Monday, July 29, 2013

My Baby Girl is 3...

Yesterday, my little girl, my baby, turned 3.  I can hardly believe it!  Where does the time go?
My Dearest Elaina,
It seems like just yesterday that I was hearing your heartbeat and seeing that little peanut that was you on the ultrasound monitor for the first time, wondering if you were going to be a boy or a girl.

11 weeks

Then there was the day we got to see you in 3D and found out you were a girl!

20 weeks
I know I made them triple check. :)  I wanted to be sure before I committed to the thought of having a daughter.  I was used to boys, but I was so thrilled to know that I would have another girl in the house!
Then there was the moment when I knew that you were coming...5 weeks early.
In labor at 35 weeks and headed to the hospital the morning of July 28, 2010

I know that I cried.  I was scared.  I was so afraid to face the NICU again.  I know I begged God to take away the labor, to calm my heart, but instead He whispered to me, "She is coming, you will go through the NICU again and it will be ok.  I love her more than you do.  Trust Me."  I remember the peace that came over me, and I knew that God would work it all out somehow; that all would be well.
And then you were here, born at 2:22pm via C-section.
Not even an hour old, if memory serves, July 28, 2010

They put you on some oxygen just to make sure, but your lungs were fine.  You were perfect health-wise, other than some eating issues, and you wouldn't be there long!
Just the feeding tube in NICU

You were my littlest, but my healthiest baby, despite the NICU.  God had not made me a promise He did not keep - everything was indeed ok, more than ok.  Everything was beautiful...Just like you!
The boys loved you instantly.
The boys meeting little sister with Mom for the first time

They were such proud big brothers!  They loved to touch you and talk to you and couldn't wait to have you home!
And the day you did come home, one week later...
First day home, August 4, 2010
They couldn't stop smiling and couldn't get enough of their little sister!!  (Dad was pretty smitten, too, and everyone else for that matter, too!)
You grew and thrived, with little reflux issues and other things along the way, but all in all, defying your preemie status from day one.  My little fighter, survivor and sweetheart all rolled into one!  Your strong will kept you healthy and strong and will bring you a long way...if you use it in the right way!
My Elaina, Laina Lou, Laina Bug...
You are so full of joy! 
July 2011

 May you always keep that laugh and smile at the ready!  It makes life so much more fun and bearable!
May you always keep your sense of style...individual style! 
Stylin', December 2012
 You are unique.  Embrace it!  Love it!  Own it!  Enjoy being who you are...and never apologize for your quirks.  They make you special!
May you always keep your sweetness! 
3rd Birthday, July 28, 2013
You have a big heart (though we are working on the sharing thing because that is still hard, big heart or not), you love to make others smile, and hearing you say, "Pweeze" or "Kay Coo" or "Oooo!  I wuv it!" while you offer huge hugs and/or kisses melts this momma's heart. Every. Single. Time.
You don't harbor pretense.  You say it like you see it, you express your heart.  I love that honesty in you - may you never lose that, though I may not like it some days, because honesty is so very important!  Tact would be good, though.  We'll work on that. :)
My prayer for you, sweet daughter, is that you grow up to love God, to live for Him and that you follow Him with all of your heart, soul and mind!  I pray that you find the perfect soul mate in your future husband (whomever he may be), if it is God's will for you to be married, and that you serve the Lord together and raise your children (should you have any) together for Him.
Most of all, I pray that you know how much I love you and that I will always love you.  No matter what you do, no matter where you go, I will be here.  Even if you stray, even if you do things to break my heart, I will be here, loving you, praying for you and ready to accept you back when you are ready to come back.  May we never face those days...
I look forward to getting to know more and more of my Elaina Sharron as she grows and matures!  You are an amazing little lady, Laina Lou, and I am so glad you are a part of this family!
I love you so very much!
Happy 3rd Birthday, sweetheart!
Xs and Os,

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pictures, Pictures and More Pictures!

So, I know I have mentioned how crazy it has been around here lately, but I figured it was time you got to see just how crazy.  Get ready for picture overload!
This month, we have:
Gotten our kids cute, matching (nearly) Despicable Me T-shirts and seen Despicable Me 2.
Who can resist those minions?!?!
We've celebrated Independence Day with:
- cute hair-dos
(Yes, she does sit still while I do this!  She wiggles a little bit, but if she's got something to watch, like Curious George, she does great!)
- Patriotic attire
(They love their sister!)
- Helping with the parade
- Making new friends
- Watching the parade
 (I love her face, don't you? LOL)
- Waiting for fireworks
- Watching fireworks
I've made pies, like this one (and a few other types I didn't get pictures of).
We've had some extended family time.
Made more goodies, like these (recipe going up on Natural and Free soon!).
And even got some fun time in at my parent's camp with some church friends.
This isn't everything we've been up to, but it's a good portion of it!  We didn't have any pictures of the tent meeting (which I made the pie for), or I would've included those, too.  And it is not over yet either!  We've got VBS and Elaina's 3rd birthday left to go!  Feel free to say, "Wowzers!" and take a deep breath with me! :D
Yes, it's been crazy busy...but it's been a blast! :)
What have you been up to this summer?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Busyness, Heat and Migraines...Oh, My!

Hello, my dear readers!
I know I haven't posted in over a week, and I apologize.  It has been very busy in my neck of the woods lately, and it is going to continue to be so through July.  I will still try to get my weekly post in, but forgive me if they are more like every week and a half. :)
Not only have things been crazy busy, but I have been dealing with some debilitating migraines recently.  I have had them in the past, but not like this.  Pain meds (I have either taken Advil, Excedrin Migraine or Meloxicam, normally with some coffee) have always worked if I took them within a half hour of the onset of the migraines...but not with the last 2 that I have had...that were only 3 days apart.
As I believe I have mentioned before, I have been keeping a food diary to see if I could pin down food triggers that have been aggravating my Fibromyalgia (extra pain, IBS symptoms, etc.), and in that I have recorded any headaches, etc.  The food diary has cemented that I do indeed have trouble with soy and processed foods, possibly gluten in excess (though that is not 100%), and that I have problems with too much grease/greasy foods or too much sugar/sugary foods...and it has also shown me that my headaches are becoming worse.
Let's backtrack a little.  Years ago, I got migraines often.  After I started on Levothyroxine for my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, the migraines improved to the point that I basically never got them more than once every few months, and only if I didn't eat right or if the weather was acting up, if I was sick, etc.
Since June 3, 2013, I have had 11 headaches, 6 of which were bad enough to take something for (I normally don't take anything unless they are headed towards migraine status, because generally coffee works for the mild ones).  Seven of the 11 headaches have been within the last 2 weeks...and 2 of those did not go away for several hours, though I took Meloxicam and had some coffee - a winning combo normally.  I am still feeling the effects of the last one that I had on Saturday, though there is no pain...Also a new thing for me.
I am also dealing with migraine aura at a level I never had before (and today's stormy weather which always gets to me is not helping, though I have avoided the headache pain today so far - YAY! :) ), including numbness near where the migraine was, "stupid hands" as I call it (where my hands don't want to grasp or function right, especially my right hand), blurred vision/blind-type spots (my eye feels like it is 1/2 closed when it is not) in my left eye (the last 2 migraines were just about my left eye about eyebrow level, near my nose), among other things.  It has been a bit concerning, but nothing that is not part of a typical migraine, though new to me.
Since the worst of the migraines came on after being outside in the heat for over an hour, I am thinking that this may be a new Fibromyalgia thing brought on by extreme heat, since a lot of the Fibromyalgia sufferers I know face migraines and extreme heat or cold can be a trigger.  Needless to say, I am not thrilled if this is the case.  Easy enough fix, just a disappointment. 
At any rate, I am hoping you will all pray with me about these things:
  1. That I will know if and when to talk to the doctor about these headaches.  I don't want to panic, but I don't want to be neglectful of my health either.  I have told my hubby that if I have one more migraine, especially if it is within the next few days, or if this aura stuff doesn't let up soon, I am going to at least call the doctor, if not make an appointment.  Don't worry; if anything seems at all emergency, I will go to the ER if I must.  It is not there yet, and I'm praying it doesn't get there!
  2. That I will have peace.  Freaking out and worrying are a bad combo for someone with Fibromyalgia and they just complicate things in general.  I know God is here, that He knows all about this, but it is so easy to forget when you're suffering.  Pray that I can rest in His peace.
  3. If/when I do go in, that any tests will either be covered by slide fees or insurance or that we'll be able to afford them or be able to make payments, and that the doctor will know which tests (if any) to run and not run.  We are not wealthy people and doctor's bills and testing costs can get crazy quick.  We'll get the tests done that need to be done, but we'd really like to only pay for the necessary tests, if you know what I mean.  I'd really, also, rather not have 100 different tests done only to find out that 99 of them were unnecessary. :)  I think you know what I mean.
  4. Please pray that if I am prescribed any medications that I can take them without issue, that we can avoid a narcotic-based pain med and that it will work.  I have a really hard time with strong medications.  They normally do more harm than good or make things worse.  Please pray that we can find one that works, if we need to go that route.
  5. Please pray that the doctor will find the root cause so that we don't have to do a "band aid fix".  As I said, I'm ok with medication...If it's needed.  If we can figure out the cause of these migraines, we may be able to stop them.  If it is that they are indeed Fibromyalgia-related or in some way unavoidable at times (i.e. heat-triggered, weather-triggered, menstrual cycle triggered), then I'll take the medications that I need to take when I cannot avoid the stimuli that cause them.
Thank you!  Knowing that your thinking about and praying for me means so much!
How about you, dear reader?
Is there something you need prayer for?
Feel free to leave me a comment below or email me at any time.  My email is always open, and I'd love to be your prayer partner!