Monday, May 31, 2010

Abigail Brooke

It is five something in the morning and I finally had a few minutes to document and share about Abigail. Friday morning, May 28th, at 6am in the morning we went in to induce labor. We expected to have a baby around noon and of course, naively planned the entire day. With Aunt's, nephews, and Grandma and Papa we had a full house that was overwhelmed and excited to see this new baby.

I had an abnormally large amount of amniotic fluid that kept her from moving down into the birth canal and my Dr. who is formally a midwife wanted to safely wait things out to make sure of safety. Finally at 3 or 4pm she broke my water and things got to rolling and at 6:22pm we had a GORGEOUS 9# 4 oz. baby Abigail. She was round and roly poly and the most beautiful shade of pink right from the beginnning!

She looked SO healthy that we were ALL ready to snuggle her up and pass her around, just as we always do with our newborns. We pretty well have a set schedule of who gets to hold and coo first and so on and so forth. BUT that didn't happen. The nurses waited as long as they could to see if she was going to push passed the bad breathing, and she didn't, so they took her to the nursery to see the Pediatrician.

Since her sisters and family didn't get to see her and NO ONE got to hold her they tried to hold her up into the window for a moment for them to catch a glimpse, but things took a quick turn for the worse and she was whisked away. The Pediatrician handed her over to the Neonatoligist and he came to tell us what was in her near future. She needed to be sedated and put on a ventilator. They cut her ambilical chord off and feed tubes into her stomach through her belly button, and away it started.

By 10pm we were filled with such heaviness and sadness! But our family immediately rallied and insisted that she was where she needed to be and that things would be fine and wanted us to rest and have faith. Before we could even breathe one of our Pastor's from church, Clint Smith, was there to bring a burst of energy and hope with words of encouragement and love and I can NOT tell you have much that helped and meant to us! Thank you Clint and church!

Saturday morning was harder, they gave us a solemn guess about how long the process could take and told us that she was VERY sick. Seeing my baby hooked up to all of that and not being able to touch her was overwhelming and I of course broke down.

God intervened and sent Andy Goode and Ryan Blackwell with messages of love and hope and that continued on with the mass of people who started to pray for Abigail and her healing. Before the night was over her prognosis was already getting better!!! They discharged me and we went home to our girls and family, and if you don't think that was hard!!!

So many texts, fb comments, phone calls, and visitors started to appear and we felt such a love and blanket of friendship and peace that I cannot explain. Sunday morning they thought they'd try to extibate her, which meant that they would take her off the ventilation system and try to let her breathe on her own, but the Dr. decided to wait for another GOOD day for good measure. Andy Wilson came to visit and so did Doug Sarver, who has come through so much with his own son this last week and it meant a lot that he came.

SOOOO, Margaret and Tamara and their boys went home, and now dad, Landon and Sonya will be heading out today. My mom is staying for a day or two and family is rallying and making plans to come help for awhile so that I can be at the hospital with Abigail, Jeff can go back to work, the girls have someone (since they cannot come to the NICU)and we can find some kind of schedule or normal for this situation for awhile.

Thank you for your prayers and comments. I KNOW she will heal and that we will bring her home, but being a human and a female hopped up on emotion and pain I still ask for your diligence in praying for her and your friendship so that I don't allow satan to grab me when I have SO much to attend to right now.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My husband the ARTIST

I just had to share this with you! Many of you don't know that Jeff is an artist. He was raised in a very artistic family, which explains the eccentric spirit that he has. (not always easy to live with, but I'm not either)

This was his first portrait, and of course it's of me, and this was done right after high school. It is hanging in our bedroom. He's improved so much since then. He's done several famous and celebrity people. He even did a portrait for Martina McBride. Cool hu! For awhile it was a full time job for him to try to keep up with the demand. People LOVE to give gifts like this to their loved ones. (then he quit for many years)

Last year for his bday the girls and I refreshed his supplies and urged him to pick it up again. So he chose to do a beautiful piece of my dad wearing his Fez. (Shrine hat) It was a gorgeous depiction and resemblence of him and was very emotional.

After doing that one he decided that he was going to branch out and try something more stationary. He started a 3' or 4' canvas of the Washington Monument draped in the United States Flag. Of course with his new job and the HEAVY hours he hasn't been able to finish it, but it's on display in our family/craft room, waiting for him.

He has an amazing talent and love for doing this. I pray that someday he'll do one for each one of his daughter's. What a priceless gift. We love you babe!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Fun

Here are a few things that are MUST HAVES for the summer and some ideas for you to have some fun with your little ones!

Bubble machine - My little girls love to blow bubbles! They are so fascinated by it, but I saw this and KNOW that it'll be the NEW FUN THING for awhile.

Ice cream machine- You can buy these ANYWHERE! They come in all sizes and prices, from simple (my vote) to fancy. I remember taking my turn hand cranking on my Grandma's porch. Who doesn't LOVE the taste of FRESH old fashioned ice cream? The flavor possibilities are endless and it can be made well in advance. Who needs the Orange Mango, when you can do it at home and have fun.

Chorelist- Yes, you read correctly. All of my kids will be in charge of certain things over their "summer break" It's a PERFECT time to teach responsibility and help out mom. It can be a very overwhelming time for parents in the summer to keep the house clean and the kids busy, so they don't get BORED and make things even more difficult.

Book time- We either pull out a pile of books that we haven't read or we each go buy a new book to kick off the summer. At some point during the day the tv goes off and we all relax with a book. Sometimes Ammorae reads to the little girls, or they "pretend" read to each other and I get an opportunity to finally have some good catch up reading time too.

Baby you can read- I received this program for Christmas and it's REALLY working. It uses dvd's that show pictures and repetitive speaking and motions to teach even your 1 yr old how to read. I will advance my kids to the next step and maybe even introduce one of the foreign languages. Go to, ebay, or craigslist to buy them less expensive or used. Buying them this way you can gradually build your library and collection. I wonder if Game Exchange has it?

Here are some fun things you can do with your kiddos that are inexpensive and frugal;

Library time- my kids LOVE this! Most of the time you get to do a craft as well as hear some good stories. There is even a baby bookworm, this is my favorite, we get to sing, dance, and play musical instruments.

Dollar Movie Day- The Razorback Cinema has a $2.00 movie day each week and we went everytime last summer.

If you haven't done either of these make it a point- have a Lemonade stand and make homemade play-doh. Make sure that gma & gpa and friends will "casually" stop by to buy the lemonade. I have the BEST play- doh recipe that's last forever and smells great too.

Go bowling- The bumper lanes make it easy for success and during the afternoon it's less likely to be busy.

Water balloon day- We work all morning filling a laundry basket with water balloons and after nap time we all particpate in a crazy water fight.

Well, I don't want to overwhelm you, so look for somemore ideas next week! I can't wait to have my girls at home with me for all this fun! If you have good ideas, PLEASE pass them my way!!! I will be posting some GREAT recipes as well!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blog Update

I have been having some issues with my laptop. It hasn't wanted to download ANY pix. And if you're a blogger you know what kind of stress and aggrivation this would cause a girl! So instead of just writing, I've put it off.

So I've got all kinds of great stuff to share!

The pix above is a test pix of Ava and her Bopper or Dopper, which ever name she prefers to call him that day.

I am 37 weeks pregnant. Things have balanced out a little, so my dr. is "allowing" me to continue on for a little while. Wow, what a thoughtful physician I have, right! He he he, I've had a baby "not quite ready" in the NICU and I fully appreciate the waiting for safety sake.

We have settled into our new house just lovely. We've all become very comfortable and happy in our new environment. And it has inspired me to get back into the game and refurbish some old furniture. After the baby comes, of course. I want everyone to come visit and see my new precious baby and home VERY SOON! Consider this an invitation.

Ammorae made Jr. High cheerleader and has made pretty good grades this year. Just getting ready for final exams and can't wait to have her home over the summer. She always teaches her sisters so much and helps me a lot. We will be having friends over often, I have a feeling. Mostly to swim in our pool. Oh yeah, the two of us entered in the Mother/daughter Chocolate Festival at church and we won 3rd place with Chocolate Kahula Truffles!

Aydan has had a more than wonderful year in prek and is ahead of the game. She is so creative and makes me more proud each day. She is my official personal assistant. She wants to be "incharge" of everything that has to do with her soon to be baby sister.

Addy is finally potty trained! Hallelujah! She has the biggest heart of anyone I know. She is encouraging and so loving to her sisters. She walkes around randomly and gives each one of them kisses. She is very concerned about God and Jesus and what they are expecting of each one of us daily. It makes our daily lessons fun and interesting.

Ava is almost 2 and has really broadened her horizons the last two weeks. She is talking up a storm and repeating everything. Her facial expressions are priceless. She follows her big sisters around and does everything they do. It's so sweet to see them automatically involve her in all their adventures. Out of the blue she has decided that she no longer needs to be shy. This is going to be interesting!

Jeff has worked so hard to move us and get things comfortable before the baby comes. He has spoiled and showered us with surprises and thoughtful gifts. He's bent on working in the yard and just being a great dad. We are so blessed to have this big geek as our dad and husband.

I also might add that he is the BEST partner to have during labor. As scary and tiring of a situation as this can be, he is the most soothing, thoughtful, and strong person. Something just clicks with him and he completely takes over and makes me feel so comfortable and relaxed. He is more comfortable with a new born than any person, let alone man that I've ever seen. It's so bizarre. Around this time of my pregnancies, I am so happy to KNOW that he will be by my side! Thank you GOD!

I welcome summer and can't wait update you with all that's gone on in the Bryan house for the last couple of weeks, and what's going to come with a new addition to our family.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Size Matters

I'm really gonna lay myself out there today. Although I'm bombarded with some really BIG issues, something is laying HEAVY on me.

I think that I'm fretting and worrying more about my weight issue and a healthier lifestyle than I am about going into labor, having a new baby, moving into a new house, finances, a busy summer, and all the things that are on my plate.

This IS the last baby that we are physically having. The last five years have been filled with reasons and excuses of how and why I've gained weight, and this will now determine if I still have any control or diligence.

I know that the weighty person and the people outside looking in have completely different views about all of this. BUT I've been on both sides of this issue and I will tell you POSITIVELY that most of you don't think that you are stereotypical or judgemental, but YOU ARE! I've had people REFUSE to get to know me or celebrate my talents and personality, because they can't look past my looks- and then I've lost weight and have been able to sport my own personal style (which you can not very successfully do when you are bigger) and they've LOVED me. Hmmmm, not very uplifting or loving!!!

Since I've come to know this information I have a large amount of compassion for people battling this issue. I try so hard not to judge and get to know people for who they are and not what they look like. I have a great amount of patience and compassion, a gift blessed from God! I know ALL different KINDS of people and am so happy to have these life experiences to help me through life. I especially have been blessed, because I get to teach ALL of my daughters these IMPORTANT life lessons. Let's be real, girls are the worst and meanest at this, especially in school. God's had a plan this whole time!

All that aside, although it's very important for people to learn and practice better friendship skills, being healthy is the real issue here.

I want to be healthier, and have a healthier family. I don't want to be part of the overweight/obese society. It does take an awareness and work to prepare yourself and endurance to see it through.

So yes, I am having a baby SOON, and have a lot of responsibilities right now; but this summer and this year are going to be VERY life changing. I need all of your prayers, advice, love, and friendship to make it a true success. I am going to lose baby weight and laziness fat and become a healthier woman!!!!