It’s so hard to believe that another year has passed. Looking back, it all seems like such a blur and went by way too fast. In many regards Nora is still my “tiny little infant”. Because she is developmentally delayed it seems as though time should be delayed right along with her, and it’s not. It’s crazy to think that by the time Gavin was her age, I was already 6 months pregnant with Greta!

I’m making a New Year’s resolution to update more frequently. I have no idea where my time and energy have gone, but I vow to get them back! With that said, I rewind back to Christmas ~

The Christmas Card

I wish I could send a card out to each and every one of you, and if you usually get one and didn’t, I apologize. Or if you accidentally got two or more… I’m sorry! The materialization of the creativity process was delayed. Production was hampered while I tried in vain to find iridescent cardstock. Forced to settle on plain old white cardstock, I resorted to doing an overspray of white iridescent acrylic paint on each one for the snowy effect (not because I like making work for myself, but because I really enjoy and appreciate attention to detail). Since I was unable to send out cards last year, my list of addresses was terribly disorganized and outdated. I made several trips to the post office and lost track of who got what. Now I have a whole year to get that whole thing all figured out… just as I did last year… 😬… and the year before… So I will probably just link this upcoming year’s Christmas card debacle to this post and you can read this same song and dance again.


Did Nora really make her own snow angel?

Unfortunately she did not, and neither did Gavin or Greta. While standing on the ottoman in the comforts of a warm living room I took pictures of each of the kids dressed in full snow gear and forced smiles — reluctantly making “carpet angels”. Photoshop did the rest!

There was one shot of Nora that I could not resist. She can’t just settle for making snow angels! She’s going snowboarding!!!


I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:13)

Obviously Nora hadn’t really been out snowboarding, but this image personifies Nora’s habit of defeating the “impossible”. Incompatible with life? Watch this!



Christmas Eve

We had Christmas Eve here at our house with just my parents, my Oma and my brotherz. After a completely utterly chaotic day of cleaning, organizing, baking and cooking, undelivered medicine, and a trip to the pediatrician for an earache (Greta) – the evening was surprisingly and pleasantly put together! God certainly intervened and helped pull some serious strings to get Nora’s medicine that was supposed to have arrived that morning. Had not all the right people been in the right place at the right time – literally down to the second, Nora would have had to wait until after Christmas for her medicine. Lesson learned not to trust pharmacies to smoothly transfer prescriptions. {It is a specialty medication that has to come from a compounding pharmacy somewhere in Timbuktu(?) because of insurance reasons} Thank You, God!







Christmas Morning

The Big Kids were up early, but not exceedingly so as in years past. They schemed and scammed for hours to get the green light to open presents. They were told they had to wait for Norns to wake up. Of course Nornor indulged in a lengthy sleep-in session and didn’t wake up until almost 10.


“Oh! Dere’s presents? *yawn*smack*smack*yawn*”






“Catch a falling star and put it in… yer mouf.”


Christmas Day

Over the river and through the woods to Nana & Papa’s house we go! Nana had the house decorated so beautifully, as always! Nora looked like a Christmas princess in her pretty gown ~








Nornor playing with one of the presents Santa gave her. His name is Piggy Smalls II ~


Heart-shaped lint in the laundry room ~


By Thursday Nora’s cold either got worse or she got another cold on top of the one she was getting rid of. {Can that even happen?} Her oxygen sats were dipping pretty low because she couldn’t breathe through her nose. This face mask positioned the O2ube in front of her mouth and solved that problem. Poor girl. 😦


Despite the boogies she’s a happy girl!



Reflection of the sunset over the woods. This is the view from my prayer spot.


The gorgeous display of lights at the Creation Museum ~


Ask Gavin about his llamas. (Or alpacas as the case may be). Petting zoo at the Creation Museum ~


Her baffs are soooo relaxing ~



This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
(1 John 4:10-12)


On Friday night Grampa Joe & Gramma Mary Lou (William’s Dad & Stepmom) arrived in town all the way from Connecticut! We had a great weekend with them and wished they could have stayed longer! The Big Kids got to go swimming in the hotel swimming pool and got to go shopping and to see a movie with their Grandparents!


Saturday we had an early dinner at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse after William took us on a scenic tour of the city over and over again. 😉

Sunday we all went out to my sister and brother-in-law’s house to celebrate my niece Keira’s fourth birthday. We had a very nice time!

Three Generations of Yuskos (the senses of humor combined on this couch is almost scary!!!) ~


She is no longer “flee” years old. Happy birthday, sweet Keira!!!


Hopefully Grampa Joe & Gramma Mary Lou will be back for another visit this summer! We had such a nice time together that I wasn’t thinking to get the camera out as often as I would have liked. I could kick myself for not getting a picture of them with Norns!!! I promise next time!

Nora celebrated a big win by the Bengals!! Who dey!!!




New Years Eve

Sweet little Ivy is still up at Cincinnati Children’s hospital. I’ve been intending to visit for so long and finally got the opportunity to go and do it! As you can see, Ivy looks fabulous and seems to be doing really well! She is even more adorable in person!


It was such a pleasure to hang out with Ivy’s Mom, Robin as well. There aren’t too many of us T18 moms out there! We’re a special breed, I guess! 😉

Last baff of the year while the rest of the family went to see Frozen.

“Frozen? Oh no tank yoo. I like to be warm in my baff!!!”


While they were out they got recognized by one of Nora’s fans! Hi, Jamie!!! 💖


“What da heck is dis ting on my head?!?”


“Get dat offa dere!!!”


What a sweet way to start off a brand new year ~


Thank You, God!!!

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
(Psalm 107:15)

Wonderful and Happiest Time of the Year

🎶It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!
With the kids jingle belling,
And everyone telling you, “Be of good cheer!”
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!
It’s the hap – happiest season of all!
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings!
When friends come to call,
It’s the hap – happiest season of all!🎶




That seems to be Nora’s general consensus! She weathered her cold without any complications and is as happy as can be! She has a cold and a fever again.

The big kids don’t have much to complain about either.


Gavin has been known to speak with forked tongue, however…


Once upon a time I was one of these kids. Christmas really, really innocently WAS the hap – happiest time of the year!


But then you grow up and life happens. It sure would be nice, but none of us are immune to the tragedies and disappointments. It’s all part of life. On top of that, it is virtually impossible not to get swept up by the commercialism of the season unless we sequester ourselves to a remote cabin in the woods with no electricity–“off the grid”. {…which actually doesn’t sound half bad sometimes.}

I’m pretty sure it’s not just me who so easily falls prey to the societal pressures of generating the Perfect Christmas. We crave, want and expect the Most Wonderful Time of the Year as epitomized by the song. This unobtainable mirage has such a way of magnifying the adversity in our lives. The loss of a loved one, whether recently or long ago is especially painful during this season. The Perfect Christmas included them and they’re not here. That hurts. Nor is the Perfect Christmas “supposed” to be spent in a hospital room, a homeless shelter, or simply alone. It is not “supposed” to involve family discord, infidelity, unemployment, cancer, chemotherapy, codependency, divorce, physical or mental illness, funerals, addictions, a frightening prenatal diagnosis, etc. But sometimes it just does. There is the stark and agonizing contrast of our own lives with the Perfect Christmas… IF the unobtainable Perfect Christmas is what we are choosing to focus on.

In pressing the pause button for just a moment, I thought back to the story of the very first Christmas. It doesn’t look like theirs was very PERFECT either. You would expect that the birth of a King would include lavish accommodations and be heralded with trumpets and bells. That was not the case. First it was the arduous journey by donkey over a course of 60 – 100 miles… while pregnant. (And they probably didn’t get any kind of commemorative bumper hindquarter sticker as proof either!) Then to be told there was no place available to accommodate them… But wait, here’s this barn full of animals, or perhaps it was a cave, “You can stay here.” If I were Mary I undoubtedly would be throwing my arms up / rolling my eyes for the hundredth time and someone would have some serious explaining to do. As if things weren’t already completely awkward and botched, Mary now has to give birth without an epidural (mainly because those didn’t exist) and little or no medical personnel present… in a filthy barn. Jesus didn’t have a fancy co-sleeper ensemble to sleep in. He had a feeding trough for a bed. That’s probably about as far from perfect as I can possibly imagine! I refuse to believe that any of this was by chance or that it was just a stroke of really bad luck or lack of planning. After all, this was the Son of GOD!!! God could have paved their journey in gold or at the very least had a comfortable room waiting for them at the end if He so desired! The fact that He didn’t was (and still is) incredibly purposeful! It serves to remind us just exactly who this King was and who He was born for. Us–the hurting, the broken, the despaired, the IMPERFECT. He came to this earth in human form. He experienced the heartache, loss, betrayal, pain, suffering, death… for us. It is also to set the example that what ever it is that we are going through, it IS NOT WITHOUT PURPOSE!!

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
(Matthew 1:23 NIV)

{Note that it says “God WITH us” — not “God above us” or “God out of reach from us”.}

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
(Isaiah 53:3 NIV)

{He is familiar! He KNOWS what we are going through!}

My prayers are with those who are hurting this Christmas season, especially the Menoni family who said goodbye to their angel baby Everly Hope this past Friday. Also the Johansen family who laid their sweet Anna Hope to rest earlier this month. She was almost 9 months old. Both precious babies suffered from trisomy 18. Prayers are also with my dear friend Brenda who lost her husband of 35 years, Larry. And of course our sweet friend Ethel who lost her son Carl, and whose husband has just been given a cancer diagnosis. There are so so many of us who are enduring some really painful and uncomfortable crap right now. “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? It seems not. While we can’t be expected to ignore the circumstances, it is possible to find and receive joy, thereby creating an entirely different kind of wonderful that is NOT measured by the world’s standards.

“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all of the details of my life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right; and the determined choice to praise God in all things.” – Kay Warren

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
(Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG)

Here is an inspiring story of healing, hope and joy coalescing beautifully alongside unimaginable grief, incase you haven’t already seen it. It is the story involving Nora’s birth photographer, Melanie that has has been broadcasted literally all over the WORLD, here are just a couple of links amongst the thousands:

The Today Show

Cincinnati Enquirer

Moral of the story: LOVE NEVER DIES!

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

And now onto the picture show ~

I saw what looked like a bird with a dollop of snow on her head! Upon further investigation through the lenses of the binoculars I saw that she was a beautiful cardinal with partial albinism! She was stunningly beautiful and inaccurately portrayed in these photos ! Unfortunately my phone does not have a fancy zoom lens ~



Greta’s Christmas recital last weekend was a fun and exciting way to end the week! She always does such a great job!



Norns enjoyed a relaxing afternoon baff… and some ladyfinger biscuits.


Later that evening Greta and I went to a Christmas event up at a local church. We were tickled by the 3 doves (!!!!) in the petting zoo…


… and by the adorable little black lamb whose mother had a heart-shaped marking on her back (not visible in this picture).


Last Sunday we celebrated my dear Mom’s birthday! Happy birthday to the best Mom in the world! 😊💕


Norns likes hanging out with her sister and cousins. She’s just one of the girls!


I found this cute picture on my phone (along with a collection of lengthy and unsteady video footage of way too close facial zooms, kids bouncing on couches, attempted interviews, and a very close up deliberation of the back of my hair, thanks in part to Greta! 😊) ~


Last Sunday evening we were just laying around relaxing when suddenly we heard a hearty knock and bells at the front door followed by an exuberant, “Ho ho hoooo!!!!!”

What in the world!?!?!


Would you believe that it was Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus that all of the sudden came walking into our living room?!?! Greta had just wondered earlier in the afternoon if Santa would be coming to visit again like he did last year! We were sooo excited to see him and Mrs. Claus!


Look how big Nornor is compared to last year!!


Santa, and Mrs. Claus? If you’re reading this, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for taking the time to come all the way down from the North Pole to visit us. That was so kind of you to think about little Nora who can’t go out to the mall to visit you like the other kids do! You’re AWESOME!

The delightful afternoon concluded for the Baff Princess — in the baffs!


“I love my sister!!!”


Then on into the toaster! {Sidenote: There is nothing on earth more delicious than toasted knee muffins and hiney cakes!}


Norns cheered on the Bengals against the Steelers with her Daddy that evening! A Terrible Towel came in handy for some pukes!


“Come on, Bengals!!!!!”


“Hello (last) Monday!”



“Random” Bible verse I opened up to ~


Isaiah 41:10 is my very favorite Bible verse. Out of all the pages, and all the verses I “randomly” opened to THIS one. I usually refer to the digital version of the Bible on my phone. I like being able to digitally compare different versions and translations. This night I was compelled to pick up the old fashioned paper and ink version. And there it was – marked even – maybe from a long ago Bible study. Wow.

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)





Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV)

Oh, Christmas Tree!!!!

After our busy busy Thursday, it was such a relief to end the day with a nice dinner and another BEAUTIFUL centerpiece.


She’s the happy kind!


Friday morning Norns puked some more “hearts” ~ I’m reminded in this moment that God’s love is always with us; even in the messy and unexpected times.


This is Nornor’s cozy, cozy nest. She stays so cuddly warm in her down cocoon.


Nora was well-rested for her physical therapy session. She spent a considerable amount of time on her belly without freaking out! She has despised belly time for so long but we’re finally making some headbellyway!


“Dat’s cuz I’m a biggin’.”


The kids were off school Friday on account of the snow. We still didn’t have a tree up and based on the weather forecast it didn’t look like we would be able to get out to get one any time soon. I decided to unload the artificial pre-lit tree. Of COURSE all of the sections were no longer lighting up except one. If I was going to have to go through each individual bulb to try and figure out what the heck, I may as well just remove the dang lights altogether.


So that’s what I did… with the help of my trusty scissors. The above image looks like something from an infomercial, “Tired of the old way?” Why, yes! Yes, I am!! 😵

Approximately 7 hours and 3,478(?) branches later, the pre-UN-lit lights were all off and chucked into the garbage. The ‘note to self’ was riddled with expletives and urgent reminders to NEVER EVER consider the option of owning a pre-lit tree.


And hmmmm… This is kind of very anticlimactic after last year’s tree.

Saturday morning William and Greta excavated our house from the inconceivable amount of snow. (Ehhem.)


Meanwhile back inside…. The rest of us were frantically devouring loaves and loaves and loaves of bread that we cleared off the grocery shelves.

“And da milkies!?”


Yes, and the milks!!!!

Actually we were eating iced cinnamon rolls (and knee muffins). Heart shaped icing left over on my plate ~ God’s love is sweet!


The starkness of the divested branches and the crisp blanket of snow contrasted beautifully against the cerulean sky. A cold, but beautiful day.


Gavin & Greta were excited to share the heart-shaped frozen puddle that they found on our side yard! Wow!!!


God’s love is pure!



We decided to get out and get a tree after all. This is the one that Gavin & Greta chose ~


One tree and 3 cups of hot cocoa, please!



We stopped at Home Depot on the way home and met Frosty’s distant little cousin sitting out on a ledge. Looks like he was out on a smoke break ~


Tree home!


Tree up!


Sunday morning sleepy heads ~


Nora and her Kelly cheered for the Bengals while they watched Mommy and Greta decorate the tree. Daddy and Gavin braved the frigid temperatures down at the stadium.


Ta Da!


Monday morning a certain young man ended up at the pediatrician’s office bright and early after a teleconference with Poison Control. Here he is with fluorescent dye to check for corneal abrasions.


“Go brush your teeth.” somehow translated into “Look directly into the nozzle of the Clorox Cleanup (with bleach) and pull the trigger.”


There was nothing serious noted, just a lot of irritation… in more than just his eye, I might add!!!! An antibiotic eye drop was prescribed and he was back at school a short time later.

By evening he was giving his Muthr horsie back rides and playing basketball!



“My brudder is crazy!!!”


Back in October I was invited to my first Origami Owl party by my sweet friend Carrie. This is the beautiful locket I created.


Inside of the locket are my 3 birds. The pink dangle charm is a Rose and the silver dangle charm is an impression of Nora’s big toe that was taken by my sister Sarah when Nora was just moments old. That one was not purchased through Origami Owl, but just an idea of what you can do. (It was from Prairie Creations incase you are interested in something like that. Thanks again for that awesome gift, Julie D!)

For those of you who are not familiar with Origami Owl jewelry, it is locket jewelry that YOU design! You choose everything starting with the locket and chain. Adding the locket contents is the fun part! There are hundreds of neat little charms and dangles to choose from. The finished piece is unique and personal. It is a great way to commemorate a loved one, celebrate your children, or to mark a milestone. It can be any theme or design that you choose. The greatest part is that the charm and dangle trinkets are interchangeable. You can add to your design as you wish or swap out one theme for another. Because of the uniqueness of this jewelry I want to give you the opportunity to check it out. I’ve started up an online jewelry party that Laura A. has graciously agreed to facilitate for me. She can answer questions and help create the perfect locket if you are interested. Give her a “hoot” anytime (859) 653-7874 or lauraa1109@gmail.com.

To check out the products and/or to place an order visit my personalized online party page. You can order any time before December 20th. However, to ensure Christmas delivery, please place your orders by the 14th! Orders will ship 7 – 10 days standard. International orders are accepted and very welcome, but may take a little longer.

Also, please note that this is not a fundraiser for Nora or anything like that. You are under no obligation to buy. I really love the concept of this beautiful jewelry and simply want to share the love! 🙂

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
(Psalm 31:24 NIV)

Joy and Pain

Thursday was a great day for Nora at her cardiologist appointment. Nora would have a different story to tell if you were to ask her. She had little or no patience for sitting still. A 7 AM appointment was all very early for a baby girl. She was happy to get her milks and go back to sleep!

(This picture is very deceiving – portraying Nora as a tiny little bundle! In actuality she was spilling out of our arms, reducing our bicep function to wobbly tremors as we traded her back and forth!)


The results of her echocardiogram were reviewed by her doctors who met with us shortly afterward. To hear the news that Nora’s cardiac function is the best that they have ever seen was incredible! The most wonderful tears are the ones that flow over a radiating smile. Thank you, God!!!!!


While we were busy celebrating yesterday evening, I received a message from one of Nora’s biggest prayer warriors, Ethel. I have never had the pleasure of meeting Ethel in person and only know her through this blog. She has followed along with us on our journey since almost the very beginning and is always right there with a kind and encouraging comment. She is so dear to so many of us! Ethel and her husband Richard are in deep need of prayer right now. Richard received a cancer diagnosis two weeks ago, and their youngest son Carl passed away at home Thanksgiving night. I believe he was in his early forties. They still aren’t sure what happened. My heart is so broken for this sweet woman. I pray for God’s peace, comfort and healing to embrace them. For His grace and mercy to carry them through this.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.
(Philippians 4:6-7)


Wednesday morning snuggles ~


You may have already seen, but incase you didn’t, Nornor was in the news again! Channel 9 WCPO did a Thanksgiving story that featured our family who is of course thankful for Nora!

The Story

I was very impressed with how well this story was put together in the tiny amount of time that transpired. I missed Tony’s call earlier in the day on account of a lengthy baff session. He was finally able to reach me at about 1:15, which was right about the time I received a FB message from a friend that Channel 9 might be calling. As I excitedly agreed to be interviewed for the story, Tony explained that the story was going to air that night during the 5:30 segment… And that he’d be right out. I sat on the couch for a couple of seconds in my frumpy pajamas looking through my mop hair at the domestic anarchy around me. Holy crap. The kids and I began tossing everything and anything into laundry baskets which we hastily shoved into closets. We also figured it might be a good idea to actually get dressed. Of course while this was all going on, Nora had become gassy and hungry. I simultaneously fixed a bottle, administered belly rubs, vacuumed the living room, swiped on some mascara and asked Gavin to please answer the door, and there we were suddenly being interviewed! I had conveniently exhausted my adrenaline supply for the Great Clean Up of 2013 and was pleasantly relaxed for the filming! As was Nora, apparently, who had no qualms about burping loudly on camera! 😄

All silliness aside, I don’t at all mean to imply that I was inconvenienced or troubled. It was a great, great story, beautifully put together, and completely worth it. Great job, Tony and Channel 9! Thank you!


<a href="https://iwillcarryyou.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/20131202-092711


From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.
(Psalm 113:3 NIV)


Thursday is Thanksgiving!

“I’m tankful to be so very loved and cherished, for da opportunity to be ‘just one of the kids’ in moments like deez. I love my brudder n sister soooo much!”


“I’m tankful for da warmth of the baff water on my sweet skin, for my Mommy’s soft touches, my Daddy’s scratchy kisses and his exciting whistling interludes.”


“I’m tankful for all of my big family and for all da people who love me and pray for me from behind da computer screen.”



“I’m tankful for da sweet songs my Oma sings to me. I like sings!”


“Dere’s my sister!!!”


“Eenen dere’s my cousin Parker! Parker is tankful for whip creams!”


“Looks like my brudder is too!”


I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
(Psalm 69:30 NIV)

Friday morning Bean Party!


Friday morning “selfies” ~



Friday evening horsie rides ~


We found a really beautiful center piece for the table ~


I happened to glance out the window Saturday morning just in the nick of time. This gorgeous sunrise came and went in the blink of an eye.


For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord ’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.
(Psalm 103:11, 17 NIV)

As the day progressed it was apparent that Nora was coming down with something. She was one unhappy baby. Our Kelly was also coming down with something and felt downright miserable too.

“No picktures please…”


The second her skin hit the warm water she relaxed. As I was ever so gently wiping the crusties out of her eyes she drifted off to sleep. She had a nice 45 minute nap in the baffs.


She felt a little better after her baff and was happy to get into the toaster ~



Sunday Nora was still pretty crudded up but she was still generous with her smiles.


“Deez finger sandwiches are delishisss!! You should try dem!”


“Boogies can’t bring me down!”


And she still has time and energy to root for the home team!

“Who deys!!!!!!!!”


Cuddles and loves with Daddy…


… while Sister makes brownies for us!


Monday morning the Big Kids were back at school.


The house was extraordinarily quiet and conducive for good naps!


“Wait. Where is everyone?”


“Gaaaaaaavin!!!! Greeeeeettaaaaaa!!!!!!!!”


“Dere’s nuffing….”


“I guess I’ll get in da baffs.”


“Tuesday morning I waked up early so I could get kisses from dem before dey left!”


“My boogies are getting better, but deez mists still help my breathes.”


“I feel real much bettered.”


“Eenen I should probbly take anuver baff. I’m filthy stinky.”




Wednesday morning Norns slept in. She tried to wake up to see her brother and sister off to school but she was just too tired.


Her cold is tons better today. She likes to eat fat little finger sandwiches in the baff tub, this girl does.


She got to taste lollipops in speech therapy this morning!


“Deez are almost as sweet as me!”


Norns has an early, early 7 AM appointment with her cardiologist for a routine visit Thursday, December 5th. I am praising God for a great report!

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 1:6 NIV)

She also has an appointment later in the morning for a hearing aid assessment. Her hearing test after her tubes were put in concluded minor to moderate hearing loss. We are going to discuss the option of hearing aids.

Working For the Good

Just before Halloween Gavin & Greta had an early Saturday morning dentist appointment–a tune up before the plethoric sugar torrent. I assumed William would be able to take them and he assumed I had rescheduled. As it turns out, William had planned on going in to work. Either he forgot to mention or I missed that memo altogether! Our Kelly had no idea about anything because we neglected to tell her… until 30 minutes before we were supposed to walk out the door. It was too late to cancel the appointment once we realized our predicament. Kelly slept through my text alert. Out of common courtesy I elected not to further pursue her help at such short notice. Besides, Nora was reasonably behaved. I would just pack her up and take her with us — I proclaimed with enthusiastic optimism!

Oxygen tank, music boxes, formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, blankets, burp rags, spare outfitssss, toys, stroller and a big deep breath, I loaded Nora up into her car seat, yelling up the steps to remind the kids about proper brushing and flossing techniques. In a tornadoed frenzy we managed to get out the door and weathered the 40 minute drive to the dentist. Nora wasn’t overly excited about being strapped into her car seat. She grew more and more disgruntled with each passing mile.

We arrived exactly on time without a second to spare. I instructed G&G to hurry inside and check themselves in while I got GrumbleNorns out of the car. By the time Nora and I got our act together G&G were already in the back brushing and flossing (again) at little sinks and vying for a spot at the video game stations. (They go to a really fun dentist’s office!). I signed a couple of papers and stood nervously in the overcrowded waiting room praying that my rocking the stroller back and forth would suddenly evoke squeals of contentment from within. Instead her fussing grew more agitated and louder, warning me that I had better figure something out. It was too big of a risk to get her out from under her covered stroller in there.

“I have a medically fragile baby that I need to attend to,” I explained to the kind woman behind the counter, “Would it be okay if I stepped out to the car for a few minutes?”

She responded with a smile, “That’s absolutely fine! We will see to the other two!”

I sat on the floor of the van with Nora laid out on a blanket in front of me. Sometimes she just likes to lay flat, but that obviously wasn’t enough. I got out the massage oil and did some belly rubs and could tell that her belly was a big balloon full of air. It became my mission as the “Fart Whisperer” to remove it and alleviate her discomfort with my expert massaging techniques.

Let’s just say there were more than belly airs involved. Not always, but often enough, when there is pressure in Nora’s intestines it extends to all parts of her digestive system. She gets gaggy and pukey and poopy all at the same time. It looked like it was about to be our lucky day! (cue “O Fortuna“) Sure enough, just as I caught a glimpse through the window of Greta’s nervous little face sitting in the dentist chair, I was shielding my shirt from poop and frantically wiping puke and tears out of Nora’s eyes, nose and hair. It was silly to try and salvage anything. I was about to combust with anxiety, wanting to be inside where I was supposed to be with my kids!

After a few stressful minutes I had things somewhat under control, in that the puking and pooping had subsided. I sat up on the seat with freshly-dresses Nora on my knee. She looked back at me smiling with wet hair and a red tear-streaked face. “You!!!!!”

I cleaned up what I could, showered in hand sanitizer, and headed back inside with Norns in the stroller. She almost immediately fell asleep. The big kids were relieved to see me, sitting side by side within a row of kid-friendly dentist chairs. I had only been able to see Greta and was glad they were at least together!

One of the dentists struck up conversation about Nora and was excited to hear about how well she is doing. On her way over to the computer she stopped in front of me and quietly asked if I had ever spoken with the woman behind the front counter. I hadn’t other than to ask her permission to take Nora outside. The dentist went on to explain that this woman had had a baby girl with trisomy 18 several years ago. (!!!!!!!) “Aha, God!! I see what You’re up to!!” I thought to myself, tears welling up in my eyes!

With that, G&G’s appointment concluded and we made our way back to the front counter. The receptionist and I smiled warmly at each other, both of us now aware of our special bond. She came out from behind the counter. We hugged and I introduced her to still sleeping Nora. She told me all about her little girl and the precious couple of hours she got to spend with her. In all this time she had only met a couple of other t18 moms. Nora was the the only other baby she had met with t18 beside her own little one. What a very sweet encounter! The hellacious episode out in the car was suddenly absolved. I smiled the whole way home.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)


“Deez aren’t cute. What’s everyone always say dat for?”


“I like to look at neat tings on my Kelly’s phone. Dat’s cute!”




“Ohh, dis is a real nice baff. I sure hope dey got my toaster turned on! It’s freezing out dere!”


Three Birds ~


Two Kids ~


One Baff ~


As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.
(Proverbs 27:19 NIV)



Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(1 Corinthians 13:7)


Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
(Psalm 62:5 NIV)


Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
(Psalm 31:24 NIV)


This girl loves her baffs!


Another “Good Morning to you!”


“Ladeez n gentledmenz? I’d like to introduce you to my second toof! Now maybe I can go to the dentiss too!!”


“New teef are almost as exciting as my beanz!”


Sweet loves ~


On Monday, November 25th William became miserably ill with a wretched stomach virus. He had to remain in quarantine while he was symptomatic. Fortunately it was only a 24 hour thing and he was home by Tuesday night. He was fully recovered by Thanksgiving and no one else caught the bug! We all missed him while he was away ~



“Wh… where’d my Dyad go?!”


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


He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
(Psalm 91:4-7 NIV)


Stay tuned for a more recent update! In the mean time please pray for Nornor! She’s got a bad, bad cold. Her little squeals are hoarse and it’s just SAD! Our Kelly is sick too! Please pray that these germs get out of here fast! We miss our Kelly!