I couldn't stop the tears when I found out this morning that 4-year-old Mieko Johnson had died. She's the daughter of one of my former co-workers, WCCO reporter Maya Nishikawa. Maya and I sat right next to each other at WCCO.
Mieko was born with a disorder called trisomy 18, which is the presence of an extra 18th chromosome. Most trisomy 18 babies only make it a few months. Only 10% make it past one year. Mieko, the champion, was 4 years old and loved life -- she had even learned to walk with a walker.
My heart aches for Maya & her husband. Even though they knew this day would come, I'm sure that doesn't help ease the pain one bit. We will all miss Mieko and her sweet smile.
Please keep Maya & her husband in your prayers.

Here is more information on Mieko from WCCO.COM.
-Video Obituary
-A slideshow of Mieko's life.
-A report Maya did about Mieko's condition around her first birthday


Potty Time...for real this time?

This morning after Israel's bath I set her on the "big girl" potty and to my great surprise and delight -- she used it! I was so thrilled! I made a huge fuss over her, then decided to leave her diaper off for the rest of the morning. She proceeded to potty on the floor three times. :)
Nevertheless, I think we are going to really get started on this potty training thing after all. We went to Target and bought a bunch of pretty undies (sesame street, dora, disney princess, my little pony, and curious george), and after her nap I'm going to put her in one of them. I have some stickers ready for rewards. We'll take it slow and let her get used to the idea -- I don't want to frustrate her. I think with patience and persistence, she'll be able to get it by the time the new baby arrives.
Be praying! :)
Here is a super cute picture my mom took of Rae last week -- I could just eat her up!


Happy Belated 4th

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. We spent the day at the lake with JP's family. Israel was so brave -- she was even jumping off the dock into our arms! At the beginning of the summer she wouldn't even go on the sand...much less the water...very much less the dock. She's come a long way! She's also going down the slide on her bottom now, instead of her stomach.
We shot off a few fireworks. If you ask Israel what a firework says, she'll say "Boom!" Here she is shooting off Roman Candles with daddy.

Lisa, Scott & the twins are doing great and are hoping to go home today. Keep the prayers coming for a smooth transition home!


More Pictures

Vincent and Florence
We got to hold them today! Grampies & Gammy Charlebois

Ava was running around singing "I'm a big sister! Yes I am!"

Papa & Nana Charlebois (great-grandparents)




The Twins Are Here!!!!!

I am VERY proud and excited to announce the arrival of our nephew and niece TWINS!

Vincent (Vinnie) King Bottolene was born at 1:26 pm weighing in at 6lbs, 10oz. His sister, Florence (Florie) James Bottolene was born two minutes later, a tiny 4lbs, 11oz.

Lisa was induced just before 8:00 am. Once she was fully dialated, she only pushed THREE TIMES before Vinnie came out, followed by little Florie! The babies spent the first few hours of their life in the NICU for monitoring, which is standard procedure.

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for the Bottolenes through the entire pregnancy, bed rest, and now the births. The miracle of TWO BABIES in one day is overwhelming. They are so cute and so tiny! Please keep the prayers coming as they head home and adjust to life as a family of five.

Here are some more pictures I snapped today -- enjoy the cuteness!



Both of them in the NICU

Proud daddy Scott with son Vincent

Florence gets worked up

Daddy knows how to calm her down