It's really been such a joy to have her in our lives...Josh and I love being her parents! We can't wait to continue to watch this sweet baby grow. Here's some info about Lucia and a few more more pictures from her three-month photo shoot.
Our Big girl turned three months on October 26! The last month has been so much fun for us. Lucia is really starting to show her personality and she is all smiles most days. She is growing so much...and still eating like a wild baby. She definitely packed on a few pounds. We haven't gotten her on the scale yet but she just grew out of her 6 month clothes and is fitting in 9-12. We love it. We love that she is so big and jolly!
It's really been such a joy to have her in our lives...Josh and I love being her parents! We can't wait to continue to watch this sweet baby grow. Here's some info about Lucia and a few more more pictures from her three-month photo shoot.
In 2012, over 6,000 documents were uncovered in the archives of the Vatican. Since then, historians have been pining over ever single one. Last week, they released some of their findings.
More evidence of Jesus.
So far they have determined the writings are authentic, they date back to 20-45 AD and were written by a Roman Officer and Historian Marcus Velleius Paterculus. In the text, it talks of a great leader who preformed miracles, traveled with disciples and was named Jesus.
From the article: "This new text from an author known for his reliability, brings a brand new perspective on the life of the historical character that is Jesus of Nazareth. It comes to confirm the Gospels on the facts that he was known for accomplishing miracles and that his sheer presence in a town was enough to attract crowds of people.....Many scholars have already saluted the finding as one of the greatest breakthroughs ever realized in the study of the historical life of Jesus."
Of course there are some scholars that are challenging the text, so more tests will be done, but these findings are so amazing. As if there isn't enough evidence of Jesus' life and miracles, we have another piece of text that supports His claims.
I believe one day the physical evidence will be so overwhelming that Jesus came to earth...to heal, seek and save the lost, that you would have to be in serious denial or so blind to not believe it.
Have a read HERE.
Our sweet Lucia just turned two months on September 26! This big mama is the joy of our lives! Each day she changes right before our eyes and we are loving every second of it. Here is the skinny on this big beautiful baby!
On Monday we went to her two month check up and were laughing our butts off when they told us how this big lady measures up to other kids. We prayed for a big baby...more to love!...and we got one for sure! Lucia is 24 3/4 inches which puts her above the 98th percentile for height; She is 13 lbs 15 oz putting her in the 96th percentile for weight; and her head circumference is 40 cm putting her in the 95th percentile for that!
She is a big, beautiful girl and we just love her to pieces!
One of my friends on Facebook re-posted a blog post from Christian author and speaker Christine Caine.
Normally, when it is 3 a.m. and I just fed the baby I am delirious, but I saw this post and thought I would give it a read...because I was still semi-with it.
This post is about her short struggle with cancer and the position of power that she took over this disease. I really encourage you to read it.
There is so much truth in this post. For me it was an excellent reminder that we need to not only remember our authority in Christ but also remember this world is a battlefield. There is a real enemy and we can not let our guard down for one moment. We have to stay prayed up, read up and prepared...because this world is not "playground but a battlefield." It also reminds me that we have a choice to make in every battle. Either we chose to have faith and no matter what believe that God is good and he will have the final victory or we give up and give in.
Have a read. Click HERE.
Last weekend was a big one for such a little girl. As Josh and I were taking our first long trip with Lucia down the thruway to Jersey, his father and step-mom were flying out from Kansas to Jersey for a extended weekend at the Martone's.
The weekend was the first for a few things. It was the first time Lucia got to meet her other grandparents, the first time she watched a Buckeyes game, the first time she met her Aunt Susan and cousin Angela and the first time she took a crap and had it leak all over my mother =)... Ah what fun.
But the big event of the weekend was more special than all of these wonderful things. On Sunday, we dedicated Lucia to the Lord. Similar to a christening or baptism, a baby dedication is a ceremony where believing parents make a commitment before the Lord to submit the child to God's will for their life and promise to raise the child in God's way.
Lucia is such a joy in our lives and a direct answer of prayer from God...So for Josh and I it was so important to stand before family and close friends and essentially give her back into His very capable hands. My Uncle David did the ceremony and what a blessing to be able to stand there and tell God...thank you for this child...we promise to raise her in your Word and your truth!
After the ceremony immediate family and a few close friends joined us for a meal in celebration. Lucia...after screaming like a crazy baby at the beginning of the meal passed out cold and remained sleeping for the entire time...Don't worry little girl I video taped it so you can check that out when you are older ;)
Here are some pictures from the weekend!
It's been three weeks since our angel face has been with us and it has been quite a ride. I know all moms say this, but it is crazy how much you can love someone so quickly. I can't help but stare at her little face and I want to burst when she smiles. But getting Lucia into this world...well that was not so lovely. I wanted to write a post about her birth because it was crazy. It was unexpected. It was not what I had planned. But God used the entire experience to let me know early on...this whole parenting thing is not going to always go according to my written out plan.
Warning: There is a bit of detail in this post about the birth. If you can't handle cervix and vagina talk...please move along!
I was pregnant at the same time as a few other women I was close to and they gave birth before I did. Three of them had gone into labor naturally and all had their babies in their hands within 8-10 hours. So I figured, why would I be any different? Well....I was wrong.
Lucia was cozy in the womb and didn't want to come out. We were a week over due and my doctor said we needed to come in and get monitored to make sure she was still doing well. They hooked me up to a monitor for about an hour and Lucia's heart beat was strong and consistently in the 150's. Good news. After monitoring they did an exam...still, at 41 weeks, I was barely dilated and my cervix was not thinned out at all...not so good. So they sent me over to get an ultrasound to get a closer look at Lucia. After a short examination the doctor said that we needed to go to the hospital right now and have a baby. I was with my mom and Josh and we all looked at each other confused. He said that the fluid around the baby was extremely low. Really not good. The minimum amount of amniotic fluid that should be in the womb should be five centimeters. I was at one. Thankfully, we had brought our hospital bags with us, and my mother, Josh and I headed over to the hospital, and my sister Melissa hopped in the car in Jersey and began heading up to Albany...All of us were excited to meet our little one soon! Oh how unaware we were of what would take place over the next 30 hours! These smiling photos were the calm before the storm!
We got to the hospital around 12pm on Friday, July 25. They began monitoring me right away and said that the baby would have to be continually monitored for the entire labor process. Around 2 pm my doctor came in. He explained that at this point the option for natural labor is off the table. Unless I refused, possibly risking the health of my child, they needed to start the induction process. This was not what I planned. I planned a natural birth, with my good ol' birthing ball, my essential oils, my calming Christian music and a generally quickish process...well that all went out the window. To start with, I could not eat, only drink clear fluids, which I was not aware of until they told me. They said, in case a C-section had to be done, they need the stomach to be empty. Apparently this is normal, but I was not aware of it...and I came to the hospital right around lunch...ugh.
Fast forward to 4 pm, this is when they started the induction process by putting in a cervical balloon. Yes, it was as horrible as it sounds. Basically this is a tool that will manually open up the cervix. It was not comfortable AT ALL. Extremely painful to get in and very uncomfortable to have in. They also put in cervidil which was supposed to thin out the cervix. I was told I have to leave that in for 12 hours before we could move further. 12 HOURS!?!? I thought my whole labor process would take about 12 hours not just this first part!
The 12 hours began at 4 pm on Friday. At about 5 pm I started to have contractions every 5 minutes, and that lasted for the entire 12 hours. Fun stuff. Josh was in solidarity with me and would not sleep or eat the entire time....I had to force him to go eat by hour 13.
After 12 hours I was hoping to be dilated much further...to our disappointment I was only about 2cm...after 12 hours!?! So they began Pitocin (not in my birth plan!). Pitocin is used to induce labor, but unlike natural labor it can make the contractions much more intense, with higher peaks and less build up into a contraction. They started me off slowly with the Pitocin at 5 am. This process took very long. For me to get from 2 cm to 9 cm it took about eight hours. Eight LONG hours of contractions and terrible pain!! By 6-7 cm I could not take it anymore and I had to get an epidural (again not in my plan). I did not like the epidural at all. Yes, it was great to not have intense pain, but I could not feel my legs at all and because I have scoliosis (this is what the doc. said) the medication they used traveled up my left shoulder and numbed my left arm and part of my neck, which was not pleasant. By 9 cm dilated the pain had pushed through the epidural and even after they 'topped it off' I was still in tremendous pain. I was sick to my stomach throwing up, I had an intense headache, on top of terrible contractions and back labor.
At this point I was literally begging Jesus for strength. I don't know about other moms but this was the point where I looked up and said "Lord I don't think I can do this." I was so tired, I had eaten nothing in over a day, and the pain was unbelievable. Through the entire process I was praying, as well as Josh, my mother, my sister and a whole host of other friends and family. I knew that the Lord was listening, he always does...so it was very hard for me not to cry out asking him where he was and why he would not shorten this process. I was desperate for some kind of relief! Relief I did not get until she was born. However, I did get peace in those last moments before we started pushing. I felt like God was telling me...hey I am here...but this is the process, this is what and how it is Lisa. I felt a strange peace when I was desperately crying out. Almost immediately, I felt the pressure to push.
Lucia was face up, which added to the pain. They tried to put me in positions to turn her, which was very painful, but she did not turn by time it was time to push. The midwife and nurse said that it would be harder to push her out and many times first time moms are not able to do it. I thought in my head...oh hell no! I did not go through 26 hours of hard labor to get a C-section! I was determined. So we started the final process and after two hours of pushing Lucia was born.
Due to the labor, and how long and hard it was, and the fact that Lucia was over due she passed meconium (her first poop) in the womb. We knew this when she was about to come out so they called in a respiratory team. If she inhaled the meconium it could cause all sorts of issues. So they wanted to be ready for anything.
When she came out, they yelled at Josh to cut the cord "quickly" and they took her right away to the heated bed. She didn't cry. We were freaking out. They worked on her for about five minutes, suctioning her all out and we waited...and prayed for a cry! Josh didn't want to leave my side but I told him to go and talk to her. She was so alert, eyes wide open and looking around like she was shell shocked, while they suctioned her and pressed on her little chest. When Josh walked over and started talking to her she looked right at him and started crying. Praise God! It was over. Finally. She was here. She was healthy and I finally got to hold my little girl.
I have never in my life felt so much pain. I have never in my life felt so desperate for relief. It was so wild and intense and even though Jesus did not take the pain away I knew that he was there, he was with me, his peace was surrounding me and for some reason it made the pain bearable...and like everyone told me..once you see her face you won't even care about all the pain...and they were right.
After anxiously awaiting for over a week past her due date our sweet Lucia was born on Saturday, July 26. Our little angel face was forced out or her comfy spot in my belly...the birth story...that's for another blog post...but it was quite a ride.
My labor was pretty rough, so the first few nights were hard for me. There is so much emotion that comes along with the birth that I wasn't aware of and mildly unprepared for. I felt so happy yet so scared at the same time. Like wow...she is actually here...now what do I do!?
After a few days though, it has become very natural for both Josh and I. It's day eight and we are starting to get in a groove. My mother had been here helping from birth to seven days and that was SO vital. She has done all the cooking, cleaning and she takes the late shift with Lucia...the 6-8 am.
Josh is amazing. He was so supportive during labor (the doctors and nurses told him he should become a midwife) and after the birth he has been unbelievable. He works the horrid night shift...the 1-4 am...when Lucia is ready to take on the day! But he has been just amazing and being a daddy is so natural for him.
Lucia so far has been such a good baby. She eats like a champ, sleeps a ton...we often have to wake her to eat...and she is so alert and smiley already! As for her name...we just love it! She is so Italian looking and the name fits her wonderfully...but that is not why we chose it.
First off, you can pronounce it Lu-see-a or Lu-chee-a. We have been calling her both!...and sometimes we call her Lucy...poor girl is going to be confused!
Lucia though, means "Graceful Light." We chose this because I believe that she will be such a light for Christ in this world..that is what I prayed over her. Each night while I was pregnant I would lay hands on my belly and pray over her life. I would speak life and health into her and I would ask Jesus to not only make her healthy and beautiful but to also allow her a be a light in this sometimes dark world. I believe he has heard our prayers and we wanted to pick a name which represented that we believe just that!
She already has been a light in our lives and I know she will continue to be in others. We can't wait for you all to meet her!
I never thought I would be writing a post at week 41 of my pregnancy. With my sweet baby girl in position and low way early, I thought for sure she would be here already. However, we also thought in the beginning that she was a boy...so she has surprised us before!
We are now six days late. Who would have thought six days of waiting could make a person feel so crazy? These past days have been very draining emotionally and physically. I have waited 31 years for a child, so you wouldn't think a few extra days would be any biggy...but man the anticipation, the thought of induction, the physical toll and the fact that so many women I know that were due after me...have already had their little ones...is wearing me thin.
Well intentioned moms keep telling me 'she will come when she is ready' and 'try and relax' ....and I appreciate the advice...but that's easier said than done!
Josh and I finished all the baby stuff about six weeks before her due date so we could take the last month or so to ourselves. We have gone to many dinners, movies, went bowling, mini-golf, shopping...we have done tons of date nights...taking advantage of the time left we have alone. At this point though, I am too uncomfortable to do any of that, so the last week has just been waiting...and waiting...and waiting!
We are setting up induction for Sunday. So she will be 9 days late at that point. The doctors in my practice don't want to wait much longer than that, and I agree. There are some risks that go up the longer she is in there and quite frankly to me, waiting a few more days is not worth the risk.
I am hoping and praying that she will come on her own in the next few days but if she doesn't I know for sure she will be here by the beginning of next week! ...and we can't wait! We will keep everyone posted!
Thanks for the prayers and thoughts...we love you guys!
.....sorry about the photo...I have abandoned all make-up at this point...lucky for all of you I am even fully clothed and semi-showered.
It's hard for me to watch the national news sometimes. I am guilty of, within 5-10 minutes, getting extremely irritated by some of what is going on. One source of my irritation this month...is what is happening at our borders...or lack there of.
This video just came out of illegal aliens storming the border in California...and if you think this is just a one time deal and won't happen again...you're naive. This is going to get ugly folks.
My husband and I frequently discuss events that are going on in the world and he had some good points to make about the issue. So here goes...
By Josh Duvall:
The current illegal immigration crisis currently taking place on the border is a serious issue. If you don’t know anything about it click here. I know there are a lot of talking heads giving all sorts of opinions about the current state of immigration affairs in the US, but what I’m writing about is what I feel are the most important pieces of this crisis and my take on some solutions....
I come from a very Italian family.... and because of this you get a group of very superstitious people. If you are Italian, you will know what I mean...add on being Catholic and you have quite a mix.
Since the beginning of my pregnancy though, my Aunt and Grandmother were the only two people that guessed the baby would be a girl...and they were right.
Now they both say that I will give birth after the full moon, which will appear tomorrow July 12th. When all of us thought she would come very early, they stood by the full moon theory. They swear by the fact that for normal pregnancies, a baby will stay inside the womb for 9 full moons.
This being my first child, I had never heard this before...but apparently it is not such an uncommon theory. A quick search found tons of other people and articles that talk about this. One written today on The Baby Center Blog "Will the supermoon send you into labor this weekend?"
The theory is that the increase in the gravitational pull from the moon would cause the baby to drop and get things moving. Also, that the baby has to cook inside there for nine full moons (for a normal pregnancy).
That being said... it will be wonderful if baby girl decides to come out and meet us this weekend, after tomorrow's full moon. Unfortunately, even though grandparents swear by this, there is no real data...aside from family stories, that supports it. This has actually been studied by doctors, researchers and scientists but they all say the only reason this myth is still alive is because of strong cultural ties and wonderful family members like mine who pass on the story.
However...they were right about her being a girl...and it doesn't look like she is going to come see us today...so you never know!! Grandma and my Aunt Theresa could be right...again!
In the evenings... I have started to get bored. All of the baby stuff is completed, but I am super huge and too uncomfortable to do much activity. So...I start to craft, or I begin to look for things around the house that I want to move or upgrade or get rid of. I am constantly selling things, starting projects and making poor Josh move things around the house. He's the best.
Anyway...last week I started eying one of the night-side tables in our bedroom. When we got married, Josh's dad bought us some furniture as our wedding present. We got a really cute white set, but where we were living, we could only fit one nightstand. Looking back...we should have bought two and just stored one until we moved...but I didn't think of that. So when we moved to NY, we needed something on the other side. We had this small, crappy, black side table...I think we got at target or some where cheap. I literally think it was 10 dollars or something ridiculous. So we threw it on one side of the bed and really haven't thought much about it since.
It's made of that cheap particle board, so naturally after many nights of my contact solution spilling on it, it started to get bubbled and funky. It either had to go or I had to do something with it. Here is what it looked like...pretty boring and cheap looking.
I saw this article on a fellow journalists Facebook page and the headline grabbed me right away... "Why I left 60 minutes."
I myself have been tempted to write about the last 11 years I was in print, radio, and television journalism; and why after leaving it... I really don't miss it as much as I thought I would.
This particular article though, featured in Politico this week, was written by Charles Lewis, a former ABC News and 60 Minutes producer. In this quick, yet interesting read, he explains how networks (ABC specifically) claim they are "all about uncovering the truth" and digging to expose corruption, but in reality, that's not what he saw. He talks of how the main objections to his stories came from his bosses and superiors...who often would challenge investigative pieces that shinned a bad light on their friends or associates.
If you can't already tell, I love to craft, but that is not why I am loving Hobby Lobby this week.
Unless you have been under a rock, you have heard about the Supreme Court decision ruling in favor of the craft store Hobby Lobby. The ongoing court battle was taken to the Supreme Court after Hobby Lobby refused to cover the "abortion inducing pills" for their employees, which is mandated under ObamaCare. (Hobby Lobby has no problem with contraceptives, they cover that already, they just take issue with abortion-inducing pills. Under ObamaCare the "abortion" or morning after pill falls under "preventative medicine.")
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the chain this week, saying they should not be forced to pay for what they claim violates their religious freedoms.
This was a big victory for the family owned business and for all Americans as far as I am concerned. Anyone who stands up to the over involved federal government and wins, is okay in my book. However, the back lash of this decision by the progressive left was fierce. Almost comical to me. I can't help but vent...
Two years ago I was lucky enough to marry this amazing man!
This was one of the best days of my life. I couldn't believe I got to keep him! I said it on our wedding day and I think it all the time... God really showed me how much he loved me when he gave me Josh.
He is a wonderful man, who loves the Lord, me, my family and is so selfless! He serves like crazy...my grandmother just said the other day "Hey, we need a few more Josh's around!"
Judge Jeanine Pirro's opening statement this week about the situation going on in Iraq...worth a listen. What do you think about this? It's definitely something we SHOULD be thinking about...
With just 4 weeks till my due date we are finally done with baby girl's nursery! It was so much fun doing crafts and putting this all together with Josh. He was such a good helper through the entire thing and never complained about all the work I made him do. =)
Now once baby comes...I will add some pictures of her and us to the empty spots on the walls but for now this is what we came up with....
This last year has gone by so fast. Last week was officially one year that we have lived in New York...and so much has changed.
Moving here was a really hard decision for both of us. We prayed about it for the first entire year of our marriage. Should we leave Des Moines? Should we leave our jobs here? Our church? Tons of friends?
The decision was much harder for Josh. He had lived in Des Moines for eight years. He went to college in Des Moines, was heavily involved in our church for most of that time, was just three hours from his family in Kansas City and had great friends.
For me, it was still hard because of the relationships I had built there and I had really grown to love the city...but my heart was in Jersey with my family most of the time. It was so hard to be away from them and four day visits just never seemed like enough time. Us Italians are very close to our families and my prayer from the day I drove away from Jersey was to eventually have God lead me back.
This was floating around the internet and I had to share it...HA! It's funny...cause its all too true!!
Ugh! Five weeks left on Baby D!!
We are just six weeks out from Baby girl...so we are getting some little projects done around the house and putting some finishing touches on the nursery. Because yes...I am aware of the fact that I will have no time and be very tired for a while.
So our first little project was to update and make these beat black chairs we had not look terrible. I think we got them for like $10 bucks somewhere. They were boring and ugly