Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clarity (Not Really...this post RAMBLES!)

Seriously. He is such a joy.

You know how some days, every.single.thing is just muddy? Wishy Washy? Unsure? Unsettling? Just not clear...

Yep, I've had a lot of those in the last 22 months and 17 days. If I believed that life was fair, I'd say more than my fair share.

But...I don't believe that. Life has certainly proven itself to not be fair, and even more, we are is hard. There will be trouble. (Sometimes 'trouble' sort of seems like an understatement, doesn't it?) The Promise is we aren't alone.

So that's what I've been clinging to...and has been faithful to me. The Promise. I have lately had so, so many days where things are just so crystal clear. Like roadblocks just sort of push themselves out of the way and say, "Here, Lori...this way, please..."

A lot has been due to the study I've been doing. (Again, it is Angela Thomas's Brave and it is UH-MAZING!) A lot has been due to the ladies with whom I've been sharing it. A lot has been due to my purposeful effort to focus even more on the things that so clearly require my focus (and to push those that don' Facebook, ha ha!) I cannot believe how much more I get accomplished when I just spend a preset amount of time on the computer and dedicate the rest of my day to other things.

Now...before anyone gives the, "Well, DUH. Of course you do..." speech, I think it should go without saying that I don't know how I would have made it through the last nearly two years without the support I have received via my computer. Whether it's articles to read, emails sent at just the right time, friends who are now like family via their blogs or just me being able to get stuff of my chest on this blog...there is NO.DOUBT in my mind that God ministered (and still does) to me through thousands of different ways using technology. And I am grateful.

I'm just at a different place where my time is needed differently...and though I miss a lot of the security that I have had in others 'who get it'...I'm feeling more BRAVE these days and am able to wean myself.

So...speaking of weaning. (This is what happens when I go almost a month without updating. SO much to write about. SO little time or space!)

Yesterday I had a really encouraging doctor's visit. I haven't really been throwing a lot of details out because there's still a lot of stuff that is ahead of us, but the gist is that we are looking into perhaps having another child. I didn't really intend to share this quite so soon, but I posted a status on Facebook yesterday that said I was praying with expectancy, and sort of opened an accidental can of worms. I MEANT that I was praying with the expectancy that God will continue to show His amazing glory and hope that meant an even larger family for us.

Not that I am expecting, ha ha!

(Yet. Soon? Hopefully? Maybe? Who knows?)

So let me set the record straight--and I'm glad to do so with some clarity right now.

We are going to explore different options.

It will be difficult no matter what happens because John will be very busy and gone for the better part of all of next year.

If it doesn't happen, I will not feel one bit incomplete as a mother. I was given the gift of two amazingly beautiful and precious baby boys. That's more than I ever dared to dream. Those baby boys have already exceeded every expectation of what it means to be a mother and another child in our family truly will be icing on the cake. (Yummy, delicious and super loved icing!)

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. Yes, an official day. Not many people know that because October is all about the pink for breast cancer. I've said it before. Both issues are close to my heart, obviously. I have enough room to honor and remember for each situation.

I miss Matthew. With each new thing Luke does, and each day looking less and less like my pictures of seems like Matthew just falls a little farther behind us...and by us, I mean where we are as a family. I hate that feeling, but I realize that time doesn't stop because a family member's life does. Balancing that feeling and realization is hard. I'm glad there are days that help everyone remember how life changing losing a child is.

Because trust me. Those of us who have never forget. And it's nice when others remember.


Luke is fabulous. So, he and I both had the flu. Reported to the CDC and everything type of flu. (Also known as the one with the letters and numbers but don't want some weird spam comments!) We've basically been sort of quarantined for a bit and it was MISERABLE for me. Thankfully, according to his doctor, he is the poster boy of the flu. Then she said he was actually poster boy for breast feeding since she believes that's why he had no symptoms other than really messy diapers all day long and he tested positive when I tested. He still has some residual chest and nasal congestion, as do I, but seriously...this little boy is just amazing. One would never know how sick our family has been!

That said, we've been trying to take advantage of some of the fun fall activities this season brings. I love all these memories we are making with Luke. He may not remember them...but this mommy always, always, always will. I am so grateful.

Fun at Cox Farm!

It was all fun and games until Bessie the plastic cow stepped in...

Which set the tone for the rest of the afternoon!!!!

Although, hotdogs sure made it better. (Yes, I know. Hotdogs. It was just a teeny bit and they were all beef.)

Where's that cow??????

The next day at the Apple Festival at Grave's Mountain was much better!!!! (And yes, two completely different outfits that look the same!)


One's tired...and one's tired of pictures!

The next day was super fun at Busch Gardens with our dear friends!

First carousel ride!

He is Lukealicious!!! I gobble him up!

This is SO much fun!

Loved giggling with Matthew and Brad!

HUGE fan of Big Bird!

But surely worn out!

At his 9 month appointment last week, he weighed in at 18 lbs., 4 oz. That is 20th percentile. The nurse double-checked and said, "That can't be right!"

I told her that's about what he normally is and she looked at me very suspiciously and said, "That boy doesn't look like he misses a meal!"

No, he doesn't. Crazy, huh? Everyone always comments on how solid and bulky he is...but still...20th%! He was 28.3 inches, though, and that was 57th percentile, so...again, as usual, long and lean. (I giggle at lean every time I kiss those sausage hands!) Head circumference was 22nd percentile. Daddy's little head. All in all, a great visit. I loved the doctor he saw. I loved what he told me. "Nobody ever gets carried to college. Hold him and carry him all you want. He is healthy and developmentally right on track...he'll do what he wants when he wants."


And he is doing just what he wants! Little turkey still can't sit himself up from a laying down position (though he is just about there), and he is still 'crawling' by dragging his whole body with his arms, but last night he stood. On his own. Not holding onto anything and even balanced for a few seconds. Then he took a step toward his play table! He doesn't even really seem to care about crawling anymore, but standing. Not even walking so much. Just standing. The doctor noted that, "Hmmm...he doesn't want to sit down, does he???" Nope. He never has. Always liked to be on those feet, and now is no exception!

I mentioned weaning him. I don't want to. It's killing me. BUT...I have to in order to do the testing I need to do for Shady Grove. So...we'll see how that goes. He's already basically trying to wean himself (he LIVES for solids. I again talked with the doctor about it and she said it wasn't preferrable to wean this early, but it was common and some babies just naturally transitioned with no difficulty because they were ready and wanted to do so. Would figure that would be my Luke.) So...he'll have breastmilk until 10 months and then another half a month or more of pumped breastmilk and then formula for another month and a half or so. And we are working on more vegetables! He loves, loves, loves to try just about anything on our spoons. He likes lasagna, but spaghetti noodles feel weird to him. We've talked extensively about food allergies and we pretty much all agree that he has them..or at least sensitivity. The thing is that unless his reactions (which are now pretty much slight rashes) are serious, the APP doesn't recommend withholding the food. New studies on allergies in infants are coming out right and left saying that they'll have allergies or it's a matter of managing what is given based on reaction. Our problem is that he has such sensitive skin, it's hard to tell if he is reacting to something or someone breathed on him the wrong way, so for now, his pediatricians, dermatologist and allergists all are ok with him trying whatever he is interested in and watching for reaction. Food allergies were HORRID for I pray he's spared!

Ok. Too much rambling and the boy is up. I got up at 6:30 on a Saturday just to do this and now he's up and we're starting another fun day. Can't wait!

Here are some more pictures of the last few weeks!

He loves his Dixie Belle!
Humoring mom with some crawling!

I'm in trouble this hat season because the boy knows how to take them off. And does so. Quickly!

Hard at work!
Loves his bath bubble machine!

No sippy cups for him. Straws, please. Only. Even sippy cups with straws aggravate him because of the valve. He loves his juice boxes!

Mom might have gotten a bit out of hand with the big circle for 9 months!


  1. I think of you and your strength often my dear friend. Joining my prayers of expectancy with yours!

  2. Oh, Lori! Wow-wow-wow!!! Praying with you. It's funny, just the other day I was thinking about you wondering if you might have another baby. Luke would be a fabulous big brother. :)

  3. One of my favorite Joel Osteen series includes 7 parts on "waiting expectantly"... delighted for you and will pray for your next little one... meanwhile, luke is absolutely BEAUTIFUL -- his eyes glow with smiles and laughter which he is clearly surrounded in!! he is a child who is clearly loved, adored, and appreciated every single day!! how lucky can a kid get?

  4. When I read your last post about Brave...I mentioned it to my dad (he is a pastor) and he ordered the kit for me to go through and then proceed with!! I'm excited to dig my heals in...although I will do on my own at first and go from there.

    Second...I can completely relate to the struggle of feeling like Matthew is being "left behind"...I struggle every day with that feeling with Zac and all our heavenly babies. It's such a roller coaster of emotion. Of sorrow for our loss, but joy for the life of the little boys in front of us.

    So much of this post absolutely hits home to me!

    And I pray for you daily!
    And I will also be praying for things as you and John prepare to move forward to whatever blessings God has in store for you!!!! :)


    OK...on a side note. I thought that I was the one with the most gorgeous little boy in the world...but that Luke is one absolutely heart-melting, smile-tugging, absolutely easy to fall in love with little boy too!!!!!!
    Lori...he is PRECIOUS!!!! And I love the pictures of you all!
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing pictures of him!!!!!! I'm glad to hear things are going well for him!
    My little brother never crawled! He did to the "tent crawl" (hands and feet), but he basically went straight to walking!
    It is going to be fun to hear all the adventures of Luke!

    Know you are loved! And that Matthew is never forgotten! And that as life moves forward, and we are faced with pushing ahead...our angels are always there with our heart beats, and in our breath. I believe that!

    Hugs dear friend!

  5. Yay! I'll be praying for Luke to have the gift of a sibling to grow up with.

  6. Oh...I'm so sorry you both had the flu! Hope you are feeling better. I love all the gorgeous fall pics! Luke looks so happy...what a joy! Praying expectantly for you! ;)

    Love to you...

  7. I don't think there is ANY doubt who that kid looks like! He is so his mama's boy! I loved every single picture ... sure does break your heart to see that sad/scared face, huh? I think it would be amazing if you both were blessed with another kiddo to love and cherish alongside M & L ... you are too wonderful as a mother and I can't imagine a better person for the job. I love you so much and admire you to the moon. I think my life would be a whole lot less beautiful if I had never "met" you and fallen in love with your whole family. Kisses to Luke, the almost 1 year old!!

  8. Love Love Love the pictures! Glad to know I'm not the only one to use the word "wishy washy"

  9. Melt my heart....

    I love all the pictures and I seriously need to update my blog, but spending time with my Lovie seems to be more important :) However, I WILL get it done...someday. And like you, it may have to be at 6am :)

    BIG HUGS sweet friend and I think of you always

  10. Sending you smiles! PS check your email.. I just met an old friend of yours today!

  11. okay, so the pictures are just toooooo cute. I love the cow pictures and the "Daddy's got my back" shirt. Love it. Think of you often.

  12. Ohhhh... When you posted before about weaning I was quite sure that was the reason. So many prayers for you my friend!

    I've been thinking lots about how life is pulling us away from our boys lately. When Gideon was a tiny new baby I could see similarities between him and Caleb, but I can't any more. At all. And that breaks my heart. I had the thought recently about your guys too. Today as I drove past Caleb's cemetary - and didn't pull in - I thought how cruel it is how life is pulling me away from him. He just can't be in my every day here and now, no matter how much I wish for it.

    I suppose I could choose to see it a different way... each day pulls me closer to Heaven, and is another day closer to holding my little boy again.

    Praying for your maybe baby!

  13. You have such a beautiful son.. well sons. I know what you have gone through. I myself lost twins 9 years ago this December. I still celebrate their birthdays and miss them on holidays. I hope you find your inner peace one day -hugs- I also tried to share the loss of a child day this month which seems to be such a taboo subject still in our society. I wish you and your sons the best! In this world and the next!