Saturday, May 31, 2008

First half of our weekend

Friday evening we took mom to Guiseppi's Wharf for a nice seafood dinner. Here are some photos of our evening on the town. (Isaac was with us but I decided not to flash the camera in his sleeping face.)

Here are some other random photos of Isaac, grama, and Scrubs from Friday and Saturday morning:

When Isaac is in his swing, Scrubs has decided he needs to be on guard for . . . well, foxes maybe. Or maybe flies. Not sure.

Scrubs in his normal position during Isaac feedings. He may look innocent, but he is hoping for a free moment that the bottle is not being properly guarded.

Isaac went to run errands with Daddy and Mom K. on Friday afternoon. It was so hot that when he got home, we stripped him naked to let him cool off for a bit. He seemed to be very happy lying in his cool crib without clothes on.

Mom and Isaac enjoying some cooling off time.

Last night was a big night for us as we decided to move Isaac to his nursery. I had a bit more trouble with this idea than I thought, and JB willingly went into the nursery two times to talk at different levels and make sure we could hear the monitor. Overall, the night went well. Scrubs probably had the most trouble adjusting. The monitor noises and beepings and people coming and going and baby crying left him a little confused as to where he was supposed to be and if he should be sleeping.

Right now it is Saturday afternoon. I have just gotten back from our church baby shower (it was wonderful! more details to come!) and we are on our way to a bbq with the care group at the beach. We also got word that our friend from Kentucky, Scott R. (Ronnie's cousin) is in Destin vacationing with his four young children! He just called to let us know so we will probably try to connect with him today or tomorrow.

I'll be sure to update you all with more photos from our weekend as it develops.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Photos from the bay

Mom K. has now been here since Wednesday and keeps telling me that I need to take pictures! I finally remembered to take my camera out. Isaac stayed at home with his Daddy this afternoon (who is done with nights!) while Mom and I went to the bay and hung out with Deuce and "his person" Bobbie. One of the highlights of each day for me here in the panhandle is the 30 minutes to 1 hour I spend nearly everyday in this grassy area bordering Bobbie's yard on the bay. Scrubs has such a good time playing with his Frisbee and with Deuce. It's shady, and there is always a gentle breeze coming off the water. Here's a few snaps of Scrubs and his best bud Deuce. It's hard to see the water in the background, but I think you get the idea.

In other news, we are busy working on some final details regarding Isaac's adoption. There is a final court hearing approximately 90 days after placement. We will have to return to Fort Lauderdale for this event. We also have to get a post-placement home study done. This will include two visits by a social worker along with a myriad of other housekeeping issues. Right now, I am trying to find out who can do this for us. It's a bit complicated, but because our agency is an international agency and technically, our first home study was done for our China daughter not for Isaac, we aren't sure that America World can do the update. We will figure out but just need wisdom and guidance to find the best (and cheapest) place to do this through.

We are also hoping to get the plastic surgeon to look at Isaac's ear next week sometime. He has been out of town, but the rumor is, he is back on base. So hopefully we will get this moving soon.

Our weekend promises to be a great one! Tomorrow the church is hosting a shower for me in the morning, and in the afternoon, we are going to a cookout to celebrate Danny's return from overseas and our good friends' Tristan & Shannon's departure for Turkey. Man we will miss them! Any weekend that JB is home with us is glorious to me! Man I have missed him the last few weeks. We also plan to spend the weekend transitioning Isaac into his nursery and out of the living room which has been home base for the first few weeks at home. Lots to do but so excited to do it with Mom K. and JB here.

I hope your weekend is also a good one!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


There isn't one real thing to focus this blog on. So here are some minor "arrivals" in my life that I thought I would share with you.

Mother-in-law arrives!

Mom K. is here, dude! Big time happiness for me! On my way to pick up Mom yesterday at the airport, I got stuck for about 30 minutes in bad traffic. When I passed the accident, my heart sunk. It was a mangled school bus. To read the story click here. I immediately started praying, hoping that the bus was empty when the rollover occurred as it seemed so improbable that children could have survived that accident. I was relieved when I got home to find online that none of the fourteen children were seriously injured despite the fact that the bus rolled over twice.

Dinner arrives!

Megan from church brought us a delicious dinner last night! Thanks Megan! It was fantastic. I know Megan is busy celebrating the return of her husband Danny from deployment. We are blessed to have him home safely. We have been unbelievably blessed by all the meals from so many people. Thank you to everyone who brought appetizers, dinners, and desserts over the last few weeks. What an unbelievable blessing. I realized how precious these meals are and am going to make it a point to do it for people in the neighborhood who are having a baby, even if a list isn't circulating.

Matt arrives!

If you haven't checked Matt's page recently, my brother-in-law Matt has also returned home safely from overseas -- another huge answer to prayer.

End of nights arrives!

JB has one more night to go! I am so relieved! This is it! Nights are over. At long last! And then, only one more rotation to go before he is done with intern year of residency. He'll be an official second year with an intern under him (cutting down on his workload considerably!) I am so excited by this!

New search engine arrives!

Do you plan to do any searching of the Inernet in the near future. Would you consider using this search engine instead of google: GOODSEARCH. If you enter "America World Adoption" into the supported charity whenever you do a search, they will donate about one penny per search to America World Adoption. This is our agency, and they have a campaign to help orphans get into the adoption system so they can find a forever family. This is not a scam or any of those crazy Internet things that you often see. This is a very reliable and truth-filled opportunity. Please consider setting this as your search engine for the future. Thanks!

Hot temperatures arrive!

I just got back from a run. I feel really bad because not two minutes after I got inside, but my poor puppy who ran with me threw up. This can sometimes happen if he eats right before or after exercise, but he hadn't. I think it was just too hot for him. I felt really badly for pushing him to run with me. Poor guy can't tell me he has overheated!

Boy and his dog

Here's a few photos I took this afternoon of Scrubs and Isaac. I am really trying to take a lot of photos as I know Isaac is changing sooo fast.

And here's a video with two of my three favorite boys!

Off to pick mother-in-law up from the airport! Yipee! And, JB only has two more nights to go! Double yippeeeeee!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Well, I thought my mother-in-law was coming in today. So did she. But a second look at the ticket, and Wednesday is the actual date of arrival. One more day to wait! I'll pick her up tomorrow afternoon instead.

In the meantime, life around here is pretty ordinary. JB had a very busy day on call, but it slowed enough for me to go have dinner with him around 8pm last night. Tristan & Shannon brought us Longhorn for dinner, and we ate it with JB's senior at the hospital. John did manage to secure a few hours of sleep very early this morning which meant, lucky for me, he was wide awake when he got home, and I got to take a 3.5 hour nap! Glorious! After I woke up, I took Scrubs to the bay. Afternoon is Isaac's biggest sleepy time. He can go quite a few hours without need for changing or sustenance. I'm working on convincing him that 4am is a much better time to go quite a few hours, but currently, he doesn't seem to follow my logic.

Speaking of tired, earlier this week I got a video of our tired little boy. You'll see in the video JB's fairly pitiful attempts to get Isaac to wake up and finish his meal. No luck there! He was done for the night and out for the count.

I also love this photo of him with his little arm free from his burrito wrap!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Joia

In wonderful honor of my awesome, relatively new, and definitely much younger than me friend Joia's birthday, a link to a video that has nothing to do with her, but for some reason (and maybe it has to do with blogs she's posted like this one), I have a feeling she would appreciate:

Note: A bit of background on this video. Several years ago this woman found a sick, malnourished lion cub in the jungle. She took the cub home and fed him and brought him up until he was too big to keep anymore. Then she made arrangements with a zoo in Colombia to take the lion. Here's a video of what happened when she went to visit him inthe zoo for the first time. The reaction of the lion when he sees her is INCREDIBLE!

Memorial Day

I would love to say that our family is doing something to commemorate those who have given their lives for our country on a day like today. We do live on a military base after all! They had a 4.4 "gate-to-gate" run where you could run from the west gate to the east gate. I would have LOVED to do this. However, JB is on nights, and I have recently learned that if you are the "night guy" on a holiday, you get lucky enough to do a 24-hour call instead of your normal 12 hour night shift. So JB is commemorating by taking care of sick people. The good news is that this will count as one of his holiday call days. The bad news is, well, he's at the hospital for 24 hours. Bummer. Bummer double-time as we have no company in town so it is just me here all by my lonesome. Well, I take that back. It's me and my boys. Me and Scrubby and Isaac all by our lonesomes.

Saturday night and Sunday night were our first two nights, both home together, with no one here with us since the day before we left to pick up Isaac back on May 6th! Wow! At one point we were both sitting by the couch, holding Isaac. Scrubs was at our feet, and he had this look on his face that said, "At last. It's just me and my family, and you are sitting in one place! I'm so exhausted worrying where everyone is all day!" He still, however, whines by the guest room looking for my Mom or Ebby each morning! Too cute.

Ebby left on Saturday morning, and JB's mom will not be getting in until Tuesday. The weekend in the middle of two weeks of nights is always difficult for John because he has been on nights, and then it's the weekend. So when do you sleep? This time he opted not to nap on Saturday and just go to bed very early and sleep as long as possible. He slept 10 hours, and in return, let me take naps both days! Hurrah! This was very much appreciated.

The nights with Isaac really go pretty well. He usually feeds around 9-10pm, then again around 1-2am. I usually get some sleep in between those times. However, once he gets up to feed at approximately 4:30am, the day has usually begun for me as either Scrubs is waking up or Isaac is wide awake, or I am wide awake. That being said, I am probably securing 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I am doing fine with this. I keep reminding myself that it is a whole lot more sleep than I was getting during my long 'bouts of insomnia on infertility medications. At least I am getting up for a reason! However, naps are great tools for combating these low-sleep nights. When I was dealing with the insomnia, naps were useless because I couldn't sleep. But now when I get a nap, I am out in a flash! It's wonderful!

However, the weekend is now over, and JB is back at work. I drove John in at 7am this morning so I could have the car and go back up with Isaac and have dinner with him this evening. I have to admit that I am very proud of how well I have done by myself today.

I have managed to:
  • Go to the bay with Scrubs and baby for Scrubs to play (first time I have done this!) When the kids opened up the door so Deuce could come and play, Scrubs ran into their house! Since Isaac was outside in his stroller, I didn't want to run in after the dog, so I waited for the kids to shew him out. When they did, he reemerged with stolen toy in mouth. What a shocker! It took awhile, but he eventually relinquished the football rope toy thingy for a biscuit. It must be a fair trade or Scrubs will refuse a trade. Biscuits were acceptable I guess.
  • Vacuum! Pet hair no more!
  • Do some laundry.
  • Do an hour of work for RLS. I am currently trying to do about 10 hours a week for the next few months -- eventually working my way back up to part-time (20 hours.)
  • Give Isaac a bath. (No tears for this one! He is loving his baths now!) In the middle of the bath, Scrubs brought me his rings to play. What the heck was he thinking? He seemed to figure out quickly that I may be able to do a lot of things at once but tug on rings while giving a bath is not one of them.
  • Take two naps. Naps are a bit tricky because I have to time them so that baby, dog, and Wendi are asleep at the same time. This morning, Scrubs wasn't having any of that so he got to hang out in his kennel for a bit. I just don't trust him enough to let him wander our house by himself, and as a result, I don't get a sound sleep. Nothing like locking him into a confined space to give me peace of mind.
Looking forward to seeing JB for dinner tonight and picking his mom up from the airport tomorrow! Also looking forward to my dad coming in after she leaves and going to Minnesota in less than three weeks for Hans and Rachel's wedding!

Okay, off to feed baby!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Isaac's Journal Entry #1

It's been a very active weekend here at my new home. On Saturday, I got to take my last nap with my "Aunt" Ebby before my Mommy had to drive her back to the airport. I heard she has other kids she misses taking naps with (although they are not as tiny as me!) We had such a fun time with "Aunt" Ebby. She fed me and changed me and played with my puppy Scrubs so he wouldn't be so mischievous. One night, I went with my Mommy to Care Group, and we left Aunt Ebby and Scrubs at home. While Ebby wasn't looking, Scrubs ate one of my onesies. How funny was that? Ebby didn't seem to be laughing so hard.

Anyways, while my Mommy took her to the airport, I got to hang out with Daddy and my big puppy Scrubs. Daddy had only had a few hours of sleep, but we had a great time anyways.

Today was my first day to go to church. My Daddy and Mommy found something else in my closet that while still a little big, actually fits me! This was a hand-me-down from my big cousin Nate. Thanks Nate dog! I looked cool!

I had my parents take the photo from two different angles so you could make sure to see my cute little moccasins that my Mom's friend Andrea gave me. They are still big, but aren't they cool?

Church was fun. They announced me from the puplit which was uber-cool. I also sat in the back with Daddy so he could feed me and then went to the cry-room with Mommy. I wasn't crying, but I was wide awake and talking quite a bit. I also had a pretty bad case of the hick-ups. Mommy had no idea where the cry room was! She had to get one of the Veteran Moms to show her. Mommy keeps on saying to me, "Can you believe I am your Mommy!" I wish she would get over it already. Apparently, I am pretty special and impressive to her.

After church, my Mommy was very tired so she and I took a nap while Daddy watched a movie, and Scrubs ... well Scrubs decided it was time to chew his rope ball into smithereens! Check out the picture of him below. Silly Scrubs!

Unfortunately, for as much rope as you see in the photo, an equal amount often ends up in Scrubby's belly, but Dad and Mom said that's okay if he is happy and that it won't stay in his belly so not to worry.

Scrubs is a very good big puppy to me. He likes to lick my ear and chew on the ends of my diaper. He also likes to steal my stuff which Daddy and Mommy are currently trying to fix by spraying this nasty stuff in his mouth when he does it. I hope they don't do that to me when I am as big as Scrubby! One other good thing about Scrubs is that I think I can get away with a lot of things when I get older. I can blame everything on him, and they'd believe he'd do it!

Mommy just got back from playing frisbee with Scrubbs at the bay, and I have a full stomach from my post-lunch meal. Time for another nap. Bye everyone! Mommy says she'll let me type every now and then so I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

From Jenny

When I first moved here in the summer of 2007, I knew very few people. In addition, just two weeks after arriving, I would find out that our fourth attempt at invitro fertilization had not worked. I remember when the call came in. JB took it, and the tone of his voice as he thanked the doctor was all I needed to hear. I knelt down on the carpet in my new bedroom and began sobbing as is often the case after that call. But then, by the time I had moved to the bed to lay by JB, the deep, guttural sobs were gone. My heart had done this so many times, it just couldn't do it anymore.

We had not spoken about what we would do if we got another negative, but that night while lying there next to each other, it was obvious. I told John I could not do this again. Not now. We were committed to our remaining embryos, but I just couldn't bear another series of shots, probing, prodding, poking, crying. He agreed. My solid rock of a husband was cracking as well. He was so tired of supporting me. Of being strong and walking on egg shells and tiptoeing around me when the hormones took over. We were
done with infertility treatments for quite some time. We were ready to adopt.

Just one year later, I sit at my computer. In the other room, our son Isaac is lying on his Dad's lap, sound asleep. Our son. My son.

I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that I am a parent. I do not know when it will finally sink in. Our friend Ronnie asked me on the phone to, "explain my emotions." I can't. I don't know how. I truly cannot understand or put any of this into words. Every time I take the stroller out of the car, I can't help but feel like a fraud. I know that sounds so strange, but it is totally the truth. I have tried to write this blog so many times -- to explain the way my heart is so soaring with happiness despite the fact that I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that we are, in fact, parents. But I haven't been able to do it.

Then, this past week, I received a letter from my friend Jenny. When I moved to Eglin AFB, I had my support system in Minnesota pulled out from underneath me. Thank goodness for Roberta, who was in my
"Hearts Like Hannah" group in Minnesota. Months earlier she had put me in touch with a friend of her's going through IVF at Eglin. Jenny was my lifeline. She took me out to lunch the day after we got our negative result, and we met quite a few more times before life took her to a new base. She had recently had a son, Jackson, through IVF, and was such a blessing to me during those first lonely weeks here. I am not sure what I would have done without her here. I had no one else.

Jenny's letter was amazing. Jackson is about to turn one now, and even with a year under her belt as a mother, Jenny's words were perfectly capturing what I have felt during my first two weeks as a mom. She gave me permission to share portions of her letter. I share it because it explains how I feel right down to the letter. This could have been written with me. The words are so true and real for me.

Thank you Jenny for speaking for me and for giving me something I could share to explain how motherhood after infertility feels. Blessings friend!

I have been going back and forth about putting my thoughts in writing lately, but my heart has been so full and my head swimming, that I decided to just go for it.

Today was Mothers Day. Another Mothers Day come and gone. And for the first time in my life, I was able to be on the other side of that line, in that club, whatever you want to call it. It was hard. Sounds weird, huh? I know. And it is hard for me to explain. I remember it was the same last year, when I was very pregnant with Jack. I had waited for Mother's Day for years and years, to be able to take that flower at church without getting all flustered and explaining, “I am not a mom,” or to stand up at church when the pastor asks all the mothers to stand and be prayed over. Do you know what it took to even walk in that door that dreaded Sunday? After 3 years we just stopped going on Mother's Day. It was far too excruciating to endure. It was the most in your face reminder of what you did not have, but longed for more than anything else. And no one knew. I think that was the most painful part. Tim instead spent the day distracting me, going to a movie, or shopping. Anything to keep me busy. Well, last year when Pastor John asked all the moms to stand up, I stood up, after Tim’s prodding, and with knees trembling, tears streaming down my face. Are you sure I am allowed to stand?! Well, today was no different. I was nervous. I felt awkward. Why, you ask? Because it is still hard for me to just flip that switch. To “go to the other side”, if you will. I have still had much more familiarity being the infertile woman than the mom with a baby boy. This morning, our worship pastor asked all of the moms to raise their hands. Tim looked at me, beaming, and said, “Raise your hand!!!” I did, but I could not help but look around at that very moment. Was there someone near me sitting down, face looking at the floor, the ceiling? Funny how that is still my initial reaction.

I am overjoyed and honored to be a mom. This was and is the greatest gift I have received next to my relationship with the Lord and my husband. I look back on this year and am in awe of what He has done for us. His promise to us has been fulfilled. He has filled me and equipped me with an incredible confidence in Him. I always had faith in Him and in His promises, but often times I felt as if that was for everyone else, but not me. He gives miracles to everyone else, not me. After so many years of friends being single, meeting their mate, marrying, having a child, having another child…oh, and pregnant again…here we were, still struggling through the same thing. Nothing new. We felt left behind, abandoned…forgotten. As if everyone was passing us by, lapping us. We knew that was not the case, but often times if felt like it. We wondered when it would be our turn. It was so incredibly isolating. Many times, it was me isolating myself, trying to protect myself from comments, conversations, suggestions, offers of “take my kids for a day, you may change your mind”…Well, when He brought us Jackson, we knew this was nothing short of a prayed over and over and through miracle. For my body to be pregnant was an incredible miracle. Surreal, astonishing. He had done it.

I am a firm believer (especially now) that my God never, ever wastes pain. I knew that He was creating a very powerful testimony in us during these years. I just wanted the pain to be over. But now, as I realize and understand that infertility will most likely always be a part of our life, I am so thankful that I can share this journey. God has not wasted our intense pain, because He wants me to minister to the ones infertility touches. I know this. I knew this a long time ago.

There is a point to this.

I see it coming full circle. I see it not only as my responsibility, but my privilege. I want to be my friend who prayed with me before every baby shower. I want to be my girls who got the phone calls after a disappointing doctor appointment. I want to be the friends like all of you were that reminded me every so often they had not forgotten about me, even though months had passed.

This day, I am reminded of how no kidding thankful and still amazed that I am a mom! I love it, it is still special to even say it out loud…it seems like just yesterday that I was in Tampa for the Mothers Day weekend for a friends wedding and in line at Office Max for something and the lady at the check out said, “Happy Mothers Day!” And it took everything in my power to just smile, grit my teeth, and say, you too! When all I wanted to do was fall apart. No, sorry, I am not a mom. Can’t tell you why I am not, but I am not. I am still waiting. Do you know when it will be my turn?

That feeling is still so raw, so fresh, and I pray it always will be. I never want to forget that. I know I never will.

I guess at times I go hesitantly to the “other side”, for I do not want to ever forget where I have come from. But I just praise Him for it, for that sensitivity, and allow myself to enjoy knowing I am finally a mom. Every glance at Jackson reminds us how and where He has carried us to a place where we can clearly see His hand, the very people He has purposefully set in our path along the way. It is a great privilege to see this beautiful little boy and know he is a promise fulfilled. Thank you for continuing to be a part of this journey. I love you!


Scrubby kills the flies

With the change in weather comes an increase in flies around our house. Our pup has taken to trapping these in the window sills and then eating them! Gross! He also loves when we take out the fly swatter. It's one of his favorite things. Check out the video of JB and Scrubs on a fly swatting mission.

Friday, May 23, 2008

24 hours in my current life

Want to get a more in depth glimpse into a day in my life? Well check out the pictures and story below.

Yesterday, I took Ebby to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants: The Boathouse Landing. She loved it. We also ran a bunch of errands. Isaac slept the whole time. Here are some pictures from our afternoon jaunt:

After lunch, it was time for a nap for both mom and baby:

After naptime, it was time to check the mail. We got this adorable towel from Ton & Nancy G. I love this! Thanks guys! Nancy's daughter Kelly (aka "Steg family") gave me an adorable gift last week too; however, since I want to steal the idea for a gift I can give my friends in the future, I won't be showing it on the blog! Here's a picture of the towel:

After mail time, it was time to exhaust Scrubs. My Scrubs has been a very difficult puppy the last few days. He is fantastic with Isaac but just so into everything. If you want to pray for us right now, spend the majority of your time in prayer for Mr. "Schief" (Instead of Miss.chief we call him Mr. Schief".) Ebby went three rounds with him before bed. Can tell from the picture below who won?

This morning at about 6am, Ebby got up and took over for me with pup and baby. Isaac had a little rougher night just being that he woke up to eat more frequently than he has been. And during one point in the evening, Isaac just started stirring a little bit, not totally awake. However, Scrubs was concerned that I wasn't checking on Isaac and decided to lick me in the face to tell me to get up and check on baby! Ugh! Anyways, I think Isaac's rougher evening was because his first meal of the evening was a little on the small side. I'll try to rectify that this evening! When I got up around 8:30am, JB was home. He had gotten a few hours of sleep on call so he was able to spent some time with us.

Our first job? Give Mr. Isaac a bath. Today's bath went much better than the first one. Check it out:

After bathtime, it was feedtime. Here are a few snapshots from breakfast:

And here's a video of feedtime as well:

Hope you enjoyed this visit into our lives. Tune in tomorrow for more mundane details!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gabbi spilled the beans

So my sister-in-law already broke in with a post announcing that I have aged even more. Gabbi is so sweet. She is my absolute favorite sister-in-law under 5'5"! :) Oh, wait, Danielle is probably under 5'5" now too. Shoot. Okay she's my favorite sister-in-law with two adorable kids!

Anyways, I am now 31. It's hard to believe that last year at this time, we were just getting back from Africa. JB was graduating. We were about to go in for IVF transfer #4. We were packing up our condo. JB and Ronnie (Ebby's husband) were getting ready to move our stuff halfway across the country. John was getting promoted to captain. What a difference a year makes.

It's been a quiet birthday around here. JB is on nights so there isn't a lot of time to celebrate. Yesterday he asked me if I wanted to do anything special. I told him that I already got the best birthday present ever on May 7th and that it is okay to let 31 slip by quietly. I did get another one of those Willow Tree people from my awesome husband. I got one on Mother's Day and one for my birthday. Now don't start thinking that me, "miss anti-clutter" is starting a collection. I do not collect things. I will always be anti-knick-knacks. But having a couple of them is fun! Here are the two I have: Willow 1 and Willow 2.

Yesterday, the wifia surprised me with a card and . . . folks, probably the best gift of all. Joia made her infamous ice cream sandwich cake for me. I LOVE THIS CAKE! I had asked her after she made it the first time if she could decorate one (thinking ahead to Isaac's first birthday!) She jumped ahead and tried it and it looks awesome as you can tell from the photos! I am excited because I have another piece in the freezer waiting for me to eat it today sometime. YUM! Joia posted some more pictures on her blog yesterday. You can see those by clicking here.

In other news, Isaac had his 2 week appointment today. He doesn't mind the doctor at all except when he has to get naked. This kid does not like to be cold and tells you so emphatically. He is doing great in all areas and is now 7.11! I cannot believe how much he has changed in two weeks. Last night he had a good night and mom got some good sleep. He did a 10pm, 1:15am and 4:45am feeding. Not too bad. Normally, each feeding takes me about an hour, but he was so hungry at 1:15 that he was fed, burped, changed, swaddled, and out cold by 1:40am! Ebby got up at 6am and did the 7:30am feeding so I could get a good nap. Bless my guests!

Ebby and I are going out for lunch and going to run some errands today. The birth announcements have come in so I am going to mail those. Watch your boxes. And, if you aren't someone who would probably be on my mailing list but you would like a birth announcement, leave a comment. I have plenty of extra and would be glad to brag on our boy to you!

So, thanks Gabbi for wishing a "Happy Birthday to me!" :)

P.S. On a more somber note, my heart is incredibly heavy today with the news of the death of one of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman's adopted daughters. You can read the story here. What makes this story even more painful is that she was hit in her driveway by her older brother.

Steven Curtis Chapman is an amazing singer songwriter. I am not sure if I have ever shared on his blog that he was my initial inspiration to adopt through China and the sole reason we went with America World Adoption agency. He and his wife had three biological children when his daughter began nagging them to adopt. They have adopted three girls from China. There is a spot on this link that you can post comments of support. Please pray for this family during this amazingly difficult time.


Hi all, it's Gabbi, Wendi's sister-in-law (I'm married to John's brother, Ray), in case you didn't already know that. Anyway, I'm blog-jacking Wendi's blog to give her a special shout out on her birthday.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY WENDI!! We love you!!! Enjoy your day with your new little addition!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Grandma Di guest post

Wendi had told me earlier that I should do a grandma blog but not to stress about it. My heart is so full, it's hard to put all my feelings in writing.

I've watched Wendi and JB handle their challenges with such pride and awe. Wen was real with her pain but never got bitter.We didn't hear as much from John but I know he was a huge part in keeping Wendi centered and balanced. Now having spent a week with them and watching them again come together in figuring things out has been so awesome to watch. They are a team -- a united front. I am proud of the people they have become.

Wendi used to say it bothered her that George and I might not be grandparents. To be honest, it didn't seem like a huge deal to me. I hated to see the pain and struggles they were going thru but it didn't make them seem less because they didn't have kids. I have enjoyed being a friend with my daughter. What a cool woman she has become. (I love JB too. He is so patient with Wendi and her family and of course we love his cooking among other things.)

When this little dude named Isaac came into our arms, everything changed. I didn't know you could love a little creature so much. I remember holding Wendi when she was a baby and didn't think I could ever love another child so much and then I had Keith and loved him so much. I didn't realize I had that many emotions all wrapped up inside. To see the picture of little Isaac in George's arms and to see the love in George's eyes and to hear him pray over and "bless" Isaac is something will always hold a special place in my heart.

To hold this little boy and have him look in my eyes when I fed him a bottle is indescribable. To pick him up after he was crying hard after a diaper change and to feel him calm and snuggle into me was so special. To look at him and sing "You are so beautiful to me" (when no one else was around) and have him study my face and even smile (and know it wasn't gas or laughing at my singing) was such a neat memory.

I love my sleep but so enjoyed the couple of nights I got to have the night feeding. It was no problem getting up and spending time with my little dude. I never wanted to put him down.

George put it so cute "Being a grandpa is so cool. Nobody expects you to do anything but everything you do is a perk."

I think this grandparent stuff is going to be great. I had no clue! I hate that we live so far but am thankful for the fact we do live closer than we did before. I know our times together will be sweet. I think Grandpa Coach and little dude are going to be great buds, and I'm looking forward to going on walks, to sitting and cuddling and reading and playing with Isaac whenever possible. We will make the most of our times together.

I am so grateful for the group of friends John and Wendi have in their life. What awesome people! How cool to have that kind of support. It makes leaving just a little bit easier. They are truly blessed.

Wendi kept saying how much I helped them while I was there, but I felt like I got the better end of the deal. On top of everything else I got to share in some awesome meals from their friends and I got Indian dinners cooked by JB two nights and went out for Thai another . . . how much more could I ask??? I didn't have to cook!!!!

Thank you for letting me share in this first week of Isaac's life and to be able to share in your transition into parenthood. You guys are fabulous. I am so proud! I am overwhelmed with gratefulness and love. I am a grandma!! How awesome is that!? I love my life!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Meet-n-greet at Sarah's

My mom is gone, but Ebby is here! The pick-up and drop off at the airport yesterday went seamlessly, and Ebby and I returned to base to meet Brittney who had brought uf an amazing dinner from first course to dessert! We have four dinners scheduled this week and three next week. What a blessing!

Today, my friend Sarah hosted a "meet baby Isaac" at her house a few doors down from me. What a great idea! Joia, as always, came through for me by taking some photos. Here are a few snapshots from the party:

Me with Isaac. That is Brittney behind me and her adorable daughter Jocelyn (aka "Scrubs maniac" in the background)

My neighbor Pam holding Isaac

Jodi with Brittney

This was not merely a party for adults -- it was time to party for the kids too!

Some of the visitors

My neighbor Jamie holding our little boy who was quite alert for most of the party (Isaac I mean, not Jamie ... although Jamie was alert too ... never mind)

More snapshots. That's Sarah's daughter Della front and center. She's such a little lady. And don't you love that hair!

This little onesie says "Too little NOT to slam dunk". It's a bit big, but it does the trick. I think this is a hand-me-down from Cousin Nate. Is that right Gabbi?

As for us, JB did his first night of his two week rotation last night. It is a lot better with Ebby here, but man, nights still stink. I picked JB up around 8am. He had not slept a week since 6am the previous morning and was operating on fumes. He had also had quite a few "emergencies" during the night both with a newborn and a heart attack, but he said everything went well. He hung out with us for about 1 hour before turning in. Around 2pm he got up unable to sleep and just wandered back to bed at 3pm. He'll have to be back in at 6pm! Not only is it a bummer having him "home" but not "home" but we have to be extra quiet with baby and dog to try to allow him to sleep.

The good news is that he has just nine more nights left! More good news is that my mother-in-law is coming in next week to keep me company during the second week of nights and help with baby and dog. That will be such a blessing as well. I've been so blessed by my visitors during this time.

Scrubs has been challenging me quite a bit. While he is good with Isaac, his thievery is at an all-time high. It is only 4pm and Ebby and I have already retrieved from the confines of his mouth: one wet diaper, one burp cloth, one used tissue, one pair of socks, one gold t-shirt. I really have no idea how to curb this desire to steal things he is not supposed to have and parade them in front of me, especially with baby in arms or on lap or wherever. But, this is just a small speed bump that we will successfully navigate I am sure!

Monday, May 19, 2008

First bath!

Isaac's little belly button "thingy" finally fell off which meant no more sponge baths! Time for submersion! Okay, well not submersion, but time to get out that little bathtub Uncle Ray and Aunt Gabbi gave us and take a dip.

You'll have to excuse my appearance. This is after a morning run with Scrubs. JB starts nights this evening so he had the morning off to hang out with us and his yard! I took advantage and decided to take Scrubs on his first run since we've been home. He's had walks and playtime with Deuce and his Frisbee and in the water at the bay. But no run until today.

Here is Isaac before his adventure began:

And here is a video of the adventure. I'm sure Isaac will be ecstatic I put this up here when he is sixteen. But you know, this blog has followed our lives in detail through every IVF procedure we did. Why not show a first bath?! My mom is filming, while JB bathes, and I try to soothe. Isaac was not a fan of the bathtub, whatsoever, as will become quickly evident if you watch. Turn down your volume folks -- this boy has lungs. You'll also see how much Scrubs has adjusted to his crying. If Scrubs knows we are with Isaac, he doesn't budge. However, if Scrubs feels we aren't paying attention to the crying, he quickly alerts us to pay attention. I think he's getting that Isaac is a part of our pack quickly.

Here are some pictures after the bath. As soon as he was out and dry, he quickly calmed down

First baths are happy times. What is not a happy time is that my mother is going back to Ft. Lauderdale today. It has been so wonderful having her here. She has been so amazingly helpful -- not only with Scrubs and Isaac -- but around the house as well. Folks, she makes my bed! A bed I never make. (JB laid down the law early in our marriage, calculating all the time we waste in our lifetime taking and putting pillows on and off the bed. A few years ago, I finally completely gave in, and we only make the bed when company is coming over. Scrubs solidified that. Having pillows strewn about the room for him to chomp on in the middle of the night is not an option.) I have not done the dishes or laundry one time in a week. She's been amazing! I am not sure how I would have managed this first week without her.

My only consolation is that my friend Ebby is coming in today! I have not seen her in over a year so I am unbelievably excited. We also worked it out so that Ebby comes in 2.5 hours before my Mom so that maybe they will get to see each other for a bit which they would both like. They are flying into Pensacola so it'll be a bit of a jaunt for Isaac. He seems to like his car seat though so it should be fine.

Stay tuned for the invasion of Ebby. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Night on the town and happy birthday to Scrubs

Well, as promised, here are some photos from Isaac's first night "out on the town.". He spent most of the night as pictured below. This is a hat from Philip & Joia. It has a cute little outfit that goes with it, but the outfit is way too big. The hat, however, fits perfect. We call him our little "sandman" in this hat.

We went to a sushi place in Destin Commons where my mom and I could get some "real" food while JB got his temporary fill of sushi. I have tasted sushi once and will never enter that dark part of my life again. My mother, however, is an adventurous eater and gave it a try. She did like it but stuck to her curry for the long haul.

Here is Isaac and me at dinner. This was a rare moment when he actually decided to open his eyes:

And here is Isaac after his long night of partying. He's a bit tuckered out from all that sleeping!

Here's a photo of JB and me today. John said he wanted to wait one more week before bringing Isaac to church so we spent a restful day at home. I ran to the grocery store to get some stuff for JB to make french toast for breakfast and Indian for dinner.

Today is another special day. Today is Scrubs' one year birthday. Now I am not into celebrating birthdays of pets (or keeping their teeth as one man at the dog park told me he did -- blah!) If you do these things, it's okay, I just have to draw the line in my pet obsession at some point, and keeping puppy teeth is my line.

Scrubs' only birthday request was that I mention him on the blog. So that's what I am doing. :) My mom and I plan to take Scrubs to the bay to swim at some point today too -- one of his "favorite things." (Other favorites include eating peanut butter, chasing the flashlight, sniffing, eating, getting his belly scratched, stealing, and stretching.) We thought we would have gone already, but quite honestly, our dog has slept half his birthday away. We think that all the days of excitement finally caught up to him.

In recognition of Scrubs' birthday, here' s a flashback to his early days in our family. Here's a video from his second day at home:

And here's another video of the first time we let Scrubs try broccoli. Some of you may remember this video from way back when. But every time I watch it, it makes me laugh all over again.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Grass in our own backyard!

Today was the day. Today was the day that Scrubs' backyard got grass! JB started at the crack of dawn to make sure that he had plenty of time to complete the grass in one day. He was also incredibly blessed when our neighbor, Bobbie, and two of her kids, came over to help him! He said that they cut significant time off of his day (and kept him company as well.) Here's the finished product:

While JB worked on the yard, I took Scrubs' to the dog park while my Mom hung out with, what I later found out, was a very wide awake Isaac. (A rarity!) After I got home from the park, JB got done with the sod, and Isaac got done playing with my mom, all three of my "men" decided it was time to take a nap. You can't really see Isaac that well in his pack-n-play, but you get the idea! (He's the tiny blob of blue.)

And a close up of man and dog:

Tonight, we plan to get out of the house with Isaac for the first time since bringing him home. We are going to go to Destin Commons to get JB some sushi and just walk around a bit and also stop at the Pet Store to get Scrubs a few new toys. This dog tears his toys up quickly. Even the toys that say "Battle Tested" must have been tested by a poodle not a seventy pound Dalmatian. Last night he ripped the end off a rubber toy he has had since he was a puppy. When JB said I should take it from him and give him something else, I asked him what I could give the dog! No toy was safe. We all had a good laugh when JB suggested a rock. (And yet somewhere deep down, we all knew the rock probably didn't stand a chance against Scrubs either!) At least he doesn't tear up the house. He does a good job sticking to his own box of toys.

I'll be sure to take some photos tonight from Isaac's very first night on the town. We are debating about taking him to church tomorrow or waiting one more week. So those of you reading from Crossway, we will see you soon, don't worry!