Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Our first week of training camp

yup - that's what motherhood feels like.

Training Camp...

Grueling, exhausting, getting pushed to the breaking point - all to reach an ultimate goal - and in this case - a happy, well rested baby.

My last "countdown" post I wrote about Iz's astrological sign. Since she was born on the 19th, she isn't a Cancer - she's a a Gemini...


This Little One has duel personalities. She can be a complete sweet, little, happy Angel and then a second later turn beet red, scrunch up her face, wail like there's no tomorrow.

I swear, I think CPS is going to come knocking on my door the way this little one cries. She gets so easily frustrated (Craig trait) when things aren't exactly perfect (a me trait).
We've used all of our skills - Happiest Baby on the Block tricks, bribing, swing, paci, you name it...but if Izzy isn't happy - she just isn't happy.

She also did not get the memo that babies her age are supposed to sleep 16-18 hours a day. She is happy staring off into space while I hold her. I try to look in the same direction to see what she's looking at - but nope - nada.

We've had our battles in the evenings. She struggles to get to sleep and gets SO tired and has a hard time getting to sleep. So, we hold her, give her baby crack (aka the Pacifier) and she'll calm down....most of the time.

Craig and I laugh about it though. She gets SO mad. It's cute the first couple of times - but at 3am...not so much.

Craig has been a God send. A great Dad. An even better husband. He helped a lot during her first week. I slept from 9:00-11:30PM - while he watcher her - I got up - fed her and he went to bed. He would wake up around 5am - and take over while I slept a few hours. We had a great routine down...then he had to go back to work on Monday :-(

Right now, Iz and I are in survival mode. Just trying to take it day by day and keep my sanity. She's asleep now and I'm getting ready to try and rest while I have the quiet.

We've been blessed with great friends from church that have brought us meals every night. We've been blessed even more with great family that comes and helps out as much as possible.

Motherhood. Not full of Hallmark moments. But, there are glimpses of greatness every day that keep me and Craig going.

Iz has huge eyes that just look right at you. You couple that with her little fingers wrapped around mine....priceless. She makes a sweet sighing sound when I nurse her that I love to hear every time we feed. She lets out huge burps and has some gas "issues" that make me and Craig laugh because we just can't figure out how a baby as small as she is makes sounds as loud as she does. Watching Craig hold her and soothe her and see how much he loves her - wow - I can't even begin to describe that.

It's so much tougher than anything I have or will ever do. It's so much work and truly thankless. There have been moments filled with tears, feelings of inadequacy, thoughts of my abilities to be the mom that she needs....but also moments of sheer joy that is indescribable.

I love that Iz has made me a mom. I love that she's training me to rely on God for my strength to get through each moment. I love that she is nothing how I envisioned but so much more...much, much more!

with her Abuelo

Our little Glow worm
Daisy watching her baby sister
Her first bath - she's posing - what a diva!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My early bird....Happy 1 week brithday!

So much for my countdown!

Isabelle Grace - Izzy - was born June 19, 2009 at 5:28 PM.

It is a day I will remember forever.

It's a story I'll never get tired of sharing.

It's a moment that surpassed every expectation I could have ever imagined.

Here it is...how mine and Craig's life changed in a moment...
**due the graphic nature of this post - parental discretion is advised**

"Crap." I thought to myself. "I knew I should have been doing those Kegel exercises. I think I just peed my pants." I looked at the clock - 2:58 AM.

To the restroom it is...wait...I don't have to use the restroom.

"Uh oh - could my water just have broken?" my next thought. My heart was racing - ok time to calm down.

I start to laugh.

**Three hours earlier**
I'm sitting in bed worried that maybe the date for the induction - June 22 - was too soon for my dear daughter. Craig and I talked about calling the doctor that afternoon and asking if we can wait until my actual due date on June 28. Of course - I lay in bed and worry. So - I do what I normally do - I prayed.
"God - I know I worry a lot. But, I just want to make sure that Iz is ready to be here. If You think she's ready - then you'll give me a sign that her arrival sooner than June 28th is ok. If You give me a sign - I won't call my doctor to change my induction date."

**3:02 AM on June 19th**
I do the tricks to figure out if this is the real deal - if my water broke.
Yup - I think this is it. Guess God thought I needed a BIG sign!

"Honey - wake up. I think my water broke. We need to go. "
Craig, "Are you sure?"

"Yeah - I'm gonna shower - you get everything ready."

**3:38 AM** We head to the hospital...

**4:00 AM - Get checked into the hospital. Hmm...they couldn't confirm that it was actually amniotic fluid. They decide to have me hang out and see if I get a "gush". They won't admit me until they are for sure this is IT!"

The nurse tells me she'll recheck for fluid at 5:15AM.

**5:10 AM - I feel the gush. Checked - yup - it's it. I'm 1.5 cm dilated.... GRRREEEAT!!!
Uh oh - looks like Iz was in stress. There was meconium in the amniotic fluid..time to get things going...

**5:45 AM - Get admitted and moved to a labor room. Pitocin is started...here we go..."

**8:00 AM - I was dilated at 1.5 cm upon arrival. My doctor came into the hospital and said his goal was for me to be at 5 cm by 12 pm. I told him I liked goals...if he wanted me to be dilated further - tell me and I'll do it. He just laughs and says he'll be back in few hours to see how I progressed. Get kissed by Angels aka get the epidural.

**1:00 PM - Dilated at 6 cm. Told the doc I could do it :-) They up my pitocin and the contractions start to get quicker and faster. Iz is trying so hard to move her way down and she's at station 0.

**2:00 PMish - Dilated to 9.5 cm. I do a few practice pushes but have a hard time feeling the urge. Doc decides to dial back epidural so I get the urge. YUP - that did it....I felt like I needed to push and we did. It was the most exhausting, most work, most anything I'd ever had to do. Iz was at station +1. We think we could do this! Come on Iz!!!

**2.5 exhausted hours later...through tears, through pushes, through yells, through fears....the doc tells me that she hasn't made any progress down and he's concerned about her fitting through my pelvis and getting me and her through this safely. He breaks it to me and breaks my heart...I'll have to have the c-section.
Craig, "It's ok - it's ok. You did great. You worked so hard. She'll be here soon now. **

Here's the kicker, blog readers. The dialing back of the epidural did its job - I felt the urge to push with some but not a lot of pain. Now that I had been through over 2 hours of labor - the epidural had worn off almost completely....and my anethesiologist was in another surgery...so I was dealing with each contraction - NATURALLY - NO meds! HOLY sh!t - this hurt. I couldn't push because of Iz position so I had the urge to push, the pain of the contractions and could do nothing until my c-section. I cried, I yelled, I thought I was going to die, I really thought that I was getting punished by God...yes - it was THAT bad.

**5 PM - Angel aka anesthesiologist comes in and give me a strong epidural for the the c-section. Craig gets prepped, I get prepped...28 minutes later...

Isabelle Grace is born! 5:28 PM on June 19, 2009...the day we'll remember forever.

"Is she ok?" "How are her APGAR scores?" "Who does she look like??"

Through tears, through fears, through pain, through prayer...she came and our family of two finally became a family of three (plus 2 fur babies!).
Love, love, love!

I didn't think I could love Craig more...I was totally wrong!

"We prayed for this child and the Lord has granted us what we asked of Him."
I Samuel 1:27

Thursday, June 18, 2009


4 days to go...

"Yo, yo Baby...what's your sign???"

If you hear this Sweet Girl from a guy who is wearing too much cologne with his shirt unbuttoned with his gold herring bone chain dangling from his neck....run, ruN, RUN away as fast as you can!

But, now that we have your birthday - this of course is dependent on the fact that you'll actually come on June 22 and not before - I know your astrological sign.

I don't put a lot of stake into these things since I really don't believe in looking at the "stars" to determine who you're going to be. But, it really is interesting to see if someone "fits" their sign.

Since you'll be a Cancer here's what I found out about you being born on this day:

"You really have very less troubles taking care of a cancer baby as they are quiet independent from a young age. They like colors and pictures and they love the different tastes of delicious foods and drinks. They are attention seekers and love to hugged and cared.

Cancer babies are known to have frequent mood changes and if they suffer any kind of rejection, they will withdraw into themselves. They also have a reputation of getting the things they needed by using tears as an emotional blackmailing tool.

The cancarian babies are small delightful individuals and their mood changes reflect in their faces. these imaginative little ones will thrive when given a lot of attention and caring. They are disciplined and well mannered. This makes it easy to manage a cancarian child. From a small age itself, the leadership qualities of a cancarian child starts to show up.

When parenting a Cancer child, give constant support and assurance to overcome situations. The danger of with drawing to themselves should be avoided and this requires your constant support in matters of rejections and fearful situations. The cancarian child will excel in fields that involves a lot of creativity like music, painting acting etc."

- from indianhindunames.com

Ok - so from I get from this is that you'll be pretty easy going, adventurous when it comes to food, but you'll need a lot of reassurance that you're loved or you'll withdraw and you may use tears to get what you want (hmmm...I smell a drama queen!)

I love the fact that you'll be independent, disciplined and well mannered and love to explore but you'll need lots of attention. And I love that you'll need a parent that will constantly need support and assurance from me and Daddy.

This sounds a lot like me! Haha!

I am so excited to meet you and get to know who you're going to be, how you're going to be, and what you'll grow up to be! I love you, Iz! Keep on growing!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

#5...wait...that can't be right...CAN IT!!!

5 days left...


Stand back burrito....mathematicians put your rulers and compasses back in your pocket protector....

I didn't forget how to count backwards...

So - what's the deal?

Ok Izzy....ready to tell your faithful blog readers???

We had our weekly visit with our doctor yesterday. I was telling Daddy that I was nervous for some reason. As usual, Daddy was just calm, cool and collected as I sat there with my bare a_ _
sitting on the reclining chair nervous as can be.

The doctor came in and we proceeded with the torture...um...I mean exam.

Looks like you've nestled you're sweet little head right where it needs to be and you got a sweet little pat from the doctor. My cervix is very soft and thinned out and I'm still 1 cm dilated (sorry ya'll...there's no other way to say it).

So we discussed our options. It isn't a secret that the doctor has been watching me closely for health reasons and really wanted me to get to 37 weeks before we discussed inductions. Because, you, my sweet daughter, are a rock star - you listened to Mommy and now we'll be 39 weeks in a few days. So......in the event you DON'T arrive on your own this week...we'll be inducing you on Monday, June 22.

Yuppers...Monday, June 22....5 days from today!

I'm sorry, Little One, if you could hear my thoughts when I heard the news that you'd be joining us so soon. I know - it is inevitable - but I know the thoughts you may have heard from me were probably not the ones you expected.

Yes - Sweet Girl - I am scared. I am nervous about labor and delivery. I am worried about how Daddy and I are going to adjust. I am still so freaking selfish and hate that I won't have me time or just Daddy and me time. What if you come out, take a look around, and decide that you'd rather still be in my ute? What if our dogs shun you? What if you cry and I can't soothe you? What if...

But, Iz....did you also hear my thoughts as I laid in bed last night? Did you hear me in my head about how excited I am to hold you for the first time? Did you hear me as I looked at Daddy and thought how excited I am about getting to love you since you're part of him? Did you hear me as I ran through thoughts of all the firsts I'll get to experience with you - first smile, first words, first steps? Did you, Little one? Did you hear me???

The next five days I'll be focusing and praying extra hard about your arrival, for Daddy and I as we transition to parenthood, for our marriage, for your health and development.

Let's ask our blog readers to do the same...

So...please blog readers - keep us in your thoughts and prayers these next days as we prepare for the arrival of our sweet daughter!

But, Iz...for now...your job is the same...just keep on growing!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


12 Days left...

So...I guess you didn't think yesterday was a good day to join Daddy and me, huh?

It's alright, Little One...whenever you're ready though - make sure to tell my ute - because I'm worried I'm not going to know when I actually do go into labor.

I've realized there isn't much hope for you...you're just going to have to deal with me.

Daddy watched me work on crafts all evening. I made a cute tutu for your first photo shoot, hair bows with ribbon and big obnoxious flower headbands.

Sorry, Sweet Girl. But as long as you're super little and really can't argue with me - you'll be dressed as girly as I possibly can make you. But don't worry, you have some "cool" onesies - with sport teams and some "rock and roll" things from your Daddy - but you're still going to have to wear a dang head band or hair bow....I just think it's so dang cute!

Are you excited? Aren't you ready to see your pretty room that Daddy and I worked so hard on? Aren't you ready to see your cute clothes? Don't you want to meet your dog brother and dog sister?

Hey...whatever it takes to get you here...at this point...bribery is always a good option.

I know, I know...you're happy where you're at. So, for now...just keep on growing!

Monday, June 15, 2009


13 Days to go...

Could today be "lucky" 13 for us?

Probably not - which means my "feeling" that you'd be here today - is wrong.

But, that's ok - it's not your time to join us - so Daddy and I will patiently wait.

You know what Izzy? We're pretty darned blessed. We have so much already and continue to be given blessings. We've faced and are facing trials - but I'm thankful for how He's refining me and Daddy.

So today...I don't want to focus on me, or Daddy, or you....today - I want to teach you the importance of praying for others and putting others first.

So first - how do you pray...this is a little acronym that we were taught in church that guides my prayers everyday...it's using the word P.R.A.Y.

P - praise
- let's praise God for all the blessings He's given us. Let's thank Him for our family, for your health, for his protection over mine and Daddy's marriage, for giving us YOU, for your growth and health, for His provision, for His love and grace (do you see how wonderful He is???)!!

R - repent
- let's ask God for forgiveness. We need to ask Him to forgive us for not fully trusting in His plans for us. Let's ask for forgiveness for the worries and anxieties we don't give to Him. I'll ask Him for His forgiveness for my prideful heart and for not yielding to His will.

A - ASK - let's ask God for our specific prayers

- Ashley and Baby C. - let's continue to pray that God protects them both as she carries him as long as humanly possible. Let's pray that Ash doesn't go stir crazy and her time is filled with productive projects to keep the days going. And of course - let's pray for Baby C. - that he's growing to be a big strong boy!

- Christi and Caden - we'll continue to pray for my Chap and her sweet boy. Let's pray for her job and for the transition to parenthood that I know we're both afraid of! Of course - we'll continue to pray for Cade - that he's growing big and strong for you too!

- Randi - we'll continue to pray for her. Let's pray that the lawyers and judges see a change in her and show mercy. We'll continue to pray for her as she deals with the monotonous days of prison. Help her feel the love and grace that only Christ can provide.

- Let's pray for our family that doesn't know Christ. We'll continue to pray for God to reveal ways for Craig and I to show those we love the most the amazing opportunity to receive God's grace. We'll continue to pray for the hardships our families are dealing with - from health, to finances, to unemployment.

- Let's pray for our friends. We'll continue to pray for our friends who may not know Christ too. We'll pray for their jobs, their health, their well being, and our relationship with them - let's ask God to show us how to be the friends that they need in their lives.

- Let's pray for opportunities to show others the grace and love of Christ. Let's pray for discernment of the next steps for Daddy and I as we make transitions in our lives in regards to our jobs, schooling, and you.

Y - Yield
- let's step aside and allow God's will to overtake our lives. Let's lift up and give Him all these things and really trust Him.

See how easy it is!

When you get here - Daddy and I will pray with you and pray for you!

For now - Sweet Girl - just keep on growing!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


14 days to go...

2 weeks left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, Baby Girl!

It's hot today. Daddy and I went to your Tatay and Nana's house for lunch and a swim. Your cousin's Sofia and Kara, your Tita Chonnie and Uncle Russ were there too.

We grilled, I sat by the pool, and enjoyed the contractions :-)

Now that I'm nearing the finish line - I can't help but think about how this pregnancy has changed me. Someday - VERY far into the future - if it's God's will - you'll be a mother someday too.

Here's some things about pregnancy that I've discovered:

- no matter how well you eat and how much you exercise - you'll put on weight in spots besides your belly (like - in your back, inner thighs, face, etc)

- your ability to walk will be replaced by a waddle once you hit the end of the pregnancy - even if you try your hardest to walk normally

- strangers will feel the need to touch your belly without your permission

- those same strangers - and maybe more - will feel the need to comment on how large you are and say things like "wow - looks like you're getting ready to pop!" - when you still have over a month left

- you'll learn to contort your body to shave your legs and *ahem* your lady bits - and feel accomplished if you only cut yourself a few times

- you'll have friends that really step up in the friendship department while you're pregnant - they'll be excited for you, check on you, and are genuinely excited to meet your baby

- but you'll also have friends - who you thought would be there but aren't the friends you thought they'd be - and you'll move forward with the handful of people that have been there for you through your bleeding scares, visits to the hospital, late night panic attacks

- you'll look at your husband in a new light - and feel amazed that you could love him more

- you'll sweat and be hot - no matter the season

- you'll count down the days just to get out of the 1st trimester nausea, count down the days through your 2nd trimester baby showers, but when you hit 3rd trimester - you just want time to slow down because you're just not ready!!!

I could go on and on...but I'm hot and need a nap.

We only have a couple more weeks til you meet Daddy and I...and we are so excited! We love you, Izzy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


15 Days to go...

Hi, Little One...

We are anxious to meet you. Every time I get a contraction - I think "ok - this is it!"
But, the contractions are not coming frequent enough for me to call the doctor.

And although they are painful, they're not to the point to where I can't walk or talk through them. So, we continue to wait for you to come.

One piece of advice I continue to get from my mom friends is "get lots of sleep now...."

I don't know how I'm going to do it. I really thrive on sleep and so does Daddy...seriously...Daddy NEEDS his sleep!

The contractions are occurring mainly in the early evening and continue until about 3 am - and then stop. So, I'm not getting much sleep now...and I try to catch up on sleep by taking mini naps during the day. I've been VERY blessed that I don't have to go to a job all day but can do some work from home and take breaks as needed.

I only know that I'm going to have to ask for strength and sanity every second of the day. I know that you're going to rely on me for everything. So, I'm going to have to rely on God for the same...for everything...for guidance, for patience, for strength, for sanity, for rest, for laughter, for...whelp...everything!

I find comfort in knowing that I have friends and family that are going through or have gone through this. I must admit - I get irritated when people continue to share negative comments and negative views about parenting . Now - I'm not talking about honesty - brutal honesty about parenting and what I'll be going through in labor and in the birthing process are one thing. But, I guess when I'm so close to this tremendous life change - being told "I really hope you want this baby" are not the best things to say to a mom-to-be.

Those comments are disheartening at times but I try to stay positive and look at you as such a miracle. I know how hard the transition will be for Craig and I, how tired we'll be, how our relationship will change forever, how we'll have to make sacrifices for you, etc, etc. But, I also know that this is a change and transition that I've prayed for. And, God would never have blessed me with you if He didn't think we were ready.

So, Baby Girl...we're just waiting and praying for your arrival. We're excited to meet you! For now...keep on growing!

Friday, June 12, 2009


16 Days to go...

16 days...holy moly...

Morning, Iz!

Swoon....yes...I am swooning over you Daddy.

He saved me yesterday - and since you're in my belly - he saved YOU too.

He's my hero and soon you'll look up at him with and he'll be your hero too.

We go for our daily walks around the trails in our neighborhood. It's so pretty and nice with the pond and the paved trails. We go for about 45 minutes and walk with your dog sister and dog brother. It's our time together that I look forward to every day.

Since I'm getting much bigger and you're getting bigger - my baby belly is getting heavier and heavier. So, I have to take a break about 35 minutes into our walk. Normally, I walk and then take a break on a park bench and stare out at the lake. Daddy finishes the walk and makes a loop back to me and we head home.

So last night - as I'm waddling down the path - we decide to go a little further than normal. I try to make it down the last trail but I just can't. I see a park bench and tell Daddy that I'm going to rest up and to come back and get me.

Daddy takes the pups and heads down the trail as I sit and look at the lake. A few minutes pass by and I see that Daddy and the dogs are almost at the end and are about to turn around. I think I'm alone on the trail until I see that I'm getting approached. There's two of them and they're yapping away. They head right to me and are coming right at me. I start to panic and ask them to please go away. I'm almost in tears because they won't leave me alone. I continue to ask them to please leave me alone and go.

I see Daddy and the dogs turn around and he sees me being accosted. He starts to run towards me. He can tell that this is not normal and that I am very scared. As he approaches - the two of them run off.

SWOON....saved by my MAN!!

I tell you - that was a close one. And I don't care what anyone says, it was a scary moment. Even if the perpetrators were ducks!

I hate birds and Daddy knows how much they scare me.

How lucky are we, Sweet Girl to have a hero like him :-)

Keep growing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


17 Days to go...

Seriously? 17 days...OMG (that's for you Craig...)!!

Hi, Iz!

I was having lunch with your Tatay and Nana the other day. We were eating dim sum (yummy) and chatting about a little bit of everything.

Nana wanted to make sure I knew the "signs" of when I would need to call the doctor or go the hospital when it was time for you to join our family.

I listened to Nana talk about how your Tita Chonnie was born - she was early and weighed about 4 1/2 lbs...tiny! She said she remembers that she was almost dropped into a bucket....huh? Yes...dropped into a bucket. Apparently there was a lot of rain in the Philippines during that time and of course the hospital got rid of excess water that made its way into the hospital by using buckets.

Then Nana talked about Tita Candice's birth. Nana and Tatay were at a Candice Bergen movie. She got up to use the restroom and "knew" it was time (I'll spare any male readers the graphic details). She walked back into the movies and told Tatay that it was time.

I listened to her talk about my birth and how I was a big baby (haha - I was only a little over 6 lbs) and she labored for a very long time. The doctor decided she needed a c-section with me.

Nana remembers everything about each birth. She remembers the movies she was watching, what was going on, the moments that surrounded each of her children's entry into the world.

It amazes me. It really does - that after over 35 years - the details - albeit fuzzy at points - are still in her mind. It solidfies that the moment that a child is born into a family - that moment is forever engrained into the memory of those who love them the most. Mother's capture each second and store it in their mind and in their heart.

I think about your birth all the time. I wonder if I'll be calm (ha - yeah right), I wonder if I'll yell a lot and turn into the Devil, I wonder what Daddy will be doing as I go through each contraction - how he'll handle watching me in pain, if he'll know what to do, if he'll feel as overwhelmed as me, I wonder if my first instinct is fierce protection, or if I'll be absolutely and utterly be in love.

So many things - so much to look forward to.

I can't wait to meet you very soon, Sweet Girl. For now...keep on growing!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


18 days to go...

Morning, Little One!

Today I'm going to do something just.for.me.

Daddy and I talked about all the anxiety I'm feeling about your arrival. I know I'm not going to be a perfect mom - maybe not even a great mom - but I just want to be a good mom. Being a mother and having a family is something that I've always wanted. It's been something I always prayed for and sometimes it doesn't feel like you arriving and actually being my daughter is real. I know what an incredible blessing you are, how so many people hope and pray for this experience, but for whatever reason, it's not in God's will for their lives.

I'm not sure you'll ever know some of the hard choices I had to make recently. And, I don't expect you to ever ask. That's a big part of parenting - just making sure that your children are safe, secure and well cared for. And a lot that goes into parenting is making sacrifices. But, so much of what I've chosen - yes chosen - to do for this family has been a no-brainer. I choose my family over everything. But yet, it's still really hard for me. To be driven for something that is truly thankless - and that's what parenting is much of the time - a job with very little accolades and pats on the back.

But, I'm absolutely sure that having you join me and Daddy is a miracle and a blessing. I know that we were chosen to be YOUR parents and we're so thankful for you.

So - today - I'm going to do a little pampering for myself. I'm going to take a couple of hours just doing stuff for me and doing stuff I love. Selfish - maybe? Necessary - absolutely!

Know this, Sweet Girl - I love you, Daddy loves you and we can't wait to meet you!

Keep on growing!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


19 Days to go...

in the "teens" now!!!

Hi, Sweet Girl!

We had another visit today with our doctor. And I would be lying to you if I said I was pleased with how our visit went.

But, I'm not going to argue with Mother Nature...and God. It's Him that ultimately decides when you get to join me and Daddy.

Looks like not much has changed since our last visit. Without getting too graphic, I'm still about 65% effaced, finger tip dilated, and you're head is not fully engaged. My cervix is soft...that's as much 'bout that I'm willing to share (when I told Daddy this - he practically gagged).

You're posterior position - which means you're head and body is facing up looking out rather than your face facing my backside. This explains why the movements hurt so much. When move - I'm feeling your knees against my stomach wall and elbows rather than you doing toward my back where the feeling would be less. If you would like to flip - by all means do so...like please...do so!!

I'm thinking you'll be here the week of the 22nd now...rather than sooner than Daddy and I had hoped. But, the longer you are in my belly - the better it is for you. So - no eviction notice given yet :-)

We love you, Little One! Keep on growing!

Monday, June 8, 2009


20 Days to go...

Morning, Iz.

Had a little taste of motherhood last night. Meaning - I was up with you all night and only got about 2 hours of sleep.

I hope the contractions I felt last night mean that you'll be here soon. Every time I had a contraction - you'd squirm a whole bunch right before. Sorry, kiddo, if Mommy's ute kept you awake too.

You'll be here on God's time - and I'm totally fine with that. Daddy thinks you'll be here in the "teens" so he's betting on sometime between June 13-19. I've always had the date of June 15 in the my head - so we'll see if one of us right!

I am going to work on your scrapbook today, clean the house, and run some last minute errands. If you're ready to come out and play...by all means...let me know and I'll do my best to get you out safely!

Love you Little One...keep on growing!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


21 Days to go...

3 weeks left...

Hi, Little One!

What a fun morning we had yesterday. Your Tatay asked me to come to their house yesterday morning. Daddy was going to hit golf balls early in the morning before it got hot - so yes - it meant he had to get to the driving range by 9am because it gets that hot very quickly these days.

Tatay said to bring my swim suit and hang out while Craig was at the driving range. I secretly think my parents - your Tatay and Nana - are a little concerned that you're going to come and I'm going to be at home by myself. He said to have Daddy come over after and swim for a bit and have lunch there.

Since Daddy and I didn't have plans until later in the day (we were going to dinner for our anniversary) - I decided to go ahead and go. After all - Tatay and Nana's house is only 10 minutes away!

I walked into their house - and heard "Tita Rina!!!"

Garrett and Maddie came all the way from Lubbock for a surprise visit! Then, I heard another little voice and some sweet babbles - and looked and saw your other cousins, Sofia and Kara! All the kids were there! I was so happy to see them!

I love that you'll have Kara to grow up with and that you have cousins that already love you so much. Maddie is fascinated by my belly and kept on asking to see it. She looks at me and says sweetly, "You have a baby in your belly!" and then kisses "you" - ok she kisses my belly - but she really is kissing you!!

Sofia does the same thing and tells everyone "She has my baby cousin in her belly!"

I can't wait for you to meet them!

We had a good time swimming, barbecuing, and chatting. I loved that my sisters - your Tita's were there too! I watched your Daddy play with all your cousins and felt my heart melt - he's going to be SUCH a great Dad to you!

Tita Candice and Maddie

Daddy reading some "literature."

Ok - Sweet Girl - you'll have plenty of time to meet them. For now, keep on growing!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


22 Days to go...

Hi, Izzy!

How you doing, Sweet Girl!

I know I tell you this all the time...but Daddy and I really love you.

Daddy loves you so much that he is trying so hard to make sure he is learning as much as he can about parenting as possible before you get here.

At one of my baby showers, a good friend of ours, Heather, made a Daddy Survival Kit for you! It had goggles for your diaper blow-outs, tongs for those stinky ones you'll be sure to make, gloves, a turkey baster to wash your little hiney with....so many fun and silly stuff to make sure Daddy is ready to change that first diaper!

So, yesterday, Daddy took the day off to run some last minute errands we had before you arrive. I was putting up some things in your room and started to organize your changing table when I thought of great idea.

I picked up Gunner (your stuffed bear from London and Daddy's gift to you from his favorite soccer team - Arsenal) and grabbed a diaper.

I walked into the living room and decided to show Daddy how to put on a diaper...with the help of Gunny! We talked about the right way to wipe, how to be careful because of the umbilical cord, how the velcro straps worked on the diaper, and how to attach it to Gunny.

Let me tell you - he was a PRO! He did great! I know you'll be wiggly, crying and much different than a stuffed animal - but you know what - he's already ahead of the game since now he's officially changed one diaper :-D

We love you, Little One! Keep on growing!

Friday, June 5, 2009


23 Days to go...

Hi, Little One!

Happy Birthday to us...
Happy Birthday to us...
Happy Birthday, Hounsel family...
Happy Birthday to US!!!

Today is such a special day, Izzy!

Today is Mommy and Daddy's 5 year wedding anniversary! I can't believe it's been 5 years since Daddy and I were married.

On this day - we committed to one another and officially became a family.

I never knew I would fall in love so young, go through life with my best friend, be heart broken and spend time apart, just to find each other once again.

Our story is one I love to tell and can't wait to share with you someday.

Yes - that's us...we were VERY young!

I fell in love with my high school sweetheart. I knew from the moment I met him I would marry him. But, of course - we needed to have our time being young - go to college, meet other people, and find ourselves.

Wow - College was fun!

He proposed December 13, 2003 and I said "YES!"

We were married on June 5, 2004. The BEST day of my life. And, it will always be the best day of my life . You, joining our family, is an amazing, AMAZING thing - but without our commitment to one another - none of this would have happened.

Best day of my life!

Together, Daddy and I have grown up together, learned together, rejoiced together, walked through the dark times together, and continue to learn about each other. We've learned to be selfless for each other and make sacrifices for the betterment of each of us individually.
He let me go off to school so that I could live my life without any regret. And as surprising as it may be, I found myself back at home and realized the only regret I would ever have is leaving the ones I love again.

I can only pray that you find someone that is your best friend, your equal, your lover, your soul mate. Daddy and I are so incredibly blessed to have one another. We're so blessed that on this day 5 years ago - we were able to stand before God and declare to one another the forever commitment and powerful testimony of marriage.

He is it. He's the one I choose to be with every day. Sometimes the choices in our lives are difficult, but when your soul finds the one it is whole with - the choice is easy.

We are so excited you will be joining our family. We are so amazed that our love for one another created you.

We love you, Sweet Girl....keep on growing!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


24 Days to go...

We did it. We did the most important thing we needed to do before you got here. And yes, I waited until the absolute second...but hey...at least it's done!

We found a pediatrician for you! She was referred by a friend and your Nana also spoke highly of her.

A lot of people have asked why I didn't choose Nana to be your doctor. One thing I know is that it's very hard to separate emotions and medicine when family is involved. Nana is a great doctor but I want her to just be your Nana and nothing else. I don't want you associating shots with her!

I really like the doctor we chose for you. She is a mother herself. She's young and is very easy to talk to. Her approach to patient care is to give parents the best advice she can and allow the parents to make decisions for their children. Of course, when it comes to serious issues, she'll take the reigns. But, she encourages parents to ask questions and to be involved in the care of their children. What a great philosophy and it will work well with how Daddy and I want to raise you.

So, another important decision made! We're just waiting on you...but you take your time, Little One! Keep on growing!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


25 Days to go...

Hi, Little One!

Daddy and I are getting excited to meet you. We are thinking you'll be here much sooner than your due date.

But, like all women, it's very important that you arrive in style....

Soooo - Daddy thought we'd ask all the people reading about you on this blog to vote for their favorite outfit. And then, when you come home with us, you'll be dressed to perfection!

***Blog readers - let us know what you think she should wear this very special day when she comes home to us!***

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


26 Days to go...

Or 20 Days to go...

Or 15 Days to go...

We just don't know, do we Sweet Girl?!?

So, we had some good news and bad news today at our doctor's appointment.

Bad news first....if you come early...it'll totally mess up my blog :-O

But, that's the BEST bad news I've EVER heard!

Good news - I'm progressing just as I should. For all of my mommy friends out there and my med school friends in OB...still 1 cm dilated, you're close to being "engaged" and I'm about 65% effaced.

The doctor feels I'll get to 39th week but probably no further than June 22nd.

So, you could be here a week early or a couple weeks early. I am starting to get very excited. I've decided to take advice from Jack from "Lost" and "count to 5, let the fear come in, and proceed..."

I'm never going to be ready. NEVER. I'm always going to think I'm missing something, I'm forgetting something, etc, etc...

He monitored you for about 30 minutes. You looked great and I had some contractions during the time you were monitored (but I didn't feel them....so maybe labor will be a breeze --hahahaha!!!).

Daddy and I will just continue to wait until you're ready to come out and play. Keiser and Daisy have a feeling something is going on - they won't leave my side.

Your whole family is waiting for you, Izzy! We are all so ready and so excited to meet the girl that's captured our hearts!

For now...keep growing!!

Monday, June 1, 2009


27 Days to go...

Morning, Iz!

How are you feeling this morning, Sweet Girl? You were up and on the go very early this morning. I know I'm a morning person so you must get it from me. But, let's get the 4:45AM work out sessions out of your system before you become an outside baby....m'kay??

Did you have fun yesterday? I did.

Daddy and I had a great opportunity to do a service project yesterday with our Home Team from church. As we walked up to Mission Arlington, I was met with "What are you DOING here?!?"

I guess my Home Team thought I would just send Daddy to do some work but I really wanted to help. I was hoping that there would be a task that I could do sitting down or in the shade.

Luckily, the Mission needed some help sorting through bins. So, I sorted through clothes while Daddy and some other guys left and worked on an older woman's yard. Daddy and the others did yard work for a woman who could no longer do it. What great group of guys!

A couple of guys and the other wives stayed behind and sorted through bins of donated items. Did you know that God has a sense of humor? This is how I know He does...

I love housework. I really truly love cleaning and organizing. BUT, the one task I loathe more than anything is folding, hanging and putting up laundry. I would rather scrub toilets, dust baseboards, and pick up dog poop than do the former.

So...what was my main task for the service project that I did for about an hour and half? Yup - you guessed it, I organized, hung and put up clothes! HA! But, when you do it with a joyful heart and realize that you are doing these things to help others - it isn't nearly as bad.

Daddy came back from doing yard work and we were headed home. He brought up something that I am very excited about.

When you get older - at least old enough to understand what helping others means (probably when you're 4 yrs old or so) - we are going to do a service project with just the three of us Christmas and Thanksgiving morning. Since you'll be coming with us for our Home Team service projects that we'll do once a month - you'll get to see how serving God's people is so important.

Then, on those two mornings - it will just be our family's time to serve. As you get older - we'll add on more days but we'll start with those two!

We are so blessed. We may not have fancy cars, a huge mansion, or wear couture...but we have so much more.

We have each other, our health, a home, jobs, food in the fridge and pantry, full tummies, friends who love us...I could go on forever.

I can't wait to share the gift of service with you, Little One! There is so much to be thankful for!

Right now, I am thankful that you're still safe in my belly and still growing! We love you, Iz!

What a blessing!

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