What’s Next?

But first an update on Baby I!  Thank you so much for all the prayers, good thoughts, and positive vibes sent out.  She is doing a little better each day and even walked out of her room holding Mama’s hand to go in her stroller for a walk around the peds unit.  Specific prayer requests from her parents:

Yesterday’s Prayer requests include I’s kidneys starting to function and she would pee, continued normal neurological exam, and an increase in her platelets and hemoglobin levels.

Also, please pray for L who, in spite of normal behavior, we are learning still has some diarrhea. It’s been over a week now for him. With his behavior being normal and me being gone I just hadn’t paid close enough attention. Pray for his protection that he too would not need medical attention, but that his body beats this on his own once and for all.

Today’s prayer request:  Please continue to pray. While she looks so good, we haven’t turned the corner yet. Her kidneys aren’t functioning as they should and we still have an ominous blood clot in her brain lurking in the shadows. Please continue to pray for her kidneys to heal and for the doctors to have wisdom in how to treat her blood clot.


Now back to what this post is actually about.  A is going to be 1 yr old in 10 short days.  I’m not even sure how that happened but we have discussed and made a decision about what is going to come next.

We talked a lot on our road trip out to Utah in June and decided that we were going to go back to the clinic and try 2 more IUI’s over the summer and if they didn’t work, we would then put our names in at our agency to see if we get picked to start the process again when they do the drawing in December/January.

Well, it ended up that we hadn’t been to the clinic in over a year so we had to redo the paperwork.  I got mine all done, but kept forgetting to sit down with J and get all his family history all over again and before we knew it, the summer was over and we never finished the paperwork much less got the IUI’s done.  In all honestly, I would have been super surprised if they’d worked.  I’m 40 years old and in pretty severe pain the 2nd half of my cycle each month from the endo.  I just figured we’d feel better if we gave it one more last try before completely giving up on science to help us get pregnant.

So, with the school year here and our schedules officially nuts.  J with teaching, coaching, mowing lawns still and hunting season upon us.  Me with A, daycare, Young Living, and Family Promise; we decided to skip the clinic and go straight to sending our application in for the lottery coming up at the end of this year or beginning of next.  Although our favorite worker is no longer at our agency, we did have a great experience with them and it’s $18,000 – $20,000 for an adoption through them vs. 35,000-40,000 without travel through a national agency.  If God wants us to grow our family, it’ll either be through LSS or a miracle natural pregnancy.  If he doesn’t, we’re perfectly satisfied with A; any other children are a bonus.

While I am not at all looking forward to all that damn paperwork again, I really hope we get chosen to start this January because I’d really like a sibling for her sooner rather than later.



Calling all Prayer Warriors!!!!

Ladies…a fellow IF Sister needs our prayers for their 18 mo old girl.  She is one of daycare kiddos.  They were supposed to start back at daycare yesterday and I got a message Monday night that she’d been really sick and they were keeping her home the next day to go back to the dr to run blood tests.  It turns out that she has E. coli and it was causing her kidney function to decline.  Today, matters for much, much worse.  I am going to include the update so you can pray specifically over her and her family.  Thank you!!!

So as bad as the past week has been for I, today has been the worst. She awoke today without much change. We met with pediatric kidney specialist this morning to discuss her condition and its probable course. At that time he said that the average patient with Hemolytic Uremia Syndrome, a complication her E. Coli infection, has a 1 month stay in the hospital. While not easy, we where able to wrap our minds around this. Plus, there was some hope that she could yet be on the shorter end of this.
Then at noon, while walking (Ivy was in a little push car) through the halls of Mayo, I began having a seizure. We rushed her back to her room as quick as we could. It took about 35 horrible minutes to get the seizure to stop where we really didn’t know if our little girl was going to make it through.  

Eventually, they where able to get her stabilized. They Sedated her and intubated her, as she was unable to breathe on her own. From there they transferred her to the ICU. They poked her and prodded her trying to reestablish and IV.  

As awful as all of this was, it was still not unusual for this condition. Due to the seizure, however, they wanted to do a CT scan to rule out a stroke. We thought this would for sure come back negative, but as it turns out she actually has a clot in one of the major veins in her brain. They believe this may have led to or at least contributed to the seizure. Either way, a clot is not typically of side effect of HUS. So now, due to the CT findings, they will be taking her in for an MRI shortly. We will await the results of this tonight, but they will likely need to start her on a blood thinner for the clot. Furthermore, she’ll need to undergo a surgical procedure tomorrow to install a port in her neck that allows them to do dialysis. Dialysis will help do the job of her kidneys, which are not functioning right now.  

So that’s been the day. There’s a lot I left out too, like the inability to get IV in, my conversations over the medical costs, etc…

Please pray for little I. At this point there is no reason to believe she can’t recover fully, but it will be a very long road. Please pray also for our kids at home whom we miss. Their lives too will be flipped upside down from this for a long time. And, while we want all of your prayers, texts and emails can be overwhelming. We know you love us (most of us anyway), but please let us reach out to you for your help if we need it, and we probably will.  
To God be the glory!

11 month update

Spoiler alert…my child no longer sleeps!  More about that later though.  I cannot believe that in 21 days, we’ll be celebrating Annabelle’s 1st Birthday.  Where did the time go?  More about this on her birthday update later this month.  Sept. 1st today.  J and I are back to work full time in a few days and I have to say, I’m not ready for it.  I think A will be super happy to have friends here every day, but she’s on her own little schedule which looks nothing like the daycare schedule and I have a feeling that nap time break I used to get, is going to be non existent for awhile which is probably going to make for a crabby Mommy.  Now for the update!
Weight:  I have no idea.  I’d say probably in the 18lb range.
Height:  Again, she hasn’t been measured since her appt in July but let me tell you, for as tiny as she is, I think she’s going to be tall.  I feel like there’s not a ton of leg room in even her 12 month sleepers.  They are Carter’s though so maybe they run small because they fit about the same as her 9 mo sleepers from Toys R Us.

Medical Issues:  None

Sleep:  OMG…where did my good sleeper go….guys…this sucks!  She apparently hasn’t gotten the memo that if you’re going to be a good sleeper for the first 11 months, you don’t get to go back on that!  Naps…no schedule whatsoever.  Sometimes it’s a 2 hour nap, yesterday it was maybe 20 minutes.  And if she’s ready to go down at 10am then she doesn’t want to sleep again until like 4pm which totally sucks, but yet she’s not to the point where I can keep her up til that 12:30/1pm nap time.  She also wakes up every single night now.  Usually between 1:30 and 3am.  Sometimes, she just needs a cuddle and a some swaying while being held and she’ll go right back down; other times, like last night, she just screamed and screamed and screamed until J just brought her to bed with us (I was trying to do CIO because I really don’t want her to get into the habit of sleeping in our bed).  CIO in the middle of the night does not seem to work though..she just gets more and more worked up and it’s totally heartbreaking.  So yeah, this Mama is more tired than usual and J never hears her unless I’m trying to get her to sooth herself back to sleep so it’s me doing all the work.  Fine for summer because he’s out mowing lawns and earning money while I’m home with her, but not great for school year when I’m going to have quite a few new munchkins to get used to.

 Clothing Size:  anywhere between 6-12 months.  Onesies are still anywhere in between 6-12 mo.  Pants are usually 9 mo.  Shorts…she crawled right out of 12 mo. the other day so 6-9 work best there.  Pj’s 9-12 mo and it looks like I may have to bring out the 18 mo. soon.

Diaper size:  still size 3’s

Diet:  Still on Up and Up brand formula and usually sticks with 4 oz. at a time still.  Sometimes she wants more and we make another one.  Food, she’s totally done with me trying to feed her.  She eats pretty much anything we do although not a lover of green beans.  She does love canned carrots though (yuck) and avocados.  She likes spice, sour and sweet and I think is going to have quite the diverse pallet.  No allergies so far which is great!

Baby gear love:  She likes to go for walks in the stroller and is loving her toy that she can walk behind.  She also still likes her activity table.  Having her on the front of me in the carrier can be hard on my back for long periods and I haven’t figured out how to put her on my back by myself.  She only goes in her jumparoo if I desperately need a shower and J’s not here to watch her.

Milestones/Firsts:  Goodness, for a couple weeks there, it felt like she was learning something new every day.  She went from only rolling to army crawling to crawling in a matter of days.  Once she had crawling down, she was pulling herself up to her knees and then boom, onto her feet she went.  Now she’s walking along furniture and behind her walker toy.  She stands by herself forever and we’re just waiting for those first steps to come.  I think it could be before her 1st birthday, but we’ll see.  She’s a master at the sippy cup now too.

Likes:  Mommy and Daddy, Grandma and cousins, Baths…loves, loves, loves bath time, being told she’s beautiful,  sitting up, standing up, her paci, rocking and singing (I made up a special lullaby for her that I sing every time she goes to sleep), the letter of the day song from Sesame Street and Micky Mouse Club…especially Toodles!  Getting into everything, putting everything in her mouth, making messes, eating, the puppies.

Dislikes:  Still hates getting changed and getting her dressed is even worse.  Not looking forward to having to more clothes on her with fall and winter ahead.  Sleeping!!!  Other than that, I can’t think of much that she doesn’t like.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:  Her stubbornness!  This girl can throw a fit these days!  How happy she is most of the time.  How she laughs with us when she’s doing something that cracks us up which is daily.   How she’ll still snuggle in and lay her head on my shoulder when she’s tired but not overtired.  How much she loves her Daddy and puppies.  How her nose crinkles up when she’s really happy.  How she smiles with her whole face.  Her giggles, especially when she’s playing tug of war with Bandit using one of her toys or when he pulls on her pajama foot.  Her first time in the sandbox and tasting the sand (she didn’t like that, lol).

What’s next?:  Walking and her first birthday.  Transitioning off of formula…won’t miss that expense.

How’s Mommy doing?  This could be a whole post on it’s own.  I’ve had some really rough moments since the last time I updated.  I think for the 1st time ever, I was actually feeling depression.  I’ll write another post on all of this later.  Summers are apparently the time for a lot of things to happen in this family and it often leaves me reeling.

How’s Daddy doing?  Better than at the 8 month update.  Not perfect, but way better and picks himself back up and starts over when he has a slip.  Super busy with lawn mowing, flipping lawn mowers and the numerous projects we have to do around here.  He’s getting ready to start the school year and coaching again.  There’s a huge construction project happening at his Middle school this year so he doesn’t even have a classroom to teach health this year.  He’ll just have everything on a cart and go to whatever room they make available for him.  It’ll be a beautiful almost new school though when it’s all done.  Whether we’ll still be here though, I don’t know.  Our district is one of the lowest paying around which is crazy because it’s a pretty rich little town.

Pictures from the last month:



Look Ma, no hands!


with her Papa John on the anniversary of his passing


First Packer game of the year!


This is the night I stopped trying to feed her cereal, lol.


All about eating the sticker this month.



Grandma came and built me a sandbox!


Watching Daddy mow!


Our flexible baby!


First time climbing onto the dishwasher.


Her bandit pup!


I can’t believe I missed her 9 month update!

Ladies…this summer has been jam packed!!!  I thought I’d have more time since I’m not working but we’ve done a lot of traveling and had a lot of chaos with fostering (that will be my next post).  So, what has Miss A been up to for the past 2 months…so much!  She turned 10 months on the 21st!  I sadly forgot to take her 9 month sticker pics.  😦
Weight: 16.2lbs at her 9 month appt on July 21st which was 13%.  At her NICU follow up on June 20th, she was 15.12 which put her in 12% for chronological age and 29% for adjusted age.  
Height:  At 9 month appt she was 26.75 I believe.  At NICU, she was 26.38 which put her in the 10th and 36th percentile respectively.

Medical Issues:  she’s getting her top 2 teeth to n so she’s been having blow outs since Sunday (so much fun) and a runny nose started yesterday.  Other than that, she doesn’t seem to be in pain.  Otherwise, Dr. G was super happy with how she’s growing and how healthy she’s been.

Sleep:  She has been in her crib in her own room since school got out.  Our schedule is all over the place this summer but she still typically takes 2 naps a day ranging from 1-2 hrs and 10-11 hours at night.

 Clothing Size:  anywhere between 6-12 months.  She needs bigger Jammie’s because of long legs but everything else is is in the 6-9mo range.

Diaper size:  still size 3’s

Diet:  She’s up to 5 oz for the first bottle of the day and 4 oz for the rest of them.  She will eat pretty much anything including shrimp and salmon.  She really got a chance to try new things when we were out in CT over 4th of July.  She’s not crazy about a lot of baby food anymore and trying to feed it to her if she’s not in the mood for it equals a big mess, lol.  She still is a huge fan of pickle spears!

Baby gear love:  A is loving her activity table.  She stands up next to and will even let go for a second or two once in awhile.  She seems to like stroller rides and still does her jumparoo a couple times a day.  Being in the lillebaby depends on her mood.

Milestones/Firsts:  SO many these last couple of months!  Her first week away from both of us!  She had so many cousins and Grandma to love on her though so I don’t think she missed usas much as we missed her.  She got her first tooth, bottom left the last week of June and the bottom right quickly followed the next week while in CT.  She took her first long road trip with us to CT and aced it!!!  We started in the evening and drove through the night and there and back she slept almost the whole time and when she was awake, she was happy.  She met all of my CT friends and family and got majorly loved on!   She had her first sailboat ride, colony pizza and Sakura.   She went on her first camping trip last weekend and all of us went to our first lumberjack competition in Hayward, WI.  So fun!  She has started pulling herself up to her knees, okay, she did it once but she is on the move these days.  I think she’s going to skip crawling and go straight for walking.  We also had to finally lower her crib after she woke up one night at 2:30am and spent 30 min getting up on her hands and knees.  She practices drinking from a soppy cup and holds her own bottle now.  We have glass bottles so that took a little longer for her to do.  Moving up to her big car seat in one of our cars.  There is probably more that I’ll think of when this is published!

Likes:  Mommy and Daddy, Grandma and cousins, Baths, being told she’s beautiful,  sitting up, standing up, her paci, roocking and singing, the letter of the day song from Sesame Street and Micky Mouse Club…especially Toodles!  

Dislikes:  She is generally over the separation anxiety, especially when I take her to my Mom’s.  She’ll still act shy and take a little warning up to go to others but doesn’t generally cry unless she’s tired.  Getting changed and dresses.  It now feels like an Olympic support that leaves me sweaty and exhausted.  Super fun when she’s having multiple blow outs!!!  Her car seat sometimes.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:  Her stubbornness!  This girl can throw a fit these days!  How happy she is most of the time.  How she laughs with us when she’s doing something that cracks us up which is daily.   How she’ll still snuggle in and lay her head on my shoulder when she’s tired but not overtired.  How much she lives her Dadfy and puppies.

What’s next?:  I’m thinking more pulling herself up and starting to walk Ali g furniture and stand without holding onto anything.  One more month before work starts again and we’re back into more of a routine. 

How’s Mommy doing?  Ummm, better than at her 8 month update but because of stuff that’s gone on with fostering, still a lot of emotional upheaval happening.  I still love almost every moment of being A’s Mommy. We’ve made our plan for the future which I’ll tell you about on my next post.  I wish I didn’t have the financial pressures of trying to get more kids in here for the fall but unfortunately, I do.

How’s Daddy doing?  Better than at the 8 month update.  Not perfect, but way better and picks himself back up and starts over when he has a slip.  Super busy with lawn mowing, flipping lawn mowers and the numerous projects we have to do around here. 

Pics from the last 2 months: 

Dang it’s been a long time

Ladies…I. Any believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted a none password protected post!  For this of you that read those…it’ll be 30 days tomorrow!

So, what have we been up to?  Finishing up the school year and then 2 days later, J and I hopped in the car and headed to Utah for Young Living’s Grand Convention in Salt Lke City.  On the way, we stopped in South Dakota to check out Mt. Rushmore.  It was beautiful!  J’s birthday was this past month and he unfortunately, spent most of it in the car and finished it up with me in excruciating abdominal pain and vomiting. 

The pain started about an hour before we arrived at our hotel and I thought it was just gas bubbles because I get those sometimes and need to lay completely flat for awhile to get rid of them.  Unfortunately, it didn’t go away and I began to vomit too.  When it was still no better by 1am, we headed to the nearest ER where they started an IV and did some blood tests.  It was tender when he pushed on either side of my abdomen so when the blood tests came back with nothing to tell us, I went for a CT scan.  Diagnosis was colitis and we left the ER at about 6am with 4 prescriptions.  2 antibiotics, 1 for zofran and 1 for hydrocortisone.  

We went straight back to the hotel to sleep for a few hours because I was due to volunteer at 11:30am for our Royal Crown Diamond’s leadership dinner that she puts on every year.  She is also amazing knowledgeable on what oils/supplements to use to support your body to be at optimal wellness so the good news was that not only did I save money by not getting those prescriptions filled, but I also kept a whole lot of crappy toxins out of my body.  Unfortunately, one of the things I need to do is overhaul the diet to see what is causing the flare ups.  I did my best to stay away from dairy this week but dang is that hard…especially for a girl from WI!  We’ll be arriving home in about 4 hours from the drive back so the real overhaul will start then.  

Back to Convention…despite it starting in a horrible way, I had so much fun and learned so much!!!  J has fully caught the vision of helping others learn to live a chemical free life.  The reason we are so passionate about this is because of our infertility and how there’s a direct correlation of so many toxic chemicals causing reproductive issues.  

I am going to try posting a link here for you guys and hopefully it will work.  It will take some of your time to listen to it.  A great time to do it is driving in the car but I’m asking you to please take the time to do it.  You all are some of the best friends I have and I know that I was not aware of a lot of this info so I want to make sure everyone I know is.  

Toxin Free 101
Much love to you all!