Thursday, January 31, 2008

The moving process begins

Here we go... Josh's last night in St. Louis is tonight and tomorrow he will be driving this big yellow beast down to Tuscaloosa with most of our earthly possessions.  He will be crashing at the Hampton Inn for a few weeks while he searches for a place for us to live. 
We have been busy packing up and doing some improvements around the house.  So things are in a state of disarray in many of the rooms.  We are about to begin work on the kitchen so things have been temporarily relocated to the dining room, sans the dining room table.
We are also sprucing up the basement... I don't know that I have ever seen it this empty or this clean.  Josh's parents have been a huge help -- they have done most of the painting and handy work for us as we have been packing and taking care of Noah.

The plan is for me to join Josh in Tuscaloosa in a few weeks, hopefully with the house on the market and a place for us to live in Alabama.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bama Bound!

It's official.  The Lauers are moving to Alabama!

It has all happened so fast we can hardly believe it.  In mid-December, Josh found out that the 1st assistant position at the University of Alabama was open and we discussed the opportunity. He had not been looking to leave UMSL but knew this was a chance to learn from an accomplished coach in a major division I conference.  A series of providential events led to a face to face meeting between Josh and Coach Green at the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) convention in Sacramento.  She requested a resume and they began to communicate via email over the holidays.

In early January, Josh was invited to interview for the position in Tuscaloosa.  He spent two days meeting with the athletic director, the volleyball coaching staff, the team, and a variety of other folks at the university.  To our knowledge, their were two other candidates besides Josh but both accepted head coaching positions while Josh was in Alabama at his interview!  

On Friday of last week, Josh was offered and accepted the position.  

If that all seems fast, the last week has been at light speed.  In the matter of about 5 days I have notified my district that I will not be returning in the fall, Josh has resigned from UMSL, we have met with a real estate agent, and, with the help of Josh's parents, we have begun to redo our kitchen and bathroom in preparation for putting the house on the market.  

Josh's first day on the job will be February 4th.  He will likely travel down to Tuscaloosa alone and find a house for us to rent.  Then, sometime in mid-February, Noah and I will join him.  
Needless to say, we are a little overwhelmed right now.  But so much has happened to show us that God's hand is on this move and this opportunity, so we are trusting in that!  I'll keep you posted as more details develop.

Here is a link to the press release about Josh's resignation:

Alabama has a facility dedicated to the volleyball program know as the "CAVE".  This is a dream come true for Josh as he has spent the last 4 years sharing the UMSL gym with basketball, rec sports, and a variety of university functions!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Incidental victories

As mentioned in a previous post, Noah has decided to become a fussy feeder.  Although we have no firm answers as to why, we suspect it has to do with his reflux and a particularly sensitive gag reflex (likely inherited from his momma).  Each bottle is an exercise in patience and often he will take less than half of what is average for babies his age and weight.  Sometimes, if things really go badly, he will toss the entire contents of his stomach back up, completely negating all the work you just put in trying to get him to eat.

The biggest concern is weight loss... Noah's weight was perfect at his 4-month appointment but he lost 4 ounces during the drama of the last few weeks.  We are slowing inching back to where he was but his eating habits are a serious obstacle.  As the pediatrician put it, Noah "eats to live" rather than "lives to eat."  

It probably comes as no big surprise that I get very emotional when Noah doesn't eat well... feeding him is, of course, one of my primary maternal functions.  Josh tells me not to beat myself up over it and that I am doing everything possible to encourage him to eat... I know this is true but I can't help but feel like I am failing from time to time.   

On the flip side, I also feel victorious when Noah feeds well... last night he was much more successful eating solid food from a spoon and I wanted to shoot off fireworks!  (It would have been a premature celebration as he proceeded to throw up most of what he ate from the spoon, but even that didn't overshadow my elation that he was opening his mouth for the spoon.)  And today, when he finished his bottle, I wanted to shout from the rooftop.  

My neighbor, who has a one year old daughter and a baby on the way, said, "Welcome to Oz!" when we brought Noah home from the hospital.  I am beginning to think that truer words have never been spoken!

Monday, January 14, 2008

One week and counting...

We have officially gone ONE whole week without any episodes!  Hooray!

Interestingly, we took Noah off the medicine we were giving him for his acid reflux one week ago as well.  Josh and I both firmly believe that the medicine (prevacid) was contributing to Noah not feeling well...and somehow to the episodes we were seeing.  

So if we could just get him to eat like a normal 5 month old, all would be well!  We would appreciate your continued prayers for his feeding issues... he is only eating about 2/3 of what he should be for his age and every bottle is a battle.  

Friday, January 11, 2008

Welcome to the world, Baby Leuchter!

We join our good friends Scott and Dena in welcoming their baby girl into the world... we know how many prayers preceded her coming and rejoice with them now that she is here!

Adelyn Jane Leuchter
Born at home on January 9th
8 lbs 2 oz

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Noah finds his feet and other small miracles...

It has been a crazy week in the life of the Lauers. After ten days, eight "episodes", and two doctor appointments, we think we are on the upswing with Noah. The pediatric neurologist has given him a clean bill of health and we have started solid foods to help alleviate some of Noah's reflux issues. Can I hear an "AMEN"?

A couple of fun pics to share... the first is of Noah hugging his monkey, which is his new favorite toy. The second is of Noah showing of his newest trick of grabbing both of his feet at the same time!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Thoughts on fear

Fear is a strange thing.  

One online dictionary defines it this way:   "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined." 

As some of you know, Noah has not been feeling well lately.  His acid reflux seems to be worse than ever and as a result he is not eating as much as he should.  Additionally, over the last week, he has been having some episodes of frantic movement and crying that have some similarities to seizures.  He seems to be in pain and is very difficult to comfort.  We even made a trip to the ER at Children's Hospital last week after a particularly scary episode.   We have lots of questions at this point and very few answers.  

So I come face to face with fear.  Definitely a "distressing emotion" ... I have found it difficult to eat or sleep as I wonder what is causing my son such discomfort.  "Whether the threat is real or imagined" has yet to be determined... and my mind races with all the possibilities of what could be wrong.  

The Psalms are a haven for those in distress and seeking comfort.  David reminds us time and again that it is important to approach the Lord with our fears, crying out to Him about what weighs on our minds.  

"Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me.  My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught.  My heart is in anguish within me... fear and trembling have beset me."  Ps 55:1-2, 4-5

It is as though David has read my mind.  He has expressed what I could not.  But he also reminds me of where my hope lies...

"I call out to God, and the LORD saves me.   Evening, morning, and noon, I cry out in distress and he hears my voice.  Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;   he will never let the righteous fall."  Ps 55:16-17, 22


The Lauer Family