Friday, October 2, 2009

A Load of "Firsts"

I will say that we have had super fun at Adalynn's expense... I think we were cooped up so long in Little Rock, and the fact that we didn't get a real vacation this past summer, we decided to make up for lost time!

So the adventures began... we decided to treat Adalynn like "Flat Stanley". Quick synopsis: (from Wikipedia)

"The Flat Stanley Project started in 1995 by a teacher in Canada. It was meant to facilitate letter-writing by schoolchildren to each other as they document what Flat Stanley has done with them. The Flat Stanley Project provides an opportunity for students to make connections with students of other member schools who've signed up with the project. Students begin by reading the book and becoming acquainted with the story. Then they make paper 'Flat Stanleys' (or pictures of the Stanley Lambchop character) and keep a journal for a few days, documenting the places and activities in which Flat Stanley is involved. The Flat Stanley and the journal are mailed to other people who are asked to treat the figure as a visiting guest and add to his journal, then return them both after a period of time."

We have had many Flat Stanley moments at the expense of Adalynn... But it has come to be an adventure with our family. I'm not sure if Adalynn will love these moments someday, or just want to strangle her momma!

Here is Adalynn on some of her Firsts (and Flat Stanley moments):

Adalynn's first basketball game, and it's her big brother's!

Adalynn's first Heritage basketball game!

Adalynn's first time bowling!

Adalynn's first Cherry Limeade from Sonic!

Adalynn's first time at a ballpark!

Adalynn at a Natural's game!

Adalynn's first time at Aunt Cindy's pool!

Adalynn's trip to the St. Louis Zoo!

Adalynn's first time ordering from a menu... (at Old Chicago's)

Adalynn's first time texting...

Adalynn's first Packer game!

Adalynn's first Redhawk game!

Adalynn's first Razorback Game Day!

Adalynn's watching her first Hog football game!

Adalynn's first time at Swim Ranch!

Adalynn's first family walk!

Adalynn's first time at Tucker School (where Ty goes)

Adalynn's first Packer Party!

Adalynn's first Chick-fil-a!

Adalynn's first prayer

Adalynn's first visit with her great grandma!

Adalynn's first day of school!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Memorable Day

This past Friday was a special day in several ways... It was my grandmother's 80th birthday and it was Adalynn's first time to meet her great grandma!

I think I would describe it as a "bittersweet" time visiting Grandma. She was in great spirits, absolutely LOVED seeing Adalynn, but she didn't know who we (Addy and I) were. I think she recognized Mom and Dad (her son), but I'm not positive. She certainly seemed glad to see us, though. Lots of smiles and lots of attention toward Adalynn. There was a time when Grandma and Adalynn were deep in conversation. Adalynn was just squealing and Grandma was completely entertained saying, "Is that right?" "Oh yes!" and "Is that so?" Grandma seemed very happy and content.

During the visit, there were moments of laughter when Grandma's sense of humor emerged. And there was great joy watching her play the piano. I completely believe that she has a musical gift, because she was able to play many songs when Dad prompted her (without watching her hands) and yet she wouldn't have remembered them if she ever "learned" them. I don't think she ever had piano lessons. And then she sang to us with her memorably smooth, alto voice... It was very sweet to walk back in time like that and reminisce about how we used to sit around her piano and sing. She would always ask me to come and play with her, and we'd sing... but most of all, we just admired how talented and naturally gifted she was at the piano. Grandma has many gifts like that...

Another sweet time was when Mom and Dad gave her a birthday present of a baby doll. At this stage of Alzheimers, we think that Grandma is reverting back to when she was a child. That or her nurturing instinct is strong and she has a desire to care for this baby. She absolutely loved it! She sat there and admired both Adalynn and her new doll--and she thought her doll was real. It was a very tender time watching her talk to, kiss and hug her new baby. When Adalynn got a little fussy, she told her doll, "Don't listen to her" and she smiled.

I don't think I'll ever forget that day... sweet memories. Adalynn may never really "know" her great grandma, but she did get to meet her, she heard her sing, play the piano and Grandma got to hold her. Very, very sweet...

Adalynn and her great grandma having a talk...

Grandma and her new "baby"

4 generations

Friday, September 25, 2009


Adalynn doesn't have hip dysplasia!!!

Thank you to all the prayer warriors out there... He totally answered this prayer! The doctor that was doing the ultrasound went through the whole procedure like last time. And then he kind of mumbled, "Looks good. What I saw last time isn't there." And then he and the nurse left.

Just like that. A few words, a few seconds...and an answered prayer! Wahoo! Once again, Adalynn keeps defying the odds. I'm guessing that Someone has a hand in that. :)

The procedure wasn't as bad as I was anticipating... you know how you work yourself up into a whirlwind of worry, and then it turns out to be not-so-bad? Adalynn did cry when he was pressing on her (trying to pop her hip out), but she was a trooper through it all and we had a bottle waiting for her when she was all done. (Mom came with me for moral support...thanks Memaw!!)

Whew... another hurdle cleared. Thank you again for all the support and encouragement. I truly believe that this Mirakel little girl is the toughest member in our family already!

Blessings, Karen

Adalynn gazing into her big brother's (BubbaC) eyes. Isn't this adorable?! I have a feeling that this is not the last time Adalynn will look up to her brother!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ughs! and Hips!


That's the word that perfectly describes the feelings I've been experiencing lately...

~ I have major guilt about not being on the blog more... ugh! (it's funny how I had so much time to do this in Little Rock but little-to-none now!)

~ I can't seem to maintain balance in our new life... our old life PLUS a newborn... ugh!

~ I seem to be on a roller coaster of emotions--highs and lows--so much so that I feel as though my stomach is constantly flipping and there is a continuous blur on either side of me... ugh!

~ I've learned that everything is magnified through the lens of sleep deprivation... ugh!

~ Our life seems to be a state of "fast-forward" again. I want to slow down, push 'pause' and enjoy every moment!... ugh!

Adalynn is doing SUPER over all, but we have an ultrasound on Thursday to determine if she has hip dysplasia... This one is a SUPER "UGH!" because I found out that they are trying to pop her hip out of the socket during the ultrasound itself to see if there is a concern for her hip development... OUCH!, UGH! and I HATE SEEING MY LITTLE GIRL HURT!!!

The doctors said that it's fairly normal for breech babies to be checked for hip dysplasia because of their positioning in-vitro. And because Adalynn was without water for 5 weeks, it was even harder for her hip to develop without the fluidity. She already had one ultrasound at 6 weeks, and then they told me we needed to come back when she was 3 months to check it again. If they do find that there is a problem, she would need to see an orthopedic doctor. The doctor said it is better to have her hip corrected at this age than to wait until she's older. So we have peace in that if Adalynn needs a hip brace, she will be just fine... but I guess my mind keeps going to the fact that this is our miracle baby, this little girl had all the odds against her from the very beginning and she has passed every test up to this point with flying colors!

While pondering all of this, my mind went to the story in Genesis (chapter 32) about Jacob--when he wrestled with the angel. They wrestled all night and when the angel saw that when "he could not overcome Jacob, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched". Basically, Jacob kept battling and battling that the angel finally had to do something to get him to stop! And at daybreak, the angel said "let me go." Jacob wouldn't until the angel blessed him...

So I'm thinking that Adalynn was in a (9 month) wrestling match, that her hip was "touched", she overcame and was blessed! Again, she has battled everything that was against her--odds that she shouldn't have been conceived, odds that she wouldn't make it through the pregnancy and would miscarry, odds that she wouldn't be born without any problems, odds that she would be in NICU much longer than she actually was, odds that she wouldn't develop properly because she was a "preemie"... so I guess her battle scar is on her hip?! Oh, and she has a little angel kiss in between her eyebrows. I touch it all the time thinking that I'm kissing her along with an angel!

And then I think of all the prayer warriors that were out there "battling" for Adalynn and myself as well... We had so many people shooting up prayer-arrows for us that there is no doubt she'd (we'd) be victorious is this battle! Thank you O Mighty Warriors!

So I guess if Adalynn does indeed have hip dysplasia, it speaks more of what she has battled than what she will go through. This battle and its scar was meant to bring her a blessing... and yet, I think I'm the one most blessed of all. This little girl has brought so much to our lives through the joys and continued AHA moments. It seems as though God had a message to send the world through this Mirakel... hmmmm.

Through all of this... through the highs and lows... through the question mark on Adalynn's hip... I have learned that in every "ugh"--there's God. And in every battle, there's purpose...and a blessing. And like what was said just recently in our Draw Near study... "don't waste your pain"!

So Lord, we give Adalynn's hip to you... we know that you are in this and your will is perfect. I pray for little to no pain for her during her ultrasound... I pray for healing of her hip! But I know You can overcome anything that would "touch" her life. Thank you, Lord, for the battles (the "ughs"), thank you for the reminders of your love and blessings during our wrestling matches. Thank you for our Mirakel that has spoken your wisdom to me in so many ways already... I'm truly grateful.
...and Adalynn says, "Amen"!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Where do smiles come from?

Adalynn at 2 1/2 months

I mean, really... we didn't push up the corners of Adalynn's mouth, poke in her dimple, pull down her bottom lip and say, "that's how you smile, Adalynn!" We didn't teach her how to get her eyes to light up and write joy all over her face...

So how does one learn how to smile?

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21

Joy must be placed in our hearts by God while we are being formed in our mother's womb--which makes sense because God, himself, is love and joy. And how much pride He must feel when all that joy, which is much deeper than mere happiness, overflows and just bubbles out of us...whether in laughter, happiness or in a smile. A smile must be a RESULT or REACTION of what you feel inside, as is laughter and happiness. And I believe that God continually puts joy in our hearts... our hearts are cups that overflow with His goodness and JOY!

Adalynn is 2 1/2 months now and it has been our family's MISSION to draw out her smiles. I forgot how fun that was...and how much joy a baby's smile can bring! It's what brings our house to a complete stop, it's what makes the boys bounce up the stairs to catch a glimpse, it's what we are all about right now. Adalynn's smile just fills up our hearts to the point of explosion! When you can get her eyes to focus on your eyes, when there is a look of true recognition on her face and then a smile just pops out along with her little chin... oh, that is a true HOLY MOMENT! And the fact that she has a crooked little grin with huge dimples... that's icing on the cake!

So as I was playing with Addy and letting her gift us with her grins and squeals... I was truly thinking about how that little crooked, dimpled smile came about. Where that joy truly comes from... What a true gift. What a blessing that we are created with such emotions and a smile is a way that we can let His joy leak out to the world.

Thank you, Lord, for this gift of Adalynn that has reminded us about the joy that You have placed in our hearts in so many ways. Thank you for her smile, squeals and the look of love in her eyes. Thank you for our Mirakel that came directly from You! Our cup overflows... :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Love at First Sight...

Do you believe at love at first sight?

Adalynn on Aug. 12, 2009 (1 1/2 months old)

You know, I have never really given this much thought until lately... I was marveling at the fact that it wasn't just six months ago that we didn't even know we were pregnant and now we have a two month old! Tom and I talk frequently about this...

How is it that we didn't even know she existed such a short time ago and we are SOOO in love with her?

How is it that we think she is the most beautiful little girl in the whole, wide world and we never even thought we would have a daughter "grace" our boy-infested home until our boys were married!

How is it that a heart can get SOOO full when just looking at a sweet little baby while they are sleeping, or kicking, or pooping, or bathing, or smiling...?

How is it that the world just stops when you hear the sound of a baby's voice?

Unreal. This is all just unreal. Yes, I most definitely believe in "love at first sight."

Adalynn has been swept into our crazy lives with such excitement and love. She truly has taken over everything--our time, our house, our hearts! I forgot how much a newborn needs in terms of equipment! We are inundated with car seats, high chairs, bouncy seats and rockers, swings, blankets, playards, tummy mats, bottles, bottles and bottles! Oh, and I TOTALLY forgot how many diapers you go through a day! (Did I mention that the cost of diapers have gone up dramatically in ten years?) But all the poopy diapers, horrible diaper rash, spit-up on blankets, uncomfortable pumping experiences and endless bottle washings are a distant memory when I take a look into the baby blue eyes of this little girl. And did I mention she has a crooked dimpled grin? I LOVE it!!!

I don't think I knew that I had more room in my heart to love someone this much... and the pride I feel when I see her daddy and "bubbas" love on and play with her too. I think it was love at first sight for them too!

To think that from the very first moment in time, God knew about Adalynn and loved her then... to think about the pride He had when creating her in my womb... to think about He purposely picked our little family, our little hearts, our little home to welcome this baby girl... to think about the joy He must feel! It's incomprehensible to me (and very overwhelming).

Thank you, Lord, for your gifts, your blessings... thank you for thinking to place Adalynn in our lives. In spite of us, help her become a godly girl-young lady-woman that purposes to serve you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Of the Light

Today I was thinking about the fact that newborn babies seem to get their nights and days confused... They "sleep like a baby" all during the day, but then seem so anxious to wake up the household in the middle of the night!

We went on an overnight trip to St. Louis to have our lone vacation (well, aside from our time in Little Rock, but I don't consider that much of a vacation!) at the end of July. Tom had the idea of catching a Cardinal game and take in the zoo, or something like that. It was a lot of fun... I grew up going to Cards games and I think I would hit every game if we lived closer. The night after the game, Adalynn stayed up quite a bit. She was so bright-eyed--not fussy--but certainly not sleepy. We stayed up awhile with her and then Tom told me to go to sleep, he would try to feed her and see if he could get her settled. All the while, we were keeping the room dark and trying to be quiet so we didn't bother the boys. He ended up taking her over near the bathroom, flipped on the light and began to give her a bottle. She immediately relaxed and went limp...falling fast asleep. Tom came to the conclusion that she's much more comfortable, and sleeps better, when it's light! The hotel room was probably the darkest room she'd ever been in since she was born...

It all suddenly made sense! She spent the first days of her life in the bright hospital, then under the billy lights because of the jaundice and we keep a lamp on in her room through the night... of course she'd be more comfortable in the light! And I personally believe she came from being in the presence of the Lord where it (I would imagine) is SUPER DUPER bright and beautiful. She's our miracle of God--He hand delivered her to us!

And on that note, I have a friend that told me once that she feels that babies come to earth just filled with secrets of heaven. But they can't speak and tell us these treasures... and by the time they are able to talk their mind, they've forgotten. We spend the rest of our lives just searching to know all the mysteries of God... if only we could read the minds of babies! So to me, it gives more meaning to the little giggles, dimpled smiles, and whimpers Adalynn makes while she's sleeping. I think she's dreaming about God Himself... I think she's remembering Him in all His splendor and I just know that He's whispering loving things to her. Oh... if only we could have those ears to hear... No wonder Jesus said, "let the little children come to me." It's a reunion for them!

So back to my original thought--babies get their nights and days confused because they are more comfortable and relaxed when it's daytime. We were born to be in the light! All the more reason to pray for Adalynn to continue to be a light in this dark world!

[Here are some more pictures from the week Adalynn came home from the hospital]

Adalynn bundled up and sleeping in her crib, in the daylight of course.

One of my favorite pictures... Grandpa holding Adalynn and proud big brother, Dane, looking on...

The doting "Bubbas"

Adalynn finally with her eyes open!

"Sleeping like a baby"

... on the eve of returning to work after this long/short but wonderful journey to meet Adalynn... (I truly can't believe it's been 8 weeks!) I'm remembering how hard it is to be a working mom. My heart is certainly divided. I love my "work" at Fellowship, love my church family and love my ministry there... But my mom-longings are strong. I forgot how much a baby can steal every portion of your heart. I just ache to think I could miss a smile, a cuddle or any milestone. Adalynn has just rocked my world.

I'm just SO thankful that she will be lovingly cared for by her memaw and grandma while I'm at work. Adalynn is so fortunate to have such wonderful women and amazing legacies in her life. What a blessing that she gets this window of time with them! I know there is purpose in that...