Monday, December 7, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Surrender

There really is no greater way to introduce this post except..."Surrender." Life is often all about surrendering. Surrendering our will to God. Surrendering our rights. Surrendering our money. Surrendering our time.

I have wanted to adopt for as long as I can remember. It is my passion. It is my desire. It is my greatest wish. It would be one of the greatest gifts I could imagine.

For now...I surrender this to God. I trust Him. We have tried to adopt several times in the past few years and it has always fallen through. I know it will happen when the time is right. I know that HE works all things together for our good. Obviously, it has not been for our good yet! I believe it will be in the future.

We recently considered pursuing adoption through the foster care system. It's free, by the way! In Florida there is a Foster-to-adopt program. This means that you must qualify as a foster parent before you can adopt. This includes going through 10 weeks of classes (3 hours/week), and then completing a home study before a child can be placed with you. Therein lies the problem. With the campaign taking off, there is no guarantee that Roger would be able to attend all of the classes. We have to attend every class. If you miss, you must make it up. I really don't see how we can do it right now. If he wins, we definitely will not be able to take the classes.

So, what's next? I have no idea. And that is why I know I need to surrender this. I know that I need to take care of my husband and my children and my home and wait for God to lead us down this path when the time is right, and when the right child is waiting for us. And for now...
I will wait for that child!

I was praying about this recently. I was telling God: "You know I have the best intentions! You know we have a great family who could easily adopt and love that child as our own. There are too many children who need homes! Why should we have to wait when these children are waiting and we are willing??? This doesn't make sense!!!" And, do you know what He said?
"Haven't I always taken care of you? I am taking care of them." And so I trust Him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

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Ian--Forty Weeks Old




I can't believe that my baby will be one in only 12 weeks! It's going too fast!!!
Ian has two teeth on the bottom and three on the top. He is almost a crawler!!! He has been getting on all fours for a few weeks, but today he learned to move his hands and knees a little. He will go a short distance and then scoot, or army crawl a little to get where he wants to go. I have been in no hurry for him to crawl. I know I am going to be even busier when this little guy is on the move!!! He has figured out how to go from his belly to sitting, but at first he would panic because he couldn't figure out how to get back to his belly. I think he has the hang of it now.



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ian--9 months old!!! (38 & 39 week updates)

My sweet baby boy is 9 months old today!!! He had his well visit today and weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 28 3/4 inches long. He has a bad cough and drippy nose, and a red throat, and he is cutting his fifth tooth...but he is still happy!

Ian loves to roll around on his bedroom floor, but he seems to be spending more time on his hands and knees the past few days. He hasn't figured out how to crawl, but he is so close. He is sitting up well and even figured out how to go from his belly, to hands and knees, to sitting a few days ago. He still isn't a really sturdy sitter, but he is definitely getting stronger.

Ian still gets 4-6oz bottles per day...breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime. He eats some kind of baby cereal mixed with formula each morning (a small cup). For lunch he is still on stage 2 baby food and will eat 1.5 jars at each lunch and dinner. Every now and then he will eat both jars. We tried to give him stage 3 food last week, but it was too chunky and he got really choked. We'll wait a few more weeks to try it again.

Daily schedule: awake around 7:00, nap at 10, bottle at 11:30, lunch at 12:00, nap around 3:00, bottle at 4:30, dinner at 5:00, bottle at 7:30 and off to bed.

He is jabbering much more! He plays with his toys on his bedroom floor and makes all kinds of noises. He is a mommy's boy for now, but loves the entertainment he receives from his sister and brothers. He isn't lacking attention!

Ian has started showing his will. He has arched his back a few times as I was putting him in his car seat, and he does the same when he doesn't want his diaper changed. He settles down quickly, though. For the most part...he is a very happy little guy...and super cute, too!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ian--Thirty-seven weeks






My sweet boy is feeling better, but not great yet. He now has four teeth! It's so hard to be sick and teething at the same time.

He is trying so hard to get on his knees! He is sitting fairly well, but I still put a pillow behind him if I need to walk away. He's getting it, though!

I love this little guy so much! He is so sweet, and cuddly, and beautiful! I'm so grateful God placed him in my life. It is an honor to take care of him.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ian--Thirty-six weeks

This is my very sick little baby boy. He has been sick since last Saturday. He has had a high fever and terrible diarhea. I change his diapers frequently, but his bottom is red and hurting. It is getting a little better, but it cannot heal completely until the diarhea goes away. He also cut one of his top teeth this week and the second one will be through any day. So, he is sick and teething, which is a terrible combination. I have been keeping him on medicine every three hours, but that only brings his temperature down to 102.5, so I get up throughout the night to give him medicine because I don't want to see how far up it will go.

He drinks a bottle here and there, but he will not eat food. I really think he has Rotavirus. I really hope it goes away soon. He is so miserable that he won't even smile. The other day he went to sleep in my arms at 9:30 in the morning, and I had to wake him up at 2:30, so I could change him and get him to drink a bottle.

He is sitting up pretty well. He will still topple over, but he is doing well. He is also trying to get on his hands and knees. I'm in no hurry for him to crawl! I know how easy I have it right now with him being immobile!

Please pray for my sweet baby.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ian--Thirty-four and Thirty-five weeks old

Look at that little smiley face! How can you not smile while looking at him?! He is such a joyful baby!
Well, Ian's second bottom tooth popped through, and now his two top teeth should be through any day. His gums are so swollen and I know they are hurting because he has not been as happy the past two days. I feel so bad for him. I am trying to keep him on Tylenol or Ibuprofen during the day and teething tablets. I also have the little thing that he can hold on to and has a little mesh bag attached where I can put food, or grapes in for him to gnaw on. He loves it! I have put a banana, grapes, and ice in it so far.
Ian still gets a bottle four times a day, some kind of baby cereal at breakfast, one stage 2 jar of food at lunch (although he at a jar and a half tonight!), and then another jar at dinner. He likes sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, peas, and bananas, but still isn't crazy about peaches. I tried to give him some baby food that had a few small chunks in it, but he gagged, so he isn't ready for that yet.
Big news!!! He is sitting up fairly well. I would not sit him on the floor and walk away, but he is doing so much better. He has also been pushing up on his hands and trying to get his knees up under him, too. I'm in no hurry for him to crawl!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ian--Thirty-three weeks




Ian's second tooth should pop through in the next few weeks. I can see it under his gums. He chews on everything and drools more, but it doesn't seem to hurt too much.
He loves all of the different kinds of baby cereals! He enjoyed his green beans this week and tried sweet potatoes mixed with corn and loved it! I give him water mixed with a little bit of juice each day, so he doesn't get constipated and he loves it! He gets so excited when he sees his cup.
He is getting closer to sitting up, but certainly not steady yet. Maybe a few more weeks??? He rolls everywhere. He has begun pushing himself up on his arms, so I know that is the first step to crawling.
He is the happiest and most content baby in the world! I am grateful for his pleasant disposition!
He is still on the same eating and napping schedule and will probably stay there until he turns one year.



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ian--Thirty, Thirty-One and Thirty-Two weeks



How did I get so far behind on my weekly updates???!!! I couldn't update while we were on vacation, and then I have had a hard time getting back on schedule since getting back home. I still need to give an update on our vacation, too! Soon!!!
Not a while lot has changed with Ian's schedule, so there isn't a lot to update anyway. This is kind of the point in "babyhood" where everything seems to run like clockwork.
Ian is now 7 months old. He smiles, giggles, squeals, cries a little, and brings joy to our entire family. He still only has one bottom tooth. We found out on the way home from vacation that he cannot have apples. Be very careful when you feed your baby fruits! Make sure you introduce one at a time and leave up to five days before trying another. Most of my kids have not been able to handle apples until after they are potty trained. I change my baby's diaper frequently, but apples completely burns Ian's bottom. It was terrible! We are big fans of Boudreax's Butt Paste (not sure about the spelling)! A and D ointment (not cream) is very good, too! Lesson learned...no apples for Ian!
Ian still doesn't like peaches, he isn't crazy about pears, and I am cautious to give him pears because I think my other kids had trouble with that, too. He ate green beans much better yesterday, and tried bananas, which he liked fairly well. Mostly, he loves squash and sweet potatoes and eats the equivalent of a small baby food jar at lunch and dinner.
He still gets four, six ounce bottles per day...7:30, 12:00, 4:30, and 7:30. He naps at 10:00 for about 1.5 hours and around 2:30 for 1.5 hours, and happily goes to bed after his bedtime bottle is gone. He doesn't always finish every bottle...he may have 1-2 ounces left. I use the extra (if there is extra) in the morning to mix with his baby cereal or baby oatmeal.
Ian rolls all over the place, puts everything in his mouth, but is still not sitting up. He is getting closer, but I think it may be another month. I don't see crawling coming anytime soon. Our pediatrician said he would progress at the latter end of normal because he is so chubby.
I adore my baby boy!!! I praise God for placing him in my life!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Decisions...

Roger and I heard a sermon 3-4 years ago that convicted us, and really changed our hearts. We came to believe that we should trust God with the size of our family rather than telling Him how many children we would have. We knew that God would close the womb one way or another, but we did not know how, or when, or how many children we would be blessed to have.

God may be closing my womb, and I have to admit that I am really struggling with this. We knew after having Miles (our big 9 pound, 11 ounce boy!) that some damage had been done to my body. We were not told not to have anymore children, but that someday I would need to have surgery to fix things.

After having Ian we knew a little more damage was probably done, but we didn't know how much because I was seeing a new doctor. She also said that I would definitely need surgery in the future, but it wouldn't be wise to have surgery until I was done having children.

Recently I have felt things getting worse. I saw my doctor today and she confirmed that things are much worse than they were six months ago. She said I could have more children if I wanted to, but it would cause more damage, and that she will need to do a partial hysterectomy when I am done having children. Wow! That was not what I expected to hear at 35 years of age. She was, by no means, telling me that we should not have more children...for the record.

So...now Roger and I have a HUGE decision to make. Do we have one more? Is this the end of pregnancies for us? God...what do YOU want us to do??? I really thought I would have one more, so the thought of never giving birth to a precious baby is very sad for me.

I really am not looking for advice, so please do not tell me what you think I should do. This is between me and Roger and God. I don't say that to be rude, but I really don't want anyone to influence us as we try to pray and listen for God's will. I would be really grateful if you would pray for us, though. I wish we didn't have to make this decision, but we do, and I feel so much turmoil and emotion.

Whether we have another baby through our own birth, or not...God is not done growing our family. We hope to adopt in the future, so we know our family isn't done growing yet! It may be that God has given us an answer, by way of our doctor, and paving the way for the future to adopt. He didn't give us a passion and desire to adopt for no reason! Take a look at www.reecesrainbow.com and see the many reasons we hope to adopt!

Thank you for praying for us and with us!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Miles through the years...














Happy Birthday to Miles!!!



Miles came into my arms three years ago. He was HUGE!!! He weighed 9 pounds, 11 ounces! He had a triple chin, chubby thighs, and blonde, wavy hair. I was induced 12 days late, but had only gained 17 pounds, so we had no idea he would be so big!
Miles had health problems from the beginning. His breathing was raspy, he had apnea episodes at night, he spit up a lot...and then he was five weeks, vomiting every ounce of formula I was feeding him, and not breathing well. Roger and I spent the night awake Sunday evening because he was choking, and vomiting, and not breathing well. Roger told me to "get him to the doctor tomorrow and don't leave until they tell you what is wrong with him!" I had taken him to the doctor about every week, and was always told not to worry about it. Well, I took him the next morning, a different doctor asked me what was wrong as Miles vomited all over the room, he told me to take him to the hospital NOW, he was calling for an upper GI stat, so we wouldn't have to wait, then to wait at the hospital until he could talk to the radioligist and decide what they needed to do. I was so upset and scared! I thought he had a terrible case of reflux, but instead the doctor thought he may need surgery. So, I took him to the hospital, they took us back after a few minutes, the radioligist was formerly a pediatrician (huge plus for us), they did the upper GI, the radiologist told me what was wrong and drew a picture for one very distraught mommy, told me to wait there while he called our doctor, so they could see if they needed to admit him right then, or take him to the children's hospital in Orlando because he needed surgery NOW. I could not believe all of this was happening.
I ended up going to the pediatrician's office while they waited to hear from the children's hospital and then we were told to go straight to the ER to meet with the surgeon. Roger's aunt came over to stay with the kids, while Roger followed me to the hospital. We had to stop halfway there because Miles was vomiting so bad. I cleaned him up, and we hurried as fast as we could.
Miles was very dehydrated and only five weeks old, so they blew through both arms trying to get blood and an IV in. Then they blew through one foot, so the surgeon decided he would do it himself. He was able to get it in the other foot, but not very well, so they moved it to his head during surgery the following day.
Miles had a condition called Pyloric Stenosis. There is a muscle that helps move food from your stomach to your intestines. His muscle was becoming more and more enlarged, not allowing any food to pass through, so everthing was coming back up. Thankfully, surgery can correct this problem and then the baby is cured.
As we sat in the ER with the surgeon he became very concerned. He knew something more was wrong. He told the nurses, "Get an oxygen monitor, and apnea monitor on him now...I don't want to lose this baby tonight." Yikes! He heard what we had been hearing and telling the doctor about for weeks. I wanted to go back to our pediatrician and smack him!
Miles' monitors went off numerous times while we were there. He ended up being in the hospital for four days, which is not common for this condition. They couldn't figure out why his monitors continued alarming. They decided that he had reflux, too, which they believed would be cured when he healed from the surgery and then his breathing would become normal, so they sent us home. Well, he healed from the surgery, but his breathing did not become normal, and he continued having apnea episodes. Roger and I didn't sleep well for the first six months of his life. I continued telling our pediatrician about it, but he continued blowing me off.
Miles has had many other issues, too. He is a very unhappy little boy. His smiles are wonderful, but he has always been a very difficult child. For two and a half years he was on reflux medication. Just before he turned two I realized that a lot of his issues were sensory issues, so I talked to the pediatrician again and we began occupational therapy. Miles hated having his ears, eyes, mouth, face, and diaper area touched. He couldn't handle loud noises, so he was terrified (and this is no exaggeration!) of my hair dryer, the vacuum, the blender, trains, etc. He actually became much happier at 18 months when I took him off milk because of a fever. After two weeks of being off milk his eczema cleared up almost completely, and he laughed for the first time in his life. We missed out on a lot of giggles. We had no idea how miserable he was. We have since learned that he is allergic to milk and eggs.
I learned a valuable lesson...keep pushing!!! If you feel something is wrong with your child you keep pushing until you get some answers!!! Don't just trust the judgment of a doctor when you KNOW something is wrong with your child.
Here is the other thing I learned...when there is a family in need...whether they are sick, or have a child in the hospital...do everything you can to help that family. Bring them meals, babysit their kids, do something!!! I was in the hospital for four days with Miles and only a couple of people volunteered to help. I sat at the hospital in the surgery waiting room by myself as my newborn was in surgery because no one had offered to watch our other children, and my husband didn't want to ask. No one prepared meals for my family while I was gone. Not one single person from our church called to check on our precious baby boy. They knew about it, but no one did anything. I sat in the hospital hurt, lonely, scared, and wondering if anyone cared. Sad, but true. The only people who helped were Roger's mom (we love her dearly) and one of his wonderful aunts. We are so grateful for them!
I will admit that I was bitter for a while, but then God showed me the lesson I could learn from all of this. Yes, I have five kids, but I will make a meal, or clean someone's house, or watch their children, or whatever I can to help. I don't want anyone to feel the way I felt.
What can you do to help someone today?
So, off that soapbox and back to Miles!!! He is happier now than he used to be. He was potty trained, but now he is not, so we will get back to work on that tomorrow! He LOVES music! He loves to dance, and sing, and play his guitar. He loves Elmo and the Wiggles. He weighs 29 pounds, so he is a thin little guy. He sucks his thumb and is always looking for his "nother bwankie." He is smart! He gets overwhelmed easily, so we are still looking for coping strategies to help him. He knows his ABC's, Ephesians 6:1, and loves doing school with everyone each morning. He LOVES pizza and will eat 3-4 pieces, so guess what we are having for his birthday dinner! He just started eating cereal...he used to love cereal bars. He would probably drink a carton of chocolate soy milk every day if I would let him. He loves to take baths...and get dirty. He loves to swing. He has gorgeous blonde, wavy hair and beautiful blue eyes, and a big smile.
We love our Miles Augustine Shealy!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ian--Twenty-nine weeks


Little smiley is doing so well! He is happy, content, laid back, and so very sweet!
Not much has changed in the past week. He gets four, 6 ounce bottles a day and cereal, oatmeal, or baby food at mealtimes. He still doesn't like green beans. He doesn't really care for peaches, either. He didn't like apples at first, but seems to like them more now. He loves squash and sweet potatoes! He tried peas today and wasn't crazy about it, but still ate it. He may end up being a picky eater.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ian--Twenty eight weeks



I think Ian has another tooth working its way through, but it's not there yet. He is in his new schedule pretty well now...7:30--6 ounce bottle, small cup of rice ceral; 10:00--nap; 12:00--6 ounce bottle and small cup of food (he tried green beans this week, but is not too fond of them, he tried sweet potatoes on Sunday, but wasn't too fond of that either, he tried squash today and wasn't too fond of it at first, but seemed to like it after several spoonfuls); 2:30--nap, 4:30--6 ounce bottle; 5:30--dinner with the family...baby oatmeal; 7:30--6 ounce bottle and off to bed for the night.

I'll keep working on vegetables through the weekend, and then we'll probably move on to fruits next week.

Ian's favorite things: Mommy, Daddy, his doting sister and brothers, rice cereal and oatmeal, his bottle, his thumb, his TOES (loves them!).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ian--Twenty-seven weeks


Ian slept until 8:30 this morning! Wow! He was in bed before 8:00 last night, so I was shocked when I kept going in to check on him and he still wasn't awake.

So, here is his new schedule:

He typically gets a 6 ounce bottle at 7:30, then a small cup of baby cereal mixed with formula. He loves it! Then he takes a nap from 10:00-12:00. When he wakes up he gets another 6 ounce bottle. He gets another 6 ounce bottle between 2:30 and 3:00, and goes back to bed for another nap. He wakes up around 4:30 or 5:00, gets another 6 ounce bottle, then he gets a small cup of baby oatmeal when we eat dinner a little before 6:00. He gets a final, 8 ounce bottle at 7:30 and goes straight to bed.

I snapped a lot of green beans this afternoon and cooked them, so tomorrow I will mush them up in my handy chopper, and let Ian try them. Food...here we come!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ian--Twenty five and Twenty six weeks old


Yes, I am way behind! I wanted to update before I left town last week, but ran out of time, and then my mom's computer would not allow me to update for some reason. So, I may be late, but here it is...

A LOT has changed with my little monkey boy! He got his first tooth last Saturday! He started on baby cereal last Friday. He started baby oatmeal yesterday. He became really good at rolling from his back to his stomach while he and I were at my parents house. This always creates a problem because then he couldn't roll back over to his back, so he would wake up several times in the night, and I would have to get up and roll him back over. Thankfully, he became good at rolling from his stomach to his back today. Now, he sleeps sort of on his stomach and side while sucking his thumb. It's so cute!

Six month check-up yesterday!!! He weighed 19 pounds, 3 ounces. He measured 27.5 inches long. His head measured 17.25 inches. That puts him in the 80th %tile for height and weight, and the 50th for his head. He got two shots and the rotovirus liquid. He didn't even cry with the first shot, and calmed down very quickly after the second. He is a champ!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ian--Twenty four weeks + 3 days



Ian tried to roll over for the first time this week. He can't get his one arm out from underneath, but he'll get there soon enough. He gets stuck, though, and then he gets upset because he can't make it back over to his back, but his sucking thumb is stuck underneath, so he is in a jam.
His head is less wobbly. I still have to hold his back pretty well when I hold him, or he might fall back, but he is definitely getting stronger.
His eating and napping schedule is still the same. I need to weigh him. He feels heavy! He is still a very happy baby. I think he may be getting a tooth. I think I feel a little bump on the bottom. We'll see soon!


Go Ian!!!

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