Sunday, October 31, 2010

too wet to play

The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.

Rainy fall days.
We've had plenty of them lately.
A certain someone has been BEGGING to go out and play.
Hopefully we'll have some beautiful weather soon, that lends itself to outdoor play.

Until then, I'm very thankful Marvin's willing to wrestle with Calvin, and we have his scooter.  Here's a scooter "road" we set up in our last apartment, it muted his scooter sounds for our neighbors.  This particular day he insisted he was cold and needed to wear his hat and jacket for the better part of the day.  This little boy cracks me up.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Close Ups

Oh how I wish so many of you could meet this little man in real life.  I'm very excited that part of our family will get to hold him in only a few more hours.  There are times my heart wishes for you to be able to touch his smooth skin, hear his little squeaks, grunts and cries, for your lips to kiss his wrinkly forehead, and to hold him while he sleeps. 

He's growing too quickly I'm afraid, part of me wishes he would stay itty bitty forever, gone are the loose skin on his knees, his little legs are plumping up, a sign he's eating well.  While he's growing daily I'll enjoy this little season while he is still tiny and savor his sweetness.

So because many of you cannot wrap your arms around him here a few pictures of Micah in action.

I often find him sleeping like this.  I think it's pretty sweet, like he's almost saying "please don't wake me up."

Calvin calls this his pirate eye.  Love that one eyed yawn.
Well hello world!  Love that wrinkled forehead, it's perfectly kissable.
Squirming in his sleep
Doing a little stretching
Before a big yawn.

Friday, October 29, 2010


These first 2 weeks have been filled with lots of adjustments and Mr. Micah is just the sweetest little thing. We all have enjoyed getting to know him.
When Micah was 4 days old Marvin came down with a nasty little bug that wiped him out for a few days. During this time the reality that we had 2 little boys hit hard. Thankfully Micah was such a sweet and easy baby during this time, and Calvin was on his best behavior! That certainly was a HUGE blessing. Thankfully the little bug left our home without infecting anyone else.

We traveled to the consulate and applied for Micah's passport, his birth certificate and social security number. We were amazed when his passport was delivered 3 days later. (AMAZING and an answer to prayer.)

picture that will represent Micah in his passport for the next 5 years
first ferry rides
 We moved to a different apartment. We've enjoyed a better view and I certainly have enjoyed the perks of this apartment. I feel like I'm living the high life with a dryer and a dishwasher.
We're ready for Marvin's parents to arrive. Meals are planned, freezer is stocked, and plans are ready to tour this city once they get here.

I'm making a quick trip out of country today, returning early tomorrow morning. I'm headed to Sofia Bulgaria to renew my visa, it will be my first international trip where I haven't already been to the country before without Marvin. I'm praying that Micah will be a good little traveler. Thankfully I won't need to bring much since my trip is very short, like 12 hours short! I should return just in time to get a few things finished before Marvin's parents and brother arrive.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


We're all looking forward to Saturday!!!!  Hooray for family making the long trip to see us!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

and so it begins

Over the past month and a half we've had the special privilege of having some sweet people living close to us. Calvin has been blessed to have such good friends to play with everyday. Marvin and I have enjoyed time to hang out with friends and we also have been so loved by how they have blessed our family. They loved Calvin, invited him to come over to play with their children, and also were here when we welcomed Micah into the world. Such sweet memories.

This life lends itself to goodbyes, and while they are hard for us, we have become accustomed to them. This past week Calvin had to say goodbye to his friends and for the first time it made him sad. Our little guy is growing up and he is starting to understand more. It broke this mama's heart to see him in tears because he didn't want to say goodbye to his friends, he wanted to go with them. As much as you never want to see your kids hurting it is sweet to see how Father comforts us. It was good to remind him and myself what a blessing it is to have good friends and how God always provides us with new friends, and that's worth a loud Hallelujah!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

in no particular order

#31 a healthy baby boy#32 slices of bread that become airplanes during lunchtime
#33 creative imagination of a 3 year old
#34 birthday cake
#35 counting down the days until we see family
#36 technology allowing us to introduce Micah to friends and family far away
#37 wrinkled little foreheads
#38 hearing the words "I forgive you"
#39 first cry heard in the delivery room
#40 a calm and encouraging doctor
#41 visits from "our family" at the hospital
#42 open eyes for first passport photo
#43 kisses from a big brother
#44 a warm, sleeping newborn nestled on your chest
#45 meals brought by from friends
#46 having a baby in a culture that adores children
#47 softness of a brand new baby
#48 dinner time conversations all about Thomas the train
#49 snuggle time and hugs from Calvin
#50 celebrating with ice cream after delivering Micah
#51 little corner store with everything we need
#52 pharmacies everywhere
#53 a little boy singing Larry Boy in a taxi
#54 little kisses throughout the day accompanied by a "I love you."
#55 friends who share baby things, this boppy has been amazing! (Thanks M)

Friday, October 22, 2010

mmmmm Cake

So I'm finally getting some pictures posted of Calvin's cake.  These pictures make me smile and will be fun to reminice over in the years to come.  His cake turned out to be a big hit with the kids.  They could not wait until we cut it, in fact one little guy just sat at the table and waited until it was cake time, too funny.  I of course see lots of imperfections but it was special and worth the time it took.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

D day that is

For those of you who have no interest in childbirth, this post may not be for you.....for those of you who do read on.

The last few weeks of Micah's pregnancy were extremely uncomfortable.  (Apparently I'm not one of those women who love being pregnant.)  Honestly it wasn't fun, but so worth it.  My blood pressure had been on the high side, and my doctor had been monitoring it closely.  I was extremely swollen, by mid morning my legs literally felt like they weighed a ton.  I had a few tests run at my last doctor's appointment and one indicated preeclampsia, so we were scheduled to induce on Wednesday.  It was beautiful news, because I couldn't wait to meet this little man, even if this meant we had to induce labor.

Thankfully our colleagues were in town renewing visas, so we were able to drop Calvin off at their apartment before we headed to the hospital. This was such an incredible blessing to know he was with people he was comfortable with. The day before we went into the hospital this is all Calvin would talk about, "how much longer before we go to their house and play?"

Once we got to the hospital at 9:00 a.m. they showed us to the labor room, I got dressed, and had blood work done while Marvin filled out the paperwork for admission.  Everything was very similar to Calvin's labor, it was like we were doing the same thing, in the same order as we did with Calvin, just 3 years later.  The initial exam showed I was barely dilated, 1 cm, so pitocin was started.  The rest of our morning was very mellow and boring.  We read for a bit, watched the miners rescue for a long time, then after a while started watching some Office episodes to help pass the time.  The doctor came in around 11:00 p.m. to see if things were progressing, I had only dilated to 2 cm, but she thought around 3:00 she would come and break my water, and things would really get moving.  So more waiting ensued, they brought me lunch and were just waiting for the show to get started.  I could feel the contractions getting stronger but they weren't uncomfortable, an honestly there were times I wasn't even aware I was having them because I was either laughing about something or not paying attention.  It was very weird, because labor is supposed to hurt.

So 3:00 pm. came and went and our doctor still had not come, they moved us to the delivery room and we thought it would be any time now, but we just kept waiting and so we started a new season of Survivor.  Turns out our doctor was caught up in surgery, which is why she was running behind.  Finally at about 6:20 pm she came in to break my water.  At this point I was only dilated 3-4 cm and according to Dr. Deniz she thought I'd deliver around 9:00/9:30 pm.  After she broke my water the contractions really started to intensify.  I found a good spot on my side with Marvin rubbing my lower back through the contractions.  This made them manageable, and gave me some relief in between them, unfortunately the fetal monitor wasn't picking up the baby's heart beat well and it kept dropping, so the nurse came in, called in our doctor and after a few changes in positions figured out that it was picking up my heart beat and not the baby's.  After this little scare I was a sight for sure.  They had been monitoring my blood pressure so I had that on my left arm, a heart rate monitor on the index finger on my left hand, fetal monitors hooked up to my belly, an oxygen mask on my face, and finally the pitocin line coming into my right hand. At one point they handed me more medication to regulate my blood pressure and I couldn't figure out how to grab it and the cup of water due to the number of cords coming from all directions.

At this point I felt like I could handle more labor at the intensity I was experiencing.  They released me from the monitors for a bit I went to the bathroom and by the time I got back the contractions were 10 times as intense.  I was able to stand up leaning on the big ball for a bit and I could tell things were progressing, but I was getting shaky.  This was maybe 20 minutes after they broke my water and at this point they wanted me back on the fetal monitors, which meant back into bed.  I was already shaking from standing up and beginning to get nauseous.  The nurse checked and said I was around 5-6 cm.  I decided to wait until 7:00 to decide on an epidural. 10 minutes passed and I was able to sit up instead of lay down and still get a good reading on the monitors, but the contractions were picking up speed.  I decided since I was a couple hours from 9:00 that it would be worth it to get the epidural since I still had a ways to go.  By the time the anesthesiologist got there it was around 7:15, she got things going and finished up around 7:30.  What I heard was "it should be 15 minutes and you shouldn't be able to feel anything".  What I missed was that I was only given the initial dose and she'd be back later to hook me up to the real deal.  So I was literally counting down the minutes before it would take effect.  15 minutes later, 7:45, I was still in pain, mainly on my right side, but was able to relax a bit in between contractions and the nausea subsided, which was completely worth getting the small dose in my opinion.  At this point I was feeling a lot of pressure.  A different doctor came in to check on me, and the next thing I knew they were getting everything ready for delivery, and told me Dr. Deniz would be here in a few minutes.  Dr. Deniz came in and told me that she was going to check me, then looked at me and asked me if I need to push.  I did so quickly she got ready.

I pushed for about 15-20 minutes and then Micah made his debut at 8:24 p.m. I'll never forget his little squeaks and his tiny cry.

They cleaned him off and quickly handed him to me, and let me hold him for quite some time before they took him up the the nursery to get him weighed, cleaned up and dressed. I was very thankful that they let me hold him longer than we were able to with Calvin.

Marvin followed them up to the nursery and watched as they weighed him, measured him and got him dressed.  He weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long. 

We had such a great group of ladies present at Micah's birth, our nurses were so sweet and patient with our limited language and really professional. 

Of course I cannot say enough wonderful things about our doctor.  She's always calm and the kind of doctor you dream to work with.  We are so blessed to have had such a sweet delivery and that Micah was born healthy and without any complications.  Oh and the anesthesiologist came in after he was born to check on me, very surprised to see we had already delivered.  She was a hoot, and it was nice to finally be able to communicate with her.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Table of 4

We are now offically a family of 4, Micah Hudson was born October 13th at 8:24 pm.  So far things seem pretty normal, although we are still adjustmenting, but we're only on day 3.  His arrival means that all three of our boys have birthdays withing a week of each other.  October is going to be a fun month of celebrating for our family in years to come.

There is something mezmerising about staring at a newborn.  I feel like I need to record all Micah's little squeaks, yawns, wrinkly forehead expressions because they'll be gone before we know it.  I absolutely love the newborn stage, even if it does mean a little less sleep, which btw I'm feeling more refreshed in the morning than when he was in my belly.

It's funny how your second baby is a little more relaxed.  We had to laugh about how we would set our alarm with Calvin and wake up every 3 hours to feed him.  Our first night home, Marvin looked at me and asked if we wanted to set the alarm, and we both decided to let him wake us up.  Turns out babies let you know what they want and when, plus we got a little more sleep.  I've also had to say things like this, "no swinging the bat around your baby brother." (We've also implemented some new bat rules.)  "That's really sweet of you to share your grapes with Micah but for now Micah only drinks milk."

Right now our little Micah is tucked into the fetal position, nestled on my chest, sleeping in his prefered position.  He's just a head tilt away from a kiss, there's something so sweet and precious about holding a sleeping baby. 

So far here are our first impressions of you Micah:

  • You love to be held.  I'm sure we'll get to the point where you'll sleep great in your bassinet, but until then we'll enjoy having you in our arms.
  • You have serious little faces.
  • You have been very alert and we've been surprised at how long you'll just stare at the world around you.  This morning I thought you were like a little Professor observing and soaking up this new place.
  • You must have really enjoyed your hands in my belly.  Because they certainly bring you much comfort.  Now if only you can remember where you put them.
  • You're not a fan of being swaddled, you prefer those hands to be accessable.
  • You're getting louder everyday, and we're slowly figuring out what each cry means.
  • You're big brother loves to help you, and  you don't seem to mind his help. You also don't mind how loud he is, and can sleep through some serious play time.

It's been a fun 3 days and we're so thankful you're in our lives.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Cars Birthday Party

After much anticipation Calvin's big day arrived.....his 3rd birthday, or as he would tell you his "Cars birthday."

It was just one of those sweet days. You know the ones filled with........

............a little snuggle time in the morning
............cookies for breakfast stickers
............a new "piderman cooter"
............lots of friends to celebrate alongside
............way too much sugar
............too many smiles to count
............visitors who get you out of naptime, that obviously was not going to happen.
………..lots of people wishing you Happy Birthday.

We all had a great day and it will be a day we won't forget for a while, especially the Birthday boy.

and guess who didn't get a picture of the cake that captured Calvin's and all this kids attention?  That would be us, thankfully someone else did, I'll post it once I get it from them.

A new decade

Friday we celebrated Marvin's 30th Birthday, in a very low key way of course.  Our apartment was being cleaned, which meant we had to be out for the morning.  It was a rainy cold day so we started our morning with Krispy Kreme donuts, which we all enjoyed. Then we headed to the mall to pick up a few random things.  Marvin took Calvin bowling for the first time, it was a success and both of them had a good time, then we grabbed a bite to eat at the food court.  We even ran into an sweet friend who we hadn't seen in almost 3 years, so she joined us for lunch too.

We had a doctor's appointment and were able to get another 3D sneak peek at our little man. (We are  fortunate that they are a part of routine care here.  We get one every doctor's appointment.) 

We were able to chat with some great teammates who watched Calvin while we were at the doctor.  Then when we got home we got a call from some friends inviting us over for dinner and games.  It was a fun family day and so thankful we were able to do some fun things to celebrate the start of a new decade.

I am so thankful to celebrate another year of Marvin's life.  Here's 30 reasons why he's worth celebrating!

1.  He makes me laugh.
2.  He's so thoughtful.
3.  He's my helpmate.
4.  He's patient when I'm stubborn.
5.  He always tells me thank you after every meal I make.
6.  He loves to dream with me.
7.  He listens to my crazy random thoughts as we drift off to sleep.
8.  He wakes up in the middle of the night to listen to football games and basketball games.
9.  He always picks up a few unexpected sweets at the store.
10.  He's always up to learn something new.
11.  He protects his time with Father.
12.  He's often my voice of reason.
13.  Even though he hates grocery shopping he's been going with me this entire pregnancy.
14.  He volunteers to run to the corner store if I've forgotten something.
15.  He pays our bills which include: various offices, standing in lines, lots of paperwork, & often requiring another trip.
16.  He plays with Calvin when he comes home from work.
17.  He's my compass and loves to figure out how to get from place to place.
18.  He hangs pictures up on concrete walls for me to make the place look like home.
19.  He can always tell me random plant names.
20.  He can makes some pretty mean cars sounds.
21.  He loves being creative.
22.  He is such a servant.
23.  He is competitive
24.  He tells me I'm beautiful, even when I don't at all feel like it.
25.  He prays earnestly for our family.
26.  He drops me off at our apartment door, even if it means backing up and around a million cars.
27.  He wrestles Calvin, aka letting Calvin jump on top of him.
28.  He still give me warm fuzzies when he grabs my hand.
29.  He protects our family time.
30.  He's an amazing leader of our family.

We're so grateful to have him in our lives.  Happy 30th, thanks for letting us celebrate your life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2 + 1 = 3

Calvin.  As I look back over this last year it's been such a gift to watch you grow and become a little boy.  You've learned so much this past year and you always amaze us at how observant you are.  You truly soak up the world around you, and you astound us by how determined you are to figure things out on your own.  I cannot believe you've gone from this

To this, in just one year!

One day you started talking and haven't stopped since.  We love hearing what is going on inside that brain of yours.  Even though your endless questions are exhausting some days we're thankful for your inquisitive spirit.

We just love your sweet personality.  You are completely lovable and love your tender heart.  Your kisses and hugs have gotten sweeter throughout this past year.  We love all our little games and laughing about silly things with you.
I love how the world around you captivates you.  You can spend hours hunting for snails, watching ants, picking berries, or finding the perfect stick.  Thank you for reminding us to take time to notice these things God has created.
You are a gift to our family and we are so blessed to care for you.  We pray that this next year you will understand more about your creator, and savior  We also pray that you will embrace the role of a big brother and that Father grows your love for your baby brother.  We cannot wait to watch you grow, learn and discover new things this next year.
We love you so much.
Mom & Dad

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

13 through 30

#13 Continued and strengthened contractions, we WILL meet this baby eventually.
#14 Hearing car sounds coming from a certain little guy's bedroom during naptime
#15 Finding little reminders of play around the house (pictured above)
#16 A freshly shaven husband
#17 Patter of little feet after waking up in the morning
#17 Verses that encourage to you
#18 Being close to my grandparents
#19 Fresh Broccoli
#20 tired giggles
#21 Fall breeze
#22 Birthday excitement
#23 Having water past 10:00 p.m.
#24 Public transportation's magical gift of lulling Calvin to sleep
#25 Having a little boy fall asleep in my arms
#25 Playtime with friends, their conversations are so stinking adorable
#26 Hours of entertainment a balloon provides
#27 Races to bed
#28 Sleeping in until 8:45!!!!
#29 Watching the faces Calvin makes during our Living Bread time at dinner
#30 Finding good deals on needed items

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Who she was from a granddaughter’s eyes

She was my Grandma and Monday she took her last breath on this earth.
Her voice will be forever etched in my mind, along with various other sounds that will remind me of her:
  • The creek of the kitchen floor in their home
  • Her metal rolling pin clinking on the counter as she made tortillas,
  • Kitchen chairs being pulled back from the table, a making room for another family member who popped by to say hello.
  • Her soap operas in Spanish
  • The clink of poker chips when my aunts and uncles got together to play cards and the laughter and playful arguing that was intermixed
She was an amazing caregiver, even from an early age, when she should have been enjoying her childhood; instead she stepped into the role of caring for her family after her mother's death. I remember many stories of how she watched her aunts, and figured out how to make certain meals, and oh did she ever learn out how to cook. Her tamales and tortillas are infamous. Even though her life circumstances prevented her from obtaining higher education, she was an avid learner and expected her children to embrace the education they were allowed to have.

One day she told me about how she saw my grandpa in her neighborhood and knew she was going to marry him. In fact she remembers thinking, "I'll catch him." She was feisty woman and indeed she did catch grandpa and together they raised 8 children and she has supported and loved each of them over the years. She would do anything for her family, and I know a little piece of her heart left along with her two children who preceded her from this earth.

Over the years I've admired much about this woman. Her home was always open in fact I rarely remember ringing her doorbell, the cookies in the cookie jar were always fresh, there were too many visitors for them to ever go stale. Her hospitality skills astound me, she always had something on the stove ready to be served to her guests, and there was rarely a time I've ever escaped a visit without consuming something. Her home was never too full when the family got together, it just felt right, it was certainly loud but everyone was welcome. She was also a sweet giver, and was always thinking of others as she watched her beloved QVC. A year never passed without a birthday card from her, and she had so many grandchildren.

But the biggest thing that I have gleaned from her is how to love and support your family well, to embrace their uniqueness and love them despite their sins and to always open your arms wide to them. Family is a gift and it was so apparent that it was a priority of hers.

Thank you Grandma for those lessons! She will be missed, but I'm so honored to be a part of her lineage.