Thursday, July 05, 2012


DISCLAIMER: I found this post I wrote several months ago on Knox's birth story, and I decided to post now just so I won't forget!
Since Knox is now 4 months old, I figured maybe it was time to finally update and share his birth story.  Honestly, I have not wanted to sit and write this, just because thinking about it raises so many bad memories.  Yes, my baby boy is perfectly healthy now, and God was very gracious to us, but my heart still feels raw when I remember how things transpired.

Around 34 weeks I started having contractions and cramping that I knew were different from the Braxton Hicks I consistently have with each pregnancy.  The first time it happened was a Saturday night, and they kept me up all night.  A little worried, but no biggie I figured since they did go away.  Then the next week they popped back up a few times.  I wasn't due for my next check-up until the next week, but when they called and reminded me of my appointment, I told them what was going on and the midwife wanted me to come in right away.  They monitored me for a little while, then decided to send me to the hospital for monitoring and fluids.  I spent a few hours there, contractions maintained, and then they decided to send me home.  When I went back the next week (the day before Thanksgiving), I told the midwife things hadn't really changed.  They offered to test me for a urinary infection since that could be causing cramping, but I knew that wasn't causing the cramping.

To shorten this story a bit, here's the gist: We made it through Thanksgiving and Chad's mom had already offered to let the 3 kids stay overnight. (I was almost 37 wks at this point)  Contractions woke me at midnight and they didn't stop.  Went to the hospital, admitted, started walking.  Pain was very manageable, but I was getting TIRED.  Finally around noon, we started discussing pitocin with the midwife, who had to leave around 1:30 to take her sis to the airport (boo!).  Since I had to have a little pit with both the girls I thought a little would do the trick.  After an hour things intensified but still weren't what they needed to be, so they upped the drip.  WHOA.  Very quickly I knew I was getting ready to push, even though no one really believed me.  My midwife wasn't back yet, and the one on call (whom I already didn't like very much), hadn't even come in to talk or check on me.  Finally pushing started and out came baby #4 after about 5 minutes.  Chad was THRILLED to look and say "It's a boy!  And, for those interested, he caught this baby as well.  (5 minutes after I delivered MY midwife got back ... boo again).

This little stinker was my longest labor by far, and definitely gave us quite the scare.  Because he was fairly early (actually considered pre-term because he was born just before 37 wks), his little lungs weren't quite ready and he was in respiratory distress when he was born.  Knox spent 9 days in the NICU, during which he was under an oxygen dome, was on the ventilator for a bit, on a highflow cannula, had a feeding tube, in iv in his head, and eventually under the lights for jaundice.  His little eyes were so swollen shut that we never saw both his eyes until we brought him home (9 days old).  Even though he was so early, he still weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz, so we always had a good laugh at our giant preemie!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Growing Pains

Growing pains are in full force around the Mondragon casa.  Sadly, it is not the children experiencing any growing pains (at least that they're telling me).  It is the mama.  My babies are growing so fast and it literally pains my heart.  Some of it may be stemmed from my own selfish desire to control and protect, but I love these precious little hands that still need cleaning, feet that need shoes, noses that need wiping, plates that need to be filled, cups that need refilling, dresses that need to be buttoned, and even bottoms that need changing -- I think you get my gist.

Juliana, my 4 going on 21 year old, has of late become OBSESSED with getting married and all that follows.  Here is what our conversations look like most days:
Mom, when I get big I am going to marry Jamison.
Will I have a house? (yes, hopefully)  What will I do in my house? (dust, wash clothes, make beds, make dinner, wash dishes, vacuum, mop, ....)
What else will I have to do in my house?
Where will we live? (how about next to mom and dad?) No, I want to live out in Georgia by the beautiful sandy beaches.
And so on and so on .... EVERY single day now.  We also discuss babies and cars.

In addition, she has become quite a helper to me.  She gets in these moods where all she wants to do is help me clean or get ready.  Last night, she changed Addie and Breck's clothes (and his diaper), fixed their taco for dinner, and then made sure they ate their food.  I also overheard her the other morning *reading* the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac to the others (I guess she does listen after all).  After that, she stood in the middle, held their hands, and they each took a turn praying.  She may just work me out of MY job.

I really do love seeing these little souls change and develop, but it certainly keeps me on my knees and reminds me of the frailty of life.  It pains me because I know my time with them is so short.  It pains me because in spite of my best efforts and my set boundaries, their lives are in the hands of the Father.  No one warned me about these growing pains.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Over the Rainbow

Since the girls' birthdays are only 1 month apart, this year we (meaning the pregnant mama) decided to have one combined party for both. They're still young enough to like the same things (Addie basically loves whatever Juliana says) and they still have the same friends, so why not? I must say, this was a genius idea on my part. A lot of chaos for one a few days, but at least I only had to do it once.
We've never gone overboard with themes and such, but I like to have *something* to base everything on. This year Juliana and I decided we wanted a rainbow party. I have seen pictures online (thank you, Pinterest!) and knew I wouldn't be doing anything as extravagant, but I was very happy with the outcome ... and I think the girls loved it too!
My parents were able to fly out to help with the party prep and big event ... could NOT have done it without them!

Present time was a *little* chaotic. Addie was a little slow in opening presents, but EVERY present she opened evoked giggles and squeals. It was PRICELESS.
***On a pregnancy related note: I HATE belly shots, but for those of you out there who care, this is about as good as you'll get (especially this time around). I was 31 weeks in these pictures, and the belly continues to grow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Disclaimer: Well, I think it's fair to say that this measly little blog has been neglected as of late. Blame it on being pregnant, blame on three very busy toddlers, blame it on planting a church ... blah, blah, blah. There's just not enough time for everything, and computer activities are the first to go. AND my computer died recently, which makes it even harder to get online. BUT ... my oldest turns 4 today, so I am using nap time to jot down some thoughts. I also don't have any current pictures since they had to be rescued from the laptop, but here are a few faves from the past years.
I was so sure this day would not come so soon ... having a 4 year old seems surreal. I tear up now thinking *official* school starts next year. But, whether I like it or not, my baby girl is growing up. Even just in the past few months Juliana has started acting more like a little girl and less like a toddler (sniff, sniff). She has become quite a helper to me, and I can't wait to see her become a big sister for the third time. She is intrigued with changing diapers, but loses her courage every time I say I'll let her change Breck's.
This little girl had her first ballet lessons and loved it! Although, sometimes she would just do her own thing instead of what everyone else was doing. She LOVES wearing dresses ... some days we compromise by leggings with a long shirt. I love that she is girly and always wanting to carry a purse of some sort. Juliana is an utter and hopeless chatterbox! The talking simply does not stop. She still loves having people over, and her kindness and sense of hospitality continue to develop. Here are some of our other highlights right now:
  • Still loves eating (that really hasn't changed at all). Will eat almost anything, except cantaloupe, mushrooms, and chunky tomatoes (but this has been consistent since she started eating solids).
  • LOVES to read, for which I am so thankful. Even reading on her own -- she'll just curl up on her own sometimes.
  • Loves playing with her babies/stuffed animals, and is quite the little mother to them.
  • Loves being outside
  • Loves her baby brother!
  • Loves running and giggling with Addie
  • Is doing great with her *preschool* work right now. Nothing too fancy, but she is catching on quickly. She would LOVE to go to school right now and keeps asking if she can not do school at home and can have another teacher.
  • Still loves to sleep. Still naps every day for 1.5-2 hours, and sleeps 11-12 hrs at night. Do NOT wake this child before she is ready.
  • LOVES to sing -- all the time. Will even make up her own songs if necessary.
This beautiful brown-eyed girl brings us such joy and happiness ... I am excited to see all that God has in store for her.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Only Jesus

Father of grace, You've sacrificed
Your only Son for us, the crucified Jesus
Enlarge our hearts to love Your Son
O grant to us the grace to walk with Him always
To make Him our great delight
Bringing worship with our lives
Only Jesus! Only Jesus!
Give us Jesus, we cry
Only Jesus! Only Jesus!
The Pearl of greatest price
Spirit of grace, You've shed Your light
Upon our darkened eyes, unveiling Jesus Christ
Come change our hearts, conform our ways
To honor Jesus' Name, His glory our refrain
Let His love compel our own
As we worship at His throne
Only Jesus! Only Jesus!
Give us Jesus, we cry
Only Jesus! Only Jesus!
The Pearl of greatest price

Jesus, our great Savior,
Lord of heaven, Son of God

(Words and music by Doug Plank, Valley of Vision)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Apparently Juliana is a little list-maker in training. Give her paper and a pen, and she will just sit and make "lists" ... and make up stories to go along with her lists. Today she was sitting on her tricycle making lists, and I heard her say, "Oh, this is great - we have two lists. Dear God, thank you for these great lists. And patience and also safety."

Love her. Can't wait to see how God uses her gifts. And her lists.

Maybe I need to make more lists. After the kids had all been napping for about 45 minutes I remembered I put Addie to bed without a diaper. She is NOT potty-trained for sleep yet. Whoops.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


ince we've been stuck inside the past two days due to insanely cold temps, I decided to take a few videos of the kiddos ... you know, since I'm sure you're dying to know how we spend the day. My girls are very girly girls ... into purses, dress-up, babies, the whole shin-dig. BUT ... they LOVE to wrestle. Addie kills me ... she loves to go up and tackle Juj. Besides, who can resist their giggles? And Breck seems to enjoy it, but I have the feeling soon he will be the one tackling the girls.

In other news, I think Breck is officially a walker. All this week, especially today, the little man prefers to walk across a room instead of crawling. I just don't know that this kid can get any cuter.

Right now our guest bath upstairs is filled with miniature toilets. Yep, I finally have two girls who know how to use those nifty little contraptions I've had for far too long now. Still haven't mastered no. 2, but hey, I'll take whatever I can get at this point. Juliana wears her big girl underwear for naps and night ... no accidents! Little miss Addie - not quite yet. But I love that they are doing this together. Juliana is so motherly - she will insist on taking and helping Addie use the toilet (she even wants to help wipe!).

Speaking of my firstborn, she has a HUGE heart. I catch her putting her arm around Addie all the time, talking to her, and helping her in any way. She tells me all the time, "Addie is my sister and I love her." If anyone is sick, she will freely say, "I hope you feel better" - with no prompting. And since we learned the Bible verse "Blessed are the peacemakers" she has been telling me all day that she and Addie were being peacemakers (if only that were true). Love her.

I made some incredibly tasty protein bars this week. Truly delish and so healthy. But I also made a coffee cake tonight for our ladies' coffee tomorrow. Not quite so healthy, but so yummy. In fact, I think I'll have a piece tonight. It's been that kind of a day, anyway.