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.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tidbits from T

~~I'm a boring blogger these days. I know. Nothing really exciting has happened for me to share. But I'll share some not-so-exciting things with you anyway.

~~School is out for the girls. This first week has been busy, yet boring, for all of us. We've had appointments but haven't had the chance to do much of anything fun. I keep telling the girls that we have the whole summer ahead of us. But as usual, I know it's going to fly by.

~~Emma Grace missed her last day of school to what turned out to be a sinus infection. Now, unfortunately, Matthew is suffering the stuffy nose syndrome along with a cough. He is also rubbing one of his ears, and to be honest, I don't like the way his cough is starting to sound. No fever, though, and still happily playful, but a trip to the doctor might be in his near future, too.

~~Gib still has two weeks of work left before his summer officially begins. But right as work ends, his online classes will start up again. No rest for the weary, I'm afraid.

~~We are hoping to take a summer trip with Gib's brother and his family sometime in July. Matthew might be spending his first birthday out of the country! We will see how it all plays out, and I'll share more as details unfold.

~~A sweet friend gave me a jogging stroller that I can't wait to put to good use. (Thank you Leah!) I walked a couple of days with a friend of mine and it felt so good to get my blood pumping again. Lord knows I need to get in shape! Where, oh where, is my motivation? If someone finds it, could you please tell it to come visit me?!

~~Jessica is turning 12 tomorrow, and I honestly can't believe it. To my surprise, she did not want a party. She is having a friend over tonight and another tomorrow night. Whatever makes the birthday girl happy is good with me!

~~We have a busy weekend ahead. Birthday fun for Jess, a graduation party for a sweet girl we haven't seen in years and a trip to Dahlonega on Sunday to spend some time at MeMe's house with her and her family. I was hoping to have my friend April take some family pictures of us outside at MeMe's house, but I felt bad asking her AND I was only able to get my hair cut, not colored this past week. I know that seems so vain, but if your hair was as white as mine, you'd understand! I'm hoping Monday will be a quiet day at home.

~~See. I told you nothing too exciting was going on with us, but I wanted to check in and say hi anyway. Hope all of you have a fun, safe Memorial Day weekend!


Monday, May 16, 2011

10 Months Old

Matthew got this hat at the NICU reunion we went to this past weekend. I think he's VERY cute in it! And, I think he feels the same way! I cannot believe that my boy is almost one already! It seems like just yesterday that I was writing his nine month post. Maybe it feels that way because I was so late getting it up!

I wish his eczema wasn't flaring again in these pictures. He does have good days with it, but it always seems to be inflamed when I take pictures. This is an 18 month outfit, by the way. And once again, the sign was very interesting!

I took the paper away, and he wasn't happy.

Many things are still the same with sweet Matthew, but here's an update anyway.

--He still loves to eat. We are slowly introducing finger foods, but he did not do well this morning. I gave him some banana which he promptly gagged on, and he followed with the same reaction to a cheerio. Pureed breakfast it was!

He can take or leave the bottle now that he's getting just formula. It's a struggle to get him to take it at times, but he must have the nutrition that comes from it. He doesn't love the sippy cup, either. He will pick it up and chew on the tip, that's about it.

--He weighed 22 pounds at the neurologist on Friday, May 6th. He is quickly outgrowing some of his 12 month clothes, and I just bought a box of size 3 diapers yesterday that I'm considering taking back for size 4. His thighs are chunky and delicious, as are his cheeks!

--He has settled into two solid naps a day, one morning and one afternoon. He usually wakes up happy and talking. If he wakes up crying, I know he didn't get his nap out. Some days it's easier to get him back to sleep than others. His morning nap is usually 1 - 1 1/2 hours and his afternon nap is 2 hours, sometimes 3! He sleeps 11-12 hours at night, but someone needs to tell him about sleeping in on the weekend! I often have to wake him to get him fed and the girls to school on time, but he's awake bright and early on Saturday and Sunday! I'm SO ready for summer break!

--He has mastered rolling. And rolling. And rolling. Across the room in no time! He also loves to turn in circles on his hands. Of course, he can turn better circles to his left than he can to his right. We are still working on that right side. He tries to army crawl, but he just doesn't have the strength yet. We have spaced his physical therapy out to every other week now to give him more time to work on mastering new things.

--The neurologist was pleased when we saw him on the 6th. He was very positive and encouraging about Matthew's prognosis. Matthew still struggles with that right arm/hand. To just look at him, you would never know he had any issue at all. He can move it in general but has a very hard time with more controlled, fine motor skills on that side. I'm going to talk to his physical therapist about having occupational therapy do an evaluation on him. I want to intervene early if he needs help.

--He gave up his paci, literally overnight. He absolutely refused to take it one day and acted like I was torturing him when I tried to give it to him. So, it's gone! He hasn't had it in about a week now. I'm glad he gave it up so easily, but I didn't think it would happen so soon.

--He loves to sleep on his tummy now, but he often wakes up soaked with pee. I've switched to overnight diapers and they help sometimes. (And yes, I do point "it" down when I put his diaper on!) I've been doing lots of laundry lately!

--He still isn't doing much in the way of "talking". He still just grunts and makes noises. Occasionally, he has put an "m", "b", and "g" in front of his sounds but nothing consistent. He has come up with some new noises, though, that are quite sweet, entertaining and high-pitched at times.

--He loves to ride in the stroller and still does very well in the car. His favorite toy is a beaded teether. He loves his sisters and Buddy (the dog). He laughs at his bottle when he's done with it, which he has started trying to hold some, too. He loves to hold paper or books, and when he does, he turns them in circles in his hands. He still loves his mobile, but I only put it up for short times so he doesn't pull it on top of himself.

I put him in the corner behind the mobile because I wanted to show how much he loves this thing! But, he is usually on his back, like this...

And just because I think it's sweet. I went in to check on him after he went to sleep at nap time today and found his toes sticking out of his bumper guard...

And this is often what I see when I go check on him and he's not asleep...

We love you Matthew! Happy 10 month birthday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day, 2011

I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. Mine was quiet, which was nice.

Saturday, the girls and I attended a picnic at the River Forks Park & Campground for a balloon release with Rock Goodbye Angel. It was absolutely beautiful! (other than the fact that it was cold and very windy!) I've never been there, but our family will be taking a day trip when the weather warms up a bit more. It only costs $5 to get in and there's an awesome playground and beach area on the lake with picnic tables, grills, and plenty of grass and trees to relax under.

We released balloons for babies who have gone before us. I released a balloon for Grady, as well as balloons for several of my friends' babies, too. It is amazing to think that 2 1/2 years ago, I knew absolutely no one who had lost a baby...

Jessica seemed fine while we were there, but she fell asleep on the way home, which is VERY unusual for her. Later in the day she told me her throat hurt. Upon Momma T's inspection, I found a very red throat with some white pus pockets. Off to the urgent care we went. So glad we did because she had strep. Because she started on antibiotics Saturday night, she felt great this morning and was able to go to school.

So, we spent the morning home from church yesterday. I originally thought it would be great to sleep in...Gib could get up with Matthew, etc. However, I was already awake. I went to the kitchen to warm his bottle, and Gib went to Matthew because he was crying. Gib had picked him up, and when I walked in, he all but lunged for me. How's that for a sweet Mother's Day present? And the even better part? He let me snuggle him on my shoulder for at least five minutes while his bottle warmed. That was definitely better than any sleep could ever be!!!

As I was rocking him, I couldn't help but think back to the previous two Mother's Days. I was heartbroken in 2009 because Grady wasn't with us and last year, I was pregnant with Matthew but had no idea if he would be here this year or not. (I just realized that I never did a Mother's Day post last year...BAD, BAD!) My heart was full and overjoyed to be holding that baby boy yesterday morning, as I am each and every day.

Emma Grace woke up after Matthew went down for his morning nap. She brought me a gift she made at school. It was a beautiful bracelet with different beads. She snuggled in my lap for a long time which was doubly wonderful. Not long after, Jessica followed. Wow, that girl has gotten so big! She smothered me snuggled with me, too which was triply wonderful! She sent me a beautiful text with a flower on it wishing me a Happy Mother's Day. I love my children more than there are words in the human vocabulary!

Matthew ate some banana and sweet potato puffs for the first time yesterday. And he LOVED the banana in this mesh teether.

He even decided to be "cool" and just veg with Daddy. I've not seen him this relaxed on someone's lap in a long time. He's very busy these days! (In case you're wondering, Gib is holding a burp cloth, and if you look closely in the picture below, you can see Gib kissing Matthew's head. Sweet!)

And of course, I had to snap this picture when I got back from the doctor with Jessica Saturday evening. This hasn't happened in a long time either.

Since we didn't go to church yesterday, there was no dressing up for us. This is the only picture of me and my kiddos that was taken.

Jessica made yummy brownies, and we completed the night with spicy Chinese food and a game of Yahtzee, in which Emma Grace beat us BAD! Two Yahtzees! Go Eggiey! (I know that spelling makes no sense, but it's how she spells her nickname!)

Speaking of her, she also made me a card at school. You know the kind, with all the fill in the blanks. Here's a sampling...

My mom can do many things! I think she's best at...takeing care of us and loveing me.

My Mom has a pretty smile! I like to make her smile by...huging her.

My Mom is smart! She even knows...when to make me happy.

My Mom is as pretty as a...flower.

I'd like to tell my Mom...I Love You.

She is special because...she makes banana pudding and buys me clothes.

She's all about the "love" for sure! And she always has a way of remembering Grady in all that we do. I came home from the store and getting dinner last night to find this written on the driveway.

As usual, I've spent too much time on this stupid computer this morning. Gotta try to get something accomplished today!

Love and blessings to you!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tidbits from T

***This is a super busy week for our family. Or at least it seems that way.

Monday, I met with the founder of Rock Goodbye Angel to discuss some opportunities to serve bereaved moms who have lost babies. Yesterday was Emma Grace's field day. Matthew and I went for the afternoon fun, and it was HOT! He was so sleepy but such a trooper, as usual. I'm hoping he will continue in that same fashion today as Jessica has a track banquet from 3:30-5:00. After that, we have to go shopping for her an outfit and new shoes for her Chorus performance tomorrow night. (Don't get me started on that! She has to wear all black with black shoes that she will never wear again...UGGH! She borrowed black boots in the fall and winter but those won't fly this time of year. Not to mention that I somehow didn't get the email that was sent out, and Jessica just told me about it last night. DOUBLE UGGH!) Friday, Matthew has to go to the neurologist, Mr. Personality himself. And Saturday, we have the balloon release and ice cream party to honor our babies. Busy, busy.

***Emma Grace received an award last week, called a Dragon Award, for sportsmanship. She was selected by her classmates for this, and we were so proud! She was honored on the stage with a special lunch. I went, but she requested that I not bring Matthew. So funny that girl! It was a special time just the two of us.

***Matthew has mastered the art of rolling. And rolling. And rolling. All over the place! This is such a huge accomplishment for him. He is building strength in his right arm, and his therapist is going to be thrilled when we go back next week. He gets from his back to his tummy in no time flat. And he is actually enjoying his tummy, even rolling over on it to sleep. The bad part about that, though, is that he has woken up every morning soaking wet. Two nights ago, he wasn't happy on his tummy and couldn't find his paci, so at 3am I turned him to his back to find he was wet up to his chest. So, a change of clothes and a new sheet it was. Fortunately, he went right back to sleep.

When he's on his tummy, he is trying to move his legs and get them under him. He is showing the beginnings of doing an army crawl. It's my guess that he will be all over this house very soon. What a blessing! But what a challenge...

***Heeding my own advice is so hard. I used to tell moms that any amount of breastmilk they gave their babies was better than none. And that is the absolute truth. But for myself, I set the bar super high and strive for a year. I did it with Jessica and Emma Grace. But, unfortunately, my breastfeeding/pumping days are a thing of the past. For good.

I gave it up last week. I just couldn't do it anymore. I honestly had grown to hate it. I never loved it, but I knew I was doing a great thing for Matthew. It got to the point, though, that when I would sit to pump, I would almost have an anxiety attack. The stress of that would inhibit my let down, and I would get frustrated about that. It just wasn't worth it anymore. Of course, I had the internal dialogue with myself..."You've done it for 9 1/2 months, it's okay to stop now." And the flip side... "You've done it for 9 1/2 months, you can do it 2 1/2 more!" But the truth is that I needed to stop for myself. I am still struggling with the guilt, especially since Matthew isn't taking his bottles like he was before. But I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders these days.

***If it comes to mind, could you please say a prayer for my sweet husband? This is an extremely stressful time for him at work. He is preparing for the EOCT (end of course testing) at his school for close to 4,000 students. He is a perfectionist when it comes to his work and gives 110%, plus this is a huge responsibility for one person. He was awake at 2:30 this morning and will work late every night until (and after) the testing is over, which is in two weeks. I worry about him, obviously because I love him, but also because of his past heart issues. He had a heart attack in May of 2007. Not your typical heart attack due to blockage, but due to an artery spasm which decreased oxygen to his heart muscle. He takes medication daily to help keep those vessels relaxed, but stress can aggrevate the problem, so please pray that he does okay. And that I can be supportive and encouraging to him during this time. Thanks!

That's all I have time for right now. Thanks for reading!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Remembering Our Babies This Saturday...

Please click on this link to view an invitation for a local event to honor and remember our babies' birthdays. It is this Saturday, May 7th from 10am-12pm. If you cannot attend but would like a balloon released for your baby, please let me know. Also, please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.

This amazing, fairly new, organization is called Rock Goodbye Angel, and I'm super excited about working with them. Big things to come with this, I hope! It has the potential to be life changing for bereaved moms/families in our area where there is very little to no support for these types of losses.

More later...