Family Update

I realized today, while getting things ready for our big sonogram this afternoon, that SO much has happened in the last year of our lives! Last year at this time, we were starting a new year, with much hope and prayer, and a lot of apprehension and some worry too. If I could have turned the page to peek into this day in the future, I would have been filled with so much joy and thankfulness, as I am today, over what has transpired. We are so blessed!

I know I've been lacking a bit in my posting as of late, but I think now is be a great opportunity to give an update on all of us. (Warning: I'm making up for lost time, so a slightly lengthy report is to follow.) Here is what's going on with us, in bullet form for easier digestion (and writing)!

  • We are so thankful for Collin's job! We're still amazed when we consider the provision and love that God gave as He carried us through the last year. Not only have our needs been provided for, but our hopes and wants too! What an incredibly loving Father we have to cling to. Collin has been at his job with L3 for just over 7 months now, and he's sincerely enjoying it - it brings me so much joy to see him thriving and appreciated in his work. He has made several business trips out to Vandenberg AFB for launches and such in the last few months, and has two more planned for February and May, along with a trip to Colorado Springs in April. While he won't have his "annual review" for another week or two, he's been told by his superiors that they've been quite pleased with him and there are, foreseeably, only good things to come.

  • I heard from our church preschool/MDO yesterday, and they finally have an opening in their 3 year old class for Ian! We've had him on the waiting list since sometime last Fall, but a spot finally opened and we were bumped to the top of the list since we're now church members. This decision required some discussion, as we hadn't planned to enroll him until the new school year, but we've decided to go ahead now to assure his spot in the 4 year old class this Fall. For now he'll be going on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 1pm, and I think it'll be a good outlet for him, especially now that Moira's in school and once the newborn is here and taking up lots of Mommy's time! He seems excited, and perhaps a little nervous, but overall enthused. He'll have his first day on Monday.

Ian fell asleep in the car on the way home from Nashville last weekend - part little boy with his stuffed puppy, part big boy with his cool shades. So cute!

  • Moira is starting to read! While we've been working with her, and she's been learning more every day at school, we were surprised during Grammy's visit in December that she plopped down in front of us with an easy reader book, All Tutus Should Be Pink, and read the whole thing!! She was so proud of herself, as were we all, and she's been getting better and better at it since. I volunteered in her class a couple of weeks ago, and had the opportunity to take groups of three kiddos at a time to the Cafeteria to work on reading, and was pleased to find that Moira is on the upper end of her class in her ability to read. She's doing great with sounding out the words and recognizes many now without having to try. She also loves to be "quizzed" on her spelling while we drive around town in the car together. She's such a cutie, and we're enjoying her enthusiasm for school and zest for life in general. Oh, and she can't wait to be a big Sister again! ;o)

Moira has always enjoyed Carousels, so when we saw this one at Opry Mills in Nashville last weekend, we knew we wouldn't get outta there without at least one ride for the kids. Her smile always makes the money worth it!

  • Collin has been seeing a Chiropractor lately for some back pain that started a year or so ago, and has only gotten worse. He was in a bad car accident as a teenager, which put his back and neck all out of alignment, so it's a good thing he's finally going to get adjustments again. He spent his whole time in the military going without, and we didn't realize just how much he needed to be going - fortunately, our health insurance covers the visits aside from a co-pay. Please keep him in mind as he's having all the "kinks" worked out! When he first went in, his pelvis was tilted to the point where one leg was sitting 1.5 inches shorter than the other, and he's lost all curvature to his spine at the neck. He's been going twice a week for the last 3 weeks, and will continue to do so for another month, until they get him "fixed," at which point he'll only have to go once a month. It's actually a blessing that he finally got in to see someone, because if he'd let it go longer, he was looking at a long road of pain, future arthritis, and possible back surgery!

  • Since Cailin's surgery, she's seemed to be doing pretty well. I did take her back in for a check up earlier this month, and they gave her some antibiotics which knocked out a bladder infection (which is frequent among TCC patients and those with smaller bladders) but found that there's once again blood in her urine. Unfortunately, it's impossible to diagnose why without taking her back down to the Specialist in Birmingham for another ($400) ultrasound. Our vet seems to think that it's likely the cancer has returned, and even with an ultrasound to confirm that theory, there's nothing left that we can do for her. SO, we decided to forgo the diagnostic ultrasound, and hope for the best. We're thankful that she isn't in pain, and that she seems like "normal Cailin" - just as loving, playful and funny as always. Our hopes are that we'll still have lots of quality time with our sweet puppy and nothing will come of this discovery for a long, long time. Meanwhile we'll give her all the happiness and comfort we can, and continue to enjoy our time with her.

  • My women's Bible study group started back up yesterday, and we began Beth Moore's new study on Esther, which looks like it's going to be good. It's great to be back in this Monday routine, and while the group is a bit bigger than it was during our last study, it was wonderful to see familiar faces and I'm looking forward to getting to know all the new faces too! I've pretty much been a hermit in this pregnancy so far (which I also did in the beginning of my pregnancies with Moira and Ian, so this didn't come as a surprise), but I'm starting to come out of it now that I'm feeling better and my energy is coming back. Some of the ladies in our Sunday school class were sweet enough to invite me to a few scrapbooking crops, so I'm planning to take them up on it this time and join them at our local scrapbooking store next Friday night. I have high hopes to finish Ian's baby book (I know... I know) before this little one comes, so maybe these ladies will encourage me to that end. I was also invited to go see Bride Wars with a gal about my age from our church tonight, along with some of her girlfriends, so I'm going to try to make that after the sonogram appointment. Should be fun!

  • And finally, the "bun" is doing just fine, and we're all excited to see him/her this afternoon. I'm starting to feel better, although not completely over the morning sickness hurdle. I'm finally feeling the baby a bit now, and can't wait until Collin is able to feel him or her too! As of my last appointment, I'd only gained 4 pounds so far this pregnancy (which is amazing for me) so I'm hoping I'll be able to keep my total weight gain down this time around. For those of you wondering, I think we have decided to go ahead and find out the sex today. I think it'll be a good decision for our family, and as much fun as keeping it a surprise could be, I just don't know that it's what's right for us right now. So, big news to come in my next post!! Oh, and for all of you with greedy little eyes who have asked for belly pics... here are two from last Saturday! :)

I think I'm carrying pretty low and out in front, so far. (Excuse the silly look on my face - Collin always tries to make me laugh when he's taking pics of me, and I always end up looking goofy!)


Kim said...

I love the update! And Janelle - you look BEAUTIFUL!!! Such a cute baby belly. Wow, only belly pregnant this time! I'm jealous! :) Can't wait for the news on gender! You better send out an update right away!!! Love you guys!

The Bottolfini's said...

What a wonderful update! I'm so happy to hear that your family is doing well and I'll continue to pray for little Cailin. I can't believe how cute you look pregnant. I'm so jealous. You're all belly! Good luck today! It looks like the post results are 50/50! I miss you so much! (Hugs)

Anonymous said...

Such wonderful blessings!! Thanks for sharing them.

You look absolutely beautiful, Janelle!! Can't wait to hear the results of the ultrasound.

E said...

What a lovely update!!! I'm so thankful you took the time to share all those bullet points! :) I'm also very thankful to be able to celebrate the many blessings you guys are experiencing in this season of your lives! The pictures of the kids are so cute! And, I adore seeing the pregnancy photos. You look FABULOUS! That will be my inspiration if I have another pregnancy (ie not to turn into a fat pig and try to look fab like you!).

Much love to you all! The way you're carrying, my guess would be you're having another boy. Can't wait to hear the ultrasound results...are you keeping the name under wraps until the birth? It would really help me bond with the baby if you told me his/her (probably his) name now. Just sayin'.... ;)

Much love to you all...


DW Hobbs said...

Whoa!!! Look at you! As ALL of the previous comments have said, you look gorgeous and beautiful and fabulous and oh, you name it!

Loved the update, my heart swells with joy and thanksgiving for each and every one of your many blessings! You and yours are so very deserving and your patience and fortitude through all of this has been inspiring. May the Lord bless and keep you always!

Much love,