A Reason to Sing (Squeal)

Nora is doing okay. She does have lots of boogies, but no more fevers throughout the day. A visit to the pediatrician’s office alleviated any of our concerns about her lungs, and confirmed that she does indeed have something upper respiratory. They sent us home with a nebulizer for breathing treatments. This machine definitely was louder than we expected, and I’m certain that I speak for the cats as well. I think they ran into each other, knocked a bunch of stuff over in the kitchen and then ran in place for a few seconds before darting away in big blurs of puffed fur. We couldn’t stop laughing! Poor cats! Anyway… Nora tolerated the breathing treatment well. And despite her boogies, she is in surprisingly good spirits, still squealy!!! And eating way better than I had anticipated! (smiley face) Nora still has a reason to sing, and so do I.

Since we were up most of the previous night sucking boogies, William and I were exhaustively exhausted! I took an afternoon nap and he went to bed early. It’s amazing what a little sleep can do for peace of mind. But even through the hours of sleep deprivation I will say that I felt very prayed over. It was during my melt down yesterday (Friday) my thoughts got away from me. Fear and anxiety seemed to be cemented in my chest, holding me down and choking my breath. I began worrying about all of the care and issues that MIGHT arise with a special needs child, every little cold potentially disastrous. Our new normal, which we’re still trying to adjust to seemed frightening and full of foreboding. Selfishly I wanted our old normal back and for Nora to be a part of THAT normal. My sweet husband laid there next to me and listened to me purge my heart and stroked my hair away from my teary face. In a moment of silence William reminded me that through Nora I am a beacon of strength for so many, including himself. (Yet there I was in a heap of hopelessness, weak and vulnerable – furthest thing from strength I could imagine…) Any strength, courage or wisdom that I might exhibit is not of my own. It is a direct result of my decision to let God take the reins of my life. It is HIS strength, HIS courage, HIS wisdom that has been apportioned to me. That is Christ in my life.

It is when I am weak and tired that my eyes grow weary and I lose my focus on God. Suddenly I think I’m supposed to have control over all of this, and really, how could I control ANY of this?? And so what if I’m not a part of the world’s “normal” – is anyone really?? I KNOW God has something better in mind for all of us through what we perceive as our pain and suffering. He makes beautiful things from our dust, I need to be reminded time and time again!!

Remedied with sleep and coffee I’ve regained my footing, my eyes are once again focused on God, where they should be at all times. I heard this song on the radio on our way to the pediatrician this morning:

“Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending
Someday, somehow, you’ll see”

Amen to that!!!!!!!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV)

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
(Phil. 4:6-7 The Message)

Cold III

Every little stray from norm sets the horror movie music screeching in my head. Nora had been eating really wonderfully the past 4 days. As of yesterday late afternoon there has been a steady decline. I fully comprehend the futility of worry, but satan is always right there with his dirty infected syringe injecting fear and worry into my mind. It simmers and festers and I find myself in a puddle of tears.

I made a quick trip to the grocery this morning for laundry detergent and gas drops (hoping gas was the source of Nora’s troubles). I was weepy on my way back home, looking all over for the 3 birds. No where. Instead of turning down our street, I got it in my head to just keep going straight. Nora had fallen asleep, this would give her the opportunity to sleep. So on I drove. I went down through another subdivision and there they were.

image

Nora started fussing right after I took that picture. It was almost as if I had driven down there specially to see them.

Despite Nora’s disinterest in her milkies, she was in decent spirits. She was wide awake for most of the day, from 8 am – 3 pm! We were then honored to have a visit from Melanie Pace – the amazing photographer who did the pictures of Nora’s birth! She had her cameras in tow and got some great shots of us with Nora. I can’t wait to see the pictures!! Here are some that I took today:

image

image

image

It was toward the end of our photo shoot that I noticed Nora was getting lots of boogies. (cue up horror music) Didn’t we just get over the last cold??? No one else in the family is exhibiting any symptoms to have known to keep their distance. We do not touch her unless we’re doused in hand sanitizer. I’m at a loss…

So here we go again. I’m sleep deprived and so susceptible to satan’s stupid tricks. Please pray for Nora to weather this cold without any complications and that I will stay focused in the present moment. Please pray for my precious hubzbind too. He’s exhausted from a hard day at work, yet goes completely above, beyond and back again for all of us.  #bestdaddyandhubzbindintheworld

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
(Matthew 16:23 NIV)

Good Morning

Nora went to another Bible study session with Mommy! She did really well up until the end. Her sweet little squeals gradually progressed into discontent so we had to go for a walk.

image

Hey! I have something to share!!

image

After Bible study I took a gamble and brought Nora to get an oil change. Everything was fine until Grumpy Baby showed up half way through it.

image

I hate oil changes!! This is stupid!!!

Fortunately it didn’t last too long and we were back home in no time flat!

I volunteered to help out in Greta’s classroom this afternoon, something I’ve been excited to do for some time now! My Mom was able to come over and stay with the Little Miss while I was away.

Greta was super excited to see me and greeted me with a big hug!

image

Oh! And I got to meet Greta’s baby guinea pig that Daddy said she could bring home.

image

It's the little one in the back to the left

The class came back one Monday to discover three little baby piggies that their classroom pet had secretly been gestating! Greta wrote the sweetest letter to her Daddy explaining why she should have one. He couldn’t resist! (And because we’re bored and have nothing else going on…)

Back at home Nora boarded the Fuss Train. She was very fussy all evening and hasn’t been eating so great. There seems to be 2 different scenarios with her. Either she is eating and sleeping tons, or she doesn’t eat as much and she’s awake for 6 – 7 hour stretches. (?)

At least we had a good morning!

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
(James 5:13 NIV)

Squealy

On our way back from the bus stop this morning, Nora and I got caught in a light rain. Nora didn’t mind one bit, and in fact she squealed all the way back down the street — loudly to the point that the neighbors heard her! “Was that Nora?” my neighbor-friend texted. Another neighbor-friend was out getting his newspaper and had to see for himself who in the world was making all this racket! I continued on back to the house laughing and pushing a stroller with precious squeals emitting from it!

The big kids were off at school and my routine with Nora began. She quickly decided once we were back inside that she’d like a baff.

image

I like baffs!

After naps and baffs we packed up and went to the GROCERY STORE! We were all out of milkies!!!

image

Ooo! Something looks delicious!


image

Nom nom nom nom nom

We had a girls night at the house with my cousin Amy and little Anna (why did I not get pictures!!??) while all the boys went to the Reds game. Love me some cousin time! :-)

Pictures from William’s phone:

image

image

Gavin up on the jumbotron - what what!

The cousins left shortly before 8 and the boys were home LATE! Too bad the Reds didn’t win! Meanwhile, someone else had already gotten herself sleepy!

image

Nora spent the rest of the night with Daddy who let Mommy get a full night of sleep upstairs! (Thanks, Pudding.)

I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
(Deuteronomy 32:3 NIV)

Assurance

image

I wasn't happy on my way back from the bus stop this morning. I miss my brudder and sister!

image

I was a good girl fir Mr. & Mrs. B. while Mommy went to help Daddy at the sign shop. Mommy missed me!

image

I stayed at home and played with Daddy while Mommy took Greta to dance class.

image

Mommy and Greta went out to dinner afterward. They had Chinese food.

image

That sounds kind of delicious!

Not as delicious as milkies though!

image

I fell asleep after a mad banjo pickin' session!

Just another day in paradise! :-)

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 NIV)

Pray Continually

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

Oh, how easy it is to forget that scripture when things are going good! There were the days I could barely get out of bed in the morning, absolutely dreading what the day might have in store. Prayer was simply part of opening my eyes. I couldn’t think about starting my day without prayer. It came naturally. But now that the ground is steady again I get lulled back into thinking I’ve got everything under control again. Kind of like, “Thanks for everything, God,  but I’ve got this now!” Even when I’m not in the throes of despair I need to remember to pray. I will say that through Nora this does come much easier than it used to. I have met so many people, so many families in need of prayer, especially in regard to infants and children. When I think of them, I pray for them which reminds me and even enables me to pray continually.

While there are days that I will be overwhelmed with the challenges of Nora’s care, I will smile in remembering that she’s been the perfect excuse for someone to talk to God by praying for her. God delights in hearing from all of us, especially His beloved children that never call. If maybe you feel like God doesn’t listen to your prayers so why bother? I’m here to say YES, HE DOES!!

Proof:

image

image

image

We had another restful day with a couple of baffs and a walk up to the bus stop to meet the big kids in the afternoon. Life is good right now. God is good always.

image

Gavin being a goofball in the background trying to make Matthew laugh!

image

I found this sweet drawing in Greta's school work that she brought home. Love the 3 birds!

Look to the Lord  and his strength;
seek his face always.
(1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV)

More Baseball!

image

I'm sound asleep in the morning!

image

I have no idea of the silliness going on around me!

image

My brudder is funny!

image

I had so much fun at my brudder's game the night before that I decided I wanted to go again!

image

I met a new friend!

image

Maddy is extra sweet like me!

image

I fell asleep for a little bit.

image

When I woke up I had a few things to say!

image

I told my brudder to make a hit for me!

image

And he DID!!!

I’m such a good girl and I’m really sweet too!

They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
(Jeremiah 17:8 NIV)

Answered Prayers

I was tinkering around with the YouVersion Bible app on my phone and rediscovered the Notes feature. It was seemingly new to me, but apparently I had already used it before. There were two notes saved. One was a prayer I had typed out on the night before we received the amnio results:

“After a peaceful, restful day we retire to bed. We’ve lifted our heavy hearts up to you, Oh Lord, and we thank you for the lightened load. We pray over tomorrow’s amnio results, dear Lord. Let those come back to us clean and clear, showing the beautiful results of a mentally and physically healthy baby. We trust in you, Lord, we praise you, and will give you all the glory no matter what the results are. In your name I pray.”

No matter what the results are… No matter what the results are. Nora is a perfect example of God’s infinite wisdom. We did not get the results that WE wanted that next day, but clearly God knew what He was doing. I will never forget that crushing pain, the all encompassing fear that manifested itself into every part of my being. And now here we are only eight months later. This is NOTHING that I imagined it to be. How on earth could I have been afraid of this?

image
image

We had a nice relaxing Saturday today. Gavin and William went to the Reds game, and Greta was invited to sleep over. My Mom (Nana) came over to hang out with Nora and I, but of course Nora slept for most of Nana’s visit!

This evening Nora and I met up with Gavin and William at Gavin’s baseball game! It was exciting to get out and do something “normal”! We brought lots and lots of blankets for the Little Miss as it was only about 55°! She kept nice and warm snuggled up close to her Mommy!

image
image

image

My brudder didn't hit a home run for me!!!!!

I’m most familiar with the NIV (New International Version) of the Bible, but my previously mentioned Bible app offers other versions. One of my favorite translations is the Message because it is very different than what I am used to and also very modern. I like how the Message words this passage, especially the last part.

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! (Romans 8:17 MSG)

Now compare with the NIV version of same verses:

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
(Romans 8:14-17 NIV)

Protection

The mornings are getting chilly, but it’s still tolerable enough that Nora and I can accompany Gavin and Greta up to the bus stop. We just have to make sure the Little Miss is appropriately bundled. This morning she was so “shnoogy” and warm that she fell asleep. I wheeled the stroller back in to the house and intended to let her sleep some more. We weren’t back home for long when I heard little stirrings. Upon further investigation I discovered someone had awoken.

image

image

She smiled at me when I removed the blanket from her head!

She’s just such a sweet baby, such an absolute joy. There is no sweeter sound than her vociferous squeals and gurgles that emanate throughout the  whole house. I love when I can hear her from all the way upstairs. It’s an instant smile inducer!

image

image

Baby + Baffs = Seeps

image

Please pray that Nora will continue to eat well. She has been doing AWESOME these past 3 days! And that she will be protected from any illnesses that she may accidentally be exposed to. We can’t possibly thank you enough for keeping us in your prayers!

The Lord  watches over you—
the Lord  is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night. The Lord  will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life; the Lord  will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
(Psalm 121:5-8 NIV)

Busy Girl

Nora and I made it to Bible study this morning! She was such a good girl and was so happy to see all of her “aunts” and “grandmas”. I was so preoccupied trying to make sure she was happy that I completely forgot to take a picture! I’ll try to remember next week.

Once we were back home we had just enough time for lunch and a milkies before we had to venture out again to go meet William to sign a bunch of papers for something. Nora doesn’t like it when the car stops, so we were thinking about investing in one of these:

All this activity makes for one tired girl, and one tired Mommy!

image

On another note and all politics aside, my dear friend Margaret asked that I mention this article on the blog this evening. I agree that it is definitely worth sharing!

ONE MINUTE EACH NIGHT

During WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill, who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute, to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect, as bombing stopped.

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America.

The United States of America, and our citizens, need prayer more than ever! If you would like to participate, each evening at 9:00 P.M.. Eastern Time (8 PM Central, 7 PM Mountain, 6 PM Pacific), stop whatever you’re doing, and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, for our upcoming election, for our troops, for our citizens, for peace in the world, and for our continuing to enjoy all the blessings of freedom, especially religious freedom, here at home.

If you know anyone who would like to participate, please pass this along.

Someone said if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.

Please pass this on to anyone who you think will want to join us.

============

image
image

Nora’s sweet little face is a testament to the power of prayer!! I’ve set an alarm on my phone for 9pm to remind me to pray for our country.

How easy it is to take all our freedoms, (not just religious freedoms) for granted. Freedom is all I’ve ever known, but it is something I enjoy because countless men and women fought for it. They even lost their lives for it. When I think of it in that way — of course I can take one minute out of my night to pray for our county and our leaders WHETHER I AGREE WITH THEM OR NOT!

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
(1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV)