Sunday, December 7, 2014

Family of Five

On Friday, December 5th, 2014, we welcomed the fifth member of our family.
He arrived at 8:09 am and weighed 8 pounds and 11 ounces. He was 21.5 inches long, the exact same length as both of his older brothers at their births.
We named our little sweetie Theodore Jude. Theodore means God's gift and Jude means praise. We plan on calling the little guy Theo for short.
They let me do skin to skin in the OR, which isn't something I was expecting at all. I didn't have to be separated from my little Theo. It was heavenly.
It was definitely the most peaceful I've ever felt during one of my births. I felt so calm, so serene. Scared, yes, as it's still a surgery, but it was a beautiful experience. Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers. I could feel them.
This little guy is already such a blessing, a gift from God indeed. It will be neat to watch him grow and develop his own place in our family of five.
Big brothers aren't quite sure what to think of their little brother just yet. It'll certainly be an adjustment to share their parents, but I'm already imagining the trouble the three of them will be getting into together. It makes me smile and cringe and smile some more. It feels marvelous to be a family of five.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This Week

I'm having a baby this week.

A planned c-section is kind of like an eviction date. We're kicking you out, little buckeroo. 

Now, I'm a glass half full kind of gal, but let's face it... I have a complicated relationship with birth. Having your firstborn almost die and watching him live with the lifelong consequences of a birth gone wrong is tough. I don't hear the word "birth" and think sunshine and roses. I wish that I did. But, for someone like me (or Andy), I don't think that will ever be possible. I can rejoice in the beauty of a child's entry into this world, but I'll never be able to see birth the same as I did eight years ago. I can't, not after what we've been through. Our naivety is gone.

And it's okay. My births look different than I once thought they would. This week I'm giving birth for the third time via surgery and it's going to be beautiful.

That doesn't mean I don't have some residual fears and anxiety. I try so hard not to remember Elijah's birth, but facing another birth soon brings back old scars and wounds. The trauma of a difficult birth will never fully leave us, but having had a positive, happy birth with Oliver helps tremendously. I know what a happy birthing experience should be like and that softens hard memories.

And so, I try to push out the past as I focus on our amazing future ahead of us. Soon we will be parents to three little boys. God is so, so good. I know He's looking out for us.

Prayers for an uneventful birth, fast recovery, and health for our newest little boy would be greatly appreciated. He'll be here early Friday morning. I'll keep you all posted.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Oh, poor little neglected blog. There is so much you don't know. So many things that have happened in the past several months that haven't been written here in Elijahland. So many changes occurring.
First, there's this:
Yep, our little family is expanding to five - soon, in fact.  December is approaching quickly: 
Soon, we'll have our hands even more full. Oh boy!
These two awesome sons of ours are going to be big brothers to one awesome little bro. 
We're thrilled - and busy with all that life entails. Something tells me things aren't going to be slowing down any time soon. I am totally and completely okay with that. Life is crazy, but it sure is fun. We already love our three boys. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Today was our firstborn's first day of first grade.
Little brother, Oliver, wanted to be in pictures too, so he got to help hold Elijah's sign.
Oliver wanted to go to school with his big brother. "Oliver school, too," he kept telling me.
I felt nervous today and on edge. It's hard to send your kid to school and trust those who take care of him (especially since he can't tell us what he thinks or feels or how his day went). The first day of first grade was so much easier than the first day of kindergarten, however, and we're pleased that Elijah has the same paras as last year. He's known at his school and they care about him. That means so much.
And, it helps that Elijah LOVES school. He waved goodbye to me before he got out of the van this morning and practically pulled his para into the building.

When Elijah got home, he was all smiles and full of joy and affection. Elijah doesn't usually make all that much noise, but at supper he was babbling so much it was like he was telling us about his day. Oh, how I yearn to be able to understand what he's saying, to get inside that head of his. He's been more verbal lately and we have renewed hope for the development of speech.

It doesn't take words, however, to know that he had a really amazing first day of school. Can't wait to see the changes this year will bring.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Alive (and Well)

I never intended to take such a long break from blogging (sorry about that).
The last several months have been super busy.
We've been living life to the fullest.
Swimming, camping, fishing and the Fourth of July = lots of summer fun. 
It's a good life.
I have lots of updates, my dear readers (are you still here?).
But, that'll have to wait until the next time.
In the meantime, I wanted to let you all know we are still alive (and well).
And having lots of fun while we're at it. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Not a New Debate

When I was a kid, my mom worked for our local devision of The Arc - an organization that advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She still works there, actually. As a result, I was around people with disabilities a lot as a kid. I have such fond memories.

Back then, the medical diagnosis was mental retardation (and, yes, this sentence makes me feel really old). These days, if you're not aware, the correct diagnostic term is intellectual disabilities. Mental retardation is an outdated term.

I still remember my mom coming home from work one day and talking about the debate to change verbiage. I remember the conversations we had then about how it wasn't just about the words used, but the attitudes behind it. We talked about how people would find a way to demean and abuse whatever was the new medical diagnosis.

Which brings me to the word retard, a word I have a hard time even typing. It's a demeaning word, something that has been twisted and contorted over time to mean something cruel. It's a word - derived from a medical diagnosis - that was so misused over time that the medical diagnosis itself needed to be changed. Just think about that for a moment. And yet, everyone knows what group of people the word retard is referring to. And everyone knows it's not nice. Whenever the r-word escapes your mouth, you are - intentional or not - making fun of people with intellectual disabilities.

It's disrespectful.
It hurts.
It's not funny.
It makes you sound uninformed and unkind.

As someone who enjoys writing, words matter to me. I implore you to examine the words you use. If the r-word is part of your vocabulary, consider trying to come up with something better. Not only that, examine how you think and feel about people with disabilities. Do you consider them with love and respect? What we say about each other matters.

This isn't a new debate. It is something I've been hearing about my entire life. But, there isn't a debate about this: a whole lot of people are hurt by the r-word.

Don't say it.

Tomorrow is Spread the Word to End the Word Day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Sweet Memory

I had a memory a few weeks ago. I'm finally taking the time to write it down...
Fairytales do come true - sometimes with baby legs in the face
Andy and I were at a department store. Except this wasn't any normal shopping trip. We were on our way to visit our sweet little Elijah in the NICU. I needed to pick up a few things for my ever changing new mom body. If you must know, I was in dire need of nursing bras. If I hadn't needed something so important, we wouldn't have been shopping instead of visiting our son.

I quickly grabbed a couple of things and longingly looked at the baby clothes as we walked by the infant department on the way out of the store. My hand rested on a blue and white outfit, allowing myself to feel the softness of the fabric between my fingers. I dreamed about dressing our baby boy and taking him home.

Standing there, I recalled months earlier when we'd been in the same store and I saw some cute infant clothes.
"Andy, look at these," I gushed at outfits that were tiny and pastel.
Andy nodded, but didn't admire the cuteness as I did.
"Yep, that one outfit is 20 dollars, Lisa. And the baby will wear it for how long? A month?"
"I wasn't saying we should buy them," I replied. "I was just admiring them. They're soooo cute."
On that day, we left without buying anything for our baby-to-be.

But, on the day we took a detour to on our way to visit our son in the NICU, I held the blue outfit - and all of my dreams - in my hands. Andy took the outfit and it's matching blanket off the rack and out of my hands without a word. He looked at me and I looked at him and we knew each other's thoughts. We were going to buy this outfit for our son. And we did. Then we drove to see our sweet baby and dreamed of the day when he would get to wear it.

Elijah did eventually wear the outfit - probably a total of two times.

It was worth every full-priced penny.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Writing More

I only wrote 13 posts last year. Thirteen. That's only one a month and it bums me out. Back in 2009, I wrote 114 posts. Those were the days.

It bums me out because I am a writer and I should be writing more.

I write constantly in my head, probably several times a day. I wrote an entire post in my head tonight while making supper - except it's kind of hard to get those thoughts out onto a keyboard when your hands are covered in chicken. Now I have no idea what I was thinking/writing. I write posts often in the shower - except my computer can't get wet and the words fall from my brain and get washed down the drain.

I miss it, though... the sharing that takes place when I make the time to write, when I connect with others through words. Part of me wishes that I could connect a cord to my brain so that these posts I write in my brain would be shared here. Except, no, I don't really wish that. That, my friends, is something out of 1984 and I want no part of it. So, being a writer means I need to get myself to my computer more often. Being a writer means admitting that I am a writer, whether or not I've ever been published. Being a writer means realizing that most people probably don't constantly write essays in their head. I am a writer, even if it's sometimes hard for me to admit it.

It's 2014 and I'm not off to a great start. I should be writing. Not just writing, but writing more.

Someone glue me to my keyboard. Or something.

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