Thursday, July 29, 2010

Urban updates

Well, I'll be 38 weeks pregnant on Saturday. I cannot believe how fast time flies! There has been so much that's happened over the past 9 months, and there's so much more to come! Eric and I have been keeping cool by taking a lot of beach trips! Luckily, Huntington Beach is only a few minutes from our house. I think we've spent all of the 90+ degree days in the lake. Eric took pictures of me in my bathing suit (which is still my bikini paired with a pair of shorts), but I will not share those. It's bad enough those poor saps at the beach have to see my big white belly. I won't subject you to it. ;) Next pregnancy....maternity bathing suit is a must!!! But I do have the latest pictures taken a week ago. 35 lbs gained and growing! Same as I gained with Kaia. I hope I lose it like I lost it with her. ;)

This baby is getting big! And mama is wrapping up some last minute orders so she can take some time off with the little one. Some of my work will be up in the Root Cafe in Lakewood through the whole month of August (see previous post for details). So, hopefully I will still make a little money while not having to do too much. Things have been so hectic trying to keep my little business alive while juggling the massive belly. Woah! I'm looking forward to a small break. I'll be back in business September 12th at the Berea Arts Fest. This is a free festival. Come on down! Click here for details.

I didn't come here to talk about Little Lion. Although, it has been about 90% of my life. So, it's hard not to talk about it. I just wanted to give a short update on baby Urban's progress. We are not having any more ultrasounds. So, the next picture you will see is the little beaner in full form! Contractions are getting more frequent and stronger. So, it's any day now! The midwife is determined to have this baby out before 41 weeks to avoid induction. It's more dangerous to induce on a woman who's had a previous c-section. And we are trying to go all natural again with this one! Keep us in your prayers! Once baby is born, we will have a pulse ox screening on him/her to double triple check for heart issues. We are certain this one is totally healthy though. Been livin' and flowin' in hope, faith and trust.

Can't wait to share the little bean with you all! And if you all have any really unique boy name suggestions, please comment on this post with them! We are struggling hard with the boys names. We have a girl's name picked. So, no need to share those. Thanks!

Hope everyone is safe and well and livin' in love!

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's official! LLD at the Root Cafe in Lakewood in August!

I'm so proud to announce this. Little Lion Designs will be gracing the walls of The Root Cafe in Lakewood during the month of August. I can't tell you how much I love this place! They are deeply rooted in the community and supporting local farmers and the environment. They are mindful of waste and even their coffee cup lids are compostable. Their food comes from local farms, etc etc. I could go on and on, but lastly I will say that their Diablo pizza is to DIE for and they make a killer decaf soy latte!

Also in August (8-7-2010) is the Lakewood Arts Fest, which I really wanted to be in but didn't feel comfortable committing to so close to my due date. So, this worked out perfectly? Why not take a stroll through the Arts Fest and then head over to the Root for some lunch and some more art? Fun fun!

Today I'm feeling very proud to be integrating myself into this community more and more each day. I love Lakewood and really enjoy strolling to different places and talking to people that I now am getting to know just by being in this town. I'm really excited to be a part of the True Colors: Exposed show tomorrow, as well. I haven't gotten to meet all the local crafters associated with the Cleveland Craft Coalition, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Oh happy day! And happy weekend! And happy August! My heart is feeling pretty full these days! xoxo!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Show this Saturday! Come one, come all! Sales on certain pieces, too!

Hello all! This Saturday, from 12-5pm, there is an art show being put on by the Cleveland Craft Coalition. Little Lion Designs will be there, along with 20 other local artisans, selling their wares. The show is called the "True Colors: Exposed" show and is located at two Lakewood locations (right next to each other). LLD will be selling tons of artwork, some at discounted prices, at River Colors Studio (please click name to go to their website).
They are located here:
1387 Sloane Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
(216) 228-9276

The second location is Blackbird Baking CompanyBlackbird Baking Company, which is located here:
1391 Sloane Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107
(216) 712-6599

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wow, a big thank you!

The response to the give-a-ways has been amazing! One has ended, but the other is still going, as far as I know. Here's the link if you want to enter:

I'm in tears reading these comments. I want you all to know that I am reading, and I thank you for your heartfelt words. They encourage us every day, to live, laugh and love. You all truly bless my life.

xoxo, Steph

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The gift of blogs

Wow, yesterday was a tough day. Today has been rough too, as I sift through all the wonderful heartfelt messages we've received from those touched by Kaia's story. Thank you all for lighting candles and sharing the night with thoughts of her. It means so much to us!

I received a wonderful gift in my email yesterday. A good friend of mine has been behind the scenes, working on getting our story on a big-time mom blog site. I'm not sure if the person who posted this blog realized that she posted it right in time for Kaia's angelversary, but she did. And what a wonderful surprise that totally made my day! I can visualize CHD awareness as a light that is spreading and shining brighter and brighter and brighter! It's amazing! Also, YOU CAN WIN a totally free piece from LLD. To win LLD's signature "Little Lion" (CHD warrior!), just go to the blog and leave a comment. You could be chosen! The blog is located here, and is called "A Mother's Grief Transformed: The moving story of Stephanie Urban and Little Lion Designs.

That blog post sort of snowballed into another one by a fellow local crafter, who was touched by Kaia's story and reposted it here.

And to top it off, the blog is still up and you can still with a Little Lion by commenting on that one too. Two chances to win in only one week. I love it! Please click here to go to the monsterbites blog and enter to win.

I didn't choose for this week to be the week of give-a-ways or contests or anything. But I think it's a great way to honor our little warriors. And I am so proud and honored to have two of my pieces be gifted into your homes, as a reminder of how precious life is, how amazing children are, and how one person can change lives for the better.

Live in love,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dear Kaia, Today is your one-year angelversary

Two days ago, I was driving your little brother or sister to St. John's for his/her 33 week check-up. As I was nearing the hospital, I heard an ambulance siren. I looked in my rearview, and there were the lights. An ambulance was going to the same hospital that I was. This is the hospital where you were born. All of a sudden, this wave of emotion came over me. The last time I was here and heard ambulance sirens, it was your ambulance transferring you to Rainbow Babies. The hospital wouldn't let me ride in the same ambulance with you because I was a "different patient" and we were going to two different units of the hospital. I laid in that ambulance and strained to watch your ambulance the entire way. Our ambulances rode side by side the entire way. Twenty minutes felt like a lifetime. I couldn't stand to be separated from you like that. It wasn't fair. I cried and cried, only to get there to find you laughing and giggling.

It was midnight, and I still couldn't sleep. So many nights with no sleep, and I was so tired. But I could never sleep when I knew something was wrong with your heart. It wasn't until the next morning that they told us you had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The whole next week we spent with you in the NICU. You smiled every day and would stare at us the entire day, until your eyes got so tired, they had to rest. June 9th, you laughed and giggled all the way to surgery. You always made mommy feel okay about what you were about to face. Your attitude was so light. I lost family members trying to keep you that way that day of your surgery. And I don't regret it. Your happiness and lightness was and is my only concern.
It wasn't until two days before you passed onto your new life, that I saw you laugh and giggle again. The pain was too big for you to laugh through. I understand. 

On this day, one year ago, at 10:02 pm, you looked me in the eyes and told me you were leaving. I didn't believe you. I wish I had believed you because I would never have left that room. I want you to know it's one of my biggest regrets. The next time I saw you, you were gone. I held your body and screamed that it wasn't so. I wouldn't let you go until you were cold and stiff. To this day, I can't watch the videos of you yet. Someday I will be able to. I hope. This doesn't mean I don't love you. It means I'm a human who longs to be able to hold you and watch you grow as a human. Instead, I watch you grow as a soul....a divine spirit that envelopes our family and continues to reach families across the world. I talk to you and you use my hands to do the work that requires hands, and you take care of the rest. This is your first angelversary, and I remember you for all that you were, but also, for all that you continue to be as you grow in ways that are larger than inches.

I want you to know that I see you. When I think of you, I see you laughing and picture you playing with butterflies. I know you. I know your soul was/is pure and true and good. You are very much around. I feel you. I know you show yourself to me in more ways than I actually recognize. But you are everywhere and in everything. There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't tell your story. Just yesterday, I was at the store when a woman asked if this is my first baby. When I said "no", she asked (just like everyone does) how old you are. My answer is "ageless", and then I tell your story. I've gotten it down to a short version, so as not to drown people in sorrow. I don't believe your story should be one of sorrow, even though you make me cry often. I want the light that is you to always come through. After I told your story, the woman said, "I have goosebumps. That is so amazing." And I say, "I know". Because I do know. You ARE amazing. Someone once told me that goosebumps are a sign that those who have passed are right next to you. Each time I tell your story, the person says "I have goosebumps." I take that as one sure sign that you are there, telling your story through me.

As the days go by, you don't diminish. You seem to grow bigger and greater with every person I meet and every woman, man and child that has come into our new path. Your story has raised a good chunk of money for research, so far. You have changed lives emotionally, physically and mentally. I know how proud I am to call you "daughter". And, even though I will never understand fully why you had to go, I do see how powerful and completing your life is since you have moved on. Maybe it was the only way to finish your life's work.

As long as I live, I will never stop living with you and beside you. You guide us in your light. And we know God will take good care of you until we can be fully reunited again. We are a family of four, and we are on a beautiful path, of which you built.

All my love,