Thursday, May 29, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

My week has been rather busy! Here is a run-down on what our schedule looked like this week:
Monday: Work 3pm-11pm, called off from 3pm-7pm so I got to spend some nice time with Belle and Mark
Tuesday: Neonatal Resuscitation recertification test and checkoffs 12-3pm (I passed!!)
Wednesday: Work 3pm-11pm
Thursday: Pack, pack and pack a little more
Friday: Leave for Saint Simon's
I will have a very fun post for you all when we return on Tuesday. I am crossing my fingers that Belle will do a little bit better this time with the environment change. I am already a little stressed just remembering our trip 2 months ago. We have three trips planned to Saint Simon's between now and the end of July. I hope over time that she adjusts a little easier.

I leave you with Belle's "Whatchu talking bout Willis?" face:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Do you know how blessed you are?

Last night, I was working in the OR as a circulating nurse for C-Sections (C/S). Unfortunately, due to patient privacy laws, I have to be very discreet when telling stories from work. The first C/S was for a failed attempt at vacuuming the baby out (were not talking Hoovers or Eurekas here folks). Usually the babies are already a little stressed out at this point. We knew that it wasn't going to be the prettiest delivery. As the NICU team was working to get the baby breathing and the heart rate up, I could help but sit and count my blessings.

While Belle spent a couple of hours in the NICU her first night of life learning how to breathe and eat at the same time, she is a very healthy baby. Some of you know and some of you don't that we have an autosomal dominant genetic disorder that runs in our family. Basically that means that Belle has a 50/50 chance of having it. Mark and I find ourselves sometimes worrying over whether or not Belle will be effected. Last night I stopped and counted the many blessings the Lord has poured out on us. Belle's life will never be threatened by this disorder. She will still be able to live a very full life with few limitations. There are so many families out there that have been up against much, much harder struggles with their children.

Getting to the point of my rambling, take the time today and hug your children a little harder. Tell them you love them just one more time (or two) even if they are at that stage in life where they don't want to hear it. Tell your children what an incredible blessing they are to you. Peek in on them while they are sleeping and silently thank the Lord for blessing you with them.

What specifically are you blessed with today?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Check Me Out

Belle can sit up now with the help of her boppy! She did it Tuesday and Wednesday for a couple minutes at a time.

Also, for those of you who love to read blogs you must definitely check out Google Reader. It is a great way for keeping up with everything you love to read.
Well, it is back to work for the last night of the week! Thankfully I actually showed up for the right days this week. I am looking forward to next schedule because I only requested 6 shifts for the month instead of 8. I am so very grateful to have a job that allows me the flexibility to be primarily a stay-at-home mom. Here are some cute pictures of Belle hanging out with her nannies (my grandparents keep her from 2:00 when I leave for work until 5:00 when Mark gets home). They are wonderful and send me weekly picture updates of all they did.

Reading books with Great-Grandma
Out for a stroll on a beautiful day with Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Four Months!

In many ways it seems like forever and other ways it seems like just yesterday.

I know that sounds so cliche, but it is so true! Belle actually turned 4 months old on Thursday, but due to hectic week we are running a little behind. Here is a run down of what has gone on with Belle this past month told in pictures.

Belle used to be a hater when it came time to do tummy time. She has now made peace with the floor and the boppy and has embraced laying on her stomach for more than a minute without screaming. We started tummy time on the first day home from the hospital and it has taken 4 months for this child to accept. One of her favorite things to do is push herself over her boppy in order to put one of her toys in her mouth. I think I can see teething just around the corner.

Belle can now roll over in both directions, but rarely does it when her fan club is cheering her on. She likes to make sure that we are out of sight and then surprise us with a roll. She is funny like that! We cheer on and on for her to roll over and she looks at us like we are certifiably insane. The minute I walk into the kitchen to do something she will roll over.
Now that I am at work, Belle 3 bottles two times a week. She has impressed her nannies (my grandma and grandpa) as well as Mark by holding her own bottle. Due to her daintiness, she will only hold the bottle when it is half full and if you look closely you can see the left pinkie held out. How proper for a 4 month old! (Sorry for the quality of the last two pics, but they were taken on our blackberries).
Now that Belle has moved on from preemie and newborn clothes, we are venturing into the world of outfits! Now all that know me well, know I was able to make an outfit with the little clothes as well. Seriously look at those shoes with that one piece though! Being in 0-3 clothes gives Belle a few more options. We still can't do many pants because that waist won't hold them up (umm do you think we are sharing this problem right now -- that would be a negative).
Belle's eyes are staying a gorgeous shade of navy blue for the time being. Her hair is turning more and more auburn. My hair was somewhat auburn when I was a little girl. I personally think the combination is stunning, but I am extremely biased. Can we all say Scobey-chin? We were even able to see this on ultrasounds.
She has been holding her head up like a champ. When she lays on her tummy on the floor she moves those arms and legs as if she will just take off one day. I am sure that day is not too far around the corner, so Mark and I have started contemplating how we can baby gate three staircases on one floor. We were thinking those orange ski nets might be nice. Just kidding no one go call DFACS or anything.
Here are the 4-month stats.
Weight: 10 pounds 13.5 ounces - 5th percentile
Height: 23 1/2 inches - 25th percentile
She is teeny, tiny. It has been hard on me because there were about seven girls at work that all had babies within six weeks of each other, and hearing how big their babies has been rough. Don't get me wrong I am completely fine with a small baby, but when you are nursing you almost take it a little personally when people decide to say that she is too small. It makes you almost feel inadequate. The good news is that Belle has remained in the 5th percentile for her weight and isn't planning on dropping off the charts any day soon. Our doctor thinks that for the time being we should hold off on rice cereal since we are still having some reflux issues. We have been able to wean Belle off almost all of her medicines, and so far she is doing great.

The picture above took at least 8 attempts to get. Every picture was a big blur because this child moves. She moves FAST. She thinks no clothes is the coolest thing in the world, and kicks and waves her arms like she is doing aerobics.

Four months has brought us an incredibly sweet and happy baby. She can melt your heart in about a second with her grins from ear to ear. We love to hear her laugh out loud and squeal with delight. She has been sleeping pretty consistently 10-12 hours a night, although here and there we have one middle of the night wake up. Everything this child touches must go in her mouth! This cracks us up as she will try to put our ears in her mouth when we are holding her. I am sure I could go on and on, but you all are probably not that interested. For those of you that have stuck with this long-winded blog you must really love my child!

Happy 4-Months Baby! I cannot wait to see you grow over the next month. We are madly in love with you, and feel that God has blessed us over and beyond what our hearts and minds could ever imagine.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request

This morning our friend's daughter was eating at Panera with her grandmother, and pulled a tray that had hot coffee on it off the table. The coffee spilled all down the front of her and has badly burned her chest, lap, and underneath her chin. She is 3 or 4 years old and since the only burn center in Atlanta does not treat adults they are transporting her to the Still Burn Center in Augusta. Please pray that the burns will heal without too much complication, her pain will be minimal, and also pray for her grandmother as she is very upset.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mommy Moment of the Week

You have always heard everyone talk about how once you have a baby you seem to lose a portion of your brain. I always disregarded this talk as there was no way that could happen to me. Well today my parenting passport was officially stamped with a "Welcome to Postpartum Brain" stamp.

The inevitable has happened and I have lost a portion of my brain. I think this portion contained my ability to remember. I am also wondering if I step on the scale if I will have miraculously dropped a couple pounds with the loss of part of my brain -- I am thinking the chances are pretty slim.

In my two and a half years I have rarely ever messed up my schedule. A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me to switch a Friday with a Wednesday. I thought no problem and wrote it down in my planner. Unfortunately, I wrote it down for 2 weeks from this week. Maybe I should have clued in that something was up when I was in the locker room at work and my friend who I had switched with asked me why I was working today. Nope didn't clue in yet. Maybe I should have clued in when I looked at the assignments for the night and I was not on the assignment sheet. Nope no clue yet (I am sure at this point everyone but me could have figured it out -- I bet you all even know what is coming).

I asked the charge nurse why she left me off the assignments. She pulled the schedule out and proceeded to tell me I had switched the day with someone. Yeah, I showed up for work when I wasn't even supposed to be there. I could feel the tears well up when I thought about all the work that had gone into getting the milk thawed and bottles ready along with the money spent driving into work. Thankfully one of my friends came to my rescue and is taking 4 of my hours on Friday and hopefully I can get called off for the rest. I volunteered to stay if I was needed and boy was I ever! It ended up being a crazy night and they asked me to stay from 7p-11p for call pay. So the moral of this story is $40/hour call pay isn't bad on a night where you weren't even supposed to be at work!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Today was a day I have been looking forward to for quite some time. Last year this time Mark and I were desperate to be parents. I know that Mother's Day last year held many tears for the two of us. Little did we know that in just a few weeks we would find out we were having a baby! Isn't the Lord's timing incredible?

My day started out with Mark going to get Belle this morning when she woke up. It was a special treat not to have to get out of bed until after she was fed and happy. Mark and Belle brought me the sweetest card. We then all got busy getting ready for church.

At church we had our Parent Affirmation. All the babies from the past year are brought up to the front and then the parent's pledge to raise them in a Godly manner, and the church pledges to help us raise the children. I am not one of those people that really enjoy being in front of large groups of people. I have been having nightmares about it because they were doing it during the time that Belle normally eats. I could just imagine her screaming bloody murder while we were up there or even letting out a large toot. She did perfect and looked SO cute (Mark bought her a gorgeous white gown to wear).

After church we had a delicious lunch prepared by my parents. It was so yummy and fun to be around so much family. Mark and Belle made this adorable card for me. It was so sweet for Mark to do such special things for me. He also gave me four new charms for my Chamilia charm bracelet. We gave both our moms Chamilia charm bracelets with a mom/grandma charm and Belle's birthstone. I thought it would be something fun for the grandchildren to give new charms to them. My mom honored me by making a donation to Georgia Agape in my name. I was incredibly touched.

We came home and took a nap just the three of us, and then finished up our day with an incredible dinner at Mark's brother's house. Thank you so much to everyone who made this day so special, especially Mark! You made this a day I will never forget. I was honored to be able to celebrate this day.

The sweet card Mark and Belle made (with some help from my mom and Holli)

My gorgeous, sleepy girl

Can you tell we were tired since this is the best family picture we got?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Might Be Getting a Glimpse of the Teenage Years

I took this sweet video of Belle yesterday after her nap, hence the lullabies during the video. She is such a happy baby but also full of personality. I would best describe her as sassy -- sweet but with a little attitude. My favorite part was when she rolled her eyes at me. I didn't even notice it until I was editing the video. Unfortunately for you all I cannot edit the sound, so please disregard the kissy noises I am making to get her to smile and her big toot at the beginning.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I don't have much to say today because it has been a rough day. I thought this really cute picture might be a decent stand-in. I cannot believe she will be 4 months old next Thursday.

Note: As soon as you get the camera out to take a picture of this child she gets so serious and posey (if that is a word). In order to get this picture I had to blow raspberries on her neck holding the camera in my hand, and then quickly stop and take the picture. Yes, I know, I am quite talented.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

How Sweet It Is...

Motherhood brings on so many emotions, and your heart swells with love greater than you have ever known. This week I have dedicated to mothers: new mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, soon-to-be mothers, and even mothers yet to be.

Today I am reminded of the joys of motherhood by how sweet it is...

  • To hold a sleeping baby on my shoulder and feel her sweet breath on your neck.
  • To receive a smile that melts my heart into a million tiny pieces.
  • To watch my husband cuddle up with our baby reading Goodnight Moon to her before bed.
  • To have every move I make watched (like a hawk) as I give my baby her bath or even just walk out of the room.
  • To check on my baby while she is sleeping and see her little arm up over her head just like I do when I sleep.
  • To pray over our baby as a family at the end of each day, it is like a glimpse of heaven
  • To see our baby discover new things every day. Whether it be rolling over, trying to crawl, a new picture or even a new face, her eyes light up with wonder.
  • To know that by going to work one or two nights a week, I am allowing Belle and her daddy to create an incredibly special lifelong relationship.
  • To see her eyes light up when she recognizes my face or voice.
Honestly I could go on and on, but I know that you all do not have all night. I did not know that a love like this was imaginable. The Lord teaches us so many amazing lessons through this love. May each mother that reads this today be blessed with the knowledge that the Lord chose them to raise these children. God could have sent his son to earth any way that he wanted to, but he chose to give His son a mother. Let us remember this week that we have been chosen!

Four generations: my mom, me, Belle inside me, and my grandmother

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." Psalms 139:13

That picture is of Belle her first week - who knew preemies could have such chubby cheeks. In the words or our midwife, she has banana puddin' cheeks.