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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Trip That Almost Wasn't

I have happy memories of summer and Youth Group.  That was something my church did well.  Actually, youth events in general were done very well.  I had many “non-Christian” friends join me for the events and grow to love my church family and stick around for more than the “events”.

That is something I hope I can get our current youth to understand.  The “Events” are totally there to have fun with each other – but so much more than that is the opportunity to get those friends who hate church or would never go to church to come to an event and get to know your “church friends”.  I had plenty of friends who would NEVER go to church, but they gladly came to an event where we had a 2 hour long food fight, or a day at Raging Waters, or a day at Six Flags…after all – those are “normal people” things to them.
So in my attempt to share some of my amazing experience with our group of Youth I scheduled a trip to Raging Waters.  Doing so with the assumption that most of the events we had so far had around 20 kids each – I figured having at least 15 for Raging Waters should be easy… Apparently I was wrong.

So on Monday I took the day off of work to spend a day with the Youth at Raging Waters.  We had 3 show up (YIKES!), but it was a very determined 3.  So after 2 hours of those 3 calling everyone they know we had a group of 15 (including leaders and my kids) – we loaded up the van and off we went. 

I think it was a great day personally.  It seemed everyone that went had fun, a few of them even asked if we could do it again.  But really what I want to tell you about is my kids (like the normal braggy mother I am).
Elijah: he wasn’t having it.  The water was cold and therefore Satan.  He went down one small kid slide and that was it for him.  I managed to get him knee deep in some water to splash around a little, but that was about it.  He did go on one big slide with Justin (in a raft) and latched onto Justin with all his might and would NOT let go.  He did NOT have fun on it and made that very clear.  He did say he had fun overall.

Jordan: Braver than she should be.  Her heart is in it, but she has her limitations.  She wanted to ride all the big stuff with the “adults”, but she wasn’t tall enough for some, and others were just too deep of water at the end and she can’t swim yet.  Poor kid.  She tried a few of the sort of big ones and did pretty good and is excited for next time when she is “bigger”.
Taylor: SHE WAS A CHAMP.  If you know this daughter of mine you know that words like “brave” and “restrained” are not usually associated with her.  But she was eager to try everything.  As a mom of a this “new swimmer” (she’s only been doing it without water wings for a few weeks) I was a nervous wreck watching her fly down the speed slides.  But she kept it under control.  She got out and dog paddled her way to safety.  When she went on one slide where the current was too strong for her to actually get out she paddled her way as close the life guard as she could and the nice lady jumped in and let her grab a floating to be pulled to “safety”…she didn’t even cry about it! WHOSE KID IS THIS?

And my last brag of the blog.  I made it all day WITHOUT A SUNBURN!  That is unheard of.  This pale red-head burns walking to the car.  Go me!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meeting the IP (Intended Parents)

If you are reading this, you are likely a friend on Facebook.  I think very few (if any at all) read this that aren’t.  That being said, you have seen pictures already of my awesome day on Saturday, but now you get the details.

On Thursday (not Friday like I though) the IP (Intended Parents) landed and started adjusting to a temporary life in Southern California.  Having never traveled more than a few hours away via plane, I can only assume Friday was spent sleeping/adjusting to a 12 hour difference in time.

Last minute plans were made late Friday afternoon for our first (of many I hope) rendezvous.  I scheduled a 3D/4D ultrasound and made dinner plans. 

We went to an Ultrasound place in Orange – I would tell you the name, but I was so very un-impressed by their timeliness that I will not give them the shout out.  If you want to know, ask and I’ll tell you.

Our appointment was at 5, but seeing how John (the translator) is nearly always late for meetings I told them to meet us at 4:30. 

WAIT: Important thing to note Justin had an all day Youth event that day as well which meant he would NOT be able to meet the parents (again).  Amber (our super rockstar babysitter and pseudo member of our family) was going to come in his place to help me control the kids.  HOWEVER, nobody showed up for the event so Justin made it home just in time to attend the rendezvous and had to cancel on Amber last minute.

So anyway, The Davis Clan (all 5 of us) pulled up to the ultrasound place shortly after 4:30.  And the door was locked… annoying.  4:45 came…and the door was still locked…annoying.  About 4:55 I see John (the translator) come around the corner and I get butterflies.  Will I be what they expect? Will they think I’m too thin, or too fat? Will they think I look too pale or like I’ve spent too much time in the sun?  What will my appearance (their first sight of me in a year) tell them about how I’m taking care of THEIR baby?

But honestly, the moment I saw them that all dissipated and I just got excited. 

We chatted a little as I introduced them to my family (that they’d never met) and really they just watched the kids.  The mom in particular just sat with them and watched them run around like maniacs and smiled.  I wish I could FEEL what that felt like (again that is).  To know you are only 2 months away from having THAT.  Shortly AFTER 5 the ultrasound tech came around the corner and unlocked the door for the appointment (have I said how ANNOYING this was?)
I really wanted the ultrasound to be my gift to the family, however, they refused to let me pay for anything.  They even bought a stuffed animal for each of the kids while we were there.  Then we had the ultrasound.  Nothing too crazy to note.  The facility was REALLY nice and comfortable and huge, but the waiting before was annoying enough that I don’t want to recommend them.

Ann Ann (the baby in case you missed where I told you her name) was sleeping with her foot and both hands in front of her face.  It took like 10 minutes to get her to move them so they could actually see her face.  There she was (estimated at 3 pounds 13 ounces already…a big baby). 
After the ultrasound we headed to dinner.  This was my favorite part (and not just because I REALLY like food).  I sat at the end of the table with the mom and her best friend (who she brought with her).   Justin sat on the end with the dad.  2 of the 3 kids (Jordan was tired and grumpy) just played and talked with the parents.  Elijah in particular had a blast with the dad.  He played with him, shot straw rockets at him, and just worked his cute man magic.  Taylor in her very flashy fashion danced and sang for them and at some point tried to tie a bow on the dad’s head.  The mom sat quietly and watched, and laughed, and smiled.  We chatted some more where I found out more about her and that she is STAYING IN CA until she leaves with the baby (1-2 months after she is born).  They are staying at a house locally that has a pool and BBQ and they invited us to come over as much as we want to swim and eat.  “I’ll make you steak” were the exact words from the mom for me (she knows I have an addiction to red meat and how it is doctor recommended).

Oh, and they gave us amazing gifts from China.  Justin got an 8 CD set of classic Chinese music (they know he loves music).  They got me a picture frame based off of a famous Chinese Opera and a gorgeous silk scarf.  And each of the kids got a figurine based of a famous Chinese story.







After dinner we walked to the car and said our goodbyes.  I asked for some pictures and during one of the pictures my belly bumped the mom’s belly.  For the first time she paused and looked at me asked if she could touch me.  I said “Of course!” and watched as Ann Ann’s mommy got to “touch” her for the first time.  If I can get that much joy from a moment like that, I can’t even imagine what it will be like when I get to see them actually hold her for the first time.




I’ve never doubted our choice to take this journey.  But that moment just gave it a little more solidarity (I have no idea if I used that word correctly).  I cannot wait for the coming weeks/months.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Fat Head of Lettuce

Yes, I called the baby fat…in fact originally the title was “Fatty”.  Because she must be a little fatty.  And a head of lettuce sounds huge – and seeing how I am less than 9 weeks away of experiencing the worst pain possible in my nether regions (pain the radiates through your entire body) she can deal with me calling her a fatty.
She won’t even know what it means anyway (because she’s Chinese not because she’s an infant). 
So what have we learned so far? I am apparently prone to picking on her for her weight and ethnicity.  I must be a horrible human being.  I don’t actually think that…if you do you are dumb and clearly don’t understand my odd sense of humor (which gets even odder the pregnanter I get).
She’s been moving like crazy.  This is the fun part where you can watch your whole body twitch as she lets one good kick hit you in the side, or the rib, or the bladder (that one sucks…well actually “leaks”).
The most exciting news right now though is that at some point today (already happened, happening, or will happen) her Mommy and Daddy will be landing in from a long flight from China to Southern California!  Granted, I don’t actually know it was a non-stop flight so I could be a liar (so I’m a liar who picks on fat Chinese babies).
I get to see them for the first time in a YEAR! I get to talk with them (in person) for the first time in a YEAR.  For the first time in their LIVES they will get to see/feel their baby!  We’re almost there!  They are not actually here for that reason – but I’m at least 1 stop in their stay.
They are actually here because she’s getting more eggs sucked out (that’s not what really happens) and fertilized for their next baby.  From what I gather they actually already have another surrogate picked out and ready for baby #2 – HOLY COW! 2 babies less than a year apart.
But I can’t wait to see them. If I have my way I’ll get to spend a whole day with them – doing some “fun” things and some necessary things:
·         Hospital Tour and Discussion

·         Group Therapy session about the Birth/After Birth expectations

·         4D Ultrasound

·         Dinner with my family
In other news – I am doing well.  My Hemoglobin is still low, but “higher” than I was with any of my other pregnancies.  Oddly (not normal at all) my iron is actually in the NORMAL healthy range… not normal for me… but like normal for regular un-broken people.  AWESOME!  I’ve also gained 30 pounds – that’s more than I have EVER gained (hence the reason I call this baby a fatty).
I do have a very specific prayer request though.  My doctor told me that the more babies you have the more like you are to hemorrhage (bleed-and why is there a 2nd h in that word?)  Because of that (And a HUGE thank you to Tiffany for explaining it to me) she said she wants to put me on Pitocin after I deliver.  It will cause my uterus to contract and make it less likely that I’ll bleed.  That makes me sad…very very sad.
I tell people the best part about birth is that it’s the worst pain imaginable, but as soon as that kids out – it’s over.  The contractions stop…the pain stops….just done.  That is one of the best moments/feelings ever and to think that I won’t get that because shortly after the doctors are gonna make my contractions start again makes me sad.  Very very sad.
So prayer requests:
1.       That the Pitocin won’t be horrible

2.       That I get some good quality time with the parents this upcoming week or two (LET THEM SEE JESUS!)

3.       That this baby grows healthy and strong

4.       That I can stay awake during the day
I love you friends! Thank you again for being awesome.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Elijah is 4!

First I have to say a few things.  Like the fact that with every baby I wished for a boy.  So that when I was pregnant for the 3rd time I was terrified to find out what I was having.  So we told the Doctor to write the gender down and put it in a sealed envelope “just in case” we (well I) changed my mind about finding out the gender.
I lasted a whole 4 hours (if that) and opened the envelope to see this: 
We were thrilled.  I was thrilled…I was getting my Momma’s Boy…so I thought.
Elijah LOVED daddy – he wanted to do what Daddy was doing, he cried for Daddy when he was gone, he wanted to go wherever Daddy was going.  Mommy was “OK”, but Daddy was the best.
Over the last few months that has begun to change.  He still adores his Daddy, but he loves Mommy in a very unique way.

When we are walking he insists on holding my hand and he tells me, “Mommy, I keep you safe”

He constantly gives me giant hugs and kisses – he insists on kissing both of my cheeks with his good night kisses.

He tells me constantly that he loves me best.  He tells me constantly that he really likes me.

I love my little man in such a unique way – our bond is so different than with my girls.  And I love it!
I won’t have his “stats” for a while so that won’t be here – but I guess he’s a little below average in height and super skinny.  He is very offended and upset when he makes a mistake or gets in trouble and insists he can be a “Big Boy”.  He wants to try most things on his own now and is developing his own list of favorite things.  He loves to play anything really – cars, trains, super heroes, dress up, dolls, etc.  He hates clothes and nearly always strips down to his underwear when walking in the front door (like his Daddy).  He isn’t the brightest of my kids and knows only 1-2 colors on a good day, 2-4 shapes, and none of his numbers or letters.  Although I do think he is beginning to recognize his “E” for Elijah.  He has another year to catch up though.

He brings laughter to our house – pure, genuine laughter.  The faces he makes and things he says (not intending to be funny) constantly have Justin and I laughing hard.  I love this little man!  And for the last year you will get his Monthly Growth pictures (next year I switch to annual only).  I missed a couple months in there:



 Birth
 
 Age 1

 Age 2

 Age 3
 
 July 2013
 August 2013
 September 2013

 October 2013

 December 2013

January 2014
 
 February 2014

 
 May 2014

 June 2014
 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Cabbage

I have to admit I feel bad about not posting more frequently about the baby.  It’s really that this is one of the most uneventful points in the pregnancy.   I did find it odd this week to find out she is the size of a cabbage…isn’t that smaller than an eggplant (the size a few weeks ago)?  Although an eggplant is less “round” and would be much easier to process through my lady parts in a couple of months.
Yes… a couple of months!  Well a 10 weeks-ish.  We’re ¾ of the way there.
Here is what is going on this week:
·         My back and feet are killing me

·         If I am in any position that is not sitting straight up I have heartburn…literally ALL the time I recline or lay down so I’m getting up 3-4 times a night needing Tums

·         I have a feeling my iron is back up because I do have more energy than I have in the last month – I go in on Friday for blood work to find out for sure

·         This little girl’s name is Ann Ann (which means peace and tranquility in Chinese)

·         The Intended Parents (IP) bought Elijah a birthday gift that should be here for his Birthday tomorrow (ELI is turning 4 – Holy Cow!)

·         This little girl is about 3 pounds (“half” her birth weight – so they say) and 17 inches long-ish
So I think at this point my prayer requests are starting to shift. ..

1.       Continue to pray for a nice healthy baby

2.       Pray for the coming months as I get to spend face to face time with the IP.  I want to pour Jesus out of every pore of my body so they can see/feel him in a very real way

3.       That my last couple months at work go smoothly and I can continue to work until a week or 2 before the due date

4.       A nice/easy delivery so I can heal quickly and be back to work a couple of weeks after she is born
Thank you friends (and family that reads) for being part of this journey with us through your prayers and support.  I’ve said it before, and it’s always worth saying again – I have the BEST FRIENDS ever.