Lucy is almost five!

{ I'm trying to type this on my phone, I'm not a fan of that at all! If my photos don't show up , I'll fix them later .}

It was 70 degrees in Nashville today! Five years ago today Luke, Landon,& I sat at Olive Garden after church ( 29 weeks and 4 days pregnant), and we watched the snow fall. It was gorgeous!

But my legs were numb.

I sent a picture to my friend Leslie and my sister of my feet. They knew something was up, but all I was worried about was my baby getting to enjoy the snow! Our Sunday school progressive Dinner had been canceled, so we went out for a few minutes and took a few photos .

I woke once during the night with a terrible right side pain. I took a bath that relieved it. The next morning was a fast blur of my face swelling, a headache , taking my ( very high) blood pressure, calling the nurse a few times ,& rushing into L&D with severe pain and not being able to even think (and the widows down on the way). We all know what happened next, I could  retell the details forever . I was ultimately rushed into the OR, ignoring the NICU that said to wait on the twins being born , because I said ( or said VERY LOUDLY) to Luke that we needed to go back now because I was dying . I had an amazing nurse that I'm sure heard my cry,& am so glad my OB was on call. My doctor's face during the whole thing isn't one I'll forget either . He was worried . Then after delivery there were other complications with bruising or something on my uterus , so I laid open for a good long while until another specialist could come from across the street and check me out. We had a good talk about what could have been -- but nothing in detail, just that he was glad I hadn't come an hour later. He kept saying something to me about not dancing without the music, but I didn't really put that together with a seizure.
Now this whole time , Luke is gone . I'm only with my OB, some nurses ,& the anesthesiologist. I was certain my 2 pound baby was not with us . No one mentioned her . They only kept asking how I was , so I was trying to ignore it and make conversation with my doctor. I think I must have been absolutely delirious once I got into the OR. I had been in so much pain , basically my liver was large. It had no way of getting any bigger . I just kept crying that I just needed the pain gone. The nurses kept saying that only taking the baby could do that. I kept asking my doctor to do the spinal,& he looked at me and said he was sorry that there was no way the spinal would take away that pain . My pain was all the way up into my shoulder , but miraculously as soon as I laid down on the table , it was all gone.
After surgery I don't even think I went  to recovery,but I actually don't remember any of that. I remember the first time I saw Luke I had  tried to hint at 'What's going on?', since no one had mentioned Lucy yet. They were all concerned with working on me. He was smiling and happy and brought me pictures from the nurses of baby Lucy. I think my family had made it from KY and my friend Leslie was there. It was a long night  across the hall from the nurses desk in L&D. I remember trying to text someone and that dang magnesium had me so messed up, it took me an hour to turn my phone on. My blood pressure was still in the 170s/120s , they needed her full name to start social security and SSI and get her on TennCare, some friends came to visit because they didn't know what had happened ,I had to start pumping milk sometime in the next few days( I was NOT going to pump this time .ugh) ,& my 2 year old wanted to see me. I just wanted to sleep, but my mind wouldn't stop.
The 14th of December would be even more of an adventure !
Now, it's time to make a birthday cake for my FIVE year old's birthday tomorrow!


Ella Ruth is 3!

 3 years ago! My baby is growing up.

A lot of people say they have no clue what they would be doing without their children. I, quite actually, know if Ella Ruth was not here that we would be doing a LOT less cleaning. We wouldn't be vacuuming and mopping the dining area multiple times a day, we wouldn't be watching a TV with smudgy fingerprints ( and sometimes crayon) on it, we wouldn't be cleaning up bits of paper from the suburban ( everyday), we wouldn't be taking socks and shoes in after every drive, and we wouldn't be waking multiple times a night by her crying or climbing into our bed.
BUT we also wouldn't be laughing so much. This little girl is so funny. She says the craziest things, and she knows she is funny. She constantly laughs, even when she is in trouble. And she says things when it is absolutely inappropriate. And we absolutely laugh when we shouldn't. She is a very sneaky little girl, and she keeps us on our toes. She is what they call everything I never knew I wanted.
She turned 3 the day before Thanksgiving, and we celebrated on Saturday night with Landon ( he will be 7 THREE days, and if you see him, he will ask you if you know what happens then).
This is from her 1st birthday =)

Big girl turning 2!
Happy 3rd!


5 months?!!

5 months. That's how long it's been since I've written! We've been busy, and we don't have internet (or cable) right now . Blogging on my phone has never been a favorite for me. We have finished basketball, baseball, our first Foster placement with Jonah's Journey, kindergarten, a few more background spots ( Nashville, Music Videos, The Ryman, and a Netflix episode), and half of summer! I also flew down for a few days twice ( thanks southwest points) to Orlando in March & April to have a baby shower for my sister & see my nephew be born. I will try to add some photos at the end ;)

What made me think to blog today? Lucy. The main time when I blogged was during her NICU time. This is how friends & family kept up with her , knew how to pray ,& gave us encouragement . 4 1/2 years later I thought I was pretty well past any emotions. I haven't cried nor felt guilty in a long time. I still have a little voice in the back of my head sometimes that wants to worry about when she starts school , or that wonders about her when she plays by herself. But one of my biggest worries during those 8 weeks in the NICU was kids making fun of her . If we came out on the other side with disabilities or deformities or weaknesses, I knew that kids would be mean. I felt guilt then-- even before I had seen her-- that none of it was her fault. It was my body that failed. The thought of her getting hurt because of me , killed my heart.

But she's perfect! No more delays. She's on the charts. But she, as a cute 4 year old , made a comment Saturday morning. And I cried. And I've cried again because of it .
She couldn't get her shirt over her head. You wouldn't recognize it, mainly because her sister has a MELON, but her head is very long and from front to back is long also.
She came to me with her shirt stuck on her head and yelled ," My shirt is stuck! MY HEAD IS AS BIG AS A PUMPKIN! It's LIKE AN OVAL!!" I should have just laughed . But I cried and got upset,& all the emotions of kids making fun of her because of something she had no choice or control over came back. I know I'll be fine. And I know she will be fine . But I had a minute of NICU reminders . I'm so glad that we are 4.5 years past all that. I'm so glad that we can still help others in the NICU with hope and love. Lucy is still amazing, and we are so thankful for that!


Sling Sharin'

While I was pregnant with #3 ( that was her name for a long while), I knew I would have to baby wear if I was going to be able to get anything done. I didn't baby wear with Landon, although I did try one type of pouch sling. But I knew right off the bat, it wasn't right. Then with Lucy, I would have done anything to be able to hold her and snuggle her for more than a few minutes a day those first 2 months, but of course it wasn't possible for her in the NICU. She came home on the apnea monitor, and I was terrified of her even falling asleep on me, the monitor picking up my heartbeat, and something happening to her and us not knowing. We continued the cluster care for awhile of feeding, changing, and holding every 3 hours, and let her be to sleep the rest of the time. I, unfortunately, had many other things on my mind with a preemie (developmental delays, moving, trying to transition to only nursing, and staying healthy ) that I didn't think about buying a wrap or sling. Once Ella came around, Luke got me a wrap and I loved to snuggle as much as possible with her! We now also have a double layer Sakura Bloom linen sling.

I've worn her Easter egg hunting, to the park, to the flea market, to baseball games, walking around downtown, at a pumpkin patch field trip,basketball games, to the doctor,trick or treating, and making dinner! She loves to be held, and I'm not ready to put her down quite yet!

We joined up in a Sling Share by Vienna Springs ring slings a few months ago. You could say the sling share is similar to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Each momma that is participating wears the sling, writes a little about it, takes some photos, and passes it on to the next. At the end the sling will be donated to a charity. The maker of Vienna Springs is Laura, & Mary is blogging about everyone's experience at light sleeper heavy dreamer . I know Ella is getting older, and even though she screams HOLD YOU when she sees the sling, I can't carry her for much longer. I was happy to get the sling towards the end, because I hadn't been able to hold her much at all really since I had my surgery. The sling had been broken in very well since I was towards the bottom of the list. I really think it is easier to adjust than our double layer linen that we own. I loved the idea of getting to try out a silk as well!  I loved the way that the silk felt as soon as I got it. I didn't really know what to expect, but I knew most everyone loves them. Ella wanted me to put it on as soon as she saw it.
 I have been using my sling on Saturday mornings during Landon & Lucy's basketball games. I go in wearing Ella, and then eventually let her down to play. We have 2 or 3 games, and it wears me out to try to watch and keep up with her, so it works out perfectly.
Of course when I got the sling, there was 1 or 2 regular days before Nashville got about 3" of ice, followed by snow, freezing temperatures, then more snow & ice & sleet to finish out the week! Every county around here was shut down for the whole week basically. Ice is tricky to drive on , for sure! I had a freak out moment one day with the suburban. Luckily I did not hit the truck and car parked in the street or any mailboxes. There were some neighbors out who were shoveling ice; they dug out around my back tires so I could back up, slide down through the yard, and scoot into my driveway.
We did happen get a few pictures 2 days before the ice came.
Lucy had donuts on her fingers, so she posed like this for a picture before her game.
When you baby wear, they should be close enough to kiss. Ella seems to think she should be close enough for coffee!
" Momma toffee!"

I had meant to send the sling on off to the next momma on Saturday, but I had a LuLaRoe party Saturday evening, and then the Post Office was closed by the time it was over. So after lunch on Sunday { PARTY FOWL NASHVILLE- BEST BRUNCH!!!}, we took a few shots by the painted wall on 12thS. Yes, I have on the same outfit--different week--same comfy clothes.
Our camera is not doing the best right now, so my low quality phone pics will have to do.
While Ella might be at the end of baby wearing in a sling, we could be having a newborn at any time now with Jonah's Journey.  I very well just might be purchasing one in the near future for foster babies. Now to just decide on a color.......
Thanks to Laura & Mary for including us! We loved using the Huckleberry sling.I definitely recommend Vienna Springs to all you new Mommas, or anyone looking for a more affordable {& pretty} carrier!


March for Babies

Somehow it is the middle of February, and I haven't blogged since Christmas! This always seems to happen this time of year. I will try to spend some more time in the next few days updating on birthdays, Christmas, the new year, basketball, Valentine's Day, Jonah's Journey, snow days, and anything else I've skipped over in the last 6 weeks!
While  most of us are thinking only about the ice and snow right now, 2 months from today is the March of Dimes Walk { the March for Babies}. We are walking again as Team Lucy Loo for the 4th year. We would LOVE to have all of our friends and families join us on that day. This year the walk is on a Saturday morning, April 18th, at  9 AM. There will be food and activities AFTER the walk this year, and it will be at L.P Field again. You don't have to do anything but show up and hang out! In the past there has been food, music, bounce houses, face painting, give away tables, and even Elsa & Anna were there last year. I'm on the family team planning committee, and I will know more about which other activities will be available later this week. Team Lucy Loo is also trying to have a few larger fundraiser than in the past, so stay tuned for those!
Click here for our Team Lucy Loo page.
If you have a business that you think would like to sponsor our team, please Email me! The Sponsorship levels go from $150 with your company name on a banner at the walk, up to $750 with your own private banner at the walk with your company logo and name. I have a sponsorship form I can mail, fax, or email to you. The sponsorship is completely tax deductible .
You can also help by purchasing a T-shirt. I will be ordering them in about 4 weeks, and then will distribute them when they come in. They are $10 each with a portion going towards the March of Dimes from Team Lucy Loo. Email me at Mrsemmahowell@gmail.com and let me know if you'd like to order one!
Thanks to everyone who has already ordered one, and thank you to those who have sent money to me already. If we can have 4 more ordered, we will be able to add $.50 more of each shirt towards our team fundraising!
Thanks to Halo Screen Printing and Embroidery for doing our shirts this year.