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!


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! 




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.