Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are visiting because you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, let me say that I am so very sorry. I started this blog shortly after our Baby Grady was stillborn on November 12, 2008. Please visit the sidebar below called "Labels" to find the topic in which you are interested, or just read as your heart desires.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


What to blog about? That's the question that plagues me these days.

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten on this page to compose a new post, but then I change my mind. I just don't know what to write about. And it's not for a lack of ideas, for my brain is surely swimming with lots of thoughts and feelings about lots of different things.


I could blog about how I'm missing Grady and my mom something terrible these days.

I could blog about how I've seen certain friendships in my life change over the last two years. Some in good ways. Others not so much. It makes me happy and sad. Mainly sad.

I could blog about how happy my heart feels when Matthew smiles at me, first with his eyes.

I could blog about how I miss my husband terribly on these intensely busy, long days of work and school. I keep telling myself this is a season of life that won't last forever.

I could blog about how I've done a decent job of keeping my house straightened up since cleaning it really good a couple of weeks ago. Sure there are places that need my attention, but it's much better than it was.

I could blog about how I've grown to love the bookmark tool on the computer, and I recently used it to pick out my necklace I want for Mother's Day this year.

I could blog about the fact that I'm excited to get my hair done tomorrow and am seriously considering chopping it off. Seriously.

I could blog about how anxious I am about Matthew's upcoming surgery...more the anesthesia than the actual surgery.

I could blog about how excited I am that next week is Spring Break for Gib and the girls...even though Gib has already informed me that most of his time will be spent doing school work. But if things work out, I will be seeing one of my besties from out of town. :)

I could blog about the fact that Jessica has a boyfriend, and I'm a wee bit a lot freaked out about it, seeing as how they ride the bus together. And one of her friend's took their picture this week. And his arm was very awkwardly around her shoulders (note: hand not even touching her shoulder!). And how my stomach felt a little sick when I saw it. And how Jessica said he only put his arm around her because her friend told him to. And how I don't want to admit that she's growing up...

I could blog about how good it feels to have some bills paid off from our recent tax refund. And barring anything unexpected, we have enough left to take a summer vacation. :)

I could blog about how scared we were for Gib's brother and his family last week in Colorado, when the wildfires came within one mile of their house and they had to evacuate, not knowing if their home was still standing or not. Everything turned out fine.

I could blog about how easy it is for others to blow things off. But I guarantee if it was happening in their life, it would be a big deal to them.

I could blog about how Emma Grace's school conference went absolutely great yesterday. She is doing great, reading on a third grade level and blowing her teacher away with her math skills. She is pretty amazing when it comes to numbers, I must admit.

I guess I should have just done a "Tidbits" post, but I honestly didn't know where this was going when I started writing. I could take each one of these ideas/thoughts and expand them into a full post. But I just don't want to today. So there.

So long.

For now!


Friday, March 25, 2011


That about sums it up tonight.

I'm disappointed.

I really was hoping for good news today, but truthfully, I wasn't expecting it.

Why would I?

The hole in Matthew's heart has not closed.

It is tiny.

Very tiny.

It does not require surgery.

And, I'm so thankful for that.

But, I'm still disappointed.

It wasn't what I wanted to hear today.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Quick Request

I just wanted to take a minute and ask you to say a prayer for Matthew's appointment with the cardiologist tomorrow (Friday). I'm not super anxious about it because even if the hole hasn't closed, surgery will not be necessary. PRAISE THE LORD! However, I would absolutely LOVE for it to be closed so we can mark this one off his list. One less thing to have to think about.

His appointment is at 3:30, and I am anxious about how he will behave. With the exception of today (in which he took NO afternoon nap...long day!), he has been napping from 2-3 hours in the afternoon. If he's super mad and agitated, they will not be able to get the pictures they need of his heart. I'm going to try to tweak his schedule a bit tomorrow and get him down earlier, but he doesn't do well with tweaking. He's a little man who likes his schedule! Please pray, also, that he is happy and cooperative. It's not painful at all, but it does take some time to really examine the area.

Thanks for the prayers! We appreciate them so very much! I will update as soon as I can.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Kiddos and MeMe

We had a great visit with a special friend who my kids call MeMe. She is the mom of one of my best friends, April, from high school. She is like a second mother to me and a third grandmother to my children. She always remembers them and makes them feel special in all sorts of ways.

MeMe came to visit Monday afternoon. The girls had no idea she was coming, so they were very surprised. She took some great pictures of my kiddos. Words absolutely cannot describe how much I love these three.

And I got behind MeMe's camera and snapped this one of the four of them.

All of us are looking forward to another day with MeMe very soon. We love you! Thanks for coming!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Online Photo Storage

Happy Monday!

So far, I've been somewhat productive...if you count doing three loads of laundry, pumping milk, playing with my baby and now blogging. Oh, and getting the girls to school and cleaning up more from Emma Grace's birthday party yesterday. Now to make a weekly menu and grocery list. Uggh!

Gib finally showed me last night how to upload pictures from our camera to the computer. I was amazed at how easy it was, including making new folders and such. Now, I'm on the hunt for a good, FREE online photo storage option. I know Shutterfly and Snapfish are good for printing and such, but I want a place to store them, download from, share on my blog, etc.

Do you have a favorite online photo storage site/company? If so, please share who and why.

Thanks so much!

And, because I can just click on them and it's much easier than plugging my camera in, here are a few pics for you to enjoy.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

8 Months Old

Matthew turned 8 months old yesterday, but his big sister got first dibs on the blog spotlight. The monthly picture proved to be quite a challenge this time. His toes or the sign were way more interesting than looking at me for a silly old picture!

That side wasn't working well, so I tried putting the sign on the other side.

Not much better. I love it, though, because this really portrays him at this age, which is exactly what I want!

Some facts about this sweet boy...

He is in 6-9 month or 6-12 month clothes and is wearing size 3 diapers (and so far I've really loved the Sam's brand!) He is only eating one full meal of solids each day, which is dinner. He just doesn't seem very interested during the day, and it's still a challenge with his sleep schedule. I could add it in, I guess, but then I feel like he would be eating waay too often. I want him to get enough, but I don't want to start bad habits of overeating. He is usually up from 4 or 4:30 - 7:00, which is the longest span of time that he is awake during the day. Dinner just makes sense and is the easiest meal to give him.

I took Emma Grace for her check up and put him on the scale. He weighed 20 lbs, 2 oz. He has gained almost two pounds in about a month. His cheeks are still huge and delicious, as are the rolls on his thighs. :)

He continues to be a great sleeper. He sleeps 11-12 hours at night and about four hours during the day, split between three naps. His daytime sleep schedule is becoming more and more regular which is nice to be able to plan outings around. Not that we do a whole lot, but when we do, it's nice.

His skin has become a challenge for me, though. He has always had sensitive skin, but he has some pretty bad eczema on his face. I'm trying to get it calmed down some, but I can't seem to find a certain "trigger". He doesn't get a bath every day, but I did bathe him today. I put some Aveeno Baby Eczema Care lotion on his body after his bath. BIG MISTAKE! When I went to change his clothes later in the day, he had a terrible rash all over his body. Uggh. It just looked like it felt miserable. But he wasn't a bit fussy. He got a second bath before bed, so hopefully it will look better in the morning. I'm looking into some natural baby products by Shaklee. I'm hoping they work. I've heard great things about them.

He is still getting the hang of rolling from his back to his tummy, and he continues to learn to sit up. His therapist did comment this week that his trunk muscles seem to be getting stronger. His biggest challenge right now is getting his right hand open AND putting weight on it. If you notice in the picture below, he is putting weight on his right arm, but his hand is in a fist. We want his hand open. I stretch it several times a day, and he will open it when he is trying to grasp something. But he does not like to have it open on a flat surface. I'm confident he will get time. He is moving in the right direction, slowly but surely.

He is still very socially happy, and doesn't seem to have stranger/separation anxiety yet. I'm hoping he won't! He still loves to "talk" back and forth with us and at times "cough" with us. I have to share this story because it is SO cute. And typical of the male species, I think...

Wednesday, I was pumping, and he was in the exercauser next to me. I was talking to him while he was playing. All at once, he pooted and quickly turned to look at me. I acknowledged him, and he grinned a huge grin and turned his head away. He pooted again. He turned again to look at me to see if I'd heard. I acknowledged him, and he grinned and looked away. This continued several more times. I was cracking up, like seriously doing a belly laugh with tears in my eyes, because he was SO proud of his "talent". I would have loved to capture it on video.

His cardiology appointment got changed to next Friday. I was disappointed, but one more week isn't that long to wait. Maybe that hole in his heart just needs those extra seven days to close completely! His hernia surgery is scheduled for April 5th, and I'm ready to put it behind us.

He is cutting about four top teeth right now. His gums are completely swollen across the top, but he's such a trooper. Never fusses. Amazing! One broke the skin today. Funny thing is that it is not one of the middle two. It is the one just to the right of the right middle top tooth. Does that make sense? I hope so. He's gonna look so funny if his middle teeth don't come through soon!

He is doing great, and we just love him to pieces! His smile brightens my day, and his cheeks are simply scrumptious! Thank you so much for praying for our boy with us!

And, in case you were wondering, he finally did a face-plant into the sign!

Thank you, God, for this sweet little love!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday Emma Grace!

(The pictures above were taken very early this morning before school.)

I cannot believe that my baby girl turned 8 years old today! It seems like just yesterday that she was born. We were filled with fear and uncertainty as to whether she would even live, and if she did live, we had no idea what kind of life she would have. (If you're new to my blog and have never read her story, click on her picture on my left sidebar.)

God is good, and I give all the glory to Him for the gift and blessing of her life. He used the wisdom and knowledge of the NICU doctors and nurses to take excellent care of her. He used the advances in technology to help save her life (and her very sick, preemie lungs). It is only by His grace that she is alive and doing so well.

Praise God for this sweet and spunky, double-dimpled, green-eyed girl!

I hope her birthday was good; she said it was. I baked cupcakes to take to her class today. After school, she and I played a game of Sorry and attempted to put together a puzzle that I got her for her birthday. She enjoyed writing in a journal that her sister gave her, and after Jessica and Gib got home, we headed to Chick-fil-A for dinner (her choice).

Once home, she opened two more presents, both board games, per her request. Life and Pay Day. I can't wait until we have some time to learn both of them. :) We sang and ate chocolate cake, and by then, it was time for bed.

Her party will be Sunday afternoon, so the celebrating isn't over yet!

Dear Eggiey,

Happy Birthday sweet girl! I hope you will always know that I celebrate your life every day, not just on your birthday. I don't take one day of you being here with me for granted. You drive me crazy sometimes, but I love, love, love you! And I'm SO thankful that God chose me to be your mommy! I hope you had a great day today, and I can't wait for your party on Sunday!

Hugs and kisses and
LOTS of love!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Perspective. Progress. Patience.

These three "P" words have been plaguing me lately. That and the word "time", but that's a different post for another day.


This is a work in progress for me. If I'm honest. I hate that Matthew has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, even if it is mild. And I'm SO thankful that it IS mild. But the words alone (cerebral palsy - CP) make me cringe for some reason.

Even though his CP mild, when I see him work so darn hard to put the fingers of his right hand around an object, it breaks my heart. When I see him want to sit up and can't, it breaks my heart. When he tries his hardest and just can't roll over, it breaks my heart. He's going to have to work harder than the normal baby, that's for sure.

My momma heart just wants him to be perfectly fine.

And he IS perfect.

He is perfect just the way God created him. And God knows I love him inside and out, just the way he is.

But I still don't like it.

And yet, I'm still trying to embrace it. (The diagnosis of CP that is.)

Unfortunately, through the circumstances of others, my perspective has changed a bit lately. Matthew's CP is still a big deal, and we are going to have to work hard with him, for sure. Honestly, I love working with him. I love seeing when he can do something new that he couldn't do just a few weeks ago. It is my honor and privilege to help him reach his full potential.

But, I do know things could be so much worse than they are. We are extremely blessed in these circumstances. It's not the way I would have written Matthew's story. But this is the way God is writing his story. And I accept it. I'm embracing it. And I'm trying hard to make the most of it every day, focusing more on the positive and less on the negative.


Matthew has made so much progress since starting therapy in late January. Just at Christmas, he could barely move his right arm. Now he moves it and with much more purpose, reaching for objects and often transferring from one hand to the other. He has fallen in love with tags, which brings back great memories from Emma Grace (she loved tags on much so that my friend got her a taggie blanket.) That's beside the point. Matthew focuses hard and really uses his right hand at times to get the tags between his fingers. A taggie blanket might just be in his near future, too! He might have to borrow his sisters for the time being. Who cares if it's pink and has her name on it, right?!

He used to not tolerate being on his left side at all. He would fight me with all of his being when I put him in that position to play and practice rolling over. Now, he can get himself to his left side all by himself, resting with his right leg bent at the knee while his left leg is straight. He just has to work up the muscle strength on his right side to be able to hoist himself over the rest of the way.

*Update: He has started rolling over from his back to his tummy via his left side. YAY!

(Now I have to teach him to roll to the right side!)

He can sit in a tripod position a little longer now. His trunk muscles are getting a bit stronger. I can see progress. It's just slow. Which leads me to my last "P" word for this post.


I need to be patient. I certainly don't want to wish away this baby time, and the time that I can still cuddle him and have him "under control" (ie. not crawling/walking). But it's very hard to see younger babies doing so much more than he can. I have stopped reading the Baby Center email updates on what your baby should be doing. His age has to be adjusted for his prematurity. He can do some things, but he's lagging behind on the motor milestones. Rather than get discouraged every time, I just don't read them. I know he will catch up.

And I will enjoy every second of him, just the way he is.

And I will rejoice and be thankful when he reaches a new milestone, like he did yesterday.

I just need to be patient.

And I need to add a fourth "P" to this post.


Not only am I praising God for Matthew's accomplishment of rolling over yesterday, I'm praising God for a very special baby boy who was born. My friend, Sara, had a healthy baby boy yesterday. Levi Ryan is their rainbow baby, who is an amazing gift through God's grace and embryo adoption. Hop over to her blog to see pictures of him and celebrate the gift of his life. He's such a cutie!


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Other Way...

Matthew just rolled over the other way...from his back to his tummy! Not once, but twice!


And he didn't just roll over. He rolled onto his left side, which just two weeks ago he wanted absolutely no part of! This is such great news for him because it means he is activating the muscles on his right side.

I can't wait to tell his therapist tomorrow!

Working on another post which I hope to get up tomorrow but had to take a time out and document this huge milestone for my sweet baby boy. He is progressing slowly but surely. If you've been praying for him with us, THANK YOU!!!

Hope you are having a great day!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tidbits from T

***I started writing this Monday and am just getting back to it. I would just delete it, but it has good family info in it that I want to document, and I certainly don't feel like starting over!

~Happy Monday everyone! I'm not sure I'm ready for this week, but it's here and I must embrace it!

~Jessica has her very first track meet this afternoon. She is very excited, and Gib and I are excited for her. I'm not sure if I have this right, but I think she is running the 4x400 and 3200 meter. We went after church yesterday to get her some spikes. I had never heard of them until now. I hope she is able to run in them because she hasn't practiced in them at all.

***Update: turns out she didn't need the spikes afterall!

Unfortunately, they are making up a meet from last week, so we will be at the track from 4-7pm. I'm not so sure Matthew will hold out that long, and it's much cooler today. I plan to stay as long as I can. She has another meet on Thursday and Saturday, both away. I'm not ready for all this traveling!

***Update: Jessica's meet went well. She completed her events and we were very proud of her for trying her best. Matthew, Emma Grace and I only stayed until about 5:45pm. It started to get cold when the sun went down, and Matthew was very tired (even though he slept on my chest in the Baby Bjorn most of the time). Jessica will not be traveling and participating in the track meet tomorrow because of limited entries and it being exam week. I am honestly happy to have her home. :)

She has also decided to try out for cheerleading. Oh me. We will support her in whatever she wants to do, but cheerleading is a very expensive activity and has become very dangerous. She did take a few years of gymnastics and cheered for a short time when she was 5 and 7, but other than that, she has no experience. I'm proud of her drive and desire to try new things. She says she is going to try out for volleyball in the fall.

~I'm not digging the lack of communication of middle school. I don't like to rely on my child to give me messages and details. I often have questions for which she has no answers. I never thought I would say this, but I miss the papers/memos that came home in the previous years.

~I took Emma Grace to get her eyes checked last week. I called on Tuesday and they happened to have a cancellation for Wednesday morning at 8:45. The pediatric ophthalmologist that we see is at Emory, over an hour from our house. It was rush hour, and without the HOV lane, we would have been seriously late! I ended up keeping her home the whole day because we didn't leave the appointment until after 11am.

Her eyes are great. She has 20/20 vision and everything else they checked for was fine. I voiced my concern about a brain tumor in disguised language so Emma Grace wouldn't hear me use those words. The eye doctor said that typically if there was a tumor in that area, the optic nerve would be enlarged/swollen, and hers was fine. That put me at ease a little. She has her well-check next week, so I will talk to her pediatrician about our next step then.

That girl's room is in some serious disarray. SERIOUS. She will straighten it, but she has so much stuff that it still looks messy. Unfortunately, we are going to have to have a day where we take everything out of the room, purge and sort, then try to put it back in order. She loves to hang onto the smallest things, and she knows where everything came from. She pulled out a random stuffed octopus last night that I had never seen before (well, apparently I had but forgot). She said she got it from "Mrs. Lori's treasure box at preschool". She was 3! Goodness me.

She has decided she wants a Hello Kitty birthday party this year. I'm planning to keep it simple and not too big. I've found a few cute games they can play. The goal is for her to have fun.

~Matthew has, what I believe to be, eczema on his face. They are tiny, round, red bumps in a cluster. I think he got too hot in his car seat yesterday and now he has a rash on his back and neck. I called the doctor to see what they recommend for eczema, but when the nurse called me back, I was in the middle of texting someone and pressed the mute button and she couldn't hear me. Then she hung up. I'm hoping she calls me back!

***Update, she never called back. I had to call her. She told me to use Eucerin or Lubriderm on his eczema. If anyone has any natural remedies, I would love to hear them. One patch is kind of close to his mouth.

Other than his rash, he is doing well. Gib has found that he absolutely loves to watch racing on television. I went grocery shopping yesterday for the week, so I was gone a while. I came home to find him STILL in his exercauser. Gib said he had had a great time watching the race on TV, in surround sound, of course. Whatever makes everyone happy I guess...

His surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5th. That was the week I was hoping for because Gib and the girls will be on spring break. I don't know an exact time, but it will be an afternoon surgery.


Poor baby.

He can have clear liquids up to 4 hours before the procedure, but he is going to be HUNGRY! The good news is that it will be done at an outpatient surgery center much closer to our home; right next door to where he goes for his physical therapy, in fact. I'm anxious to get it over with!

He goes to the cardiologist next Friday, the 18th, to see if the hole in his heart has closed. I'm so glad that surgery won't be needed even if it hasn't, but I sure would like to just close that chapter completely.

~Gib continues to be super busy with school and work. We, unfortunately, don't see him much. And when we do, he's usually sleeping or has his nose in a computer. I keep telling myself this is just a season...this too shall pass. I think he tells himself the same thing.

~I had a great lunch on Saturday with a friend of mine from nursing school, and then I went to Walmart to exchange some things. It was nice just to be out by myself. I always feel so selfish for craving alone time, but I do, and I know it's good for me.

~I started reading the book "one thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I'm only on chapter 2, but WHOA. It's the perfect book for me right now. I can relate to so much of what she writes and her words are definitely speaking to my heart.

~I had my yearly check up with Dr. Joe a couple of weeks ago. I had another full circle moment while there. He takes a picture of mom and baby at their 6 week check-up and has them hanging all over the halls and in the exam rooms of his office. I remember after Grady died how badly I wanted mine and Grady's picture on the wall. And I remember seeing a lady's picture whom I had seen at my last regular appointment with Grady and was very sad that his story hadn't turned out as well.

I looked for mine and Matthew's picture. I found it. And it brought great joy to my heart.

But, at the same time, I longed to have two pictures on Dr. Joe's wall.

I'm SO, SO, SO thankful for the one I have though!

We went to lunch afterward (Mexican, YUM!) and as always, it was fun. I got to hear all about his new adventures with raising chickens and building portable chicken tractors. I seriously don't know how he has time to be in practice by himself and do all these other things. I felt bad because I didn't get to talk to his staff very much. Dr. Joe talked my ear off! :) It felt like old times. I sure do miss seeing that crew regularly!

~Menu planning has gotten very boring for me. I feel like we eat the same things over and over, but I'm operating on quick, easy and affordable right now. Thankfully, my family doesn't complain or they might go hungry!

~I'm about over pumping milk. Seriously. I don't know what it is lately, but I'm really starting to hate it. I'm trying to hold off until he's a year old. But it's getting harder. I'm down to only four times a day which isn't too bad. It's definitely doable. I just gotta hang in there! I don't know why I put so much pressure on myself.

~I've started making daily lists. I try to keep it at 5 or 6 things so it's manageable for me. For some reason this helps me get things done. It's crazy, but there is definite satisfaction in crossing something off a list.

~Well, time to decide if I will be lazy or productive today. It's such a gloomy, rainy day here which immediately puts me into lazy mode. I don't have a list today...maybe that's my problem!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Tiny Angels

For my angel mommy friends. In honor of our babies, our "Tiny Angels", who we love and carry in our hearts forever.

Tiny Angels

Tiny Angels rest your wings
sit with me for awhile.

How I long to hold your hand,
And see your tender smile.

Tiny Angel, look at me,
I want this image clear....
That I will forget your precious face
Is my biggest fear.

Tiny Angel can you tell me,
Why you have gone away?
You weren't here for very long....
Why is it, you couldn't stay?

Tiny Angel shook his head,
"These things I do not know....
But I do know that you love me,
And that I love you so".

Author Unknown