Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I've Moved...

I've renamed my blog, thus moving it to a new web address. It's the same stuff, just wanted a different feel overall. So for all 13 of my followers, you can find me here!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roly Poly Baby

As of last Wednesday, baby C is dazzling us with her newest party trick - rolling over! We have been working on this trick for a couple weeks now. Once she began rolling to her side, I started using a blanket to gently roll her back and forth while singing a silly song, making the motion fun and familiar instead of scary. Then last week, at 19 weeks old, with a look of sheer determination, she did it all by herself! I then, of course, spent the rest of the day getting her to do it over and over again while I took pictures and videos and cheered her on. 

Each day, she gets stronger and stronger. Just this morning, she began refusing to lay down for her bath. She much prefers to sit up and smile at herself in the mirror. She holds her own bottle now (with a little assistance from Mommy) and pulls it away when she's full. I love watching her become this persistent, independent little person. I just know that sitting up is right around the corner.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom. Since I was little, I had lists of hypothetical baby names and ideas of where I would live and where my kids would go to school. I have never been afraid of trading in my car for a mini van. I always knew I would be a mom. But I had no idea it would be this much fun and had no idea I could love one human being so very much. Husband and I decided the only way to even remotely describe it is that it has the intensity of your first love - the all consuming thoughts of adoration paired with infatuation, the need to be with that person every second of every day without ever growing tired of their company, the thought that you would rather die than have anything bad ever happen to them - times 10. It's unreal how much I love this little girl and how many hours I can spend staring at her, watching her roll over (over and over again), and dancing around the room trying to make her laugh.

I have a beautiful life.

Friday, July 8, 2011

To Everything There is a Season

A few years ago I took a job I wasn't entirely thrilled to take, but knew it would help Husband (then boyfriend) and I make the move back to Birmingham and would add a nice line to my resume. It was simply a building block, a stepping stone, and nothing else. It was not a dream job and was certainly not a dream company. But as I began my position as sales and marketing rep for a physical therapy company, I was lucky to meet a physical therapist who would become a great friend. That physical therapist was Jessica. We became friends over the few months I worked with that company and relished our lunch breaks together until we each moved our separate ways professionally. 

We have since attended each other's weddings and shared the joys of pregnancy and motherhood together. She is a wonderful person and her Ben and baby Catherine are going to have years of fun together. But this week, as she lost her father to a battle with melanoma, my heart aches for her and I am reminded once again how precious is our time in this world and how important are the friendships we not only make, but maintain and enjoy.

As C and I waited in line yesterday to pay our respects and hug the necks of loved ones, I looked around at the chapel full of family and friends her father had spent a lifetime acquiring. There were tears as to be expected, but there were also smiles as stories of reminiscence were being told all around me. As I hugged Jessica's mom and then Jessica, I was suddenly so grateful for an otherwise meaningless job a few years ago. Grateful that a job had brought such wonderful people into my world. And grateful that I could be there to celebrate the life of the man most precious to them.

There is little, if anything, that can be said to bring peace at such a difficult time. But I hope Gerald left this world knowing how dearly he was loved by so many. And I hope that we are reminded to love and appreciate the people in our lives every single day, however they may have entered our world.

To everything there is a season, and 
a time to every purpose under heaven: 

A time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 
A time to kill, and a time to heal; 
a time to break down, and a time to build up; 

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, 
and a time to gather stones together; 
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;
 a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
A time to rend, and a time to sew; 
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
A time to love, and a time to hate; 
a time of war; and a time of peace

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I am the product of a military family on both sides. My father's father proudly served in the U.S. Army, lying about his age to enlist early and avoid the otherwise inevitable work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. He served in Vietnam and spent years moving my dad, my aunt, and my grandmother all over the place, even spending a few years stationed in Germany. He flies his flag proudly in his front yard (above his Pittsburgh Steelers flag, of course).

My mother's father served in the U.S. Army as well. He then served as a Colonel in the National Guard and was a renowned recruiter. Once he retired, he built his business on his military passion and connections, owning and operating one of the largest military supply companies in the U.S. He made his big break during Desert Storm in '91 as he was able to keep up with the high demand with a sudden rebound of patriotism. He is 80 years old and still goes to work every single day. This country is his life.

Needless to say, my family is proudly American and celebrates accordingly. I was taught at a very young age that the 4th of July is simply the date. The holiday is referred to as "Independence Day." And for as long as I can remember, I've had a homework assignment due on the 4th of July. 

My sister and I were required each year to turn in an assignment to my dad. In any artful expression we chose, we were to describe why were proud to be Americans and what Independence Day meant to us. They began as drawings in crayon on construction paper, but over the years, developed into poems, essays, and paintings. Two of my Dad's favorites being my essay written from my summer serving as a camp counselor at Camp Nakanawa in Crossville, Tennessee and my sister's very long text sent from her summer backpacking through Europe. Without fail, every year, no matter where we were or who we were with, we turned in our assignment. We were thankful. We celebrated.

This year, I'm a day late with my homework, but am thankful none the less. I am so very proud to be from a family of service men. I am so very proud to be a part of a country in which I can raise my daughter to be a strong, educated, independent woman. She will be able to attend college, to pursue the career of her choice, to serve her country if she so chooses. She is free to make any decision she wants and for this, I am most grateful. I am grateful to the men and women who serve so that we may lead a life of freedom. 

I am proud to be an American and will pass on this tradition to my children as well. They will know how important their heritage is and each year, they will express it in any way they choose on the 4th of July. 

Happy Independence Day!

Catherine expressed this year's assignment through her wardrobe! :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bragging Rights

4 months old

I have bragging rights. It's my right as a mother. 

So I will cash in that chip right now when I announce that at her four month check up, C did so well that "preemie" was taken off of her chart! She is meeting all the major milestones of a typical four month old, both developmentally and physically. Weighing in at a whopping 12.5 pounds and 24.5" long, she is 30th percentile in weight and 70th in height (which were my usual percentiles at her age). There is no doubt about it. This girl will be tall.

Just look at those feet! She gets them honestly...

She's a cutie. And oh so funny.  I literally laugh at her all day, and she at me because I'm hilarious. Well, that, and the fact that she has no source of comparison. She's the perfect blend of her parents: mostly laid back with a slight flare for the dramatic; and I am constantly amazed at her ability to communicate her needs with us with a systematic string of screams, coos, and babbles. I am loving how alert she is these days as we cut back on her daytime naps and have more time for playing, reading, and watching Baby Einstein. And just the other day, I realized that she was strong enough to hold onto me while I held her. This may be my favorite development of all so far. 

Overall, she's perfection wrapped up with a bow. I just can't imagine what we ever did before her (or how much time I must have spent doing unnecessary things like applying makeup and washing my hair).

I have the best job ever.

1 day old

4 months old

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If a Tree Falls...

It's the age old question:

If a baby falls asleep two hours early, will morning come two hours earlier?

sleepy girl

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

World of Wonder

Day 41

We've seen a lot of changes in 41 days. 

C has learned to hold her head up, to grasp toys, and, just this morning, to roll over. She is teething, a constant stream of drool flowing from her mouth and a tiny fist trying desperately to provide some relief. She no longer wants to be on her back, but instead wants to sit upright any way that she can, and in true C fashion, will let you know how she feels!

Still the bright and cheery morning person, she squeals and "talks" constantly, recently adding consonant sounds to her babbling. She is wearing size 3 month clothing and has almost grown out of her footed pajamas with those long legs of hers. She smiles all the time and is wide eyed most of the day, taking in the world around her.

We've introduced Baby Einstein videos as she can finally watch them without falling asleep. She helps me turn the pages (well....sort of...) when we read books, exploring new sensations with her fingers. She would sleep straight through the night if I didn't have to wake her at 11:30 for a dose of medicine. At nearly four months old, she is growing up so very fast.

Among all these changes, we've watched the hemangioma shrink day by day. The dose of propranalol is still 0.4 mL three times a day, but will most likely increase after her appointment next week. The changes have been slow, but visible, and there isn't a day where we regret going through with this treatment:

Day 1: Day 39 profile: Day 41

The progress has definitely slowed, but we can still see that the bump is much smoother and smaller now and the coloring overall is beginning to gray, which Dr. Theos told us was the first sign of the medication working. There seems to be less pressure on her left eye and eyebrow when she smiles and this will hopefully continue to get better over time. Hopefully, C's weight gain will allow us to increase her dosage over the next couple weeks. Once the dose is 0.8 mL three times a day, the changes should be much faster. Regardless, we are so happy to watch this treatment work before our eyes and are so very grateful for such a great doctor so close to home.

We will know more after our appointment next week. Until then, we will continue to watch her grow and change before our eyes and love every single minute of it.