Friday, February 29, 2008

Our Week at Home

Things are starting to get back to normal around our house. McKenna is still pretty congested, but she doesn't have a fever anymore and she is starting to eat better. Her cough still makes me nervous at times, but I think we're on the road to recovery. We've just been staying home adjusting to life with a baby again. Christian continues to be obsessed with his baby sister. She very rarely gets a break from him. This picture is rather typical of what our lives are like now; mid-afternoon and everyone is still in their pjs.
McKenna is actually figuring out how to defend herself from all the kisses.
We haven't seen much of our cousins lately. They've been in full time daycare for the last two weeks. Abby and Nate will be back with us next Tuesday. I'm extremely nervous about having a four year old, two two year olds and a nursing newborn, but we'll figure it out. Our new plan is that I'll have them full time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So my new rule is; no one can stop by my house on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. I've just decided that those days are going to be dedicated to the kids and I'm going to sit on the floor with them and play and read books and fix snacks all day. There will be no cleaning or laundry or beds made. There probably won't be a shower or make-up for me either. There will be toys everywhere and there probably won't be any cushions on the couch, but I will just ignore it all and worry about it on Thursday!
Christian and I have made some pretty cool train track layouts this week. This is where Christian spends most of his time. Right before McKenna was born AC Moore had a sale on Thomas trains. I bought three (Mighty Mac, Lights and Sound Percy and Lady) and saved them for special times when we needed a little extra distraction over the last several weeks. Those trains have been a life saver and have resulted in many hours of quiet time for mommy!
On a side note: the Marshalls have finally caught the flu. We were really hoping that it wouldn't happen, but alas Nathan threw up 11 times yesterday. He went to the doctor and ended up having an ear infection and strep throat. The poor boy is super sick, but didn't even have a fever. Go figure!! I got a call from Emma's teacher today and she started throwing up too. Thankfully Amy was already home with Nate, so she was able to go and get Emma. It could be a very long weekend for Amy, so pray for her! I feel terrible that I can't help her, but I can't risk us getting sick again.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

McKenna's Doctor Visit

I took McKenna to the doctor this morning for a check up and the news was pretty good. She has gained half an ounce (could be better, but at least she's not loosing weight) and her lungs are clear. McKenna still has a lot of head congestion and both of her eyes are all goopy. She did not have a fever this morning, although that seems to be something that comes and goes. Last night was a very, very long night. McKenna has a cough now and when she coughs she gets herself so worked up that she can't breathe. Very scary! So I have her sleeping in the bassinett next to my bed and every little noise she makes wakes me up. She also just wants to be held and I'm not a fan of co-sleeping (I never did it even once with Christian) but last night around 4am I finally gave in and brought her into bed with me. Then of course, I still couldn't sleep because I was so worried about smothering her. Oh my, I'm so tired!! I could have cried when the doctor told me that we have to continue feedings every two hours round the clock. I guess you can survive anything for a week or two! Pretty soon she'll be packing on the pounds and we will be on a schedule one of these days.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Update

Unfortunately McKenna is running a fever again. She really does tell us when she isn't feeling good. She kind-of whimpers while she's's enough to break your heart. McKenna is also still having some eating issues. She just doesn't have an appetite which wouldn't be a big deal if she was nine or ten pounds, but she's only 7 pounds so it's a concern. Just keep praying for us. The flu is a terrible thing. If no one in your family has gotten it, then be thankful and wash your hands a lot. I think I picked up the flu at Sams Club. I was the first one to get sick and that's the only place I had gone. It makes you think about how nasty those carts can be. Both of my parents are sick now, but somehow the cousins across the street have managed to escape this nasty bug.

McKenna is figuring out how to keep the binkie in her mouth!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

We're Home....

McKenna was discharged from the hospital this morning!!! Hooray!!! We are home!!!

Unfortunately I still have a sick little girl. She is not out of the woods yet, but the doctor let us go home basically because I can do everything at home that they were doing for her in the hospital. McKenna's fever broke and she actually didn't even have one as of two hours ago. McKenna did throw up at the hospital right after I signed the discharge papers, but they let us go anyway. I have a lot of monitoring to do and at this point McKenna won't nurse (probably because she can't breathe through her nose) so we have to force bottle feed her, which is very time consuming.

Ryan and Christian are still quite sick. Ryan especially has a terrible cough, so we are going to attempt to keep McKenna away from the boys (although that's not working because even as I'm writing this Ryan is changing McKenna's diaper). Christian just has a runny nose. Christian really missed his mommy and is sitting on my lap right now and I have a feeling he'll be clinging to me all day. When I got home I asked Christian if he had been a good boy for daddy. Christian said, "No. I'm not a boy, I'm a baby." Here we go, the jealousy has set in.

So many answered prayers over the last month:
1. The daycare situation has worked out for my niece and nephew; Abby and Nate. They were in daycare full time this past week and they both did great! They even napped there. Who would have thought that daycare would be a healthier place for them than my house!?
2. Remember how McKenna wasn't in the correct position before she was born? Well, she got herself turned around just before I gave birth to her!
3. I may have gotten the flu, but I also got over it in 3 days and it normally lasts about a week! God knew I needed to get better so I could take care of my kiddos.
4. McKenna didn't need any medical interventions while we were in the hospital; no Iv, no meds, no breathing treaments or oxygen!!
5. I actually got some sleep while we were at the hospital last night.
6. McKenna has maintained her weight through this illness. Now she just needs to start gaining a little.

Thanks for thinking of us and praying for us over the last few days. The flu in a baby as young as McKenna can be extremely dangerous, if not deadly, so we are thrilled that she's home and doing so well. God is so good!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

McKenna's Hospital Update!

Hello Friends...I'm home from the hospital for about three hours so I can get a shower, a short nap and do a load of laundry or two!! I wanted to give you all a quick update on McKenna. As my sister Amy already posted, McKenna has the flu and was admitted to the hospital because of her fever and because she is not gaining weight (she still isn't back to her birth weight). The good news is that McKenna's fever has not gotten any worse, it is maintaining around 100.7 It did spike up to 102 early this morning, but we got that under control. She is really congested, but it hasn't moved to her lungs. I must say, McKenna looks really cute in her little hospital gown!
McKenna is in an isolation room (which is actually really nice because we don't have to have any roomates and it cuts down on the number of people who come in the room), so anyone who comes in the room has to wear gloves, a mask and a gown.
Since I've already been exposed to all McKenna's germs and she's been exposed to mine, I don't have to follow all the isolation rules!! Can you tell I only got 2 hours of sleep?
Auntie Amy works in the Summit Health building right behind the hosoital so she walks over to visit McKenna on her lunch breaks and after work!! She loves taking care of her little niece!

It would be easy for me to go on and on about how this past week has been one of the worst weeks of my life, but it's also been a week of real growth for me!! When the pediatrician first told me that we should admitt McKenna to the hospital I cried, like any mom would do, but the amazing thing is how calm I have felt about the whole thing. I don't feel stressed out or worried about McKenna and to be honest that really surprises me (This is definitely evidence that people are praying for us - thank you). I am not usually a very calm person in times of crisis. I usually am the one calling the glass half empty, but over the last few months I have seen tangible evidence of God's faithfulness in the lives of those in my family. God has proven his love and faithfulness to us in so many ways and I know that he's doing that even through this situation. Things could be a lot worse. I was actually relieved when McKenna was diagnosed with the flu and not RSV or meningitis or something worse. McKenna is the tiniest patient on the peds floor, but she is also the healthiest. She doesn't need an IV because she been eating more. She doesn't need oxygen because all her saturations levels are within normal range. She hasn't even gotten any Tylenol!! She's a tough little cookie and even though we will probably spend at least one more night in the hospital, I feel confident that she will be fine in just a few days!!

Please keep praying. Pray that her fever doesn't go any higher. And pray that she continues to feed well. Also please pray for wisdom for Ryan and I as we have to make decisions on testing and medication, etc. for McKenna. There are a lot of conflicting opinions about caring for an infant this tiny and it's difficult sometimes to feel confident about the decisions we have to make.

1. All the dear friends who have been bringing us meals!
2. Brian, Angie, Devon and Taryn for taking care of Christian...what a blessing to know that he's safe and happy even when we can't be with him.
3. Zac and Julie...I've been thinking about you guys a lot over the last 24 hours and everything you've gone through with all of your hospital stays with Olivia. You guys have set a great example of how to handle trials with strength and grace. Thinking about Olivia has put this little hospital visit in perspective for me!! (You can check out Olivia's story on their blog link on the right hand side of this page).
4. To everyone who has been praying...thank you!

"And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." Matthew 21:22

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Please pray for McKenna

Our precious girl is in the hospital tonight. She was admitted this afternoon, after going to the pediatrician's office with a temperature of 100.2. Her temperature continued to climb this afternoon and she has not been eating well. At the moment, her temperature is back down again at 100.6, but any fever over 99 degrees is dangerous for a newborn. They are concerned about keeping her hydrated since she isn't feeding well, but at this point, they have not given her IV fluids. This evening, after a blood test, she was diagnosed with influenza A, otherwise known as a nasty strain of the flu. Judy, Ryan and Christian all have the flu, and we were hoping that our precious baby girl would escape. Judy is also struggling with bronchitis and a sinus infection. She is staying at the hospital with McKenna tonight. Please pray for the Chatterton family! And Judy will check this blog tomorrow, so any encouragement that you'd like to leave for her would be greatly appreciated, I'm sure.

-posted by Amy

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oh to be healthy again

"I hate it when everyone's sick!"
Well, here's the update. Both of my boys are now sick. Unfortunately they have the throw up bug too and very high fevers. Thankfully I am feeling much better...not great, but better. Thank God McKenna seems to holding her own! It has been a very trying day, but we will live through this. Christian is playing trains right now for the first time today, so that is a good sign. He's on Tamiflu and I'm hoping it's a wonder drug!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Very concerning....

I have had a fever of 103.7 pretty much all day and I've been feeling terrible for about 48 hours. I went to the doctor today and have a sinus infection and bronchitus. I go to the lab tomorrow for some blood work and to be tested to see if I have the flu on top of everything else. I am really worried about my sweet little girl. I can't really be around her (only to nurse), so Ryan has full time baby duty. My mom had to go home today, so we are on our own.

Please, please pray that McKenna, Christian and Ryan stay healthy!!!! This bug could be really bad if McKenna caught it. I feel like I can hardly move, so I can't imagine what it would do to her little body.

Please pray!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

One week old!

McKenna's one week birthday!!
The boys went to church today and the girls stayed home (I've actually been sick...fever of 101.9 and a terrible pray for me). Christian was so cute. He took a picture of himself and McKenna to his Sunday school class and showed it to all of his friends. His Sunday school teacher emailed me tonight to tell me that when he sat down to have snack he told everyone at the table about "Kenna." He is such a proud big brother.
It is not uncommon to find Christian kissing on McKenna. He kisses her dozens of times a day and for the most part he is very gentle about it.
I would just love it if McKenna would end up being a thumb sucker!!! Christian is/was a thumb sucker and it's made him a great sleeper. McKenna also loves having a binkie, but the whole binkie thing scares me. It's so hard to get rid of and you constantly have to keep track of it. Thumbs never get lost. Christian still sucks his thumb, but mainly just at night or when he's tired. I guess it will be hard to get rid of too. I don't even want to tell you how old I was when I stopped sucking my thumb. Let's just say I was already in school for a couple of years before I truly gave it up. I've caught McKenna with her thumb in her mouth a couple of times, but she still has a hard time finding it and actually getting it in her mouth.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We are falling in love...

Our family of three is busy falling in love with it's newest member. I can tell that even Christian is. He always wants to know where "Kenna" is and he sits next to her and sings to her. Christian isn't much of a singer, so this is a big deal. Today he held her for a long time and he must have kissed her head 20 times. My heart just melts to see the two of them together. It's been so nice to have my mom in town to take care of the details of life, so I can just enjoy my children.

McKenna's Birth Story

Most of you will probably find this posting to be a total bore. It's the story of McKenna's birth, play by play. I'm posting these details for those of you who have asked and are curious about how things went and also as a record for myself. I never actually went into labor on my own with Christian so I didn't really know quite what to expect. Unfortunately, what I should have expected was several days of contractions. I started having contractions at 4am on Wednesday morning. They weren't anything major and they continued, on and off, for the next three days. I had a doctor's appointment on Thursday night and I found out that I was 3 cm dialated. After my doctor's appointment on Thursday we went out to eat. We figured we might as well enjoy one more night out together as a family of three.

My contractions became pretty regular on Friday at about 9am (this is when I actually think I started to go into labor). I picked up Abby and Nate from daycare at 12:30 and put everyone to bed as soon as we got home. I called Ryan around 3:00pm and asked him to come home. I told him that I didn't think I was in labor (ha, ha...what do I know), but the contractions were bad enough that I just couldn't handle all four kids. I let the boys sleep until he got home which meant they had very long naps. Christian didn't fall asleep Friday night until 11pm.

Our small group from church meets on Friday nights and I actually debated whether or not I should go. I decided not to (thank goodness), but told Ryan to go and take Christian and Emma with him. I didn't want Emma to miss it because she was planning on having a sleep over with one of her friends and she had been looking forward to it all week. This was her first real friend (not family) sleepover!! So Ryan took the kids and went to small group, leaving me alone with my contractions. It was actually nice to be in the house by myself and around 7:30pm I decided to try and go to sleep. Sleep did not come, but the contractions did.

Ryan and Christian got home at 8pm and at 8:14 I was in full blown labor. I finally realized that this was IT! My parents were on their way to our house for a preplanned visit (Isn't God's timing good?!!) and my mom pulled in the driveway at 8:35pm. Ryan and I left for the hospital at 9:00pm. Ryan made a few phone calls while going 85mph down the highway (despite the fact that I assured him I was not about to have the baby in the car) and we made it to the hospital in record time. Ryan jumped out of the car and started to head into the hospital without me. I actually had to call after him and remind him that he had to wait for me. Needless to say, he was a little jittery.

I was a little disappointed to learn that I was only 4cm dialated when we arrived at the hospital, so the doctor decided they needed to observe me for an hour before they would admit me. That was a very long hour. I was begging for an epidural at this point, but of course they wouldn't give me one since I hadn't been admitted yet. They finally admitted me aroung 10:30pm and then told me I had to have an entire bag of IV fluids before I could have an epidural. At this point I totally thought I was going to loose my mind the contractions were so intense. I was able to keep it together for the most part and breathe through them. I had a great nurse who coached me through some of the worst ones. I was finally allowed to get an epidural at midnight. My contractions were almost back to back at this point and the anesthesiologist actually said to me, "Are you sure you really want this? You're going to have that baby really soon." Apparently he was the only one who recognized the fact that things were moving along quickly. The epidural took a few tries before it was finally in place and then much to my dismay it only worked on my right side. The epidural started to kick in around 12:20am and even though it didn't work great it still took the edge off and helped me to relax. I think I had been panicking the whole time that I wasn't going to get an epidural. Christian's birth was in the back of my mind the entire time and when he was born things went downhill quickly and it was a good thing I had one. Christian ended up going into great distress and the doctor had to get him out quickly. It took me six months to recover from the last three minutes of Christian's birth and I was worried that I would have to have the same sort of interventions with this baby. Thankfully I was wrong. My mom got to the hospital around midnight. Her timing was once again perfect!

A little before 1am I remember telling the nurse that I felt like I needed to push. She told me not to and told me that I was only 8 cm dialated. I don't think she was right because at 1am my body started pushing for me. There was no stopping McKenna at this point. This is when I started yelling and telling all the nurses that started running into the room, that I wasn't kidding, that I was in fact going to have this baby. One of the nurses told Ryan to pull the emergency cord on the wall, which brought a few more nurses into the room, but no doctor. This time when they checked me McKenna's head was already making an appearance. Three pushes and she was out at 1:09am. McKenna was looking a little green since she had pooped sometime in the hours before her birth. A nurse did have to stick a tube down her throat and suction her stomach and they did come up with some pretty nasty stuff. McKenna's Apgar score was 7 (much better than Christian's 1 when he was born). My doctor arrived about 20 min. after McKenna's birth. I have no idea where she was, but the nurses were very competent and did a great job.

This is our very first picture of our sweet girl!

I do not care for this picture of me, but I guess you're not supposed to look good after giving birth. Unfortunately, some women do, but I am not one of them!!!

I actually found this birthing experience to be rather invigorating. I wasn't even tired when it was all over. I was so thrilled that McKenna was healthy and that things went well. I basically stayed up the rest of the night looking at my little girl and marveling at the goodness of the Lord!

Ryan had no problem falling asleep after McKenna was born. Apparently the whole thing completely wore him out.

Not a little boy anymore

My little boy just doesn't seem so little these days. He seems taller and heavier. He seems more independent and it's like he even got smarter overnight. He has offically accepted his role as the big brother. He is so helpful; watching McKenna for me, getting diapers for her, whispering when she is sleeping. I guess having a new baby gives you some perspective. Christian actually asked me to take this picture. It was taken at the hospital when McKenna gave Christian a new train. It's Percy and he makes lots of noise (why didn't I think that through a little better) and has a light.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We're Home!

I just wanted to let everyone know that we're home now. McKenna is doing great and so is her big brother. Christian is very interested in everything McKenna does and he's been showing her his different trains all afternoon. Ryan is asleep on the couch and I got a much needed nap in my own bed. I hardly slept in the hospital and believe it or not I have pink eye. I have never had pink eye in my life, none of the kids have it, and somehow I got it. Go figure! I'm just posting a few of my favorite pictures from the last 48 hours. I'll give you all a full report of McKenna's birth later. Just for the record McKenna was about 100 times easier to deliver than Christian. It was very intense, but everything went well...except for the fact that the doctor missed it all. Three nurses delivered McKenna because she decided it was time to come and wasn't going to wait. Thanks to everyone who was praying for us. I know that this little girl's safe arrival is an answer to many prayers! We give God all the glory for the blessing of McKenna's life!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

McKenna Grace

Here she is!! Our precious little McKenna Grace has been eating and sleeping like she wrote the book on the subject! She has a beautiful full head of dark hair, and of course her eyes are blue, at least for the moment.

She's been sucking on her hands a little bit and is a very content little girl so far!

This was Christian's second visit to see his little sister. This time he was much more interested in holding and cuddling with her. He sat right up on the bed with Judy and insisted on holding on to McKenna the whole time. He was very gentle with her and touched her cheek and her hands. He kept commenting about how little her hands were and telling all of us to be quiet because she was sleeping. What a good big brother!!

Pop Pop and Auntie Amy had to do some serious bargaining with Christian in order to get a few minutes with his little sister. He is a very protective big brother already, and wasn't thrilled with the idea of having to share his time with her!

With the exception of big brother, Christian, the children were not allowed to go in and see Judy or McKenna. The hospital policy says that you have to be 12 years old, unless you are a sibling. The kids were diappointed and had to wait, not so patiently, in the waiting room for a nurse to bring McKenna out for a visit.

After a long wait in the waiting room, some very excited children finally got to meet their new cousin through the glass of the receptionist area! All the kids are looking forward to tomorrow when McKenna will come home and they will get to see her "for real"!
-Posted by Amy

Welcome McKenna Grace Chatterton

She's here!!!!!! Our precious little McKenna Grace Chatterton was born this morning at 1:09 am weighing in at 7 lbs. 15 oz. She is a little peanut at just 20" long. Mommy and baby are both doing absolutely fine and there were no complications to speak of.

Judy will give a full report, I'm sure, but for now we are rejoicing in the goodness and faithfulness of God and we are so thankful for this healthy little girl!!!!

Grandmom Brinkley says that she looks a lot like Christian and when I spoke to her, McKenna was happily sucking on her little fingers.

Check back after lunch time today to see pictures of our newest miracle. Isn't God so good?!!!!! What a blessing!

Friday, February 8, 2008


I am very happy to announce that as of 9:15pm, Judy and Ryan were on their way to the hospital. This is finally the real deal! Judy's contractions are four minutes apart and she is extremely uncomfortable.

Our parents arrived just in the nick of time and they are staying with Christian tonight. This is a wonderful distraction for Christian, who practically pushed mommy out the door so that he could read books with Grandmom! That's one less thing for Judy to worry about right now!

Hopefully, by tomorrow morning, we should have a new little girl in our family! We are asking for your prayers for both Judy and the baby. As many of you know, she had a very difficult delivery with Christian and we almost lost that little boy right at his birth. Please pray that everything will go smoothly, that this little girl will turn over and be face down, and that Judy's labor will be mercifully short!

We'll keep you posted!!

- Posted by Amy

I am miserable...

For all you avid blog checkers I thought I would give you another little pregnancy update...I am totally miserable at this point. And pretty annoyed too! I continually have spurts of contractions that are quite intense and painful and then it all stops. Today is day three of this drama and unfortunately this could go on for awhile. It's a little hard to change diapers and fix sippy cups while having contractions. Christian still hasn't eaten anything yet today and it's 11:45. Just so you don't think I'm horrible, I did fix him breakfast, but he wasn't interested and I decided that I wasn't in a catering mood.

So I just downloaded Matthew West's song "You are Everything" (great song, I need to try to figure out how to post it on my blog) and I'm trying to get some perspective and a little joy in my heart. I really do have so much to be thankful for and the impending birth of this baby (whenever it happens) is going to wonderful and memorable.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Good News/Bad News

I should totally be in bed right now, but I'll give you all a quick baby update. I had a good check up with the doctor tonight. The good news is that I'm three centimeters dialated. So these contractions I've been having on and off are actually doing a little something. I've been having contractions about every 10 min. for the last 5 hours, but they aren't increasing in intensity or getting closer together, so I'm not really getting my hopes up yet. I just hope I'll be able to sleep well tonight. The bad news is that this little girl will not get into position and stay there. She is face up again, which means a harder and longer delivery. My parents are coming to visit this weekend, so it would be the perfect time to head to the hospital. I'm praying that it will happen in the next day or so, but in the back of my mind I do realize who is really in control. I know that God's timing (not mine) is perfect. I'm just so impatient!

False Labor :(

I was starting to get a little excited around 4am this morning when I was having rather strong contractions that were about 8 min. apart, but unfortunately it was all false hope. Good old Braxton Hicks were to blame. I never had any false labor with Christian, so I wasn't really expecting it this time, but as everyone always tells me - every pregnancy is different! And so the waiting game continues. Christian and I are going to go surprise Emma and have lunch with her for her birthday. I head to the doctor tonight, so I'll update again if there is anything exciting to report!
Keep praying for precious little Nate at daycare! I hope he's having a better day today!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Bittersweet Morning

This morning has been rather bittersweet. Emma, Abby and Nate went to daycare for the first time today. Emma will only be at daycare for about 30 min. each morning before catching the bus and Abby and Nate will stay at daycare until just after lunch. I'm going to be picking them up every day at 12:30. They're going to daycare for several reasons but mainly to give me a bit of a break when the new baby comes. For the past several months I've had to get all four kids in coats and shoes and in the car by 7:45 to take Emma to the bus stop. I am so relieved that I won't have to do that with a newborn in the middle of winter. Abby calls daycare "school" and I really think this will be very good for her. She needs to be with some other kids her age and she needs to have some consistency as far as preschool work is concerned. Abby and I have been doing "school" together since this fall, but I have not been very creative or consistent about it and the boys are a constant interruption. Abby doesn't have a lot of interest in "school stuff" so I think the other kids in the preschool program will be a great influence. Abby was very excited to go to "school" this morning. She picked out her outfit last night and got her backpack ready. She was definitely nervous, but I think she understands that it's okay to be a little nervous when you do something new.

Nate is the one I worry about. I've had a very productive morning(it's so nice to go to the grocery store with just one child) but that little boy has been on my mind. Is he crying? Did he eat breakfast? Is anyone going to hold him and let him pull on their ear (that's his comfort thing)? He doesn't have his blanket with him, is he missing it? I'll be honest, it's nice to have less diapers to change, less meals to fix, less conflict to resolve between the boys, but I can't wait to go and get that little guy. I've already decided that I'm going to rock him to sleep for his nap today!! I am feeling guilty about the fact that he's even in daycare, yet there is no doubt that I need this break once the baby comes. I really want to be able to enjoy the first months of her life. I think it's going to be hard enough to adjust to middle of the night feedings again. I wish the boys were just a little older and that they got along a little better and then it wouldn't be such a big deal to have two two year olds in the house. Nate is in a class with children that are all younger than him, so I hope that he will enjoy being the oldest for a change and that he will gain some confidence in his interaction with other kids. I think he could benefit from daycare if he can get over his separation anxiety.

This whole daycare thing is a temporary solution to our childcare situation. As you can imagine it's extremely expensive to put two kids in daycare. I was totally shocked to find out that part-time daycare is costing over $900 a month. As you can imagine my sister, Amy, doesn't just have a spare $900 every month to pay for this (who does?). God provided at just the right moment and her house in Massachusetts just sold, so she has enough money to do this for about 2 months. We would love it if Abby and Nate could stay in daycare until June. My mom is going to retire from teaching in June, so she'll be able to help a lot more with the children and I should actually have an infant that sleeps through the night by June. So that's our big prayer request in all of this...please pray that God will continue to provide and pour out his blessings on Amy and her children.

Afternoon Update:

Well, Abby and Nate survived their first morning of daycare. Abby was not happy that I was picking her up. She wanted to stay all day. She loved it and fit right in with the other kids. Her favorite friend is Kayla, who was wearing a yellow shirt. Abby thought the chicken dance was hysterical and her favorite part was bouncing on the moon bounce. She can't wait to go back tomorrow when she gets to make a mailbox for her Valentine's Day cards.
Nate didn't have such a great morning. He cried for awhile when Amy left. He had finally recovered and was playing when another kid pushed him and that was the end of that. He cried some more and apparently asked for Emma a million times. Bless his heart, I know he'll adjust, it's just hard to see him have hardship in his life. Nate was not interested in having his picture taken, but I snapped it anyway. At least this experience has been documented.

Just a little update on Emma's big Month (a previous post): Emma celebrated the 100th day of school yesterday by making a necklace (100 pieces of cereal) and by making a crown. It was a very fun day!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Emma's 7th Birthday Party

Today was Emma's snow tubing Birthday Party. We were all very disappointed that her friend Emily had a stomach bug and couldn't come, but Emma loved having Anessa along! Emma and Anessa had a blast and I must say that Uncle Ryan and Kevin (Anessa's Dad) had a great time too.

Emma was quite brave and after a few times down the slopes with Uncle Ryan, she went down by herself. Then she and Anessa took a few trips down the hill by themselves.

Anessa and Kevin on the slope!
Notice that the girls have matching hats. That was one of their party favors. Of course, Abby also got a pink hat and we gave Emily's to her dad at church this morning! It was actually quite a warm day, so the hats soon came off as the girls got warmed up.

Doesn't Emma totally look like a snowboarder in this picture? Her snow pants were a little big (so they'll fit next year)and we all thought she looked like she belonged on a snowboard!

Ryan's thoughts on the day: "This is a whole lot better than Chuck E Cheese. Finally a kid's party I can enjoy!"

You have to have ice cream cake at a "snow" themed party!

Even though Emily couldn't attend the party, she gave Emma a beautiful backpack and matching lunch box. Emma was thrilled by the fact that they both have her name on them and no one else in her class has a backpack with their name's on it. Emma can hardly wait to take her new backpack to school tomorrow!!!
Anessa gave Emma some Junie B. Jones books. They are hysterical, I've read some of them before, so I know Emma's going to love them!
The "snow ball" fight! It was a mess, but the kids had a great time!!
Craft time!

Christian playing trains with Anessa's brother, Carter! Carter and Christian also have a great time playing together at church!
It was a great party and we're thankful that Anessa could come enjoy it with all of us!