Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ten On Tuesday

1. A fellow IVFer had a quote on her blog the other day and I thought how true...
"It's easy to think that the pain of infertility and miscarriage will go away once you have your take home baby, but it doesn't. It is easier to bear, absolutely, but it doesn't go away. Not completely."
2. Loved this...

3. The next LeBron James...

4. I've straightened my hair a few times since getting my haircut a few weeks back. Unreal how many compliments I have gotten each and every time I have straightened it...on the straightness, shortness, and high-lightedness. People sure do know how to make a girl feel good!!!

5. Unreal the amount of rain we have gotten this April. Houses flooded. Streets flooded. Highway on and off ramps closed. Schools closed. Cars abandoned in "lakes." Lakes of water everywhere. It has simply been unreal and to be honest...enough is ENOUGH!!!

6.  His new favorite activity...

7.  This boy isn't a huge fan of many fruits but we can now add apples to the list...
"Taking an apple from Mase is like taking a candybar from a fat kid." Said Mason's father. Sure made me chuckle!!!

8. We were playing outside today when Mase picked something up from the garage floor. I told him to bring it to mommy. Know what he brought me? A hard DEAD worm. Gross.

9. Brian's grandma passed away on Sunday. (She was 92 years old). So back on the road we go. (His grandma lived in Wisconsin). We're road-trippin it down Wednesday afternoon and will head home just 24 hours later. Crazy fast. Especially with a 16 month old. Praying for a smooth ride cause that's a lot of driving in a short amount of time. And this morning the hubster sent me the obituary link and I almost started crying when it said that she was preceeded in death by her two great granddaughters. So sweet. Never forgotten. Makes this mommy happy.

10. How is it that today is the LAST day of April? And we've had like two nice days. Praying May brings the warmer weather!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Chicago With Friends

We spent the day in Chicago this past Saturday. My friend and her hubby live in a Chicago suburb so we left at a decent time Saturday morning so we could spend the whole day together. We hit up the Brookfield Zoo first and grabbed lunch IN the zoo.

The Gang (minus the photographer Amy)...
Mike and Will...Karie, Chad, and Tenley...Me, Brian, and Mase

After the zoo we (Nyenhuis' and Helmholdts) checked into our hotel rooms and then us gals left the guys to entertain the kiddos. Amy swung by to pick up Kare and I and we headed to the mall for a bit of relaxing time away. Crazy weird when you can just sit not worrying about where or what your child is doing.

After smoothies and shopping Amy dropped Kare and I off at the hotel and an hour or so later we headed over to the Schuilings for a backyard grill out. And then we just hung out and chatted the night away. Fun times!!!

Getting ready to go swimming with dad...
Mowing the Schuiling's lawn...
 Mommies with our babies...
What he spent most of his time doing in the hotel room...
Family shot in our room...

The only downside was that Mason only took a 45 minute nap all day long and he went to bed 2.5 hours later than normal so he woke up still tired and cranky on Sunday morning. We were going to hang out some more on Sunday but decided it best to just head home. Good call because the moment our car left the hotel parking lot Mase was out cold AND he stayed sleeping the entire 2.5 hour drive home.

Hopefully we'll be back to visit sooner rather than later!!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

16 Months (A Day Late)

  • Guessing Mase still weighs in the 25 pound range and is still in the 32 inches and some range.
  • STILL wearing size 4 Kirkland brand diapers. Because when Costco had a coupon a month or so ago we bought two boxes. When we got home I said I should have gotten one box of size 5. But since I'm dutch until those diapers run out...size 4 it will be.
  • Mason is wearing a few 18 month clothing but mostly 18-24 or 24 month. 
  • Mason loves ketchup!!! Mason loves dancing to music!!! Mason loves saying "no!!!" Mason loves squeezables (and bonus that he doesn't make a huge mess)!!! Mason loves playing with (picking at) his piggy toes!!! Mason loves using a spoon to feed himself!!! And Mason loves giving out hugs!!!
  • Mason SCREAMS when he has to go back inside. He LOVES playing/being outside.
  • Mason is always picking up "things" from the floor (or these "things" just get stuck to his fingers) and then he tries handing them to whoever he's with. Typically it seems as if he's not handing you anything but he gets mad if you don't take whatever it he's trying to give to you. It may be a piece of hair, a piece of lint, a speck of dust, a fuzzy, or a crumb. Such a silly boy.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Angel Abby Grew Her Wings

I posted my Ten on Tuesday early this morning and after it was posted received this message...

The kindest, sweetest, most amazing person we will ever know passed away this morning at 5:13am. We have been so blessed to be called her momma and dada and to call her our daughter. Abigail fought cancer for over half of her life. She taught us to love, laugh, and to be better spouses, people, and parents. We were able to be with her until the very end.
Abby passed away peacefully in her mommy and daddy's arms at home. We were able to tell her how much we loved her. She showed us what strength truly is, we can never thank her enough. Abby, rest in peace sweet angel, there is no more cancer or pain where you are. You will always be loved and missed by your mommy and daddy.

Please be in prayer for Brandon and Kelli as they mourn the loss of their precious baby girl. She was just short of 23 months. My heart aches for them. I cannot imagine the pain and sadness they feel. But praising God that sweet Abby is now running in the fields of heaven free of any pain and suffering. And I'm pretty sure she already has at least four friends!!!

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Ten On Tuesday

1. Again starting my Ten On Tuesday with a little Jesus Calling:

I AM CALLING YOU to a life of thankfulness. I want all your moments to be punctuated with thanksgiving. The basis for your gratitude is My sovereignty. I am the Creator and Controller of the universe. Heaven and earth are filled with My glorious Presence. 

When you criticise or complain, you are acting as if you think you could run the world better than I do. From your limited human perspective, it may look as if I am mismanaging things. But you don't know what I know or see what I see. If I pulled back the curtain to allow you to view heavenly realms, you would understand much more. However, I have designed you to live by faith, not by sight. I lovingly shield you from knowing the future or seeing into the spirit world. Acknowledge My sovereignty by giving thanks in all circumstances.

I will forever be thankful that God lovingly shielded me from knowing my future. Because if I would had known what was to come I wouldn't have wanted time to move forward. I mean seriously who wants to go through infertility and loss and loss and loss... Today I am giving thanks for every tiny detail God has orchestrated in my life because it has all led up to the life I now lead. And even though it isn't perfect...it's my life and I get to walk through it hand in hand with my best friend and the most adorable little miracle I know!!!

2. Every time the vacuum comes out Mason needs to "help." (Notice him hanging onto the cord). The only thing is...he gets a little heavy...

3. Mason LOVES playing in his "new" (we got it off Craigslist) sandbox...
Sleeping in his "new" sandbox...
and eating the sand in his "new" sandbox...

4. I know that I mentioned this before but this boy LOVES himself some television...whether it be a cartoon or a movie. He will watch it downstairs in his chair...
Sitting (or standing) on the kitchen floor...
Or in Mommy and Daddy's bedroom. 

5. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Read more about it here. Which means the winners will be announced this week Friday for the Fertility Diaries Contest. Hoping for a grand prize kinda win!!!

6. My mom's aunt (who was in her 80's) passed away last week. And just like my mom she had a daughter who lost a child. In her obituary it said that she was preceded in death by her grandson. My mom told me that she had told my dad that night that if she went before him...he IS to put that she was preceded in death by her granddaughters Alayna and Ella. Brought tears to my eyes. Not that its that hard to do when it comes to my precious daughters.

7. Last week I was on my tablet reading the latest update on my pastor (via Carepages) when I decided I wanted to look at MY carepage. I typed in helmholdt twins...but accidently typed it in the wrong place and I ended up Google searching helmholdt twins. I came across this and this. Just as in #6 brought tears to my eyes...

Before I go on with number 8 (and 9 and 10) let me just say CANCER SUCKS...

8. My pastor is NOT doing good at all. It's so incredibly sad. As (one of) his daughters said last week..."how, in 2013, with ALL the medical technology and advances in medicine, how can they not save my dad's life? How can God not want to save the most incredibly wonderful, compassionate, humble, faithful, God-fearing servant that I have ever known?" Breaks my heart because her words are so true. He is all those things and so much more. This is definitely one of those times that (as a Christian) all we can do is cling to Christ and TRUST His ways. Over the last two weeks he has progressively gotten worse. Painful. Weak. Restless. And at times confused because his ammonia levels are so high. He did have a pacemaker put in which helped some but he's still considered to be in heart failure. And the cancer is spreading...mediastinum (chest), liver, pancreas, lumbar vertebrae, cervical vertebrae, sternum, and some lymph nodes. The liver posing the deadliest threat. He was going to have an angiogram today but it was canceled due to the high risk of liver failure. Please continue praying with me for a miracle!!!

9. A fellow IVFer whose 50 something year old mom was just diagnosed this past week with stage 4 pancreatic cancer metasisized to the liver. It is not curable. Please pray as they decide what the best treatment option is.

10. Back in December I asked you all to pray for a dear co worker's 18 month old daughter. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumor at 9 months and (in December) they found out that her cancer had returned (this time to her spine). At that time they gave her 6 months to a year to live. Kelli (the mom) was and still is pregnant. She is now 6 months along. They received the devastating news this past Friday that her brain tumor is back and that there is nothing more that can be done for her. My heart is just in pieces for them. I cannot even imagine the anguish they are feeling. PRAY PRAY PRAY for these wonderful parents and their sweet baby girl Abby in these coming days and weeks.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ten On Tuesday

1. What better way to start my Ten On Tuesday than with a little Jesus' Calling:

TRUST ME IN EVERY DETAIL OF YOUR LIFE. Nothing is random in My kingdom. Everything that happens fits into a pattern for good, to those who love Me. Instead of trying to analyze the intricacies of the pattern, focus your energy on trusting Me and thanking Me at all times. Nothing is wasted when you walk close to Me. Even your mistakes and sins can be recycled into something good, through My transforming grace.

While you were still living in darkness, I began to shine the Light of My Presence into your sin-stained life. Finally, I lifted you up out of the mire into My marvelous Light. Having sacrificed My very Life for you, I can be trusted in every facet of your life.

Trusting God with EVERY SINGLE DETAIL in my life is hard to do. But (obviously) oh SO VERY important TO DO. I struggle with this. Struggle with trusting every detail of my life to God. (As I suppose most people do). Even after loss and infertility I just can't help but try and control the happenings of my life and ask why.

Trusting God with every single detail of my life is a daily choice. And even though some days it's easier (to choose trust) than others. I know that trusting God is crucial. Lately with Mason growing bigger and bigger and with twin (girl) pregnancies all around me...I am missing my girls more and more. I wish I knew them like I know Mason. I wish they knew me like Mason knows me. I wish I could kiss them a million times a day and tell them that I love them a billion times over...but I can't and even though it hurts bunches and bunches...all I can do is trust that those details of my life were a part of God's plan. God's PERFECT plan!!!

2. On a much lighter note. Anyone else have this problem...

3. One day last week I had a whole bunch of errands to run. But all morning it poured (morning time ='s errand running time AND afternoon time ='s nap time). The rain finally let up just before lunch so with limited time I decided to only run out to the library (just a stone's throw away). Normally I reserve books online and only go to the counter to pick the books up but that was not the case today. After picking out a couple of books I noticed a kid's play area and to Mase's delight I let him play for a good 30 minutes...

4. Mason sat like such a big boy getting his hair(s) cut last week. I was one proud mama!!!

5. So last week one night Mase was in the tub and I was just sitting on the toilet (NOT using the toilet mind you) talking to my mom on the phone. I decided it was time to get Mason out since he was pushing some (as in the need to poop push). The water all drained out and when I tried to lift Mase out he freaked out. He's been doing that lately...he loves playing in the tub waterless. Weird...right? So since I was on the phone I let him continue playing. Big mistake a few minutes later I heard a plop. Lovely. Just lovely. First poop in the tub. So go figure two nights later when Mase was getting another bath (and after the water was drained) he refused to get out again. He was being super cute in the tub so I was taking some pictures when suddenly he STOPPED and started pushing again...
 and the end result...

6. Does anyone else's kid have an obsession with playing on the fireplace? 

7. Mason may be over one and he may be over 20 pounds but he still sits rear-facing. (It's actually recommended that children sit rear facing until two years of age these days). However, we needed to get the oil changed on our Toyota last week so Mase got a little glimpse into his future... He liked it but was completely fine when he went back to rear-facing the next day!!!

8. Mason's favorite word no matter what you ask...Nooooo. Here he is in action saying it...
(don't mind his crazy hair...this was before his haircut)!!!

9. It was rainy and cold every single day last week. Ugh. Where is that warmer weather? So when my mom mentioned (to me Thursday night that on Friday) she was taking my sister's kids (whom she was baby-sitting that day) to the mall to play for a bit I told her that I would meet her there. (Mason still loved the slide but still wouldn't climb the stairs to get to the slide. Silly boy). Afterwards we went to Auntie Anne's for some cinna sticks...
Mason with his cousins Cambrey...Cole...and Brinley
Mason, Grandma, and Cambrey
Cole and Brinley

10. My nephew Austin turned the big ONE on the 10th and his big party was this past Friday. Mason was obsessed with all the balloons. Would barely sit down to eat because he had to be hanging onto a balloon. It was great party and when it was all said and done I told my sis-in-law that she found herself a new profession...a party planner!!!
My lil stud muffin
Cousin Cambrey blowing bubbles at Mase...he LOVED it!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ten On Tuesday

1. A brand spankin new Cabelas opened up by us a couple of weeks or so ago. Brian took Mason within the first few days of it being open but couldn't do much looking around since Mase refused to sit in the cart. So we went a day last week and I must say that Mason is obsessed with the fish aquarium.

2. With the "warmer" weather back in hiding...I took Mason to the play area (in the mall) last week (so he could run off some energy). He had fun although he didn't do much running. He did however do lots of big kid watching...

After much time spent big kid watching I made the mistake of introducing him to the slide and boy oh boy was that ever a hit. Of course he wouldn't climb the stairs to get to the slide...which meant I had to keep lifting him up again and again. But the look on his face each and every time he went down was worth all the lifting!!! Let me correct myself by saying here that once he did climb (minus one step) all the way to the tippy top but then he freaked out and came sliding back down on his belly...only taking out a kid or two. I wasn't embarrassed or anything!!!

3. On Wednesday (of last week) I was seeing all these Facebook postings about the Critter Barn. So I looked into it and thought it sounded like a fun outing for Mase and his cousins. I emailed my sister and sis-in-laws and called my mom to see if anyone wanted to join me and Mase for a Thursday outing...my mom and sister were free. We had a great time holding some baby ducklings and bunnies and petting lots of other animals. Mase wasn't so big on the petting or holding but LOVED walking around the farm. He is one independant dude and most definitely not afraid to wander wherever he pleases.
Mommy and Mase
Cambrey, Cole, Courtney with Brinley, and my mom with Mason...checking out the baby goats.
My HAPPY boy!!!

4. A few weeks back I noticed on Thursday nights from 5-8pm that the Grand Rapids Kids Museum had Family Night (with it being only a $1.50 admission per person). And since Mason enjoyed himself so much at the Curious Kids Museum back in February I thought that the museum would be a fun and cheap family outing. We got a late start though since Mase didn't wake up from his nap until 4:30pm. After eating some dinner we headed downtown and were welcomed by a long line out front on arrival. We looked at the clock and saw that it was already 5:40pm and figured that those peeps must have been waiting since 5ish just to get in. We figured it wasn't worth the wait and headed over to Spring Grove Park instead to do some swinging and exploring. I was a little bummed but figured the museum was probably extra busy due to Spring Break. Oh well. Another time.

5. For Christmas my in-laws gave me a (50 minute) massage to Design 1. I finally used it a week or so ago and was reminded of why I love them so much!!! Wish I could get one every.single.week.

6. My last on-call shift (for RSV season) at work was this past Sunday. I got my 5:30am phone call saying that I didn't have to come in at 7am but that I was on-call for the first 8 hours. Oh did that phone call ever make me oh so happy. I got to "sleep in" until 6:45am, go to church, and have lunch with the hubby, son, and in-laws at Roses Restaurant. Unfortunately at 1:30pm I got the dreaded "you need to come in for your last 4 hours of work" phone call. I was so bummed. But less than an hour later my charge nurse called back and asked...did you leave yet? Thankfully I hadn't and instead got to stay home on-call for the rest of my shift. Yea for not having to work!!!

7. On Wednesday afternoon Mase woke up from his nap with a raspy sound in his throat. Which proceeded to turn into yet another cold. WHEN is Spring going to "truly" arrive. So done with these winter colds. They make for a fussy baby who does NOT sleep well.

8. While I got my hairs (yes hairs) cut...Mase hung out at grandma's house. We were just getting ready to leave when he helped himself right on into their fireplace. The new screen for their fireplace can't come soon enough!!! And maybe soon I will take a picture and show you my new shorter do. =)

9. Four things I LOVE about this picture. (1) This boy and (2) his crazy hair!!! (3) My boy looking at his big sister's books (melt my heart)!!! (4) And Mason in his new track suit (obsessed with these suits...he got a 12 month suit as a baby gift and thus started my obsession!!! His current suit is size 24 months).

10. Prayers for my Pastor would be MUCH appreciated. He was diagnosed with carcinoid bone cancer 7 to 9(ish) years ago. Was only given 4 to 5(ish) years to live...but obviously outlived that time frame. Both over Christmas and then again over his birthday (January 10) he was hospitalized for bowel obstructions and now over the last few weeks things have gone from bad to worse. This is the latest update from one of his daughters...

Newest Update on my dad: The news is pretty devastating...the cancer has grown aggressively in the past two-three months and is in many places. His heart is beating so fast due to the irregular rhythm that it is becoming weaker and weaker and is unable to help him fight. He needs heart surgery right away (an ablation and a pacemaker). He also needs a tube to bi-pass the stomach in hopes to get him some nourishment (he is severely malnourished and dehydrated). If they can stabilize those two things, then we can begin to see if there is anything to be done about the tumors. His liver is severely compromised and other organs are being affected. Our heads are spinning and our hearts ACHE as we try to process all of this...the plan right now is that he will be hospitalized indefinitely and will be moved to Northwestern in Chicago when he is stable enough. We so appreciate each one you--you have taken time out of your busy lives to love, support, and pray for us...we are humbled. 

So very sad. Pastor Dave was our saving grace when we lost the girls. He walked right along side us just loving us...praying for us...and being there constantly for us. I truly do NOT know what we would have done without him. He baptized Alayna and Ella before they passed into Jesus' arms and then 18 months later our MIRACLE BOY Mason Dale. Please please pray for a miracle!!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ten On Tuesday errr Wednesday

1. Loving absolutely loving...that Spring is just around the corner. One of the things I love most about living in Michigan are the season changes. And even though summer into fall is my favorite (season change)...winter into spring is a close second. Oh how I love saying good-bye to those winter blues!!!

2. Thanks for emptying out the cupboard Mase. Your help is much appreciated!!!

3. Helping clean up the mess from Grandpa and Grandma's remodeling project. Always such a helper!!!

4. How do you keep a 15 month old happy while grocery shopping?  You give him his paci. (Even though its typically banned in public). And let him pick out a toy (notice the foam sword in his right hand). But on a side note the foam sword DID stay in the grocery store. Also know that Mason was NOT happy with mom (in the check out lane) when she took the sword away. 

5. Upon returning home from the grocery store I let Mase play outside for awhile. It was a gorgeous sun shiny day and Mase was entertained for over 30 minutes just dragging this shovel around. Easy amusement!!! Now the getting him to go inside part...NOT so easy. Just picture a boy kicking and screaming. And then put Mason's face on that boy. And you will have nailed the imagine!!!

6. We went to our Maundy Thursday potluck and church service (obviously this past Thursday) and boy oh boy was Mason ever doing some entertaining. There were only 4 little kids in attendance. One was a newborn and the other two were maybe 5 and 3...(and let me mention here that they both sat still the entire service). Mase on the other hand was running all over the place, clapping, and laughing. Everyone was chuckling at him. Thankfully all found him amusing!!! By the end of the service you could say I was hot and sweaty. Oh boy!!!

7. Good Friday holds a special place in my heart for two reasons. The first being very obvious. Christ died on the cross for my (everyone's) sins. The second reason is a little less obvious or not obvious at all. But two years ago on Good Friday Brian and I found out that we were expecting...for the THIRD time. But the third time WAS a charm because 9 months later this little big MIRACLE entered into the world...

8. GO BLUE. Can you say final 4 baby!!! 

9. Saturday was another beautiful day. Oh how I love me some sun shiny beautiful spring days. We decided to take a drive out to Brian's cousin's house so Brian could put out some cameras. (I mean...deer hunting is just around the corner ya know)!!! We took out his cousin's gator and enjoyed a 30 minute ride around "the farm"...
"Don't interrupt me please," said Mason.

10. Mason has this little obsession with donut holes. The minute we pick him up from the (church) nursery he makes a dash for the donut table. I thought I would treat him (and myself) this week so I bought some powered donut holes at the grocery store. Think he's enjoying his treat? I would say so...
(And yes that is ONE whole donut hole filling out those lil cheekers)!!!