Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Shred

Last night Jack slept from 11 until 5:30 am! I won't tell you that he slept next to me.

Now I said that as soon as he gave me a good night of sleep that I would start my new workout DVD- The Shred which has 20 minute workouts on it. I can handle 20 minutes. It only took me 35 minutes to complete it with potty breaks, pat my back breaks, put my pacifier back in breaks etc.

I ran and took a quick shower and placed Jack on the floor right outside my open bathroom door so that I could see him. I put on Blues Clues for the younger 4 (Grace was out on a special date with her Daddy) By the time I came back, I found three munchkins eating Doritos at the table. They are very resourceful. I cannot imagine what they will think of in the next couple of years.

The older 5 had a babysitter last night while Carl and I heard a speaker on engaging the next generation and passing the baton onto them. (Jack has the priviledge of always going where I go)
Poor girl, they conviced her that they all could play games at the same time. So they pulled out so many games including a bin of dry beans that I use for tactile play. The beans did not stay in the box and they had the the hardest time getting them all in the box and staying in the box. The triplets were a tad bit michievous last night. They knew she didn't know all the rules and they worked her over! I am just thankful that she said she was willing to come back. I guess if you pay well, then they are willing to put up with chaos for a couple of hours.

Poor Jack has been extremely gassy for the past 3-4 days. He is only happy laying in my arms. I wish there was a magical cure to make him burp and fart because he would be calmer and more comfortable. When I lay him down, within minutes he is pulling his legs in and grunting and then he starts crying. I have started cutting out milk out of my diet to see if it helps him. (But this is very hard for me. I LOVE a cold glass of milk with my meal.) I am praying that God will bring back the easy side of him real soon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On my own...

My mom went home last night. After 3 weeks, I think my Dad and brother were missing her.
I am so thankful for my mom. I could have never survived without her. She is one amazing Nana.
She took Jack in the middle of the night so I could sleep and would just bring him back when he wanted to nurse.
She baked us loaves and loaves of homemade bread.
She was another pair of eyes...the triplets did not get away with much.
She folded load after load of laundry.
Ran my errands for me.
Helped me to leave the house.
Kissed many boo boos.
and read many stories and had lots of snuggle time with each of the kids.
So - thank you Mom! I don't know if I will ever be as great of a Nana!
Next time you come better bring Papa!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One last night...

as a two year old.

Tomorrow she will be three.

Tonight was the last night we tucked in a sweet two year old.

My the time has gone by fast.

We spent supper talking about her birth story. She wanted to hear it over and over. She especially like the part when we told her how she pouted for 20 minutes after she was born.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I had a friend ask for a recommendation for an adoption agency. They already have 6 children and are finding it difficult to find an agency that will take them.

Do any of you have any good recommendations? (Domestic or international)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Off the Charts

At his two week check today...10 lbs 3 oz. 23 inches long - that is a big boy! No wonder why some of his clothes don't fit.

I think he is so cute!

Home with the Boys

Today I sent the girls off with Nana to go to a play. I did not win mother of the year award because I sent them to the wrong place for the performance and now they will be 20 minutes late. I feel terrible. I wanted it to be so special for Adie because this is her first "Real" play. (If you give a mouse a cookie ) I hope they will be able to sneak in and at least see some of the performance.

That leaves me with my men. Three of them to be exact. Carl is gone and so what a different environment to just have little boys. Right now their favorite toy is Carl's chair in his office. Did you know that you can make it a merry go round? And the speed you can get on it is pretty amazing.

I think we are going to go play my favorite toy...Magna Tiles. You should check it out. It is worth every penny to get two sets! I am a very frugal mother and I don't why I waited so long to purchase these.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I am feeling a little bit in a funk with my cooking...
same thing week after week...

So - if you have a family favorite main dish meal, could YOU email me the recipe?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The one constant in our family is...


It happens quite frequently at our house. Nothing stays the same for very long. Whether we move, add children, different jobs, etc.

Most of you know by now but my husbands' sister and her family are moving to another city in April. We are all very sad at our house that this season was so very short. We would have loved to be next door neighbors for the next 30 years, but that is not what God had planned. We have enjoyed our almost daily play-dates, shared suppers, and basically shared lives. It has been such a blessing to have my sister-in-law be my neighbor and best friend. My children love their cousins so much and have such a great bond with them.

I am actually surprised at the reactions that I get when I say that we live next door to family. Most people crinkle up their nose and bring their eyebrows down and almost whisper, "Do you like that?" It saddens my heart when I hear those words because you know that they don't have a great relationship with their own families. God designed the family. It was the first thing that he did for Adam...he made a family by creating Eve. Why do we work so hard to go against God? I am not saying that everyone needs to live next door to their family, but most don't even consider it or pray about it.

What if more people started to live next to family? or what if people started to create family relationships with their neighbors? I know when we lived in SF, we tried very hard to create those relationships. I could call many neighbors to borrow things, babysit my kids, ask for help or just hang out for the afternoon. We actually had a neighbor come and sleep at our house when we went to the hospital to have Adie. One neighbor was our realtor when we tried to sell our home. We still stay in contact with quite a few of them.

Our hearts are sad, but we know that it is for the best that they move. It will only be 2 hours 20 minutes door to door. We will have to have lots of sleepovers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

10 days of catching up...

I haven't been blogging much lately but I am sure you can understand why. Here are some pictures from the past 10 days.

The girls made me a welcome home dinner on Thursday night. They planned the whole meal and made decorations for all around the house. They dressed in their favorite clothes and worked so hard to make it perfect for me. The 'Best wish' for the evening was that Jack would come home soon.

Two cans of frosting get this beautiful cake...

Uncle Chris came to visit us last weekend. It was great to have extra hands especially when they went to the basketball game.

Adie loves being the big sister.
Grandma L with baby Jack
Lydia was able to stay up and have some special time with Jack. She was in heaven. Of all the kids, Jack looks the most like her baby pictures.
Jack is seriously the best baby! I am so blessed. He is calm, easy going, and relaxed. He cries when he is hungry or wet and if he is awake he lays and listens to the chaos going on around him. I am smitten over him. It is completely different than with my three girls. I can't put it into words but it is just different.

Lydia is always telling Carl that he needs to come and take a picture. Today he stopped working for 3 minutes and took that picture - and it is priceless.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gracie quote

"Mom, it is a good thing you have a built in sippy (cup) for Jack."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The milk truck has arrived.

This post just might be too much information for some you. If you that is you...quit reading right now and let it be known that you were warned.

Yesterday my milk arrived in its full glory. I mean I thought my belly could stretch, but holy cows (no pun intended) this is a whole new ball game. I told Carl I think my cup size went from an A at the beginning of this pregnancy to an LMNOP or somewhere close to that.

I have always had ample supply of milk enough to feed more than one baby, but today I think I could start filling gallon buckets. I pumped off 12 oz just relieve the pressure and then I nursed my baby until he was milk drunk. I thought it would have been funny to pump off 16 oz just to say that I lost one pound sitting in my rocking chair. Not many people can say that in days worth of work. There you have it - me being completely honest about my day.

Want to know another funny random side note since I am on the topic of breast milk. If you read the fine print in recipe contests, they say you can't use breast milk in your recipes. You can't go to the grocery store and get that. I wonder if you could, what would the price be per gallon?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Welcome Home Jack

No strings attached!

We are HOME!!!

It felt so good to bring my little boy home today. He did marvelous last night with his stats...the only thing is that he was wide awake and kind of fussy from 10 - 4:30 am which means I am one tired/happy momma.

He was greeted by 4 happy children all ready to hold him. Silas wasn't too pleased to see him. He has pretty much ignored Jack since we got home, but that's okay. Everything takes time and now we have a lot of time!

We live on the same street as the Athletic Director for the college here in town and he asked my sister-in-law if she wanted to take her family to a game and to invite Carl too and just to get back to him the number of tickets needed. I think he was a little shocked that we came up with 10 kids and 5 adults with just two families. We have the grandparents going to help wrangle all those kids. It should be a fun outing for them and I am going to enjoy a little peace and quiet with my baby boy while they are away. No alarms going off, no dings, no suction noises, the only thing I will hear is his sweet breathing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Great Progress

Angel and I returned to the hospital about 3:30 this afternoon to some encouraging news.

While we were away, the medical team decided to see what would happen if they took Jack off of his oxygen. He hadn't improved much in the last 24 hours, so they wanted to see if it was even making a difference. Much to our surprise, his levels didn't dip at all. So when we got there he was sleeping soundly in a little bed in the corner and didn't have his nasal cannula on anymore. He looked great with a few less tubes attached to him.

The nurse explained what had happened while we were away and said if things continued to maintain their current levels he could sleep outside of the NICU with mom (with his monitors still attached for observation) as a test run. Assuming that goes well, he might even be coming home as early as tomorrow. Wow! God is gracious.

We were also joined this afternoon by some dear friends, the Moleskys, as well as my parents (who flew in from Wyoming) to keep us company in the NICU. It was a good afternoon.

We'll keep you posted as things develop.


I should be napping...

Carl has taken to the whole blogging thing. He actually told me he was having fun writing for me. I did have to tell him that our styles are a tad bit different. He is so straight forward to the point...not much drama.

I on the other hand have written a million posts in my head sitting in the NICU. I don't know how many will actually get written down but I hope they do. I have had some great times in prayer with God - praising him, seeking him more, wrestling with him and just being completely honest, bare and raw.

I am doing well. (As well as you can when your baby is not with you.) God is good. He is working for our good and he is in control. Yesterday was hard. No one ever expects to have to leave the hospital without your baby. My three minute drive home was tough, but I was glad to go back and see him just after a couple of hours. It could have been much worse. The nurse told me last night that she expected Jack to be transferred to the cities and not be doing this well with what they were initially talking with the issues he could have had.

We are playing the waiting game with Jack. I haven't talked with the doctor yet today, hopefully I will see him this afternoon. But his Doc is great!! neonatologist/cardiologist super smart guy, so say some prayers for him and that he would do what is best for my littlest man.

You can also pray for my other 5 small children who are at home with my mom. (Pray for her too!) Trying to juggle both completely different worlds in surreal for me. Sometimes I need to take a step back and remind myself that this is my life and I am not watching or reading another person's life.

My eyes are heavy and I am going to go and take that quick nap and shower and head back to see my baby boy. Thank you for all the prayers - please keep them coming!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Feed, Wait, Repeat

Angel is going to stay overnight at the hospital with Jack to keep an eye on him and to be there when he needs to nurse. It's a great blessing, even though we don't live that far away, that they have a bed she can use right outside of the NICU so we don't have to do midnight shuttles. They're working on slowly turning down his oxygen levels and getting him back to room air.

He got his IV line out this afternoon and we're experimenting with a heated nasal cannula to see if it will reduce his effort required to breathe.

Back and Forth

Angel was discharged this afternoon. Jack is still in the NICU for observations until his saturation levels improve. They're both extraordinarily beautiful... so are the other 5 at home.

Now back to the hospital to nurse him.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Jack will be in the NICU for the next couple of days for observation. Mamma is doing great. He won't be able to come home until his O2 saturation levels go up - probably Friday or Saturday.

Even so, he's doing really well and even hit a saturation level of 100% for a brief moment this afternoon.

More photos to come.

NICU Update

Update: We're still in the NICU but Jack is under oxygen and doing well. All anatomical and blood abnormalities have been ruled out - so we're very relieved to know that. They say he just needs time for his lungs to open up. I haven't heard an official diagnosis, but it looks like most of the real scary options have been eliminated.

We know these things for certain: Whatever happens, God's grace is enough AND He got cuter overnight.



I woke up to a call from Angel this morning saying they took Jack to the NICU for closer observations. He was beginning to turn blue. He does great under supplemental oxygen and tell us that we shouldn't be too worried... I'm heading to the hospital now to be with them.

Please pray. I'll update the blog when we get the opportunity.


Jack Astrup Larsen

Born 1/5/2010
8lbs, 13oz.
From God
For God.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Letter 2009

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever." 2 Peter 3:18

2009 was another wild year in the Larsen house. Our business grew, our family grew, and our Joy in the faithfulness of God was deepened through the beauty and difficulty of completing our international adoption.

Carl has been busy with Telescope Media Group. God has blessed him this year with many opportunities to work with great ministries such as Desiring God, Pulse, Lifelight and Redemer Church. He also worked with his brother-in-law to make trails in our backyard for cross country skiing, biking, and various childhood adventures.

Angel is a fantastic wife, mother, and business partner, who is eagerly awaiting the arrival of baby Jack. Chasing the non-biological triplets keeps her on her toes at all times. As she prepares to be a 30-year-old mother of six under six, the goal of home schooling this year is survival.

Grace is the music lover. She enjoys CD’s and going to concerts when dad is working on the video crew. She recently started borrowing her mom's ipod to help her fall asleep at night. How she can listen to "rocky" (in her terms) music and fall asleep is a mystery to all of us. She also loves dancing and is happy to discuss any trivia from Dancing with the Stars given the opportunity.

Lydia is our quiet one. She loves to be sneaky by making orange juice for mom before she gets up, or folding a load of laundry when nobody is looking. She also enjoys coloring pictures and doing crafts. She is just starting phonics and is looking forward to reading very soon!

Adie is our loud, adventurous, growler. She has a tender heart and loves to play “baby” when she’s not screaming. Her favorite activity is swimming. She prayed for her brother’s arrival every day as we waited to travel to Ethiopia, and is a fantastic bodyguard for them now that they’re home.

Silas is our comedian and athlete. As a comedian, he loves to laugh, play rough, and pretend he doesn’t understand you when you tell him to eat his beans. His English is expanding everyday. As an athlete, he loves to chase his siblings and dart away from mommy in public places. You have to be on top of your game to keep up with him.

Titus is a little shy but very sweet. His handsome smile and big dimples get him out of trouble more often than not. He’s cuddly, smart, and isn’t afraid to say "I love you." His favorite bedtime trick is to let Silas fall asleep first so he can snuggle in real close without being pushed away.

As we look forward to the adventures of 2010, planned and unplanned, may you see the beauty of Jesus Christ in all that comes your way.

With much love, The Larsen’s