Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It's a GIRL!!

As everyone already knows, Whitney is now a big sister! Norah Elaine was born on May 24th, almost 2 weeks before her scheduled c-section date.
Just a quick recap of Norah’s birth, I had a scheduled appointment on Monday, May 20th and found out I was dilated to 4cm and was very “thin”, in other words, get ready, because this baby could come at any time. Before I left they scheduled me for the next week, but because Memorial Day was the following Monday, my next appointment would be Tuesday, 8 days after this last appointment.  The strange thing was I was feeling fine and not feeling contractions at all. I continued to work through the week and didn’t think much of going into labor.
Since Memorial Day is such a big weekend down here I called the doctor on Thursday the 23rd to see if they could see me on Friday just to make sure nothing had changed, I wanted to be able to enjoy the weekend without worrying about having a baby. They told me to come on Friday the 24th, little did I know I wouldn’t be back home for 3 days.

When I saw the doctor at 10:00 she said I was dilated to 6 cm and we were having a baby that day! Andy happened to be working later that day and was at the gym. She told me to go straight to the hospital (right across the road) and to call Andy to get my bag and to come on over. I was so surprised and exciting, the whole thought of having a baby that day was crazy to me. I wasn’t supposed to have her until June 4th, she was going to be a June baby. It was actually very comical to me, I was working that morning, now having a baby in the afternoon. No one knew we were at the hospital, no plans were made, heck, we just got the car seat out of storage 2 days prior.

I was prepped for the c-section and had Norah around 1:00 pm. The delivery was as smooth as can be and the sound of her cries when she came out was the most glorious sounds to our ears. The whole process was much different (for the better!) than with Whitney, it was the experience I feel we deserved. The hospital stay was enjoyable and actually….fun?! We had visitors come and had some alone time, it was so unusual to have a healthy baby in our arms, what a heavenly feeling.

My parents had purchased tickets to come here on June 1st thru June 25th. They weren’t able to change them so they did miss seeing us in the hospital, but it did allow for a week of time alone with just Norah and me, as Whitney still went to the babysitters. We are now totally enjoying having our parents company and their help. The days are limited and it will be sad to see them go. Andy’s parents will then be coming to visit and finally some alone time once again.

I know I am forgetting things, but with company staying with us it is hard to get away to write on the blog, but I wanted to get something written and some pictures posted. I am loving being a mother of two beautiful girls. Norah is a content little girl, crying mainly when she is hungry, she hasn’t had any crying spells in which we didn’t know what was wrong. Like I said though, we’ve had lots of help, so almost anytime she’s made a peep, someone has been there to get her. Oh well, I now know they are only small for such a short, quick time and spoiling them is OK.

On another side note, Whitney transitioned into her big girl room last week Monday, June 10th. She did so good and I’m extremely proud of her. The first night she cried for only a few minutes but never came out of her room. We checked on her a few hours later and she was curled up in bed sleeping. The next day for naps she laid right down and that evening she laid right down again without a peep. It has been like now ever since. She is officially out of her crib with little to no problems. YES!!!!

I also want to thank everyone for all their thoughts, prayers and well wishes this pregnancy and birth. There are so many emotions rolled into these past few weeks and the support and help from so many is so overwhelming. Our family is truly  blessed with so many thoughtful and incredible people in our lives. Thank you all!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day, and then some

Yikes, I just looked back and realized it has been over a month since I last wrote, Whitney is still wearing her jacket in most of the pictures, man oh man.
The last month or so has flown by, of course, as they usually do. The weather has turned nice, downright HOT these past few days, and I feel that spring & summer is now fully here. I have been trying to soak up as much time with Whitney as possible, just me and her, my FIRST baby. I am not worried about “sharing my love” between two children as I know this happens all the time, I am more concerned about making Whitney feel just as special as she does right now. I imagine it will take some time, but I am hoping it goes fairly smooth.

Since today is Mother’s Day it makes me reminisce over the past (almost) two years of her being here and I can’t help but instantly start crying. As you all know, she has come so far and is doing so incredibly awesome it is just such a blessing to have her with us. Each day is a special one and I absolutely adore this child. Her vocabulary is growing, still babbling constantly but trying to say new words all the time. Today she strung two words together (I’m with Dada…while they were swinging together) and we couldn’t believe it. I am so anxious for her to talk more, but know Andy and I were late talkers and have talked to plenty of Mom’s whose children didn’t start to “get it” until 2 to 2.5 years old. I know it will come, I just want to hear her TALK now.
We were able to Skype with my parents and my aunt from CA was at their house so we got to see her too, bonus! Being a Mom now really makes me appreciate all the sacrifices my own Mom made in her lifetime. And for me to have a daughter, I understand her wanting to have a daughter too (thus trying after 3 brothers before me!) I can only pray I have the same sort of relationship with my Whitney and my Mom and I have. She is a wonderful person and I am happy to call her not only my Mom, but truly, also my friend.

It seems that throughout the day I will think of things I want to blog about and even have paragraphs written down in my mind, but when it comes to actually sitting down and writing it I go blank. There is so much more going on but I guess I'm a loss for words right now. I AM excited though to share some photos I’ve been taking of her lately. I recently attended a 4 hour photography workshop to learn more about our DSLR camera and to (finally) take it off auto and shoot in manual mode. It was so much fun and I’ve been obsessed with taking photos ever since. Here are some of my favorites, along with the old camera phone photos as well.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cold and flu season

Wanted to quickly update how things have been over here. I have been battling a horrible cold since last Thursday. The coughing, sore throat and sinus pressure has kept my from getting a good night sleep and even caused me to cancel my appointments this week. This is probably the worst cold I can remember ever having. I am just praying Whitney and Andy don’t get this, I feel so miserable I can’t imagine one of them getting it. Every day I ask the babysitter if Whitney seems to be acting “sick” and every day I get a good report, so, so far so good. Whew.

This past Saturday Andy had off so we were going to head to Wilmington for the day but the weather was cold and rainy so we decided to stay home instead. We spent the morning at the children’s museum, where we had never been before. It was so great, Whitney loved it and it was neat to see her interact with the other kids and play with all the new things. Since Andy is home with her at least once during the week he ended up going back and getting a season pass. It will be a great place he can take her to get out of the house when I’m working from home.

These past few weeks have been really great with Whitney. She has had minimal tantrums and is just being a really good girl. She is starting to play with her toys again and is getting better and better at communicating with us. Words are coming at a really fast rate and she is comprehending so much it’s insane. The funniest thing is how she is in the imitating stage. There are so many things she’ll see us do and a few seconds later she’ll be doing the same thing. Putting lotion on, combing hair, cleaning the dogs eyes, cleaning the toilet…everything. It’s so endearing and just melts my heart that she is watching us so closely.

As for the baby, feeling good these past two weeks. I think since I’ve been sick I haven’t had quite the appetite I usually have so I’ve been eating less and feeling less “full” (and feeling great!) I guess since I’ve been concentrating on my cold, the pregnancy has been going pretty smooth, except for the fact you cant really take much for relief. I already know this second baby is going to be a lot different than Whitney. It is moving around constantly, I swear this kid doesn’t sleep (yikes!) With Whitney I hardly ever felt her move, seriously hardly ever. Now this child is all over the place, makes me wonder what it will be like when he/she arrives.

Speaking of arrivals we have our date set for June 4th. It is very strange picking a birth date and I don’t like it one bit. I know it’s the necessary evil with having a c-section and all I want is a smooth delivery so it really isn’t that big of deal, still it is strange. My parents booked their flights to come and help when the baby is born and I cant help but be anxious about that day. I just remember going in with Whitney and thinking all was going to be OK and then it wasn’t. Here we are again, making plans, and praying once again everything goes smooth. Except this time, I REALLY hope things go smooth. Two more months to go!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A perfect spring day

Today was one of those days I really needed.
After a long work week and a long winter to boot the forecast was calling for sunny and almost 70 degrees. The weather didn’t disappoint, I knew it was going to be a good day the minute I stepped outside to let the dog out. The few minutes I was outside the sun was already warming my back, and it felt glorious, and I couldn’t help but think, could spring really be on its way?

Andy had to work today, as he does most weekends, which is very disappointing, but it also gives me so much time to relish with Whitney. After breakfast and skyping with my parents we headed outside around 10:00 and didn’t come back in until noon. We trimmed some bushes, went for a wagon ride, played with chalk, went down the slide and talked with some neighbors. The sun was shining and warm, it was an instant mood lifter. Everyone was talking about how great the weather was and I know even Whitney could tell. She was totally happy just walking around the house playing and enjoying her time NOT wearing a hat, gloves or bulky jacket.

She is definitely happiest outside. Even in the winter (I know, I know, “winter” in S. Carolina is reeeeal brutal…) she prefers to play outside. She’ll walk me to the door when we’re inside and want to go out and it’s so dang cold out I can barely bring myself to go outside, but she loves it so much.
So now hopefully spring is here, or almost here, and we comfortably enjoy the outdoors.
We had such a great day. She had minimal breakdowns and was in a great mood all day. Ate good lunches and napped good too. All things that make a Mom super happy. We even had to run errands after her nap and she tagged along like a trooper. She has always liked shopping, but now she gets bored with it pretty quickly. However one stop was Toys R Us to get a new slide and she of course LOVES that place.
I broke down and got one of those outdoor slides. I had cheapened out and gotten a less expensive version a few weeks ago in hopes that it would work or I could find a used one at a consignment store or on Craigs List, but I had no luck doing so, and the slide I got would have been too small and flimsy for her when she gets a bit older. So I bit the bullet and got a Step 2 slide, we haven’t put it together yet, but I have a feeling it will be much better and will be able to grow with her better too.

These past few days I have noticed her adding to her vocabulary and getting much better at vocalizing what she wants. Whether she is talking, pointing, making motions, or even using the little signs she knows (more/help etc) everything is becoming more clear. Maybe that is why her tantrums were at a minimal today, I could actually understand what SHE wanted. She’s growing up right before our eyes. It’s true what people say that this time goes too fast. With baby #2 coming less than 3 months away I hardly remember Whitney as a baby. Possibly I worried that time away, too many tears shed, possibly the time just drifts away from us, now just photographs in albums and scrapbooks. I do remember that time, it hasn’t been THAT long ago, but remembering that little tiny baby stage I really do struggle with.

My parents came to visit last week too. We had such a great time and it is always so nice to have them come visit. They always stay really busy and we try to add up household projects for them when they come. This time they helped us move my old office to a different room in the house and we painted my old office and got it ready for Whitney, when she moves into her new big girl room as the nursery will remain a nursery for the next baby. They painted grey walls and I’ll have her accent colors pink and teal.
The week was not without disappoint though when my uncle (Dad’s brother) passed away from cancer. They had to cut the trip a week short and we rebooked some flights back to WI. The news was disappointing on so many levels but dealing and managing with disappointment is something I have been trying to work on. Definitely something you cannot plan for, and we did get to enjoy their time for a whole week, so I’m grateful for the time we DID get with them.

I know I haven’t written in so long and there is so much I’m forgetting. For now, I’m leaving you with some photos from the past few weeks.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pictures from the last month

For some reason when I posted the last time I wasn't able to upload photos. Here are a few from the last month.
Whitney is 18 months old.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Wisconsin Christmas and 18 month check-up

Wow these past few weeks have gone by in a whirlwind. As many already know, we typically take our “Christmas vacation” in early January to tie in a work trip in WI for me and then we take vacation time to spend with family and friends. It’s nice to extend the holiday season, but it really makes the months of December and January fly by and blur together.

This year we flew to WI on Thursday the 3rd. It was a great feeling knowing Andy was flying with both Whitney and I this time, I had zero anxiety and was actually excited to fly with all of us, our little family. Whitney did great, of course, and I think this must have made her 9th trip back to WI, I have lost count by now, but know she has surely taken full advantage of “kids fly free” under 2 years old.
After some work obligations on Friday and Saturday vacation finally began on Sunday when all of my brothers and sister-in-laws got together at my parents house for another Christmas celebration. We did our name exchange and saved the kids Godparent gifts for this day. It was great to see everyone and I was excited for Whitney to get a chance to play with all her cousins. Whitney makes number 9 for grandkids on my side of the family, so there are plenty of kids running around wanting to “play” with her. They are all so good to her and it was nice to see her not afraid and go off and play with them, just watching them and trying to keep up. She also had her first experience playing in the white wonderful snow of WI. Her and Grandpa went sledding down the hill and she was not happy! She cried the entire time and was perfectly happy getting back into the warmth of the house. I can’t blame her, we ARE the ones who moved to warmer climate.

After a few days in the Green Bay area we headed to WI Dells to spend the rest of the week with Andy’s family. His sister, her husband and three kids also made the trip from Florida, so we got to spend more time with family and Whitney enjoying more cousins. She has two cousins (twins) who are only 3 months older than her and they really could pass for triplets. It was neat to see them all playing together, and don’t even THINK of getting a picture of all of them together including a 4 year old. We had a great time playing in the water park and Whitney seemed much more at home in the water than in the snow. In the wave pool she squealed with delight and could not stop smiling and laughing. She would pull our hands to go back in the water if we were resting on the side. I guess a true water baby, my kind of girl.

After leaving WI we have now been back home for a week. It feels great to be settled back into a routine. The Christmas decorations are down and put away and we are just ready for spring. We were welcomed back home with 75 degree weather, a nice chance to open the windows and air out the house. Granted it is back in the 40’s now, but those few days of unexpected sunshine and warmth was just what we needed coming back from WI.

This past Monday Whitney had her 18 month checkup which I was thrilled about since she wouldn’t be getting any shots, and just a well visit. She weighed in at 25 lbs and 33 inches (both 75% for her age) and surprisingly her head was at 50%. The doctor was so happy with her progress and basically cleared her of all things. Autism, no signs. CP, nope. Growth deficiencies, nothing. He said we should have named her Miracle, because we look at one every day. The one thing he said we now do is just wait until school starts to see if she has any types of learning disabilities, but with her acting, growing and talking the way she is, he is not worried in the least bit right now.

What an absolutely wonderful doctors visit it was. To hear those words, not that I had doubts, but to hear them from her doctor still brings tears of joy to my eyes. Even telling Andy brought tears to his eyes. Our little girl is doing so awesome. She is turning into a little person who is independent and curious. Her sweet demeanor has captured our hearts.  

Whew, that's a long update and I've meaning to post sooner. I'm not even proof reading this, but just hitting submit I'm so eager to get this posted.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So this is Christmas...

I’m still relishing in the post Christmas bliss we experienced the last two days. I do love Christmas, everything about it. The excitement, the hustle and bustle, the reminiscing, the spirit of it all.
Whitney is still entirely way to young to “get it”, but for me, just the extra day off with Andy and her and getting to spend time together is what I love best. Since we spend the holidays with our families in early January, that leaves Christmas Eve and day all to ourselves, making memories and traditions as a family. Here is a small recap of Christmas 2012:

I was thrilled to find out Andy was getting off work early on Christmas Eve, this allowed me to go to church at 6:00, rather than 10:00 pm. Andy opted to stay at home with Whitney while I went to St Andrews Catholic Church, the first time I was able to attend one of their Christmas masses. It was beautiful and packed, as I suspected it would be. Mass lasted only an hour and they sang beautiful traditional Christmas hymns. I surprised myself by not even needing a hymnal to sing along to all the songs, since I've been getting much practice listening to Christmas music the past 1.5 months. This was a great way for me to kick of Christmas Eve and the holiday in general.
By the time I got home we still had time to play with Whitney together and be silly. We took some photos and had time to relax.

Christmas day Whitney woke up around 8:15 and we immediately skyped with my parents, since they were going to go to church in the morning and would then be preparing for their 40+ guests that afternoon. They had shipped a few presents to us to open on Christmas day and we had such fun opening them. Whitney got a puzzle and a picnic basket and some clothes, she was a happy little girl. She loves skyping and I think she is starting to think Grandpa and Grandma live in the computer! She puts the computer right on her lap and usually puts on a show for them, always being silly while on camera. She then walked over to her highchair and signed to “eat”, so I guess that was our cue it was time to go and have breakfast. Getting to see them on Christmas morning is the next best thing to being there with them. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad.

We then ate breakfast and skyped with Andy’s Mom, who was at his sister’s house in Florida. They have three kids, ages 4 and under, so they were up to their elbows in Christmas cheer as well. She opened up a few more presents, a rocking chair from Grandma JuJu and a “worm” crawl through toy from her cousins – her favorite new toy. She opened a few more things, and the present we got her, a shopping cart. We will try to milk this period of her not “getting it” for a few more years when she doesn’t understand Santa and feel no need to spend too much on her, she gets spoiled enough as it is with family and grandparents.

All in all, a great day, a really special day to spend with our small, but growing family. I treasure the memories we have already made and look forward to so many more Christmases together. Next year will surely be different with two children in the house, a 2.5 year old and 6 month old. Being with Andy and Whitney make me so happy I could burst. I wish I could capture every smile, smirk and silly thing she does. Obviously I try to take many pictures but she’ll do something and I just say to myself, “man I wish I could remember this forever.” And days like Christmas are days I wan to remember forever.

(Whitney is 18 months old)