Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ella at 16 Months

 Sweet Ella Jane,

My, how you are growing up! You are a busy little girl and have a lot to say! Some of your newest words this month are...

"Trista" (yes, you LOVE Mrs. Trista! and I have a feeling baby Gwynn...or as you call her "bay-doll" is going to be one of your very best friends)
"Ian" (your cousin's name!)
"Pee-pee" (the good news is that you say this when you are wet....the bad news is you like to say it loudly in public)
You can say the ABC's even better now!
You are working on your animal names and noises...
"Owl" and "Hoo! Hoo!"
"Cow" and "Moo! Moo!"
"Duck" and "Quack Quack!"
You still can't say "Mamaw", but you are starting to say "Maw, Maw", so you are getting closer.
You have started to call your Daddy, "Daddy", even though he prefers "Da-da".  Ethan still calls him "Da-da" at age 6...but I don't know how much longer that will stay cute.  A teenager calling their dad "Da-da" might not get him any cool points with his friends.

You can now put your shape puzzle together by yourself.  What a big girl!
You are walking...practically running now, though you still sometimes prefer walking like a ballerina on your tiptoes.  You LOVE to dance....which I don't know that your Daddy is too happy about!

You love sitting on the potty which is great! But nothing is happening on the potty so far.  You just like to sit while I read to you. Your 2 newest favorite books..."Mr. Brown can Moo! Can you?" and "Go, Dog, Go" (mostly because it has 2 of your favorite words in it... "stop" and "go").

                     You have started to learn how to use a spoon/fork (otherwise known as a "spork")

Your favorite breakfast food....EGGS! Most of them end up all over your face...

 You spent some time playing with your cousin Ian this month and you two have so much fun together!

 You love to walk around carrying your purse, backpack and anything else you can find (bracelets, necklaces, etc.). You are so girly!

 I don't know why, but I had never given you a bubble bath until this month.  Now every time I give you a bath, you say, "BUBBLES!!!"

Cutting your 4 canine teeth all at once has taken the energy right out of you.  Last week you took 3 naps in one day! This was the third crashed right in the middle of the living room floor after dinner.

And when you are sleepy, you suck that thumb and find your belly button just like your big brother! 

Don't grow too fast, baby girl. Mommy wants to keep you little for a while!

Noah's 3rd Birthday & Visiting the hospital

This post is a little overdue, but I just haven't had the time to sit down and write.  Every year, Noah's birthday is difficult, but it gets a little less painful.  I hate to admit it, but on July 6th this year (which is the day we actually found out Noah was gone), I spent the day very angry.  I was kind of pouting I guess you could say.  David and I have struggled a lot with the whole idea of whether or not God really always has OUR best interest in mind or if it is really ultimately all for His kingdom.  Selfish thoughts, I know.  In my earthly mind, I think my best interest would be to have my son here...for Ethan to have a brother...for Ella to have 2 big brothers to watch out for her.  But who do I think I am that I have any right to be mad at the creator of the universe for not doing things MY way??? Still though...I was...and it was July 7th before I spoke up and told God I was mad (like he didn't already know), but I was trying my hardest to give it over to Him (again).

For the last month I have been putting together 3 baskets to take to the hospital where all of my children were born.  These baskets would be given to families who lost a baby (one that would actually be born and they would hold in their arms).  So many family members and friends offered to help with this and items started arriving at my house.  My mother made a baby blanket, booties, and a hat for each basket.  Then Kelly Gerken with Sufficient Grace Ministries very graciously donated 3 of her beautiful "Dreams of You" memory books and some pamphlets to put in the baskets.  These books are so amazing and so perfect for these kind of situations (as it is pretty much impossible to find an appropriate memory book for infant loss at a store). Another dear lady (Miranda) sent me several crocheted baby hats of all different sizes and colors.  I made a separate basket for these so that the nurses could give one to each mother who lost a baby and they could choose them depending on the size and gender of the baby.  My friend Katie made a donation to help with the baskets, my sister-in-law sent me 3 copies of Angie Smith's book, "I Will Carry You", another friend (Robin) donated Bibles, and I included some bookmarks with a verse on them and a journal. I wrote and printed out several letters for these mothers which included information about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (photography) and also printed several copies of Noah's story.  I found some beautiful baskets at Hobby Lobby that would hold everything.

On July 7th, Noah's birthday, we drove to the hospital where we met my nurse friend Amy and a few other nurses and gave them the baskets.  It really did my heart a lot of good to give back and hopefully encourage other families who suffer this type of tragedy.

And isn't it just like God to make things happen in His perfect timing? Little did I know that just 5 days later I would be at the hospital visiting our friends as they welcomed their baby into the world...and just around the corner was a family who had just found out that their little girl no longer had a heartbeat at 28 weeks gestation. My nurse friend let me know they were about to give this family one of the baskets and later she said she would like me to visit her.  On Friday I went back to the hospital and sat down with this mother and father and heard about their beautiful baby girl, Riley Beth.  This family has another daughter who is close to the same age Ethan was when we lost Noah.  The mother was excited about her daughter having a sister....I understood that feeling so well.  Ethan lost his brother.  We were both thankful that her daughter was young enough to not understand as you never want to see your child be truly devastated over something like this.  I am thankful she has a child to mother though.  When you go home empty-handed, it is slightly easier to deal with it when you at least have a child at home to hug just a bit tighter.  As I walked out of her room, I heard screams from the mother next door who was in labor at 35 weeks and had also found out her baby was gone.  Then next door to her, another one who had slipped away at 19 weeks.  Looks like we may need to put some more baskets together soon.  Thanks so much to all of you who helped with this project!

I made a few trips to Noah's grave on his birthday and on our last visit for the day, my brother and sister-in-law brought my nephew Ian out to visit for the first time.  Jason and Esther love Noah so much. I am very thankful for their understanding of our grief...and they have grieved with us...all the more since they've had Ian and really understand the weight of it all.

If you've never read Noah's story, you can read it HERE