Micah

Today’s post is all about our Micah Edward. Micah also had a very busy summer. Probably the biggest thing about this summer was him becoming a big brother! He was very excited all summer about Elijah’s arrival. He talked to my belly a lot and gave it lots of kisses. He loved to snuggle with me in the mornings when he woke up or in the afternoon when he was getting sleepy and feel Eli kicking him from the inside! He thought that was the funniest thing EVER!!!

On July 9th Micah turned 3. I remember when he was born we had the option of inducing labor on the 9th or the 10th (due to interuterine growth restriction or IUGR, you can read about our journey here and here.) Steven’s birthday is the 10th and he was convinced that a child would never want to share a birthday with their dad so we went with the 9th. This year we had a small celebration with just the family. We had dinner and cake and ice cream. The neatest thing about this year was to watch the look on Micah’s face as we all sang “Happy Birthday” to him and his daddy. He was so excited, and I think that Steven realized he was very wrong! This boy loves that he shares a birthday with his daddy!!!

I love the look on his face as he’s looking at his daddy!
That smile on his face is just pure joy!!
Opening presents.
Lots of bubbles from his Nana! He LOVES bubbles!!
He was very excited about this one!
 Micah also discovered this summer that he loves to go hiking! We went on several camping trips this summer and every time he asked, “Are we going hiking?” He didn’t want to camp..he wanted to hike! And hike he did! I can only think of once in the 4 hikes we took this summer that he needed to be held. He walked along and carried his water bottle or a walking stick and was happy as a lark! This one loves to be out in nature. I don’t think there was a thing about camping that he didn’t like! 
Snuggling by the campfire with Daddy.
Let’s go on a hike!
Cheese! (Photo taken by big sister Brianna!)
Micah and his buddy Bri!
 Micah also learned that he liked to go swimming! Up until this camping trip he hated to get in the water. He would scream if you put him in a pool, even if you were holding him. I think he was afraid of how small he felt in a big pool. But at this beach he learned that being in the water is fun! He ventured out as far as he could and ran and splashed. He LOVED it! And after that he was much more willing to get in the water, even in a swimming pool, although he very rarely ventured very far from the ladder or stairs. 
Of course, my favorite part of this summer was Micah finally meeting Eli and becoming a big brother! My boy has always been small. He started small and has stayed that way for the past 3 years. But the minute he walked into that hospital room for the first time after Elijah was born, the only thing I could think was “When did he get so big?” and “Was his head always that big!?!” lol- for some reason his head just seemed huge to me!! lol Seeing Micah with Eli for the first time was so sweet. It absolutely melted my heart! 
Daddy introducing Elijah to Micah.
Holding his baby brother for the first time.
I like him! 🙂
I LOVE this picture!!
  Of course, he was also very curious about all the things that mommy was attached to. After a while he finally felt comfortable enough to come climb up on the bed and visit with me for a while!

We are so blessed to have this sweet boy in our family. He is very active and 100% boy, but he also will climb up on your lap for a good snuggle. He gives great hugs and kisses. He makes me laugh every day. I am loving watching him grow into a little boy from a baby. It’s going to be really fun to see what he does next!
 ***So this finishes my “catching up” series! Now to keep you up to date on what’s going on now! I am also hoping to join in on the 31 Days of Challenge over at Nesting Place. Watch for more information about that and check out Nesting Place. Her blog is absolutely beautiful and inspiring!***

Jonah

Welcome back week continues! Today it’s all about Jonah!
Jonah had a big summer also! He learned how to swim. For him it means he got brave enough to go in the shallow end without floaties. But by the end of the summer he started to venture into the deep end without floaties as well! It kind of gives a momma a heart attack to see your kids venture off into the deep, dark abyss of a swimming pool alone, but he did awesome! He still loves to jump in with floaties on though. 
Jumping in with cousin Morgan.
She’s so much fun! lol
 He also learned that he loves camping and hiking! We took 2 camping trips this summer. One to Big Bone Lick State Park and the other to Shawnee State Park in Ohio. Shawnee was a fantastic park. They had outdoor movies each night (complete with popcorn!), two swimming beaches, lots of hiking trails and a great play ground (multiple ones actually!) Jonah learned that he really loved camping and hiking. We hoped to do more trips but as the weather got hotter and hotter and I got more pregnant it just wasn’t smart. But we’re going to make up for it next summer…we are planning our very own Griswald’s  family vacation of sorts, out west to Yellowstone! He’ll get to do plenty of camping and hiking out there. And even get to see a real dino dig when we make a stop at Badlands National Park on the way out! But more on that trip another time! Right now we’re talking about Jonah!
Jonah and his Nina snuggle by the campfire.
Leading the pack on a hike.
Two of momma’s fish!
 Jonah was very excited when he found out that he was going to get another little brother! He is a wonderful big brother to Micah and Elijah. He loves to hold Eli and burp him. And he laughs the hardest whenever Eli spits up on someone 🙂 I love to see this sweet boy coming in to his own. He is so compassionate and is finding his place in the family and on his own. 
Meeting Elijah
Gosh he looks so big!!
Copying Eli’s pouty face!
Snuggle time with my boy!
Yes, he’s very goofy! 😉
I adore this picture!!! He is so grown up!
11 days after Eli’s arrival Jonah started Kindergarten! He was so excited to being going back to school. He attended preschool last year at the same school and he was excited about going back and maybe seeing his old teachers now and then. He was also excited to ride the bus again! He is in the afternoon Kindergarten program so he leaves every day around 11:40 and then comes home on the bus with Brianna around 4:20. He is doing wonderful in school so far! His teacher is absolutely adorable! She seems very equiped to be able to work with Jonah on his fine motor skills development delay and also has the patience to deal with what we believe is some pretty serious ADHD. We haven’t had him officially diagnosed but he has all of the signs of a child with ADHD. I just don’t want him to get “labeled” in school yet. His teacher is watching him and helping us to work on impulse control (a HUGE issue for him!) and focusing and following through on tasks. He is very easily distracted and has to be reminded multiple times to get back on task. Luckily his teacher has a very active classroom environment (they don’t just sit at a table all day!!) and this helps him to be able to participate more and get into trouble less. So far this year he’s only had to change his color from green to yellow once. I’d say that’s pretty decent with a month under our belts!!
This is what we get when we try to get him to smile! lol
My boys!
Waiting for the bus- it was about 15 minutes late that morning so he felt like he was waiting FOREVER!!
Getting on the bus. Since he rode it last year he felt like an old pro! 
Like I mentioned in Brianna’s post he was also able to be a part of his Aunt Samantha’s wedding earlier this month. He was the ring bearer and did a fantastic job! He loved putting on a tuxedo (or as he called it a tuxadeo! Ha!) He kept saying “Don’t I look spiffy!?” Cracks. Me. Up! He did look spiffy indeed! I can’t wait to see the professional photos but for now I have some that one of my MILs co-workers took to hold me off!
Looking “spiffy” in his tuxadeo!
When it was time for the reception he was more than ready to cut loose! 
Doing his ring bearer duty next to the best man, Eric’s brother Mark.
With his Aunt Mantha’s new in-laws. They think he’s so funny!! OK-he really is! 😉
So, that’s some of what Jonah has done over the last few months. I so love having this sweet, tender hearted boy in our family! I can’t wait to watch how he’s going to grow over this year.
 ***This post was started yesterday but as is life with a newborn didn’t get finished! So I will be posting about Micah tomorrow and then we’re all caught up! Stay tuned!!***

Brianna

Brianna grew up so much this summer! She began swimming, in the deep end, without floatation devices. She jumps off the side like it’s nobodies business! She got fearless! (What am I talking about?!? She was always fearless..lol!) 
We had season passes to the Zoo and Kings Island this year. This year she was introduced to roller coasters. Her Uncle Denny would be proud…she LOVES them! The first time she rode what was called The Beastie when we were kids, (an old wooden roller coaster for children that is modeled after the world famous Beast roller coaster also at Kings Island) she wanted to be in the very front seat. And she kept her hands up the whole time! Of course, I was big, fat and pregnant so I wasn’t even allowed to look at a roller coaster (hehe) but I did get to see a picture that we spent $10 on to commemorate the event. It’s a pretty huge event! Isn’t the smile on her face great! Fearless I tell ya! Fearless! (Ignore the goofy tweens in the background! lol!)
Steven says I get to take her on the Vortex for the first time since he got to do so many firsts with her this summer. Even though it is my absolute favorite roller coaster I don’t know if I’m quite ready to take my 7 year old on it! Even if she is tall enough to ride it! Even if she is begging to go! Fearless I tell ya!! Letting go people! It’s hard work!!
You may remember reading about Brianna’s reaction when we had the ultrasound and found out our Julia was really an Elijah. I didn’t think we’d ever be able to convince her that being the only girl is a very good thing. I should know…I’m the only girl in my family too! And the oldest! So I totally know where she is, or will be in the future. But after a while she did warm up to the idea. I mean come on…never having to share a room, not having someone who will steal your clothes or your shoes (or your boyfriends! lol) And since mommy and daddy are only responsible for one wedding that is going to be quite the party!!! 🙂  And once Eli arrived, well, let’s just say she warmed up really quickly!!
Meeting Eli for the first time.
I love this picture!!
She is such a good big sister!
Sharing Eli (reluctantly) with her GaGa Kim (Steven’s mom).
Bri is quite the mother hen! Every time Eli makes a peep she thinks she needs to be on top of him! She loves to hold him, until he tries to eat her arm or face or pulls her hair. Then she’s pretty quick to hand him over to mom! She tries to walk around the house with him a little too much (I even caught her trying to take him up the stairs the other day! She got reprimanded very quickly for that one!) but she is really good with him. Being the first of 4 she has had lots of practice by now. And I think the feelings of wanting a Julia are gone! She tells me that he is the sweetest baby brother ever! I have to agree!
A few weeks after Eli was born (11 days after to be exact!) Brianna started the 2nd grade. I cannot believe that my baby girl, my first born is in the 2nd grade! (I can’t believe I’m old enough to have a 2nd grader, but that’s a conversation for a different day!) This will be a big year for her. In May she will receive her First Communion. She is very excited! She has wanted this for quite a while now and we are so excited that are kids are starting to get the age where they will be joining us at the Lord’s Table. It’s a very cool thing! 
Where did the time go?!?! Who told her she could grow up!?!
Brianna and her buddy Micah. And yes, he’s outside in his underwear!
Our beautiful blessings! 
  So far Brianna is loving the 2nd grade! Her teacher is wonderful and we are really enjoying the school they are going to. More confirmation to us that we made the right choice to send them to public school over private and save ourselves some (OK a lot!) of money!!
And finally, on September 7th Steven’s sister Samantha got married! Her and her new husband Eric have been together for quite a few years now (and they were friends before that) and they FINALLY tied the knot! We were so happy for them and were honored when we were asked to take part in their special day. Steven was a groomsman, I was a bridesmaid (and also sang in the wedding with Steven and Samantha’s cousin Kristi), and Brianna and Jonah were the flower girl and ring bearer. They looked absolutely adorable and did a really good job! We were a little nervous about Jonah after the rehearsal, but hey! That’s what rehearsals are for right?!?! They had a blast! Brianna looked absolutely beautiful in her off white dress that mimicked the style of her Aunt’s gorgeous dress. We’re hoping this dress will still fit in May and she can wear it again for her First Communion. (Did I mention I found this dress on Ebay for $30 with FREE shipping!!! They wanted $120 for it at David’s Bridal! Ebay people…it’s a wonderful thing!!!)
Waiting to enter the ceremony.
It’s party time!!! I LOVE this picture!!
Brianna with her cousin Jamie and her boyfriend Jared.
Bri and Jonah with their Nina.
The gorgeous bride! Don’t you think she should have looked a little happier!?! lol
Mr and Mrs. Eric Hunter!
It was a beautiful wedding and we were so honored to be such a large part of it! The happy couple are off in Jamaica right now on their honeymoon. Looking at the cloudy skies outside my window today I wish I was too! 🙂
So that’s an update on our Brianna Michelle! Tomorrow, what Jonah’s been up to! See ya then!

Welcome Back!

My poor, poor neglected blog! I have started and not finished so many posts over the past few months! Bloggers new layout absolutely frustrated me and so many of them did not get posted! I’ll try to do a recap over the next few days. If I have any followers left I’d be shocked! But if you’re still out there thanks for sticking with me! The biggest announcement we have to make is…

HE’S HERE!!!!
Elijah Joseph Zike Fischer joined our family 1 month premature on August 4, 2012 at 2:29 in the afternoon. He was 6 lbs 2 oz and was 19.5 inches long. Not bad for a premie, huh!?! If he’d stuck around to bake another 30 days he’d have been a whopper!!! A lot people ask about his name. Well, we thought we’d keep the prophet theme going by using Elijah. I mean, we already have a Jonah and a Micah, why not add another!?! Steven wanted him to have a saints name for a middle name, but then we also wanted to use my mom’s maiden name so this little bitty guy has two middle names, Joseph (St. Joseph is also the patron Saint of our Parish.) and Zike (my mom’s maiden name). My mom tells everyone his name is bigger than he is! It is, but I love it! It’s unique and has a lot of meaning!
My water broke at 4:30 in the morning. I woke up thinking I’d peed the bed! lol! Weirdest. Feeling. Ever!! With my other labors and deliveries I’d always had an epidural by the time my water broke or my doctors broke it. Never had it broken on it’s own before contractions had even started. We went to the hospital where they confirmed my water had indeed broken. They got us a room, started fluids, gave me antibiotics since he was coming early (just in case) After a few hours they started Pitocin to get things really kicking!! (My contractions had stalled at 2-3 minutes apart.) An hour later I was begging for an epidural,which in the end was pointless because by the time it got time to push the epi had worn off and there wasn’t time to redose it. So I tell everyone I had an epidural labor and a natural delivery. I felt EVERYTHING!!! But in the end it was a blessing in disguise.

Somewhere in the course of labor and delivery Eli got his cord wrapped around his neck. We don’t know how long it was there. But since my epi had worn off my pushing was much more effective. 3 pushes and he was there, purple and silent. My heart froze when he didn’t come out kicking and screaming. His pulse was very faint and he wasn’t breathing. They called for backup, especially neonatal nurses and/or doctors. Within seconds we had 7 nurses in our room, suctioning, giving him compressions, trying to get him to cry. If I had known then how close we got to loosing him I don’t know that I could have stayed as calm as I did.

Steven said he was so torn over whether he should be next to me or over by him. He stayed by Eli’s side the whole time. It was hard watching the concern on his face since he was closer to the action than I was.At 3 minutes Eli’s Apgar was a 1. Finally he let out a small, very weak cry. I felt my heart skip a beat and I started crying as I realized he was fighting his way back. He kept improving from there. His 5 minute Apgar was an 8.

My nurse the next day (who was awesome and who’s daughter ended up being in Brianna’s 2ND GRADE class this year…how ironic is that?!?!) told us later that Eli’s delivery was what they call a code Brown, because it makes everyone in the room crap themselves!

It felt like forever before anyone got to hold him. He had to be suctioned quite a few times throughout the day to remove gunk from his lungs. His respiration was all over the place. He seemed quite good at holding his breath! He was probably almost an hour old before they felt comfortable enough to wrap him up and bring him to me. I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh when they handed him to me. It felt like I was holding a miracle. A miracle who looked just like Micah! Everyone kept saying it, but when I actually had him in my arms and got to investigate his nose and lips and eyes and ears and his fuzzy head all I could say was “He looks just like Micah!” Some fun facts for you…Micah was 6 pounds 2 ounces, he was 20.5 inches long and was born at 2:19 in the afternoon! They really wanted to be twins..they just separated it out three years so they wouldn’t kill me! lol!

His first feeding he completely spit back up because of all the gunk he had. He stayed in our room the first night but by day 2 he was transferred to the NICU for about 15 hours. He was having trouble with his breathing. It was very rapid and irregular. He also wasn’t eating very well and still hadn’t passed any of his merconium. I had to pump and make the long trek down the hall to the NICU every 3 hours. We had to use an S&S tube taped to my breast to teach him how to eat. It was tedious, and I was exhausted but after a while he got the hang of it. Finally he passed his merconium (I never thought I’d rejoice so much over a poop!! lol) and from that moment on it seemed like he made a huge rally!

So far he is doing fantastically! In the past 6 weeks he has gained around 2 pounds. He is eating like a champ. He poops like a pro (hehe). And his breathing is perfect (although he still holds it a little longer than I’d like!)! He is such a sweet, mild mannered baby. He loves to snuggle, which makes it hard to get things done sometimes. But when I start to get frustrated about the dishes piling up in the sink, or the laundry overflowing out of the baskets, I remember how close we got to loosing him. Then I snuggle him a little closer, breathe in his sweet baby smell, and send up a pray of thanksgiving to God for his sweet mercies!

 

We are so grateful to have Eli here in our family. It feels so complete with him here. Everyone always says when you’re done you’ll know. Well, I don’t know about Steven but I feel like our family is right where we are supposed to be…4 beautiful blessings here in our arms, and one special angel watching and waiting on us in Heaven. God is so good!
So, now you’ve met our little Elijah Joseph Zike! Isn’t he absolutely adorable!??! We’re pretty in love! My next goal is to update you on the other kids who, bytheway, have adjusted beautifully to Eli’s arrival into our family. They have had a very busy last few months themselves and I want to share what they’ve been up to! So stay tuned!