Isabella Danielle, born at 24 weeks and 1 day, 1lb 11oz, 12.5in

Zachary Michael, born at 36 weeks, 5lb 13oz, 18.5in

Alexander Charles, FULL TERM, 7lb 1oz, 20in

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To All

We have gone from Thanksgiving to Christmas in the blink of an eye. We have come to the climax of our time of year where there is so much running around, hustling and buslting, in search for the perfect items to make our loved ones happy. And before we know it a new year will embark upon us. For me Thanksgiving has always been the beginning of an amazing time of year where we begin to count our blessings then bask in the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. However, ever since Isabella's birth it has been so much more, pure appreciation for life. Throughout the year we are constantly greatful for our children and the joy they bring to our lives. During Christmas that joy is over emphasized. With Isabella it is for the obvious reason that this time of year marks her birth and struggle to survive. I have noticed with Zach that the same feelings apply. The smile on his face, the ponder in his eyes, and the cooing to his sister melt my heart. I know that my 2 amazing children are possible through the many blessings our family has been bestowed. None of that would be possible without the love of Christ. It goes so much further than "the reason for the season". Embracing Christmas is acknowledging the beginning of our faith, the initiation of our beliefs. Just as most people, I love this time of year, but most of all I love going to Christmas Eve service to reaffirm Christ's entrance into this world and purpose in our lives. I pray that each of you have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS with the spirit of the Lord in your hearts!

Now, on to family business. Most of you know, but to those who don't, we are moving to Houston. This last month has been a whirl-wind it seems. My job in Houston started at the beginning of December so I have been traveling back and forth for several weeks now. On top of the travel chaos, we also took a trip to New York City for a vacation we booked back in July. For Christmas, Nana and Papi came in from Florida. So life has been super busy. To limit additional work travel, Chris and I have tried to have all of our paperwork and ducks in a row to close on our house in Houston on December 31. That means we have only a few more days in Midland. It is crazy to think that we are leaving our first home together. Midland has been a great town for us. We have met some amazing people, enjoyed the peaceful nature of the desert with actual seasons, attended an awesome chruch, found some extraordinary people to look after our children (Ellen, Katie and the parent's day out programs), and most of all started our life together. Midland has brought some interesting things to life as well; kamakazee birds (we've killed 6 in total with our cars), wind/dust storms (landing at the airport in 40mph winds is not fun), tornado warnings (I've had to be locked in the closet twice), beautiful blankets of snow, some of the most spectacular sunsets you could imagine, the drive-in, a one of a kind diner/fountain shop. Once we are gone there will be more to miss I am sure. For the time being we are excited to be closer to family and long-time friends, have the kids in a full-time school, and work on updating a "new to us" house.

Zachary and Isabella are both doing great. Zach is up to 16.5lbs and 25in long. Isabella is 33lbs and 34in tall. It's crazy to think that our 4 month old is only 9in shorter than our 2 year-old. Zach has great head control, loves tummy time and has rolled over twice. When braced in the boppy he actually sits up pretty well. Isabella is all over the place loving life and being a social butterfly. She has a captivating personality and inquisitive mind that pushes her to constantly learn. She can actually count to 10 in Spanish now, I love it! I have a feeling Zach will walk early and once he does Chris and I will have our hands full with the 2 of them being into everything TOGETHER! I actually can't wait! They are both precious and so much fun.

Here are pictures from the last few weeks; Enjoy, Peace and God Bless!

Classic Scared of Santa

New York City

Our 1st Bath Together!

Christmas Eve Fun!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Pictures from the eventful day...

Sister and Brother bonding over Super Why

Shredding the paper on her presents

Give me the sweet stuff...

Why are these people singing and looking at me?

It's about time...

Why the hat mommy?

Once again passed out while playing!

Because he is so darn cute!!!


Saturday, December 4, 2010


Two years ago today I experienced the 2nd of the two most traumatic events in my life, Isabella’s eventful entrance into this world. I have read so many Facebook posts this week from friends in varying parts of the country speak of one life passing and another coming, as they have observed the renewal of life. Four and half years ago I witnessed the passing of my father from this world to the next as my first traumatic event. After 63.5 short years of life and 46 years of being a loving father, his soul evaporated from his body before his family’s eyes. To this day I am haunted by the memory of what happened in that hospital room, miss the feel of his big embrace and weep at the thought of not being able to sit in his lap to have him tell me how much he loves me. However, as is true, we have constant renewal of life. On December 4, 2008 as I had a living angel by my side physically holding my hand, Rebecca prayed with me and waited patiently as the next traumatic event began until Chris arrived in Virginia from Texas. At the same time, I had God's angel standing in the corner of my room telling me everything was going to be just fine. As peace washed over me by the grace of God, I miraculously held off delivery of my baby girl for 36 hours. Which was astounding considering after arriving at UVA, the swarm of nurses and doctors didn’t think I would be pregnant much longer. With Chris’ arrival from Texas Rebecca was physically relieved from watching over me, but never stopped being our advocate to the Lord and everyone back in Texas. On December 5, after hours of being inverted on my head, trying desperately to avoid pain medication, listening to the Juno soundtrack on the iPod over and over, and the constant replay of Toy Story in the VHS, Isabella’s tiny little head popped into place and I screamed at Chris that she was coming. With both of us in tears with the thought of a 60% survival rate of a baby girl born at 24 weeks on our mind, we heard our precious baby cry as she appeared in the doctors hands basking in the delivery room lights. Once the neonatal team evaluated her, they briefly brought her to my side to allow me the closest thing to a newborn embrace they could, a gentle squeeze of my left pointer finger. And in the same way that my father told me he loved me one last time by clutching my hand in response to my voice, my daughter had acknowledged her presence in this world. And the renewal of life began…

24 hours old

After 4 surgeries, 99 days in the NICU and developing a whole new family with the life of a preemie, Isabella came home. Although life was not normal, and to this day isn’t completely normal, she radiated a personality of determination and fighting spirit. Our micro-preemie has soared through her development and surpassed so many hurdles. She is a blessed child and we are fortunate parents to have a daughter whose life could be drastically different. So many micro-preemies physical and mental state turn out completely different all because of the slightest of margins in medical care and preventive care. We are eternally grateful to our UVA family and their team of medical professionals. After two joyous years of constant smiles and laughs, I continuously reminisce my experience in Virginia and often long to be back at the place where my life changed forever. Although Isabella went through many awful days and nights, the people and the city of Charlottesville always kept a bit of magic in my heart. No matter how much time passes, they will always be like family to me.

1 year old

At the age of 2, our little girl who has over come so much in her short life, is doing tremendous things:
1. Talking up a storm and repeating many words you don't ask her to.
2. Counting to 15.
3. Identifying animals, shapes, colors and recognizing them all by name.
4. Reading close to 100 words...Your Baby Can Read really worked for her.
5. Stringing words together when talking to you.
6. Walking like nothing can slow her down, although a little clumsy at times.
7. Attempting to run, jump and climb.
8. Weighs 32lbs and is 34in tall.

Each day she amazes us and lights up our lives. So here's to you Isabella...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one spectacular, courageous, determined, independent, loving and miraculous child. WE LOVE YOU!