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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Precious Babies

Each of us seem to be a little saddened in the wake of what occurred on Friday. I can not begin to imagine the pain the families and that community are feeling at this time. Like so many of the rest of you, I'm taking my time to hug my babies a little tighter each chance I get and tell them I LOVE YOU excessively. And in the midst of that horrendous event, one of my life long friends and her family lost their house to a fire early last week. Thankfully each of them is safe and had no harm done to them. Unfortunately they lost everything. Please say a prayer for The Babel Family that they may continue to follow God's plan and have faith that with God's love and strength they can overcome their present situation. I am honored that they are my friends, for they have shown such strength, compassion and hope in moving forward.

Now on to HAPPY thoughts...

First and foremost...HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBY!!! Our dear friend and fellow preemie turns 7 today. She is an amazing and beautiful child. We love you big girl!

My precious babies are getting so large, literally! Bella and Alex each had their 4 year and month check-ups this past week. Our micro-preemie, weighing in at 1lb 11oz at 24 weeks of gestation, is now in the 95 percentile for height and weight. I cannot believe how tall she's to hoping she continues to have her Nanas height. All is healthy with our big girl! Alex is also measuring large...17lbs and 25.5 inches. I love this chunky little guy. So many rolls it is awesome! He on the other hand had to be taken back to the doctor this morning. He has a mild case of RSV. He has battled with nasal congestion from his first week. Saline and the suction might as well be his favorite toys to play with; however, he screams bloody murder at the mere sight of them. Even with all of the Purell and Lysol, he still managed to get RSV. Fortunately it is mild and low dosage breathing treatments are all he needs at the current time. Say a little prayer that he recovers quickly and it does not develop into anything more severe.

We hope you all are enjoying the holiday season the best you can. Peace of the Lord be with you and may the Christmas spirit fill your heart.

Birthday Celebration
 My first prunes
 Having Fun with our Tablets
 Opening Bday Presents from my Godmommy & Abby
 Dance Time with Daddy

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Four years ago today God blessed us with a special little girl. She has forever changed our lives in more ways than we could have ever expected. She is precious, funny, intelligent, active, tricky, independent and nothing less than a miracle.

As soon as I woke up this morning I climbed into bed to snuggle with her for a brief few minutes before her inevitable morning tour of the house investigating everything, telling her brother what to do and then heading into her new toy...a trampoline! Each of us sang her HAPPY BIRTHDAY and then she received phone calls from each of her grandparents followed by many texts before the clock struck 8am. This is one loved child.

We love all of our blog family and are so fortunate to have had you in our lives 4 years ago reading and praying with us (and continuing to follow our families journey). Our little girl has overcome so many hurdles and is an amazing little person. She is living proof that any obstacle a micro-preemie might be labeled with can be squashed like a bug.

What she went through those early months will forever be a part of who we are and has forever changed our mission in life. For the first time last night I started to explain to her what happened. This morning while talking to Nana and Papi she started to talk about what we discussed last night. The girl is like a sponge! Hopefully I can do justice to explaining the joyous miracle she is and the respect that all of our extended family in Virginia deserves. She definitely talks about Colleen, Kam, Sherry and Lauren/Abby quite often (mostly because we just saw them). Now we just need to keep expanding on the story we tell her when she looks at her photos and all the photos of the great people that took care of her.

The birthday girl gets WHATEVER she wants today, now that she is at an age where she really understands and can voice what she wants. This morning we got to watch the cartoons she wanted. Daddy took her to breakfast at our normal weekend pancake/taco place. I'm leaving work early to get her separate from her brothers to take her out on her own for a little bit. Then she gets to decide what we have for dinner. On Saturday she gets to go ice skating and go see the light display at the zoo. Love being able to celebrate her birth, truly a blessing!

So here is to you baby girl...HAPPY #4!!! Mommy and Daddy love you more than we could ever express with words.

Merry Christmas to you all...peace of the Lord be with you all!!!


At birth

At 1

At 2
At 3 

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Boys

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving. We certainly did, great time in New Braunfels with family. My brother cooked an awesome dinner for all of us, thanks Uncle Bobby. We are really looking forward to this holiday season. We are celebrating Bella's birthday this weekend at the zoo and ice skating rink. And then Nana and Papi will be here in 2 weeks.

Now, the rest of this post is all about Zach and Alex...because in 2 days it will be all about the princess turning 4!!!

Zach Attack is all over the place. Our two year old little man is hell on wheels; running, jumping, climbing, tormenting his sister, trying to wrestle and getting into everything he shouldn't. He is almost fully potty trained, but he seems to want to go ALL THE TIME. Also, everytime Bella goes to the potty, he has to go at the same time. And as of two nights ago he is randomly taking his pull-up off. He is at the stage where he is stating longer sentences, remembering and receiting more and problem solving. Sometimes he gets a little loud and out of control while screaming. He loves singing and dancing. I've said for a long time he would be the next Justin Timberlake. Then the other night, we were watching an SNL Christmas special. One of JT's skits came on, his soup cup bit, and low and behold...Zach, with never seeing it before, starts imitating him to a tee and doing the exact dance moves.

Alex is growing by the second. He is easily 16.5lbs. I take him back to the doctor next week for his 4 month checkup, so we will know for sure then. He is attempting to flip his bottom half, holding and turning his neck every which way, sitting up very well when propped and positioned securely, and pushing with his legs when you try to make him stand. He smiles and responds to anyone that will pay attention to him. He loves it when his brother and sister talk to him.

Until two days from now, enjoy these adorable pictures of our little boys...


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My 2 Cents

Most of my adolescent life I wanted to have a future in politics. First get my business degree, then attend law school and move back home to begin a run to state politics. But much like my dream to be a lawyer was squished by ultimately working with a handful of dirty ones, so too has my view of politicians steadily over time. I grew up in a household where political and market news was on television every night. I was fascinated with both as a child, teenager and even through college. My outlook was always that “I could make a difference” no matter what the perception of a politician might be (kind of like Eddie Murphy in "The Distinguished Gentleman"). I have always wanted to be that person that goes against the normal course to mean what I say and does what she says. Unfortunately over the years I have become disdained to a point where I just don’t care. I avoid political talk on television at all cost. One because you never know if you can believe what is reported and two because there is a myriad of bickering back and forth with no desire for common ground. If I can sit down with two toddlers and reason with them on what they do wrong as well as my husband on household issues, why is it so hard for two parties to sit down and agree for the common good of this country, it’s people and what our values represent. But in that last phrase lies a bit of the problem…what are our values these days. So many Americans want to move forward and progress as we advance as a people. Then there are those that also want to hold onto historical values that shaped our nation, mainly driven by faith. This creates a great division of values in our country. The separation of church and state doesn’t really exist as religion tends to muddy the waters of our nations policies. Don’t get me wrong, I am an incredibly faith driven person that will attest to Christ and the glory of His love and life. However, at the root of so many problems, from fiscal to national security to foreign policy, we need to decide as a collective group to make fixing the problem the priority before letting our “God” policies over run the sustaining policies of bringing this nation back to a pristine state. In my mind, that is the entire concept behind the separation of church and state. The heart of the matter is that all politicians need to get off their party high horses and draft a plan to shape this country back to a track of normalcy, something we have not seen in a very long time. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent, etc. does not matter. What should matter as a politician is doing what is best for this country. And yes, one person’s view of what is best will be different from another’s. At that point you sit down and compromise or collaborate on a solution. Playing the blame game and pointing fingers has not worked, does not work and will not work. Bipartisan politics needs to settle down. The “revenge” factor floating around needs to be obliterated. Parties need to work together and talk out the issues instead of continually implicating the other to be the problem. Do what is best for your people…do what is best for this country…teach your children how to be responsible by working through differences and succeeding together for a common good.

I want these 3 to be proud of where they come from, not scoff at the mockery it is turning into. I want them to cry when their child recites the pledge of allegiance for the first time (like I did with Bella), I want tears to come to their eyes when hearing the national anthem, I want them to have pride in their heart knowing how fortunate they are to be an American. The path we are on, I am afraid, will not provide those feelings. Please pray with our family for our country and our politicians to do what is best for the people that live here to keep us healthy and safe.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Fun

Happy Halloween everyone! Well, the costumes I had planned for the kids didn't work out. As much as they are obsessed with Toy Story, both of them refused to be either Jessie or Buzz Lightyear. Instead we were Snow White and Spiderman. Nevertheless, incredibly cute. Oh, and I can't forget our little Batman.

Along with this time of year and beginning of a season of festivities, there is plenty to do outside. We made a trip to Dewberry Farm west of Houston this past weekend with some friends. There was plenty to do and see. But our pumpkin photo op was limited given that it was a mere 4 days before Halloween. So, as you can see, the kids posed with what was left in the bare patch. Main thing...they had a blast doing it!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just Some Pictures

Life is busy! So this will be quick. I've been back at work 2 weeks now and life is a serious time crunch. Sticking to a schedule is key. For the most part we are all doing great. We seem to have a small cold floating between us all with Chris actually getting sick-sick (which is odd given he usually has the best immune system, say a little prayer it stays that way). Took Bella to the opthamologist the other day as a follow-up her last eye doctor told us to do at 4 years old. Her new opthamologist says that she is ever so slightly near-sighted, which is to be expected after her ROP and laser surgery. He mentioned that glasses would be in her future but a few years down the road. As with everything else she has endured due to her prematurity... "Glasses, no problem, we will take it!!!" The boys are great, each getting bigger and each more active. Lord help us when all three of them can wrestle and scream at each other ;) A few pictures enjoying the fall season and family fun.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Summer Vacation in the Fall

We spent the last 10 days of September making up for not being able to travel during the summer. First there was a trip to Dallas to visit family and catch the UVa vs TCU football game. Chris and I decided to take our little princess to her first college football game at what will hopefully be her future alma mater (yeah, I know, pretty bad that we already have her college picked out). We got an email back in July about the game, contemplated arranging the trip with not knowing when Alex was going to arrive, and then made the decision once we got the reminder after he was born. Kids did great in the car for a 3.5 hour drive. Gigi met us up there to help keep the boys entertained while we took Bella to the game Saturday morning. While at the game, a very sweet lady gave her a pom-pom and beads, she constantly wanted to go onto the field, and we walked half way around the stadium so she could go wave to the UVa cheerleaders. She really enjoyed herself. But probably the most entertaining part of this mini vacation was that we can no longer call hotels a hotel. They are now officially known as "TRIP HOUSE" in our household. We kept telling the kids that we were going on a TRIP. When we got to our room in Arlington, Bella came out and said, "This is our trip house!" She kept referring to it as such the remainder of the stay and thus hotels no longer exist as long as the kids are with us.


Next was the mother/daughter trip to Virginia. Not sure if any of you know the Nickeloden show The Fresh Beat Band, but our kiddos love them. (Super fun and catchy music, Chris and I sing and dance to it as much as they do.) Back in August I happened to see that they were playing in Charlottesville, Va and thought "what a great reason to go to our home away from home." We missed the NICU reunion in June, so this was the perfect chance to touch base with our precious medical staff that we love so dearly. The other bonus is that we got to stay with Lauren and Abby. It was so cute watching Abby and Bella play together. To kick off the trip, the four of us girls had dinner with Colleen, Sherri and Ellie at none other than BELLA'S ITALIAN Bistro - very fitting!!! Wednesday we woke up super early to see Abby off to school and then head up to the hospital. We got to see LOTS of nurses and a couple of doctors. Most importantly we got to see Dr. McGahren - the awesome surgeon that fixed Bella's intestinal perforation. I will never get tired of seeing him pick up our little girl and give her big hugs! After the first hospital visit we got another awesome, special treat...we got to have lunch with Bella's godmommy. Rebecca and her family recently moved to the DC area and she drove 2 hours to hug her goddaughter and have lunch with us...she is such an incredible lady! Next was our trip to Carter's Mountain Apple Orchard where Bella, Abby and Emily (the preemie trio) got to pick apples. The views were beautiful, the apple cider slushy was delicious, and the stink bugs were EVERYWHERE...definitely an experience not to be forgotten. And then came the cherry on top of the sundae, the concert! Abby and Bella had a fabulous time dancing to The Fresh Beat Band. I'm not sure if it was the entire setting and watching my baby girl shake her hips at her first concert, or what, but I constantly had tears in my eyes watching her get so excited while singing and dancing.


Bella, Abby and Emily (the preemie trio)



Our final trip in the stretch was a family reunion at my brother and sister-in-laws house. It was really nice seeing so much family in one place and watching Bella and Zach run around with all of their cousins. One of my fondest memories growing up was getting to spend so much time with my cousins. It is very easy as we grow up and life changes for family to drift apart, but I will always cherish having a large family and seeing them so frequently. We were so busy running around and catching up that we didn't get any pictures!!!

All three kids are doing great! Alex is getting so big so fast. He is over 12 pounds and stretching out more and more each day. Bella and Zach continue to love on and be interested in him. Zach is doing significantly better with him, although he still has his moments of jealousy regarding both siblings. We try to give him extra attention as often as possible to head off the "middle child syndrome".

That's the family update for now...many blessings to all and we will post again soon!!!