Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ava Update

I've posted another update about Kimberly and Ava on her blog. They hope to be home from the hospital by Friday!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Letter to My Sister

Kimberly,
Something amazing happened 10 days ago...you became a mother. My little sister is a mom; I can hardly believe it! I am so proud of you and how you have handled the stress of the last week and a half that I can hardly contain myself. You are such a good mom. Ava Grace is one blessed little girl.

When mom called to tell me you were having a baby the next day, 4 weeks early, I didn't know what to think. Seeing you in hard labor and then dealing with having a baby in the NICU just about broke my heart. I told God I would gladly take on that pain so you didn't have to endure it. My little sister isn't supposed to have to go through those things. (I know you felt the same way when I was in labor and then wheeled into surgery. It's an utterly helpless feeling!) And still now, there's not much I can do to take away the stress you have, and I desperately wish there was.

But I pray for you. I pray for Ava to get stronger and better at nursing so you can bring her home. I pray that you will get the rest, somehow, that you need so much. I pray that God will bless this time, as stressful as it is, and use it to bless others through your experience. I pray that you will cling to Him in the coming weeks and months when you don't know if you can function one more minute on lack of sleep. I pray that you and Kurt will seek Him in your marriage and in your parenting because only through Him can we make it at all.

I love you, sis, more than you know. And I can't wait to hold that little girl. Your daughter.

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young."
~Isaiah 40:11



Anyone with small children needs to read Shannon's post today. She says it gets easier!! Hallelujah! :-)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Friends

Cmommy was asking a question today..."Who's your long distance friend?" Well, my best girl friend in the world (my husband being my other "best" friend!) now lives in Alaska. Our friendship has definitely had it ups and downs. When we lived in Thailand together working with a group of missionaries in a college ministry, we shared a TINY room on the 3rd floor of the campus ministry center. All that togetherness (work, home, eating, culture shock, etc.) got to be a little too much for the both of us. We came up with a plan to divide the room in half with some sort of curtain so we didn't have to look at each other all.the.time. Well, we never could really make it work, so we sectioned off a little part of the room with a shower curtain and put a desk behind it. It was well-known that if the curtain was closed, you were NOT to disturb. That was the only place we had that resembled any sort of privacy to think or write or cry or dream.

Our friendship survived that period of strain, and over the last 5 years we've grown closer. We taught high school across the hall from each other for two years until she got married and moved to New England and I quit working to stay home with Caleb. A few months after she got married, her husband took a job in Alaska. I never thought I'd be so far away from my best friend. We've missed so much in each other's lives. She wasn't here when Caleb was born like we thought she would be. I wasn't there to help her pack and unpack and pack and unpack through all the moves she's made in the last year and a half.

But, through the grace of God we've remained close, even though separated by so much distance. That's how it is when God has blessed you with a friend who sharpens you like Lisa sharpens me. We've learned so much from each other in the past 6 years, and I know He will continue to bless us through this friendship. Now if I can just find a way to get her back within a day's drive...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Update on Ava

Ava had her IV removed last night and her oxygen tube removed today!!! She is breathing on her own and doing so well. Thank you all for your prayers; they have been answered! Now that little girl just needs to gain some weight! :-) As soon as she's nursing for all feedings and can regulate her own body temperature, she'll be on her way home.

Picture of Ava

Isn't she precious???


I put more pictures of her on her mommy's blog.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I have a niece! *Update*

My sister, Kimberly, delivered her baby girl, Ava Grace, yesterday at 3:14pm. She was 4 weeks early. She weighs 4 lbs. 6 oz., and is 18.5 in. long!

*Update* I've added a few pictures of Ava at Kimberly's blog.

Kimberly went in for a routine doctor's appointment on Thursday and Ava's heartrate had dropped dramatically, so the doctor said they would induce her the next morning after giving her a little Pitocin all night to soften things up. They were quite shocked to be having a baby so soon, and Kimberly kept saying to me, "My house is a mess and we don't even have a car seat in the car!"

Ava is in the NICU, mostly because she is so small and also for some respiratory problems. The sacs in her lungs are not opening properly, so they are giving her a medication to help with that.

Please pray that her lungs will heal completely, she will be able to hold fluids to gain weight, and for Kimberly and Kurt as they deal with having a baby in NICU. Kurt's grandmother passed away one week before Ava was born, so this has been a very hard, emotional week for their whole family.

I will update as soon as I know anything else. Thank you all for praying, and thank you, Kerri, for commenting on here and letting everyone know to pray for Kimberly and Ava.

Malachi's CarePage is up now, so please visit and give them some encouragement!

To visit the CarePage, please click the link below:

http://www.carepages.com/ServeCarePage?cpn=BuddhaBelly&extrefid=tlcinvite

(If you cannot click through this link, please copy and paste the entire URL into your browser's address window.)...or you can use these manual instructions:
1. Go to www.carepages.com
2. Click "Visit a CarePage"
3. Register (first-time users only)
4. After you've registered, enter the exact CarePage Name below:

BuddhaBelly

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pray Today

Malachi starts his chemo today. Please say a prayer for him and his family.

Hidden Treasure Blog Awards



Jules at Everyday Mommy wants to recognize talented bloggers who don't get a lot of traffic to their blogs, so she has created the Hidden Treasure Blog Awards.

Here's the scoop:

The Rules

Step 1: For Your Consideration. Search around BlogWorld for posts you think are well-written and ones you consider hidden treasures. The categories are: Children & Family, Faith, Marriage, Motherhood, Homemaking, Humor, Current Events and Life. No profanity or offensive material is permitted.

Step 2: Nominations. Nominations will open on February 1st, 2007. Everyone may nominate a single post in each category. The three posts with the most nominations will advance to voting. Nominations will close on February 7th, 2007. Nominations may be submitted to EverydayMommy@gmail.com.

Step 3: Voting. Voting will open on February 8th, 2007. One vote per category. Voting will close on February 13th, 2007. Winners will be announced on February 14th, 2007. The nominated post with the most votes overall will be awarded Best In Show.

Head on over to Everyday Mommy for more details and start searching for hidden treasures!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pray for Malachi


This morning we found out that Malachi, the 14-month-old son of some friends of ours, has been diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Luekemia (AML). Malachi is the son of my friend, Kerri, who has commented on this blog often, and he will start chemotherapy tomorrow. Please pray for this sweet family and all they will endure in the coming weeks. I cannot imagine, as a mother, what my friend must be going through right now.

Here is what Kerri has specifically asked us to pray:

"Please pray for Malachi to be healed of this disease that is destroying his body, and if it is not in God's plan for him to be fully healed, to suffer the very least and to be with God in heaven. Pray for Emily [his older sister] to understand as much as she possibly can, to enjoy her brother and to feel the love so many have for her. And for now pray for the doctors administering to Malachi. Specifically Dr. Hawkins the Fellow Doctor we will be dealing with for the first month."




Tuesday, January 16, 2007

feed reader problems

I want to apologize to so many of you whose blogs I usually read and haven't been lately. I recently switched feed readers (I switched from Bloglines), and it's not updating many of the blogs I was reading. Some of the blogs don't have a feed and it's not catching the updated posts. I think I'll be switching back to Bloglines because for all the trouble I had with it, it was more reliable.

I'll try to catch up with you all soon!

Monday, January 15, 2007

hectic

Today has been hectic...I had to take Caleb to the doctor this morning for breathing problems and he is now on a cocktail of inhalers and medicines. I'm amazed at how one breathing treatment changed his whole disposition. I didn't realize he was struggling so much to breathe, and am so thankful he's better.

I also attended a funeral this afternoon for my brother-in-law's grandmother. It was so beautiful, just like she was. I'm not even related to her, but she made everyone feel like they were hers, and we'll all miss her.

I don't have time to get into all this tonight, partly because I'm exhausted and mostly because I haven't done my Bible reading today and need to do that before I get behind. I'll have lots to say tomorrow (as long as Caleb's breathing doesn't get worse or his fever go back up).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

a scan and Bible reading

Well, my doctor called and said the ultrasound was normal. That's good, I guess, but I still have pain so I know something is going on. She wasn't satisfied with the results, so she is ordering a HIDA scan, probably for next week.

Yesterday, a group of about 35 women (including myself) started The Bible in 90 Days reading program, led by Pezmama. I have always wanted to read the Bible from cover to cover, but never seem to make it past February in the "read the Bible in a year" plans. The accountability and encouragement of the group is wonderful and I've been able to read the passages much faster than I anticpated. I think today I'll actually be ahead some (which for me is amazing!).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No News

I had the ultrasound this morning, but, as you probably know, the technicians can't tell you anything. A radiologist will read the ultrasound and send a report to my doctor in the next couple of days. I'm guessing they didn't find anything life-threatening or they would move a little faster!

I'm still having a lot of pain in my upper right abdomen. My muscles tense up because of the pain and then I can't breathe deeply because the muscles are all tense.

Hopefully my doctor will call as soon as she gets the report and we can move from there.

On another note, my IBS medication seems to be working pretty well. One of the side effects, however, is dry mouth. Not fun.

I've been thinking about my sister and her husband a lot lately. His grandmother is very ill and the doctors have only given her two weeks to live. It is breaking their hearts that she may not meet their little girl (due February 14) this side of Heaven. It breaks mine, too.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

More Tests

So, I don't have a bladder or kidney infection, but my doctor wants to do an ultrasound of my gallbladder on Tuesday. I'm still feeling pretty yuck, and I'm not sure if the new meds are making me feel a little off, or if I still have a little of the stomach bug, or if there's something else going on.

I'll keep you guys updated. :-)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Can a Girl Catch a Break?

Well, thankfully, the nausea is gone. YAY!!! Wednesday was horrible, yesterday was better, and today I'm feeling better still (the nausea anyway). I still have bad headaches, but at least I can reasonably take care of my own child. That's a good thing.

I saw the Digestive and Liver Specialist yesterday. It went pretty well. The fact that I could possibly get pregnant sometime soon was the biggest concern regarding my treatment. We decided to put me on a medication for only a few weeks to get my stomach calmed down. I can live with that; I just don't want to be taking a medication forever for it. I go back in about 3 weeks to re-evaluate the situation.

And, now, I think I might have a bladder or kidney infection. *sigh* I've been ignoring a few signs for a while that are getting worse. It's not terribly painful, but I think I need to have it checked out before it is. I've been drinking more water than usual this week, so I thought it might correct itself. It hasn't. So, back to the doctor I go. I went almost the whole first year of Caleb's life without going to the doctor for an illness. I guess I'm just making up for it now.

Maybe one of these days I'll be all healthy and feel good again. Hopefully soon.

In other news, my MIL is here with us. She's doing a talk at a community college near here and is staying with us this weekend. We're so excited because we haven't seen her since early August of last year (that's what happens when she lives almost 16 hours from here). We both have web cams, so Caleb thinks she lives in the computer; it's good for them to spend some time together!

And have you seen the new site that Shannon and Chilihead have put together? It's called Blogging Basics 101, and it's a great resource, especially for new bloggers (or those of us who have been blogging for a year and still have a lot to learn!).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Bug

I think The Child has passed on The Bug to his mommy and daddy. Yuck. I have a splitting headache which makes me feel even more nauseated. This is not how I wanted to start the year losing weight. I'm hoping we don't need Jules Works-For-Me Wednesday tip.

*sigh*

Monday, January 01, 2007

Banner

Thanks to Jules for my beautiful new banner!

Thoughts on the New Year

Like Carol, I don't really make New Year's Resolutions. I usually don't keep them and can't remember at the end of the year what I said I would do. My resolutions are usually over-zealous and I set myself up for failure.

That being said, when I look back at 2007, here's what I want to be able to say: I know God better today than I did at the beginning of the year.

Knowing God better. That's pretty much my only goal. Through His Word. Through prayer. Through relationships with other people. I just want to know Him more.

So, while reading in Ephesians this morning, I came across a verse that will be my prayer for this year, for myself and all of you. "...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better." ~Ephesians 1:17

Another verse from Ephesians that I'm concentrating on is 2:14, "He himself is our peace..."

I've been struggling with a health issue for several years. It started in high school, and in college it was diagnosed as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). It didn't affect my day-to-day life much and I only had problems occasionally. Well, when I became pregnant with Caleb all that changed. Ever since then, I have been plagued with severe problems. The last month has been the worst my IBS has been EVER. It may also be causing some female problems, which is why my OB/GYN is sending me to a specialist. I go on Thursday. I am quite certain that they will put me on medication. I already take two medications on a daily basis (one for severe allergies and another for hypothyroidism), so I'm not eager to add another one to my routine. It will also mostly likely be a medication I cannot take while pregnant, and since I hope that is in my near future, I'd have to go off the meds anyway. So. I'm drastically changing my diet to see if it controls the problem. I'm pretty sure that sugar is a big cause of the problem (that and I can't eat anything fried). With the advice of a friend, I'm trying The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin. I need to take control of my health, and as the primary grocery shopper and cook in this house, I'm also responsible for the health of my husband and child. I'm not following the full plan strictly, but we are cutting out processed foods totally and sugar in most forms. And can I just say, "IT'S HARD!!!" After coming off the holidays, it's especially difficult to rid my body of sugar.

I just want to be healthier. I know there are still going to be times where I can't follow this plan, but my overall goal is to live a healthier life (and lose a few pounds in the process). My sweet husband said he'll do whatever it takes to get me well. I'm not sure when he said that he'd be giving up anything that even resembles a carb for the next two weeks (and most of the foods we've enjoyed for a very long time, if not forever).

So, if you think to occasionally ask me how I'm doing with this, I'd appreciate the encouragement and motivation. It's a complete lifestyle change, but one I know has lots of benefits.

Happy New Year! (can you believe it's 2007 already??)


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