Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Seasons Change and Baby Steps

So I am not quite sure how this happened, but I think I blinked and 10 days of baby love have already gone by! It seems like we were just walking into the maternity ward, and now I am here with my munchkin sleeping sweetly on my chest, not a care in the world besides the warmth of mommy. It's just lovely.

And, as if that wasn't enough, the Christmas season is officially over too. This year was a bit different, as I basically did no shopping since I was so tired and pregnant this last month, so it was maybe a bit more impersonal. And then, the NICU stay happened, which was so unplanned, of course. So, our family members (excluding the girls) got gift cards I thought they would like. And, my grandmother who lives in Florida, my brother's new wife and our new baby girl all added to our usually small family gathering. For the last four years it's actually grown, since my sister or I have had a baby for each of the last four years.

I also wanted to share with you a bit about the NICU stay and how God really used it as a faith builder for us. It was a very traumatic time for me, I think because it was so unexpected. The first couple of days I was just devestated and crying all the time, but as the days wore on, I was able to get myself back together and started to be a little less emotional and much more rational. So, I developed friendships with all of Anna's caretakers, and found they were pretty much all believers. It was amazing to have them there and be so supportive, and talk to them about God as well. Really, it seems small, but what a blessing!

On Friday I started praying that I would be able to hold Anna on Saturday. She had been being fed through a tube and they did not want to overstimulate her, so I couldn't hold her or breastfeed her. My only contact with her was changing her diapers, which meant everything to me because I just wanted some bit of normalcy with my new baby. So, most of the day on Saturday went well, but by the end of the day I was in tears so the nurse asked me why. I told her I just wanted to hold my baby and she agreed to it and then talked to the nurse practioner who said they wanted to increase her fluids so they were taking out the IV so I could try and breastfeed. I had been pumping with great success, which was a blessing in itself since it took 10 days for my milk to come in with Lilla. My milk came in in abundance this time and as soon as I put Anna on the breast she latched on and hasn't let up since!

On Saturday I started praying that on Sunday she would be weaned off the air they were giving her through her nose. It did not contain O2, it was room air, but they were using it to expand her lungs to try to get the fluid out. Don't you know, when I came back after getting a shower on Sunday, there was no tube in her nose. It was fabulous to see her face! Her bilirubin count, she's a bit jaundiced, had gone down dramatically too! And then, they started talking about us going home in the next few days.

So, on Sunday, I started praying we would go home on Monday. When the doctor told Michael, that was the plan, I could have cried! So when Monday came around I didn't let myself believe it as the nurses were cautious to not give us hope until the doctor had for sure cleared Anna. Then the nurse suddenly came in and said, "You're going home today!" and that was the best blessing of all!

Oh, this post has gotten out of hand long...and the munchkin is stirring so I will just say I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that your new year is filled with extra special blessings too!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Just wanted to say...


They let us go a little after noon today and not a moment too soon. We are so thankful for all the prayers from family, friends, strangers, churches and bloggers that we know surely touched the heart of God for our daughter this last week. Talk about a faith builder! I want to send each of you that prayed for us a sincere thank you, you will never know what it meant to us to be so bathed in prayer in such a hard time.

I'll write more tomorrow but am going to try to get a little shut eye before my little eater wakes again!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt - WIDE

Theme: WIDE

This was me one week ago today, about as wide as I've ever been! I am considerably smaller now, and unfortunately, watching my 5 day old baby in the NICU as I write, but she is getting a little stronger every day! And hopefully the next wide thing I'll be posting is my smile when I take her home!

To see more photos with a wide theme or to participate too, go to

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm hurting

So the last few days have been very painful for me. On Tuesday Anna was born and everything seemed perfectly normal, I got to spend all day with her, she was doing great breastfeeding, everyone visited and it was just great.

Wednesday afternoon came and they were talking about releasing us the next day as everything was so great. Suddenly I noticed she was breathing very heavily so I called the nurse and she took her to check her out. Before I knew what was happening they took her down to the NICU and hooked her up to everything. They thought she may have some fluid on her lungs or pneumonia or an infection so they ran all kinds of tests and put her on antibiotics "just in case". They were convinced she would be better by Friday. Well, guess what, Friday is here and there is no change. She is still breathing very heavily, her oxygen level keeps going up and down and she is just not well.

They think she probably has pneumonia, but aren't sure and will be doing another x-ray at 11. They have no idea when she can go home, probably not for at least another week, and she is hooked up to every tube and machine you can think of, besides a ventilator. That may be coming if she keeps breathing like this. She is just wearing her little body out.

I am so scared and troubled by all of this, my heart is breaking and I can't stop crying. They say it's not fatal and she is not terribly off, but they can't give me anything conclusive of what it could be or when she might get better. It's very frustrating and troubling all at the same time.

Please be in prayer for our family, that we will have peace in this situation, that God will work in mighty ways to protect and heal our little Anna and that God would ultimately be glorified in all we do and say here.

Thank you friends,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The very best Christmas present!

Just a few pics because I can't download anymore since I'm hooked up to machines and can't reach the camera or thingy that downloads...tomorrow I'll post more!

Oh, and her stats...

Name: Anna Noelle
Size: 19 inches
Weight: 7lbs, 12 oz
Time: 9:34am
Hair: Little bitty very blonde curls!
Eyes: Dark right now, I have a good feeling they will be blue though!
Long fingers and toes, a good eater (breastfeeding) once she starts and sweet little baby cries!
The c-section went wonderfully, they said that's the best it gets, so smooth! Now I'm just in a bit of pain in my back and my stomach, so they are just trying to get it under control. Very normal stuff though so I'm not too worried about it. are the pics...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

That belly shot

I just took this picture on Auto and the camera was a bit low so it's not the best, not to mention my hair is wet from the shower, but I wanted to get in one more belly shot before Anna comes on Tuesday. So here I am in all my big belly glory...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Good Theology

The peanut and I have been talking a lot about the nativity lately. I tell her about Jesus, his birth and his family. As we get closer to Christmas I hope she will have a better understanding of the real celebration, rather than the man made one.

Anyway, I was quizzing her the other day on what she has learned and here's how the conversation went...

Me: Who is Jesus' mom?

Peanut: Mary

Me: Who is Jesus' dad?

Peanut: God

I was looking for Joseph, but I must say, that is pretty good theology for a 2 1/2 year old!! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Great Places to Donate Money This Holiday Season!

This time of year seems to bring a lot of generosity for some people, and some are often looking for good organizations to donate to. Here is a list of some of our favorites!

1. Your local church. I don't know about you but we go to a very small country church that could always use donations. I've never heard of a church that didn't though!

2. The Salvation Army. So conveniently located in every Wal-Mart and other fine store. Just listen for the sound of bells!

3. Goodwill. They help people with developmental disabilities find jobs. Even your old stuff can help make this organization run!

4. Helping Hands. Our organization or choice this year, that provides chickens, goats and wells to impoverished nations.

5. Word of Life. A Christian youth organization that has summer youth camps around the world, providing low or no cost camps for kids! (Our fave is the one in Hungary!)

6. Mental Health America. This is an organization that promotes knowledge of Mental Health issues and helps those with MI's to better their lives with education, employment and housing. (This was where I worked in my pre-momma days!)

7. Make a Wish. Does this organization need an explanation? Pretty much everyone is familiar with it and it just keeps getting better with how it helps kids in not so good situations!

8. Habitat for Humanity. Seriously, can you go wrong with helping people have homes?

9. Your local foodbank. They could always use more food and monetary donations!

10. Your local homeless shelter. You can give monetary donations or the gift of time this Christmas!

11. Your local humane society. Gifts of dog/cat food donations or monetary donations are always appreciated. They can usually use volunteers to help with the animals or clean up as well!

12. Your favorite missionary. Most missionaries are seriously just barely making it as they are paid next to nothing. Why not give them an extra Christmas present this year?

13. FAME. FAME is an organization that provides medications around the world to people who otherwise would not have had it, while spreading the love of Christ.

I hope I have been able to give you some good ideas for donations this Christmas season. What are some of your favorite places to donate?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

10 Smile Tuesday

I'm going to try to get this one in just under the gun today. It's already 11 pm and I have an early doctor's appt. so I'll make it quick with no pictures. Maybe I'll post some tomorrow...

Anyway, a quick 10 smiles for you...

1. One week. Just one week. One week from today I will be holding sweet Anna in my arms. Yeah, that smile can't really be beat!

2. Bolt. We went and saw this with some friends today and it was really cute. The peanut just loved going to the movies and seeing something on the big screen. She's fascinated!

3. Playdate. This morning a couple of my friends came over and the girl's got to play for several hours while we chatted. Since I've been so tired lately due to the end being so near we haven't gotten out much, so it was fun to have friends over for me and for the peanut!

4. Friday. Last Friday night I went to a friend's house for pizza and fellowship with her and another girl. It was crazy with 9 little girls in the house, but oh, they had fun and we did too!

5. Superbaby. When the peanut goes to this particular friends house (who has kids ages 4, 8 and 11) she loves to have this particular baby blanket tied around her neck and she runs around the house with the girls in pursuit yelling, "Superbaby!!" It's seriously funny!!

6. Sugar cookies. My husband always makes sugar cookies for his employees this time of year, and this time I was of little help as my ankles are huge at this point! So, all day Sunday I got to lay in bed while I brought me the broken ones...mmm, they were good!!

7. Sweet gifts. Having a 2nd baby is so different from the first. No showers or any poo poohing like the first time. So, I was so sweetly surprised when my friend brought over these adorable little Christmas outfits today as gift to Anna. So sweet! And, a beautiful white blanket too!

8. MOPS. (Mothers of Preschoolers) Our last MOPS of the year was this last Friday and we had such a nice time learning to decorate cheap chick. Who doesn't love cheap decorating ideas? Good stuff!

9. MOPS Dinner. Saturday night we had our annual MOPS dinner for our MOPS moms and significant others. Good food, good fellowship and a great speaker! You gotta love this program!

10. Lights. The peanut has been getting so excited over the Christmas lights that she sees as we are out and about. She says, "I don't have any on my house..." in a very sad tone. I totally wanted to do it just for her, but this year, due to the baby we are pretty low key. Oh, but she loves it so much...ah, to see Christmas through the eyes of a 2 year old. It's just the best!

What are you smiling about today?

Friday, December 05, 2008

All I Want For Christmas

Every year at Christmas my parents really prefer us to donate money rather than getting them anther useless gadget, shirt or toy. I try to change the organization every year just for that element of surprise, but I think I found one this year I want to stick with. The organization is called Hands of Hope. You may have heard of it before. Donations can go to buying chickens, goats or wells for needy people in impoverished nations. I had actually heard of this before, I had just not done any research on it until now. I am so impressed that so little money is able to help so many people, it just makes me happy to take part in it!! I think this will be my parent's favorite donation yet!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ten Smile Tuesday...ah, a little late

So, this is a bit late, but better late than never right? I must be in nesting mode right now because I've had very few minutes to just sit down and spend time to write such a long post it seems. I am absolutely huge right now too, which is funny that I'm waddling around cleaning and shopping and calling...just busyness when I've got one heavy belly right now! Sorry no pictures of it. I keep meaning to take pics, but it's just one of those things I keep saying I'll do and never get around to. Which, for posterity, is too bad. I really want a picture of the peanut kissing my belly too...ah, I need to do that today!!

So anyway...on the smiles...

1. Teeny weeny clothes. So I finally got the baby clothes back from my sister last week, and I can hardly believe how small they are! I got the clothes up to about 9 months and whew, I've spent some time doing laundry this week. Folding all these little clothes just makes me, she is close! Only 13 more days and I'll be the parent to 2 little, life is about to change forever!

2. Cuddle time. Lilla has been particularly cuddly lately. I'm not sure if she's trying to soak up the last moments of being an only or what, but she has just wanted to love and kiss and cuddle under the blankets a whole lot more than usual...and this mommy loves every minute of it!

3. Craft time. The peanut has been loving doing crafts lately. She totally takes after me with that. Just about every day you can hear her saying, "I do craft, craft, craft!!" So I've been thinking of little things to do here and there. She has so much fun creating, it's awesome!

3. Speaking of crafts, my sister-in-law, Amy, always likes to have a craft for the kids to do at family events and this was the one for Thanksgiving. An ornament that they got to choose what rub ons to put on it.

4. Interesting. At Thanksgiving dinner at Michael's parents, everyone drinks out of wine glasses, which Lilla found so fascinating. She just kept picking it up and looking at the blue stem through the glass, so wonderful to watch her make new discoveries and just to learn!
5. Little painted toes. So I was painting my toes the other day and the peanut was so fascinated by it that I just had to do her too. Oh, my gosh, have I enjoyed looking at those little red toes ever since!

6. Snow. Although we've only had a dusting of it, the peanut is so fascinated by it, I just love seeing it! She woke up yesterday morning and all I could hear upstairs was her calling down to me, "Snow, snow, snow!!" Oh, she is so excited to get to make snow angels. We've not had nearly enough snow for that, but oh, how excited she will be when we do!

7. A visit to the man in red. We were at the mall the other day and saw the big guy, but do you know how much it was to get a picture? $16!! That is crazy, and they strictly enforce not taking your own pictures. What a racket! So, we were at Wal-Mart a little later and they he was again! So she hopped up on his lap and told him her Christmas wish...her very own camera! (She is her mother's daughter!)
8. These tights...are they not adorable? Seriously, I can't get enough of them! She's worn them twice in the last week because I am such a sucker for it!

9. This picture...because,well, does it really need an explanantion?
10. Deals and steals. So every Black Friday we have to do at least a bit of shopping. This year we didn't see any fantastic deals, but did score a few items and got pretty much all of our shopping done in one day. I actually only went to one store, Kohl's, to get one item. I picked it up and starting walking towards the front when I realized there were a lot of people just standing toward the back of the store...holy cow, it was the line!! So, I put down the item and walked out. 45 minutes was just way too long for this big prego to stand for a bit of a discount! We did score the aforementioned Little Tikes camera for $20 and a GPS for $96 though, which are usually significantly higher a bunch of other items, so we were still satisfied. How did you all do?

11. Oh, and a bonus. Last week we went over to my friend Shelly's where we baked lots of cookies, laughed hysterically and watched the Charlie Brown specials all cuddled up in the living room with each other. It was just one of those sweet times that you always want to remember.

12. And one I mentioned in the last post, I won a gift certificate for $50 for a new ring sling. I so wanted one but didn't want to pay that much for it...oh, what a blessing!!

So those are just some of the smiles from the past week...what are you smiling about?

Monday, December 01, 2008

You could be a winner...

I think I told you all before that one of my preparations for the new baby was buying a sling. Well, I did find someone at a craft show who made them for super was like $20. And it's really cute too! Chocolate and pink, love it! But, she only makes pouch slings and I really wanted a ring sling too, but this time of year money is tight and I was finding it so super hard to spend that much on myself. I don't have to! I just won a $50 gift card from a local store here in Indy...Beanababy. They make slings and wraps and tutus and t-shirts...all kinds of great stuff for your little ones.

And, they are holding a Christmas giveaway for all the days leading up to Christmas with all kinds of prizes. Go there and check them out, and sign up for their drawing. You could be a winner too!!

Oh sweet justice

On Saturday morning we were up and getting ready to go and do some errands including a little Christmas shopping. I had just gone through all of the baby clothes my sister had returned to me (this is now going on a 4th child for many of them) and realized how not good they looked. The fronts were all yellow and stained and they just looked ratty. As I am a little anal on having a new baby in perfectly clean clothes, I knew I wouldn't be able to put these particular clothes on Anna. So, I spoke to my husband and said, "We need to go buy Anna some new things...where is that Children's Place coupon I just got in the mail? It was 20% off the entire purchase."

My sweet and loving husband then guilty replied, "You mean the one on the stairs? Um, I accidently tore that up with the rest of the mail."

Clearly I reacted as any respectable wife would, "Are you insane? Why would you do that? It's like throwing away free money..." Oh yes, it didn't end there. I really let my poor hubby know how incredibly irritated I was and disappointed in the whole situation.

He then brought the ripped up coupons downstairs and said, "It's ok, we'll just tape them back together." Now mind you, they were not ripped on the bar codes, but I was just convinced that they would never take them looking like that. So, as my pitiful husband tried to appease me, I continued the squawking rampage.

We then travelled to the mall, taped up coupons in hand and started to head to our destination. Along the way Michael saw Build a Bear and just knew the girl's really needed the matching mooses so he handed me the coupons, told me to go have fun, and took Lilla in for some fun of her own. I headed to the store and began my shopping excursion. I was there for about 1/2 hour picking out some darling newborn things that I just knew Anna would look gorgeous in, and also a Christmas present for my niece.

I'm then headed to the register when I realize...the coupon is gone. I start searching my purse, the clothes, under the racks... All I can think is, "God sure has a sense of humor here and I think I know who he's out to humble today." So, I call my husband tell him what happened and he says they are nearly done and will start heading that way. He comes in the store and, the very embaressed and humbled me has no way to react besides a big old apology. He laughingly replies, "Well, I just wish God could teach us lessons and give us the coupon too." He's funny.

And then, he prays that God will show him where it's at. And don't you know...there it was, among the stretch pants and tunics, right where I would have put it down. And, as we walked out the door after making our grand purchase that included the 20% off coupon, I think we saw my pride laying on the floor...