Feb 22, 2011

Happy 18 Month Birthday Athélie

Athélie is 18 months old today. I can't believe how big she has gotten. Especially in comparison to her sister! It is hard to believe she was that small when she was born. Athélie is full of energy and is into everything these days. She runs fast. Climbs on everything. She is loving her new wagon and taking walks around the neighborhood in it. She loves buckles and buttons and cell phones. She is talking a lot. It's kind of hard to understand some words, but maybe it's a mom thing, I can generally understand what she is trying to say. She is still using all her signs too, which helps us communicate better. She is very loving - always giving lots of kisses, hugs, and love pats. Marc and I have tried to spend extra amounts of time with her playing and having fun since Stasiya came home. I think it has helped with her transition. She seems to be handling things better the past few days. We'll just have to keep making her feel special and important during this transition from a family of 3 to 4.

Athélie's burn is now 2 months old. Her skin is healing. We can see significant improvement. Her pigmentation is coming back in her neck and the lower part of her chest. The upper part of her chest is white and there are only patches of pink remaining. Her shoulder where she received the skin graft will take the longest to heal. The skin there is very thick. We are applying lotion and she is wearing a compression shirt in hopes that no scarring will occur. You can continue to pray for that. Her face looks is probably 90% healed. It looks the best and has healed the fastest compared to the rest of her body. We are so thankful for the progress we see. It is such an encouragement.

Athélie was sick last week and lost her appetite. She had hardly eaten anything all week and last night she finally ate! We were so excited we had to get the camera out and take pictures. Marc made beans and rice and we had steamed broccoli (her favorites) and she ate everything. Afterwards we gave her some mango sorbet for the first time. She loved it. She asked for seconds and then she licked the bowl and had sorbet all over her face, from her forehead to her chin.
Here's the pics:

She started playing it up for the camera.

Eating sorbet with her hands

Athélie likes to play with my cell phone. She gets it and holds it up to her ear and then starts talking on it. So cute!

Feb 19, 2011

Athélie loving on Stasiya

Although Taylee had kind of a rough day today adjusting to me taking care of another baby, she did love on her sister occasionally throughout the day. She was giving hugs and kisses and little love pats to Stasiya.

1st days at home

 Here's a few pics of Stasiya...she's so cute!

A smile

love this one

She's so little - she was drowning in the outfit she wore home from the hospital.

Athélie and Stasiya checking each other out.

And just because it is a really funny picture...

Feb 17, 2011



Before... 10:45 am

12:20 pm

Anastasiya Dae Benjamin
7lbs 1oz, 20 inches

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!” Romans 8:15 - The Message

On Wednesday February 16th we had the long awaited privilege to welcome the latest member of the Benjamin family. Anastasiya (pronounced an(a)-sta-siya) arrived to us at 12:18 PM EST; exactly one week before her due date.

If you haven’t known this about us, we’ll let you in a little fact: we love names and their meanings. We believe a child’s name can be used to call out the destiny and purposes of his/her life. Anastasiya is a derivative of the name Anastasia which is Greek for “resurrection”. Her middle name Dae (pronounced Day) is Hebrew for “beloved”. She will be nicknamed Stasiya. We decided on that name not only because of its great meaning, but also as a tribute to our good friends the Delisis’ who lost a daughter late last year to a birth defect called anencephaly. Her name was Anastasha. Our hope and prayer is for God to use Anastasiya to spring life into others by whatever means possible and that she grows up to know and experience the full extent of the Father’s love.

Alysia woke up yesterday morning at 3 AM with sporadic but intense contractions. By 7 a.m. the contractions were regular (5 minutes apart) but still short in length (30 sec max). We experienced a three-hour long false alarm a week prior and wanted to ensure it was actually D-Day. Marc decided to work from home that morning to monitor the progress and be ready to leave for the hospital if needed. After a 45-minute walk around the neighborhood pushing Athelie in the stroller, Alysia’s contractions had intensified and she knew we needed to get ready to go to the hospital. Our friend Kate (thank you Kate!), who agreed to stay with Athelie, came over around 10:00 and we left soon after.

We arrived at the hospital around 10:45. By that time Alysia’s contractions were 2-4 minutes apart lasting 40-50 seconds. The nurse checked Alysia’s dilation and she was already at 7 cm. We were relieved with that news knowing that a large part of the process was behind us, and more importantly that we would not have to walk around like we did with Athelie. It was GO Time! We were soon moved us to the delivery room where they pumped Alysia with a dose of antibiotics for Group B Strep as quickly as possible and started setting up the room for delivery. After only a few minutes Alysia was checked again and she was at 9 cm. They called her doctor who came right away and decided to break her water around noon. Within a few minutes Alysia was ready to push and Anastasiya was born.

Although there were no complications, thank God, it was a hard labor because it was so fast and intense. We were both thankful that it was over so quickly.

We are so thankful for Anastasiya coming into this world. She is a very sweet baby. Unlike Athelie who was very quiet and laid back, Stasiya seems to be more vocal and fiery. She lets you know when she doesn’t like something or wants her paci to suck on. It will be fun to see her personality develop as she gets older. She is a happy baby. Sleeps a lot. And is already a pro at nursing.

Athelie came to the hospital this morning and got to meet her baby sister. She seemed to be more interested in the room than the baby. However, she checked out her sister and signed and said “baby, baby, baby” which is the extent of her understanding at this point. It will be fun to watch her interact with Stasiya as they grow.

God answered every prayer that was raised from the beginning of pregnancy to the delivery nurse we ended up with. Thanks to all who lifted us up. We know that our lives will not be the same, however we’re looking forward to this new chapter and seeing what God will do through us.


The Benjamin 4: Marc, Alysia, Athélie, & Anastasiya

She's here! Anastasiya Dae Benjamin

Here's a few pic's to hold over those who are anxious to see the newest member of our family. We're working on writing up a little introductory letter we'll be posting later on this evening. But in the meantime we didn't want to keep you waiting any longer to see our precious little girl.

Proud Papa

Athelie meeting her baby sister for the first time.

Feb 15, 2011

Haiti Mission Trip

Our church has a team down in Haiti this week. Like always, they are posting blog updates. It is incredible to read about what God is doing down there. Here's the link if you want to check it out. I know Marc wants to go back hopefully sometime soon, and I would also like to go as soon as the business of baby/breastfeeding is done.

Feb 13, 2011

Sneak Peak

Yesterday morning we met with a photographer downtown to do family/maternity shots. It was a lot of fun, but really cold. (I think Athelie might have even gotten a cold from it - she's a little under the weather today). Anyways, the photographer sent me a sneak peak on her blog's website. You can check out the pictures she posted here. I started crying when I saw them! Emotional? Or maybe just beautiful.

This is my favorite one so far.

Feb 10, 2011

Nap time for Taylee

Athelie plays so hard, sometimes it is hard to get her to slow down long enough to take a nap. Like most kids she is at the stage where she is fighting nap time. Only if she is extremely tired will she go down easily. Sunday's are especially hard. This past Sunday she finally passed out...in the middle of the living room floor. Toys all around her. Notice "Gee" - her (security) blanket (that's what she's named it) on top of her.

Feb 3, 2011

New Pages

For those of you who have been following our blog for a while, you will know that I didn't start blogging until Athelie was 7 months old. The first 7 months of her life I used shutterfly's website. I wanted to have some sort of documentation of Athelie's first 7 months on our blog so I created pages to document that time period. The pages are on the left-hand side under all the blog topics, but perhaps you haven't noticed. Anyways, if you want to check them out, please do! It was a lot of work. But it forced me to learn a new computer program so I guess I should just look at it as a learning opportunity. Anyways, here is the list with the links if you want to just click below. Hope you enjoy.

Athelie's Room
Athelie's Birth-Day
Athelie's First Month
Athelie 1 Month Old
Athelie 2 Months Old
Athelie 3 Months Old
Athelie 4 Months Old
Athelie 5 Months Old
Athelie 6 Months Old
Athelie 7 Months Old