Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Up, Up, and AWAY!!!

It's a rare thing to have a full UNINTERRUPTED day home with Frank. There are either phones ringing, computers on, places to be, things to be fixed, hobbies to play with, time alone in his garage (aka man cave) chores to do, etc... etc...
but this particular day, (after spending the previous one at the hospital with the rest of the fam) we had no other distractions so we just devoted the day to "family time" and it was probably one of the best days ever! Towars the late afternoon we took Lilley to the park in our neighborhood and decided she was ready to try out the swing... As you can see by the expression on her face, IT WAS A HIT! She smiled and laughed pretty much the entire time. I guess it was to be expected though, she adores her swing at home, has since the minute we first put her in it, and she likes the highest setting. She laughed everytime i'd push her and say "up, up, and away." We took turns pushing her while the other played with buddy. We still try to include him in as much as possible so he doesn't feel left out. Here are just a few shots from her first swing experience.

Then after 45 minutes or so on the swing, nap time crept up on us, and the little one began to melt down as we call it in our house... she was done, and ready for bed. After about 6 minutes with daddy, she was passed out in the stroller for the walk home.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beautiful Evan.

My heart is so full of emotions right now, mostly happy, but a tiny part is aching just a little... you see, yesterday morning at 4:59am (according to the alarm clock) Franks phone rang and immediately, we both knew something was wrong. It was sort of a "middle of the night" call, you know, the ones you dread and make your heart sink a little in your chest.
Well, on the other end of the line was Franks baby sister, who was 7 months, i think almost to the day, pregnant with a little boy... i didn't hear all of the conversation, but from what i gathered after the first few seconds, and the tone in Franks voice, i knew that heart sinking feeling was true and something was wrong, and i knew it had to do with her pregnancy. For a day or so before that we had noticed on her facebook that she had been saying that she was experiencing some head aches and that they weren't getting much better. Well, long story short, she ended up driving herself to the hospital in the early morning...
Let me quickly explain why she drove herself... her husband is a pilot and had just left a few days before for some flight training in Dallas, Tx. and so therefore she was home with just their little doggie BANDIT.
Anyway, she had been at the hospital a couple hours and they discovered that she had developed PREECLAMPSIA~which is the development of high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy. She was 30 weeks along.
The only solution was to deliver the baby. That is potentially a very serious condition if it gets to the point where she was. Your body can swell pretty bad and blood pressure can go over 200. In some casas, like our sister, your body can become allergic to your placenta. It's a very scary thing.
After Frank hung up the phone, we both got this sick feeling. We layed in bed for a few minutes in silence, i didn't ask what he was thinking, but i know he was praying to HEAVENLY FATHER that both his sister and the baby make it through this. I layed there thinking, and this is just being honest. HOW AWFUL SHE MUST FEEL. HOW ALONE. HOW SCARED. NO HUSBAND THERE TO HOLD HER HAND AND CALM HER. NO MOM AND DAD THERE TO EASE HER PAIN. NO BROTHER OR SISTERS WITH HER TO ASSURE HER EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. JUST ALONE, IN A COLD STERILE UNFAMILIAR PLACE, WITH AN UNBORN CHILD WHOSE LIFE IS IN QUESTION, AND HER OWN LIFE PROBABLY FOR THAT MATTER. I wanted to hurry and get there. We had an hour drive, she was at HOAG HOSPITAL IN NEWPORT BEACH. I don't know why I wanted to hurry and get there so bad, it's not like I could do anything for her, i knew we wouldn't even be able to see her, I guess I just wanted to be there so she could know that I LOVED HER AND SUPPORTED HER AND THAT UNBORN BABY. she's family, and thats what family does right? Well, wish as I might, my wish to hurry and get there didn't work out as well as planned... as Franks sisters know, he's kind of slow moving and notoriously late to just about EVERYTHING. except work! thank goodness. he was even late to our own wedding!!!!! hahaha. anyways, as much as i could try to blame it on frank, it wasn't his fault that we got a later start, we now have a baby, and lots of baby things to bring, and ironically, a car that all of a sudden started having transmission problems the day before. So we had to scramble to get a few things taken care of before headin out... We knew she would be having her surgery at 7:30 am and it was just before that time that we actually got on the road, so the car ride up was somewhat reminiscent of our quiet moments in bed just a little while before. Again, i'm sure Frank was in deep thought and fervent prayer.
Before we left the house Frank and I were talking about PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS and how he should give her one and the baby too. For those who don't know, a PRIESTHOOD BLESSING, (IN THIS CASE) IS A BLESSING WHERE A MAN OR PREFERABLY TWO MEN WHO HAVE BEEN ORDAINED TO DO SO ANOINT THE SICK OR AFFLICTEDS HEAD WITH CONSECRATED OIL AND THEN FOLLOWING A FEW SPECIAL WORDS, GIVE A BLESSING AND SEAL IT UPON THE HEAD OF THE SICK OR AFFLICTED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. (thats the cliff notes version, for questions or more info on the matter, please refer to (www.LDS.ORG)
We talked about how he could share his humble testimony of the power of FAITH IN THE LORD AND IN THESE SPECIAL BLESSINGS.
As we were driving to the hospital, most of the time it was quiet in the car except for a few ROars from Lilley telling us she was there. But then as we got closer we started talking about blessings again, and how in these kinds of situations people probably start out wanting a blessing to immediately fix the problem, but in reality how sometimes, these prayerful blessings seem to go unheard, and the situation might even continue to get worse. We were talking about how important it is to remember that God ALWAYS HEARS AND ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS, but that it might not be in the way we had hoped or on the time frame we had hoped for either. We weren't trying to think negatively about our own sisters situation, I think we were both just trying to be realistic and help one another to remember that even in our darkest hours, when all hope might seem to be lost, The Lord has promised us that "HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US, BUT THAT HE WILL COMFORT US." These are the times when it is most appropriate to "BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."
In the Church, we as members believe in the use of modern medicine and all of the scientific knowledge and techniques available to us coupled with a PRIESTHOOD BLESSING AND OF COURSE, MOST IMPORTANTLY, OUR FAITH. anyways, back to the story, so we finally arrive at the hospital and search on a couple floors for our sister and nephew, not knowing how the surgery went or anything, and we FINALLY run in to Franks mom and she tells us no surgery yet, that our sister is tired, but hangin on and that they are desperately trying to wait for her husband to get there before they do the c-section and get the baby out.
After a couple hours and most of the family and extended family in the waiting room, we see our brother in law, fresh off a plane at John Wayne Airport (10 minutes away) run down the hallway... he didn't see any of us, and in to labor and delivery, i'm telling you, that whole situation could have been straight out of a movie. He missed them take the baby out by just a couple minutes, but was finally able to take his rightful place next to his wife and hold her hand through the rest of the day, and now, indefinitely as they take it one day at a time.

Sweet baby EVAN DANIEL VANDER VELDE was born (around) 11:42 am Saturday November 13 2010. He WEIGHS approx 3lbs 1oz and 16 1/4 in.
My mother in law was in the operating room with Alexis as they brought baby Evan in to the world and as soon as she could, she came out to share the news that Alexis is doing much better and that baby EVAN is here and ALIVE and was BREATHING AND EVEN CRYING!!!! EVERYBODY was so relieved, i swear it was like the weight of the world had been lifted from each of our shoulders and all of us shed some tears! :) happy tears! then through out the day each of us made our way in to see Alexis, and much to at least my surprise, when i went in her room, she was so calm, so peaceful, so strong, so courageous, SO BEAUTIFUL. she only briefly saw her baby as they wheeled him away to the NICU, BUT SHE TOLD ME HOW BEAUTIFUL HE WAS, AND WHAT BIG FEET HE HAD AND THAT SHE FELT SO PEACEFUL ABOUT ALL OF THIS.
What a truly incredible woman she is, so MUCH faith and optimism at such a trying time. Only the grandparents saw baby Evan in the NICU, so the rest of us are eager to meet this special little boy. We know that tiny as he may be, he's a FIGHTER, he wants to be here, and he knows he is loved. Yesterday, for a Few moments, I was able to sit alone with my brother in law in the waiting room just after he had been with the baby and he told me how when he spoke to Evan he could see his tiny little eyelids opening in response to his voice. Awgh, my heart was just bursting, i had to REALLY fight back the tears, i even did the biting the lower lip thing. I was so happy for him. Then, just tonight Frank and i got a text from Alexis saying "got to hold Evan for the first time for about 2 hours, it was awesome, his vitals went up and he was totally content!" After Frank walked away, the tears started flowing...
Frank never was able to give either of them the blessings he desperately wanted to, mostly due to the fact that there was so many people in and out of alexis' room and that the baby was taken so quickly up to the NICU and for a while no one was able to see him. But we trust in the LORD that they are in his care now, and he has already bestowed the blessings upon them that Frank would have done. We are truly grateful for that knowledge, and I am so happy for her, and for them. This all happened so quickly and extremely unexpectedly, and only continues to get better.
As of now little Evan Almighty has a 90% survival rate and is doing well. I pray from the very bottom of my heart that he continues to progress each day and grow bigger and stronger so that he can go home and continue his beautiful and blessed life outside the walls of a hospital! Their family is in need of all of our prayers, that little boy is in need of all of our prayers. each of us is in need of each others prayers, so tonight, as you bow your head to pray, ask for a special blessing for those who stand in need of a blessing or a miracle. The Lord hears and answers our prayers, maybe not when and how we'd always like him to, but he does, and my nephew baby Evan is proof of that. may he accomplish all that he has been sent here to accomplish in his life is my humble prayer.
i love you baby Evan.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

my daily gem


Each morning I wake up to this beautiful little gem smiling and cooing away.

She is kicking her feet with excitement and flailing her tiny little arms as I walk down the hall way in to her bedroom (carrying the monitor of course, that's how i know) and as I take my last step towards her, before she sees me, she lets out this most adorable squeal as if she knows i'm right there to whisk her out of her bed and it to my arms for our morning snuggle. There really isn't much else that could be a more perfect start to my near perfect days... except of course when Frank gets to sleep in with us and experience these daily gems himself. I know every parent loves their child, I just don't ever think i thought let alone comprehended the depth of that love until miss Lilley arrived in our world. Best thing that ever happened to Frank and I! :)
It's very rare as you other moms know to have pictures with your babies and you, so the other day we were sitting on the couch playing and I decided to be a bit cheesy and take some of lilley and myself with my free hand...

corny as it may be, it's documented proof that at this time in lilley's little world, I am just about the best thing ever to her and that melts my heart time and time again. haha here are a few shots of our play date on the couch, observing the outdoors from our front porch and our play date/ photo shoot today at the park...

just slightly obsessed with these tini feet and the little slippers that fit oh-so-perfectly!

there you have it friends, simply stated, she is my daily gem. and I heart her for it. just wish her daddy could experience all that is beautiful and right and good and perfect with our world through her big greenish eyes as much as I get to.
the end~

pretty in pink!

Since baby Lilley was too little to trick or treat this year, we didn't even really want to dress her up, but then one day I was browsing the aisles of Target, and these adorable mini wings jumped right off the shelf and in to my cart so I knew I had to buy not really knowing if they'd get used for another year or two til she's big enough to play dress up, but then I got home and the ballet slippers were out on her dresser, so alas, my atempt at making a baby fairy costume was born! I was going to go all out and decorate a onesie too, but i just decided to make due with what I had, with the exception of making her tutu. The pictures don't really do justice to how adorable she actually looked. even though we didn't trick or treat, we did make it to see some family and friends. All and all halloween was a nice mellow evening.