photo taken by Angela Speiker

Monday, November 30, 2009

11 months old

This was taken on his actual 11 month bday, almost forgot!

My big boy

This is how you see him these days, crawling all over the place

Still loving those beautiful long lashes

Zachary is 11 months old already! Can't believe how fast this year has gone. I almost forgot to snap a pic of him on the actual day, had to do it while he was sleeping. This month has been relatively calm for Zachary, which is great news! He did get to travel quite a lot. We went to his great-grandfather's funeral and he got to show off for some people he hadn't met yet. Then we traveled down to Oklahoma to meet some more new people. We had a great Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa's house and had fun with aunts and uncles. Within a few days we headed to Pop-Pop and Nana's house for Thankgiving. It has been a fun, busy few weeks. Zach did great in all the different places and riding in the car. He remains such an easy-going baby! This month Zach's teeth have come in and he loves to bring EVERYTHING to his mouth to chew on. Zachary got his first haircut, pics to come later. Zachary is loving his food, as long as it is pureed, he still doesn't do well with any type of solid. Our little man has a love and fascination with his siblings--loves them dearly and smiles ear-to-ear when they enter the room. They, too, are loving him a little more every day.

This month has also brought some new qualifications for Zachary as far as physical therapy. We've been working with Infant/Toddler, a state-funded service that would be free to us and they come to our house. Zach has remained "too good" for lack of a better term and has not met their qualification yet. They have been watching him thru a paperwork service, asking us to continually fill out a questionarre. Zach "failed" the gross motor section this last round and now qualifies for Liz, a PT, to come to our house and work with him. She is encouraged by the things he is doing, but did say he is definitly behind where he should be. We are working with her, and Jenn thru Children's Mercy's PT dept, to encourage our little guy to sit up, stand for longer periods, and work on putting a little more weight on those legs. Both our PTs are really happy to see him army crawling, using his arms and legs and both sides of his body. They are encouraged by his recent development of popping up on all 4's into crawling position and rocking back and forth. We are just trying to get him a little stronger. I just keep telling them that I am kind of ok with him not walking/running all over the house getting into stuff ;) JK I'm just going to enjoy these moments now before we have to stress about him falling down the stairs, getting into dog food, and opening cabinet doors. All that said, we now have 7 appointments scheduled for our little Z man for this month. Not that it would be a busy month anyway, right? Anything to help make our baby strong enough to fend for himself during future wrestling sessions with his big brother and sister.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Fighting for Preemies

Our youngest miracle child has brought about so much awareness in my world. Zachary's early birth was scary, to say the least. His 6 week hospital stay was difficult, but all-in-all do-able because we got to bring our little boy home! I can't help but remember the one line I heard over and over again, "wow, how are you doing this, isn't it so difficult?" It was all such a matter of perspective when you are looking at all the babies around you who are in worse shape in the NICU.

I used to be one of the ones who thought that prematurity JUST meant that your baby was small. I have come to learn it is so, so much more than that. Those weeks, even days, can mean so very much to the lifetime of your child. It is all just a matter of "ifs". It can make a difference IF you even bring your baby home. If you bring them home w/ or w/o monitors. IF you make it home by your due date (something that seems impossible to imagine when they are born 2 or 3 months early). IF they have lingering health problems. IF you can have a "normal" life with your little munchkin. IF they can hear. IF you don't go bankrupt in getting them to survive. IF they don't spend the rest of their life with doctor after doctor correcting all the problems that MIGHT go wrong. IF they have developed their lungs enough to participate in sports in the future. IF they are able to be ok with a little help in the beginning, of IF it will be a lifetime of help required.

Thank God our little man is a healthy fighter. Thank God he waited until 31 weeks to be born. Thank God he was able to cry at birth, and only be vented for 48 hours. Thank God he only continued to improve with each new day. Thank God we have him here with us today. Thank God for organizations like March of Dimes!

And, if you want to hear a true post-NICU micro-preemie experience, check out this blog Reading this, and imagining doing this with 3 babies, wowsa, makes me feel kind of small. Like I said, it's all prespective!

Not every baby is so lucky.........

Do you know a baby that was born too soon, too small, unable to suck, unable to breathe on his own? Premature birth is a health crisis that jeopardizes the lives and health of nearly half-million babies each year. It is the #1 killer of newborns and can lead to lifelong disabilities. Worse: the number has increased 31 percent since 1981. It can happen without warning and for no known reason. Until we have more answers, anyone’s baby, could be born too soon.

Medical advances give even the tiniest babies a chance of survival, yet for many babies premature birth is still a life or death condition. It’s the #1 cause of death during the first month of life. And babies who survive face serious health challenges and risk lifelong disabilities.The rate of premature birth has never been higher. In half the cases, we simply don’t understand what went wrong. We need to fight for answers. And, ultimately, preventions.

In January 1938, President Roosevelt established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis to save American’s youth from Polio. His premise was that people can solve any problem if they work together. Comedian Eddie Cantor created the first grassroots fund-raiser for the National Foundation, asking the public to send dimes to President Roosevelt at the White House. The effort was called the March of Dimes, which later became part of the official name of the foundation. President Roosevelt created a partnership of volunteers and researchers and within 17 years, the Salk vaccine (named after Jonas Salk, the doctor who developed it) had been developed and polio was on the run. With the approval of the Salk vaccine and resulting eradication of polio, the March of Dimes turned its focus to a new mission to save America’s youth. Since 1958, the March of Dimes has been funding cutting edge research and innovative programs to save babies from birth defects, premature birth and low birthweight.

November 17 is dedicated to raising awareness of the crisis of premature birth. The March of Dimes invites bloggers like you to get involved. • Learn about premature birth at

Our first glimpse of our little fighter, on CPAP helping him to breathe hours after birth.

The first time I was able to be wheeled down to him and see him more clearly. He is vented here, off CPAP and just after receiving his Surfactant that helped improve his lung quality thanks to March of Dimes.

Our sweet little baby boy on the vent

And thank God he moved on to his nasal cannula that helped him breathe for the next 4 weeks. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 13, 2009

Swinging away

Zachary enjoyed the pretty weather, but couldn't take his eyes off his siblings.

I really loved these 2 pics of Calvin. Wish he had a haircut, though. That boy's hair grows so stinkin' fast!

My 3 munchkins enjoying the nice weather.

Laney was having fun watching the kids swinging.

Found these pics that I hadn't posted and thought they were pretty sweet. We had fun playing outside on a gorgeous fall day.
Oh, just put these things together. November--awesome month to be thankful, right?! November is Adoption Awareness Month AND Prematurity Awareness Month!!!!!! How funny is that?! 2 things in life that I fully support b/c both has effected our family so very much. So, in your prayers, and when counting your blessings, include all those who have been somehow touched by adoption and prematurity. You know one very special family touched by both :)Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Calvin is growing up

This recent trip is the first time for Calvin to not sleep in a pack-and-play. We got him a new sleeping bag that was his "special" bed.

Calvin called me to the table at breakfast the other day to show me this. He had formed his waffle pieces into a "C for Calvin". He's learning a lot about letters from his big sis these days.

He was so proud of himself for making that C.

We had movie night and made popcorn in an air popper. Em was shocked that it didn't come out of the microwave bag, sad. Calvin was just so excited to watch it popping.

Our sweet Calvinator is growing up. He seems to really be doing more things, saying things that surprise us, and just acting like a bigger boy. I think sometimes we force him to grow up a little too fast, and have some expectiations on him forgetting is still only 2. This little guy is quite the comedian and is doing a much better job each week at children's church standing in line and following directions. Calvin gives the best hugs and can be so super sweet at times. I love it when he waves, it is darling. He loves to help, when he is in the mood. Calvin, we are so thankful to have you in our life!!!!!!!!
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Grandpa's funeral

I loved that they put Grandpa's boots as part of the presentation at the funeral

My grandfather served in the Army and Air Force and served in the Korean War

Grandma with her 4 kids and their spouses. L-R, Uncle Verlin, Aunt Susan, Grandma Ruby, Uncle Ed, Aunt Gracie, Dad, Mom, Uncle Terry, Aunt Kit

Grandma with 6 of her grandkids. L-R, Me, Melissa, Jay, Grandma Ruby, Terri, John, William

Grandma and her 10 great-grandchildren w/ one great-great grandson.

Great-Grandma with Zachary

Grandma with her 4 children

We went to Perkins (just outside of Stillwater), Oklahoma last week to attend my grandfather's funeral. While it was a sad visit, we knew it was the best thing for grandpa. He had really begun to suffer and none of us wanted that. Grandma even told me that she "hoped God could forgive her b/c I was praying to take him up to heaven so he wouldn't suffer any longer." It was really hard to see how sad she was during the service--they had been married for 63 years! She was so happy to have her family and friends around her, though. Grandpa led a long, full life and I was thankful to have had him in my life. I will always have the fun memories of fishing with him, playing cards, walking on his back, having him teach me to eat tomatoes like apples, and watermelons will always remind me of he and grandma. I love you Grandpa!

Here is his obituary:

Ollie Lewis Moor, 82 of Perkins, died on October 31, 2009 in Perkins, Oklahoma. Grave side service will be at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at Perkins Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at Perkins VFW. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Ollie was born on January 29, 1927 in Minco, Oklahoma to Pascal Moor and Bessie Oliver. He married Ruby Tow on September 10, 1946 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army and Air Force, and served in the Korean War. Ollie received a rifleman award. He was in the fraternal orders of the VFW, and DAV. He was also a member of the Church of God. He enjoyed fishing, camping, and hunting.

He was preceded in death by one brother, Kenneth; six sisters, Hazel, Dorthy, Goldie, Donna, Betty, and Zelda.

He is survived by two sons, Terry Moor of Newton, KS, and Verlin Moor of Stillwater, OK; two daughters, Mattie Watkins of Wichita, KS, and Gracie Weyer of Wichita, KS; six grand children, ten great grandchildren, and one great great grandson. He is also survived by two sisters, Opal and Shirley. Posted by Picasa

Dance recital

Emerald and her cheesy grin

Emers and Aubrey, a neighbor down the street and one of Emerald's good friends

All the girls tapping away. If you look in the middle of the pic, you can see Skip's head, holding Zachary.

Emerald's dance teacher. She was so sweet with the kids, and goes to our church.

Emerald was in a dance recital last week. It was pretty basic, 2 dances, and then we watched the big girls dance. She had a lot of fun and we loved watching our little girl show off her skills. We celebrated after by going out for pizza. It was a fun night for everyone. Calvin was so cute seeing his "Gee" up on stage and waving away to her. He's pretty much in awe of that sister of his. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 6, 2009

Trick or treating

I love that we have the police officers driving slowly around our neighborhood handing out candy to the kids. It is such an awesome community we live in!

Some of our neighbors, Brian and Amy, who are great friends of Jeff and Heidi. Josiah was just about to dig in to the candy

Off we go, just at dusk, and just a little excited!

The next morning before church. Emerald was still in the Halloween spirit, taking Mango for a ride on her "broom" horse.

We had fun hitting the neighborhood. Calvin did awesome, asking which house next each time. He didn't seem to have a fear of anything. He was all about getting more candy. Our little girl, however, was a little fearful of anything "spooky" and refused to go up to several houses, even turning down candy. Zach just hung out, as usual. We hit several houses of neighborhood friends, including Emerald's teacher. One of our neighbors opens their backyard as a haunted path, lined with no less than 35 carved pumpkins. It is a lot of fun. Our neighborhood comes alive Halloween night with hundreds of families walking the streets. Many neighbors sit out in their front yard/driveway with a fire pit going and hand out candy. One house was even handing out adult beverages as treats for the grown ups :) We are really happy where we ended up in our sweet little town and great neighborhood. So much fun! The kids had a blast and both are already asking "how many days unitl Halloween"? Ahhhh to be a kid again. This is the stuff that you dream about when wanting to become a parent, right? We are loving every minute of our fun journey!
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Adding in a King

Skip threw on a last minute wig and became King Triton (Ariel's father for those not familiar with the Little Mermaid) Em thought that was hilarious

A better picture of the full lobster costume

We had a turtle crawling around in our yard
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Our little happy family

Our lobster, with Rocky.

My munckins :)

Zachary and Josiah were just bursting with excitement on their first Halloween

Emerald wanted to be Ariel. Zachary's costume was pretty easy to decide, a lobster of course! So, we found a Flounder costume for Calvin and I had my Little Mermaid trio. Emerald thought it was so fun! It was a beautiful fall evening and we had a lot of fun spending time together.
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