Sunday, January 31, 2010
On Wednesday, June 18, 2008, I found out, that I was, somehow, amazingly, miraculously, pregnant. Eight weeks pregnant we would discover when my husband did an ultrasound on me upon my return to Eglin AFB. Eight weeks pregnant with a six WEEK old son.
I doubt I have to recap for any of you all out there what a true miracle this was. Three clomid cycles. Five IUI cycles. Four IVF cycles. Twelve negative attempts at a minimum. And suddenly, the biggest surprise of our lives. Something we never saw coming.
We were thrilled when we found out that Elijah was a boy. Thrilled because we thought it would be wonderful to have two little guys of the same sex if they were going to be that close together.
And somehow, today, he turns one. Everyone tells you that time goes by fast. I know that. I believe that. It's just so amazing that the days can feel so long sometimes but the months zip by so fast.
Here is a highlight of where Elijah is at one:
- Making signs for "more" and "all done". We have been working on "please" and "milk" but nothing happening there yet.
- Seems to be saying the word "Ma-ma", "Da-da", "sock", and "ball" but we can't be sure.
- Says "uh-oh" regularly.
- Will run to Isaac's room when we say: "Let's go get Isaac (up from his nap.)"
- Will run to the door where we take a bath when we say let's take a bath. Same thing for brushing teeth.
- Will touch head when you ask him where his head or hair is.
- Plays peek-a-boo.
- Loves to be chased.
- Loves snuggles of all sorts. Will climb up onto your lap just for a hug and then climb back down.
- Uses his pincher fingers well now.
- Brings us books to read. If we don't see him and walk away, he'll throw the book as if to say "Well forget it."
- Has recently entered stranger anxiety stage. Does not want to be separated from Mom for any length of time.
- Enjoys watching videos (when we let him.)
- Enjoys being outside.
- Loves toys he can hold in his hands and transfer to his mouth. His favorites are his hammer, rolling pin, and his little tool bench "pegs."
- Is unbelievably curious. Have a lightsocket, drawer, cup, dish, anything that you don't want him to find in a room. He'll find it and come walking in holding his conquest high above his head.
- Not too interested in getting in the stroller or carseat, but once in will accept his fate.
- Is a bit more interested in Mommy than Daddy (unlike Isaac who was definitely the other way around.)
- Will eat non-stop. Loves food. We have yet to find anything he just doesn't like.
- Likes Scrubs to lick him. Likes to give Scrubs kisses. Likes to play tug with Scrubs.
- Loves to take food and just smash it to smitherines.
- Will turn toward "Da-da" and "Mommy" and "Isaac" you say their name.
Answer? Your pizza hands leave your face looking like this:
Question 2. What happens when your name is Elijah and you are a bruiser and you do everything with tremendous gusto?
Answer? You get your first shiner. (as indicated in the picture below.)
P.S. Yes, it is Elijah's birthday today! Stay tuned for his birthday post!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
At some point, Isaac fell and scraped his knee. It was bleeding almost immediately. I remember my little boy looking up at me and then JB with shock on his face. He then ran to JB, tears filling up his little blue eyes with his arms outstretched. John quickly scooped him up and held him in his arms as Isaac's tears eventually lessened. John's face was sad. He felt bad that his little boy was hurting. He wanted to make it better. But other than some kisses and maybe some Neosporin, he couldn't change the pain that had been inflicted.
In that moment, I saw God.
John did not cause Isaac to scrape his knee. He would have preferred wholeheartedly that it had not happened. But once it did happen, he was right there to hold his little boy. To grieve the pain with him. And in the end, something good would come of Isaac's scraped up knee. He would understand what happens when you aren't careful while playing on pavement. He would be wiser the next time and hopefully avoid the pain that was coming from his little body.
When I was going through infertility, I clung to one promise. I remembered Romans 8:28 ... "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Did God want me to go through infertility? No. Sin was in the world as a result, bad things happened to people. But while I was going through it he was holding me. He was blowing on my scraped up knee. He was putting Neosporin and a bandage on it and allowing me to cry in his arms.
My friend Nancy, our table leader at MOPs, is watching her father battle ALS. I cannot, possibly, fathom, the depth of pain and grief that is associated with watching someone you love live with this disease. I can understand grief. I can understand sadness. I can understand life not going the way you thought it would. And in that, I feel like I can relate to what Nancy is going through even though I can't come close to understanding it precisely.
When Isaac fell down that day, I pictured Nancy's father. I have never met him, but I know Nancy, and I can only imagine the sweet man who would help to raise such a beautiful hearted daughter. Nancy is quiet and sincere. She listens when you speak and takes the time to think of others and how they feel. She would meet me at the nursery to see if I needed help getting my two little boys into class. I am sure many of these characteristics were inherited from this man.
I pictured the Lord scooping Nancy's Dad into his arms. He did not want him to be living with ALS. And while I can't understand why Nancy's father is having to go through this, I do remember the Lord's promises. "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
In the case of Isaac, the scrape would remind him how to be more careful in the future. In the case of our infertility, that journey did so many good things for me. I could spend all day listing the positive things that came with it. However, despite so much positive, the grief and tears that were shed during those five years, cannot be measured. It was an incredibly sad time for JB and myself. Lots of crying. Lots of working with everything we had in us to not let it tear our marriage into shreds. Lots of questions and pain.
Lots of sitting in the Lord's arms.
I know that is where Nancy's Dad is right now. The Lord is holding him. The Lord is comforting him. He's holding Nancy and her mom and their entire family in his arms. And He will use this disease, a disease that sin brought into the world, for His glory.
I pray that if you are dealing with something like Nancy and her father, that the Lord wraps you in His arms today. And please, if you think of it, say a prayer for their family today. That the Lord would hold them even tighter in his strong arms and encourage them through this difficult journey.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Here is Elijah demonstrating his deep and intense love of macaroni and cheese. Okay, so honestly, he eats a lot of food like this. The kid just LOVES food of all kinds. Eating is by far his favorite thing to do. (JB wants me to make sure I put a note on the blog that he does NOT believe Elijah inherited this trait from him. Yeah right!)
They played with the boat for quite awhile. Loading things into it and climbing in and out of it. I got a good chuckle as Elijah tried to negotiate climbing into the boat. He wanted to do it standing up but he just couldn't hike his leg high enough to get over the edge. So he ultimately got on his hands and knees to make his entrance into the boat.
The problem is, the boat can be turned upside down. And Elijah can now climb on things that are on an appropriate height. He is nearly able to get onto the couch now. This scares me though. Elijah currently has no idea how to get down off of things. He often falls face first in his attempt to defy gravity. We have tried to teach him "feet first" but he is not showing signs of understanding this, at least not as rapidly as we would like him to understand.
An example is illustrated nearly perfectly by the pictures below. I found Elijah standing on the bottom of the "boat" and grabbed my camera.
Just as I snapped picture one (above), JB said to me: "I'm not sure that is a good idea." I agreed with him and snapped the camera one more time as I stood up, preparing to remove Elijah from the boat. However, that last picture caught the moment that Elijah fell:
It's hard to see from this photo, but this fall is actually going to be much worse than it initially appears. Elijah's left foot is not firmly planted and is going to roll and he is going to get up sobbing and limping. He was okay, but he did look up at me as if to say: Why were you taking a picture and not catching me.
Sorry Elijah boy.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
So let's hear it folks. What would you eat every meal for one week?
I try to refrain from saying: "Aren't they/he cute?" as much as I can. What do you say when someone asks you that anyways? What if you don't think their kid is cute? Is there really any way you could say: "No I don't think they really are."
Side note: I've heard people say that all babies are cute. JB disagrees. He says he has definitely seen some not-cute babies, and he thinks that anyone who says they are all cute hasn't seen enough of them. Ha!
Anyways, I do try to refrain. But I figure writing it on the blog is okay. I'm not actually putting anyone on the spot. If you don't think they are cute, you can just click off my blog and go about your day. You don't have to put a comment agreeing with me. (But if you do agree, I sure don't mind if you comment and tell me so.)
Okay, so here is my lack of refrain: my little guys were so cute this morning!! Poor little guys got way too many kisses from me between getting up and getting to "shurch." I even managed to take a few pictures in their vests, and as usual, didn't even try to get them both looking at the camera.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Isaac was quite a trooper. We took his shirt off and he sat on my lap facing me. He then got three pricks in the back. He didn't cry, just sat there and played with me for the next four minutes. They said it would be twenty minutes, but when they checked on him at the four minute mark, they said that the allergy was already quite pronounced. Well, at least I didn't have to try to entertain him without him rubbing his itchy back on anything for sixteen more minutes.
When the doctor came in to do the heart, ears, mouth, etc. tests, Isaac stood in front of him. He let the doctor test away. He never really cried but his eyes were filled with tears and his lip pushed out in a pout the whole time. Despite that he wanted to stand and not sit on my lap and allowed the doctor to poke and prod willingly -- while stifling his cry the whole time. It was very sweet to see him trying to be tough.
The plan? Avoid all foods which even contain egg for two years. At that point, retest. If still allergic, two more years. Apparently the vast majority of children outgrow this allergy by the four year mark. They gave me some paperwork at the allergist regarding things I can use to substitute for eggs in cakes and such. And they also sad that we need to carry two epi-pens and some benadryl with us everywhere.
I need to do a lot of research on what he can and cannot eat and what I can use instead of eggs. You know, things like that. But thankfully, the FDA now requires that all products include on their food label the actual word "eggs" and not some derivation of it. This is helpful. I just looked on a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese label. Apparently it contains wheat and milk but not eggs. Cool!
So that's that . . . thanks to Andrea for watching my very clingy (to me) Elijah while Isaac and I were doing something "special"* together. We also had a nice lunch together before the appointment as well. Apparently this allergist traditionally runs late so they advised me to take the first appointment after lunch in hopes I wouldn't have to wait with a 20 month old for two hours like I did last time!
*P.S. "Special" is one of Isaac's new words in addition to "awesome" and "honey." ;)
(Speaking of that, remind to tell you the story of when JB and I were dating and I had a black eye. We convinced his mother that he punched me in the eye. That wasn't a funny joke.)
This black eye isn't incredibly noticeable. Probably not to anyone but me. But it's there. And it's definitely blue. From my cheekbone to my eyelid.
I wish I had some very cool story to share with you in regards to my black eye. How I did something heroic or exciting or something just very cool.
But alas, my black eye is simply the result of having a very strong dog.
Two days ago Scrubs and I were playing in the backyard while the boys napped. I had a ball and we were playing fetch. Unfortunately I zigged when Scrubs zagged and the top of his head hit me in the cheekbone.
It made me instantly think: Those fights in the movies are so fake. One hit and someone would be knocked out. They can't take this over and over and over again.
One hit for me and I was on the verge of passing out.
I stumbled into the house with Scrubs wondering what the big fuss was about. I was literally seeing stars and couldn't even touch my face. Needless to say, that didn't help my migraines any. I could tell it was swollen -- just a bit puffy. And now, two days later, a bit black and blue.
Scrubs, however, didn't seem fazed by the incident even one bit.
Told you he was hard headed!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Here's a few passages that ministered to me during my devotional time today:
"When I look at my heart, I see all the spiritual features that identify who I am. My heart reflects my character, my thoughts, my desires, my emotions, my motivations, and the decisions I make. My face speak of who I am physically just as my heart speaks of who I am spiritually. My words merely give an external voice to the internal speech of my heart.
The image that comes to my mind is the water gurgling up from various underground mineral springs in the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains, our summer vacation spot. The water normally stays hidden underground, as part of the water table. But in certain areas it bubbles to the surface and overflows. In each case, the overflow reveals what is hidden. The water comes up hot, cold, or stained depending on conditions below the surface. Our hearts represent the ground from our words spring (Proverbs 4:25)."
I hope to continue to share various things that I am learning during this study so that you can benefit from it as well.
Today I went to MOPs. I am enjoying it more and more every week. The opportunity to be with other women in the same place as I am in my life seems to become more and more important to me the older my boys gets. I feel I need growing support.
At the same time, my heart has really been pricked to the fact that just two years ago, this group was not somewhere I could have been. I would have found so much of it painful. So many things too difficult to bear. I attended yet another baby shower this past weekend. What a wonderful time hanging out with fellow women, some mothers and some not. But how hard it would be to go if I were still barren.
I am also reading the Firstborn series of Karen Kingsbury's books. In it, the topic of singleness is discussed in detail. That longing for a mate. The wonder concerning whether it will ever be your turn? Will you be left behind?
I believe there are moments in life where being single is okay. A certain age bracket. But once you leave that age bracket, you find yourself feeling like you no longer fit in. Everyone who is your age has moved into marriage. Those of you who have shared this pain with me, know exactly what I am talking about. I am sure the rest of you can at least imagine it.
The same goes for infertility. There is a period where being married without children is expected and accepted. You have many friends who do not have children. And you fit in just fine. But one by one, all of your friends are having children. And then they are having their second and third child. And you aren't there. And as a result, you feel different. You feel like you don't fit in. When I sit around with women at MOPs, my friends in wifia, or I attend a baby shower, I am reminded how much these activities would be necessary and yet painful. I would need to attend because I wanted to have girlfriends. I needed friends. But they were all moms. And I wasn't. And that, in and of itself, hurt.
As a result, I was forced to ask those who loved me to "edit" their discussions. Please avoid certain conversations if you could when you are around me. Please act this way. Please do this. I don't regret asking for these things. I needed to ask for them in order to be able to function properly. But so much was so painful. I have realized how much people loved me to help me in the way that they did during those years.
Recently, my heart has been pricked to what I can do with this weight I will always carry with me. I was speaking to a gal I am friends with who recently found out she was pregnant after a journey through a year of infertility. How does she transition? It's difficult. She will, forever, have her heart pricked toward the world of the barren. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is something I am glad that I have had pricked. I am glad I carry this weight. I am so much more aware of those that are different than I am. Of those that are hurting. Of those that might be pained by something I say or share. I am thankful for that constant reminder.
And I really want to try to "give" some of my "pricking" to those who have never been pricked. The Lord has been laying on my heart the desire to share with "non-infertiles" how they can help those they love maneuver through this difficult valley. What can they say? What can they do? I have already done a post on this in the past but I want to do more. I am not sure where the Lord will take this. A book? Speaking? Or just continuing to help via email and phone. I don't know, but I am trying to be cognisant of the Lord's leading.
Thank you to all of you out there who have contacted me to say that a past post helped you -- either in dealing with infertility or supporting someone who was going through. Or to ask me what you should say to someone you know. How you can support them. Thank you to those of you who have met infertility head-on and shared your journey with me. Many people feel guilty. They feel guilty sharing their pain when it is only a year old and mine was five years old. PLEASE do not feel guilty. Please share. This helps make me feel that those five years were worth something. That I went through them for a reason.
Elijah will be one year old in just a few days. I have no idea at which point I crossed over from one world to the next. John saw a patient the other day dealing with infertility, and, as he usually does, he shared his story. He came home and looked at Elijah. How did he get here? How, after all of the money and tears and months and months and months, did this little boy get here? We know of course. But it doesn't feel real.
The journey was so hard. And now it is over. And somehow, I want it to continue. Not that journey specifically but the journey through helping others heal and help. Please pray for the Lord to use my life in the way HE has intended. I look forward to watching him move.
They have decided to start a fundraiser. They are selling t-shirts for adoption. It is their hope that this fundraiser will pay for their adoption, and then, ultimately, help other couples after their own adoption is paid for.
Please take a moment to visit their website. And please consider buying a t-shirt. Remember, the t-shirt is just a symbol of what they are trying to do. They are hoping to bring a baby home. They need to sell 1,000 t-shirts for their own adoption.
If you have a blog, please consider posting a link to this and sharing it with everyone you know.
Here is the website: GIVEAKIDHOPE
Thank you for considering this!
Monday, January 25, 2010
In completely unrelated news, in addition to experiencing a headache free day, I also learned something new today. I learned that I cannot take a shower while Elijah is awake. At least not while I let him have the run of the house. Today, for the first time, I attempted to take a shower while both boys were up. I have often done this while Isaac is awake but never before while Elijah was awake as well. I didn't plan to try this, but we needed to go to the grocery store, and I needed a shower, and there was no nap planned before the trip to the grocery store. So, I took a deep breath, and then I shut the gate to the kitchen and all the doors in the hallway. That left, well, nothing, technically, that they could get into. I then left the door to the bathroom open and climbed into the shower.
Isaac did as he normally does. Brought a car into the bathroom and went to driving it over all of the cool new surfaces. Elijah, however, didn't take to the idea of me "leaving him" as fondly. He was utterly devastated that I would shut him out of my world. By the time the shower was over, he was completely soaked from continuing to open up to the curtain and stick his head in. I tried, without success, to keep the shower liner plastered against the shower wall. But it's hard to wash your hair while you are trying to keep a curtain from being opened. (Try it some time! Virtually impossible I say!) Needless to say, that strong little goober still managed to weasel his way through. He cried, sobbed actually, while he totally doused himself with water for the duration of my (very short) shower.
From now on, I'll keep my showers limited to his nap times. Or I'll put him in his bed.
Hey. You can't blame a girl for trying.
Elijah sobbed another time today too. That's when I ran the vacuum. Unfortunately, his "minor fear" of the machine has turned into a terrified disdain. I think it all started last week while I was vacuuming and went over a rug. One of the fibers in the rug caught the bottom of the vacuum and the entire machine shuddered with incredible ferocity until I could unwind the string from the vacuum. By the time I had separated the vacuum from the rug, Elijah was beside himself, and I had to hold him during the rest of my cleaning.
Over the weekend, I tried to vacuum while he awake and he lost it. I did a quick job and quickly put the vacuum away. I thought enough time had gone by for me to try again today. Terrible sobs resulted. I brought him into the the kitchen where JB was talking on the phone, but the sobbing continued from John's lap. I guess I am going to have to try and vacuum while he is napping too!
This is going to make for a busy nap time.
Transitioning again to naps, I have decided that I am done, completely done, trying to plan when and how the boys will nap. Today, my short napper, Elijah, took two naps, both two hours a piece. And today, my dutiful napper Isaac, who always takes a 2-3 hour nap, sat in his crib and talked for an hour and a half. When I went in there, he was having a merry time with all of his animals and quickly reached out his arms and said, "Out pease." So much for napping.
I'll end this post by recommending the movie Up. What a sweet film. Not really a kids movie in my opinion. But a great little date movie for JB and I last night. I really enjoyed it.
Off the bed! Night all!
Isaac has had his own cheerio butt after a meal a time or two. We've just never captured it on film.
So the boys are alike in many ways. But also different in so many ways at the same time.
Last night when I got back from the shower I attended, I witnessed a perfect example of how different my boys are. I took my shoes off by the back door. Normally, we put them on top of Scrubs' kennel immediately (so Elijah does not eat them) and then later move them to our shoe closet. But anxious to see my little men, I just set them down on the floor and left them there.
Ten minutes later, after we were done reuniting, I wandered into the kitchen to get a glass of water. The boys followed me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Elijah grabbing my shoes and taking turns walking around the kitchen with each of them. Out of my other eye, I see Isaac take the shoe from Elijah and say "no-no" and put the shoe where it goes on top of the kennel.
This is totally typical of how they are. Elijah finding the trouble and Isaac attempting to stop it. Both behaviors are amazingly cute (even if Elijah's is a bit frustrating.) Two days ago, I found Elijah going through the trash in the laundry room. Isaac was just standing there, leaning against the wall saying, "No-no" over and over again. I even think I could see behind his eyes an internal discussion revolving around how he could clean this up.
Another example. Yesterday morning I was in the guest room / library. I watched as Elijah took a book off the shelf. I told him no but had my hands full and couldn't put the book back. A few moments later I saw Isaac pick the book up and say, "Daddy's." Then he made a fervent attempt to put the book onto the shelf.
I am not comparing the boys in a negative sense. While Elijah is overly curious and therefore finds himself hearing the word "no" more often than Isaac, we know that these characteristics, if channeled appropriately, can become the core of who he is when he gets older. I can see Elijah being a scientist, studying bugs, something unique that other people would find boring.
I love them both so much -- my little Isaac and my little "cheerio butt."
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I love my boys. And I love JB. Thank you for being my absolute best friend. You are an amazing husband and father. Hard to believe I have been your girlfriend and wife for sixteen years! And every year is just better than the last. I love sweetheart!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Anyways, so that photo from Joia was taken on Friday when I decided to head to the Niceville Children's Park with the boys. I had an errand to run anyways and since the park is mostly matted, I thought it would be a good first-park-attempt for me. I've taken the boys to small parks where I can quickly move between them. But I have never taken them to a big park by myself.
Overall, it went well. Elijah still managed to find patches of grass that allowed him to do some eating. He has also learned how to climb onto things but really doesn't comprehend that gravity will work against him when it is time to work in reverse. This required me to run nearly full speed a few times to stop a downward tumble once an upward point was achieved. Elijah also found a nice older woman who agreed to let him share her bench swing.
Another time a man helped Isaac down from an apparatus while I was tending to Elijah. He told me that Isaac looked like he was going to jump from about six feet up. While I doubt that was true, it still bothered me that I wasn't there if this was a possibility. Isaac is always very cautious. He tackles everything but in a very slow and thoughtful manner. As a result, I find myself getting a little lax when watching him. In other words, I think I trust him too much.
But this park was completely fenced in and so I was able to observe pretty easily. It is still hard with two that really still need complete supervision. But I did pretty well. Especially with Joia there to help me. (Although Moriah (aka "the climber") was keeping Joia pretty busy herself.
As for our Saturday, we made an attempt to do our "special day for JB" again today, but things, once again, didn't work out completely as planned. Although we did get a bit closer to the reality of the concept this time. The idea was that JB would wake up, I would make breakfast, and he would have a few hours to totally lay around, read, play with the boys, whatever he wanted to do. Then we would go to dinner and a movie with Joia taking over our charges.
Unfortunately, while JB is on a pretty easy rotation (geriatrics) hours-wise, it requires him to be the "doctor-on-call" at the local retirement home. If there is a new patient that comes in at any point, he has to go and work up all the admissions for that patient. There was one last weekend. And there was one this morning. So off he went from 7am until we were ready to take the kids over to Philip's and Joia's at 11:30.
We dropped the boys off and headed to the movie. We saw Avatar. Folks, I am not really a sci-fi girl. I like some of stuff. I watched Star Trek growing up with my Dad and everything. But it's not really my thing when it gets right down to it.
That being said, I must recommend that all of you take the time (and the $10 bucks for a 3D movie) to see this movie in the theater. Waiting for it on video would be a big mistake. It is long. But it is, honestly, one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. Without much competition. It was absolutely fantastic.
I don't want to give anything away, but I do recommend that as you watch it, you keep in mind the parallels to what our people did to Native Americans. This is obviously an intended comparison.
Not only was it good, but it was relatively clean as well. JB and I agreed that we would allow our boys to see it when they were pre-teenager age. It is rated PG-13 for "intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking." However, I thought the language was a lot better than a movie like this usually lends itself to.
If you have never been to Focus on the Family's website, you need to take some time to browse it and see the resources they have available. It has detailed movie reviews for nearly any movie you can imagine. Check out Avatar's here. Keep in mind that this review is breaking down every tiny little thing. But it will bring up things you may have never thought of. I think it is a great thing to view before you allow yourself and especially your children to watch a movie.
Before I get off on a tangent about movie ratings which was not something I planned on doing when I started this blog, let me return to our day.
Unfortunately, that was the end to our "special day." I got a migraine about two-thirds of the way through the movie. (Not from the movie as some people have complained about with 3D movies.) I have been taking Zomig to successfully combat these migraines for quite a few months. However, recently, I've begun to have to take the Zomig everyday. There is a possibility therefore that I have developed a dependency to the Zomig (something that has happened to me in the past when I was doing IVF). So the idea is that I go off the Zomig cold turkey. We decided to do it today, a Saturday, since I would have JB around for two days to help with the boys if things got really bad.
During the movie, they got really bad. By the time we picked up the boys and reached the house, I was nearly debilitated. I stumbled into bed. I was able to take some Tylenol, Ibuprofin, and even some T3's throughout the afternoon, but not the Zomig that has been kicking by migraines each time. We are hopeful that it will only take a few days to get these migraines behind me. At least the rebound part of them, if that is indeed at play.
Let me end this blog by giving a big shout out to Scrubs who stayed out by himself again today. Good dog! This was his longest attempt yet at nearly five hours without any destruction or boredom indicated. Strong work Bubby!
Friday, January 22, 2010
My number one prayer for you, other that you grow up to be a man who loves the Lord, is that you grow up to be a man who knew how much he was wanted. By your birthmom. By your Daddy. By me.
I remember that after you were conceived, I asked the Lord why he did it this way. Why did he gave the baby to Bri and not me? If he knew that you were destined for our family anyways, why not just put you there from the start.
But God knows so much better. I look at your sweet smile, your tender heart, your kind voice. And I know those things are a perfect combination of the genes God destined that you be born with. I knew your birthmom when she was a very little one as well. She was passionate about her stuffed animals. Just like you are. She would sit in awe of her favorite Disney characters. Just like you. She loved taking baths and the water and was a good sleeper. Just like you. You are Isaac because God gave you to Bri. And you are our son because God gave you to us.
Now when I look back, I know that, given the chance to control what womb you were conceived in, I would ask the Lord to do it the same way. Because the combination of Chris and Bri gave me the perfect little boy. We marvel at your love of words and colors and shapes. We smile at your interest in buses and trucks. Our hearts overwhelm with happiness when we see you hug your brother or come, a bit knock-kneed, out of your room holding your "Bubby" in one arm and your "Bear" in the other. You think reading books is the reason the Lord put me in your life. When you cry your eyes fill up with tears for many seconds before you ever blink. You like fruits and vegetables and think meat is a wast of time. You look up every time you hear an airplane. You say "please (police)-man" every time we go through the gate. You give big kisses and 1-2-3 squeeze. You love to rub noses.
You, my little boy, are the little boy we always dreamed of. You fit into our family as perfectly as if you were physically born there. We are so blessed that God chose our home to be your home and that he gave a third family to you, your birth family, that love you just as much as we do. Some children don't have one family that loves them. But you have my family and your Daddy's family, and your birth family. Three sets of people that thing you hung the moon.
And speaking of the moon, that's one of your favorite books right now. The one about the moon.
Thank you for being our little boy. I wouldn't change one single thing about you Isaac John. Over two years ago we found out you were destined for our lives and nearly a year and a half ago we held you for the first time. Since that moment, we knew that the Lord took our lives in a certain direction with the plan all along that you would one day be a part of that. How blessed we are to be called "Daddy" and "Mommy" by you. We love you Baby Isaac.
You gave your Mommy quite a bit of trouble in the womb. What with that heartburn and nausea and kicking business. Then when you came out you decided to continue your goofy ways and wait nearly ten minutes to breathe on your own. Very funny little guy!
You are constantly leaving us in stitches. We watch you grunt and caw and giggle and can't help but smile. Your splashing in the tub. Your demolition of your food before eating it. Your ability to tear into the trash can in five seconds flat. Or the way, at the park, you skip all the toys and find a patch of grass to sit in and eat. Your silliness is so charming. And then in the same breath the way your bring us a book and snuggle up into our laps. And the way you will sit and snuggle on our shoulder for hours at a time. Cuddly and silly and funny all rolled up into one chubby little package.
One of our prayers for you is that you stay the gentle giant you exhibit each time you wake up in the morning. The little boy who towers over his friends but is as gentle with Scrubs and his brother as can be. We also pray that you never lose your sense of humor. (Although we do hope that your habit of closing your eyes when you cry and walking into walls doesn't stick with you like it has with your Mommy -- not the crying part but the running into walls part.) We hope that your simple passion for life is something that stays with you as you grow into the man we know God will help you be.
You think all food is delicious and you eat it with much gusto. We have not found a food you do not like. At least not yet anyways. We don't think it's funny that "more" was the second word you learned how to sign. You also think everything in this world was designed to be your toy. Everything. Mostly the things you would never think would be a toy for a baby. Toilet bowl cleaners, trash cans, dog toys, sticks, leaves, dirt, fuzz, drawers, doors, spoons, cups. You love it all. You love everything. Your curiosity is truly the thing that drives me the craziest. But it is the thing that I love the most.
We love watching you follow your brother around even though it sometimes drive him crazy. We pray that the two of you are bonded for life and that you grow up as the best of friends. We are so blessed by our two little boys. You were the perfect combination of an answer to prayer your Daddy and Mommy could have ever asked us for.
We will love you always little Elijah Boy.
Yesterday, the boys' found their way into Bubby's little howse (aka his kennel). Turned my back for a second and there they were, partying in Scrubby's little howse. Scrubs was standing outside the kennel just looking at me like "what are they doing in my kennel? Can't I have even one thing that is just mine?" Scrubs hasn't been using the kennel much anymore as he's been behaving quite well in the kitchen when we leave and not needing discipline much either. But it is still his.
Anyways, I snapped a few pictures of the event before shoo-ing them out of the laundry room yet again.
Isaac even said "Buh bye" and shut the gate on me.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Please note that I have not read all of these books. If I read them, they are starred. If you would like one of these books, please leave a comment (or send me an email). I will give them out on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is okay if I have to mail them. If I do them media mail it should only cost me a few dollars. If you feel bad about that, you can send me some chocolate some time as payback. (Although that may melt in the mail.)
Anyways, here is the list:
- Your Marriage Can Survive a Newborn (Glenn & Natalie Williams)*
- Empty Arms: Coping with Miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death (Sherokee Ilse) [small handout style book]
- Miscarriage: A Shattered Dream (Sherokee Ilse & Linda Hammer Burns) [small handout style book]
- When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden: Encouragement for Couples Facing Infertility (Glahn and Cutrer, MD)*
- PCOS: A Woman's Guide to Dealing with PCOS (Colette Harris & Dr Adam Carey)*
- The Infertility Companion: Hope and Help for Couples Facing Infertility (Glahn and Cutrer, MD) [I have two copies of this one]*
- Adopt the Baby You Want (Michael R. Sullivan with Susan Schultz)
- PCOS: A Woman's Guide to Dealing with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Colette Harris with Dr. Adam Carey)*
- PCOS and Your Fertility: (Colette Harris with Theresa Cheung)*
Also, I have "loaned out" or "given" my books to some of you already who read my blog. If you are no longer in need of these, please let me know and I will add them to my list. I can then decide if I would like them back or if they might be something you could send to someone else.
Often I take my hair and make-up stuff into the dining room and sit at the table. But today I opt. to do it in my bathroom. (You can determine the wisdom of this decision.) Elijah follows me in. Let me take you through just fort-five seconds of our encounter with Mommy's bathroom.
Elijah: (Reaches into bathtub for a toy. Nearly falls in.)
Mommy: No Elijah.
Elijah: (Has successfully pulled one toy from tub. Holds it up over his head and grunts in victory as he waddles into my bedroom to celebrate.)
Mommy: What did you find? What do you have?
Elijah: (Returns to the bathroom. Spots toilet paper roll. Drops toy. Reaches for toilet paper roll.)
Mommy: No-no Elijah.
Elijah: (Holds up finger and begins talking to it -- grunting at it -- debating with it -- thinking about reaching again but now knows warning has occurred and penalty will result.)
Mommy: Good listening Elijah!
Elijah: (Turns to toilet. Starts to make lunge for water. Mommy quickly shuts lid.)
Mommy: No-no Eljiah.
Elijah: (Turns to garbage can. Spots toilet bowl brush. Huge smile spreads across his face and his whole countenance screams: NEW TOY! NEW TOY!)
Mommy: No-no Elijah. (Mommy is attempting during entire encounter to advance her looks even slightly.)
Elijah: (Holds up finger and begins talking to it -- thinking about reaching again but remembers again that warning has occurred and penalty will result. Starts to reach. Debates. Decides against it.)
Wendi: Good listening Elijah boy!
Elijah: (Immediately turns to toilet again. Decides he has watched enough times and can now open the lid himself. Does so.)
Wendi: Woah. I didn't know you knew how to do that. No-no Elijah. (Shuts lid.)
Elijah: (Turns to cabinet door and contemplates opening it.)
Wendi: (Realizes this is a never-ending cycle.) Let's get out of here Elijah. Mommy is ready enough for today.
Elijah: (Lifts hands over head and goes running out of bathroom, through bedroom and slams bedroom door. On the monitor a new little voice can be heard. The slam has woken big brother. Elijah begins crying because he cannot open the door using the little stopper on the bottom because it is all the way closed. Big brother is crying because he wants to get up. Mommy is realizing that her hair will only look so-so this morning.)
Off to church!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Today ... I was thankful for beautiful weather. When we got back from Brittny's, Elijah went down for a nap, and Isaac played outside with Scrubs and myself in some gorgeous 65 degree weather. After Elijah's nap, the boys had a snack and we all went outside. I went for a run and then took the boys to the park. Isaac still hates the swings, but he is loving the slides lately. Elijah did not try to eat one piece of recycled tire today and also learned how to walk up the steps. He has, however, no concept, regarding how to get down. I am amazed each day at how different these two little men are. Isaac is cautious and tentative. Elijah has no fear at all and doesn't think before he goes.
Today ... I delighted in old-time favorites. After our run and park stop, I made perfect Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. You know when you get the noodles just right and the sauce is perfectly melted? It's delightful, isn't it? Isaac even asked for "mas" (more) and used the word "yummy" in conjunction with my cooking. Glorious.
Today ... I got even more organized. I have continued each day to make progress on my electronic saving of all my "stuff" project. I am so excited about my clean-sweeping. It is taking me awhile, but I am feeling such release from "stuff" as I scan these items into my computer and then throw them into the trash. Those of you who don't know me that well, might not know what an "anti-stuff" person I am. I just get stressed by clutter. So much so I'd prefer not to take out Christmas decorations because it feels to be too many things sitting around. So the idea of relinquishing even more clutter thrills me -- especially with our move in a few months. I can't wait for the day that I am caught up to present. This process will be fantastic as the boys grow up. I can just hang their pictures on the fridge for a time, then scan, then toss, keeping only the really sentimental things. I'm so excited! (Can you tell?!)
Today ... I giggled at the antics of my puppy. This morning we awoke from our slumber to find that Scrubs had relocated his nighttime location. Instead of sleeping in his bed in the kitchen, he came into our room and made himself comfy on the huge white down comforter and pillows we had piled up against the wall. (I have resorted, recently, to making our bed again because it makes the room feel nice. JB has agreed that I may participate in this activity if he has to play no part in it. He will not make nor unmake the bed. He believes this is wasted minutes.) Either way, tonight we plan to cover the white comfy stuff with a laundry basket so that our pup doesn't get them spotty like he is!
Today ... I thanked the Lord for simple pleasures. We played bubbles in the living room after lunch. Everyone loves this -- even Scrubs. It's become a daily activity. I still cannot believe this barren woman is playing bubbles in her living room with her two little boys. How did this happen?
Today ... I spent time with the Lord. I started working through my devotional book for my Thursday Bible Study. We are studying Conversation Peace: The Power of Transformed Speech by Mary A. Kassian. Here is a trivia question for anyone reading closely. I'll give you three numbers: 7%, 38%, and 55%. Now I'll give you three words: verbal, vocal, and visual. When we interact with others, the messages we send are made up of these three parts: verbal (the words we speak), vocal (the tone of our voice) and visual (our body language). How much weight do you think each part contributes to the overall message. Can you match the percentages with the word? (The answer is at the bottom of this post).
Today ... I relished in being a mom. Elijah is addicted to this hammer (captured in the picture above.) For some reason, I found that so cute. He likes a hammer. It's his favorite toy. All he has to worry about is his hammer. The innocence. The simplicity of childhood. Isaac and Elijah giggling as they raced their grocery cart down the hallway. Isaac sweetly telling Scrubs, "No-no-Bubby." Isaac asking me to "pease" fix the toy that has dead batteries. How do you explain to a 1.5 year old that you are out of batteries? Especially when he just keeps holding it up and rubbing his belly "pease" over and over again.
Today ... I learned from my mistakes. I tried to put the boys down in the same room to nap. Call it an experiment. I was hoping it would help Elijah sleep longer being in his own room and being with Isaac. I was hoping incorrectly. Not only did Elijah still wake up at about the same time, he woke up big brother with him. Scratch that idea. For awhile at least.
Today ... I considered taking out stock in dairy cows. Now that both boys are on milk, we are going through it at breakneck speed. We bought a gallon of whole milk on Monday evening when we went out as a family. As of tonight, Wednesday evening, the gallon is nearly gone. Forty-eight hours and we are done with it. Woah. Should I buy two gallons at a time?
Today ... I "delighted" in curiosities of childhood. It is so hard for me to properly paint a picture of my Elijah in words on this blog. He is not naughty (he's really still too young for that yet). He isn't even really "busy". He will sit and read books with you and snuggle with you for an hour at a time. It's just that he has such a knack for finding (or destroying) something you'd prefer he didn't without fail. If you set a glass of water down in the living room and try not to let him see that you did, he will immediately gravitate toward the cup -- as if there is something magnetic that draws him to it. Today he finally knocked the cover off the socket by my computer. He likes to push chairs around the kitchen and he just keeps knocking the chairs into this socket. Today, he knocked the last knock as evidenced by the picture above. He also managed to bring me his noise maker (which I had hidden behind the rocker in his room.) I have no idea how he got it or how he unplugged it. But, as usual, he and big brother came running out of their room with Elijah holding something and Isaac saying, "no-no-no 'Lijah." Elijah obviously didn't listen.
Today ... I thanked the Lord for carpet cleaner. Elijah got me this time. Right after bath. I chose to put Isaac's diaper on first as he has been the "diaperless-pee-er" in the past. Not this time. This time it was Elijah. The funny thing was, he'd pee for a bit, stop, and then get a kick out of it and start again. This caused my blocking attempts to prove fairly useless.
Today ... I am praying for a safe delivery for one of JB's patients. This is the gal that JB thought was going to deliver when Joni was here. As soon as he walked in the door at 6:00, his pager went off with a warning that it might be time. Forty-five minutes later his pager went off again. She was complete and ready to push! Needless to say, JB got out of our house in record time. I was handing him shoes and keys and he was in the car within about 2 minutes. He is still at the hospital now but hopefully he will make it home in time to get a decent night sleep.
Today ... I grieve with my husband. He lost a patient today. A young patient unexpectedly. Not only did it impact him but me as well. Life is so fragile. When will we we remember to treasure every day and remember the fragility of each breath?
Today ... I lost count of dirty diapers. What did my boys eat? I have no idea but somewhere about 5 dirty diapers each, I quit counting. Does melon do that? They did eat a lot of melon today. Whatever it was, it was the same stuff. Just trust me on that one.
Answer to quiz question: verbal (7%); vocal (38%); Visual (55%). This was very surprising to me but really made me understand why I don't like talking on the phone. So much of conversation is visual! And when on the phone, that is eliminated!
She has lost a significant bit of weight in the past and is successful each time she tries. This time, however, my Mom is not on a diet. She is on a "change of lifestyle." She has changed the way she is eating and plans to stick with this new formula for the rest of her life! As a result, she has lost 25 pounds and is looking great! And, even better, I know that this time she is going to stick with it.
Here is one of the last pictures I took with just me and my Mom. This was at JB's graduation in 2007. I think I need some new photos! Please excuse my paleness. It was May in Minnesota. We had just had a snowstorm a few weeks earlier.
***Don't forget to post your prayer requests and answers to prayer so we can continue holding you up in prayer.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Well, our van actually. But you get the idea.
JB and I have been trying to "give me more knowledge." If he were to get deployed (which technically could happen as early as this December), there are many things I do not know how to do. So, I have many things to learn. I am trying to learn them in bite-sized pieces.
Last week I gave the dog a bath in our shower. John always does this. I did it and did a mighty fine job if I do say so myself.
Today, I learned how to jump a car.
After leaving the door to our van open all night, I came to the realization when I went to go to the post office today, that my van was dead. Thank goodness Joia was there so I could use her's to run my errand.
Since I didn't have anywhere else to go before JB got home, I told Joia I'd just wait for John to get home and jump the van. So I did. When he got home I told him that the van was dead and he would need to jump it for me. John shook his head.
"What?" I said.
"I'm not jumping it," he said.
I rolled my eyes and continued scrubbing the kitchen counter. "Of course you are. I need to use it tomorrow."
"I know, but I am not going to jump it. You are."
"I know how to jump a car," I said, trying to convince myself that the one time I watched my neighbor do it for me when JB was out-of-town had been enough.
"Good," JB laughed as he scooped Elijah up onto his shoulders and headed out the side door. "Then you won't have any problem doing it this time."
I rolled my eyes again. (Although that's not important to the story.)
John stood by the side of the van and just observed me follow the directions on the jumper cable packaging. He said he would jump in before I shocked myself. He didn't have to jump in at all. I did it all by myself!
And the van now runs! Yay for me! Yay for one more thing scratched off my "I-need-to-know-how-to-do-this-for-when-JB-deploys" list.
In other news, I watched Keenan and Moriah for a couple of hours this morning. When Joia came back, she stayed at the house so I could run to the post office and library without having to bring the boys in. Then she stuck around and we had lunch together. I love that girl.
Keenan, as always, was cracking me up. Here were two of my favorites.
Keenan: Did you know I can skate on books?
Wendi: I did not know that.
Keenan: My Mommy says that it is not a good idea.
Wendi: Oh, then it might be best if you found something else to do.
Keenan: Yeah. I will. I prefer to read.
Unless I misheard him, the kid used the word prefer. Cracked me up.
And then later, while playing with his cars, Keenan, out-of-the-blue said: "I love my Mommy. She's my best girl."
How sweet is that?
I also told Isaac that I could give him some cheerios for breakfast. For some reason, Keenan thought I said turtles. He then asked me if he could have some turtles. "I don't have turtles," I said. "I only have cheerios."
"Oh," he started, obviously lost in deep thought. "Well then can I have some turtle cheerios."
I had to inform him I didn't have any of those either. :)
Monday, January 18, 2010
So we decided to take the boys to Tijuana Flats which I had been to but JB never had. A lot of my friends have told me (Sarah especially) that it was a good place to go with kiddos since it is so bright and colorful and family friendly. It totally was. The boys loved it. We loved it. And it was great to be out as a family together.
Afterwards, we did a quick Sams and Publix run for a few things we needed. Here's another thing I love about Publix. The other day when I went in, I bought a card for JB's birthday. But somehow, it didn't make it home with me. I don't know where it ended up. I went to the customer service representative in the store this evening and told him about the card. I asked him it they possibly found a card that had failed to make it to my cart. However, I also told him that I wasn't positive the error wasn't mine. I could have lost the card on the way to the car or on the way into my house. It didn't matter though. The guy said that if that happens, they restock the item and trust the customer. They let me pick up the same card for free! Pretty awesome! Of course JB was with us this time so it was a bit awkward that he could see his own birthday card. But still! How amazing is that service? I heart Publix. I really do. I really, really do.
Another great thing currently going on in our lives. Our dog is growing up. He is now, officially, staying in the kitchen and not in his kennel when we are out of the house. He has gone as many as 3-4 hours without any issues at all. This, to me, is amazing. I truly never thought Scrubs would be able to be out of his kennel without supervision, like, ever. But he's been doing flawlessly. Hopefully he keeps it up! I don't even move anything -- not the trash, not the stuff on the counters. I do make sure there aren't any of the boys' toys or any obvious food out, but otherwise, I just shut the door and go! Last week I even accidentally left the gate to the kitchen open and there wasn't a thing in the whole house out of order. Well, he did have a few of the boys' slippers piled up in the living room. But he hadn't eaten them or chewed them or anything. Whatta pup.
As for the boys, I need to do a whole post on all the things they are in to. Isaac is infatuated with his colors (he knows pink, blue, yellow, green, red, and is learning orange) and also shapes (he has triangle, square, circle, oval, and diamond down pat.) He loves to tell us what color something is or what shape it is. Nearly continually. Elijah is just as funny as ever. His curiosity and goofiness just leave us in stitches so often. Even though that part of his personality exhausts me, I just love that about him, and wouldn't change it for anything! He is doing the sign "all done" and starting to say uh-oh and da-da. He is such a fun, silly, snuggly kid.
That's that for us. Off to a new week!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
(At that point I probably rolled my eyes and blew a spout of air up at my bangs ... you know, that sort of thing.)
Today I was proud of myself. I avoided stinkin' thinkin' when I wanted nothing more than to wallow in my thinkin' ... however stinkin' it was.
About two weeks ago, I started working on a surprise day for JB. It was going to be my Christmas present to him. It would start in the early morning and go all the way through an evening out. I had found the babysitter (Philip & Joia!) and had everything planned.
Unfortunately, the hospital had other things planned. John was next up on "jeopardy call." This is a person that is called in when someone else can't be there due to illness or family emergency. He's been next on the list for quite some time. Since Thanksgiving I think. So we knew it could happen at any time. We also knew that he has a woman due to have a baby any day. I was prepared for the fact that the night may not happen.
Despite that, I was still bummed when jeopardy took effect this morning at 7:30am ... the same time our day was going to take effect. It will remain in effect until 7:30 tomorrow morning.
But I decided, and the Lord helped me, to see the positive. I had to fight to do this for a bit, but I was surprised at how naturally it came after just a brief period of working it. I had moments when I didn't want to see the good, but I really worked at it this time instead of allowing myself to wallow into extreme feelings of self pity. A few weeks back, a Sunday, when our plans to go to the aquarium were thwarted by a patient, I cried a bit. Today, nothing close.
So. What positive can I get out of this situation?
Firstly, the gentleman who got sick is a good friend of ours. He has been on a very rough rotation -- the rotation JB just concluded while Joan was here. Even though he is sick, I am thankful, I truly am, that his wife gets to have him around a bit. I love his wife. She's awesome. Even if my husband is sick, having him in the house is comforting. I'm glad that she has that comfort.
Secondly, John is getting his jeopardy over with at a time that really, it's okay. We can try to plan a day another time. His family isn't in town. We aren't in the middle of a play that cost $50 a person or something like that. We were just going to have a nice evening out. We can totally reschedule.
Thirdly, the boys have been playing especially well today -- both together and by themselves. I have therefore been able to get a ton of stuff done. I am feeling really great about my clean-sweeping. It's going awesome. You should see my closet! It's brilliant!
Fourthly, I reminded myself that John knew what residency would bring. We were prepared. And we chose to go through with it keeping the bigger picture in mind. Life is bigger than this one day. This is the road we have taken by choice. People need a doctor even when the doctor had plans. They need to be taken care of. I needed to be taken care of when I was in the hospital for a week after Elijah is born. Truly, these people need him more than I do.
So there you have it. My lack-o-stinkin'-thinkin'. Now please don't shove my face in this some day in the future when I get all frustrated and don't keep my thoughts as good as they are today. But today, I'm proud of myself for not getting too frustrated over a little thing.
Aren't you proud of me Dad? ;)