that God has big plans for your little life.  You are such a leader and have such a love for others.  I pray that you grow this year in knowledge and grace.  We love you more than words can describe.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


This year has by far been the hardest of my entire life.  This season of difficulty has rocked our world, shaken us to the core, challenged us at every angle and yet we are making it.  In the midst of this hard year I feel like the Lord has been whispering truths into my life.  Truths that He keeps bringing to my mind over and over, truths that are helping me through. 
1. I love you.
2.  I am with you.
3.  Don't worry about tomorrow, today has enough!
4.  It is okay to let go of some relationships.
5.  You cannot please everyone, and that is okay.
6.  It is okay to let go of your dreams and plans for you life. 
7.  A healthy child is not a sign of my favor as an unhealthy child is not a sign of my displeasure.
8.  Relax, when things are stressful and kids are screaming and shoes are flying...breathe and stay calm..perhaps even laugh!!
9.  Those who are in need are the ones who get to experience my provision.
10.  There are seasons when it is okay to "sit out."  Seasons when taking a break is okay.

I wanted to take a few minutes to jot these down today. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

3 Months

My Sweet little Eli turned 3 months a few weeks ago. Due to the fact that he was 6 weeks early his adjusted age is now almost 2 months (since this post is a few weeks late).  I have to say that Mr. Eli is the absolute best baby!!  He is just the sweetest, most laid back little guy.  He is very content unless it is time to eat!  I have to brag on him because this month he went from being solely a bottle fed baby (breastmilk) to a nursing baby.  I was doubtful that we would be able to make the shift so late, but a week before we left for vacation I decided to give it another try (the idea of washing bottles and pump parts in a hotel sink for a week was good motivation).  I was shocked at how great of a little nurser he was!  He has proved to be such an adaptable little guy and we are so proud of him. 
1 month

2 months
 Eli started sleeping through the night at about 8 weeks (I told you he was the best baby ever)!  Generally he is sleeping from 9:30ish until about 6:30ish.  It is great to sleep again!!  He has started having longer awake times during the day, but still usually takes a nap between each feeding.  He has recently started giving us big smiles and is cooing a lot.  I must say that this seems to make all of my worries go away for the moment. 

At his last check-up he was 11lbs 6oz.  That is only the 3rd percentile for a 3 month old, but is much higher on the preemie growth curve.  His head circumference jumped a little on the growth chart.  He gave us quite a scare when the Neuro got an inaccurate measurement.  They pretty much had us scheduled for a shunt on Wednesday.  I called back and finally figured out that they were looking at the percentile number as the actual cm measurement.  Anyway it made a big difference and after I had cried for about 3 hours over this, I was very relieved to learn that it was a mistake!  If you pray for Eli, please pray that his head would continue to grow as it should.  We are praying we can avoid a shunt.  We are currently checking into all of our options in case we have to go down that path.  He will have a sedated MRI in a few weeks.   
This was a big month for his little feet.  He went through two sets of casts, had a procedure on his heels and graduated to some new boots and bars.  I am sure you can tell how much straighter his little feet look in comparison to his 1 and 2 month pics.  We have spent a lot of time at our ortho in the past few weeks. 

Eli is so loved by his big sisters.  They both love on him ALL THE TIME!  If you try to talk to Eli in front of Eliza she will boldly tell you, "No my E-li"  (pronounced with a short e).  It is so funny because she is normally so shy.   

Eli went on his first vacation to the mountains. 

Tummy time, tummy time and more tummy time. 

A sweet little smile

These are his shoes (we call them his snowboard)!  He originally had to wear them for 23 hours a day.  At his last visit they said he can go to about 18 hours a day now.  It is nice to get to take them off some now.  He hasn't seemed to mind them too much.  He will most likely wear then for a long time during the night to help keep his feet in the correct position.  So far so good.

Eli has some big appointments in November.  I must admit that I feel fearful over these, esp. with the holidays ahead.  We covet your prayers over his kidney's, bladder, head growth and always his sweet little legs. 

Monday, October 17, 2011


Last week we took a much needed vacation.  I don't think Kev or I had ever been more excited to get away!  Before we left I checked the forecast and it looked like lots of rain.  We didn't even care...we just needed a change, some time away from appointments and some relaxation (or as much is possible with 3 small kids).  We had a great week and enjoyed our time together as a family.  Unfortunately, Eliza took a fall on Thursday and broke both bones in her left arm.  Our week without appointments ended with a 6 hour ER visit.  She is doing well and will get a pretty pink cast on Wed. once the swelling is gone (she just has a soft cast and splint until then).   She has been a trooper. Mommy on the other hand still feels quite shaken and fearful.

There is lots that I want to update my blog on.  Ella turned 4, Eli is now 3 months, our vacation, but today I want to remember.

October 15 is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss remembrance day.  In the midst of this crazy roller coaster of a year, there are days when my mind drifts to the past....days of sorrow and grief, days waiting, days of loss.  There are days when I wonder what it would be like to have a 5 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old and newborn.  Days when I wonder what he would look like as a big boy.  I wonder what his personality would be like.  I wonder how he would have changed our family.

Remembering how God used our loss to draw us closer to himself, knowing how he orchestrated events as only He could, and how he brought healing and joy back into our hearts, causes me to trust Him easier today.  On days like today when the cares of the world seem to overwhelm, I need to remember God's faithfulness to me in the past.  I need to remember that he restores, He has a plan, He knows the desires of my heart.
Today I remember my Samuel. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Our Backyard Carnival

Ella and Eliza's birthdays are two weeks apart.  Ella really wanted an Angelina Ballerina party and if you asked Eliza she would say a "Melmo" (Elmo).  I decided for many reasons that this year we could only have one party.   We (I) decided it would be a little backyard carnival.  I found tons of cute ideas on-line and found all of my decorations at the dollar tree.  Kev was in charge of the carnival games and of course he took his task very seriously. 

We had yummy carnival food (hot dogs, corn dogs, cotton candy, candy apples, popcorn and nachos and cheese.) The night before I felt terrible because all the food was terribly unhealthy and pretty much a choking hazard, so I sent Kev to the store for some fruit. :)

Last year we had Ella's party from 10:30-12:30.  I thought it was a great time for a kiddie party.  This year (with a new baby) it made for a super busy morning trying to get it all together.  Thankfully we made it by the skin of our teeth. 

Ella had a great time and said her favorite part of the party was blowing out her candles.  Eliza was overwhelmed throughout most of the party, but began to warm up as the party ended.   Once it was over she got in the jump castle and loved it!

The other highlight was a special visit from "Lou Lou" the clown.  Lou Lou who is otherwise known as Louise.... is our Associate Pastor's wife.  She has always been like family to us and the girls love her dearly.  We think we have a new ministry for her...clowning!

  It was a fun morning and I am so thankful for our friends and family who celebrated with us!