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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

If you need something to make your mouth drop open, read on...

Six years ago, on the day after Thanksgiving, my sister called me with exciting news. They had been hoping for a baby for almost a year, and they called to announce that they were indeed expecting a baby. Stephen and I had been married just six months at the time and were completely oblivious to the news we would receive just two weeks later. We were also expecting a baby.
After we let the news soak in for a day or two, I called up my sister. I remember the first thing she asked was, "When did you ovulate?" She is the oldest and was hoping to have the first grandbaby. She did. Gabriel was born on August 3, 2004 followed just three weeks after by little Miss D'arcy on August 25th.

It really was not our intention of stealing Connie's thunder. She took the news graciously, though, and I think we both enjoyed being pregnant at the same time. We had a joint shower where I bested her at drinking two ounces from a bottle. We bought maternity clothes together, painted furniture for the new babies, and even picked out the same car seat and stroller combo.
Soon after D'arcy was born, we moved to Texas and proceeded to grow our little family. Julian was born in October 2006 and Schroeder in March 2009. Meanwhile, despite his Mom and Dad's attempts, Gabe remained an only child. Connie began the difficult and long journey that is infertility.
Obviously, watching someone experience this isn't the same as experiencing it, but along the way, I've learned a couple of things. Not long ago, it occurred to me that through this whole process I have never felt guilt for the ease at which we've been able to conceive. Certainly Connie has never made us feel that way. She has always been happy to have a new niece or nephew, and she even came to see us immediately following Schroeder's birth which I'm sure was emotional. Instead, I've felt a grave responsibility to never take for granted my blessings.
I've also learned to pray diligently for something, and to retain hope and faith despite the immediate reality. Connie began seeing a doctor sometime between Gabe's second and third birthdays. Three doctors, tons and tons of tests, several surgeries, and lots of medication later, Connie eventually began the process of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). I, along with my family, has been praying and hoping this whole time that God would bless them with another baby.
Sometime along the way, I had a dream. Connie and I were once again pregnant at the same time, and in one pregnancy, Connie caught up to me. After our children were born we had the same number of kids. Now, I believe that dreams can be given by God. It happened throughout the Bible. I wasn't sure if this dream should be taken literally or if it was simply given to encourage and spark hope. I shared this dream with several people, but not with Connie because I didn't want to add to her emotional roller coaster. Stephen and I were planning to have a third baby in 2009, and I was sure she would discover that she was pregnant with twins. That didn't happen, though.
Due to doctor changes, Connie was finally able to begin the IVF process in October. She thought it was funny that, once again, she would find out if she was expecting at Thanksgiving. I knew she was taking a home test on Thanksgiving morning. I woke up at 7am my time (8am her's). I thought for sure she would have already woken up and taken the test so the fact that she hadn't called me yet was not a good sign. I waited till 7:30 before I called my mom who said she hadn't heard from her. I texted Connie, but didn't get a response. So finally I decided to make the call. Her husband answered, and I thought, Ok, it was negative and she can't talk. I said, "I guess things aren't great over there."
Jason replies, "I'll let you talk to your sister." He hands the phone to Connie who casually says something that I didn't understand.
Connie says, "Did you hear me?"
I say, "No."
Connie says, "It was positive."
I say, "What the heck...I've been in tears for the last half an hour...why didn't you call!?!"
Anyway, she was pregnant which was great, yet, hard to soak in, news. She felt more confident that this was actually happening once she had a couple of blood tests that showed her hormone levels getting higher, and she felt even more confident once she had her first ultrasound which she had last Monday.
Her doctor had implanted two fertilized embryos. He told her that she had roughly 70% chance of becoming pregnant with one. If she was pregnant with one, she had another 30% chance of being pregnant with two. That was all the odds that Connie had communicated to me. However, I guess the doctor had told her that there was less than a 1% chance that she would become pregnant with triplets. When the doctor said triplets at the ultrasound, my sister waited for him to chuckle and say he was kidding. Infertility doctors don't kid about this stuff, though.
Connie is indeed expecting two identical "co-triplets" and one fraternal "co-triplet". So in one swoop, she was going to have more kids than I did. This isn't a competition, I didn't care, but it was just sort of amazing to think about.
A couple people had said, "Ha ha, now you'll need to catch up.", or, "Melissa, you are not allowed to have a baby next year." Because on top of the triplets, my brother and his wife are waiting to receive their adoption referral and will hopefully have a baby by next August so that's already four new babies by next Christmas.
"Don't worry," I said, "there are no plans whatsoever to have another one." And there weren't. At all. Whatsoever. NO PLANS. But for three or four days in a row I had woken up feeling like I needed to eat ASAP. But I am still nursing Schroeder so I just thought... I bought a test just to put my mind at ease. And low and behold, we are indeed unexpectedly expecting.
Yep! Yes, this is our FOURTh! and yes, we will have our hands FULL! We've always been planning for five kids, but we have successfully put 2 to 2 1/2 years in between the others. I was thinking we might even put three years in between Schroeder and the next one, but that is not to be. They will be something like 16 months apart. Do you think it's possible to potty train Schroeder before the baby comes? :P
So my parents will hopefully have 5 new grandkids come next Christmas! We are all a little overwhelmed and amazed and, of course, overjoyed! Overjoyed is a great place to be at Christmas. Our hope is that you will also have lots of joy this week. Merry Christmas!

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

two ways of enjoying sprinkles
and a piano and a live Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the first day of christmas my true love gave to me...

A piano and a Live Christmas tree!

My goal is to post 12 pictures (aka "The twelve days of Christmas" which Stephen says derives from the time between Christmas and Epiphany which is the that the wise men are said to have shown up) over the next couple of weeks. Before we actually leave for our journey to Indiana, I wanted to share a picture of my kids in front of our cute little LIVE Christmas tree. Schroeder is playing his new piano which was D'arcy's gift to him. She had him in our family drawing.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Preparing our hearts, minds, and tummies to celebrate Christ's birth.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November Happenings

I'm trying to remember what has prevented me from blogging this month. I've had loads of photography sessions which have probably contributed. I have, however, been storing up little memories this month that are definitely worth sharing.

We hear very regularly how happy Schroeder is. He seems to have a dimpled smile for everyone he meets. He goes easily to anyone, but he knows who we are. Not every stage of childhood is this easy to take joy in, so we are savoring this sweet stage.

He did, finally, get his first tooth (mid-November). I thought it was coming through back in September, but these things take time. I'm the type of mom who has nothing on hand but a little Tylenol to help him through it. Nope, no baby orajel or teething tablets. One might think that's because he's a third child, but I didn't give it to D'arcy either.

He's eating fruits (beginning of November). I'm trying to be more consistent with how often I sit down to feed him veggies and fruit from a jar. It's happening about three times a week at this point. This is probably a third baby thing. I'm already sitting down to nurse him four times a day. He eats it all like a pro, though, and doesn't seem to be picky. Remember, though, that the term "picky" eater doesn't fly in this house. A month, ago, he took to blowing raspberries with his food instead of swallowing. I'm not sure if he wasn't pleased with the taste or if he just thought it was fun. I never looked down at the label, though, to make a connection of what food "he didn't eat" aka "he didn't like". At this point, I'm not giving him the choice of what he eats so why even bother looking.

We are trying to teach him the word "NO" and the sign language motion for "more". No is used when he raspberries his food, and goes for the little speakers under the TV table. "More" would be good to know when he wants more of anything including tortilla which is my replacement for cheerios. Why buy a box of cheerios when I can tear up a tortilla that I already buy for the kids?

Why do we think he could be capable of making the "more" sign? Because our little stroke victim has worked his way up to waving and clapping his hands! This is so stinking adorable.

Last, but not least, Schroeder is pulling himself to standing. I think I mentioned this in a previous blog. He can do it in his crib which is sometimes where I put him when the kids are playing in their room. I can't trust that he won't get trampled if left on the floor, but from his crib he can stand and watch Crazy #1 & #2 play. They like to entertain him by dancing and singing.

I've mentioned previously that parenting Julian is our hardest job at this point. He still makes me smile daily, though. He is very excited for Christmas, and is taking his Fisher Price manger everywhere. He watched Charlie Brown Christmas tonight, and has already remembered his favorite line from last year which he'll say over and over and crack himself up. He loves to sing Christmas songs and Praise songs. When the song "Sing, Sing, Sing" comes on on KLove, he will belt it out. Our kids always have a song to sing which is something I love.

He sleeps with Buzz and Woody right now. Although, the minute he got Buzz, Woody definitely got a slight demotion. I think we've heard, "There is a snake in my boat!" and "To Infinity and Beyond" about a hundred times in the last couple of months. Yes, you read that right "...snake in my BOAT!" He insists that it's boat and not boot.

At the dinner table he always instigates prayer, and loves to do "Cheers". He'll say, "Let's Cheers mom and dad!" Then, he'll grab his glass and want to clink it with everyone else. D'arcy also likes that game very much.

He's all about using the phrase "of course" right now. "Of coarse I will, mom," he'll tell me.

Julian is improving a great deal with the use of a writing utensil. His left hand is getting stronger, and he'll stay around long enough to even color a whole person.

D'arcy spends most of her time dressing up and then crafting. She still loves to draw and sew and weave and paint. Doing such things is the bane of Julian's existence but is the great joy of D'arcy's.

As we approach the end of our stay in Texas, she is preparing to leave her friends. She definitely expresses sadness in having to leave. I know it will be hard for me to deal with their emotions on top of my own. She's asked Stephen if he'll be able to find a new job. We smiled and wondered, has she been talking to our parents?

D'arcy also danced at her first recital on Saturday. She'll have another one in December. This one was on very short notice, but she very much enjoyed herself. Here are a few pics from that.

DeLozier Family

I've had the opportunity to photograph little miss Elise three times. Last year, she was just laying around taking everything in, and now she is a moving, curious, one year old. She's not quite walking, but that doesn't stop her from getting where she wants to go. She loves her dog, and of course, her mommy and daddy. We took a picture of her in front of her parents. She turned around, spotted mommy and daddy, and took off to cuddle up in their laps.
She loves her grandma, too. When I would try to coo at her, she would just look at me with disinterest, but when grandma starts cooing, her smile pops out. Here are a few of those smiles.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Joseph & Mychal are married!

It was a perfect November evening for a wedding. I drove up to Canyon Lake to a quaint little cabin resort. Mychal and Joseph did things a little differently. No official attendants, although they did have friends sit with them at dinner. The whole event was made by family, the cake, the food, the dress. All of which were fantastic.
Mychal got ready with just the help of her mother. It was a nice, sweet couple of moments to breath before she walked down the aisle. She kept apologizing for the craziness, but all I saw was a really organized bride who was determined to enjoy the moment.
Mychal and Joseph, I hope that you guys push each other to reach your full potential, and, yet, love each other in the midst of your shortcomings. I also hope that you enjoy the pictures I took of your wedding day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Darcie Bridal Portraits

Darcie called me up about a month ago to schedule bridal portraits. One of my clients, Mychal, (who got married this weekend) is scheduled to photograph Darcie's wedding. Since Mychal is away on her honeymoon, she gave Darcie my name to have her bridal portraits done.
I was excited for this photo session because I've never met anyone else named Darcie besides my daughter (D'arcy). Turned out, that this Darcie is also blond and blue eyed and looks beautiful in a wedding dress. This is clear from the photos. Take a look!