Lot's of exciting things have been happening here at the Reading house! I can't wait to report on those things later--but mama is sickly today so I'm just gonna lay here on this couch and blog about these two little lovelies...
this little dude has been on a trial base gluten and casein free diet to see if/how it helps his alopecia. Gluten includes everything that contains wheat and most things that contain preservatives...so like-everything. And casein is in dairy-which is like everything else he has left to eat :) but we have gotten the hang of it and it actually is helping. We are going to give it a few more months to see exactly how much it will help, but we have hair growth! I also want to see what is actually the diet and/or if it is a part of the regrowth pattern, which is why we will give it more time.
we let him break his diet every now and then. the first time we gave him real food about a month after we started this was in december. we ordered this boy a quarter pounder and he ate every last bite!!! he's never even eaten more than half of a regular happy meal-but he seized his opportunity for sure. and he was happy :)
this is what most of our days have looked like lately! we are enjoying a super relaxed post holiday schedule :)
Also, I'm behind on Luca's well check stats. I was late taking him in for his 15 month well check. Like 2 months late...oops! Anyway, he checked out "perfect"! However he is slowing down on the growth charts these days. Never did I ever think my nearly 9 1/2 pounder (a week early at birth) would have ever been called "petite", but he's slowed down a lot ranking at a whopping 31st percentile in height and weight :) He's very muscular and still has his big bowed chest--he just doesn't have any baby fat and he's not super tall!
and these are just because he's so darn cute :)
And have I mentioned that this little guy is into EVERYTHING?!?! I walked away last Sunday morning to grab my jacket before church and in the 2 seconds I took my eye off of him-he broke the dog bowl, tried to chew on the broken piece and cut his lip AND crawled up on the kitchen table to get my coffee mug that I strategically placed in the center so he couldn't reach it and he poured it down the hallway. We've started putting the remotes out of reach because he's obsessed with them and he hides them like a dog hides a bone! He hid our remote in the Christmas tree and it took us a month to discover it. The crafty little dude got the laundry hamper, carried it into the living room, turned it upside down and crawled up to reach the remotes. We can't outsmart him!
Ella and Luca got superhero capes for Christmas this year :) They love flighting around the house in them. Ella's favorite thing to do is throw Pippa behind the couch so she can rescue her-over and over again. Poor Pippa! But Ella sure does have a blast. I love her big "imagillation" ;)
And here is the little lady :) She is such a doll...
This is Ella with her American Girl doll and their matching Christmas dresses :) I forgot the doll at Christmas (along with everything else including my mind) so we had to wait for our picture.
so cute together ;)
And then there's the newest addition to our family! She has just fit right in! We have learned a lot about Pippa. She loves to play with jingle bells. Her favorite treats are not beef chews, they are mini marshmallows. She likes to play with balls that she can bounce and tackle--like a cat. so we have been visiting the cat section to find her a few toys she'll actually play with. She enjoys perching on the back of the couch and playing under the bed-like a cat. She like's to prey and pounce-like a cat. Even though she has some kitty like tendencies--she's so cute and the PERFECT dog for us :)
HELLOOOOOO 2012. I welcome you with arms wide open and a big smile on my face! To say 2011 was difficult would be an understatement of the century. I’m not going to say much more about it because it was soooo last year. All I’m going to say is that even in the darkness…the deep, scary, oppressing darkness of the year that was 2011, God was there. There was absolutely nothing different about the track of our lives from December 31, 2011 to January 1, 2012. We did not wake up into a new life. However, God definitely put an emphasis on the timing. In the weeks before, the darkness was closing in and we could almost see light. In the week after the new year the dawn is rapidly appearing. It’s not a do over, it’s just a progression and a very clear message from God-you made it and now you can see my purpose.
Each thing we’ve endured has had purpose and boy are we better for it in all the right ways-but I would gladly be the lesser person and give it all back. HA! It didn’t break us down and it certainly did not strain our marriage. We somehow managed to rise above it. With God's grace of course. Now it’s time to rebuild, restore and heal. We have received so many blessings in just one week. It is so great to see God moving. It is a reminder that He was there, He is here, and He will always be. I believe there are certain emotions only a mother can feel--just like I believe people who have been given tough times are blessed with a greater capacity to live life, love, have joy and peace if they abide in Christ. There will definitely be hard times ahead. I can already name a few! But it’s always the darkest before the dawn, and we have arrived. There is a season for everything I guess. So let me catch you up to date on some things!
Pippa: God-or Santa, not sure which one yet- dropped the perfect little puppy in country. I must have been a VERY good girl this year because she’s a little doll and so healing for my heart! My due date is coming up soon and I reaaallllly need something warm and cuddly to lay in my lap. She just happened to find my father-in-law out in the big wide world. I could make a joke right about him but I won’t ;) and I knew before I met her (or asked my husband) that she was mine so they saved her for me. We met her at Christmas and she met all of my requirements: free, cute, potty trained, plays gently, tolerates a ornery little boy and his big squeezy bear hugs, sleeps a lot, smart, doesn’t chew ANYTHING, not aggressive, and no barking-only a whisper bark when she thinks the boogie man is walking up to my house. Now where do you find a dog like that? That’s not really even a dog. She is all these things and was sent just at the right time. When I asked told Mike, he already knew she the one and was coming home anyway. Oh, and he actually likes her too! Molar Pregnancy- March will be the month I will be in the clear of all the molar pregnancy shenanigans and I can move on with my life. This part has been a nightmare! There’s been just a couple bumps and bruises along the way, and it could have been worse. But still a nightmare none the less. Lord have mercy if I have to have one more round of blood work, scan, x-ray, sonogram, shot, biopsy, procedure, or test of sorts I’m gonna cry about it-like a toddler tantrum kicking and screaming fit of my sweet Ella Bella’s caliber! (kinda joking but not really) OR if I have to sit in the waiting room one more time with the same girl and her inappropriate jokes who was pregnant right along side of me and has yet to realized that my bump has yet to catch up with hers the past 8 months Ima gonna slap her in the face. And that I’m not joking about. Somehow I manage to get the same day and time of appointment as her. The first 3 months I was pregnant so it was just weird. The last 6 months-pure torture. I have 1 or 2 more visits and it should only be blood work if all goes well. I think I can handle that. Baby #3- I have found peace and healing with our loss. I still have days when I think about him and just want it to be different. But it’s not. I think about what I “should” be doing/planning for or how big my belly should be. But most of all I just really want to know him. I wonder what he would look like with his brother and sister. But then I remember we will someday! I used to feel like we all were cheated, including him. But Mike and I talk openly about him a lot and one day, it occurred to us that even though it sucks for us, what a blessing that heaven is all he’ll ever know! This is how we came up with a name for him. We named him Asher because it means “life in abundance” and that is all he’ll ever know. We don’t go around calling him by name. It’s just a name for us to use when we talk about him that is more personal with meaning because is our child. Psalms 84:10 says “better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.” It randomly popped in my head one day after my D&C and I knew it was for me. I’ve said this verse to myself probably every day and while I haven’t heard that song in years, I now hear it all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Ella and Luca are here with me! Right where they should be. But God had a different plan for Asher and it brings me joy in a very weird way. I have a little more treasure in heaven waiting for me someday.
Luca: Alopecia is really not that big of a deal for us. If you really want to know how I feel about it, you can read my blog post here if you haven't already. I had a hard time for a while worrying about him as a child. But now I know for sure-he.will.be.fine. Not to mention, his head is perfectly round and by summer will be tan and it’s pretty darn cute! God made him for this so I rest my case. It was just one more thing at the time and I was worried for him. Everyone has something to go through or deal with at some point and I would choose this over many many many things. I had a 2 month period of time looming over my head as we had to run a gammet of tests on him. Since he’s so young, there were some other things that they had to check into. And guess what? It was all NORMAL!!! Of course it wasn’t until after the New Year that we got that news which was one more blessing to count! Family: I-love-my-family. LOVE them! I feel as though our families have been under attack too this past year. Both sides of our family have had a lot of CRAP to deal with. The CRAP doesn’t even include my grandmother’s cancer-which the word crap doesn’t do justice to. What a nasty disease! I was so blessed this Christmas to get to see her 3 days in a row and got some one on one time. And she looked wonderful. Of course she shook the pneumonia in November because that’s just what she does. She fights back! She was feeling good and was able to join us for Christmas. It was so nice to have her around for the close of this season.
And then there is job—January of 2012 marks new and scary adventures for the Reading family as we listen, learn, and obey God’s calling on our life. No matter what happens, it will be fun and we have our friends and family. Mike and I have noticed many “seasons” of our marriage. There was Porter Place townhome season in Arkansas as newlyweds, the Plano Apartment season, the Coppell season comes in two parts: before and after Luca’s birth. One thing they all had in common in spite of the ups and downs-FUN AND ADVENTURE! We aren’t sure what is coming up in a new season before we set out for New York. I guess we shall see! I’m excited about some prospects and humbled by God’s love and provision in the mean time. I’ll attach our prayer letter in a future post to read--that is if you’re not blind from reading this long novel of a post. Like I said, there is never a dull moment with the Readings!
E is a sparkly little gem. She lights up our lives in every way! She is so special to us. As our first born, she taught us how to be a mommy and a daddy! She was quite the little teacher too and has seemingly covered all the bases so we were very prepared for number 2! Her baby blues melt our hearts and she is a beautiful girl from the inside out. She is at her best in a fancy dress, heels, and a tiara which makes her a true princess.
L is our middle man. Weighing in at a studly 9lbs 4oz at birth, he has earned a few nicknames such as tiny, little dude, and hoss. Just like most Italian males, under his beefy and handsome exterior is a sensitive little man. We are fools for this boy in every way. As our first boy, our love for him is so unique and special. We have fallen head over heels for him! E is so crazy about him, I’m sure he thinks he has 2 mommies!
M is our littlest lovely! He is our sleepy snuggle bug. He is small but mighty and all things magical. From the sweet smell of his fuzzy little head to the tips of his sweet little baby toes, he is perfect in every way. We are over the moon for our new little tiny guy. E and L just can't get enough of him. He is everyones baby! He's loved to the max!
Olli is our 4th little lovely. Our cherry on top of it all! She surprised us but we were thrilled. She was the other little girl her brother and sister had been asking for! She lives up to all her names. Olli Mae is just a beauty and so peaceful. Our itty Olli or Bitsy is tiny but fierce. She is strong and packs quite a punch! And our Ollipop is sweeter than pie. She completes our little family! She is truly our real live baby Dolli!
I am a 30ish year old wife of an amazing husband. We met in the summer of 2004 and have been inseperable ever since! I am also a mommy of three little lovelies. Our sweet baby Ella was born in October of 2007. Our middle man, Luca, came to join us on our crazy journey in August of 2010. Mighty Milo is our latest lovely joining us in November of 2013! I love to scrapbook, blog, clean, watch movies, and hang with friends and family. Mike loves to read and exercise. Mainly, we love to love on our sweet babes! They are the best thing we have ever done.