Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy 5th Anniversary

Five years ago today, Ryan and I were married. I can't believe it's already been that long. I'd be lying if I said that it has been the best 5 years of my life as this last year has been difficult and the years battling infertility weren't exactly easy. I'm just glad that Ryan meant it when he vowed to be together "for better or worse." I can't imagine being with anyone else. No one knows me, understands me, appreciates me or loves me quite like Ryan and I'm truly blessed to be his wife.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008 - Happy 10 Months

Today, I am 10 months old. I thought I would share just a few of the things that I have learned recently.
People tell me that I had a rough start at life, but today I feel so happy I could fly!
Mommy says it's easy to misplace your keys. . .but, wait. . .here they are!

I've learned to grab them

and put them in my mouth!

I can also put my fist in my mouth. . see?

Most of all, I've learned that so many people care about me. . .people just like YOU! Thank you for 10 months of prayer!
***Evening Update***
Also, today (on my 10 month birthday) I rolled over from my tummy to my back. Now I can roll both ways!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Alex!

Tomorrow (June 27th) is my nephew's birthday. I met Alex a few months before he turned a year old and I have been blessed to watch him grow. I knew early on that he was going to have above average intelligence. Once we were playing outside and I said, "Isn't it fun to play in the dirt?" He quickly corrected me by saying, "It's sand, Jodi." I don't think he was even 2 years old at the time. He was the ring bearer in our wedding and loves to come visit our house. At first, it was because of the guinea pigs, then the air hockey table, then the candy claw and now? Video games, of course.
Ryan and Alex. . .my how they've changed.
Kim wasn't the only one preparing for Katie's birth (sorry, I couldn't resist this picture.)

He's just an all around great guy

with Ryan's love of Halloween

and video games.

Happy 8th Birthday! We hope it's the best ever!!

Home Sweet Home

The surgery was successful and it cost considerably less than we were expecting. She is doing fabulous and couldn't wait to come see me. She is finding it difficult to lay down comfortably as she has four sets of stitches. Poor thing.

Here she is enjoying some banana nut bread. . yum!
Here she is wanting more.

Thursday, June 26, 2008 - Update

I was proud of Olivia today as she started banging on her Bumbo tray. Rainbows wanted me to try to get her to do that, but it was one of those things. . .you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. (Why do all of my analogies have horses in them? It must be my niece, Katie, rubbing off on me.) She learned that when she banged on the tray, it activated the music on her Sing-A-Long stage. So, she'd listen to a song and when it was over, she'd bang on it to hear another. I was so proud.

She surprised me at her 2 pm bottle by throwing up most of her 6 oz bottle. It caught me by complete surprise as she normally does not vomit in the afternoon. I bet it took me 45 minutes to get her cleaned up, get myself cleaned up, change clothes, clean the chair, clean the carpet, throw the clothes in the washer and make her a new bottle. She has now started smacking her lips when she's hungry and bless her heart. . .she just waited patiently in her crib while smacking her lips. Neither of us are having a very good day, though.

My rat did have surgery today. They spayed her and removed 3 lumps. She is out of surgery, awake and waiting for me to pick her up. The bad news is that I have to keep her separated from Lucy for 2 weeks. Lucy hasn't known what to do today without her best friend. She is not even sleeping in their special spot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reason for Prayer

These pictures were taken (but never posted) back in February.

I've struggled quite a bit over the last few months with why we pray. To fully comprehend my struggle, you have to understand a few things. I prayed night after night, month after month. . .with my empty arms wide open. . .for God to bless me with a child. I felt ignored. Then, he blessed me with three only to take two away. I felt betrayed.

I remember when Logan and Olivia had their 28 day head sonograms. This would provide insight as to possible brain damage and both of their sonos were clear. The small brain bleed of Logan's had resolved as well. It was nothing short of a miracle. At that moment. . .I had never trusted God more in my life. I felt that He made sure I was at the hospital and he was taking care of my babies. I couldn't handle the stress and the worry anymore and it was a huge burden off my shoulders to give my cares to Him. How could I not trust our Heavenly Father with my children? Of course, He would take care of them. But, a few days later. . .Logan passed away. Honestly, up to that point in my life, I think I was naive enough to believe that trusting in God meant that your life would be made easy. This changed my entire perspective. Throughout it all, my faith did not waver, but I was forced to rethink many things. One such thing was trying to figure out why we pray at all. Well, I found many reasons to pray 1) Because the Bible tells us to 2) To grow in your relationship with God 3) Spiritual growth and the list goes on and on. So, I rethought my question. What I truly wondered was why pray for specific things if God already has a plan? Shouldn't we just pray for God's will? For months I have agonized over this question. I don't expect to truly figure it out as I'm sure our feeble minds have no way to grasp the bigger picture. But, I've needed something to hold on to in order to feel that I can openly pray to God about certain things again. For the first time in 10 months, I have reached some understanding with the help of my husband and sister-in-law, Laura.

The Lord is our Father and we are his children. As a parent, you want your children to talk to you. You want them to tell you their hearts' desires. You want them to point out all of things they want as you're walking through a toy store. In the end, however, you know what is best for them and will ultimately make the decision. Of course, they may not be able to understand why they can't have a pony in their backyard. Their minds don't know the things that you know about them and they can't see the bigger picture. Even though they sometimes don't get the things they want, would you want them to quit talking to you and telling you their wants and desires? I would be heartbroken if Olivia someday said, "I'm not going to tell you anything I want for my birthday because you already have planned what you're going to get me so it won't matter." No, I want to know everything about her and what she dreams of and hopes for. How rewarding it will also be to get her the one thing that she's dreaming about.
I think back to my prayer. I prayed to be a mother and as I stare at my beautiful, sleeping, perfect baby girl. . .that prayer was answered. It didn't happen the way I envisioned and the road was horribly tough, but I'm a mother. There's not a day that goes by that I don't yearn for Logan or to have all three of my babies. That doesn't mean I am not incredibly grateful for my amazing daughter. I believe that there are many things that I'm not meant to understand. I realize that my scenarios may be completely wrong, but I think any circumstance or thought that leads you closer to God is worth having. Thanks for allowing me to share it with you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - Update

Beautiful Girl
Here's another perspective.

This afternoon we actually made a short trip to the doctor. When I called about her shuddering episodes, they thought she should be seen. Olivia had been pulling at her ear a bit for the last few days as well, so I thought a trip to the doctor wouldn't be a bad idea. Olivia is as healthy as a horse (are horse really that healthy?) They do want me to contact her neurologist to see if they want to see her. I'm afraid that they'll want to do another EEG, but I'll probably call them tomorrow. From what I've heard from people, I don't think the shuddering is anything too concerning. Later, Stacie came over and the three of us had a great time. Stacie got to see how much Olivia LOVES her jumperoo. I actually can't get her to stop jumping once I take her out. Thanks Stacie for the great pictures! I wish you could have taken a lot more.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008 - Update

Missy Mess

I don't know how well you can tell in this picture, but Olivia was covered in carrots today. Notice her patch (second patch of the day) is in the process of being pulled off and it is covered in carrots. Her pants were even worse. But, it made her so happy. . .and she's such a good eater!

Something I'm growing increasingly concerned about is this shuddering thing that Olivia does. It's just a quick little shiver like she has a chill or something. The first 50 or so times that she's done it, I attributed it to what she was eating or that she was cold. Now, it's becoming more frequent and she probably does it close to 20 times a day. Any ideas as to what this could be? I'm tempted to call the doctor on it this week.

I talked to Ryan around lunch time and his first day is going great! He has his own parking stall and everything. Please pray that it continues to go well.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008 - Update

I love daddy kisses
I have a lot to report tonight. Olivia made some huge strides this weekend. First, she has a set of toy keys that she is playing with. She even transferred them from one hand to the other. Olivia also figured out how to jump in her jumperoo and she thinks it's pretty fun. And. . .she rolled over tonight from her back to her stomach! She was on her back in her crib and turned on her side to look at herself in the mirror. From her side, she just rolled right over to her tummy. I'm so proud of her. Now, we just have to see if she does it again. Olivia is, however, starting to vomit again each night. I think this was her third night in a row, so we're trying to figure that whole thing out again. We are starting to decrease her bottles at night again and make a few other changes. I hope that we can stay on top of it.

In other news, my rat, Lucy, is doing fantastic. She was practically near death on Friday when we took her into the vet. They gave her a shot while she was there to help with the inflammation. It worked and she's doing great. I'm sure this is only a temporary fix as it doesn't help with the tumor in her lungs, but it should buy her a little more time. Also, Ryan starts his new job tomorrow. That's always nerve-wracking, so please be thinking of him tomorrow and pray that he enjoys this new chapter in his life.