Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nine Months Old.

And just like that, three-fourths of the first year has vanished before our eyes! This has been a busy month for Brooklyn! She can now sit up on very stable surfaces for short periods of time. She has also perfected her army crawl and is quite speedy at moving across the room. She has started to clap her hands (one hand open, the other in a fist) and just this morning, the corner of her first tooth emerged! She got her crib lowered after she was discovered standing after nap time. And she makes me laugh by shaking her head no quite vigorously when there is something she doesn't want. Busy, busy girl!

She continues to eat and sleep well. She sleeps about 11-12 hours each night and takes two naps. She drinks 6 ounces of formula every three hours, and eats 1 jar of food at each meal.

She had a second ear infection this month, for which she is still on antibiotics. I am hoping this is not a precursor of things to come! She still visits the physical therapist once a week, the developmental therapist twice a month, the neurologist every three months, and the pediatrician monthly for antibody shots. Oh, the life of a preemie!

She continues to be a very laid-back, easy-going delight. From the way she grunts while she eats... to the way she holds the ends of my hair as she falls asleep... to her contagious belly laugh at the silliest things... we just couldn't love this sweet thing any more than we already do!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Since we last spoke...

Well, hello, strangers! So sorry for my long absence. Life is chaotic. And I'm tired. And behind. On everything. And that just stresses me out.

So without further adieu [because I really should be doing something more productive], here is a rundown of what happened since we last spoke.

- 2 Thanksgiving meals, and 2309572435 leftovers.

- 1 infant blow-out right during the meal. 1 bath and 1 load of laundry immediately followed.

- 3 hours of sleep Thanksgiving night

- 9 stores in 3.5 hours on Black Friday, all gifts purchased, and under budget to boot

- 36 packages got wrapped

- 1 tree was decorated with 23895293857 lights

- 42 ornaments have been placed on the tree, removed by kitty and toddler, and placed back on the tree.... 293587 times already

- 28-27... one football game was lost, in spite of the yelling at the television. Oh well, at least the Tide made those cheatin' Tigers work for it. You better believe we will be pulling for Oregon to take the national title, however.

- 1 new truck was purchased after nearly 7 years of saving, waiting, and praying. 1 very happy husband lives here now. pictures will follow.

- 0 sick children! Hooooooraaaaaayyyyyy!

- 1 birthday party for Miss Haley Ann! Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

- 1 nursery duty served at church.


Now, in the coming week, Brooklyn has 3 appointments, Mommy has 2 research papers and 1 exam, and Daddy has a company Christmas party in another city. Sigh! It might be another week before we speak again....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let the Eating Begin!

Okay, you guys. The eating has begun. Have I mentioned how much I just love this holiday?!

We have a weird tradition in our family. Its downright quirky. But I love it.

We have hot dogs at my grandma's house for Thanksgiving. Yes, thats right. Hot dogs.

I'll pause and let that sink in.

And I don't even think they are turkey dogs.

Whats that, you say? Why in tarnation would you do that? Well, because usually everyone else has another house to go to and have turkey. And lets just face it, there's only so much turkey a girl can eat in the span of a week.

And they aren't just normal hot dogs. They're called scrambled dogs. Here is what you do.
Grab a frying pan. Place your hot dog in the bun, in the center of the frying pan. Top with mustard, onions, chili with beans in it, and shredded cheddar cheese. And eat to your heart's content. Its best if followed up by pumpkin pie.

Savannah deviated from the norm. She doesn't like chili. But she did like eating out of a frying pan.

Darren, however, managed to put away some scrambled dogs. Minus the frying pan, since he let Savannah have his.

And whenever family is gathered, there is some sweet cousin time.

We can't wait to keep celebrating! [and eating!]
Now, to things I am thankful for, part two:

1. Crock pots. There is something wonderful about piling everything in a pot, and coming home 8 hours later to a melt-in-your-mouth meal.

2. Drive-thru pharmacies. Because we really don't take our snotty-nosed, ear-pulling, fussy babies out just for kicks.

3. Eyeliner. For all of the nights you were up with those sweet babies!

4. Starbucks happy hour. Thats right folks, right now the holiday drinks are buy-one-get-one-free from 2pm-5pm. Because who actually drinks coffee at that time of day? Oh, I do.

5. Best friends. I have a list of a few people that I could call or text at any time, and know they would have my back. If I was in trouble, they would drop everything and come running, no questions asked. In fact, a few of them have in years past. And when Brooklyn was in the hospital, I had about six trillion people offer to babysit Savannah. Obviously, they don't know what they are volunteering for, but the point is... I have some good friends.

6. Daisies. They beat roses any day.

7. Those people who see you pushing a stroller and open the door for you. Lets just face it, that whole try to open the door and hold it and push a stroller in while keeping one hand on your toddler is just plain awkward.

8. Black Friday shopping!!!!

9. Contacts. I look horrendous in glasses, but I'm blind without them. The perfect, vain solution? Contacts!

10. My brother. We may not chat it up on the phone every day, but he matters to me, a lot. And I know he feels the same way. Even if he calls me bossy, all of the time.

11. Coupons! Its so cool to check out and then see how much you saved. Even if you were that lady that had like 42 coupons to scan in.

12. Bank tellers that hand out suckers. Because it buys you a car ride in peace. Thank you, Bank of America!

13. A stepdad who drives to my house because a wasp is in my kitchen. Because I just really hate anything that stings me.

14. That person that says, "you look great!" when you go somewhere. It can sure boost a girl's mood.

15. Labels. I do not have time to manually address my Christmas cards when I could be doing other things. Like painting my fingernails.

16. Bear hugs from very petite little girls.

17. McDonalds sweet tea. Mmm.

18. Warranties. Do you know how many things I break? Now, if only you didn't have to keep up with the warranty papers.

19. Thanksgiving Day Parade. Love love love it!

20. The smell of the top of a baby's head as they are sleeping on your shoulder. Tell me there is something sweeter than that!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wild Indian

When you were a kid, and you were running amuk (amuck? is that even a word? you people know what I mean, don't you?) did your parents ever say to you, "Stop that! You're behaving like a wild indian!"

Mine never said that to me. It was usually directed at my brother. I was usually the child holed up in my room reading the Sweet Valley books like it was my job. But, I digress.

I have a real, genuine, bonafide wild indian child. See?

And she is a mighty cute one at that.

However, she did object to being an indian.
Until she found out that she could be an indian princess, that is.

More dates.

Oh, I've been a delinquent poster. And I'm sure I've disappointed all four of you readers. Ahem.

I'm feeling a bit frazzled on this Monday. You see, my three-year-old now has bronchitis, my 9 month old has an ear infection AND a sinus infection, and I have an ear infection as well.

Frazzled, I tell ya.

So, about those dates. Here is your crash-course.

Due to sick children (always, always sick lately it seems), we have had a series of boring-ish dates. However, I am still thankful for that time!

Date twenty-one- Dinner at a new restaurant in town and some Christmas shopping.

Date twenty-two- just dinner at Montanos... one of my favorites... for my birthday... was going to do a movie, but had a child admitted to the hospital and things just got chaotic and exhausted.

Date twenty-three - Chinese takeout and "Grown-Ups" from the Redbox. Which I forgot to return... maaaan!

I promise to get more creative after I get more sleep... but for now... please bear with my incompetent, sleep-deprived self. ;) I also have a digital camera full of pictures from early Thanksgiving celebrations, pilgrim/indian night at church, and the like. Hang in there... and I will post them, and they will utterly delight you. Or something. Ahem.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


If I had to sum up last night in one word, it would be exhausting. Actually, if I had to sum up Savannah in one word, it would be exhausting. So you can probably guess how last night went for me.

This child has been high-strung from the very minute she was born. When we were in the hospital, the nurses brought her back to my room at 2 am claiming that they could do nothing with her. That should have been my first clue.

Savannah has had croup for nearly a week now. Her fever only lasted two days, but the cough is lingering. So, she hasn't been sleeping very well. This, as you can imagine, is quite unfortunate.

Last night, it was very difficult to get the child in bed. I like to think that I'm pretty strong-willed, but I have met my match. James Dobson wrote his book for this child. No amount of spankings, time outs, bribes, or anything else will keep the kid in the bed. I need Super Nanny at bedtime.

Last night, when it was time for bed, she kept getting up. First, she insisted that she had to go potty. She has just started sleeping in panties at night time, and I just knew that if I called her bluff, she would pee in the bed out of spite. So, up she went to the bathroom. Did she pee? No, of course not. But she really thought she had to go.

After doing this three or four times, I said that is ENOUGH. You are going to bed. She finally went.

And then 1 am came. And she began to cry. Now, my motherly instincts think.. she is sick, so I will give her the benefit of the doubt. I went in her room, and she said she had lost her paci. Yes, she still sleeps with a pacifier. Don't judge me... we have enough sleeping problems without trying to take that away. I found the paci on the floor and gave it back to her, and went back to bed.

1:10 am... more crying. Seriously?! I go back in there, and you guessed it, she has to go potty. I blindly feel along the wall and we shuffle to the bathroom, where she barely tinkles. Awesome. back to bed.

1:15 am. Sweet mercy, you've got to be kidding me. She thinks she has to go potty again. NO, you do NOT. Go to sleep!

1:40 am. Just enough time has elapsed for me to actually be back asleep, when she coughs and then resumes whining for me. Sigh. Go back in there, and tell her to go back to sleep.

1:45 am. Thats IT. She gets a spanking.

2:05 am. "Mooooommmmmmyyyyyy!" This time, I give her some cough syrup, primarily because she is coughing, and also because I have high hopes that it will somewhat sedate her. She has no fever, and I'm pretty sure she is just being rotten.

2:15 am. Lord, bless her soul. And my sanity too, while you're at it. Savannah, GO TO SLEEP!

2:18 am. Forget it. I get up and go crawl in bed with her. She proceeds to ask me 50 questions, and I answer every one with "I can't talk to you until daytime. Go to sleep." She finally gives up and is sound asleep within minutes, essentially proving my theory... she could go to sleep if she wanted to!

2:30 am. I sneak out of her bed and out of her room, crawl back in my bed and settle down to go to sleep, only to realize that I'm wide awake. Sigh. Spend some time praying over my little family until I drift off.

6:20 am. The alarm goes off way too early, and about two minutes later, a three-year-old girl appears. "Good morning, Sunshine Mommy! Is it daytime yet?"

That child is exhausting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Turkey day is coming, people.

If you are like me, you are usually eagerly anticipating the sheer bliss of having that much food in one location, and you might possibly forget that the purpose is to be thankful.
We are Southern people... we live to eat.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, in no particular order, I present...
Things I am thankful for!

1. Debit cards. Seriously, how inconvenient is cash?! Not having to count out money while balancing a baby on your hip and worrying about who your toddler is chatting up this time is just plain wonderful.

2. Tivo. Again, how inconvenient is having to watch a show when it is actually on tv?! I could do that before I had kids. But then again I could also sleep past noon on Saturdays and go get a pedicure any time I wanted to and just run in the store without it being a major task. Those days are so over, people. There is something wonderful about putting babies in bed, grabbing a cup of coffee, and settling in on the couch for some drama that I am not involved in.

3. Google. Because when its 2 am and your 3-year-old child has croup and a temp of 104.2, it is a useful tool. Or when you want to stalk people. Not that I do that.

4. Nursing covers. When Savannah was a baby, I did this awkward thing where I tried to hold a baby and hold up a blanket and hope the blanket didn't slip, etc. Now they have these awesome things called nursing covers... and they stay put! So nice. Uddercovers.com

5. The way my sweet baby reaches up and plays with the ends of my hair while I rock her to sleep. There is nothing sweeter!

6. The humor my toddler brings to my life. Like yesterday, when she walked in the kitchen and said, "Mom, have you ever put a cat in the trashcan? I have." She never fails to make me laugh, although sometimes it is not in-the-moment laughter, but rather, after I have solved the crisis she created.

7. Online education. Because I really don't have time to go to class.

8. A solid, bible-believing church. Fellowship with that family is such a blessing!

9. The NICU. Because without it, my youngest wouldn't be here!

10. Heated seats. There is nothing worse than a cold tushie. Well, maybe a few things.

11. A mom who likes to shop. Because when she says... I need to come by because I got my babies a few things... she actually means... I got turned loose in the mall and saw tons of cute baby girl stuff, and I bought it all. Yessss.

12. Flat irons. You guys would not want to see me without one.

13. Digital cameras. Did you know in the old days that they had to sit still for hours? Thats why there are no pictures of children from back then.

14. My blackberry. I had a Droid for a while, which I nicknamed 'roid. Just think about it.

15. Disposable diapers. Enough said.

16. Hoops and Yo-yo cards. They make me laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

17. A husband with a sense of humor. He lightens up my intensity. Like the other day when I was freaking out about not having completed my research paper due on December 15th. And he laughed at me. AT me. But sometimes that is necessary.

18. Nail polish. I haven't met too many colors that I don't love!

19. Coffee. And pumpkin-spice creamer!

20. Gilmore girls marathons with my sister. There is just something comforting about being in your PJ's with an abnormal amount of Chinese food and wondering if Lorelai and Luke will ever realize that they are meant for each other.

Those are must some things I'm thankful for. Stay tuned for next Tuesday's list! What are you thankful for?!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I love new things. Especially new years. A crisp, fresh, clean, no-mistakes made, new year. Inhale, exhale.

Twenty-four was a year of trials. Some were overcome. Others I succumbed to.

Twenty-four saw death, hospitalizations, poor choices, heartbreak, and lessons learned the hard way. But, it also saw the miraculous birth of a child, victory over seemingly insurmountable odds, admission to graduate school, unspeakable joy, forgiveness, and love that knows no boundaries.

Twenty-four, I will not miss you.

Twenty-five, I will be better than twenty-four.
Just you wait and see.

New things always involve celebration. To celebrate twenty-five, my most awesome mother in the world took me to see Carrie Underwood. We had so much fun. Some people might say, "You went with your mom?!" But I wouldn't want to spend this fun night with anyone but my very best friend for whom I am forever thankful.

To continue the celebration, we went to one of my favorite restaurants the following night with much more of the family.

Who wouldn't want to celebrate with this cutie pie?!

I am so blessed to share my life with this patient, funny man.
Even if he does like to irritate me on purpose and find it amusing.

And what is a party without cake?!

My mini-me agreed. Although, she might slightly amend my statement to, "whats a party without icing?" She is far too much like her Momma. I'm sorry, sweetie.

And sparkly presents can get the attention of any girl.
I was so spoiled by my family this year!

We partied like it was going out of style. And then collapsed. At only 6:35pm.
Its been a long week year, people.

Goodbye, twenty-four.
Hello, fresh, new, beautiful twenty-five!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not Your Typical Middle-of-the-Week Slump

Normal? Average? Boring? I don't think so.

Tuesday afternoon doesn't seem interesting enough?
We can fix that.

My children don't do anything the normal way. So, Tuesday, Brooklyn started to act very strange. Took an extra nap, refused to take a bottle, and spit out her breakfast. Then, during lunch, she had a seizure. I took her to the pediatrician, who called her neurologist, who admitted her to the hospital.

Apparently, life at home wasn't interesting enough. She had another seizure that night in the hospital.

To make a long story short, she spent two days in the hospital having tests run, and everything came back negative. So, she doesn't have epilepsy, or a brain lesion, or a blood clot, or anything like that. Whew! We are so thankful! She may have another seizure, or she may not. Its a waiting game. And more doctor appointments. But the important thing is that she is okay, aside from being a little ticked off that she had to have an IV in her foot for two days, that is. We are resting, recovering, and counting our blessings!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hello, Tuesday.

Good morning!!! Wake up, already! We have things to talk about!

Plus, there are only a few shopping days left until my birthday, so you might need to get to work on that! Ahem...I digress.

Brooklyn is just so excited to show you...

She can sit up on carpet when she keeps her legs out straight! Impressed? You should be.

Also, I have the cutest little "missionary" ever in my house. We had missions conference at church this past week and Savannah so enjoyed dressing up! She has been on a kick lately where she says she wants to be a doctor. I told her there were missionary doctors in other countries. She informed me, however, that she may no longer want to be a doctor. Why not? "Maybe I will be a therapy [therapist?] so I can help little babies that can't sit up good."

Aw. Wherever her tender heart takes her later in life, I'm so blessed to be her mommy! Now, I just have to keep that frame of mind as I head off to my first-ever parent/teacher conference this afternoon. Hehe. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Anatomy of an Army Crawl

1. Spot something you want. Its best if it is something you shouldn't be into. Or one of your sister's toys... that'll make her go nuts.

2. Push really hard with your feet. You'll do a bit of a belly flop, but thats ok.

3. Keep pushing. Grab the carpet with your non-weightbearing hand and pull.

4. Ooh, face plant. Its okay... its just carpet. Sweet deal. You've moved about six inches. Just another 36 to go. Get back on your knees and prepare to repeat.

5. Check and see how much further it is. Gasp for air. This is worse than running a marathon. Okay, back to work.

6. Work it, baby! Push with those feet!

7. Realize you've reached your destination. Collapse with exhaustion and chatter on in excitement.

8. Realize you just burned all 10 calories you ate for lunch and fuss for Momma. There's no way you're crawling all of the way to her now. Shew.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Because You Just Might Wonder

Have you ever seen a cuter baby?
Me neither. Just sayin.

Sweet Brooklyn has been busy busy busy lately! Just in case you wondered. She goes to physical therapy every week, and developmental therapy every other week. Mondays in our house are quite crazy, as all of her therapy falls on that day... so on the other weeks, she has developmental therapy in the mornings and physical therapy in the afternoons. Shew! Are you tired? Me too.

That being said, she is making progress. We LOVE the physical therapist and she has just been such a blessing to us! Brooklyn can now sit for short periods of time on carpet, but please don't ask her to do it on slick surfaces or in the grocery cart or bathtub. We aren't that advanced yet. They do all kinds of things with her to strengthen her core muscles and she really doesn't complain until the very end of therapy, when she usually just goes limp with exhaustion. They tell me that its very hard work for a baby. She always naps very well for me on Mondays!

She also saw a neurologist last week, and we were thankful to have some major disorders ruled out. He agreed that she is low-toned, and delayed, but was able to rule out a lot of scary causes. She could've had a stroke in the past, or some kind of minor disorder, but they are going to keep an eye on her for now and see her again in January to check her progress.

She isn't crawling yet, but don't think she isn't mobile. She has a very effective roll and army crawl. She likes to scoot across the room, grab Savannah's toys, and grin. Savannah then snatches them away with a glare, and Brooklyn continues to grin. This might go on for years.

Brooklyn will also begin to get the respiratory antibody shots that she got last year, starting next week. She will get them every 28 days from November-March. She is at a very high risk for contracting/developing pneumonia because of her preemie lungs. The shots are very expensive (read: approximately $3000 per shot), but do you know how awesome our pediatrician is? When she found out that we couldn't afford them (insurance will only pay 60%), she personally got on the phone and called a few foundations to try and get funding. We are so thankful for God's provision... we kind of found our pediatrician by "accident"... but we all know there are no real accidents like that, don't we?! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus!

So... that is what Miss Brooklyn is up to nowadays, because if I hadn't told you ALL of that information, you just might wonder. And besides, you couldn't start off the weekend without that cute picture. That would just be wrong. You're welcome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Date Twenty: Haunted Maze + Fry Shack + Friends

For date twenty, we headed back out to the farm with the corn maze, but this time we ditched the kids and went with friends. Friends that have a lot in common with us, I might add. We got married the same week, and both have two babies of similar ages. But, it was very nice to be able to talk to them without yelling over chatter of children.

This super fun couple even talked me into going through the haunted corn maze. Now, if you know me, you know that I am a scaredy cat. I love the criminal tv shows or movies, but nothing that pops out at you. Horror movies? No thank you. So you know that I must really like James and Aisling in order to walk through a corn maze and the woods, in the dark, with masked creatures popping out at me, trap doors in the ground, and a chain saw. But, even though they laughed at me, a LOT, it was fun.

Mostly because we ordered one of everything on the fry shack menu. Have you ever had a deep fried oreo? They are awesome, my friend.

Afterward, we warmed up in Applebees before heading home. It was a fun evening!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010