Lydia’s Top Twelve

A few years ago, my Grandpa sent out an email to his grandchildren including his version of the 12 most important verses in the Bible. Of course, all verses are important, but based on the ones that have influenced him the most, he made this list. Since Lydia has been working through memorizing Bible verses over the past couple of years, I decided to work out way through my Grandpa’s “top twelve”. As of last week, she has memorized them all. I share this post and encourage you to watch the videos for three reasons.

1. To celebrate Lydia’s Bible memory accomplishments.

2. To be encouraged by the verses themselves and inspired to read and memorize Scripture on your own.

3. Abby makes an appearance in several of these videos. It’s cute.

(Some of these verses actually include more than just one verse to maintain the context of the passage. The Bible didn’t even have verses or chapters when it was written, so don’t let this bother you).

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness

Romans 8:28-29

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Almost Three

Tomorrow morning, at 7:52, Lydia will turn three. We’ll probably spend most of the morning playing outside. I will probably make her take a nap even though it’s her birthday. Then we’ll pull together a birthday dinner that will definitely include tortilla chips. We’ll tell her birth story and celebrate that God has given us three whole years with our little Munchkin. Our Little Bunny. Our Big Girl. Our Gooselet. Our Lydia.

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One Year of Thankful

Last Wednesday was my twenty-sixth birthday. Reflective person that I am, birthdays always cause me to think back over the past year and notice any blessings, hardships, lessons, or changes in my life. So this year, as I took some time to reflect, I came to a conclusion.

My twenty-sixth year was the hardest one yet.

From moves to job changes to NICU trauma, the year was full of hard things, harder things than I’ve ever gone through before. I started to wonder…was it a particularly hard year? Or is life just hard and I’m noticing it for the first time? It was a depressing thought, but I really was wondering if being a grown up is just plain old hard and I need to get used to it.

Whether it was a hard year or this is a hard life, I decided that I need to work a little more at thoroughly soaking up and enjoying my blessings, and thanking God for them. So I made a resolution. For my twenty-seventh year I want to be more purposefully thankful, deeply thankful.

This is nothing new, I know. But for this year I’m going to try to record one thing for which I am thankful every day. And, since I’m a visual person, I’m going to take a picture for each day, so I can easily look back and literally see some of my favorite blessings. I’m not sure how often I’ll share these on this blog, but I thought I could at least share a few to start.

God is good, all the time, whether life is hard or not. But God has also been so good as to fill my life with blessings. So call them gifts, or Edelweiss, or blessings, or silver linings, or woodchips or flowers…but here we go.

Day 1 – A fresh new year ahead to walk with the Lord

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Day 2 – A husband who will stop at nothing to make my birthday special and show me I am loved

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Day 3 – The opportunity and creativity to redo Lydia’s room, and enjoy the process

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Day 4 – Even when our plans don’t work out well, Dan and I can laugh about it together and still create happy memories

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Day 5 – My first real workout run to train for a 5K

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Day 6 – Dan doesn’t have unreasonable expectations. He sympathizes with the challenges of my job and helps me prioritize. Then he is pleased with the things I do and doesn’t care about the things I don’t get done.

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Day 7 – Watching my girls play together

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Day 8 – A gradual start to an early morning

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Eight days down…357 to go!

DIY: A Calendar for the New Year

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Last Christmas Dan’s family decided to do all homemade gifts for 2013. For Dan’s Mom, Lydia (with some help from Mommy) made a “handmade” calendar with finger paint. She had a lot of fun doing it, and (although I wouldn’t recommend doing the whole thing in two days like we did) I would highly recommend this as a fun activity/craft/project for other little toddlers.

My original idea was to print off a homemade calendar and then do the painting and get it all bound at Kinkos for about $5. However, I caught a deal online for a $5 photo calendar. So I ordered a photo calendar but left all the photos off so I had a nice template for our painting.

Once our calendar arrived we took the pages apart and made our handprint paintings for each month. I didn’t take pictures of each month at the time, but I still have the links and pictures where we got our ideas.

Side Note: While you can make all these pictures just like the ones shown below, we had only purchased a finger paint set of four colors: red, yellow, green, and blue. With some adaptation to the colors in the pictures below and some half-hazardous mixing, we made it work. We left out any black or brown and we left the white portions unpainted since everything was on a white background.

Here are the pictures we used:

January – footprint penguin

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freekidscrafts.com

For the penguin we just left the belly unpainted. To do so, I cut out a piece of paper in the shape I wanted and taped it to Lydia’s foot. Then, after she had paint on her foot, I removed the paper to leave the belly unpainted. For older kids, it would probably work better to tape the cut out paper to the calendar and remove it after the painting is done. For younger kiddos with less gross motor control, I recommend taping the paper to the foot.

February – handprint hearts

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rootsandwingsco.blogspot.com

March – handprint four-leaf clover

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meetthedubiens.com

April – handprint bunny

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funhandprintart.blogspot.com

We did the bunny on the top left.

May – handprint Very Hungry Caterpillar

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puppydogtails.blogspot.com

For the eyes we cut out two ovals and taped then on Lydia’s hand. Then we removed them once her hand was painted to leave the eyes unpainted. (similar to the penguin painting technique)

June – handprint goldfish

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papercraftsforchildren.com

July – handprint American flag
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ladiescn.com

We used a white gel pen to draw the stars. Alternatively you could use white paint or stick on some star stickers. If you want to get real fancy you could use the stickers the same way we used the belly cutout for the penguin, but that could get pretty tricky!

August – hand and footprint lobster

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wifehatmomhat.com

September – handprint apple tree

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lovingmynest.com

October – handprint fall tree

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alittletipsy.com

November – handprint turkey

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allkidsnetwork.com

December – handprint Christmas tree

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piecesbypolly.com

Here’s Grandma’s reaction as she opened her calendar:

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I think she liked it. Happy Painting!

Wasted Seasons

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Two and a half years ago, after Lydia was born, we missed the best weeks of summer. They happened while we passed our time in the hospital. After Abby was born I kept hoping she would come home while the weather was still nice. I love fall. And I wanted to really enjoy it with Abby at home.

Instead, the days, then weeks, and even months passed and the season went with them. Occasionally, during a drive to pick up Dan from work, I would notice the brightly colored trees lining the highway. Those were the in-between moments when I was able to enjoy fall…just a little. There was no apple picking, no pumpkins, no walks in the crunchy leaves for us. I kept telling Abby, “You have to come home before it gets cold.” She didn’t.

Somewhere in there I was having a conversation with a friend at church. She had just gone through her own share of troubles that had “interrupted life”. It was after this conversation that I noticed a running theme. A lot of people were going through different difficulties that were interrupting their life. Mold problems in the home, sickness, hospital stays, unemployment…and our lives were all put on hold until the troubles passed.

And I realized that day that I have to stop putting my life on hold, because what I thought were interruptions in life were actually the seasons of life slipping away while I neglected to enjoy them.

So I made a renewed effort to make the most of my season. I tried to enjoy the leaves during our in-between drives. I took Lydia to the hospital garden and watched her balance as she walked along the short stone wall. And I captured a precious moment in the picture above when Lydia marveled in one of the first snows of the year while looking out from Abby’s NICU window.

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I realized that three months in the NICU were not a chunk of my life just wasted. Life is too short for me to decide certain seasons are “interruptions” in the real thing. “That’s life”, as the saying goes, and I have to make the most of it or it will slip away from me unenjoyed.

Now we’re in a new season. It’s a lovely one. Abby is home and Christmas is coming. But, like all seasons, it has it’s own difficulties. For now, though, I’m remembering my lesson. If I was too absorbed in the difficulties, I wouldn’t have time to enjoy this cuteness:

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Abby Update: 51 Days Old

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Gestation: 35 weeks, 6 days
Weight: 4 pounds, 12 ounces
Feedings: 42 milliliters every 3 hours by gravity or bottle

The roller coaster continues. Yesterday our nurse was pleased to tell us that Abby took all of her feedings by bottle overnight. At rounds the doctor said she may come home next week.

Last night we found out that Abby stopped stooling again. And she’s been back to having residuals. I was surprised, though, when she nursed 20 ml and then took a few more from a bottle. Still, it’s hard not to wonder if we’re going to have a repeat situation with the residuals and no dirty diapers. The nurse ended up giving her a suppository, which helped her to go.

This morning Lydia started throwing up. Dan and I have tried to be very careful about staying away from anyone who is sick because of the strict NICU rules about not allowing sick people in. NICU rules are that no one is allowed in if they’ve had any signs of illness within the past 48 hours. Dan stayed home with Lydia while I went in to nurse and hold Abby this morning.

Abby didn’t want to nurse. She took all but the last 6 ml from her bottle. Then, as I was burping her, she had a big spit up. All over me. All over herself. The nurse put her back in her crib to change her clothes and she started spitting up more and just didn’t stop for a while. She even spit up out of her nose and pushed her feeding tube out. Everything was a mess and we had to call the doctor to report it all. The doctor put in orders for Abby to get an abdominal x-ray to find out what’s going on down there. I had to leave before they came to do the x-ray, so I guess you’ll all just remain in suspense until Monday. Hopefully it’s good news.

It’s possible that Abigail could have come down with whatever Lydia has. However, by this afternoon, Lydia appeared to be better. She’s eaten two meals without any problems. And she’s been energetic and cheerful. Now, she’s down for a nap (she was a little sleepier than her normal healthy self).

Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-Abby’s progress on bottles (64% yesterday)
-the possibility of going home as early as next week (depending on recent developments)
-that Lydia appears to be improving already

Please Pray:
-that we would be able to figure out what is causing Abby’s residuals and spit ups, if anything of concern
-that Abby would not get sick (that goes for Dan and I too!)
-that Lydia would get better soon
-that Abby would eat more

Abby Update: 40 Days Old

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Gestation: 34 weeks, 2 days
Weight: 4 pounds, 4 ounces
Feedings: 39 milliliters fortified to 24 cal every 3 hours by gravity or bottle

It has been a hard weekend for Abby. Here are her numbers from nursing and bottle attempts.

Friday Evening: Nursed 0, Bottled 10
Saturday Morning: Nursed 0
Saturday Evening: Nursed 34!
Sunday Afternoon: Nursed 0
Sunday Evening: Nursed 10 (Mommy’s estimate), Spit up 10, Nursed 12 more
Monday Morning: Nursed 0, Bottled 6

Percent of total feeds taken by mouth Saturday: 20%
Percent of total feeds taken by mouth Sunday: 18%

Friday night we gave Abby her first bottle. She took 10, and went on to take about 6 or 7 ml per feeding over the weekend. In the past day she has upped that to about 12 per feeding and she took half of her bottle (!) at one feeding this morning.

Abigail has been and still is fighting with spit up and digestive problems. She has not been able to fill a diaper on her own yet, but the nurses have started giving her glycerine suppositories that help her to go. The doctors don’t really like giving suppositories at this point because babies can become dependent on them. However, when Abby isn’t able to go on her own, her belly fills up, she stops digesting, she won’t nurse or bottle feed, and she spits up.

Saturday, after the suppository, Abby reached a personal record by nursing 34 out of her 37 milliliter feeding! We were thrilled. Sunday afternoon I was set up for another great success. Instead it was the worst feeding session ever.

Dan had to stay outside with Lydia because she was very tired and more than just a little too loud to be brought in with us. Now, usually, Dan takes care of getting Abby out of her crib, unhooking her wires, weighing her, plugging her back in, and handing her to me. This makes it very easy for Abby and I to get comfortable, and it’s efficient so we’re not wasting Abby’s limited awake time. Without Dan’s help I was on my own to do everything (for the first time) and it didn’t go nearly as smoothly. By the time I was finally situated and ready to feed Abby, the new neighbor baby next to us started crying. I think that distracted Abby a little more. I was flustered and she was flustered and ended up doing nothing, even though I’m sure she was hungry. Then the nurse gravity fed her too quickly and she had a couple massive spit up episodes all over me.

Sunday night Dan had a terrible headache and was stressed out and tired, but he graciously came with me so I wouldn’t have a repeat of the afternoon feed. Abby started off well, but spit it all up. We reweighed her to find that, sure enough, the weights were the same before and after. She tried again and took in 12.

Today Abby is being switched from HMF (human milk fortifier) to a concentrated liquid fortifier. Dan and I have been concerned that the cows-milk based formula may be contributing to some of Abby’s problems and don’t know if this will cause things to improve, stay the same, or get worse. We are hoping to talk to a doctor at some point about the possibility of taking Abby off of the fortifier or fortifying some other way, but we’ll wait to see how she does on this new one.

It was just last Wednesday that the doctor said she’ll probably be home in 2 or maybe 3 weeks. Today the doctor (a new one) said, “Well, it sure would be nice if she could make it home for Thanksgiving, but…we’ll see.” It’s amazing how quickly things can change.

Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-Abby’s occasional nursing success
-continued weight gain
-that Abby has finally started bottles

Please Pray:
-that Abby will not become suppository dependent
-that spit up will not continue to be a problem, and that we would know if there’s something we can do to help her out
-that Abby will get back to nursing well
-that Abby will start succeeding more with bottles
-that we will be able to trust God and anchor our emotions and attitudes to Him, not being so easily elated or devestated by Abby’s success or failure

Abby Update: 33 Days Old

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Weight: 3 pounds, 10 ounces
Feedings: 33 milliliters fortified to 24 cal every 3 hours given over the course of 30 minutes

I have big news to announce in today’s update: Friday afternoon, after the last update was posted, we returned to the NICU to find out that Abigail had graduated to Special Care! Furthermore, on Saturday morning we walked into the NICU to find Abby out of her isolette and into an open crib! I had been feeling a little down, praying for some sort of obvious movement forward, as we walked back into the hospital on Friday and the Lord graciously heard my prayer and answered.

On Saturday, Abby stopped receiving caffeine in her milk, but she is continuing with her sodium. Her foot also seems to be improving as she is able to move it into a “normal” position when you tickle the outside of her left foot and calf.

The next big hurdle for Abby to overcome is learning how to eat. Right now she gets to try to nurse once a day. Once she is making progress there, eventually the doctor will put in orders to start offering her bottles for her feedings. As eager as I am for that order to be put in, I know it will probably be a while (at least days, probably weeks) before that happens.

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Mini-Munchkin Update: 28 1/2 Months Old

Because I haven’t had a chance to post Lydia’s monthly update, I thought I would post at least a mini report.

Navigating the NICU with a two-year-old is no easy task, but Lydia is a sweet big sister and is handling everything remarkably well. As I’ve noted before, she just loves Abby, and all of the staff in the NICU absolutely love her. Her social skills (which were already great) have been growing as she interacts with new nurses, doctors, and techs every day. There is a “parents pantry” in the NICU with juice and some snacks for parents and siblings of NICU babies. In particular, they have these mini water bottles which are just Lydia’s size. Every day we take one trip to the reception desk and ask to be let into the pantry to get a water bottle for Lydia. Recently she became brave enough to be the one to ask “water bottle?” and even more recently she’s been able to say “pantry?” to the techs who have the access to unlock the door.

Lydia seems to be getting smarter and smarter, and her vocabulary has been growing in leaps and bounds. Her favorite phrase is “I do it!”, which she gets from her Daddy, who often says: “I’ll do it!”. Many days a weeks she spends time with a family from church and when we pick her up she’ll tell us what she did while she was there: “toys!”, or “bunny”, or “treats” (when she fed the cat treats). She has also started praying with our help and sometimes on her own will pray, “Dear Jesus, help…” but then she gets stuck. At the end, if we say “In Jesus’ name”, she’ll finish with the “Ah-men!”. She does tend to get her pronouns mixed up at the moment and often asks us to “read to you?” or “help you?” (instead of “read to me?” or “help me?”). Or, if she wants you do do something that she was doing, she’ll say “me!”(instead of “you!”).

There’s a little wooden chair in the NICU that Lydia loves to sit in. It is painted blue with a big frog on the back. On the front, underneath the seat are some smaller frogs painted in a row. This morning, Lydia surprised us by bending down, pointing to the frogs one at a time, and counting them, “one, two, three, four, five”. We’ve never had a two-year-old before to compare mathematical skills, but Dan and I were impressed. I’ve also been practicing John 3:16 with Lydia for many weeks and she’s starting to memorize parts of it. I have a cute video of her saying it with our help, and one or two videos of Lydia and Abby in the NICU, so hopefully I’ll get those posted to my Facebook page soon.

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(End of mini-Munchkin update)

As for Dan and I, we are learning that this lifestyle is not sustainable. It’s just not possible to do all of the necessary things in a day and still get a decent amount of sleep. On top of that, while we do get in three meals a day, they are often spread out. Many days I leave the hospital torn between my need to eat and sleep. If only I could do both at the same time!

Dan especially has had so much stress. On Saturday it got to be too much and, as he says, his brain exploded. He was bending over and suddenly got dizzy. For the rest of the weekend he would occasionally get dizzy and he had a headache and just felt altogether unwell. He has adopted my coping mechanism of not thinking about anything, and that seemed to help a little over the weekend. Now, however, he’s back to working, and that requires the use of his recently “exploded” brain.

While my brain hasn’t “exploded” just yet, my memory is struggling. If I don’t say what I’m thinking the moment I’m thinking it, I can’t remember what it was. Sometimes I forget my thoughts while I’m saying them and have to stop, think, and be reminded what I had just said before I can figure out what was just happening. In short, we’re tired and ready for Abby to come home! That, and Dan says we need a vacation. We continue to think, “this has got to get easier when Abby comes home”, and I’ll be sure to let everyone know which is easier when we get to that point.

Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-Abby’s recent steps forward: coming off of caffeine, moving to Special Care, and graduating to an open crib
-continued weight gain: slow but steady
-Abby’s alertness, our nurse today said she’s the most alert baby she’s seen

Please Pray:
-for Abby to continue her steady progress and gain more weight
-for Dan to be able to relax and recover in spite of all the stress
-that we won’t completely lose our minds before Abby comes home!

Abby Update: 2 Weeks Old

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Weight: 2 pounds, 13 ½ ounces
Feedings: 23 mililiters fortified to 22 cal every 3 hours given over the course of 1 hour

Abby keeps on cruising along. Preemies are given lipids and TPN through a PICC line. The lipids are basically fat. The TPN is basically food. As Abby has increased her feeding amounts each day, she has needed less and less of the lipids and TPN. On Sunday the doctor gave orders to stop lipids and on Monday her TPN was replaced with clear fluid. Yesterday they took out her PICC line! So now little Abby only has a feeding tube and the leads that monitor her breathing, heart rate, and oxygen level.

Yesterday the nurses started to feed Abby by connecting her food syringe to a pump that slowly gives her the food over the course of half and hour. Today they slowed it to one hour. Previously the food was just “plunged” in the syringe and given to her by gravity. However, research seems to show that babies do better with the slower, consistent rate of food being given using the pump. We’re hoping this helps reduce the amount of milk Abby is spitting up. Preemies often develop reflux, so it’s not terrible if she does too, but we’re hoping to pump will help.

Now that Abby has reached her “full feed” amount of milk, she has started receiving fortified milk. This means that formula is added to the milk to give it extra calories and is pretty typical for every preemie. We’ll wait and see over the next few days to find out how much weight she starts to gain with full feeds and fortified milk.

As for the rest of us, thank you all for your prayers! Yesterday as I held Abby I was so filled with thankfulness and peace as I reflected on God’s leading in all of this. What a change that was from a few nights ago! I am encouraged to think that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed” and also that our trials and suffering produce perseverance, character, and hope. I have also been thinking about how God definitely does give us more than we can handle on our own, but never more than we can handle with His help. God has been helping us and the past couple of days have been so much better. We are so thankful.

On Monday night, a couple from church came over to babysit while Lydia slept and Dan and I got to spend some nice time alone with Abby. Dan also started going in to work for a few hours on Monday and Lydia and I have been surviving alright without him. Since I’m not able to lift Lydia for two more weeks, I’ve been building “stairs” up to her high chair and crib for lunch and nap times. The first day was rough at nap time, but she’s figuring things out and cooperating very sweetly.

We are growing more and more certain that Dan’s nausea was due to stress, lack of sleep, and irregular meals. As we continue to adjust and figure out a routine all of those things have been starting to improve. I am enjoying our new apartment a lot already, even without having unpacked anything yet, and Lydia loves it here now that Dan has started taking her to the pond to feed the ducks every day or so. Since we expect to spend another 6-10 weeks in the NICU and then have a newborn at home, we know that we’ll be sleep deprived for quite a while (though I, at least, get a nap a day when Lydia naps) so if anyone has any tips for keeping our energy up besides drinking caffeine, we’re all ears!

Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-Abby’s continued progress, that she is off her PICC line and continuing to breath well
-a new normal, settling into some sort of structure and no longer feeling quite like chickens running around with our heads cut off
-an apartment that is already feeling like home (to me) and doesn’t appear to be the cause of Dan’s illness
-that our first little munchkin has done so well with an irregular schedule, lots of different babysitters, late bed times, and less play time with Mommy and Daddy
-generous friends who have offered help in so many ways: watching Lydia, providing healthy food and gift cards, and so many who are praying

Please Pray
-that Abby would gain weight quickly, continue to breath and digest well, and not have problems with reflux
-for a more consistent routine for us
-for strength as we are both (Dan and I) very tired

Abby Update: 10 Days Old

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Weight: Almost 2 pounds, 12 ounces

Feedings: 16 milliliters (about 1 Tablespoon) every 3 hours

Abigail is doing great!  She is almost back up to her birth weight and is due to be weighed again tonight.  As her feedings continue to increase by 3 milliliters each day, she will slowly be weaned from her IV and the doctors will be able to remove her PICC line, which is the line that goes in through her arm and feeds her those fluids.  Today they took away her lipids (fats that they have been feeding her).

Abby’s is off the bilirubin light and digesting well.  Over the past couple of days she has begun to spit up some.  It is very common (but inconvenient) for preemies to develop reflux, so we are praying this will not be the case with little Abby.  Her nurse today said she seemed more relaxed and has only spit up once today, for which we are glad.

The big news is that Abby is off her cannula and breathing on her own.  If she struggles to breath, they’ll put her back on the cannula, but so far she looks like she’s doing great.  As more of the wires and stickers are being removed, Abby looks more and more like a term baby, although still much too small, and today she was wearing her first outfit!

While Abby is doing great, we would appreciate prayers for the rest of our family.   On Friday, the young people from our church moved us into a new apartment.  They did an amazing job.  One young man used his incredible packing skills to rearrange our laundry room into a storage and useable laundry room.  I was also surprised when I opened the cupboards in the kitchen to find nearly all of our kitchen unpacked and put away.  And our super sweet pastor’s wife loaded our fridge with some produce and other healthy foods that she had made.  If anyone who helped ends up reading this, consider this a HUGE thank you!  While everyone was working so hard, I was relaxing in the hospital typing out Abigail’s birth story.

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While Abigail continues to do well, the rest of our family is in need of prayer.   Taking care of our bigger Munchkin, getting in Dan’s time for work, visiting Abby, getting some small amount of rest, and trying to move in, eat, and keep up with at least a little bit of laundry is proving to be a lot.  We have yet to figure out a workable routine, and Lydia is not cooperating well enough to continue bringing her with us to the NICU.  Abby is doing well enough now that we could hold her twice a day, but we haven’t been able to figure out a workable plan that allows us to hold her twice.

Back in May Dan and I moved in to a condo in Ann Arbor, but soon Dan was experiencing all sorts of weird symptoms (feeling sick and nauseous whenever he was home) that we finally attributed to mold.  We rushed out of that condo to a temporary home in Plymouth.  We took a long time finding another place to live, trying to be careful to find a place that wouldn’t make Dan sick again.  However, when we got to see our current apartment, it smelled so strongly of cleaning chemicals that it was hard to tell if there was anything else weird in the air.  Today Dan started feeling nauseous again.  Honestly, it’s too much for me to think about right now.  In fact, I’ve developed a new coping technique where I don’t think about anything except what I’m doing at the moment.  The thought of having to move again is completely ridiculous.  But if Dan is really going to feel very sick whenever he’s home, the thought of staying there for a year is also ridiculous. So I am overwhelmed and at a loss as to what to think or do.  Please pray that his nausea passes, that it’s not related to the new apartment.  Or, pray that if we really are going to have to move (I can barely stand to write that down!) that it will become very clear to us within the next day or two.

Praise the Lord

We are thanking God for:

-Dan’s Mom who helped pack us up for our move and spent a couple days helping with Lydia

-the youth at church who moved us all in a couple of hours

-Abby’s weight gain, breathing success, and freedom from the bilirubin light

Please Pray:

-that Abby will continue to gain weight and breath well, and will stop spitting up (can’t stand to loose those calories!)

-that we will figure out a workable routine-that Dan can get in his hours at work and I can get in the rest I need to stay healthy and strong

-that there will be nothing in our new apartment making Dan feel sick, that he’ll feel much better very soon and we’ll know within a day or two if something needs to change