Thursday, June 25, 2009


Heard that everyone is wondering how we are doing so I thought I would post an update. My Mom is in town for a while and I'm lovin' the special time we get together. The boys are also lovin' some serious Gigi time! Alexis is doing great! She is a great sleeper, eating wonderfully, and growing like a weed already. Here are some new pictures!

The boys are still absolutely in love with their little sister. "Boo-boo" has to get a kiss and hug from her big brothers every morning, noon, and night!
Thanks again for all the prayers!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Instantly in love

Bringing home a new baby is always an experience when you have other little ones. You never can guess how they are going to react to the new addition. When we brought Bryce home Connor was uninterested and we had to bribe him to get a picture with the new baby. I knew that this time around Connor would better understand and be excited. Boy he was! Connor was old enough to visit Alexis in the NICU and was always so excited to see her. When he said his prayers every night his favorite thing he did that day was seeing his baby sister.
Bryce was my biggest concern, you see he is a big Mama's boy! I was worried that we might have some jealous moments and was prepared to deal with it. Of course I was dead wrong! Bryce instantly fell in love with that little girl. He always wants to know where she is at and wants to hold her. He calls her "boo-boo" and can't get a smile off his face when she is around. Last night when they came out from their bath I was holding Alexis. I was expecting Bryce to want me to put her down and hold him like we always do before bed time. Instead he looked up at me and said "My boo-boo". He wanted to hold her! How adorable that he is enamored with her already.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Finding joy.....

Greetings Everyone,

WOW what a week! I still can't believe it's Friday already, did that feel fast to anyone else? Alexis is doing great! Every time we see her there is good news and I'm hoping she can come home VERY SOON. Please continue to pray.

I have decided to share with you all the joys I have personally experienced these last couple of days. I am sure I will blog about this expereince again, but for now I am trying to find joy in every situation. If there is one thing I have learned so far it is that even in my darkness moments God is there forever ready to shower me with love, peace, and much needed comfort. My heart goes out to those who don't know Jesus when times get seemingly unbearable. Trust me I had those moments!!!

1) The night I went to the hospital nether Adam nor I believed that I was going into labor, I really just wanted a nice sleeping pill. So when the nurse looked up and said "You're not leaving here without a baby" it was quite a SHOCK! The next moments calling my husband were quite comical. Remember that it was late and we were tired. We were not prepared so Adam had to pack my bag. Imagine the humor as I tried to explain where my panties were, which shirts I needed, what make-up to bring, and so on. First off I wear make up most days and not a lot, but for some reason my husband still has no idea where it is or what I use. Second, let me just say this, the day after birth when I went looking through the bag I found two bathing suit tops. Apparently I was going to swim. :D It was great fun teasing him! Good job Love!

2) The adrenaline burst I got when I only needed to push for 4 seconds. I would later have many moments when I felt like a complete and utter failure as a mother, but right then I felt like I deserved a gold medal or something.

3) Late night cable TV! Your hilarious ways and silly shows were just what I needed late nights when I had to lay there without my baby and pump. It was just a great distraction!

4) The joy of seeing Connor meet his sister. I was not there there first time and got a play by play from Adam. But the second time I got to see how beautiful it was. A smile never left his face and knowing that he was going to watch over her for the rest of their lives melted my heart.

5) Our friends and family immediately came to our rescue when things got tough. The Sadlers dropped everything and watched the boys allowing us to concentrate on having a baby earlier than we planned. The Minters came over and distracted us, our kids happily destroyed our house and sounds of laughter filled the rooms. Adam's parents got down here as fast as they could and have been taking great care of the boys and our house. I have not had to worry about cleaning, laundry, dishes, or groceries yet! And everyone else who has been covering us with prayer and encouragement. I feel so blessed to have so many people who love us so much!

6) The sweet minutes I get to hold my sweet Alexis. I was quickly reminded how easily I took for granted the pure privilege it was to have unlimited snuggle times with my boys. It also helped remind me that the time I get with all my babies as babies is SO short and to treasure every second when they are in my arms.

7) The hours I spent walking the halls of the hospital. Yes it was the only time during the night that my back wasn't completely burning with pain. But I also got to spend most minutes praying over Alexis and the boys, singing praises, and meditating on my Savior. Little did I know that I would need those moments later when times got so hard. I am still in awe every time I experience a type of pain that makes it hard to breath and how quickly the love of my Savior washes over and melts every bad thought or feeling away. What a faithful and wonderful Father we serve.

8) Finally my husband, Adam. I know that I made an exceptional choice when I married him and I love experiencing the times I am reminded that he is the only person I could ever imagine sharing my life with. But when times got really hard he became that rock I needed to keep me grounded in the Truth. His quiet way that calms my anxious heart, his sweet touches that remind me that he is always there, the way he can get me to smile even when I don't feel like it, and most importantly stepping up as a strong man of God and praying over me and my daughter when we needed it the most have been some of the most important moments over this last week. I love you!

I will continue to find the joy all situations and challenge you to do the same! Now sit back and enjoy some JOY as you watch a video of our BEAUTIFUL ALEXIS. I love you!

Alexis - Just Looking Around from Adam McManus on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Alexis Grace McManus is here

(Written by Adam)

Alexis Grace was born yesterday (June 9th) a little after 11:30 a.m. She came about 3 weeks early, so she's a tiny, little girl at 18.25 inches long and weighing 5 pounds 9 ounces.

The whole adventure started late Monday night. Jen was experiencing some fairly significant pain in her back, to the point where she was too uncomfortable to sleep. She decided to go to the hospital for a quick check-up with the expectation of being given some pain medication. After the nurses took a look, they let Jen know she was in labor and wouldn't be going back home without a baby. Needless to say, that wasn't exactly our plan, and we weren't really completely prepared. We have great friends and family though who made the rest of the night worry free. Justin Sadler was a trooper and came to our house after 1 a.m. and watched the boys while I joined Jen at the hospital. Justin's wife, Amanda, took over for him the next morning to watch Connor and Bryce. We're extremely grateful to the Sadlers; they did an awesome job, and it's cool to see brothers and sisters in Christ serve so selflessly. My mom was able to come in later that morning, and she's been doing an amazing job with the boys. They love their "granny," and it helps keep Jen and I from worrying about how the boys are doing. We've also gotten lots of great tweets, facebook messages, emails, texts, and phone calls from so many people. The congratulations, support, and prayers of everyone are overwhelming. Thanks again for living out Christ's command to love others like you love yourself; it means more to us than words can fully express.

Jen was in labor longer than with either of our other two, but when it came time to push she was awesome. It was just a matter of seconds, and little Alexis joined us. Jen is doing great, and the nurses are continually asking if she really just had a baby because she looks so good. It's really simple, my wife rocks!

On to Alexis. Here are some pictures.

The obligatory "why did you people do this to me?" picture.

All three of our children have been delivered by Dr. Gagnon. Jen was adamant he pose for a picture.

Yes. Her foot is glowing red. No, it doesn't mean she's a Cylon. At least, I don't think so. That's the thing about Cylons; they look just like us...

Here's a close-up.

Alexis' big brothers at the hospital.

You may have noticed in a couple of the pictures that Alexis is receiving a little extra oxygen. Let me first say that she's breathing completely on her own and has been from the beginning. With that said, she's been staying in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for observation since she's a little over three weeks early. She just needs a little time to absorb some excess fluid and get used to breathing all by herself. Her breathing has been steadily improving and her doctors say this is fairly normal for early babies. Alexis will stay in the NICU for observation purposes until her breathing makes the doctors happy, but she's doing great. Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers you've sent our way!

Jen and I get to visit whenever we want, and we're both able to hold her during "touch time." She's quite a bit smaller than either Connor or Bryce, but she's absolutely adorable. As a dad, I'm already dreading the power that little face is going to have over me.

Connor also got to visit his little sister, and he didn't stop smiling or talking the entire time. He explained to all the nurses how he will "play with Alexis Grace McManus when she gets bigger" and "Alexis Grace McManus is my little sister." It was really cool seeing how excited he is about finally meeting her after all these months.

My mom also got to visit Alexis in the NICU. That was a nice break for her from the chaos of a 3.5 year old and 2 year old, and it's a cool moment to experience with my mom and my newborn daughter.

Jen will be adding her thoughts sometime later this evening, but I do want to take a minute or three more to share a few things. It's been a crazy couple of days, with virtually everything completely unexpected and not according to our plan. It would be really easy to become overwhelmed, upset, frazzled, annoyed, frustrated, and confused. That simply hasn't been the case, and it's for one simple reason. God is in control.

I firmly believe that, and it changes how life's curveballs affect you. In my human nature, it was easy to question why Jen would go into labor so far ahead of schedule. In my human nature, it was easy to question why Alexis has to work through respiratory problems. In my human nature, it was easy to wonder why my little girl has to have monitors hooked up to her instead of being held by her parents. All of those questions are perfectly reasonable, and there's nothing wrong with asking those questions. The key is in how we respond. On our own, the expected response would be anger, fear, and frustration. Instead, I've been able to remain confident, satisfied, and excited about this beautiful little girl. In Psalm 139:13, we have the reminder: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Alexis was molded and shaped by the Creator of the universe. I can be completely assured she is perfect. In fact, I can be confident that every second of this crazy experience is perfect because it's God's will and plan.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Job 38 through 41. In it, God shows up. It's a mind-boggling reminder of the immensity of God. Whether He's reminding Job that He splits the stars and the sky, directs the wind and rain, teaches the birds to fly, and even controls the awesome behemoth and leviathan; God makes it abundantly clear that He is sovereign over it all. By the end, Job has no response other than: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." That's my belief, plain and simple. Our beautiful little girl was formed by that awesome God. She was formed with a purpose, and I can rest completely in that knowledge. I can know everything is happening according to God's plan, and that His plan is more awesome than anything I can ever dream.

Ok, assuming you've hung around this long, here's your reward.

Alexis Grace McManus from Adam McManus on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekend Fun!

Enjoy a video of our weekend! Connor is really getting good at swimming in the deep end all by himself and Bryce is turning into a little water lover too. We had to watch the video 5 times today, Connor kept asking "Let's watch it again okay?"

Weekend Fun from Adam McManus on Vimeo.

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