Our Journey Home

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where did the week go?

It's so hard to believe that a week ago today we were coming home from the hospital with our precious little boy. The days have flown by! It's been a happy blur of sweet memories as we are finding our new rhythm as a family of five. We have been incredibly blessed throughout this past week with visitors, meals, phone calls, flowers, and more! Only one more day, and David goes back to work. *sniff* It has been such a treat to have daddy at home. We have been taking a break from homeschooling, and the girls are adjusting to our new, slower paced schedule. (We usually have a pretty go go go calendar of activities. I was worried they might start climbing the walls but they seem to be enjoying our time at home.) I am praying that the Lord will give me the strength and discernment I need while I'm navigating my new role as a mother of three. Here are some sweet snapshots from the week! Baby love! We just can't resist JJ! Daddy, Wubs, Jeff and Virginia (dear friends) went to the Mudcats game! Wht a great daddy/daughter date!

Wubs and Bella, looking especially fabulous in some 'fancy' dress up gloves, pocketbooks and headbands! ( Can you guess who picked out her socks all by herself? wink.) Love those poses!

Singing in the rain! We had some wonderfully snuggly rainy days together! "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine."- Isaiah 43:1

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Verdict Is In... wink.

Bella has officially decided that she will keep her baby brother after all! The first two days after JJ's arrival were a little hard for our youngest daughter. It must have beeen difficult for her when the realization set in that she was no longer the baby in our family. But we've been lovingly reassuring her and praising her for being such a big helper. She started enjoying her new role as a big sister and now, she is JJ's biggest fan! She is always wanting to hold him, rub his head, cover him up with a blanket, and hug him! Here is a picture from before the verdict was in... Now here are some pictures taken yesterday! And the verdict is in- JJ can stay! wink!

(This last picture makes my eyes tear up. It is a picture of the first time I 'caught' Bella loving on JJ without being prompted. It was early, maybe about 6:15am and you can see the sun shining in the window on Bella's hair. I was resting on the couch with JJ and Bella crawled up to join us while the rest of our family was sleeping. I slipped into the kitchen for a glass of water and when I returned, Bella was whispering to JJ and smiling. I grabbed the camera. Precious. God is just so so so good. )
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."- Romans 15:7

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our sweet son

Joel Joaquin (Baby JJ) has arrived! He was born on Saturday, May 21 at 12:51pm. Our big boy weighed in at 10 pounds, 7 ounces and he was 23 inches long! It was really exciting to meet our sweet son!

Want to hear the story? wink. On Friday night, I woke up at 3am because I felt a gush a fluid. I began having contractions every three to five minutes regularly and we called the doctor at 4am. She told us to come to the hospital, so we woke up the girls. They both bounced out of bed! We dropped them off with friends and by this time, they were wide awake and happily chattering about the arrival of their baby brother!

David and I headed to Rex Hospital, which is about a 25 minute drive from our home. Once we arrived, we checked in and we found out that my water hadn't completely broken, just ruptured. Also, I was only dialated to a 5, so we were sent out for a 45 minute walk to help get things to progress. Even though I was experiencing some pretty strong contractions, I was stuck at a 5 for the entire morning. (We went on three rounds of 45 minute walks and still no change!) I was hopeful to have a natural childbirth (no epidural) and things were still looking good. Anyway, about 11:30am, our doctor suggested that we try breaking my water to see if this would help progress things along. Wowza! That certainly did the trick!! I was really, really hurting and I asked for an epidural after all. The Lord knew the true desire of my heart to go natural and guess what? It was too late for medicine! It was time to push!

Whew! So after several pushes and my doctor being very firm with me (I was in a lot of pain and honestly, I was feeling scared because I could tell JJ was really big) God gave me the strength I needed, right when I needed it most! Baby JJ came out and we were all a little surprised by his size. He is so handsome, just like daddy!

Wubs and Bella LOVE their baby brother! In fact, Emma Grace started crying after she saw JJ. When we asked her if she was okay, she said, "It's.... It's just that I love him so much!" We thank God for the tender heart He has given her. Bella enjoyed holding her baby brother but she didn't have much to say about him just yet. I think she's still processing. wink.

"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us,"- Psalm 67:1

Friday, May 20, 2011

Expired... wink.

This morning I feel like I'm an 'expired' pregnant mama. wink. A day past my due date, we are all waiting with great anticipation to meet baby JJ. Emma Grace was born a week earlier than her due date, Bella was actually born on her due date, and now JJ... I am so hopeful he will
come this weekend. I have an appointment for Monday morning if needed, but whew- the thought of going another three days seems like a really long time! I have been having contractions for days now, some that even take my breath away, but they aren't consistent. Several of my precious friends have encouraged me these contractions may mean that once full labor begins, JJ will be born very quickly. Thank you for praying for us! We'll be posting updates, and hopefully very soon- we'll post pictures of our sweet little boy!

"And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered."- Matthew 10:30

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Baby Update

Today was our big doctor's appointment! Thank you all for your prayers! Here's the latest:

I'm dialated to a three, and now, the doctors are going to allow me to go past my due date! (Which is kind of exciting and disappointing all at the same time. I was just so hopeful that today we'd schedule a time for my water to be broken in the next day or so!) The reason they are allowing me to go a few days longer is because baby JJ is healthy and the doctor I saw today said, "You are ready to have this baby. He is coming and I don't think we need to interrupt what is already happening naturally." Soooo... now we wait. wink. God has answered our prayers- it doesn't look like a c-section is a necessary option now! We need to trust in His timing and rest in the assurance that JJ will arrive exactly when the Lord has planned!

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." - Psalm 139:23-24

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Very, very ready!

Two days. That's all, only two days left until our official due date. When I went to the doctor last Friday, the physician that checked me said she would be 'shocked' if I made it through the weekend without going into labor. I had lots of contractions on Sunday morning and afternoon, and I really thought it was the big day, but we didn't need to go to the hospital after all. So, here I sit, waiting and waiting, but I'm feeling very, very ready! wink!

We have two prayer requests. Our first prayer request is for a safe delivery and a healthy baby boy. Our second prayer request is for JJ to come without a c-section. You see, Emma Grace was breech and we needed a c-section. Bella was a born naturally and this is the way we'd like to deliver JJ as well. ( I know many women who have had a c-section and they loved it. But not me. Since I can compare the two birthing experiences, I can say that hands down that a c-section would never ever be a first choice for me. ) Our doctor is more than willing to allow me to have a natural childbirth again, however, I can't be overdue. Once you go past your due date, the complimcations increase for a woman who has previously had a c-section, and JJ is already so big that the risks are also greater with every day that passes the 40 week mark. We are going to the doctor tomorrow to discuss the option of having my water broken in an effort to try to induce me (oh, and that's another thing- after a c-section, you can't be medically induced). It's very difficult not to be anxious! wink! We are just so excited to meet our newest baby and welcome him into our family!

I haven't blogged in over a week (sorry! I was preparing for my maternity leave at the church)

and it occurred to me that I also haven't posted any pictures of the girls lately either! Wubs and Bella have decided to officially switch bunk beds. Bella, although she is our youngest, has always had the top bunk. Emma Grace never wanted to top bunk and so for nearly two years, this is how the girls have slept. Then a few nights ago, the girls started discussing the idea of trading beds. We tried it one night and they loved it! So yesterday, I pulled off all the blankets and sheets, washed everything and made up the new bunk beds! As we were tucking the girls in, Wubs said, "Mommy, you have to take our picture!" So, here is a photo from last night's official bunk bed switch:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well." - Psalm 139:13-14

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Special Day

Happy Mother's Day!
Below is a picture of my mom (a.k.a Nana) and my grandmother. I asked Wubs if she knew who was in this picture and she said,"Hmmmm. I think it's Nana and someone I don't know." When I told Emma Grace that it was a picture of Nana and her mommy, she said, "Wow! Nana's mommy? But, where are you?" I explained that in this picture, I was just a twinkle in Nana's eye. Wubs closely examined the picture and exclaimed, "Oooh! I think I see you. Riiiight there!"
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."- Matthew 6:21

Friday, May 6, 2011

The uninvited belly rub

I am over 38 weeks pregnant. I have a very, very big belly. I am uncomfortable and I feel very ready to hold our son in my arms rather than in my womb. I have tried my best to be gracious when unkind comments have been made. I have smiled and politely answered the question, "How are you feeling?" even when I have been asked more times than I can count. But today, today I was pushed to my limit. Today I was rubbed down (a two handed rub down, to be exact) by a stranger at the Dollar Store.

I was standing in the card aisle of our local Dollar Store, with Wubs and Bella beside me. As I was browsing, a woman came up to me and (very loudly) asked, "When is that baby due?!?" I explained that I only have about 13 more days to go and before I could even grasp what was about to happen, she took both of her hands and began caressing my ENTIRE stomach. So as she is giving me this thorough rub down, she is asking me more questions, such as "Were you this big with the other ones?" and "Do you think you'll really make it another week?" I could barely process what she was saying because not only was she standing in extreme proximity to my face, she still had both hands locked and engaged on my belly.

We have worked very hard to train our children to wait to speak until it is their turn... especially while daddy and mommy are in a conversation with another grown up. But THANKFULLY Bella really struggles in this area and she interrupted this uninvited belly rub escapade, by requesting a trip to look at the balloons. "Oh, excuse me but I need to go. Have a nice day." I have never ducked out of a conversation so quickly. I just couldn't take it any more. wink.

The moral to my story... All belly rubs should be administered only after an invitation has been extended. And even if an invitation is granted, the five second rule should always be applied.

"We live by faith, not by sight."- 2 Corinthians 5:7

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

God uses yuck

God uses yuck, doesn't He? He can use anything to reveal Himself to us, for His glory, including the yuck, disappointment, sorrow, and trials in our lives. That's exactly what He did for me yesterday- He used my yuck. And as much as my heart ached because of my own sin, I am so thankful for the the lesson He taught me.

Four Hershey kisses. That's how it all started. An argument between our little girls over four Hershey kisses.

Disclaimer: I am about to be super transparent here, friends. If I was going to try to justify my behavior before man, or in this case, justify my behavior in this blog post, I would make some excuses. But that would be silly, because the real reason for my behavior is very simple. My own sin. My own selfishness, prideful yuck. It's that simple.

Okay, back to the chocolate dispute. The girls were wanting to eat the chocolate but Bella, our three year old, was holding the ziploc bag of treats. And from what I could overhear, Bella was only going to give Wubs one chocolate. Now Wubs, being our wise little five year old, was explaining that wasn't fair, as both girls should recieve two chocolates each. I had just sat down in our office, in an attempt to get a few emails sent out for my job at church, and I was so hopeful the two girls could settle this matter on their own. But one thing led to another and it was abundantly clear that I needed to intervene. Unfortunately, I didn't help our children in a Godly-mommy manner. I didn't use a kind voice and I used body language that expressed my frustation. Both our children stood in a stunned shock as I proceeded to jerk the baggie from Bella, slap down the chocolates separated into two even groups onto the couch, and angrily speak (far too many words) to express my disappointment in their lack of ability to work together to solve a problem. Yuck. Then I left the living room and went to the office and closed the door behind me. I was fuming! Isn't that stupid? I was all worked up over n-o-t-h-i-n-g. I went back to the living room, picked up the basket of toys the girls had been using and directed Bella to go potty for nap and told Wubs to wait at the kitchen table for homeschool. Both girls did exactly as they were told- neither of them daring to challenge their crazed mother on a rampage. wink.

I put Bella down for her nap, gave Wubs brief instructions to get her started on her math, and I went to take a shower. About 10 minutes had passed since my little outburst, and as soon as I stepped into the shower, the Holy Spirit convicted my heart. I began to sob. What had just happened?? I cried out to God for forgiveness for my behavior.

As I was coming out of the bathroom, Wubs cautiously approached me. I got down on my knees so we could be eye level and I hugged her. Then I just started crying. She started to cry too! I asked her to forgive me, and I explained mommies make mistakes too. I confessed to her that I behaved in a way that wasn't pleasing to God and that I had prayed for God to forgive me. We hugged and cried together... and I have to say... it was one of my sweetest memories to date with my oldest daughter. God used my yuck, to show me my own sin, to keep my eyes on Him rather than my to do list, and to show my daughter my dependance on the Lord. When Bella woke up, I asked her to forgive me as well. Our precious girls- neither of them hesitated when I asked for their forgiveness. And when I was talking to David over dinner last night, I started to cry as I recounted my behavior to him. He reassurred me and he encouraged me. God has certainly spoiled this wife and mommy! I don't deserve their love and I certainly could never earn God's love, but praise the Lord- Jesus already paid the price for my sins! I could never thank Him enough.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. "- James 5:16