Thursday, August 25, 2016

Homeschool Curriculum Picks




It is already THAT time of year again – back to school!  Last year was our first “official” homeschool year for Liam for Kindergarten, and overall I think it went pretty well.  It was definitely a year of trial and error to see a) what works and what doesn’t, b) more about his natural learning style and tendencies and c) a LOT about my teaching style and habits, which, ahem, which were NOT pretty at times.  Last year, I tried to keep the curriculum challenging, affordable and simple, which led me to “piece” together some free curriculum and do a lot on my own, to save money and create custom learning.  I did buy a couple curriculum sets, like Math and History, but overall I left a lot of subjects to creating my own studies.  While I have the best intentions and get excited about custom tailoring curriculum to exactly what I want each day, it left me quickly burnt out, overwhelmed and behind all. the. time.  With a new baby on the way at the end of this year, I knew I needed to change gears and have more complete “pull-of-the-shelf” type curriculum so we could stay on track and minimize prep time each day.  Because let’s face it, I will have about 0 minutes of extra time to do much come December!

Our first FULL week of schooling will be next week, but we have started back with a routine, and adding a couple new subjects and workbooks in each day so Liam can get a feel for the layout and structure of the curriculum.  I have also started using the spiral notebook method of scheduling so Liam knows what he is to get done each day, and it is working wonderfully!  I have even adapted it for myself, so I can prioritize tasks that I need to accomplish each day, for work and home.  You can read more about the spiral notebook method here
So, for FIRST GRADE, here are my curriculum choices for Liam this year:



Bible: This year, I chose to work through a couple of the P31 Ministry First 5 Bible Studies as our bible lessons.  Each study is about 8 weeks long, so I plan on studying Matthew during the fall semester, along with a short study on Major and Minor Prophets (looking at some of her ideas for this) and then Acts and Romans/Corinthians during the spring.  We used  a couple of The First 5 Studies this past year, and I found them to be wonderful resource for studying the Word by chapter, complete with a study/discussion guide (for purchase) that is fairly simple.  They also have a daily app that has a short devotional that I absolutely love.  I will be doing these studies alongside Liam, which is great accountability to stay in God's Word!

Math:  We will continue where we stopped last year in Level 2 of Making Math Meaningful.  I really love this curriculum, not many people have heard of it, but the author and homeschool family live locally to us.  It really worked well for us and Liam enjoyed it.  Math is his favorite subject (as is mine to teach), and I feel like the foundations in this book are very solid and logical.  It is NOT the way I learned math, but definitely a more useful way to learn it.  I often joke that I’ve become faster doing math in my head just from teaching this method, but it’s true! 

Reading: Liam is already reading very well, and I’d even say well above average for his age.  My focus this year will be on comprehension, since he seems to struggle with that more so than actually reading the words.  He will do daily lessons from this Reading Comprehension Notebook for Second Grade, that I downloaded from TpT {sorry not pictured above, I have not printed and bound it yet!}. We used her First Grade edition last year, and it was a great daily comprehension lesson.  And of course, lots of reading time with books from the local library.

Handwriting:  I chose the A Reason for Handwriting curriculum because it is very similar to how I incorporated handwriting into our schooling last year, by having scripture as copywork, but it’s already done for me.  I like that Liam will be learning a memory verse each week in addition to just practicing handwriting. 

Grammar:  We used a free online grammar website last year which was a great introduction, but again, took some prep to print and organize the lessons (but if you like a free, workbook style grammar curriculum, this one is great!).  This year I decided to do the First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, Level 1 because after researching numerous grammar curriculum, this one seemed to come highly recommended and was relatively inexpensive.  We have not started this yet, but will add to the rotation next week as we gear up to full school days.

Science and Geography:  I picked up DK workbooks for Geography: First Grade and Science: First Grade to supplement a plan to *hopefully* do some hands on learning, as well as reading books on different topics for these subjects.

Spelling/Phonics:  Liam is on par with knowing all his letter sounds and can sound out words to figure out spelling pretty well at this point.  Our main focus will be to firm up some of the phonics based methods this year, so he has a solid foundation.  I chose All About Spelling I  and Explode the Code, Book 2 to help in these areas.  Last year, again, I used a free online spelling curriculum, which ended up being too much work on my end.  He’s already made a comment the “Explode the Code” is “too easy”, but hopefully it progresses to a more challenging level as we dig more into the spelling lessons.

History:  We struggled with the Mystery of History curriculum last year, but I am going to give it a try again.  I really like the chronological and biblical worldview this curriculum offers, I just have to commit to the time to read the lessons and have time for discussion.

Art and Music:  I plan on incorporating both art and music each once a week during breakfast or lunch in the form of videos.  I found the cutest art videos on YouTube called Art With Mati & Dada, that are perfect for introducing major artists.  Music will be a general study of major composers this year, and I am still working out a few sources to get a plan going on this.  We also will hopefully continue having bi-monthly art lessons with another homeschool family like we did last year.  Since my mom is an elementary art teacher, I have plenty of curriculum to pull from!

There are a few things I also want to work harder at incorporating that we explored last year but gave up on because our life got a little chaotic with the new house, travel, and pregnancy in the spring semester last year.  One of those things is actually having a “Morning Time”.  I decided to keep things very simple and focus those few moments right after breakfast on encouraging and teaching to the heart of my kids.  I am very committed to having the bible as the foundation for my children’s schooling and simply want to start the school day with scripture and prayer EVERY DAY.  Liam and I got into a great habit last fall, reading our bibles each and every morning and I really would love to foster that habit again, selfishly too for myself!  My goal with morning time is to get in the routine of having a short devotional and a character lesson after breakfast.  I will be sharing my Morning Basket book picks soon!

I am also continuing on a “block” type schedule which works well for us.  My youngest, Noah, will be in a 2 day per week Mother’s Day Out starting in September, so I focused more independent work for Liam for those 2 days.  I know that seems like a counter-intuitive choice, but I have trouble getting work done with my youngest at home (because he is my curious adventurer who loves to get into everything!), so this will allow me 2 days a week to get good chunks of work done (I do bookkeeping for a couple clients from home, and it has been a challenge to carve out enough consistent work time to keep up lately).  That being said, the other 3 days of the week will be more hands on with “teaching”, which I think will be fine given Noah is STILL taking 2 naps a day, and loves to listen to me read, lol.  But as usual, we hold our plans very loosely and really just plan on being flexible at all times!

So that pretty much sums up what we will be doing all year!  I have a refreshed vision for homeschool this year and am excited to embark on the journey again!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Back to Blogging - Catch up post!


So recently I have been feeling those little nudges on my heart to return to blogging.  For awhile, things were going smooth with Liam's health and just having a new baby made finding time to blog difficult impossible!  With a year and a half gone by with no news from us, I will try to keep this update post brief!

To sum it up God has been so so good to us and extremely gracious.  Our life looks almost completely different for us than it was 1.5 years back!  Since then, we are currently PREGO with baby #3 (due in December!), celebrated Liam's 6th birthday, Noah's 1st birthday, rented out our old house, moved in with my parents for 3 months, purchased a major fixxer-upper, renovated completely gutted and revived said fixxer-upper, homeschooled, lost a dear kitty pet =( and the saddest news just recently said goodbye to our family Matriarch, my sweet grandma of 93 years.  Numerous other little hiccups, challenges and changes have occurred, but we are trying to move forward with hope and perseverance, completely depending on God each day!

I've been praying a lot about our recent challenges and frankly, I am feeling exhausted.  It has been hard for me to grasp live in complete abundance of God's goodness to us - with the new house I just can't believe we own, and our new little blessing miracle on the way, with also living with extremely challenging times of change, loss and overwhelming obstacles (a.k.a new house renovations and some work issues thrown on top!).  I know this is a refining time for me and an unusual time of contrasting circumstances.  I feel like my blog and writing in general has always had purpose in my life for contemplating, sharing struggles, being real and providing HOPE to others who may be walking a similar path.

I'm praying God will continue to use this blog to share what He is up to in our life....the good and challenging parts, to encourage, inspire and motivate....even if it's just to do those things for me and have a record of His goodness and love for us!




It's so so good to be back to writing. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

CHD Awareness Week - Our Story Part 3

Our Story - Part 3
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UPDATE:

Liam always has his bi-annual cardiology appointment during heart week!  We went yesterday to see Dr. V and the results were great!  NO changes since his last visit last August, so all is good!  His next surgery will hopefully be far away for now (maybe even age 12?  YAY!)  so we are so thrilled for this news!  Praising God for a wonderful report!









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Liam's second open heart surgery was June 3, 2010.   This was the "big" one for us, his full repair surgery where they were to close the large VSD and put in the homograft pulmonary conduit and removing the BT Shunt.  We started the day before with a heart cath, that went well, but left Liam congested and needing a lot of help from Respiratory Therapy that night.  The next morning he was whisked off to surgery.

After full repair surgery, June 3, 2010

Everything surgically went as best as could be expected.  It was recovery that was the hard part for us.  Multiple failed attempts at extubation, feeding issues...it was a rough road.  We ended up staying for 15 days total, and were discharged straight from the CHSU with Liam on home oxygen.  We think he had a virus going into surgery that decided to surface and cause all sorts of issues.

Recovery - 2nd OHS

Unfortunately, when we found out about Liam's heart defect, we knew he would have to have multiple surgeries.  We were hopeful it would be limited to about 3 or 4 during his lifetime.  With is condition, the conduit has to be replaced due to growth.  We he is about 6 or 7, they should be able to fit him with a conduit that will last him into adulthood.  This being said, you can imagine was a shock it was, when on October 26, 2010, during a routine Cardiology follow up (for a 3 month follow up from the last visit), we found out there had been a "change" on the echo that needed to be looked into...Then on December 2, after a heart cath, we found out the devastating news that Liam would require yet ANOTHER surgery due to his homograft conduit deteriorating.  Too soon.

We were strongly urged to schedule the surgery as soon as possible due to the bad shape his homograft conduit was in.  They explained that sometimes the body rejects a certain type of "prosthetic" and for the next surgery they would be using a different kind, the Contegra Bovine conduit.  We scheduled the surgery for the end of December.  Liam actually did really well for both the surgery and recovery, sailed through it and we were home 5 days later.
Liam's 3rd OHS - December 29, 2010


To say that 2010 was a struggle for us would be an understatement.  It was definitely a year of enduring one thing after the next, with merely a chance to come up for air.  Since then, things have quieted down a bit.  Each year since, Liam has usually had to have a heart cath procedure to double check the flow rates and obstruction in his conduit, but prayerfully we have not had to have one the past year!

2011 was a much brighter year for us, Liam was weaned off his tube feedings finally, as it showed he was doing great orally taking food and thickend liquids.  Today, Liam is fully weaned off thickener, and eats and drinks like a normal 5 year old!  Praise God!  We still have a little work to do getting him to drink from an open cup, but we are working on it!

Every year, he seems to be getting stronger and stronger.  We were involved in occupational and physical therapy for awhile up until and after his third surgery, but eventually, he tested out of all the areas.  He is a normal, healthy boy right now, and we love it that way!

That's pretty much our heart story in a nutshell!  As you can see, having a child with a CHD is a LIFETIME affair - there is no CURE for CHD's, only research to provide better procedures and surgical techniques to help quality of life and delay surgeries as long as possible!  The continuing maintenance of Liam's CHD will be lifelong for him.  We appreciate you taking time to read about our story, and hopefully it helps give an inside glimpse into the life as a heart family!  In the next few days, I'll be sharing some resources and specific ways YOU can help be a part of the awareness campaign!
Liam today, 5 years old!

The following print I designed for a ladies retreat a couple years back, and love it.  It is so appropriate for our journey and reminds me that God is EVERYTHING to us!  I did want to share that while it is my design, I can not take credit for the wording, as I do not have a source.  The Psalm is 123.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz2ijOxyW8lIaU1VR2syZnBFdUU/view?usp=sharing
Click on the image above for your free printable!



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

CHD Awareness Week- Our Story - Part 2


Ok, Part 2...the broken heart.

Surgery was imminent, as they explained to us before he left us, that he would be requiring emergency surgery.  My biggest fear is that I would be stuck in recovery, while my newborn child had open heart surgery.  Thankfully, they told us he would be having surgery sometime the following week, that they could keep Liam's heart pumping with a medication....more on that in a minute.

While Liam was getting all settled in at the city hospital, I stayed to recover back at our local hospital.  The nurses let me keep my epidural in that night, just so I could get some rest, knowing how stressful the past 12 hours had been for us.  I was grateful for this.  I did have some pretty major tearing during labor, as they had to use the vacuum extractor to get Liam out, after a solid 3 hours of pushing.  Needless to say I was exahausted.  Then throw on a diagnosis like we had, I was physically a bit of a disaster!  However, God was good and put great nurses in my path during my recovery who encouraged me to start pumping milk.  And that was my focus the next 24 hours of my recovery and the next few months...pump my heart out for my little boy.

3 days after birth, before surgery
Meanwhile, Liam was undergoing some testing and received another echocardiogram.  This gave our cardiologist, Dr. Verma, information to make an official diagnosis: Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia.  This is a combination of 4 different defects, with 2 major ones that require immediate surgery.  Basically Liam's heart was completely absent of a pulmonary artery and also had a large VSD.  They were keeping him alive pre-surgery by giving him prostaglandin, which kept his PDA open.  The PDA usually closes within a short time after birth, but this was being used in Liam's heart as a bypass to his Pulmonary Artery, so it was imperative they keep it open.

One of our first family pictures
Liam underwent his first open heart surgery, to place a BT Shunt, when he was 5 days old.   The shunt was used to bypass the pulmonary artery while still providing blood flow throughout the heart.  Because the shunt causes oxygenated blood to mix with unoxygenated blood, Liam's O2 saturations would be low until he was big enough for his next surgery, sometime around 8 month - 1 year.
Morning before 1st open heart surgery, October 5, 2009

Following 1st open heart surgery...so many machines and meds.
In recovery after 1st heart surgery

Liam flew through surgery with little to no complications.  He was in the NICU for 23 days…released on my original due date, October 23.  The only real complication he had was a paralyzed right vocal chord, which caused aspiration issues with his feeding.  We were discharged on NPO orders {nothing per oral} only being allowed to feed Liam through an NG Tube.

Our arrival home for the first time as a family was bittersweet.  It was overwhelming to be responsible for such a daunting task of caring for a newborn, let alone not be able to do things "normally".   For the most part, Liam tolerated his tube feedings fairly well, and we were able to keep him on a “normal” feeding schedule. However,  four months later and multiple swallow studies later, after using an NG tube for all feedings, we decided to have a G-Tube placed, as Liam's aspiration issues did not improve, nor did his vocal chord recover.  He had his G-Tube surgery on January 19, 2010.

Going home! October 23, 2009
That spring we also realized how a simple cold could turn into a hospital stay, something the doctors warned us about when we brought Liam home for the first time...that anything he caught could turn into a bad situation, fast, because of his heart and low O2 sats.  Devising a schedule and plan to keep him home 24/7 {thanks to my amazing dad and mom for watching him day in and day out for us that first year} it was still not enough, as Dustin and I both had to work full time outside the home, and thus risked exposing ourselves to viruses and such.  We took him to the ER one April night due to "dusky" color and wheezy breathing to find out his O2 sats had diminished into the 40's and required immediate admission.  That was a frightening night for us. Although he made a full recovery, we had to reschedule his full repair surgery to summer because of his illness.  That "full repair" summer surgery was a rough one.....stay tuned for tomorrow's post!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz2ijOxyW8lIMHhOSWRpX3F3SUU/view?usp=sharing
FREE printable has expired - Please visit my Etsy shop to find this print ;)






Monday, February 9, 2015

CHD Awareness Week- Our Story - Part 1


Today I thought I'd share something personal.  A glimpse into the life of a heart family and what living with a child with CHD looks like as a family.  Although all heart journeys are unique, I believe it would be fair to say there are some Crazy {with a capital "C", mind you!} ups and downs.  Fighting for your child's life one day, and fighting for a sense of normalcy the next.

Our CHD journey began on September 30, 2009, when our little bundle of joy, Liam, was born.  After 9 months of a wonderful and uneventful pregnancy, I went into labor naturally that morning, headed to the hospital and Liam was born a few short {well, long in my book!} hours.  Because I went into labor one day shy of full term, 36 weeks, 6 days, (can anyone say God’s perfect timing??) the NICU team was on stand by as a precaution. Shortly after birth, the NICU team noticed Liam was not getting enough oxygen and also had a "slight" heart murmur….they assured us they dealt with this all the time and that Liam just needed to be monitored for awhile on oxygen.  While to doctor continued work on me, the nurse anxiously handed Liam to me all swaddled up,  telling us to give him a quick hug and kiss, snap a picture and that we would see him again real soon.  She whisked him off after only a quick introduction and about 5 hours later, we got the news that changed our world forever.

 "Your child’s heart is broken and he has to have surgery to fix it."

When the cardiologist initially came in, he was saying Liam had a complex heart defect, and to really get a good diagnosis, he would need to be transferred immediately to the hospital down town.  Shocked and scared at this news, we were devastated.  HOW could we not have known this?  WHY have we never even heard of this?  It must be a VERY RARE condition, we thought to ourselves.  Our faith in God proved us well and encouraged us to know He was in control and had Liam in His hands, the best place he could be.  But the questions never ceased in my head...what if, how, WHY....

Later that night, Liam was transferred to the big city hospital in one of those clear cocoons {or so I call them}.  It seemed very surreal to me seeing him in that big clear "box", what I had only really seen on TV and in movies.  In fact, when we were saying our goodbyes, the nurse cut off my "mommy wristband" {the ones you and your baby both wear to make sure the nurses can see they match up for security purposes - ours actually would set off an alarm if the baby went more than a certain distance from me} and I had no recollection afterwards of that even happening.  I remember very clearly though, being wheeled back into my hospital room with empty arms and silence awaiting me....babies crying down the hallways, in all the other rooms, except for mine.  The stark contrast of that moment was heart breaking for me and something I will never forget.  While Dustin followed Liam in the ambulance to the city hospital, I sat recovering in our now empty room.  My mom and dad were there and I am so grateful they were, but in my mind, my arms were empty, aching and I was alone.....

.....Stay tuned for Our Story - Part 2 on tomorrow's post

FREE printable has expired - Please visit my Etsy shop to find this print ;)



Are you new to my blog??  Welcome!  And if you are, I want to say THANK YOU!  For taking the time to help spread awareness for our country's #1 birth defect. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

CHD Awareness Week - Kick-Off!

Today is the first day of CHD Awareness Week!  I've decided to link back to what I did a couple years ago and include free heart printables each day.  Join us this week as we help spread awareness for Congenital Heart Defects.  If you are a first-time visitor to our blog, welcome!  You have probably arrived here via someone you know or love who is affected by Congenital Heart Defects or maybe you have no idea what that even is...either way, I am so glad you stopped by.  Your presence here is important to our cause!

First, I'll start off with the facts:
  • Congenital heart defects are America’s and every country’s #1 birth defect. Nearly one of every 100 babies is born with a CHD.
  • Congenital heart defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths.
  • Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of all infant deaths in the United States.
  • Each year approximately 40,000 babies are born in the United States with a congenital heart defect. Thousands of them will not reach their first birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood.
  • Each year over 1,000,000 babies are born worldwide with a congenital heart defect. 100,000 of them will not live to see their first birthday and thousands more die before they reach adulthood.
Pretty startling, right?  I know I was.  Our journey with CHD's started just over 5 years ago, when our son Liam was born.   Long story short, we had no idea what a "CHD" was, or how common it was, nothing.  Just a scary diagnosis and a lot of prayer.

Unfortunately, our kind of diagnosis happens...a lot.  One time is one too many.  CHD awareness is critical in order to provide resources, gain research and offer support for the thousands of families who must walk this journey each day.  YOU are an important part of this equation.  Just by reading these facts and understanding a little bit more about Congenital Heart Defects, you are helping awareness succeed.

So why, you ask, if this is so common, do we really need an awareness campaign?  Great question, and here is the WHY:
  • Congenital heart defects are common and deadly, yet CHD research is grossly under-funded relative to the prevalence of the disease.
  • Only one penny of every dollar donated to the American Heart Association goes towards congenital heart defect research.
  • Of every dollar the government spends on medical funding only a fraction of a penny is directed toward congenital heart defect research.
We all know a critical component of any disease or defect is RESEARCH:
  • In the last decade death rates for congenital heart defects have declined by almost 30% due to advances made through research.

Throughout this week, I'll be sharing stories of our life with a child who has a complex CHD and introducing you to resources that have played a vital role in our journey.  And that's not all!  For only $9.99, you can receive...haha,  Just kidding there!  But I do really have some more for you, a little something to help spread that awareness thing I was  talking about and to get people here to read more about CHD's.  I have designed 7 different "heart" scripture printables that will be available to download FREE off my blog this week.  One each day of Awareness week.  The only thing I ask in return is that you share this with someone, and not just the free printable {you have to make them pinky-swear they will read the blog post first!}, but the information, stories, resources either off this blog or the numerous other CHD blogs and sites that will be hosting similar events {see my sidebar to the right for other great Heart Mom blogs!}.  THANK YOU for helping to spread awareness of our country's #1 birth defect! 

FREE printable has expired - Please visit my Etsy shop to find this print ;)


Sunday, December 28, 2014

What a wonderful year

Enjoying our sweet family so haven't had a lot of time to blog, but wanted to post up some pictures for all who still follow us along - we love you all and are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family surround us!  We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy 2015!























Thursday, October 16, 2014

5 years and 5 weeks!




Liam turned 5 at the end of September!! Talk about time flying by -- I struggled so much with what to do for his birthday, but we decided to just do a family outing at his favorite park for dinner.  I'm hoping to do some kind of party for him this month, but still undecisive - mainly just don't want to get any germs around Noah, and it's not the best time of year to avoid them!! 




Liam is such a good big brother....I just can't get over how in love with Noah he is...and I am so thankful for that!  It's funny, he likes to be "in the know" with everything Noah is doing - very big on knowing what kind of diaper he has (wet? is it poopy? big poopy? what color...etc) and he often remembers for me what side I last nursed on, which is very helpful when I am sleep deprived during the day and can't remember.  In fact they recently started snuggle time on the couch in the mornings (don't worry, I don't go too far away from them)  but it is the sweetest. thing. ever.



 Noah is 5 weeks old!  Man, time is flying by - He is doing great, gaining weight like a champ and just a really good baby.  We are so blessed to have him home for the first weeks of his life...it almost felt like we had never had a newborn before!  With Liam being in the NICU for the first 3 weeks of life, the nurses mostly had the overnight duties and a lot of the day to day care, so it's been new for us for sure!  Thankfully Noah is a pretty good sleeper at night, although he does wake about every 3 hours to eat still.  But at least in between he sleeps =)


Noah's 1 month appointment showed his weight up to 9 lbs 8 oz (a gain of 2 lbs since birth!) and everything healthy as can be. He is happy for the most part when he is awake and sleeps well.  He is just started to follow things with his eyes and be awake for longer periods during the day, which is fun.  


All in all, we are doing wonderfully adjusting to having Noah in the family.  It's always busy busy around here, but when was is not? LOL  More to come soon!




Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our newest addition!

Our sweet Noah Henry was born 9.10.14 -- 7 lbs 7 oz -- 18 inches

Lots of blonde hair!  And he looks exactly like Liam when he was born!
Right after delivery


Noah's first family picture


Going home!


Noah is doing great and we came home the next day after birth.  My labor was a little longer than I expected being this my second child I always heard they came a lot faster than the first.  But I am thankful he come on his own in the timeframe we were looking for! I started having contractions shortly after my OB appointment Tuesday morning of last week.  It was a slow going until the next morning, and Noah came pretty quickly and arrived at 9:05 Wednesday morning.  I opted to forego pain meds and epidural, and was successful, however I am not sure I would do that again! LOL  But I am glad everything went smooth and I recovered much faster this time around.  He has been feeding great, gaining weight and being a normal baby.  We did have a slight jaundice issue which prompted some home phototherapy treatment last weekend.  I actually got a little emotional when they delivered the equipment to our house, mainly because I am hormonal!  But it brought back some memories of Liam's birth, and those feelings came unexpectedly.  But all is well, after much prayer and hearing from the Lord about it, I am at peace.  It is so sweet for me to see both my boys together - Such sweet precious miracles they both are!

We have been adjusting to life at home with a newborn and trying to maintain some sort of consistency in our days for Liam sake -- it's been a challenge, but we have wonderful family and friends here who have helped out this past week and we are SO appreciative! 

More to come!  I'm off to feed our lil guy!  Love and hugs to all - thanks for keeping up with us!