Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"Laundry Landon"

So...I've been hiding these pictures from the public for awhile now. Don't even think my family has seen all of them! Haha! But I finally decided to share them. It has been so much fun documenting Landon's growth and progress through these monthly pics. I saw this idea first on Pintrest awhile back and then my good friend Lesley documented her precious boy, Cooper, using the same idea and I just LOVED it! So I copied ;-). Each picture was taken at each new month and I tried to fill the laundry basket with things that he was either wearing or using a lot at that time. Always lots of laundry going on over here! Should be interesting to see how much longer he will let me put him on his back in the basket...he's a growing boy!

These two pics of Landon as a newborn and 7 month old show just how much he has changed! I just can't even believe it! Everything from his coloring, hair, size, physical abilities, diapers, clothes, etc! Is that even the same kid!? My little baby is growing too fast :-(

I have also been taking special pictures for each even week, which I will share soon! Let's just say this boy is not short on pictures! Just hoping I will be able to continue the trend with future children! ;-) I'll be back soon to share more!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Life lately...

Life lately has been so wonderful and busy, so I thought I would just make this post more of an update like I have done in the past with titles for each part of our busy life! 

He is definitely the most fun, important, interesting, and time filled part of our lives these days! He is now 5 months old as of April 2 and growing like a weed! At his 4 month appointment on March 20 (so more like 4 1/2 months) he weighed 16.6lbs and was 25 3/4 in long! No wonder my back hurts all the time! ;-) He is full of energy and awake for about 2 hours between his naps. He still takes about 2-3 naps a day and has become an official stomach sleeper. It worried me for awhile because you always hear that you need to put your baby on their back to sleep because of the risk of SIDS. However, his neck is very strong and he pretty much refuses to stay on his back and immediately flips over to his tummy even in his sleep making it impossible to "force" him to stay on his back. He is getting a little more difficult to put to sleep because he doesn't want to miss anything (or so we think haha), but he is staying asleep for longer, so I definitely can't complain when it comes to my free mommy time in the afternoons. He sleeps good at night with the occasional waking up in the night, but quickly goes back to sleep after he eats. He has officially started sleeping in his crib overnight (yet I may have an occasional mommy moment and let him sleep in our room at times! Just makes me sad to not see him sleeping next to me- just more evidence that he is getting too big too fast :-/). He is a mover in his sleep and his crib gives him more room to squirm :-)

We have now started "solid" foods beginning with a tablespoon of rice cereal or oatmeal once a day usually in the afternoon. The first try was what you would expect with the look of "What in the world is this stuff?!" But every time after has seemed to say, "Yay! Give me more! I love this stuff!" We have also tried avacados and sweet potatoes, which he LOVED! He is still taking ranitidine for acid reflux 3 times a day and it seems to help with his symptoms, and will hopefully be something he grows out of soon. Teething has begun and we saw the first white cap on April 17! It is his bottom left canine, which I guess is less common as the first tooth. But we just like to keep things interesting! None of this "rule following" business for our little boy! Haha! The fussiness and irritability that comes with getting teeth is definitely apart of our day, and we have been trying all the remedies in the book. Hylands teething tablets seem to work the best so far. As well as his chewbeads that my sister introduced to me.  

He is now wearing 6 month clothes and they fit him well with a just a little growing room. Won't be long until we move onto the next size. I officially packed up all his 0-3 month clothes with some "mommy sadness" in my heart. My little boy is growing up too fast, and while I want him to grow and thrive I also want to push the pause button for a couple more weeks in each stage. Just let me enjoy it for a little longer and then you can keep growing! Tear!

He has mastered rolling from his back to his tummy to the right and we are working on rolling back to our back and rolling to both sides. We also practice sitting everyday, but he is not quite sitting on his own yet. He loves to laugh and we love making him laugh. However, he often gives himself the hiccups after laughing a lot which eventually frustrate him. So hopefully this will be something he grows out of soon! We just bought him a fisher price jumperoo and he has loved it so far! He is getting better and better at exploring it every day. He loves his toys and grabs everything and immediately brings it to his mouth to inspect. Yay for the disinfecting stage of life!

Landon is so much fun and we have enjoyed every second of the last 5 1/2 months! We often just look at each other with amazement that he is really our little boy and we have this special opportunity to raise him as our child. What an amazing gift! Thank you Lord!

4 months... 

SOOO many good pics in this photo do I only choose a couple?!

Yum!! First time trying "solid food"
4 month doctor appointment! Before shots...I think all three of us cry after shots! :-/

We love walking around outside with Daddy...especially around nap time ;-)

I'm a big boy sitting in my Bumbo!

Cousin time at the lake...many more like this to come! (Landon 4 months, Kensler 3 months)

5 months...

 Happy 5 months!

I used to be so little that mommy had to hold me. Now I am too big! How did this happen so quickly!?

 He will kill me someday for posting this pic, but I just had to! Isn't he the cutest!?

Love my chewbeads! Especially when my gums hurt!

Aunt Aubrey came to visit and helped dad put this together! Lots of fun times ahead! Yes, it may also be a "circle of neglect" as I heard my friend call it, but it's a fun circle of neglect! Haha!

Lake time!! 
I love avacados!

And sweet potatoes! Think I could get used to this whole food thing!

 Finding my toes!

I love my family! Happy Easter! 

One blessed Momma!

I love my handsome boys!

We are now 95% done with our house besides the decorating and finishing touches! We have only mirrors for our master and guest bath and a couple final touches on bathroom cabinets. We are waiting to buy some new bedroom furniture before we officially move into our new master bedroom. Which may take awhile because our ability, time, and desire to shop is limited. And we are NEVER good with decisions! Haha! We are content for now in taking it slow. And in the meantime, we enjoy working on all the small projects around the house. 
We are also done with Landon's nursery and I LOVE it! I will take and post pictures "soon" of the house and his room! 

I have taken up sewing as a new hobby to add onto scrapbooking, so that has kept me pretty busy. Right now I am working on making baby gifts for all my family and friends having babies. Seems to be a lot these days. I also continue to work on Landon's scrapbook, which I have always loved doing. I am also trying to get into cooking more. I have started trying to make a weekly meal plan instead of deciding at 5:00 what to make for dinner. It has been pretty successful so far. I enjoy looking for new recipes and have LOVED my crock pot! Highly suggest Clint has been busy planting his garden and new fruit trees. He has such a passion for it and has a definite green thumb when it comes to making things grow. I love seeing him so excited about it and enjoy the benefits of fresh food! He also LOVES to fish and we have enjoyed our weekend trips to the family lake house in Abilene. The fish are plentiful and so is the cooking oil! 

Landon is just upset because we didn't let him hold the fish! It weighed nearly as much as him, so clearly we were being good parents in not allowing it. ;-)

Blair has given us so many opportunities to be ministered to and to minister to others. We were recently interviewed for a short informational film for Holden Uganda. We shared our story and how Blair's well came to be through this awesome ministry. We will be excited to share it when it is put together! It is such a blessing to be apart of it! On the same day some fellow hope moms set up a bake sale to raise money to make hope boxes for other hurting moms and raised enough to make 29 boxes! Thank you Jesus! Just another opportunity to reach out to others. I am beyond blessed with the many situations the Lord has laid in my lap because of Blair to help others. Unfortunately there seem to be more and more moms brought to my attention that have lost their babies and I am honored to bring honor to Blair by helping them. And just an fyi...I am here to help in anyway that I can if you or a loved one ever has to endure the loss of a child. With the Lord's strength, and not my own, I would love to reach out and direct families to the ministries and people that helped and continue to help me through my journey of healing. I also realized I never shared anything about Blair's first birthday...hope to do that in a later post. A lot has been going on during and since then, so you will just have to excuse my random late postings from time to time...

Well now that the day is almost over haha....spent 2 naps on this post! wheww! Now thats dedication! More to post later!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Behind in the blog world...

Well, there I go again! Letting a lot of time go by without a blog post! I have decided it is just something I am going to have to live with. Haha! I have been so busy taking care of my sweet boy and things around the house that unfortunately this becomes the last thing on the list of things to do. And that is OK!! Luckily I have not stopped taking pictures, however, and working on Landon's scrapbook. So good mommy points there I guess ;-)

As I reflect on what to write in this post, my mind goes to both of my sweet babies. Not just the one I have in my arms, but also my little one in heaven. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her. Most of the time it brings a smile to my face knowing she is in a place of complete happiness- not a place of painful gas, spitting up, or tiredness that Landon is in sometimes. She does not know what it is like to cry, to be in pain, or be sad. And that is just surreal to think about. Because as humans on this earth we feel all kinds of emotions with pain and sadness very much apart of our life. 

(I wrote this blog when Landon was 3 1/2 months old- mid February...that just shows you I had good intentions, but just didn't finish it so I am not going to try and change this, but I will just make a new updated post soon because he has changed SO MUCH!)

Landon is now 3 1/2 months old, and I am grateful that he only knows pain when his stomach is giving him fits, which I have narrowed down to my intake of dairy products- ever since I stopped drinking my daily glass of milk and eating cheese like it's another food group ha!- he seems to have less painful cries. He is also one who NEEDS his sleep! If he doesn't get his naps for the day he is one cranky boy...takes after his mom and dad there! Other then that he is absolutely the happiest baby ever! He loves to smile and kick his feet and is "talking" so much! He makes all kinds of noises and seems like he tries to mimic us and the sounds we make to him. He has discovered his hands now and pulls them into his mouth often. He hasn't grabbed hard toys yet, but loves to pull blankets and his burp cloths to his face. He is sleeping at least a 6 hour stretch most nights now and goes back to sleep until around 8 or 9 am, which is wonderful for his momma who loves to sleep! His nap length varies from day to day, but he takes at least 3 a day in his bed if we are home. He is eating around 5-6 times a day and strictly breastfeeding, which has been a sweet time for me to be with him. Just amazing to think that my body is providing him what he needs to survive-(Thank you Lord for the blessing of being able to breastfeed!) He is wearing 3 month clothes and they fit him really well. He has been able to wear each outfit at least 2 or more times, so it is nice to get some use of his clothes since he didn't last real long in newborns. It won't be too long until we move into 3-6 month clothes and he is already wearing 3-6 month pjs. He LOVES bath time and now takes one with his momma-much easier that way! We have also figured out that Landon is very hot natured! If he is upset, we usually just stand with him next to a fan and he immediately calms down. And sometimes all you have to do is pull his socks off or roll down the window and he is a happy camper again! Oh my! What will the summer be like when it will be hard to cool him off quickly!?! Haha! Landon is truly the joy of our lives and we have LOVED every minute the Lord has blessed us to have with him! 

Going back to my first thought, I know it is inevitable that Landon will experience sadness in this life, and I wish I could keep it from happening. But I know it is what makes us human, and it's those moments of sadness that we realize just how much we need a Savior. It makes us long for heaven even more where there is no sadness. As I look at my little boy and experience every milestone with him, it brings my thoughts to Blair and just how much I did miss out of with her. I never got to see her smile, hear her coos, change her diaper, pick out her clothes, swaddle her to sleep, kiss her little tummy, or see her excited to see me each time I opened the door after she slept. Oh how I miss her and wanted to experience those sweet moments with her. But it makes me that much more grateful that I have these moments with Landon. Every child is a blessing! And every time I look at Landon it makes my heart so full it could burst! To think, that is the kind of love that Jesus has when he looks at me, his child!? And when he looks at Blair face to face everyday! WOW! Amazing huh!? 

I wonder how Landon will feel when we tell him he has a sister in heaven, when he is really old enough to understand. Will he be sad? Will he want to go meet her? Will he long for heaven like we do? So many questions and things that I wonder. All I can think of is how I long to tell him about her and how we will get to see her someday. I look forward to telling him about Jesus and all he has done for us and that He is the only way to heaven. And how much he was a gift from Jesus to our family. He has restored joy, peace, and hope in our lives and I am so grateful for him!! 

Here are some random pics from 3 months (ish)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Landon Steel Schuelke

Landon Steel’s story all began in March 2012 when we took a pregnancy test and saw that it was positive. Landon’s older sister, Blair Nicole, went to be with Jesus on November 11, 2011 and we knew we eventually wanted to have another child. It took a lot of prayer and understanding that it would be ok for us to try after three months of recovery for my body. So we were so relieved and blessed when we got pregnant right away. We immediately spread the word and our friends and family began praying for our little miracle. We were so excited, but also a little fearful for the long 9 months of waiting.

My pregnancy was very similar to Blair’s with virtually no sickness from the start. I love being pregnant because I truly do feel my best, and the feeling of life inside me is just amazing. However, this pregnancy also came with a lot of anxiousness. I feared the worst with every normal ache and pain, every span of not feeling him move even though it was just because he was sleeping, and the small chance that I would hear bad news again at a doctor appointment. Yet, I reminded myself with every fearful thought that God was in control, my son was in the Lord’s hands, and there were so many people praying. It gave me a lot of peace knowing those things and really helped me get through it.


On Friday, September 28, 2012 (one day shy of being 32 weeks) I had an appointment with my high-risk doctor in Midland at 9:00am for the first of my weekly fetal monitoring appointments. My mother-in-law, Patty, was with me and we had plans to drive to Dallas for a girls shopping weekend while the guys went hunting in New Mexico. It had rained the night before and was still raining a lot. The roads were also flooded in town making it a little more difficult to get there. Yet there were still cars on the road and businesses were open as usual. Except for my doctors office, which was closed and did not call me to inform me of this. Who does that!? So...very frustrated, I called my regular OB to see if I could get in for at least a test to hear the baby (NST). They were able to get me in at 9:30 so off we went. Our baby boy looked GREAT on the NST and all was well, however, my doctor noticed I was having some contractions so she wanted to check me before we went to Dallas. She discovered I was 3 cm dilated and 30 percent effaced. CRAZY! So, needless to say, I wasn’t going anywhere! I was admitted into Labor and Delivery to be monitored and given meds to stop the contractions. They worked off and on, but I continued to have contractions anywhere from 3 in an hour to 2-5 minutes apart. They were very irregular, but definitely there. I could feel the contractions, but they were not painful. Just a tightening and cramp like feeling. I didn't change any in dilation, but became 50 percent effaced, so they kept me overnight to continue monitoring me. I was checked again Saturday morning, and my doctor found that I was 3 1/2cm dilated and 70 percent effaced, while still having contractions. So she made the decision to send me to Odessa Medical Center, which has one of the best NICU units around. This was IN CASE our baby boy decided to greet the world earlier then planned, not because there was anything wrong with him or me. Therefore, I was transferred from Dr. McBrayer's care to Dr. Kelly in Odessa, which was hard being that I have grown so close to my doctor through the last year. But it was a smooth transition and I really liked Dr. Kelly and his staff. I was in the L&D in Odessa from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening being monitored with the least amount of meds to see if I would naturally stop contractions. I did, so they moved me to a postpartum room Sunday night for less continuous monitoring. At this point, I actually went from being 3 1/2cm dilated back down to a 2! I didn’t even know that could happen!? Praise God! We then were told that we should not leave Odessa because I needed to be as close as possible to the hospital in case labor picked up again. We then began trying to form a plan and some good friends, Bryan & Tasha Creech, offered for us to use their 5th wheel trailer. We found out that the hospital had hook-ups free of charge right in the parking lot!! WOW! Another God thing for sure! So...I was put on bed rest hoping to make it to at least 37 weeks. I was not confined to the bed, but had to be off my feet as much as possible. I had lots of friends and family come to visit and I was often able to get out and have some freedom. I had appointments at Texas Tech Medical Center with Dr. Kelly twice a week for NST's, sonograms, and check-ups, so it was comforting to know what was going on. Clint went to work as usual and made the hour drive back and forth between Odessa and Big Spring. It was hard to be away from home and out of routine for 5 weeks, but so worth it knowing we were close to the hospital if anything were to happen.

On Friday, November 2 I had my last NST with Dr. Kelly and was officially off of “bed rest” the next day because I would be 37 weeks and considered full term. I had scheduled an appointment with Dr. McBrayer for the following Monday to make a plan with her to deliver in Midland. My mom had come in town on Wednesday and we went home to do some things at our house and I started to notice more pressure and pain, but nothing to make me think it was true labor. However, when I went to my appointment at 8:30am Friday morning there were more contractions then “normal” on the NST. The doctor decided to check me and discovered I was 4-5 cm dilated. Again, I wasn’t going anywhere! I was sent to Labor & Delivery and was told I would be having my baby TODAY! There was no stopping contractions this time!! My mom cried with excitement and I just sat there in shock! It was finally time! So we threw shopping out the window and headed to L&D. Once there we started calling everyone letting them know what was going on. Clint was on his way from work when we were both finally convinced that it was really happening this time.

I sat in the bed for a while still having the same contractions I had been having with no real pain, yet I did start to notice they were happening more often. Dr. Kelly then made the decision to break my water to progress things and help the baby drop. Dr. Bowman and Dr. Kelly worked together to break my water around 2:00pm. During my pregnancy I had been diagnosed with polyhydramnios, which is excess amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac. I couldn’t believe how much water was actually inside me!! I immediately felt lighter and smaller the minute they finished. My contractions also progressed and became more painful. I was asked and told SEVERAL times if I wanted an epidural at any time just to let them know. I had really prepared for a natural delivery my first pregnancy with Blair, and when I was unable to do that I knew that I wanted to try in the future. Therefore, I made the decision to do my best to have my baby boy naturally with no pain medication. I could not have done it without my team though! My husband did the job of putting pressure on my back and helping me push, my mom massaged my feet, back, and hands making it as relaxing as possible while also helping Clint, and my mother-in-law Patty coached me on my breathing. I can definitely see why women say it is the most painful thing they have been through, but the minute it was all over and my son was in my arms it was all worth it! I would do it again for the feeling of accomplishment I had holding him in my arms! I also had the ideal situation with the amount of time it took. From the time my water was broken to pushing it was 4-5 hours of contractions, and I only pushed for about 20 minutes. At 5:56pm he was born! Truly a blessing!
However, I did not hear the sound I had envisioned hearing all this time. I heard some short cries, but not the screaming baby I had expected. After Clint cut the cord, Landon was immediately rushed to the bassinet and the nurses began rubbing him and putting a tube to his mouth to give him oxygen. Those were the scariest moments ever as I was forced to stay in the bed and watch my son get worked on by NICU nurses. I kept thinking, “Oh please Lord, not again! Let me hear him cry!” We were told several times that everything was ok and that this was typical for a 36-week baby, but I was still very worried. It was a total of about 7 minutes, which felt like an eternity before we heard him start to scream. That sound was music to my ears as they brought him to my arms. We looked at our son with complete joy and excitement! Thank you Lord for this sweet miracle of life! I looked at Clint and asked, “What should we name him?” He said, “You just went through natural labor! You can name him whatever you want!! Haha!” He then said, “How about Landon?” I looked with amazement that he agreed to that name! It had always been my number one choice, but had to grow on Clint. He said it had been at the front of his mind for a while and he thought I deserved my first choice! We both loved the middle name Steel because it symbolized strength and resilience and the Lord had definitely given us those things over the past year. So Landon Steel Schuelke it was! A 7 pound 10 ounce, 20.5 inch bundle of cuteness!

We moved to a postpartum room and had great visits from family and friends as we navigated these new waters as parents of a newborn. We were discharged and sent home on Sunday, November 4. The amazing feeling of going home with a baby in the back seat was unlike anything I can describe. What a change of emotions from just last year! We felt so blessed! We came home to a clean and organized house surrounded by our family- another huge blessing! We were now officially a family of four! I know Blair was looking down on us with joy as we got to bring her little brother home. Blair will never be replaced and the ache in our hearts will always remain as we miss her so much every day! Yet, I am just amazed at how the Lord has brought beauty from the ashes of a fire that burned in our hearts not so long ago. Our God is a God of restoration and healing. He has brought us through the storms in our lives to teach us something about ourselves and His deep love for us. We have learned how to love deeper-- to love our God, to love each other, to love our children, to love our families, and to love this world that is lost even more. We have a hope that is greater then anything this world can offer. We have already seen our hope revealed in our son, Landon, and can’t wait to teach him about the love and hope that God has for him and our family. 

Meet our little guy!

Wow! Has it really been almost 3 months since I posted anything!? I apologize to all my faithful blog followers for my neglect to update! Life has been a new sort of crazy as many of you know we welcomed our new little bundle of joy on November 2! There has also been all the added excitement and work to prepare for the holidays as well as finishing up and settling into our house, new baby laundry, family in town, cleaning, know how it goes! And as I let each day pass that I didn't update my blog it got more and more overwhelming! I wanted to tell you all (and have for my own record) every single event of Landon's life and so it became this task that in my head required a lot of "time" to sit down and do. "Time" that I didn't feel like I had because I wanted to soak up every moment of Landon's awake time and get things done around the house during his nap time. BUT enough with the excuses! I will start with the basics....

I would like to introduce you to our baby boy...Landon Steel Schuelke! He is the answer to all of our prayers as well as many of you who have been praying diligently for us. We appreciate it more then you know!! He is beyond everything that we ever hoped for and we are in love to say the least! Thank you Lord for this precious gift! May we be the parents you would have us to be to raise this little guy into a man that loves you, serves you, and honors you with his life. 

Landon Steel Schuelke
November 2, 2012
5:56 pm

7lbs. 10oz. 

20.5 inches

We are so blessed and happy to have this little boy in our lives! He is now 2 months old! My how the time flies! I hope to add more pictures and stories soon as well as Landon's birth story to follow in the next posts. Thanks again for being a part of our journey of parenthood. The Lord has definitely brought us through a lot, and I can say I have seen his grace and goodness through it all.