“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”
~A.A. Milne, from "Winnie the Pooh"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Mama's Worries

Oh, my Liddy! How I worry. I try so hard not to, I try to have faith that all these things I am concerned about are a phase that will pass and that you will move past them. I'm perfectly at peace with the fact that you carry around an extra chromosome. I'm ok with the fact that you may not do everything that other babies do right on schedule. I'm fine with the fact that there is a very real possibility that your younger cousin may outgrow you and meet developmental milestones before you do. You are completely your own person and I know that its useless to compare you to anyone else.

But as we sat today among most of our family, with you settled snugly in either Daddy or I's laps, I couldn't help but worry about the fact that you STILL don't let anyone hold you but us.

I remember after Caleb was born, everyone fought over who got to hold him as soon as we walked in the door. And he loved being passed around, getting all the attention, and showing off. While you pucker up and cry any time any one tries to touch you. I know, deep in my heart, that it hurts them and so it hurts me. It hurts me to watch baby Brayden be passed around and cuddled, while you only will allow cuddles from us.

I know, without any question, that they all love you. But faced with your screams and tears, they just leave you alone. And that makes me sad.
I know that no one wants to upset you. I am heartbroken by your tears too. But mostly because I'm afraid that this will always be the way that it is....everyone wanting so much to hug you, kiss you, hold you, and you and I sitting on the sidelines because you just can't deal with all their attention. Will they give up trying before you reach a point where you are actually ok with accepting their love?

I want everyone to see the baby that I see every day...the happy, giggly, cuddly girl that you are when you're with us. The silliness. The spunky attitude. The amazing strides that you have made against the odds. Instead all they get to see is what I think they think is a spoiled baby, who cries any time anyone tries to hold her and instantly stops as soon as she is placed right back in her Mommy's arms.....and it breaks my heart that no one but Daddy, Caleb, Ayden and I get to see you at your very best.
I hope this is a phase. I hope it is something you will grow out of. I KNOW that you are going to be an absolutely amazing little girl, and I don't want them to miss out on any of that. I don't want any one to write you off as a lost cause, or a spoiled brat, when I know that you aren't. I hope that they all understand that it's not them, it's not you, it's not us....it's just a tiny symptom of something that no one can control.

I love you so much, Bug-a-Lug. Never forget.......how amazing, beautiful, smart and absolutely wonderful you are....or how very many people love you!

No Rest for the Wicked....

Dear Liddy,

Heavy thoughts are clouding my mind tonight. It has been a wonderful day, filled with friends, laughter, and lots of crazy kids running around like maniacs..lol And now, as you and your brother sleep cozily in your beds, it is almost midnight and Mommy is STILL up! Doing what, you may be asking....Well, I am doing what seems to be the evil boon of my life, laundry! The foremost thought in my mind tonight is this...DOES IT EVER END???!!!! 

I remember, not so long ago it seems, doing maybe two loads a week when the household consisted of just Caleb and I. With the addition of Ayden and Daddy to the household, we bumped that number to a load every other day. And somehow, although it amazes me, since you have been born I swear that most days I could easily do two loads a day! How one tiny little girl dirties so many clothes, burp cloths, blankets, etc. is truly a mystery to me. But there you have it. A seemingly unending parade of dirty clothes waiting patiently in the laundry basket for me to attend to them.

I don't mind so much the washing. Its not a difficult or time consuming task to throw some clothes in the washer, pour in soap, fill the Downy ball, and let the washer do the rest. Although I guiltily admit that there are days when those freshly laundered clothes never make it to the dryer, leaving me forced to re-wash them the next day (and sometimes the next day too!). Drying them isn't so bad either. But the truth is I HATE hanging, folding and putting away..... and THAT is more often than not the chore that gets put off indefinitely. 

Before you were born, there was a big comfy chair in Mommy and Daddy's bedroom (it has migrated to the living room now to make room for one tiny, precious little Bug's bed). That chair was rarely used as anything other than the laundry catcher. lol You could never even tell there was a chair underneath that enormous mountain of clean clothing. That pile would continue to grow and grow until I finally surrendered to the irritated pleas of my family, who grew quickly tired of sifting through six or seven loads to find a pair of socks, or underwear, or a towel (which somehow there are NEVER enough clean).
I swore to myself that when you were born, I would do better. No school, no work to distract me for a blissful 8 whole months would leave plenty of time for keeping the house sparkly (like my OCD wants it to be!) and promptly pulling our clothes out of the washer and disposing of them right away. Logically, I understand that it's much quicker and easier to put away a single load of laundry than it is to wait until there are several loads waiting for my attention. I even attempted to get your brothers to hang up their own, so that there were two less people's clothing to deal with. HA! Let me let you in on a little secret....your brothers are spoiled! I'm sure that they don't realize it, but someday, their wives are truly going to hate me because I do a LOT of things for them that they are perfectly capable of doing themselves. lol Its a horrible thing to admit, but there are no chores in our house, and frankly, I count myself lucky if dirty clothes magically appear in the various baskets around the house instead of the floor!
Well guess what. I am not doing any better now than I was before you were born....Those freshly washed and dried clothes sit in stashes all over the house, sometimes even on the couch, until someone is coming to visit. Then your Mommy runs around in a mad dash to put them all away so that no one else is subject to my secret shame...There just always seems to be something (anything really lol) that I would rather be doing. Like cuddling the cutest baby girl in the world, or laying on the floor with her trying to make her smile and laugh, or curling up and taking a nap with my precious cuddlebug. So I am just going to blame my procrastination on you...I'm sure you won't mind. ;)

xoxoxoxo, Mommy

P.S. Tomorrow is now today and I am on my THIRD load of laundry (after two loads yesterday). Just when I thought I was caught up for a day or so, you poo-ed all over your clothes, your bouncy seat, and a blanket. I have never seen so much poop come out of you! lol So there I go washing that load. Almost as soon as it finished washing and made its way to the dryer, you proceeded to puke all over BOTH of us....so there's YET another load hanging out in the washer waiting on the previous one to dry! :P Oh, laundry...how I hate you! lol

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bedtime Battles, Silly Faces , and Noxious Skunk Fumes

Dearest Bug,

You have now put yourself to sleep four whole days in a row! YAYYYY!!! 
I thought that today I would write you an amusing little tale about the day we had yesterday. :) Starting with the night before....you ate your bottle, then Mommy gaves you hugs and kisses and tucked you in. 15 minutes later, I went in to check on you and you were in that place between being awake and being asleep, with no covers on any more. Mommy very patiently picked up your blankie and tucked you in AGAIN. You looked up at me with very heavy eyes, smiled, snuggled into the blanket, then promptly kicked it off of your feet.
I really don't understand your obsession with NOT having your feet covered. lol They are always cold, even on the hottest days. Yet you resist me putting on your socks and refuse to leave your feet under the blankets. This is a battle that we repeat several times every night. I cover you up, you uncover yourself, until I just, quite frankly, give up for the night. It almost makes me long for the chilly winter nights when I could dress you in your warm jammies so that I KNEW your toes would be warm. Unfortunately, you are a hot-blooded baby and its been just too warm at night for you to wear those cozy PJ's. So I guess this is a battle we will continue to have until it's staying 80 degrees outside at night. Just don't get too cocky that you always win! ;)
I, as always, had my handy dandy little camera out and ready yesterday. You ham it up when it appears, although now you seem to be more focused on staring at it than keeping up with your endless chatter. When I start trying to record you jabbering away, you stop as soon as you hear the little beep that says I am recording, and most of the time steadfastly refuse to talk any more. But if I'm just taking pictures, you remain oblivious. We took some while you took a bath yesterday (Mommy is STILL so proud that you are taking a bath in your OWN tub!) and then some more when you got out, all clean and smelling like a lovely baby girl should. You sure did keep me laughing with all of your silly faces!
Goofy girl....

 I think you have a little Elvis in you....

You seem to want to make me laugh.

I'm not sure what this one is, but it seems to encompass every little bit of redhead attitude! You may not be completely auburn just quite yet, but I firmly believe that its coming! lol
This morning, I woke up and thought that I smelled something strange, but after walking through the entire house, sniffing everything, I couldn't figure out what it was. Until I sat down and opened my Facebook page. Daddy left me a message that if I smelled a skunky smell, welp, that's exactly what it was. I guess that he heard something rustling around in the trash outside and attempted to scare it off by banging on the can with the broom. Needless to say, our house got a little bath in skunk juice and it smells AWFUL! Even after I have burnt every smell good candle we own all day, and sprayed air freshener a thousand times, well, it still smells slightly strange. Better, but still not good. lol

The last few years have been interesting around here where the wild creatures are concerned. I grew up in this house and I don't EVER remember having as many wild creatures just hanging around the house. Last summer was especially crazy......with a raccoon family in the shed (which we moved...a mama and three babies...I think Mama made it back this year), a family of hawks (a mom, a dad, and 3 babies) playing across the street in the mud puddle, a HUGE hawk that came to visit our yard at least twice a week, roosting in our tree, or on the washer that was waiting for Goodwill pickup, or soaring over, making very sure that I saw it each time. We also had a hummingbird that came each day in late summer to eat from the hostas and a huge population of bats who were out eating at dusk for several weeks, every night. I joked with Grandma and said I thought that they were all drawn to you. I was joking. But we're off to a wild start already this year, so maybe there was something to it.....So far THIS year, we've had the family of raccoons back in the shed, a robin who built her nest right beside our back door, a doe who took a morning stroll down our road a few days ago, and now a skunk trying to eat our trash. haha.

I'm a firm believer that God gives us signs. Maybe these all are signs of some message He's been trying to tell us. The hawks last year really made me feel as if He were trying VERY hard to give me some sort of peace....and strangely enough, when I started to feel at peace, the hawk was gone and I never saw him again. So what message am I supposed to get this year?

Maybe it's to give thanks for my beautiful baby. Maybe it's to not worry so much about your upcoming surgery, that you are within God's hands and you will be just fine. Maybe it's something as simple as a reminder to slow down, see the beauty of God's world, and drink it in. :)

I'm going to leave you with a few more pictures of my bathing beauty. Mama loves you!!!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Life Changed..( The Life of a Child with Down's Syndrome)

As a relatively new member of the parents of babies who have Down's Syndrome club, I find that, although I have educated myself A LOT, there is still much that I have to learn. I learn from other moms who have older children mostly, and spend my spare time reading their blogs. These amazingly candid women were the inspiration for starting a blog of my own.
As our family walks this road of great unknowns, I often find disturbing facts littered beside the winding path. The high abortion rates for pregnancies for these special kids, the treatment of children who are considered socially unacceptable in other countries, and even new "advances" in medicine that honestly don't seem like advances at all. This is a nation that cried out when 6 million Jewish people were exterminated during the Holocaust. One that rallies against injustice, genocide, and terrorism. We believe wholeheartedly in the right to be who we and what we want in life, and that everyone deserves a chance to chase the American dream. Many men have died to protect these things that we hold so dear.

And yet... the abortion rate of fetuses diagnosed prenatally with DS right here in our country is creeping towards 95%. The so called advances in medical testing will more than likely raise that number even higher. Doctors, who take an oath to protect life, urge many women to abort babies that are seen as less than perfect and these killings are touted to be merciful. We are, in essence, justifying our very own Holocaust. I know, I know. These are strong words. But when just 5% of babies with DS are allowed to enter this world at all it sure seems as if we, and the medical community, are attempting to erase anyone who could be construed as negative, and yes, I'll say it again, less than perfect. People ask themselves, "What kind of life would a child with Down's Syndrome have?" and then make the decision to never let themselves or that child find out.

Let me tell you what kind of life a child with Down's Syndrome can have...and what these tiny beings bring to the lives of their families.

A child is a child, with or without disabilities. While none of us would ever give a second thought to giving birth to a child without them, we often don't realize that EVERY child has the potential to fail to live up to our often high expectations. The difference with a child who has disabilities is that we adjust our expectations to fit them, instead of expecting them to adjust to fit ours. A child with DS will do everything that every other child will do; sometimes more slowly, sometimes with more difficulty, or sometimes, as in my daughter's case (I am so blessed), exactly when she's supposed to. I am not naive enough to believe that this will always be the case, but for now, I am thankful for what we have been given and what she has accomplished. The rest will happen when she's ready for it to. Children with Down's are often silly and especially happy, but that is not always the case because just as we all have different personalities, so do they. They are mischievous, determined, stubborn, and smart. They see the world as a beautiful place, and because they do, their parents often see the world differently as well. They go to school. They play with their siblings. They run, they jump, they laugh, they cry. They love, wholeheartedly, without reservations. They smile like the very sunshine! They grow up, as all children do, and often move away from home; sometimes even going to college, getting jobs and getting married. They have dreams, and hopes, and feelings. Their very essence is not one of limited capabilities, but instead, endless possibilities!

I can't speak for everyone but in our case, Lydia has brought so much to our lives. I'm afraid that she's already taught me more in the last almost 5 months than I could ever hope to teach her in her entire life! She's taught me patience, strength, determination, and true joy. She has filled our house, and our hearts, with smiles and laughter. She has given me faith in a God that I wasn't even sure I truly believed in any more. She has taught me that every day is a gift, and every accomplishment is worth celebrating. She has taught me to see the world as an amazing place, full of God's wonders. I had forgotten what a beautiful world we live in! She has given me the pure unadulterated joy of gummy smiles, slobbery kisses, and tiny giggles. We never take her anywhere that someone doesn't stop, smile at my gorgeous girl, and strike up a conversation. lol. I think I have talked to more strangers in the last five months than I have my entire life!

She has a personality all her own; sometimes all sunshine, sometimes a tad bit stormy. She is the princess in our house and you best believe she has NO problem letting us know when things aren't being done to her satisfaction. She babbles and coos, and even complains. She loves music, her brothers, cuddles and all the silly things that Mommy and Daddy do to make her smile. :) All in all, she is truly amazing and I could never imagine living the rest of my life without her in it.

So for anyone who might be starting down this path, full of fear and uncertainty, I just have to say that this ride will be the ride of your life. Yes, sometimes it will be filled with difficulties, tears and even pain. But the rewards are greater than any that you could ever imagine! Don't listen to what others tell you. Listen to the calling of your heart! It will never lead you astray!
Lydia has led me down the path less traveled, and I have to say that its worth every single second.... :)

Pretty Pictures

Just pictures today....You're so pretty in your Easter dress (gotta get some use out of it before you get too big to wear it!) although NOT always ladylike ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's Going On....

Dear Bug,
I feel like the world's smartest Mommy! You are now officially going to sleep on your own! I know, I know. It sure doesn't sound all that impressive. Its something other babies do all the time. But this mama had really started to worry that I spoiled you! You never wanted to go to sleep unless someone was cuddling you, and the typical nightly battle was only won by Mommy laying down with you, chest to chest, until you were fast enough asleep that I could actually lay you down without waking you. It was a delicate balance...If I laid you down too soon, you would wake up and we would have to start all over again. But if I waited too long, I usually fell asleep with you. haha. I absolutely adore the cuddles with you but I have to say that I was starting to become concerned about how we were going to get you to sleep after surgery, when you probably won't be able to snuggle chest to chest for a while. I had visions of you and I, driving hours in the car, just to get you to go to sleep for even a little while without your snuggles. But there you are, exceeding my expectations again. Sleeping cozily in your little bassinet with only a kiss and a quick hug to send you off to dreamland!
That makes your Mommy so very proud!
You got yet another new outfit this past week (we're going to go bankrupt soon!) I have been eying it in the store for several weeks now, and wasn't sure about buying it because the weather was still chilly and I was afraid that I would buy the wrong size. We went to the store and I put it in the cart next to your seat, planning to walk around with it for a while, trying to decide if I would really buy it or not. I stopped to look at something else and when I turned around you were clutching the hanger for dear life. :) You held on to it through the whole store! I practically had to pry it out of your sticky hands to pay for it! Daddy laughed when I brought it home and told him the story about why I just HAD to buy it. He said that you would have held on to anything I put in the cart and that it was NOT a sign that you wanted it. But between you and me, I think you did. ;) And you looked just too precious for words in it, with its adorable little matching hat.

You have been paying a lot more attention to the world around you the last couple of weeks. You smile at us smiling at you, or talking to you, and sometimes even in response to certain things we say, like "Do you want to go bye-bye?". You are falling in love with your brothers and developing a little bit of hero worship of them as well. You smile, and flirt, and chatter to them, even when they aren't paying you a bit of attention. lol Welcome to the world of boys! :) You find us all a little bit funnier every day. You laugh at Mommy's silly faces, dances, and songs. You giggle when I blow raspberries on your tummy. And the other day, when Daddy and Ayden were wrestling, you watched them so intently...

and laughed when Daddy caught Ayden and won!
You are beginning to be fascinated by my phone. You watch me to see what I am doing when I'm taking your picture, and ham it up when I am making a video. I have been playing the videos of you chattering away back to you. You watch them with complete concentration, often talking back to that cute baby that you see on the screen. Its just about the cutest thing I have ever seen! :) You even seem to know when Mommy is doing something silly while taking your picture, like covering part of the lens with her finger. And you giggle about that too!
Oh. I just love watching you grow and learn about the world around you. That's what makes being a mother completely worthwhile. 
I love you, my growing girl! You take my breath away! So very proud, excited, and blessed to be your mama.

Friday, May 20, 2011

And Then a Song Speaks to My Heart....

Dearest Lydia,
A few days ago, I was looking through all the loose c.d.s that Daddy and I have laying around, looking for (haha I'm sort of embarrassed to admit this) my copy of Jeopardy for the computer. Long story short,  I never found what I was looking for, but I DID find quite a few of my old music c.d.s. How excited was I to find some of my favorites! I grabbed them up and put them in the car.
This morning while driving home from dropping Caleb off at school, I popped in my very favorite, "The Crow" soundtrack. As you will learn as you get older, Mommy has a VERY eclectic mix of music. I have had a passion for all sorts of different types since I was very young. I have a ridiculous amount of music knowledge bouncing around in my head, including an impressive data base of lyrics. haha. I adore lyrics. Every once in a while, there is that ONE song (or many in my case) that speaks to your heart at exactly the right moment and says what you never had the words to say just right. Once you listen to music that way, with your very spirit, there's no way that you don't fall in love with a song, no matter the genre. I find that I simply love music for itself, open heartedly, without reservation about what the world thinks of it.

As I neared home, the c.d. came to its end. There, tucked into the final strains of a rockin' c.d. was one of those songs. "The Crow" was one of my favorite movies when I was young, not because of the violence but because some of the things that were expressed in that movie changed my life in some small way. (Strange, I know..but I am a little off! lol) The one line that stuck with me was by Eric, when he smiled and said, shrugging his shoulders, "It won't rain all the time." While he was talking partially about Seattle's rainy weather, that simple line meant so much more to me. You see, I have stood in the proverbial rain, cold, lonely, hopeless and so overwhelmed by the world that it seemed the rain wold never end; I would never see the sun shine again. And that line brought to mind the rainbow (which I already discussed with you earlier). AS I said then, I believe that a rainbow is there when you least expect it. A sudden, glorious reminder that God is leaning down, shrugging His shoulders, with that little smile, and says, "Huh. I told you it won't rain all the time." Once I started paying attention to what He was telling me, every time there's a rainbow, I see one every single time that I need a reminder....like He paints them across the sky, just for me!

The words to the song that goes with the movie line, "It Can't Rain All the Time" by Jane Siberry, resonated with me. They did for a completely different reason back then, than they did this morning. I probably have listened to that song a thousand times. This morning I got a reminder of how beautiful that song is, and why I love it so much. Every once in a while, its good to walk back through the emotions of yesterday, so that you can remain focused on today. A little weird but let me try to explain. It is a good thing to remind yourself of how far you have come, of the painful things in your past which have changed you in a myriad of ways. I am often ugly when I am hurting, and the line between darkness and light usually begins to blur. I often fall into feeling sorry for myself for a while, sometimes even a long while, until I catch a glimpse of that rainbow. As I get older, I get better and better at pulling myself up by my boot straps, just doing what has to be done, without the endless wallowing in the shadows. But it's always good for me to remember that I have that tendency so that when those old demons come to call, I'm ready to banish them away quickly.

The words of this beautiful song, especially the first few verses, say all it takes to take me to that place and then stand me promptly back into the sun, which is right where I need to be! :)

~"We walked the narrow path,
beneath the smoking skies.
Sometimes you can barely tell the difference
between darkness and light.
Do you have faith
in what we believe?
The truest test is when we cannot,
when we cannot see.
I hear pounding feet in the,
in the streets below, and the,
and the women crying and the,
and the children know that there,
that there's something wrong,
and it's hard to believe that love will prevail.

Oh it won't rain all the time.
The sky won't fall forever.
And though the night seems long,
your tears won't fall forever."~
~Jane Siberry

Truer words have never been sung so hauntingly. And what I thought about this morning, while this song played in my car, was YOU! I felt myself slipping into those familiar places for a little while when we found out about your heart, and then even nearer when you were diagnosed with Down's. I cried almost solidly for a week. I didn't want to get out of bed, or face people, or even face the reality. All I wanted that entire week was to lay down and slip into the oblivion that sleep brings. I grieved. For my dreams, for my perfect baby, for life as we had known it, and for all the things that I thought that you were not, could not ever be and would never do. And then, sitting on the front porch, a rainbow! Once again, I felt as if God had reached down, gently patted me on the head, and said, "Its going to all be all right now." I sat on the porch, with tears filling my eyes, because I heard Him loud and clear. It dawned on me that this wasn't a test. It was a GIFT!

I knew your personality before you were born. I knew already, no matter what anyone tried to tell me, that you were smart, and stubborn, and silly, and so, so strong. I knew that you loved music, just like your mama, and already danced when the music moved you. You were constant motion, rolling and kicking. You smiled, you stuck out your tongue, you waved and even blew kisses. You had chubby cheeks, and pouty lips, and LOTS of hair. These are all things that I knew before you were even born, before I ever got lost in your big blue eyes face to face. What I didn't know was how you would steal my heart, how I would again have big dreams for you, how you would be the most wonderful, precious, and beautiful gift that I have ever been given. I didn't know that you would change my life so much for the better, or how you make it fuller, more vibrant and joyous. I didn't know how my heart would sigh when you were first put in my arms, or that I would feel like a piece of it that I didn't even realize I was missing would slide so effortlessly into place. I never knew that feeling of utter certainty that I had the first time you cuddled into my chest and stared up at me, that this; yes, this, is what I was made to do. Everything in my life so far has been preparation for being your mommy. :)
And I just have to say that when I look at it that way, I am in awe!!!!!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

And all God's people said, "Amen." :)
Thank God for knowing what I needed more than I did. Thank God for every struggle, every heartache, every disappointment, every single rain storm in my life. Thank Him for not answering all of my prayers, and for answering ones I didn't even know I had. Thank Him for the diamonds He has made out of the ashes of past mistakes and past lives. But most of all, thank God for the perfect creation of YOU!
I love you, precious Bug. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Surgery Date Set

Dearest Bug,

We now officially have a date for your surgery. 
July 14th. A mere 58 days away.
While in many ways it is a relief to finally have a date scheduled, it hit me today more than it has before that this is real. Even though we always knew this was coming, it was always a someday kind of thing. An almost hypothetical idea. Now there is no more mental denial. An actual date is so...well, final. 
I spent today bouncing between utter calm and tears. I know how much this surgery will help you. I know that your very life depends on us taking you to get this fixed. I have faith that God will take care of you. But oh, sweet girl, I wish so much that it wasn't even a consideration. I can't bear to see you hurting..(which is why you rarely get the chance to cry. It just breaks my heart too much!) As your mama, I am supposed to have those magical kisses that make your boo-boos not hurt anymore. And I'm afraid that my mommy magic isn't going to work on this. I'm scared that when I see you laying in that little crib, breathing with a ventilator, and with a big cut in your chest, that I will lose it. I try so hard to be strong, for you. And I know that I will make it through it all somehow.. and that you will too. I think there's a good chance you will make it through more gracefully than I will. 
We have an amazing support system, you and I. So many people love you so much! Someone once told Grandma that we will lose a lot of friends because of your special chromosome. That hasn't been the case at all. If anything, those wonderful friends that I have had the blessing of having in my life are closer to us than they were before. Their unconditional love and support of you, as well as me, pours out of them. What an awesome gift! But somehow, no one we meet is able to resist your considerable charm. :)
This will be a test of my faith. But somehow, I believe that all of this has a purpose. You have taught me more about God, and drawn me closer to Him, than anything or anyone ever has. I have watched all the prayers at work, and knew without a doubt that they were heard and answered when you were born. You were so much more than we were told to expect. 
 And you still are! 

I love you so much, Bug-a-lug. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


Dear Lydia,
We had an appointment at Riley today with your cardiologist. He says that there is no considerable change to your heart, and gave us the go ahead to schedule surgery in middle to late July. You are gaining weight, and growing longer....you weighed over 11 lbs today and measured 24 inches! GOOD JOB!!! I'm still nervous about surgery, but again, I know it is a necessary evil. I look forward to putting it all behind us, relieving some of the stress and worry that Daddy and I are carrying, just waiting. We love you so much, baby girl, and just want you to be healthy, with a heart that can keep up with you! I just know that afterwards you are going to be a force to reckoned with! More later on exactly when we will mark our calendar...As always, I love you so much! xoxoxoxo, Mommy

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dedicated to Our 13 Yr. Old (Happy Birthday Caleb)

My dearest Lydia,
Tomorrow is your big brother's 13th birthday. Somehow, even though we have already celebrated it last weekend, I just can't believe that he's so grown up now. It seems like just yesterday he was the talk of the hospital, a huge 9 lb 1 oz baby boy. He had me wrapped around his little finger from the first moment that I held him in my arms, just like you did!
He brought me my first real taste of being a mommy...and I have loved every second of it. He was such a beautiful little boy, with blond hair and big blue eyes, a lot like yours, chubby cheeks, and a smile that lit up my whole day....He was, and still is, a true joy to me! I have watched that baby boy grow up from a smiling cherub..
to a handsome little boy.....
who was often silly.....
and was always full of the boundless energy that little boys seem to have, laughter, and usually covered in dirt. lol He didn't stay that little for long, and before I knew it, he was growing into a bigger boy......
I still miss that little guy every once in a while. But I have to say that the young man he's growing up to be is pretty awesome too! This birthday brings the realization that my baby is growing up, and that before too long, I'm going to watch him spread his wings and fly away from me. Although that makes me sad, I also know that THIS is what I've been preparing him for all along. I have faith in the job I've been doing as his mom and I know that my little monkey is going to do fabulously on his own!

Happy 13th birthday, Caleb Daniel!
I am so proud of you, and I love you so much!!!! :)