Monday, January 31, 2011

Well Check

My Mom was diagnosed with Pertusis (Whooping cough) last night in the ER (this on top of the many other physical issues she's battled lately). I feel so bad for her, but I'm thankful that this aspect of her condition has been given a definitive diagnosis and treatment.

We've suspected Pertusis for several days now, so we've kept our distance for the most part. However, we were exposed to her in the early stages of the illness and Pertusis has a 20 day incubation period. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the nature of Whooping Cough, it can last up to 3 months, and it's extremely dangerous for children to contract. I called Jonah's pediatrician this morning to review the vaccinations he's been given and which we're behind on. I was relieved to hear he had been given three rounds and was lacking only one. I know that vaccinations are highly controversial this day and age (particularly among our friends), but I've never been more grateful for them than now. . . We were behind on 15 and 18 month shots so we decided today would be a great day to catch up. The pediatrician prescribed a 5 day round of Zithromax for Jonah as a preventative treatment for his exposure to Pertusis, and Allen and I will be taking a regimen as well. You can never be too cautious with this kind of thing when kids are in the house!

At the appointment we discovered that Jonah's weight has dropped steadily since 18 months from the 50th percentile to less than the 10th. He weighs just 24 lbs (lost 6oz since November). The pediatrician was a bit concerned and said that gaining weight needs to be high on our priority list. She explained that fat intake directly affects cognitive development, which means being underweight is not simply a stature concern . . . She said if his weight continues to fall or he fails to gain, they will need to run tests to make sure his body is absorbing nutrients as it should and that there is no underlying infection present. Needless to say, we made a trip to the grocery tonight and bought as many fatty foods as possible for Jonah to consume. :) The doctor also prescribed a vitamin that should help. He measured 33 1/2 inches (40th percentile). We're grateful that we've seen no developmental delays so far and are prayerful that Jonah's appetite and desire for new foods will increase. He's been quite finicky so far. . .

Jonah at the doctor. . . It doesn't take much coaxing to get Jonah's clothes off, but the boots are a different story. If he had it his way, he would sleep in them! :) Needless-to-say, he was insistent that they say on during the appointment.
Jonah's expression after the nurse told us he would be receiving 4 injections! ;)
Jonah had a mild reaction to HepB (a rash around the injection site) so they gave him a dose of Benedryl. That coupled with a very early nap and the natural exhaustion that comes from vaccinations, and it makes sense that he wasn't exactly alert and attentive during dinner.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


We've had an action packed day today, full of mingling with family and friends. We started our morning (quite early) at Noshville downtown with the Willis Clan. . . I love (and sometimes feel I live for) Saturday morning breakfast. It's always a big deal at our house, and this morning was extra special!
The most charming smile in the world!! (I mean really, who could resist it?!)
Jonah has developed a love for reading lately, which we're quite excited to see. . . This coming after a long season of flipping quickly though pages and tossing books aside. He especially loves Alice. He's developed a bit of a crush on her we think. :)
This picture makes me laugh SO HARD! While at breakfast, Jonah pointed to the photo on the left and said "This, Daddy" and then pointed to the photo on the right and said "This, Mimi"!!!! LOL! Seriously, doesn't get more hysterical than that!! :) (Thanks to my Mom-in-law for letting me steal these breakfast pics from her blog!)
After breakfast we went home so the boys could take a nap and I could finish a quilt I've been working on for my Mom. She's been in quarantine for the past week, and I haven't been able to see her so I decided this would be a great way to express my love. This is my very first quilt. It took about 2 1/2 days and 20 hours to complete. A step-by-step tutorial will be posted to Momspiration by tomorrow hopefully. . . For those of you unfamiliar with the quilting process, let me just tell you, if someone takes the time to make you a quilt they really, ReALLY, REALLY love you! It's a LOT of work! I've decided it's one of the most definitive expressions of love there is! :)

The front of the quilt. . .
And the back. . . She loves it! ;) I couldn't have given my first quilt to a more deserving (or appreciative) person!
We had a late picnic lunch at my parents place. . . We picked up Grandma Bruce so she could join us. Jonah had a blast with Grandad! (Videos to come!)

I love seeing my Dad with Jonah. . . I can definitely tell Jonz has a special place in his heart. He waited so long for his boys! :)
And tonight we spent time with Lindsey, Jeremy, and Adeline. The kids were SO CUTE together! Lindsey and I crafted Valentine's heart wreaths. A tutorial for that will be posted to Momspiration soon as well. We had so much fun and got lots of great pictures and video (which I'll upload tomorrow). It's too late to edit all of them now. . . Here's a teaser. Yes, Jonah has fairies on his pajamas. We decided to give the kids a bath, so he borrowed them from Adeline. He'll be so mad we posted this pic of him one day, I just know it! ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

10 hours

Jonah slept 10 hours in a row last night (for the first time in his life) . . . He didn't stir once! No middle of the night bottle. . . no crying. . . I woke up this morning praying that he was still breathing! :) I don't (by any means) expect this to become a new trend, but I am quite thankful for a full nights sleep and wouldn't be opposed to experiencing it again tonight! Jonah really does have the coolest morning hair I've ever seen! (Please pardon the Chocolate Cheerios on Jonah's tongue. . . kind of gross, I know!) ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sweet Boy

Shirtless and oh so charming! ;)
Here's a glimpse of my project today. . . It's my biggest yet (and a surprise gift for my hearts first home)! Hopefully, I'll finish it and have a step-by-step, do-it-yourself posted to my Momspiration blog by Saturday (maybe sooner, I'm a bit addicted).

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Long Kisses

A few nights ago after bath Jonah, while sitting on my lap, made eye contact with me in the most loving way and kissed me . . . and kissed me. . . and kissed me. Long kisses, unlike any he's ever given before. It was the sweetest moment (this coming one night after he said "Love You" for the first time). If you couldn't tell, his boy has my heart!! I find it interesting that these new expressions of affection are surfacing during Valentines season!! :)
PS: My new background is called "Family Circus" . . . Feels quite appropriate, particularly today. ;) Long, LONG story. I'll spare you the details.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Registering for Eve

Last night Allen sweetly initiated a trip to Target to register for Eve. It was one of the most surreal moments I've had so far in this pregnancy. The reality of our baby GIRL really sank in (for both of us, I believe)! It felt quite strange to sift through a sea of pink and purple instead of blue and green. We had huge smiles on our faces the entire time! :) The mystery and novelty I experienced with Jonah is just as pronounced in this pregnancy which is a welcomed surprise after wondering if subsequent pregnancies would somehow feel less awe-inspiring and significant. There really are no words to describe the level of excitement we feel about welcoming Eve into our family!

It was interesting how much easier and more enjoyable the process of registering for Eve was than for Jonah. The novelty of motherhood and a lack of knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of caring for a baby caused our registry process for him to be long and a tad bit overwhelming (filled with numerous calls to expert moms for their opinion on brands, necessities, and helpful gadgets). It felt amazing to know exactly which products we will need and which we absolutely will not and to have formed our own opinion (through experience) of the brands or products we prefer. There is a confidence we carry now surrounding our ability to nurture new life. It feels good to progress toward Eve without the weight of insecurity and questions. If you couldn't tell, I'm a HUGE fan of this subsequent baby thing!! :) I highly recommend it!! :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Counting and Cursing

Our toddler's increased ability to articulate his thoughts has illuminated several bad habits I've adopted over the years. We caught one of them on camera a few nights ago. Evidentially, when I drop things I say "shoot" . . . not as bad as other expletives I could use, but far from a word you'd desire to hear rolling from your toddlers tongue. I assure you, I'm making every effort to clean up my language! :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Love You!

Tonight Jonah reached a long awaited (highly anticipated) milestone. He finally said "LOVE YOU!" (First to Popi, I might add, which is not at all surprising). This video doesn't do justice to the sincerity in which it was originally spoken (with a hug and pat and eye contact), but I wanted you to hear these sweet words roll from his tongue.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Family Movie Night

Allen planned (and initiated) our first family movie night (he's such an incredible husband and father)! This afternoon he took us to Popcorn Delight to pick out unique flavors of popcorn (highly recommended), downloaded Toy Story 3 to our desktop computer, and set it up in the living room. It was PERFECT! Especially after a long, stressful week. Jonah is amazing with movies. His attention span is unlike any 22 month old I've known. I have a feeling we'll be doing this again very soon!

Jonah and Eve

Allen caught such a sweet moment between Jonah and Eve this morning after breakfast. . .

I sense that Jonz genuinely loves his baby sister already (though I realize cognitively he is far from understanding the reality of the changing dynamics in our home). He often kisses my belly or pats it and says "baby" or "Eve" (without any prompting). I can't help but feel she's a really lucky girl to be preceded by such a sweet and tender boy (and I think he's pretty lucky to have her as well!)

Listening to Eve! ;)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grandma Bruce

Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of Grandpa Bruce's burial and what would have been his 90th birthday. We took lunch to Grandma's house to celebrate his life and legacy. It was such a sweet time. Jonah was quite entertaining . . . so jovial and great! He has such a contagiously joyous spirit! A characteristic I adore in him! ;)

Jonah calls Grandma "Bruce" . . . JUST "Bruce" as if they were on a basketball team together and they were too cool to use first names! ;) It's quite adorable. She loves it!
Grandma's walker is Jonah's playground. He wants one of his own for his birthday!
And Jonah's favorite toy, particularly in the car, is the Mickey Mouse guitar Nannie and Pa got him for Christmas. As you can see, he won't relinquish it even in his sleep!
Yesterday morning, Jonah accidentally spilled his "Me-O-s" (money) on the ground, so he ran to the kitchen, grabbed the broom, and swept it into a pile . . . He completely initiated the clean up on his own. I've decided he may have inherited Popi's cleaning gene! These Willis men are amazing house keepers! They put me to shame!!
It was another long day with my Mom, full of tests and examinations . . . Fortunately, we transfered her to Baptist, so I finally feel like she's in good hands. The care and attention she's receiving is heads above Sumner Regional. I'm hopeful that we're close to a solid diagnosis and treatment. They admitted her and will keep her through the weekend and until she shows marked signs of stability. Please keep her and her medical team in your prayers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The King's Court

Last week we grabbed a quick dinner at Burger King, one of Jessica's favorites for some reason ;) and Jonah was magnetically drawn to the BK crown. I'm not sure if he was captivated by the possibility of power or just the fact that he thought he looked really cool in it, but whatever the appeal, it didn't wear off easily. In fact, it was all we could do to pry it off of his head at bedtime. Maybe he has some type of complex that this new head gear is helping to surface.

Later that night, we had to make a run to Wal-Mart. Needless to say, Jonah was not about to relinquish his throne just yet. He greeted the peasants of his kingdom with a stately wave and made a royal trip around the arcade. We finally snapped a few pictures of him on my cell phone camera. (The racing games make him feel like more than just a monarchial figure-head;)

He continues to wear his crown whenever he feels the threat of a peasant uprising at our house.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Sophisticate

Quite the little sophisticate, don't you think?! :)It's been another eventful day with Mom's health . . . several new concerns, more tests, and no progress at all toward diagnosis and treatment (at least that's how it feels). I'm too exhausted to go into details, but please pray if she comes to mind. She really needs it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jonah and Daddy

Jonah has definitely inherited his fathers love for music! Almost every night they sit together with a guitar and play and sing. Tonight Jonah decided he'd experiment with songwriting. :) So glad we caught this on video! :)

PS: There's more from today in the posts below. :)

24 Weeks and Counting

Because so many have requested that I post a bare Eve-belly pic. . . Here's one from today at 24 weeks. :) I absolutely LOVE watching the evolution of my body during pregnancy! It's fascinating!
And for those of you more modest than me, ignore the first photo, this one's for you! ;)
Jonah's belly at 24 weeks. . . He looks great, don't you think?! ;)

I'm pretty much obsessed with my children (if you couldn't tell)! :) Every phase of their development is absolutely miraculous to me. I hope I never grow numb to the sensation of new life evolving in my body, nor to the uniqueness of each stage of development beyond birth. I believe pregnancy and parenting is an invitation into the mystery, beauty, and heart of the Divine . . . Our kids provide an avenue of understanding in the realm of the spirit (if we're open to it) that we could never reach alone. Jonah and Eve are the greatest gifts I've ever received from God (I'm confident Allen would agree)!

I've mentioned before that I enjoy googling the gestational age of my kids to see what images surface. I love glimpsing life inside the womb . . . It helps me intimately connect with my kids before they're in my arms and amplifies the miracle of their development!

That being said, Eve has reached 24 weeks gestation and when I google her age I see images like the ones I've pasted below. . .

This is baby Elora, born in Australia at 24 weeks, and she survived!! :) The following two pictures are Elora fresh from the womb . . .

This is what Eve looks like now! Unbelievable!! :)

And this is Elora at 8 months! :)
This week, Allen and I have begun to feel Eve's body parts poking from my belly (we've felt her move for quite awhile now, but it's exciting to finally feel pronounced arms and knees, her bottom, back and hands). . . A couple nights ago, Eve repeatedly pressed her hand against Allen's hand (at least 8 times, maybe more). It was such a sweet moment . . . as if she were saying, "I feel you, Daddy! I sense your love for me . . . I'd rather be in your arms than in here!" ;)

This morning, after breakfast Eve consistently pressed her hand against MINE! :) And Jonah was able to see her twisting and turning in my belly. He kissed her over and over, saying "baby" and "Eve" . . . I think I smiled for at least 15 minutes straight after that. Such a sacred moment shared with my son and with God . . . delighting in his creation and the sweet souls he's entrusted to us!

Eve's newfound fascination with our touch is right on track with standard gestational development. 24 week reports state that she is "13 1/2 inches, 1 1/2 pounds" and she's "using her hands to explore a new world of tactile sensation." :)

I leave you with a photo of our precious girl. . . One (among many) I can't get enough of! I'm relatively sure I'm the only person on earth who looks at her ultrasound pictures every single day without fail)! ;)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hospital with Grams

We've had quite an eventful few days in our family with Mom's sickness and a sea of uncertainty concerning her condition. It's been very difficult to see her (who is typically a pillar of strength in our family) so weak and ill, but it's been remarkable to see her progress from being bed ridden and barely able to breath to smiling, laughing and chatting with us (though she's still quite weak).

As you likely already know, Mom was admitted to the hospital with tightness and pain in her chest and severe shortness of breath. They found water on her lungs and around her heart and elevated enzymes which indicated some sort of heart failure. Further tests showed abnormalities in the function of other organs as well.

Today she had an arteriogram which indicated that her heart is in perfect condition! We are so grateful to know that this main organ hasn't been permanently damaged! The doctors determined that she was stable enough to be released from the hospital this evening (though I personally have concerns it may be premature). She's still quite weak, needs lots of rest, and will see a specialist in coming days about other concerns, but we are deeply grateful for the positive report we received today and are believing for God's continued touch and healing. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers and encouragement! It means so much to our family!

My sister, Sarah, and her son/clone, Dawson :)
My Dad and Dawson. . . He's so glad he finally has boys after 2 decades of nothing but estrogen! I'm honestly not sure how he survived 4 women!
Aunt Sarah gave Jonah LOTS of chocolate to occupy him at the hospital. He was in heaven!
Jonah ADORES Dawson!! It's so cute to see them together!!
Grandad (who Jonah has been calling Pa-Pa today, which will likely stick) was quite the playground! He occupied Jonz for hours. I love seeing them together! :)
Aunt Sarah shared her headphones, which Jonah loved. So much like his Daddy!

And this is a picture of Grams (hopefully she won't kill me for posting it!) ;) . . . I think she looks absolutely beautiful! It's remarkable how healthy she looks here in comparison to days prior. Those of you who saw her will be baffled by it, I'm sure. In some ways, this picture doesn't to justice to how weak and sick she still feels, but it is a good testament to the progress that has been made!
We're praying for a full recovery for Mom! I believe we have seen (and will continue to see) the healing power of God to manifest in her body! We are also asking God to give the doctors wisdom and direction as they sift through tests, issue a diagnosis and determine the most effective course of treatment.

Thank you for continuing to pray and believe with us! It means more than I can adequately express!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Like a Child

Erika, a friend of mine from high school, has a sister who is currently battling stage 4 cancer. It has been an extremely emotional journey for them, but their faith (and the presence of God) has sustained them and been a constant source of hope and inspiration. Seeing them walk this road (mostly from a distance, though I had an opportunity to chat with Erika in person at the end of last year) has been quite moving for me. . . in a very similar fashion as following Joel's story.

I have a tendency to fear the future, particularly disease, and in my carnality, I wrestle the nature and goodness of the Divine when I see men and women (and their babies) who are kingdom-minded, devoted lovers of God suffer. My mom has been faithful to consistently remind me over the years as I hit these crisis-of-faith-moments that there is nothing that passes through the hand of God that he doesn't supply the grace and mercy to move through or overcome.

That being said, I have observed this faith and hope in my mom in the past 24 hours of facing such illness and so many unknowns . . . She truly is at peace in the arms of God. Her hope is securely fixed in him. He is her rock, her safety. . . she will not be moved!

This is a song, written and performed by Erika, that absolutely moved me this morning, considering all the men, women, and children I know facing harsh realities, yet safe in the lap of the Almighty. I pray it moves and lifts you as you listen!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Please Pray

My mom checked in to the ER last night after experiencing chest pain and severe shortness of breath. They ran several tests and determined that she has fluid around her heart and increased enzymes that suggest damaged heart tissue. Her liver enzymes are also elevated indicating possible damage there as well. . . They ran a CT scan today, determining that she does not have a blood clot in her lungs and that she likely has pneumonia on top of her pulmonary issue. We're waiting to recieve the full report tomorrow. An arterior gram has been scheduled for Monday which will allow them to identify any blockages or damaged tissue. The doctors suspect a possible root cause that I don't feel comfortable disclosing here for risk of starting rumors. We should know more tomorrow. My mom is laboring to breathe and quite sick, but she is at peace in God and her faith is strong. We really appreciate your prayers in these days. . . I promise to update when I know more. . .

Our sweet monkey sleeping on Popi's lap. . .

Friday, January 14, 2011

Playdate with Connor

Early in the week we planned a playdate at Monkey Joes with Jessica from church and her adorable son, Connor. . . Last night I felt like there was something important we had planned today, but I couldn't remember what it was. This morning I checked Facebook and read through our correspondence about the playdate, seeing that we were supposed to meet at 10am on Friday. . . It was 9:45 and we were still in pajamas (such slugs)! I felt TERRIBLE!! All the blood going to my belly is really affecting my brain these days!! ;)

Anyway, I called Jess and we were able to salvage our playdate by having them come to our place. The boys had a great time together and Jess and I really enjoyed chatting about life! It was great to get to know her better!

Connor is just 6 months younger than Jonah. . . and such a doll!

Jonah admiring his pregnant belly! ;) He actually requested that I take a picture of him in this position. . . guess he sees Daddy and I taking belly pics. ;)
The boys loved the kitchen. They had lots of fun cooking together! :)

Cheers to friends and the way they enhance our lives!!