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!



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!


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.


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