Brandon & Kristin

Brandon & Kristin

Saturday, November 29, 2008

All The Way From Kansas

My mom and sis came to visit Silas (and us) a few weeks back. He sure is a loved little guy to have so many people from so far away come to visit him. There was no shortage of loving, holding, admiring, and more loving. We enjoyed having them and they were a big help as we adjust to a more full life.

To Wisconsin and Back

Well, we did it. We survived our first major trip with Silas. We flew to Chicago with a layover in Phoenix and back again. We prayed that Silas would travel well and the Lord answered our prayer. We didn't really even hear a peep out of him the entire way there or the entire way back.

From Chicago he got to head deep into the land of cheese, Wisconsin. He met many of his relatives for the first time and got to stay with Nana and Papa for a week. While there he learned how to roll from his stomach to his back... got to enjoy his first experience with constipation... developed his lungs as he seems to be able to cry louder now... and practiced his smile a lot.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

2 1/2 weeks old

Hello all. Here are some more pictures of our little mister. He's doing well and we're learning new things every day as parents. I haven't written anything here on our blog since the day I delivered Silas. It's been quite the 2 1/2 weeks. I am in love with our son. I am so thankful to God for the gift of his life. I am overwhelmed sometimes in realizing that I get to be his mommy. I've also been completely overwhelmed other times with the "what am I doing?" new mommy feelings. These first days have been intense! There is much to figure out with sleeping, nursing, weight gain, cries and just other regular mommy concerns. I have been enjoying it all and also dealing with sleep deprivation and hormones... ahh, the normal-ness of it all. Thank you so much for praying for us all. I read this again today and thought how it's true for me as well as for Elizabeth (John's mother whom this verse is written of in Luke 1:58): "Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy." Thank you for sharing in our joy in receiving Silas into our family.
The pictures were all taken within the last week or so. My parents, Nana and Papa Wichmann visited us and met Silas. They also helped us greatly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From Silas's Dad

I got to meet my son just over a week ago and I am one proud dad. I love him so very much and have savored these days. There is nothing quite like having your own child sleep peacefully on his dad's chest.

I also wanted to share some of why we chose the name Silas Michael Crouch.
  • First of all, we just like the sound of the name.
  • We chose Michael as a middle name as it was my father's name.
  • Silas is a greek name and means "man of the forest." How cool is that? He is indeed my little man of the forest.
  • Silas is also a biblical name... he was one of three main men who traveled with Paul on his missionary journies. Here are a few verses that give insight into who Silas was.

"Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers." - Acts 15:22

"So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul - men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing." - Acts 15:25-27

"Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers." - Acts 15:32

"but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches." - Acts 15:40-41

Silas also accompanied Paul while in Philippi where they were beaten and thrown into prison for the sake of the gospel. They were sitting in their cell, bloody from their beatings, praying and singing hymns to god. It is an amazing story and by the end of the evening the jailor and his entire family were baptized and believed in Christ. - Acts 16

"With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, i have written to you briefly..." - I Peter 5:12

These are all things that I have and will continue to pray for this little man of the forest that God has given us.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Our Long Awaited Son - Silas

I am still amazed as I look at this video. This was taken probably 20 minutes or so after little Silas was born. As you can see he is a healthy and alert little man.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Here's Silas

He arrived at 2:30pm on October 14th. This was taken just moments after he was born.
Our good looking little man.
Catching some Southern California sun.
It is hard work being born.
Silas weighed in at 5 lbs 10 oz. He is 19" long. As you can see, he kinda got lost in his car seat. We got home today around 3:00pm and it feels great. We are so thankful for all the prayers of our friends and family. God has blessed us with a wonderful little son and we are hoping/praying that he will gain weight quickly and grow.

I will try to post more soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Silas Michael Crouch

Silas made his appearance on Tuesday, October 14th at 2:30p.m. Everything went well; he was born at 5lbs. 10oz. and 19 inches. We are so thankful to God for him and are having fun! It's nice to have a baby to hold. We thought we'd be home from the hospital to put pictures up, but we're staying an extra night or two until he gets his feeding down (and he gets fattened up). We'll post pictures as soon as we can! Thank you for all your prayers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

39 weeks and induction

This will be our last pre-baby post... my doctor scheduled me to be induced tomorrow, Tuesday, @ 4am. I'm still hoping that maybe I'll naturally go into labor on my own today but it's more likely that I'll be induced in the morning. The reason that my doctor wants to induce me is that our little guy is measuring a bit on the small side and they think it would be better to get our baby out sooner rather than later. Everything else appears normal and right. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for us today and tomorrow. I feel kind of "beyond" emotions - that I am trying to get through these days and simply don't have much extra capacity to feel everything or process much more than I already have. Please pray for our little guy's safe arrival - that he would be healthy and big enough. Pray for the induction - that it would all go smoothly and without complications. Thanks!

Monday, September 29, 2008

almost 37 weeks...

Here's a few more pictures. We painted these stripes in one of the corners of the baby room. They match the curtains and we like them although the project took a ridiculous amount of masking tape! I think our little guy will like gazing at them, too. And the picture of me is this past Friday - almost 37 weeks. I feel really good and am counting down the days. Tomorrow would be fine as long as our little boy is big enough! Yesterday, a few friends threw me a baby shower and I was overwhelmed with love and little tiny clothes. I also received a few fun childrens' books and some cute toys. I am thankful for my friends. Lastly, the little yellow-flowering tree was given to us on Addie's birthday this year. We planted it outside our bedroom and the nursery windows. It is so happy in the Riverside heat (yes, it's still hot here). It has been blooming ever since Brandon planted it. It's so pretty. We'll keep you posted in the upcoming and remainder weeks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

34 weeks

Here is a picture we took today in our back yard (by our lemon tree). I continue to feel really good throughout this pregnancy. And finally, I can say and think that we're in the home stretch. I've been doing all the typical getting-ready-for-baby things: washing tiny little clothes, painting the nursery, looking at cribs, as well as trying to finish other projects that I know I won't get to after little mister arrives. But in the last few weeks, I've also felt the charged intensity of pregnancy #2 in the reality of the loss of Adella. I have felt sad, upset, overwhelmed, scared, jealous, paranoid, fatalistic, worn down and just plain emotional. I experienced something traumatic and terrifying when I went through labor and delivered a little girl that didn't have the oxygen she needed. It was a real and difficult experience. But I've realized, too, that many people make drastic and significantly terrible decisions based on difficult experiences. Marriages dissolve, sons/daughters break off relationships with their parents, people end their lives or take others' lives. I can either let my experience rule me and my way of thinking about the future. OR, I can allow the God of all who is kind, true, near and strong lead me and my way of thinking about the future. There is no doubt that Addie has changed me forever. And she definitely influences the way I look at this upcoming labor and birth. But God needs to dictate the reality of my world, not my former experience. I'm not sure that this will all make sense to you. It might sound strange or confusing. Feel free to comment or email me if you like. And also, pray for me, in these final weeks of pregnancy. Pray that I would trust Him, hope IN Him and love Him as I process, grieve, and deal with the range of thoughts and emotions that face me. By the way, the last couple days have again felt lighter and freer. I don't know why except that I believe God graciously gives relief and lightens burdens. Thank you for praying for us and our little guy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

30 Weeks and Our Garden

I've started this blog entry a few times in my mind but haven't sat down to write anything until now. I've thought of a few themes to write some creative summary blurb of my current thoughts but nothing has stuck. So here's a glimpse into my fragmented head.

I'm married to a gardener. Brandon didn't really know this about himself until we owned our home in AZ and planted our first garden. Since then, his love for growing various vegetables, raising fruit trees and creating landscapes has grown. I've learned a few things about myself as well since then. Like Brandon, I enjoy planting seeds and plants and watching them grow. But unlike Brandon, I don't enjoy maintaining and helping, fertilizing and de-pesting plants. I just want them to grow! I forget to water things, thinking that they can probably wait another day or two (which doesn't work very well). And I'm also very skeptical about plants; I'm pessimistic. When I plant seeds in the soil, I often think: "There's not much of a chance for this. How can it grow?" (A side note: Brandon doesn't appreciate this type of "encouraging" conversation while we're gardening together). But guess what? God grows small seeds planted in ground whether or not I believe in it. I've learned a lot the past few years and especially have considered in the last year that life and beauty and goodness is demonstrated in what's grown.

God has helped me this past year to see my life reflected in what He has made in creation. I have seen symmetry, seasons, new life and death, beauty, fruit that fills, nourishes and is delicious, the blessing of labor and enjoyment in "working the land." God has taught me much about faith and waiting through our garden. As you know, seeds need water, nutrients in soil and sunlight. With care from an attentive gardener, plants grow to display beauty in flowers and fruit to feed. I see the patience necessary for the harvest and the joy (and the heartache) of the farmer. And all these images/ideas are also spoken of by Jesus in the Bible. The Word of God uses many analogies and pictures and stories of farmers and seeds and trees because we can see and learn from them.

I have needed to look and see God in creation because I needed to see the stability and consistency and wonder of God. He is somewhat of a mysterious God but He is also God Revealed. He doesn't change or change His mind. He is consistent and generous, beautiful and creative. He allows/brings pain and trials but He also restores and renews.

I continue to have many mixed emotions as I continue to miss Addie and anticipate our son's arrival. Many times, I'm simply tired of talking and thinking and waiting for a child to hold and raise. But God has taught me much this past year through Brandon, our backyard and garden, and in observing God's huge creation.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

26 weeks!

Last weekend was our 5th wedding anniversary! We drove to CO for a friend's wedding and along the way and back, we camped at 2 national parks. We had a great time. So this is my official 26 week photo... I'm still feeling really well throughout this pregnancy and am thankful for that. My body doesn't seem to mind being pregnant too much! It's fun to feel our little boy move and kick and turn each day. He's big enough now that I can sometimes tell what body part is where. Thanks to you all for your continued prayers and love. I still feel like I have so much to process and live as loss has become part of my "normal." We are excited to enter the 3rd trimester and get closer and closer to the day we welcome this little guy.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

4th of July party

So I'm not very savvy on this blog thing... I don't know how to get the pictures next to one another... oh well. We had our first 4th of July party and around 40 people came. It was a lot of fun. Last year, the 4th of July was a sad day and I wasn't too eager to re-live it. Brandon's family always had/have a big bash and since we couldn't be in Kansas this year for the 4th, we decided to have our own. The first picture is of our back patio, ready for the crowd. There's also a picture of me and my good friend, Heather, who is pregnant with her 4th and is due just about the same exact time as me (and we're both having boys). The cake was Addie's birthday cake. My good friend, Amy, came over to our house on the 3rd to make it with me. I wanted to make Addie a birthday cake but wasn't sure I wanted to do it alone. Amy and I share a love of good recipes, yummy food and we've both suffered the loss of a baby. So she made what could have been a difficult night a really good time for the 2 of us. (Thanks, Amy). And the cake was DELICIOUS. We served it with homemade ice cream and it was just nice to have something honoring Addie at our party. Lastly, there's a picture of my best friend and the best husband (who looks like he's having a good time at the party).

Thanks to those of you who prayed us through the week with Addie's birthday and anniversary of her death. It was an intense time and I'm glad we've made it through it. We will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary this weekend. We'll update more soon with a pregnancy picture.