Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First day of school

First day of school - Gracie looked stunning (as always) and ready to go as she caught the bus this morning and got loaded on in her wheelchair using the wheelchair lift. What a nice break for me to not be lifting her in and out of the carseat and in and out of various wheelchairs and lifting wheelchairs in and out of the van. She seems to enjoy the bus and the ride is not nearly as long as I feared. She's come a long way from barely waking up for preschool at 9:10 to being ready for the bus at 7:30, even eating some breakfast! She's NOT a morning person - her body takes a while to get moving. But sleeping through most nights makes mornings possible now!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gracie on Noah

I asked Gracie today, "Gracie, do you remember when Ana was born?" she signed yes. "Do you love Ana?" she signed yes. "Do you like having a baby brother?" She stopped, stared at Noah who was right in front of her and didn't answer. "Are you still making up your mind about him?" She signed yes.

The kid knows what's going on and is VERY honest! ;)

Noah McMillan Rattin

Noah arrived! Instead of waiting another day for a possible induction, Noah decided to finally arrive on his own. Friday morning, I woke up with contractions and as the intensity picked up at a rapid rate, we knew we couldn't wait another hour for Josh's parents to arrive from southern Massachusetts, so we called his sister to come over to watch the kids.... By the time we got to the hospital, the contractions were every 2-3 minutes and within an hour the contractions were every 1 minute apart - talk about intense!!

Long story short, Noah appeared with relative ease after an intense labor at 12:49pm, weighing 7lb9oz! Sisters are adjusting relative ease and we're happy to be home together as a family this week.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Passing the time waiting for baby

We were supposed to go in today for induction of labor... the hospital was too busy! So once again, we are waiting... hopefully tomorrow will be baby brother's birthday!

So, this week has especially been a waiting game as we can't stray too far from home/hospital since I'm already dilated (but not in labor!) and I feel lousy with latent labor... But we've found a few things to do to keep us all active and enjoy family time!

Ana and Daddy finally did some gardening - it's been on our to-do list ALL summer! Ana was thrilled, of course, to be ASKED to play in the dirt and help Daddy!

Ana chose pink hats for today's outing to a local park - everything is pink in Ana's ideal little world and her choice of hat for Gracie was adorable (especially since Gracie's hair is overdue for attention as we wait for baby to appear and mommy to have energy again!).

Come on, Baby Brother!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our stress-o-meter

Gracie is our Stress-o-Meter (patent pending). It took us a while to notice the trend, but she used to have a seizure on, during, or after every family holiday or major gathering, at the birth of Ana, etc. She also has clusters of seizures with change in seasons or dramatic changes in weather. She's had remarkably few seizures in the last year since getting the vagal nerve stimulator implanted and turned up. We praise God!

However, last night she had a good long seizure that just wouldn't break so she ended up needing diastat - poor baby! Then we analyzed the situation (we can't help ourselves!). She's been acting stressed out, she clearly knows that something major is on the horizon as we await baby brother. (AND, the weather shifted from one of the hottest summers in a long time to one of the coolest summers in a long time.) Our kiddo is MUCH more aware of life stressors than we give her credit for!

We have been getting extra coaching on using Gracie's Vantage communication device. This is so exciting because she is FINALLY starting to be able to point her index finger in order to access the touch-screen icons. She obviously knows WHERE to touch to get the response that she wants (we have to be really silly to motivate her to work this hard! but that comes naturally to us!) and is able to narrow it down to essentially a four-square area. She still needs prompting to keep her other fingers tucked in and not just claw at the screen - but SO much progress!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

New blog to follow

My sister directed me to a blog of an amazing family living out God's word daily to their children. They have adopted 11 children from 4 countries (including the USA) during their 13 years of marriage. Their latest adoption is of a newborn with anencephaly (no brain) who is not expected to live past a year, in fact, she could pass away at any moment. They are pushing to get her adoption finalized even as they have her lovingly at home with them on hospice. They have had arguments with doctors and nurses and social workers about the value of little Selah's life and why they would expend such resources and invest so deeply in her life for only a few months with her. In fact, it appears that little Selah's birthmom became a Christian by observing the love that this family has for their daughter!!

I pray that God will use our family as He wills and will give us a similar flexibility, sense of humor, obedience, and joy in following each step that He will have us take. I pray that He will give our children resilience and a focus on heavenly joys. I pray that He will give us the ability to love deeply with His love!


Post-dates pregnancy

Yes, once again, I have passed up my due date. This time, however, I will NOT be going 2 weeks after my due date. I'm scheduled for induction for Thursday if baby brother doesn't make his appearance before then.

But, having been ready to give birth for the last month and now watching my due date slip through my fingers, I have been doing a lot of late night reading on the internet. Pregnant women post the most interesting things, believe the most unbelievable things, and try the most horrendous things to try to have their babies! There's a blind desperation as that baby grows bigger and bigger, misery deepens, and the next week, day, hour appears endless and relentless.

SO, if you ever want interesting reading, Google-search "how to go into labor" - you'll be amazed!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gracie in swim therapy

Once a week I drive Gracie an hour to swim therapy in a heated pool, heated room. She loves it! I don't enjoy the drive NOR the sitting in the extremely hot room so anytime I can find childcare for Ana, I get in the pool WITH Gracie! I learn a lot more about how to continue her therapy in water on my own (if that's ever a possibility) and it's a relaxing 45 minutes chatting with Gracie's physical therapist! We're trying to get Gracie to do reciprocal kicking with her legs (alternating legs rather than kicking froggy legs simultaneously). Gracie just thinks it's fun and she gets a good stretch in the warm water!

Ana on growing up

Daddy asked Ana, "when you grow up, do you want to get married?" (My sis-in-law is getting married in a few months so this is a popular topic in our house right now!)

Ana answered, "yes, when I grow up I will have a knife."

"Oh, a knife? What will you do with a knife?"

"I will cut up my food and eat it like this!" Ana acts out cutting up her food with a knife and eating the food directly off the knife.

Mommy jumps in, "Wow, Ana - did you see someone eating off a knife?"

"Yeah! Daddy did!" (Daddy looks sheepish as we realize ONCE AGAIN that she's taking in EVERYTHING that we ever do!!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ana on shipwrecks

Josh was trying to explain to the girls about what a shipwreck is while we were studying the Apostle Paul in our family worship time. He asked, "what would you do if you were in a ship and it broke apart in the middle of the sea?"

Ana replies: "I would do like Nemo and swim away."

(This 2.5 year old has a memory and mind like a sponge!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ready to pop!

Well... still no baby brother... still waiting... but also still a week away from our due date. I was just hoping with all the discomfort that I have that he would make an early appearance. A lot to ask since Ana was 14 days late!!! ;-P Although I find it embarrassing to post pregnant pictures, many have asked to see me "ready to pop!"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Funny girl

Ana is a FUNNY kid - all girl, all imagination, VERY verbal. After 30 minutes with her, people always say that we should write down what she says to remember what our little comedian says. We usually forget by the time we can sit down and write things out, but I made an effort to remember today.

We were at "an appointment for baby brother" (my prenatal appointment that Ana always accompanies me to). The midwife was uncharacteristically late and Ana was getting antsy, so we asked her to tell us a story. She thought for a second and said, "ok!" and walked to one side of the tiny exam room.

"Hi! I need to find Dora and Boots and Isa!" (she watches Dora at her auntie's house). She walked across the room, stared at the wall and said, "Oh! there you are! Oh! That's not Dora and Boots! That's Uganda!! Where are Dora and Boots?"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Global Orphan Outreach

Interested in outreaches to children with special needs in low resource regions around the world? Check out this ministry in Liberia!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Getting ready for Baby Brother

Playing with our sweet friends Malachi and Caleb

Ana found the perfect book today in our pile of books: "Little Tiger's big surprise." It's a book about Little Tiger getting a baby sister! We've read it a few times today already!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gracie's camp

Finally, a few photos from Gracie's camp week at Camp Allen from the beginning of July - I wanted to make sure to get permission to post the photos that include counselors. Gracie LOVED the week of day camp!!

Outdoor play

She won "Best Laugh" for the week! :) That's our Gracie-girl!

Almost 38 weeks!

"Is baby brother moving, Mama? Is he awake? Is he smiling? I think he's smiling..."

Hopefully less than 2 weeks to go! Pray for perfect timing as Josh is booked out with preaching on Sundays. Pray for smooth and easy labor (preferably that starts SOON and allows me to labor at home for a while!). Pray for adjustment for the whole family!

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