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Happy Birthday Levi!

by Suzanne - September 6th, 2011

It has been 2 years since you have entered the world, Time sort of flew, but then there were those moments where it stood still, like the first time I saw you, all hooked up to a breathing machine with a couple of IV’s in your arms. I just stared and my mind was racing a million thoughts a minute. All around us the world was spinning, but you were looking at me and we were still within it.

Then when you came home with us and it took you 11 months to sleep through the night, these nights took a long time, but you were loved and well cared for, your papa spent many many hours rocking you in the bedroom, praying for you, holding his breath hoping you were sleeping again, someday you will do the same.

You are well loved by many people, you have a birthmom, a birthfather, their parents, grand parents and great grand parents all think you are quite special. Plus you have me, your papa, your brother and all of our family. We all were very excited when you came along.

This year has been fun, you have made great strides, you literally learned to walk a day after your birthday last year. You have been stable on your feet ever since. You took swimming lessons and learned to flip onto your back and wait for help to come should you ever fall in the water. We took a trip down to Indianapolis, we went to the zoo, you got to see dolphins and elephants and giraffes. We drove down to your Great grand parents farm in Indiana to meet a whole lot of family on your birth moms side. We visited Indiana a lot, because that is where Grandpa and Nana live. We went to the lake a lot, because that is where Grandma and Grandpa H are in the summer.

We spent a lot of time reading, it is one of your favorite things to do, You talk a LOT, your vocabulary is incredible and I am amazed at what you repeat, sometimes embarrassed but mostly amazed.

You are an incredibly cute child, you are friendly and love to say hi to strangers in the store, your voice is very quiet though and they rarely hear you, you make me smile a lot, especially when you demand songs, whether on the ipod or me singing, you know exactly what you want.

You turned 2 just 1 week before your little brother joined us, I was so glad he didn’t come on your birthday, I wanted to keep that special just for you!

I know this isn’t your birthday, but I started writing this awhile ago and wanted to finish it, you are loved, you are special and I pray you will grow to be a man after G-ds own heart!, I hear you waking up now, gotta go.

Our Story Part 9: It’s a small world after all.

by Suzanne - April 11th, 2011

So remember when Ariel said she knew someone in our book? That whole line of questioning never stopped, we met person after person who knew Ariel or her mom Ardy, or that she used to babysit for. Once in church I mentioned his due date and said she was taking Yoga, and the person we were talking to said, “oh do you mean Ariel?” what? “yeah she is in my yoga class”

Todds mom called us and said, “Todd your cousin Lynette is in a bible study with Ariels mom, should we not tell them?” No one wanted to mess anything up for us, but we weren’t worried about that.

I should mention that we live in a town of about a million, counting all the burbs, so not that tiny of a town, but I guess we ran in similar circles. It seemed like every week we ran into someone else that knew who we were adopting from, We were going to keep his story more private, we learned from Simon that we had probably shared too much, and we should have kept it more for him to share with who he liked, So we mentioned that to Zach and Ariel that we wouldn’t be sharing his story and why, but that was really a moot point.

His official due date was Tuesday April 21st, that day came and went, no signs. Ariel wasn’t feeling anything unusual.

I kept waiting for a call, Ariel and I were supposed to go see a movie on Thursday evening if he hadn’t come yet, but I lost the free tickets I had, so we canceled, she said she still was feeling normal, but soooo ready for him to come.

Friday morning at 4:30am, the phone rang, Todd sat up and said, almost screamed “the phone, the phone, the phone is ringing, where’s the phone?” I was already on my way to it, “babe it’s right here where it always is” Silly boy.

It was Ardy

“Hi Suzanne, it’s time, we are on our way to the hospital, you don’t have to come right now, but we wanted you to know”

“I’ll be right there”

I hung up and told Todd, she was in labor, Since it was so early, we decided I would go, and Todd would come later with Simon, why we didn’t just get a sitter I will never know, we would have had friends more than willing to take him. But I quickly got dressed and marveled at how this day would progress, Todd said, get going already, fine, I’m on my way.

I was driving down the very dark highways, making my way to the hospital downtown, with no traffic it’s only about a 15min drive. I parked in the ramp and asked the receptionist where to find Ariel, she directed me to her room.

I was nervous, I didn’t want to be in the way, I thought I would just wait in the waiting room, but Ardy found me in the hall and took me into the room, there she sat on the bed, with her hospital gown on and her hair all pulled back. She looked just fine, pretty cute even. I felt so how do I say, so…. out of place maybe, just not sure where to be or what to do, we took a few pictures chatted with the few people that were in the room. She was having contractions on and off, but not too severe, at least she didn’t let on that they hurt too much.

It started to get light out, the rest of the city was waking up and it felt like this was really going to happen. I think I mentioned to Ariel that it felt surreal, and her response was, “oh it’s real alright” 🙂

Our pastor and his wife had a baby girl the day before so we all took a field trip up to their room, baby Violet was snuggled in her daddies arms, a gorgeous baby, it was humorous that they would be so close in age. After getting back to her room, I was in the waiting room making a few phone calls and signing last minute papers. Cathy, Ariels social worker was explaining to me how it would all happen, she told me that Ariel would like me in the room for the birth if I want to, “Uh, yes please, that would be great!” I was elated, what a cool thing to experience, especially since I missed Simons birth by minutes. We were still talking details when Rosa came in and gathered up Ron (Ariels dad) myself and Cathy and said they just took her in for an emergency C-section, the baby’s heart rate had dropped and they weren’t sure how he would respond to the pushing.

I immediately started tearing up, I know this is major surgery and it scared me, she was just fine, it felt like everything was happening so quickly. We gathered in a circle and prayed G-d’s protection over them both. I called my mom right away and asked he to pray also, I also called my friend Keli in South Carolina, asked her to spread the word online to our mutual friends.

We waited for what seemed like hours, literally the minutes just couldn’t tick by any slower. We finally made our way to a different waiting room closer to where they do the surgery and waited there, Todd and Simon made it to the hospital and we all hung out together, Todd, Simon, I, Zach, Bob, Ana, Rosa, there was a lot of us.

Ardy finally came back and said, the surgery went well, but they had to take him to the NICU, he wasn’t breathing very well on his own, so they wanted to check him out, everything we had planned was out the window, this was scary.

Ariel came out in a wheelchair, they took us all down to the NICU, briefed us on what was going to happen, they would take us in 3 at a time to see him, we all had to leave everything in a locker and scrub our hands and arms then try not to touch anything in the room, there were so many of us it was comical. They took Ariel, and I first. This doesn’t do it justice to how frightening it was, they took off the mask he had to wear, so we could see him, it was scary, it might not have been had I known what any of it was for, they were just making sure that he was fine, yes he stopped breathing at 8 min. old, that is why they rushed him down, then they had to test for all kinds of things and wait for the labs to come back, but he was fine and fighting the whole time, he wasn’t even on the oxygen for 12 hours, he didn’t need it.

After all of that it was getting to be lunchtime and we had an almost 3 year old to take care of. We left to get lunch and let Simon take a nap at home and we planned to come back later that night.

My parents arrived later that day and we all ate together and they stayed with Simon as Todd and I went back to the hospital too spend a little time holding Levi before Todd had a late night show to go to. Ariel was just leaving the NICU once we got there, they had already taken him off of the oxygen and he looked so much better already.Look at those dark eyes.

Todd had to leave about an hour after we got there, So I was left holding this precious little bundle in the noisy NICU, so many machines going on, it’s like a quiet noise, and Levi looked like a giant compared to a lot of the other babies there, he was 7 pounds even, so really big compared to pre term babies. Zach came and we spent a couple hours with Levi, we got to talk and just stare at him, he was just magical, newborns are ya know.

While we were there a few more of Ariel’s friends came to visit, I had no idea that it was possible to have that many visitors, she is well loved that’s for sure.

By Sunday he was out of the NICU and back up in Ariels room, where many more visitors came by, including some of our family, they got there first look at him.He was a cutie that is for sure, we stayed at the hospital until about 8pm with Todds whole family, and Ariel and her mom and dad, we were all tired and hungry, so we finally said goodbye.

We decided to go to Big Boy, just down from the hospital and got a huge table to seat the whole family, Todd and I wondered if this was a good idea or not, it was already Simons bedtime, but hunger won out and we went in, We all ordered and talked about everything, I think we were all tired and sort of subdued. Simon did wonderful, he played happily with some cars from grandmas purse, she is always prepared!!

Monday morning came around and we went to the hospital by 11am I believe. We had been supplying Levi with frozen breastmilk, but that had run out, and I had been pumping and taking meds to induce lactation, well now was the time to see if it could work, we called for a lactation consultant and everyone left the room, leaving just Levi and I and the LC. She taught me how to properly latch him on and had me practice a few times, told me a few things to keep in mind, but he latched on like a champ, she was really impressed and so was I, I said, can you go get Ariel, she needs to see this. SO she went out in the hallway and brought Ariel back in the room and we just stared at him and chatted a bit, I thanked the lactation consultant and she thanked us, she said it was such a pleasure to be involved in this experience, she was in awe I guess of how close we were, I didn’t really ask why, she had tears in her eyes when she said it, I was just so glad for the help and So very glad he latched on so well.

We gave Ariel the outfit we brought to bring him home in and she changed him, got him ready and said they were ready to go, I put him in a sling and we all walked down to the lobby together, put him in his carseat for the first of many times and gave our hugs and thanks and promises to be in touch.

Then we drove away, with two children in our car, we came home with two children, life was now different forever and we loved it. Simon was quite excited about his new brother, and this whole experience sparked new questions for him, he was a little confused and thought that Ariel was also his birthmom, but we explained that his birthmoms name was Shane, and she loved him also, he was exactly 2 years and 10 months, so this question came quite a bit sooner than what we thought it would, but we were prepared because we had practiced telling him since he was a newborn, so when this time came it wouldn’t feel awkward. We got that bit of advice from Todds Aunt Jeri, thank you!

A Third Adoption!!!!!

by Suzanne - April 3rd, 2011

A couple of weeks ago Todd and I got a letter in the mail saying that our oldest sons birth mom was expecting again and she wanted us to adopt this baby, so they could be raised as siblings. *THUD* that was the sound of my heart hitting the floor. Never did we expect this, We were surprised to say the least.

Also the baby’s due date was less than 8 weeks away, when we got the letter. Needless to say since we hadn’t planned on this we hadn’t been saving for it and the cost of this adoption is a real thing.

I have also since February started selling Norwex, I am so excited to share these products with everyone, to join these two things together:

So in celebration and a hopeful heart, I would like to hold a Fundraiser Catalog party.

Please look through our products and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask, our first product that we started with was the Envirocloth, here is a little info about that. with a video demonstration.

HUGE DIFFERENCE between a regular microfiber towel and one from Norwex. Regular MF is described as a fiber the size of a human hair, split 6 ways. Norwex MF is split 100 ways, which makes it much more absorbent and able to trap dirt and liquids in it so as not to cross contaminate. Norwex MF is guaranteed for 2 years, but they are made to last 6+ years, just think how many paper towels you will not buy in 6 years.
Check out this video That is not me, just a good demo, isn’t her kitchen beautiful! The butter is an example too of greasy fingerprints.
Using the envirocloth and the window cloth with Only Water gets mirrors and windows cleaner than anything I have ever tried and is really easy.
There are a lot more products available on my website, please browse.

Please join us in looking through my website, picking out what you would like and then emailing me your order at suzannes norwex store @ g mail . com  with no spaces.

I will then compile them  all and put an order in. If you are out of state, that is fine, we will just drop ship to you straight from the company.

A gluten free pizza crust that doesn’t taste like cardboard.

by Suzanne - January 15th, 2011

And it has about 1/7th the calories of regular pizza.  I know you don’t believe me, but I found it, I am, so excited.

Last Wednesday the boys and I went to a playdate, My friend Colleen said she had heard of a pizza crust using cauliflower, she thought I might be interested her friend heard of it on Dr Oz. I thought it sounded weird but worth a try with the rave reviews.

I found this site with instructions. I didn’t do it exactly the same, so read on for my own.

First I steamed 2 heads of cauliflower (this made aprox. 8 cups)

Then after steaming them to knife tender, I let them cool.

I used a standing cheese shredder to shred the Cauliflower, making them what they call rice cauliflower.

Measure out 3 cups of the rice Cauliflower ( by just spooning into a measuring cup, not packing it)

3 Eggs

3 Cups of Mozzarella shredded cheese (I didn’t have Mozzarella, so I used what I ad on hand, a mixture of a mexican and colby)

Approx. 3tsp of pizza spices, literally I have a spice that is called pizza spice 🙂

Mix that all together and spray your pizza pan with a Pam or any substitute. Spread evenly onto your pan  and bake at 450 for 12-15min. My oven always takes longer, mine needed about 17min.

This is what ti looked like after being par baked

Looks like a pizza crust doesn’t it!

Ok so after that, this was our bread sticks and I just put a layer of cheese and broiled it on high for around 3-4min. They looked so tasty when finished.The next crust I put pizza sauce, sauteed onions, orange bell peppers, and mushrooms, and lots of cheese stuck it back in the oven on broil for 4-5 min. and wallah Doesn’t that look good, I was just as surprised as you are. But the best part was eating it. I can’t believe how yummy it was, now it doesn’t taste just like a flour pizza crust, but it is so good, way better than any of the other Gluten free crusts I have tried, some of them were awful.

The 4 year old chowing down.

The 20 month old eating away.

We liked it so much I think it might be on our weekly menu.

Thanks for looking.

Beth Terry speaking at TEDx

by Suzanne - December 20th, 2010

DIY for women

by Suzanne - December 19th, 2010

I found Ana Whites blog Called Knock Off Wood about 9 months ago and I fell in love. I have always fancied myself to be a woman who can do more than some people think I am capable of. My husband agrees, he thinks I can do anything, so when I found Ana’s blog about simple plans to make furniture, I got so excited. This is the first project I started, and I have almost finished them, I have no idea why I can’t muster up the energy to finish painting them, they just need a 2nd coat, Soooooo maybe if I blog about them, then you will ask me and I will feel silly for not finishing them.

We will use them to finish a wall in our basement, right now it is plain, soon it will have all of our beautiful family photos on them, I can’t wait to get them up and use them, not to mention unclutter the shelf that they are all smashed onto, covering most of them.

Soon, very soon, I will be able to post pictures of the finished project.

Winner winner chicken dinner

by Suzanne - November 19th, 2010

I have a winner for the Kleen Kanteen giveaway and it was comment number #28 and her name is Treighsie.

I emailed her and we will get those sent out, I sure hoe you can make great use out of these nice reusable water bottles, I know I love mine.

So congrats and come on down, tell your friends about this blog and maybe we can have more giveaways sooner than later.

Tommorrow at noon

by Suzanne - November 19th, 2010

I will draw a number for the Kleen Kanteens Giveaway. I’m excited to give them to there new owners, where they can be used and prevent more plastic form entering our disposal system.

You may enter anytime until noon on Friday.

Klean Kanteen giveaway

by Suzanne - November 11th, 2010

I work a few days a month at a wonderful little store called Hop Scotch they are a beacon of light in a world filled with toxic loud plastic toys. The store is filled with everything a discerning parent needs.

We carry: Cloth diapers, wooden toys, organic clothing, Radian car seats, chemical free mattresses, playsilks, books, games and much much more. You won’t find a battery powered toy anywhere in the store, I wish I could say the same thing about my house.

We also host a number of free workshops where you can learn ab0ut: Cloth diapers, baby wearing, breastfeeding, and infant massage. Check that out on our workshops page.

The store is located in the East Hills neighborhood just east of downtown Grand Rapids. A thriving little community, where you can easily outfit your home for the new baby, or get gifts for your older children. Please come visit us next time you are in town.

Well we are all about reducing waste in a hundred little ways, and a great way is to use water bottles that you refill with tap water, Klean Kanteen won’t flavor your water, it just tastes like, gasp water!

So Hop Scotch is sponsoring my first give away here on the blog and I am very excited about it. they are giving away these:A brand new (of course) set of Klean Kanteens, one for you and one for your favorite child 🙂 Now the way this will work, is you can hop on over to their website and look around, then come back here and comment on what you would like to buy.

Post about this giveaway on your blog or facebook and you get another entry, Just come back and comment that you did so, on Friday of next week I will use the random number generator and let it pick a winner. Then I will send the prize out to the winner! This contest is limited to residents of the US and Canada.

Free sample of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste

by Suzanne - November 3rd, 2010

I am all for natural health and beauty products, but it can get pricey to try a few to find your favorite, here is a free way to try this new flavor out.

Hop on over to my friend Sarah’s blog Give me Neither she has simple directions to follow. Happy brushing.