Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Year

It is crazy to think about all that has happened in the last year.  The ways our family has changed have been awesome and amazing!  We went from a family of 9 to a family of 12. Today, I am celebrating one of those awesome people that we added in 2011! Miss Mollie, We love you so much and I was taking a little picture walk today looking at everything that we have done together in the last year.  We came to Iowa to meet you:
 Then Auntie Aimee and I road tripped down to see you again over spring break. .  .
We went to Texas for Easter. . .

 And then in October when my world was rocked and I was shaking so bad I couldn't stand God used you to remind me of the joy that comes with the morning.  You came and spent a week with me.  It was a scary week but you took baths in the sink with your adorable cousin Crosby which made me smile. . .

And you tried on my hats which made it seem not so terrible to know that I would have to shave my head. . .

You went home but you skyped with me multiple times a week which got me through lots and lots of yucky days.  I am thankful that God has used you to make me smile. I cannot begin to explain the joy that fills my heart when I think of how our family has changed since you came along.  I pray that your energy, personality, and downright silliness continue to bless others as you learn about Jesus and his love for all of us.  Happy Birthday Stinker!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I felt the air moving through the hair I have on my head this morning. . . I know I will probably lose it again with the next round of chemo but today I am thankful for that feeling :-)

I maybe even did a little happy dance. . . I learned it last night in my dream where I was in the front row at Zumba class. . .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hey Everyone!

It's me, Leo!  Here is what I have been up to lately: 
I took a vacation under the lights. . . I just wanted to try out the cool shades they have here at the hospital :-)
 I met two more of my Aunties!  (I have met all of my aunties, uncles, and cousins with the help of Skype and Facetime!  I even have met some of my great aunties and uncles!!!)

 I started wearing clothes! I like to be changed often and I will let you know by peeing on my clothes :-)

 I have been sleeping like a champ! Unless I am hungry and then I like to give the nurses a run for their money by demanding attention for about 40 minutes before I can eat. . .

 I LOVE my pacifier!  I am practicing for eating out of a bottle :-)

I have been spending lots of time snuggling.  I LOVE kangaroo care (skin to skin) with both my mom and dad. I get to do it every day with both of them and it is when I am most content.

I also started eating out of a bottle!  I get to once a day when I am most awake and I am doing well.  It makes my mom a little nervous because I sometimes hold my breath and need to be reminded to breathe but I am learning to suck, swallow, and breathe all at the same time.

It is hard work learning to eat from a bottle!  Don't I look satisfied?!
Well, I should probably go, I am working on growing big and strong so I can go to this place called home.  My mom and dad talk about it a lot.  They are suckers for the "take me with you" look that I give them every night when they tuck me in.  I can't wait to see this place where they live.  It sounds pretty cool.
Love, Leo
P.S. How long do you think people will call me "little Leo?"  I am taking bets for when people think I will be bigger than my mom. . . dad too :-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Leo's Birth Story

I don't think I could ever forget my son's entrance into this world but I would hate to not document it and then not remember something so here goes.

Monday night we checked into the hospital for the beginning of the induction process.  They start with what is called cervical ripening (sorry dad!).  I was given a medicine around 7:30pm and then we were just told to wait.  We watched the national championship football game and read and listened to music while we waited.  I was hooked up to a monitor so we watched Grover's (he was still nameless at that point. . . ) heart rate.  I had contractions overnight but they never got strong or into a regular pattern.
At 7:30 Tuesday morning, we met our new nurse Amy.  She told us that she would be with us all day from beginning until delivery.  She heard the praise music playing on my ipad and we told her a little bit about our story.  She asked if she could pray with us before she checked me and started anything else.  What a blessing it was to have a nurse pray with us to calm our fears!  Amy checked me and she said it did not seem like anything had changed but that she would let the doctor know.  Dr. Wagner came in around 8:30 and let us know that he had been watching the monitor and did not see enough progress and that we were going to go ahead with a c-section at 11:30.  It was kind of a whirlwind after that.  There were blood draws, 3 tries at an iv, and people coming in to inform us of what would happen.  My parents got there around 10:00 and the nurses came in to say that we were going to start early!  Ryan got all gussied up in his scrubs and we walked to the operating room.  I was more than a little nervous and I heard Amy asking God to give me peace and help me calm down.  What an awesome feeling to have someone talking to God on your behalf when you cannot!  I had my spinal and they prepped everything. Ryan came in, and 15 minutes later, Leo Christopher was born. 
The NICU team took Leo just after the doctor showed him to me and Ryan was able to go back and forth between where they were working with Leo and the operating room where I was.  I could see them from where I was which was another blessing.  The team decided that Leo needed to go to the NICU because he just had a little too much fluid in his lungs. They had stalled for a while, trying to give him time to clear his lungs but he just couldn't do it. (He wanted to check out the NICU and charm some nurses over there) They wheeled the transporter out through the operating room so I could see him again and Ryan went with them over to Children's Hospital.  The blessing with them stalling to give Leo some time was that between when they left and when I was out of the operating room was about 5 minutes. 
My mom met me as we left and we went to recovery.  I spent about an hour and a half there before Amy (the nurse) wheeled me off to Children's to see Leo.
There you have it, Leo Christopher Miller's birth story :-)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Exciting Things. . .

So way back when in 2009 right after we got married, Ryan and I took a class called Financial Peace University.  We learned a lot about managing money, having a budget, and becoming debt free.  If you talk to either one of us, we would tell you it is one of the best things we did for our marriage.  We set a goal as we finished the class that we wanted to be debt free by the time we had our first baby.  GUESS WHAT?!?!?!


We paid off the balance of our my student loans last week.  I wish I could meet Dave Ramsey (the guy who teaches the course) and give him a huge hug!  God used him in our lives in a way we never could have imagined.  Two years before anything was on our radar, God used a simple money management course to set us up to deal with what was in our future.  Our baby is coming 2 months early, I have cancer, I have been on medical leave since October, and we STILL made our goal!  God is SOOOOOOO good!

Exciting thing number 2:
We held a little fun game last night after church when Ryan and I went to dinner. . . We asked our family for their name guesses (they have been HOUNDING us for Grover's name).  We gave them the hint that the last initial is M. Aren't we nice??  Here are their guesses in no particular order:

Luke Joyseph
Tim Tebow
Ian Benjamin
George Bonks
Michael Luke
Malcom D'Brickashaw
Alexander Milo
Liam, Sam, Adam, Abraham, Tim, Cam, William, I honestly don't know 

Do you think any of them are right??  You will have to wait and see :-)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grover Has A Place To Live

Grover has a place to live when he is ready to come home from the hospital :-)  
He has a crib, and a bookshelf. . .

A dresser with clothes, a changing pad, and a glider so we can rock him to sleep :-)

 Someone was practicing :-)