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, May 28, 2012

Ballerina in Training

The last month in our house has been quite usual. Both of the kids are doing great; getting bigger and smarter everyday. Their favorite thing to do each day is singing and dancing. We always have music going in the house or in the truck and with that comes a little hip movement. Bella is getting very good at learning routines, which I hope is the result of her weekly dance classes. Speaking of, the little princess had her first dance recital a couple of weeks ago and it was so precious. We thought it was only going to be a song or two, but they ended up doing 6 different songs. Out of 8 little girls, she and 2 others by far did the best. I cannot express how excited this makes me to see this little miracle move the way she does and get so excited about it. I'm really impressed with her dance skills and they progress a little more each day. On other things, she is constantly bossing her little brother around, repeating everything mommy and daddy say, and starting to cry wolf a more often to get her brother in trouble. On the health front, her constipation issues have been very up and down this month and her asthma has been completely out of whack the last 2 weeks. But hey, I will take something that is manageable over anything else. As for little brother, Zach's speech is steadily getting more and more understandable. He communicates very well but he's obviously still at that age where you can't always make out the words that he says. You can almost make out every letter when he says his ABCs. And you can definitely tell that he is soaking up so much from his big sister. Other than that he is still being all boy, throwing tantrums, and being very picky about his food. It's hard for me to believe, but I guess one of our little family can't be all about food. Probably the cutest thing big sister and brother are doing these days is pointing to my belly and saying "baby" and giving s/he kisses. They ask about baby at least once a day now. As for D3, we are still cooking and that is key. Baby is moving a ton and my belly is huge. So far this has been a "typical" pregnancy for my standards; constantly have to pay attention to what my body is telling me and take it easy as much as possible, lying in bed and on the couch more than anything. Our next ultrasound isn't for another week. As soon as I have some more pictures we will definitely post them. Until then, enjoy the newest pictures of our adorable babies.
Our weekly Sunday trek to Barnes&Noble between church and lunch

Trip to the Houston Greek Fest

 Last, but not least, THE RECITAL

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Children are blessings

I had every intention of this post being about 2 amazing parents here in the Houston area that have made it their mission to raise awareness about their daughter’s fatal disease. Over the weekend I found their blog via Yahoo, as many of you may have. Back in November the Canahuati’s were blessed with a baby girl. About a month ago they received unbelievable news about their first child’s health, news that would be debilitating to most people. Their precious bundle of joy, Avery, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), type 1. SMA is an incurable disease that attacks the spinal cord leaving its host without any body functions except speech and cognitive processing over the progression. Most babies do not make it past toddler age with this severe disease, only living about 18 months after diagnosis. After reading several articles and many posts on the blog, I was blown away by the strength, courage, and positive nature that these 2 individuals took with a situation that could have left them crippled emotionally to simply stand back and watch their daughter breakdown before their eyes. Instead, they decided to make it their priority to build the best possible life for their daughter while she graced this earth with her smile and raise awareness for SMA simultaneously. They setup a string of “bucket list” items for their precious daughter to accomplish each day. I have made sure to check the blog each morning and afternoon after initially finding the page to see what Avery had been crossing off her list. To my dismay when pulling it up this morning, I read that Avery passed away yesterday from pulmonary distress that led to cardiac arrest. I had to double glance at the dates that headlined the post notifying the world that the 18 months that these parents clung to had ended in a flash. As with any situation like this, you cannot help but feel an immense amount of sorrow for this couple. If you have not read Avery’s blog yet, I encourage you to do so. It will only take a minute to educate yourself on SMA with what Avery still has to offer the world about the disease, what research is being done, and what you can do to help.

As a parent, this really puts into perspective how each second of every day is a blessing with our children. There are definitely stresses to being a parent of a toddler, the constant teaching and protection. But at every angle the stress is completely worth the smiles, laughs, cute antics, milestones and them telling you “love you”. As a NICU parent, it is hard not to have some retrospective that Isabella could have not made it through her bowel surgeries and that our first child wouldn’t be on this earth to impart so much joy in our lives. In this point of view BLESSINGS is an understatement in our household. Both Zach and Bella are amazing children that bring an unbelievable amount of light into our lives. I love watching Zach run, it is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. Watching Bella dance and sing is music to my heart. God works in ways that sometimes seem harsh at first, but constant faith in His plan brings us through those harsh moments, stronger on the other side even. Please help our family in praying for the Canahuati’s for their loss, that they have continued faith in building awareness for SMA, as well as all other families and babies out there going through similar situations. As our family knows first-hand, the power of prayer is an awesome thing!!! Love, peace, and the power of the Lord be with all of you!!!

Here are Zach and Bella being their SUPER cute selves: