Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's a Celebration...

Danielle had a wonderful Birthday Party Celebration with our family and closest friends! Here are a few pics from the day. It was a wonderful day; sunny and warm and the rain... thankfully stayed away! Danielle definitely was a tuckered out little girl by the time the night was over. Thank you to our family and friends who shared in this very special day with us! It was a very memorable Birthday Celebration for our baby girl!~

The decorating begins! Party theme; hot pink & lime green, fun summer colors!

Danielle & Great Grandma Martin. Danielle & Great Grandma Holub.

Danielle & Great Aunt Connie & Cousin Kenzie!

Party Outfit #1! Party Outfit #2!

Outfit #2 with the BIG bow! Danielle & Great Aunt Ellie!
The Birthday Girls Cake!

Danielle's very own special cake & party hat!

Blowing out the candles with daddy. It's my party & I'll cry if I want to!

Danielle only took a few bites of frosting so Dylan got to finish off the little cake.

All of these presents for baby girl, Dylan loved helping to open them.

It was a long fun filled day for Danielle. We are SO proud of our children!

Mommy & Danielle and Great Grandpa Kinney snuggling with the birthday girl.

Danielle got to have a birthday play date with our friends Mike & Kirsten's precious baby girl, Lila. Danielle & Lila had some bonding time of their own!

Danielle's 1st Birthday Pictures. She wasn't a happy camper for these pics, it had been a long, busy day. But we kept them anyway :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our Miracle is 1 year old today....

Our little miracle princess is one year old today!!! WOW, has this past year went by SO fast. Just thinking back to last year at this time, how uncertain the future was for us....Deep down within our hearts we knew the future would bring great things for our family, it was the hope and optimism that we held on to, and look at our precious baby girl today! Danielle beat the odds, just like her big brother, she has shown many people her great strength and her will to live. It is with much hard work on her part and many prayers that Danielle is here with us today.

It is very easy to look at her, who is perfectly healthy and growing like crazy, and put in the back of your mind where she came from and what she has been thru to be with us now. But to us, we know, we do not take anything for granted. Last year we put our hearts once again in God's hands and asked him to take care of our baby girl, he did just that and more!! The power of prayer and the strength that we have had to give to go thru such a life changing experience is unimaginable. Some days we have no idea how we did it, with a baby already at home and one miles and miles away in the NICU fighting for each day, but we figured it out, we got thru it, all because we BELIEVE in our children....they are our precious miracles!

2008 brought many uncertainties for this state we live in and many uncertainties for our family. This pregnancy was the best surprise that we could have ever asked for to start out 2008. While it took a lot of work from daddy and self discipline from mommy to stay put, and support and understanding from mommys work and family who believed in us, it all worked out. Mommy was on bed rest at 15 weeks of pregnancy and that left daddy to do all of the work in the house plus take care of a 18 month old all while still recovering from a knee injury. He did it....we did it.....and we are so thankful that it worked out.

In June the Flood of 2008 devistated the City of Cedar Rapids. On June 11th, mommy had been at the doctor for a check-up and ultrasound. That morning mommy had the last appointment the office would have for days because of the flood. Thank the lord for that appointment and reassurance that baby Danielle was doing great! Then just 2 days later on Friday the 13th, the Cedar River Flooded almost 20 feet above Flood Stage, wiping out Downtown Cedar Rapids. Mercy Hospital Closed, St. Lukes Hospital was running on Generator Power and mommy & daddy kept praying that our baby girl would stay put inutero, especially during this difficult time. Mommy was 22 weeks pregnant, these next couple of weeks were critical. Dalton had been born at just under 20 weeks & Dylan at 23, we just wanted to get way past 23 weeks. Mommy was on full bed rest watching the devistating chain of events that led up to the crest of the river and the fall of the river as well. Danielle's Great Grandmother had to be evacuated from her home as she lived in the 500 year flood plain. Times were worrysome..... But Danielle, it was your countless kicks and rolling over that got mommy thru the day, knowing that you were comfy as could be inside mommy and the reassurance from Dr. Olson that things were going steady....
It was 2 weeks later at the checkup on Wednesday the 25th, that the doctor said things were holding steady. Relief once again, we were now past the 23 week mark that Dylan was born at, phew! But it was that evening that mommy slowly contracted. The next day mommy called the doctors office several times to explain what was going on, drink water...put your feet up and call us if things get worse, was the answer she got. The contractions went away for the whole day, until that night. Mommy called the on-call Dr, he said because I had just been 'checked' via exam just 24 hours before that things were fine....what we really didn't know is that they werent. Thru the night, contractions, slowly, at 5am the next morning, mommy woke daddy and said we need to go to the hospital now. Daddy was scared, frightned and had no words. Mommy started packing a few things together, daddy asked why mommy was packing... mommy told him she knew she was having this baby, far, far, too soon. We arrived at the hospital at 6:10 am and our precious daughter was born at 9:47am via c-section.

Our NICU experience started once again. And WOW was the NICU staff very surprised to see us again and less than 2 years after Dylan. We were just as surprised as them and also very scared. We knew we were in great hands, we had 2 dr's we were comfortable with, a NICU we were all too familar with and we had each others be their every waking minute for our baby girl. And we were there for her, we were finally able to reunite our family together at home on October 24th, 2008! It was such a joyous day for our family. We were united at last, just the 4 of us. Working to protect our children....our family!

That bring us to today, Danielle is doing great. She will have her 1 year check-up next week. We are very anxious to see how much she weighs and how long she is. We are thinking she is somewhere around 16 1/2 pounds. She has an eye exam the week after that. Last time we got the clearance to not go back for another exam for 6 months, we are hoping and praying for at least that, this time. Danielle is eating like a little piggy! She takes 5-6 ounces of formula every 3-4 hours and eats Baby Cereal and Organic baby food every night. So far Sweet Peas are her favorite! She does not like to sit in her high chair though so we usually use the swing, and sometimes she doesn't even like that! She is quite the princess.... so at times we give in and hold her. She gets a lot of snuggling from mommy and daddy & even big brother Dylan too. Dylan loves to come over and give her many kisses throughout the day and also he loves to lay beside her on the floor and put his hands in her hair, it is precious. Danielle has been sleeping throughout the night for quite some time now, it has been 6 months at least. She goes to bed around 7pm and sleeps until daddy wakes her up at 5 for breakfast, on the weekends we let her sleep in but during the week she gets up to eat and then goes back to sleep until 7. She takes naps then most of the morning getting up usally 1-2 times to eat. Danielle LOVES her daycare and watching the kids throughout the day. We have the best sitter and both kids love her dearly. Danielle is a very happy girl, she does get her feelings hurt easily though, but she is seldom sad.

Danielle has shown many people exactly why you have to believe in miracles!!! To all of you parents out there, please hug your little ones a little tighter tonight and really thank the lord for your children...we are SO lucky to have them here with us. We had a long road ahead of us last June 27th, 2008. We traveled along that windy and sometimes bumpy road, but we never got off the beaten path, we never gave up and neither did Danielle. We will do what ever we need to do to protect our children, to keep them safe and healthy; thank you to those of you that support us in this!

Our little girl has fought so hard, been thru plenty and yet she is here with us today. We are SO blessed, SO thankful and SO grateful that the lord has chosen us to be parents, her parents. Look at you baby girl....from 1 pound 11 ounces and 13 1/2 inches long to now over 16 pounds and thriving more than ever, you are our miracle, our precious baby girl and we are oh, so thankful. We are proud of you and who you have become. Please baby girl, never give up, you have taught us many more life lessons than we thought we could ever learn. We are stronger people and parents because of you, thank you baby. You fill our lives and our hearts with un-ending love. You keep track of your brother Dylan and he keeps track of you, its great. We love you Danielle Marie Holub, our miracle little girl....we are so proud of you!~

Friday, June 19, 2009

Trip to PA....

Last weekend we ventured for the kids' first trip to Pennsylvania. It was such a wonderful, memorable trip! We flew out of Moline and the trip to the airport was rough on Danielle. She screamed the whole way....poor thing really doesn't like her car seat. Funny part is the Dylan slept the whole time, even thru his baby sisters tears......not so funny part.....just before we arrived at the airport she threw up in her car seat. That really was not fun changing her clothes in the car and trying to hurry and clean the car seat so it wouldn't stink by the time we got to PA!

Check out this beautiful view from my moms backyard, it is such a serene sight and breathtaking view of the mountains and the city of Bloomsburg below....

Danielle was a good girl on the plane. Being this was the kids second full trip on an airplane I think they were a little more use to it than the first time. Mommy held her again in the Baby Bjorn, thank goodness for that and being able to have 2 hands free! We arrived in Philly at 11pm, Grammy & Tom were there to greet us and we were SO excited to see them. After a lot of stand still traffic we arrived to Grammies house at about 2am, got all the kids nestled in their beds, they were cashed out from an exhausting day.

Saturday morning brought some relaxation, it was great! Britni and her friend Hannah played with Dylan at the super nice town park and Grammy & mommy hung out and snuggled Danielle. It sure was a beautiful day and so nice to spend some time soaking up sun & fresh air. We then went and surprised Great Grandpa Phillips with our visit. It was great, we pulled up and they were sitting on the sun porch, I waved and I could read Barbara's lips right away, 'is that Amber?!' We got out and they were thrilled and even more thrilled when the kids got out. This was their first time meeting them in person and it was the most precious moment ever! Grandpa had a huge smile from ear to ear! There is nothing better than giving the ones you love a complete, total surprise visit, it was great :)

We relaxed with Grandpa and Barbara. Danielle was such a good girl. Great Grandpa could not believe how soft her little arms were and how big she is getting compared to the many pictures he has seen of her. The pictures do no justice he told us. Dylan found his most favorite toy, a bucket of clothes pins, funny he rather play with those than the numerous toys. When Danielle was being held he of course wanted to relax in HER car seat. Silly big brother!
Saturday night our cousins RaeAnn & Carrie came over and Carrie brought her 2 girls, Nola is 4 1/2 months old and Sayla is just 6 months older than Dylan. Her little boy Savich was camping with his Grandparents so we didn't get to see him. But it was an excellent visit. We got in some great laughs and conversation. Danielle had been asleep when they arrived but mommy went and got her so she could join in on the fun and meet her cousins! Dylan and Sayla had a blast playing together. He was so into following her around and copying what she would do, she would take a drink of her cup and then Dylan would do the same, it was adorable. Little Nola just coo'd and snuggled with her mommy & Danielle snuggled with me. It was an excellent evening, mommy spent many summers visiting them when she was little and it was great being able to get our kids together now!

Sunday morning was church with Grammy. Grammies congregation has prayed so hard and often for our kids thru the most happiest and scariest moments that we have had with them. The prayers continue....
We then visited Great Grandpa and Barbara again and told old stories and just watched the kids be kids. Dylan & Danielle even managed to take a nap on the sun porch. It's not too often that they nap together at the same time, it was pretty cute. That night Auntie Ciara came over to meet the kids and have dinner. Grandpa Tom (Thomas as Dylan calls him) made his famous Italian Chicken, it was excellent as always! Must be that Italian in him that makes it the best, mommy definitely has tried to duplicate it and no such luck yet...! After dinner it was outside for play time. Aunties Ciara & Britni played some soccer with Dylan and did bubbles. Danielle snuggled with mommy & Grammy. It was a beautiful evening, and once again we were able to enjoy the breathtaking views while enjoying the company of great family. Danielle fell asleep & Dylan was filthy from playing so hard, but before bath time we needed to try out the new Popsicle contraption Grammy & Tom got the kids, so we put an orange Popsicle in it and he could hardly keep his eyes open to eat it, but managed. Then it was bath time and off to bed to prepare for another fun day ahead!

Monday Barbara & Grandpa invited us over for a picnic lunch on the sun porch. It was SO yummy. Barbara is totally Ms. Susie Homemaker and everything was home made, the veggies were all fresh from the market & the lemonade fresh squeezed, perfect for a summer day! Danielle took a nice afternoon nap while we ate and visited. Dylan loved to play, once again with his bucket of clothes pins. Great Grandpa and Barbara each did some snuggling with Danielle. Precious moments that is for sure. Whether our family is miles and miles away or close to us at home it is always such cherished time when spent together. We were able to pull off such a heart warming surprise for the kids to see their Great Grandpa & Great Grammy Barbie, it surly warmed mommy's heart.
There is nothing as wonderful as catching up with family that we have not been able to see since before we had kids. The kids were such a surprise for them & we were more than happy to share them for the nice, long weekend :) We got home, Danielle didn't make a peep on the ride home, Dylan ate his lunch, we gave them baths, did laundry right away and got all settled in from a wonderful trip. Dylan still keeps asking for Grammy, Thomas & 'Bam', (he calls Britni Bam) it's hard to explain to him where they are, but we know we will see them again very soon!

Lord thank you for blessing our family with a perfect vacation. Thank you for protecting us in our travels. We look forward to seeing them again very soon :) It's very hard to believe that our precious baby girl will be 1 year old next weekend. We look forward to an excellent celebration for our little princess.~