Catchup

I’m so glad you are back, Ethel! It was such a delight reading your comments as you got caught up on the blog! I’m so very sorry for the loss of your sister. My heart hurts for you as I know how special that sisterly bond is. Nothing can break that precious bond, not even death. I pray that you will be granted peace and comfort, abundant joy.

I have so much I want to write, but here it is late again and I NEED to sleep! Just a quick update on Nora ~ She is still having some belly troubles which will be bringing us to the pediatrician again tomorrow morning bright and early. She remains in great spirits, has a great appetite and does not seem to be sickly. That’s been reassuring!

Here are pictures from the past few days. She’s as cute and sweet as ever ~

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“Dissss is what I liiike!!!!”
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Greta showing off her second lost tooth that she lost at school Monday!
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I posted yesterday on Facebook, “I’m tired, I’m worn……” quoting the Tenth Avenue North song that has become our anthem of late:

Yes, I feel so tired and worn somedays. I get discouraged when these days seem never-ending, one blending right into the next and barely discernible from each the other. I miss the way life used to be, but couldn’t be without the way it is now.

(To be continued… )

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.”
(1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT)

Stomach Bug

Things seem to be on the up and up. No pukes throughout the day and only one minimal puke this evening. Visit to the pediatrician this morning went well. He seems to think Nora has a stomach bug that’s been going around — not the norovirus and not the flu, thank God!! No need for a GI visit at this time. Things should start to clear up in 3-5 days. We didn’t sleep but for maybe 3 hours last night – so I’m heading to sleep!! Just wanted to give that quick update and to thank all of you for your prayers, your encouraging comments, messages and emails. I’ll write more later!

Big kids whispering goodbye to sweet sleeping Nornor before they left for school this morning…
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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

Promises

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:6-8 NIV)
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Still battling the diarrhea and spitting up. No idea what the cause is. On the plus side, Nora is in decent spirits. We’ve been able to get a few smiles out of her today. She does seem uncomfortable at times, but definitely not in any pain. We will probably have her seen by a GI if she doesn’t show some improvement through the night. It’s so so hard to keep my thoughts under control. How many more times does God need to teach me the futility of worrying?? You’d think I’d get it by now.

I finished reading a book today called To Heaven and Back about a woman’s near death experience. I love reading books on this topic not because I’m looking for proof of heaven, but because these glimpses of heaven are so beautiful and encouraging to me. The last few sentences at the end hit spot on for me this afternoon:

“I think it is only when a person truly sees God working in his own life that this faith can be transformed into a complete trust that God’s promises are true. Complete trust that God has a beautiful plan and that it is one with a hope and a future allows me, and each of us, to face challenges with confidence and courage, even when the plan and its beauty seem hidden.

-Mary C. Neal, MD

I so needed that reminder!!!! God is so completely obviously at work in our lives. That can’t even be questioned, but do I really GET IT??? I want to face these challenges with confidence and courage, but I feel so afraid especially in these moments when everything seems hidden.

I took a break from writing this post after I’d typed the excerpt from To Heaven and Back. I was tucking the big kids into their beds and kissing them goodnight. During my visit in Greta’s room she asked me why I looked sad although I don’t know that I actually did. She’s just very intuitive. I explained to her that I was worried about Nora and how silly it was for me to worry when God has gotten us through so many rough times. What makes me think He won’t get us through this one? Greta looked at me and said, “God never breaks his promises,” either incredibly wise beyond her years or prompted by her angel. Then she asked me to read her today’s and yesterday’s pages from her Jesus Calling devotional. Yesterday’s was entitled “My Promises”

THREE TIMES tonight I was reminded of God’s promises. Though they appear hidden right now, they are no less true.
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Belly Troubles

I’m glad that today is over. Nora hasn’t been herself these past couple of days, especially today. We’re pretty certain that she’s just having some side effects from her vaccinations on Thursday. She’s been spitting up and has had lots of diarrhea, with just about every feeding. Spitting up is totally normal for babies, as Gavin & Greta’s hand-me-down baby outfits can attest to. However Nora has never spit up. The spitting up started intermittently a few weeks ago. It could be that the spitting up and diarrhea are totally unrelated, as odd as that seems. We are well aware of the stomach virus (norovirus) that is making its rounds. I researched the heck out of that and came to the conclusion that one or more of us in the family would be symptomatic by now based on its contagiousness. She has no fever and absolutely no loss of appetite. In fact, she’s had an all-time record day of feeding: 840 mL!! Her previous record was 630 mL, and she usually averages in the high 590s per day. She’s certainly making up for whatever she’s losing. No signs of dehydration either (which is really the only thing our pediatrician said to look out for). We are giving her Pedialyte this evening and throughout the night in between bottles just to be safe. Of course our minds always wander and we start getting ourselves all freaked out. We just want our happy, squealy, giggly baby back!!

Pictures from yesterday when Nora was in a little better spirits~

Early morning cuddles with Mommy. The big kids had a (no)snow day Friday so we didn’t have to get up early. It felt so nice to be able to go back to sleep!!
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Nornor got bundled by her brother. “Somebody get meeee outta here!!!!!!!!!”
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“Oh! I’m in da baff. Imagine dat!”
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Greta showing off the stuffed animal tiger that she got after she “symbolically adopted” a tiger through WWF (World Wildlife Fund – not the World Wrestling Federation). I think she thought they were actually going to send her a real live tiger in exchange for her $8. No worries. We can just go to Asia and visit her tiger then, right Mommy? I love her sweet tender heart!!!
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“Arrrr! Me second baff!!!”
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Pictures from today ~

We’ve been trying to transition Nora into her bassinet. She’s doing pretty well!
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“Good morning n’ stuff!”
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This baby’s brother really loves her!! I love watching Gavin love on her and taking care of her, especially when he has no idea anyone is watching. Such a good, sweet boy!
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“Dis is what I like!!!”
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Caught the beautiful moonrise this evening!
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Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. (Psalm 148:3 NIV)

Laughter

I am absolutely brimming with gratitude for this day.

After the big kids were safely off to school I went back into the living room to check on Nora who had gone back to sleep around 6:30. Expecting to see her still fast asleep, I instead encountered a sweet smiley little face!
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She didn’t get much baff time yesterday, so we decided to make up for it today. She’s always so patient on Mommy and Daddy’s bed as she listens to the water fill up.
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We had a nice long, relaxing soak!
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All fresh and clean for her 9 month checkup with Dr. B!
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But not before some loves and cuddles with Mommy!
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Nora had an incredible, awesome, wonderful well-check! Dr. B was thrilled with her progress! She weighed in at a chunky 12 pounds 10 ounces! That’s about a pound and a half since December! She’s increased her feeds, her color is great, her heart even sounds perfect! Dr. B said that you would never know by the sounds of it that anything is wrong with her heart! (Maybe the next cardiologist appt will reveal miraculous physical healing!!!)
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Nora was all smiles and squealed a couple of times. Then the shots came in and changed all that. Pooooor sweet fat leggies got stuck with 2 different vaccines and her little finger got pricked for an iron test. (Her hemoglobin is right where it should be!) After the terrible sadness subsided a little bit we set off for home!

The second we walked out the door it was as if God were celebrating Nora with us. There was a big cross emblazoned across the sky, which was enough to send happy tears spilling out of my eyes. Then I saw the little sun rainbow.
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It wasn’t so little when I initially saw it, but by the time I had the opportunity to take this picture of it it had shrunk. I was immediately reminded of the times we had seen this kind of rainbow on our trips from the OB while I was pregnant.

Once we got home, Nora was consoled and rewarded with another warm baffs on the high seas! Arrrr!
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As the night progressed we fully anticipated that Nora might be a little irritable and fussy because of her shots. Instead, both William and I were right there to hear her FIRST LAUGH as we were interacting with her. I don’t know if there could ever possibly be anything sweeter. We can’t stop watching this video clip:

We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
(Psalms 126:2 NLT)

Shining Star

Ohhhh hiii! It’s me, Nornor! Mommy keeps falling asleep under the warm electric blanket mid-blogpost, so I guess I’ll update for her!!

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It’s 12° out? I’ll be in a warm baff if anyone needs me.
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Dis is what I like right here!!
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Then afterwards Mommy puts me in the “toaster” – which is tucking me into the down comforter that’s been warmed up by the electric blanket.
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Sweet and clean, clean and sweet.
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I got myself pretty sleepy after my physical therapy session this morning!
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Before long it’s time to party again!
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What inna world are Daddy and brudder doing on my bouncer?
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I got to go upstairs to say goodnight to everyone. I loved cuddling and star gazing in my sister’s bed!
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“God is so great—higher than the heavens, higher than the farthest stars. (Job 22:12 NLT)

For the Good

False
Evidence
Appearing to be
Real

Even on the easiest of days fear tries to creep in. It’s a little easier to recognize it for what it is now that I’m so familiar with it. It takes a very deliberate effort to squash it before it starts breeding and infesting my joy. I don’t want to live like that because I know there is a better way. I know I am doing absolutely everything I can to ensure Nora’s well-being. Everything else is completely out of my control. To finally realize that (over and over and over and over and over again) is very freeing. I trust that whatever it is that God has planned is for our good. His love never fails!

Here are pictures from yesterday and today ~

Stinky little pirate
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Nana & Papa came to visit and brought a delicious dinner. The big kids got to spend the night at their house since they didn’t have school the next day!
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Sweet deliciousness!!
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Look who can hold her head up so good now!
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And this is how she rolls!
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Good morning!!!
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Sweet smiles!
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Baff 1/3
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She’s sooooooooooo big!!!
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Cuddling with Mommy
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Lounging around
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And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
(Romans 8:28 NLT)

I prayed to the L ord , and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. (Psalms 34:4 NLT)