Fifty Days of Grae

 

A year ago today, we decided to visit the hospital just to be certain I wasn’t leaking amniotic fluid. We had just moved to a new city, J had started a new preschool class, and I had been on bed rest at home for about a week. I was 28 weeks pregnant and was feeling the undeniable “trickle” but we remained optomistic until we were able to get checked out at the hospital. While we had a few options of which hospital to go to in the area, we chose the one with the highest level NICU, just to be safe. Little did we know, the reality of needing that was much closer than not. The threat and fear of having our little boy way too early was much bigger and closer than we knew, but we lived it every, single day for the next fifty days of our lives.

I’ve been asked, “How did you do it?” How did you lay flat on your back for seven long weeks?! The answer is simple. I’m not special. I don’t have superpowers. I’m no different than anyone else. What other choice did I have?? When you’re a mom, you just do it. You do absolutely everything you can for your babies and while it wasn’t easy, it was absolutely worth every second of every minute of every hour of every, single day. I will tell you, I didn’t do it alone. Without God’s answer to prayer, my incredible husband, the crucial help from my mom and our family, my amazing nurses, and the prayer, support and love from everyone, it wouldn’t have happened. Plain and simple. But, that moment when I heard his first cry come from his tiny, little body, made it all worth it. Though, in true Dekker fashion, there was plenty of drama before that moment ever came.

It’s not common to stay pregnant for seven weeks after your water breaks, but somehow, with prayer and modern medicine, God allowed us extra time. I hadn’t had time to find a new doctor after moving, so I had the unique”opportunity” of conducting interviews from my hospital bed. Doc after Doc came through, proposing their “plan” for us. Most wanted to deliver him via C-section at 34 weeks if we even got that far. It was, according to them, the safest option for everyone. While I wasn’t in the position to be extremely picky or opinionated, I was praying for a Doctor that would allow more time and would support my desire to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). I knew it was a long shot, but I truly believed this was our best chance of the healthiest baby possible, that could potentially come right home with me from the hospital. At 34 weeks, all babies at this hospital automatically go to the NICU to be on the safe side. However, at 35 weeks, they allow mom to immediately hold baby and see how baby is doing before takiing them to the NICU. I wanted that. I really wanted that. More than anything, I wanted to hold my baby boy, to nurse him right away, to get that skin-to-skin, even if it ended up that he needed to go to the NICU, I wanted that chance. So, when one Doctor walked into my room, willing to wait that extra week and supporting my wish to deliver him vaginally, I was one happy mama.

It was a time in my life when I felt like I had lost complete control of everything. I went from not having ever spend longer than 24 hours away from J to being away from home for an excruciating seven weeks. I had to completely surrender my parental role for that time, because even when he would visit me, I wasn’t even supposed to sit up, much less chase him around. It was, by far, the hardest part of being in there. I didn’t know how to explain to him why I wasn’t home with him to tuck him in at night or why I couldn’t pick him up and comfort him when he caught his finger in the door at the hospital. I was often bored and sometimes lonely. My heart ached. My body ached. I could’ve easily become depressed and isolated.  If it weren’t for the love, prayer, support, gifts, and visits from family and friends, I would’ve been a complete mess. If I hadn’t had the most amazing husband in the entire world that slept every, single night on the hospital couch bed, I probably would have cried myself to sleep many nights. That wouldn’t have been possible if my mom hadn’t given up her entire life for seven weeks to stay with J and take care of him and my entire family, no questions asked. I sometimes shared the highlights on social media of visits from friends, my mom bringing J, or 15 minute wheelchair rides to get fresh air, but truthfully it was hard. It was really, really hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever done.

So, the when we finally and miraculously reached 35 weeks, I was ready. I was, of course, worried that he would be too little and could potentially have a hard time breathing, regulating his body temperature, latching, and many other difficulties, but after weeks and weeks of reading the prognosis if I delivered at that gestation, we had made it to a point that while it was worrisome, the outlook was good and he would be just fine, possibly needing some extra help and time in the NICU. I also knew that the risk of delivering him at 35 weeks was lower than the risk of developing an infection from having my water broken for so long, so I was ready to meet him, no matter what.

The night before they planned to induce my labor, they took me off the meds that were keeping the contrations at bay. I took these meds every day for seven weeks, so when they stopped administering them, my contractions quickly kicked into gear. When my doctor came in that morning to check me, he saw that I was already 3cm dilated and the contractions were becoming pretty regular. So, they gave me a brand new room with an ocean view on the labor & delivery floor. They told me to make myself comfortable, because today was the day, but these things can take time. Our parents made their way to the hospital to settle in and await the arrival of their tiny grandson. Brendan set up the music, I began breathing through the contractions as they became more and more frequent.

Not but an hour later, I was in the zone. I went from having lively conversation with our family between contractions to requesting that conversation remain quiet and minimal. I was focused on relaxing, breathing, and allowing my body to perform miracles. While my wish was to have an unmedicated birth, part of the deal I made with my Doctor was that I would be willing to get an epidural. In the event that I would need an emergency C-section he wanted me to be prepped for it. It was that or they would have to knock me out for his birth, and I wanted to be awake to meet him. So, when my nurse came to say it was time to get the epidural, I didn’t feel quite ready, but when she could see how often and long I was contracting, she persuaded me to get the process started. We knew I had progressed to at least 5cm, so she wasn’t concerned with slowing labor.

It was the first time I laid down since beginning labor. They had just administered the epidural and I was feeling immense pressure. I told my nurse and she said that was a great sign that we were getting closer. I told told her, “No no, you don’t understand. Like… a loooooot if pressure.” She agreed to check me again, because she wanted to place a fetal monitor on the top of his head anyway, because there were a few times during the epidural process that his heart rate had dipped and she wanted to be sure he wasn’t in distress. So, when she checked me, she found that I was now 9cm dilated, so it was no surprise that I was feeling the amount of pressure I was. She was pretty sure I was about to deliver him before the epidural even had a chance to kick in.

It was that moment that everything became a blur. You know that part in the movie, where you’re staring straight down at the blank stare of the main character’s face as they’re being rushed on a hospital bed by a group of 10 screaming nurses to the operating room? Ya, that was me. All of a sudden, that beautifully strong rhythmic heartbeat of my baby that I had been meditating on had dropped to nearly nothing and didn’t come back up. My husband was ripped away and placed in a holding room while they swiftly prepped me for an emergency C-section. There were so many people. Terms like “crashing” and “no heartbeat” were being yelled across the operating room. My Doctor was barreling down hallways, pushing people out of way, rushing to save my baby. I didn’t dare ask if he was ok. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the answer. I just remember talking to him out loud. I told him he had to hang on. I needed him. We could do this together. I reminded him how much I loved him already and that he was going to be ok. Even with all the people in the room, I felt completely alone. It was then that I felt God’s presence and comfort. I mean this when I say, He was in that room. It was almost as if I could reach out and touch Him. It was undeniable. They finally allowed my sweet husband in the room and then, in the midst of chaos and noise, one nurse looked up and shouted, “Everybody, STOP! The baby’s heart rate is rising, Doctor, check her!” When he found that I was completely dilated and ready to push, he exchanged scalpel for vacuum and two big pushes later, the tiniest, most glorious, most courageous cry was heard. My little warrior baby had made his way into the world unscathed. He was 5 pounds 5 ounces of absolute perfection. The doctor handed him straight to me and said, “This one’s a keeper, I think he’s going home with you.”

And that’s exactly what he did. From that moment on, he never left our side. Not to the NICU, not to an incubator, he stayed right there with his mom and dad, healthy as can be. He was my miracle. He was strong, and brave, and he was all mine. It was the perfect ending and beginning all at the same time. It was a long, difficult journey leading up to that moment but it was everything I had ever wished for. Fifty long days of Grae, and then we got to go home and our life began a new normal.

“Though he be but little, he is fierce.”

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

 

One Day at a Time

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I’m 29 weeks pregnant today! While every week is an exciting milestone for every mommy-to-be, I’m especially thankful today to have added even one more day to this pregnancy!!

A little over a week ago, I began having signs of preterm labor while visiting family in Arizona. We are no strangers to preterm labor, as I was on home bed rest for 11 weeks with our first little man. So, of course we followed protocol again this time, went straight home and made an appt with our OB, and took it easy the rest of the week on home bed rest.

On Saturday afternoon, I was feeling a little concerned that I may be leaking amniotic fluid, so to be safe, we drove to the hospital to have things checked out. What they found was that I wasn’t leaking, but that my cervix had gone from measuring at 1.4cm on Monday (should be somewhere around 4.0cm at this gestational age) to an alarmingly low 0.4cm on Saturday. I had also dilated to 1cm and a nifty little test (called an FFN test) that can predict whether your body is preparing for delivery in the next 2 weeks or not came back positive. While the docs weren’t necessarily concerned I would go into labor in the next 24 hours, they thought it best I go ahead and stay overnight and see a Perinatologist (high risk pregnancy doctor) in the morning to discuss what plan of action to take next.

So, after an uneventful yet restless night’s sleep in the hospital, we woke up to prepare to meet some new doctors and discuss “the plan of action”. When I got up to use the restroom, I had that unmistakable gush of amniotic fluid. My water had broken, and I was only 28 weeks 5 days pregnant. This was, by far, one of the most frightening moments in my life. I called the nurse in and the doctor came back to do an exam to confirm that my water did, in fact, break.

We were so scared, and began preparing for the fact that we would be meeting our very tiny little baby way too early that day.  What I didn’t know was that you can actually stay pregnant with a broken amniotic sac for a while longer if your body doesn’t just kick right into labor on its own. So, we waited and prayed. Contractions started, but never fully picked up since I had begun taking meds to stop them prior to coming to the hospital. We began steroid treatment to help his lungs develop in the event that I did go into labor, and we began antibiotics to fight any infection that could come from having a broken amniotic sac.

Four days later, here we are!!! I’m still very pregnant, baby is doing wonderfully, he has plenty of fluids despite the breakage, contractions are controlled, and we are one more day closer to his due date! They say every day is a huge accomplishment, and for one more day I can keep him safely in my womb, that is 3 days less he will have to live in the NICU. We would be absolutely ecstatic to get to 32 weeks before he comes, but we can only take it one day at a time. I will remain in the hospital on complete bed rest (only slightly sitting up in bed to eat or use a bedpan) until this little guy comes, so despite how difficult and taxing that is on my body and on our family, hopefully I’m here for a really long time.

It’s excruciatingly hard to be away from my sweet little J, but I am just so thankful for the help and support from my amazing mom, our family and friends, and for the opportunity from God to keep this little baby safe in my womb for as long as possible. We appreciate your very powerful prayers and positive thoughts so much, we know we wouldn’t even be this far without answered prayers!

We’re just taking it one day at a time, and couldn’t be more blessed to have the chance to do so! Stay in there, baby boy! Mommy and Daddy want to meet you, but not quite yet!!!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6

I’ll Always Wonder Who You Would’ve Been

I never planned to share this story. It was too private, too personal to put out there, but as I browse through social media today, my heart hurts. It aches for all the parents out there that have felt the pain unlike any other pain, the pain of losing a pregnancy, or even worse, of losing an infant. My heart is heavy for my friends and family that have experienced this kind of anguish, and it just takes me right back to one of the most painful times in my life, just this past January.

It had been one of the most exciting holiday seasons for us. We had this beautiful, joyous little toddler to take shopping, decorate cookies, and walk around and see Christmas lights with. We planned trips to the chilly mountains and back home for the holidays, and we had the most exciting news to share on Christmas morning with our families! We were going to have another baby! We had J unwrap his brand new “Big Brother” book in front of everyone as our way of announcing the big news! It was happy, joyous, and we felt so blessed to be adding another little blessing to our family of three!

When we first found out we were pregnant, we, of course, read the usual weekly updates on how big our baby was and what developments the baby was making. Week by week, or little poppy-seed got bigger and bigger, developing more and more, and much like when people nickname theirs “little peanut” or “gummy bear”, we lovingly called ours “Tailor” in honor of a cute little story from Brendan’s childhood (he named his first pet fish “Tailor” because, Duh, it had a tail!) and because at that stage, all embryos have a tiny, little tail.

Not long after, our much-anticipated first prenatal appointment turned into one of the saddest days in our lives. A few short seconds into our ultrasound, I could feel the mood shift in the room. I watched my doctor’s shoulders drop in deflation as he let out a deep sigh. I heard the words I was so afraid to hear. I still remember them exactly, cutting deep like a knife, “Well guys, I’m not liking what I’m seeing.”

I’ll never forget the look on my sweet husband’s face. As devastated as I was, I knew it was worse for him. I had been a little worried for a while that something wasn’t right, but not him. His support and confidence was unwavering. So, to see the pain in his eyes was unbearable, and so painful to speak of, but we got through it together. We always do.

Weeks later, after we had done our best to begin moving on, we got a phone call from our doctor. He told us that our results came back from the labs, and that our pregnancy was actually a rare abnormal pregnancy called a Partial Molar Pregnancy. Long story short, in a normal pregnancy the egg receives one set of chromosomes from the father, but in this case it receives two. This translates to an embryo forming, but also a molar growth forms and pretty much takes over the uterus, not allowing the baby to grow and survive. So, in addition to dealing with the loss of our baby, we were now in fear of the potential risk of this molar growth returning and requiring chemotherapy treatment. Me. CHEMO. All because we wanted another baby. The idea was almost unbearable.

The kicker was that we had to now wait at least 6-12 months before trying to have another. We had to make sure the growth didn’t come back, and a pregnancy would interfere with monitoring. So, we waited. We went every week to have my blood drawn to make sure it didn’t come back. We waited in fear, in disappointment, and were reminded week after week of the pain of our loss. We were very fortunate that everything quickly went back to “normal” and that there were no signs of the growth returning and after 6 months of healing (physically and emotionally) we were given the green light to try again.

So, today on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day, I’m sharing our story to honor our little “Tailor”. I wish I could hug every, single mom and dad out there that have experienced losing a pregnancy, and I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of losing an infant. I also shared our story to honor all the parents I know that have experiences this type of loss.

Shortly after our loss, I decided to get my first tattoo to honor the memory of our sweet, little “Tailor”. I got a cross on the inside of my wrist to honor my Source of strength and hope I relied on so heavily through this time. I couldn’t imagine going through something like this without the grace, healing and love of our God. It is also a simple reminder for me as a “T” for “Tailor”. It has brought me a lot of joy and healing to know that while we are able to move on, we will never forget.loss

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  -Romans 15:13

To the Mom in Target

image Today, I took a gamble. After the sleepless night we endured last night, it probably wasn’t the best idea. But, I desperately needed cat litter and K-Cups (yes, this was a necessity after being up with J for over 4 hours in the middle of the night last night) so I accepted the challenge and went to Target. With disheveled hair, no makeup, a questionable sticky substance on the front of my shirt, and a very sleepy, very grumpy toddler, I decided to brave it.

Luckily for me, J was an angel. With a few “weapons” of bribery on hand and several extra detours to push the elevator button for the millionth time, I was able to get the couple of things I needed PLUS a few extra indulgences! (this is TARGET we’re talking about, you can never leave with just the few things you came for) He was even pleasant to the other shoppers around him, offering bites of his banana and saying, “Hi!” to anyone who glanced his way. No one would ever have known that, for some unknown reason, he decided sleep was unnecessary the night before.

I couldn’t help but notice that another mom in the store was not so lucky. I’m pretty sure every  person in the two-story Target noticed that she was not so fortunate. Her daughter was NOT happy, and I can only imagine that her mama wasn’t either. But, this mama stood her ground, finished checking out, and left with what I can only assume was elevated blood pressure, feelings of embarrassment, and the few necessities she came for, despite the risk involved.

As I approached the check-out lane closest to the exit, in the event that everything broke bad, I overheard the woman ringing up the girl in front of me talking about the little girl and her mother. I heard them discussing that “if that were their child” blah blah blah. All I was hearing was judgement. So, when it was our turn to check out, the very first thing she said to us was, “Look at this little guy, being so good!” While this would normally be a moment of pride for me, I couldn’t bring myself to acknowledge the compliment with anything more than a polite smile. I hadn’t even begun unloading the items from my cart, to include the half-eaten banana and the empty apple juice box (remember the weapons of bribery I mentioned?) She had no idea how lucky I felt that I got through this trip without any major tantrums. She didn’t have a clue that it was a 50/50 shot from the start. She then immediately began talking to me about the mom before me with her daughter and how terrible she was acting. She began sharing with me that when her kids were that age, they would never get away with that because she wouldn’t have stood for it. She was somehow implying that she and I had obviously done something right that the other mom had not.

I only had one thing to say to her. All I could muster was, “I don’t like to judge other people’s children, because I’m not their parent.” While this didn’t come out exactly the way I wanted it to, I think she was able to understand my point. She understood that I wasn’t going to discuss the situation and kick that mom when she was already down. I wasn’t going to go on about how I would’ve handled it differently. I wasn’t going to join this woman on her high horse.

What I wish I could say to the mom in target: I’m sorry that your gamble didn’t pay off this time, that your little girl was so unhappy, and most of all I’m sorry that other people are so quick to judge. I wish I could have given her the knowing smile of “Yup, I’ve been there!” and tell her I’m sure her daughter is a delightful little girl. As if having a screaming child isn’t hard enough, I’m sorry that you also have to worry about the dirty looks, sideways glances, and the bored, self-righteous woman who apparently doesn’t remember what parenting a toddler is like. I hope you went home, had a big cup of coffee and that your little girl took an extra long nap for you.

If the next time I am in Target J decides to have a meltdown, I hope someone else will tell the check out lady to step off her pedestal, smile and show love and understanding to that mom that took a risk that day and lost.

The Unexpected

As we are quickly approaching our five-year wedding anniversary, I am thinking about what an amazing guy I am lucky enough to live this life with. I thank God for the incredible man He created, and I truly believe he was made just for me.

I am also reminded of the beautiful vows we made that day. Included in those were the vow to love and to cherish. Most of the time, this part comes easy. What’s not to love about a man who is smart, handsome, clever and driven? How could I not cherish a man that provides the incredible love and support, joy and laughter, friendship and acceptance that he does for me?

Another part of our vows we took was to remain faithful and true to each other. It has been, and will always be, an honor to be faithful and true to him. It is such a blessing to know that he, without a doubt, is accountable and faithful to not only me, but to our God.

Then, there was the part about “in sickness or in health”. This part came especially easy because I was marrying a man full of adventure and life. He is the type of person that not only loves adventure, but NEEDS to have it. He is such a morning person, which is not only admirable to me, but is also maybe sometimes annoying. He keeps me going and pushes me to try new things. Within the first couple years of our marriage, he somehow convinced me do a couple crazy endurance events that I NEVER would’ve done without him. As he continued to pursue this and other passions of his, I never once doubted that he would always be like this. He would always be the passionate one, the energetic one, the morning person, the one to push me to new levels. I never doubted that, even into old age, he would remain healthy and full of life.

It wasn’t until this past year that I ever even thought about what it meant to marry “in sickness and in health”. Obviously everyone gets old and that usually means some health problems, but I never anticipated that before even turning 30, we could be faced with the “sickness” part. I never played out what it would be like to drive my husband in frightening, shivering pain to the hospital only to leave him there for days on end. I never anticipated watching my (already lean) husband lose more than 20 pounds in a few short weeks, or to experience the lethargy, embarrassment and pain he had to endure. Just like that, we went from our “normal” life to a whole new life. A life of Dr’s visits, test after test, medical bills, medications, and diagnoses. A life of fear and uncertainty along with often feelings of hopelessness. A life of, at times, not being able to take a road trip or even day trip, to sleep in or go out to eat, go for a bike ride, or take our son to the park if it didn’t have a bathroom.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been good times, too. Thanks to God and modern medicine, there have been times in the past year that we were nearly able to forget about this disease. When he is feeling well, we live life to the fullest. We have been blessed with so many opportunities and have made many amazing memories. We live in a beautiful place, have a beautiful, healthy son, and are so blessed with a beautiful life. Still even yet, there’s no denying that IBD has changed our lives forever.

The hardest part about this disease is the unknown. As of now, there is no cure, only ways to control and relieve symptoms. We have yet to find a viable way to even control his symptoms with medicines that he can take on a long-term basis. He has tried every type of medicine out there, and yet nothing seems to be working. We have done all-natural approaches, even done some questionable and crazy things, but nothing has done the trick. We are now embarking on a new journey as he is entering case studies to see if new medicines can help him. As scary as it is, we are just hoping and praying they will find something that works for him.

As his wife, sometimes the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are unbearable. I wish someway, somehow I could take away his pain. In no way have I ever regretted the vow I took, even more it has been an honor and blessing to be by his side. Although I wish I could do more, I have decided to do what I can. In addition to fervent prayer and dedication to research, I have committed to raise funds and awareness of this disease and participate in a half-marathon. I am committing to something that I would normally refuse to do (anyone who knows me is well aware that running is probably my least favorite thing to do)to show just how passionate I am about doing what I can to find a cure. IMG_1102My heart goes out to any person and their families that have to deal with this. I ask that you please contribute to the cause with me and support in any way you can! Here is a link to my fundraising page, any amount at all would be such a blessing to my family and to anyone suffering from this! There is also a lot more information, as well, on the disease and foundation your funds would be supporting!  http://www.active.com/donate/napaSDDA14/napa14KDekker

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Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope in some way it has encouraged you or enlightened you somehow. If you have any questions or comments at all, please feel free to email me at thedaysofdawnblog@gmail.com.

A Beautiful Mess

IMG_20131130_040744I can’t help but feel a wave of nostalgia when I walk into a clean, tidy home with no signs of a toddler in sight. I unexpectedly stopped in on a neighbor the other day, which is something I try very hard not to do, because I am all too familiar with that sudden feeling of panic you get when there’s a knock at the door with no time to change your shirt that was just smeared with peas or pick up the pile of puzzles, books and blocks that is ever-growing in your living room. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life, but a mix of emotion comes with remembering what life was like before I became a mommy, when I could set something down and it would still be there later, of freshly swept floors and visible table tops, or when my bathtub was lined with bubble baths and body scrubs instead of foam letters and bath crayons. I was reminded when my beautiful toddler-less neighbor casually opened her door to her spotless and serene home of just how much my every day life has truly changed.

I now feel a huge sense of accomplishment if I change out of my pajamas by noon. I no longer stress about whether every dish is clean and put away, as long as my visitor has enough space to set her purse down. When asked if they can use my restroom, my auto response is now, “At your own risk!” I had a mini panic attack the other day when the cable guy sprung a bathroom break on me, and all I could think of is whether or not I removed the tiny little potty seat from the toilet or if he was going to have to navigate around it. My bedroom is NEVER clean anymore, so I quickly pull the door shut if someone comes over. Against every idea I had before having J, my living room has become the official playroom in the house. All that was once decorative and pretty has been replaced by what would survive being thrown on the ground or played with as if it were part of a drum set.

But, my goodness, is he worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There’s almost a weird sense of pride that comes with every scribble on the wall or every truck I kick out the way to open a door. While I do look forward to the days where I can see my floor again, I know that I will probably feel a whole new sense of nostalgia when I walk into someones home who’s little one is just learning how much fun it is to build a tower of blocks and knock them all down over and over again. Until that days comes, I will just enjoy the beautiful mess I live in and as a blanket statement, my door is always open just don’t expect to find the fresh and tidy home you once would have, but expect to find a ton of mess, a bunch of noise, and a whole lot of fun instead!

“And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14

I Love You, Sweet Baby

Hearing this song today brought many tears to my eyes. While dancing, shaking tambourines, playing drums and swaying side to side with baby J in his room, I was so simply reminded of the many days we’ve spent following this very same “to-do list” with our sweet baby and what a joy it has been!  Life has been so good with baby J, and I was so tickled to hear it all play out in a fun, little quirky song!

I Love You Sweet Baby by Kimya Dawson

The first thing in our list of things to do
Is to wake up right next to you
Second thing that we have planned
Is to kiss both of your hands

Third thing that we’ll do today
Is look you in the eye and say
I love you sweet baby, I love you sweet baby
I love you more than anything

Then we’re gonna change you
Then we’re gonna feed you
Then we’re both play peek-a-boo
Then we’re gonna read to you

Then you have more milk and have some water
And we’ll smile at you and tell you we’re so glad that you’re our daughter
Then you’ll fall asleep on daddy’s lap
We’ll watch MacGyver while you take a nap

When you wake up we have more plans
Say good morning baby and kiss your hands
Then you’re gonna make a pee
In your little green potty

Then we’re gonna eat our lunch
Mash apricots for you to munch
Then you’re gonna nurse again
Then we’re gonna call our friends

Then we’ll dump out all your toys
Singin’, dancing, make some noise
Then we’re gonna take a walk
Down the street to the park

We’ll play on the see-saw, play on the slide
You’ll get tired and rub your eyes
Then we’ll go home for more nursing and sleeping
Bouncing and nursing and waking and peeing
Crawling and bouncing and dancing and hitting
Nursing and peeing and kisses and seeing

You’re an amazing human being
You’re an amazing human being
You’re an amazing human being
You’re an amazing human being

Then we’ll all cuddle in our bed
You’ll nurse to sleep, we’ll kiss your head
Good night sweet baby, I love you sweet baby
I love you more than anything
Good night sweet baby, I love you sweet baby
I love you more than anything

The first thing in our list of things to do
Is to wake up right next to you
Second thing that we have planned
Is to kiss both of your hands

Third thing that we’ll do today
Is look you in the eye and say
I love you sweet baby, I love you sweet baby
I love you more than anything

I love you sweet baby, I love you sweet baby
I love you more than anything
I love you sweet baby, I love you sweet baby
I love you more than anything

 

Snap Lovely Photography

We have been abundantly blessed to have such an amazing photographer, Betsy Hawley of Snap Lovely Photography, to take pictures of our family since before baby J even made his big debut.  Betsy is a Tucson based photographer who shoots weddings, engagement sessions, portraits, and so much more throughout Arizona and Southern California! She has the eye and raw talent for capturing very natural, candid and beautiful moments.

She has already given us gorgeous maternity photos , took our very first family photo session, and captured the best moments of  J’s first birthday party. Recently, she came to do a lifestyle shoot of our family right here in our little town of El Segundo. It was so fun to feature some of the cute little areas of the town we’ve chosen to raise baby J in. As always, Betsy handled our crazy little family with ease. Here they are!IMG_1175IMG_1180IMG_0932IMG_0924IMG_0964IMG_0968IMG_1002IMG_1006IMG_1004IMG_0952IMG_1030IMG_1037IMG_1040image (1)IMG_1378IMG_1410IMG_1333IMG_1262IMG_1285imageIMG_1119IMG_0744IMG_0757IMG_0872IMG_0802We love these pictures so much, they really show the personality of each of us so perfectly! Thank you, Betsy Hawley, from the bottom of our hearts!

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. – Psalm 27:4

Play Time!

20130511_111632It is so fun to watch baby J learn new things! Even the little things brighten my day, and it brings so much joy to my heart to see him swell with pride! Today, he finally figured out that it’s fun to put the blocks back ON, instead of just emptying them off all the time. I love to see the determination, sometimes frustration, and eventually the elation of accomplishing his goal! Here’s a little video, I love his reaction!

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.” – Psalm  28:7

 

Aquarium Day

We took J to the aquarium for the first time a couple weeks back! He and his cousin had a blast together, as always. Here are some pictures we took of the fun day!024 027While J was a little skeptical of petting the fish, his cousin was ready to jump in with them!031 034Daddy warmed him up to the idea, and then he was loving it!039 043 045The shark tank was, by far, J’s favorite part.048 050 053The boys even managed to meet a lady friend while we were there. Boy, are we in trouble! 056 058 060 061066All in all, it was a fun day and I can’t wait to take them back soon!

“The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind.” – Matthew 14:37