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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Living a FAITH that Bleeds...

I promise I will post all about our trip to Hawaii with pictures soon...but tonight I have so much weighing on my heart I wanted to focus on this...

I have been struggling lately with life in general. I have had my bout with postpartum issues, been learning to juggling parenting 3 children, adjusting to a job change. At first I thought things were just randomly happening, but now I am able to sit back and see that even amidst the kayos God is moving, in me, through me and is positioning me to where HE wants me next. For the last several months I have thought that there is NO way that God would want to use broken, hopeless, jumbled up me. BUT He has been speaking to my heart, and His PEACE has covered me.

I guess my faith has been challenged since Mark brought home the 30 hour Famine box. A box I pass by and look at daily. I have yet to open it. Because...I KNOW what awaits me. Every year I organize the famine for our youth group. It is something I feel called to do. So when the box arrived it sparked something in me that is difficult to describe. I KNOW that in that box there is information that I don't want to read. That I don't want to know exists. In the box is a tangible reminder of children dying daily of preventable causes like hunger, dehydration, and disease. In America....the land of opportunity, plenty and everything else we can imagine...we can pretend that those children don't exist. We can try and justify the reasons that we don't need to, or can't be bothered with it...The TRUTH is that those children DO exist and whether or not I see them or don't see them....they ARE there. Waiting... Waiting for me to act.

There was a time that I operated daily in FAITH. I had doors swung wide open to me and was reaching the least of these on a weekly basis. I marvel at how natural and rewarding it was and how BIG my faith was. I see now that I have put God in a box and have focused entirely on myself. I have tried to put limits on myself with how useful I can be for God. I have looked at the picture in the wrong way. He wants more than just a sliver of my heart...HE has given ME (us) everything...HE also requires everything in return (not just what I feel like). Either GOD is Holy and good or HE is not. Either we TRUST Him with everything or we don't TRUST Him at all. Either the Bible is true or it is not. Their is NO room for mediocrity.

I am not certain what God has in store for me. In the last 8 months I have been through major changes. I have had a baby, quit my job, recovered from postpartum issues, traveled, and now I am going to be homeschooling our children. Homeschooling was not just a "good idea" for our family...although it has come as CALLING from God. I never imagined myself a homeschooling mom...but GOD did. As time goes on I feel as though HE begins to peel back layer by layer revealing His plan. It might be difficult and hard sometimes. It might require risk. He might be asking me to dig deeper and trust Him through things I would rather avoid. It might mean embracing the least of these...denying myself certain things or making changes. ONE thing I know is that I will say YES to God....whatever the cost....whatever it takes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Our Little Pumpkin

Don't you want to just squeeze her?

We all adore her. She is miss personality.

Miss Isabella Mary-Ann @ 7 months old!
We took a family trip to the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island earlier this month. I love this picture. We hadn't been to Sauvie Island in several years. The kids had a great time. Mark and I were exhausted by the time the day was over...and I was covered in hot chocolate. Tried to be a good mom and buy the kids hot cocoa. Luke spilled his cup in the first 3 minutes he had it. Needless to say I was burnt and sticky. But despite the spill everyone enjoyed themselves and the hayride was a big hit.
Miss Isabella all decked out for fall.

Daddy and Bella

Needless to say she has outgrown the bouncy seat!

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Bella

Happy Fall & Catch Up

I have been a horrible blogger as of lately. Life is just speeding by at full force. By the time I get the kids in bed, call my mom and pick up a few toys...I am wiped out. But here we go on a quick catch up of everything we have been up to...

In the middle of September we took a vacation to Southern California to my brother's wedding. We had the greatest time! The kids were awesome travelers, we did a bazillion things, and went to Disneyland.

Luke fighting Darth Vader at Disneyland

Grace's dream came true when she met Princess Belle...(look at her smile).

Our Family at the Wedding. Mark's parents were so great to plan their vacation around my brother's wedding. Mark's mom helped keep Bella so I could enjoy my brother's wedding.

Uncle D and Bella meeting at last.

The kids getting ready for their first airplane ride.

After the we came back I began teaching computers and music at the kids' school. I have been feeling better these days and I really needed that time away.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where have I been...?

I realize that it has been quite awhile since I last posted....and I had promised before that I would post about my recovery from the c-section. So, where have I been....? One simple word "surviving." My battle with the sinus/ear infection was I suppose just a virus, I never responded to 2 different types of antibiotics. I guess at nearly 5 months later...I am still recovering from having Isabella. You see...I never thought it could happen to me. I never thought that it would effect me....In all honesty I thought it was just for "other" moms. Not moms who wait for 7 years to give birth to a child. But it has happened to me and I refuse to be embarrassed or hide. I have postpartum issues. It began about 4 months to the day of giving birth and I am still fighting and trudging my way through all of these new feelings, emotions and issues. I am told that my intense pregnancy coupled with a surgical delivery and my history contributed to my struggles. Also the fact that I haven't slept well in 5 months hasn't helped. I am now on a quest to find wholeness and peace as the anxiety is debilitating at times....but I am not giving up and I am not giving in. I keep reminding myself that God is in control, that sometimes He allows things to happen to us and that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. You see...I have had to make some changes in my life and I am trusting God fill in the gaps and the parts that I do not know or understand. The biggest change is I had to let my job go. It was a huge source of anxiety and stress for me. I need to focus on my children, and myself and getting well. But God has opened another door for me. I am going to teach computer class at the kids' school 2 afternoons a week. I have also been offered to teach one music class at the kids' school too. I am still praying about that.

I can look back and see the warning signs...I can see the things I should have done different. I shouldn't have tried to been "super mom". I should have asked for more help...I should have not expected perfection from myself. I have to change. I am asking for help. I am realizing I need others and help and I have to reach out. I am trying to be transparent and honest with something for which I am struggling. I am learning to let go. I would sure appreciate your prayers during this time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More Video For Auntie Katie...

We miss and love you auntie Katie....counting down the days to our big airplane ride to come and see you!!!!

(Don't forget to pause my music player at the bottom first.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Rough Day...

I should be in bed, or cleaning the kitchen, or folding laundry, but I just wanted to take this time for me. Today has been a rough one. Normally I don't speak much of the rough days, but I thought I would share. I haven't been feeling good for the last couple of weeks. I kept excusing it for allergies. However, finally the searing pain in my left ear could be ignored no longer. Off to the doctor's I went. Turns out I have a horrible sinus infection, ear infection and fluid in both of my ears. My eyes, sinus and head hurt. All I wanted to do was sleep...but a role as a mother must be carried out sick or not. I must admit I wasn't a good mom today. I was short tempered and had low patience. I am sorry to my kids. Although, they were grumpy and the little one is teething. Can't a girl catch a break? Apparently not today. I felt like throwing a toddler fit when I realized that we would be a making a trip to Target to buy more formula. Yippee. Great...isles and isles of "can I get this?" and "can I get that?" We survived. I came home and threw the 2 older ones out in the pool and the baby swung in her swing. I managed to make a measly dinner of hot dogs and chips. But the kiddos did get a shower and a snack. They are all sleeping now, so I must go and join them. Even on my worst day, I am thankful for the blessings that they are. How can you not look at them and be happy. Here's to hoping those antibiotics kick in quickly!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Journey from Disposables To Cloth....Diapers

Ok...I must admit, I am the last person that I ever thought in a million years that would be writing this post. I have never even entertained the idea of cloth diapers until a month ago. My images prior to a month ago of cloth diapers includes diaper pins and "dunking" diapers in the toilet. Both things I would never, ever, want to do. I don't know if it has been the change in our food choices, being more conscious about chemicals, food additives, organic meats or just searching out the truth behind "how are we living?" "what are we eating?" "where do things come from?" or just asking the really difficult questions that I have never even thought of nor cared about before. But....something sparked my interest a month ago and I have been researching the vast world of cloth diapering. I have learned so much, but some of the main interesting facts that I have taken with me include: it takes approximately 500 years for a disposable diaper to break down in a landfill, over the course of diapering Isabella (from infancy to potty training) we will easily go through 6500 to 7000 diapers, we can save thousands of dollars by using cloth diapers, it is so much better for her skin, and the most surprising one is that the world of cloth diapering has changed so dramatically that the images I have had of it don't even exist anymore.

We haven't officially switched over yet. I thought I could share my journey thus far and update as time goes by. The first steps have been the massive amounts of research I have done and deciding which cloth diapering system I want to use. Yes...they have many different types, prefolds with covers, fitted diapers with covers, pocket diapers (these have inserts), all-in-one diapers a.k.a.(AIO's)...then you have all the different accessories depending on which system you use. They have things called "Snappies" that clip onto the diapers in place of diaper pins, although most all the systems don't even require pins or "snappies". Probably the most important piece of cloth diapering is how do you launder them. It is surprisingly easier than I imagined. There are no pails of soaking water or solution....from everything I have found out you wash diapers every other day. After you change the baby, you store diapers in a "dry" pail or special bag. If they are soiled you dispose of the waste in the toilet. There are tools to help this process be a clean one. You can use flushable liners that help contain the solids or a spray tool that attaches to your toilet. Apparently even with disposable diapers you are suppose to dispose of the waste in the toilet. You set your washer to run a rinse cycle using cold (with no special detergent or anything). Then you add 1/4 of your regular use of detergent and run a hot/cold cycle sometimes with an extra rinse. Dry in the dryer or hang in the sun. Done.

My next step in the process is to locate a store in the area and go in an continue to ask my questions and physically feel and look at the diapers. Oh..I decided to go with fitted diapers with covers and some pocket diapers. It is very common to mix and match what type of diaper you want to use. So here I go...into an unfamiliar world...but it feels feels right...and I am anticipating continuing to expand my resources help better our family both financially and health wise.

Bella...Meet Bryson

Bella had the opportunity to meet her long awaited Bryson. Our good friends, Jordan and Sarah, had Bryson 2 weeks ago. Mark and Jordan have been joking, quite seriously I might add, that Bryson and Bella were going to have an arranged marriage :) It was a special moment last week when we finally put the babies side by side after so many months of praying for each other. God is so wonderful and faithful and we are all thankful for His great blessings in these babies. Oh the plans that God must have for these little ones.

Bryson 2 weeks, Bella 3 1/2 months

"Why won't he hold my hand mom?"

Sweet Bryson...look at all that hair!

Bella enjoying Uncle Jordan and Auntie Sarah. Bella thought Uncle Jordan was just so funny and was laughing at him :)

Baseball Park

We had our annual "baseball park" adventure. Both Mimi and Papa came to play. The kids were so surprised when Papa showed up. Mimi bought Subway for everyone and then we went to Sellwood Park a.ka. "baseball park" for a picnic and then baseball. Of course we also hit the playground equipment too.

(Grace up to bat!)

Grace, Bella and Luke @ Sellwood Park

Bella enjoying the "baseball park"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Train Up a Child....

(Luke at age 3...His first In and Out Burger)

I have began to discover that the longer I parent....the more difficult decisions that one has to make. Mark and I have struggled for months regarding the decision to send the kids to public, private or home school them. Finally we have reached a decision to continue to send them to private school. God provided some of the finances and we are standing in faith for the remainder. When it comes down to it my husband said to me..."in the end it won't matter how much money or stuff we had, but this school and their education will matter to my will matter in eternity." So...I agree, although it is more difficult at times for me to have the kind of faith that he does. I know that it is a personal decision for each parent and their is no right or wrong answer. It is more a kid by kid decision. For my son especially keeping him in a small class environment is essential for helping him succeed. And Grace will have the best kindergarten teacher I can think of. I am so excited for her this next year. She is going to learn so many wonderful things.

Mr. L has another evaluation coming up at the end of this month. It is for occupational therapy. We are going to try a new therapy location. We loved the old therapy place, but he graduated; however, I feel that he still needs more help. So we continue on helping him rehabilitate, continue him growing and moving forward and providing him with the skills he is going to need to be successful. At times it is exhausting. Another set of paperwork, another phone interview of endless questions, another trip down memory lane regarding his interesting past. Most times I take it in stride, but I am tired right now. I want help for him. I want answers. Nothing is ever quick. But, God knows and has everything in control and I have to trust that He will lead us in the direction we need to take regarding Mr. L and his needs.

4th of July Cuties!!!!

For the first time in our married life (11 years), I spent the 4th of July without Mark :( He had to work. The weather was cold...and I was recovering from a migraine the previous day. It just wasn't my day. I did try and put on a brave face for the kids, let them stay up late and watch fireworks, give them little trinkets (glow sticks and red, white and blue necklaces), and some fun water activities, but for the most part I felt like crying. It just wasn't the same. Luke and Grace were very brave regarding the fireworks and Bella didn't seem to worried by the loud noises. Although shooting fireworks is every mom's worst nightmare. I find myself constantly trying to find a balance between letting them experience the activities and praying under my breath that no one blows up their face, or arm or any body part for that matter. I was happy when they were all tucked in bed with their glow sticks shining under their sheets and even happier that my husband came home from work early so we could sit in the living room and enjoy the "war zone" (as we have labeled it) together.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why We Became Foster Parents....

This is a tribute I made for our 13 foster kids that we had so far....We became foster parents to adopt and grow a family...but once our eyes saw the system, the need and the children God had other plans...I hope you enjoy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Personality Plus...

Bella has taught me so much about myself. Not that my other kiddos have not taught me things. They each have provided me with life lessons that I have needed to walk through. I would never want anyone to think that Bella is better or that I feel differently for her. I look at each one as an individual story that has taken me on some of the most amazing journeys. Each one different, each one miraculous.

Luke taught me about God's wisdom and timing. He reminded me that God has a plan and that I needed to yield. After 2 miscarriages and my father passing away from cancer, I was certain that God had forgotten me. He must have hated me. I was nearly ready to give up on faith when...a sweet 8 month old boy crawled into my life. Not only did I meet my son, begin a journey to help kids, but I met an awesome family "Cunninghams" that would become another set of grandma and grandpa for my kids and a resource for me to find love, wisdom and help. Luke was a bringer of light into my dark world. "Bringer of light" is exactly what the name Luke means.
Grace taught me about God's unending favor....which, by the way, is exactly what Grace means. God purposed for me to rescue a sweet, round, blue-eyed baby girl. The first time we met she crawled into my lap and put her head on my shoulder. We took her home and began months of rehabilitation for a little girl that never smiled and was fearful of everything. We waited the amount of time we needed to adopt her and she was ours. We never had visits, or worked with the birth parents. She was just given freely to us. A gift we didn't earn or even deserve. A gift of a daughter.

And now to Bella...she has taught me about God's ability to heal and His Almighty power. How is that God can create a fully formed human being inside of a woman? I will always marvel at how miraculous it is that it works! Bella is sweet and beautiful and full of personality even at 3 months old. She makes me laugh and cry. Like her trying to sing along with me when I rock her to sleep. By the way...Gilmore our favorite show. I watched it everyday when I was pregnant with her and we watch every evening together. Who cannot love a show about a mother/daughter relationship that are friends? Bella loves the theme song to Gilmore Girls. It is the song that she tries desperately to sing with me. Did I mention the girl can eat? I can't wait to start solids with her because I think she will enjoy them. I love her more than I ever thought I could. And the sound of her makes me laugh so hard. She is the best part of me and the best part of Mark. You want to know a selfish thought? Of course you do....I absolutely love that she prefers me. With our other kiddos, Daddy was the preferred parent right of the bat. If they had a choice they would always choose daddy. I know that is normal and one day that is going to be true for Bella, but I am savory every moment that I am the preferred parent. I revel that I have the "magic touch" the "ability to calm her". It is just these things that I have missed...and these moments that I thank God for the incredible, amazing gift He has given. I certainly didn't deserve her, and did nothing to earn it. God just blessed me and I love Him for his awesome power, mercy and grace.

Isabella Mary-Ann

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dedication Day

Isabella was dedicated to the Lord on Father's Day. I knew I wanted to dedicate her on Father's Day months before we even had her. It was a wonderful dedication and Pastor Mark talked about how Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord after all those years of infertility. I have related with Hannah in the bible many times during my journey to become a mom. I had planned on sharing my story about the miracle of Isabella with the congregation, but I knew I would be too emotional, so instead I created a slide show. You can view it in the post previous to this one. Just make sure to pause the music first. I have been asked several times about the song I chose for the slide show. It is called "That's what faith can do" by Kutless.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Birth story....

The adoption of Luke and Grace were such profound events, I often wondered.... if I was ever blessed with the privilege to have a biological baby would their story be as profound? I was blown away again by God's mercy and have learned that Isabella's story is just as profound but different. Each one a miracle, each one a divine plan by the Almighty One. I thought a lot about sharing my birth experience, but I feel so absolutely blessed that I want to share the miraculous birthday of one of the 3 greatest gifts that God has given to me.

Isabella Mary-Ann was born Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 (12 weeks ago) via c-section. She weighed 6 pounds and 7 ounces and was 19 inches long. She was born at 8:13am.

The day of her birth, I awoke at 4:00am in anticipation (and a whole lot of nerves). We needed to be at the hospital at 6:00am. I showered that morning because I knew it would be a while before I would be able to take another shower. We both got ready. I was very thirsty at this point, but of course no water or food for that matter. We left for the hospital at 5:30am when Mark's mom arrived. It was surreal to know that were going to the hospital to have a baby. A long awaited baby.

We arrived and walked across the sky bridge. Mark parked facing the hospital. We left our bags in the van for later since I knew from previous visits to the triage area that there wasn't a lot of room. We stopped at the restroom because of course I had to use it again (the joys of being pregnant). We rode up on the elevator with several nurses, who later we would find out would be my nurse assigned to me for the c-section and recovery. We checked in at labor and delivery Family Birth Center (Floor #4). A kind woman directed us to the triage area where we had been having our non-stress tests. We were placed in triage Room #1. The nurse had me put on a lovely gown. I had a difficult time not shaking because of my nerves. I kept telling myself, "I am not going to do this(shake)...I am going to enjoy this," willing myself to calm down. When I finally got my gown on, Mark took my last pregnancy picture and we met nurse Suzie for the first time.

(Last pregnancy picture)

She hooked me up to all the monitors and of course Bella wouldn't cooperate. She had to strap on the fetal monitor tight! Next, we met nurse Gina. I had met Gina before when I ended up in labor and delivery in January. It was nice to see a familiar face. Nurse Gina was called the "baby nurse". She was going to handle all of Isabella's care after the delivery. Suzie attempted to insert and I.V. and decided not to even try with my veins. So, Gina came in and got the I.V. inserted on the first try, but it HURT! I have never had an I.V. inserted before without numbing the area first. The hooked me up and started running fluids through the I.V. They then got the "Dad Pack" from the cabinets and gave it to Mark. It contained all his scrubs he would need for delivery. Too cute!!

Next to visit me was Dr. Monesori the anesthesiologist. He explained to me the process of the spinal block and asked me a few questions. He came highly recommended by the staff at the hospital. Everyone said how lucky I was to have him. Dr. Monesori then left the room to prepare for surgery. Suzie returned with a bunch of medication. Reglan and Pepcid were given to me through the I.V., and then I got 2 small cups of the worst tasting medication. Yuck! They called it citric acid and it was used to neutralize all the acids in my stomach. After choking down the meds, cute brown hospital socks were attached to my feet. I received a new gown at this point. It is a special gown that has a hose that can attach to it and blow warm air on you. It is called "Bear Paws". Research has found that if you keep a person temperature up during surgery they recover faster. Suzie turned it on and it puffed up. I felt like a marshmallow waiting for Dr. Bishop to come check in with us. When he arrived, I had to sign a form about the c-section. He asked if we had any last minute questions and I couldn't think of anything. He asked if I had gotten any sleep last night. I said, "a little." He said that he slept great! Then he said he would see us in the O.R.

Suzie returned, Mark kissed me, and I walked with Suzie into the OR. That was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. Here I am, 9 months pregnant, an I.V. trailing me in a purple hospital gown, walking to the end of the large hall into OR #2. 7 friendly people were waiting for me. The OR was so bright and extremely cold! Everything was beeping. It was so weird to see all this medical equipment and I started wondering what it was all for. I saw the baby scale and the baby equipment off to the left walking in. I couldn't believe the moment was finally here. For a brief second I was caught up in the magic of it all, and then of course reality hits, I am about to lose all feeling from the chest down, they are going to but a large needle in my back,they are about to cut into me....oh, look at the scalpel. Great! Suzie had grabbed another bag of fluids on the way over and was busy positioning the I.V and helping me get on the table. I sat off to the right of the table with my legs dangling over the edge. Dr. Monesori began his prep work on my back. By this time, modesty is out the window. I have learned that modesty and pregnancy don't mix. Dr. Bishop sat on a rolling chair waiting his turn shooting the breeze with the other staff in the O.R. They began paging Dr. Carleo, the assistant for Dr. Bishop at this point. It was about 7:45am.

Dr. Monsori began by using an ultrasound on my back. He marked several points all while Suzie stood in front of me holding my hands and telling me what was happening and whispering encouragement to me. First, my back was cleaned with a solution that sterilized it. Then, I had to curve into a ball (difficult to do with a basketball for a stomach). The worst part of the entire spinal block was the lidocane used to numb the back. After the lidocane, I was told to hold very still. That was when the spinal was being inserted. It was one injection of medication. The spinal block works by numbing a person up to their chest, however it starts at the feet and moves up. I immediately started going numb and they helped me lie down. They staff began working quickly at this point. Things were being draped around me, Dr. Bishop was up and on my left side talking with me, a nurse was inserting a Foley catheter. I didn't feel anything (thank God!) Suzie put the baby monitors on me so Dr. Bishop could take a listen to the baby post spinal block. Dr. Bishop told me that March 24th was his old nurse, Ruth's birthday. I knew Ruth.

He started pricking and pinching me. I felt nothing. I was given oxygen at this point. They were still paging Dr. Carleo, when Dr. Bishop moved around to my right side and was sterilizing my belly. They then went to go get Mark. Dr. Monesori asked me to squeeze his hand. At one point, while going numb I thought I might panic, however, I just gave myself over to this process and tried to stop fighting the urge to move my legs. Mark appeared at that point in his scrubs and sat by me. They placed a drape across the front of me and began the c-section. Mark to my amazement watched the entire process...I was thankful I could see nothing. I could smell my skin burning when they were cauterizing. About 10 minutes into the procedure I heard a lot of suction (amniotic fluid). Dr. Bishop called for a Kiwi (vacuum). I was told by Dr. Monesori to take deep breaths, as Dr. Carleo used his forearm to apply pressure to get little miss out. She wouldn't budge so Dr. Bishop used a vacuum to pull her head out and the rest of her body.

(Dr. Bishop on the left, Dr. Carleo on my right. Bella"s grand entrance into this world.)

She came out screaming! It was an answer to pray. We were told that since she was technically 3 weeks early there was a chance that she might have to go to the NICU. She was suctioned and handed off to Gina.

(Bella and nurse Gina)

She held her up for me to see. She was beautiful. Her apgars were 8 and 9. I laid there and watched her just crying. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I gave birth. They said it couldn't be done. How great is our God?

(Me in my "Bear Paws" gown & Bella ready to leave the OR).

Next post I will share about my recovery. God was faithful in the recovery too :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Back to Work

Bella is almost 10 weeks old, and that means it is back to work for me to finish the school year. 3 more weeks, but I can say I feel out of the routine of working. It will be good to go back, and I am happy I only work until 11:30am. I will just so miss my sweet baby, but I know she will be in good hands with daddy. I can't believe how fast time is flying by.

Luke and Grace are doing well. I must admit I have no idea where they are going to school next year. I have spent so much time researching, praying, interviewing and asking questions my head could spin. I feel no closer to a decision than I did when I began. Private, public or home school, those are the choices I am considering.

Luke has been having some major appointments at OHSU Casey Eye Institute. They are concerned that he has childhood onset glaucoma. He is labeled right now as "suspicious of glaucoma". His big test on June 30 will give us a clearer picture of his eye pressures over a period of a day. He is such a trooper though. I was so proud of him at his last appointment. I don't think I could of done as well as he did. Very proud mama here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This is for you Aunt Katie

I was really missing my dad today. It is difficult sometimes, more difficult than I thought to have a baby and not have my dad here to meet her. I have also been really missing my family, especially my little bro and soon to be sis-in-law Katie. Even though we can't be there in person right now, I thought I would share a little moment of Isabella's day. We love you all! You will want to pause my music selection below to play the video.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

7 weeks Old

Bella is 7 weeks old now! She is doing some pretty amazing things like smiling and holding her head up for a few seconds at a time. She is spending more time awake and loves to just look at you. We all continue to be very in love with her. Bella is the most amazing gift and we love her so much.

Life has been pretty busy around here. Three kids is a lot to manage at times. I know that I have parented 3 kids before with foster care, but there is something different about a child that you know is yours and is not leaving. It is a new experience for us not to have caseworkers, visits and everything that comes a long with being a foster parent. It was so weird having her social security card and birth certificate just show up without jumping through all these major hoops just to get them.

I took Bella to get her pictures professionally taken today. She is not a fan! We got a couple of good shots but then she was finished. Poor baby. I won't have them back until the end of the month. I used JC Penny's and was pretty impressed for the price. Can't wait to share.

Father and Son Adventure

Mark and Luke went kayaking together yesterday. They really had a wonderful time. I wish I could have gone with them, but alas...I am still recovering from the birth of Bella. They went with a group from our church. Luke had a blast and from what I heard always wanted to be the kayak in the lead. He is wanting to be first all the time these days. They kayaked for a while and then had their lunch on a large sandbar with some awesome huge pieces of driftwood. It was a beautiful day for the outing too. Here are a couple of pictures.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Isabella is 1 month old!

I can't believe a month has already flown by! Where does the time go? Isabella is a good baby. She is a delight and a little bit spoiled (but that is ok right now). She is held all the time. We celebrated her one month birthday by taking her and kiddos to the zoo. It had been way over a year since we had been to the zoo. I didn't do much while I was pregnant. The kiddos were thrilled to go. We kept Luke home from school so that he could have much needed day off. He worked so hard this work doing their standardized testing. He was just "done" yesterday.

I continue to feel well. I have to be careful not to overdo it because then I start to feel pain in my incision.
Bella in her "My auntie loves me bib"

Bella in her red and white outfit (which by the way doesn't fit anymore).

Luke and Grace at the zoo.

Bella "enjoying" the zoo

Luke and Grace playing drums at the zoo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Beautiful Bella

Bella is changing everyday. She is the most wonderful gift that I have been given. The love I feel for her is amazing. It is the same love I feel for Luke and Grace, but the love happened differently. It is crazy to think I carried her for 9 months, and loved her for 9 months and took her with me everywhere for 9 months...I still can hardly manage to part with her. She is a gift and I am so thankful for the miracle that is Isabella...I was told she wouldn't happen...that she couldn't happen without "medical intervention". But here she is...perfect..beautiful...and healthy.

She had her 2 week check up yesterday. She has gained a pound since leaving the hospital!!! She also grew an inch (20 inches). The doctor is happy with her progress and said she is a wonderful, healthy little love. We think so too!

This is Bella just hours old when I finally made it to the recovery room after the c-section.

Bella and I getting to know one another....

The new and complete Dahl family on Easter. Just the 5 of us.....
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