Painting

Summer is almost here…I can smell it in the air. I love summer so much. I love the warm nights and the joy and the splashing in the pool. I love it.

For my bible study the other day I needed and easel so I got my old one out of the attic. Dayla was intrigued. She said that she has seen people use them for painting before, so I let her give it a go. I figured it could be a fun new thing that we could do this summer, painting with the easel, and painting more often (since brother can’t reach it to “mess up her painting”).

She loved it! My little artist makes her mama proud.

Paints-1

Paints-2

Paints-3

Happy Halloween!

When Dayla wanted to go as Ariel from the Little Mermaid I tired to contain my excitement…cause you know what that meant Sebastian had to be? We got a lobster costume from a friend (Sebastian in the Little Mermaid is actually a crab) and called it close enough.

First Ariel sings on her rock…

Then she meets Sebastian and they are happy….

…and then …

Tears and all, still a fun Halloween.

Tooth Fairy

Dayla lost her first tooth! On August 7th her first baby tooth fell out and mom spent the night making a little tooth bag to put under her pillow.

We decided a while ago that we were not going to pretend that the Tooth Fairy is real, but knowing how much fun it is for a child, we did have to do all the usual tooth fairy rituals! The “Tooth Fairy” came while she was sleeping and left under her pillow this little bag with a note and a 50 cent piece.

(We just told her that it was really mom or dad pretending to be the Tooth Fairy…so I apologize in advance if my daughter ruins any of the mystery/pretend/magic for your child!)

Despite the fact that she knew it was really me, you should have seen her excitement the next morning: pure joy. These are definitley the moments that make parenting the best gig in the world.

The Garden 2012

This is our second year with the garden. I have officially realized this year that I am NOT into gardening, so pretty much everything you see is thanks to my amazing husband. I do love the harvesting though…and walking out every day and seeing it. Just these pictures give me the world’s biggest smile.

An overall view :



Some details:

Pumpkins are being trained to grow up on the roof! ROOF PUMPKINS!

Some of the bounty so far this year:

Lettuce and Berries (Beginning of May)

Kale (May)

Garlic (harvested in June)

Strawberries (June)

Cucumbers (June/July)

Tomatoes starting to come (July)

Right now we also have a lot that is green. So in the next month we hope to see our pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, young berries, watermelons, and peppers. Will have to do an end of summer blog post to show off those. ūüėČ

Too Much

It was although I was watching the climax moment of the world’s best love story at Sundance Film Festival. We met up with Daddy for a lunch at Souplantation, a special treat after a fun school day, but when it was time to say goodbye and head home little did I know what would happen next. Daddy walked out the door, and suddenly before I knew it, I turned my head just in time to see the blur of Dayla racing after him. There was sobbing, arms stretched out, running back and forth at least 7 times as Daddy tried to walk away…it only could have been more dramatic or heart wrenching if it was all done in the pouring rain.

When she finally ended up in my arms, I tried reassuring her, ‚ÄúDaddy is going to be home in 2 hours‚ÄĚ, to which she replied through her unending sobs, ‚ÄúI just love my Daddy TOO MUCH‚ÄĚ.

I stifled my giggles.

I couldn’t help but think what we must have looked like to any on-lookers there in the parking lot, but at the same time I didn’t care.  Although I thought it was hilarious and I was stifling my giggling throughout the entire episode, I also knew I was witnessing an incredibly wonderful thing.  Even if it was a moment brought on by being a bit overtired, I was one of the sweetest moments I have ever witnessed, and it is the kind of moment (although a bit embarrassing) I am so glad that my daughter has with her Daddy.

Nothing would make me happier than if Dayla always had the problem of ‚Äúloving her Daddy too much‚ÄĚ.

Dayla and Daddy's Saturday Morning Project
Just One of the Fun Things They Do Together: Dayla and Daddy's Saturday Tent Time

God Listens: Another Sebastian Update.

Even though I have pretty much always known about God, there are still times when I doubt that He hears my prayers. ¬†I mean I BELIEVE in God, but there are days when it is hard not to think, “Really, you‚Äôre listening to ME?” ¬†I love sharing that with you because I also get to share this: ¬†it seems every time I have a moment of doubt that God hears me, God reminds me that He IS listening. ¬†GOD IS LISTENING.

This is one of those stories.

First, I will share the brief update…the Cliff Notes version if you will. ¬†Sebastian had another ultrasound. ¬†Non-invasive, totally easy, the ultrasound tech was as sweet as pie. ¬†I went the same day to the urologist so he could give me the results. ¬†He said, “Good news! His kidneys and ureter are still¬†slightly¬†dilated¬†and his urethra is narrower than it should be.” ¬†I raised my eyebrows at him. ¬†“This is good? ¬†I was hoping for a complete healing‚Ķ.and well, nothing has changed since the last time we were here.” ¬†“Well,” he said with a slight twinkle in his eye and a warm smile on his face, “that would have been GREAT news. ¬†This is GOOD news. ¬†But it IS GOOD news! ¬†It could have gotten worse.”

There you have it. ¬†I will still hold out hope for the “complete healing” and keep asking that God gives that to us. ¬†The next step is that we will have another ultrasound in 3 months to check again.¬† And again I will pray for complete healing. But for now I liked the urologist’s attitude about it…so I decided to adopt it. It is good. ¬†We are thankful…so thankful that nothing has gotten worse.¬†We will hang onto the GOOD and smile…..because what I am going to tell you about in this next story shows that….God is LISTENING to our prayers! ¬†=)

How do I know?  You have GOT to read this:

Only in recent years have I started to pray about the doctor we’re going to see. ¬†It might have started when Dayla began having a severe aversion to all doctors; I have developed the habit of praying before I call for a doctor‚Äôs appointment; ¬†that the doctor I get will be either the best, or the most understanding, or gentlest, or kindest, or whatever it is I think I need at that moment with that medical situation. ¬†With Sebastian I have prayed for each doctor that has come into our lives, and¬†because¬†he has been hospitalized and had this condition with his kidney, there have been a lot of doctors and a lot of prayers. ¬†When it was time to see a urologist, I remember dialing the number to make the appointment, forgetting to pray, hanging up the phone before someone answered, and then praying for the best urologist that would guide us through all this confusion with Sebastian’s kidneys and conditions. The best, and the kindest.

At the time I was scared. When I started sharing this story via the web, so many people messaged me and said “I had a similar situation with my son/daughter….” and then would proceed to give me advice that ranged all over the board, but the most common advice was: ¬† “my doctor recommended surgery and then my child grew out of it….so do your research before making a decision” or ‚Äúget a second opinion”. ¬† When I heard all this, at first I was scared, then skeptical. ¬†Then I realized how important prayer was for this.

My first appointment with Dr. Kaplan was nothing short of the most wonderful doctor’s appointment I have ever had. ¬†He was older and so kind. ¬†He explained things and then when he saw the confused look on my face, he asked me if I wanted him to explain it again. ¬†He assured me, “I want you to know and really understand what is going on with your son.” ¬†At the time I felt my prayers had been answered. ¬†I walked out of the appointment feeling like God was good and had answered my prayer with a great, kind urologist.

Fast forward three months, to this last appointment, when I got to hear how my prayer was not only answered, but answered and THEN SOME.

When I was in the room with the¬†ultrasound¬†technician she asked me¬†casually, “Who is your urologist?” ¬†I replied that it was Dr. Kaplan. ¬†“Oh wow! ¬†You must have known who you were choosing.” ¬†Then we spent the next 20 minutes talking about Dr. Kaplan. ¬†I told her, ‚ÄúOh yes, he is SO KIND, I was so pleased.‚ÄĚ She concurred.¬† Then when I revealed that I, in fact, did not know him, and that I was randomly assigned to him‚Ķ.she then revealed to me that I was the luckiest girl in the world. ¬†She was shocked that I didn’t know who he was and then proceeded to explain to me that he was ‚Äúthe best pediatric urologist there is.” Then she went on to explain to me that he is the urologist that other pediatric urologists study under, that he is the urologist that wrote¬†the textbooks¬†that students read when they are studying to be urologists, and that he is the urologist that people fly from all over the country to get a second opinion from.

OH WOW.

‚ÄúGoogle him‚ÄĚ she said. So of course I did, and I found this:

“Dr. George Kaplan received the prestigious 2007 Pediatric Urology Medal from the Section on Urology. Dr. Kaplan is the chairman of the Department of Surgery and chief of Urology at Rady Children‚Äôs Hospital, San Diego, California. He is also clinical professor of pediatrics and surgery/urology at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. He was acting chair of the Division of Urology at UCSD 1975‚Äď1976 and was chief of Pediatric Urology at UCSD from 1971‚Äď1997. Dr. Kaplan is a former trustee of the American Board of Urology. Dr. Kaplan has co-authored one of the gold standard textbooks of pediatric urology,¬†Clinical Pediatric Urology, and has authored over 200 articles and book chapters. He has served as the president for the Society of Pediatric Urology and the chairman of the section on urology of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is best known for his contributions in reconstructive surgery of the genitourinary tract.” ¬†[Source:¬†http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2312343/]

OH WOW. Remember me praying for “the best and the kindest”…um yeah…..God hears our prayers.

To top off this story, when I went to schedule my next appointment, the lady tried to schedule me with another urologist, to which I replied, “Can I not see Dr. Kaplan?” ¬†She replied, “No, he is not taking new patients; ¬†unless you are already a patient of his.” ¬†Uh yeah…I have had ONE appointment with him…ONE. ¬†That makes me his patient though, doesn’t it? ¬†“Yeah, I am already a patient with him” I reply a bit cautiously. “Oh sure then, no problem! ¬†You can have Dr. Kaplan.” My smile takes over my entire face…and my entire heart. So now Sebastian’s urologist is Dr. Kaplan; the best, and the kindest. ¬†Prayers answered. All praises to God!

So the next time you are wondering if God is listening…to you…little old YOU….the answer is YES. ¬†He loves you just like He loves me….and He is listening. ¬† ¬†Isn’t that just the world’s best story?! ¬†I sure love my God. ¬†I can’t wait to see how He answers our prayers next time……

[Sebastian says thanks for reading the world’s longest post…]

Our Answered Prayer...
Professor Sebastian Steals Hearts

Today I Pray. Today I Hope. Today I Trust.

Just when my head would hit the pillow, a sigh of relief escaping my lips, I would hear another cry. Sometimes as short as 30 minutes of sleep. For weeks now my sleep has been so terrible that there are days I can barely function. It will pass I know, but I am desperate to feel rested, so every night I pray. I have begged for prayer from others. I have cried in the middle of the night, sobbing out to God and pleading for just 3 or 4 hours of sleep in a row, but instead I got 3 or 4 hours total the whole night.

Last night the baby slept 6 hours before crying….SIX HOURS. Prayers answered.

I don’t know why sometimes God answers prayer and sometimes He doesn’t. What is the trick behind getting a prayer answered? I don’t think there is any “trick” to be honest. I think He just knows which ones need to be answered and which don’t, and we just have to sit back and trust Him. (Yes, easier said than done)

I can’t help but contemplate this because we are going in this Thursday for another test. Another test and I am begging for prayer again for the COMPLETE HEALING of my little Sebastian. The truth is I don’t know if God will answer this prayer, this longing, this desperation of a mother’s heart. I so badly want Sebastian to be healed. I pray for a miracle. I KNOW God can do it. I BELIEVE in a BIG GOD; this is nothing to Him. Nothing. Easy. Peanuts. But will He hear the cry of a desperate, longing, hopeful mother’s heart? The mother’s heart that doesn’t want to see her baby go into surgery? Yes, He will hear it. But will He answer it? Is this God’s will?

I don’t know if God will answer this prayer and I have been tortured by wondering for weeks. But at the end of the day there is one thing I know: I BELIEVE in a God who CAN and I HOPE in a God who would.

I can’t stop praying, hoping, begging, that He will have mercy on my little guy. That God will preform a miracle and have Sebastian’s tests come back completely clear. That there will be a healthy, normal sized kidney and a healthy, normal size ureter and urethra.

I get down on my knees and ask God for a miracle. I BELIEVE. With every bone in my body, every piece of my soul I believe in a God who heals; the great healer. I HOPE. The bible tells us to hope in Him, so I do with every part of my body and soul. I hope that His will for Sebastian is healing instead of surgery. I PRAY. The bible tells us to come before Him and ask…that we can’t expect to have if we do not come before Him and ask for(James 4:2) So I pray. And I pray again. AND NOW I ASK YOU TO PRAY TOO.

This Thursday, March 29th we will have another ultrasound. The hope and prayer is that the technician will see a normal sized kidney and a normal sized urethra and ureter.

Thank you in advance for every prayer you have prayed and every prayer you will pray today for my little guy. He sends you his biggest smile and I send you my biggest thanks.

 

 
“Be joyful in¬†hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” Psa 62:5
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
“And our¬†hope¬†for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort” 2 cor 1:7
“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.”¬†Psa 52:8