Wednesday, June 26, 2013


So I did it. I made the move to wordpress. You can now find me at

4 Months!

Miss Kara is 4 months old today. I know all babies grow fast, but seriously, how can she already be 4 months old?!!  I just want her to stay a baby forever. I'm only kind of kidding. 

At 4 months, Kara is still the best baby. She has been great this whole time. By far my easiest baby, and I did not think the boys were difficult. She is just sweet, happy, content. We can take her anywhere, and she does great. 

She goes to St. Jude with me and Ethan every week. She is very popular there, and there is usually a crowd of nurses to argue over who gets to hold her while I take care of Ethan. :) She doesn't know any difference. I do think it will be fun taking her in a few more months when she is really mobile. I think she is going to learn a lot of compassion and many other lessons from being there, and I plan to keep taking her. As a side note, I did take Nathaniel with me up until Kara was born. He was good, and he liked going. But there came a point when I could tell he didn't like being there anymore. He would get really upset about Ethan crying, and try his best to protect his brother. He started acting out, and I think it was his way of dealing with all emotions surrounding what we were going through. He is much happier now having a play day, and a break from the constant reminder that Ethan is sick. 

Back to Kara. :) She weighs 15 lbs, 12 oz, and is 24 1/2 inches long. She has came a long ways from the 6 lbs that she started out at! Dr. Seigel just went on and on about how great she is. She did not fuss at all during her check up. She is just a happy girl! God knew was He was doing when He blessed us with her. 

She is still having only breastmilk for food. We could start solids anytime in the next couple of months, but I am in no rush. Honestly, breastfeeding is the lazy way for me. I don't like worrying about making and washing bottles. We just go with it. I don't know exactly how often she eats, but she has spread out feedings, and things are definitely much easier. She has been a great nurser the whole time though. 

She can roll from stomach to back. I think it's pretty impressive since she is rarely in the floor. It's too dangerous with brothers running around! Ha! I usually try to give her some floor time in the evenings. 

She is grabbing and holding toys. It's so sweet to see how much she has developed this skill in just the past few weeks. She has one crinkle book that she just loves. I am working on going through the attic and bringing out all the toys she will need when she starts sitting. 

She sleeps great at night, and still sleeps quite a bit during the day. I usually don't wake her much because I can get more done with the boys while she is sleeping. :) She does stay up really late at night! I think it's genetic though, and she gets it from her dad. Plus it's her alone time with us. 

Kara loves her big brothers!! They can make her smile anytime. Nathaniel is constantly asking to hold her. Ethan is her protector. He always tells me if Nathaniel is getting too close. He always makes sure that we are bringing her with us, and that no one is taking her away. He was not happy about me taking her to the doctor yesterday. I'm so thankful they love her so much! 

I think that is just about everything that is going on with her. I wish she would stop growing, but I am looking forward to all the exciting changes coming up. I love my little girl!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday ramblings

Stefan has been teaching some night classes at work, and that leaves me and the kiddos with some really long days. I have a tendency to dread these days. They can be really long! But I'm learning to just enjoy the time I have with these babies. You never know when something might change your whole world in an instant, and it's really important to make the best of each day. I have by no means perfected this, but today was really great.

We got out of the house this morning and made a quick Target run. The boys are really at an age where going to the store isn't too bad. They both walk with me pretty well. Kara is still young enough where she stays in a carrier on my chest. I'm sure we are a sight to see, but it works! We always get tons of comments on how busy life must be with three. Some are genuinely nice, but some people just look at me like I'm crazy. I have definitely noticed a difference in the way people notice 3 kids versus 2. Why is this??

We came and put away groceries and I cleaned the kitchen. I really did not spend my whole day cleaning. It is so tempting to do that! I'm learning that a clean house really is not important. Our house looks like children live here, and that is how it should look. Oh how I struggle with this though! I know that I still spend too much time worrying about how my house is never clean. Some day I will be able to clean it again, and then I will be wishing that I had sweet young ones to be around messing it up!

 We spent some quality time on the couch. 

I love the red bird photobomb. :)

 This afternoon we baked some cookies. Nathaniel did some school work. Kara and Ethan napped. It was time for baths and bed before I knew it.

 Kara snuggled with mommy. 

Now they are all sleeping, and I need to clean and be ready to do it all again tomorrow. :-)

The Weekend

We had a great weekend. The sewing bug hit me, and I made some super cute things for Kara. I love sewing for her, and I plan on doing it for years to come!

Here is her new top!

Sweet baby girl.

And another top and bloomers. :-)

Kara did this for the first time this weekend. I can't believe she is old enough! She has her 4 month appointment on Tuesday.

Saturday evening I took all three kids to El Mezcal by myself while Stefan did yard work. I'm getting brave. Ha!! They were really good. 

Ethan has super puffy cheeks from his last round of steroids. He is still a cutie!

Sunday was family time. We should be back in church next week if Ethan's counts are good. I so can't wait!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ethan's Story, the beginning

I wanted to do a post on how we found out about Ethan having leukemia. I have been needing to write this for a long time. I want to be able to look back and remember this time, and be able to tell Ethan all about it. Thankfully, he will not remember it all himself.

I honestly had no idea that Ethan was sick. He is such a fighter! I know he must have felt so awful, but he did not let us know that in any way. Of course, thinking back there were a few signs that he had, but I did not put them together until after his diagnosis.

Here goes... We had a really busy October as a family. I was 16 weeks pregnant at the beginning of the month, and was just over my morning sickness. I remember we had a zoo trip, visited a couple pumpkin patches, had birthday parties for Nathaniel, and went to another birthday party. I think we even visited our family in Arkansas twice during this month which is rare. We also did fun things like bake pumpkin pie and have friends over. I will never forget that because it was like the calm perfection before the storm.

The last weekend in October, on a Friday evening I noticed some bruising on Ethan's arms. They really stuck out to me because they were large, and I had no idea where they came from. I was pretty sure Nathaniel was not hurting him, and we had not visited any playgrounds recently. I took a couple pictures and sent them to my sister-in-law. She definitely thought I should have him checked out. Stefan also agreed that it would not hurt to at least let the doctor see him. Still, I found myself going back and forth on whether this warranted a doctors appointment. I don't know what it is about me, but I never want to see a doctor unless I know for sure something is wrong. Thankfully, God knows more than me, and he put things in place for us to see Ethan's pediatrician the following Monday. If I'm truthful, I know that I doubted my decision to take him up until we were in the doctors office. worst mom ever....

 Here are the bruises that I noticed Friday evening.

After noticing the bruises, I made up my mind not to worry the whole weekend. I did google things like what normal bruising for children was. I was doing my best to stay away from googling actual conditions like leukemia. And still, Ethan was not sick so I did not feel like he met the description for that. His bruises definitely were not considered normal though. They were larger than a quarter, and had a raised center. We went on with our weekend. I remember going to Priddy Farms Saturday morning. Ethan was clingy, but that was kind of normal for him. After we left there, I got a text from SIL that a friends daughter was in the hospital just diagnosed with leukemia. I was so burdened over that, and spent the rest of the weekend praying over them. We went to church on Sunday morning, baked a pie that afternoon, and had our friends over to eat it that afternoon. I was showing everyone his bruises. I guess I really did know something was up.

This was their last picture before everything changed in an instant.

Fast forward to Monday. I  managed to get Ethan an appointment for 4 that afternoon. Nathaniel was home with us and we did his first day of homeschool. More on that later. By the time I got Ethan in to see the doctor, I knew something was wrong. When we stripped him, he had new bruises covering his whole body. Tiny blue bruises everywhere. We discussed what was going on, and they pricked his finger for a little blood test. I remember sitting in the room forever and texting a few people that we did not have the results back yet. Then a nurse came back and said that the test did not work and they needed to try it again. Ethan wasn't so happy with it that time. It was not too long after that that Dr. Seigel came in and explained everything to me. He showed me the results of both tests and how they ran it twice and it came back the same both times. A white blood count of 66,000 which is extremely high, and I remember his platelet count was 7. His hemoglobin was really low too. Basically, this was classic leukemia presentation. Dr. Seigel did such a great job of breaking this news to me. We love him, and he will be our pediatrician forever. He explained that we just needed to stay put. He was making phone calls, and he would know soon whether we would go to LeBohner or St. Jude. Thankfully, he knew some people and was able to get us right into St. Jude. This does not happen often, and we know it was all God's doing. We left the doctors office with instructions to pack for a week stay there, and get to St. Jude as fast as we could. We had a very sick little boy!

Let me just say that I now know what the grace of God really means now. I do not remember being scared for Ethan during this time. I do remember being seriously scared about the fact that I was 20 weeks pregnant, and how in the world were we going to handle that. I guess because I had Ethan right there with me, and he still seemed ok at the time. And, I had absolutely no idea what we had ahead of us with cancer treatment. Knowing what I know now, if I heard those words again, I would be scared to death! God gave me the most amazing calm right then though, and I think Ethan and everyone around me needed it.

As we left Dr. Seigel's office I had already told Stefan and my SIL. Stefan left work immediately to meet me at home. I called my good friend to pick up Nathaniel and keep him overnight. I called my mom and told her, and I called my sweet mentor to tell her what was going on. I will just say that everyone else was not as calm as I was. I don't even know how I could be calm besides God's grace over me. I do remember thinking that I could not handle everyone crying as soon as they heard the news, and that I hoped they would be more together before they met us at St. Jude. Honestly, they had every reason to cry and be upset. Ethan and our whole family were about to start the battle of our lives.

This ended up being much longer than I expected, so I will continue with our week at St. Jude in the next post.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


There really are no words to describe everything that has happened with our family in the past 8 months. I think most of you that read this blog already know that Ethan was diagnosed with leukemia last October. Woah, my sweet baby boy had cancer, and we didn't even know he was sick! He was a fighter the whole time. On top of that, I was 20 weeks pregnant with our baby girl. It has been a wild journey, but God has been so faithful to us! So I wanted to get back here and start sharing all of the ways we were blessed during this time, and the rest of Ethan's 2 years of treatment. I'm hoping to play catch up and start from the beginning, and hopefully add in some of the other things we do each day as well.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Long time, no post

So, it has been forever since I have even wanted to touch this blog. Honestly, the weeks have went by lately without me even touching the actual computer. Why? Well, life is super busy, and I have been super busy making another life. That's right, sweet baby #3 is on the way! We are super excited! I'm 18 weeks now, and we have our big ultrasound at the end of this month. I can barely make up my mind on finding out the sex of the baby or not. Anyways, I spent the first 16 weeks sicker than I have ever been. We are talking completely useless, I could barely stand up without puking. Sure, it's worth it now, but it was a miserable time no doubt. Major props to my husband for stepping and taking care of just about everything around the house! Anyways, just thought I would pop in real quick and share the news. I may even try to get back here a little more often. :)