Patches

I am mentally exhausted after the turn of events involving one of our cats this evening. Patches is actually Greta’s cat that she got as a kitten for her birthday last year. Instead of presents for herself we told her that if she asked for donations to the animal shelter she could have a kitten. That was a no brainer for Greta!

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Any way… Patches was curled up behind me on my computer chair at about 6:30 this evening. I was attempting to answer some long overdue correspondences when suddenly Patches started jerking around behind me. For a second I thought she got one of her claws stuck in the chair fabric. When she fell to the floor, I quickly realized she was having a seizure. I was completely terrified and screamed for William, who does so much better than I do in these emergency situations. After it was over, Patches began running around the house with a puffed tail, loudly meowing… behavior I recognized the other day as well. This obviously wasn’t the first time this had happened. I wonder how long this could have been going on – how easy it could happen while she was hidden away under a bed. The meowing and puffy tail was simply attributed to typical crazy cat behavior. I didn’t think too much of it.

Of course this stuff ALWAYS happens after hours and/or on the weekend, be it with kids or pets. We had to bring her in to the emergency vet clinic where she’ll be overnight. I called around 10 this evening to check on her. Based on blood work, any metabolic disorders have been ruled out. Calcium and red blood cell counts were slightly elevated, but no cause for alarm. They were waiting on tests to rule out any type of cancer or seizure disorders. We’ll find that out in the morning when we go to pick her up at 7 am.

Never a dull moment around here!! I didn’t mean to turn this into Cat Blog, but that’s what has me in a fat funk.

Nora had a good day! She had a record day of feeding and seems to be getting over her cold. She took good naps and had only a few interludes of crabbiness that she unleashed on us. She’s been a little bit of a tyrant for her friends that come to stay with her at night. I’m beginning to wonder if she’s entering into that clingy stage. She definitely knows who her Mommy and Daddy are!

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Please pray that Nora gets some good sleep tonight, which in turn will allow us to get good sleep too! Please also pray for poor Patchy. šŸ˜¦

Baffs

I just take baffs all day long…

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I know how to get what I want!

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Dis towel is delicious!

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
(John 4:13-14 NIV)

And Here We Are

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I'll have one baths, please!

I didn’t get a chance to put a post up last night because a certain little someone in our family decided that she wanted to stay up very late. Then the threatening weather was upon us. I gathered up all the necessities lest the electricity should go out and then attempted to get some sleep once Nornor fell asleep. Just as I started to doze off, a deafening crack of thunder nearly caused me to snap my spine in half from jumping up off of my pillow at 100 mph. If William wasn’t already sharing his bed upstairs with a hyperventilating 7-year-old little girl, he certainly was now!!

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Children of the Storm

About an hour later my sleep was once again interrupted by my phone making some weird emergency alert sound that I’d only heard it do once before. Upon further investigation it was indeed an emergency alert: TORNADO WARNING IN YOUR AREA. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

Um… Okay then!!! Looking around at everything I needed to bring down into the basement, I decided I needed further information and turned on the TV. Fortunately we were in no immediate danger as we were not in southern Boone County. As a courtesy I DID text William upstairs that there was a tornado warning (question mark) and went back to sleep.

It figures the night that Nora sleeps great that that the weather would freak out!

Yesterday night Nora was exceptionally crabby and it proceeded on into the next day. I became a bit nervous when I monitored her oxygen level and saw that it would drop considerably when I put her oxygen flow back down to an 8th of a liter. We’d boosted it up to Ā½ a liter or sometimes Ā¾ liter when her boogies were at their worst – just to make sure something was getting through. She didn’t seem so congested anymore which is why I experimented with lowering back down. We wondered if her oxygen saturation had anything to do with her unusual fussiness and felt that an assessment by Dr. Bolling was in order.

Of course we got there and Nora made a total liar out of us. She was happy as a baby in a bath tub! She had lots to say to Dr. Bolling and didn’t have any obvious symptoms that raised any red flags. The oxygen desats are very typical with a cold, and she does still have it. We surmised that Nora missed Dr.Bolling and just wanted to come in to say hi! He did prescribe some amoxacillin as a preventative measure on the off chance that her ears were giving her trouble, or if there was some sort of sinus infection going on. Her ear canals are so tiny, it’s almost impossible to see if there is anything going on in there. Sigh of relief and a big fat reminder to STOP WORRYING!!!!

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Also yesterday we were excited to hear of another little girl that lives locally with full trisomy 18. She is EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD! Our mutual contact is going to see about putting us in touch with one another! I’ve been so excited to hear about this! Of course I have talked with several other families online or on the phone with children who share the same extra 18th chromosome as NoraĀ but I have never met any of these children in person. Before Nora was born I had never even heard of trisomy 18 / edwards syndrome. I love how there are groups and organizations focused on children with downs syndrome. It seems like these families get to join another great big precious extended family. So many of these awesome families have befriended me even before Nora was born and I am so incredibly blessed by that. While there are some similarities with these extra chromosomes, such as the heart defects, they’re still different. Not knowing any other trisomy 18 children in person can be a little scary. They are so rare to begin with, but also rare that they survive. (I logically realize that and do NOT like or need to be reminded of that.) To hear of a girl locally who is EIGHTEEN gives me so much joy and hope. Obviously this child has been cared for by doctors and specialists throughout her life who were eager and ambitious despite her diagnosis. We definitely have been bestowed with like-minded doctors. I am wowed by the prevenient grace that God has heaped upon us – that we live 20 minutes away from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation. We never knew a child of ours would be dependent on unprecedented medical care. But God did. And here we are.

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
(Acts 17:26 NIV84)

Happy Baby vs. Sad Baby

These days are long, but they go by so quickly. Intermittent bouts of fear and uneasiness creep in so easily when things are a little “off”. Nora’s lingering cold is much to blame for her fussiness, but in my mind I am quick to attribute it to something horribly wrong. Her heart, her lungs, she sleeps too much, she sleeps too little, and on and on and on.

Because the water is really the only place Nora is guaranteed to be happy, she had a total of 3 baths today.

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BATH ONE

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BATH TWO

Nora is always excited to see her brother and sister when they get home from school.

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That second bath did wonders. Happy Baby was back in full effect. However, Happy Baby doesn’t always stick around too long and we get stuck with Sad Baby. Bath Three was in order:

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BATH THREE

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We wonder if she’s really a little mermaid. She’d be content to float in the tub all day and night listening to Heavenly Lullabies on Pandora. The life!!

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Goodnight!

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.
(Proverbs 3:12 MSG)

Sleepers

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Check back tomorrow! Me n’ Mommy fell asleep!

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Hi, it’s me Nora! I guess 3 am is officially “tomorrow”! I’m up for a feeding so I figure I’ll update while I’m awake!

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Yesterday I had a nice day with my Mommy.


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These boogies sure are taking their time about getting out of my nose!


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But I'm in good spirits!


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It was nice to get back to the 'gym'!


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I feel like I haven't worked out in forever!


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Check out the THREE LITTLE BIRDIES around my head (those are the only 3 on the whole mat!)


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Nothing like a warm soak after a tough work out!


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Nana came over and stayed with me for awhile while Mommy finally got her hair 'did'.

When Mommy got home Gavin and Greta put the final touches on her hair and gave her a total makeover.

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Doesn't Mommy look fabulous??!!

Because of the Lord ‘s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

Spiritual Windex

I peeked ahead to the next day (Sept. 5) of my Jesus Calling devotional:

I am your best friend as well as your King. Walk hand in hand with me through your life. Together we will face whatever each day brings: pleasures, hardships, adventures, disappointments. Nothing is wasted when it is shared with Me. I can bring beauty out of the ashes of lost dreams. I can glean joy out of sorrow, Peace out of adversity. Only a Friend who is also the King of kings could accomplish this divine alchemy.

There is no other like Me! The friendship I offer you is practical and down-to-earth, yet it is saturated with heavenly Glory. Living in My Presence means living in two realms simultaneously: the visible world and unseen, eternal reality. I have equipped you to stay conscious of Me while walking along dusty, earthbound paths.

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I smiled as I read it because this has become such a reality to me. My days and nights are so much more beautiful when I make the conscious effort to include God in them. The days that I am not mindful of God’s presence are often filled with unexpected bouts of anxiety, anger or sadness.

I recently watched an interview of an atheist arguing the validity of God. I was amused by how much effort she put into trying to dissuade the viewer from believing in God. I was amused, but also saddened by the probable reality that this atheistic woman was so intent on denying God’s existence, that of course she was missing His Presence. If she’s never experienced God’s Glory by choosing to shield herself from it – then no, sadly God doesn’t exist. For her.

In a way this is comparable to a deaf person arguing about the reality of music and sound. If they’ve never touched something to feel the vibration of sound, proof that it exists, how would they know?

My perception of God was often viewed through a hazy sheet of glass. I could see glimpses here and there if I squinted and peered hard enough. Then Nora came along, as a bottle of spiritual Windex and cleared all the “schmootz” off the glass. Not only do I see God’s glory more vividly, but the Son shines through all the clearer–saturating me.

Here is a video of one of Nora’s baths today:

She still has a little bit of a cold, but seems to gradually be getting better. Here are pictures from today of the sweetest little 20 week old:

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But everything exposed by the light becomes visibleā€”and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 8:13-14 NIV)

Back Home

The soggy morning light filtered in through the crack in the heavy hotel curtains. In what seems like no time at all, my fat little bald-headed cherub has grown up into the beautiful brown-skinned little girl that lay sleeping beside me. Gone are her adorably sqeezable arm and leg rolls, the kissable dimples on her knuckles, her chunky cheeks. Although she has grown taller and thinner she has not lost any of her baby sweetness. I smiled at her as she opened her eyes and looked over at me trying to figure out where she was. She reciprocated a tired smile and closed her eyes again, trying to pinch a few more minutes of sleep.

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Not used to sleeping past 6am, I was up for the day. The smell of coffee beckoned from the lobby, reminding me that breakfast was in progress. After breakfast, we decided we should probably go swimming since we didn’t get to last night.

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We swam in the pool and soaked in the hot tub, wondering what Nora was doing and missing her. Although we had a terrific time and a very fun, restful night we couldn’t wait to get back home to see Nora. Greta couldn’t get her seat belt off fast enough and dashed into the house once we were home. I followed behind her, slowed down by my bag and a Hello Kitty back pack. I’d been warned of Nora’s fussiness, but was relieved at the absence of crying when I walked through the front door. None the less a bathy was still in order!

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I'm happy my Mom and my sister are back home!!

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I still have a lot of boogies and these bathies make me feel so much better!

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Aaaah.

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Mmmmmm. Milkies.

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Snora Nora

I’d missed my hubzbind too. But no sooner did we kiss hello, he and Gavin were off to Kings Island for their day out.

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Nora took a lengthy nap after her bath. Being well rested I used the opportunity to catch up on some laundry and neglected household duties. Greta was happy to have the company of Gavin’s friend Matthew. He had come down to play with Gavin, but figured hanging out with Greta was better than nothing on a rainy afternoon and happily took on the role of “surrogate big brother” in Gavin’s absence. Greta was happy to have someone to play Legos with!

Eventually the guys were back home with tales of roller coasters and more roller coasters. When they were about 2 minutes from home Gavin exclaimed, “Wwooooaaahhhh!!! Look!!” In the direction of Gavin’s pointing finger was a brilliant double rainbow prominently displayed against the backdrop of dark clouds.

Just a little something to brighten your spirits when everything seems a little dismal and “off”. William pulled over to take a couple of pictures.

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I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. (Genesis 9:13 NIV)

Extra Sleep!

Today my husband gave me the gift of time, a massage and sleep for our anniversary. Greta and I are tucked away for the night at Springhill Suites in Florence, KY (which according to Pandora is a different country?)

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Not sure what that’s all about… But fortunately the white noise app works so we won’t be rudely awoken by the proverbial drunken wedding party, or the like at 3am (which always seems to happen when staying at any hotel!?)

We enjoyed a nice soak in the hot tub in our room while we watched the WEBN fireworks on TV. (I feel like I’ve been in the bath tub all day long! Nora and I had a lengthy soak earlier in the day.)

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I'd like to stay in here for many hours, please!

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Nora wasn’t able to join us on this Girl’s Trip. Greta and I were sad about that and we both miss her terribly. William has been sending us texts – but that makes is miss her even more! Maybe in a couple of years she’ll be able to come along.

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By Greta

I have to share some pictures of Nora from last night that Shauna took. I had to go back and look at these several times today. How can these not make you smile!!??

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I selected a seemingly random Bible verse from the Bible app on my phone and it just so happens to be a verse that was mentioned in church this morning! Not so random, I guess!!

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)

I’m off to take advantage of my gift of extra sleep!! Thank you soooo much for this, William! We’re having an awesome time!!!!

Goodnight and God bless!

Happy Anniversary

I was browsing through an old blog I used to keep in my younger years. For the most part it is a collection of aggravated sarcasm and venting, which is why it is password protected. Amidst my crazy rantings there are some sweet things, one of them is the story of my engagement to William. September 2nd is the 12 year anniversary of William proposing to me:

On September 2, 2000, William took me on a picnic with our little sparrow, Ava. We packed up a picnic basket and went to a park about 20 minutes away. We found a perfect little secluded spot by a lake and set up our picnic. After lunch, I was laying there on the blanket looking up at the sky with a big smile on my face. He asked me why I was smiling – I told him because I was happy. He asked me why I was so happy – I told him because I was so content at that very moment. I had my sweetheart and my precious bird with me on this beautiful day… no where else would I rather be. He said, “If I make you so happy, why don’t you marry me?” I was SOOOO not expecting a proposal!!!! I was completely oblivious – had NO clue in the world. Without even giving it a second thought, I threw my arms around his neck and said, “Of course, I will marry you.” And this time it felt completely right. I knew he was the right one and I knew I was ready. A few minutes after he put the beautiful ring on my finger it started POURING down rain. We packed everything up and started back to the car. I was so happy that I didn’t even care that I was getting soaked to the bone. We were in no hurry and just took our time. As we got closer to the car the sun came out while it was still teeming down rain. In a little clearing in the woods we saw a rainbow. How perfect is THAT???? We tried to take a self-portrait of the 2 of us with the rainbow in the background, but you can’t see the rainbow. Cute picture though!

This all took place during a time when I thought I was in control of everything in my life and responsible for my own destiny. I didn’t have my antenna up to receive any assurances from GodĀ at that time in my life, but there one was – bright and shining in the form of a rainbow. There would be no way for either of us to know then what the future held for us, but God knew. His pleasure burst forth in the form of a rainbow, unbeknownst to either of us. It was a perfect touch to a perfect moment, but we just tallied it up as another one of those coincidences! How sweet it is to know better and to look back at that!!

Fast forward another year later almost to the day, September 1, 2001. Eleven years ago today, I married the love of my life. Today is our eleventh anniversary!

I couldn’t have dreamt up a better husband and father for my children if I had tried, which further proves that God knew exactly what He was doing when HeĀ arranged for our paths to cross. William, you make me feel loved and appreciated every single day. Your selflessness, your compassion, your generosity, your honesty and your laughter bring joy to even the hardest of days. I. do. not. know. what. I. would. do. without. you!!!!! I LOVE YOU more than you could possibly imagine, as do your children. What lucky kids they are to have you as their Daddy. I thank God for you every day.

Even though we’re not doing anything exciting and outrageous to celebrate today, simply being with you is enough.

Here are sweet pictures from today:

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What do I gotta do to get some rest around here!!??

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)