Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Monday, October 31, 2011

Princess Pumpkin Party

We were invited to a pumpkin carving party yesterday and had so much fun!  Did our pumpkins finally get carved?  NO!!!  Oh, well...maybe next year!  There was no theme to the party, but what do you think happens when you get 5 three and four year old girls together?  Can you guess the theme of the costumes?  Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Belle, Mulan (all Disney princesses), and Jesse (from Disney's Toy Story) all showed up!  They had fun going on a little pre-Halloween parade showing off their costumes.  By the time tonight rolls around, I think these dresses are going to need a good washing!

Reagan had her 6 month appointment today and she checked out perfectly!  She weighs 16 lbs. 9 oz. and is 25.5 inches long.  She is in the 75th percentile for weight and 50th for height!  She is chunking right along.  More pictures to come of our church's trunk-or-treat tonight.  Hannah and Kate are super excited for Halloween and the chance to don their dresses once more to get some candy this time!  (Mom and Dad might be a little excited, too...for the candy that is)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Monkey Butt

Hannah, Kate, Reagan, and I did a lot of hanging around the house this week.  The three of them had colds so we were limited in going to the gym (although, my wonderful hubby did watch them so I could go to some night classes) and had to miss bible study, too.  

 This little bug likes to back up into something and then use whatever she is up against to get up onto her hands and knees and start rocking.  I'm sure we will have a crawler soon.

I bought these pj's for our trip to Chicago, but we broke them out early because she needed some warm 9 month pajamas.  I love the monkey on the butt.  George was holding her the other day and she was standing up bouncing in his lap.  I commented to Kate, "Look at her monkey bounce."  Kate's reply to us was to get up on the couch, stick her butt up in the air, and say, "Look at my monkey bounce."  George and I cracked up! 

We got to go to the NICU reunion today!  The kids were encouraged to wear costumes so guess what Hannah and Kate went as...yeah, I'm sure you guessed correctly.  We got to see some of their nurses and one of their doctors.  We also caught up with two of the families that we have given gifts, too.  That was pretty neat!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We took Hannah, Kate, and Reagan to pick out their Halloween pumpkins this past Sunday.  I can't say that there was an abundance of good ones to pick from and the ones that were large enough to carve were $20...ouch.  So we opted for some miniature pumpkins that Hannah and Kate could carry around the house with them.  

Trying to get a picture, but the sun was in their eyes.

We have yet to do anything with the pumpkins.  Hannah colored on hers and Bella chewed up the stem of one of them.  I think we might just carve their initial in it.  Simple enough, right?  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Eternal Interior Decorating

I will start off being very honest with you.  I often go to other people's homes and wind up feeling very jealous that mine doesn't look as nicely decorated as theirs.  I definitely wouldn't claim to have the best taste in decorating.  Sure I could hire someone to do it, but most of the reason my house isn't decked out to begin with is because we don't have the money.  Actually, let me retract that last statement.  We do have the money.  We just don't choose to budget all of it towards things that will soon be sold at a garage sale because they've gone out of style or things that my children will donate to Goodwill after we have passed away. 

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." ~Matthew 6:19-21

God has been working SO much on my heart lately and giving me eyes to see things with an eternal perspective.  I am not at all saying that it is wrong to decorate your house or to make it look nice.  Ultimately, however you spend your money is between you and the Lord.  And I am even shopping for some shelves and various other home accessories this week.  I'm just writing to testify to His joy being made complete in my heart because of our obedience to Him (John 15:11) through giving these past several months & even years.  And I am not referring to traditional tithing.  I am referring to giving above and beyond because we want people to know the love of Jesus Christ.   

I was reading in Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional about how often the people who neglect to give to God's work are the same people that end up struggling to provide for themselves.  It just got me thinking about how my own sin of jealousy or coveting has me placing more value on things that will one day collect dust and be destroyed.  God placed a thought in my head.  "Lauren, what is your heavenly home going to look like one day?  Will it be decorated with pictures of people who you shared the gospel with, people who accepted Christ because of your testimony, or people who received a love offering that you poured out to me on their behalf?  So who cares so much what your earthly home looks like because it is your heavenly home that you will live in for eternity?"    

God has been pouring out opporunities to minister to NICU families.  We have been doing our monthly gifts as usual and one of the families wrote us an e-mail in return.  They thanked us for our generosity and wrote that in all of their years of volunteering and community service they had never seen such a kind gesture, especially coming from a stranger.  It may have come from a human stranger, but Jesus Christ intimately knows their needs and we are simply being His hands and feet.  Not for our glory, but His.  We have also had the precious opportunities to give gifts to two other families that are complete strangers.  They are precious friends of people in our bible fellowship class.  Do you know how excited I get when I get the opportunity to go drop a large chunk of money on people I don't even know?!?  George and I give without expecting anything in return from these families and we love it!  We are even looking at starting a NICU support group in the Brandon area to continue our ministry to these families.  It's scary with a capital S, but I cannot tell you the excitement (really it's the Holy Spirit) that wells up inside of me when I think about the chance to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ with these families. 

Those are the kinds of treasures that I want to decorate my eternal home with.  And if you are reading this and you aren't sure if you even have an eternal do.  It's in one of two places: heaven or hell.  We all deserve hell because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)    For those who "...confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." 

And if you are wondering whether giving your life to Christ is really worth it.  Let me tell you from 10+years of experience that it is.  Better is one day in His courts than a thousand elsewhere. (Psalm 84:10)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nora Update

She is out of surgery and doing good!  Praise God!  Thank you all for praying.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Praying for Nora

Hey guys.  Just wanted to ask for your prayers again for Nora.  This is what her mom posted on Facebook:

Nora's intestines are still moving very slowly, so the doctors are unable to give her the medicine they usually use to close her PDA (a valve in the heart that closes when newborns cry, but usually fails to close by itself in preemies).

Tomorrow morning they are performing surgery to close the valve. The doctors call it "minor surgery" but it still sounds scary! Thankfully it will help clear up her lungs, too, so we are looking forward to the positive after effects. Please keep Nora in your thoughts and prayers for tomorrow's surgery. ♥

You guys are awesome prayers!  Thanks so much!

Reagan's Room

I know this post is quite a bit late (like say 5 months), but better late than never.  Most of you have already seen her room anyway, but I thought for those who haven't I'd post it.  I have been waiting on George to hang the two pictures above the glider for a couple of months now.  I'd remind him and he'd forget and then I'd forget to remind him again.  Not a big deal, but I just wanted to have the finishing touches done before I posted pictures.  It still is not totally complete.  I have a tiny bit of touch up painting to do on the ceiling and I would like to hang some curtains on the window with blinds.  The best advice I can give first time parents (or really anyone expecting a child) is to get the nursery DONE before the baby gets here.  It's a good thing babies don't know the difference.   

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Giggles & Bush Gardens

Sarah and I, along with our 4 girl circus, finally made it out to Busch Gardens about a month and a half after our planned, but failed trip.  It was crowded.  We got there 10 minutes after the park opened and there was no stroller parking so we made the trek from the parking lot to the entrance pushing two double strollers.  We felt it made up for our missing the gym.  The lines to get in were long.  The only reason we could gather as to why the park was so crowded was that there were a lot of Europeans on vacation.  Either way, we hit the kid area early enough to ride one ride and catch the Sesame Street show.  We also saw some animals and played in the water.  We finally made it out of the park around 2:15.

It was all decorated for Halloween so we got to sneak in one good fall photo.

No luck finding a baby-sitter for my little bug so she tagged along and was such a delight the whole time!

 Hannah, Kate, and Rachel were finally tall enough to try a new ride.  It's a little log flume thing and they seemed to enjoy it.

 "Mommy forgot to pack a spoon to go with my mashed bananas, but I was a big girl and ate off an adult sized plastic spoon.  Mommy says I am growing up way too fast, especially after she saw me on my hands and knees the other day.  I say that I just want to hang with the big girls!"
 "I love me some Aunt Sarah." 
The only time I have heard Reagan laugh was at Rachel.  We got little laughs out of her here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Sweets

Here are some recent pictures of my sweets:  

 Amy went on a mission trip to China a couple of years ago and brought back these little dresses.  I forgot that I had put them under the bed, but I found them the other day so we pulled them out and I knew the girls would love them.

And this sweet little pumpkin has started sleeping on her belly the last couple of days.  And she is finally back to 2+ hour naps!!!  Woohoo!  I've also found her sucking on her thumb lately and I just think it's so sweet.  She never did take to a pacifier so I am so thankful that she is learning how to soothe herself.

We have been rolling right along with the solids.  She has tried squash, avocado (pictured below), bananas, pears, and sweet potatoes.  I was able to find some really good deals on baby food so I have a lot.  I kind of miss making some baby food, but I know that I really don't have the time anyway.  She was doing the funniest thing yesterday where she would do a closed mouth smile and scrunch her nose.  It would cause her already very chubby and kissable cheeks to puff up like a squirrel with bunch of nuts stuffed in its cheeks.  I tried to catch it but she wouldn't do it when I had the camera out.  The 2nd and 3rd picture are the closest I came to catching it.

We have been keeping very busy at home, but having a lot of fun.  I try to make it to the gym at least 3 times a week and am still doing my 2 bible studies along with all of the other errands I run.  I'm hoping to slow down a little soon, but who am I kidding with the holiday season coming up! 

Plus, I have an exciting NICU ministry opportunity that is in the works.  I will give you some more details when things get more planned.   

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Answer to Prayer

Just wanted to let you all know that Nora pooped so surgery is on hold for right now!  As her mommy told me, "Thank you for your poopy prayers!"  Glory to God!  She still needs our prayers though as she has a very long road to growing and coming home.  Thank you all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Hey guys!  Some friends of ours in our bible fellowship class are friends with a couple who just had a baby girl, Nora, at 26.5 weeks.  She weighed 1 lb. 8 oz. (sound familiar).  The mom just wrote me today and told me that Nora is having surgery tomorrow due to what they think is an obstruction in her bowel (sound familiar again).  I can easily recount my fear at being told that my 1 lb. 8 oz. baby could possibly be having surgery.  I can't imagine the fear and uncertainty they have right now.  PLEASE pray for Nora!  Thank you!  I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

3 Strikes & Yer Out

For all of you baseball fans, you will appreciate my sports analogy.  Hang with me while I explain.  I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and thought maybe it was just because we slept with the windows open.  I just finished my antibiotics for strep throat on Monday morning.  As the day wore on, I began to feel worse.  I barely slept last night so I called the doctor this morning. 

Strike #1: The doctor's hours are from 9-4.  Really?  And they take an hour lunch.  How does that leave you time to see patients and to treat people who are sick?  At first, they couldn't get me in until 2:30.  Then they called back and said they could get me in at 9:45.  I said that was fine, but I would have to bring my children with me.  There is a sign in the lobby that says, NO children under the age of 12 will be allowed in the exam room or the lobby because of health concerns for both children and adults.  The receptionist said it would be okay.

Strike #2: The doctor walks in the room asks me how I am doing and says, "Oh, I see you brought your babies.  It really is dangerous to bring children to doctors' offices, the hospital, or nursing homes.  You might want to rethink that next time."  I guess we shouldn't tell him that I take them to the hospital (gasp...even the NICU with sick babies) to show the love of Jesus.  Okay...have a little compassion, doc.  Let me tell you what was not on the top of my list of things to do today.  Wake up feeling like crap after barely sleeping last night, wake up a sleeping baby, drag 3 children with me to a doctor's office where I know I am going to be glared at, and then listen to you chastise me about how it's not safe for me to bring my children with me so I can start feeling better so I can better care for my children.  Maybe that's not how he meant it, but it sure did come out condescending and belittling.  I'm so sorry that I can't afford to have a baby-sitter in my back pocket.  Did you forget to take your compassion medicine this morning?

Strike #3: This is the 3rd time I have seen him since July and every time I come in, he asks why I am on a certain medicine that I take to prevent UTIs.  Shouldn't you write that in your chart somewhere so I don't feel like you are as incompetent as you sound?  I know he sees many patients and I don't at all expect him to remember me and my medications, but at least write it down to remind you.

Strike #4: You think I'm a baseball idiot, don't ya?  I know baseball only has 3 strikes, but I'm not done complaining.  I at least got my medicine.  He didn't think it was strep, but gave me a z-pack in case.  But as soon as he recommended the medicine, he asked if I was breastfeeding.  When I said yes, he gave me this, "Well, that stinks look," because now I have to figure out something else.  Problem solved though.  I have a deep freezer literally full of breast milk and some is set to go bad in the next couple of weeks so I can just use that milk and pump and dump.  

So I am thinking that it is time to change doctors yet again.  I am grateful that I have family & friends in town that can help me in a bind, but ultimately my children are my responsibility and if they are not welcome at your doctor's office, than I think I will take us somewhere else.  

On a bright note, I was going through old posts recently and found this picture of Kate.  Today when I went to put Reagan (2nd picture) down for her morning nap, she had fallen asleep on the floor, wearing the exact same outfit Kate had on in her picture.  Right now, Hannah and Kate are at Sarah's (THANK YOU) house and Reagan is napping in her crib.  Time for me to catch some sleep, too. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

What Do They Call You?

Hannah and Kate finally got to use their princess umbrellas.  We bought these with some of their birthday money and they just couldn't wait for it to rain.

 They have been in the habit the last couple of days of going into our closet and pulling down some of my shirts and wearing them.  I thought this picture was cute because they were in the same pose watching TV.
Reagan finally mastered rolling both ways this past week, which has led to some major napping disruptions and the complete dropping of the swaddler.  She is also slowly getting past her cold.  I almost think she might have a tooth coming in, too, because her daytime sleep has been horrible lately.  She's as sweet as can be though!

 And this is what happens when Reagan is left home with Daddy.  She ends up "riding" Bella. 

On a positive note...ta da!!!   Yes, it's about 85 % of the way there, but all of the tile is in the shower now.  It still has to be sealed, grouted, and, oh yes, the hole for the shower head needs to be cut (minor details, right).  I know that George is excited to have it almost done and I am, too!  His next project is to make the vanity. 

Ever since Hannah and Kate were babies (like a couple of months old), I would hold them over my head, sing a little song, and wiggle them to make them dance.  It usually generated smiles so it's stuck around.  The song is just, "They call her Kate Elizabeth, Kate Kate Elizabeth." or "They call her Hannah Grace, Hahannah Grace."  Well, we have now opened it up to all sorts of other people and variations.  I'm not sure when the girls actually learned to sing it themselves, but I got it on video the other day.  At the weekly Sunday Lantz lunch we were singing it and Hannah and Kate were inserting everyone's names in there to the right tune.  I was impressed!