Thursday, June 10, 2010

and the winner is...

We welcomed our second bundle of joy on May 27 at 4:08pm! He weighed in at 5lb 15ounces & 19 inches long. Very close to the size of Cole when he was born! We named our bambino #2 Owen, but struggled on the middle name. We threw out a few family names and finally settled on Austin as the middle name (hopefully it's obvious to everyone why we chose that)! It is so interesting to add a second baby to the family. Cole was not very happy when he visited us in the hospital, actually he had a bit of a meltdown :( But, now that we're home, he has taken to Owen quite well! He tries to say 'baby brother' and points to him, touches his hair, tries to poke his eyes just like a big brother should LOL! Cole has a few outbursts a day & tests our patience (and discipline), but all-in-all, I think he's handling the transition very well for an 18-month old. Owen is doing great, he eats like a champ & at 2 weeks already weighs 6lb 15ounces! I started to get worried as my due date approached that I wouldn't be able to love both children enough (I think this is a common concern for any mom from what I understand). But it is amazing how much your heart & love grows & changes for your children. It's weird to think that Cole is no longer my 'baby' but now my 'little man'! We are truly blessed!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life as we know it

I figured I should post one last time before we become parents of two kids! I am being induced on Thursday (although I thought & hoped baby boy #2 would be here before then), and we are incredibly excited! The last 6-8 weeks have been an interesting transition for us as we learn to live with our 'new normal.' Our 'new normal' has introduced us to living with a new diet, living with an ostomy (I'll let you google it if you don't know what it is), and living with a hugely different perspective on a good way. So, I think everyone knows by this point that my husband had a digestive disorder for the past 9.5 years that we could not get under control with conventional medication. Shortly after we moved back to Tulsa, we discovered we were out of options on medications (and quite frankly, did not feel comfortable with the remaining medications offered to us...side effects known to cause cancer). So, surgery was the final option & really the only "cure." So, we've gone through part one of a two-part surgery...part one removes the colon & creates an ostomy. Part two will occur after the small intestine has healed & removes the ostomy (thank goodness...while we are relieved for him to not be dealing with the pain of disease, living with an ostomy is rather challenging at times). We have learned so much through this process & we find it quite amazing that it takes what we feel is was a tragedy to learn to appreciate the right things in life. And to prioritize accordingly. I've mentioned before that one of the many reasons we wanted to move back to Tulsa was to lead healthier lives, but we had NO idea that this was the path we would be sent down. The old adage of 'if you don't have your health, you don't have anything' is incredibly truthful, powerful & not to be underestimated. So, onward we march with hopes for a healthier future, physically, spiritually, emotionally.

As I write this post, Cole is trying to put on his daddy's flip flops...and he put them on correctly! He never fails to impress me on the things he picks up on & what he has learned! Everyday with Cole is truly a treasure...he is so much fun to be around (except for the glimpses of the terrible-twos...haha!). He is walking like a pro & is actually running! When he first learned to walk, you could see in his eyes & in his step that the boy wanted to RUN! Well, after weeks of tripping, bruises & bumps, he finally knows how to run (albeit with the chest & belly stuck forward & on his tip-toes...its super cute!). His vocabulary grows by the week (he now says mama, dada, dog, zoe, milk, wheel, geese and a few others that are unintelligible, but we get the point). I found this cool website for ASL & they have a whole section for's amazing how much easier it is to communicate with him using sign language. My goal was to teach him one new one each week...well, I failed on that ;) But, we've got the 3 down that we use the most...milk, down & more. Here's the link:

Cole has also learned to climb...he is quite the little monkey! But, I figure it's good exercise for him :) He's also learned to dance! If our connection wasn't so slow (I'm cheap & won't purchase the faster connection..haha!), I would upload a video of him dancing...he is quite the entertainer! We're also teaching him body parts & his favorite is his belly (he likes to pull up his shirt, just like every other kid, but he also likes to try & pull mine up too...not so cute!). He also likes to point out eyes, so if you hold him, be sure you don't get a little finger in your eye-he hasn't quite picked up on the 'don't poke other people's eye' lesson even though we go through it on a daily basis!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Change is hard-part 2

I prefer to end on a lighter note, so now, onto happier times! Cole is amazing! He brings so much joy & light to our lives! He is walking like a pro, trying to run (rather humorous to watch because he falls every time!), talking like crazy, brushing his teeth (actually, he mimics everything we do) & is incredibly independent (uh oh!). He is just a TON of fun! I gave him a couple of drawers in the kitchen to keep his straws and burp cloths, however I have found random items in there, like one of my dress shoes and a screwdriver. Then, I found a Matchbox car in the toaster...ha! We have already experienced our fair share of tantrums, but are learning to decipher between 'frustrated tantrum' and 'not getting my way tantrum.' By far, the best developmental book I've seen (I've probably already mentioned it) is by Dr. Brazelton and it's called Touchpoints. It is my user's manual! Cole is still a little peanut (now at 15 months and doesn't weigh 20 pounds!), but his pedi has reassured us that since he's meeting all the developmental milestones, there's nothing to worry about and he's just going to be small. We're hoping for the world's fastest soccer player...ha! Baby boy #2 is currently due around the first of June and is a wild man! He has found my ribs, diaphragm, bladder, stomach...and the acid reflux is unbearable...I think we're having another hairy baby...haha! Here are some pictures of Cole over the last month or so...he wanted to help us move boxes & was very entertaining pushing them around the living room.

Change is hard-part 1

Since I haven't posted in over 2 months (slap my hand!), I decided to break this into two separate posts to keep it from being too long. Here goes...

So, I thought it was time to change up the blog to signify the recent incredible amount of change we have experienced in our lives. Change is hard. But, just because it's hard doesn't mean that it isn't needed or welcome. As you know, we made the big change to move back to Tulsa late last year. But, what you may not know is that shortly after moving here, we had a health issue arise that changed our plans for when we got here. And, it has put the house search on hold for now. While we dearly appreciated the hospitality of my in-laws, we decided to move into an apartment (and, I must say what a very strange feeling to go from owning your own home, to living with in-laws, to living in an apartment again). But, we are thankful we have a place to live where we feel safe and a space of our own to call "home," even if it's temporary. I don't want to leave you hanging regarding the 'health issue,' but we aren't ready to share with the world all the gory details. It is an issue we have battled for almost 10 years and have simply reached the 'end of the line' for treatment via medications. While I don't really believe in coincidences (I am more the the 'everything happens for a reason no matter how bad it may suck' philosophy), it really is a coincidence that we hit this point in treatment after moving back to be closer with family & friends. Their support, love, prayers, and baby-sitting during doctor's appointments has helped tremendously. Not to say we wouldn't have had similar support in Austin, but calling up family for a favor at the last-minute is less guilt-inducing than calling friends :). We (probably more 'me' than 'we') hope to share our story soon. We have found great inspiration and encouragement to move forward through others online, through their blogs, through their stories. While this experience has been heart-breaking, stressful, frustrating, and at times unfair, we hope that we too can provide support and encouragement to others one day. To encourage others to lead health(ier) lives and to NEVER ever take your health for granted. Because, as the old adage says, 'if you don't have your health, you don't have anything.'

Thank you to my BFF for sending this to us:
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Matthew 6:33-34 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Holidays, milestones, and more boys!!!

Well, we made it through the holidays, albeit cold and hit by a blizzard. Cole was certainly more into opening gifts this year than last...I dunno, something about being 3-weeks old during his first Christmas may have something to do with it :) He got lots of good gifts from the grandparents & family & friends, but of course, his favorites were the ribbons, bows, wrapping paper and boxes! Cole has been working on his vocabulary and is quite the chatterbox...most of the time unintelligible, but cute! He's working on walking and braves taking a few steps at a time. He is at the independent, I wanna do it myself, stage which is good for him to gain confidence, but rather challenging for those of us standing by...ha! He insists on pushing his own stroller (which is rather awkward in busy public places), but must be entertaining to those walking by. All-in-all, he seems to be developing by leaps and bounds and is very interested in other children! It's so interesting how they notice each other and share the same look of 'hey, you're just like me!'

As for the family, we continue our home search with open minds, but lacking results. We are throwing around the idea of building our own home, but we'll see what's in store! We're excited either way and thankful that we don't need to be in any rush. I think we have finally gotten everything switched over for phone numbers, addresses, emails, driver's licenses...the list goes on! It's amazing how much time and energy it takes to get things switched! Our biggest news of the month is that we are expecting a second BOY!!! He's very feisty (maybe more active than Cole was), so I have a feeling my hands will be full when he joins us in May or June. One of the many reasons we decided to move back to Tulsa was to try and help us (with support of family and friends) to change our ways of living to lead healthier lives. While we LOVED living in Austin, we both felt that we worked hard, but rarely played hard. So, our goals were to eat more at home, spend more family time together, find a good church we could call 'home,' among other things. We're trying to tackle them one at a time or at least in baby steps as not to feel overwhelmed. It is rather challenging to change our lifestyle, but it is nice to eat more at home (and see the resulting decrease in credit card charges!) and definitely spend a lot more family time together! We started attending the church my best-friend of 20+years attends and have enjoyed it so far! Hopefully this new year will represent a new 'us' and we hope it's a good new year for you too!