Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aiden's wish for the night

Aiden was getting out of the bath tonight and stood in front of my mirror flexing his muscles (naked of course... is this a guy thing??)  He turned to me and said "Mommy, I sure wish I had some purple pants, green skin and black hair because I am feeling a little bit like the Hulk!" 
I would have loved to have a picture but that of course that would have been inappropriate.  He does know how to end my night with a good laugh.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Baseball season has begun...

We have now had a few weeks of baseball practices and so far, we have all survived.  I don't think we are ever at home now but the boys are having a blast and learning a lot.  Ethan is now in the minor league and his coach is very knowledgeable so we can already see progress.  We are excited to see how much he learns by the end of this season.  Aiden is learning the basics at this point since this is the first year for him.  It has definitely helped him by watching his brother for the last 2 years.  He does know where the bases are and the object of the game which is more than some of the other kids on his team (but that is what makes PeeWee so cute!).  However last night at practice, he was playing pitcher's helper and he caught the ball... his reaction was to (as we like to say/sing in our house) throw his hands in the air like he just dosen't care, then do a little victory dance and topped it off with a big thumbs up to Mommy and Daddy.  After a good laugh, we explained that the play isn't over just by getting the ball, he actually has to throw it to the base to try and get the other player out.  Gotta love that little guy!!

Ethan at practice

Ethan taking a hit

Aiden learning to hit  
Aiden playing 3rd base.  He wanted to make sure the base didn't go anywhere! 

Beach day

The weather was beautiful on Saturday so the boys and I headed to the beach.  This was our first beach day of 2011.  The weather felt great and the boys actually got in the water.  I thought they were crazy because the water was freezing and they thought I was just afraid.

Team work... 
Ethan chasing the seagulls... or some might think his "Baywatch" run
Trying out the water 

The boys had a blast and I was able to sit and relax.  Overall, this was a wonderful Saturday and hopefully we get to head to the beach more often in the coming weekends.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Isabelle's new outfit

This is Isabelle's first monogrammed outfit purchased by Mimi...
Isn't this the cutest?!?  I love all of this personalized stuff.  Monogramming wasn't around much when I had the boys (although I am not sure if boy's where monogrammed items?) so this is all new to me.  I love it!!

And yes... Aiden is still insisting on having a Mohawk each day for school (he says it is his new look!).  We will be visiting Papa really soon to get his haircut shorter if the Mohawk look is going to last.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


As stated in some of my previous few posts... I have struggled the last few days with some of the same emotions that I thought I had already dealt with and overcome.  I guess you can go through an emotion and get past it only to have it visit you once again.  These last few days, I have felt like I have been grieving all over again then worrying about our future which then turns into stress.  But I have also found that right in the middle of grieving and worrying, I have moments of happiness and longing to meet this little baby that has already changed our lives.
My mom reminded me to get back into my devotional (this book has seemed to relate to whatever I was going through at that particular moment.)  So, of course, I obeyed my Mom and read my devotional after work and it hit me square between the eyes and put me back in check

Jesus Calling- Sarah Young: February 15th
Come to me with all your weaknesses: physical, emotional, and spiritual.  Rest in the comfort of My Presence, remembering that nothing is impossible with Me.
Pry your mind away from  your problems so you can focus your attention on Me.  Recall that I am able to do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine.  Instead of trying to direct Me to do this and that, seek to attune yourself to what I am already doing.
When anxiety attempts to wedge its way into your thoughts, remind yourself that I am your Shepard.  The bottom line is that I am taking care of you; therefore, you needn't be afraid of anything.

Week 24- High Risk appointment

Baby Isabelle @ 24 weeks

Today's appointment was quite an adventure to say the least!  We got in right away which was nice since these ultrasounds are very long.
We started off with the ultrasound to get Isabelle measured and of course she didn't want to cooperate again.  I wonder if this means that she is going to be stubborn.  We were able to see her move her mouth like she was trying to tell us something very important and then laying back with her hands behind her head just chilling.  She definitely is a character!
The Ultrasound tech tried many times to get all of the shots she felt the doctor would need to do his full assessment.  She would get all her shots, clean the gel off and then leave the room only to return a few minutes later and need to get "just one more shot". After the 5th time, I began to get nervous.  What was so important they needed to see that they couldn't have seen within the first hour of the ultrasound???
(Just to explain a bit...I have been an emotional basket case these last few days so at this point, I was hanging on by a thread, praying that I wouldn't lose it.)
At last, the doctor came into the room to look over all of the shots of Isabelle.  At first, we got a great report.  He felt that everything was looking good.  He did mention that the bowels show a little bright on the ultrasound and she does have some fluid in her abdominal area but it was nothing to worry about.  He said that these areas are looking better each time so he is confident that they will continue to correct themselves by the time she is born.  He requested (using his doctor terminology, of course) the Ultrasound tech get some additional shots of her brain.  Again... I questioned in my mind, what are they looking for???  So, after another 20 minutes, she pulled the doctor back in and he quickly told her to get us set up in the consultation room and make us comfortable.  What?!?  This is not something we want to hear at this point.   I can't handle any additional bad news!
Our initial appointment- week 16- came flooding back to me where we were told that Isabelle had a heart defect and possible DS and that she might not even make it through the pregnancy.  The doctor said that there were just too many things stacked against her at this point.  We felt like we weren't given much hope.  I vividly remember the nurse peaking around the doctor to see what my reaction was to this news.  The only thing was... that I don't think I had a visible reaction.  At that time, my world just stopped.  I couldn't grasp what he was telling me and I just wanted to run.  So today, those feelings came back.  I needed to get some fresh air but all I smelt was a hospital room and I couldn't breath.  Why was this happening to us again?  Why did we have to get more bad news?  Hadn't we heard enough?
To drag out the suspense of what the doctor had seen and possibly torture us just a bit longer... he wanted the tech to try and look one more time at her brain and get some additional measurements.  After much anticipation, we finally found out that they were trying to measure the blood flow to her brain.  During the first few shots, the blood flow showed very low but Isabelle was also laying head down and in an awkward position.  The tech was having a very difficult time getting an accurate shot of her entire head.  During that last ultrasound, the tech said "finally... Isabelle has moved to give me a better shot."  She took the new photos to the doctor and then came back and said "false alarm... Isabelle is fine." This was great news but at this point, I had gotten myself so worked up that I needed to just get out of there fast or I was going to breakdown in their office. 
All of the running around and additional ultrasounds were because the doctor thought that she was showing anemic and with that, we would have had to go through some additional testing which could have been invasive.  From our understanding, they would have had to go in and take blood directly from Isabelle and have it tested.   I am not sure what would have happened if she were truly anemic but thankfully, we will not have to find out.
I am going to have to give Isabelle a very stern talking to when I see her.  She needs to cooperate a little better for our doctor's appointments.  Mommy can't handle anymore scares like today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Aiden's Valentine wish

So this is what Aiden wanted for Valentines...
A Mohawk!!
This is Daddy's creation and our boy went to school with a huge smile on his face.  Now... my question is, who is he trying to be cool for at school?  Is there a little girl that I need to have a little talk with???
At this point, I am enjoying the fact that I am my boy's Valentine.  I would like to keep it this way for a few more years!  I am not looking forward to the girlfriend stage and would think that we have quite a few more years before this starts. 
Happy Valentine's boys!! Mommy loves you!

Weekend wrap up...

This weekend was pretty quiet.  My pregnancy brain has, of course, kicked in so I have no idea what we did on Friday night (which is sad since that was only a few days ago).  Saturday started off very low key. I stayed in bed most of the day and then got up in time to do a little cleaning.  Ryan and I were attending the annual Heart Ball for our work so I knew I needed to rest most of the day since we would be on our feet most of the night.  (I am trying to be extra cautious since I am one week away from when I went on bed rest with Aiden.  I am praying and keeping my fingers crossed that I last quite a bit longer before any bed rest might be required.)  At first, we weren't too excited about attending the Ball until we realized that it is actually very fitting due to Isabelle. I enjoy getting all dolled up every now and then to attend nice parties but being 6 months pregnant puts a spin on things. All last week, I tried on every dress that I owned with zero luck. Since I have only gained 5 lbs, I didn't think it would be a problem to squeeze my belly in to one of my dresses- boy was I wrong! A few friends were kind enough to let me borrow some dresses to try so now I had a few options and could stop stressing about what to wear.
On a side note... Ethan once again showed me what a tender heart he has.  He stayed in the room while I was trying on the dresses and he was trying his hardest to reassure me that I was still pretty even with my big belly. He was trying to explain to me how dresses worked and that they are made to go over your belly so it doesn't look bad and my belly doesn't look too big. I guess I have been voicing my opinion of feeling a bit frumpy maybe a little too often and he has caught on.
So... Saturday night we headed out to the Ball to represent the Hotel and our baby girl. We had a great time out with some friends. It was nice to be out with some adults for a change (these nights are few and far between). These pictures are a bit dark (taken with my phone) but here is Ryan in his tuxedo (he looked quite handsome!). The Ball was a Mardi Gras theme with New Orlean style food (not one of Isabelle's favorites- so I ate with caution but I did save room because Ryan promised me a chocolate souffle for dessert.)

On Sunday, the boys and I meet up with Aunt Steph to grab some lunch and some playtime. It was beautiful outside so we took the kids to play at Baytowne.
Ethan and Aiden in the huge beach chair.  They insist on a picture each time we go out to Baytowne.

All the cousins... Mikayla, Ethan, Ian and Aiden 

Aiden being cheesy. 


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Just call me Eeyore!!  Woe is me...  Today is my day to throw a little pity party.  It is a party for one and even I don't really want to attend.
My morning started off a bit rocky and I wasn't feeling my best.  My body has been a little achy today and Isabelle has definitely not liked any of my food choices.  (the joys of pregnancy!)
My emotions have also been out of whack and I am sure that a lot of this has to do with the pregnancy hormones. You know, today is one of those days where I don't understand life and I think that it is cruel and unfair.  I want to lay on the floor kicking and screaming until I get my way.  (hey... doesn't it work for our kids sometimes??)  Every time I think I have sorted through all of the possible emotions, one decides to show it's ugly head again.  Why me?? Why my family?? Why my baby girl??
At this point, I know all of the right things to say when asked how I feel about my baby having DS but in reality-at times- I want to scream from the roof tops that it isn't fair and yes...sometimes I still get mad at the world.  To be quite honest,  I am scared!!  Am I strong enough to handle these challenges??
All of these emotions that I am going through will never change my love for Isabelle.  Most of my days are filled with happy thoughts and excitement to meet her. But there are those few days where I get overwhelmed with the emotionally side of Isabelle's diagnosis and it seems like I have to tread through these deep emotions once again.   I have all these different emotions because I already love her so much!  This is my baby girl that I had prayed for for so long and with that... I have to believe that this is the baby girl that is meant to be in my life.  She is going to complete me and complete our family. 
So as I sit here writing this... Isabelle is going crazy in my belly.  She is doing her exercises and practicing her flips as usual.   With that, I am reminded how truly blessed I am and my pity party is slowing beginning to fade away.  I am sure I will have plenty more days filled with questions but as long as I remember that I am not alone and my family is blessed, I will get through them.

The boys sure do love their baby sister

Just a few things the boys do and say about their little sister that make my heart melt: 

*Recently, Aiden has gotten to where when he gives me a hug, I actually now get two.  He likes to give me a hug around the neck and then give me a hug around my belly.  He then explains, that this hug is for Isabelle. 
*Ethan often times will sit and rub my belly and just smile. 
*On our camping trip, the boys were finally able to see Isabelle kick (still can't feel her- stubborn little girl).  I was able to put my cell phone on my belly and she practically kicked it off.  The boys thought this was so cool!
*Ethan brought a fundraiser home from school as few days ago for the American Heart Association.  He is going to be jump roping to raise money for this organization and he realized he could do this in honor of his "soon to be" little sister.  This made him so proud because he felt he was actually doing something for Isabelle.
*Aiden asked last night if Isabelle will speak English or Spanish once she is born.  He needed to make sure he would be able to understand her.  Don't kids say the funniest and most random things?? 
I am so proud of my boys and I know that they are going to be the best big brothers to Isabelle. They already love her so much and pray for her "heart and body" every night before bed. They are very worried about her "broken" heart so we have conversations often about what we might expect. (These conversations are hard since Mommy and Daddy are new to this experience as well but we try to ease their minds as much as possible.)
We are all getting excited to meet our Isabelle- not too much longer.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Doctor's appointment- Week 23

Today, I had another doctor's appointment.  This one was my regular check up to make sure I wasn't showing any signs of pre-term labor.  So far it looks like Isabelle is cooperating and the progesterone shots are doing their job.  At this point, I can tell when I might be over doing it so I now know to spend the rest of the day resting.  Ryan and the boys have been very understanding and helpful when this does happen. With Aiden, I didn't start showing signs of pre-term until 25 weeks so these next few weeks will show if these shots are really going to work for me.
My total weight gain so far is 5 lbs! The nurse wasn't too impressed with my lack of weight gain but I on the other hand, am happy not gaining too much weight as long as the baby is fine.  Of course, I did blame the lack of weight gain on Isabelle since she has not made it too easy for me.  She is very picky and quickly lets me know when she doesn't approve of my food choice.
Doctor E. went over the findings from my last high risk appointment.  (This was a reminder to Ryan and I to make sure we get him to tell us what he sees before we leave the office.)  According to his notes, he had also mentioned that the fluid around Isabelle's neck was no longer visible.  Her chin is no longer noticeably smaller and is now measuring correctly (one of the three things he pointed out that showed Isabelle has DS).  I am not sure what this means but this sounds like a good thing.  Also, her bowels were showing a little bright on the ultrasound.  We did ask at our last appointment about her other organs and we were told that all of her other organs (besides her heart) are showing normal and developing properly.  Now, we need to find out what it means when the bowels are a little bright.  Dr. E. made it sound like it doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong with their development.  Thankfully, we have our high risk appointment next Tuesday so we can get these questions answered and also explain that we would like to know all of his findings before the end of our appointment.  I wouldn't think this is something we would have to say but obviously we do.  Now we know!
Doctor E. also sounded very confident with delivering Isabelle in Sandestin.  She said she will obviously go off the recommendations of the Cardiologist and the high risk doctor but she feels very comfortable that Isabelle will be just fine.  This would make things much more convenient with our family and the boys but we obviously want to do what is best for Isabelle.
So another week down and hopefully quite a few more to go.  We can't wait to meet Isabelle but she needs to stay put for as long as possible.

Our first camping trip...

We went on our first camping trip this weekend and we all survived (barely but we made it)!  We really did have a lot of fun.  I think the boys just enjoyed being outside 24/7 for a few days in a row.  Friday night started off a little rocky since it was raining.  We decided to grab a bite to eat somewhere since we wouldn't be able to start a fire in time for dinner.  Once we were done eating and headed back to the campsite, the rain had stopped.  I had a rough time sleeping the first night.  I have never slept outside and I am used to being safe behind locked doors.  We had a neighbor who came into the campsite late at night in a van and I just felt uneasy.  All through the night, every 30 minutes or so, I would check to make sure the boys were safe.  I had images of someone coming and cutting our tent and grabbing them.  Yeah, I know... crazy imagination (not sure if this imagination is due to the pregnancy or just over-reacting) but I couldn't shake the feeling.  (plus... we realized the older gentleman was doing some contracting business and was gone during the day and slept at the campsite at night.  Yes, I felt bad for judging him).
Saturday we stayed busy majority of the day.  We took a walk on a trail and the boys found a playground. 
                                           Daddy pushing the boys on the swing.
                                     Then, we found the small beach and had to check it out.
                                                      The boys being silly
Ethan attempting to throw Aiden in the water.  Mommy had to step in to save him before he ended up in the water.
                                  We found a lot of jellyfish.  Boys (including Daddy) are so curious.
                                                         Like father like son
 Then they had to try out the pull up bars.  Am I the only one thinking pull up bars in the middle of a campground are a bit random??                                                  
Ethan's turn 

After all of our fun, it was time to get back to the campsite. Mommy and Isabelle needed to rest for a bit from our long walk. So, it was back to the camp where Daddy played gave the boys a lesson on starting a fire (Boy Scout style).   


 Aiden is mesmerized by the fire.  We even had to snap our fingers a few times to wake him from his trance.
Then it is Ethan's turn.  What is it with fire that makes my boys just sit and stare?? 
This is what happens when we are around each other for too long... we all start losing it.  This is the Holt's version of table tennis and Daddy is the referee. 
And here is additional proof that we are beginning to lose it.  We put on some music and the boys danced around the campsite.  What were our neighbors thinking???
Striking a pose 

Ethan playing dead.  Scary looking!!
The boys and I 
There aren't any pictures of Sunday because we high tailed it out of there right when we woke up.  We almost froze to death Saturday night.  The temperatures dropped into the low 30s and our little heater was no longer keeping us nice and cozy.  Ryan I and woke up constantly and then Ethan woke up with leg cramps (due to being so cold).  Aiden on the other hand, had a very relaxing nights sleep.  We still aren't sure how he managed to sleep the entire night but we are glad that at least one of us did. 
The first thing we did when we made it home was take showers.  That is one thing that is hard to get use to while camping.  I enjoy my showers everyday. 
So... our first camping trip was a success so I am sure there will be many more.  Hopefully, we can plan them in the spring and/or fall next time!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Today, Ryan and I are wearing our red shirts for Heart disease awareness. Now, mine is a little tight at this point since I am trying to fit my belly into a non-maternity sweater, but it works (don't judge!).  We are representing our baby Isabelle who will be born with a heart defect.  Today has a whole new meaning to me.  To be honest, neither one of us had ever paid much attention to heart disease since it hadn't directly affected us but now our little girl is affected.  So this changes our world and opens our eyes.  I have a feeling in the years to come, this Mommy is going to become a huge advocate for a number of different things.  I am excited and yet scared all at the same time but we are getting ready for our new journey.  My prayers today go out for all the little ones (and big ones) affected by heart disease.