Happy Valentine’s Day!

Nora made a beautiful Valentine this morning in her therapy session in preparation for her FIRST Valentine’s Day! It was SOOO cute to see her react to a little heart sticker on her fingertip! All these little things that I never would have thought of that are so wonderful for her! Happy Valentine’s from Nornor!
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There certainly is an app for everything. This is the design that Gavin, my FUNNY Valentine came up with. We were laughing so hard together as we created this. I printed them out for him to pass out to his classmates as I also did for Greta’s. If this doesn’t confirm that we’re a little strange over here, I’m not sure what will. I keep laughing every time I look at this imagining the parents of a classmate innocently perusing through their child’s Valentines only to be confronted with this darling aberration! “(Gasp!) WHO IS GAVIN??!!” Happy Valentine’s Day from Gavin!
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And lastly, but not leastly, happy Valentine’s Day from Greta and Piggy Smalls. Greta always has beautiful Valentines. It looks like little sister Nora will follow suit!
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Here are pictures from today:
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Big kids getting ready for school
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Once again the big beautiful snowflakes were upon us. What better place to watch them from within a warm baff!?
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Beth More (@BethMooreLPM) tweeted the other day, “I don’t know if red birds are any redder in the winter or if it’s the contrast against the gray. I’ve seen a similar phenomenon with God. In the bleakest seasons when all seems dying, things you’d taken for granted can suddenly take an other-worldly color.Take it personally.”

Why, yes I will!
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We love because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:19 NIV)

G.I. Appointment

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Nora had her G.I. appointment today. It went very well and alleviated our concerns about Nora’s intermittent gaggy-ness/spit ups and not pooping in 5 days. The gagging and spitting up is related to reflux which could continue on for another 8 months or so. As she’s getting a little more active and using more muscles, it could be putting different pressures on her belly which causes the spitting up. Not really anything to be concerned about. Again her belly feels fine, no obstructions. Dr. said he really didn’t feel much of anything in her intestines. With having had the diarrhea for so long her body didn’t have the time to absorb the nutrients as it normally would have. Now that things are back to normal she’s utilizing most of what she’s taking in, with very little left over for stinking up diapers and baffs.

Nora still has lots of boogies, but her lungs aren’t being compromised in any way. They sound nice and clear!
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Nora was such a good, good girl for the short duration of our time at Children’s. She was very good for the car rides too. She’d made an appointment at the Spa Baff immediately when we got home.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh…..”
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Then she got cuddled to sleep by her Muthr who loves her like mad!!
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When she woke up there was silliness to be had.
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Beautiful cloud formation early this evening!! Bird or an angel?
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Thank you for all of your prayers today!!

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
(1 Chronicles 29:13)

Soothed

It was a great morning! The big kids were up in time, no fighting or teasing, and Nora slept while I fixed their breakfasts and packed their lunches. I don’t mean to brag, but I even had the dishwasher running, kitchen all cleaned up, bed made and a load of laundry in the washer before they even walked out the door!! That happens NEVER!!
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Sleepy Cupid
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However, Nora didn’t have the greatest of days today. She had some terribly uncomfortable belly pains that did not seem to want to go away. Nothing at all seemed to console her. The incessant crying turned her poor little nose into a snot-faucet and she was continuing to swallow more and more air. She hasn’t pooped in 4 days now and we were worried that there might be some sort of obstruction. To allay our fears, we set up an appointment with the pediatrician. Nora screamed at the top of her little lungs the whole way there. I clenched my teeth in anger, “How much longer, God??? Do you even hear us?? What are you doing besides making us all, mainly Nora miserable?! Why???!!! What is the point of all of this??” No booming answer, no sudden end to the crying, no grand enlightening. Nothing. Just tears, snot and screaming. Like a child I pouted that I wasn’t getting my way, “I guess we’ll just figure it out ourselves then.” We finally arrived at the pediatrician’s office with mild trepidation and frazzled nerves. It wasn’t until we had Nora out of her car seat and undressed that she suddenly decided things weren’t so bad anymore. By the time the doctor walked in a few minutes later, it was as if we were simply a couple of overreacting parents. For there on the examining table laid a squealy, kicky little baby girl with maybe a few boogies is all. No fever; clean, clear lungs; no bowel obstructions–her belly was nice and soft. Yes, she has a cold, but it is just a cold. Let’s see how it runs its course over the next few days, keep an eye on her temperature and her lungs, but nothing outwardly alarming. It is next to impossible to see into her tiny ear canals. An ear infection hasn’t been ruled out, but there are no obvious indications of one either (pain when swallowing or to the touch, fever).

So back home we went. I sat quietly in the back seat next to Nora feeling like a bit of a jerk. Nora is okay. God most certainly absolutely hears me. God isn’t prone to raising a bunch of spoiled brats. Get rid of my grandiose sense of entitlement already! He is a discerning, judicious Father who is cultivating me into a spiritually mature individual should I so choose to live under His “roof”. My free will allows me to leave at any time! To “figure it out myself” as I so eloquently phrased it earlier. That’s not what I want. I’d be no different than a featherless hatchling lying helplessly beneath my nest. I need God! Oh how I need Him!! I told Him that and apologized for my callowness. Any coincidence that “I’ll Take You Back” was playing on the radio? Like a loving Father He smiled back at me with a sunset, stroked my hair back behind my ear with trios of birds, and embraced me with a song. “Don’t forget that I love you. Don’t for a second forget what you are worth,” He whispered.
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You know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:3-4)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
(Hebrews 10:36)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
(Psalm 91:1-2)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galatians 6:9)

Cold >:/

And now Nora has a cold — upper respiratory crap. I’m finding it exceedingly difficult not to get discouraged. Our victory celebrations seem to last for about 5 minutes before we’re stripped of our medals and thrust back out into this never ending game of trying to stay healthy. In a minor fit of despair this evening I was reminded how quickly a week goes by and how quickly Nora will get over this cold just as she’s gotten through all the other ones. Her immune system is being strengthened with each cold she gets. She’s not in any pain, she’s able to breathe fine, her lungs are clear, and but for some intermittent gas pains she is HAPPY! Things could be so so much worse.

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We would be so thankful if you could please specifically pray that Nora’s lungs are protected throughout this cold!

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
(Romans 8:11)

Weekend

Happy 40th anniversary to my sweet Mom & Dad and happy 30th birthday to my adorable “baby” sister, Emily who also shares the special day (Feb 8th!)! They’re out this weekend celebrating their “Annibirthsaryday”. It looks like you’re having an awesome time and we are missing you!!
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We had an uneventful, restful day here. Nora enjoyed some morning silliness with her big brother. She thinks Gavin is really pretty cool! Greta spent the night at a friend’s house. Nora missed her!
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What could be more relaxing than an order of milkies in the baffs?
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It’s fun to play with sunbeams when they show up every rare once in awhile!
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I think the stomach bug(?) is finally out of here. Nora has had very minimal gaggy episodes today, no pukies, and no diarrhea — but now we’re hoping for at least something in the diaper!! :/

We’ve been given the green light by the pediatrician to start taking Nora off of her oxygen flow for periods of time while monitoring her oxygen levels! I had her off today for an hour and she maintained her oxygen levels in the mid to high nineties all by herself! It sure would be nice to have a “cordless” baby!! We will gradually increase her time away from the oxygen every few days and see how she does! I absolutely LOVE those bare little cheekies! RaspberryFest!!!!!!!

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Today I got Nora to laugh at me. I think it was more of a “courtesy laugh” though. She didn’t want to hurt my feelings. No one can make her laugh like her Daddy!! Daddy was away this morning working on a great big job putting letters up on the side of a sky scraper! He sent us some cool pictures:
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Nice view!
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And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Cardiologist Appointment

Thursday

Once again we were placed in the room with the 3 chickens — 3 birds. Once again there was no need to fear. Once again, God carried us safely through that morning just as He always, always has!
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I love this excerpt from Streams in the Desert: Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in fear. Instead, as they arise look at them with the full assurance that God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. Hasn’t He kept you safe up to now? So hold His loving hand tightly, and He will lead you safely through all things. And when you cannot stand, He will carry you in His arms.

Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you His unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries. Francis de Sales

What a beautiful reminder!!

Nora did not care too much for the echocardiogram and made sure we all knew that! She tolerated the quick EKG while distracted by a fabulous magic wand and was happy for the rest of the visit.
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Here is our stinky little Cupid waiting patiently for the doctor with Daddy.
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The echo and EKG did not show any changes and we don’t have to come back until April. Nora looks and sounds great and her belly troubles are not related to anything with her heart, praise God!!!

Finally of finallies we were safe back home kicked back in the baff!
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So fresh and so clean!
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It was an exhausting morning so a long afternoon nap was certainly in order!
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The weather was nice for about 5 minutes, so Nora and I walked up to the bus stop to wait for the big kids! They were very excited to see us!
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Friday
Nora is usually asleep while the big kids are getting ready for school, but was wide awake this morning. She just wants to be close to everyone!
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Someone else was a little grumpy this morning…
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Today was the first day without any stinky diapers!! She did get a little gaggy throughout the day at different intervals but never puked. This has been one of Nora’s best days in quite awhile!
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Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20 NIV)

Today

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Nora ate great today, but now after two days of not, she puked a couple times today. (?????????) She has a routine cardiology appointment dark and early tomorrow for an echo / EKG. I’m interested to know if they will have any input on this supposed virus. Please say a prayer that all goes well for this visit, specifically evidence of healing!

Here is a big, big girl doing physical therapy this morning in her red Tumbleform chair. She really knows how to hold her sweet fuzzy head up! Gavin thinks she looks like she’s about to ride on Firehawk (roller coaster).
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Stretch Nora-strong
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Would anyone care for some bite-size knee muffins?
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They’re DELICIOUS.
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So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 NIV)