12.24.2011

Baby hats

Here is a shot of the pile of hats we took to Nashville last weekend.

And this is a picture of sweet Titus wearing one.

I don't know him or his family, but have been reading their updates. You can follow them at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/stephenrussell
(I'm in the jeep, on my phone, in the middle of nowhere between Ft. Knox & Rough River. Sorry if you have to copy & paste.). Keep them in your prayers. Christmas is draining enough as it is.

I am so so very excited to be with both of my children this year! I say this & then cry. I know too many families who are without an infant or toddler tonight or tomorrow or until they meet again in Heaven. We love you and still pray for you! We will be thinking of you & saying some extra prayers.

I can't wait to see Landon open his presents in the morning. I'm not sure if we are opening before or after church-- most likely the kiddos will be up by 8. I'll add pictures next week.

I'm starting this weekend looking for clearance Christmas books. We're going to do 1 book every day next year during Advent. Tell me if you see any really cheap. I love getting things for next season on sale, but I hate waiting to use them. Don't forget to stock up on wrapping paper!

I hope you enjoy the weekend. MERRY CHRISTMAS!




12.17.2011

BUSY DECEMBER

I am sitting in McDonald's at 10:47 PM to use the Internet and get out of the house. I'm pretty sure they close inside at 11...or is it midnight? I'm trying to upload a video I made of Lucy's pictures and short video clips from the past year. It currently says on YouTube that there are like 132 minutes left, and it is just at 7%. MAYBE it won't get done tonight. I'm also trying to upload it on another tab onto FB, let's see which one wins!
Well, we got back from Nashville this afternoon/evening. I finally finished with about 2o hats to take to the NICU where Lucy was. I had planned on making 30. I just got busy making Halloween costumes, birthday shirts, Christmas shopping, and was just a little lazy. I'm sure I could have gotten them done in like 2 days if I tried harder. Oh yeah, the 2 kids kept me from it too. BUT we got the hats delivered. I just KNOW some of them are WAY TOO tiny to ever fit a baby, but Luke doesn't agree. There were 2 or 3 that I was a little embarrassed of, but Luke said they looked fine.
Well, it is now 11:25. I guess McDonald's is still open. Homeless looking man is still next to me on his laptop on his facebook too. =) Youtube has shut down like 3 times, and now says it is 25% and only has 104 minutes left!

Well, Lucy's Speech and Occupational therapists have both come for their first visit at home. It is so crazy how when we first moved, her gross motor was SO behind and she was babbling. At this point her OT would have NEVER known that a few weeks ago she didn't use her right hand at all. We have changed OT to like 2 times a month instead of every  week. She gave us a few things to work on, and hopefully she will keep progressing. She is working with some eating issues as well as her speech therapist. She doesn't seem to have any other sensory issues besides in her mouth. One thing that the ST immediately thought of was allergies here in the wonderful Ohio valley. She has been congested since we moved & has been on 2 antibiotics. She could be having sinus/allergy/adenoid issues. That would cause difficulty swallowing and could affect her speech. I've also noticed her cute tongue. Her (I forget the name) frendulum maybe? might be too short. This sometimes cause speech issues. She gave us a P chewy tube to play with. Lucy needs to get familiar with chewing. She also showed us a vibrating thingy that has a toothbrush head and some other heads you can put on it. This will 'wake her mouth up' and get her use to having things in there, I think. We can also dip the chewy tube into food and let her eat off of it. She also mentioned some spoons that have bumps and things on them. When she eats off of them, she will get use to the textures. Anyways, I think that is all right. I think basically her mouth just has to get use to having chunks in it. She needs to get familiar with chewing too. She chews toys and her finger and hew paci. But when it comes to food, she just sucks on it and chokes on it. A lot.
Also with her speech, she just says dadada. She has VERY recently said mama again. She isn't really communicating with us. She also doesn't like connect who people are. She gets excited when she sees us, but if you say, "LUCY, where is MAMA?" She will just smile at you =) She doesn't point at things she wants them -- she squeals and she screams. She DOES clap when you say yay, or use to more than she does now. She does smack her lips when you say kiss. And her head is in the 50% while the rest of her body isn't even close to 3%, so we know she has a good brain in there ;) They both have asked about her hearing, and she does go every 6 months ( until she is 3). We will see in March if is still the same.

I can't upload any pictures right now. I'm not sure what is wrong with the computer or Internet at McDonald's. I will upload them on the next post, AND hopefully the video montage will be ready!

12.14.2011

1 year!

Happy 1 year to Lucy Emilia. December 13th!


2 pounds 8.5 ounces. 14 1/2 inches long


14 pounds 5 ounces. 25 inches long

The kids had a joint party on Saturday the 10th. Landon had all of his friends over, and we all had a great time. Friends, family, chili, cupcakes, and a lot of great presents made for a good time.
 Landon has to be the absolute BEST present opener EVER. Every time he ripped one open ( or one of the other kids ripped it open--which he did NOT care about at all), he SCREAMED out what he had got, jumped, and showed everyone.

I have felt so rushed to get so many things done before this weekend. Finally, it's almost here. Hopefully after this weekend I can breathe! It's 11:22, and I'm sitting in my parent's living room. We have no internet at our house right now. Everyone here is asleep. I'm sure everyone at my house is asleep too. When I get back, I have like 10  preemie hats left to sew. I've had the last 10 cut & pinned for a few weeks, they've just been sitting. We are heading to Nashville tomorrow. We are going to meet up with one of the nurses and take some hats to the NICU. We also have some gifts and candy and donuts for the NICU staff too. How do you re-pay someone who did your job as a mother AND made sure to keep your child alive for 8 weeks? Every time Luke and I talk about that, it's hard not to cry. They raised our little baby for almost 8 weeks, and then you just leave them =( They have plenty of other little ones to take care of, we know that, but we will continue to show love and gratitude to them as often as we can. I will post later about Lucy's first speech and OT sessions. I will also have a little video montage from Lucy's first year to post. ( get the kleenex ready). It is all complete, but I want to add one more picture of us in front of the NICU wall.

12.02.2011

Growing up




We went to Nashville for the night a few weekends ago for Luke's family pictures.Here is the finished product with all kids looking & no eyes closed. They were taken by Amiee Stubbs. You can find her work at http://www.amieestubbs.com/

I love Landon and Luke in their argyle sweaters!
I love Landon's tie that matches Lucy's little skirt!
I love Lucy's little outfit that was Christmas clearance from TCP we got the day before.
And even though he doubted me when I was trying to explain my shorts with tights, Luke agreed he likes it.
I'm thankful Luke has a job that allows us to go buy a new outfit to take pictures in.

He will be THREE in 2 days!




I cropped Lucy out of one so you could see how cute she was up close!

We had our first ISFP meeting yesterday to set up Lucy's goals and get started with therapy. Our coordinator and Lucy's Occupational Therapist came to the house. We discussed goals for Lucy for the next 6 months , watched Landon run in and out and show off, and talked about Roll tide/War Eagle. (The OT is a big Auburn fan.Luke is a big 'Bama fan.) Her speech therapist didn't attend, so we had to wing those goals. Mainly, in a nutshell, what we will be working on for the next 6 months is improving fine motor skills, keeping her eating skills with textures moving along and consistent,& getting her comprehension and verbal skills/communication up to where they should be. We are also going to monitor her gross motor skills, and add in physical therapy if ever needed. Lucy has had  HUGE changes in the past 2 weeks with crawling, pulling up,and sitting. Her OT will come over once a week to start out with, and her coordinator will call us this week to let us know what we will do for speech/eating
.
 Lucy is not where she should be for her age or corrected age ( 9 months) , but she is growing and learning and showing us what she is capable of in so many ways.

One of my favorite things she does right now is clap when you say YAY, LUCY! And she looks SO proud of herself. She also waves and smiles at herself in the mirror. So cute! I also LOVE when I'm holding her, and she wants her back rubbed, she will start rubbing Me. Now, her arm is a little spastic with it, but I know what she wants. She will start hitting you also if you stop patting her back. Too cute! I love it. This makes me happy to know she knows how to tell us what she wants, but then it makes me wonder if this is how it will be for a while. I would LOVE to hear Mama =) She use to say it, then she quit saying anything, and now she says Dadadadadadada. She whimpers and whines and flat out SCREAMS and SQUEALS when she sees something she wants. I don't mind the screaming at all. I remember almost a year ago wanting to hear those screams so badly at my house.




This sweet girl has come a long way! I found this video from New Year's Eve of sweet nurse April and Lucy: 

I need to get to bed. Tomorrow is the 1st Saturday of the month which means Home Depot Kids' workshop! We have a busy week ahead. Landon turns 3 on Sunday, & their joint party is Saturday the 10th! I have a few thing left to do before then--party favors, cakes, & cleaning up some of the house a little.Lucy will be decked out in all things cupcakes, and Landon wanted Lightning McQueen everything. I will be making cupcakes for everyone, and am excited about the little twist I am putting on them! I got some cupcake decorations for Lucy, and am pretty sure I can get away with just some Cars tablecloths and a small mater or mcqueen cake for Landon himself. All he cares about is his fwends coming over. He is beyond excited! I am excited, finally, for this party! I am ok with my sweet little Lucy getting older, most likely our last little one. Our last 1st birthday. We are so thankful for these two little ones! We've had some long nights with Lucy-- fevers, nasty nose, nasty eyes, fast breathing, and are hoping she is on the mend. If you didn't get an invite for Saturday, come on over anyways!

While we try to teach our children all about life,our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt




11.28.2011

Yes, that IS a clapping baby! Yes, i know it is upside down.This little sweet thing has grow up SO much in the past two weeks. She is doing a real, straight arms, belly off the ground, on her knees crawl. She is clapping. SHE IS PULLING UP TO STAND.She is trying to wave--especially to herself in the mirror!She has started to babble again, and she likes to mainly say ''DaDa''. Since she is almost a year old, and hasn't been making too many sounds in the past 2 months, she has decided to be AS LOUD as she possibly can be--especially in public! She has always had good lungs ( down to 2 pounds 3 ounces & never on a ventilator!), but they are GOOD AND STRONG NOW! She likes to scream. And I don't mind it at all.
All of these things are reminding me how big she is getting! I almost have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I cried every day for about 2 weeks, and am now doing better. I am not good with change. As if a move was not enough, Lucy decided to grow up all at once on me! Now I have less than 2 weeks to get everything ready for the birthday party. Their party is together on the 10th. Then I need to finish the last few hats I am making to take up to the babies and finish some gifts for the staff in the NICU.And we are also trying to get some pictures squeezed in of the kiddos. And we, like everyone else , are trying to get all of the Christmas decorations up. And I have started working at the Y 2 nights a week, just for 2 hours. But that still takes away from family time.



We went to Light Up Louisville Friday night, and  had a great time. We drove around for a long time finding somewhere to park. After walking around & around to only find qdoba open, we enjoyed the heat and the food, of course. We came out and ended up right on Santa Clause Lane just a few minutes before Santa made his grand entrance, on what Landon keeps calling Santa's bed, and got to countdown to all the lights.
We don't really play Santa up around here. I have never understood the 'lying to your kids' thing, and thought maybe when I had some, I'd get it. But I still don't. We even bought an Elf on the Shelf , and tried to figure out how we could still make it a game. But we don't want to emphasize being good just to get presents. I absolutely HATE the phrase 'SANTA IS WATCHING YOU'. Like, really, just be good because you are supposed to kid, not because you want presents. Although, since the students I taught were already hearing this at home, I did bust it out at school. I even told them the motion sensor on the wall was the Santa Cam, & I told them I had Santa's phone number to call him on. I couldn't belive 3rd graders bought that stuff, I had no idea they thought he was real! Well, the Elf is back at the store. Landon thinks Santa is just a character on TV, just like Uniqua or Mickey or Caillou.
I've gotten back into this bad habbit of staying up until 2 am. It's 1:11, & I should head that way now. 7 AM comes early!

11.17.2011


Today, November 17th, is Preemie Awareness Day.



I found this on another blog, and if you are a preemie mom, I bet you can't even get through 5 without the tears starting to well up.

You know you're a preemie Mom if:


1. You use strange initials (C-PAP, CCs, NICU, NG) when discussing your child.
2. You actually remember how many ccs make up an ounce.
3. You count his/her weight in grams.

4. The skin on your hands is peeling from washing so often.
5. You hesitate when someone asks you his/her age but you know exactly what he/she weighs.
6. The answer to "How old is your baby" is a story 30 minutes long!
7. When someone asks his birthday, you reply, "Which one"?
8. You start to understand some of the things they say on ER.
9. You turn into Kung-Fu Mom when someone tries to touch your baby.

10. You attempt to measure how much spit-up he/she just had before you clean it up!
11. You know how much he weighs before you put him on the scale at the doctor's office.
12. You cry at Maternity Ward and get mad at Baby Story.
13. You see a 7lb newborn and say "Wow! She's so big"!
14. Your baby is months old before he can even go to the mall.
15. When someone says how tiny your baby is, you argue that he is huge - and to demonstrate, you whip out pictures of him in the NICU.
16. You do a health check on people when they come to your house to visit.
17. You want to SCREAM when someone says that she just wants to have this baby right now - at week 28, 32, or 34.
18. You are so amazed when someone finally tells you your baby is big for his age.
19. You tried to find a place that sells newborn diapers in bulk.
20. You called half your relatives when the baby grew out of his first pair of pajamas.
21. You never take your child for granted.
22. You worry about RSV season and it's still months away...
23. You know what "RSV" stands for.
24. You donate his/her tiny clothes to the NICU and marvel that they seem so small - when they were too darn big!
25. Your son gets a simple cold and the doc sees him within the hour.
26. It has taken them 5 months to grow INTO newborn clothes.

27. You pick up 2 lbs of ground beef and think that your baby was born at that same weight.
28. You buy "Purell" in bulk.
29. You can stare at your baby hours while he sleeps.
30. In the course of a day you've wanted to slap and bear hug the same NICU nurse.
31. You could drive the route from your house to the hospital in your sleep... and maybe you have.
32. The sound of your baby crying is beautiful, not annoying.
33. You not only know what "bilirubin" is, you have had several extensive conversations about it.
34. You need to have another baby so you can wear all the maternity clothes in your closet with tags still on them.

35. You have acquired a taste for hospital food.
36. You always change your baby by putting a new diaper under the old before taking it off.
37. You are very uncomfortable when you take your baby home and don't know her heart rate, respiration rate or o2 levels.
38. You pray for and celebrate poopy diapers.
39. The following 6 months, or longer, after your baby gets home, they are in the same room with you during every daily activity. Shower, bathroom, dishes, laundry.... doesn't matter, cause if you can't see them, it's "not worth doing".


Oh #12, how I HATE watching those shows now. Hate. I guess I'm still not over the it's not fair thing.  I would cry all the way home from the NICU every night and just say over and over how unfair this journey was, and how much I HATED IT. I'm over the not being able to wear maternity clothes but a few days, not being able to leave the house until RSV season was over,not being mentally strong enough & possibly physically ok to have more kids & not being able to have her at home with me. But I'm still get upset at times when I think my body failed my little sweet baby, and I'd hate for her to have any type of disability or delay because of me.
 
#35 Luke and I lived on the $.75 coffee machine in the L&D waiting room. We grew to love that coffee!
 
#37 Talk about anxiety! The happy feeling of being able to take that sweet baby home, yet scared to DEATH of what might happen. There have been teams of people watching your baby for 24 hours a day, and then it's all up to you! You have to take a cpr/choking class, you are told that if your child gets ___, ___, or ___ they will immediately go on a ventilator in the ER, you are told if they get _____ their chances of dying are so much higher because of how early they are, and you are sent home on monitors. The house has been lysoled and bleached OVER and OVER, you have informed family and friends of visiting rules, and you have posted a sign on the door about germs, taking off shoes, hand washing, and NO TOUCHING! All you can do is hope and pray that sweet baby stays healthy!
 

I am so thankful we are on the OTHER side, almost hitting 1 year old. It's been very emotional here lately--reflecting on the past year & thinking of the future. We have grieved for several friends who have lost babies that were not too much younger than Lucy was. We hurt for them. We know what the outcome could have been, and we are so very blessed with everything about Lucy. She has always been 'healthy'. It might have been the hardest 53 days of our lives. It might have been the most emotional 53 days. It might have been the longest winter .It might have been the longest I've ever stayed in the house. It might have been a record setting anxiety attack 6 months.It might have been the most stressful year, but we have a happy ,laughing, almost crawling, curious little 11 1/2 month old who makes our hearts happy EVERY day! We are ever so grateful!  The memories are still so very vivid in our heads ( and the NICU # in our cells), yet it seems as if it was SO long ago. We are grateful for the prayers, words, cards, money, and thoughts from all of our friends, family, and people we don't even know. Please remember this month those families who are on the roller coaster ride of emotions from the NICU. Keep them in your prayers! 

SO THANKFUL FOR THIS PLACE!

11.04.2011

aarghh

We hope you had a wonderful halloween. Maybe you even got enough candy to stash away until it's time to stuff the stockings. If you didn't, then run to walmart or walgreens and get some super cheap right now! Both of the kiddos were pirates. We spent about $10 for a shirt or vest for each and a pair of socks for each. I was just going to buy the $13 walmart pirate for Landon if I couldn't make it cheaper, but we did it. They went to the Y on Sartuday evening & then to go see their great-grandpa. On Monday night they trick or treated with our friends, then to see their great great aunt, then to see their great grandma, then to my parents' house for a late supper, and FiNaLlY in bed around 10 PM. Landon was wide awake asking for candy for breakfast before 8 am on Tuesday!
----------------------------------------------------
Lucy had her observation today from Kentucky's Early Intervention--First Steps. She is right almost exactly 8 months old right now with her corrected age, and was tested on the 8th month old test. She has progressed so much in the past 2 weeks. She is starting to put her hands out in front of her ( sometimes) instead of falling flat on her face when she falls over. She is sitting up for longer. She is scooting around on her belly everywhere.She is starting to use her right hand. She is starting to play with a sippy. She is just doing SO much more. She has also fallen back in some areas. She isn't repeating sounds like she was. She isn't babbling like she was. Thankfully there were no RED FLAG markers that stood out with her observation, she is just low in several areas. They will get the report written up and sent to us, and then the case worker (or whatever she is called) will get the therapists set up. Her scores were not majorly low, but low enough to need some extra help. Even if we just get some extra help to let us know HOW to work with her, that is all we need. There are so many things I forget 8 months olds do, until someome asks me if she is doing them yet. She isn't worried about gross motor as much as the fine motor right now, mainly because of her progression. She believes that it will still come. She does have small tremors with her hands when she is trying to grab things. She favors one side more than the other when she reaches for objects, and that same side gets stuck under her when she rolls. So, she will have an occupational therapist and a speech therapist. We might throw in a physical therapist if she doesn't progress as quickly as we feel she is going to. She might just not be making as many sounds right now because she is so focused on trying to get around and work on big movements. We will get it all figured out, get her some extra help she needs, and she will be acting her age in no time ;) Now, if only we could get Landon and Elyssa to act their age. At this point, I'm not sure if Elyssa acts like a 3 year old when she throws a fit or if Landon acts like a 7 year old when he throws his fit. OR maybe they just sound the same until they grow out of them.

10.24.2011

I finally started on some hats to take to the NICU when we go visit for Lucy's birthday. Here are the first 3, probably the WORST 3! I didn't finish the bottom of the 2 on the left. I think I like it better unfinished. You have to remember how small Lucy's head was--10 inches around. These 3 are about 12 inches.It's hard for me to hem them that little. I will make some bigger & longer as well. I've ordered some tags to iron on to them as well, and I'm going to make a card-stock card to attach to them with Lucy's newborn picture & also a picture we'll take next month & some uplifting words to the parents. All 3 of these were made from clothes Lucy wore. I also have some boyish prints and solids.

Mannix had an Angry Bird themed 4th birthday party. We made him this pillow from an adult t-shirt. ( The yellow words aren't actually on the pillow).

10.19.2011

Sweet , sweet Lucy

We keep forgetting things we need to do here since we moved states. I finally got paperwork, made phone calls, played phone tag, and got in touch with First Steps ( KY's early intervention). We observed her at home, and completed paper work ( answered yes, sometimes, or not yet) to a series of questions about her communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, & personal social skills. She has been progressing SO quickly in the past few days. She is sitting up for a few seconds, and has just yesterday put her hand down to rest on it for a few seconds! She also is doing an army crawl of some sort to get around EVERYWHERE. I thought this might ' up her scores' a little.

After talking to someone at First Steps, they explained that there are 3 categories that a child's skills fall under : Typical, monitor, and concerned. Lucy had no scores in typical. She had a couple fall under monitor ( I think some of her communication and personal/social). But she had her fine motor & problem solving towards the top of Concerned, and her gross motor were very low. Sitting without any hands, standing, crawling position--these are all in gross motor. So we will have an evaluation face to face at the house with a specialist, and we will discuss any concerns, her behaviors, and what steps are next. Every time I've been worried, she miraculously picks up that skill almost the very next day. Maybe she senses my worry! ;) She still wasn't kicking her feet at all, and hadn't found them at 6 months. I had her Dr. check things out ( I was worried about Cerebral palsy), and the next few days she was kicking ad grabbing her toes. Last week I was pretty upset about her not sitting at all still, and she started sitting for about 5 seconds! We will see how she does, and hopefully she will keep progressing . Her adjusted age is about 7 months and 2 weeks old. All of this is based on her being that age. I know there is no comparison between her and Landon, but he was crawling right at 7 months, walking right at 10 1/2 months, and eating all the same food we were eating by 10 months. He had his first grilled cheese on our Gatlinburg Trip in early October. Lucy is still with baby food. She can do the Mum Mums great & puffs too, but we've tried crackers and bread and have had to finger swipe them out. 
She is still  nursing. We were supposed to try to include 2 extra 4 ounce bottles, as well as extra baby food, to try to help with her weight gain. ( She only gained 5 ounces in 3 months). We have upped her baby food, and tried to add more formula or milk. In order for her to drink more, we have to hold her hands down and shove a bottle in her mouth. I'm not forcing nursing because she has 2 teeth now, and NO THANKS on getting bitten!  She probably has only taken about 3 extra bottles since we have been here in almost 4 weeks.She has seemed to actually be nursing longer though, AND SHE HAS GAINED ABOUT 1 1/2 pounds in the past 3 weeks! She is around 12 pounds now.

I'm planning her birthday week & weekend. We will make this a big celebration! We are planning on visiting her nurses and doctors in the NICU & dropping off the gifts for the babies, probably a little celebration with anyone in Nashville who wants to, and then her 1st party here in Louisville. It will ALL be cupcake themed, of course!

10.18.2011

projects & more projects

I have SO many things I need to get started on! The house is pretty much unpacked as much as we plan on unpacking it. I just need to set up my sewing maching in the basement. I haven't gone down there TOO much beause we don't have a washer/dryer yet :( We are waiting until the Home Depot Black Friday sale starts the 2nd week in November (YAY). Once I'm down there every day to do laundry, then I'll start on some projects while I'm waiting on the washer.

http://www.prudentbaby.com
Project #1-- My friend, Leslie, and I had been planning on making baby hats to drop off at the NICUs in Nashville. Well, I moved. So, for now, I am planning on make a big batch of hats to drop off when we visit for Lucy's 1st birthday. I am planning on taking them about 4 times a year. Receiving the gifts from previous NICU parents was a wonderful, unexpected gift. We really loved getting them & decided we would do the same. I am going to use used t-shirts and used baby gowns. IF you happen to have any used t-shirts or baby clothes/gowns/onesies feel free to send or bring them to me.

Project #2 -- Dresses for Lucy, made from my old sweaters. The idea is from http://www.make-loveit.com
Project #3-- Lucy's birthday shirt and tutu (of course!) I'm not showing a picture of those though. I don't want mine to look so bad that it doesn't look ANYTHING like the picture, and I also want to keep it a little surprise until I make it!

10.12.2011

Sweetest boy ever!

Lately, everything to Landon has been the biggest_________EvEr!. He also has not mastered all of his blends( blends,right? I never taught those in 3rd). His st sounded like a d, his br sounded like an f, and his wr just always sounds like a y. He says funny things like 'let's go to Yalmart or  let's yun as fast we can. But he also loves sticks.So the point of all of this is that he really likes to yell out when he has the biggest stick ever! Remember that his st sounds like a d.

He finally got the st this week :) Now that I think of it, he couldn't do sp until the other day. He wanted to rent "Spooky Buddies", but kept calling it fooky buddies. One of my favorite words he says is girl. He use to say  durl, and now it's more of gil. After I tell him at bed that he's the sweetest boy ever, he grabs me for a hug ,& tells me ,You're the sweetest gil EVER!

10.04.2011

Light




How did I JUST read that  St. Lucy's Day is on the 13th December, in Scandinavia it marks the beginning of the Christmas season. Lucy's birthday is on St. Lucy's day . =) St. Lucy was a Christian martyr, very little is known of her actual life, but various legends have sprung up about her, mainly based upon the meaning of her name. The meaning of the name Lucy is light. I'll have to look up some of the legends, but for now here are some pictures of our little ray of sunshine! These are her 9 month pictures, they were taken by her Auntie Amanda .

sweet miracle


    
absolutley in love with her
 


wonderful blessing


10.01.2011

We're here. We got everything out of the house and on the road to Louisville around 7pm last Thursday. We were able to get our lease signed & start moving things in on Friday.....drizzle and 57 degrees. We had some friends help us Saturday too, and returned the truck Sunday morning. The house is much bigger than I had thought when we looked at it a week before. There is much more space, a beautiful deck, & a great hill to walk or run. I will take pictures later next week of the house.

I never put pictures up from Lucy's NICU birthday party reunion. It was in August and we had a great time.

This is Leslie. Luke had posted on FB about me having the baby, and she told him she worked in the Baptist NICU & would maybe have Lucy. They had mutual friends in high school/church. It was very calming to me to know that someone Luke knew was watching over Lucy before I got a chance to even go see my baby. Thanks, Leslie! We spent many nights in the intensive section talking to Leslie about our other boys,houses,medical stuff, and her pregnancy ( she was on bedrest and having BP issues throughout Lucy's stay).

Meggie & Erica. They both had Lucy, or were around her, a lot once she got to the step down unit. We didn't really get to know the day nurses as well because we usually got to the NICU at 8pm and stayed until after her 11 pm feeding. So we saw them a lot at night too like Leslie.


Nurse April. Lucy spent her 1st New Years Eve with her on the last night in the intensive section. She is actually a close friend of our friend--after meeting in the NICU as well. I'm glad she was working nights at that time,since we didn't get to know too many of the day nurses.


This picture was taken by the photographer at the party.
 There were a few other nurses we did not get to see. We are able to keep up with some of them on facebook or on their nicu facebook page. We are planning on going to visit on her birthday, and I am also working on a project for gifts for the babies soon.
And this is Dr. Rojas. Lucy had 4 different NICU doctors besides nurses, cardiologist, & respiratory therapists. When Dr. Wingo, the L&D nurses, and I decided we could not wait ANY longer because of my liver-- there was a lady having twins that the NICU was waiting on& said we had to wait for also. They ignored what the NICU said, and took me in for my c-section. Dr. Rojas was in the delivery room because Dr Haynes was waiting on the twins.( sorry for the mess and busyness) He also walked into the L&D room right after Dr wingo had told Luke I'd have brain damage and we wouldn't know how severe until after they did a scan. Because of THAT meeting, he says he won't ever forget Luke. ;) Luke told him, not so nicely, to get out of the room, that he couldn't handle any more bad news, and we'd see him later. He told us Lucy was doing great, and he'd see us the next day. The next day when I woke up with him at the end of my bed, he reassured me how well Lucy was doing, and then said I looked much better than the day before ;)

I mentioned a few weeks ago about some friends who would be having a baby with a heart defect & would need surgeries. Baby Caleb went to heaven on September 14th.Mommy ( Krista) was about 32 weeks along & delivered him that afternoon.Please  pray for Mommy and Daddy ( Brian) and the rest of both families. They also have 2 other kiddos, so keep all 3 of them in your prayers!

9.07.2011

MoViNg

It’s official, & can be made public now. We are moving! There are so many mixed emotions. We have such good family, friends, friends who are like family, church family, & doctors here. I hate, really hate, leaving the kids’ doctors. I hate leaving the Dr. that brought both my kids into the world in emergency c-sections. I especially hate leaving all the people that helped us with Lucy, it’s a different type of attachment. I feel like Landon will be so sad without Jack,Trey, Owen, and Lyla--his bffs. I hate packing-ugh. This is move # 4 for us since we have been married, but thankfully we’ve been in our house for about 5 years ( I think?). But at least I have a while before we have to go. That was sarcasm. Luke has actually been told that he will need to be at his new store  on September 19th. So I will send the next two week packing boxes, but today it feels so great to sit in sweats, listen to the rain, and NOT pack. So many questions. Where will we live? Where will we go to church? What doctor will we go to? What doctor will the kids go to? What about my neurology appointment I have in 2 weeks? What about Lucy’s Early Intervention? What about Lucy’s secondary insurance? What about her next hearing test & following preemie tests?The plus side to all of this is that Luke’s position is in New Albany, Indiana, and we will be moving to Louisville. We have both been praying for this new position for a long long time. He’s been working for this for 6 years, & finally made his way up to store manager. We both have always hoped for a move to a coast, walking on the beach, laying out, playing with the kids in the water on weekends. But we both know this is just a 2 year commitment, and we could very well be moving again in the next few years. And he will continue to try to move up in the company in the next several years. A district manager is the next step up & could require a move also. We have looked at a few houses over the weekend in Louisville, one that I love. I love. Luke really really likes it too, he just isn’t for sure it’s for us right now because he is leery of a few things and the inspection.It has everything on my list: brick,fireplace, 3+ bedrooms, 2+ baths, large dining room, pantry, & it is also right by the park & Southern Parkway. It also has a full finished basement with a full bath and extra bedroom & living areas. <3 It just went on the market like this weekend, so it very well could still be available in a few months.We’re still looking at houses with the help of some people, but at this point are possibly leaning towards renting at first. We will find a house at the right time. ( I hope the right time is in the next few weeks!)We are planning on keeping our house here & renting it. So we will be busy busy this week and next. I'm sad to leave the house that both the kids came home to, but excited about new opportunities with our family!

9.04.2011

Emmy Loo

Lucy turned 8 months old on August 13th! We had to take her in for a little cold, and she weighed in at 10 pounds and 11 ounces. Yes, that is only 8 ounces more than she was at 6 months :(  She had a cold which causes weight loss because she can't breathe to eat, and she also had a 2 week GI virus that was going around & had bad runny dirty diapers every day. These shouldn't have caused that little of a gain though.We are keeping a food diary for 2 weeks, and Dr. M will re-assess her weight on September 14th to see where she is and go from there. He had thought she would be on the charts for weight and height this next visit, but we will see in 2 weeks.
It took her a few weeks to get the cereal down, but she has started eating solids 2 times a day--cereal in the morning & a veggie or fruit at night. We started the veggies right at 8 months.
Her corrected age was 6 months on the 22nd, and she has finally found her feet! She can pull her toes to her mouth, and she kicks like crazy now! I had the Dr check them at her sick visit. I was so worried because her feet would just hang, lay, or sit crossed at the ankles ( like in her picture above). She was right on track with development according to her corrected age, and then she seemed to be falling behind. We stopped her TEIS after 3 months, but they have re-opened her case so we will be getting some more help on how to help her stay on track. As a parent of a baby born under 3 pounds, you know how great of a chance she has of having a serious disability, even as she grows older.I spent too many nights up until 2AM  looking up cerebral palsy and everything else that could possible be wrong with her, but (with many prayers from people)  overnight one day she started doing so much! She also is still rolling ALL over the place!

8.18.2011

7 years 8-14-11

Wedding 2004

2005 ( Sparky & Nicole's wedding)

2006

 summer 2007--1 of my all time fave pics

Summer 2008 Courtney & Nathan's wedding in La Jolla


2009

 
2010

2011

Luke had to open at work for our anniversary. So,I took the kids to church and Sunday school & we came home for lunch and naps. We got packed up into the car and headed tot he Wilson County fair when he got home from work. We ended up getting there about 4:30 and got home around 2 A.M. Yes, 2 A.M! We had so much fun, rode rides with Landon, ate cotton candy, drank a LOT of sweet tea, watched some interesting shows and music, looked at some stinky animals, and just enjoyed walking around together all night. If you grow up in Kentucky, you know how big the Ky state fair is. You go multiple times. You spend all day and night looking at everything. You ride everything in the midway and 6 flags. You try all the new food. You talk to Freddy =) You ride the tractor tram around. You watch armadillos race. You get a little kid license after riding the big wheels. You go to free concerts. It's something that you love, and I want my kids to have a great time as well--look forward to that one day that we stay out all day and night, and have an enjoyable time as a family!
Well, back to the 2 A.M. thing. We got back to the car around 11:00. Landon was about worn out, and Lucy had been asleep since 9ish. We packed up the car, tried to start it and everything turned off. No one had jumper cables. Still no one had jumper cables. Finally, someone was trying to help us, with rusted corroded old cables. They had kids that had to go to school in the morning, and after about 30 minutes of them trying, their family coming to try to help, their kids flagging down someone else to try their cables, we gave up. They had to go home because it was after midnight. Luke called his brother, and explained to him what was going on and he told him to try to tap on the started. That meant crawling under the Nitro. Luke was HOPING he meant under the passenger side because....well after 6 hours of walking around, not using the restroom, and drinking about 5 sweet teas, we had to go. So we opted for opening both doors on the driver's side and going there.  Thankfully he told him it was on the passenger side.  Well, eventually 2 carnival workers drove up. To make this story shorter, they worked on it a little, drove back to get some more things, CRAWLED under the DRIVER side, used their battery, finally got ours jumped, and sent us on our way-at about 1:30. YAY!The lights flashed every other second, and the car dinged along with.But it was working for the time being. Of course we broke down at a stoplight right in front of providence. No car lights were working, and we stopped in the middle of an intersection! Luke got the Nitro pushed out of the road as much as he could with flip flops on, and a truck turned around and stopped. He had been fishing at the lake, and was a little inebriated, but thank goodness he was there! a cop came by a few minutes later, and the truck needed to go ;) He had gotten us started back up, and we drove the rest of the way home. We didn't hit any red lights until we had to make a left run. We opted for a right and U-turned in Murf. road. Luke got a new battery on Monday night, and the car is working again. It made for a great story, and we had a good night despite the car troubles. Happy anniversary to us!