Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A long awaited update...

First I would like to apologize (especially to Beth:) for failing to update this blog regularly. However a LOT has been going on in the Arp house for the last 6 months or so. We have been adding to our family yet again. The story of Dakota all started before Ainsley was even conceived. I had a friend at church (shout out to Kendra Chambers) who said she had a family we should meet that was keeing their great nephew and might need an adoptive family for him. At the time we had just started our adoption process and we were really thinking about a baby girl, not a four/five year old boy. A few months later just after we finished our homestudy, I found out I was pregnant. Surprise! And of course then we found out that we were having a was as if God said "well here's your girl so that obstacle is out of the way." And He really started working on us. During my pregnancy I talked to Kendra a few times about Dakota and then Andrew and I decided to meet him and his aunt just so we could talk and the boys could play. So the first time we met Ainsley was a little over a month old. We then met multiple times and the boys LOVED playing together. Then God began working on us again. We were slowly falling in love with Dakota. One week we were talking and decided that if Dakota's aunt asked us, we would adopt him. So as God would have it she asked and we accepted and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. He is the sweetest little boy ever. He and Jonas just LOVE each other. They even refer to each other as "twin brothers from another mother" already, HA! And he absolutely loves Ainsley. He kisses on her and tells her he loves her constantly. We are still getting used to being a family of five, but we wouldnt change it for anything in the world.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another Arp Whirlwind!

I think every time I post I say we have been busy here at the Arp house. You would think I would just get used to it and eventually all our busy-ness would seem normal, but no such luck. The last month has been yet another whirlwind. It started with Andrew heading to South Africa, and the kids and I heading to Chattanooga for some much needed help while he was away. For 3 wks we were separated. Andrew went with another pastor from our church to help resource and teach a conference to the people in South Africa. He had the time of his life. He really fell in love with all the people, and he loved being able to see the world. Meantime, Jonas, Ainsley, and I braved the friendly skies to go visit all our family down in Chattanooga. We got to see everyone and we even got meet the newest member of our family baby Ella, and Ainsley and I attended Mitchell and Angela's wedding. It was an awesome time with family, but we couldn't wait to get our little family back together. Since being back we have celebrated our first Halloween with Ainsley (who dressed as a kitty cat, while Jonas chose his costume for the first time; a transformer) and we have gotten back into the swing of things. We are getting ready to celebrate Jonas' birthday with a trip to Splash Village (an indoor waterpark/hotel about 20min. north of us). Soon it will be thanksgiving and before we know it Christmas will be here. We can't wait to see all our family again. Thanks to everyone for all the help while Andrew was really made the time fly! We will post pics soon of Halloween, Jonas' Birthday, and Thanksgiving soon. We love you all!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Can I borrow some time?

Time really flies. This week Jonas started pre-school...PRE-SCHOOL! I really can't believe it. It seems like we were just sitting in the adoption office nervously signing papers as quickly as we could so we could meet our new little man, and now he's off to school:( He totally loves it even if it does make me a little sad. He goes four days a week Monday thru Thursday fro 9:15 to 12:45. His teachers are awesome and he loves all his new friends. As you can tell from the picture he was really excited...and still is! It is going to be an awesome thing for him, and I love getting to observe the end of his class everyday when I pick him up. Today they were finishing up with a dance where they jumped, froze, danced fast, and danced slow. Jonas LOVED it! He was hilarious he was doing each move to the fullest and when they got to the slow part he danced so ridiculously slow that I had to laugh:) While he's at school Ainsley and I hang out, do errands, and get the house clean. This new routine is really fun...even if I feel like time is just flying by and if there was a way I could borrow any or just stop it all together, believe me I would.

I forgot to post the last preggo pic so here it is

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The first 2 months...

It is hard to believe, but Ainsley is already 2 months old. We are in full swing as a family of four. Andrew is super busy at the church (as always) but still loving every minute of it, and the kids and I have settled in to daily life at home. Jonas loves his new baby sister and he is such a good big brother. He actually starts pre-school on Sept.21st which totally makes Andrew and I sad. It seems like just yesterday I was swaddling him up and now he's getting ready to head to school like a big boy. For that reason, we are trying to cherish every single moment we have with both of them. Time really does go too fast. I (Crystal) am holding off school for one more semester so we can all get a little more settled. Ainsley is growing like a weed. We just found out that she has reflux and we are trying to get that under control so she can feel better. She is awake more often and has even started to coo and smile. We all have so much fun with her. Every time she is awake Jonas says she is looking at him. It is so sweet. So all in all the Arps are great. Life is crazy and hectic, but we wouldn't change it for the world. As I type this Ainsley is crying in the background while Andrew tries to comfort her, I smell like spit up, and Jonas is yelling down from the bath tub, but I can truly say we are so blessed. I wouldn't trade this life for anything else in the world.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Oh there you are!

So if you have been keeping up with us you probably know that the last few weeks have been quite eventful in the Arp house. Ainsley was finally born on July 9th, 2010. She was really comfy in there so on Thursday July 8th we went in to be induced. Everything was pretty uneventful for the first 12 hours of labor. We got there at 7pm and they gave me a little medicine to start induction. At about 2am things really seemed to be picking up. I was having contractions about every 1 to 2 minutes and they were lasting almost a minute. However, when the doctor came in to check and see how much progress we were making at 7am he took one look at me and knew something just wasn't right because Ainsley was still really high. When he checked I was still only 2cm dilated and her head wasn't even engaged. So in the midst of hard contractions he sent me for an ultrasound and they found out that her head was way too big! 39.5cm to be exact which apparently is very large by baby standards. So after that they started talking about a c-section. I was pretty bummed because I had "planned" (as much as anyone can actually plan anything) to go completely natural (i.e. no drugs). But once the doctor explained how not only I could be compromised, but because of how large her head was Ainsley could be compromised too (b/c of possible brain swelling) the c-section was the obvious choice. So at 10:30 we headed into the O.R, and at 11:07am Ainsley opened her eyes to the world for the first time. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. The first time she cried Andrew turned to me and said "she's here! we did it!" Years, literally years have lead up to this moment. The most amazing thing however, was that when I first saw Ainsley and heard her cry I felt like "who is this stranger?" it was the same feeling, the same exact feeling I had when I walked into the room to get Jonas. The feeling that this new little stranger was just the person I had been looking for. It was beyond words. Since then our lives have changed dramatically. Having 2 kids is double the blessing, and double the work. We are still learning how this family of four is going to work. Jonas LOVES Ainsley. I mean loves her, almost too much:) He always wants to give her her paci and throw her diapers away. He has been such a helper and such a protector. Andrew and I have been really busy with visits from family and friends. Andrew even had to leave us all last week to speak at camp. So if you were thinking that now we would have to slow down...wrong, its just not the Arp way. My recovery has gone great. I am 3wks out now and feeling pretty good, just a little tired still. Ainsley is a great baby. We have figured out that if we wake her up at 9pm and keep her up until 11 or 12 she will sleep 5-6hrs in one stretch! She is really happy too...she only cries if she needs something and she LOVES to be cuddled. So while our world has changed a lot in the last 3wks we wouldn't have it any other way! We have loved all the meals that all our church family has brought us and we have really loved all the visitors from Noni, Pop, Auntie Alecia, Luke, Gran-Gran, Pop-Pop, MeMe, Pa, Auntie Alyssa, Heather, Lilly, and Cindy! This has been an amazing time of miracles in our life and we love being able to share it with everyone. Oh and if you are wondering what is going on with the adoption? yes we are still planning to adopt...we have to update our homestudy since we have another little person living in our house, and then we will be "waiting" again. We ask that as you pray for our growing family you continue to pray for our child that's out there somewhere! We love you all and cant wait until each and everyone of you can hold our second little miracle in your 2 miracles...we are so blessed!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

39 Weeks...Ainsley, where are you?

So I figure since Crystal is consumed with the squatter inside her, it falls to me to update the blog. We are at 39 weeks and holding (I guess that is what it is like when people turn 39 and hold). We are not exactly sure when Ainsley will arrive, but we are so excited.Her nursery is completed and we have enough clothes to last her to her fifth birthday. Jonas appears to be excited, but we are not sure that he really knows what is in store. Nursery pics as well as belly bump night pics are below. My mom has been up here helping with Jonas and some of the house work and has been quite the life saver. So now, we are simply waiting. We have walked, ate spicy food, and even contemplated jumping on a trampoline. But I am sure that when she does arrive, she will be perfect. Thanks for your prayers and your love across the miles.

Grace and Peace